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7th Rangers: Why the Russians Are Struggling By Mark Antonio Wright

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the women come out to cut up what remains,
Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,
And go to your God like a soldier”
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" “We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

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“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.
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for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”
“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
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“Nobody ever defended, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.
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Rather we should thank God that such men lived.
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Which must always come to pass
He hoped his shoes were shining
Just as bright as his brass
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How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't
Because those of us who carry guns
Can't always be a saint."
I've had to work on Sundays
And at times my talk was tough,
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny
That wasn't mine to keep.
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The Soldier squared his shoulders and said
And I never passed a cry for help
Though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here,
Lord, It needn't be so grand,
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."
There was silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod
As the Soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, you Soldier,
You've borne your burden well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."

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Why the Russians Are Struggling By Mark Antonio Wright
Sunday, February 27, 2022

Smoke rises from a Russian tank destroyed by Ukrainian forces on the side of a road in Lugansk Region, Ukraine, February 26, 2022.

The Russians spent vast sums of money to modernize and improve their equipment and kit — everything from new models of main battle tanks to, in 2013, ordering Russian troopers to finally retire the traditional portyanki foot wraps and switch to socks.

But the Russians have also gone the wrong direction in some areas. In 2008, the Russian government cut the conscription term from 24 to twelve months. As Gil Barndollar, a former U.S. Marine infantry officer, wrote in 2020:

Russia currently fields an active-duty military of just under 1 million men. Of this force, approximately 260,000 are conscripts and 410,000 are contract soldiers (kontraktniki). The shortened 12-month conscript term provides at most five months of utilization time for these servicemen. Conscripts remain about a quarter of the force even in elite commando (spetsnaz) units.

As anyone who has served in the military will tell you, twelve months is barely enough time to become proficient at simply being a rifleman. It’s nowhere near enough time for the average soldier to learn the skills required to be an effective small-unit leader.

Yes, the Russians have indeed made efforts to professionalize the officer and the NCO corps. Of course, non-commissioned officers (NCOs) have historically been a weakness of the Russian system. In the West, NCOs are the professional, experienced backbone of an army. They are expected to be experts in their military specialty (armor, mortars, infantry, logistics, etc.) and can thus be effective small-unit commanders at the squad and section level, as well as advisers to the commanders at the platoon and company level. In short, a Western army pairs a young infantry lieutenant with a grizzled staff sergeant; a U.S. Marine Corps company commander, usually a captain, will be paired with a gunnery sergeant and a first sergeant. The officer still holds the moral and legal authority and responsibility for his command — but he would be foolish to not listen to the advice and opinion of the unit’s senior NCOs.

The Russian army, in practice, does not operate like this. A high proportion of the soldiers wearing NCO stripes in the modern Russian army are little more than senior conscripts near the end of their term of service. In recent years, the Russians have established a dedicated NCO academy and cut the number of officers in the army in an effort to put more resources into improving the NCO corps, but the changes have not been enough to solve the army’s leadership deficit.

Read it all here...........
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 1:00 PM  
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