Monday, November 14, 2005

Feel Good Army

I’m pretty sure that I’ve ranted in the past about how the Army had changed while I was in. It went from a place where elite soldiers set them selves apart from the rest of the Army by performing dangerous tasks and also having a uniform that reminded everyone that they volunteered to perform dangerous tasks to a place where everybody wore something that made them feel elite without having to do anything hard. There was a time where black berets were only given to soldiers that made it through RIP (Ranger Indoctrination Program) and to wear any beret you had to be assigned to an airborne unit. Now anybody that makes through basic gets to slap on a beret and feel a little better about themselves. I don’t really care that the whole army is walking around with berets mind you; I was upset that they took a symbol of being a ranger in an elite unit and handed it out to everyone. They could have went with any color but decided to take away the ranger’s identifier and make it worthless. (I'm so glad I left the Army before I had to see a pregnant pack clerk with a black beret on.)

At my unit we had the same problem. One we were the only airborne infantry in Germany. You wouldn’t spot a red beret unless you were in Darmstadt, home of the Long Range Surveillance Company. We also had special PT uniform that consisted of black (catch me; f**k me) shorts and a black t-shirts. They made us stop wearing those because other units complained that they weren’t allowed to wear them; then we shouldn’t wear them either. It was also a real pain when we showed up to pull force protection with other units there in town. The rest of the soldiers from other units looked exactly the same. On their LBE they would have: one canteen on the right, one ammo pouch on the left, one first aid kit on the right suspenders, and their flashlight on their left suspenders. At my unit you were allowed to wear anything you wanted, as long as it was camo or green and served a purpose. Everybody’s equipment looked different. I remember one time where the sergeant of the guard was questioning me and my buddies about our LBE. He asked me why I had a Y harness 2 first aid pouches, 4 ammo pouches, and a butt pack while my buddy had a vest and no butt pack. All I could tell him was that my buddy was on another team and his SOP was different than mine. What a pogue that guy was.

Anyway, on with the point. Not long ago there was a story about non-infantry crying because they weren’t eligible for the Combat Infantry Badge. It’s an award given to infantry soldiers who go to combat. The reason it’s given, is to reward the people who not only volunteered to be in the Army, but also volunteered to combat soldier. In a conflict infantry soldiers will be guaranteed a fight, while other units may only get to see the inside of a camp during a deployment. True, soldiers currently down range are having chances to see combat while going out in convoys and other missions, but their purpose is not to engage the enemy. The Army doesn’t send mechanics out to close with the enemy, if they see combat it’s not because the Army wanted them to.

So, the Army has come up with a way to make these soldiers feel good to. Intelligence reports (a friend sent me an email) show that the army has come up with a different badge to show that non-infantry have been in a fight. Here is the information in full. (It’s also a complete lie, but too funny to pass up)

The attached badge is now authorized for wear by all SERMC staff.


Rumor Control Chief

Subject: Combat Briefing Badge (CBB)

Recognizing the need for an award for troops assigned to headquarters units during combat operations, the Army today announced the approval of the Combat Briefing Badge, or CBB. "People don't realize that being in a major headquarters can be just as stressful as going on patrols or convoys," said MAJ John Remf. "When you're briefing that many General Officers, your career can end in a heartbeat. And it can happen to anyone at any time, not just combat arms soldiers." DOD statistics note that CSS personnel are more likely to suffer career-ending incidents in rear areas than Combat Arms Soldiers. "This just reflects that reality," said Pentagon spokesman LTC Roger Pogue.

The award ranks in precedence below the CIB and CAB, but above the EIB and PowerPoint Ranger tab.

The criteria for the award is still under discussion, but preliminary guidance authorizes the award for 30 days of continuous briefings of officers at least two grades higher than the briefer without incident while serving in a theater of operations in which the awardee is eligible for hostile fire and hazardous duty pay.

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Caveats: NONE

Breakfast at Basil's
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At 6:16 AM, Blogger Dr. Phat Tony said...

tap tap tap Is this thing on?

