The Two Armies: The Type B Personality "Mech Pussy" (Mech-P) Reality Check

By Mike Sparks

"The nation that will insist upon drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking by cowards."

--Sir William Francis Butler

Even British Mechanized Infantry fighting from Warrior Medium Tanks Aggressively led are still considered inferior Soldiers to their lighter brethren like the Paras, Why?

As we speak, American light infantry without cross-country mobile (XCM) light tanks is being creamed in wheeled trucks restricted to roads/trails in Afghanistan by land mines and automatic weapons-RPG ambushes.

Even unarmored Humvees get stuck in Afghanistan: Light Infantry Needs Light tanks--Not Wheeled trucks

Even unarmored Humvee trucks constantly get stuck in Afghanistan as the picture above attests. To have XCM, one must use light tanks whose tracks spread their weight over a large area to attain the lightest possible ground pressure so as not to break the crust of the ground.

Ironically, American heavy units have light tanks with which to help our light infantry--but are not offering the help.


Years ago, a young Major Dan Bolger wrote an article in Military Review noting that there exists two armies within the U.S. Army--one that wants to fight by its fingernails without tanks--and one that wants to do nothing but has tanks. You can read his article below:

The FACTS are that every Bradley battalion I was ever with, was populated by un-motivated, Type B personality types bogged down by the overly complex and break-down prone, bloated Bradleys. The term that light unit Soldiers use to describe such units is "mech pussy" (Mech-P)--I know it's a vulgarity--but it's high time we face the truth here of the actual feeling of contempt that exists towards such units--that also happens to be fully justified. "Death before dismount" is their absurd and dangerous Type B personality rant in those units. They do not even fight mounted well. For example, the troop/cargo hatch behind the Bradley could be held locked in a vertical, open position as a rear shield for two infantryman to face outward and provide side/rear security from attacks--but the Mech-Ps refuse to activate combat over-ride so the turret can traverse with this hatch open--they'd rather not worry about the turret slewing into the men in back and get creamed by the enemy. Other NATO armies with turreted infantry-carrying tanks can have men fight behind; notice the Warrior with two security infantrymen behind its turret:

We even did it in WW2 with assault amtracks:

WW2 LVT(A)s had turrets and men behind them firing: We have no excuse today with our Bradleys!

Infantry firing from open hatches is vital for urban combat reach

The Bradley's vehicle design plays right into Type B personality tendencies to do as little as possible. As Commander Ian Fleming once said about marriage, sometimes two being together is a SUBTRACTION--not an addition. It's counter-intuitive, but true that adding an overly complex, maintenance-demanding, infantry-smothering-thanks-to-its-bloated-2-man-turret Bradley to an infantry unit DETRACTS from its infantry's dismounted and mounted warfighting abilities. The operator's manual for the Bradley is as thick as two telephone books. Its 2-man turret forces leaders to be tankers who are unable to dismount to lead their infantry, which becomes mere close-in security guards for tanks that often do not go beyond the 3rd roadwheel. This is bad armored infantry to support the advance of tanks--not mechanized infantry that performs its own missions that can locate, close with and destroy the enemy and evict him from closed terrains.

The BEST UNIT I have ever been a part of bar NONE; this means all units in the USMC and Army--to include even tank-less SF/Airborne units--was the low-ground pressure, C-130 air-transportable, turret-less, M113A3 Gavin, light mechanized, National Guard infantry battalion I was in; because it was the perfect merger of Type A personality, dismounted infantryman--but empowered them to not have to foot-slog--but gave them excellent cross-country armored mobility in closed terrains. We could go anywhere and kick ass---and we knew it. Moreover, the unit attracted Type A personalities who wanted to do something--not sit on their ass in the armory. It's WHAT RIGHT LOOKED LIKE.

