Flogging Will Continue Until Army Morale Improves

Army LogoWhen the budget gets tight, the Army always finds money for its leaders’ real priorities. If you’re of a certain vintage, you might remember the scores of millions that were blown on the COO or “Consideration Of Others” program, developed by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton’s “favorite general,” Claudia Kennedy, and force-fed to the unwilling troops. The idea was to make the Army less warlike and more welcoming to women and girly-men; it was forged where the rabidly ambitious Kennedy spent her whole career, amid the delicate Unique And Special Snowflakes™ of Military Intelligence.

But that was then, and this is now. The current boondoggle is an Optimism Program (we are not making that up), which is intended to make the troops sappily happy despite being led by self-serving suits and too many generals who have made the Blue Falcon the lodestar of their ambition.

So over the past six years, the time that Obama has been in office, the taxpayer has forked out $287 million in an “optimism” program for the army.  This is the same army that ignored dangerous warning signs that Nidal Hasan was a terrorist-in-waiting, the same army that then declared the Fort Hood terror attack “workplace violence,” and the same army that also refused–for six years–to pay benefits to those injured or to the families of those lost?

Soldiers waste time in Army Master Resilience Training in Korea in 2013. US Army photo by Mark Abueg.

Soldiers waste 10 training days each in Army Master Resilience Training in Korea in 2013. US Army photo by Mark Abueg.

There have been numerous reports of top army commanders being “culled” from the military for everything from being “too cautious and conventionally minded” to “being too hawkish about Iran.

The army has sadly become famous for its attacks on Christianity and its Christian soldiers.  For example, the army labeled Christian Ministries “domestic hate groups,” Bibles were banned from Walter Reed Army Medical Center (a decision that was later rescinded), chaplains have been ordered not to quote the Bible or pray in Jesus’ name, and when that resulted in public outrage, the Army simply announced plans to disband its Chaplain corps.

And then there’s the Bergdahl travesty and the fact that our veterans are dying due to VA corruption, incompetence, and deception and are repeatedly put on hold when they call the VA suicide prevention hotline.  Veterans’ deaths were lied about and covered up by the VA, and whistle-blowers are still being unlawfully targeted for retribution.

It’s been a year since the VA scandal, but nothing has changed:

Lives were lost and forever changed to make strides in Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and our military sees their commander in chief not only preside over the loss of those hard-won gains but brag about it and announce plans to “shrink” the army to “pre-World War II levels.”

via Army morale | Optimism program.

Army Morale USA Today

The Army study escaped from its close confinement and was also seen by USA Today, who noted inter alia these results:

The effort produced startlingly negative results. In addition to low optimism and job satisfaction, more than half reported poor nutrition and sleep, and only 14% said they are eating right and getting enough rest.

More than half of some 770,000 soldiers are pessimistic about their future in the military

403,564 soldiers, or 52%, scored badly in the area of optimism, agreeing with statements such as “I rarely count on good things happening to me.”

Forty-eight percent or about 370,000 soldiers showed a lack of commitment to their job or would have chosen another if they had it to do over again. Only 28% felt good about what they do.

About 300,000 soldiers or nearly 40% didn’t trust their immediate supervisor or fellow soldiers in their unit or didn’t feel respected or valued. Thirty-two percent felt good about about bosses and peers.

In one positive trend, more than 400,000 soldiers or 53% said they were satisfied or extremely satisfied with their marriage, personal relationship or family. About 240,000 expressed dissatisfaction.

For physical fitness, nearly 40% were in good shape, 28% were borderline, and 33% did poorly.

So, it’s official: Army morale sucks.

Psychobabble "Resilience Training", shown here from this link, punishes enlisted soldiers and NCOs annually. Officers are exempt from this punitive $1/3B waste of time. so far.

Psychobabble “Resilience Training”, shown here from this link, punishes enlisted soldiers and NCOs annually. Officers are exempt from this punitive $1/3B waste of time. so far.

Gee, why might Army morale suck? Let us, as the other Browning says, count the ways.

