After a third of the century in the law mines few things get me angry. It is a survival mechanism of course. With what I routinely deal with, if I allowed myself to become angry, I would be perpetually outraged and unable to do my job effectively. However, a few things set me off, and one of them is when I hear about officers in the military sacrificing the well-being of their troops for their petty careers, and this piece I read at Instapundit has me grinding my teeth:
So, the idea that military leaders have their hands tied is nonsense – the governing directives and regulations expressly allow senior leaders to arm their troops when there is a threat. And there is a threat – as we saw in Chattanooga, as we saw at Fort Hood. These freaks are not picking military personnel at random. They are continuing the radical Islamic war against America here on our soil, and our warriors remain stubbornly disarmed and defenseless.
So why would a commander not order troops who have qualified on their M9 pistols to draw sidearms and ammo and carry them during their duties, at least until this crisis passes? Perhaps their discretion has been withdrawn from higher command – that’s possible, especially with this toxic administration. But more likely it’s because of fear.
It’s the fear that some solider is going to have an “incident” carrying a weapon, and that that incident is going to lead to questions, and in an environment where the Armed Forces are shrinking, the mention of an incident on an officer’s annual evaluation report can mean the difference between a career and a pink slip. It’s the same zero defects mentality that is keeping our military leadership from being an audacious, aggressive band of warriors and morphing it instead into a timid, passive pack of timeservers.
Yeah, troops do dumb things sometimes. During my 27 years leading soldiers, I was consistently amazed by their creativity both in solving problems and in getting into trouble. But while real issues are rare – negligent discharges, lost weapons – they do happen. I dealt with them myself. But that risk is the price of doing business, and when our men and women are being shot down in the street without even a chance to defend themselves, it’s not too high a price to pay.
You train your troops and then you trust them. You punish the knucklehead who screwed up and then you drive on. You don’t turn everyone in uniform into a sitting duck because you don’t want to have to explain to the two-star why Private Snuffy misplaced his Beretta.
In a politicized military, under a politicized administration, this is how things work. Luckily, American civilians are up to the job of defending our military.
Doing the jobs American soldiers and Marines aren’t allowed to do.
Go here to read the comments.
A good officer will look out for his men, take care of them. A bad officer looks only out for himself and his career, and his men can go pound sand as far as he is concerned. Such officers are worse than useless and are a disgrace to the uniform they insult by wearing it.