ANCFlyer
Topic Author
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US Troops Demoralized?

Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:05 pm

There was quite a bit of discussion on this subject in another thread . . .

I think it warrants it's own thread, and further discussion.

Here's my initial contribution:

http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/7342740p-7254840c.html

"I can't say I was having fun, but deep down inside, I knew this is one of the greatest moments of my life," Frommer explained in an interview at his parents' South Anchorage home. "I felt good 'cause I had all my friends with me. I was just like, this is where I want to be."

Klaus, I'm not picking on you, however, it was your contention in the other thread that US/UK troops are demoralized and exhausted. My contention is that you're correct, they are becoming exhausted - they are not demoralized. I immediately thought of you when I saw this in today's paper.



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FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:55 pm

ANC - What the hell are you doing showing this crap!? Don't you know better? American troops are so disheartened they are begging to come home. They just don't understand. You see, over there, they can't get watch CNN, or ABC/NBC/CBS nightly news. If ONLY they had access to the New York Times! THEN they would know just how bad it is over there!!!!

The troops are so demoralized they're pracitically going AWOL. Obviously it is a major sign of combat stress when they talk utter nonsense such as your article. They're so shell shocked they don't know what they're even saying. That is why we need to ignore them. Yup, ignore them. After all, what the hell does a grunt know compared to an award winning TV/Newspaper journalist!?

ANC, I thought you knew better.  Wink

Anyway, I'm off to work. Good day y'all!

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
usnseallt82
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:56 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Thread starter):
they are not demoralized.

 checkmark 

I agree completely. Our troops are NOT demoralized as a whole. The problem is that you have one or two young ones that come home and get the media attention with their negative perspectives. Meanwhile, the rest of the population just assumes that those attitudes reflect the military as a whole.

Simply not true. Our troops couldn't be more solid in their strength and resolve than today. Those who fight this have either never served or never pay attention to anyone who has.
Crye me a river
 
TNboy
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:33 pm

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 2):
Those who fight this have either never served or never pay attention to anyone who has.

The comments I have heard from those who are serving in US forces, although limited, all seem to reflect what you say, Usnseallt82. I have worked in and with the media long enough to have little regard or respect for their ability to accurately convey the complete picture of anything more complex than a kitten stranded up a tree.
Bill
"...every aircraft is subtly different.."
 
gkirk
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:37 pm

ANCflyer, I would have thought you were clever enough to work out by now that Klaus is a cheese eating, pink commie surrender monkey  Silly  stirthepot 
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
Klaus
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:18 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Thread starter):
Klaus, I'm not picking on you, however, it was your contention in the other thread that US/UK troops are demoralized and exhausted. My contention is that you're correct, they are becoming exhausted - they are not demoralized. I immediately thought of you when I saw this in today's paper.

Okay, first of all let me apologize for not responding earlier. I initially put it off and then kind of lost track of this issue.

I actually never implied what you and others seemingly had the impression I did. My initial post was the following in the thread Has Bush Weakened Our Military?:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 3):
I don't think the formal cuts of troop strength would necessarily be a problem.

Much, much larger problems are:

a) creating unnecessary wars without any sound cause or strategy which overload the otherwise adequately-sized military

b) cutting support from under the feet of soldiers and veterans

Much worse than a slightly undersized military is a demoralized and exhausted one...

It was actually not necessarily a claim about the current state of the troops; It was a general statement which is, I think, at the very least debatable.

Beyond that, however, the issue of "demoralized" merits some slightly deeper consideration than it has received up to this point.


On the surface of it, "troop morale" among the US soldiers deployed in Iraq appears somewhat strained but on the whole certainly still intact. But "morale" is not just the likelihood or improbability of open mutiny among the ranks as has been insinuated above and in other threads. That's too simple - and unrealistic.


In reality the issue of "morale" is a bit more complex; And open dissent is merely the extreme last indication of its ultimate failure.

"Closing the ranks" under external threat or criticism is a natural reflex in any halfway functioning community, with the military not being an exception. But it would be a mistake to confuse this reflex still functioning with everything still being fine. That is not what it means. It merely means that morale hasn't broken down completely.


The problem I see is that even the usually republican-voting US military community can't close their eyes before the inconsistencies between the mission statement and the actual reality they're facing, between the ideology ("bringing freedom and democracy", "they'll greet us with cheers and flowers") and the emerging evidence (Abu Ghraib, discussions about the "legality" of torture, the disappointment in the local population (to pick the best case reaction)).

When this kind of thing happens, your daily routine and your immediate challenges don't really change all that much, and that is usually where you keep motivating yourself; But when your leadership is continually making grand speeches which then fail to turn out to be true and you're left with the mess to clean up, you will at the very least start to compartmentalize your motivation, your loyalty and your faith in the greater mission.

You'll start making up internal excuses for some things, start ignoring others and will concentrate on just a subset of your initial mission.


Motivation and morale usually don't just vanish - they erode over time, with every new disappointment and with every promise broken.

I have no doubt that the prevailing attitude among any military is to "tough it out" when things get difficult; But the capacity of any human to re-charge one's motivation under the prevailing circumstances is still limited.

It will certainly take a lot to bring any halfway functioning military to the breaking point, but it's clearly headed into that direction - what's unknown right now is how far that point is still ahead.


We've frequently discussed the various unfortunate actions performed by US troops on the way, but I don't share the view that those were (are?) just accidental missteps by individual soldiers or officers.

There is overwhelming evidence all through history and all over the planet that you just have to create a certain set of circumstances and you'll see first a few, then more and ultimately most people turn into savages;

Sure, the ultimate responsibility will always be with the individual, but knowing the relationship between cause and effect it is simply not possible any more as a civilian society to rush into a conflict carelessly and emotionally, then to send one's military to do the actual dirty work and ultimately to wash one's collective hands of the gruesome results one didn't want to recognize when there still was a choice.


