Tag Archives: leadership

Not gone, but forgotten

The popular perception of the Viet Nam veteran is incomplete. The most important character in contemporary American history is missing. I’ll try real hard to focus, and not stray into reasons, my aim is to target heroes who will make you question everything you thought you knew about war, hero’s, and the home front.

This is sort of a fleshing out for a book. I’m writing a blurb now due to the overwhelming efforts of folks trying to portray the Viet Nam veteran as a victim, or some vest wearing patch junky on a motorcycle letting their steel hair blow in the breeze.

There is a group of Viet Nam Veterans that never came home. They remain lost in popular narratives about victimization or heroism. They didn’t die, they didn’t return home, and weren’t prisoners of war. These are the “vets” who re enlisted time and again until they completed a career.

Some did single tours, others multiple tours. They went on to create the most professional military the world had seen. They trained soldiers with the lessons they learned tactically and politically creating leaders who embraced a volunteer military concept.

I won’t give away all their secrets in this article. I will say they created a military that was feared. All those nations out there were afraid to cross paths with the American military. The Viet Nam era leader developed, trained, and evaluated their respected branches to excellence based on lessons learned.

One real personal reminder for me is General Powell. During his tenure the “Mogadishu” incident occurred. After this action General Powell was adamant about not going into a mission without an exit plan and ROE was something to be evaluated as to how it would hinder the units ability to accomplish their mission. Hanging service members out to dry was not acceptable.

This is just one example of the immense changes the Viet Nam Leaders implemented to create a professional volunteer military. I’m certain they had their share of negative situations returning to their home bases. PTSD was “shellshocked” and they took care of each other within the structure of the military. Politics plagued them for a time. In the end leaders rose as did confidence and trust was established.

The Viet Nam service member who stayed for the long haul and collectively created a professional, feared, volunteer military is an American character lost in the current climate of the glory seeking compartmentalized veteran mentality seeking to start an organization for every facet of service. The commercialization and politicization of military service has little to gain from service members who are “ok” and so “ok” they created a volunteer military the world could only dream of creating.

These service members are in living rooms and on front porches around the country. They rest easy, or hard, on the knowledge they persevered with dignity. They went back to hometowns or created hometowns and are sitting around watching the world they helped create.

I hope more folks will highlight these hero’s. They are the real examples that will keep our nation free. They know how to persevere with diligence and dignity. We need to hear more about how they transitioned and trained an all volunteer force and created peace for decades.

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Leaders of the Free World

Is America still a free country? There are many answers to this complex question. The fact that we’re asking this question reveals much about the barrage of attempts over the centuries to define America, which in many cases is separate from the American.

The origin of America was built by independent individuals seeking liberty from a dysfunctional system of hierarchal tyranny. The men and woman who founded America were here before the “patriots” came together to politicize freedom. They obviously didn’t want to be bothered with a country and the political dysfunction that comes with those folks. Managing a farm with rudimentary tools and limited knowledge of the land would be enough to keep many folks busy.

Today we have a hard time remembering that in the not so distant past politics and America did not inundate our day. We weren’t saturated with the guile that comes from a life of compromising everything from morals to men. It was even more so for the folks who founded the concepts with which America was formed. Politics were a necessary evil that good men took time out to resolve before moving back to the real work of living.

The same was true of the real patriots who served as soldiers in the revolutionary war. They left their homes to fight for the liberty to live a life without politics and governing. Inadvertently this was a fight for America, but liberty and freedom for all was the real goal. These folks would probably shake their head at the American and the America of today, both would be unrecognizable.

You have twits out there spending literally a lifetime in public office sending dollars and sense out the window like confetti on the 4th of July. These folks are dysfunctional by the nature of their endeavors. We know that truth, integrity, and other moral concepts that keep folks standing upright looking others in the eye are foreign to them. However; we tune in to the drama constantly on some form of media. We tune in for the entertainment value.

