The inside outsider: Robert Neller scraps the Marines’ winning formula
The most brilliant tactical formation devised by any team in the last half-century isn’t football’s Packer sweep, basketball’s triangle offense or anything else relating to sports.
It’s the rifle squads of the United States Marine Corps... the last infantry formation of substance—is a squad of 13 Marines composed of a leader and a dozen riflemen grouped into three “fire teams” of four... likens Marine squads to world-class dance troupes. “Everybody’s movement depends on everybody else’s,” he says... Marine Corps Commandant Robert Neller.. Marines can’t wrap their heads around: why he wants to scrap them... the most exotic leadership breeds of all—the inside outsider... dubbed him the president of the “I don’t see why” club... contrarian streak came with him.“I was always the guy in the audience throwing the metaphorical Molotov cocktail,”.. Few resident gadflies ever get to the top; they ruffle too many feathers along the way... Marines had spent nearly two decades in a state of constant deployment. They hadn’t had time to fully address the shifting map of global threats or even the mandate to include women in combat roles. Above all, they needed to get a handle on technology.
.. OK, Neller. You’ve been out here wanking for 38 years. We’re going to make you own this
.. Military leaders are often accused of preparing to fight the last war. Gen. Neller doesn’t have that problem.
.. In December, for instance, he made headlines in Norway by telling a group of Marines to be prepared for a “bigass fight.”
.. Marines don’t get many shots at war, so studying history is a vital form of practice.
.. In his view, the historical transition to digital warfare is just as significant as earlier shifts Marines have made from horses to vehicles or vehicles to tanks.
.. Gen. Neller concluded that each rifle squad needed two additional billets—an assistant squad leader and a squad systems operator focused on technology. Adding two people presented a problem
.. Not only did he add those new billets, he decided to reduce a squad’s size to 12 by eliminating one Marine from each of its three fire teams.
.. One knock on inside outsiders is that they often rush to implement pet ideas without thoroughly examining them or creating backup plans in case they fail.
.. he’s fully prepared to restore one rifleman to each fire team if it proves necessary.
Armed to the teeth with an array of powerful, destructive weapons, an incredible thinking drone may soon hit the skies to keep Marines safe.
The MUX will terrify enemies of the United States, and with good reason. The aircraft won’t be just big and powerful: it will also be ultra-smart. This could be a heavily armed drone that takes off, flies, avoids obstacles, adapts and lands by itself — all without a human piloting it.
If goals are met, the MUX will be a drone that can truly run vital missions all by itself. Sure, it can be an eye in the sky, but it could carry all the same weapons as the F-35B — a variant of the sophisticated fifth generation stealth fighter jet, the F-35... The goal is for MUX to fit on a ship with a similar footprint to a UH-1Y Venom helicopter. When it is launched for a mission, it will be able to take off vertically, fly a radius of up to 700 nautical miles and carry 9,500 pounds.To expand the time in the air, the MUX will be able to be refueled in the air by another aircraft. In the air, it can reach heights of 30,000 feet.
The US Military is a logistics organization that happens to fight wars.
.. This is a great story about disruption. The Marines seem to be on top of trying to continue thinking outside the box. That turns out to be very difficult to do in any large, old organization. I heard an interview with the Commandant last week. They asked him what kind of tech he wanted most.
Bingo. Better batteries would change everything, not just the Marine Corps. There are few technologies like batteries. Cost-to-orbit tech is one of them. If we change those technologies, we change the entire rest of the economy. I believe the service used to call things like that “force multipliers”. It’s neat to see 3D printing _perhaps_ becoming a force multiplier in many areas.
the original concept of Krav Maga was to take the most simple and practical techniques of other fighting styles (originally European boxing, wrestling and street fighting) and to make them rapidly teachable to military conscripts.
Krav Maga has a philosophy emphasizing aggression, and simultaneous defensive and offensive maneuvers.
.. Like most martial arts, Krav Maga encourages students to avoid physical confrontation. If this is impossible or unsafe, it promotes finishing a fight as quickly and aggressively as possible. Attacks are aimed at the most vulnerable parts of the body, and training is not limited to techniques that avoid severe injury; some even permanently injure or cause death to the opponent.
.. Ideas in Krav Maga include:
- Simultaneous attack and defense
- Developing physical aggression (not to be confused with emotional aggression or anger), with the view that physical aggression is the most important component in a fight
- Continuing to strike the opponent until they are completely incapacitated.
- Attacking preemptively or counterattacking as soon as possible
- Using any objects at hand that could be used to hit an opponent.
- Targeting attacks to the body’s most vulnerable points, such as: the eyes, neck or throat, face, solar plexus, groin, ribs, knee, foot, fingers, liver, etc.
- Using simple and easily repeatable strikes.
- Maintaining awareness of surroundings while dealing with the threat in order to look for escape routes, further attackers, objects that could be used to strike an opponent.
- Recognizing the importance of and expanding on instinctive response under stress
.. It may also cover ways to deal with physical and verbal methods to avoid violence whenever possible. It also teaches mental toughness, using controlled scenarios to strengthen mental fortitude in order for students to control the impulse and not do something rash, instead, attack only when it necessary and as a last resort.
Krav Maga is an eclectic system that has not sought to replace existing effective techniques, taking what is useful from available systems, for example:
- Strikes – per karate and boxing
- Take-downs and throws – per judo, aikido, and freestyle wrestling
- Ground work – per judo and freestyle wrestling
Techniques taken from such systems have in some cases been modified to reflect the fact that their genesis is in a sport with rules, which limits effectiveness in real fight situations.
- often systems that employ holds, chokes, take-downs, etc. are competitive sports and do not allow strikes.
- Krav Maga thus supplements escapes taken from these systems with strikes including foot stomps, groin strikes, headbutts
.. Lichtenfeld became the leader of a group of Jewish boxers and wrestlers who took to the streets to defend Jewish neighborhoods against the growing numbers of national socialist party and anti-Semitic thugs. Lichtenfeld quickly discovered, however, that actual fighting was very different from competition fighting, and although boxing and wrestling were good sports, they were not always practical for the aggressive and brutal nature of street combat. It was then that he started to re-evaluate his ideas about fighting and started developing the skills and techniques that would eventually become Krav Maga
.. In 1965 judo training was added as part of the Krav Maga training
.. Imi’s principal student and first black belt, began learning aikido and in 1971 left for France where he received a brown belt in aikido. Upon his return, Eli started working as an instructor alongside Imi where they worked together to improve Krav Maga by incorporating aikido and counter defenses into Krav Maga.
.. every P.E. instructor was obliged to learn Krav Maga
.. until his retirement in 1987. Up to this date, Eli had trained 80,000 male soldiers and 12,000 female soldiers.