SFTT Newsletter 08/09/00

From: "Bruce K. Melson" <doc32751@cookeville.com>

Subject: FW: SFTT Newsletter 08/09/00
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 11:42:33 -0500
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Healthcare updates in section 9 below:

Doc Melson


09 August 2000

"When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen."
General George Washington, New York Legislature, 1775

"Our militia will be heroes, if we have heroes to lead them."
Thomas Jefferson

Soldiers For The Truth Foundation, PO Box 63840, Colorado Springs, CO

SITREP from the President

Hack's Column:
"Military Readiness in the Toilet True or False?"

"From my Position" -- On the way!"
Article 1 - A Word about Military Pay and other Retention Factors

Big Picture:
Article 2 - Army Leader says Schwarzkopf 'flat wrong'
Article 3 - Ft. Hood Training Cuts

Voices from the Field:
Article 4 -- Reader Response -- Special Forces Medics may not be so Special
Article 5 - Don't blame Mid-grade Officer Exodus on NonComs
Article 6 - NCO voice from the Training Center - "We are Mush!"
Article 7 -- Navy Readiness -- Polishing the Pig Boats
Article 8 - The Stats look great - Reality hurts
Article 9 -- Health Care Update: Various Topics

G.I Humor:
Article 10 -- GI HUMOR - New Element could change the way you think about

Medal of Honor:
Article 11 -- LOGAN, JAMES M., Italy 1943

1.  Main topics:  1) Readiness 2) Targeted Military Pay and Benefits and
their impact on Retention 3) Inspections and Training 4) Quality of

2.  Hot Buttons:


I have to consider mailing you an abbreviated version of the newsletter with
the first two articles and the table of contents and refer you for the rest
to our website at www.,sftt.org.  The cost of mailing to 20,000(+) addresses
is prohibitive and we can't afford to continue full scale mailing to
individuals. Please give me your input for I don't want anyone left out.

C. Let's join the political debate.  While the Pentagon insists all is well,
the Republicans acknowledge readiness shortfalls and low morale among

-  We need active duty feedback from the field, the ships and the airfields
to tell us what YOU think and see.  Tell us how you envision the big
politicians could fix it, knowing that more money isn't always the answer.
Get your buddies involved in the discussion!

C.  NEED YOUR FEEDBACK to verify the quality of training future leaders
receive in ROTC.  Could the following events have actually occurred???

-  A female ROTC cadet arrives at camp, already on physical profile for a
twisted ankle.  She never falls out for PT, does not participate in road
marches, and does not complete the squad military stakes course.  Yet,
despite these shortcomings, she is given one of the highest marks received
by ANY cadet in all of the advanced camp.  Seems our intrepid lass had the
disconcerting habit of applying tears rather than sweat to the task.  The
TACs felt that this was an indication of her zeal and determined that, "If
you're crying, you're trying."

-  Another story out of advanced camp has a group of female cadets
habitually falling out of the morning runs and congregating at the rear of
the formation.  One officer and two NCOs are dispatched to gather up the
gaggle and herd them toward the finish line.  As they near the goal, they
are encouraged to group in formation and put the effort into running, so
they appear to look good as they cross the finish line.  By the way, all
these sterling stalwart future leaders got credit for completing the
physical training.

!!! NOTE:  We will NEVER reveal your true identity unless you give us your
approval.  We know how vindictive the system can be.

3.  Flash

!!!  Credit Card donation via our WEBSITE at www.sftt.org -- IT IS UP and

!!!  PLEASE continue your financial support for us.

***So far we have received about 261 donations that keep us on a temporary
operating budget.  If you are one of our almost 22,000 readers who believes
we stand for you and tell it like it is on pertinent defense issues, support
us!  Just like any small business, we can't forever produce website,
newsletter and personal advice for free and survive.  Look at article #1 and
realize that the Pentagon outspends us by $289 billion and AUSA by $ 20

!!!  If you cant get through to me via the website, send me your mail direct
at rrzimm@gateway.net.  If you have something to be published, send it in
Word Format if possible.

!!!  If you think we HIT a target, forward the newsletter to TV, radio and
your locale papers.  YOU are our best recruiter and intel gatherers.

4.  Methods of Support

Check or Money order:  Send to and make payable to:  Soldiers For The Truth
Foundation, PO Box 63840, Colorado Springs, CO 80962-3840.


Your donation is tax deductible!  SFTT is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit educational
foundation, IRS # 31-1592564.

If you send us an E-MAIL address with your donation we can immediately mail
you a RECEIPT!!!!

