ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2016 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Monday, November 28, 2016

An endorsement of General Mattis

General Krulak thinks very highly of him. That's a good sign. He'd be a great choice for Secretary of Defense.
A couple of months ago, when I told General Krulak, the former Commandant of the Marine Corps, now the chair of the Naval Academy Board of Visitors, that we were having General Mattis speak this evening, he said, “Let me tell you a Jim Mattis story.” General Krulak said, when he was Commandant of the Marine Corps, every year, starting about a week before Christmas, he and his wife would bake hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of Christmas cookies. They would package them in small bundles.

 Then on Christmas day, he would load his vehicle. At about 4 a.m., General Krulak would drive himself to every Marine guard post in the Washington-Annapolis-Baltimore area and deliver a small package of Christmas cookies to whatever Marines were pulling guard duty that day. He said that one year, he had gone down to Quantico as one of his stops to deliver Christmas cookies to the Marines on guard duty. He went to the command center and gave a package to the lance corporal who was on duty.

 He asked, “Who’s the officer of the day?” The lance corporal said, “Sir, it’s Brigadier General Mattis.” And General Krulak said, “No, no, no. I know who General Mattis is. I mean, who’s the officer of the day today, Christmas day?” The lance corporal, feeling a little anxious, said, “Sir, it is Brigadier General Mattis.”

 General Krulak said that, about that time, he spotted in the back room a cot, or a daybed. He said, “No, Lance Corporal. Who slept in that bed last night?” The lance corporal said, “Sir, it was Brigadier General Mattis.”

About that time, General Krulak said that General Mattis came in, in a duty uniform with a sword, and General Krulak said, “Jim, what are you doing here on Christmas day? Why do you have duty?” General Mattis told him that the young officer who was scheduled to have duty on Christmas day had a family, and General Mattis decided it was better for the young officer to spend Christmas Day with his family, and so he chose to have duty on Christmas Day.

General Krulak said, “That’s the kind of officer that Jim Mattis is.”

Labels:

118 Comments:

Anonymous Longtime Lurker November 28, 2016 4:25 PM  

If not Gen. Mattis for SecDef, then who?

Blogger Jack Ward November 28, 2016 4:35 PM  

Sounds like the Guy you want at SecDef. If Trump does pick him and keeps up the skeer with other appointees like Sessions, the days ahead are looking sunny. And, most interesting. Popcorn futures have to up.

Anonymous Mark Auld November 28, 2016 4:36 PM  

A great story,I hope he gets the appointment. Make America great again indeed.

Blogger praetorian November 28, 2016 4:40 PM  

Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.

Hard to not like this man.

Blogger pyrrhus November 28, 2016 4:42 PM  

Awesome. Sounds like someone who might be able to bludgeon some sense into our military, and I hope the VA as well, which has treated our veterans so horribly. The story reminds of another one. After the battle of Waterloo, Wellington reportedly gave up his bed to a gravely wounded officer and slept in the straw. There is more than one reason that men fight for a commander.

Blogger Nate November 28, 2016 4:49 PM  

“Sir, it’s Brigadier General Mattis.”

Roll Tide.

Blogger Nate November 28, 2016 4:50 PM  

Flynn... Mattis.. and that greek general guy for Sec Sate.

The lefties will shit themselves.

Blogger SemiSpook37 November 28, 2016 4:58 PM  

There's a condescending attitude from the rest of the military services towards the Marine Corps, especially when it comes to training and tactics. I once saw a field manual written for the Corps. Wasn't big, maybe about 50 pages in total, writing was direct and to the point (we're talking almost completely monosyllabic).

Say what you will about the Corps, but those men get shit done. If those supporting the Joint Staff when GEN Pace was in charge were scared shitless, I can only imagine the sheer terror they're feeling with GEN Mattis potentially taking on the role of SECDEF.

As someone stuck in the mire that is the DoD/IC, this would be a welcome change.

Blogger Basil Makedon November 28, 2016 4:59 PM  

All of my military friends LOVE Mattis.

I am not entirely sold on him for Secretary of Defense. The Defense Dept. is essentially the largest "corporation" on Earth and I think someone with a bit more of a corporate skill set would be needed.

That being said, if we truly are in the Panem et Circenses phase of the Infinite Empire, his entertainment value is probably ideal. The man is a quote machine.

Blogger Lobo Util November 28, 2016 5:02 PM  

A retired Marine full bird Colonel who I have known for over a decade said Mattis was the real deal. He worked under Mattis and approves of Mattis's desire to kill anything that gets in the way of the Marines.

The same Colonel has nothing good to say about Petraus.

Anonymous Dave November 28, 2016 5:02 PM  

I heard Hillary did pretty much the same thing on Thanksgiving. She assigned one of her aides to volunteer in her name to dole out turkeys to the underprivileged. Wait, was that fake news?

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr November 28, 2016 5:02 PM  

I'm torn...

On the one hand, I have the utmost respect for GEN Mattis, both as a man and as a serious student of warfare. On the other hand, I'm uncomfortable with putting anyone in charge of DOD who is not thoroughly conversant with naval warfare...I don't expect the next conflict to be a protracted counterinsurgency campaign on land.

And he would need someone who knows the procurement system...and detests a large part of it. Who despises the "process over product" mentality.

Blogger Rick T November 28, 2016 5:05 PM  

Also note that in the story General Krulak was driving HIMSELF around to deliver cookies he and his wife baked themselves.

How do we still find men of this caliber?

