By Whiskey Fueled Tirade
PENTAGON — The Army will name its new 200-ton main battle tank after Gen. Mark A. Milley, the former Army Chief and current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to a press release this morning.
“We’re calling this sturdy little fella the Mk20 Milley,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville told reporters. “One of our majors suggested the name and it just kind of stuck. I’m not too sure where he got the idea, it’s probably just a respectful nod to Gen. Milley’s efforts to modernize the Army.”
As the Chief of Staff prior to McConville, Milley was known for prioritizing modernization investments, championing the new “pinks and greens” uniform, and being the first soldier to earn a perfect score on the Army’s new combat fitness test.
As for the tank’s functionality, McConville said he is pleased with the Mk20’s performance in milestone testing. The tank’s shorter height profile makes it more difficult to target and its lower center of gravity makes it less prone to roll-overs. Moreover, more than 100 tons of additional armor provides greater protection for the crew. Nonetheless, some critics suggest the tank may be too heavy for the modern battlefield.
“Sure the ‘Milley’ has a lot more armored padding,” said Dr. Jonathan Northfield, an operations research analyst for the Pentagon. “But at 200 tons it is almost completely immobile, and we may need the manufacturer to assemble it on the battlefield. The [M1] Abrams was only around 75 tons and we were worried it might ruin host-nation infrastructure.
“It’s basically a micro-FOB,” Northfield added.
In addition to weight concerns, critics point to the tank’s soft underbelly as a potential vulnerability, but the manufacturer has already agreed to outfit the Milley with its patented ‘tank spanx’ system at no additional cost.
Functionality aside, even Milley’s former teammates agree that the Army made the right choice for the new tank’s name.
“I can definitely see why someone would be inspired to name this tank after Gen. Milley.” Retired Sgt. Major of the Army Dan Daily said of his former boss. “They both have a certain– ahem, presence.”
Whiskey Fueled Tirade is an Army guy, small time strategy grifter, and command climate change denier. He’s a trailer park ex-pat living large in a house without wheels. Follow him on Twitter @FueledTirade.
Dick Scuttlebutt and 29ReasonsWhy contributed to this reporting.