Some of you have sent multiple contributions.  Please remind us when you
submit your donation, so we can send you a cumulative statement for tax

SFTT Website.  If you didn't get the complete newsletter or only the Short
Version (sv), you can find it archived on the website http://www.sftt.org.


R.W. Zimmermann
President SFTT
Hack's Column
"Military Readiness in the Toilet True or False?"
By David H. Hackworth

Retired Army Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf says U.S. military readiness sucks.
Louis Caldera, U.S. Army headman, says this ain't so -- Stormin' Norman's
"flat-out wrong."

Both men are alumni of West Point, an institution whose graduates I've
always held in the highest regard, at least until their actions proved
otherwise. And sadly there were a fair few of those.

But then West Point produced people like William Ochs, Class of '45, my
first platoon leader in Italy, who taught me courage when he and a seven-man
rifle squad stopped a Yugoslavian regiment -- 5,000 bad dudes -- from
invading Trieste. In Korea, Joe Love, Class of '50, taught me combat
leadership when his rifle company defended the Punch Bowl. In Vietnam, Hank
"The Gunfighter" Emerson, Class of '47, taught me, by brilliant example, how
to skipper a parachute battalion in a counterinsurgency environment. And
there were scores of other Pointers who thumped, shaped and mentored soldier

It's rare when West Point graduates get into public squabbles. Luis --
that's how he spelled it when he graduated from West Point in 1978 --
Caldera says our military can go anywhere at anytime and do a number on the
bad guys. Schwarzkopf strongly disagrees.

So who's right? Is Luis singing the party line for his pal Bill? Or is
Norman bashing the Pentagon to smooch up to Dubya and old boss Dick Cheney?

Let's look at their credentials:
Schwarzkopf, Class of '56, was a platoon leader in the 101st Airborne; a
company commander in Berlin in those hot days when The Wall went up; a
battalion CO in Vietnam; a brigade CO at Fort Lewis, Wash.; an assistant
division commander in Germany; and a division and corps CG in the States. He
commanded the Army force during the invasion of Grenada and then, of course,
there was Desert Storm. He retired in '91 with 35 years' service and four
combat tours under his pistol belt.

Caldera, Class of '78, was a stateside military-police officer for two
years, an admin officer at West Point for one year and an MP officer at Fort
Dix, N.J., for one year. He quit the Army as soon as he could, in 1983, to
go to Harvard Law School, and the half-million-dollar, taxpayer-funded
education designed to train him to defend America served him well -- first
in law and then playing politics. Combat experience: zero.

My take is that Stormin' Norman is talking to many of the same folks I hear
from daily who tell me our Army, Navy and Air Force -- not the Marine
Corps -- can't fight their way into a retirement home. Remember, many of
today's commanders were his subordinates somewhere down the line, and
Norman, like most old soldiers, would keep an ear to the combat-readiness
ground. Five will get you 10 that Norman's getting his skinny on the q.t.
from skippers and old NCOs. Guys who wouldn't dare pull one on "The Bear,"
whose vast experience would help him sniff out the truth faster than he used
to bark "Gimme 25."

I suspect that Caldera's getting his readiness info from the reports that
slide across his Pentagon desk and talks with soldiers when in the field.
But today's generals rarely say they're not ready to go, not if they want a
career. The plethora of Perfumed Princes that manage -- not lead -- today's
forces can't afford to and wouldn't let a truth-teller within rifle range of
a visiting fireman from Washington such as Caldera.

But if Caldera, who probably is talking primarily to yes men and women,
really thinks our forces are good to go, he should see an eye doc for
specs -- because the man from Los Angeles must be blinder than a rock.

Caldera reminds me of another high Pentagon know-nothing, Secretary of
Defense Louis Johnson, who just before the Korean War exploded assured
President Harry Truman that our forces were second to none. He was fired,
but not before thousands of untrained soldiers were shot down by a superior
North Korean army.

Hopefully in November -- no matter who's the new commander in chief --
Caldera and the rest of Clinton's Pentagon political appointments will be
given their walking papers and our country's defense will be placed in more
competent hands.
Http://www.hackworth.com is the address of David Hackworth's home page. Sign
in for the free weekly Defending America column at his Web site. Send mail
to P.O. Box 5210, Greenwich, CT 06831.
(c) 2000 David H. Hackworth
Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.
ARTICLE 1 - "From my Position" -- On the way!"
A Word about Military Pay and other Retention Factors
By R.W. (Zimm) Zimmermann
President SFTT

The 14% pay gap is popping up again as a recruiting and retention factor in
this election year.  The think tanks are beating the drums, reporters and
experts scream about it and the presidential candidates promise to make it
disappear without clear vision.

What's the truth about the gap and the quality of life difference between
soldiers and civilians?

