Critical Corrosion of American Military, Pt. 2

 

You really do not want a military whose leaders are actually divorced from or in open opposition to civilian culture. That is the way of the old Kemalist Turkish military, holding itself the guarantor of a Turkish society held perpetually to Ataturk’s vision. That is a bit of colonels periodically ejecting corrupt generals and their presidents for life in Latin America. That is entirely alien to our constitutional republic. Yet, it is dangerous for that same constitutional republic when a professional military elite is corroded by critical theory. “Critical Corrosion of American Military, Pt. 1,” sketched the shifts, over time, in policies and programs addressing ethnicity, sex, and sexual identity. Now we turn to the shaping of military leaders’ outlooks relative to their civilian counterparts.

Underlying Conditions

America was born with a deep suspicion of a standing army on our soil. An army, mind you, not a navy, air force, or space force. The navy depended on ports and yet could not project power by itself into the interior. True, starting with the Battle of Britain and the attack on Pearl Harbor, the long-range fires of naval and land-based airpower, including missiles, are devastating. Yet, they cannot march house to house and drag people away to prison camps. A brief review of our fundamental law, the words voted upon by the people in their several states, outlines both the feared danger and the attempt at risk management in an imperfect world.

Article I, Section 8:

The Congress shall have Power . . .

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

The two-year restriction on defense spending is only applicable to standing “Armies.” At the same time, the Framers knew the need for a small but effective Navy with naval infantry, as a means of protecting American trade from piracy and predatory foreign governments. For internal defense, the Framers thought it safer to have “the Militia,” who have to go back and live in their communities, “suppress Insurrections.” Recognizing a need for uniform standards of training and equipment, the new constitution gave Congress the power of setting standards, while leaving with the states the power to appoint officers and authority to train the Militia.

Article II, Section 2

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;

A civilian is the supreme commander of all armed forces under federal control. Referring back to Article I, the Army is always on a very short budget authorization string. Presidents were not given a large standing force that might be turned to dictatorship.

Amendment 2

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

The Constitution contemplated a ground force mostly of citizen soldiers, a militia. Infringing on the right of the people to possess and carry military-grade long guns (muskets and then rifles suitable for participation in the militia) would gut the ability of a state to maintain its security against insurrection and invasion.

Amendment 3

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

This goes back to one of the causes of the War for Independence. Our Army and Militia may not be used as an occupying force, moving into peoples’ homes without their consent. Even under the necessity of war, the Commander in Chief and his forces could not occupy Americans’ homes except, in accordance with laws passed by Congress.

From the Founding to the Cold War

A very small full-time officer corps

The American military had a cycle, repeated from 1775 to the dawn of the Cold War. We would build forces for war, then disband all but a tiny Regular Army officer corps. These officers would be given brevet ranks, temporary promotions, as needed during wars, large or small. When the war ended, officers would mostly revert to their last permanent rank.

This changed with Stalin fortifying Eastern Europe and the near loss of the Korean peninsula. After VJ Day, we were busy shoving equipment off docks in the Pacific. Why waste bunker oil steaming home with equipment destined for scrap? We had to scramble hard to equip and train forces to stop the Russian-backed North Korean communist army, supported by Russian jet fighter pilots. Yet, the Soviet Empire did collapse, and the Communist Chinese were in no position to step into the super-power arena in the 1990s, So, the collapse of the Evil Empire quite normally prompted calls in the early 1990s for a “peace dividend” and a significant downsizing of our standing army, air force, and navy. What changed was the size of the military-industrial establishment and its caucus in Congress.

Politics

Direct political involvement by serving senior officers did not start post-Cold War. Major General Leonard Wood, after whom an Army post is still named, openly criticized civilian policy and ran for the Republican presidential nomination before retiring. Wood gave America First speeches against the rise of the Reds. General Douglas MacArthur openly defied the Commander in Chief and, when relieved of command, came back with thoughts of turning this into a presidential run, as General George McClellan had done to Lincoln in 1864. Indeed, MacArthur wanted to run against FDR in 1944, but was crushed in the Republican nominating process, and was again in the mix in 1948. So, our history includes a handful of high-profile senior officers who became openly political while still in uniform.

