Sunday, October 22, 2017

Acting 1SG Lawes reads the morning formation announcements

Comp-ney, Atten-shun! At ease. Okay, listen up. Coupla things here.


I've been hearing a bunch of you he-roes prancing around the dayroom talking smack about how y'all are "the best 1 percent this country produces".

I hear tell that y'all got that shit from some jarhead, and a jarhead general at that.

Now y'all know how I feel about jarheads. So hearing y'all woofing because one said something about how “We don’t look down upon those of you who that haven’t served. In fact, in a way we’re a little bit sorry because you’ll have never have experienced the wonderful joy you get in your heart when you do the kinds of things our servicemen and women do.” just means that the overpromoted bolo doesn't know about the kind of things our servicemen did down at the Flaming Mug last week and, yes, I'm looking at you, AT Platoon. I've got my eye on you, slickyboys.

So before you get all "Ooo-rah! We bad, we bad!" take a look to your left and right flanks. You know as well as I do what that guy next to you is capable of. We all went to high school with that guy. The dude that locked himself in the last stall in the boys' bathroom in the B-wing and had to get pulled out by the school cops?

That's him.

The joker that useta take polaroid dick pics and put them in the romance novels in the library?

That's him.

And don't get me started on surfing the fucking storm drains on their sleeping mats, am I right, Blackie?

The "best 1 percent" my rosy red ass.

The civilians are too fucking busy shoving their tongues up your collective fourth-point-of-contact to remember this, but y'all, at least, should know that y'all are the same jocks, nerds, stoners, wierdos, brainiacs, goofballs, and just regular American dipwads they went to high school with only now y'all wear the same colored clothes. Raisin' your right hand didn't suddenly make any of y'all smarter, braver, more honest, or less likely to fuck up a wet dream and yes, I mean you, night bakers. I saw your fuckin' mess hall this morning and we gonna have a little come-to-Jesus chat right after this formation.

Y'all are good troops, and that's what you're supposed to be. But don't let that make you think that you're some sort of national gold standard. That's how good troops end up getting waxed in combat.

Y'all get free food and clothes, y'all get to get all-expenses-paid vacations to the shitty parts of the world to fuck up things there. Don't let that make you kid yourselves about what a bunch of special fuckin' snowflakes you are just because some goddamn gyrene general who probably hasn't actually seen one of y'all in his natural environment since he was a itty-bitty lieutenant. Those fuckin' star-warriors run around in a little general-officer bubble and they have no more idea of what y'all are really doing out here than a cow knows about the fuckin' Council of Trent.

So. Get over yourselves, people. Like I tol' ya last week; thinking you're all better than civilians is a straight-up dick move, and I won't tolerate that shit in my company, regardless of what the Old Man tells you about how awesome you are.



Rumor has it that the Brigade Sergeant Major is gonna be in the company AO this Friday. Y'all know that dick as well as I do, so I highly recommend that you ensure that those "extra" toolkits find their way to SSG Reye's garage, Commo, and Medics? The quarter-ton y'all keep "forgetting" to turn in? That sumbitch needs to go live in the woods starting Thursday night.

Oh, and I will be doing a walkthrough tomorrow at fourteen hundred hours and if I find more pogie bait in your walllockers I will go medieval on your ass. Are we clear on that?

I thought so.

Comp-ney, Atten-shun!

Platoon sergeants, take charge.


  1. "If you never been in combat, you can't even imagine."


    “If you’re not in the family, if you’ve never worn the uniform, if you’ve never been in combat, you can’t even imagine how to make that call,” said Kelly..."


    "“We don’t look down upon those of you who that haven’t served. In fact, in a way we’re a little bit sorry because you’ll have never have experienced the wonderful joy you get in your heart when you do the kinds of things our servicemen and women do.” He’s right, to a point, in suggesting that those who do not serve cannot truly understand the love—and pain—experienced by those in uniform and their families. At the same time, he undercuts his message by suggesting a finite limit to the compassion that he and the military might expect from society."

    I wore the uniform for two months...even says it on my DD214...US Marines, ooh-rah, and all that...and during those two months they only thing I experienced was my DI's habit of morning breath.

    Did I enjoy being yelled at...well, kind was funny, in a demented, Weird Al sort of vibe with a beat kind of like out of Amish Paradise, but digress...Sorry, Capt'n Carter, please, continue...

    "If civilians cannot fully appreciate the military, they may too easily resent service members or veterans when they disagree with military policy. And if Americans—even those who have not served—cannot understand the military, then our battles will increasingly be fought by a warrior caste of families who can look only to each other for support."

    And here we come to it...the crux, the raison de'etraire...the why of the article...I smell the distinct stench of the draft here, and me thinks Capt'n Carter might want to put that cup down. Now.

    The civilians I see worship the gods of war.

    Civilians pay money for the privilege of watching "bad hombre's" get machine-gunned, knifed, karate-chopped, and defenestrated. Civilians roar their approval like they were at a gladiatorial battle and the hero of the day pulls a rabbit out of his ass, and voila...saves everyone!