I admit to be opposed to the blanket military pay increases for all ranks.
To compensate fairly, you have to take a look at the specific job, its worth
to a particular organization, exposure to danger and the field environment
among many factors.

Most officers earn about the right amount of money in comparison to their
civilian counterparts.  As unit commanders, most officers influence their
own schedules, find time for physical exercise and lunch and even mange to
"study" the daily paper.  In many Pentagon jobs, much time and effort is
spent planning and enduring the daily commute.

It's different in the enlisted ranks of operational units.  Many guys, such
as vehicle mechanics, are constantly battling short-fused recovery and
repair tasks.  Eighteen-hour days aren't unusual, slugging it out to meet
the commander's magic 90% readiness requirement.  Tough work, oftentimes
performed without the right tools and sparse repair parts.  Many of these
jobs would earn much overtime pay in the civilian sector.

It's similar for grunts, tankers and the specialties that do time in the
field.  In contrast, senior leaders visit for a couple of hours of small
talk and coin handouts.  Then they quickly chopper back to garrison, so they
won't miss important readiness meetings and opportunities to rub elbows with
city council.

Another underpaid category is the high tech NCO of all the services.  These
specialists are compensated by rank, while their counterparts in the
civilian sector earn many times that.  No wonder we're not reenlisting them.

To fix military pay, we need targeted pay raises that addresses the
imbalance between the ranks and the job performed.  Our NCO leaders deserve
about a 12-15 % increase, while officer pay can easily hover around the
inflation rate for a couple of years.

Soldiers deployed to the field should get a field allowance to compensate
for wear and tear of gear and uniforms and to offset the antiquated
subsistence allowance.  Deployed troops and sailors should be compensated
from day one of the mission and earn more than the clerk of the same rank
who works in a warm office.

We also need bonuses for unaccompanied deployments to provide strictly
volunteer unit packages to places like Korea and ad-hoc peacekeeping
assignments.  Twelve-month deployment limits could go by the wayside.

To supplement targeted pay for work performed, the services also must
improve stability and appropriate benefits that impact job satisfaction.

On most military installations, NCOs and enlisted troops should have
priority for government-subsidized housing to allow them to use all military
facilities, such as Commissary and BX and save money on fuel.  Today's
reality is just the opposite - junior enlisted folks get shoved off-post,
while senior leaders live in government quarters in close range to all
discount facilities.

Stability of the work environment is as important as Dollars.  Units ought
to produce duty and training schedules that are predictable.  By our
doctrine, training is planned five weeks out.  What a pipe dream!  Most
outfits can't figure out what's happening tomorrow.  Too many commitments?
Yes, but mainly caused by senior commanders, determined to be first to
volunteer for every mission.  Senior guys need to learn to "just say no"
when asked if they could jerk a unit around for another questionable
requirement without impact on readiness.

A stable training plan includes a workable block leave schedule.  Soldiers
deserve a 15-day leave period twice a year.  No ad-hoc leave cancellations
for opportunity training missions.  Ask how many people today really take
their annual 30-day leave.  The leave issue has become so irritating that
post commanders and their Inspectors General (IG) are tracking leave data
for mid-ranking and senior officers to figure how much they will lose at the
end of the year.

At the macro level, stability and readiness go hand in hand and require a
rotational deployment/alert schedule for all brigade size combat units.
 But .to make this work, someone very senior has to implement such a plan
and make hard decisions.  That's the LEADERSHIP factor that's still
separating us from the solutions.

(c) R.W. Zimmermann, LandserUSA
Army Leader says Schwarzkopf  'flat wrong'
Ed.:  I will never be a fan of Stormin' Norman, an overweight General who
could barely pass a PT test and who had a record of abusing his subordinates
and who we seem to compare to a Mathew Ridgeway or Jim Gavin -- but this
goes too far!  Louis Caldera, the guy who doesn't realize that the Expert

Infantryman's badge is NOT won by "brave women" and who barely knows the
difference between a tank and a fuel truck, hammers a guy with over thirty
years in uniform (although oversized!).Are we really much better today
because we have more technology???  A 2 August UPI report.  A Grunt replies
in Article 8.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 (UPI) - Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera, the U.S.
Army's top civilian official, says retired Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf is "just
flat out wrong" about the state of the military today.

Schwarzkopf asserted in a speech Tuesday to the Republican National
Convention that today's military is not as well-trained as the force that
fought under him 10 years ago in the Gulf War.  He also said military forces
lack proper equipment and motivation.

Secretary Caldera dismissed the general's criticisms Wednesday, telling
reporters he would "be happy to provide the data to show him that."

