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.
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.
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.
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?
I didn’t actually plan to stay for the TAPR board meeting after the last scheduled conference presentation on Saturday. My brain was still revving high in neutral while I tried to absorb some of what I had just been hearing.
So I was going over my notes and scribbling a few more thoughts when I realized that there was actually some sort of meeting happening around me. Too late to escape now, so I kind of tuned out and played with my tablet; unlike work meetings, I actually had technological pacifiers with me this time.
I started to get interested in spite of myself. Continue reading »
Sorry, no meaningful post last night or tonight. Last night I worked/trained until 2100, and tonight I had to reconnect with my firstborn over Lego Star Wars II and then replace the LCD in my laptop. (Pro tip: it’s much easier to just not step on it in the first place.)
I have more to say about TAPR DCC, a few of the cool presentations, and TAPR itself, but it will have to wait at least another day. Hmm, actually, we’re seeing Porgy and Bess at the Seattle Symphony on Friday, so maybe I’ll front load some stuff for tomorrow. I’m on leave for the next two weeks after Friday (minus drill weekend in the middle), so I should be able to finish up the last few things soon.
In the mean time, I strongly urge you to check out Bruce Perens’ comment on my last TAPR post, which aside from being technically more accurate and interesting than my post, is a disturbing reminder that Google works both ways and the Intarweb is not so big that you can’t find yourself if you happen to look.
OK, story time for kiddos. Lately, it’s been Siglet Prime re-telling choice bits of Star Wars on his Magnadoodle. This is remarkably entertaining for me and much better than re-reading Dr. Seuss.
So right toward the end of the first day of the conference, TAPR reps promised a special visitor and announcement. I didn’t even have enough context to guess who that could have been. Who would be prestigious enough, bright enough,
nerdy impressive enough to be considered special in this crowd?
Dennis, K7BV, as it turns out. Or as he is known elsewhere, Dennis Motschenbacher, Executive VP for Yaesu North America. That’s a fairly august personage, and the applause was (I thought) genuinely welcoming. The announcement, alas, was not quite so well received.
I can’t even hope to explain the complexities of the situation, but it seemed to be raising Bruce Perens’ blood pressure a bit, so it’s worth a shot.