Military Issues

All of the US Military service branches are having difficulty filling billets including officer billets. The quotas are tinkered with to make things look a little less dire. One measure is quantity, which is lacking and the other is the relative quality (ASVAB) of recruits. Retention suffers when the top (CinC, SECDEF, etc) tell the majority of service members who are white and heterosexual that they’re not wanted and will be sidelined in selection for advancement based on qualifications in lieu of equity advancements.

I tend to follow Navy problems more than those of other service branches and have found it fascinating that the training and retention numbers for Naval Special Warfare are now CLASSIFIED. The 2022 UDT-SEAL Reunion at Coronado CA was held two weeks ago. It’s the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Navy’s SEAL Teams. Prior to that, they were Underwater Demolitions Teams (UDT). The general mood of the reunion was collegial as it always is with some of the larger egos wanting to take center stage. Admirals and captains congratulated themselves as they usually do.

Soto Voce, behind the scenes, there was concern about the role of national command authority in attempting to weed out people from active duty who “had too much testosterone” or who expressed negative political feelings toward Jo/Ho or SECDEF (Big Nig).

A lot of highly skilled individuals simply took an early out to go to the CIA’s Special Activities Division, or private military companies (PMCs) like Blackwater, known since 2011 as Academi after it was acquired by a group of private investors. In 2014, Academi merged with Triple Canopy, a subsidiary of Constellis Group. Later Academi was fully integrated into the parent company and therefore now operates under the name Constellis. If that sounds just a little complicated, it is, but it pays a lot more than the Navy does. From what I’ve heard, Army Special Forces has the same bleed going on.

There are a lot of discussions about pushes from above to reduce criteria for selection in order to promote equity. That should finish what they started.

 

DDG 1001 Michael Monsoor

Three of the Zumwalt Class were built out of a projected twenty-one. At $3 billion each, they are useless because their main battery weapons were scrapped before they were ever installed. The Navy promises that they will be outfitted with the new super missiles that are expected to be operational within three to four years. MAYBE then they will have some military value.

 

Bullet Points:

* During the execution of the search warrant on President Trump’s home, the FBI seized 40 years of medical records and tax documents which they were not entitled to take. Can we expect to see most of his private information mysteriously appear in the mainstream media?

* (link) HELENA MT — A bill signed into law Thursday by Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte allows concealed firearms to be carried in most places in the state without a permit, and expands the list of places where guns can be carried to include university campuses and the state Capitol.

The law allows concealed firearms to be carried without a permit inside bars and banks. Private property owners and tenants are allowed to ban firearms on their premises. The law also allows permit holders to carry concealed firearms inside state and local government buildings, including the Capitol. Current rules ban all firearms inside the Capitol and other state government buildings.

* It is odd how upset the Left gets when their own tactics are used against them.

* More from Montana – “Finding charging stations in Bozeman, MT has been challenging,” the man wrote in the caption for one of his videos. “The car has been charging overnight, 10 hours, and it’s only moved up about 20 percent.” 

…better than a Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac…

 

A Discussion of Free Will

Recently I was reading St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Contra Gentiles and I came across a passage that I particularly enjoyed. It deals with the liberty of the will and why God (divine providence) allows it.

– “But the ultimate end of every creature is to attain the divine likeness…. Therefore, it would be incompatible with providence for that whereby a thing attains the divine likeness to be taken away from it. Now, the voluntary agent attains the divine likeness because it acts freely, for we showed…that there is a free choice in God. Therefore, freedom of will is not taken away by divine providence.

– Again, providence tends to multiply goods among the things that are governed. So, that whereby many goods are removed from things does not pertain to providence. But, if freedom of will were taken away, many goods would be removed. Taken away, indeed, would be the praise of human virtue which is nothing, if man does not act freely. Taken away, also, would be justice which rewards and punishes, if man could not freely do good or evil. Even the careful consideration of circumstances in processes of deliberation would cease, for it is useless to dwell upon things that are done of necessity. Therefore, it would be against the very character of providence if liberty of will were removed.”

In other words, God is free to act. Also, it is the object or end of our existence to gain the qualities and attributes found in God, thus we must be free to act, and inasmuch as we are free to act that cannot be taken away from us by God. The reason why God would not take away our freedom to act is that if He did so then He would be taking away from us something that is good, which would be counter to His nature. Thus we must be free to act (have free will, be able to choose, etc.).

Our freedom to act makes our acts just or unjust, good or evil, virtuous or not. So we are free to be agents unto ourselves, meaning we are free to choose what we shall do, but just because we are free to act does not mean that all of our actions are correct, or good, but rather it allows us to make correct and good choices. This of course assumes that there are right and wrong, good and evil, correct and incorrect, but it is obvious that there must be because we are free to act. If there were no choices given to us then our freedom to act would be null and void, as we would not be able to act. Thus acknowledging the liberty of our will, shows that there must be good and evil, right and wrong, as well as the converse being true (if there is right and wrong, then we must have free will).

What is left is to discover what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil.

