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?

Hospital Corpsman, 3rd Class, Jennifer Rooney, who was immediately promoted after selection through the Meritorious Promotion Program, was pinned in a ceremony Sept. 20, 2019, by her father, Robert Rooney, and grandfather, John Rooney. (U.S. Marine Corps/Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Molina)

A U.S.S. Manchester, CL-83, hat firmly tucked on his head, John Ronney, pierced the collar of his granddaughter, Jennifer Rooney's new rank during a special pinning ceremony at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune on Sept. 25.

By Rooney's side was his son and Jennifer's father Robert, a Navy veteran. Together, three Navy veterans brought together for military tradition.

"They are the two people who taught me everything I needed to know about the Navy," said Jennifer.

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Seaman Ethan W. Tucker, 21, was arrested August 28 after a seven-month Coast Guard investigation into the January death of Seaman Ethan Kelch, 19, who served on the same ship as Tucker— the Kodiak, Alaska-based high endurance cutter Douglas Munro.

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Erdogan agreed on Thursday in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence a five-day pause in the offensive to allow time for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a "safe zone" Turkey aims to establish in northeast Syria near the Turkish border.

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It wasn't immediately clear what the president was talking about, as there were no publicly known developments in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East relating to oil. White House aides did not return requests for comment.

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The investigation, the results of which were released on Friday by Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley's office, centered on whether Clinton, who served as the top U.S. diplomat from 2009 to 2013, jeopardized classified information by using a private email server rather than a government one.

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