Grand Old Party? I find nothing grand about you. Out here in the hinterlands most of you are called Republicans in Name Only (RINOs). I have a different take. I don’t believe you are RINOs. I believe you are the Republican Party and probably always have been. Current events have merely exposed you for who you are. A large overbearing pachyderm in bed with lobbyists, corporations, billionaires and pretty much anyone else who will continually feed your bottomless wallets. In turn, you legislate for them and crap on Middle America, which in case you haven’t noticed is not doing so well in recent years. You are allied with career “civil servants” anchored at the top and throughout our federal agencies and to your kindred spirits in the braying jackass Democratic Party. There are no viable political parties left in America. There are only “interests” none of which address my concerns or what is in the best interests of my country. Collectively you are the swamp rats – lifelong politicians and wannabes. You have lost any sense of America and Americans. You are the Washington establishment.
Americans are tired and disillusioned. That is why we elected a non-politician and the America first message. It is the message that touched the hearts of the forgotten people of this country. The middle class is the strength of a nation. Without a strong middle class we are just another third world has been. You have blocked the America first agenda. It is the American people’s agenda that you despise. The people you are charged to represent. It was we the people who rejected a pile of establishment Republicans and said no more to the Clintons. I believe you forget that it is the people who either accept or reject you as their representatives not the other way around. You do not get to have an agenda other than ours.
So now you block and delay and you want us to believe that you were surprised that McCain was a no vote – on anything. Following years of promises of all that you could accomplish if we voted you in charge, you now tell us that it is just the “democratic process” when you are unable to come up with any sort of plan for anything. The democratic process is not intentional and abject failure. Do you think we don’t see – think we are blinded by your brilliance? Do you think that we do not know that your delays and failures are just time killers until your special prosecutor can create a storyline that helps you finish the coup? And you believe somehow that this will turn out well for you. In my lifetime, I have never witnessed a more entrenched group of failures that is supposed to represent the people who elected them.
We know how you think. We have learned how you play the game. We know that you try to sway how we think with polls. That did not work too well for you and it will not again. We understand that half of our voting age population never votes and that half of the half that does vote is ignorant. You and your media cronies play on that. What did the Obamacare architect declare? We had to count on the stupidity of the American people! Together you promise the immeasurable like hope and change or moving us forward. Forward? Toward what? When we were promised things that are measurable and things that hit us right where we live, we chose. Do you think we will forget? Do you think we will accept that the democratic process is why we do not have viable healthcare, tax reform, secure borders…? The forgotten people and history will be unkind to you.
There is a seething anger out here. And it is not from the little brown shirt fascists in black hoodies that you send out to attack other protestors or shut down speakers with which you don’t agree. The anger is from the people for which you are showing total contempt. It is the super majority of Americans who want you to do your jobs and who don’t want our country to become Venezuela. Now is your time to deliver or begin working on your memoirs. Americans have had it with you swamp rats.
I hope you enjoyed the solar eclipse. It is a sad time for our beloved country. But it just as well could be our long past due and needed healing time. I do not like to write with emotion. It is rarely a good idea to share thoughts when angered. But when the anger is accompanied by the gnawing sadness that comes with seeing the destruction of the greatest land God ever blessed in order to appease the sort of radicalism one would never expect to observe in the United States of America, then a mental offload is therapeutic.
This is where I stand. If from any point on the human color spectrum, the religious spectrum, or ideological spectrum you are of a supremacist mindset brother, I would not venture across the road to throw water on your carcass if you were on fire. You are so far away from the founding principles of our country, I don’t even know you. You preach equality, justice, and freedom of expression but in action demand submission to your philosophy. It is domination you seek not equality. Your actions and words are the antithesis of American ideals bound in equality and individual liberty. If you march beneath an emblem of hatred (just pick one) or desecrate the one emblem under which many people have fought and died so that you may have a freedom of expression, you are not an American. You are a brainwashed bastardization of an American. You are a product of decades of social engineering and an education system that failed you. If you are uncertain about what American ideals are, put down your twitter feed and the propaganda handed to you by your sponsors who have only ill will for our country and read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. They are a bit longer than a tweet and to my knowledge, OMG, there is no cyber lingo translation. If you are a governmental figure (civil servant or politician) or a police officer whether local, state or federal, or a member of the media and you can justify taking sides in a riot having a surplus of knuckle heads on all sides you should lay down your credentials and walk away because you are a disgrace to the offices and positions of trust you hold and to our democratic republic. You are worse than the rioters in the streets. You are the cowards who circle the brawling ignorant egging them on to more violence and destruction while hoping that somehow you may profit from it.