The changing professional officer

Morris Janowitz was the first scholar to seriously study America’s military elite. He pried survey and demographic data out of the senior officers across the services, resulting in The Professional Soldier first being published in 1960. In this groundbreaking work, he laid out beliefs and attitudes of the top ranks. In this work, he raised the question of the era, whether we could build and sustain a force that would stop communism without all-out war. Some were pessimistic that our form of democracy could stand resolute in one confrontation after another, when there would be no big national recruiting drive, no “remember Pearl Harbor,” and no grand victory parade. Janowitz outlined a possible path to a “constabulary force,” while helping reassure Americans that our military was led by people who were not so different than their civilian counterparts.

Janowitz confirmed that those officers who attain the highest ranks tended to mirror the civilian elite in religious affiliation. In the 1950s that meant mostly mainline Protestant (Episcopalian, Presbyterian), with significantly fewer pietist (Baptist, Methodist, Church of Christ) or Catholic. Remember, this was the 1950s, before JFK had to pledge not to answer to the Pope if elected president.

At the same time, the military elite had reservations about businessmen’s motivations, placing profits over patriotism or self-interest over the national interest. There was a certain long-standing mutual disdain, as our captains of industry had long expressed dislike for military spending outside of wars, and a low opinion of the military mind. By the 1950s, the services all noted that they were no longer getting the sons of the civilian elite at the military academies. Instead, our professional officer corps was already rising from working-class or limited-college families.

Military elite engagement with politics

The geopolitical conditions were also changing, forcing reaction by the officer corps. We now had unbelievable power to destroy entire cities, even entire countries, and might do so in minutes or hours. To be a senior officer was to take on responsibility for managing violence at a level never before known. It was bad enough when the general staffs of Germany, France, Russia, and England possibly bungled their nations into World War I. If the American and Russian staffs managed to bungle the world into World War III, well, the possibilities were sobering. Accordingly, the military elite knew they had to be engaged in the political process, at least seeking to inform the debate. Nevertheless, they split between those who focussed on deterrence by the credible threat of winning and those who focussed on prevention through mitigation, including the full range of international actions short of all-out warfare between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

The military elite entered the Beltway brawl with an unfair advantage over their civilian agency counterparts. An Army officer, on graduating from college and being commissioned, took a basic officer course. Three years later, there was another course for captains. Then there was the course for majors. Finally, there was the capstone course, the senior service college, most prominently the Army War College. This leaves out all manner of shorter courses to introduce this or that technical or management skill. The State Department, CIA, and FBI have nothing of the sort to this very day. With larger standing forces, and with apparent basic organizational competence, the temptation was to call on the military to provide relief for domestic and international disasters, tasks well beyond war-fighting. While military officers might complain about missions other than all-out war, they also know their services need to remain relevant in the annual budget battle.

Credentialing and the civilian academy

At the same time, professional military officers were seeking more advanced civilian credentials to boost their perceived status. Masters degrees became almost required for advancement to consideration for flag ranks, generals, and admirals. Want to be a colonel? Have some sort of master’s degree or equivalent graduate certificate in your record when your file goes before the promotion board. Even the Army War College came to boast of its program being certified by a partner university, that grants AWC graduates a “Masters in Strategic Studies.” So, our military officer corps, from top to bottom, was entering through undergraduate programs that, even at the service academies, were conforming to the civilian academic credentialing systems. Desiring this linkage, this affirmation of broader status, meant creating a vulnerability to university administrative and departmental trends.

My own experience was as an officer who entered at the height of the Reagan buildup. My peers were busy talking load versus no-load mutual funds and getting that first house to turn into a rental property while serving elsewhere. This was different from our senior officers. Many of the best of my generation were happy to take the money and run into civilian employment when the big post Cold War reduction in forces hit. We were shaped by growing up in the 1970s and going to college in the early 1980s. We should not be surprised if the most recent cohorts of junior officers reflect the social and undergraduate environment of the past few years.

