Unrep MSC to amphib

Thursday, February 03, 2005

How to save lives

Blackfive has a post on the first Medal of Honor awarded for OIF here.

Two things: (1) SFC Smith earned the MOH by saving lives in the field and (2) SFC Smith saved lives through training by demanding that his soldiers be ready for war (great soldiers do this).

SFC Smith obviously learned from his Desert Storm experience and may have read Colonel T.R. Fehrenbach's This Kind of War(Amazon here) quote:
The lessons that Colonel Fehrenbach identifies still resonate. Severe peacetime budget cuts after World War II left the U.S. military a shadow of its former self. The terrible lesson of Korea was that to send into action troops trained for nothing but "serving a hitch" in some quiet billet was an almost criminal act. Throwing these ill-trained and poorly equipped troops into the heat of battle resulted in the war's early routs. The United States was simply unprepared for war. As we enter a new century with Americans and North Koreans continuing to face each other across the 38th parallel, we would do well to remember the price we paid during the Korean War.
The more movie-oriented might remember Gunnery Sergeant Highway from Heartbreak Ridge. Train like you'll fight.

The good sergeants have always looked for their men. SFC Smith was one of the good ones.

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