  1. Social engineering;
  2. SHARP training that lectures and belittles male troops;
  3. Suicide prevention training that makes you want to kill yourself, just to make the Death by Powerpoint stop;
  4. Reflective belts. Every retard who ever signed a reflective-belt memo should be turned over to ISIL with a dotted “cut here” line tattooed around his neck;
  5. Millions for boondoggles like this (So far, they’ve blown a third of a billion on this alone), versus pennies for readiness and training;
  6. When some Joe screws up, anything from DUI to serious crimes like rape, the zero-defects careerist leader’s natural reaction: mass punishment for everyone who didn’t F up in the form of scolding “awareness” classes, videos, and of course, inevitably: PowerPoints;
  7. Piss-poor leadership from NCA on down;
  8. Mandatory fun days, usually some form of fun beloved by a commander that he thinks the troops ought to find just as much fun, too;
  9. Unilateral disarmament;
  10. Unilateral withdrawals bugouts;
  11. Valuing terror states over our troops;
  12. Lionizing Blue Falcon Supreme Bowe Bergdahl as a hero;
  13. More concern for Nidal Hasan than for the victims of his Sudden Jihad Syndrome outbreak, who only got the Purple Heart because Congress force-fed it to an anti-soldier Secretary of Defense;
  14. Freeing the Gitmo terrs, who return to terrorism in most cases;
  15. Abandoning the Iraqi and Afghan leaders who threw in with us to their fates;
  16. Abandoning Israel to suck up to the mullahs who get their mobs chanting “Marg Bar Amrika!” every Friday;
  17. Letting one of those same mullahs chant a mohammedan victory prayer over our dead men, in one instance, none of whom was a mohammedan;
  18. Cutting .mil benefits, especially health care;
  19. Cutting .mil pay;
  20. Threatening pensions;
  21. A Veterans Health Administration that wouldn’t even measure up as a Veteranarians activity;
  22. The fact that they’ve been making soldiers waste time taking these stupid “resiliency assessments” for six years now and are only now getting around to reading the data.
  23. The fact that the Army wastes resources on a Resiliency Center run by a waste of skin named Sharyn Saunders, who first lied to USA Today about the data and then changed the thresholds to produce better-looking Potemkin data.

So of course the sphinctroids that produced this state of affairs can’t figure out why morale is in the tank (and that’s tank, septic, not tank, main battle). And of course they can’t think of a way to resolve the problem, other than more of the same.

In other words, the beatings will continue until morale improves.

38 thoughts on “Flogging Will Continue Until Army Morale Improves

  1. DAN III

    Here’s two more to make it an “even” 25:

    24. Diversity training.
    25. Females (social justice).

    1. RAR

      I concur with DAN III and #25.
      Bringing women out of the office administrative role and into the motor pool, field, fox-hole etc. started the “Snowball Headed for Hell”.

  2. John

    Lots of valid criticism there, except for the pro-religous stuff. That superstition should have been left back in the Middle Ages where it belongs. If someone wants to worship an imaginary friend up in the sky, they should do so on their own time. The military should definitely not have people with that job description.

    1. redc1c4

      atheism is just another religion, so, by your standards, we should ban that as well.

      1. John

        Religion should not be banned, it should just be a personal matter, and nothing that the military or any other government organization should concern itself with.

        Also, the definition of religion, of having religious beliefs, is that you are accepting things without any proof. If you had proof, it would be scientific fact, not religious beliefs. Atheism means you only accept things that can be proven, so how on Earth could that ever be considered a religion? That doesn’t make any sense at all.

        1. redc1c4

          atheists argue that there is no G*d, which they can no more prove than believers can prove there is. either way, the belief is based on a leap of faith, lacking proofs or falsifiable postulates.

          agnostics, OTOH, say that there may be or there may not be, but you can’t say, one way or the other, so let’s just get on with things.

          hence, atheism is just another religious belief.

    2. Howard

      I agree that the Army shouldn’t be pushing any particular religion. It’s presence or absence in a service member should not affect their role.

      But the military should provide access to religion, just as it provides access to other post facilities: because serviceman & women are isolated, and you don’t want them scrounging locally for their every need. That distracts from the mission.

      Suitable religious service should be available, just like suitable haircuts. To the extent that there are unique military qualifications and needs for religious work, it makes sense for that to be recognized, trained and retained within the military.