Blogger Stilicho November 28, 2016 5:07 PM  

Lord, please let it be Mad Dog Mattis. It would be exactly what the perfumed princes of the Pentagon deserve.

Anonymous Stephen J. November 28, 2016 5:07 PM  

@12: "I'm uncomfortable with putting anyone in charge of DOD who is not thoroughly conversant with naval warfare...."

That's a reasonable concern, but I would suggest it is a great deal easier to correct deficiencies of knowledge than it is to correct deficiencies of character. The perfect candidate doesn't exist, so best not to get too hung up on finding him, I think.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan November 28, 2016 5:08 PM  

Marine Corps sold its soul for the F-35. The Os who did this should be put in stocks.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr November 28, 2016 5:10 PM  

@16: I'd argue they sold their souls for V-22 first.

Blogger Nate November 28, 2016 5:13 PM  

"Marine Corps sold its soul for the F-35. The Os who did this should be put in stocks."

F35 is abomination.

Blogger Student in Blue November 28, 2016 5:14 PM  

There's a condescending attitude from the rest of the military services towards the Marine Corps, especially when it comes to training and tactics.

If you think that's condescending, you've probably never heard the Coast Guard discussed.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr November 28, 2016 5:14 PM  

OTOH, neither point much matters. 20/20 procurement hindsight is a very cheap commodity. 20/40 procurement FORESIGHT is scarce.

Blogger Sam Lively November 28, 2016 5:14 PM  

The Hoover Institution Fellowship is one red flag on Mattis. Seems like all the foreign policy types over there are strict neocons - VDH and his buddy Thornton, Condi Rice...

Blogger SemiSpook37 November 28, 2016 5:18 PM  

@16 @17

At least those are tangible, if overly req'd and overdeveloped systems.

Something needs to be done about speeding up IT acquisitions. Hell, might as well shitcan the entire 5000 series and start over. You think THAT wouldn't turn some heads?

Blogger Bob Loblaw November 28, 2016 5:20 PM  

Is it normal for the OOD to wear a sword with a duty uniform?

Anonymous FitzRobert November 28, 2016 5:21 PM  

Napoleon 12pdr wrote:@16: I'd argue they sold their souls for V-22 first.

I'd forgotten about that pile of shit.

Anonymous FitzRobert November 28, 2016 5:25 PM  

Bob Loblaw wrote:Is it normal for the OOD to wear a sword with a duty uniform?

I never saw a sword outside the parade deck. That said, it's f*****g Mattis. He might need to lead a charge or something.

Blogger Harold November 28, 2016 5:25 PM  

Student in Blue
If you think that's condescending, you've probably never heard the Coast Guard discussed.


If there were a like or upvote button, I'd hit it for this comment.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr November 28, 2016 5:26 PM  

@22: If I were running the procurement system, dumping the whole DOD-5000 series instruction would be Step 1 in real acquisition reform. And NOT replacing the bad, broken old system by the same thing with some of the labels changed.

No. Time to push the decisions down to people who actually know the technology...and time to ditch the idea of a uniformed "acquisition professional". We've got Civil Service for that. And I hate to say it, but I've seen Civil Service personnel with more fighting spirit than some people in uniform.

Blogger Nate November 28, 2016 5:28 PM  

"If you think that's condescending, you've probably never heard the Coast Guard discussed."

Note as well that the Coast Guard is the only branch of the military that regularly saves American lives.

Blogger Arthur Isaac November 28, 2016 5:28 PM  

I was reading through some of his quotes, the one about not shooting human shields comes to mind. How does this fit with 4GW, where we are going?

The tearful artillery quote seems odd to me as well.

Blogger Nate November 28, 2016 5:28 PM  

"If there were a like or upvote button, I'd hit it for this comment."

amen. Someone asked my favorite branch of the military once... and I said the Coast Guard. And they looked at me like I had 2 heads.

Blogger Nate November 28, 2016 5:29 PM  

"The tearful artillery quote seems odd to me as well."

Mattis is a God Fearing Christian man that Loves Jesus. Knowing that... That quote should no seem strange to you at all.

Anonymous FitzRobert November 28, 2016 5:31 PM  

Nate wrote:Note as well that the Coast Guard is the only branch of the military that regularly saves American lives.

QFT. It's also Coasties that inarguably face the greatest day-to-day danger in peacetime.

Blogger Arthur Isaac November 28, 2016 5:32 PM  

Also point out that I think Mattis is a huge step in the right direction.

Blogger Arthur Isaac November 28, 2016 5:35 PM  

Mattis is a God Fearing Christian man that Loves Jesus. Knowing that... That quote should no seem strange to you at all.

A lifetime of participation in the neocon art of nation building makes me suspicious of anyone, Christian or not.

Anonymous Hezekiah Garrett November 28, 2016 5:37 PM  

Throughout this election, when accused of being a Trump fanboy, I always corrected shitlibs thusly.

"No, I don't desire a Trump Victory. I desire a coup d'etat led by Gen. Mattis, USMC. But as he seems unwilling to lead such a coup, I will settle for Trump."

Gotta let them know where they really stand, so they can sweat a bit.

Blogger Dan November 28, 2016 5:40 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous FitzRobert November 28, 2016 5:41 PM  

Hezekiah Garrett wrote:"No, I don't desire a Trump Victory. I desire a coup d'etat led by Gen. Mattis, USMC. But as he seems unwilling to lead such a coup, I will settle for Trump."

thingsiwishidsaid.txt

Anonymous A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents November 28, 2016 5:48 PM  

Infogalactic on James Mattis

Commander of 1 Mar. Div. in 2003 during the last Mesopotamian adventure.

