Friday, January 27, 2012

Cutting the Military - Déjà vu all over again

Well it appears that we are poised to relearn yet another nasty lesson at the hands of Democrats (Socialists, Liberals, Progressives, whatever).  In their zeal to spend money on things that we don’t need and in ways that our Constitution never intended, President Barack Hussein Obama plans to savagely cut our military end strength. 

Our Armed Forces are the envy of the modern world and have been so for about a century.  Our young men and women enter into that tradition when they don the uniform.  The overwhelming majority of nations have no such tradition and as a result their Armed Forces are little more than uniformed mobs.  Even so called "modern" nations cannot compete with the military that America can field.  I mean quality as well as quantity.  Man-for-man (or woman-for-woman) we can whip any outfit in the world. 

However now after handing President Obama conditions that he didn’t earn and victories that he had no part in crafting, he levels his guns at the American soldier and Marine.  His administration intends to focus the Nation’s treasure on things (research and development) rather than people. 

One of the things that surprises me most when discussing this topic is that people do not understand how long it takes to create a viable military unit.  Sure the privates and sailors who populate an infantry battalion or ship might only have been in the service for 6 months, but the rest of the unit or crew have a lifetime of experience.  It is often said that the backbone of any military organization is its non-commissioned officers – and I assure you that is true.  You can’t make a sergeant in a year or two.  It takes years that include formal and informal schooling, practice, and supervised experience.  His or her actions are monitored and evaluated by their seniors so that their performance is constantly critiqued and improved. 

What about those seniors?  The First Sergeant who is the enlisted leader in every Marine infantry company is the product of nearly two decades of such training, feedback, improvement, and life experience.  Those that can’t meet the lofty expectations of a Marine First Sergeant have gravitated to other lives as former Marines or failed to be promoted and eventually left for other lives.  When mobile training teams start training the fledgling armed forces of emerging nations like Iraq or Afghanistan, there may be old guys around, but they aren’t steeped in the traditions of their service, they haven’t been molded by years of superior service, and they have not demonstrated their commitment to the Nation and their service.  You can’t just “make” or even “train” a First Sergeant, you need to start with a superior person and put them through the entire infrastructure of traditions, schools, experience, practice, and leadership to “make” a First Sergeant. 

What of the officers?  Similarly, the Lieutenant that stands in front of an infantry platoon for the first time, may have only entered the service eight to ten months before, but he is product of either the military (those officers who rose through the ranks) or society where he or she came through a college or military institution.  Those people self selected themselves for a life of service, difficulty, and perhaps danger due primarily to their love of country.  They didn’t pursue a position due to class, clan, or religion, but out of patriotism.  Officers are also trained, groomed, and molded by schooling, practice, criticism, and other experiences to take on ever increasing responsibilities.  That young lieutenant who stands in front of a forty man infantry platoon at the age of twenty-two may in 16-18 years stand in front of a one thousand man infantry battalion.  He will succeed not because of who his daddy is, or what church he attends, or what political party he belongs to, but because he has proven himself over and over again.  He commands an infantry battalion because he also commands the trust and confidence of his seniors and his peers.  You can’t make such a man overnight. 

Now we stand ready to jettison all that experience for the false promise of peace.  Haven’t we been through this before?  The “War to End All Wars” - World War I comes to mind.  Can no one in the Obama regime envision a war with Iran?  A country with 545,000 active duty servicemen and 650,000 reserves.  Might those 100,000 soldiers and Marines Obama intends to dump come in handy during such an event?  You go to war with the service you have – didn’t we just learn that lesson? 

Every time I think that things have gotten as bad as they could get, Barack moves the goal post. 


  1. CS,
    The most important ingredient in making a buck private into a good NCO, is having plenty of good NCO's on hand and setting a good leadership example.
    When I made E-5, I was a pretty thorough mix of the NCO's who "raised me" and, of the senior NCO's who raised and influenced them too.

    What is Obama doing to the military?
    He's keeping a campaign promise he made back in 2008 plain and simple.

    Clinton did the same thing to us back in the 90's and, my unit was squeezed to badly that we were actually limited to a $5000 per week stipend for replacement parts for our vehicles and, weapons!
    Then we were sent to Bosnia with a bunch of deadlined equipment with the promise of full maintenance funding once we were on the ground!

    My Bn commander stopped by one day and asked about maintenance issues with my vehicle and, I handed him a 4 page 2404 and he said
    "Order everything and then some...Clinton suddenly cares enough about us because this mission's success has HIS name all over it and has opened the wallet."

    So, Obama's idea of the military is right on par with every other libnut...screw em until they can make me look good in the press...then screw em again afterwards.

    1. -Sepp,

      We had the same problem in the Carter years. Commanders were under intense pressure to keep systems and weapons combat ready yet we couldn't get parts or replacements. Sometimes that resulted in pressure to redefine whether a system was "combat ready" or not. That's bad leadership.

      We were under fuel rationing such that if you had a training exercise at the end of the ration period, your battalion might not have enough fuel left for a safety vehicle to accompany the troops to the field.

      This is liberal (democrat, progressive, socialist, whatever) military 101. These guys never learn. Our senior military leaders owe it to the troops and the Nation to speak out.

  2. First, Excellent post CS!!! Very well written and constructed.

    Second, while I am not surprised at this move I am severely disappointed in Pinheadta for agreeing to this. While I am all for efficiency, etc I am not for restructuring the military in order to suit the personal needs of the Resident. While I have my own ideas, why do you and others who visit think this action is being taken?

    1. Mrs. AL,

      We've been through it too many times with liberals (socialists, progressives, democrats, whatever) in charge to not expect it. Truman, Carter, Clinton, and now Obama all looked to the military as an area to cut in order to fuel massive spending on unnecessary programs.

      In my humble opinion it's about power - since our military owes its allegiance to the Constitution it can't be turned on the American people - liberals try to buy loyalty instead. Our military ensures freedom - so the Obama's of the world view it as an enemy.

  3. CS,

    Your reply to Mrs. AL is dead on. They want to weaken the military in order to weaken freedom.

  4. I can't say anything he does surprises me anymore. What would you expect from someone whose citizenship is still in question, who has never served and doesn't even know how to pronounce Marine Corps properly.

    1. Right,

      It is amazing - and no one can tell us that we didn't warn them. This was remarkably predictable and the information widely available before election day 2008.

    2. What does that say about his intelligence? My 7 year old is reading everything with writing on it. She occasionally mispronounces a word, but if she's heard it before, like Corps, she usually says it like its written, then asks if its supposed to be "Corps". Of course, with my DNA, she's way smarter than any liberal.

    3. Tenth,

      There comes a time when we have to abandon the stupid argument - if Obama was merely stupid, the law of averages would ensure that something he did would actually be good for America. Three years later - that hasn't happened yet.

  5. CS,take a bow. World-class post.One of things Obama is charged with is PROTECTING the Constitution,first,the NATION second.While there certainly IS a lot of fat that could be cut out of the Pentagon,he DECIMATES the people DEFENDING us. Talk about convoluted thinking. Asshat think he can accomplish THAT with rhetoric?

    1. Clyde,

      Thank you for the kind words - Obama's objective doesn't seem to be on concert with the Constitution.