Senior officers have long recognized they had to be aware of the civilian environment and had to advocate for their institution in that context. So, we should not be too surprised that the current cohort of senior military leaders have learned to reflect the current elite views. If you would have them do otherwise, how would that look in the context of our constitutional system?

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  1. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    What I like about this post is it isn’t trying to win any friends with reassurance. It serves up the truth–as an experienced US military officer sees it–whether we like it or not. That doesn’t automatically make it true, of course. Sure, trust but verify. But if CAB is right, we’re heading towards constitutional issues we haven’t seen in decades, maybe in centuries. 

    • #1
  2. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    The fundamental element of government is to enforce  its edicts. That is why citizen control of government is so important. When power is not dispersed it always yields a heavy hand. And the iron in the fist is ultimately the military. And I don’t think that there is a veteran alive that doesn’t appreciate the risk of tyranny if the military loses its broad citizen-responsive orientation  

     

    • #2
  3. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Rodin (View Comment):

    The fundamental element of government is to enforce its edicts. That is why citizen control of government is so important. When power is not dispersed it always yields a heavy hand. And the iron in the fist is ultimately the military. And I don’t think that there is a veteran alive that doesn’t appreciate the risk of tyranny if the military loses its broad citizen-responsive orientation

     

    Even the ‘civilian’ can see the writing on the wall that these are not normal times:

    The ‘stand down’ earlier this year while our soldiers are social-justice screened.

    The troops in DC (are they still there?), how many and why?

    Attempting to turn DC into the next state

    The latest CIA recruitment video (what the h???)

    There are other examples of changes and it doesn’t make one feel more secure.  Also there is very little coverage of what is happening in Donbass – Ukraine right now…..

     

    • #3
  4. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Clifford A. Brown: Senior officers have long recognized they had to be aware of the civilian environment and had to advocate for their institution in that context. So, we should not be too surprised that the current cohort of senior military leaders have learned to reflect the current elite views. If you would have them do otherwise, how would that look in the context of our constitutional system?

    An excellent piece. I recommend it strongly for promotion to the Main Feed.

    That being said, you pose several thorny problems here, and each one deserves its own thread. I’ll address one briefly, then a second in more detail. First; “the current cohort of senior military leaders have learned to reflect the current elite views.” This results in these very same senior leaders being unfit to serve, since the current elite views are uniformly Postmodern in their philosophical foundation. Such leaders cannot faithfully and honorably execute duties in service to values they don’t actually believe in.

    Second: “if you would have them do otherwise, how would that look in the context of our constitutional system?” Bottom line up front: restore the proper Constitutional organizational structures of the US military, specifically a small and tightly constrained Regular Army, supported by a foundational reserve component, redesigned to include both auxiliary forces (National Guard) and true state-based militia. Included in this would be a return to restricted permanent commissioned officer ranks, with Colonel (O6) being the highest permanent rank an officer can attain in the Regular Army. All General Officers would be Reserve Component, holding the rank of Brigadier through full General as temporary, pending retirement (whereupon they would retire at pay grade of O6.) Furthermore, no retired officer would be permitted to serve in any paid capacity above their retired military pay in any defense industry engaged in commerce with any Department of Defense agencies for at least five years post-retirement.

    One of the many lessons learned from the Long War, particularly from the experience of the Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) theater, is that the combat power projection capability of the US Army (and to a certain extent, the USMC) is limited by strategic sealift capacity. The Regular Army really ought not be any larger than that which can be deployed to meet overseas combat demands within existing strategic sealift capabilities within a set base-line period of time, 120-180 days for example. If deploying a Regular Army combat unit requires between 120-180 days (a number supported by experience), a comparable National Guard combat unit can be brought up to combat readiness during that period of time, at a fraction of the sustained cost of maintaining a comparably-sized Regular Army unit. The time to deploy and sustain combat forces by strategic sealift (allowing for one air-deliverable division) ought to be the real limiting factor to the size of the Regular Army. Outside of that, all other combat power could be National Guard.

