Greetings Me Droogs N Droogettes!
So, today we’re gonna touch on a few different things. First off, many thanks to the reader who donated some $$$ to the boolit boot n’ bean fund whilst I was in Saint Auggie. It was enough to get Wifey a couple o’ those OMFG Cookie Sammiches and kept her happy while the Doc poked and prodded me. All turned out fine, and my script for the meds was filled as well, over my normal pain meds.
Just to fuck with Wifey, when we got back to the room last night, I ground up 2 of the pills and snorted ’em. You’da thunk I’d whipped out a dirty needle and spoon by her reaction.
I got the idea to do that from that meme above, shamelessly stolen from over at Wirecutters. His “The shit I poast on FB” is always good for a laugh. I figured to have Wifey Take the A Train to ‘Weirdsville’ by horfing my meds nasally. No biggie. Been there, done that back in the day, just usually in a men’s room with a small glassine baggie and it was Peruvian Marching Powder.
Ahhhh the days of wine and roses… Good times.
After I assured her I wasn’t going to go all ‘reefer madness’ and I was only fucking with her, the night was pretty chill. Only bitch I have from the whole weekend was the radioactive trace stuff I had to drink at one point tasted nastier than usual. The choices per usual were Grape flavored ass, Vanilla flavored ass, and the omnipresent Banana flavored ass. I went with the ‘nilla stuff.
Soooo as I was waiting I got to looking and seeing just what the hub-bub is about regarding some MOR of the DotMil stuff out there. Specifically I had an issue with the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen Mark Milley. His commentary, or lack that thereof bugs the ever loving shit out of me. So, me being me, I had to do a bit more of a dive on him into his career.
Now, his official bio on Wiki, which is carbon-copied from the Army dot Mil web, has the following:
“Milley earned his commission as an Armor officer through Princeton’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program in 1980 and spent most of his career in Infantry assignments.
Milley has served in the 82nd Airborne Division, the 5th Special Forces Group, the 7th Infantry Division, the 2nd Infantry Division, the Joint Readiness Training Center, the 25th Infantry Division, Operations Staff of the Joint Staff, and as a Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon.
General Milley has had multiple command and staff positions in eight divisions and special forces throughout the last 39 years to include command of the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division; Milley commanded the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light) from December 2003 to July 2005, served as deputy commanding general for operations of the 101st Airborne Division from July 2007 to April 2008, and was commanding general of the 10th Mountain Division from November 2011 to December 2012. He then served as the Commanding General of III Corps, based at Fort Hood, Texas, from 2012 to 2014, and as the commanding general of the United States Army Forces Command, based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from 2014 to 2015. He was appointed chief of staff of the Army on August 14, 2015.”
From a regular Point of View, he’s been there done that.However, to me? Not so much.His rack looks like this:
All the ‘proper’ bingo holes filled… Ranger/SF tabbed, Airborne Master Blaster.. couple of Bronze Stars and a few overseas hits in Iraq and Affy. What I don’t see though is any Gulf War One ribbons. In fact, that rack by standards is ho-hum. No purple heart, no real combat so to speak. In fact for a guy who got commissioned in 1980, there’s a distinct lack of ‘been in the shit’ with this guy.
Some of my issues: They make a big deal out of dude having been “Special Forces”.. I’ve seen it thrown alllll over the place. More on that innabit.
Thing is, this guy started his career as a 2nd John Butterbar as the assistant maintenance officer at Fort Bragg. He was a tread head. Airborne Tanker no less. The unit was 4/68, one of the last Airborne Armor units using that POS M551 Sheridan.
A rot-see… R.O.T.C. for those of you civvies, that’s a Reserve Officer Training Candidate… also called 90 day wonders, shake and bake L.T. or better yet, “that fucking asshole butterbar who couldn’t find his ass with both hands if it was on fire, and he had written instructions.” Especially if he was the ‘assistant maintenance officer’ for the battalion…. generally it’s not where the next CoJC starts out at.
Never mind when the hell did he go Infantry? Most occifers stay in their branch, start as Armor, die as Armor. Ain’t a lot of jumping around unless ‘needs of the DotMil’ come first, and let me tell you, they never have enough treadheads. It’s how I personally got fucked getting reclassed when they got rid of the TOWs. They need armor like a junkie needs a fix, and no one in their right minds wants to be a tanker, once they realize the romanticism of the “Steel Beast” is really “being a slave to a very dirty, heavy, vehicle that wants to kill and maim you.”
So, first he’s a worthless Assistant Maintenance officer. That’s probably when he went to Panama to play “Noriega Time”. He ended his time at the 82nd as the Platoon Leader for A Company in the 4/28th… So he wasn’t totally fucked up… that’s good… but then, it gets ‘murky’… they say he went to 5th Group, but I can’t find any info on the who, where, when on it… it also mentions in passing he went to the Officer Advanced Infantry course, and z-e-r-o mention of his Ranger Skoolin’. When did he do SFAS? How about did he do the “Q” course or was it “A/B” school back whenever? Was he “in SF” or is he just another occifer check-the-box long tabber?
Then, again some MOR haze, where he showed up in Korea with 2nd Infantry under the 506th Currahee, where he still wears that as his Affiliate Unit on his right side dress arrangement on his uniform
That and French Para wings… which are some of the largest and gaudiest things out there, Jes’ sayin’. He also picked his “Combat Patch” as the famed 101st…
Now his time in the 101st was waaaay after he’d navigated to the top tiers in the “Corporation”. I just don’t get a lot of it… his tenure at each place he was stationed/worked in/at was almost like the perfect stepping stone… each one after another, not really being exposed to too dangerous a unit/location, doing just enough time and ‘things’ to earn the required accolades, and then the obligatory promotion.
