The Army Brief: Army vs. Space Force; SOF units shrink; Border-mission extension? and more...
Welcome to The Army Brief, a weekly look at the news and ideas shaping the service’s future.
Border support extension? Pentagon officials confirmed Tuesday that they are considering a request from the Department of Homeland Security to keep forces along the U.S.-Mexico border past the current end date of Oct. 1. About 4,000 DoD personnel are currently providing “infrastructure support; operational support; detection and monitoring support; and air support,” according to the Pentagon. An extension could see active-duty troops replace Guardsmen there, Military Times reported.
Women feel unwelcome at Army Special Operations Command, according to an internal survey taken to see what could be done to better support them, Task & Purpose reported. The survey reported sexual harassment, gender bias, ill-fitting equipment, and this brutal quote from a female NCO: “Men are accepted as they are, and have to prove themselves worthless in the unit. Whereas women are expected to be worthless, and have to prove themselves worthy.”
Trust issues: A quarter of men surveyed said “they fear interactions with women because of sexual harassment training,” while 70% of women experiencing sexual harassment “don’t feel comfortable reporting it,” Task & Purpose wrote. A final report on the survey, focus groups, and next moves is expected in September.
Medal of Honor for Korean War Ranger: In November 1950, 1st. Lt. Ralph Puckett and his unit of Army Rangers attacked Hill 205 through Chinese mortar, machine gun, and small arms fire. By drawing fire upon himself, Puckett helped his men seize the hill. During an enemy counter attack at night, Puckett was wounded but continued to direct artillery from a foxhole until the position became undefendable. Today, he will receive the Medal of Honor from President Joe Biden at a ceremony to be attended by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Sign up to get The Army Brief every Friday morning from Caitlin M. Kenney, Defense One’s military services reporter. On this day in 1956, the United States conducted its first airborne test of a hydrogen bomb in the Bikini Atoll. Watch a newsreel about the test here.
From Defense One
Space Force’s First Battle Is With the US Army // Tara Copp: The newest force is relying on Army and Navy transfers to grow. But giving up missions is not in the military’s DNA.
Army SOF Units Are Getting Smaller, More Self-Reliant as Focus Shifts to China, Russia // Patrick Tucker: New adversaries, warfare concepts, and gear are also driving special operators to become more tech-savvy.
Will 2021 Be the Year JADC2 Takes Off? // Patrick Tucker: The U.S. military has big hopes for joint, all-domain command and control. But logistical and financial challenges are mounting.
Defense One Radio, Ep. 83: The U.S. military’s first woman-led mission // Ben Watson: From the rice fields of South Carolina comes an incredible story of courage amid unspeakable tragedy.