Citizenship: United States
Kevin Ryan: "ALL THAT NOW IN RUSSIA, we had in the 1970s"
Doubts were everywhere
- What are the basic skills of the US Army, emphasis was placed after Vietnam, and then, in the course of military reform?
- The morale of our army was not at the highest level. Country hated war, even the spirit of militarism. There was no unanimous opinion among the military, how to solve problems, how to build an efficient army. It`s a very difficult decision - to move to a voluntary army. Many doubted.
- Who doubts what strata of society or structure?
- Doubts were everywhere. The Congress, in the army itself, doubted veterans. Because the lives of almost all the people who took the decision then, was the army at the call, which they remembered from the Second World War. They are used to such a service to its structures.
In Russia, I know, today there are concerns about the transition to a contract. We had the same doubts about the 70s! There were questions: what if the army will only narrow, very specific layer? And where is the guarantee that can attract doctors or engineers, who are also in need? But do not go if only poor, who have nowhere else to get a chance? Will we draw enough people? It`s one thing to work with recruits, who are obliged to be on call, and quite another - to find willing to serve.
I do not know how great concerns in Russia, but Russian newspapers, for example, I read: the number of troops will fall, we can not collect the quota. The same fears were we! Especially from people who were engaged in a call. After all, they had to completely restructure its work, young men and young women and motivate their voluntary service in the army. By the way, also had quotas.
- These structures were able to adjust to the new conditions, or had to recruit new people to the states?
- There was a lot of changes and innovations, analyzed the situation, the lessons learned over the years. We were forced to create a new structure. A certain analogue of your military offices was replaced by t. N. evaluation committee, which exists today (in this case, refers to the combined search service, job placement and follow-up "care" of young military -. "Proceedings"). Recruitment offices worked differently: here they have a quota of 10 people, he calls them, brings in "Lad Camp" and forgets about them, and came to the call of the next 10. They do not bear any responsibility for what happens to the soldiers after the call, nor for their learning process. This new structure as it locked the search, selection and training in a single cycle. This is another level ... Russia explicitly welcomes the transition to a contract. I saw the billboards. You even have to call a professional contract army army.
- Rather, voluntary.
- A very important principle, which is based on the army of contract, professional and voluntary. It would seem that minor differences between these words, but they are crucial. Contract army stands out as the main basis is the contract. She focuses on professional or voluntary. Our soldiers also enter into a contract, but it is so self-evident that even strange to talk about it for us. Contract - a contract. You enter into a contract when applied for a job, send their children to college or take out a bank loan. In this case, we`re talking a little bit about something else. On a voluntary and professional army. This is what Russia seeks, and America already has. So when I see the posters "professional army", I think, "O` Kay, is a very good thing to emphasize." But not only ee.U you have a professional army
- You shared concepts such as "voluntary" and "professional." Why?
- It is intended that the contract, voluntary, professional - part of a whole. It`s like a trio. Yes, the contract. Yes, military personnel should be volunteers. In your system, it is true, as I understand it, the guys will initially mainly be recruited, and then they will be given the opportunity to sign a contract. But in this part will be voluntary, they will be able to choose.
... When I went into the army, there was still a lot of recruits. I
I could not tell them: "If - I`ll turn you out." So I can say, but I would say: "Forward! We will leave the army with great pleasure!" But if before you volunteer and you say, "I`ll turn you out," - he will be shocked. That`s not what he wants. He made a choice, come to the army, as it were, put their lives in the armed forces. Therefore, voluntary - a very important thing for the new army. This will be a different type of soldier, it would require an entirely different command.
The last component - the most important: a professional army. The Russian army was a professional, and to contract. The Soviet army was professional about it very highly, she had plenty of achievements, especially in the theory and tactics of martial arts. We studied Tukhachevskogo Agarkova. They were professionals. Many military were highly qualified professionals. Therefore correct to say that you need a professional army. By the way, Russia has come a long way in terms of the contract. In those peacekeeping operations in Bosnia, Kosovo participated, as far as I know, contract servicemen. What is now necessary - to create a system, think about how people will work in the new system, how to attract people to it. The first thing encountered in 70 years of our officers - volunteers behavior is strikingly different from that of a conscript. Conscript makes to order, do not hesitate.
- We call it from the fence and before dinner.
- Volunteer wants to understand why he does this or that action. If he is told to get up the mountain, he must know why he climbs on it.
- But some commanders remain the same, at least for the first time! And they will give the "old" orders.
- Yes, commanders are accustomed to, the first soldier type. The new train is much more difficult, but today, I know many Russian officers have to cope with such a problem.
We have a lot of advantages of your old
- In general, it is necessary to think and let think other ... And if the contract is terminated prematurely, whether sanctions come to a soldier?
- If you kicked out of the US Army - the sanctions provided for. But the system is very differentiated. After all, there are many reasons for the dismissal. You may be forced to leave the army, because your mother died, his wife was ill, etc. And the army will say.. You are free.
- No sanctions?
- No. Or the man realized that the army was not for him. Even in this case, the sanctions may be, although this is a different situation. Further. Maybe dismissal for fault, then it is punishable.
