But I get the impression that in the British Army, the officers are generally a bit more realistic (maybe more in private than in public) than their US counterparts. More likely to say "can't do" when required (reflective of our defeatist national character no doubt )
Yes, I see a logic in what is written - a hard and true account of what Tom thinks and what Rupert does.
What do you think ORC? In your trade, you were in a hybrid situation, policing the 2nd and 3rd line stopping potential deserters and keeping the discipline standards set by the officer corps?
I am an exceedingly old bstard but even my period of service does not go back to Redcaps patrolling the rear areas looking for the gunshy. One did get interesting insights where one heard what the lower ranks and no ranks thought about their unit and contrasted this with what the Rodneys and Ruperts thought these guys thought.
I think the article shows a continuing gulf that exists between the enlisted man and the officer corps in the US army and to a certain extent in the USN as well.
To some extent it describes a force operating under peace time conventions in a time of war. Officers need 100% scores to be considered for promotion, tick box is more important than ability, and they cannot let that concentration slip on a 6 month deployment.
I am sure most officers want to keep journalists away from non officers, because they know that given half a chance Tommy or Jack will spin a dit to ensure copiuous supplies of beer for that night at least, truth is unimportant. I always kept a close eye on my ladswhen the press was about.
"THE MORALE, DISCIPLINE and battleworthiness of the U.S. Armed Forces are, with a few salient exceptions, lower and worse than at anytime in this century and possibly in the history of the United States.
By every conceivable indicator, our army that now remains in Vietnam is in a state approaching collapse, with individual units avoiding or having _refused_ combat, murdering their officers and non commissioned officers, drug-ridden, and dispirited where not near mutinous.
Elsewhere than Vietnam, the situation is nearly as serious.
Intolerably clobbered and buffeted from without and within by social turbulence, pandemic drug addiction, race war, sedition, civilian scapegoatise, draftee recalcitrance and malevolence, barracks theft and common crime, unsupported in their travail by the general government, in Congress as well as the executive branch, distrusted, disliked, and often reviled by the public, the uniformed services today are places of agony for the loyal, silent professions who doggedly hang on and try to keep the ship afloat. "
Col. Robert D. Heinl, Jr.
Armed Forces Journal, 7 June, 1971