I Think the Technical Term Is

Talkin’ Out Yer Ass

The flashlights in formation are a frickin’ adorable touch, too. Oooo, those toughies!

29 Responses to “I Think the Technical Term Is”

  1. Skyler says:

    I’ll speak up for the flashlights. The Marines use flashlights for trainees (both recruits and candidates) and have at least since I was a candidate in ’84.

    I think this is not trash talk. I think in fact it’s a common way of measuring things nowadays, kind of like how politicians make spending cuts while at the same time increasing the amount they spend. It’s all relative, you see.

    Because the air force recruits spend less time exercising, well, that naturally means that the amount they do exercise has a greater impact than not exercising at all. Since the Marines exercise all day every day for several weeks longer than the air force boot camp, the individual exercise sessions don’t have as much impact as the two exercise sessions that the air force has. Both or their workouts have a 50% impact on the recruits’ overall fitness. The Marines can’t say that.

    Marines aren’t stronger if you measure the results based on the impact of each training session to the overall achieved result. The actual result is meaningless, it’s the amount of progress toward the achieved result that matters.

    It kind of reminds me of the USAF chief of staff saying the the air force has the greatest contribution to the war in Iraq a few years ago. I think they were measuring the same way.

  2. major dad says:

    Skyler, I never saw a platoon of flashlights in my 30+ years, maybe the roadguards but that’s it. Not that I’m biased but if you take into account the USMC PFT (versus their version and the cute little names they award i.e. Thunderbolt, Warhawk! And a T-shirt no less,), the combat conditioning course and the martial arts package the Fly Boys/Girls don’t measure up (not that they have to). And as hot as it is in Texas I’d take that rather than humping the hills at Camp Pendleton. And Skyler, do you think their OCS was anywhere near what yours was? Come on Marine.

  3. Dave E. says:

    Oh…Sweet Mary Mother of God. No knock on the SAR guys who really can stand with any troops, but the Air Force? Are you kidding me?

  4. Skyler says:

    I think you don’t understand, Major Dad. Let’s try again.

    If you start with a federal budget of $10 billion for the Ted Kennedy Memorial Snail Darter Focus Committee, then the next year if you give only $10.8B then you have reduced the amount spent on the program for the second year. This is clear on its face and need not be questioned.

    Likewise, if a Marine recruit begins his training at (using an arbitrary scale) 4 out of 10 in physical fitness and the USMC expends 12 weeks of daily exercise at a rate of 10 intense hours per day, then the recruit will likely graduate at about a 9 or 10 in the scale of fitness.

    The air force recruit starts at about a 2 or 3 on the same scale (which is the reason they want to be in the air force) and the air force boot camp puts them through 1 hour fitness training for a few days a week for 6 weeks. At each training session they spend about 15 minutes walking about with flashlights and 45 minutes hanging from pullup bars and feebly lifting their knees. The fatter ones might even break a sweat in the Texas winter. The air force recruit will graduate at about a 3 or 4 in the scale of fitness.

    So clearly then, the result achieved for the Marine is a difference from 4 to 10, whereas the result achieved for the air force is the difference between 2 and 4. The Marines expend for each recruit ten hours a day, six days a week (I’m not counting sunday) for 12 weeks, or 720 hours. The air force expends one hour a day, six days a week, for 8 weeks, or 48 hours.

    So isn’t it clear? It’s the not the result that matters, it’s the percent change in the achieved result that matters. Clearly the air force gets more for its effort and thus the air force is a tougher boot camp. Quod erat demonstrandum.

    And to be fair, last I saw an OCS platoon was in 2004 and I could have sworn they all were carrying flashlights. I may have a faulty memory on that. Regardless, clearly the air force method is better because they get more illumens per platoon, and carrying the flashlight in a swinging arm adds to their physical training effort anyway.

    You really need to understand math better, Maj Dad.

  5. JeffS says:

    What you’re saying, Skyler, is that the AF is playing games with statistics. The old “going from 1 to 2 is a 100% increase!” game, I mean. It’s a silly game, but that’s what they are doing.

    The main part of the Air Force are the military’s equivalent of white collar workers. Very technically oriented, and for a good reason. However, a fair number of Air Force personnel forget that they are in the military. Not all of them, mind you (e.g., FAC, SAR, fighter pilots). But enough that I sometimes wondered why they bothered with uniforms.

  6. Eric says:

    Heh. I went thru AF basic in 1978, and it wasn’t anywhere NEAR as tough as other boot camps. Not entirely a piece of cake (contrary to what Skyler says, we PT’d every day), but anyone in reasonably OK shape would get through it. In ’78 we didn’t have the nifty PT clothes…we ran in combat boots and fatigues.

    When I retired in 2005, the AF was trending to tougher PT standards, so I don’t know what the basic training routine is like now. I’m sure it’s gotten tougher, but still can’t be anywhere near the other services. As pointed out by others, there’s not much need for it for most specialties, and those that do call for higher standards (PJ’s, Combat Controllers, etc.) have some pretty damned tough training to get through.

