This 15-Man Infantry Squad Blows My Mind, Man

The Long March

So, little grasshoppers, I remember some 20 years ago I was visiting an experimental Army unit that was field testing new technologies and, just as importantly, new organizational structures to best use them.


The lieutenant general overseeing all this told me that he thought the company commander of the future would have most of the tools under him that a division commander in World War I would have—that is, infantry, machine guns, some armored vehicles (in the modern case, robots), and even aviation—that is, UAVs, both for recon and strike, giving him or her indirect fires.

This was radical stuff for 1998.

I remembered that conversation when I was reading the March issue of the “Marine Corps Gazette,” in which Maj. Chad Buckel states that:

The future rifle squad should consist of fifteen Marines, with three fire teams of four Marines and a headquarters element of three Marines. They should be equipped with the IAR (infantry automatic rifle), the M4A1, the M203/M320 grenade launcher, an LMG [light machine gun], counter-unmanned systems weapons, the person role radio, and UAS (unmanned aircraft systems).

That’s an awful lot to dump on one squad leader, who also would be qualified as a “joint fires officer.” As my friend Colonel Keith Nightingale might ask, Who would be focusing on keeping them moving and shooting?

The first grenade core was accidentally discovered on Nov. 28, 2018, by Virginia Department of Historic Resources staff examining relics recovered from the Betsy, a British ship scuttled during the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. The grenade's iron jacket had dissolved, but its core of black powder remained potent. Within a month or so, more than two dozen were found. (Virginia Department of Historic Resources via The Virginian-Pilot)

In an uh-oh episode of historic proportions, hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War recently and repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital city.

Wait – they had hand grenades in the Revolutionary War? Indeed. Hollow iron balls, filled with black powder, outfitted with a fuse, then lit and thrown.

And more than two dozen have been sitting in cardboard boxes at the Department of Historic Resources, undetected for 30 years.

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Jeremy Cuellar, left, and Kemia Hassel face life in prison if convicted of murdering Army Sgt. Tyrone Hassel III in Berrien County Dec. 31, 2018. (Courtesy of Berrien County Sheriff's Dept.)

BERRIEN COUNTY, MI -- The wife of an Army sergeant killed in December admitted that she planned his killing together with another man, communicating on Snapchat in an attempt to hide their communications, according to statements she made to police.

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A Coast Guard lieutenant arrested this week planned to "murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country," according to a court filing requesting he be detained until his trial.

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(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton

At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.

Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.

They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.

What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.

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A photo shared by Hoda Muthana on her now-closed @ZumarulJannaTwitter account. (Twitter/ZumarulJannah)

The State Department announced Wednesday that notorious ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, a U.S.-born woman who left Alabama to join ISIS but began begging to return to the U.S. after recently deserting the terror group, is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return home.

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