Short Takes

by Fred Ray on March 17, 2010 · 0 comments

States Rights—it’s not just for George Wallace any more.

Whether it’s correctly called a movement, a backlash or political theater, state declarations of their rights – or in some cases denunciations of federal authority, amounting to the same thing – are on a roll.

After 230 years the Army is dropping bayonet training.

Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, the three-star general in charge of revamping all aspects of initial training, said his overall goal is to drop outmoded drills and focus on what soldiers need today and in the future.
Bayonet drills had continued for decades, even though soldiers no longer carry the blades on their automatic rifles. Hertling ordered the drills dropped.
“We have to make the training relevant to the conditions on the modern battlefield,” Hertling said during a visit to Fort Jackson in January.
Somehow the bayonet always reminded me of bringing a knife to a gun fight. I am always reminded of the Bill Mauldin cartoon that shows two clerks sitting around in a warehouse. “Hey,” says one, “did you know this can opener fits on the end of a rifle?” The Army does still have bayonets for its M-4s, but personally I’d rather have a couple more clips of ammo.
Speaking of blades, we should mention those little guys from the Himalayas with the big knives—the Gurkhas.

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