  3. RobRoySimmons

    It’s been written that Commie propaganda was to humiliate the targeted, and this stuff you describe is exactly that. But per usual the conservatives will pretend this crap is intellectual and wander off into abstract hoo haa and be rolled once again

    Just tell the troops it is propaganda and be done with it, smile and then mercilessly deride the Bolsheviks behind their backs

  4. redc1c4

    i remained optimistic throughout my time in uniform:

    1. i was sure things could always get worse, and they did.
    2. i was sure we would be ordered to do stupid things that made no sense, and achieved no useful goals, and we did.
    3. i was sure that good people would get screwed and scum would get the awards & promotions, and they did.
    4. i was sure the SYT that joined the unit would get promoted out of zone, never have to do her j*b, and always have a special relationship with one or more senior member of the command, and they did.
    5. i wasn’t sure that i would retire as a SP4 with no UCMJ actions, but i did. ;-)

    1. Martin

      Pretty sad situation. It’s clear that the golf courses on U.S. Air Force bases need to be upgraded so the colonels remain happy.

  5. Boat Guy

    How ’bout making the male troops wear high heels in uniform?
    I’ve now seen photos from a “march” at Graf which appeared to be sponsored by ACS in addition to two different ROTC units.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Yeah, I just saw it. The CG of the ROTC command, one LTG Combs, has directed that all cadets do it, and any absence is reflected as not supporting his SHARP program. It gets better: the troops have to buy their own goddamn heels.

      All of the hundreds of mandatory pairs of shoes should come out of this Courtney Massengale’s unearned check. His retirement check, because his Army career needs to be permanently over now.

      The point of the whole lesbo/feminist thing, of course, is to humiliate the males.

      1. Tom Kratman

        Combs is a she, Peggy Combs, and a two star.

        This is what I sent my congresscritter:

        “Have you seen this, Congressman? Male cadets forced to buy high heels and walk in them for a mile? No wonder we lose our wars. The woman in charge of Cadet Command, Peggy Combs, needs to be shown the door. For the first time in my life I am ashamed to have worn the uniform.”

        This is what a friend of mine sent me on the rancid

        “Just saw your post on the ROTC cadets wearing heels. BG Combs apparently made this here initiative since she’s now in charge of Cadet Command. When she was here at Fort Leonard Wood recently as the Chemical Commandant she was the senior rater for the Basic Training battalion commanders (something that has since then been rectified) and she made it a policy during her tenure that Drill Sergeants were not to yell at privates. She has been actively trying to destroy the “Warrior Ethos” throughout her career.”

        So my question is, does the country that permits this short of shit and elevates to flag rank people who push this sort of shit even _deserve_ to live?

        1. Hognose Post author

          Tom — is she a two star? I did find her, and her bio, and today will have an update on this at 11 or 1400, forget which (busy!)

          According to her bio at Cadet Command she’s a one star. It could be out of date.

          The whole Resiliency Center bullshit is simply wasteful overhead. Like the Army Safety Center used to be… once, it was run out of Aviation at Rucker and they had a Colonel running it. It was a good fit all around because aviators have an excellent safety culture and are in a good position to teach us knuckle dragging groundpounders. It would help us avoid stuff like rappelling off the end of a 120′ rope when you’re still 30′ AGL, or the dreaded Private Snuffy who put his fartsack under the Bradley to get out of the rain and was found in the road wheels when the count came up short after a night movement. (I note your man Carrera has a different approach to safety. Works for him).

          Two of the best mo fos I know in the Army are retiring, one’s a lawyer (but he’s not like all the others!) punching out at O6, and the other’s a very senior officer who’s simply at end of career. No shit, “there are too many white males in leadership in special operations, we need to promote minorities.”

        2. Jack

          Preach it Tom!
          How did this idiot get to flag rank? And, here it is Wed. night. Has she not been cashiered out of the service? Good Lord. If we have to fight anyone these days it will probably be a sad sight.
          OT. any news on when the next installment of the Peach series will debut? Looking forward to it; and, the one[s] where Patrico takes on the Earth.

      2. DAN III

        And not ONE soul contacted the Inspector General regarding this high-heel bullshit ? Seems like a simple case of an unlawful order.

