Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I was once young and a soldier...

Then I grew up and very much older, and I have never valued my worth on money, hours worked, nor medals and ribbons. But others seemed to, and they still do - part of this desire (of political process) to figure out how to get heroes in uniform, a process acknowledged but not understood by the designers, since they are motivated by things other than love, sacrifice, duty or honor.

The current Commander-in-Chief made much of the ability of the military to accomplish the mission - and expects that the country should step up, get organized and accomplish our mission - wherever that State of the Union speech was going, thank you for the atta-boy, sir! But you don't get it, we were willing to kill and die for the accomplishment of the mission. You think if you watch the Discovery or History channel about SEAL or Ranger or Sniper training that you get it, that it is just hormones and youthful foolishness, with discipline and determined leadership provided by the officer corps. Forgetting that some very deep thinking well read people have been very effective soldiers. My favorite question, where do they get such men? Well, the basic building block is a person that values family, neighbors and friends. The military will take that person and cut them off and overwhelm them with new things to think about, building a new spirit and pride. They don't lose that love of the family, neighbors and friends - they will need it when the bad guys, the weather and Murphy show up to mess with their mission and life. It is the only thing that they can cling to when they take the uniform off and get back to normal... or a close variation of normal.

I mention this because communications have improved to the silly point of the Commander in Chief being right there with the shooters - virtually. I didn't like it when President Carter was losing aircraft and men in Iran and telling them to call it off -- he wasn't on the ground, not even in the air above the combat. Like watching the General in Somalia lose men and helicopters and safe in his bunker, blind but listening! Yes, they should be concerned but they gave the mission, get out of their way and allow them to complete it or die.

Could we have won the American Revolution with Congress telling General Washington they had a better idea? He had political generals contacting Congress for his job, position and stupid ideas about improving the supplies and tactics. The worst Generals were afraid of him personally, and the best officers (the ones that would follow him into battle) became his long arms. Politicians don't use the same judgment that a military person would, or the military person is really a politician in disguise (yes, they are there, but aren't attacking any enemy positions).

I guess I can't learn new tricks, almost all the Presidential candidates, including the current holder, are not the committed leaders I would attack the enemy for, with or following... so how can I think that the problems and potentials of the country can be correctly, boldly and vigorously met by such men. New question, aren't there any better? We are too safe, safety minded, hoping for others to risk what we wouldn't (aren't we - as a country?) . Will we give them a medal or ribbon to wear?

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Yep, the reachback, has become even worse than ANYTHING McNamara did during Vietnam... But the ROE is almost as bad...