The abandonment of Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq have been planned, cheered for and decided by civilians, explicitly against better judgment of several military experts (who subsequently turned out to be right). Now not just the civilian populations in both these countries have to suffer the consequences but also - and for the american population much closer to home - the US troops sent to execute a flawed strategy and to clean up the mess.

There will be severe repercussions both abroad, US domestic and for and among the troops involved. Had it been a fully justifiable and well-planned operation, it would be easier to deal with the fallout; But in fact it was neither.

As much as I'd personally gloat and cheer if GWB and his merry men were tarred, feathered and run out of Washington on a rail, that's ultimately irrelevant.

The essential question is if it will happen again - starting an aggression on pain, fear, hate, ideology instead of an actual look at the really existing evidence, risks and possible outcomes. This question is obviously most essential for british and american citizens and voters, but it is relevant for every decision that ultimately means to send people to kill other people. We civilians (including soldiers in their role as citizens) ultimately make the decision, but others will have to bear the consequences.

Do we live up to that responsibility?
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 11:09 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
The problem I see is that even the usually republican-voting US military community can't close their eyes before the inconsistencies between the mission statement and the actual reality they're facing, between the ideology ("bringing freedom and democracy", "they'll greet us with cheers and flowers") and the emerging evidence (Abu Ghraib, discussions about the "legality" of torture, the disappointment in the local population (to pick the best case reaction)).

I don't deny Abu Ghraib and the BS at Gitmo give great cause for concern. I don't think anyone - Republican or Democratic or otherwise - in the military. close their eyes to the difference between the ideology and the reality. I do maintain that - as I've said in the past - no one is getting the entire picture by simply watching the news and reading the papers. All the general public will see are the body counts and the occasional scandal . . . that was my point in posting this reference to this Alaskan soldier. It's not doctored.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
I have no doubt that the prevailing attitude among any military is to "tough it out" when things get difficult; But the capacity of any human to re-charge one's motivation under the prevailing circumstances is still limited.

Agreed, and I think the time is quickly approaching when we'll see the military say - "We're Exhausted". I know I damn sure would be . . . I thank my lucky stars I'm fortunate enough to be retired now.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
Had it been a fully justifiable and well-planned operation, it would be easier to deal with the fallout;

As for whether it was justifiable, that's going to remain debatable forever. As for the planning - the initial planning of the operation was brilliant . . . period. In every sense of the Operational Art - it was brilliant. Follow on planning and subsequent execution sucks.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
Do we live up to that responsibility?

I think we do . . . at least you and I for this brief moment in time - in that we discuss it - both the positives and negatives - and we make ourselves heard not just to the other members here - but I suspect, just like I do, other members - other citizens - make their opinions known to their govermnent representatives. We elected the leadership in this country (and they elected theirs in Britian) entrusting them to make the decisions on whether to go to war, whether to raise or lower taxes, make laws (etc, etc). We live up to our responsibility every time we go to a oting booth, write a letter to a government representative, etc.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
Okay, first of all let me apologize for not responding earlier. I initially put it off and then kind of lost track of this issue.

No worries . . . you have a life . . .  thumbsup 
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
L-188
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:05 pm

I have't had a chance to talk to my brothers roommate who just got back from the sandbox last week.

So far the only story I have heard second-hand was that he thinks he might have broken his foot....When they first got there he had a habit of keeping the door of the humvee open by keeping his foot on the sill.

Then they got the uparmored ones...and the doors on that thing weight a couple hundred lbs more then the factory stock ones...Anyway he had to brake suddenly and the door slammed into his foot.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
stlgph
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:11 pm

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 2):
The problem is that you have one or two young ones that come home and get the media attention with their negative perspectives.

Sure there is media attention, but there is also going to be feedback regarding military actions and services from close family members and friends. I would tend to think negative perspectives from these people would be more disheartening than anything they'd read in the paper, coming from the idea of pride and accompolishment that is supposed to be "earned" when one joins the armed forces.

I'm sure it has happened or maybe I'm just entirely off base. Just a thought.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:40 pm

Quoting STLGph (Reply 8):
, but there is also going to be feedback regarding military actions and services from close family members and friends. I would tend to think negative perspectives from these people would be more disheartening than anything they'd read in the paper, coming from the idea of pride and accompolishment that is supposed to be "earned" when one joins the armed forces.

I'm sure it has happened or maybe I'm just entirely off base. Just a thought.

Not off base at all . . . in fact, I'd welcome honest feedback from Gis that have been there and done that. In m case, two brothers and two best friends. Ony Navy, one Air Force and two Army. In all cases, I have nothing but positive feedback . . .

Oh, of course, the war sucks, they're away from home, we need this and that, feedback - but on a bog picture scale, nothing but positive.

STl, you won't read about that in the Anchorage paper . . . it doesn't make news.

Now, have a car bombing tomorrow - that'll be on the front page. There in lies the error of the media's way.

And the uneducated - no offense Klaus, you're not among this group - being to think we're demoralized and losing the fight . . . utter  redflag 
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:12 pm

When you fight a hidden Enemy who knows where you are & you don't.
Who can strike using Civillians as props.
Who strikes & when you retaliate you kill Innocent civilians in the process due to confusion.
Its bound to hit your Moral.
We faced it in Kashmir until the Improvement came.The US troops are facing it in Iraq.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
stlgph
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:53 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 9):
Not off base at all . . . in fact, I'd welcome honest feedback from Gis that have been there and done that. In m case, two brothers and two best friends. Ony Navy, one Air Force and two Army. In all cases, I have nothing but positive feedback . . .

