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Gender: Male
Current location: Boseong
Member since: Fri Jan 30, 2004, 05:44 AM
Number of posts: 23,736

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We Follow Orders or Men Die - Jack Nicholson, A Few Good Men

(This will be my first long post since I was hospitalized. I got out last weekend and have slowly mended. Today is the first time I felt like actually typing this. My apologies if someone already pointed this out. And I apologize if it is not coherent)

Trump, in his defense of pardoning those service members showed he doesn't really understand the military at all, because the first half of that statement "We follow orders..." is really at the heart of what being in the service is all about.
There is little killing, but a whole lot of following orders, procedure, etc.

Trump's claim is, "We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!" That is true to a small degree. Members of the military are trained for the possibility that we may have to kill someone in war. But, it is not what most members of the service are trained to do.

I served in the first Gulf War. I went through basic training at Ft Dix. For those who have never served, the first thing we received was the Smart Book. The Smart Book held the basics that every soldier needed to know. It had, among other things, instructions on the proper wearing of class A uniforms, the rules governing BDU's (like do not wear a summer top with a winter bottom -- which I did one day), the various ranks, hair length, different sized rounds, etc.
The Smart Book, the basics of being a soldier, did not make any mention of killing people. But, it does have an awful lot of material on behavior, the command structure, etc. In short, it has a lot of information on personal discipline, expectations of soldiers, unit cohesion and what can happen when you fail to live up to these rules.

If being a killing machine was the goal in any service, you would think we would have spent more time with our weapons. But, we didn't. They didn't toss us a weapon in the first few days and say let's go practice killing. For the first few days we're at a kind of pre-Basic Training; we got a haircut, uniforms, army underwear, socks, filled out medical information, got shots, got our TA-50 (I think that's what it was called), basically extra gear like rubber boots and stuff that we had to return at the end of basic.
When we got to basic we spent the next few weeks marching from place-to-place, doing cadence calls, exercising (push-ups, sit-ups, running, etc), cleaning, being drilled about information in our Smart Books (what rank is this, how do you address an NCO or officer indoors and outdoors, parade rest, what's the difference between the different article 15s, etc). In other words, we were trained to follow orders and follow procedure.

I think it was week 4 when we finally got to fire our weapons. And in that we learned to clean them, put in and take out the magazine, rifle D&C (rifle pt). And for the first one or two live fires it was to set our sights so we could shoot straight. We did do a lot of live fire after that, but even then there were rules when on the range and we were expected to follow all those rules. Same with grenades and other weapons. It was always about procedure.

First and foremost the military is about good order and discipline, that is what the military trains people for, that is number one. This is why we spend so much time learning ranks, how to clean, how to address superiors, reading map symbols, some information about the UCMJ and so on. When you do not follow the rules and do whatever you want in direct violation of orders you have violated rule number 1.
The army has many MOS' (jobs) that people can do, many of which do not involve being a killing machine, like a medic, a cook or a mechanic, etc.
I think Trump, like many others who have not served, seems to miss this. Likely, at least half of the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are support members, not combat troops.
When Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men said, "We follow orders or men die." The key in that is "We follow orders..." That is the heart of the military. These individuals violated that because they did not follow the rules (orders) and they were punished, or were being punished, accordingly. They were not being punished because they were killing machines who were wrongly charged with doing combat effectively.

I find it interesting that a man who is so enamored by people following his rules, has such contempt for the rules of other institutions or individuals. `
I think Trump assumed that people agreed with him on this issue and was shocked when he found out that most service members disagreed with what he did. Most service members follow lawful orders because, "...or men die."

Deval Patrick Will Speak with Democrats Abroad

Dec 28th, 9:00am DC time, join a call with Deval Patrick!
He'll spend time with Democrats Abroad sharing his policy stance on Americans abroad issues (and other issues too, time permitting).

When: December 28, 2019 at 9:00am Eastern Time
Where: Zoom call
As this is an online call, you will need an internet connection in order to attend.

Impeached for THAT? (Comparing the Trump Articles of Impeachment - Real Law Review)

I found this to be quite interesting and informative

Back sort of

This is really my first time back since I was hospitalized on Nov 29. Today, I went for a few shotrt comments yesterday and today and posted one original (it's also short)
I have surgery Friday, so I am also posting from the hospital (Grateful I live in Japan and not the U.S.)
Saturday I should go home
I hope sometime soon after that to get my Stories from Europe going again and posting other things as well
Have a lovely day/afternoon or evening wherever you are and a Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it (except for the people at Fox News). I wish others here a Happy Holidays. And to Fox News, Good Night

A Joke (of sorts)

Person A (Trumpsist): You liberals are always complaining about blackface, like it's the worst thing ever. How come you never say anything to that black guy over there wearing white face.
Person B: Because he's a mime
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