Saturday, August 20, 2022


 The military has been at war since I joined back in ‘83 and I find it hard to believe that it is possible to get promoted to 4 star general without ever serving in combat. Nevertheless, it seems to happen more frequently now that the 3 and 4 stars hand picked by Clinton and Obama have enjoyed free rein in selecting their replacements over the last 20 years. The Commander of Africa Command where the United States actually has zero strategic interests:


Anonymous said...

Not quite as I also joined in 83. From 83 to 88 it was restively quiet until Operation Just Cause in Panama then it was something all of the time. I was in Joint services for 12 years then I got back to the regular Air Force.

Anonymous said...

I went to the Red Sea to sweep mines allegedly there along with a det from HM14. We didn’t find any but I’m not sure there ever were any and then back to the Tanker War in the Persian Gulf which a couple years later saw one of our missile frigates eat two Exocet missiles fired at it by Iraq and then we moved into the next phase of the Tanker War and then Earnest Will, Desert Storm, etc. We were basically in shooting wars since I joined my first ship in Bahrain.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

You can get that much fruit salad, sans combat?

Anonymous said...


HMS Defiant said...

I have to admit, I got the combat action ribbon out of the way as an LT in the summer of '88 and then I never wore anything but the one row of ribbons the handful of times I wore them after that. I shifted to camouflage for the remaining 18 years in the service except when I was working at SPAWAR where I drove the senior guys nuts wearing my active Command Ashore pin on my khakis. Not really, at that point most of the commanders and captains were acquisition pro weenies and never going to go into line of command positions. I was thrice qualified for award of the combat action ribbon although by the nature of the regulations only one would ever be authorized for all three periods, just like the guys and girls in Iraq and Afghanistan. I may be wrong, perhaps those eligible in each theater for the CAR could earn another award. For us, we just got the one but the period of eligibility for each was only a few days each.
I remember the SEAL I was relieving asking me when he saw me in my whites when I first reported and he asked me how did I qualify for the CAR. He'd been on a rooftop with his platoon when the Blackhawks were shot down and made it out to the beach where they braved the bullsharks to swim away after a very long night.
Back in the day you could look at a man's chest and know if there was any cred there and no, it wasn't by seeing the reward medals or the I was there medals so much as it was the unit citations, the CAR and the deployment ribbons. You could tell right off if you were dealing with a staff puke or somebody who'd been there and done that, seen the oliphant. On jaded hand, the Massengales were kind of easy to spot. On the gripping hand, I hadn't realized that the deconstructors and haters had started to rip poor Sam to pieces.
Good luck with that. Those of us who were there, we well know the distinction and difference between staff pogues way out of their depth and unable to fathom it and real leaders who know how to fight their way to success and fuck those guys.
I don't think COMAFRICOM or any of the current 3 and 4 stars have a clue.