In fact, that right there is my conclusion: Dude is a perfect middle manager made good. Someone who never really had to put ye olde ballz on the block, who never really was exposed or had to make seriously hard decisions.
All ‘flash’, no substance.
His pick of the set of foreign jump wings that he’s wearing? French. The biggest set of foreign jump wings available. Nothing sez “Hey lookie here!” than a 4 inch by 3 inch set of wings. I’m pretty sure that a Master Blaster has more than just one set of foreign wings for options… some of my real SF bros have like ALL the jumpwings from all over the world. One guy I know started to get them tatted on his chest, and quit after the first 4, as he realized that he’d run out of canvass so to speak…
But back to Milley: His pick of his Regimental Affiliation? Currahee. Just so happens to be one of the first Airborne units formed, and just so happens to be the Infamous “Band of Brothers” unit from the HBO series… A Regimental Affiliation, according to AR870-21 is: “Offer regimental affiliation to provide Soldiers with the opportunity for continuous identification with a regiment, a corps, or special branch during and after their period of active service.” Which usually means your affiliation is the Unit you bled with… that you’d die for and with. Like me, The Rakkasans is mine.
However, Some people affiliate with ‘other units’ so’s to have the “I’m cool” points, without ever having served in them… couple of asshole I know tried to get the Special Forces affiliation (didn’t work) but yeah… this guy went with a Unit he served with in Korea, where, from all MY understanding was, is and continues to be the unwiped anus of the Army in general… the only reason 1/506th gets any traction now is that “Band of Brothers” made ’em famous… I’d be curious to find out when Milley made that particular choice Aye? Hell, when he was with them, they weren’t even ABN anymore, but ASSLT. Dope on a Rope if’n you were… which also makes the point, if he was in an Air Assault unit, wherez his AASLT wings?
The bronze stars don’t impress me either unfortunately. I personally saw a Headquarters unit in Iraq get every. single. fucking. asshole in that unit awarded a bronze star just for being on Victory when we had incoming fire. Where real shooters were lucky to see an ARCOM.
And another thing, 2 AAM (Army Achievement Medal) and 5 ARCOMs (Army Commendation Medals)? What the fuck? AAM and ARCOMs are end of tour Permanent Change of Station (PCS) awards and -usually- not given to occifers. Odd that he’s got 5 of the ARCOM… and only 2 AAMs. Lots of ‘generals giving generals awards’ Medals tho, Legion of Merit, DSM, ASM, DDSM… all given out by generals, for generals to generals for not passing out at a Regimental Dining in, or getting caught fucking someone’s wife. Or husband in todays Army…
The ‘odd duck’ badge out of ALL of them is the SOCOM Diver badge. My understanding is that that is a stone cold motherfucker of a school. I want the ‘who where when how?’ on that for dis fukkin guy. Not saying that he didn’t do it, but there’s doing a school and then “The General is doing the school”
Not many senior occifers flunk out if’n you dig me.
There was the case in the early days of Army Helicopter aviation… can’t remember dudes name, but “The Gen’rul” went and got qualified on whirlybirds, shortly after which he forgot to do something critical, that done kil’t his ass in a helicopter crash…mainly because “
He was the General” and listening and studying was for lesser men, and it ended up getting him deader n’ a doornail. At least THAT asshole only flamed hisself…
But yeah, one last thing, and I’ll call it a night:
A few years back, Milley as Chief of Staff had to take the hit about the formation of the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade… bunch of people from CivAffairs and PsyOps and drawn from SF to train the Afghanis. Seems a LOT of the SF kids got pissed in seeing a LOT of their traditions and whatnot being assumed by the SFAB kids… the article is here:https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2017/10/30/army-chief-dispels-rumors-misconceptions-about-sfab-berets-tabs/
What stood out to me was Milley’s quote: ““No one at all is trying to misappropriate Special Forces heraldry or Special Forces lineage, traditions or history,” Milley said. “I have too much respect personally for Special Forces. I love Special Forces. I’m a Green Beret, and I don’t want anybody misappropriating their heritage or their heraldry.“
What bugs the shit out of me is that ALL the SF kids I know, I don’t think outside of being piss-drunk, they never call theyselves “Green Berets”… It’s always Special Forces or just “SF”… Only posers and wannabes call themselves “Green Berets”… and to my experience which is a LOT of time working with, training with, being brothers to some IRL SF Legends, and some time myself in the School for advanced suffering, what he said? Nuh uh… something stinks about this guy.
You don’t start off as bumblefuck the Assistant Maintenance Occifer as an Armor officer no less, get a branch transfer to Infantry, and a slot to SF (whenever the fuck that happened) and then go to every. single. safe. and opportunistic command that punches your career ticket absolutely perfectly since 1980.
It. Just. Doesn’t. Happen. That. Way.
Unless the “Fairy Godmother of the Officer Branch” at the Puzzle Palace really took a shine to ole Milley, ain’t no way.
(And for those of you wondering, That Fairy Godmother does exist, she’s a GS-15 who’s only in the office once or twice a quarter, if your lucky she might reach out and assist a deserving occifer with a touch from her DA Wand.)
Unless there’s something else in play far out of sight… tough call. Your thoughts would be appreciated
More Later, I Remain The Intrepid Reporter