Posted on May 20, 2016
SPC Healthcare Specialist (Combat Medic)
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From uniforms to doctrine, the Army always seems to be enfatuated with the next best thing. My last assignment before leaving the Army was in a tri-service command and I learned many things about our sister branches in that time. The Navy and Marine Corps are steeped in tradition and seem to take the upmost pride in honoring and upholding the standards that have made them what they are today, but big Army was always mixing things up and changing the plan on the direction we as soldiers were heading. Is this just my misguided perception or does this ring true for some of you?
Posted in these groups: Tradition-crest TraditionPride_logo PrideRoandco_honor_branding_01-1299-xxx_q85 Honor
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COL Chief, Land Forces Division
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Let's knock those "top two" down a few pegs first. The Navy has a very specific mission. It is GENERALLY unchanging. The ability for them to "hold onto tradition" is simpler. Their stratification of rank is necessary due to being locked onto a floating piece of metal that requires specific actions of individuals without question in order to survive. Even then, I have to tell you, the grass is greener through your eyes. They have changed...and significantly so. Their traditions (misogynistic and brutal in days of old) have been watered down for the times. The Marine Corps is small. Really small. Being small allows them to hold higher standards, which often is equated to tradition, but it more about their selection standards. If you can turn away 1/2 of those applying, you end up with a better end product. The Army must change. We are too large to stay stagnant. Staying in the past is not a place to be when the rest of the world is continuing to progress. Now, we cannot lose tradition. As a Cavalry Officer and former Squadron Commander, this was and is very important to me. In the Army, everything that you see is unit specific. The Commander of your unit sets the priorities and if one of those is not instilling the Army Values and holding tradition in a place of honor, then you will not see it. It doesn't exist unless leaders make it so. The Army is too large.
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SPC Healthcare Specialist (Combat Medic)
SPC (Join to see)
3 y
I can tell you sir from my time in 3/7, I enjoyed the history and lineage of the 7th Cavalry. They had it locked on. They were exceptional in that regard. Perhaps it's because they could date themselves back to the Indian Wars and the other units I spent time in had for the most part been stood up for the First World War, or the individual battalions had been created either during or after WWII.
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COL Chief, Land Forces Division
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3 y
Even units with history that only goes back to WWI and WWII can do a good job of it. The 14th Cavalry Regiment (where I commanded 1/14 CAV) started around the time of the Philippine Insurrection. Before WWI. It isn't the amount of history a unit has, it's the emphasis put on it by the Commander of the unit. I made sure that every Soldier in the Squadron understood the history and lineage of the unit. We all understood where the unit had been and why men had died and where. We understood that we stood on the bodies of men greater than ourselves and that if we were called on again, that we rode into battle under the Red-and-White to forge the glory of the United States Cavalry and the 14th Cavalry Regiment...and in that act, we would live forever. That's the power of tradition, the power of lineage, the power of being something greater than one.
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MAJ Aviation Combined Arms Operations
MAJ (Join to see)
3 y
Even then, the Marine Corps is continually reinventing itself. It underwent a major transformation before WW2 (amphibious warfare being its central mission), and there's always an identity struggle in the Marine Corps. It trains for amphibious warfare, but it's usually used as standard infantry, and that creates a huge tension. (Same with Airborne forces in the US)
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SPC Elisabeth Vinal
SPC Elisabeth Vinal
3 y
Well said, Sir. To add, even the Air Force reacts to change by being, in my educated opinion, a pioneer in military corporate culture shifts regarding tattoos for example.
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MSG Military Police
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The uniform changes are a freakin' ridiculous waste of money ... except the ACU ... that HAD to go. Change in doctrine ... no. If Doctrine were constant we'd still be lining up in the open with M4's instead of muskets and the Cav would be charging the enemy on horseback. Doctrine should change and adapt to the threats that our country faces.
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MAJ Thomas Person
MAJ Thomas Person
3 y
Good point son. Read "This Kind of War" by T.R Feurenbach COL USA RET. It is based on the Korean War; however, it was required reading in the 25th ID for O's. Senior NONCOMS maybe. But that is what head injuries do to you. :-). Anyway you are living in dangerous times where most leaders in civilian clothes are groveling at the feet of a socopath
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MAJ Thomas Person
MAJ Thomas Person
3 y
sorry wrong post spot TOP
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PV2 Gs 8 Legal Assistant
PV2 (Join to see)
3 y
Agree on the ACU's MSG, glad I'm wearing the OCP and I hope we stick with them a good long while. Looks closer to the BDU'S and it works. No need to fix it any more. If we go to a desert then issue desert gear then when we come back it's back to the regular uniform. Too easy and would save money.
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MSG Military Police
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3 y
PV2 (Join to see) - I like the OCPs and oh BTW ... they actually blend in with real terrain!
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Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS
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The USMC is CONSTANTLY evolving. It's CONSTANTLY changing.

It changed while I was in. It changed while folks like 1stSgt (Join to see) was in. It's changing now.

The "Spirit" and "Philosophy" of the Marines doesn't really change though, but the Plan, Direction, and Heading.... that changes all the time. The trick is figuring out what parts are important, and what parts aren't. We (USMC) are pretty good about defining our Important aspects, and what parts we just don't care about.
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2ndLt Flight Student (TBS)
2ndLt (Join to see)
3 y
Well said. It would probably surprise many to hear that there are no longer sea duty Marines like in the 1990s and prior, excluding MEU floats, of course. Marine doctrine has undergone huge changes from boarding/raiding parties, to amphibious assault, to expeditionary maneuver.
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PO2 Karl Lehn
PO2 Karl Lehn
1 mo
Odd, the term sea duty Marines! The only times I saw any Marines on sea duty were the MarDet on the first cartier I was stationed on and two Marines (1 O and 1 E) on an amphib I served on. Now undrrway on that amphib we had a grunch of Marines that were part of the MEU but they werent permanent. Other than that I've never seen Marines on ships!
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