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August 25, 2005

101 Soldierly Thoughts.

Having received lots of things today in email that had been ripped from bloggers with no attribution, so I thought I'd put 'em out there and give the bloggers some recognition... I may update this later, given the volume of traffic!

By Major Mark A. Smith Sr. (ret) USA

Mark Smith is a retired Special Forces Major. He was captured in the battle of Loch Ninh in Vietnam. He had 38 holes in his body when captured, back broken, lung messed up, bowel penetrated, and other wounds. He was held in a camp in Cambodia until released. He was an officer, but he was a sergeant first as he was field commissioned to the officer position. Having been an infantryman and a sergeant in Vietnam I see the wisdom of the following. Thank you ex-POW Maj. Mark Smith.

Note: SOME DECADES AGO, A FRIEND IN THE PENTAGON ASKED ME TO JOT DOWN A FEW SOLDIERLY THOUGHTS. DOWN THROUGH THE YEARS I ADDED A COUPLE, BUT DELETED NONE OF THE ORIGINALS. THEY MAY NOT BE MODERN OR POLITICALLY CORRECT, BUT THEY DID MAKE THE ROUNDS. I STAND BY THEM TODAY

MARK

1. Never accept an officer as competent based on his source of commission.

2. Your right to influence the battlefield is diminished in ratio to the distance you are from the actual arena of action.

3. The battlefield selects its own Generals. No school or board can replace it.

4. Never call fire on your own troops, unless you stand among them.

5. Leaders are indeed born and no military school can provide what God did not.

I don't know where this may have originated, as it has verbiage in it (the intro paragraph) that doesn't appear at her place - but Jen Martinez at A Collection of Thougts is #1 in Google for it. So, if you'd like to read the rest, go visit Jen, and note the troll in her comments. You should visit Jen anyway, as she kinda specializes in getting the story out about the people fighting the war. Just like Matt at Blackfive, whose Casey Sheehan post is making the rounds today, also unattributed. Swiped in email is the sincerest form of flattery, eh?

I gotta caveat that I agree with about 95% of Major Smith's observations. I'm a little friendlier to female soldiers than he is - but since he's speaking as Infantry, I see the place he's standing. After all, I'm just support, and I know it.

This is another one rushing through email, copied in toto but unattributed: Robertson Activates Christian Sleeper Cells.