Oh, of course, the war sucks, they're away from home, we need this and that, feedback - but on a bog picture scale, nothing but positive.

well keep in mind your case is one of just many many and many.

but not necessarily hearing it back from those who had been, but what if you were someone who had served overseas, came back, and had heard displeasuring comments from your girlfriend, boyfriend (!), mom, dad, etc. who disproved of the whole damn Iraq conflict. you have to admit, no matter how much the pride, it'd sting a little if words came from the right person.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
cfalk
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:54 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 6):
As for the planning - the initial planning of the operation was brilliant . . . period. In every sense of the Operational Art - it was brilliant. Follow on planning and subsequent execution sucks.

You have a basic problem in that an Army is fundementally meant to kill the enemy and break his country. That is it's basic purpose. It is best capable of fulfilling that purpose when given a target and unleashed. The concept of politics is alien to the military concept.

The initial operation was a success because it was precisely what the military was designed for. Invade Iraq. Sieze the enemy capital and major cities. Kill anyone who gets in the way.

But once politics reared its ugly head, the military is out of its element. Now they are supposed to prevent destruction and keep the piece, while a guerila force is trying to do the opposite. They are supposed to help build a government, when they are much better at bringing them down.

If there is an enemy base in Faluja, the military mind would say, "wipe it out". But politics demand that you cannot do that, forcing the military to go house-to house.

The military is based on rules and discipline. They wear uniforms ensuring that they can be identified. They must restrain themselves from breaking the laws of warfare. The enemy do not wear uniforms and respect no rules. If they did, the conflict would be over by the end of the week.

In summary, the military in Iraq is trying to do a job that it was not designed to do. It is like using a hammer to repair a watch. But in the finest tradition, they are dedicated to survive, adapt, and overcome their obstacles.

As far as moral is concerned, I see that re-enlistment levels are still very high, and that is the best indicator of all.
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
usnseallt82
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:50 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 10):
Its bound to hit your Moral.

War is war.

Quoting STLGph (Reply 11):
you have to admit, no matter how much the pride, it'd sting a little if words came from the right person.

Yes, and I agree. The war may be hard as hell, but its nothing compared to not having the support of your family behind you or getting negative comments from them while you're fighting. This is why many divorces happen during wartime because the spouses weren't prepared for this. Then, the negative comments come and the relationship breaks down. Pair that up with having the service member deployed and you have the military's divorce statistics right there.

However, I don't think this is the morale we're talking about. I think we're looking at the morale troops have about the war and about our progress thus far. That morale, as Cfalk's next comment takes the words from my mouth, is very high right now because enlistment and commissioning levels are increasing. The Navy has way more officers than it needs and is still recruiting strong. People want to be involved in this fight and, like he said, those levels are prime indicators of what the true morale is.

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 12):
As far as moral is concerned, I see that re-enlistment levels are still very high, and that is the best indicator of all.

 checkmark  yes 

Couldn't have said it better myself.
Crye me a river
 
LHMark
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:09 am

ANCflyer's article illustrates the fellaciousness of the argument that popular opposition lowers the morale of troops in combat.

Since the war began, conservative pundits and vocal war supporters in the US have been decrying anti-war demonstrations, posters, bumper stickers and the like as damaging to troops' morale, and therefoire a potential boon for the enemy.

It's good to see that it takes more than reasonable and expected popular dissent to destroy the morale of American soldiers. I think everybody pretty much knew that all along, even the Coulters and O'Reilleys who espoused this false, malicious argument.
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
 
slider
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:40 am

If I were a soldier in Iraq and kept seeing the gross negligence and irresponsible spin-infested reporting of the war efforts by our media, I'd be pretty damn pissed off if not demoralized.

Further, if I kept hearing talking head bureaucrats talking about how they "support the troops but oppose the war" all while their seditious speech and actions undermine the morale and effort the troops are so strongly fighting FOR, I'd also be pissed off. Just because Murtha is a vet himself doesn't diminish the destructiveness of his ranting.

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 12):
You have a basic problem in that an Army is fundementally meant to kill the enemy and break his country.



Quoting Cfalk (Reply 12):
But once politics reared its ugly head, the military is out of its element. Now they are supposed to prevent destruction and keep the piece, while a guerila force is trying to do the opposite. They are supposed to help build a government, when they are much better at bringing them down.

Bingo- the military exists to kill people and break things.

Let's win the peace, get this country on its feet, stop the insurgents and get the hell out. Until then, the leftists should STFU. We're there, it doesn't matter WHY at this point, under what dubious circumstances or faulty intel (which the entire world and the loudest critics all believed), let's just get the damn job done already.
 
L-188
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:44 am

Quoting LHMARK (Reply 14):
Since the war began, conservative pundits and vocal war supporters in the US have been decrying anti-war demonstrations, posters, bumper stickers and the like as damaging to troops' morale, and therefoire a potential boon for the enemy.

It's good to see that it takes more than reasonable and expected popular dissent to destroy the morale of American soldiers. I think everybody pretty much knew that all along, even the Coulters and O'Reilleys who espoused this false, malicious argument.

Nice Spin. spin 

Really, My compliments.

I think all of those pundits also know that these demonstrations empower the enemy more then they bring our boys down.

And that is the danger lies.....the enemy watching news reports of anti-war demostators and thinking, My cause isn't hopeless
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
satx
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:27 am

Quoting Slider (Reply 15):
If I were a soldier in Iraq and kept seeing the gross negligence and irresponsible spin-infested reporting of the war efforts by our media, I'd be pretty damn pissed off if not demoralized.

You sound like you're already pissed off (if not demoralized), so how would being a soldier in Iraq change your view?

Quoting Slider (Reply 15):
Further, if I kept hearing talking head bureaucrats talking about how they "support the troops but oppose the war" all while their seditious speech and actions undermine the morale and effort the troops are so strongly fighting FOR, I'd also be pissed off. Just because Murtha is a vet himself doesn't diminish the destructiveness of his ranting.

I happen to support the troops. Then again, who doesn't? Isn't the whole "Support Our Troops!" bandwagon more about convincing others to be quiet rather than expressing an actual and identifiable viewpoint?

