Re: The new face of war [OT]
- From: "Bruce S" <bruce.snell@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2011 15:58:10 -0800
Lone Haranguer wrote:
The generals are always ready to fight the last war. To an extent we
have become the "Red Coats". The good news is that it looks like
they're starting to recognize that.
It's because in our traditional military, ideas are weighted by which
rank submits them. Lower ranks have no authority to act on new ideas
or correcting obsolete rules but can only pass suggestions up the
chain of command until someone with sufficient rank adopts the new
idea or suggestion.
I still chuckle when I recall the experience of my first maneuvers
with the Army in Germany. Regulations requested after action reports
by participants so I made up a list of all the screw-ups in planning
and execution I had encountered. It ran to 7 single-spaced pages.
My boss (a Lt. Col) wouldn't put his name on it but did send it up
the chain of command to the 7th Army Staff Weather Officer, a bird
colonel based in Stuttgart. So one day he flies into Grafenwohr in
his U3A (I forget the Army designation-a twin engine Cessna) and
wants to see me. I'm a lowly E-5. We head for the coffee shop where
he tells me that my recommendations will go nowhere because of my
rank but if he forwards it, some of the problems might be eliminated.
I told him I had no interest in scoring points, I just didn't want to
face the same problems the next time I went on maneuvers. We shook
hands, he climbed into his aircraft and took off.
With his name on the report, the items showed up on the official
critique and various people were tasked to see that they didn't
I'm sure a lot of people who served in the military had a similar
Reminds me of an old saying, "There is no limit to what you can accomplish
if you don't care who gets the credit." Served me well to keep that in mind
while I worked for the government.
"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first
things to be bought and sold are legislators." - P. J. O'Rourke
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