Based on the comments on social media, it’s time to readdress this topic and state my agenda regarding what we are and aren’t as a page. I want to bang my head against the wall when I read some of the off topic comments surrounding the “current” issue, so as entertaining as this may be for those who’ve been around awhile, this is primarily directed at the new folks.
I really love the Army, and I mean that. The structure provided by this organization has given me so much. That statement only applies to the Army, however, and not the people in it. A lot of fuck-knuckles have risen up through the ranks due to blackmail, nepotism, or just (fill in the blank); something other than proficiency. Whatever, fine; welcome to humanity, right? That happens everywhere. This profession in particular is unique though. You can do something, something that wouldn’t even make anyone on the outside blink, and end up losing pay, rank, making a shower buddy in jail, or many other things simply because that’s how our justice system is structured.
So it won’t come as a shock that a guy who came up through the ranks and has been in as long as me might get a little upset that there are people who *gasp* DON’T FOLLOW THE RULES! Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t give a shit about most of the stupid things we do (hands in pockets for instance, or walking and talking on a cellphone), but when it comes to orders being given from the – DOD/ARMY/Pick your poison, – I expect subordinate commanders and officers to adhere to those rules and not usurp them.
I don’t care if you get a vaccine or not. I don’t care what “science” you believe. I don’t care if you wear a mask, socially distance, or ANYTHING ELSE that arises as a topic. Read this carefully, digest it and share it; it’s the ONLY thing I’m concerned about addressing.
I CARE ABOUT ILLEGAL, UNETHICAL OR IMMORAL ACTIONS FROM COMMAND TEAMS!
In this particular case, I care about command teams openly defying orders given by the Department of Defense saying the vaccine is voluntary and service members will not be forced to take it. Just so I can say it again, I don’t care about the vaccine! I want command teams to stop breaking clear guidance, direct orders, and stop skirting around “Unlawful Command Influence” by saying things like “I’m doing this to protect the force.” No you’re not. You didn’t give two shits when you dismissed that captain’s rape investigation (looking at you, COL Irvin. Yea, I’ve heard all about your time as the CAB Commander; talked to some retired warrants who had plenty to say about you as a junior officer as well. How’s retention going?), and more broadly, half of you have shown your outright disdain for the morale and welfare of your troops with the decisions you’ve made over the years. So now you care? Stop it. Trying to pad your evaluation with “health and welfare” claims is as tacky as a cringey tick-tock video using dead soldiers to pull on people’s emotions. Disingenuous shmucks….
I’m giving a voice to every person who has to keep their mouth shut because they’ll get crushed if they speak out publicly. Doooon’t talk to me about whistleblower protections, people first, or whatever nonsense you guys made up for the twitter feed this week. We all know what happens to whistleblowers if they get caught. I don’t get paid for anything I do here. I don’t take personal satisfaction in reading the hundreds and hundreds of messages from enlisted, NCO, SNCO, Officer and even LTC and COLs! I’m just sick of watching it happen all around me and not being able to influence it. I’d share some personal stories of soldiers I’ve had who were done dirty by the Army, but it would give away who I am. Needless to say, I’ve had enough.
If you’re serving, let me make this clear. I want “legitimate” legal actions to be pursued. Approach the chain of command. If that fails, go higher. Keep going up until you can’t go any higher. Go to the Inspector General (just not yours; never yours). Obey orders, do what you’re told, and be a good soldier. If that fails, come to me. I don’t care if you had to low crawl through broken glass naked. Was everyone doing it and was it legal? If not, THEN COME TO ME! Right now a lot of people are messaging me because their commanders are doing illegal/immoral shit. Apparently the only recourse we have in many of these situations anymore is to put a big public spotlight on the issue. I’ll be the spotlight, but I need to know where to shine the light.