They Said It Better Than I Ever Could...

These words that I write, they keep me from total insanity. -Charles Bukowski

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Dec 29, 2008

Today's Military Leadership...


So I have been all high on the holidays for the last few posts, and now that is gone because I have been brought crashing down by the leadership around me, mostly above me.

Military leaders today are nothing more than politicians who are quickly and quietly building a military that is incapable of winning wars without the assistance of their electronic toys. Today’s military is so technologically advanced that in some cases there is little to no need for actual boots on the ground soldiers to be there. So they are left with little if anything to do and because of that they invent things for soldiers to do and they invent new rules for soldiers to follow. Not to mention the tactical proficiency of some of them is so questionable that any private with half a brain could make superior tactical decisions with the same information.

Furthermore, the politics of the current military system that pervades the US Army is such that it requires leaders to eat their young in order to advance themselves. What do I mean by "eat their young"? Soldiers, for the most part are young, and impressionable, not to mention they are incapable in their idealism of understanding that they do have to protect themselves from those around them because they fail to realize that there are those who would do them harm in order to further their own agendas. Meaning that they cannot understand that some of their leadership would be more than willing to serve them up on a silver platter in order to avoid any semblance of black mark on their own record.

Today’s military rewards those who are able to check the box. That is the mentality of the system today. We care very little for tactical proficiency because if my leadership is any indication there is no emphasis on tactical proficiency in any of the military leadership academies. All that is emphasized is that you toe the line and check the box. Did you properly fill out every piece of paperwork that is required by our ultra-micromanaged military? Can you make it sound like you followed every directive given you by your higher chain of command in a debrief report? Not did you accomplish the mission set out for you with a minimum of expenditure of manpower and resources, but can you make it sound like you did.

Do you meet the uniform standard? Are you kidding me? Uniform standards in a war zone. We have more important things to worry about other than our uniforms. We have weapons to maintain, vehicles to fix, and missions to plan in order to minimize casualties and resource depletion. The last thing that anyone should give a shit about is whether or not some 18-year-old kid forgot to put his nametape on his bear jacket.

Certain things I can understand. Cleanliness is one. If you do not maintain a clean workspace then that leads to disease and the presence of rodents and the snakes and predators that come with them, so cleanliness is important. But taking it to a point where everyone has to have all of their things placed in their rooms in a military manner. Where everything has to be in absolute order, at all times is ridiculous and it goes to ridiculous lengths. I was told today that I needed to vacuum my crumbling cement floor!

My senior leadership questions the fashion in which I keep my living quarters and asks why I cannot make my place look as neat and orderly as theirs? Well maybe its because I have just as much shit as you do, but I have a third of the amount of space that you have. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I have to live my life on the mission schedule that you dictate and you get to sleep soundly in your bed every night, while I sleep curled up in a humvee built with midgets in mind. You question why my uniform isn't clean? It's because I have been out in the Afghani desert or mountains recovering a truck that was sent out by you into terrain that every soldier here knows it could not negotiate but you sent it anyway because your boss had told you to. And God forbid you ever tell the boss you cannot or will not do something, regardless of the pointless danger into which it puts your soldiers. After all they are just the tools in the machine that you are going to use to get your next promotion. You question why my weapons aren't clean? Well first of all, the desert is not kind to weapons here. Secondly, it might have something to do with the assholes out there that I have to fight with on a regular basis, while you sit here in the comfort and security of the FOB and do your little reports and paperwork and fill out your forms, and leisurely wipe down your weapons because they do not need a full cleaning because they haven't been used!

Well, with all due respect, go fist yourselves. You have me between a rock and a hard place given the fact that I am far enough into my military career that there is little point if any in quitting now. So I have to soldier on, and I will, just as I have always done. I will adjust the way that I do things to meet your expectations. Not because I want to but because I have to. For this you will never have my respect. Not a single one of you. I will give you the faux respect demanded by military customs and courtesies but you will never have the man-to-man respect. Which is the only kind that actually means anything. A salute is demanded by the military. But real respect can only be earned.

So with that I will tell you that you have earned nothing but the contempt of your soldiers and I hope someday that you realize you were nothing more than a hanger holding up the leaders uniform.

I am done now.

I love you mom...


Fuck these guys! Pure and simple. I am what I am and will always be so. I don't give a damn what any of these pricks think. I have worked my whole life to make of myself what I have become, and regardless of my current rank it pales in comparison to what I am inside. I have been a soldier for over a damn decade now and I have worked my way through that (which was a royal bitch) I worked my way through college (with a 3.76 GPA, and for my dumb ass that is pretty good) not to mention the mountain of shit that I waded my way through for the better part of my life. So these guys can kiss my fat Irish ass.

Now that I am done bragging let's get down to it. Today the leaders here showed me their true colors and showed us exactly what they thought of us. They think we are nothing more than pieces of shit that are to be used as stepping stones up to their next rank. Now any man that would take credit for the work of others and any man who would use the blood, sweat and tears of another to grease the wheels of their own career is quite frankly, not a fucking man.

