01 February 2007
Heard this read aloud on Hugh Hewitt’s show yesterday. A Staff Sergeant in Afghanistan is tired – of a great many things.

This one is a perrenial favorite among enlisted men: “I am tired of junior and senior officers continually doubting the technical expertise of junior enlisted soldiers who are trained far better to do the jobs they are trained for than these officers believe.”

Officers have a tendency to believe that their education and training makes them the republican equivalent of nobility who, back in ‘the day’, comprised the ranks of commissioned officers. They have that tendency – and I say this as an educated man – which most educated people seem to have, which is to believe that those without the benefits of university education are somehow less intelligent and less knowledgable than those with such benefit. I remember well one platoon leader in my tank company who, seeing me reading a collection of papers written by General Patton (titled, appropriately enough
The Patton Papers), asked, “Sergeant Solís you have an interest in the profession of arms?” (He spoke in the same tone of voice with which one might ask a liberal, “You own a firearm?” or some such thing.) “Sir,” I replied, “I have had an interest in the profession of arms since I was in junior high school. And if I may speak freely, we no longer live in an age in which membership in ‘the profession of arms’ is limited to commissioned officers. I, and many of my fellow sergeants (and quite a few privates), read the same books the battalion commander assigns you officers for professional development.” That was an officer who, like most, believed that only officers populated the ‘profession of arms.’

In short, the officer ranks are populated by a great many snobs. I wouldn’t say that a majority of commissioned officers are snobs; I couldn’t possibly know that. But obviously the number of snobs is still sufficient enough to be bad for morale.

By and large most officers are only more educated than enlisted personnel, not more intelligent. By and large most officers seem not to know the difference and make the mistake of acting like it.

Even so, I bet the Staff Sergeant would agree that the snobbishness of commissioned officers is a lot easier to take than the pretended patriotism of the Lame Stream Media:

“I am tired of CNN claiming that they are showing ‘news,’ with videotape sent to them by terrorists, of my comrades being shot at by snipers, but refusing to show what happens when we build a school, pave a road, hand out food and water to children, or open a water treatment plant.”

The LSM in this regard remind me of a scene in the movie “Cool Runnings”. John Candy has been asked to coach the Jamaican bobsled team, something he isn’t interested in doing. The first thing Candy does when the recruits gather for the first time is show them film footage of bobsledding accidents, clearly an effort to dishearten would-be bobsledders. The effort works. When Candy has finished showing the footage there remain three bobsledder candidates. That’s the LSM, always making sure we see the worst of the war, rarely the best of it; always making sure we see any failures, rarely any successes; always making sure we know how many of ours have died, rarely how many of theirs.

Pop quiz: We know how many thousands of servicemen have died in Iraq since the war there began. How many insurgents or terrorists (choose your own term) have died in Iraq since the war there began?

Maybe we should call them the Irv Blitzer Media. (Irv Blitzer, incidentally, is the name of the character played by John Candy.)


About Me

James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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