Connect with us

Opinion

JOINT CHIEFS: Why We Don’t Care That You’re Resigning

Published

on

Adm Winnefeld

The following is an opinion article written by the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

It has come to our attention that another company grade officer has very publicly resigned, citing numerous reasons for doing so. As the top commissioned leaders of the different branches, we feel this issue now requires that we respond to these resigning officers.

First and foremost, thank you for your service. Most Americans will never understand what can be gained from putting yourself at a point of great friction in defense of your nation’s way of life. We are truly grateful for the countless sacrifices every one of our servicemembers makes, especially the ones that will never be perceived at our level. We know that this is a hard life, and it hurts us to know that there are good things you do that will never be recognized.

Second, we do not care that you are resigning. Your career is less than a blip on our radar screen. Your skills and experiences will never in a million years cause us to raise even a finger to stop you from resigning, much less cause us to look back on your resignation with regret. Regardless of your unique and valuable perspective, you could not be more replaceable.

While we regret that we have not been able to give your career the personal attention you feel it warranted, the seven of us are manning the controls of an unfathomably complex war machine that must account for both present and future threats. Some of these threats are capable of ending all life on earth, while others are merely capable of ruining the lives of millions of innocent people. This requires all of our attention at all times in order to ensure that forces are constantly ready for employment by the combatant commanders, who asked us to tell you that they also do not care that you are resigning.

We understand this may seem frustrating to you, so we believe it might help if you understood our perspective, from which, we cannot emphasize enough, you are not visible with the naked eye. Congress has set legal restrictions on overall military manpower. Within those limits, we need to not only ensure that qualified bodies are available to fill billets for diverse jobs at every unit in the US military, but also ensure that there is a relatively smooth career progression up the ranks across every single one of those jobs. While your career may seem slow from your perspective, reflect for a moment on how many people are in the midst of changing assignments on any given day.

We cannot overstate how complex this process is, but managing it requires that we visualize career progressions as a series of professional experiences that we believe are critical to maintaining this fragile system. Unfortunately, to a junior officer striving for a promotion, it often appears to be an arbitrary set of boxes that must be checked, or wickets that must be hit. If it is any consolation, we are every bit as replaceable as you are, and this entire process is structured to produce officers capable of one day replacing us. Indeed, one of the main reasons we do not care that you are resigning, and why no one would care if we resigned, is because planned attrition is one of the many variables built directly into the process as a safeguard.

Beyond managing this impossible Rubik’s cube of careers, we must also visualize future threats, imagine capabilities to fight them, and then beg Congress for funds to pay for the development of these capabilities. Forgive us if we overlooked that you were forced to move to what you felt was a boring staff job after being attached to a unit that left the wire, but we were busy attempting to predict the future and address it with multi-year, multi-billion dollar projects coordinated through the nation’s highest elected officials.

In retrospect, perhaps it would have been less frustrating had you known that we see rotation between staff jobs and jobs in the field as a feature, not a bug. From our perspective, when officers who have been on a staff go to the field, their experience makes them a better resource for the troops in the field with them. Similarly, when officers from the field move to a staff, they help keep the staff oriented on the concerns of those same troops out in the field. Again, this is part of that career progression of checking boxes and hitting wickets that we talked about.

Even though you are all replaceable, we believe it is important you know that we do not see you as identical. We are not fools, and we know perfectly well that each of you has a huge variety of skills and interests beyond your billet. Trust us when we say that the details of those skills and interests would not in any way change our minds regarding what billet you should hold. We’re perfectly willing to tolerate inefficiencies in assignments in order to keep the volatile manpower system working. In this sense, we see the fundamental demands of national security as more important than considering who spent their childhood around horses when we’re assigning people to Bridgeport.

This does not mean that we don’t value your diverse skills and interests. We depend on that diversity to reinvigorate us with new ideas in the style of Boyd, EllisMahan, Wass de Czege, or Krulak. Even a room full of conservative white men with the same haircut and wearing the same clothing is wildly diverse if you actually talk to them, and in that diversity is intellectual power. So let us state, in no uncertain terms, that discussion of your ideas is not limited by your current billet, or even your occupational specialty.

It has never been easier to publish a scholarly article on the profession of arms, whether in one of our many journals or on any one of numerous military blogs. All of you managed to find venues to publish your resignation letters talking about all the great ideas you couldn’t find ways to circulate. None of us can figure out why you couldn’t just publish your actual ideas instead.