I do not, however, support almost anything this administration has done or tried to do. The only exception I can think of are the new restrictions affecting diesel fuel and emissions for off-road equipment. I assumed that Bush was probably going to be one of the worst presidents ever, but that didn't stop me from watching for any silver lining from his actions. Needless to say, I never really found any. In fact, most of his actions seem to reveal a deep-routed contempt of everything I stand for. Bush apparently wants the lives of our citizenry to be ever more transparent even while he works to make the workings of his government every more opaque. He is, quite frankly, among the most manipulative and hypocritical people I have ever had the misfortune of living under.

Quoting Slider (Reply 15):
Bingo- the military exists to kill people and break things.

So why is Bush trying to use it for nation building? One of the first things I knew about Bush was that he wasn't going to use our armed forces for nation building. How did I know this? Well, because he said so. So how did we end up doing just that? Bringing integrity back to the Whitehouse? Please.

Quoting Slider (Reply 15):
Let's win the peace, get this country on its feet, stop the insurgents and get the hell out. Until then, the leftists should STFU. We're there, it doesn't matter WHY at this point, under what dubious circumstances or faulty intel (which the entire world and the loudest critics all believed), let's just get the damn job done already.

Aren't the "leftists" the same folks who helped bring the right to vote to blacks and to women? If all they did was "STFU" whenever some right-winger told them to, well, wouldn't this country would be much worse off than it is now? The idea that only someone who gets the country into a mess can subsequently get it out again doesn't make any sense to me at all. IMO, we need new blood and a new viewpoint to undo the damage we've already done. "Staying the course" only makes sense when you're already on the right track, and we seem to have lost that direction long ago.
Open Season on Consumer Protections is Just Around the Corner...
 
LHMark
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:48 am

Hey, I'm just saying the strongest invective against expressing anti-war sentiment has been proven invalid by Frommer and thousands of servicepeople like him. They don't sweat the fact that some people back home are calling for the war's end.

I admire that sense of purpose.
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:53 am

 banghead   banghead   banghead   banghead 

Why are we still having this discussion?

This is probably going to come out the wrong way, but civilians can sit around all day and theorize on the level of moral among our troops... but with all due respect... you have no clue what you're talking about. They simply can't and they never will. It's not a bad thing, it's just the way it is.

Just as I cannot expertly and intelligently speak about a day-in-the-life of, oh say, a teacher; likewise, a civilian cannot truly speak about being a soldier. Especially since it's a job unlike any other.

War. - This is our very purpose! We don't put in countless hours of training and preparation because we're simply bored with nothing better to do, we train to be ready to put our skills to use. Sure, there were those who joined in the 90s because they wanted to see the world or get some college money, but those who did, and who didn't like the idea of deploying to war have all left by now. The rest of us joined/or remain in the service because we want to fight.

I honestly don't think a vast majority of civilians realize that. Sure war is extremely exhausting, but demoralizing? No, and here is why: The moment you start hating your job and the war destroys your morale... you're not going to re-enlist. (especially if it is a guarantee that you would be going back to the sandbox.)You are going to reach your ETS date, and take that uniform off for good. But that's not happening! Just the opposite - RECORD HIGH re-enlistment! We joined to fight, we're staying into fight, and we won't stop until the fighting is over.

I've said this already - but we don't complete the job to time, we complete the job to standard. We don't punch out when the clock says we can go, we punch out when the job has been completed.

It's called discipline. It's called duty. It's called responsibility. Three things, that if we had more of in society, people would realize how foolish and dishonorable it is to cut-and-run.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
WellHung
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:04 am

Well, this guy certainly has no idea what it's like to be in the miliraty.

http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20060110-034726-7752r

"When our soldiers hear politicians in Washington question the mission they are risking their lives to accomplish, it hurts their morale," Bush said.
 
baylorairbear
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:08 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Thread starter):
US Troops Demoralized?

Not even close.

BAB wave 
I'm just skipping stones...
 
Logan22L
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:12 am

Quoting Baylorairbear (Reply 21):
Not even close.

Hey, Josh! Good to hear from you. How are things going?
"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."
 
baylorairbear
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:20 am

Quoting Logan22L (Reply 22):
Hey, Josh! Good to hear from you. How are things going?

Hello, Logan! Things are great, except water quality  Wink I've been on r&r for a week, but today I'm heading back in country. Yeehaw! Three months to go and then I'll be done! Exclamation mark just because I can fuckers!

BAB
I'm just skipping stones...
 
Logan22L
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:24 am

Quoting BaylorAirBear (Reply 23):
Exclamation mark just because I can fuckers!

Hell yeah. You could get banned for 3 months and it wouldn't matter a bit.  Wink

Hang in there.
"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."
 
slider
Posts: 6805
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:42 pm

RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:06 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 19):
I've said this already - but we don't complete the job to time, we complete the job to standard. We don't punch out when the clock says we can go, we punch out when the job has been completed.

It's called discipline. It's called duty. It's called responsibility. Three things, that if we had more of in society, people would realize how foolish and dishonorable it is to cut-and-run.

 bigthumbsup 

Great post, UH60---thank you.
 
Lumberton
Posts: 4176
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:34 am

RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:13 am

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 12):
As far as moral is concerned, I see that re-enlistment levels are still very high, and that is the best indicator of all.

Well said, Cfalk. I was going to make this point, but decided to read all the thread first. Glad I did. The Army hasn't missed making its recruiting goals so far this year (although there are challenges ahead), and all the other services are having no problems either.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
ANCFlyer
Topic Author
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:29 am

Quoting STLGph (Reply 11):
well keep in mind your case is one of just many many and many.

Believe me, I know this. I also know that I'm not alone - I know I'm not the only person around who has family, friends in a war zone and that they have a positive outlook and are not 'demoralized'. I'm also very much aware that the exact opposite is true.