These characters put America in peril. The American can survive, but the country can unravel like the chemical queens and pasty patsies who pretend they’re running something. Presidents don’t win wars, warriors win wars. Politicians don’t create jobs, business men create jobs. The government doesn’t provide services, the workin mans taxes take care of the less fortunate. Yet time after time we hear about bills with names attached to them, acts attributed to presidents, or resolutions by congress that have roots in some Americans pasture. Politicians talk about what Americans are doing and use those efforts to further their ambitions to stay in office, rather than in the field where hands get dirty and shirts soiled.

The closest we get to an American in our political theater today is either a manicured menace who had a grandfather who climbed a ladder, or a third generation immigrant who thinks because their grandparents crossed an ocean or a river they have swimming in their veins. The reality is the original American politician stood tall on his own efforts using his hands to create a nation.

Today these type of folks are rare. I’m not sure I’ve even seen one outside of my military service, and those men wouldn’t put up with the drama. We’re in a leadership crisis and it’s gonna take a generation or so for the necessary callouses to harden the hands that today have crooked fingers from playing make believe with a controller and a fantasy.

Freedom has eroded alongside leadership. We now have a couple generations of folks that cry out for regulation, laws, and conditions upon all facets of our life. They can’t solve their own problems or rise above their own inefficiency. This is the pool we’re swimming, or drowning in, depending on your point of view.

We need strength to be free. There will be folks pushing back against the strength necessary to pull us out of this hole because today’s citizens believe they need to be governed.

Any leader understands if you start hard, when you ease up those following you will be more receptive. Our problem is we’ve been weak and now to get hard on the folks who’ve gained in this environment will only produce a gaggle of grown folks acting out like kids who lost the controller to their favorite game. Don’t believe me, just look around.

Thoughts on truth and knowledge

Every stroke of the pen brings me closer to the realization that thought is the pathway to all peace. The rigors of survival require ingenuity and fortitude. The constant nature of thought within empty spaces of freedom, untethered to the directed realization that thrive on mutual ignorance, protect us from disaster.

It’s alone where ideas are bold and independent. Consensus is for the weak. To dilute your thought with the intention of others is to rob the world of truth. This is not to say we should reject or dismiss the value of opinion; we shouldn’t concern ourselves with the response to our thought. Great thoughts are validated by time.

Boldness is not a character reserved for the warrior. The thinking man must attack his ideas with the same doggedness as an individual in a life and death battle. These warriors, of words or war, don’t protect their victories or care how they survived, they move on to the next battle with their lessons in hand.

We, citizens of the world, are in a battle with no armor or weapons. There’s a war being waged against our philosophical sense like none in history. An organized offensive that challenges our base of knowledge using opinion and persuasion to attack and infiltrate our sense of what it means to be human, spiritual, and patriotic. They wish to define your thought, direct your thought for their own financial and philosophical profit.

This is the critical hour for critical thinking. We need an Army of thinkers to launch a barrage of thought onto a field of dreamers. Wake up the sense of the common man against the well funded army of idiots using entertainment as a research laboratory for imaginary subjects creating imaginary truths.

Truth stems from reality, not vice versa. Only those brazen enough to blind the masses believe otherwise. Reality doesn’t change and truth relies on this priori path of circular enlightenment. Questioning truth is fundamental. Validating those questions leads to knowledge. However, the question is where the work begins, and just because you have an answer doesn’t mean you have a truth.

The warriors who hold truth must continue to rule while the dreamers challenge reality. It can’t be the opposite or compromise. It must be the rigors of true knowledge that lead us. This does not mean we stifle thought like an oppressive beast of ignorance. Free thought has value, like speculation, or fantasy.

I’m looking for those stalwart minds that stand firm on the grounds of truths. Those minds that evaluate consensus and speak up for realities within the truths of our times. Too many minds have been computerized into submission. Merely aping responses without thought are the fortitude to test what they’ve regurgitated.

We are a world within ourselves capable of creating within the constructs of our environment. We are capable of hypothesizing possibilities within and outside of these constructs. We are capable of destruction as well as construction if we lack the adherence to basic principles as protections from dreamers and mad men.

There are a myriad of examples of great thinkers whom we learned much from. However, if we would have followed them into the path of illusion we surely would live in a crueler world, Nietzsche comes to mind.