I do not apologize if I offended your sensibilities. To hell with your sensibilities. Although that is the method these days isn’t it? Say something and then backtrack and declare you were taken out of context. There is only one context here. Our country is being methodically and systematically destroyed and every action you see in our cities is planned subversion. It is important that you in politics and media who continue to throw gasoline onto a sparking little fire and you mayors and governors who direct police forces to stand down while people are injured and property is destroyed know how I and the other 99.99999 percent of Americans feel about what is happening and what you are causing to happen in our country.
Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? – Mark 8:18
For those of you who speak well and put on airs of intellect, do you not see what is happening to our country? Did you not hear the voice of our people election day past? We the people are tired, very tired. Do you not remember where and how we began and our sometimes rugged journey to a pinnacle never reached on this earth by any other nation?
Let me see if I can put it into a nutshell for the tweet minded. First there was a war on God. He was kicked out of our schools. Then the demand grew throughout the land for removal of Christian symbols from public places. No pushback, just another thing. Then wearing a Christian symbol in the workplace became offensive to non Christians because it scared the hell out of them. Literally. This is anti-Christian bigotry. It is the bigotry accepted in America. Now we’ve moved from families in Church on Sundays to Churches closing and sitting empty. Abnormal behavior became normal and normal became abnormal. We discovered triggers and micro aggression and the need for safe spaces in other words shut up and make no sudden movements lest a pampered child begins to hyperventilate.
“Barack knows that we are going to have to make sacrifices; we are going to have to change our conversation; we’re going to have to change our traditions, our history; we’re going to have to move into a different place as a nation.” – Michelle Obama
Well Michelle, we stopped teaching our history to school children. Instead of teaching them about our founding principles and how they make us the exceptional nation, we taught them that the founders were all evil rich white slave owners therefore the founding documents themselves must not be good and logically America is not and never has been good and will only become good after we “change our traditions, our history.” The men who devised the most brilliant from of self-governance in recorded history, which laid the foundation that enabled us to overcome the bad things in our history, are to be hated not revered. Best we forget history and the failures of other types of government and immerse ourselves in worship of a tin-pot dictator human godhead. Over in North Korea, people are executed for failing to do just that.
Learning from the past is productive for any society. That is the purpose of accurate history. Wallowing in the past is destructive for any society. We have removed the learning and replaced it with wallowing. Now these same undereducated and brainwashed spoiled children are offended by statues – symbols of our history good, bad or ugly. Statues are just beginning. This was the Soviet Union approach, the Taliban approach, the ISIS approach, the NAZI approach – no history existed before us. We are the present and the future. As Mrs. Obama stated we have to change our history. So Americans, if you own any accurate history books or founding documents, you may want to put them into a vault. Book burnings including the little pamphlet containing our Constitution cannot be too far away. Once we have purged ourselves of the ugly periods of our history and our evil governing documents devised by evil men then logical progression is the human purge of those who caused our problems and those who refuse to sing our mantra. This is necessary to begin anew. Look up NAZIs on Google maybe you will become familiar with what a NAZI truly was and how that minority of hate-filled master race driven lunatics killed millions. Actually, maybe you should do your research using real books while we still have those. You still read books don’t you? Then you can compare it to the journey that your puppet masters have placed you on. With luck you may not start to hyperventilate.
I am fan of 1960’s music. That was my impressionable period. Thank God though that I never became a terminal hippie. Still a favorite band of mine is Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR). One of my favorite CCR tunes (after Suzie-Q) is Who’ll Stop the Rain. With his music, John Fogarty was often a good story teller. He said this song was about Washington.
Long as I remember
The rain been comin’ down.
Clouds of myst’ry pourin’
Confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages,
Tryin’ to find the sun;
I think he accurately described the state of politics and radicals with “Clouds of myst’ry pourin’ Confusion on the ground.” There is much confusion poured out on the ground these days from the mouths of politicians and media. Good men through the ages, Tryin’ to find the sun.” I believe we’ve had them in our history, but we’ve managed in their prime to kill them off. How does the song go, Abraham, Martin and John? I believe there are good men and women out there today trying to find the sun. The problem is there is no one willing to help lift their voices up through the storm. The people cannot hear their message because it is drowned out by the people with the big megaphones pushing division and stirring confusion on the ground.
I went down Virginia,
Seekin’ shelter from the storm.
Caught up in the fable,
I watched the tower grow.
Five year plans and new deals,
Wrapped in golden chains.
I went to the government seeking shelter from the storm. I believed what they told me while I watched the Washigton Tower of Babel grow until no one understood what the other was saying. Or they simply stopped listening to one another. Big plans, big promises, new deals all presented on gilded parchment but never delivered to the people.
Heard the singers playin’,
How we cheered for more.
The crowd had rushed together,
Tryin’ to keep warm.
Still the rain kept pourin’,
Fallin’ on my ears.
And I wonder,
Still I wonder
Who’ll stop the rain.
They continued to promise and the people continued to cheer them on. The crowds rushed together yet the clouds of mystery continued to pour their confusion on the ground. The same big plans and promises kept falling on my ears. And I wonder, still I wonder. Who’ll stop the rain?
Or are you waiting for someone to decide for you? Fascism, Socialism, Marxism, Communism, National Socialist (NAZI), Democracy…. I doubt if more than a tiny percentage of Americans can properly define any of them or lay out their tenets – including the malcontents on all sides of the rioting in Charlottesville. They also do not know, thanks largely to media and academia propelled ignorance, that these ideologies are left wing and responsible for multiple millions of deaths. Yet if you say anything opposing the worldviews of the ignorant, practically anything, they label you Fascist (which they in practice are) or a NAZI (left wing socialists who used NAZI Brown Shirt thugs to disrupt opposition rallies) and nowadays attack you as well. They build straw man images consisting of everything they’ve been conditioned to hate around their targets and then commence their attacks, which are becoming more and more violent against boogie men that exist largely in their minds. That’s just where we are these days. It is difficult to have an adult conversation when someone is trying to beat your brains out with a hammer.
“Americanism” is also an identifiable ideology. People take it for granted that they are Americans, but they would also be hard pressed to explain what an ideological American is. Fifty out of fifty likely have a different view of Americanism and some outright disown the red, white and blue taking their million dollar salaries and a knee during playing of the Star Spangled Banner. I also did not add Utopianism because every ideology up there except Americanism promises what it cannot deliver – Utopia. They cannot deliver it but history proves they are willing to watch millions die while they try.
Did you ever wonder how many Americans actually know that the USA is not a pure democracy and it was never meant to be? Pure democracy is mob rule. It is the story of two wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for dinner. That is pure democracy. America is a Republic wherein the lamb has constitutional protections and rights ensuring that it will not become lamb chops. It has also been pointed out that freedom is well armed sheep. Pachyderms and Jackasses supposedly vote on what is best for the rest of us too. Sometimes they overstep constitutional bounds while making their Faustian deals with the bank rollers. In predictable form the Supreme Court straddles the ideological fence on whether they did or not. Would you not think that a “Supreme” court tasked with interpreting the Constitution would be able to agree on what the actual words mean? But, my naiveté shows.
One right we Americans have is peaceful assembly. We do not have the right to attack someone who does not believe as we do no matter how disgusting to us the opposing view might be. You would be hard pressed these days to find a peaceful demonstration not saturated by paid for rioters with locked and loaded politicians and media standing by to lay blame. Both sides in the Charlottesville mayhem were wrong. Any blame, harm or destruction belongs to the rioters, agitators and their sponsors. Period! Any politician or media hack that tries to place blame only exacerbates the problem and is no better themselves than the rioters. Maybe they are worse.