 

35 COMMENTS

  1. fat leonard cut off his ankle monitor and bugged out days before final sentencing. i don’t know how, but it feels like it relates to what you’re saying about the navy. the headline jumped off the page at me like it is important somehow. weird…r&r down, its hard to recruit/retain people when they know you’re going to screw them over ahead of time. considering what may be brewing, maybe that’s a good thing. someone should tell uncle jo that those f15’s don’t fly themselves, yet.

    • Fat Leonard and his friends should have had life at hard labor. True, they would just be calling him “Leonard” after a year or so. The corrupt officers were worse than Leonard, IMHO.

      I knew a man who was skilled at corrupting politicians – then later – he was my recruited asset. He told me that he offered them whores and limos. The whiskey in the back of the limos was made up rotgut in fancy bottles. They flocked to him. Again, later, there was a video camera facing backward from a vent above the driver privacy glass. It recorded unblinkingly as eminent men did coke and banged whores that they KNEW were provided by organized crime.

      The usually resigned from office. Some pled guilty depending on their acts in support of organized crime. — Orange County, California in the 90’s

  2. Free will – that bit about being created in the image of God probably has several lifetimes of study just to get started on what it means.

  3. I got out after Viet Nam because the Army was purging the NCO corps of anyone with a blot on their record, most quite minor, most before retirement. It didn’t take much imagination on my part to see that could be me eventually, so, adios. If you remember Bobby Troup’s role as the Sergeant driving Hawkeye and Trapper John around Japan in MASH, that was me toward the end of my little bit, without the Jeep, of course.

  4. Darn near choked on my breakfast as I read the comment regarding SEC DEF. Larry, I and my heritage tip my hat to you for calling a Spade a Spade.
    Best regards,
    Cletus Valvecore

    • There is very little respect running for POTUS, VEEP, SECDEF or that gang. And the fish rots from the head down. I don’t know if it would be worse if the Ho became the president or not. That’s how bad it is.

  5. Very outdated opinion about military service. Leadership starts with loyalty down and performance starts with loyalty up. Speaking as a former enlisted swine, I took a hard look at the officers we had and some, not many, but some I would have shot at the first opportunity had the Russians attacked.

    Two extremes come to mind. One, LT Fucked Up, was so incompetent he ended up Assistant Post Commander, a position created just for him. The other, from a wealthy Southern family, came into the company asking questions and wasn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty. I heard he later lost an arm in Vietnam. Fine man and I would have had no problem taking orders from him.

    One example of the first. We were on a three day combat proficiency test bivouacked in a forest. Up the road came a shiny new tractor pulling a trailer with four very fit young men riding on it. All had the same boots though dressed in civilian work clothes. They most certainly weren’t German civilians. When we tried to point this out to LT Fucked Up, he arrogantly told us to let them through. The umpires saw all the chalk marks on our water trailers, commo trailer, etc. and we failed the test.

    When I see pictures of our current flag officers wearing so much crap it would embarrass a NORK General, I see LT Fucked Up.

  6. Why wouldn’t the special operators get out of the military where they are not only not appreciated but are castigated at every turn? It just makes sense for them that they go where they are at least rewarded financially for their skills. Bad for the U.S. but good for them.

    You never hear about the admirals who pushed for the littoral ships or the DDG 1000 class getting fired or punished in any way. No harm, no foul just wasted 10 billion of your country’s money.

    Declining quality and quantity in the services. It always takes longer to fix something than to break it. If we start when the new president is elected it will take most of a generation to set right what damage was done to the military. Hopefully there won’t be a full scale war between the U.S. and some other first tier country. We MIGHT win but the lessons learned will be hugely painful.

  7. In the military, thinning of leaders at all levels who don’t toe the party line has been in action since Vietnam.

    Wild West pointed out an Army faction. I had colonels give me a hand written notes and instructions to do what he wanted done along with the statement that if anyone was concerned to show them the note and have them call him. Years later, not a single colonel or general would do that same thing. Instead they wanted the junior officer to violate written regulations — which the commander had authority to overrule — without any backing for the officer. If something went wrong, the officer took the hit. Think about the Ramstein Air Base Officer’s Club being renovated using a mixture of appropriated and unappropriated funds. The generals did not take the hit for what was ordered.

    Throughout the 80s and 90s clearly top notch officers and NCOs were removed from service (reduction in force) or passed over for barely qualified or lackadaisical individuals who were homosexual, women or black. That resulted in the Blackhawk shoot down in the northern Iraq No Fly Zone. The back end AWACS crew was unqualified and the Eagle pilots were too anxious to shoot instead of getting a good ID on the helicopters.

    In the 80s, the Air Force promotion system changed requiring a recommendation from the first O-6 in the officer’s chain of command. CSAF sent a message to commanders telling them to give their Definitely Promote recommendations to those who were unsure if they wanted to stay in the Air Force. Promote recommendations were given to those who were going to stay in because one pass over wouldn’t hurt them. Do Not Promote recommendations were given to those who were getting out because the Air Force couldn’t help them. The result was that the top fighter pilot in USAFE immediately put in resignation papers when his boss gave him a promote recommendation. Soon followed by the top pilots and officers in all aspects of the Air Force. It is no wonder that the Air Force is as ineffective and messed up as it is today.