In the US military have preferences that are directly dependent on the quality and service life. When the soldier leaves the army, it gets kind of response, an official document from the state. It can be written that the "honorably served during such a period." Many employers, which will turn the former military have, say, "Oh, you were in the army, can be your response?" And you will be required to show it. This is a letter of recommendation. Many of the military involved in the t. N. educational program of cost-sharing. When signing the contract the person says, translating a portion of my money on my education. He gives the dollar and the army (the state) gives the dollar. After some time, accumulated amount, enough to go to college. American education is in fact very expensive. Or, say, in life after the military can apply for a housing loan at reduced interest. The size of benefits will depend on the service life. Finally, after leaving, he can go to the civil service in the capacity of civil. And in most cases it will have benefits in employment, compared with, say, those who came right out of college. Service in the army gives him extra points. If it is written in the characteristic that a person is not served with honor, or her general critical reviews ...
- That is, can be written "thank you gone?"
- Absolutely. Then the mass of these opportunities, which I said, disappears. And the employer to see that there is no word about the excellent service in the characteristic, can say, "No, thank you."
- And who will compensate the difference in the percentage of home loan?
- State. And as far as I know from the newspapers, you now have a similar system appears.
The soldier must be willing to execute an order
- What are the main tasks set before the military during the preparation and conduct of military operations - to save his own life, the maximum autonomy in decision-making, a clear subordination of the order?
- Everything that you mentioned, they should all be in one person. The question that the priority in any circumstances. What drives a man when he jumps out of the trench, runs, when it fired, jumping into another trench gate and kill? Just do not desire to protect their own lives. If he wanted, he would have remained in their trenches ... You have to teach a soldier when he is told to do something, he must want to do it. It is very difficult and in the Russian army, and in the US. But even when you learn it, you will not believe until the end, who will be able to do it, and who is not. You hope that they will. Another very important issue - the team spirit, team spirit, confidence in each other, the commander of the authority. Many of the soldiers said, yes, we were fighting for their country, but for the victory. But above all, because the close was their commander, whom they could not take ...
Going from conscript army to a volunteer, you will have to make changes, through which we have passed. We had to improve the soldier`s ability to make independent decisions. Of course, that was before. But we spent a great time to raise it in the character of a soldier. And for that he must have more knowledge.
- According to the results of the last two years of campaigns which emphasize the problems of the US military?
- This question is constantly working in the United States. Professional constantly concerned that he may make a mistake in understanding what is happening, so trying to analyze the lessons. I know, the Russian military is also concerned about this problem today.
- Do you think?
- No doubt. Just the US military is studying the experience of publicly discussed in magazines, newspapers, we are talking about it on TV. The Russian military are more closed in their judgments. They certainly did not tell me about it. But I am sure that they, as professionals, are constantly exploring different experience.
On lessons too early to speak. But one thing is clear for sure: you have to know how to fight a war in which there are the fronts. Remember Terkin Basil said: "The front left, front right / And in the February blizzard haze / A terrible fight is bloody, / mortal fight not for glory, / For the sake of life on earth ...." Twardowski talked about it, it took into account Tukhachevskiy planning operations. Today, the war has a new character. The second lesson for the US Army: it should be easier to lift. We must learn to quickly turn around the world. Of course, we all knew it and worked on it until September 11th. But on September 11 and then the campaign in Afghanistan, Iraq confirmed that the direction in which we go right.
- Do you think there has ever possibly somewhere in Russia, for example, that the prisoners were met as they met a week ago America?
- You know, when I, a young officer, taught "to confront the Soviet threat" and to understand the psychology of the Soviet people, I was told: do not appreciate Russian life. They do not refer to it as the highest values ??of Americans, it is to some extent the type of oriental mentality. When I arrived in Russia in the 95th year, I have traveled across the country as the head of department of the embassy, ??was engaged in search of the missing and prisoners of war. I have met people who have lost loved ones. And when they began to talk about their loss ... with me - a stranger, an American - they could not hold back tears. They do not know where their relatives are buried, have no means to seek. But they cherished memory.
- Probably not the only money is not enough. For those who have money and opportunities - in power - there is no desire.
- The government does not help them at the time. America has the resources, there is a will. But I`m talking about the value of human life. Having lived among the Russian, I saw: they appreciate and cherish human life.
The danger must come from the enemy, and not from Citizens
- What was nevertheless a major problem in the transition to a contract: the resistance chiefs, military psychology, society?
- First, it was everything. All that you now see in Russia. Any of these problems can destroy the new system. Of course, you can not dial a contract army, without paying the soldiers and officers. I`m not saying that soldiers should receive more than a programmer or scientist. But you can not pay the soldier as much as is paid in Russia today, and expect that there will be a lot of volunteers. Military service is associated with deprivation and limitations: in fact the person refuses weight freedoms. Another serious problem, you are right, the psychological. I recently read the book "Volokolamsk Highway". Have you read? It is about the defense of Moscow. There the author says a lot about the problems in the organization of service units to platoon level ... It was not easy to build relationships with subordinates. Now, many will have to learn again: a situation where the person who started the service with a call, will command a volunteer ... I guess the officers, who will serve in the new army should make an effort to develop new skills. After all, they will have to command a new way. The new army must understand and accept the society. Deputies and Senators, the people who pay taxes to the budget. Finally, parents should feel the change, to say to his son, or - why not? - Daughter: "I think it would be nice if you come forward to serve I.!" For "And do not say." What! Do not go there, it`s dangerous! "
- But in America can start right now to say, "This is dangerous" ...
- It is always dangerous. Army - it is always dangerous. But the risk must come from the enemy, and not from its citizens or other military ...