ALL THAT WE NEEDED TO DO WAS UP-ARMOR AND SUPPLY A STABILIZED AUTOCANNON ON THESE GAVINS AND WE'D HAVE THE WORLD'S MOST LETHAL LIGHT COMBAT TEAMS (LCTs) that could dominate the closed terrain fight and act as functional cavalry ahead of main bodies. Like we once had when we won the Korean War in 1950-53:

But LCTs potentially better since the M113 Gavin chassis is lighter and more mobile than the M24 Chaffee chassis that was used to be the basis of a family of vehicles within one unit to simplify resupply, maintenance, repair and logistics. Heavy mortars, medical and command post variants were already in the team, the M113 Gavin family of vehicles--ready to fight together as a combined-arms team.

Anti-RPG Bar Armor Was Available for M113 Gavins in Vietnam but not Attached: Sometimes Sabotage Comes from our own Stupidity

The only problem was the constant bitching and whining FROM IGNORANCE of some tanker (want to do armored stampedes) Armor branch staff officers that the Gavins were "not armored enough" stemming from the failure of the active Army to fit bar armor to pre-detonate RPGs during the Vietnam war--which was/is fixable as THE MOUNTING BOLTS ARE ON THE A3 VEHICLES REMINDING EVERYONE TO GET OFF SAID ASSES AND BUY THE ADD-ON ARMOR--which was the job of these staff officers to fight the bureaucracy and accomplish--not lust for different vehicles aka bloated, heavier Bradleys. The M113A3 Gavin Technical Manual 9-2350-277-20-5 reminds everyone on the procedures to attach the add-on armor--had anyone bothered to read such things.

700 x M113A3 Gavins were up-armored at Congressional insistence to become "Super Gavins" but this was done in a heavy way using high hardness steel by FMC/UDLP/BAE to maximize their profits instead of using lighter-weight ceramic tiles which would have preserved vehicle mobility.

Up-Armored M113A3 Super Gavins in Iraq: Right Idea, Too Heavy in Execution

All it required was for some Type A personality to press the state NG headquarters to use state monies to buy the armor--which should have been done instead of taking on hand-me-down A ZERO model derelict Bradleys from the active-duty Army.


SIDE BAR: The Two Armies of Type A and Type B Personalities?

Perhaps compared to go-getters in civilian life, ALL U.S. military personnel are really Type B personality losers who go along as lemming sheeple victims to whatever the bureaucracy feeds them with or tells them to do? The USMIL is certainly a bureaucracy of incompetent and immoral conformity--not a profession or one wouldn't have to fight the uphill battle for light mechanized infantry that while maximally combat effective--doesn't appeal to body worship narcissist or slacker factions within the Army.


M113A3 Gavins are faster than Bradleys and simple enough to operate and maintain such that even a NG unit on a short two-day drill weekend can become very good at aggressive light mechanized warfighting.

What should have happened as we were near Fort Bragg--who at the time had up-graded M551 Sheridan light tanks--was to put a company's worth of 14 x M113A3 Gavins on DRF-1 status, rigged to airdrop

...and have volunteer NG Track Commanders and Drivers (28) ready to deploy by pagers (today it would be obviously cell phones) so they could provide armored mobility to a designated active-duty rifle company. This of course was too much for the Type B personality slobs in the Nasty Guard, though they are without excuse, as I proposed it in the January/February 1995 edition of ARMOR magazine--and they pussed out as the cowards that they are.

The good news in this morass is that later on, I was mobilized for OEF/OIF to Fort Bragg and spent time with a Humvee truck-equipped "Delta" weapons company that exists within every light infantry battalion to provide TOW anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and heavy machine guns and grenades launchers--that are simply too heavy to manpack without killing everyone like the Israelis sometimes do.

