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 […]

I’m a let you finish

But Keydet Life is the greatest Comic of all time!   To be honest, I haven’t seen stuff this good since my time with the 2eme Bataillion de France.  Those dudes can draw cartoons, these remind me of those days.  Except for the fact that an entire class would face decimation had we run off to the Keys for five days during exams…wait.

Leadership Quiz

1. Does your plan require a Hero to make it work? A “Hero” is defined as one person, and one person only, whose action creates success. 2. Does your plan resemble the business plan presented by the Underpants Gnomes? 3. Does your plan require your competitor to play nicely? 4. Does your plan require critical thinking skills? If you answered yes to any or all of these, you have a future in our State Department, where Miracles exist, and America is always a loser! Not that you’ll ever know, once the internet is gone and you’ll only have MSNBC for […]