In conclusion, we hope that you have gained something from your time in the active duty military, where even now someone just as unique as you is stepping up to do the job you would have been doing, though probably not in quite the same way you would have. We also hope that you will consider continuing your service in one of our many outstanding reserve units, which help us keep talented individuals who want to continue to invest in their military careers, yet without being so dependent on the administrative grind of the peacetime military.

However, if you choose not to, we will never miss you.

Sincerely,

M.E. Dempsey
J.A. Winnefield
R.T. Odierno
J.W. Greenert
M.A. Welsh
J.F. Dunford
F.J. Grass

Duffel Blog reporter blondesoverbaghdad contributed to this article.

Dark Laughter is part of the problem, and you can be too. Just type "IKIS" (i.e., I Know It's Satire) at the beginning of your comment on the story, and follow it with a comment that suggests it's not satire at all.

Marine Corps

Opinion: I am very tired

By Gen. Robert Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps

Published

on

Good Morning, Marines.

As the 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps, it is my distinct privilege to lead and serve you in this unique and essential war-fighting organization. Despite the hardship of this position and the responsibility it entails, working alongside our dedicated Marines and Sailors has been one of my life’s greatest joys.

However, one thing has weighed heavily on my mind these past few years, a confession that needs to be made before God and man, alike. Fellow Marines, I, Gen. Robert Neller, am very tired.

I’m just exhausted. I’ve been doing this shit since 1975, and I’ve got to tell you, man, I’m pooped. I legitimately can’t remember the last time I slept. I think I took a nap in the Pentagon parking lot last week before a meeting with Dunford, but I’m really not sure.

I mean, what kind of shitty-ass job is this when I can’t let my head hit the fucking pillow without some cracked-out aide telling me a 28-year-old staff sergeant in Miramar texted a picture of his ding-dong to a lance corporal and now its on Reddit. What-the-literal-fuck, Marines?

Or how about this, the other night, I was having dinner with my wife — who, by the way, has seen me about four times in the past eight weeks — when I get a call from Gen. Berger, who’s like, hey Commandant, guess what, a 7-ton in Okinawa just crashed into a light pole, and now you have to speak to the fucking Japanese Prime Minister. Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me.

Listen up idiots. I get it. This isn’t a zero-defect organization. Mistakes happen. I’m fucking tracking.

But you assholes — and I’m speaking to everyone subordinate to me, which is literally all of you — need to get your heads out of your buttholes, for… I don’t know… the next three hours.

Just let me rack out under my desk. I mean this. I will call a Marine Corps-wide safety stand down if it means I can take a nap.

Bottom line, Marines: It’s not easy at the top.

So next time you think about drinking and driving or smoking near a fuel pump or breaking into the amnesty box, please reconsider. Remember, protect what you’ve earned and let me sleep. If you have any questions, I’m in the fucking Global.

Gen. Robert Neller is the 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Commander, Marine Forces Command from July 2014 to September 2015 and Commander, Marine Forces Central Command from September 2012 to June 2014. He hasn’t had a full eight hours of sleep since around 1997.

Continue Reading

Opinion

Opinion: Is there someone with a little more experience who could draw my blood?

Published

on

By

An Op-Ed by Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Juarez, while awaiting his bi-annual HIV blood draw.

Listen, HN3 Jones. I’m not trying to tell you how to do your job, but I can see your hands are shaking a bit as you’re preparing that needle and supplies to draw my blood. How about you take a deep breath or two and just relax for a minute. I know that you spent months training to do this and it will be fine.

Oh, not months? Phlebotomy is just a two-day course? You just checked in from the schoolhouse too, eh? I see.

All folks deserve a chance to learn their job through hands-on work, and I wish you all the best in your career, I do. However, the last time I came in, a fellow HN3 of yours stabbed the needle through my vein and into my bone.

The experience left me vomiting in pain on the floor.

The time before that, I was trying to donate blood for the clinic’s drive for our deployed warriors. I’m O-Negative, which you are in desperate need of, so despite my misgivings based on past experience, I came in right away. A fellow HN3 of yours spent 15 minutes poking the needle into my arm in different places and wiggling it around trying to get the blood to flow. Not only did she fail to get more than five drops of blood, but she left my arm so bruised, the next morning my CO asked if my boyfriend was abusing me.