The active duty Army is about half the size it was during the Gulf War,
which was fought by a military scaled to face a Soviet threat. But Caldera
said the Army also featured a higher percentage of less educated soldiers -
those who had not finished high school or who had only received an
equivalency diploma.

"We have both, the highest quality force in the history of our nation and
the readiness to go fight and win in any mission we would be asked to
perform. So I don't think (Schwarzkopf's criticism) is a valid claim,"
Caldera said.

Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon Tuesday said the military under Clinton is
"stronger and more supple" than it was when he took over in 1993.

"I would say it is more capable. I think that we have incorporated new
technology. I think that the way we fought the air war over Yugoslavia and
Kosovo last year showed how well we can operate in tough, challenging
conditions. I think that the patrols over the no-fly zones, over Iraq every
day, show how well we perform in conditions under fire. I'd say this is an
extremely lethal, fast-moving, modern military. And I think it's well
prepared to perform the tasks that the nation demands of it, and I think
that's exactly what the military's been doing, Bacon said.

"I think the military has performed admirably, and it's shown itself to be
well led, well trained, and well equipped," he said.
Ft. Hood SITREP - Training is being sacrificed
Ed.:  Results of our reader feedback.  All information was summarized so we
wouldn't reveal our sources.  My big question in over twenty years has
always been:  Why do we have to blow our money at the beginning of each
fiscal year vs. planning for decent training for the entire year?  How are
other installations/services coping?
>From Multiple Sources

YES, Ft. Hood is sacrificing training for money.  One Brigade is currently
deploying for training at the National Training Center.BUT the 4th Infantry
Division cut the home station equipment train in half to save money.
Impact:  Few home station vehicles went from the support units, vehicles
that carry the critical computers for the important Force (or Farce?) XXI
tests, the major reason for the deployment.

OPTEMPO has been high and M1 readiness suffered big time after one Brigade
had been in the field since January and the other has been turning in M1A1s
for M1A2's.  Maintenance costs have been astronomical.  In one instance the
CG approved removing parts off of a museum vehicle to repair another

Recycling is and remains a number one priority on Ft. Hood and a major topic
during all readiness briefs.  Many careers ride on successful recycling.
Reader Response -- Special Forces Medics may not be so Special?
Ed.:  Common sense response by this former Marine recon troop.  I agree that
repetitious training and drill make the master for combat ops.  Maybe it
doesn't matter if a guy needs four attempts to certify, as long he
ultimately meets a RIGOROUS standard.
By Al Lorentz, former Marine Recon

The current standard that SF medics must pass the first test or first
re-test seems a bit removed from the real world requirements.  The real
requirement seems to be having a man who is capable of passing the Q course
and specifically their medical specialty test.  Given the quality of public
education today, I am not surprised that the dumbed down standards are
ripping into our military.

I know that not as many people want to attend the year-long medical course
for SF as the other less time consuming specialties, therefore, the numbers
are going to be low for SF medics, especially when recruiting numbers are

Every one of my soldiers who left our outfit to go SF stated a preference
for weapons first, engineer second, commo next to last and medic DEAD LAST.
I only had one soldier who went that route and he did so for the $25,000
bonus when, in reality, his heart was set on being the weapons specialist.

In my LRRP outfit, we had an ideal standard, a soldier in top physical
condition with a GT of 120 or better, expert shot with the rifle, Ranger
qualified, JM qualified if he was an NCO, up to date on his leadership
schools, some college, some time in an elite outfit, Russian language
skills, expert land navigation, unmarried with no children or dependents

When we quit dreaming however, we were willing to accept a soldier in good
physical condition whose knuckles did not drag in the dirt and had two
redeeming factors, he was teachable and he did not know how to quit and we
taught him the things he needed.

A good NCO can take someone with these last two qualities and train him to
do just about anything, I know, I had to do it for years.

It would seem that the objective should not be to have soldiers who pass on
the first or second go around, but rather ones that pass with the current
high standards.  If I am gut-shot, I don't care that it took you four tries
to pass the test, I care only that you actually passed the test.  Sure I'd
like to have somebody who passed on the first test and wrote a brilliant
thesis on treating soldiers who are gut-shot while doing so, but I'll settle
for somebody who can simply treat my wound, somebody who eventually passed
the test.

If you look ahead at how things are being run, you realize that if the
standard is to 'pass on the first or second test with no exception', the
overall standards will simply be lowered to assure that this arbitrary
requirement is met or else the Army will decide to field a lot less teams.
I'd rather have the guy who passed the test with the original standards
working on me than one who passed on the first try after they lower them so
that more people will pass on the first try.
Don't blame Mid-grade Officer Exodus on NonComs
Ed.:  This old First Sergeant describes the real culprits from the NCO
perspective.  Most wounds appear senior officer leader inflicted.
By 1SG Dwayne L. Davidson, US ARMY Retired

Recently the Army conducted a survey on the mass exodus of mid grade
Officers (0-3 to 0-5). It was suggested that a lack of Senior NCO mentoring
was in part responsible. Obviously the Chief of Staff can't see the forest
for the trees to even suggest this.  Again the officer's corps is trying to
scapegoat the NCO'S which is the trend.