But in today's Army there is no one in any real position of power who is willing to stand up and say that we have become an organization that rewards politicians! Now if you ask me, soldier and politician are two completely different career paths and there is no room in the ranks of either for the other.

Once again, due to military rules I cannot tell you what these assholes did but I can tell you that they took full and complete credit for something we did and are well on their way to their next promotion. Fucking dickbags!

Unfortunately for me, I cannot get a passage from General Norman Schwarzkopf's autobiography out of my head. The story went something like this.

When the General was a lowly Lieutenant he turned in his letter of resignation from the military. He figured he could make more money in the civilian world anyways. Now his Colonel called him in to see why he was resigning. The future General went into a tirade about how the leaders of the military were incompetent and that they were nothing more than narrow minded politicians who were only out for themselves and they were basically a collection of assholes. (The book puts it a lot better than that) But it came down to incompetent, political leadership. The future General then said that there was no way that he could stomach serving in a military that promotes such lowly creatures, who would place their own welfare before that of their men.

Then the Colonel said to General Schwarzkopf, "Well if you don't stay and rise through the ranks, then the assholes will always run things."

Maybe there is something to that sentiment. Maybe it's time I got off my ass. Maybe it's time to start making a little noise. Not so much for my sake, but for the sake of all these young soldiers coming up now.


Now I am really done.

And thanks for listening to me bitch.


I love you mom...


  1. It is an honor to listen to you bitch and I owe you that much. I wish I could change things for you. What you are experiencing is actually everywhere. My manager could be one of your higher ups.

    If I were "picking up sides" I'd pick you.
    take very good care,

  2. Mud Puppy,

    See my email I sent separately, getting mad at your boss is American as apple pie, but I feel some of your gripes are very legit. Why would an officer enforce "grooming standards"...seems very micromanagey. Keep up the good work.

  3. I would have stayed in for a couple of more years if Iraq hadn't been such a clusterfuck. They must have sent my old chain of idiocy over to Afganistan to lead you.

  4. Hey Muddy Puppy:

    Well, as we ring out the old year and ring in the new year Lt Nixon says it best "getting mad at your boss is American as apple pie" and heaven knows it's been going on for generations.

    So the question for you is do you truly say screw 'em and get out or do you stay in like Norm and make it better. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer - just your answer.

    BUT I am glad that guys like you and Nixon are there making a difference. And as always, I am grateful to you for your service and for putting up with the crap. Best wishes for a very happy new year and God Bless!

  5. WOW!!! General, um, er I mean MudPuppy! Today I was talking with another 'mom'. Her son served 12 years as a marine and left. Largely due to the crap you speak of. Between the media and the "higher-ups" and the "friendly-fire" he had it. I guess what I am saying (what you no doubt know already) you are not alone. LtNixon speaks the truth, Norm spoke the truth, you speak the truth. All of you know the man you are, your "superiors" can never take away your core. You may bend, but you will never break!
    Please know you have the support of so many Americans, hopefully that simple truth means something in your military world. As for your're a guy, there is your loophole!
    By the way, BOHICA=Bless Our Home It's Clean Again :) (Sailor Hubster asked I send that along with the Navy mentality of "Shine She Must, Run She Might')
    Stay Strong!
    Pray Hard!

    ~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

  6. I hear you and I'm a Lt Col in the reserves! The reason they don't see what you see or feel is that they're so clueless about the human side of things. They pretend to give a crap at times, but they're so self centered & concerned about their own career. If they haven't walked in your shoes, then they haven't really done their jobs. Don't know how long you'll be over there, but I'm on my way next year for 6 months...I'm an office worker/paper pusher though but respect what you and your guys do. Take-care & Be Safe.

  7. Just read the post below and am glad you were able to enjoy a nice Christmas. I wish you didn't have to be there, but since you are I'm happy that you were treated great.

    Seems to me that keeping your living quarters neat as a pin is a little ludicrous in the circumstances, but carry on, Soldier. I'm proud of you and am praying for you and your brothers and sisters there.

    Blessings for a Happy New Year.

  8. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 12/31/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  9. Very well put Mud Puppy. Like the LT bitching has been a tradition in the military since George Washington. Feel free to bitch anytime and we all will listen. My son likes to do that also. Like I told him if you don't like the system change it! I am not sure what the road to an officer is for you but I would suggest you look into it. Only those who have been there and done that know how to properly treat those who are doing it now. Officers have their jobs and privates have theirs. Sometimes the two jobs actually meet.

    Glad you had a decent Christmas and since it is all ready New Years there a belated New Year!

    Keep your helmet on and you butt close to the ground.


  10. Bitch away soldier and you don't have to apologize to us. Happy New Year and take care. Always in our thoughts.


  11. Happy New Year, MudPuppy...
    It's 3:10AM in Afghanistan and it's 5:40 in Maryland, USA.
    May this new year be good to you!
    Happy New Year!
    ~AirmanMom returning her blog...

  12. That was fan-friggin-tastic! You are exactly right, we have to be who we wish other people were.

    Thank you for serving our great country and Happy New Year!


  13. Quit your bitching before I have you article 15'd you sniveling little (fat) bitch.

  14. One Word 2 letters : Go SF

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