So what is it you rioting wing nuts want? Is it one of the ideologies mentioned or a conglomeration of them? Or are you just too damn ignorant to even know what you want? Do you think you want a civil war? In the American Civil War, the history of which some are trying to eradicate, casualties were 620,000 although some estimates reach 700,000 – more casualties than all of our wars combined from the Revolutionary War through the present and at the time about 2% of the American population. In today’s numbers that is about 6,500,000. It would likely be much more though as we would not be using muskets on one another. Is that what you are hoping for? What I do know is that a nation that rejects its past no matter how abhorrent it may be also dooms its future. A nation ignorant of its beginning will not see the end coming.
There is not a nation on this earth except for ours that was founded on the principle of individual liberty. The only nation on this earth that can destroy us is us. When you Pachyderms and Jackasses stop trying to remove our duly elected President, you may find time to figure out who it is that is turning every demonstration into a riot. Maybe you can figure out who it is, other than the person looking back at you from the mirror that is hell bent on destroying a country that is truly the world’s last best hope, the only fortress of freedom remaining. After here, except for in the heart’s desire of the people, freedom has no place to go. And if in your putrefied Washington establishment and media hack minds you believe a White House Coup will solve our problems then you are so incredibly stupid. You do not know the people of this country and in our streets you have not yet seen fury.
My Tiger Airlines flight landed at Osan Airbase, South Korea at the beginning of February 1972. Previously known as Flying Tiger Airlines (FTA) they were a favored acronym of Soldiers leaving their 13 month tours and heading home. From there, I was bussed to the ASCOM replacement depot. Interestingly, I arrived there about the same time as a couple of plane loads of Soldiers diverted from Vietnam and arriving in February wearing jungle fatigues. I was there for a couple of days before some Soldiers from my new unit picked me up in an M151A1 quarter ton (jeep) for the ride back to Camp Red Cloud located in Uijeongbu (wee-jon-boo). Uijeongbu is just north of Seoul and sits in the Uijeongbu Corridor, a traditional invasion route from the north.
I was assigned to Headquarters I Corps (ROK/US) Group located at Camp Red Cloud. Camp Red Cloud is named for Corporal Mitchell Red Cloud Jr. who was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for gallantry in action against the Chinese. Camp Red Cloud is the current headquarters for the 2nd Infantry Division.
Kim Il Sung, the first leader and eternal president was the Soviet trained communist leader up north. He was the leader that in 1950 invaded South Korea with the aim of unifying Korea under his communist leadership. Had he not been bailed out by the Chinese Red Army, there would likely be no North Korea today. Kim the elder was as vicious as they come as was his son Kim Jung Il, but neither were as dangerous to the world as is his nuclear armed megalomaniacal psychopathic grandson Kim Jung Un who has murdered members of his family.
In 1968, Kim’s navy captured the USS Pueblo a surveillance ship that was in international waters off the coast of Korea. In the end, America admitted guilt in order to get the crew released. Also in 1968, the north sent a commando team south that nearly pulled off an attack and assassination attempt at the Blue House (Korean version of the White House). The attempt failed and all of the attackers except the one who made it back north, one that was captured, and a couple unaccounted for were killed. Four Americans also died hunting down those trying to escape. Again in 1969, they shot down a US Navy EC-121 that was flying in international airspace with the loss of the 31 member crew. There was no retaliation.
In 1976, I was in my second tour to Korea assigned to the 142nd Military Police Company located at US Army Garrison Yongsan, Seoul, South Korea. One of my additional duties was as a member of the Quick Reaction Force (QRF). In the event of hostilities, our mission was to make our way via an M113 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) and M151A1 Gun Jeeps to the residence of the US Ambassador and return him to Yongsan. We all joked about operation “Hot Apple.” We knew that if the balloon went up nothing much would be able to move through the jam packed and panicked streets of Seoul. However Kim the elder gave us cause to do needed route recon, develop alternate routes, and make multiple rehearsals minus the APC starting August 18, 1976. On that date, two American Army Officers, Captain Arthur Bonifas and First Lieutenant Mark Barrett were murdered by North Koreans while leading a work crew to trim a tree inside the Joint Security Area (JSA) that impaired the view of an observation post. Three days later an overwhelming force of US and South Korean Armies entered the JSA unannounced and cut down the tree.
