US Army Announces Plan to Admit Recruits Who Smoked Marijuana

My personal opinion on this is that I would rather have a smaller group of highly qualified soldiers than a larger group of soldiers with standards dropped.  However, the Army is saying they are only allowing in soldiers who have admitted to marijuana use which is on the lower end of criminal activity:

Faced with increasing demand for new soldiers, the Army has reached deeper into the pool of marginally qualified recruits, offered hundreds of millions in bonuses and relaxed the process for granting waivers for marijuana use.

The Army will reach its goal of 80,000 new soldiers without compromising quality, predicted Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow, who leads its recruiting command. The need for new soldiers comes as Congress has reversed trends begun in the Obama administration to downsize the military. An additional headwind for recruiting in all the service branches: a growing economy where civilian jobs, not joining the military, attract young people.

“It’s in an environment where unemployment is 4.5%,” Snow said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us.”  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link, but I wonder if this will mean weight and fitness standards for soldiers coming out of basic and AIT will be lowered as well like there were before?

Former West Point Faculty Member Accuses Academy of Not Enforcing Standards and Pushing Left Wing Agenda

If only half the accusations this retired Lieutenant Colonel makes in this opinion piece are true there are still some serious issues at West Point:

West Point

The recent coverage of 2LT Spenser Rapone — an avowed Communist and sworn enemy of the United States — dramatically highlighted this disturbing trend. Given my recent tenure on the West Point faculty and my direct interactions with Rapone, his “mentors,” and with the Academy’s leadership, I believe I can shed light on how someone like Rapone could possibly graduate.

First and foremost, standards at West Point are nonexistent. They exist on paper, but nowhere else. The senior administration at West Point inexplicably refuses to enforce West Point’s publicly touted high standards on cadets, and, having picked up on this, cadets refuse to enforce standards on each other. The Superintendent refuses to enforce admissions standards or the cadet Honor Code, the Dean refuses to enforce academic standards, and the Commandant refuses to enforce standards of conduct and discipline. The end result is a sort of malaise that pervades the entire institution. Nothing matters anymore. Cadets know this, and it has given rise to a level of cadet arrogance and entitlement the likes of which West Point has never seen in its history.  [Medium]

With courses like this an avowed anti-American communist like 2nd Lieutenant Spenser Rapone was able to fit right in at West Point:

Even the curriculum itself has suffered. The plebe American History course has been revamped to focus completely on race and on the narrative that America is founded solely on a history of racial oppression. Cadets derisively call it the “I Hate America Course.” Simultaneously, the plebe International History course now focuses on gender to the exclusion of many other important themes.

On the other hand, an entire semester of military history was recently deleted from the curriculum (at West Point!).

I recommend reading the whole thing at the link, but LTC Heffington’s accusations definitely explain how Rapone was able to graduate.  It also explains how cadets are able to make political statements in uniform with no consequences.  If things are as bad at West Point as claimed Rapone ought to apply to become an instructor because he would be the perfect teacher to instruct a “I Hate America Course”.

The US Army’s “Pinks and Greens” Uniform Demoed at AUSA Convention

Considering how good the old “pinks and greens” uniform looks it is a shame the US Army ever went away from it in the first place:

At AUSA PEO Soldier is demonstrating a prototype World War Two Pinks and Greens-style service dress uniform.

SGT Schacher and SFC Johnson wear prototypes of male and female versions of the uniform. This is only a prototype, intended to solicit feedback and there is currently no requirement for a new Service uniform. However, if this concept is adopted by the Army, the final uniforms will be different.  [Soldier Systems]

You can see additional photos at the link, but imagine how awesome this uniform would look if soldiers were allowed to wear “The Ike Jacket” with it as well:

I think the biggest challenge that would prevent this change is simple uniform change fatigue.  The Army has gone through so many uniform changes in the past few years leaders may be hesitant to make another change; even a change that would be for the better.

