Why you should listen to me…

Sweet! Just got touted by the fine folks at Castle Argghhh! As you read my posts, you may be wondering, “what qualifications does our author have to comment and pontificate on matters of such import?”

Well, none, really. I served twelve years in the Army. My career was not by any  means a spectacular success. But it was varied and interesting. I bounced around from one position to another quite often and had a lot of peeks into many facets of the Army life.

Let me say right now, the sum total of my combat experience consists of riding in the back of a Bradley for four days. I have absolutely no awards for valor. The longest deployment I ever made was only 5 months. I have no special training in strategy, no security clearance to look at intel, few contacts giving me the inside scoop.

What I do have is a deep, abiding love for the US Army as an institution. I am certainly not blind to it’s faults, but looking at the history of the Army, with the attendant highs and lows, I am amazed by the number of truly impressive people that have given so much to the service. I mean that in two ways. The young citizen soldier who serves on the front lines, in times of peace, and now, in time of war. People worry about the future of our nation, always bemoaning “kids these days”. I don’t. If you go back and read the letters from the Revolutionary war, they said the same things. We’ve been going downhill for 233 years now-look where its gotten us!

The other folks that have been so impressive to me are the hidden heros. They made their impact not so much on the battlefield, but toiling in relative anonymity in unglamorous staff positions, deciding things like our doctrine (that is, how we fight), how to best organize the Army (you think your business goes through a lot of re-orgs, try tracking 200+ years of re-org charts!), how we equip our forces, and how we train folks. These folks don’t get a parade, and they do get a lot of grief-everyone hates a staff weenie. But without their efforts, we don’t win on the battlefield. I’m not going to put up a lot of posts about the post housing officer, but I do want to look at the roles of people like Gen. Marshall in the pre-WWII days, and the amazing, untold story of how the Army was rebuilt after Vietnam.

A lot of my point here is to make the institution of the Army  more accessible to folks without a military background. I’ve tried to strip away most of the jargon and acronyms so people can understand concepts. By all means, if you have questions, just ask. If I goon the answer, ask again. I’ll keep trying till I get it right.

5 thoughts on “Why you should listen to me…”

  1. This may a good place for me to understand new things. You write in an easy reading style.

    Oh, welcome to the blogtrap. 😀

  2. It takes seven soldiers working behind the scenes for very soldier you see carrying a rifle. Trust me I’m ADA.

    However, even when many army terms and ideas are made accessible, there is one idea most may never get:

    Getting off your cot/bedroll/sleeping bag/spot on the ground at 3:00 am in a country you never heard of, to defend a city you’ve never seen before, for a people you’ve never met.

    And you promise to defend them no matter what.

  3. You know, Chock, that’s an idea I’m going to explore some in the future, but I want to give careful thought to it before I do. Here’s why. What I say will be heretical. Most folks I met when I was in were just normal people. No better, no worse. They would roll out at oh-dark-thirty, but mostly, they were just doing their job. When people bemoan “kids these days” I think of two things. All the great kids I met as a recruiter, even the very many who didn’t join, and the fact that you can read any ancient history and find a passage that bemoans “kids these days”.

    As I say though, I wanna give some thought to what motivates these folks before I do a post on it. And I never trust any duckhunters. 🙂

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