Those were just three incidents of the type that make the world news. If you care to look, there are a multitude of them from the 1950s right up to the present day. The Kim clan is brutal to its people with evidence of hundreds of thousands held in concentration and forced labor camps. They have but one aim, reunification of the Korean Peninsula under a Kim dictatorship. In the past, their provocations were used as negotiating tools to get such things as fuel oil and food and even nuclear reactors. Whatever they gained was diverted to feed and supply the military while the rest of the population in the countryside starved. The previous three US administrations kicked this can down the road until it arrived at its current state.
I have extended family in South Korea, many of them in Seoul and Uijeongbu the cities most likely to feel the full brunt of any North Korean attack. The landscapes of both of these population centers are dotted with many high rise apartment building complexes. Seoul has a population of 20 million plus and is still growing. It is in within artillery, rocket and scud range of the north. For that reason, Kim is convinced we will do nothing. China does not want a war because they would receive the refugees and they do not revel in the idea of a free Korea and US ally on their border. So where does that leave our President? Does he continue to kick the can or to the horrors of establishment Washington who are generally war hawks and the media who are generally the media declare unequivocally that if we or our allies are attacked by North Korea, “they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before?” Sounds a little like Harry Truman when he warned the Japanese that, “They may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the likes of which has never been seen on this earth.”
Here is what everyone must understand. From 1948 to the present day the people of North Korea have lived under the brutal and murderous dictatorship of the Kim clan. The Kims consider themselves godlike and demand worship from the population. As they have proven, no manner of negotiation, capitulation or appeasement will convince them to change or give up their nuclear weapons. China has the leverage, but has proven in the past they are not willing to use it. More concerning is that if North Korea has miniaturized nuclear warheads and Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) technology and capability so does Iran. And if the North has miniaturized nukes so does any terrorist organization like ISIS that has squirreled away billions in oil money, or even the Iranians who were bankrolled by the previous administration with $400 million in cash and $1.3 billion in interest.
In 1993, both houses of Congress passed legislation with veto proof majorities. The law, Section 654, Title 10, Public Law 103-60, Military Personnel Eligibility Act of 1993, declared homosexuality incompatible with military service. Prior to the law, President Clinton put forth his “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy.” Under the law, homosexual service was prohibited. Under the Clinton policy that also became Department of Defense regulation to implement the law prohibiting homosexual service, a person could not be asked if they were homosexual (Don’t Ask) and they could not tell anyone they were homosexual (Don’t Tell). If they professed homosexuality or were found in a homosexual act, they were still separated. The law, Section 654, Title 10, Public Law 103-60, Military Personnel Eligibility Act of 1993 was forever misnamed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The law repealing Public Law 103-60 was called the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010. In 1993, the Congress fulfilling a Constitutional duty “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining” the military and “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers” prohibited homosexual service. The administrative policy circumventing the Constitutional law regarding homosexual service is “legislative” social engineering. It was the initial shot at transforming the military and American cultures for the long term by the draft dodger who professed “loving [his] country but loathing the military.” With the 2010 repeal, Congress became the social engineer.
It was no secret among Soldiers that homosexuals were already serving. For those serving, the difference then from now is that it was about their service not their homosexuality. Open service for homosexuals was never about service just as homosexual marriage was never about marriage. It was about social engineering a new norm first in our most trusted institution and then across the country. I wrote about it before and predicted the things to come for the military, Don’t Frighten the Horses and Repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? and Our Moral Fabric if you care to read. I was called a homophobe, a bigot and accused of hiding behind religion among other things. But the fact of the matter is that social engineering produced a new protected class and all of the associated issues that take time away from military leaders whose time is already stretched thin with things having nothing to do with their primary war fighting mission.
And there are other issues. Women in combat were an issue for much of my time. The first social engineering step toward accomplishing that was integrated basic combat training at the lowest unit level. Now we have women who have completed Ranger School. There are women who recently graduated from Infantry OSUT and the restrictions on women serving in direct combat units are no longer. I and probably any Soldier career or otherwise, will tell you that it is the standard that matters. A woman should be able to serve in any capacity if she can meet the required physical and mental standard. From experience, gender norming will happen if it has not already. No amount of social engineering will remove a male’s protective instinct nor will it help a leader solve new issues right on down to accommodating field personal hygiene.