Back in April, after four months of calling to make an appointment, only to be told it was Shipmate Day or Admiral So-and-so’s birthday picnic or that the clinic was closed for training, I finally was able to get an appointment for some blood work. The only slot available was two days before my PFT, unfortunately, because the technician messed up both arms so badly that I could only manage three agonizing, barely valid pull-ups, instead of my usual 25.

So, based on that history, I would like to respectfully ask that maybe your most senior HN1, or perhaps a vascular surgeon, could come draw my blood.

Oh, they aren’t available? I think I will actually just take my chances with HIV then.

Duffel Blog writers Addison Blue and Stormtrooper and the entire military contributed to this article.

Continue Reading

Army

Opinion: It’s not ready-to-eat. You have to open, mix, and heat it

Published

on

mre

The following is an opinion piece by the Specialist with a juris doctorate degree in your Basic Training platoon.

The Meal: Ready-to-Eat military ration is one of the greatest myths perpetrated on our nation’s armed forces. Despite its name, the meal is anything but prepared for human consumption.

First, you have to open the box the foodstuffs come in, choose one of the menu options, trade it with someone else for a better one, and then cut open the plastic bag everything is contained in. This already proves that the meal is not ready-to-eat, but the Department of Defense adds insult to injury.

You must then open the main entree’s box within the bag, then open the heater, then insert the meal into the heater, add water, lean it on a rock or something, wait for 10 minutes while it cooks, and then you must still open the meal’s pouch, burn your tongue, and blow on the food to cool it down.

Ready to eat? My ass.

This doesn’t even factor in the steps and time necessary to add your jalapeño cheese spread or any other condiments. Is the milk shake ready to eat, or is it exempt because you don’t eat it, you gag on it? Can you eat the creamer right away, or are you expected to mix it with the suppository of coffee-flavored ashes?

But while we’re on the subject: is the whole experience really even a meal, or just a random assortment of snack foods? Do you really even eat it, or simply ingest it as fast as you can for basic survival purposes?

I demand that the name be removed, and I suggest that we now call it Calories: Some Assembly Required (CSAR)

Your move, Pentagon.

Continue Reading

Opinion

Opinion: ‘The Greatest Generation’ — What have they done for us lately?

Published

on

guadalcanal

The following is an op-ed by Chaz Daniels. It was cross-posted at Total Frat Move.

The Greatest Generation? Fuck those guys. Winning World War II was a big deal, but what have they done since?

I don’t know about you, but I can go whole days without thinking about World War II. Then all of a sudden, it’ll be a day like Veterans Day and I’m supposed to care? Get over yourself, Greatest Generation.

Let’s look at some “famous” World War II Veterans, like John McCain. What a hot, leaking bag of trash. He may have won World War II, but then he picked a fight with Barack Obama and crashed his ship into another ship. Not okay, John. Not okay.

If you’re that “Great,” greatest generation, why don’t you help out? It took you like five years to win World War II. So if I did the math right, you could have one the war in Afghanistan THREE TIMES BY NOW. But no, you won’t help. So what’s great about that?

And what’s up with baby boomers?  I would think if you added up one great person with one great person it would equal another great person, but no. All those Greatest Generation types just made baby boomers, who whine constantly, skipped Vietnam, and made a bunch of millennials. It’s a slip-n-slide of suck over there.

I once saw this movie Band of Brothers about this Greatest Generation guy Dick Winters. As a first lieutenant he parachuted into Normandy in the early hours of D-Day and then fought his way across France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. He was a humble, servant leader in that movie, but that movie was FICTION and exactly the kind of dumpster liner stuff the Greatest Generation would like you to believe about them.

Hey, I like World War II a lot, it’s definitely my favorite of the World Wars trilogy, but the more I think about it, the more I think the Greatest Generation is not for me. Okay, gramps, you got a couple of good years in there, but it’s time to finish strong. Are you going to loaf around in the wheelchair, or help the country out? Looks more like the lamest generation to me.

Continue Reading

Opinion

Opinion: As a veteran, my opinion counts more than yours

Published

on

By William Smolinski

There are a lot of opinions out in the world each day. People share their opinions about politics, review movies, or talk about their favorite cooking recipes.

But, as a veteran, I’d like you to keep in mind that my opinion counts more than yours.

