DoD’s new rules for the Media

Many people have forgotten how open the US military has been to war reporters and photographers, even when those people have been openly hostile to the military and its mission. Bryan Whitman, deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, said in a C-SPAN interview this morning that he believes reporters should be allowed extensive access to military operations because they’ll cover what he likes to call “the good, the bad and the ugly.” “They’ll see the goodness with which our troops carry out their missions. Our troops are human though, too, and they’ll make mistakes, and I believe that […]

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 […]

Goldwater-Nichols, an answer: the Roles for Organizations

The is the second in a series of responses to Townie’s post “More Thoughts on Goldwater-Nichols 1986.” Earlier, I posted a response concerning the questions on the roles of people. Before we begin this response, let’s recap the definition of role: “Role” is the discrete responsibility that can only be performed by the person assigned that role. If you have to get the kids to football practice, your role is “Driver.” Organizations have roles that are equally discrete. An infantry company (Army or Marine) has the role of destroying the enemy through dismounted firepower and movement (maneuver). That’s it. An infantry […]

Goldwater-Nichols, an answer: the Roles for People

This is the first in a series of posts answering Townie’s excellent post “More Thoughts on Goldwater-Nichols 1986.” Looking at the list of Townie’s questions, they can be broken down into three areas: What is the proper roles for people? What are the proper roles for organizations? Are the legal authorities correct for this new era? This post will look at the first question by examing three of Townie’s questions: As currently defined, is the role of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff too broad, narrow, or just right (see 10 USC 153)? Upon assuming the role of the Chairman […]

Social Justice Warriors and VMI

Social Justice Warriors, or SJW in the common vernacular, have been at VMI for a long time because of VMI’s quintessence. Social justice is defined as “…justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.” The term social justice began in the 1840s as an entry argument made by the Roman Catholic Church into the culture wars between unhinged capitalism and equally unhinged socialism. That Social Justice, the one developed by Fathers Luigi Taparelli, SJ, and Antonio Rosmini-Serbati, IC, isn’t found in America. Instead we have to deal with Thomas Pogge’s version: Thomas Pogge’s arguments pertain […]

Wanted: an ethical construct for today’s military leaders

Here on Op-For, whenever the subject of leadership comes up, we applaud those leaders who are technically capable of 1) leading; and 2) not jumping into scandal and disrepute. The technical skills we get. Personality types we get. But what causes so much of our discussion is the absence of ethics demonstrated by the subjects of our posts. The germ for this post was the observation ‘we are removing virtue as demonstrated by ethics form our armed forces – the same thing the Nazis and Communists did to create terribly efficient, vastly indifferent soldiers who murdered on orders, on initiative, and for fun;’ and […]

Should We Be Warriors or, should we be Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and Marines?

Over at the King of War (a blog I highly recommend) there is a discourse on the use of the term Warrior by the individual services to describe the their men and women in uniform.  The author wonders if this is right and proper (he is British). I too have wondered and worried about the use of the term warrior.  Does it somehow sets those further apart from the society they defend?  Does this term create the notion of a caste?  These are worthy question which should be given serious though, but as pointed out in one of the comments, […]

Draftee Retires After Forty-Two Years

This is a great story. We salute you, sir. Well done.

A Man worth Following

Yesterday Senator James Webb announced an exploratory bid for the presidency.  I honestly never thought of him as a Candidate for the job.  The reality is that the bench on the Democratic side is extraordinarily slim.  The Republicans have a few guys I’d take a look at.  Many of you might recall him as the combat boot wearing candidate who ran for the Virginia Senate seat.  Although it was in solidarity of his son who was deployed at the time.  Webb, a Marine, is a Combat Veteran of Vietnam who was award for conspicuous gallantry on numerous occasions, an accomplished […]

November 4th: a day of privilege

Tuesday, November 4th is the day America corporately chooses its political leaders. Elections are bloody, outrageous, angering, bewildering contests of philosophy: political, social, and financial modes of thought and action that may or may not serve you best. Serving you, and by extension your community and nation is what the politicians swear (or affirm) to do, and every day they serve is a day in which they must perform. Elections are Performance Reviews in which you decide if the incumbent has satisfactorily served, or if new ideas are needed to invigorate your situation. Your vote does have an impact – political parties […]