We are again making accommodations for religious garb and religious grooming standards.
The newest is transgenders. Does your biologically male Soldier who thinks he is a female have to meet male physical and grooming standards or female standards? Where does he or she shower? Who will fill the hole left in the unit while he undergoes sex change procedures? And what about the woman who believes she is a man? And you can just run out the list from there. None of it should be allowed to further burden military leaders and put readiness at risk.
Social engineering has become the way of politicians, academes, media types, et al all who want to shape the future and culture of American society and one cannot be sure what end it is they have in mind nor I believe do they for that matter. Court decisions, legislation, executive decrees, the manner of subjects taught to our children and even slants added to news reporting. All of it can and has been used to shape our culture, future direction and now even to risk the effectiveness of our Armed Forces.
When the military becomes a product of social engineering with the goal of changing a culture that is older than our country, the lives of Soldiers and the welfare of our nation is at stake. It is time for Congress to fulfill its role “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining” the military and “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers.” And they need to do it with the sole purpose of the military in mind. It is not too late to remove Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines from the social experimentation Petri dish and return them to a war fighting culture. Our Soldiers deserve military battle focused leadership whose undivided attention is committed to their primary mission of training Soldiers how to fight and survive minus the ramifications of edicts coming down from the mountain.
In 1980, I became an Army Drill Sergeant assigned to one of two Basic Combat Training battalions at Fort McClellan, Alabama. Fort McClellan was the former home of the Women’s Army Corps and then the current home of a Training Brigade with Military Police Corps One Station Unit Training (OSUT), the Chemical Corps School and two Basic Training Battalions. When I arrived at Fort McClellan, Major General Mary Clark was the training center commander. The first oddity I encountered was male Soldiers wearing their fatigue shirts outside their trousers. I never heard solid reasoning for that, but some said it was the hot climate and most of us assumed it was because in those days the female fatigue uniform differed from the male uniform and for them the shirt was worn out. I thought, like most, that MG Clark wanted male and female appearance to be the same. On the day of her change of command ceremony, the shirt-tails out policy changed but the Alabama heat mirage continued to rise from the hard top.
Drill Sergeant Candidates were called turtles by the qualified badge wearing Drill Sergeants. In those days, you were a Drill Sergeant Candidate until the Company’s First Sergeant cleared you for school. When I finished turtle time and returned from school, I inherited from a departing Drill Sergeant a platoon of females who were about to enter range week. It was a female platoon integrated into a company with male platoons. I would have this experience one other time with males and females in the same training company. The female platoons experienced more physical injuries than the male platoons. Recycles and Trainee Discharges were higher. Leg and pelvic stress fractures were common caused by females over striding to keep pace with males during road marches and carrying loads they were not physically equipped to carry. There were also the antics of boys and girls with raging hormones. We busted them in the fire escape stairwells, storage rooms, bathrooms and right in the platoon bay. This was a training distraction that spilled over into the training day. For me, this was the last cycles of integrated training because somewhere up the chain seasoned Soldiers decided it was not the best environment for basic combat training.
After that, I trained females in all female companies all of which outperformed the females integrated into a company with male Soldiers. Male Soldiers I trained also performed better in all male companies. Gender segregated training continued until I completed my Drill Sergeant tour and for some years after. By the time my son graduated basic training in the mid 90s at Fort Jackson, South Carolina his training platoon was integrated all the way down to squad level.
