US Army

My mind’s eye sees the truly great.

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Associated Press photo

Thus endeth the contest that went where military journalism hasn’t gone much. And apparently you neither, given the paucity of submissions.

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Public domain

Here’s the first entry in our Combat Pooping contest, and it’s a strong one. If you have something you think is as good, please e-mail it to Tom Ricks.

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Quality squad leaders are made, not born.  They are trained by other internal experienced NCO’s.  The position of squad leader is the least experienced and the most junior of all infantry positions.  Yet, it often is the most important on the field of battle as well as the least capable of supervision. Combat forces a largely independent action environment on the squad despite the finest communication technology available.  In the heat of the moment, the squad reacts with deeply visceral, immediate impulsive responses to an enemy. The only control mechanisms are previous training and immediate leadership. And that is, inevitably, a squad leader.

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We read every day about the new strategy, plans, and programs to build our defense and how much they will improve our combat competency. Defense Secretary James Mattis recently announced a major new initiative, the creation of the Close Combat Lethality Task Force, to examine how to make our leading edge combat elements much more lethal and effective on the battlefield.  

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