There is no mystery here.  The officers know exactly what the root causes
are, but as usual cannot or will not speak their mind.  A lack of resources,
personnel, micro management and political protocol all have decimated
morale.  Today's senior command has become intolerant of anything less than
perfection or perfect statistics. Numerous deployments, an OPTEMPO that has
spiraled out of control are also driving many leaders away.

Many Senior Commanders, particularly TDA commanders have little to base
their report cards on so the emphasis is on perfect percentages which is
unrealistic and is what drives the train.  If a company commander dares to
complain or bring real world issues or problems to light, he or she is
branded incompetent.  Do more with less has reached the point of madness.
If your dental readiness falls below 90% God help you.  The inflated OER
system is directly responsible.  More sweat in training, less blood in
combat. Just don't ever foul up in training.

The difference between these officers and their NCO counterparts is that
typically the officers have an option.  They, at 10 years have a degree,
their student loan is paid off and they are being actively recruited by
corporate management.  Let's see; duty, honor country versus more money and
time with their families.  Considering that a master's degree looks good on
a corporate resume, not a hard choice when duty, honor, country equates to
being abused for being less than perfect.

Training has given way to social engineering and political protocol but the
NCO will continue to bear the brunt.  No one can blame those aspiring
officers.  They simply want to command, not to be abused.  Given the option,
most people would want to improve their quality of life.  Patriotism only
carries you so far.  Hardships are an accepted part of the profession of
arms that most officers willingly accept but OPTEMPO has exceeded manageable

Mentoring is a joint responsibility.  The junior officer only has a short
period (mandated) to develop.  Ready or not the officer is thrown into the
next level.  The NCO for the most part has some continuity in various
leadership positions.  Senior commanders also have a responsibility to
mentor subordinate officers.   Mentoring has given way to "perfection or
else".  The officer's corps eats its young.
NCO voice from the Training Center - "We are Mush!"
Ed:  I personally know this front-line tanker who I would have gladly gone
to war with.  These men are not in it for money and cheap medals but for the
challenge and fulfillment that comes from being a combat man.  They don't
talk much, but when they speak, it's normally not whining!
By SFC K.T., US Army

I just left the National Training Center (NTC) where I served as a platoon
sergeant.  Here is my assessment of where we stand.

Just like many places, we try to do too much with not enough.  I'm not
bitching about working hard, but we are trying to satisfy everyone.
Environmental protection requirements, support taskings that never end,
Equal Opportunity training, Family Support Group briefs, Army Emergency
Relief, Consideration Of Others, rotations as OPFOR, training as regular
Army, certification on everything, etc.

Instead of being well trained and lethal, we are mush.  Basic Soldiering is
lost.  Discipline is low, we need to be kinder or more concerned or write a
damn volume of counseling.  More time and effort is wasted on those who
probably shouldn't be soldiers and the ones who have potential get ignored.
Those who have a spark that should be fanned and inspired end up pulling the
weight and are ignored, until re-up time, then we wonder why they get out.

Hey, we could all use a pay raise, but soldiers don't stay in because of
money, or because you give them laptops, or because of feel good
environment.  They stay because they are doing something they believe in,
something more important than self -- things like DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY,

These can't come from a plastic card!!!  They come from real leadership by
example and are a way of life!
Navy Readiness -- Polishing the Pig Boats
Ed.:  Navy perspective on inspections.  Do they really serve a purpose when
they are announced far in advance?  Most cause disruption of routine
training and maintenance and give a false read-out on readiness.  I have
always been a believer in the surprise visit that results in honest feedback
and clearly defined fixes, such as retraining tasks.
By Clinton C. Owen, ETC(SS) Retired

When I reported aboard my first submarine in 1981, our training and
inspection program was not as polished and sophisticated as it is today.
Somehow, we managed to win the cold war and prevent a nuclear confrontation.

We averaged about one hour of classroom training per week, just enough to
help the junior sailors get up to speed, and to keep the old salts from
getting rusty.  I actually enjoyed going to work, and considered it a
personal challenge to keep all the gear assigned to me in perfect working
order.  The training we received was mostly on-the-job, with a few formal
schools for background theory.