In 1997, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen of the Clinton administration commissioned the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender Integrated Training and Other Issues charged to assess initial entry training programs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. The final report submitted to the Secretary of Defense December 16, 1997 contained “recommendations on how to best train our Gender-integrated, all volunteer force to ensure it is disciplined, effective and ready.” I know my views may be considered Neanderthal or Cro-Magnon but recommendations from this committee for toughening standards for initial entry training (IET), having separate barracks for males and females during IET, keeping training segregated at and below platoon level, and having more female trainers to train and role model for female trainees, should have been taken. I guess these were not the politically correct culture shifting choices. Secretary Cohen didn’t like the findings so he commissioned another committee to provide him with the answers he wanted. He was a social engineer. It is just another example of political or ideological choices forcing leader time in directions other than their primary mission of training Soldiers. I wrote about this topic in an exchange with Stephanie Guttman while she was writing her book, The Kinder, Gentler Military: How Political Correctness Affects Our Ability to Win Wars. A portion of the essay appears in the book. It was also published on my website and garnered me some interesting email and comments. One snarky young sergeant asked me if I was afraid to say vagina. I asked him if that had a military nomenclature.
Over my years of Army service, I reckon I lost track of the many things required of leaders and Soldiers that added little or no value to their ability to fight and survive. Top down “mandatory” training subjects were and likely still are the bane of any leader’s existence, especially at the small unit level where war fighting skills are honed and skills beyond basic combat training are taught, learned, and reinforced.
The mandatory training subjects are just the tip of the iceberg detracting from the mission of training Soldiers. Soldiers deserve leaders that are battle focused. I have been away for awhile so I do not know if that remains a common Army concept. Battle focus means that leaders and the led are able to focus their time and energies perfecting the skills that enable them to accomplish the mission of defending our country and themselves. From the small unit perspective that means perfecting individual, team, squad, platoon and company level skills without which higher levels of military command cannot accomplish any mission. It is where the rubber meets the road – the most critical level of training for any military service. It is the foundation on which all else rests. It is a foundation that requires daily maintenance lest the remaining structure crumble.
Many of these training distractions emanate from implementing policies that come down from the mountain. Policies to which leaders must adhere and enforce adherence less all manner of lightning bolts and hail stones are hurled in their direction. Implementing and enforcing them cause leaders to focus upward toward the top of the mountain for blessing from people who breathe rarified air rather down in the valley where the Soldiers live.
Up until the early 1970s, pregnant females were honorably separated from service. After that, it became an option for them. It was my first experience with a policy that changed military culture. Whether you feel the policy was good or bad, it was certainly a cultural adjustment adding new leader responsibilities that did not enhance mission accomplishment.
For my first Army tour in Korea there was no female Soldiers stationed north of Seoul so I never saw a pregnant Soldier. My first experience with that was around 1973 and I would not have known then had someone not told me because the Soldier was wearing civilian maternity clothes. Maternity uniforms came later. I never gave it a second thought then, but I did when I was a unit First Sergeant stationed in Germany and unit readiness was my bread and butter. Lost to a unit for a year Pregnant Soldiers are not deployable. During my time, the non-deployable Soldier was carried against unit strength which means an able bodied replacement could not be assigned. The Army may have devised a method for dealing with that during the years since I left.
It was not just pregnancy, but the downstream issues that also affect unit readiness. In Germany, readiness tests were necessary and routine. When my phone rang in wee hours, the clock was already ticking to have my unit ready to roll out within a couple of hours. Personnel accounted for, weapons issued, vehicles loaded and staged and ready to roll. That is when single parents, mostly female but sometimes male, had problems that created a readiness headache. When we accounted for personnel, we also had to test single parent and dual member family-care plans. Who’s watching the kids while you head off to greet the Russians? Family care plans were too often no better than the paper they were recorded on. A broken family care plan meant a short-handed unit. Single parents could not enlist into the Army unless they relinquished legal custody of the children. First term Soldiers who become single parents couldn’t reenlist for the same reasons. As rules go, these were sometimes circumvented leaving leaders to deal with those problems as well. A single parent whose child was supposed to be in the custody of someone else would arrive in the unit with child. Convenience marriages often resulted in additional issues for leaders. By the time you add single parents to the list of non-deployable, unit readiness can degrade rather quickly. Additionally, leaders must dedicate time to resolving the single parent problems. This was always a readiness issue for support units, without which the tip of the spear cannot succeed. For a myriad of reasons, there will always be some non-deployable Soldiers, but rolling in pregnant Soldiers and the downstream issue of single parenting was a burden created by social engineering. It is a burden for leaders taking away their valuable time from mission training and readiness.