Soldiers For The Truth Foundation


From: "Bruce K. Melson" <>




01/10/01 ­ “Common Sense and Readiness”

“When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen.”
General George Washington, New York Legislature, 1775

“Our militia will be heroes, if we have heroes to lead them.”
Thomas Jefferson

Soldiers For The Truth Foundation, PO Box 63840, Colorado Springs, CO

Note:  This Newsletter contains articles and editorial comments that are
copyrighted to SFTT and require the Chief Editor’s or author specific
authorization before further dissemination.
Note:  This is an ABBREVIATED version of the newsletter that contains table
contents, SITREP and the first two articles.  GO TO FOR THE

SITREP from the President

“Through Zman’s Gun Sight”
Military Uniforms Show Lack Of Practical Sense

HACK’s Target for the Week:
The Party’s Over

The Big Picture:
Article 1 -- Six Gulf Nations Sign Defense Pact
Article 2 -- General Dynamics Offers Russia Arms Contract
Article 3 -- U.S., S. Korea OK Troops Rules

Voice of the Grunt:
Article 4 -- SFTT Question ­ How To Deal With Our Southern Front
Article 5 -- Army:  The Interim Brigade Combat Team
Article 6 -- We CAN Do It!
Article 7 -- The Sergeant’s Corner ­ “Ruck Up And Move Out!”
Article 8 -- Navy:  No Basic Training For Naval Reservists?
Article 9 -- Army:  About The Chief’s Baby ­ The LAV
Article 10 -- Self-inflicted Welfare
Article 11 -- Navy:  Russian Fighters Buzz The Tower
Article 12 ­ Troop Health/Useful Programs:  Spain Soldiers Checked for

G.I Humor:
Article 13 -- GI HUMOR ­ The Ensign

Medal of Honor:


A.  Main topics:  1) Working For Change 2) Training 3) The Border 4) Useful


*  Thank you for all the great responses on the questions from last week.  I
’ll sort through them one by one and try to respond to most.  I tried to
summarize the responses to our question about border security in Article #4.

*  Questions for next week:

(1) Are your service and work uniforms functional and decent looking?
(2) Are our weapons and communications equipment becoming too complex and is
the equipment reliable enough for extended field use?
(3) USS Cole:  Do you agree that no one is held responsible for the
terrorist bombing of the destroyer?

*  Please continue to support us in 2001.  We’re getting closer to be able
to rent us a full time, small-office space with administrative support by
mid 2001, to become more aggressive to spread our message.  We also want to
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Prepare for Action -- “Crew Ready! -- LOAD SABOT - DRIVER MOVE OUT!”

R.W. Zimmermann
President SFTT

“Through Zman’s Gun Sight”
Military Uniforms Show Lack Of Practical Sense

By R.W. (Zimm) Zimmermann
President Soldiers For The Truth

It’s amazing how General Shinseki’s decision, to put a black wool patch on
every soldier’s head, has gotten more attention than weapons,
reorganization, spare parts or training.

It all shows how superficial we are.  We worry more about looks than
substance or practicality.  The superficiality about appearance reminds me
of a butt chewing I received from a battalion commander during a move-out
alert in Germany.  One of my mortar grunts hadn’t yet shaved at 5 AM, his
fatigues were rumpled and he had oil stains on his shoulders and in the
face.  The irate commander never bothered to find out that the grunt had
been first in his arms room and that he carried the bulk of the platoon’s
machine guns and mortar tubes to their combat vehicles.  I gave the guy a
three-day pass.

As stated in other opinion pieces, I am not a proponent for a universal
black beret, and wasting of money on senseless uniform changes.
Nonetheless, over time, our ludicrous uniform line-up should be simplified
and made more useful.

Take the Class A or dress uniform. Produced in multiple shades of green to
speed replacing it, it’s a cheap-looking business suit.  Worn with black
plastic shoes (patent leather) that make your feet sweat in the summer and
give you frostbite in the winter, it resembles a Christmas tree with all the
colorful ribbons the Army is constantly adding.  But like any overloaded
Christmas tree, you can barely move in it, because all the little gadgets
keep popping off.  Adding to the discomfort, you wear the suit with a
Russian looking dress cap that doesn’t fit in any pocket.  The Greens
deserve a thumbs-down and should be replaced with an outfit of better
material, a functional hat (beret?), and quality leather shoes, befitting
the troops of the world’s richest military.

Then there is the Class B, the “Chaplain’s Special.”  With its black sweater
and black West Point style windbreaker, it is the true Pentagon Battle
Dress, but few other people wear it when traveling.  This “half-dress”
uniform should be canned immediately.  Replace it with sturdy shirt and
pants, an OD military sweater and the option of combat boots.  The troops
should also be allowed to wear it with a field jacket so they can travel in
inclement weather and visit troops in the field.  The Brits and other allies
have had this combination for decades.

The BDUs were a vast improvement over the green fatigues of the 60’s and 70’
s but still need better pockets and an improved camouflage pattern.  The
Army should also drop the mindless sleeve drill that demands rolled-up
sleeves to show the camouflage pattern outside.  Also, cut out the excessive
use of “I love myself badges” and add little US flags on the shoulders.  Our
combat boots must also be sturdier with the rough leather outside, to
eliminate time-wasting “spitshine drills.”  Troops should spend their time
in training and the motor pool, not “painting” shoes.