Warrior monk who has shared fighting positions with Marines more than once in his career.

Reinforcing this intellectual persona was the fact that he carried on his person a copy of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius throughout his deployments.[8]

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents November 28, 2016 5:52 PM  

@28


Note as well that the Coast Guard is the only branch of the military that regularly saves American lives.


Plenty who can testify to that from Brownsville to Mobile to Key West just for a start. When the shrimpers and the sport fishermen and everyone else is heading towards port as fast as they can to get out from under a storm, there's one set of boats always heading out into the storm. It's not the libertarian pot patrol, either.

Anonymous hoots November 28, 2016 5:53 PM  

I don't know a thing about Mattis, but a man who does that cares deeply about his work and about his soldiers. The kind of man you follow into war. Can you imagine any of our career-obsessed princess "warriors" doing that? Exactly.

Anonymous Lawyer Guy November 28, 2016 5:56 PM  

Air Wing field grade officer would have ordered extra enlisted on duty at Christmas and had them make cookies for the O's families

Anonymous Longtime Lurker November 28, 2016 6:01 PM  

@8: "There's a condescending attitude from the rest of the military services towards the Marine Corps, especially when it comes to training and tactics."

More like envy masquerading as condescension, especially from the Army. This has been the case since the Marine Corps became the subject of laudatory press reports during World War I. This was due to the Marines' superb battlefield performance and General Pershing's restrictions on the press, which prevented reporters from mentioning specific units, but not whether the forces engaged were Army or Marines.

After the Battle of the Belleau Wood, the American public could be forgiven for believing that the only thing present on the Western Front were victorious Marines and dead Germans, but I digress.

From that point forward, the Army Brass viewed the Marine Corps as little more than a usurpatory organization and even tried to cut it down to size after World War II. Think naval infantry, and just a few battalions at that.

Corps Envy lingers still, despite the relatively high level of cooperation evident between the Army and the Corps in various major military operations in recent years (e.g. the Second Battle of Fallujah). Don't be surprised if a new episode of Corps Envy erupts if Mattis get the SecDef nomination.

Blogger Orville November 28, 2016 6:01 PM  

Unsure about Petraus, but I imagine he learned his lesson about dipping his wick. He served Hillary Cheese Pizza and Obozo, but did so as a soldier asked by his CIC to do a job.

Blogger Cail Corishev November 28, 2016 6:04 PM  

How do we still find men of this caliber?

The amazing thing is that any men like him survived the recent years of tolerance enforcement and purging of badthinkers.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents November 28, 2016 6:05 PM  

@43 and others:

Suggest reading van Creveld on the current state of militaries, with a focus on the US military. One quote: "Sexual harassment is what I report to my superiors" - anonymous female pilot.

It's not the wick dipping per se, men have been accused of sexual misbehavior for not wick dipping. This will only get worse as the military is forced to take in more females, trannies and others.

Blogger Cataline Sergius November 28, 2016 6:10 PM  

There is no getting around it the military is bad shape.

Not quite as bad as it was in the late 1970s but it's been rode hard and put away wet for years.

Bush at least meant well, which didn't stop him from being a fuckup.

Obama didn't even mean well, he just used the military to advance liberal vanity projects.

The equipment is so cannibalized I'm surprised it isn't suffering from Kuru. Morale is lower than gopher's navel. No one knows who to trust because every command now has a human resources officer (and I wish I was joking about that). And Obama being Obama has been actively promoting the interests of the generals with the worst characteristics of the breed.

"There are few easy answers, but one thing is clear: the current trajectory of climatic change presents a strategically-significant risk to U.S. national security, and inaction is not a viable option," said a statement published on Wednesday by the Center for Climate and Security, a Washington-based think tank.

"One thing is clear," I am in the wrong fucking business. If you were born to be a desk warrior, then the best kind of threats to the country are non-existent ones. Just wear your concerned face and appear before Congress rattling your baksheesh bowl, then make your case that you need a ten percent increase in funding this year to combat your non-existent threat.



I admit I'm suspicious of generals, the entire system is geared towards the advancement of politicians over warriors. But Mattis is an exception that slipped through the cracks somehow.

I wish him the best of luck. Fair winds and following seas General Mattis.

Blogger Unknown November 28, 2016 6:19 PM  

@41
I have seen things along those lines. Example:
4 man crew EA-6B squadron based out of WA State, of which I was in the maintenance department. One of the aircrew NFO types was getting married in Missouri over the weekend, so a cross country flight was laid on for a Saturday launch, for which the entire maintenance department had to come in and make sure the jet was ready to go.
Saturday is not normally a work day at home base, so more than 200 people were called in to work on a day off just so one O-3 could go get married.
That squadron tour soured me on _ever_ believing officers were better than enlisted ever again. Actually, that tour soured me on a _lot_ of things Navy related, but that is another subject.

Blogger Theproductofafineeduction November 28, 2016 6:35 PM  

@34

A lifetime of participation in the neocon art of nation building makes me suspicious of anyone, Christian or not.

By that metric every American who has ever worn a uniform falls would fall under your suspicion. I think that absurd, soldiers don't get a say in where they fight, who they fight and for what reason they fight. That being said, per wiki he was removed by the Obama administration from Central Command because he seemed to eager for a military confrontation with Iran. That is concerning but then again it's the Obama administration so whose to say that isn't disinformation.