Quoting STLGph (Reply 11):
you have to admit, no matter how much the pride, it'd sting a little if words came from the right person.

Of course. That said: at least in my family the words would be against the war, not against the troops . . . and no one in my family has uttered anything but support for both. Some - my father included - are tired of it, and think we need an exit plan yesterday - but he still supports the war and the troops. Jut as on A-Net - there are many people that support the troops and vilify the war. Fine by me.

Quoting Slider (Reply 15):
If I were a soldier in Iraq and kept seeing the gross negligence and irresponsible spin-infested reporting of the war efforts by our media, I'd be pretty damn pissed off if not demoralized.

Pissed off would be the term I'd use. And I'd take every single opportunity to present the positive aspects of everything the troops have done there. Something/someone has to beat back the irresponsible, biased, one-sided media activity.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 16):
Quoting LHMARK (Reply 14):
Since the war began, conservative pundits and vocal war supporters in the US have been decrying anti-war demonstrations, posters, bumper stickers and the like as damaging to troops' morale, and therefoire a potential boon for the enemy.

It's good to see that it takes more than reasonable and expected popular dissent to destroy the morale of American soldiers. I think everybody pretty much knew that all along, even the Coulters and O'Reilleys who espoused this false, malicious argument.

Nice Spin.  spin 

Really, My compliments.

Yeah, I thought so too . . . . almost threw out a  redflag  but didn't. I read his followon post and I see where he's coming from.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 19):
This is probably going to come out the wrong way, but civilians can sit around all day and theorize on the level of moral among our troops... but with all due respect... you have no clue what you're talking about.

Nope - came out perfect, and it's gawddamn spot on. Nothing  irked  me more than Arm-Chair Generals trying to make shit up as they go along. And basing whatever they make up on news reports from irresponsible biased media outlets. Well Said, Chief.

Quoting Baylorairbear (Reply 21):
Quoting ANCFlyer (Thread starter):
US Troops Demoralized?

Not even close.

 bigthumbsup  BAB . . . hope you're well Dude - keep your head down and powder dry!

Duty, Honor, Country . . . . Gen Douglass McArthur. Nuf Said.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
itsjustme
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:32 am

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 12):
As far as moral is concerned, I see that re-enlistment levels are still very high, and that is the best indicator of all.

I'm not sure I agree that it's the best indicator. Some are attributing the unprecedented cash bonuses being handed out to re-enlist as playing a significant role in the increased levels. These bonuses are also tax free, in some cases. Depending on your job and the length of re-enlistment, bonuses range anywhere from $1000 - $150,000 with the average payout being in the area of $10,000. Also, 60% of those who re-enlisted in 2005 received cash incentives to do so (USA Today).

It's possible that the plummeting recruitment level, which far outweighs the increase in re-enlistments, might explain the unprecedented cash payouts. I'm not saying the morale of our soldiers isn't high, I am simply saying that there are other factors to consider when looking at the increased re-enlistment rate and we shouldn't look at that as being the best indicator.
 
Lumberton
Posts: 4176
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:34 am

RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:46 am

Quoting Itsjustme (Reply 28):
t's possible that the plummeting recruitment level, which far outweighs the increase in re-enlistments, might explain the unprecedented cash payouts

Did you read my post? You can google to verify. The recruitment level isn't "plummeting"; so far this year, the Army has made its goals. This good news doesn't get a lot of coverage.

I've got to ask you where you get the "plummeting" recruiting levels from?

[Edited 2006-01-21 00:54:20]
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
halls120
Posts: 8724
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:24 am

RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:42 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 19):
Why are we still having this discussion?

Because there are many posters on Anet who have never served in the military and just don't comprehend the concepts of discipline, honor, and integrity that are part of the fabric of being a professional soldier, sailor, airman or marine.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 19):
I honestly don't think a vast majority of civilians realize that. Sure war is extremely exhausting, but demoralizing? No, and here is why: The moment you start hating your job and the war destroys your morale... you're not going to re-enlist. (especially if it is a guarantee that you would be going back to the sandbox.)You are going to reach your ETS date, and take that uniform off for good. But that's not happening! Just the opposite - RECORD HIGH re-enlistment! We joined to fight, we're staying into fight, and we won't stop until the fighting is over.

I work on a daily basis with a lot of people station in the 5 sided building. Every one of them who has not deployed at least once is embarrassed. My daughter is an active duty Navy nurse assigned stateside, and has her seabag packed and is ready to go.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 19):
I've said this already - but we don't complete the job to time, we complete the job to standard. We don't punch out when the clock says we can go, we punch out when the job has been completed.

It's called discipline. It's called duty. It's called responsibility. Three things, that if we had more of in society, people would realize how foolish and dishonorable it is to cut-and-run.

VERY well said!
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
itsjustme
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:06 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 29):
I've got to ask you where you get the "plummeting" recruiting levels from?

A USA Today article states recruitment has fallen 15%. Taking into account the military saying they are 6% over their projected goal for re-enlistment, that would indicate the recruitment rate has fallen at almost three times the rate that re-enlistment has risen. Also, I think it's important to keep in mind that, at least from what I have read, reports about re-enlistment rates being on the rise have come from the military and they are basing that on their own re-enlistment "goals". That would mean it's possible that, had they set their goals too low (whether purposely or not), that 6% rise they're reporting might not be an accurate figure.
 
itsjustme
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:15 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 26):
Well said, Cfalk. I was going to make this point, but decided to read all the thread first. Glad I did. The Army hasn't missed making its recruiting goals so far this year (although there are challenges ahead), and all the other services are having no problems either.

This article appears to contradict what you have posted.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...005-07-17-soldiers-re-enlist_x.htm
 
MDorBust
Posts: 4914
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:17 pm

Really?

Would that be... this USA Today?