    We are looking at the long term results of keeping the worst instead of the best in the US military.

  8. Montana – went to a camp one summer along with wife, two kids, DIL, and grandkids. Keeping up with the flow of traffic on the highway meant going a bit over 100 mph. Fun while it lasted 🙂

    • When I was first stationed at Malmstrom near Great Falls MT back in the mid 70s our squadron had a picnic/pig roast in the Highwood Mts. On the way back both my commander and I got environmental tickets from the highway patrol for exceeding the 55 mph speed limit. We each paid our $5.00 and were on our way. We were clocked doing 114. Those were definitely the days.

  9. Montana charging stations – Urban bubble dwellers who have no clue how far apart and sparse things are in western states. One Montana official (can’t recall who) said Petey’s demand we have charging stations every 25-50 miles was smoking too much Rec-Med. (a paraphrase)

    “What is left is to discover what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil.”

    On full display these days, so not difficult to discern who’s-who and what’s-what.

    • I can make it from my home in eastern WA to Great Falls MT on slightly more than half a tank of diesel in my pickup. I will start thinking about getting an electric vehicle when I can get the same range on batteries. Betting that won’t happen in my lifetime.

      • Limiting your range is a feature, not a bug.
        Besides, what business of our own could we subhuman cattle have anyway? Cattle belong in pens or fenced-in fields, dammit. Our sole purpose is to serve, and PRAISE, our masters. Those (actual) humans don’t merely require our consent, they demand our love and adoration. And they deserve it, on account of all the suffering they have endured.

      • Ed-C…not anytime soon.

        Boys here in Longmont towed identical campers with an F150 gas and an F150EV. Got to Colorado Springs 95 miles or so when the EV barely made it to the charging station at some Target. The gas pickup turned around and got back to Longmont with fuel to spare before the EV was done recharging.

        If I set my 2010 Ram 2500 (deleted) to stock mode and keep my foot out of it (not towing anything) I can get 28mpg on the highway. Just pulled the 3-Horse slant gooseneck with one horse back from Pinedale to our place (335 miles) on 3/4 tank of diesel, 15mpg.

        • I am jealous, I looked for a pre 2013 diesel to stay away from DEF and could not find one that was not beat to snot. I have a 2020 RAM 3500 and it does pretty good I got 19.3 mpg towing my trailer with my granddaughters broken down car on it from The Dalles back to Spokane. I was using cruise and keeping away from the go faster pedal. There was a slight tailwind as well but only slight.

          • That 3500 didn’t even know you were towing anything. The 2020 models are like driving a Lexus.

            I got lucky after searching back in 2017 for something to augment the ‘99 2500 Vet Truck, 354,000 miles on it and still going.

  10. So the Fibbies violated the terms of the search warrant? Well….there goes the last tatters of the Fourth Amendment.

    A Tesla toting a genset on a scooter carrier. How fitting!

  11. Apparently ‘some’ of the SPECOPS units are getting ‘commissars’ to keep them in line… And I’m hearing the same things about folks bailing, not just in SPECOPS, but also aviation community and jumping to ‘safe’ places. One of the kids I’ve kinda mentored over the years didn’t make chief again for ‘reasons’… yeah, right… we ‘know’ the reasons. Re the Zoomies, I doubt they will last three to five years, too much fancy crap on them already starting to break.

    • I spent 28 years as an enlisted guy in the AF and finished off as a CMSgt. Sadly I admit to never figuring out the enlisted promotion system. Sounds like the Navy is in the same boat (no pun intended couldn’t think of another synonym that worked). Kudos to the person who keeps on trying, that has got to be tough.

      • I find that interesting. I’m surprised you do do that not understanding it.
        I got out when I realized I couldn’t make promotion to E-5 (WAPS?) because all my assignments kept me away from working in comms centers where I would have OJT’d in the skills needed to be promoted. I couldn’t get it in books alone while doing other work.

          • Ed, I did get out (with a line number for TSgt, nobody said I was smart) and came back in again after 9 months as a civilian. Really liked working on bombs.
            COMM is a crazy careerfield. Let’s combine everything associated with communications and administration under one AFSC. Gee, what a great idea (not).
            As far as my career went it was simple up to and including MSgt, after MSgt you added in board scores from a group of Colonels and CMSgts that reviewed your records and that’s where things got fuzzy for me.

        • Re-reading all this I was clear as mud. To put it more clearly if I were designing a promotion system to would emphasize putting the most capable people in the most demanding jobs I would not end up with the promotion system the AF used when I was in and, in modified form, is still used today.

          I will stop here so I don’t muddy up the waters even more.

  12. I know nothing about it, but why serve in the Rainbow Legion when you can go elsewhere and earn far moar money?

    Are we switching, 18th C style, to mercenary armies?

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