I know this may seem unfair. The Constitution guarantees us both the right to freedom of speech, and the free sharing of ideas amongst people of different backgrounds, experiences, and occupations is one of the things that makes this country great.

But I laid my life on the line as a member of the United States Army, where I learned things like selfless service, treating everyone around me with dignity and respect, and being technically and tactically proficient, which means I also earned the right to always know more than you about the topic you are currently passionate about.

Now I know that it makes sense to have knowledge of a subject before debating it, which is why when I make my views known to my fellow Americans, I use facts found after a quick Google search, offer analysis with no basis in reality, and mention my time in the military at least once per paragraph.

This all makes sense to the vast majority of veterans. Most recruiters can tell you that just enlisting in the military makes you an expert on everything from military strategy to film production to complicated scientific theories. But this fact may not be so well known among civilians.

It’s okay. You never served our country, so it’s doubtful you’ll ever understand.

But still, let’s take for instance, a recent op-ed by The New York Times editorial board, in which they argue against arming teachers in response to school shootings. I’m sorry, but, as a veteran, I disagree. I know what the business end of an AK-47 looks like, and The New York Times editorial board doesn’t, so this argument is over.

Or take a recent article in The Washington Post by columnist Max Boot. He argues that President Barack Obama was weak on Russia, but President Donald Trump is even weaker. That’s a really interesting take, Mr. Boot, but did you even serve in the military under either of them as commander-in-chief?

There will always be common ground between everyday Americans and those who have protected their freedom. But freedom has a special flavor the protected will never know, and, since I protected you, I’d appreciate your thanks and deference at all times.

As a veteran, I know I earned it.

William Smolinski is a U.S. Army infantry veteran who deployed near Baghdad, Iraq in 2004 and 2007, which means he is an expert on all areas of Iraq, counterinsurgency theory, the opinion of all 1.6 billion Muslims, strategy in Afghanistan, Naval surface warfare, and what the president should be doing at all times, among many other topics.

Continue Reading

Opinion

Opinion: I support the troops 100% as long as they agree 100% with my political views

Published

on

army soldiers running

By Doug Abernathy

The troops, right? I love ’em. They’re the unequaled heroes of the free world. No one can come close to their celestial presence. They’re angels in camouflage. They can do no wrong. The longer we have these wars the longer we can enjoy their glories.

But there’s a dangerous aspect of the troops. There’s a specter haunting our concept of Liberty. Some of the troops don’t think exactly like me when it comes to politics. It’s actually a lot of them. We need to put an end to it.

If the troops don’t think exactly like me on all matters of politics, from my interpretation of the constitution, to economics, to social issues, then there’s a good chance they’re no troops at all.

Because why would all of these holy beacons of freedom ever question how I see the world? They wouldn’t. Those aren’t the troops that I know — even though the only troops I know are from my exact online communities that I have handpicked to substantiate my ironclad views of the world.

The most important thing we can do to handle all of these so-called “troops” who don’t think 100% like me is question their service in general. They need to know that I don’t think they ever served at all if they argue with anything I say online, and if they prove they served, it means they were poop troops.

They’re a homogenous lot that can only survive in the American lifestyle if they all think the same no matter their geographical, religious, political, racial, and overall socioeconomic upbringings. And none of them better test my worldview. I will make them pay by questioning whether they even served.

When you put on a uniform — which I’ve never done because I had some minor physical problems that excluded me from service — you accept a level of responsibility. It’s not the responsibility of dying or possibly dying in endless wars that I have deemed just and honorable. It’s the responsibility of thinking exactly like me on everything. If you don’t, I will make sure you regret ever having served our country and having an opinion as a result.

Thank you for your service. Unless we’re not on the same page.

Doug Abernathy is a retired truck driver. He lives in Atlanta.

Continue Reading

Army

Opinion: Hey, can you stop comparing me to American soldiers?

Published

on

The following is an op-ed article written by Jesus.

Seriously fam. See that guy’s shirt in the picture above? Stop wearing this stupid shirt.

Ever since I met those Roman soldiers in the Garden of Gethsemane, you guys have been causing problems for me. Back then I was nice to you guys. I even told Peter to put his sword away.

But maybe I should have let him have at the lot of you morons.

Now I — the number two man of the Trinity I remind you — will deconstruct this stupid T-shirt. To understand why I’m so much better than the average American soldier, you can’t just consider we both offered to die for you. You have to consider pole positions.