    • #4
  5. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Thanks, Clifford, that was really insightful.  I especially like your observation that the FBI, CIA and the state department don’t have the educational opportunities and credentials that all senior military officers have.  I hadn’t noticed that before.

    • #5
  6. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    The Regular Army really ought not be any larger than that which can be deployed to meet overseas combat demands within existing strategic sealift capabilities within a set base-line period of time, 120-180 days for example. If deploying a Regular Army combat unit requires between 120-180 days (a number supported by experience), a comparable National Guard combat unit can be brought up to combat readiness during that period of time, at a fraction of the sustained cost of maintaining a comparably-sized Regular Army unit.

    I don’t think I can agree with that restriction, at least as stated.  Not all threats require ships.  Mexico is always an iffy neighbor.  Who knows about Canada’s future?  (Just kidding.). But the thing about ships is that they can come back quickly for second or third trips.  Also,  prestaging equipment is a very successful way to deploy an army.  The Marines have been doing that for 30 years, the army choosing to use high speed ships instead.  

    As a reservist for 12 years, my very strong impression is that the reserves are very capable as units that can be relied on to be ready to go after a three to six month work up. 

    • #6
  7. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Skyler (View Comment):
    As a reservist for 12 years, my very strong impression is that the reserves are very capable as units that can be relied on to be ready to go after a three to six month work up.

    I suspect that you and I are closer in agreement than otherwise. The 120-180 day window includes time for multiple turns of vessels. That’s four to six months (train-up time to get reserve units up-to-speed). Also, I agree 100% with the USMC concept for prepositioning of equipment. But theatre level logistic support is an Army tasking, on behalf of all services. That comes from the same total availability of sealift. 

    I won’t quibble that my post doesn’t reflect the best specific mix of AC vs. RC force structure. There’s only so much I can say in 500 words, and I may not have said it well. What I am saying is that the current force isn’t right, and the problems start at the senior leader levels.

    • #7
  8. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    What I am saying is that the current force isn’t right, and the problems start at the senior leader levels.

    It’s never “right” because there’s no way to tell.  I guess in the end all we can do is make a good guess.

    The USMC is doing it wrong right now, abandoning tanks and planning on using only 75 Marines to defend entire island chains.  It’s like they don’t even remember how hard it was to fight on those islands 70 years ago.

    • #8
  9. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    When I was a 2nd Lt, the exec officer asked if I was enrolled in a Masters Degree program, yet. I said I already had a Masters, that I got mine before I entered the military.  He then advised me to get a PhD then. I told him I would not because it would make me overqualified to return to secondary teaching. So he advised me to get a second Masters to “show initiative.”  I ignored him and showed initiative by mastering my career field.

    re small standing army and National Guard…that works in theory; however, what has happened in reality after much was transferred into the National Guard, was the many foreign engagements and an inadequate active military to meet it leading to mobilization of guard units. It is one thing to do that for emergencies, but another to make it a continuous way to meet mission expansion. People forget guard members have other jobs. Being deployed every year takes its toll on employer and employee. Often, the guard soldier takes a cut in pay while deployed. Imagine having your doctor gone six weeks every year or a key mechanic gone for a year.

    Military PME (professional military education) can be quite rigorous, especially since one must also deploy, work long hours, and even move while enrolled unless a unit will release you to attend in residence. I attended Squadron Officer’s School in residence. PME in residence includes physical activities as well as academic. I did Air Command and Staff College by correspondence, which has its own challenges. You have no classmates to study with when preparing for the tests. It worked for me. I took a foot high stack of books with me to Saudi and studied them the three months I was there. For Air War College, I did the year-long seminar at Barksdale AFB. About ten of us met weekly in the 8th AF conference room in my building to discuss each lesson. That was the room where Bush made his TV statement on 9/11. 

