Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

The US military is efficient at what it does, generally speaking - it is the product of a can't fail fighting force, and all the implications that come out of that.

As an enlisted infantry Marine who transitioned very easily into software engineering, I find my leadership training in the Marine Corps a distinct advantage I have over my peers. I have been called the best manager other engineers have ever had by multiple people, as well as called the best engineer many have worked with.

The only thing I wish is more people understood what true leadership looked like, and that is one thing I generally have missed from my time in the Marine Corps. The principles are probably some of the best set of general leadership principles you can find out there and they prove their worth day in, day out.




What's a "can't fail fighting force"? Military can certainly fail.


It's a mantra that the military use. Train, train, train and fail in training because you can't fail in the real fight. If you read "can't fail" as "can't afford to fail" rather than "failure is an impossibility" you'll get the intent.


A can't fail fighting force is one that comes back from the dead and orders their adversaries to please stick to the plan instead of winning: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Challenge_2002


> A can't fail fighting force is one that comes back from the dead and orders their adversaries to please stick to the plan instead of winning: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Challenge_2002

To set the record straight, Van Riper exploited deficiencies in the nature of the simulation itself as opposed to finding actual deficiencies in Navy doctrine.

For example, the small boat armada armed with missiles could never, in real life, physically support the missile systems used or even power the necessary controls. He used messengers on motorcycles that would effectively teleport from Point A to Point B, again an impossibility.

So the Navy hit reset on the exercise and asked him to please stick to reality instead of attempting to exploit the rules of the simulation.

As a hacker I have to chuckle at his exploits. As a taxpayer I'm a bit pissed that he not only wasted time and money, but then went on a media campaign to malign the folks running the event because he was angry he didn't get away with his clever hack.

Please stop spreading this as some sort-of "Look at how pitiful the military is!" stories. It is absolute bullshit.


Ok, then please point me to an authoritative source where this is described, because I can't just take your word for it.

> Ok, then please point me to an authoritative source where this is described

There is a brief Reddit thread with sources available[0]. The initial post sources DoD transcripts of a post-exercise interview[1], and although this doesn't go into the missile weight issue it directly mentions that active air defense was turned off on the real-world ships in the simulation and they were unrealistically geographically constrained due to rules about shipping channels as they were operating in active, crowded seas.

Regarding the issue of unrealistic missile weights, please read the "rebuttal"[2] and subsequent discussions regarding why the missile setup was unrealistic.

Note: At the time of writing, I freely admit I am unable to source a reliable entry on the motorcycle teleportation bit, so I may be mislead on the matter. I have to get back to work, but will provide more additional sources if and when I can find the time.

[0] - https://www.reddit.com/r/CredibleDefense/comments/4qfoiw/mil...

[1] - http://archive.defense.gov/Transcripts/Transcript.aspx?Trans...

[2] - https://www.reddit.com/r/CredibleDefense/comments/4qfoiw/mil...

> because I can't just take your word for it.

I have to take a moment to point out that you have not provided an authoritative reference for your claims. The Wikipedia entry itself merely cites newspapers quoting Van Ripper, and doesn't even mention criticisms which seems rather suspect. In fact, there is a giant warning at the top of the article stating that the neutrality is suspect.


Thanks for the references.

The non-reddit reference you have provided points to a transcript from 1999, it looks like it's an incorrect link.

I couldn't examine the reference mentioned in the reddit post either, since the web page doesn't open, but there seems to be some disagreement on reddit regarding the topic itself.

Newspapers quoting van Ripper are one of the best sources we have access to, unless the military published an official account.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: