Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ranger School Gets a Facelift

On the IBOLC Dagger Co Facebook page, one of the leaders (cadre) posted this article: Army Revamps Ranger School, Leadership Courses. For those of you who notoriously read the Clif Notes version of the great American novels in school (shame on you!), I'll give some backstory and summarize.

In the past, when men when out on patrol, they'd have a pretty set objective. "Knock out a bunker," and "set up an ambush" and "respond to an ambush" were the ones I heard the most from B's time in ROTC. I heard about them so often I sometimes think I could participate in one and know what I'm doing. I exaggerate, of course.

However, this article explains that if the men get their orders to go, say, raid a bunker, and they get there and they realize the orders have been formulated on bad intelligence, they have to change mid-patrol, and adjust their strategies. This forces them to anticipate the unexpected, to think on their toes, and to respond appropriately. This is excellent news, and bad news at the same time.

Bad news: those men who are used to the standard of operating procedures, or SOP, will probably find it hard to switch things around in the thick of it. This could lead to more recycles, or perhaps even more "drops" from the course. Who knows? It's been implemented since May, so only time will tell.

Excellent news: this is emulates what real battle is like. Men won't simply go into a small village in Afghanistan (or whatever corner of the world we'll be engaging in next...) and just execute a mission, and be back to the FOB for dinner. Plans change, people change, orders change. Having Rangers who are able to think on their toes and respond appropriately could result in fewer casualties due to the inability to respond appropriately. It will also help the men take calculated risks when they cannot necessarily reach their superiors for further instruction.

I'm praying that B maintains the wits I know he possesses, and manages to keep his men together when he is in charge. He's going to do well, I have absolute faith in him, but a little extra guidance from the Lord never is a bad thing.

Stay classy.

Trivial fact of the day: An acronym is when you pronounce the letters together like a word (i.e. NASA, POG, etc). However, if you only say the letters, it's called an initialism (FBI, CIA, NYPD...).

Boom. Your life has just been enriched.


Allison said...

Your trivial fact just blew my mind!

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