There are great ways to think and great thoughts. There are simple ways of thinking and simple thoughts. We can learn from each of these if knowledge and truth are our honest pursuits. You are what you think so protect your senses with a heart towards humanity.

Open Letter

Open letter:
I’ve never done an open letter before, but I feel a gap in the veteran narrative that’s close to my heart. There’s a group of service members, soldiers in my case, who’ve quietly slipped away beneath the quest of writers, reporters, and business men looking to make a buck trying to turn service members into victims.

I salute those Viet Nam era service members who gave the ultimate for their country. Some joined and some were drafted. I imagine the fought for the person to their left and right, which culminated in a national effort. Our country was a little off kilter then, like now, so many weren’t pleased with the civilian leadership, like now. Regardless, their honor and sacrifice is part of a time honored tradition.

I felt bad for those soldiers coming home to negative publicity and personal attacks. They didn’t deserve that. There was a real national threat, it just didn’t involve any actions by the enemy that folks could foresee, they were just beginning the whole “immediate gratification”thing back then. It’s easy to see how dangerous the world was in light of what we know now about the Cold War.

The folks who slipped through are the ones that didn’t come home. They didn’t die. They saw it through to the end and the lessons they learnt about men, materials, and tactics would stay with them forever. They stayed the course, reenlisted, and began the work of building a professional military.

This is where I came in, 1979. Right before Reagan came into office and these warriors put on their professional hats and used the money and freedom afforded them to train the most feared military in history. This is not an exaggeration, no country would make a move for 30 some years. If they did jump, they were put down with speed, precision, and violence of action, no messing around.

The Viet Nam Era leaders created this military that created years of peace. They spared no feelings or considerations when it cam to training and equipping their soldiers. Most importantly they embedded the “Lead by Example” mentality in generations of service members.

These guys went on to retire and moved into the civilian world quietly and confident that they left things better than they found them. I joined in 79 and retired in 98. I can tell you that it was two different militaries I served in.
My most proudest moment was when our soldiers executed the “100 day war” and again put down aggression with professional speed, precision, and violence of action. I’m proud because I passed those lessons I learnt from the Viet nam Era soldiers onto those soldiers and they performed flawlessly. I was not present at this war. I had retired and was teaching at the time, but I was proud!

If you read this by chance pass it on. There are millions of Viet Nam Era service members out there silently reminiscing in this success. There are millions of relatives that proudly display photos of these leaders in their homes. Let’s not forget them either, they stayed the course and gave us many years of peace through their strength of conviction. For this I am proud to have served under the Viet Nam era soldiers and am eternally grateful for those that humbly served our nation creating decades of peace.

With Respect
A fellow soldier

P.S. Would some leader, historian, or political figure please go back and read over General Powell’s comments on never going into action without an exit strategy. He brought that lesson to light after Mogadishu I believe!!!!

Continence

Realms lie outside reality.
Escape plans never run,
but dreams can’t hurt,
Or can they.

Speculation teases reality
with possibly as bait
for impossible journeys,
Outside the mind.

Dimensions elude us by design.
For those who care to leave,
this world has dichotomies
our minds intuitively fear to travel.

It’s safe within hope and fear.
Boundaries are like blankets
that cover or smother
what’s outside; us.

There’s a world within us
that many fear to travel
and other dwell to death.

The balancing scale lay twisted
as a legacy to sanity
and history feared by soft hearts
mocking ghosts they can’t touch.

So now truth is twisted and polished
for purposes and intents weaker
Than the weapons they carry.

Calloused hands are carved in statues to be admired
and stroked by manicured realities
so far fetched even dogs lie down.

The sliding scale of reality mesmerizes thick brains
and thin skin
creating beautiful dreams.

I remember now though
beauty is a mask
and a smile can blind
those that lack focus.

The path home is gone,
a portal closed to actions
and relegated to words
of the loudest idiot.

I just hope somewhere in the text
are inspirations understood
by future patriots willing and able
to stand true in the face of ignorance, otherwise we’re doomed.

Between The Lines

Leadership unites, it doesn’t divide. It is decisive, not indecisive. American leadership doesn’t play one or both sides of any fence, it redraws boundaries to ensure everyone had a path to follow. We haven’t seen leadership in my lifetime best I can tell.