Here is a point in his favor. He is noted for a willingness to remove senior leaders who under perform by his estimation much like the God Emperor. That seems like a very good quality for a Sec Def.

Anonymous Lawyer Guy November 28, 2016 6:37 PM  

Many years ago I stood on the flight deck of an LPH at sea for the Marine Birthday cake cutting. The Air Wing officers ordered the enlisted back to the berthing areas to watch on ship's TV while they ate the cake in the hanger deck.

The Navy enlisted were even more pissed than we were.

Blogger Noah B The MacroAggressor November 28, 2016 6:41 PM  

"No one knows who to trust because every command now has a human resources officer..."

Political officers in the US military? That sucks.

Blogger SemiSpook37 November 28, 2016 6:42 PM  

@19, @28

See, the thing is the knock on the CG is undeserved. They were split between DoD and Treasury before DHS, which really should be considered NORTHCOM, if you think about it. It's the "civil" aspect of the mission that throws things off.

@27

Someone speaking my language! The whole system is the one remaining holdover from the Cold War that really needs to be sent to the macerator of history. It's such a dinosaur and probably the singlemost legitimate reason why people have such a problem with the overall military budget.

Blogger Arthur Isaac November 28, 2016 6:52 PM  

By that metric every American who has ever worn a uniform falls would fall under your suspicion.

That is a sliding scale metric with more suspicion exponentially on the senior ranks. That said, it's my metric and I don't think I'm the only American completely sick of "nation building" and refugee taking.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 28, 2016 6:56 PM  

While I have no doubt the Christmas duty officer story is absolutely true, it's also odd. Any decent first sergeant or adjutant or G1 plays games with the duty roster around Christmas time to make sure the married troops, non-coms, and officers can spend it with their families. They just check the leave roster to see who is unmarried and not planning on leave, then ask who's willing to take duty. There's always someone. If Mattis felt he had to take duty, his G1 probably should have been relieved for stupidity.

Anonymous BGKB November 28, 2016 6:58 PM  

I always volunteered to work Christmas and thanksgiving with the stated reason that I was doing it as a present for those with small kids, pretending it was a sort of penance, but I actually did it because I preferred to get New Years and the summer holidays off. Some women plan their pregnancies so they can skip Thanksgiving Christmas and New years.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 28, 2016 7:09 PM  

Unless Mattis gets power of summary execution, and maybe not even then, he's probably not cut out for SecDef. He's a general, so he's not going to be a political ignoramus. But the problem isn't political; it's bureaucratic...and the bureaucracy there is out of control and almost totally self serving. None of the services can be fixed individually and the complexity and corruption and bureaucratic plank owning will ensure that they're not fixed collectively, either. I'm sure he'd be more than willing to do a thankless job, but a useless one?

No, as a matter of fact I wouldn't take the job, either, nor any of the service secretariats. No point to it.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 28, 2016 7:11 PM  

@34

"A lifetime of participation"

It's not a lifetime. Nation building has rarely even been considered all that important or important at all. That's one of the reasons why we suck at it, though even those who are fairly good and whose job it is, SF and CA, usually can't do much good.

Anonymous Beau November 28, 2016 7:14 PM  

If Mattis felt he had to take duty, his G1 probably should have been relieved for stupidity.

Nope. He coordinated with his G1 to make a point.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 28, 2016 7:16 PM  

Note the use of the word "had." Yes, he probably did coordinate with his G1, but the point was largely needless if there was a better way to do it, which there is. And, if it was just theatrics, which it may have been, what was the point?

Blogger Arthur Isaac November 28, 2016 7:18 PM  

@Tom Kratman, I'm not sure anyone is good enough to actually do it. I don't want to get into semantics but I would argue that "nation building" is the kind of thing Smedley Butler was describing in "War is a Racket".

I don't feel very patriotic about defending business interests abroad given that those interests could scarcely be called American any more.

We probably don't agree and I'm certain I'm punching out of my weight class.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 28, 2016 7:24 PM  

Well...yes, there are certain corrupt aspects to nation building, more often than not. But that's not usually what makes it fail. Rather, it's that "nothing is more enduring than custom," where nation building is an attempt to artificially change long standing custom, quickly. It's just not do-able.

A friend of mine from the First Gulf War was actually in the Peace Corps before joining the Army. (If you were in the armed forces first, the Peace Corps won't want to even talk with you, you doubleplusungood evil wicked naughty badbadbad person, you.) His village area was in Nepal. When he and his wife arrived in Nepal, the guy they were relieving told them, "If you can get them to not shit in the street you'll be doing better than I have." As he told me, "And, you know, I never did."

Blogger Arthur Isaac November 28, 2016 7:34 PM  

@Kratman, I've worked in Alaskan villages, we can't get the "respected" elders to stop diddling their children. Nor can we stop the "epidemic" of resulting suicides. Civilization is for the civilized. Adding a profit motive only a amplifies and subsidizes the stupidity. (Then at the end of the day they point and shriek that we have "destroyed their culture", as if we had any impact beyond cursing them with out technology).

Blogger 1101doc November 28, 2016 7:36 PM  

Tom Kratman for Chair of Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 28, 2016 7:45 PM  

Same problem, 1101. Give me a fistful of undated pardons and an unlimited supply of ammunition and I might be willing to try; otherwise, why bother?

Anonymous BGKB November 28, 2016 7:53 PM  

Lord, please let it be Mad Dog Mattis. It would be exactly what the perfumed princes of the Pentagon deserve

Photo of the Perfumed Princes seeking a safe space after hearing the news.
http://www.caglecartoons.com/viewimage.asp?ID={B6BD2B96-5C4E-4517-A420-5F178525B369}

but I've seen Civil Service personnel with more fighting spirit than some people in uniform.

Yea the fight to get on the parking lot shuttle bus before their shift is over.

The amazing thing is that any men like him survived the recent years of tolerance enforcement and purging of badthinkers.

That's the real reason he carried a sword.

I don't feel very patriotic about defending business interests abroad given that those interests could scarcely be called American any more

My combat patch was for giving Kuwait back to savage cowardly moslems after the only secular power in the region overran it. Kuwaiti tank crew leaves their main guns open in hopes that someone will fire off a round before running away/surrendering.

Give me a fistful of undated pardons and an unlimited supply of ammunition

After TRUMP gets inaugurated we will have to see if he would rather do that or go with the live game show "Don't Garrote Fewer Felons Than A Faggot"

Anonymous BGKB November 28, 2016 7:55 PM  

I meant Kuwaiti tank crews leave their main guns loaded.

Anonymous Anonymous November 28, 2016 8:28 PM  

The general is a shit bird
#1 he is a general which means politics over effective combat operations. Everyfuckingoneofthem is promoted for political reliability
I doubt we've had a good officer corps since ww2

#2 he is an utter pussy regarding fighting dirty, is against water boarding and a list of other tools

#3 he is way into the nation building shit

SFC Ton

Blogger JCclimber November 28, 2016 8:38 PM  

If he is offered that role and accepts it, then Trump will need to support him bigly (yep, I used it) to go after the incredible decades of layered inefficiencies that are now integral to the system.

Relentless. Act of congress level stuff.

Never going to happen. And I'm okay with that. If we just build that wall.

Build. That. Wall.

Blogger JCclimber November 28, 2016 8:39 PM  

Also, the Coast Guard is one of our mainstays to prevent illegal immigration and smuggling (drugs, weapons, humans).

When the wall is built, the importance of their role will double. Triple even.

Anonymous Avalanche November 28, 2016 9:02 PM  

@58 "And, if it was just theatrics, which it may have been, what was the point?"

Loyalty down begets loyalty up.

Anonymous Beau November 28, 2016 9:12 PM  

what was the point?

The same point, recast, why company grade officers eat last in the field after all their soldiers are fed - we give a damn about you.

Anonymous FitzRobert November 28, 2016 9:45 PM  

Beau, I'm glad to see you back tending this flock. I may be mistaken but it seemed to me that you weren't around quite as much over the past few months. Hearing from you always strengthens my faith.

Anonymous Lawyer Guy November 28, 2016 9:47 PM  

They have to make "Os eat last in the field" a formal rule in the Corps, because otherwise they would take all the good food and spit in the E's faces.

When I was at MCAS Cherry Point (Air Wing Marine base), not only did the officers forbid enlisted children from using the same pool as their kids, they even redirected (stole) NAF funds for a second child care center just for officer children.

Blogger William Hudson November 28, 2016 9:54 PM  

I'm onboard with General Mattis, also. However, I would like to point out that 'MY PRESIDENT', JFK (spoiled rich kid that he was), was a True Patriot AND a squid! Anchors Aweigh, mateys!

P.S. I ain't no Damned Democrat neither! I was 15 when the spooks took MY PRESIDENT out.

Anonymous Mr. Rational November 28, 2016 10:27 PM  

This sounds so much like George Washington and the cherry tree.

But I don't want it to be wrong.

Anonymous Hezekiah Garrett November 28, 2016 10:35 PM  

Loyalty down indeed.

Our Old Man on the Shiloh used to tuna fish from the fantail when we were out maneuvering. He'd move the smoking lamp aft and burn a stogie while he waited for a bite. Anything he caught went straight to the enlisted mess.

Freshest sashimi I ever ate was a chunk of tuna tossed to me by a Flip mess specialist for dragging one of those things down.

Anonymous FitzRobert November 28, 2016 10:44 PM  

Lawyer Guy wrote:They have to make "Os eat last in the field" a formal rule in the Corps, because otherwise they would take all the good food and spit in the E's faces.

When I was at MCAS Cherry Point (Air Wing Marine base), not only did the officers forbid enlisted children from using the same pool as their kids, they even redirected (stole) NAF funds for a second child care center just for officer children.


I was an 03, and unfortunately that kind of shit goes on in the Fleet as well. I will say that in my time in it didn't seem to be institutionalized.

Anonymous Just another commenter November 28, 2016 10:45 PM  

@71 - You forgot a hyphen between those last two words.

Anonymous FitzRobert November 28, 2016 11:09 PM  

Just another commenter wrote:@71 - You forgot a hyphen between those last two words.

Ha! Took me a second...

Anonymous BGKB November 28, 2016 11:19 PM  

Col Kratman what are your thoughts on Blackwater= Good, Clinton,Bush,Obama= bad https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBTCVgZUuso
An Honest Conversation About Blackwater | Erik Prince and Stefan Molyneux

Blogger Thucydides November 28, 2016 11:41 PM  

@Arthur Issac

I was part of the Canadian effort at "Nation Building" in Afghanistan, and also served in the Balkans earlier. If there is one thing which always struck me about places like that it is how close they hold their history. Serbs recounting the Battle of Kosovo Pole in such vivid detail you would have thought it took place in the 1990 civil war, rather than 1389, and Afghans held grievances over the theft of their great grandfather's goats.

