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All Marines Will Have To Take And Pass A New Battle Skills Test Starting 2018
Before newly minted Marines even reach the fleet, they spend months being inundated with knowledge and transformed from soft civilians to napalm-pissing, high-and-tight-rocking warfighters, ready to shove their combat boot up the ass of America’s enemies. (At least, that’s how they see themselves on leave. Everyone else just sees a dumb boot.)
But in the years after boot camp and the School of Infantry or Marine Combat Training, those skills can start to fade.
That’s why the Corps is launching an annual Battle Skills Test beginning in January. First reported by Marine Corps Times, Marines will be evaluated on 30 out of the 178 common skills they learn early on in their careers, according to MARADMIN 693/17, which published Dec. 22.
All Marines — from the bootest of boots to the commandant — will have to pass the skills test each year. And you know what that means?
Land nav, along with a host of other specific tasks, broken into the following categories: basic infantry skills, communications, first aid, history, leadership, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The individual tests will hit on everything from how to perform actions with a service rifle (butter, butter, jam!); search and handle detainees; stand a post; and yeah, read a map and use a compass. Oh, but there’s more — remember, MCT, SOI, and boot camp covered a lot. Marines will have to operate a radio, know the difference between what a hand signal means and what it looks like it means, know their way around a tourniquet and how to triage and treat a casualty. The test will also touch on more conceptual rather than technical areas of training like leadership, the service’s mission, its history, the stressors of combat, and the rights of military personnel under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Designed to be taken in any clime and place — sorry, no ducking this because of a PCS — the test requires minimal equipment, can be administered at any time in 2018 by a unit commander, and can be broken into separate sections spread out over an extended period of time, or in a solid block over a set number of days. Marines are required to take and pass the skills test annually, but because all of the subjects covered were taught during initial training, it’s more of a refresher, and one that’ll hopefully get easier each year — which is the whole point — rather than a test Marines have to cram for.
“It is imperative today, as it has been throughout the Corps history, for all Marines, regardless of MOS or rank, to sustain these skills,” reads the MARADMIN.
That said, the Corps may want to consider adding a few unofficial but nonetheless mission-essential skills to its annual test: Skating 101, how pack the perfect dip, and how to use swear words like punctuation.
The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.
President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.
"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'
"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"
This 400-pound feral hog is one of more than 1,200 that have invaded a Texas Air Force base since 2016
At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.
A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.
In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."
A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.
In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.