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...005-07-17-soldiers-re-enlist_x.htm

Quote:
Army officials attribute the strong re-enlistment rates to unprecedented cash bonuses and a renewed sense of purpose in fighting terrorism. Some of the record bonuses are tax-free if soldiers re-enlist while in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Could just be me... but methinks your line just fell apart.

USA Today seems to be makeing the claim in this article that soldiers are re-enlisting because they believe in what they are doing.

another fun tidbit...

Quote:
Thirty-five percent of Army re-enlistments have come in combat zones, said Maj. Gerald Conway, who oversees retention policies for the Army.

Would these troops be going back if they were demoralized?


Late breaking update...
http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/12/25/pace.powell.ap/index.html

Quote:
The Army exceeded its recruiting goal in November, the sixth consecutive on-target month, but it has fallen off the pace for meeting its re-enlistment goal for the year, the Pentagon has said.

The Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps also exceeded their recruiting goals in November, although their targets are much lower than the Army, which is aiming to sign up 80,000 new active-duty soldiers during the budget year that ends September 30, 2006.


[Edited 2006-01-21 05:21:10]
"I KICKED BURNING TERRORIST SO HARD IN BALLS THAT I TORE A TENDON" - Alex McIlveen
 
UH60FtRucker
Posts: 3252
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:24 pm

Quoting Itsjustme (Reply 28):

Well first - $150,000 re-enlistment bonus!? What MOS is that?!? I sure hope they're not counting the aviation incentive pay as a bonus. ($1,000 extra a month after six years flight duty until retirement or removal from flight status). Because that's not a bonus, it's a pay compensation. A CW3, no matter what MOS, will make the same pay as all other CW3s with the same years of service. But the responsibilities of an aviation CW3 are far greater than say a Quartermaster CW3, a pay incentive is given to off-set that difference.

Quoting Itsjustme (Reply 31):

Now to your point regarding enlistment rates.

First, I don't think the biggest problem is the war. The biggest problem is society. It is hard to deny the fact that American youth are more dumb, more fat, more lazy and far less respectful of authority than at any point in recent history. The idea of military service, of selfless-service, is not cool among some groups. The idea of having to pass a PT test every 90 days, is a tough sell with a group hooked on fast food, and 'allergic" to physical activity. The idea of putting the well-being of the unit above your own well-being, is offensive to a group who have been brainwashed to celebrate their 'uniqueness' and 'individuality.' And the idea that there are ideals worth fighting for, worth putting your life on the line for, are increasingly foreign to today's youth.

Secondly, if that wasn't bad enough, parents are equally to blame. Any parent who stands in the way of their child enlisting into the military is a jack-ass. Plain and simple. Hell, in the US a parent can't stop their daughter from getting a freakin' abortion, but they sure as hell won't stand-by as their child looks to enlist!!!

Last, on a more benign level, enlistment has always suffered during periods of general prosperity and strong economic periods. Why would any of the kids mentioned above want to abandon their plush lifestyles, when they can remain fat, dumb and lazy working in some office?

Enlistment issues are not a recent phenomenon. This is a systemic problem that has been slowly festering over the past decade. It's a societal issue and it speaks more about the current status of today's youth, than it does the anti-war movement.

-UH60

[Edited 2006-01-21 05:30:03]
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
ANCFlyer
Topic Author
Posts: 21391
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:38 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 34):
The biggest problem is society. It is hard to deny the fact that American youth are more dumb, more fat, more lazy and far less respectful of authority than at any point in recent history

Bingo, we have a winner . . .

The gimme, gimme, gimme society today has no sense of responsibility towards their country or their family. Period. And respect for authority - shit that's out the door in the 5th grade . . .

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 34):
Any parent who stands in the way of their child enlisting into the military is a jack-ass. Plain and simple.

 checkmark  Nuf said.

Well said UH60 . . . .

Even as early as the late 1980s and early 1990s, you could see a drastic change in the quality of the youth coming in to the Army. Having been a drill sergeant for half of the 1980s, and working at an NCO academy I can tell you from experience . . . the tough as nails recruits of the mid-1970s and early 1980s were long gone by 1990. Best description I can give: pussies. wimps. pretty boys. tender foots. That's the best way to describe it. Can't handly a little stress . . . no Atari or X-Box at Ft. Knox basic training barracks.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
itsjustme
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:42 pm

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 33):
Could just be me... but methinks your line just fell apart.

USA Today seems to be makeing the claim in this article that soldiers are re-enlisting because they believe in what they are doing.

It's actually the Army makeing (sic) the claim that soldiers are re-enlisting for the cash bonuses and a renewed interest in fighting terrorism (USA Today is simply reporting what they are being told by the Army). What we don't know is, what precentage of those who re-enlisted did so for purely financial reasons (just as we don't know how many re-enlisted due to their interest in fighting terrorism).

Taking all of this into account I stand by the last sentence in my original post which stated, I'm not saying the morale of our soldiers isn't high, I am simply saying that there are other factors to consider when looking at the increased re-enlistment rate and we shouldn't look at that as being the best indicator. Any number of factors (bonuses, patriotic duty, personal reasons, etc...) can effect one's decision to re-enlist and therefore, the re-enlistment levels alone, shouldn't be looked at as a true indicator of military morale.
 
LHMark
Posts: 7048
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 2:18 am

RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:11 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 35):
Having been a drill sergeant for half of the 1980s, and working at an NCO academy I can tell you from experience . . . the tough as nails recruits of the mid-1970s and early 1980s were long gone by 1990. Best description I can give: pussies. wimps. pretty boys. tender foots. That's the best way to describe it. Can't handly a little stress . . . no Atari or X-Box at Ft. Knox basic training barracks.

That's probably a result of a peacetime sense of security. To quote The replacements' "Bastards of Young:" Willingness to claim us/we got no war to name us

The gulf war was the first indication to american youth of a changing world.
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
 
ANCFlyer
Topic Author
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:29 pm

Quoting LHMARK (Reply 37):
The gulf war was the first indication to american youth of a changing world.