Thus, the light infantry narcissists (LINNIEs) have at least a motorized capability to move half of themselves when you count up all the vulnerable wheeled trucks they have in their MTOE. Most importantly, the Delta weapons companies have Soldiers that fight MOUNTED and can be the salvation for the entire battalion from becoming overmatched by enemy fires and decisively engaged because there just happens to be enough of them that they could switch to M113 Gavins and then exploit the troop-carrying space in back to give a designated HHC or A or B or C rifle companies mounted, cross-country armored mobility through all terrains. All they have to do is request M113 Gavins through the bureaucratic channels; how hard is it to word process a memo? Don't have enough practice doing such things in today's digital Army where everyone has a computer?

In Retrospect...

I find it troubling that as a career infantryman mostly in Type A personality USMC/Army light units that we talk to the point of obsession of how we are going to cross on foot, linear, danger areas AKA roads---everyone cross at once to get by an enemy as he blinks? vs. "scroll-to-the-road" one man--crosses-at-a-time?, WHEN WITH WHEELED TRUCKS, WE HAVE THE ENTIRE UNIT ON THE ROAD ALL THE TIME!--ASKING TO BE AMBUSHED AND BLOWN UP BY LAND MINES!.

It's hypocritical, absurd, madness.

Life is tough. It's even tougher if you are STUPID.

All because we don't want to be seen in a tracked vehicle that the Mech-Ps use?

I'm talking about the entire "Stryker" madness, too. I helped write and assemble a book warning the Army not to buy these Canadian, wheeled deathtraps with the help of competent retired senior officers--

...but Army bureaucrats smelling an opportunity to loose $BILLIONS from the taxpayers through Congress and get themselves hired afterwards by the vehicle maker (Generals Heebner, Keene, Abrams) would have none of it:

When not about racketeering for $ billions from Congress, the wheeled madness infecting the U.S. Army is an in-house, fundamental psychologically-driven stupidity. All because of Type A personality light infantry narcissism encouraged by some justified contempt for the bogus Type B personality ways of the Mech-Ps--as witnessed by anyone doing a tour in a Bradley battalion and reporting back to their peers in LINNIEland.

NG Bradley Battalion in Southeast USA Nightmare

* Didn't even have the 44 Bradleys for the BN to fill MTOE

* 35 A0s in war stock

* 10 A0s beat-to-hell by entire BN causing constant break-downs nullifying any positive effects; Type B slackers who want to just collect a paycheck flock to unit;

Type As driven out

* Went to Europe too lazy/cheap to take any vehicles for NATO joint exercise as bad foot-infantry

A NG too cheap to fund Bradleys to include FIXING THEM to include getting their fuel tanks out from inside, adding shields on top; is just playing war to look good because it wants to appear to stay-in-step with their full-time AD Army counterparts. The NG is not serious about operating Bradleys and should have the integrity to not pretend and play--which has murdered men like my friend CPT Chris Cash who when it was time to rotate an unit to a real shooting war in Iraq, was in a Bradley without shields and got shot in the head by a sniper.

AD Bradley Battalion* in South Korea Nightmare

* Unarmed, un-configured, un-camouflaged, exposed vehicles parked in tight rows so NORth Korean (NORK) enemy artillery (which is within range) can destroy them

* Combat gear not in grab 'n go configuration

* Weapons/bayonets in arms room

* Helmets not camouflaged

* Unit NOT ready to "roll out the gate" in 15 minutes of NORK attack

* Enemy commandos could gun-down entire unit that walks around unarmed

* Nearby Camp Casey in civilian "From Here to Eternity" la-la land covered in civilian shops, bowling alleys, movie theatres etc.,_South_Korea

The Wiki page above details the BS civilian distractions present and claims everyone is ready-to-go at a siren's blare--which is a lie. Wish it was true. It wasn't even true at the forward camp I was at--that will not be named.

* If it's any consolation to the Mech-P ego, the LINNIE battalions are just as FUBAR in South Korea; they just don't have vehicles they are neglecting to have ready, just themselves that are unready.

Summary/Conclusion: DIY Combat Readiness via LCTs

Swedish High-Speed Light Mechanized Infantry with M113 Gavin Light Tanks

Now Mech-Ps may be enraged reading the truth of their little world and try to direct their anger towards me with myriad excuses--when you know damn well I'm right.