These lame politicians claiming to want to “lead” our nation out of the situations they created is like something out of a “Little Rascals” episode. Although those little rascals had good intentions they never had a clue because they lacked a leader, unless you count “Spanky”!

Whomever you are that “wins” the president game next year there’s a couple things us folks who’ve been leaders would like to see. Some traits that will assure us that you know anything about leading. It does not matter what level someone who’s lead other folks served at, the principles are sure as life and death.

First; don’t take a side. You’re elected to “run the country” not a party. You need to be able to slap those left wing out of control idiots with the back of the hand you slap those conservative money grabbing self interested elitist. We want you to make decisions and policies that follow along the lines of “flat taxes”. Systems that reward and punish everyone equally.

We would like you to let those idiots out there in the media know that lying and misrepresenting facts will not be tolerated. The print media has stepped up to the game somewhat. You can get your info from the gossip columns or you can read journals and periodicals that pose both sides of an issue. At this point in America we’re embarrassed about the world watching our news. Our public stations have been taken over by Europeans claiming to be American. Fix our international image so folks will begin to take us serious.

Step on the neck of the FDA Director until he gasps “Uncle Sam”! His lackadaisical approach lies at the pinnacle of the addiction problem in America. Money obviously drives his approval and any attempt to do what’s good for patients is thwarted for profit. Not to mention costs and elderly. It’s so bad in America now that the elderly can’t afford medicine and the young folks can’t get enough. Kill to birds with one stone by implementing sound policy based on people.

If you want to be taken serious and not become “historical fodder” don’t get on the “social issue train”! Stay clear of the tracks or you’ll surely get run over by ignorance. These folks are on a runaway ride that will stop dead in its tracks when it hits the litmus test!

Black families matter, there are only two genders, and abortion is a woman’s choice to end a life. We, Americans, are too busy working (and too mature) to sit around arguing with a bunch of spoiled brats about how we should support their right to be different.

It’s like when you were young and turning eighteen and your Dad asked you what you were going to do when you graduated, saying “stay home and extend my childhood” would have gotten a big laugh. Or in the event you did stay the summer after school and you thought you were gonna come in all hours of the night with all kinds of folks. “Not in my house. You want to live like that you better find another place to stay!” Childhood ends way before you graduate.

If you want our support tell those folks trying to take away our guns, beliefs, and speech they have to take Intro to Govt. over again. We need all three of these rights to protect ourselves from the complacent idiots accepting the intellectual Black Plague wearing rose colored glasses and expecting someone to bail them out when all hell breaks loose.

Smack these little brats and the weak adults that support and encourage them. Tell them we won’t tolerate their time released behavior and ignore them when they stomp their feet. Wisdom is real, and the closest thing to hindsight.

Put the Muslim community in their place. Let them know that their doctrine is about violence and domination. Ill give them the “Old Testament “argument. Ill even concede the “Crusades”. But those aren’t American Christian histories. Like slavery, we were handed those histories. Unlike the Muslims, Americans washed their hands of those beliefs and moves forward as Christians to stand up for the weak or downtrodden. We are the leading dynamic force for human rights in the last two centuries. And don’t put the Vatican and American religion in the same float, we’re not!

So it’s your move Mr. Muslim. Wash your hands of your politically oppressive religion and move forward out of the Stone Age to join the rest of the developed world on respecting the lives of all people. You do that and we’ll accept you as we accept other religions. Stay on the path of violence and politics and you’ll soon be hard pressed to the ground trying yo find a rock to hide behind. By the way. Leave your kids home if you come to fight us.

We need you to be honest. We need you to embrace candor. We need leadership. Stand between the oppositions here and abroad and be the voice of reason rather than a mouthpiece. This is a critical time in our history and your job will be difficult.

Just make sure your noose is big enough to extend to the far left and the far right. Then you can snatch these idiots into one corral and let them know your the new Sheriff in town, things are fixin to change and some folks are gonna get run outta town.
Godspeed Sir/Ma’am!!!

The Police Are Coming: the Paul Revere Version!!!

