Friday, August 05, 2005

In the Sandbox...

Marine Didn’t See Big Picture

The writer of “Army can learn from Marines” (letter, July 22) contends that the Army asked the Marines to return to Iraq because we could not handle the situation, so we called them. Could it be that the joint operations doctrine called for units that are more suited for urban operations? Could it be that the Marines are better trained for urban operations? After all, we spent years training for open-land warfare for larger wars that thankfully never happened.

Or did the writer feel that the fat soldier was inferior to him and he naturally assumed the Army has neither discipline nor values? The writer equates Velcro to laziness? That’s weak. This is a difficult time for the Army. We are facing a manpower shortage and must compete with the writer’s service (the Marines) to recruit young men and women, and must attract four times as many to survive. When it comes to getting the job done, having a fat soldier here is better than none. Forgive us for doing the best we can.

As a noncommissioned officer, if the writer saw this soldier doing something wrong, he should have corrected him. If he just wasn’t living up to the writer’s standard, then tough.

The writer talks of values. You want him to have pride? Treat him with respect for simply wearing the uniform. Discipline? Show some yourself. I have never seen a fat Marine, but that’s because they take great pride in their well-known traits — courage, honor, tenacity and even professionalism and humility. The letter writer lacked those last two.

We are the best-trained military because we have leaders who know the difference between pride and spite. We are moving toward a larger joint environment, sergeant, so you have some adjusting to do.
Sgt. 1st Class Pat McCormack
Logistics Support Area Anaconda, Iraq (Stars& Stripes: Letters to the Editor)

...Army girls...
one, two, three, four, five, six

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