    Sorry, Mr. Carter, but forgive me if I call bullshit.

    I served two months. And then I did another seven years at Lockheed in the Fleet Ballistic Missiles, and Space Systems Division...I've seen amazing things, and I've seen things that would blow your minds, been part of things that I'm still in wonder at, and I've seen things I wish I could forget, things that can't be unseen. Things that burned themselves into my memory, and forged me into who I am.

    Mr. Kelly may know the stench of hatred, and recognized the whiz of an angry bullet, but I've seen what our future is like, I've seen what we're going to be doing, what we are doing, and what we will be doing...there is a reason why I chased my sons away from the Military, there is a reason why I had to explain to them the things I've seen, and did.

    I have taught my sons the hardest thing under the sun, peace.

    Killing a man is the easiest thing under the sun...forgiving him, and moving on with life is the hardest thing that can ever be done.

    Perhaps, we should all stop for a second, and ask the question...why?

    Because it seems to me that we all, Combat Veterans, and Civilians have been dancing around that question, refusing to ask the reason, the why of it...and there, right there is what Mr. Kelly fears the most...answering that question...why?

  2. The vile fashion in which our psychotic-in-chief made the call to Sergeant Johnson's widow illustrates Trump's total lack of empathy and understanding of human emotions.

    Psychopathy or narcissism?

    But it is not just Trump. I first heard the comment "they knew what they signed up for" 14 years ago. A colleague from work, who was a Bush fanboy, and I were watching the casualty figures on the news in the terminal at Denver International. I muttered something about 'poor b@st@rds'. When he responded with 'they knew what they signed up for' it hit me in the pit of the stomach like a punch from Mike Tyson. I was decades out of uniform at the time but it affected me enough to tell him to shut his filthy mouth. Needless to say our working relationship suffered. He later complained to management and refused to work with me on future projects. Good! I transmigrated from Blue Dog to Yellow Dog. I've heard the comment from other Republicans. Is it some kind of code they get from O'Reilly or Limbaugh or some other draft dodging chickenhawk of the right?

    Kelly should know better.

  3. The thing that prompted this was neither Trump nor his GOP fanbois; it is the whole business of Kelly and his peers - including not just the officer corps but a deep dive into the NCO ranks, as well - that they are no longer citizen-soldiers, no longer plain old Americans in uniform and, instead, some sort of special Sacred Vessel that contains the National Essence.

    There's a common thread that runs through republics when their armies begin seeing themselves as the School of the Nation, and it's a bloody, evil thread. Nothing good can come of letting American servicepeople think of themselves as somehow above and separate from the mass of the citizenry.

  4. This whole thing of being 'somehow above and separate from the mass of the citizenry' has been going on in this country since the Society of the Cincinnati. It is not new. It goes on in every generation. Yes, many flag officers and senior NCOs look on themselves as elite, a new nobility. And yes, sometimes it filters down to, or maybe percolates up from, the troops. I've been guilty myself occasionally, when in the past I derided civilians as 'feather merchants' or 'sand crabs'. Or as a Pfc when I derided draftees and Reservists. I know better. My father, uncles, grandfather and great uncles were all citizen soldiers.

    Kelly is especially vulnerable to this siren song due to:
    #1 politically he has a very conservative mindset - most conservatives I am acquainted with believe themselves to be superior to you and I and the common people;
    #2 he has spent years in Washington - liaison to Congress twice, legislative assistant to the Commandant, plus other tours - something like the fictional Massengale but unlike Massengale was from a working class family;
    #3 because he came from a working class family he undoubtedly thinks he got to where he is by a superior intellect;
    #4 he has put his dead son, who was KIA in Afghanistan, on a pedestal - of course he believes that his son is a thousand, no a million times better than Obama, or Congresswoman Wilson, or anyone who has never served in uniform.

    That said, I do not see Kelly or his ilk as dangerous. Kelly is definitely no darling. You cannot swim in dirty water and stay clean. But Trump is the main menace to this country. His clique and enablers want him to turn this country into a third world sh!thole and he is off to a racing start.

  5. The U.S. Army tends to grow these elitist tumors between wars. Well, until 1917 it didn't matter; there wasn't enough Army to matter. Certainly the Army of the Twenties and Thirties was pretty ugly; Dugout Doug enthusiastically led the troops thugging up the Bonus Army. But the draftees helped keep that poison drained from WW2 to the Eighties when the last of the draft-era troops began to retire.

    Now I worry that the praetorianism is getting deeply ingrained. Kelly is has a terminal case...but there are a lot like him.

    For a Trump to succeed it helps to have the most publicly venerated organization in the nation seeming to approve of him and his. You can't have a Third World shithole without an enabling military.

