"...do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

"For the good of the Air Force, for the good of the armed services and for the good of our country, I urge you to reject convention and careerism..."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Maxwell AFB, April 21, 2008

"You will need to challenge conventional wisdom and call things like you see them to subordinates and superiors alike."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, United States Air Force Academy, March 4, 2011

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Welcome back JR!

For more than a decade now, one of my favorite contributors over on the BaseOps.Net forum has been GearPig.  He typically offers reasoned views and has a decent enough head on his shoulders.  He's a bit too responsive to bad actor pressures that lead him to practice the conformity he no doubt disdains, and he goes off the deep end every once in awhile culminating in some wild accusations of various online identities being me, going "underground" in a frenzied panic via a name change and other spectacular antics, but his offered views are often value added so I appreciate his voice on social media.

If you want an interesting chit chat over coffee, or a riling forum discussion, the newly dubbed GearHog is your guy as he has an uncommon level of intelligence and an operational bullshit-meter.  But intelligence isn't what makes a good military officer.  Rather, what makes a good military officer (or any public servant) is intelligence combined with principle.  Principle is best demonstrated by courage.

Having some "correct" views that challenge the herd may be fun for discussion and might stroke one's ego in a debate, but it's acting courageously for what is right that makes a good military officer.  Most military pilots are intelligent in comparison to society at large.  They can tie their shoes, they can read good, they can take tests.  But few are principled.  While they mouth their oaths of office and obey commands to salute symbols they don't understand or actually value, the vast majority haven't thought deeply about what America actually is (the idea that they are paid to make more real) and they don't really care about their country.  They want a paycheck, they want a fun job, and they want people to see them in uniform and credit them with all the character they don't actually possess.  And there it ends.

They are herd animals.  Worse, they are herd animals who think they are the best of the best.  As a result, people with a bit more intelligence like GearPig are able to take them to task fairly easily.

If only America's defense were a forum thread debate like the heavily censored BaseOps.Net.  But it's not.  It requires much more than being right on the Internets.  You can admire those who venture where you dare not tread, but your admiration of your betters is also not good enough.

America is critically injured and dying.  And cowardice by those entrusted with her defense is the dagger in her back.

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