We spent a lot of time at sea, went to a lot of exotic places, and when we
were in port we had time to actually maintain our equipment.  About once per
year we had a big inspection (the Operational Reactor Safeguards
Examination, ORSE), during which a team of senior nuclear officers looked
over our records, and ran drills on us to prove that we could safely operate
the ship and its reactor.

A few weeks before the scheduled inspection, we would start a work-up
period, reviewing our paperwork and practicing drills that we might see
during the examination. The inspection was not allowed to impact our
operational commitments, usually being tacked onto the end of a deployment.

In the past 12 years, the number of submarines in the US fleet has been cut
in half, but the number of inspections and inspection teams seems to keep
growing.  Virtually all of these are now choreographed charades, with
predictable results.  The ORSE has been joined by an alphabet soup of
certifications and inspections.  A short list of other probes that a typical
ship might endure in a single year includes: Tactical Readiness Examination
(TRE), Pre-Overseas Movement Inspection (POM), Mine Warfare Certification
(MINECERT), Supply Department Inspection, Demonstration and Shakedown
Operation (DASO, Mini DASO), Food Service Inspection (The NEY Award), In
Service Inspection (INSERV), etc, etc.

Every exercise is planned months in advance.  Everyone knows the schedule,
down to the tiniest detail.  When the inspection team arrives, every drill,
evolution, and interview has been meticulously planned and practiced.
Often, several senior members of your squadron will ride the ship for a week
or more, helping you prepare for the show. The only limit to how well you
can do is the finite amount of time you have to change gears between the
various inspections.  During the work-up periods, some commanding officers
are drilling their crews four or five or six days per week, wearing out the
ship as well as the men.  Trident missile submarines are now spending entire
patrols practicing for inspections, instead of going on alert. We have even
surfaced and snorkeled in the middle of the patrol area, unheard of even a
few years ago.

Most incidents that potentially or actually damage the ship happen during
drills.  Drills are also not very quiet.  In the past we spent most of our
deployed time trying to live up to the term "Silent Service.  Now we spend
it crashing and banging around without even a pretense of stealth.  Recently
several submarines have had to alter their patrol schedules due to actual
casualties that occurred during training drills.  During the actual
inspection, most of the crew will get little or no sleep for several days.
Every man will be unnaturally formal in his watch standing, and every
evolution will be carried out in perfect detail.  As soon as the inspection
team is gone, things return to "Business as usual.

When the ORSE team is on board, the engineering spaces are sanitized of all
excess tools, spare parts, personal items, etc., all of which are stowed
forward, where the ORSE team is not looking.  The entire crew pitches in to
clean the engine room to an unnatural shine.  A few months or weeks later,
when the TRE inspectors walk through the tactical regions, all unauthorized
or questionable items have been moved aft, behind the magical line that
separates tactics from engineering.  When the supply department is preparing
for their show, they stop issuing repair parts from their stock on board the
ship.  Got to keep a perfect inventory, don't you know?  If you need to fix
anything you pick up your parts from the shore based supply depot.

I remember a scene from Papillion, a film about the French prison on Devil's
Island.  One of the tortures dreamed up for the prisoners involved polishing
a steel plate. It was so hot and humid that any newly polished area started
to rust as soon as you moved to the next section. The plate could never be
polished-and it was just an old piece of scrap metal anyway. Sometimes it
seems like that is the goal of our inspection program: keep the men busy
polishing the scrap metal and hope they don't notice that they are not
accomplishing anything.
The Stats look great - Reality hurts
Ed.:  A Grunt responds to the Army Secretary.  Sounds like he has some
By an Army Grunt

Secretary Caldera:

With all due respect sir, your statement regarding Schwarzkopf's assessment
of today's military is the exact reason I will not be reenlisting in the
National Guard!  You guys have no (zero, nil, zilch, nada) clue what the
standard issue 11B gets in training today.

While you fly around in your personal planes and helicopters, my squad does
FTX's without blanks. We lay in dirt and mud and yell "bang-bang" to
simulate rounds.  When we go to the range, we get one chance to zero with 9
rounds.  Then we get one practice round on the actual target range (which
frequently doesn't work).  Then we qualify.  Check off the block for weapons
qualification and you have a mission ready unit!

Sir, it is all pencil whipped.  I get less trigger time than I get JAG
briefings. Our light-infantry battalion got 4 (four!!!!) slots for Ranger
school last year.  You mention education:  I am a Citadel graduate who
enlisted because I wanted to lead troops, not lead an endless shuffling of
useless documentation.  Does an education mean a better soldier?  Not in my
experience.  We are out there to kill people and break things, not scare
people with our diplomas.

