Brief Fanboyish Review: Damn Few Season 1 DVD

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(It should go without saying, but everything Ranger Up in general and The Damn Few in particular is not safe for children or anyone offended by harsh language.)

The Damn Few is the truest portrayal of how military people interact ever put to cartoon.  The trailer is here; the entire series is on YouTube (starting here). Hilarity varies somewhat, but I’ve never not laughed at one. They are all pretty offensive.

This is my absolute favorite episode, bar none. It starts out funny, gets painfully hilarious around 3:50, and I had to watch the ending four times in a row when it first came out.

The DVD set includes the episodes so far plus origin stories for the core characters which are not otherwise available. The behind-the-scenes and making-of special features are a disturbing mix of hilarity and insight. I would have bought this just to support the company and thank them for the episodes already available, but there’s a lot of value added here for $20.

You should probably buy a t-shirt while you’re there.  Or the terrorists will win.

The Once and Future AT

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While digging through my office / hiding place looking for something else the other day, I happened upon a yellow notepad with a bunch of random notes in it from various trips and activities.  Buried about ten pages in was a list of “Rejected annual training mottos” from our unit AT in 2012.

Oh, the memories brought back by this list.  The memories.  The rage.  The hate. Continue reading

A public service announcement

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Don’t be that jackass who drives a pickup with an inadequately secured load in the back. You could get somebody killed. Take the time, every time, and make sure your stuff is tied down securely–then tie it down some more.  This has been a public service announcement.

In unrelated news, my kids are going to be the only kids on the planet whose bunk bed has road rash. Also, three hours later, my pulse is almost back to normal.

“I’d like to have two armies…”

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I’d like to have two armies: one for display with lovely guns, tanks, little soldiers, staffs, distinguished and doddering Generals, and dear little regimental officers who would be deeply concerned over their General’s bowel movements or their Colonel’s piles, an army that would be shown for a modest fee on every fairground in the country. The other would be the real one, composed entirely of young enthusiasts in camouflage uniforms, who would not be put on display, but from whom impossible efforts would be demanded and to whom all sorts of tricks would be taught. That’s the army in which I should like to fight.

Jean Lartéguy (1920-2011), writer, journalist, and soldier.

Irony: Nonessentials vs. Essentials in Training

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Do essential things first.  There is not enough time for the commander to do everything. Each commander will have to determine wisely what is essential, and assign responsibilities for accomplishment. He should spend the remaining time on near essentials. This is especially true of training. Nonessentials should not take up time required for essentials.

-General Bruce C. Clarke

Ironic because this quote comes to me courtesy of Structured Self-Develoment (SSD) Level 4 Module 1.  This is the second SSD level I have done, having had to complete level 3 in a weekend so I could be put in for Senior Leader Course (previously known as Advanced NCO Course (ANCOC)).

It is safe to say that this is the poorest, most pointless online training I have ever encountered.  It is now a required step between each level of noncomissioned officer education system (NCOES) schools.

It is also symptomatic of a larger issue within the Army. We spend ridiculous amounts of time on ineffectual training foisted off on us by political necessity so the Army can say it is Doing Something about various very real problems (sexual harassment, suicide, alcohol abuse, domestic abuse).  Whether the training actually addresses or helps the problem at which it was aimed is never addressed.

I suspect we spend more time doing online training than any other single training activity.  Think about that.

A world without guns

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I think this is a very well-considered gun control position. I disagree with where he ends up, but he at least understands ground truth up to a point.  [via National Review, 11 January 2013.]

Wouldn’t any decent person wish for a world without guns? In my view, only someone who doesn’t understand violence could wish for such a world. A world without guns is one in which the most aggressive men can do more or less anything they want. . . A world without guns, therefore, is one in which the advantages of youth, size, strength, aggression, and sheer numbers are almost always decisive. Who could be nostalgic for such a world?

Continue reading

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