If anyone wants to do nation building, it is possible if you dig in and do the job for 100+ years, including raising the children in your culture, not theirs, and training the locals in your customs and techniques up to middle management level at least. That is the secret of the "Anglosphere", where British soldiers and civil servants left behind far more functional colonies than any of their European rivals. (OF course this is still al relative, a high functioning former British colony in Africa is still not the place you or I would willingly hang out).

Of course our own "modern" and historic cultures are interested in the next quarter rather than the next generation, so I don't see much hope of nation building in the usual way. Perhaps some really advanced forms of marketing and PSYOPS might do the trick, backed with the threat that the Marines will come if you really piss us off, but that is pretty blue sky, and about as realistic as expecting occupation forces to remain for centuries.

Blogger Lazarus November 28, 2016 11:41 PM  

William Hudson wrote:I'm onboard with General Mattis, also. However, I would like to point out that 'MY PRESIDENT', JFK (spoiled rich kid that he was), was a True Patriot AND a squid! Anchors Aweigh, mateys!

P.S. I ain't no Damned Democrat neither! I was 15 when the spooks took MY PRESIDENT out.


If he was still around today, he would be villified as a racist homophobic xenophobic mysogenist patriarchic right wing bigot.

I read Profiles in Courage. The difference in political discourse between that and what happens now is unfathomable.

Blogger Michael Kingswood November 28, 2016 11:45 PM  

"No one knows who to trust because every command now has a human resources officer (and I wish I was joking about that)."

Funny, though there is an HR officer specialty, in my nearly 20 years of Naval service I have never served in a command that had one. Shoot, I currently serve on a Flag Staff and....nope, no HR officer here either.

Granted, I'm not the entire Navy, and I've certainly only seen a sliver of the whole. But methinks you overstate this a tad.

Blogger Jack Ward November 28, 2016 11:47 PM  

I was with the 9th. Marines in I Corp/Nam 66/67. We rarely had mess lines, usually was C's. One time we did the Old Man [Batt. Commander]was at the end of the line. Some dump Lt. broke the line way up near the front. The CO walked up, grabbed this worthy by nap of neck Dragged him back to the very rear of the line giving him holy hell every inch. You never seen field grunts ginning so much.

Blogger Michael Kingswood November 28, 2016 11:49 PM  

OT - is there some trick to commenting in Brave? I had to switch to Safari to make that comment work.

Anonymous Bukulu November 28, 2016 11:51 PM  

I don't know, Kenya has always seemed a fairly tolerable place, as long as you stay away from the border with Somalia.

Blogger Arthur Isaac November 29, 2016 12:03 AM  

human resources officer

Commissar?

Blogger Bosefus November 29, 2016 12:04 AM  

Black Water:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km4-eKvv3EM

Keep on rollin:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBTCVgZUuso

Well duh!:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh4nNdNJ_U8

Blogger Arthur Isaac November 29, 2016 12:08 AM  

OT, went to see Hacksaw Ridge yesterday. Saw the preview for Matt Damon in The Great Wall, what? the? hell? I'm guessing Chinese dollars have been in the pipeline for a while now or is it just Hollywood lubing up for the new pizza shop owners coming to town?

Blogger Ingot9455 November 29, 2016 12:37 AM  

@86 It's an experiment to see if the two styles can meld. If it turns people off, it won't happen again. If it banks, they'll do it more.

Blogger Counter Attack November 29, 2016 12:59 AM  

Mad Dog has always been legit.

Blogger Bosefus November 29, 2016 1:10 AM  

Pendilum do like a pendilum do. How sweet it is!... Friers, boilers, house of ribs... syncronisities...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDd7wBXTIRc

Blogger Bosefus November 29, 2016 1:30 AM  

Come on tell me... what are you gonnin do... what are you gonnin do... I live in a house by the roadside made out of human skulls... come on... tell me what are YOU gonna do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms6sf0XfQNc

Blogger GFR November 29, 2016 1:48 AM  

I'd be more concerned if there weren't similar concerns expressed about EVERY new fighter all the way back to Korea.
.
Producing a stealthy aircraft that can take of and land vertically is a lot more difficult than designing a new Chevrolet.

Blogger M. Bibliophile November 29, 2016 2:11 AM  

Tom Kratman wrote: ...what was the point?

Come on, colonel, you know that it's a morale boost to see the Old Man take the shit detail from time to time. OF COURSE it's theatrics, but we do it anyway because it's a small way to let Joe know we give a damn. Like someone above pointed out, it's on the same plane as letting the battery eat before the officers get theirs. Humans live on symbols, even when they don't like to admit it, and fighting men doubly so. The occasional symbolic act can buy a lot of good will, provided the boss isn't a shithead to begin with.

Blogger M. Bibliophile November 29, 2016 2:18 AM  

I never served under General Mattis, but I also never met a Marine who did that didn't love him. My active duty time was spent in the engineers, but the grunts I met at Sergeants' Course loved to gossip about how the senior leadership behaved on deployment (this was back at the end of '04, shortly after the second battle of Fallujah: we had veterans of both fights in the class). Mattis was universally respected as a fighting general who would come up to the front (such as it was) to asses the situation and talk to the grunts on the ground. At the time, I barely knew who he was outside of a few very quotable lines, but I have yet to hear a bad word for him as far as his Marines were concerned.

