Matriculation Day

Happy  Matriculation Day!   Unlike some of the group I am a firm believer that they need to re-integrate more adversarial interactions during the rat-line, it can still be professional.  And if a Shit Eating Third or dumb Second crosses the line, then give them con pro and a 10-6-30.  But it is the hardest school, that puts out the best products, VMI graduates are akin to Demascus Steel, continuously beaten on the anvil and hardened.

Black Sheep, White Wolf: What Is Liberty?

Before you read further, stop a moment and think of your definition of liberty. In the library of the Lincoln Cottage, also named Anderson House for the same man who commanded Fort Sumter, is a drawing of a black sheep, a shepherd and a white wolf. This illustrates a parable Lincoln gave to an audience in Baltimore. The question Lincoln wrestled with, and put to his audience is ‘what is liberty?’ “The shepherd,” he says, “drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as a liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same […]

The Civilian Army in Our Midst

Congress authorizes our end strength, and the Services do what they are told.  We haven’t had a strong voiced service Chief in the Army since Shinseki told Rumsfeld you couldn’t invade Iraq with a “whambam thank you ma’am” strategy.  Which is what they attempted to do. . .many issues followed the invasion to be discussed ad nauseum later. But I came across this article in the Wall Street Journal that talks about how the civilian DoD work force has just exploded in support of the military.  Yet our troop numbers are beginning to dwindle, and the guys that wear suits […]

Farnam: Things Are Looking Up [?]

Mr Farnam sends: Things are looking up! Friends on active duty told me this morning that certain officers and S/NCOs are now quietly carrying concealed on base, and off. No one is admitting it, of course, but some courageous commanders, at great personal risk, have taken it upon themselves to authorize the practice, albeit unofficially. Real warriors, of which there are still many, don’t like being sitting ducks in a shooting war, even when it is obvious that their CIC, and his gaggle of groveling yes-men, contemptuously consider them all cannon-fodder! “Spartans never ask how many the enemy be, only […]

The Return of the Hollow Force

As the youngest of us here on Op-For, I remain in service to Columbia. I signed that dotted line prior to my rat year at VMI, the War in Iraq was at its height, the surge going into full swing and there was an initiative from President Bush Called “Grow the Army.”  “Grow the Army” the Army reached a height of 570,000 Soldiers.  We all thought then, that all of us would be going to war.  Many of us have, yet most of us have not.  I would say we’re both lucky in different ways. There was an officer in […]

This Is Nothing New

This article is spot on; but it is not something new speaking from 39 years in Uniform, as a Retiree and as an Army Civilian.  When I was Commanding a Basic Training Company the Drill Sergeants came to me and asked me not to discharge a soldier.  He came to us weighting 240 lbs (this is 1977) he could barely do ten pushups, he struggled on his run, but the DS said he has grit and that he would make it. At the end of the cycle he still couldn’t pass the PT test but he had improved, he was down to […]

Maintaining the Standard-The Final Eight Fail

You know? For a significant amount of time I believed the Army would fail in this experiment.  How do I define failure?  Failure would be degrading the standards of the school in order for a female Soldier to pass.  I thought that bringing in and the eventual train up of female O/Cs told Ranger Training Brigade that they were on notice for their Army Values.  That the quality of leadership within this Army would continue to diminish.  No female Soldier passed Darby phase (8 recycled, they failed a second time). I could go on a rant about what I think […]

Goldwater-Nichols, an answer: What is law?

Thank you readers for your patience. Posting has been light due to a recent change of venue back to DC. Fortunately there is expiration date on this trip. I am taking far too much humor in watching these young, under-30 GS-15s go on a thunder-run in the mad belief they can drink old men under the table. Fortunately, after three drinks water resembles vodka, especially when you ask the bartender to put an olive in it. Maybe after their turn at Goldman-Sachs and a lobbying group, or their 25th birthday they’ll sort it out. But I digress. This is the third in a […]

April 9th 1865

He had not slept well the night before. A third or more of his Army had been captured by Federal Forces when they crossed the “T” as they pursued his beleaguered forces from Petersburg westward. Now he would attempt what he was famous for, maneuvering his forces away from Grant’s force. He envisioned a short battle that would permit him and the soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia to escape once again, to secure supplies, and link up with Joe Johnson and to continue the fight. Robert Edward Lee of Virginia rose as was his custom, trimmed his beard […]

The Road to War, Part One

Looking around the fluff pieces out there exhalting peace with Iran in our time, the question most asked is: ‘why Iran?’ Why not Kenya? Why not Nigeria, Uruguay or Fiji? Over 120 nations on this earth are worth America’s time and effort – so why Iran? Is it because Iran pledged repeatedly since 1979 to destroy America and Israel by any means possible? 120 nations would rather be our friend and business partner, but we side with Iran? A country that has spent time, money and considerable effort to murder Americans whenever and wherever possible. Why did Obama refused to help the […]