    • #9
  10. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Rodin (View Comment):

    The fundamental element of government is to enforce its edicts. That is why citizen control of government is so important. When power is not dispersed it always yields a heavy hand. And the iron in the fist is ultimately the military. And I don’t think that there is a veteran alive that doesn’t appreciate the risk of tyranny if the military loses its broad citizen-responsive orientation

     

    Yes, which would seem to include being responsive when the civilian population, when the culture is shifting left, or progressive, or woke. 

    • #10
  11. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    EHerring (View Comment):

    When I was a 2nd Lt, the exec officer asked if I was enrolled in a Masters Degree program, yet. I said I already had a Masters, that I got mine before I entered the military. He then advised me to get a PhD then. I told him I would not because it would make me overqualified to return to secondary teaching. So he advised me to get a second Masters to “show initiative.” I ignored him and showed initiative by mastering my career field.

    re small standing army and National Guard…that works in theory; however, what has happened in reality after much was transferred into the National Guard, was the many foreign engagements and an inadequate active military to meet it leading to mobilization of guard units. It is one thing to do that for emergencies, but another to make it a continuous way to meet mission expansion. People forget guard members have other jobs. Being deployed every year takes its toll on employer and employee. Often, the guard soldier takes a cut in pay while deployed. Imagine having your doctor gone six weeks every year or a key mechanic gone for a year.

    Military PME (professional military education) can be quite rigorous, especially since one must also deploy, work long hours, and even move while enrolled unless a unit will release you to attend in residence. I attended Squadron Officer’s School in residence. PME in residence includes physical activities as well as academic. I did Air Command and Staff College by correspondence, which has its own challenges. You have no classmates to study with when preparing for the tests. It worked for me. I took a foot high stack of books with me to Saudi and studied them the three months I was there. For Air War College, I did the year-long seminar at Barksdale AFB. About ten of us met weekly in the 8th AF conference room in my building to discuss each lesson. That was the room where Bush made his TV statement on 9/11.

    Great points. The Guard and Reserve problem over the past 20 years was recognized almost at the outset, with Reserve leaders trying to push a 5 year cycle to limit the employers and families exposure to loss of employee/family member to a predictable period. This did not work well, for several reasons that go to much more than a comment. At the most basic level, there were some kinds of units that were so “low density,” so few in number, that the unit “spin rate” was around 2.5 years.

    • #11
  12. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Senior officers have long recognized they had to be aware of the civilian environment and had to advocate for their institution in that context. So, we should not be too surprised that the current cohort of senior military leaders have learned to reflect the current elite views. If you would have them do otherwise, how would that look in the context of our constitutional system?

    An excellent piece. I recommend it strongly for promotion to the Main Feed.

    That being said, you pose several thorny problems here, and each one deserves its own thread. I’ll address one briefly, then a second in more detail. First; “the current cohort of senior military leaders have learned to reflect the current elite views.” This results in these very same senior leaders being unfit to serve, since the current elite views are uniformly Postmodern in their philosophical foundation. Such leaders cannot faithfully and honorably execute duties in service to values they don’t actually believe in.

    Second: “if you would have them do otherwise, how would that look in the context of our constitutional system?” Bottom line up front: restore the proper Constitutional organizational structures of the US military, specifically a small and tightly constrained Regular Army, supported by a foundational reserve component, redesigned to include both auxiliary forces (National Guard) and true state-based militia. Included in this would be a return to restricted permanent commissioned officer ranks, with Colonel (O6) being the highest permanent rank an officer can attain in the Regular Army. All General Officers would be Reserve Component, holding the rank of Brigadier through full General as temporary, pending retirement (whereupon they would retire at pay grade of O6.) Furthermore, no retired officer would be permitted to serve in any paid capacity above their retired military pay in any defense industry engaged in commerce with any Department of Defense agencies for at least five years post-retirement.

