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Sometimes, our ideals run aground on the shoals of reality.

 This is a microcosm of why police and armies (and the wolves and sheep therein, because not all are instruments of goodness and light) came into existence.

The police much later in the game, so as to be a kinder, gentler version of using the Army for the same tasks.  Cops usually make lousy soldiers* (when used as such) and soldiers are not very good cops, because they operate at very different ends of the spectrum.  

But it's the simplicity of this BFR, this Blinding Flash of Reality, and an idealist runs his SS Anarchist onto the rocky shoals of simple reality.  He's lucky he got it the way he did.  It could just as easily been a different BFR.  A Big Frickin Rock.

Go to the Guardian UK for The day my inner anarchist lost out to the bourgeois me.

*This isn't to say that any given cop wasn't, isn't, and can't be a good soldier.  As individuals, they abound.  The same is true in the other direction for soldiers.  The point is that cops are not trained nor organized (except in generally small numbers) to operate like soldiers do.  Any platoon of infantry could destroy most city police forces.  The same is true of using troops as police - they tend to be really heavy-handed and use a big stick with near reckless abandon.  And when you do train them (as we did the US Army and USMC) to be more cop than soldier - it turns out... that they lose their edge as soldiers.

This war has bred us an entire generation of mid-level leaders who have never really practiced their craft at the company level and above, something that is being made manifest as we start sending units to train for more conventional forms of combat - they've lost the ability (in truth, never really gained it) to see a complex battlefield in their head, listen to chatter on the radio, and sense the ebb and flow of combat.

But man, can they do some serious powerpoint in those TOCs.  


So maybe around 2015 or so we freeze everyone's careers for a couple of years so we can reset and give everyone an opportunity to learn high intensity conflict?

I wonder how much the nifty gadgets like BFT have contributed to the degradation of the skill of listening to the radio traffic and building that mental picture of the battlefield?  I know from my experience with FBCB2 and it's higher level systems (MCS, I think), at least as they existed in 2001-2003, they were great at showing you where friendlies were (vehicles, anyway), but lousy at showing where the bad guys were. Most of the time, the guys on the ground didn't have time to do the necessary data entry,  and then that data had to be 'approved' by the intel guys before it showed up on the COP screen.  We actually got a better picture by making electronic versions of the old stick pins using radio reports.  It probably would have been faster to use post-its on a paper map, but we were under directive to make the system work.

But I came into the Army in the late 90s, when we still fought the Danubians at CMTC like they were going to come through Fulda, and learned to work in a BN TOC with just radios as a LT.  Back then I hated being forced into the -3 shop due a shortage of CPTs.  Maybe now I should be grateful - I've got a skill set that a lot of today's junior officers might not, and might need.

Which makes it incumbent on my peers who stayed IN/AR/FA and who are now senior MAJs and junior LTCs - and thus Bde -3s and soon to be BN Cdrs - to teach the kids.

I'll be at Fort Eustis trying to figure out exactly what the Army is supposed to be doing, besides EO/POSH training.
 Powerpoint is veeeeeery important. How else are you supposed show everyone all the graphs and charts proving you made you diversity quotas this quarter? 

What? You really think the Army is for fighting wars? You sir are a neanderthal. We haven't done such things since since that warmongering savage Ronnie Raygun finally went on to his eternal disreward. Now we're a global force for good. We can't let the Navy have all the fun.

Hey, quit pickin' on the 'thals! Most of us (those who are not from Sub-Saharan Africa, where the only pure pure H. Sapiens live) have something between 1-3% of 'thal genes in us. The more the better, of course. I write as one who has, as dose our genial host, a large hat size. 
Heh, "dose."  May our host be taking his dose of choice, in this season of cheer.
 Well, I and my size 8 noggin are knockin' back an Argghhharita...
7 3/4, here. I always had a helluva time buyin' hats and motorcycle helmets. Dolichocephalic, too. Also deep eye sockets. Yup, I have a lot of 'thal in me. I told y'all I was weird. I actually feel sorry for the Former Intelligence Officer housemate, who seems to be about a 6 1/2. The boy does not seem to have enough intelligence to support his weirdness.