  6. I seriously doubt a praetorian coup will take place in this country.

    On the other hand I can easily visualize the military ordered to put down protests against Trump and his policies, a la Dugout Doug that you mention. But MacArthur did not decide to do that on his own. Mac did the bidding of Crash Hoover, the guy responsible for 25% unemployment and 5000 failed banks.

    The PLA did not decide on their own to leave their barracks and training areas and shoot down students and onlookers at Tiananmen square. Deng Xiaopeng sent a quarter million of them (30 army divisions) to Beijing and ordered them to act decisively.

    There exists a thousand other examples. We 21st Century Americans are not immune. Flower power worked with LBJ, I don't see it working with DJT.

  7. PS - "Dugout Doug" is what gyrenes named MacArthur. What is big Army going to say about you using that term? I hope you had dispensation. Or have they had a change of heart about their favorite soldier?

    1. Mac had his moments. But he was also a vainglorious sonofabitch who never accepted that other men paid in blood for his mistakes. Lucian Truscott he was not.


  9. Here's a better exposition of the Kelly Problem:

  10. Thanks Sven -

    I have a great deal of affection for old Smedley Butler. His name was legendary among Marines when I was serving. The plot that he exposed had a couple of interesting things that we seldom think about nowadays. There were lots of possible links or similarities with fascist or right wing nationalist movements in Europe at the time.

    Jerry MacGuire was pushing the Croix de Feu model, another veteran’s organization. Croix de Feu was funded by a supporter of Mussolini, who wanted to topple the French Republic and replace it with a Fascist government. I am intrigued that Francois Mitterand was a member in Croix de Feu before he saw the light and turned Socialist.

    Bill Doyle, another Legionaire like MacGuire, was pushing for an organization called the ‘Iron Veterans’. Now that sounds suspiciously like the fascist ‘Iron Guards’ of Romania, the greenshirts.

    Doyle and MacGuire are both Irish surnames, would they have had any dealings with the Irish “Army Comrades Association (ACA)”, better known as the fascist or covert-fascist Blueshirts?

    And by the way, I note that MacGuire was on the staff of Louis Johnson, the Commander of the American Legion during that time. Years later, Johnson became Secretary of Defense for the Truman Administration. He was the guy who tried to do away with the Navy and Marine Corps, and was responsible for ill-equipped and ill clothed troops during the Korean War winters. I assume Johnson had nothing to do with the plot, but his toxic management style certainly allowed some in the Legion to participate.

    1. This made me remember that the time is overdue for a re-run of my "war is a racket" blog post. I already had it in 2007 and 2011.

    2. The Legion has always been the most overtly fascist and authoritarian of the WW1 vets organizations. Here in the Pacific NW we still remember the Legion for its part in the so-called "Centralia Massacre" that helped crush the socialist movement and the IWW in the timberlands and usher in the Red Scares of the 1920s.

      I keep saying this but it seems like everyone doesn't want to hear it, but I think that the U.S. is as ripe for a Man on Horseback as it has ever been. It's all there; the ridiculously widespread credulity and conspiracy-theorism, the willful ignorance, the enthusiastic lapping of the armed forces...the U.S. public has always been as ass, but the ass seems redder than ever these days.

    3. Keep in mind Trump lost the popular vote and lost support since.

  11. FDChief -

    Good article. Bravo zulu to Colonel Killigrew.

  12. And apparently young Master Kelly is ALSO just a pretty huge asshole:

    1. Gotta say, Chief, you're batting a thousand...good articles.

      Thank you!

  13. FDChief -

    Kelly's ancestors who got off the boat from Tipperary are undoubtedly throwing a curse on him. Me too. May the Lamb of God come down from heaven and kick him in the arse down to the divil!

    My Grandma's brother was a Wobbly. But he also served during WW1 in the Spruce Division.

    The Legion, or the National office what some call the Royal Family, has been more conservative than other vet organizations. I get the monthly magazine and note there is usually an article in there by some right-wing pundito. I joined decades ago when I was still wearing a uniform. Dances and cheap drinks were a big draw for Legion Posts outside military bases. But tines are changing. Nowadays your average Legion post is more into good works in the local community: volunteering, raising money for scholarships, donations of comfort items to state run veterans' homes, helping homeless veterans, helping with the Toys-for-Tots program at Christmas. Many posts also have a trained service officer who knows the ropes at the VA or DoD and can guide people through the red tape. The post I am associated with has a lady as post commander. I only go once a year or so as they are all old farts like me. And there are generally many more Ladies Auxiliary at the meetings than actual members. The times I have attended there has never been political talk or shenanigans.

    But have no fear FDChief, I'm not trying to recruit you. I think in the long term, many of these veteran organizations are dying from lack of membership. Too few young members, they are busy trying to feed and clothe their kids and don't have the time. I would guess the average age of the Legion and VFW posts I belong to, is in the range of 60 to 80 years.

  14. He's also an ignorant shitheel on the subject of Treason in Defense of Slavery:

    Seems like there's no bottom to the well of asshole for this guy.