Agreed, the complacency of peacetime can cause problems. . . and you're probably dead on LHMark . . .

I don't think that it turned so much during the Gulf War as very soon thereafter. In that Desert Shield/Desert Storm lasted about a year - there wasn't time for the cycle to run itself.

But when the Gulf War ended, and couple that with the much more lazy, X-Box generation, there wasn't an incentive to "be all you can be". Why? Markets were on the rise, economy on the rise, standard of living very high, why subject ones self to the likes of me  biggrin  and a minimum of 3 years of hard work?

As UH60 alluded to earlier - recruiting and re-enlistment is cyclic. Look at the numbers at the end of Vietnam . . . the situation was similar.

Today's soldiers - even the recruits - are the best of the best . . . either by design or by Drill Sergeant. That said: there aren't enough of them. But that's not a fault of the war or anything overt - today's kids have opportunities they could never have 10-15-20 years ago . . . it's easier to get into colleges, universities these days. It's easier to get jobs - they may pay shit but they are jobs - and, once again, as UH60 alluded to earlier - there is no longer sense of duty to country, parent, and self that there once was. . . .
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
LHMark
Posts: 7048
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:31 pm

well, if things continue for a couple more years, I daresay those tough-as-nails recruits will be back again.
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
 
itsjustme
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:04 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 34):
Any parent who stands in the way of their child enlisting into the military is a jack-ass

I don't understand how you can make a blanket statement like that. Any parent who stands in the way of their child...? I know some pretty immature 18 year olds who may want to join the military for the wrong reasons and who might better serve our country (or, God forbid, themselves) in a different way.
 
Lumberton
Posts: 4176
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:34 am

RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:05 pm

Quoting Itsjustme (Reply 32):
This article appears to contradict what you have posted.

Its amazing that we can read the same article and come away with a totally different perspective. The article talks about recruitment shortfalls for the last fiscal year. By my calendar, that ended four months (or one third of a year) ago. This year, they're on track. Google it if you want. It appears that you are dead set on seeing this as some kind of failure.

Hell, even the Brookings Institution (a well known liberal, pro-democratic party, think tank) has nice things to say:

Quote:
Michael O'Hanlon, a military analyst at the Brookings Institution, said the bonuses have encouraged soldiers to re-enlist, but that many soldiers are committed to fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Also, if the pace of re-enlistment slows, we can surely blame that on George Bush, because the economy is doing so ********well! Big grin
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
usnseallt82
Posts: 4727
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:49 pm

RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:16 am

Quoting Itsjustme (Reply 40):
I know some pretty immature 18 year olds who may want to join the military for the wrong reasons and who might better serve our country (or, God forbid, themselves) in a different way.

The lessons they will learn in the military will be of such importance throughout their lives that they cannot possibly pass the opportunity. The parents aren't thinking like that. All they see is their 'baby' going off to war.

The military is the best thing that can happen to some of these kids. And guess what? You said it yourself.............they're 18. Time to start realizing that their decisions have consequences. Mommy and daddy can't bail them out everytime.
Crye me a river
 
UH60FtRucker
Posts: 3252
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 3:00 am

Quoting Itsjustme (Reply 40):

Yes, a parent who stops their child from enlisting is, without a doubt, a jack-ass AND a bad parent. I encourage everyone to read the following article. This father saw the horrors of war, he suffered from the scares of war... and while he disapproved of his son enlisting, he certainly didn't step in the way.

Read this:


CPL James Smith
By Abbott Koloff

The father didn’t talk much about Vietnam and kept his Bronze Star packed away in the basement. His children saw what the war did to him, the amputated left leg, especially when he wore shorts during the summer or went swimming in the backyard.

James Howard Smith expected his oldest son, Jamie, to go to college, not to war.

So on the day Jamie Smith announced he was going to join the Army Rangers, an elite special forces corps, the father said it seemed to come out of nowhere. His son was, in some ways, imitating what he had done in 1965 when he joined the Rangers right out of Morristown High School. The father could think of only one thing to say.

"Are you out of your mind?" James Smith, 54, of Long Valley, said. "I told him there was no glory in war."

Jamie Smith loved the Army, the father said, and considered the Rangers in his unit to be like another family.

The parents didn’t know until after their son died on the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, eight years ago that he planned to get married. His girlfriend told them when they arrived in Fort Benning, Ga., for their son’s funeral.

She placed her engagement ring in Jamie’s pocket, to be buried with him.

"He would be 29 years old now and I would probably have had three more grandchildren," said James Smith, an administrator at Warren County Community College, who has three surviving children and one grandchild.

Instead, the former Army Rangers captain was on his way to Fort Benning last week to watch a premiere of "Black Hawk Down," a movie about the Oct. 3, 1993, Battle of Mogadishu during which 18 Americans, including Jamie Smith, died. The movie opens nationwide Friday.

It comes eight years after Jamie Smith was wounded and bled to death over three hours as part of a group of Rangers guarding the dead bodies of comrades in a downed Black Hawk helicopter.

Jamie Smith was known as a practical joker, the kid who would put paper in your shoes, or hide them. He was a Boy Scout who loved to go camping and hunting with his father. He was a 5-foot-10, 170-pound football nose tackle at West Morris High School who had to figure out ways to get around offensive linemen who outweighed him by 70 pounds.

The father said he didn’t talk much to his children about war, but he never let go of military life. When his children didn’t do a good job cleaning their rooms, or mowing the lawn, he repeated a line he learned in the Army.

"Not up to standard," James Smith would say. "Do it again."

His time in the military taught him about discipline, and maybe that explains why he did not cry right away when his wife called him at work to tell him an Army chaplain was at their house with news that their son had been killed. He said there were things to be done, a funeral to plan.