    One of the many lessons learned from the Long War, particularly from the experience of the Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) theater, is that the combat power projection capability of the US Army (and to a certain extent, the USMC) is limited by strategic sealift capacity. The Regular Army really ought not be any larger than that which can be deployed to meet overseas combat demands within existing strategic sealift capabilities within a set base-line period of time, 120-180 days for example. If deploying a Regular Army combat unit requires between 120-180 days (a number supported by experience), a comparable National Guard combat unit can be brought up to combat readiness during that period of time, at a fraction of the sustained cost of maintaining a comparably-sized Regular Army unit. The time to deploy and sustain combat forces by strategic sealift (allowing for one air-deliverable division) ought to be the real limiting factor to the size of the Regular Army. Outside of that, all other combat power could be National Guard.

    Thanks for the detailed comment. This could easily be the core of a “what are the viable solutions” post. Of course, the Regular Army was staged forward in West Germany and in Korea for many decades. Equipment sets for reinforcing/follow-on units were maintained in massive warehouses/marshaling yards in Europe for the next big war that did not come in Europe, while other equipment sets were placed in Korea and Japan.

    • #12
  13. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    In my Air Force magazine, the Almanac issue, I can see the distribution of assets to active, reserve, and guard units. The guard is being used more and more like a reserve force.

     

    • #13
  14. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    What I am saying is that the current force isn’t right, and the problems start at the senior leader levels.

    It’s never “right” because there’s no way to tell. I guess in the end all we can do is make a good guess.

    The USMC is doing it wrong right now, abandoning tanks and planning on using only 75 Marines to defend entire island chains. It’s like they don’t even remember how hard it was to fight on those islands 70 years ago.

    Despite all the smart folks analyzing future needs, I bet we will still fight wars where tanks are needed, still need and use aircraft carriers, and still fly missions where manned aircraft must be used instead of UAVs.

    • #14
  15. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    EHerring (View Comment):

    In my Air Force magazine, the Almanac issue, I can see the distribution of assets to active, reserve, and guard units. The guard is being used more and more like a reserve force.

     

    More precisely, the Guard and Reserves have been shifted from strategic to operational reserve, without Congress ever really saying a peep.

    • #15
  16. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Great post Clifford.  As obnoxious as some of the “ring knockers” were (and I’m speaking from my experience back in the 60s), I never doubted their loyalty to the nation and to their profession (even when they were berated on a daily basis by LBJ and and his minions).

    Now, when I look at folks like General Mark Milley (especially his speech at Howard University a couple of days ago), I just shake my head and ask, “What happened to you, man?”

    • #16
  17. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    In my Air Force magazine, the Almanac issue, I can see the distribution of assets to active, reserve, and guard units. The guard is being used more and more like a reserve force.

     

    More precisely, the Guard and Reserves have been shifted from strategic to operational reserve, without Congress ever really saying a peep.

    With so few members of Congress having had military experience, I suspect that many of them don’t know the difference between strategic and opertional.  And, I believe there are more than a few that just don’t care.  It’s all about the social programs.

    • #17
  18. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    What I am saying is that the current force isn’t right, and the problems start at the senior leader levels.

    It’s never “right” because there’s no way to tell. I guess in the end all we can do is make a good guess.

    The USMC is doing it wrong right now, abandoning tanks and planning on using only 75 Marines to defend entire island chains. It’s like they don’t even remember how hard it was to fight on those islands 70 years ago.

    To me, that was a very curious move.  I suppose that it was mainly because of fiscal reasons, but going into battle without armor is really questionable.  As I recall reading, the Marines had only 23 tanks at Iwo Jima but the eight that were fitted with flame-throwers were invaluable.

    • #18
  19. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Great post Clifford. As obnoxious as some of the “ring knockers” were (and I’m speaking from my experience back in the 60s), I never doubted their loyalty to the nation and to their profession (even when they were berated on a daily basis by LBJ and and his minions).

    Now, when I look at folks like General Mark Milley (especially his speech at Howard University a couple of days ago), I just shake my head and ask, “What happened to you, man?”

    In my search to see what Milley might have said at Howard, I found a video of him saying that the motto of the US Army is “This we will defend” has been in place since 1775, and that the “This” was the Constitution.  

    Does he not know any basic history?  Doesn’t he know that there was no Constitution in 1775?  Or even a declaration of independence yet?  Such silly errors make me think he is not a very serious man, or he expects us not to be very smart.