Anonymous Zed, Lord of the Brutals November 29, 2016 4:35 AM  

>>Is it normal for the OOD to wear a sword with a duty uniform?<<

At Quantico, too close to DC, they may do Dress or possibly Service Alphas for holidays. USMC wide, it's common to do Service Bravo/Charlie uniforms on Fridays for non-field units/personnel. If you're wearing Dress Blues or Service Alphas, the sword is an easy wear, so why not? Just add the white/black leather frog to the belt, at least for us enlisted guys. The zeros have some more complicated rigging for the Mameluke sword, admittedly, but it's still not that hard to wear.

And as demonstrated, it's the kind of theatrics that generates an image. Wearing dress blues among civvies will pull more ass than a toilet seat, wearing the sword just adds frosting and the cherry on top. And you'd become a Marine legend if some ass starts something and you run him through.

I served in 1MarDiv in OIF2, commanded by Mattis. There were some avoidable issues due to silly bureaucratic shit which might have been due to HQ 1MarDiv, but I can't say for certain, as I was not privy to those details, and I was kinda busy regardless. Regardless of the advertising, Mattis is human, and so allowances have to be made. It could have been worse.

The USMC is prone to officers in general making these sorts of deliberate statements. I once had a battalion commander who worked the mess line in the chow hall just about every work day. There was a very good chance you'd see him at least once every time you had DNCO/SDNCO. While it's never sufficient to make up for incompetence, I think it's the kind of thing that demonstrates loyalty and reinforces humility, with the second thing probably being more critical, if I was being honest.

Blogger tim November 29, 2016 4:50 AM  

And the country suffered under the Lizard Queen for the last three years? Pendulum effect

Blogger Aeoli Pera November 29, 2016 7:40 AM  

The military is converged. The Christmas officer story has nothing to do with warfare and could just as easily be about a hospital admin.

Blogger Aeoli Pera November 29, 2016 7:52 AM  

This is not to say I don't appreciate the character traits implied.

Anonymous genericviews November 29, 2016 8:47 AM  

Not as good as a war story. Every officer in USAREUR used to do the same thing every Christmas. Nothing sends the message that you don't give a shit about results more than seeing your CG standing guard.

Personally, I would expect a General with the nickname "mad dog" to have some war stories about personally gutting Hajis with his K-Bar. But if all you got is his habit of serving Christmas cookies, fine. Where I work, all the generals send out Birthday cards every year. Of course we all know, their secretaries have a data base and a full time job printing them out for signature. But it's not as if we are at war or anything. And printing out all those announcements is part of your national defense budget, so conservatives support it.

Blogger tweell November 29, 2016 10:14 AM  

83 Kingswood, left-click the settings dots at the top right, select Shields and turn off for this site. You'll be able to comment then.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 29, 2016 1:11 PM  

Nah, Ava, the troops aren't stupid. They recognize theatrics when they see it and generally discount it.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 29, 2016 1:18 PM  

Except it doesn't say that, Beau; there's a difference between reality and theater.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 29, 2016 1:20 PM  

"When I was at MCAS Cherry Point (Air Wing Marine base), not only did the officers forbid enlisted children from using the same pool as their kids, they even redirected (stole) NAF funds for a second child care center just for officer children."

There are actually sound reasons for the separation, just as for separating the housing, hence the wives.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 29, 2016 1:26 PM  

"The CO walked up, grabbed this worthy by nap of neck Dragged him back to the very rear of the line giving him holy hell every inch."

And thereby did him the favor of his life.

There is at least one valid exception to the officers eat last rule; this is for the mess officer who has to at least taste everything put out, three meals a day, even if he has a wife at home who's quite a good cook. Yeah, got stuck with that as an additional duty for a year or so.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 29, 2016 1:27 PM  

"Funny, though there is an HR officer specialty, in my nearly 20 years of Naval service I have never served in a command that had one."

He may be thinking of adjutants or their naval equivalent, which is to say usually line officers detailed to staff as personnel officers. It's not nearly the same thing, in practice, as HR.

Blogger Daniel November 29, 2016 1:27 PM  

Sounds sovietic

Blogger Tom Kratman November 29, 2016 1:40 PM  

M.B.

My rule is that morale is rarely if ever boosted by theatrics. If you want to impress the troops with how much you care, then care for real and do what that demands.

Example: there was a company commander's driver who was married to a young, pregnant-with-kid-#2, quite pretty and shapely blonde girl. She'd had a c-section previously and was worried about the scar not following the same track. Shitheel colonel-type doctor just poo-poohed her concerns, after all, she was just an enlisted swine's wife. The driver asked his CO for help. The CO and his wife planned it out. She went to the building the doctors' offices were in and used looks, charm, and force of character to bullshit her way past the E-6 guarding the door. Then she found the guilty bastard and proceeded to chew his ass out viciously, in Spanish accented English (and while I'm on the subject, let me give a hearty go fuck yourselves to the alt-Nazis present), until she browbeat him into agreeing to following the existing scar line. Then she left and called her husband at the office. He then called the colonel doctor. Note that he was a captain, which is why he delegated the court-martialable ass chewing to his wife. Conversation went something like this: "And, so, sir, do you intend to keep your word to my wife and treat my soldier's wife properly, as a human being, and follow the same scar line?....Ah, good. Because if you don't, I'm a commander; you're just a colonel. Who do you want to bet can get an appointment with the division commander first?"