"You cry later, when nobody can see you," he said.

He taught his children the lessons he learned in the Army. He told them that it was important to be on time because timing is everything in battle, a matter of life and death.

So maybe James Smith should not have been surprised that all of his sons have been members of the Army Rangers. Matt Smith served four years before going back to college. His fraternal twin, Todd, recently got back from Afghanistan. Their father told them to make sure that they weren’t joining because of their brother.

When his oldest son died, the one thing that kept going through his mind was the hunting trip they took right before Jamie left for boot camp. James Smith was not in the mood to go hunting that weekend. His son talked him into it by telling him this might be their last chance to go hunting together.

"This was a cool day," Jamie told his father afterward.

Jamie Smith’s parents always made a point of spending time with their children, encouraging them to get involved in sports or Scouting to stay out of trouble.

Carol Smith, Jamie’s mother, worked in the concession stands for peewee football games. James Smith ran the 50-50 raffle and packed players and equipment into his van for rides to away games. Jamie Smith’s passions, the father said, were camping and football.

"When Jamie had a passion for something, he was good at it," James Smith said.

He gave a hint of the man he would become during one high school football game.

After his team’s quarterback was knocked down by what James Smith described as a cheap shot, Jamie Smith was thrown out of the game for punching the opposing player who made the tackle. His coach yelled at him but went silent after hearing the explanation. The father asked his son what he could have been thinking. Jamie told him that the quarterback was about to hit the other player.

"I couldn’t let our quarterback get thrown out of the game," Jamie told his father.

"He said it didn’t matter as much if he was thrown out of the game," James Smith said. "Jamie was very much a team player, and loyal to his friends."

He was popular in school, his father said, but had friends who were not. He once stood up to a group of students who had been picking on a boy with Down syndrome. You want to pick on someone, he told the students, pick on me. That ended the confrontation.

James Smith said that his oldest son was not terribly interested in academics but that he loved drafting and architecture classes. He was expecting Jamie to study architecture in college. He said his son never asked to hear war stories, or about life in the Army.

There was no inkling that he planned a military life until March 1990, when Jamie was a high school senior. James Smith did not try to talk his son out of joining the Rangers but wanted him to know what the decision could mean.

He had his son go with him to watch as he was fitted for a new prosthetic leg.

"He was quiet as he watched," James Smith said. "I wanted him to see what could happen."

Jamie Smith joined the Rangers that spring and spent his first leave at home reading, over and over, a thick field manual for the M-60 machine gun. This was a young man who never enjoyed reading, his father said, unless it was Field and Stream magazine, the sports pages or the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. He had been told that to become a machine-gunner, he had to memorize the manual.

By the time he went back to base, his father said, he knew it by heart. He made the grade as a machine-gunner and was promoted to corporal.

James Smith said that his son enjoyed the physical training and even the studying that came with being a Ranger. He talked so much about his Ranger buddies that his father knew all about them when they met at his son’s funeral. Many were bandaged, walking on crutches, or wearing casts from the Battle of Mogadishu.

That’s when James Smith was told how his son died, about how other Rangers took turns pinching off his femoral artery to slow the bleeding.

"It was not an easy death," James Smith said.

Jamie Smith had been part of a Rangers unit that climbed down ropes from a helicopter in support of a mission to capture Somali clan leaders. He was among the first Rangers to arrive at the scene of a downed helicopter. The Rangers did not want to leave dead bodies in the helicopter; Somalis were known for mutilating American bodies.

The father went on something of a quest to criticize the political decisions that preceded the battle — the refusal to send tanks and armored personnel carriers to Somalia that would have given the Rangers more support. He testified before a Senate committee in 1994. President Clinton invited him, and other parents of Rangers killed in Mogadishu, to the Oval Office.

James Smith came away from that meeting thinking that Clinton would make a good barbecue buddy but didn’t really say anything. He said Clinton didn’t take responsibility for the decisions that left the Rangers without heavy armored support.

Last week, James Smith was preparing to watch his son’s death depicted in a movie, saying that would be hard, but he’s always wanted to know everything that happened that day in Mogadishu. He has a painting of the battle hanging on the wall of his den — along with Jamie’s Bronze Star right next to his own.

He had long ago been told about the last hours of his son’s life. When Jamie knew he was going to die, he asked his friends to tell his mom and dad that he loved them.

Then he asked them to do one more thing, to tell his dad to be proud.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 3:02 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 35):
the tough as nails recruits of the mid-1970s and early 1980s were long gone by 1990.

Hey Hey Hey.......I went in in 91.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
ANCFlyer
Topic Author
Posts: 21391
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RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 3:19 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 44):
Hey Hey Hey.......I went in in 91.

There are, however, exceptions to every rule  Wow!

Sorry Dude!  laughing  Present company excepted!
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
usnseallt82
Posts: 4727
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:49 pm

RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 3:21 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 45):
There are, however, exceptions to every rule

There damn well better be.  irked 
Crye me a river
 
UH60FtRucker
Posts: 3252
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:15 am

RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 3:47 am

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 46):
There damn well better be.

Well... I don't know... how "tough as nails" can any sailor be after the Navy's version of boot camp???  Wink


.... and plus, I thought squid were naturally invertebrate creatures!

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
usnseallt82
Posts: 4727
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:49 pm

RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 3:58 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 47):
how "tough as nails" can any sailor be after the Navy's version of boot camp???

I'll admit.......our basic blows. But, try some of our 'other' areas.  Big grin
Crye me a river
 
ANCFlyer
Topic Author
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: US Troops Demoralized?

Sun Jan 22, 2006 4:00 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 47):
Well... I don't know... how "tough as nails" can any sailor be after the Navy's version of boot camp???

 rotfl  I wasn't going to go there . . . interservice peace keeping and all, but since you broke the ice . . .  rotfl 
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND

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