US Army Officer Publicly Promotes Communism Within the Ranks

Much like the ongoing debate about a US military chaplain bashing other religions it seems this US Army infantry officer should find another line of work as well:

A photo of U.S. Army infantry officer and West Point graduate Spenser Rapone was making its rounds online Monday due to the fact that – while in his uniform – Rapone had the words “Communism will win” scrawled inside of his cap.  [Gateway Pundit via a reader tip]

I saw this and I thought this has to be fake, but this is an actual real story.  Over at Task and Purpose they have confirmed that Rapone is actually a commissioned officer now and going through infantry training:

Rapone’s no mere troll. He’s a real socialist, who believes American society should be radically reconceived to make citizens more equal. He’s written passionately about “white supremacist iconography” and “profoundly racist culture” at West Point, which he shares as an alma mater with most of the Confederate army’s officer ranks. But it is his alma mater nonetheless. While he renounces private property ownership as the United States practices it, he owns a little piece of the Great Chain and the Point,and its history is now a part of him. He didn’t destroy USMA; he joined it, and seeks to change America from within. As much as he can, as a serving Army infantry officer, anyway. “Symbolic victories are important,” he writes. For all the radical flair, you could imagine him agreeing with the guarded patriotism of that old classical British conservative, Edmund Burke: “To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely.”  [Task and Purpose]

So I guess it is okay to promote Communism in uniform now.  So what would happen if someone decided to start promoting Nazi ideology in uniform?

Commanding General of US Army Forces in Africa Suspended for Inappropriate Texting

It looks like another senior officer is having a midlife crisis and hitting on a younger married woman:

Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington, U.S. Army Africa Commanding General, attends a function on July 10, 2017, during a visit to Caserma Ederle, Vicenza, Italy. DAVIDE DALLA MASSARA/U.S. ARMY

Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington, the commander of U.S. Army Africa, was suspended Friday pending an investigation into flirtatious text messages he is suspected of sending to another man’s wife.

“MG Harrington has been suspended from his duties as the Commander of United States Army Africa’s Southern European Task Force pending the completion of an investigation by the Army’s inspector general,” said a statement from the Army’s chief of public affairs office.

Harrington said in a statement that “I look forward to the completion of the investigation.”  [Stars & Stripes]

Here is what was allegedly texted:

The woman who received the messages — who spoke on condition of anonymity because she fears retaliation against her husband — told USA TODAY the texting began as friendly and related to business. She said she had met Harrington at the gym. She became concerned with the texts, she said, after Harrington’s messages became suggestive. The relationship did not be come physical.

Harrington is married, and adultery is a violation of military law.

The messages, many sent late at night, veer from the mundane to the personal. Harrington oversees the Army’s activities in Africa from a post in northern Italy. In some texts, he complained about travel and getting sick on local food.

In others, he doted on the woman’s appearance, referring to her as “HOTTIE,” and “looking good for sure.” In another series he wrote: “You seem to have a great modeling resume! Truly! Though I hadn’t noticed! Where is your hubby tonight? Work?”

When she replied that she’d fought with her husband, and that he was asleep, Harrington responded: “I’m sorry! Make up se…x is fun”  [US Army WTF Moments]

You can read more at the link.

US Army’s New Transgender Policy Raises Concerns About Transitioning Males Showering with Females

I think there are going to be so few of these situations that this really will not be a problem:

Mandatory Army training materials state that females will have to accept transgender women showering with them.

The Army has been rolling out a series of training materials entitled “Tier Three Transgender Training” to prepare soldiers to accept transgenders in their ranks, and one of the bullet points states that soldiers will have to accept austere, primitive conditions, which entails acceptance of trans women showering with other female soldiers.

The Federalist obtained the materials from an active-duty officer who completed the training last week.

According to the training, soldiers will be allowed to switch their gender markets without undergoing any kind of transition surgeries or physical changes. There are two crucial elements needed for transition.  [Daily Caller]

You can read more at the link.

Article Claims Female US Infantry Troops Not Being Held to Same Standard As Men

I have been a supporter of women in the infantry with the caveat they should be held to the same standard as male troops.  However, this article claims through anonymous sources they were not:

Soldiers-in-training assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, start their first day of Infantry One Station Unit Training on Sand Hill, Fort Benning, Ga. The class that started Feb. 10 was the first to include female recruits. [Army Times]

America’s first female Army Infantrymen are here, but not all of them made it through.

In fact, only eighteen of the thirty-two female infantry recruits made it through the One Station Unit Training (OSUT) program at Fort Benning, Georgia.

While the attrition rate doesn’t seem all that alarming, it strikes a more concerning tone when factoring in that the females needed only to meet the much-lower female standards for physical fitness that separate them from their previously all-male counterparts.

That said, there were some women who certainly gave their male colleagues a run for their money.

“There was even one female that did better than 90 percent of the males on the PT test,” said one 22-year-old male trainee, who reportedly had high PT scores. “Speaking as the person who had the second-highest PT score- she had me looking over my soldier the whole cycle. It was something that definitely made me better, and maybe kept me up nights a few times. But certainly by the end of the cycle, I was doing more push-ups, because I had her chasing me.”

However, some sources who graduated from within the unit -whom requested concealed identities to protect their new careers- claimed a clear double-standard between males and females in their training cycle, including lighter rucksacks and lower expectations.

“No way,” one soldier told Popular Military when asked if women were held to the same standards. “Lighter rucks, things like that.”  [Popular Military]

You can read more at the link, but the Army has said the same standards were used so who knows what the truth is.

Army Investigating Allegations of Soldiers Sharing Nude Pictures

It will be interesting to see how the Army investigates this because you would think these posters are not using their real names:

The Army is looking into allegations that some soldiers may be involved in an image-sharing message board where troops from all branches of the service are allegedly crowdsourcing naked pictures of female service members.

“Special agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s specialized Computer Crime Investigative Unit are currently assessing information and photographs on a civilian website that appear to include U.S. Army personnel,” Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said in a statement to Army Times.

The special agents are working to “determine if a criminal offense has occurred,” Smith said.

First reported by Business Insider, the Army’s inquiry comes one day after news broke about AnonIB, a website where purported male service members request naked pictures of their female counterparts by name, rank and duty station. The Business Insider report also said the men allegedly were cyber-stalking and sharing nude photos of their female colleagues.   [Army Times]

You can read more at the link.

US Army Announces Project to Develop Biodegradable Mortar Rounds

This will be interesting to see what industry comes up with to develop mortar rounds that are biodegradable after they are fired and impact in the ground:

Marines train with the M203 40mm grenade launcher and the shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapon at Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 23, 2015. The U.S. Army recently sought proposals to make biodegradable 40 mm to 120 mm training rounds loaded with specialized indigenous seeds that, when grown, will eliminate ammunition debris and contaminants from ranges around the world.

In a famous photograph from 1967, a Vietnam War protester placed flowers into rifle barrels of National Guardsmen. That role could one day fall to tank commanders and mortarmen.

The U.S. Army recently sought proposals to make biodegradable 40 mm to 120 mm training rounds loaded with specialized indigenous seeds that, when grown, will eliminate ammunition debris and contaminants from ranges around the world.

The three-phase study will test the concept’s viability and look at the potential financial and environmental impact, according to Frank Misurelli, a spokesman for the U.S. Army’s Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. If successful, the winning proposal would become a “Program of Record” and the rounds could make their way into America’s military training arsenal.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

Hooker Hill Visit Helps Lead to Army General Losing Two Ranks

This is what happens when you use your government credit card to pay a $1,100 bill at a Hooker Hill club in Seoul:

One of the Army’s most promising generals will be demoted to one star and retired following a scandal that involved sex clubs in Seoul and Rome, high-priced booze and indiscretions with young female troops, the Army announced Thursday.

Ron Lewis, who had been a three-star general and top aide to the then-Defense secretary Ash Carter, will also lose about $10,000 a year in pension payments due to the demotion.

The Pentagon Inspector General “substantiated allegations that Maj. Gen. Lewis misused his government travel charge card for personal expenses, made false official statements regarding his (credit card) misuse, and engaged in conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman on multiple occasions,” Cynthia Smith, an Army spokeswoman, said in a statement.  (……)

Army investigators found that Lewis spent more than $1,100 in April 2015 during a visit to the “Candy Bar” in Seoul. The bar, in the city’s red-light district known as “Hooker Hill,” had been deemed off limits to troops. When questioned about the charge, Lewis denied it was his, the Pentagon challenged the expense and got him a new card.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.