And your discussion of our air war showing "how well we can operate in
tough, challenging condition" shows the utter lack of honesty that permeates
the upper ranks.  Newsflash:  you guys didn't hit what you aimed at, and you
didn't achieve any substantial military goals.  This is an accepted fact by
any objective and cursory examiner of the empirical evidence.

I will get out soon.  The social engineering, zero defect mentality, and
"consideration of others" training has destroyed that which I was once proud
of belonging to.  Yes, you can provide the data to prove how strong we are.
Please send me a copy of this venerable tome of pencil-whipped data.  I will
distribute it to fellow 11 Bravo's (Infantry Soldier) next time I'm at Ft.
Polk and lack of funding for toilet paper causes me to use my cut up brown
T-shirt for the task.
Health Care Update:  Sick Call? TRICARE Debt Collection, California "Quality
of Life," How's TRICARE working for you?, and other goodies
Ed:  The elections are approaching -- make the candidates take notice of
your voice!  Strength is in the numbers.  Help Pete to hit the high value
By Pete Peterson, Health Care and Veterans Affairs Editor
Email: dogman@bullshoals.net
Web Site: http://members.tripod.com/MHCRG

We have unconfirmed reports out of an east coast Navy base that traditional
"Sick Call" is no more.  When one warrior walked into his local clinic, he
was told he needed an appointment.  We know TRICARE is an appointment-driven
program, but we hadn't heard this one from a MTF before.  If any of you
active duty youngsters out there have any info regarding the demise of "sick
call" at your duty stations, please let us know!

On July 26, 2000, DOD established the position of TRICARE Debt Collection
Assistance Officer (DCAO) worldwide.  If you receive a notice from a
collection agency or a negative credit report because of a TRICARE medical
or dental bill, you should call or visit the nearest DCAO.  To find the DCAO
nearest to you, go to: <http://www.tricare.osd.mil/dcao/DCAO_Directory.doc>.

Some military retirees have started sending Obits of retirees that have
passed to their Congressmen and Senators.  Grassroots retiree activists are
using this tactic to drive home the point that they are dying off before
receiving their promised and earned health care.  Including the WWII
generation, they're dropping at the rate of 1,600 a month or more.

The House and Senate reconciled their differences on the FY01 Defense
Appropriations Bills.  There is a $963 million increase in military health
care funds to pay for broadened pharmacy access for all Medicare eligible
military retirees, and additional funds to boost reenlistment bonuses and
enlistment incentives.  The Authorization Bills aren't expected to be out of
conference before September.

For those who are asking how they can support the real military retiree
Billboard Campaign, first go take a look at the one that just went up near
Hattiesburg, MS: http://www.users.hbeark.com/~jharris/postcard.html>.   If
you want to help, there's an address on that page.  Sen. Lott, this Board's
for you.

We do not approve of Veterans or Retiree Billboards that slam recruiting.
We want quality people in a quality military.  Recruiters are part of the
military family, too.  They're not the target - Washington is.  Further, we
can't support any group that has an anti vet or anti retiree bias or
rhetoric.  We must all work together or perish.

The Air Force is looking for $30.7 million for new sports facilities at the
Air Force Academy.  Sen. Trent "Porky" Lott skimmed another $357 million to
build another ship in Mississippi the Navy doesn't want.  Meanwhile, DOD and
BRAC continue to sever the lifeline with our military community.

After building a new $11 million commissary, base exchange and hospital at
Castle AFB near Merced, CA, BRAC and DOD put it on the Base Closure List.
For a while, DOD and the Air Force made a big deal saying they were going to
leave these 3 facilities open because of the thousands of retirees in the
area.  Then they shut it all down.

They did the same thing in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Now it's Los Angeles
' turn.  With cuts already made in MTFs, and "quality of life" facilities
like commissaries and PX/BXs, they're going to shut down some more stores.
By our numbers, the Marine Air Base at El Toro, CA serves vital active duty
reserve units and a retired population of about 121,000.  As with Castle
AFB, they were going to leave these facilities open, but now they're not.
More lies.

Reps. Chris Cox and Loretta Sanchez from those districts haven't made a peep
on these developments as active duty and retired families alike travel as
far as Camp Pendleton to get in long lines for medical care.  They at least
thought they could shop closer to home and get that 20% savings DOD says
commissaries give us.  Guess again!

We'd like to hear from active duty and retired families in the LA area about
how bad their "quality of life" and health care is getting.

We'd also like to hear from any active duty families out there on their
TRICARE experiences, good or bad.  We want to get a feel for how it's
working at MTFs and also in remote areas.  We know our recruiters and their
families are in deep doo-doo when it comes to TRICARE Remote.  Active duty
families only, please.  We know too well how it's working for retirees.
Contact me at the email address above or snailmail me at the address on my
web site.