There is a simple solution: prove the LINNIES wrong


When you report for duty each day, ACT LIKE A TYPE A--EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT.

You can do this as other people can turn their "game on" in other walks of life like firefighters, police, EMS etc.

Start by taking whatever you got and making it completely COMBAT-READY.

Assume you are being sent to Afghanistan today.

Light Mechanized Infantry NOW: Light Combat Teams

If you are a medium-weight Bradley mech-infantry battalion sitting on its ass in CONUS, take the light M113A3 Gavins you have that ARE inherently sound excepting add-on armor (need autocannon RWS, too but are in the $150K each price range requiring HQDA help) and make them into a designated fly-away Light Combat Team (LCT) that can move by USAF C-130s/C-27Js--and offer to be a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) in Afghanistan so we can have real mountain warfare capabilities--with things like 120mm heavy mortars ready-to-fire instantly from the vehicle from cross-country positions.

Get the USAF to supply C-130s via JA/ATT funds by finding an assault runway to land on for FTXs. Paint your vehicles TAN--or better yet in a Multi-Cam pattern. Order gunshields for the TC positions. Create side gunshields by the rear cargo/troop hatch for your gunners to fire weapons in all directions for Armored Cavalry (ACAV) like firepower. Bristle your Gavins with machine guns. Our light tanks used to have even their drivers able to fire machine guns; attach a MG for the driver like was done in Vietnam. Attach some suplus M67 90mm or M40 106mm recoilless rifles for shock action that will punch through thick Afghan village mud walls when required.

Note the M60 7.62mm Medium Machine Gun expediently mounted on its tripod in front of the M113 Gavin Driver's hatch: M3 Stuart Light tanks in WW2 already have driver's machine guns fired from steering controls

Go to the bureaucracy and demand the funds to buy ceramic tiles and lightweight anti-RPG screens to be fitted to the hull and all gunshields. All you are insisting on is they buy what is too expensive for you to DIY. If that doesn't work, raise the funds. STOP BEING DAMNED VICTIMS! Get your welders to create lightweight storage racks to act as anti-RPG slat armor--but at a far lighter weight than the heavy ones BAE makes. Drape with camouflage netting. Create a loading plan that maximizes outside storage of MRE cases/water cans to add additional armoring effects as well as insure everyone knows where to find things in a crisis. Get everyone into fire-resistant, Multi-Cam uniforms and camouflage their helmets with cloth strips. Wear ALL combat gear on the body every duty day, period. Configure rucksacks as logpacks with only ammo, water and food that in event of vehicle loss, can be grabbed and placed on another Gavin or kept on bikes, carts, pack mules or on the back if going dismounted. Practice emergency track repair and short tracking. Get the bureaucracy to buy band tracks that are in the $4K price range each to enable stealth and 60 mph speeds.

Once your LCT is established, get everyone to jump school who is not already Airborne qualified. Once at least 28 Soldiers are TCs/Drivers and jump-qualified go to the Army bureaucracy and offer services as a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) for C-130 airdrop in Afghanistan. If this was the WW2 generation and situation--such an unit would already exist.

Get cracking!


Author's Note: I have always wanted to be in a non-narcissistic, use-everything-to-win Type A personality unit that had light tanks and found such units no longer exist in America's Army. Fortunately, I was blessed at one time to be in such an unit to see WHAT RIGHT LOOKS LIKE. The choice today is either Type A narcissism that fights stupid on foot or easy-going Type B slackers who don't fight or frankly, want to do much of anything. It's my duty to keep on reminding everyone in America's Army WHAT RIGHT LOOKS LIKE--and I will not stop fighting until we get it.

Of course, M113A4 Gavins with v-shaped hulls, and hybrid electric drive (HED), band tracks, the works--supplied by the Army bureaucracy would be BEST and perfect. But let's not wait for perfect when we already have good-enough.