26. April 2007 · Comments Off on We’re Just Not That Good · Categories: Media Matters Not

With the resurgeance of the Jessica Lynch, Pat Tillman stories this week, I thought it would be a good time to let you, fair readers, in on a very deep, dark, military secret.  A secret so shocking that many of you will walk away not believing what I’m about to tell you.

Now, just a bit about me for anyone new:  I’m a retiring Air Force Master Sergeant.  I’ll have 23 years of active duty under my belt at the end of July.  I’ve held a Top Secret security clearance for the past nine years.

I have something to say about and to the conspiracy theorists and the “truthers.”  It’s a secret, but I’m going to tell you anyway.  I may face charges for this, but I think it’s THAT important.  Ready?

We’re just not that good at keeping dirty secrets to ourselves in the military.  Seriously.  The problem with the idea that there’s any sort of dirty laundry that we, as an institution, are keeping to ourselves is dependent on the idea that X many people can all be corrupt at the same time. 

This kind of thinking can only occur in people who have no knowledge of the military.

Because while some of us were motivated to join by the idea of killing bad guys and blowing shit up, and we guide the more enthusiastic members of that crowd to the proper special forces offices, there’s a large majority of us who simply want to serve and defend our country.  There’s an honor amoung many of us.  Actually, there’s an even stronger honor amoung the kill bad guys and blow shit up crowd, but I’m not going to explain that in this post. 

In the Air Force we get the concept of Integrity First driven into us almost from the first step off the bus at Lackland.  I know from serving Joint duty that the other branches take integrity just as seriously.  You want a fast way out of the military?  Lie.  Most commands will have you out of their ranks in a couple of weeks.  It’s because we absolutely MUST trust one another in the military.  The mission depends on it.

Did you properly set the fuse on the 2000 pound bomb we just put on that aircraft? 

You have to trust the answer to that.  Lives depend on it.

Basically, we in the military SUCK when it comes to lying.  Sure we have recruiters and public affairs reps and psy-ops people who’s job it is to sell one point over another.  But when it comes to every day living in uniform, we have a large majority of folks who are going to do the right thing no matter what it costs them personally. 

And of course we have our share of folks who think their whole job is about covering their’s or their boss’ asses.  We’re no different than any other organization.  Dirtbags somehow get through the screening but we normally weed them out before they get anywhere they can do real damage.

But because we have so many people who would cry bullshit when the bovine has so apparently defecated on the floor, those folks are outnumbered by the folks with a true sense of integrity.

That’s why conspiracy theories involving the military make me laugh.  There may have been a couple of folks who messed up and tried to tell the story before they had all the facts, but the truth always, always, always comes out one way or the other. 

It wasn’t luck that we found out the truth about Jessica Lynch or Pat Tillman or Abu Ghraib.  It was integrity on the part of someone in uniform who had the guts to say, “Wait a minute, that’s not right!”

And here’s another one for you to stew over.  I believe the same thing about most people in government also.  Yeah, Republicans and Democrats both.

Told you you wouldn’t believe it.

Comments closed.