GI HUMOR - New Element could change the way you think about Government
Ed.:  More great insights into the life of large organizations.
Investigators at a major research institution have discovered the heaviest
element known to science.  This startling new discovery has been tentatively
named Administratium.

This new element has no protons or electrons, thus having an atomic number
of zero. It does, however, have 1 neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice
neutrons and 111 assistant vice neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by a force called morons, that are
surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.  Since
it has no electrons, Administratium is inert.  However, it can be detected
as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.  According to
the discoverers, a minute amount of Administratium causes a single reaction
to take over four-days to complete when it would normally take less than a

Administratium has a normal half-life of approximately three years; it does
not decay but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the
assistant neutrons, vice neutrons and assistant vice neutrons exchange
places.  In fact, an Administratium sample's mass will actually increase
over time, since with each reorganization some of the morons inevitably
become neutrons forming new isotopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to speculate
that Administratium is spontaneously formed whenever morons reach a certain
quantity in concentration.  This hypothetical quantity is referred to as
"Critical Morass".

You will know it when you see it.
Ed.:  WWII, September 1943/Italy.  Recently, we lost another great American
Hero who continued to serve long after leaving the uniformed service.  While
reading this hero's Medal of Honor citation, visualize following him to his

If you know of any MOH recipient who is hospitalized or has passed recently,
please write James H.  Also, if you would like more info on MOH recipients
and their stories, please email James H at bulldogleader@mindspring.com.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 36th Infantry Division. Place
and date: Near Salerno, Italy, 9 September 1943. Entered service at: Luling,
Tex. Birth:  McNeil, Tex. G.O. No.: 54, 5 July 1944.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above
and beyond the call of duty in action involving actual conflict on 9
September 1943 in the vicinity of Salerno, Italy.

As a rifleman of an infantry company, Sgt. Logan landed with the first wave
of the assault echelon on the beaches of the Gulf of Salerno, and after his
company had advanced 800 yards inland and taken positions along the forward
bank of an irrigation canal, the enemy began a serious counterattack from
positions along a rock wall which ran parallel with the canal about 200
yards further inland.

Voluntarily exposing himself to the fire of a machinegun located along the
rock wall, which sprayed the ground so close to him that he was splattered
with dirt and rock splinters from the impact of the bullets, Sgt. Logan
killed the first 3 Germans as they came through a gap in the wall. He then
attacked the machinegun. As he dashed across the 200 yards of exposed
terrain a withering stream of fire followed his advance. Reaching the wall,
he crawled along the base, within easy reach of the enemy crouched along the
opposite side, until he reached the gun. Jumping up, he shot the 2 gunners
down, hurdled the wall, and seized the gun. Swinging it around, he
immediately opened fire on the enemy with the remaining ammunition, raking
their flight and inflicting further casualties on them as they fled.

After smashing the machinegun over the rocks, Sgt. Logan captured an enemy
officer and private who were attempting to sneak away. Later in the morning,
Sgt. Logan went after a sniper hidden in a house about 150 yards from the
company. Again the intrepid Sgt. ran a gauntlet of fire to reach his
objective. Shooting the lock off the door, Sgt. Logan kicked it in and shot
the sniper who had just reached the bottom of the stairs.

The conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity which characterized Sgt. Logan's
exploits proved a constant inspiration to all the men of his company, and
aided materially in insuring the success of the beachhead at Salerno.
For Article Submissions:  as a rule of thumb, please try to keep article for
possible publication to 750 words or less.  Please make every editing effort
not to exceed these guidelines and SUBMIT IN WORD FORMAT, if possible!

R.W. Zimmermann
We've had numerous requests from troops in different branches of the
military to establish this link so that we will all know how "all you
others" talk that talk. Please see below:
***** BOOK SALES *****
Hack's books About Face*, Hazardous Duty*, The Price of Honor* and The
Vietnam Primer can be found at www.hackworth.com. They make a great addition
to any library. We are offering them at a special SFTT price.
Defending America Newsletter: Administrative Volunteers:
R.W. Zimmermann, Chief Editor, President of SFTT, Mine Detector and "Gunner"
David H. Hackworth, Spirit Guide, and undisputed Y2K Expert
Bill Rogers, Senior Assistant Editor and SFTT Vice President
Kate Aspy, Contributing Editor and Oracle
Barry "Woody" Groton, Chief TECH DROID and Medicine Man
Ed "Edgar" Schneider, Copy Editor, Man of Letters and gentleman:
Kyle Elliott, Book List Editor and Most Over-worked
James H., MOH Editor and NCOIC
Defending America


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