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 […]

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 […]

Hitching a Ride to Riot?

Is a riot simply a concentrated local disturbance, a brief violent outburst by folks who live in the same place under the same conditions and react as a body– or can at least once– to a grievance real or perceived? If so, what then is a riot when it attracts outsiders, what does it become? The data mining firm that found between 20 and 50 social media accounts in Baltimore linked to the violence in Ferguson, Mo. is now reporting a spike in message traffic in Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York City, with “protesters” trying to get rides to […]

War What Is It Good For? It Allows the Army to Fight With the National Guard and Once Again Lose.

Aviation Restructuring Initiative or ARI is the Army’s program to right size it aviation assets.  It involves the getting rid of the OH58, replacing the Trainer at Fort Rucker with Lakota’s (which were bought for the Guard by General Coty), taking the AH64s out of the Guard, and transferring UH60A (the earliest model and most expensive to operate) to the Army Guard.  In order to accomplish this the Army is separating 350 Warrants Officers who OH58 pilots, has began the process of removing the OH58s out the active day formation, begun moving Lakota’s from the Guard and moving them to Fort […]

Virginia Natl Guard Back to Roanoke?

Any Guardsmen out there care to help me? I knew that the Guard armory on Reserve Avenue got torn down when Victory Stadium got torn down, but for some reason I never guessed that the Guard presence in the Star City of the South– my home town– had disappeared. Roanoke needs to get her citizen-soldiers back.

Book Review of George Marshall: A Biography

Not sure if I shall bother reading this new biography of George Marshall, but here is a review of it in the New Republic.  Concluding paragraph says a lot about George Marshall the man: For a military man, Marshall’s heroism was peculiar. It did not arise from his conduct on the battlefield. It arose from his modesty, including “a modest daily schedule that often ended at three or four o’clock in the afternoon” and his avoidance “of lucrative corporate board memberships so commonly available to retired high military officers in our more avaricious times.” Most importantly, Marshall’s modesty flowed from […]

The Burden of War

Falleth not upon the Soldier, or Marine, or Sailor, or Airman.  But on the people who sent him to that beach without water.  Here‘s an interesting article by Sebastian Junger who has spent much of his journalistic career embedded among Soldiers to tell their story. The Soldier. . .is a tool.  When you hammer a nail as you build a bed frame, what take responsibility for it?  The hammer?  I would say no.  It must be the person hammering the nail.  To that effect, the Soldier is a tool, he should not bear the majority of the pain or blame […]

Colonel A.C. Volant ’88 Takes Command

Another fair specimen of a citizen-soldier! “Col. Adam C. Volant [L] takes command of the Fairfax-based Information Operations Support Center…” Congrats on the command and the recent promotion!  

When Will the Army Learn, When Will the Army Learn?

I am not surprised that it has come to this.  Having served in the Regular Army, the Army National Guard, and the United States Army Reserve I am well aware of the fear and loathing by the Regular Army and the Army National Guard towards each other. It is hardly a state secret that many Regular Army types do not care for the Reserve Components and in particular the Army National Guard.  For four years as a Department of the Army Civilian I had to listen to the Regular Army Colonel constantly put down the “fat National Guard and Reservists, […]

Stray Shots from Across the Net–Thursday Edition

Stray Shots From Around the Web.  I took three days of leave this week, I was suppose to go to Pennsylvania on some personnel business, however my wife’s mother is ill so instead I put her on an airplane.  So I have had time to wander the web so to speak in the morning and find some interesting articles as I drink coffee and eat breakfast while I take care of our eleven cats (yes I said eleven we are the crazy cat people at the end of the cul du sac)  and two dogs. Item 1:  Our USAF Missile […]