Take your average American soldier. Loser. Aside from his sin guilt, which is higher than normal and the whole reason I died to begin with, he’s got nothing going for him. He watches too much porn. He cheats on his PT test. He’d cheat on his girlfriend if the loser had one.

Now take me. Unlike you, I didn’t start out as a fatherless nobody from Washington, D.C. I started from heaven as the living God, just like my father. Now let’s talk moms. Mine was the most pure virgin who ever lived.

“Pure virgin” are not the words used to describe your mom after the age of 12 — and I would know as I know everything. Your mom was the second-best waitress at Denny’s and that’s about it.

Now let’s talk dying for you. Unlike most American soldiers, I’ve actually done it. And no, I didn’t get my head shot off for being a dip shit and not taking cover when the shooting started. That would have been mercifully quick.

No, I got my ass whooped hard three times (I let them win), then was forced to carry a cross practically the size of a tree up a mountain, just to be nailed to the damned thing. Then I was left to hang there as I was agonizingly asphyxiated over the course of a day by my own body weight.

Sound fun? And it wasn’t just me up there. Unlike your fat ass, my height and weight is well within regs and I’ve never had to tape. No, I was up there bearing the weight of all of your sins too. Every time you porked a Filipino whore, add another pound to the weight I bore, jerk.

After getting scourged, crucified, and dying, I was back to work three days later. I didn’t even get a profile despite bearing the scars of my crucifixion. And since Satan runs the VA, you know I’m never going to see a penny of disability.

Not even your so called ‘Greatest Generation’ did that.

You guys won’t shut up about defeating Hitler and killing Bin Laden. Big deal. I descended into Hell, breached the gates by myself, and defeated Satan in his own territory. And I did it while I was dead.

Really guys, I don’t mind the sacrifice. I signed up for it — just ask God the father. It was my pleasure to serve, and you’re welcome for my service. But every time I see this shirt, I want to start flipping tables. Stop comparing me to you POGs.

Even your Special Forces are POGs compared to me. I mean seriously, y’all need Jesus.

Justin Coates and Lee Ho Fuk helped to edit this divine message.

Continue Reading

News

Trump: As I watch this soldier’s casket being lowered, I can’t help but notice his wife is now single

Published

on

By

Photo Credit: Chief MC Sam Shavers/U.S. Navy

The following is a transcript of President Donald Trump’s remarks during a recent visit to Arlington National Cemetery during a military funeral.

Excuse me Ma’am, but are you the wife of the fallen? On behalf of a grateful nation I would like to present you with this folded flag as a token of appreciation for your late husband’s service. I’m know this isn’t easy, and there is no way to replace your loss.

Also, just out of curiosity, you’re single now, right?

Wait, wait, that came out all wrong. What I mean is, you have to be strong for yourself and your children, and I know that won’t be easy without a man around. Or woman, I guess… I really don’t know your personal preferences, although that would be kinda hot.

What I do know is that death has many questions and few answers, like who is going to warm your bed at night, or caress your back when you’re feeling down? I know I would do those things just as well as your husband, hypothetically speaking.

Your husband, Sergeant… uh… Sergeant [unintelligible] touched a lot of lives, the same way I’m touching your shoulders. I salute his sacrifice by holding my hand over my heart. Or I can hold my hand over yours. Whatever’s easier.

He died fighting for the cause of freedom. A freedom that gives us rights, like the right to express our sensuality in ways our enemies might condemn, but I say that’s what makes us great as a nation.

But just as there is a time to fight, there is a time to love. His soldiers were telling me if there was one thing he loved in this world, besides being in the Army, it was you. He apparently had pictures of you all over the barracks, and from this angle I can totally see why.

I would have gone to a dozen combat zones if I got to come home to a body like that every time.

Know that your family will always be surrounded by the much larger family of the Army, and we always take care of our own. Your husband was like a brother to me, as all soldiers consider each other brothers and sisters. By the way, in the Old Testament it was pretty common for widows to marry their husband’s brothers, so just throwing that out there.

I know he may not be here in body, but he is here in spirit. But spirits can’t pay your mortgage and I can.

Well, could I walk you back to your car? This cemetery can be awfully confusing if you’ve never — oh, you have a brother buried here too. Geez, one more IED strike and you could start holding the family reunion out here.

I’m sorry, that was tasteless.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

[i]
[i]