    • #19
  20. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Skyler (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Great post Clifford. As obnoxious as some of the “ring knockers” were (and I’m speaking from my experience back in the 60s), I never doubted their loyalty to the nation and to their profession (even when they were berated on a daily basis by LBJ and and his minions).

    Now, when I look at folks like General Mark Milley (especially his speech at Howard University a couple of days ago), I just shake my head and ask, “What happened to you, man?”

    In my search to see what Milley might have said at Howard, I found a video of him saying that the motto of the US Army is “This we will defend” has been in place since 1775, and that the “This” was the Constitution.

    Does he not know any basic history? Doesn’t he know that there was no Constitution in 1775? Or even a declaration of independence yet? Such silly errors make me think he is not a very serious man, or he expects us not to be very smart.

    His comment might be based not on dates, but the oath we all took, to support and defend the Constitution….

    • #20
  21. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Great post Clifford. As obnoxious as some of the “ring knockers” were (and I’m speaking from my experience back in the 60s), I never doubted their loyalty to the nation and to their profession (even when they were berated on a daily basis by LBJ and and his minions).

    Now, when I look at folks like General Mark Milley (especially his speech at Howard University a couple of days ago), I just shake my head and ask, “What happened to you, man?”

    In my search to see what Milley might have said at Howard, I found a video of him saying that the motto of the US Army is “This we will defend” has been in place since 1775, and that the “This” was the Constitution.

    Does he not know any basic history? Doesn’t he know that there was no Constitution in 1775? Or even a declaration of independence yet? Such silly errors make me think he is not a very serious man, or he expects us not to be very smart.

    His comment might be based not on dates, but the oath we all took, to support and defend the Constitution….

    No, he was pretty specific.

    • #21
  22. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    I watched some prime time Tv this week, and was shocked to discover that in certain areas, Domino’s has smart vehicles taht can deliver your pizza for you.

    So in  a matter o months, our government can put forth a  fleet of car-drones that can do everything you mentioned with such disgust as being beyond the military powers: ” Yet, they (that is the air power and naval power with their missels) cannot march house to house and drag people away to prison camps.

    No need to have any service people dirtying their consciences by such a thing. If Domino’s can get someone a pizza in thirty minutes or less, without a human being driving, handing over the dinner, or giving back change,  then the government deciding to detain  any scofflaws who have been holdi9ng on to their assault rifles or holding out on being vaxxed, might purchase their own fleet of smart cars.

    • #22
  23. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Duplicate

     

    • #23
  24. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Skyler (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Great post Clifford. As obnoxious as some of the “ring knockers” were (and I’m speaking from my experience back in the 60s), I never doubted their loyalty to the nation and to their profession (even when they were berated on a daily basis by LBJ and and his minions).

    Now, when I look at folks like General Mark Milley (especially his speech at Howard University a couple of days ago), I just shake my head and ask, “What happened to you, man?”

    In my search to see what Milley might have said at Howard, I found a video of him saying that the motto of the US Army is “This we will defend” has been in place since 1775, and that the “This” was the Constitution.

    Does he not know any basic history? Doesn’t he know that there was no Constitution in 1775? Or even a declaration of independence yet? Such silly errors make me think he is not a very serious man, or he expects us not to be very smart.

    His comment might be based not on dates, but the oath we all took, to support and defend the Constitution….

    No, he was pretty specific.

    Yeah, and his comment that, “It is your generation that can and will bring the joint force to be truly inclusive of all people” also made me wonder.  Fool that I am, I thought that we had been pretty d*mn inclusive for the last 60 years or so.

    • #24
  25. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    The fundamental element of government is to enforce its edicts. That is why citizen control of government is so important. When power is not dispersed it always yields a heavy hand. And the iron in the fist is ultimately the military. And I don’t think that there is a veteran alive that doesn’t appreciate the risk of tyranny if the military loses its broad citizen-responsive orientation

     

    Yes, which would seem to include being responsive when the civilian population, when the culture is shifting left, or progressive, or woke.