  7. major dad says:

    Skyler, what planet are you from? Yeah, 50 reps with that flashlight is a workout… Eric, yep PJ’s and Combat Controllers are tough.

  8. Skyler says:

    I took some liberty in my analysis, but from the af boot camp syllabus it appears they generally do PT an hour a day.

  9. Skyler says:

    It seems my humor gene is still nonfunctional.

  10. (It’s not at all, Skyler! I was laughing my ass off this morning when I read your riposte. Hilarious and I was proud of you. {8^P)

  11. major dad says:

    Skyler I was trying to be smug. I know what you were saying. Ooh Rah Marine!

  12. Ebola says:

    Keep in mind your son is one of these quasi-AF schluffs. Albeit I hardly joined for the chick-fil-a lunch.

  13. Ebola says:

    Although, my point still stands with the nifty “I’m going to play basketball after we get done warming up” PT outfits.

  14. tree hugging sister says:

    Keep in mind your son is[ed: soon to be] one of these quasi-AF schluffs.

    There. Fixed.

  15. Ebola says:

    Ergo the “quasi”. There, was fixed to begin with.

  16. Skyler says:

    Marines now have similar pt suits.

  17. mojo says:

    They’re doin’ that at oh-dqrk-hundred because by 9 am it’ll be 110 degrees out on that asphalt.

  18. Skyler says:

    That’s winter time in San Antonio, mojo. In the summer it’s not cold enough for that type of clothing.

  19. Gary from Jersey says:

    My kid got roughed up pretty good at Pendleton. He’d laugh then pulverize you for saying all PT’s pretty much equal.

  20. JeffS says:

    Not only will you get a nifty PT suit, Ebola, you’ll get those new tiger stripe camies now in vogue for Zoomies!

    And then you’ll learn all of the tools at your disposal, and their nomenclature, such as the MGC, Mark I.

    “MGC”? That stands for “Mobile Golf Course”.


  21. major dad says:

    Skyler, I’ve seen those new PT suits but I’m not sure they are going to go to full issue. They have been saying that for a long time. Less is more in my mind, I think an expensive PT suit is a waste.

  22. Skyler says:

    They are going full issue now. I am waiting for mine as we speak. They are being pushed to all units and will be required by Sept 2010.

  23. Skyler says:

    And that’s because we have a war time commandant whose most pressing priorities are to issue a reminder that hands are not to be in pockets in a garrison environment, forbid wearing utilities to a gas station, and continue the see saw of whether recruits should be issued dress blues. Oh, and he thinks that we should copy the army and have special pt suits.

    The pt suit is a dumb idea because it just encourages Marines to only have one set of pt clothing, so now Marines will generally stink to high heaven when doing PT.

    The utilities rule is a dumb idea because it encourages Marines to drive to work in their stinky pt suits instead of their nice looking and clean utilities. In our drive to keep the public from seeing our “field” uniform, we make them ride the subway to the pentagon wearing stinky pt uniforms.

    I just don’t get it sometimes. It’s a good thing we’re such good killers because we really have some generals who like to inflict their little pet peeves.

  24. Eric says:

    Oh, as for the flashlights (or “Lackland Lasers” as we called them). The rumor when I was in basic (there are always rumors) was that some years back, someone plowed their car through a formation going through an intersection. I don’t know how road guards were equipped before my time, but I’d like to think they had SOME kind of illumination.

  25. JeffS says:

    “Oh, and he thinks that we should copy the army and have special pt suits.”

    Guilty as charged. Lord, what a STUPID idea. I picked up my sooper-dooper PT suit when I mobilized, just in case. Never used the jacket and pants, but the whole set is now fully utilized in one form or another, post-retirement, mostly NOT for PT. The jacket is a great windbreaker, though.

    But it’s still a STOOOOOPID idea. The pet peeves of flag officers are pains in the butts of soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen everywhere.

  26. major dad says:

    Well since Marines, (note the caps there Jeff) are seriously cheap the idea of one fancy PT suit is stupid. Not only will it stink since we don’t wash often, but as evidenced by the plethora of discarded PT sweats here at NAS P-cola by the youngsters it could become expensive. A PT uniform should be cheap and easy to replace not to mention having more than one. Skyler is spot on, another General getting bad advice.

  27. Mark says:

    Of course USAF basic military training is the toughest on the planet! It has to be, because for 95% of the enlisted force this is the first and last physically “demanding” period of our careers.

  28. Mark says:

    And add me to the list of people who hate the PT uniforms. I was surprised on a recent deployment that our choices of clothing were ABUs or PT gear… This in a rear area of the AOR. The Brits and Aussies would laugh at we Americans in our silly “uniforms”. And I hate to say it, but I think the USN has the best PT gear. Needless to say, USAF PT gear is Teh Suck.

  29. Ebola says:

    Hah, I stand correct pop. Mark just proved it! Oh well, hopefully I’ll get wearing bright blue in a desert environ.

    Jeff, I doubt SOCOM is gonna issue the MGC to my particular brand of AF. I signed on Special Operations Weather, basically a glorified combat control. I’m gonna be a weather ninja, yo!

Image | WordPress Themes