Friday, April 04, 2008


Fantastic milblog
discovered this evening. Lt.G has a writing career ahead of him when his gig is up. I haven't scoured enough of his back-story yet (he's only been at it since November, so I should be able to get to all of it), but I thought this one from a couple months ago was terrific. Memo to the Pentagon: this bud's for you. Lt. G writes:
The gripe: A military tradition as time-honored as dehumanizing the enemy, as expected as giving your rifle a feminine name and persona, and as innate in the soldier’s soul as feeling abandoned by the kinsmen they fight for. After all, you don’t worry about the soldiers who bitch, you worry about the ones who aren’t bitching.

Such comprehension doesn’t change the fact that bullshit always rolls downhill - or that at the platoon level, said bullshit rolls in like a crashing avalanche, steadily progressing in size and strength, arriving with a reeking stench of mundane regulations and asinine humorlessness...

Let’s just say that if LT G were Lord Protectorate G of the Desert Cavalry of Pure Raw Awesomeness, things would be a little different.
[A sample of Lt. G's gripe-based proposed reforms:]
-- (*Some*) Field grade officers would have more serious things to worry about during a war than the size of PV2 Van Wilder’s moustache, or LT G’s wear of the Army-issued fleece cap during the day while off-duty. (Hey, I’m a skinny guy. I get cold easily.) Like, oh I don’t know, ensuring that the Iraqi Police have an equal balance of Sunnis and Shi’as on their force to avoid allegations of corruption. That might a good place to start.

-- 12 hours of a bureaucratic trail of tears and papercuts would not be what sends a detainee to jail; finding a freakin’ Soviet-era sniper rifle in his backyard in a water pipe would be enough.

-- I would never go to bed weary and sore and drained, absolutely convinced that the details of me and my men’s lives were nothing more than a PowerPoint slide being passed up the chain-of-command on memory drives. Not even our own presentation. Just one little slide. This happens at least once a week.
This definition of "the gripe" is one for the books -- or at least for the notebooks of journalists and documentary-hacks who trawl the rank and file looking for discontent and then file their pre-determined stories, as if each man who exercises his military prerogative to bitch is to be taken (a) too too seriously, and (b) as representative of everybody else. [On the other hand, perhaps the brass would be well-advised not to take the gripes too too lightly -- should they ever give them an ear.]

Read the rest here, and then read to whole blog top to bottom. I like this guy.

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