Anonymous Lawyer Guy November 29, 2016 6:12 PM  

Tom Kratman wrote:"When I was at MCAS Cherry Point (Air Wing Marine base), not only did the officers forbid enlisted children from using the same pool as their kids, they even redirected (stole) NAF funds for a second child care center just for officer children."

There are actually sound reasons for the separation, just as for separating the housing, hence the wives.


Two different but equally important observations.

1. My experience was with Marine Aviators, Flight Officers, and Air Command and Control Officers. Maintenance officers may be better, but I doubt it. Field grade and above their concerns were personal comfort, lack of responsibility for any problems, and gaming credit from each other and enlisted. This includes passing the buck to enlisted whenever possible.

The single worst officer I knew was a C&C 7202, he would avoid any situation where he would have to be on the hook, even if it meant an E4 Corporal making a decision on a medivac. He also was personally bad, ragging enlisted for fun--in my case he found out a close family member was a union officer and would lecture me on the evil and stupidity of unions knowing I couldn't answer, and that I could not rat out the operations O to anyone.

He prospered in the Corps, I checked years later and he made O6 and finished as a faculty member at the Air War College. One of the few people I actually hate, the rest are people I encountered lawyering.

I worked around or for very few Air Wing field grade officers I considered leaders.

2. If an officer's son is so much better than an enlisted child, he needs neither a pool nor child care. His natural ability and breeding make that a luxury, where the lower class child needs those boosts.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 29, 2016 7:11 PM  

1. There are just flat too many officers of too low a quality, in terms of leadership ability and moral and intellectual, both. This goes across the services. That's why I mentioned that DoD is impossible to fix; to do so would require cutting all the services officers massively. Cut one and that one will get murdered in the bureaucracy stakes. But cutting in all of them becomes too great a task for anyone to do.

2. That's not why they do it. Well...as with many things military, there are two reasons; the official one and the real one. For example, Army officers don't carry umbrellas because it frightens the horses...officially. But it's really because we thought it was wimpish. We don't allow beards because of requiring a good seal on a Pro Mask....officially. Really, it's because we think it looks sloppy and gives too much free reign to expressions of individuality.

In this case, the official one concerns social distance because familiarity breeds contempt (often quite deserved contempt, too, to be honest). But the real and really good reason involves the severe issues that revolve around interrank familial squabbles. Example, captain X's kid punches captain Y's kid. No big deal; they can work it out. However, private X's kid punches Colonel Y's kid, either X will be reluctant to complain or he will complain and Y will retaliate or have another colonel do so for him. And then when you bring in the wives...Jesus, it can get horrible.

What you're describing though goes beyond the good reason all the way to a bad reason, moral corruption.

Blogger 1101doc November 30, 2016 12:34 AM  

So~ reason 42589 why all officers should have to be grads of Ranger school. Read the Carrera series by Tom Kratman. He SHOWS how the military should be organized and run. "Training for War" is also required reading in my opinion.

Blogger Tom Kratman November 30, 2016 5:45 AM  

It would only, at best, get rid of the physically and mentally weak. Thus, it's not enough, on its own. However, were it made a prerequisite for commissioning in any service, and provided it wasn't degraded or gender normed, the numbers of officers would drop, precipitously. _That's_ how it could help overall.

Anonymous Lawyer Guy November 30, 2016 8:46 PM  

Every single 72XX Marine Wing officer was a TBS grad, not Ranger school but much more than I went through as an enlisted. Many of them still were bad.

This thread got me to go to the TWS site via google, saw a career photo spread from the best SMaj I had. Good memories.

Blogger Tom Kratman December 01, 2016 12:05 AM  

Again, note what I said it's good for. It has some limited technical and tactical training value, and considerable toughening potential and TLP value, but it's not going to select for honesty or integrity, in general. The peer evals, if honestly run and forthrightly followed through on sometimes can ID shitheads. What it's good for, as a testing vehicle, is determining if someone has adequate physical and - more importantly - mental toughness. Unless, of course, one is female, where it is primarily useful to test how unbefuckinglievably corrupt the Army is, in the form of how readily they'll destroy records to avoid turning them over to congressional inquiry. In any case, the failure rate among what is already a fairly tough and fit crew is very high, so it would, bare minimum, chop the number of officers were it a prerequisite.

Blogger Tom Kratman December 01, 2016 12:10 AM  

Addendum:

What 1101 is talking about is an entire system of systems designed to produce a good citizens' army. Of that, Cazador (Ranger equivalent) is a part. But so are the awards system, the recruiting system, the complete lack of a safety system (coupled with rather stoic acceptance of casualties in training), the R&D and procurement systems, the assassinations branch...you get the idea. I wouldn't claim that the series is the best military fiction or science fiction series ever written. I will claim it is the best staffed and thought out - from a strictly military POV - military fiction or science fiction series ever written.

Blogger Aeoli Pera December 01, 2016 11:34 AM  

Tom Kratman wrote:The peer evals, if honestly run and forthrightly followed through on sometimes can ID shitheads.

Disagree. Peer evals ID SSMV.

Blogger Tom Kratman December 01, 2016 6:07 PM  

Means?

Blogger Tom Kratman December 01, 2016 7:34 PM  

Went looking for a definition and found something interesting on Koanic's page. A bit old, yes, it was, but good for a zinger or two anyway.

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts