‘Radical changes’: Marine Corps overhaul aimed at confronting China

The Marine Corps plans to give up its tanks, dramatically remake its artillery batteries, cut its helicopter fleet and take a host of other “radical” steps in arguably the most sweeping American military overhaul in a century — all with the goal of preparing for a potential 21st-century conflict with China. And a little global pandemic hasn’t stopped the Corps from hitting a very different beach. Seventy-five years after storming beaches at Iwo Jima, Marine Corps leaders unveiled a blueprint this month concluding that the branch’s traditional approach no longer meets the nation’s needs. “The Marine Corps we have been building for many years now is increasingly out of step with the problems they’re going to face” in confronting China, said Chris Brose, chief strategy officer at Anduril Industries and former staff director for the Senate Armed Services Committee. “There are reasons for why that is the case,” he added. “The Marine Corps has borne the burden of a lot of the deployments overseas post-9/11. They were optimizing for a different set of challenges.” Pentagon officials argue that China’s rapidly improving military capabilities make the prospect of a traditional Iwo Jima-type shore landing exceedingly unlikely, and the Corps instead will shift its resources toward becoming a “stand-in” force that can operate within enemy range rather than fighting its way into theater from the sea. In a sweeping planning document released last week, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David H. Berger laid out a host of other major changes designed to remake the service with the recognition that preparing for a World War II-style conflict — or even a major ground- and air-based operation such as the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq — can no longer be the service’s top priority. Some critics are already arguing that the new approach is too China-centric, but top Marine officials stress that now is the time for systematic change. “I am convinced that the defining attributes of our current force design are no longer what the nation requires of the Marine Corps,” Gen. Berger said in the document, which lays out a decadelong plan to shift the service into a more modern role. “With the shift in our primary focus to great power competition and a renewed focus on the Indo-Pacific region, the current force has shortfalls in capabilities needed to support emerging joint, naval and Marine Corps operating concepts.”

Gen Berger hasn’t exactly been instilling much in the way of confidence, as of late.  He’s been giving in to the pressures of political correctness, and undermining the cohesion of the Corps.  So, we’re a bit leery of whatever grandiose plans he may have for the future of the Marines.  Historically, the mission of the Marine Corps is to “secure the beachhead.”  In other countries, they are called the “naval infantry.”  And, our Marines execute that mission better than any other naval infantry on the planet.  Period.  But, sounds like Gen. Berger wants to somehow change their mission to a “more modern role,” whatever the heck that means.  As a former “field grade” Army officer, I’ll remain skeptical, given the General’s spectacularly poor decisions as of late, until we’re provided more specifics.  Regardless, I know my brothers and sisters in the Corps will rise to the challenge and do us proud no matter what.

Report: Marines lead all services in binge drinking, sex partners

A new report from the RAND Corporation analyzed survey data from thousands of active-duty military members and found Marines are more likely to be heavy drinkers, use tobacco and engage in riskier sexual behavior than the sailors, soldiers and airmen of the other branches. RAND found that incidents of binge drinking and hazardous drinking among Marines was almost double what it was in the Air Force. The report defines binge drinking as having at least four or five drinks on one occasion. Hazardous drinking is defined as usage that suggests alcohol use disorder, commonly known as alcoholism. Nearly half of the Marines surveyed reported drinking habits that met the criteria for hazardous. The survey also revealed Marines were more likely to have had more than one sex partner over the course of one year and were less likely to use condoms with new partners. The data were gathered as part of the 2015 Health Related Behaviors Survey conducted across all branches of the military and the Coast Guard. Researchers spent two years combing through and making sense of the data, which included responses to numerous aspects of physical and mental health. In addition to questions about drug and alcohol use, respondents provided researchers with information on their eating and sleeping habits, sexual behavior as well as their diets and exercise. Almost 17,000 usable surveys were involved in the study.

Interesting..  For more, click on the text above.

Starnes: Marines brace for mandatory sensitivity training

If you need more proof that the Obama administration has turned the greatest fighting force on the planet into a social engineering petri dish, just consider what’s about to be forced upon the Marine Corps. Marines will soon be forced to attend “unconscious bias” training – in advance of the women joining the infantry. The seminar will focus on how people prejudge others based on factors like race and gender, and principals of institutional change, reports. “There’s no doubt we’re leading cultural change,” Brig. Gen. James Glynn told the website. “It’s not the first time for the Marine Corps, but we like a challenge.” That could be a mighty big challenge. A Center for Naval Analyses survey found a “significant majority” of male Marines opposed having women serve in ground combat jobs. Mobile training teams will be dispatched across the Corps started in May. “The purpose of the mobile training team is to begin to facilitate the cultural change…you’ve got to have the conservation,” Glynn said. So what kind of agenda items can Marines expect to discuss during their sensitivity training sessions? Col. Anne Weinberg described one of the potential questions to reporters. “You’re in the field, you only have this certain amount of space for billeting and you’ve got three women and six guys. How are you going to billet?” she asked. How in the world are the Marines supposed to get combat training, when they are deluged with sensitivity training and equal opportunity training and sexual harassment training? “All that time squandered on this stuff is time you are not spending training for war,” Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (Ret.) told me. Peters, who is also a military analyst for Fox News Channel, railed against the military’s quest to be politically correct. “If I could make one change to improve our combat effectiveness in the military – it would be turning all those equal opportunity and sensitivity trainers and counselors into combat rifleman,” he said. “We need more rifles. We don’t need any more sensitivity.” And Peters is not opposed to women serving in the military. May the best man or woman win the promotion, he said. “But you can’t stack the deck,” he warned. “You cannot make our military primarily a tool of social engineering or you will destroy the military.” The Marine Corps decision prompted dozens of negative responses on “There are no points for political correctness in combat,” one reader wrote. “This insanity will get Marines killed both male and female.” “The Few, the Proud, the ‘Unconsciously Biased’,” wrote another. “Obama is doing all that he can to decrease the effectiveness of our fighting forces.” Two years ago I uncovered a 600-page manual used by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute. The manual teaches that “healthy, white, heterosexual, Christian” men hold an unfair advantage over other races. “Simply put, a healthy, white, heterosexual, Christian male receives many unearned advantages of social privilege, whereas a black, homosexual, atheist female in poor health receives many unearned disadvantages of social privilege,” reads a statement in the manual. And in early March Judicial Watch obtained documents revealing that some 400 soldiers at Fort Gordon, Georgia were subjected to a “white privilege” briefing. “We have lost sight of the fact that the greatest immorality in war is for the United States to lose,” Peters told me. “For all our imperfections, we are nonetheless the greatest force for freedom and decency and a chance at a better life that humanity has ever had. We are the ultimate defenders of freedom.” But Peters concluded with this ominous warning: “God help us if we lose the ability to do that role,” he said. -Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook

Retired LTC Ralph Peters is exactly right!!  This whole pc crap is enough to make me vomit.

Arkansas teen says he was turned away from Marines because of his Confederate flag tattoo

An Arkansas teen said he was turned away from joining the Marines when he revealed he had a Confederate flag tattoo. Anthony Bauswell, 18, has the rebel flag inked on his rib, with the words ‘Southern Pride’ emblazoned underneath. Bauswell was in the process of enlisting at the Marine Corps Recruiting Center in Conway on Monday when the recruiter said it made him ineligible. ‘He says DQ, just automatically, DQ,’ Bauswell told KARK 4. While each branch of the military has its own specific rules, the prohibition of racist, extremist or gang-related tattoos is all-encompassing. Bauswell said ’99 percent of the reason’ why he got ‘Southern Pride’ in addition to the flag was because he did not want the tattoo to be seen as racist. ‘I felt pretty low,’ he said. ‘My own government wasn’t going to let me serve my country because of the ink on my skin.’ Tattoos have long been restricted in the military, although recently the Marines have made effort to loosen the rules. As of their policy in 2010, officers could only have four tattoos visible when wearing the shorts and t-shirt required for the physical training uniform, according to Time. Enlisted Marines also could not have tattoos on their hands, fingers, wrists, inside their mouths, and no visible tattoo could be larger than a fist. This month the Marines announced it will be updating the tattoo policy, but it will continue to ban sleeve tattoos. Commandment Gen. Robert Neller said he hopes the new guidelines will clarify what ink is acceptable for men hoping to enlist and climb the ranks. ‘We’re actually going to try to provide pictures to clarify what we mean when we say “a quarter of a body part”‘, he told Marine Corps Times. The updated tattoo policy is set to be released within 30 days.

Definitely a harsh lesson for this kid trying to enlist in the Marines.  And, it’s a lesson to those wanting to enlist in any military service these days..  Be sure to know what the policies are on things like tattoos BEFORE you get one.  Once you’re in, and have completed your initial entry training (i.e. basic training, etc.), then maybe think about getting one in a non-conspicuous place..  That said, I think it showed poor judgement on the part of the Marine recruiter.  It’s not like it was on his face or some other visible place.  It was on his rib, where it would be covered up anyway.  He was just covering his own butt.  And, that’s what the military has become under this President, who wants to tear down the unique culture that exists in the military by injecting political correctness and other such silly nonsense.  This kid simply wanted to serve his country.  But, some idiot recruiter turned him away because of a little tattoo, that was definitely politically INcorrect…on his rib.  Unreal…