Man!!!! These shootings really got me going for a minute, and I’m still pissed. This last story about the Soldier in Texas has fueled the fire. That Sergeant held himself accountable and turned himself into an El Paso jail for a two day stay and came out in a casket. I’m pissed.

This rubric that law enforcement and other agency use to excuse their incompetence is transparent and pathetic, but we as citizens do nothing. We cower to the “authority” that we give them. We have to address the issues professionally, leaving out myths and emotions.

Every once in a while over my adult life there have been “shake ups” in government entities. Usually politically motivated, but a light was shined on antiquated procedures and policies that in modern times seemed ignorant and counter productive to the particular agencies goals, possibly where the term. “Oxymoron” originated. It’s that time for law enforcement.

I am not attacking officers, their only as good as their policies and procedure, and the folks who develop and supervise them. Yeah their are good and bad officers, good and bad precincts, and probably good and bad regions. I’m certain most officers patrolling or guarding are good folks.

Take a look at the region of the United States where the shootings occur and maybe that will reveal something. I’m not sure because law enforcement seems to have a problem with reporting their actions for research purposes. Which could be problem number one, reporting!

There are an abundance of “corporate universities” on line and on site that have capitalized on advanced degrees for middle income American professions. Nursing, education, and Law enforcement leading the economic drive. Problem seems, education and nursing also have a representative presence in research universities as well, law enforcement doesn’t. This may explain the lack of accountability and rigor with respect to data. If they kept accurate date like the other career fields many myths and accusations about “bad policing” could be rejected; like the latest drama played out in Baltimore.

Second, and equally important is politics and policing. Stop electing law enforcement leaders. Take the School Board in some jurisdictions for instance. The Superintendent is nominated by elected officials. Then the short list is developed. Then a vote of the committee determines which candidate out of the few left best fits based on their “qualifications”. Right now a popular person with no qualifications is serving as Sheriff in some county out there!!! Take politics out of policing!!!!

3rd , supervisory positions should be earned by merit. In the military they make a good effort to do this. An honest assessment of ones ability is done monthly or quarterly depending on the service and positions. At the higher levels a board determines your eligibility based “on your record”, not your personality, they don’t meet you. It’s not 100%, but nobodies son “gets the position” this way!!!

Standardization is important. Had we been taking policing seriously for years we would appreciate the value of documenting and debriefing. This leads to more effective approaches in all endeavors and highlights ineffective actions that deter from the mission. Too many gaudy mission statements hang on dusty plaques In police offices and jails around our nation.

Officers need to be out of their cars and guards need to use strategies that allow them to interact with their populations. The antiquated authoritarian approaches to the criminal element will not work, it creates confrontation. This approach hinges on respect and that went out the window around the time ADHD became an excuse or condition, I’m not sure which one ! This ain’t the seventies!!!

Physical standards!!! I don’t even have to mention this, it’s obvious, but I have to make this a paragraph. You cannot be morbidly obese and be an effective officer of the law. You will not be taken seriously, it reflects bad on the profession, and you put yourself and the perpetrator in harm due to your reduced capacity. Establish realistic physical standards and say goodbye to those that can’t meet and maintain those standards.

We’ve shook up the FBI, CIA, Secret Service and a host of other agencies due to the old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. We need to overhaul and provide oversight for law enforcement in the United States. From the top down clean house.

Then we may be able to start fresh with sound approaches that are accountable based on data. Its would be much better for the officers and the citizens. Right now the incompetence of the leadership has the officers going out into an environment where the citizens believe they target certain populations. That’s inexcusable.

If we had data for 15 years on who had been killed, wounded, and beaten; which ethnicity they were and what region they were from, we could probably clear up these headlines. For all we know cops are beating Chinese folks in Alaska at an alarming rate!!!

We, citizens, are the only group that can protect our citizens and officers that serve and protect them. We need to professionalize the procedures and policies of the leadership in law enforcement. Accountability is a basic duty of any leader. Transparency dissolves doubt. Militarization creates enemies and goon squads bum rushing cells are just thugs with equipment. This is the 21st century, surely we can do better than this!