Our airborne troops and vehicle crews also deserve better.  Why can’t the
Army issue versatile crew coverall with cold weather liners and a sewn in
pistol pocket?  The last thing an armor crewmember needs is a BDU uniform
with load-bearing equipment that restricts his mobility.  My dad, a WWII
tanker, always stressed to me the need to be able to enter and exit the
“iron coffin” as quickly as possible.  To improve his mobility, he wore
blackened tennis shoes and only carried an assault rifle, lots of ammo and
one canteen.

Our paratroopers deserve an improved jump uniform with functional pockets,
knee protectors and a comfortable and aerodynamic Kevlar helmet.  Heck, the
Germans had a more practical jump outfit in WWII.  Why can’t we afford one
for our elite troops today?

The Navy and the other services are facing similar dilemmas.  Our sailors
would like more practical shipboard uniforms.  In cold weather, stocking
caps should be standard, replacing the white spit-bowls.  Modern cargo pants
with secure pockets and zip-off legs for warmer climates could easily be
adapted for Navy use.

The bottom line to the dress insanity is that we aren’t listening to the
grunt level and most uniform decisions are made by senior NCOs and generals,
who are suffering from a common military disease -- nostalgia.

If you really want to improve military uniforms and raise pride, reduce the
number of uniforms required, make’em more functional.  Spend saved
maintenance time on more and tougher training.

© R.W. Zimmermann, LandserUSA

Note:  This article is copyrighted by the author and requires his approval
for other than newsletter further dissemination.

HACK’s Target for the Week:
The Party’s Over
Ed.:  A parting shot at Cohen & Co…
By David Hackworth

Secretary of Defense William Cohen has spent four fun-filled years wasting
our money like no other public servant except Bill Clinton, who set the
standard by blowing more than a billion dollars on presidential junkets

Here we foolish citizens have been thinking the two bits from every tax
dollar the Internal Revenue Service rips out of our hides to fund the
Pentagon was spent defending America, not paying for Cohen & Cohorts'
pleasure tripping.

Well, think again! Because Cohen's been lapping the world like a dot-com
CEO, staying at five-star palazzi while rubbing elbows with the rich and
famous and throwing lots of power parties. One of those we popped for cost
$290,000, according to the Pentagon, but a Pentagon general says, "BS, $750,
000 is closer to the mark."

Cohen has used the fleet and the rest of our forces as though they were his
private toys and boys. Last month when he took a bunch of pals --
entertainers, sports stars, war heroes and old buddies -- to Europe to
"entertain the troops," the aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman was turned
into Radio City for a day. A pilot whose flights were canceled said, "It was
damn the hot operational missions, Cohen's USO Show must go on."

Meanwhile, Cohen and wife played MC in their matching, tailored "Top Gun"
costumes that cost the country a cool two grand, chump change when compared
with the millions we've contributed to run the Cohen Circus.

"Hollywood Cohen used U.S. warships like they belonged to the New York Yacht
Club," says ex-tailhooker Mark Crissman, who quit the Navy because of such
shenanigans. "He's done more to 'Pearl Harbor' the fleet than any SecDef and
is clearly more concerned with photo ops and self-promotion than protecting

Sure, Cohen runs a $310 billion corporation that burns through money as fast
as a drunken oil sheik playing no-limit baccarat in Monte Carlo. But that
doesn't mean he's entitled to the same perks as a sheik or the CEOs of
General Electric or General Motors, who are at least accountable to their

The years of being an inside-the-beltway taker on the government's teat seem
to have addicted him to the fast lane. He's plumb forgotten he's a civil
servant whose obligation as SecDef is to make sure every buck we give him
goes toward our nation's fighting capability, not his playing Globo Host.

If he'd have set the example and not hogged it up, maybe, just maybe, our
generals and admirals would've followed suit instead of also acting like
American royalty entitled to first-class everything. Then maybe our military
would be shipshape and combat-ready rather than just a heartbeat away from
stroking out.

If the troops had received even a portion of the dough Cohen's run through,
morale wouldn't be at the bottom of the septic tank, and there'd be no need
for him to dash from Beverly Hills to Bosnia to try to pump everyone up.

Our troops need everything from toilet paper to aircraft and vehicle spares
and money for training to sharpen their dull combat edge, which when push
come to shove is what keeps them alive. They don't need Al Franken, Jewel or
Jerry Bruckheimer to thank them for "keeping our country strong" when they
know they're out there hanging without the right stuff to pull off another
Desert Storm.

Had Cohen looked at the homes and barracks at Fort Benning, Ga., and almost
every other U.S. military base, he'd have seen how the other half lives. Had
he gotten his nose out of the VIP room and talked to the troops, he'd have
found out in a GI minute just how burned out and ragged the force is.

At least Donald Rumsfeld, earmarked to replace Cohen-of-the-flying-costume,
can slip on his "Top Gun" flight suit and wear it with pride because he
earned it and those gold wings the hard way. But Rumsfeld's track record
shouts that the party days are over and the Pentagon had better brace itself
for a much-needed overhaul. It can't happen fast enough for all our good
troops and their long-suffering families.

How ironic that the absentee ballots of our warriors who've been so badly
treated in the Clinton years cost Cohen and cronies their jobs. Many troops
say, how sweet it is!
Http:// is the address of David Hackworth's home page. Send
mail to P.O. Box 5210, Greenwich, CT 06831.© 2001 David H. Hackworth
Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.

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