Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The fate of an Army

"Officials said Wednesday that although the Army will not release its numbers until Friday, it fell about 25 percent short of its target of signing up 6,700 recruits in May. The gap would have been even wider but for the fact that the target was lowered by 1,350" from The Washington Post

This is the fourth month in a row the recruiting goal has been missed.

Prior to four years ago I dedicated a lot of my energy and thoughts to how the course of the Army ought to be corrected. There are many worrisome difficulties that the uninitiated simply cannot see. The massive drawdown of the early 90's served only to accentuate these problems. I recall a lot of good folks leaving and I suffered trough the many bad that stayed.

The Army, and military, in general are far outside of the moral, ethical, quality and organizational position it really ought to hold. All the chatter of transformation is nothing more than mere talk and some shifting of assets. Nobody has seriously addressed the real difficulties; an overgrown and incompetent officer corps that current exists in a higher proportion to troops than at any time previous, an incompetent NCO corps more concerned with achieving rank and privileges than leading and training soldiers, a decay of solid values based upon true American ideals.

Oh yes, I could go on. Back in the late 1990's several strong voices began to emerge and shout the truth. For a time I thought that an army organized and rooted in principles might emerge. Alas, all of those fine men left the service, before retirement (they gave up).

I stopped long ago with real concerns for transforming the military. I serve and do the best I can for the soldiers in my charge (many fine and brave souls). I have come to know without a doubt that the Army is but a reflection of the nation, government and people that it serves. I should expect it to be no better.

I can say only this. The problems lurking just under the surface that were so obvious to honest men in the late 1990's have not gone away. The failure to recruit and the necessary change in policies to keep adequate numbers will only serve to make things much worse in the long-term.

If the neo-conservatives fear China so much they ought to consider fundemental changes before they truly go off and pull the tail of a dragon.

A Republic worthy of defense requires soldiers dedicated to principles upon which the Republic stands. The only occurrence in US history when we have realized this unique combination of principled men and right organization was in the period 1830-1860. Since that time the US government has been served progressively by a "professional" army that looks more and more like a mercenary army.

Of course it might rightly be argued that a Republic that has abandoned its roots to become a Democracy, makes war on other nations based upon lies and false beliefs, allows the murder of millions of innocents within its borders, and denies God his rightful place does not qualify as an entity worthy of defense in any event.

I have said more than I intended, for to me these issues do not matter so much any more. Change must occur but it must happen in culture and values of society in general if ever the military is to truly be righted.

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