    But are they? Yes the cultural institutions captured by the are woke, but are the citizens to whom the military should be responsive actually moving left? 

    • #25
  26. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Great post Clifford. As obnoxious as some of the “ring knockers” were (and I’m speaking from my experience back in the 60s), I never doubted their loyalty to the nation and to their profession (even when they were berated on a daily basis by LBJ and and his minions).

    Now, when I look at folks like General Mark Milley (especially his speech at Howard University a couple of days ago), I just shake my head and ask, “What happened to you, man?”

    In my search to see what Milley might have said at Howard, I found a video of him saying that the motto of the US Army is “This we will defend” has been in place since 1775, and that the “This” was the Constitution.

    Does he not know any basic history? Doesn’t he know that there was no Constitution in 1775? Or even a declaration of independence yet? Such silly errors make me think he is not a very serious man, or he expects us not to be very smart.

    His comment might be based not on dates, but the oath we all took, to support and defend the Constitution….

    No, he was pretty specific.

    Yeah, and his comment that, “It is your generation that can and will bring the joint force to be truly inclusive of all people” also made me wonder. Fool that I am, I thought that we had been pretty d*mn inclusive for the last 60 years or so.

    It’s amazing the fools among general officers nowadays.  

    • #26
  27. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    City Journal got its hands on a Disney document pushing, forcing the whole BLM Marxist agenda on employees. The cancer is overwhelming the country. Resist and you will be punished. Disneyworld is dead to me. 

    • #27
  28. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    EHerring (View Comment):

    City Journal got its hands on a Disney document pushing, forcing the whole BLM Marxist agenda on employees. The cancer is overwhelming the country. Resist and you will be punished. Disney Disneyworld is dead to me.

    FIFY  

     

    • #28
  29. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Rodin (View Comment):

    EHerring (View Comment):

    City Journal got its hands on a Disney document pushing, forcing the whole BLM Marxist agenda on employees. The cancer is overwhelming the country. Resist and you will be punished. Disney Disneyworld is dead to me.

    FIFY

     

    After “the Dark Prince” died and after his brother ceased running Disney it was understandable that there would be some updating with the new Mouseketteers and the new waive of animated films. But those ones in the 1980’s and 90’s still kept the same cultural references. Now it’s just corporate woke junk.

    • #29
  30. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Great points. The Guard and Reserve problem over the past 20 years was recognized almost at the outset, with Reserve leaders trying to push a 5 year cycle to limit the employers and families exposure to loss of employee/family member to a predictable period. This did not work well, for several reasons that go too much more than a comment. At the most basic level, there were some kinds of units that were so “low density,” so few in number, that the unit “spin rate” was around 2.5 years.

    This would suggest that there ought to be higher numbers of such RC units authorized, rather than allowing a “spin rate” of 2.5 years. However, pointing this out means simultaneously pointing out that the Regular Army has full control over the force design and AC/RC structure decisions. So, if there are too few combat enabler units in the reserve components to support the op-tempo demand, churning them through at an unsustainable rate is an indicator of strategic leader failure.  Again, I think this is further evidence of systematic failure by the “professional” senior leadership corps.

    In order to be competitive for selection to flag rank, an officer is expected to have a duty assignment at the Department of the Army (a “Pentagon tour”) and an assignment to a “Joint Command” (either at the Pentagon, but also available at one of the unified Combatant Command headquarters, like Europe Command, Pacific Command, etc.) Given the importance of the Reserve Components, and their significance to the US’s total war fighting capability, I suggest it would be much more important for officers’ professional development to have to do two duty assignments in the Reserve Components over the course of their career: one as a company grade officer, and one as a field grade. Not in an “Active Guard-Reserve” (AGR) billet, but as an honest-to-goodness “drilling reservist.” Learn what it takes to manage two careers at once, especially having to meet the Active Components’ training and performance standards.  It seems to me that this would be much better preparation for being a General Officer than current pathways.

    • #30