“War is hell.” –General William Tecumseh Sherman
“Ain’t it?” –Disrepectful, junior military officer
In modern warfare, lesser officers increasingly fail to pay proper homage to the senior officers burdened by the heavy responsibility of command. Such insubordination undermines authority, creates dissent, compromises unit integrity and combat effectiveness, and ultimately costs lives.
Take the recently circulated email immediately below; a picture of the rampant insolence destroying our military today and undermining the mission in Afghanistan:
No matter how hard you try, some people are going to be inconsiderate, rude, and impolite. And when they are, today’s leader must take swift and decisive action to correct the situation and save lives.
The necessary training was delivered with this overdue and stinging rebuke:
Imagine the danger that the first email exposed our troops to during the two hours in which there was no return of fire. As crazy as this sounds, this is only symptomatic of the problems created by the restrictive Escalation of Force procedures imposed by slow internet access that limit our troops on the field of battle.
“Thank you, sir. May I have another?”
RTE Red is BLACK from RTE Maroon to RTE Green until further notice.
With instructions like these, no wonder we keep the insurgents confused. It also has the added benefit of keeping the officers busy. . .
Just about anyone that uses a computer can relate to this Dilbert comic strip, but it is especially valid in the military where plagiarism isn’t just authorized–it is a survival skill:
A Canadian General Officer reported to NTM-A and rejected Powerpoint; he demanded that it not be used and didn’t want to see it. Within a couple short weeks, the “2-maple leaf” had submitted to the force and is now known as the creator of some of the worst powerpoint presentations!
After 30 days at NTM-A, anyone suffering a paper cut is qualified for the Powerpoint Ranger Tab. Canadians don’t wear the tab, but a special exception is in order.
Dilbert only needs 2 or 3 more people in his cubicle and it would resemble NTM-A.
I attended my first ‘big shots’ meeting recently. I say ‘big shots’ because the Commanding General of NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan was in attendance (a 3-star general), two 2-stars, seven 1-stars, plus over 20 Colonels and another 20 Lieutenant Colonels. The generator that supplied the meeting room was down for repair. The back-up power source could not support the air conditioner so the windows were open. It was a little warm but the weather was beautiful.
After about 30 minutes, a sewer truck outside the meeting room began pumping sewage to haul off Camp Eggers. The sewage pumping process is not exactly a hermetically sealed evolution. So, what do senior officers do? Press on while the less senior ones shut the windows. We finished the meeting in a smelly, 90+ degree room, 1-1/2 hours later. Just another day in a war zone.