June 28, 2008

Two Sided Stories and The Morton Five Patrol Rule

Filed under: — Chap @ 7:52 pm

Now this is educational. I was all following the emotional line offered by this post, particularly since I read the blog in question every once in a while, and then I read the first couple of comments.

Perhaps things aren’t quite as advertised.

(After Mush Morton didn’t come back from a WWII submarine patrol, the force instituted a rule about sitting a guy’s butt in a desk after so much operational time to keep the guy from killing himself and his boat in a blaze of glory. It can be a useful, though difficult, rule.)

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:48 pm

Arty type takes kids’ art and builds mises en scene based on the kidpix. Veddy interesting. I particularly like the embroidery on the dresses on the two ladies (“princes twins”); it’s very little-kid style and I wonder why I’ve never seen something like that before.

-h/t b3ta-

June 27, 2008

Spin The Dart Board And Toss Another One

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:41 am

Huh. Detailer fu.

Place I thought I was going? Ain’t gonna happen. I started pulling the string–something seemed wrong about it, and indeed something was; the timing couldn’t work. I found out after I started following where the string went. Bad news sometimes requires a little digging to reveal.

So now I have some new options to ponder for the next job. Not much leeway, not much information on which to base a decision. One of the options is perfect for a guy like me: goes somewhere I wouldn’t mind being, doing something interesting, possible benefit that would match a long term personal goal. Problem is, it ain’t very dern close to Iraq or Afghanistan, or close to anything operational, and it’s not time for such a billet.

So instead I am looking at an unaccompanied billet in one of several locations, at least one of which really bothers me in terms of where it is, and still not exactly what I’m looking for.

I hope I’m skipping the cushy job for a dern good reason…

June 26, 2008

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:37 am

This is beautiful. I wish I were able to have seen it in person.

Ibn Khaldoun Might Have Liked Edward Gibbon’s Work

Filed under: — Chap @ 4:51 am

I like this quote in an article:

Ibn Khaldun sees the historical process as one of constant cyclical change, due mainly to the interaction of two groups, nomads and townspeople. These form the two poles of his mental map; peasants are in between, supplying the towns with food and tax revenue and taking handicrafts in return. Nomads are rough, savage and uncultured, and their presence is always inimical to civilization; however, they are hardy, frugal, uncorrupted in morals, freedom-loving and self-reliant, and so make excellent fighters. In addition, they have a strong sense of ‘asabiya, which can be translated as “group cohesion” or “social solidarity.” This greatly enhances their military potential. Towns, by contrast, are the seats of the crafts, the sciences, the arts, and culture. Yet luxury corrupts them, and as a result they become a liability to the state, like women and children who need to be protected. Solidarity is completely relaxed and the arts of defending oneself and of attacking the enemy are forgotten, so they are no match for conquering nomads.

June 25, 2008

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:11 pm

Swiped from FastNav, some poetry.

Alright. Swiped an example from her jewelry bag to get the right size. Now I need to find a ring shop that takes me seriously, despite my terrorist mutton-chops, baggy plaid shorts, and plain white tee. And no, I don’t speak a lick of Italian. This should be interesting.

It was.

Kaboom getting married?

Filed under: — Chap @ 4:42 am

Yeah, we tend to suck these days at buying new stuff.

Filed under: — Chap @ 4:12 am

Oh, and related to the last post. This.

Yup, it’s like that.

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:49 am

One could do worse than to go by these guidelines.

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:48 am

Back from a little short time off.

June 19, 2008

Filed under: — Chap @ 12:52 pm

The elegant thing to me about this experiment–not talking the politics, mind you–is the ability to “rewind“.

And Where Are The Golden Boy Officers?

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:43 am

Update: Dave says in the comments there’s improvement in the detailing. Good, but is it too little too late?

John’s right. This is important. As I read it, Army’s stating that jobs doing the wartime leadership job count as significant career enhancers and backing it up with policy that sounds hard to escape.

I have directed HRC [Human Resources Command] to award Centralized Selection List (CSL) Credit for LTCs serving specifically in the TT Commander positions that have direct leadership responsibility for a training/transition team. [This means the guys are getting effective credit for battalion command – a Big Deal]

Therefore, we are creating a new CSL sub-category called “Combat Arms Operations”. It will be open to all eligible officers in the Maneuver, Fires and Effects (MFE) branches and to Foreign Area Officers (FAO). It will fall under the Operations category and will be effective on the FY 10 CSL board which meets this September.

As a bridging strategy, for FY09 we will activate officers for these command positions from the alternate lists of all four major MFE command categories – Operations, Strategic Support, Training, and Installation. Officers accepting and who serve will be awarded CSL credit in the Operations category for serving as a Transition Team Commander. Additionally, if selected by the FY 10 CSL board, the officer may opt to command in the category they are selected after completion of their TT Command. Those that do command will receive credit for a second CSL command. If chosen, and they opt not to command, they will still receive credit for their TT command. [This is a REALLY big deal – multiple commands!]

