Military United States
Colonel Donald J. Myers USMC (Ret)
Our military has gone through many phases throughout its history. The Army, Navy, and Marine Corps are all older than the
itself. They have fought in every war from the Revolutionary War to the
present and unlike most other countries they have never been a threat to the
nation because they have civilians over them starting with the Commander-in-
Chief and going through the Secretary of Defense and Service Secretaries. Many
of our veterans have become presidents, senators, representatives, governors,
and all other types of elected officials. The military has contributed much to
the greatness of this country. Since 1973, it has been a volunteer organization
and although it had some difficulties initially, it is the most powerful and
competent military in history.
The military was ordered to accept openly gay individuals into its ranks and the results of that decision are yet to be determined. The main cause for this was equality and little concern was given to the main mission of the military--to fight and win wars. Cohesion, camaraderie, and teamwork all contribute to effectiveness of units which results in success on the battlefield. For the most part. military personnel could care less about ones sex life as long as it is not flaunted. gays have been in the military since its beginning, but AIDS was not a problem until relatively recently. Other countries have been held up as an example of how successful they have been in opening their ranks to gays. On the surface, that may sound great, but none of those countries have the size of the
The Secretary of Defense has directed that the Army and Marine Corps must open its Close Combat Arms to females. Again, the main argument for this is equality. proponents for this argue that women have been in combat for the past ten years in
I recall having a discussion in
Vietnam with the troops while we
took a break in the jungle to eat. We were trying to determine the best place
to fight a war. We didn't want to be in the mountains- we had done that in Vietnam. We
didn't want to be in the jungle- again, we had already done that in Vietnam also.
We didn't want it to be too hot or too cold. We also did not want the desert.
We finally determined that there was no good place to fight a war. Look at Afghanistan. It
is mountainous with little road network and goes from extreme heat in the
summer to extreme cold in the winter. Iraq had the desert and that causes
unbelievable trouble for equipment.
The latest challenge for the military is to remove the ability of commanders to deal with disciplinary actions. Sexual assaults are supposedly on the rise in the military and the charge is that commanders are not aggressive in dealing with them. The latest charge is that "unreported cases of sexual assault surged 35% from 2010-2012." When I read that, I wondered how a 35% surge could be determined if these cases were unreported. The same article stated that "it thought that 26,000 had been sexually assaulted in 2012." The operative word is thought.
During my time in the Marine Corps, I had the privilege of commanding three companies, an infantry battalion, an infantry regiment, the Recruit Training Regiment at Parris Island and Marine Barracks in
In each case, I had the authority to punish Marines who got into trouble. That
ability was not taken lightly and allowed me to better control each
organization. I'll add at this time that my units always had the lowest
disciplinary rate and highest reenlistment rate of comparable units. The
commanders also have the ability to promote and to recommend awards. That
is the other side of the coin. Troops like any other people respond to positive
and effective leadership. Washington D.C.
There are only so many changes and dictates that can be placed on the military before it will begin to deteriorate. WE have the greatest military in history, but it will remain great only if it is allowed to do what it was organized to do. Touchy feely does not do it for the military.
Donald J. Myers a retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, is a regular columnist for Hernando Today. He lives in Spring Hill and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.