Monday, March 2, 2009


I received a great comment to my last post about ending stop loss from a man who knows what he is talking about.
You can go back and read the comment.
I didn't ask permission to re-post his comment, so I won't.
I will post my answer to him, because that's my right.
I only hope that this doesn't ruin the short communication relationship we have started.
I respect his opinions, and him for choosing to make the Army his career.
And I truly enjoy hearing from him.
I'm certain that we will have several great conversations during his present deployment.

Now my answer...

Call me John.
Mr Infantry Dad sounds kinda weird.
Ok. First, you are absolutely, positively welcome to your opinion, and to express it on my blog, in my comments, or anywhere else you would like. You fight for all of our right to do that. I respect you for it. And would never think anything less of you or anyone for disagreeing with me.
BUT, here's were I think your point is flawed.
If the Army is so grossly under manned with battle seasoned soldiers, then they need to make the hitch longer... When you sign up, you sign up for four years or five years. Don't have contracts with obscure clauses in them AND recruiters fluffing the clauses by telling individuals that there is little chance of it ever happening.
Next, give soldiers decent living quarters on base when home.
And teach all NCOS to stop soothing their egos by berating cherries. What sense does yelling and screaming at someone because they don't execute a perfect salute, or stand at a book perfect parade rest.
Now my qualifications to say this.
I completed basic training and AIT at Ft. Jackson in 1972. I also completed the Third Army Leadership Academy, and graduated the Third Army Drill Sargent Academy.
Never in all of that training was there a session on how to call recruits shit birds and piss ants.
Or to get in their face and scream, just because you can.
Nor was there instruction on what violations warranted push ups, or how many.
And yet, this has gone on since the the second world war.
I can understand the right of passage through basic training. But once a soldier becomes a member of a regular unit, that crap should stop. It serves no purpose. I understand that there are great NCOs, and it would seem that you are one. The great NCOs need to straighten out the ego maniacs, and teach them to lead by example. And create a better environment for all.
Now regarding extended tours of duty. (note, not Stop Loss).
During WWII there were soldiers that served for five years, some never getting leave at all. They lived in deplorable conditions. Sleeping outside in freezing weather, without shelter, for days and weeks on end.
During war time it should be understood that if you are in a battle unit, you are in until you are no longer needed.
Just make that known up front.
Don't let soldiers think that they are getting out, then pull the switch.
That's why I want to see stop loss ended.
I'm not angry about it just because my son got stop lossed, and no action I take now can stop it.
I understand that.
Hopefully I can make a difference for soldiers of the future.

I will continue to work to promote the petition I started to get the military to come up with a better way of staffing than forcing soldiers that complete their hitch to stay past their ETS.
I do not oppose soldiers being re-called in the event that a war escalates and they are needed to ensure that all soldiers aren't put in a worse situation by being under manned.
The fact that a soldier is on in-active reserve for a certain number of years after their initial commitment is well know by all.
It is made clear, along with the criteria that could constitute a recall.

And now a little promotion of the cause.
The petition can be found here, Online petition - End Stop Loss
Please consider helping with this cause...

God bless our soldiers serving in harms way, and keep them safe.


  1. Dad,

    I just read Sarge's comments. I feel I must side with him of this issue. Going in to combat is dangerous even when you have experienced combat veterans. I would imagine it would be worse with a bunch of cheeries.

    I do agree with you regarding the maturity of some, not all, supervisors. Common sense is inherited not developed. In all fairness I enlisted in 1966 and made it though basic with very little "in your face" being carried out. In AIT there was always one DUMBA__, that thought he just had to instill some discipline on a cherry. They usually overstepped their boundries and the problem went away.

    I feel for you as a fellow parent but disagree with you about the Stop Loss. I wish Matt hadn't got caught up in it. I will create a link for you at Mark 1:11. God Bless and good luck.



    for future reference, you have my permission (not that you need it) to repost anything i write on this fourm. i stand by everything i write because thats what i believe. i will also speak a few words about who i am so that we can avoid ackward formallitys. i love to debate, disagree, and argue with people about anything. its fun for me. i will also say that i grow up as the youngest of three boys. so my skin is really thick. i promise you that you will not offend me, if anything you will kick me away before i you.

    now to the issue.

    i think the armys problems are more vast and rampent then most realize. this is something i will address on my blog once i get it up in running. (my computers in the mail). your point that the army enlists soldiers for 4-5 years with obscure clauses in there contracts which states that they own them for 8 years actually is absolutly correct. it isnt advertised or even discussed untill your signing your contract. that is wrong. i agree that the army shouldnt do that. i know why they do. if they did advertise the 8 year commitment then they would be pushing away recruits. none the less its wrong and should stop.
    also, recruiters lie. this isnt new everyone knows it. the recruiters are driven by a quota machine that can damage thier carree if they dont get the numbers. this inturn forces them to be good at what they do or lie. if you change the system you cut down on the lies.

    berating cherries.
    i like the way you put that. i have been a NCO for 15 months, but i have been a leader my whole life. leaders are born, they can be developed but what your born with goes much further then what you have been taught. when i was a PFC i got berated every single day for anything or nothing. it was understood that it was the way things go. i hated it and disagreed with it. it made my resent my leadership. in my 15 months i might have made my soldiers drop and push maybe 5 times. 5 times in over 400 days. i dont use the rank on my chest to command respect or to stroke my ego. i use my brain and my examples. i dont yell barely at all, but when i do my soldiers know i mean bussiness and they listen. i dont take advantage of my rank and i dont use it to have fun. i think as a leader if you can inspire and be what others wont to be they will do what you want them to do. when i was a PFC i looked to the NCOs that had so much knowledge and command attority and i told myself, thats what i want to be. i want my men to follow me because they trust me and because they wouldnt want to follow anyone else. not because they were ordered to or because i out rank them.
    your quote.
    I can understand the right of passage through basic training. But once a soldier becomes a member of a regular unit, that crap should stop. It serves no purpose. I understand that there are great NCOs, and it would seem that you are one. The great NCOs need to straighten out the ego maniacs, and teach them to lead by example. And create a better environment for all.

    i have been preaching this for a long time now. i find myself mentoring and teaching other sgt. what to do and how to lead. im the one they come to when they have questions. not our squad leader.

    lol i am not done with this i have more to say. i have to go to a EO brief right now so i will have to post an add on later.

    john thank you for allow me to speak my mind, and frankly i enjoy having someone who can form an intellegent arguement oppose me on certain issues. its fun to debate back and forth but by an large, i think we are on the same page on the big picture.

  3. Thanks pops.
    Oh, and you know I respect your opinion...
    BUT, That doesn't mean I won't try to change it...

    Thanks SGT.
    We'll discus this a lot more as time permits.
    Get that computer yet?

    you look like a peeping Tom.
    Sign the petition will ya?