But look at what Navy’s doing. We’re sending who we think we can afford to lose, much of the time, instead of who’s good. I’ve seen guys think it’s a get-well tour–mainly because they were told that by someone they trusted–and that becomes a disappointment at promotion time because those guys weren’t getting promoted. We’re sending non-screened guys to DLI and to Baghdad and to the ‘stan because they will do an IA; we’re sending JOs to IAs as soon as they move to the apartment at the shore tour location and they get out. The Navy guys doing the hard job in the only shooting war we’re fighting are guys who aren’t on the fast track–one of the readers here did a job that Army thinks is significant command, but Navy doesn’t and said guy is done in uniform. I got refused volunteer slots in a previous community because it was more important to fill (insert meaningless ‘job we’ve always done’ here) instead.

I’ve railed in my earlier career against the dumb practice of putting only guys we think are not-fast-track (and who we then don’t select and dump) in forward deployed, sensitive jobs that have more real world use than many of the jobs that historically go to fast track “obvious star potential” officers. This is more of that problem, magnified a little because we’re, you know, being shot at.

You get the people you pick. The force is shaped by who you pick. We’re by and large not picking guys who are actually doing the wartime job, save a few tokens with high visibility. Does this bother anyone out there?

New Hampshire Christening

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:26 am

Congratulations, Mike. If the name is who I think it is, he’s a good guy who survived some rough jobs and is now running the show here.

June 13, 2008

CDR Salamander, Call Your Office

Filed under: — Chap @ 5:47 am

Barry’s found an absolutely brilliant piece of work here. It sure sounds like my own organization at times.

On the other hand that might be the rule of organizations that says (where is this from?) that organizations often tend to act as if their worst enemies are running it…

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:42 am

I still think the electrical operator’s choice of “garden weasel”, unanimously hailed as the correct answer, is still pretty entertaining.

June 12, 2008

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:32 am

Pretty good rant here. It starts:

Two weeks ago the media was thrilled and alarmed by a film of a “lost” tribe of naked, painted Indians, living somewhere on the Brazil-Peru border and firing arrows at a helicopter flying overhead. Some reports claimed that this tribe was previously uncontacted by the modern world. But some anthropologists admitted that “this group is one of many in the Amazon that have chosen isolation.”

The fact that this tribe chose isolation did not stop the activists from the Brazilian government’s National Indian Foundation from distributing these films worldwide. They deliberately violated this tribe’s privacy because they wanted to use these Indians to prove that logging can be harmful to indigenous people.

Of course, the film shows no proof that loggers have violated this indigenous group’s privacy. It only shows proof that environmentalists violated their privacy. It also shows how much the natives appreciated their presence.

All You Community College Students Are Failures, Apparently

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:24 am

I’ve seen worse than this guy’s article, but link to point out the tone of the guy. He doesn’t talk much about the students who are succeeding. The ability to use education, and to a lesser extent certification, to change social status is a rather important part of America. Every example he uses at the end of the article to show the effect of literature is as a push in only one direction, and when I read it I see a writer who thinks of his students as not only dumb as rocks but also hopelessly unfeeling and lacking compassion.

It does suck that the professor has to teach people skills for which the student is clearly unready. If I were in the position described by the hapless professor, the first thing I’d do is establish an entering gate; failing that, an entering test to make it clear what a student will need to be able to do in order to succeed in his class so that the unready student realizes the world of hurt about to happen. Maybe the knowledge of the student is not the quality the professor likes. Maybe the professor is part of the problem too.

Fool With New Movie Coming Out Says Something Dumb

Filed under: — Chap @ 1:47 am

I knew this guy was a fool trolling for publicity but the obligatory apology “I’m sorry I said something that got me publicity” is lousy.

He said: “To be a soldier one needs that special gene, that extra something, that enables a person to jump into one on one combat, something, after all, that is unimaginable to most of us, as we are simply not brave enough.”

Furthermore he admitted: “I also talked flippantly about torture and our attitude towards it. I apologise.

“However it seems to me that embracing war means accepting its underbelly as well, torture and the unspeakable violence that spirals from the battlefield to its surroundings. You cannot be politically correct in a war. My flippant and irresponsible behaviour arises from a deep frustration at the fact that we seem to be continually making war, dreaming up new ones, instead of doing everything we can to avoid them. Again I apologise without reserve to anyone who has been insulted by my remarks.”

Everett’s father is a retired Army major and he said in his interview that “two of my forebears, maybe three, got VCs in Afghanistan.”

Not worth the time to fisk, but it is worth noting the guy’s complete ignorance of who we are and what we do for a living.

June 9, 2008

Filed under: — Chap @ 5:22 am

Lake Wobegon: where the proprietor is a clueless fool. (h/t Argghhh!, who has some issues with Keillor as well.)

Patriot Guard guys had the most brilliant anti-Westboro Baptist Church strategy so far. I used to love the weeks that the Rolling Thunder Revue came to town when I was in DC.

Filed under: — Chap @ 5:18 am

New Zealander goes against the stereotype and pushes back against his country’s pacifists. He remembers what pulling out of Vietnam meant…

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