At 6:22 AM, Blogger Uber said...

"People don't realize that being in a major headquarters can be just as stressful as going on patrols or convoys," lol Yeah, that's rich.

Educational, as always Doc.

I had no idea that beret after basic thing was to make soldiers feel good about themselves, saw a couple imitating Peppi Le Pew as they tried them on right after that though. I think it must have worked!

At 6:56 AM, Blogger Insolublog said...

It disappoints me to see the Army engaging in this 'everybody deserves to be a winner' mentality. I wonder if this sort of psychobabble social engineering just incites the underachievers to hammer down any nails that stick up.

At 7:56 AM, Blogger Dr. Phat Tony said...

The Army is a place that you can not fail. Until in combat that is.

At 8:00 AM, Blogger Cove Rebel said...

OMG that is funny. Sad thing is that it is closer to reality that many would like to think. Of all the coins I received in the Army the ones from Battalion level mean the most. The ones from Joint Staff were handed out like candy at Halloween and were meaningless.

I was issued a beret but never had to wear it before I bailed. My kids play with it now.

And just to zing the grunts: There needs to be a stratification of worth in the military. That infantry grunt, LRP, or dirt dart need to feel special while on duty because he sure won't feel that way guarding Walmart or working for Wackenhut when he gets out of the Army! HA!

At 8:22 AM, Blogger Dr. Phat Tony said...

Ya, that about sums it up. And to think my gt score was 124.

At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Steve said...

Man that is funny! I think that thought is every where, you see it at school where they give every student an award, so they don't feel bad. Where is the incentive to get better!! I get an award if I fail or not!! Pathetic.

At 9:35 AM, Blogger a4g said...

I say anybody that has to use XP deserves some kind of commendation.

At 9:54 AM, Blogger The Conservative UAW Guy said...

I use XP and I sat through the whole movie Saving Private Ryan.

I don't want a medal, just disability pay...

And some beer.

Great post, Doc.

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Dr. Phat Tony said...

I need to write a "this one time at camp Bondsteel" story.

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Tyler D. said...

A Windows laptop? So that means there l33t? (Elite)

And Write the Bondsteel story.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Toni said...

I might have to pass that one on to a friend who could use a laugh.

DPT - could you please replace my current link (My View) with my new site? Pretty please?

At 3:49 PM, Blogger GunnNutt said...

MAJ John Remf - heh.

Band camp Bondsteel? Yes, write it!

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Daniel Levesque said...

Oh man! That badge is a gas!

On the black beret thing, I actually got in a bit of trouble, not much mind you, when I told the Sergeant Major of the Army at the time of the transfer over to black berets that I thought General Shinseki was an idiot if he thought that making everyone wear black berets was going to make us all suddenly think we were rangers, and that he should have left well enough alone.

He didn't like that very much, but it sure felt good to say.

At 4:43 AM, Blogger PoP said...

I slept through the breafing. Son, I'll trade you one overseas expeditionary medal for one jump badge. medals mean nothing any more. no one knows what they stand for in the civilian world any way. civilians. see ribbons and oooh and aaaw i saw a toop freash out of basic with more ribbons than my first SGT. funny.

At 4:46 AM, Blogger PoP said...

Boy, I need to proof read before hitting that enter key. Sorry Folks. Just remember I'm feeble and nearly blind.

At 8:58 PM, Anonymous mukrz said...

The same thing happened to me - the next cycle of basic trainees that made it to the next bit of training had never been dropped for more than 25 pushups and most of them had ZERO work ethic.

Why not give the regular GI Joe's the tan beret and let the Rangers keep the black beret? All I can say is that at least they did not so sully the green beret - that would have made me mad.

I just happened to have been taught in basic that a beret was something that you had to earn. Army basic training is/was neither physically nor mentally demanding enough for those who finish to be given the honor and priviledge of wearing a beret.

At 6:16 AM, Blogger Dr. Phat Tony said...

I'm glad we're on the same wave length here Mukrz.


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