        They get what they deserve, freakin weenies. And this is just ONE more reason I have little use for commissioned officers, particularly flags and field grades.

  6. SPC Commo

    As a National Guardsman who frequents your blog, I definitely see a lot of this BS every drill. It’s gotten so bad that our leadership is having us go to trainings they’re not even sure we need just to cover the bases. For our holiday meal, they had us report at 0700 in dress blues to sit in an auditorium for 4 hours to listen to a SHARP briefing. We get hit over the head with SHARP so much it’s a joke at our unit. Adding onto that the serious lack of training most of my detachment gets means we are barely able to handle basic radio duties, let alone more advanced antennas or mobile communications. All the time and effort gets put towards providing higher with internet services. We spend all of our time in compliance with some idiotic CYA drill and the important training we should be doing gets left by the wayside.

    1. redc1c4

      nice to see the Guard hasn’t changed…


      (CA ARNG 83-03, minus a few years as USAR)

    1. Hognose Post author

      Funny. I just finished writing that up. (ETA: I’m not sure where to squeeze it in. I’m trying to build a buffer of posts for some events coming up this spring and summer, but this is clearly topical now).

  7. uzimandias

    There no shit was a caucasian civilian I saw frequently at the Al Asad DFAC — 60-ish, ginger flattop, beer belly and rainbow suspenders (like how could you possibly NOT notice that?) — who’d had a dotted line and something in Arabic tattooed on the back of his neck. I don’t read Arabic so I axed him what it said. His answer “Cut (or chop) along dotted line.”

    1. Hognose Post author

      There was a legendary SF guy in the Vietnam unpleasantness who had such a tattoo, albeit in English, a commo guy and SOG recon man named Paul H. Villarosa. He had it done with his whole team when the NVA put a price on his head. He survived several tours but was later killed when RT Intruder was rolled up on 4 Jan 68. Another USSF was killed with him, Ron Watson. Villarosa was a genuine hero, earning the DSC and dying hard. He had also been a best-loved instructor at the JFK Special Warfare Center where he taught International Morse Code and Communications.

      An SF officer, Herman D James who went by “D”, had a similar tattoo and a similar story, but I don’t know if it’s because he was ever on the same team as Villarosa.I don’t have my copy of Who’s Who in SOG at hand. James survived the war and later (1970s) served in 20th Group somewhere.

      Having a price put on your head is kind of a rite of passage in SF. My first was from ELN rebels in Bolivia.

      1. redc1c4

        unpossible: we never had troops on the ground in Bolivia…

        after all, it was never in the news.


  8. Kirk

    You want the truth, I think this has been building up for years and years, going back to the early 1990s. We’re just now reaching the crisis point where the Army finally breaks.

    Think about all the guys you knew, enlisted and officer, who you wanted to see become senior leaders and serve under. How many of them actually made the cut, and commanded?

    When I was a buck sergeant at Fort Lewis, I served under two captains. The first was an utter piece of shit who I feel basically destroyed our company in service of his OER. He ran us into the ground, junior officer, senior enlisted, and junior enlisted. This guy drove more quality people out of the Army than you could shake a stick at, and on top of that, he ran the company like he was Bluto from Animal House–Juvenile frat-boy bullshit, 24-7, the whole time he was in command. I’d bet money that if we’d have ever actually deployed anywhere with shooting, he’d have been fragged at the earliest opportunity, probably by the First Sergeant in an effort to ensure the company survived.

    His successor? To this day, I could get a phone call from him, and I’d drop whatever the hell I was doing, and fly on my own dime to go do whatever the man thought was necessary. There’s only been one other officer like that in my career, and you know what the sad commentary about that is? Neither one of them wound up commanding so much as a battalion. That first guy? We all got letters from him, personal ones, telling us that he’d decided it was better for him and his family if he took an Engineer district over a command path. There were that many people who’d told him “When you get your battalion, call me… I want to be there. Period.”. And, he was genuinely apologetic, and wrote us as though he felt he was committing a small act of betrayal by looking out for himself and his family. The other officer I reference? She put herself into the West Point instructor track, and eschewed doing the command thing for the benefit of her husband who was Infantry.

    Care to guess who I had the distinct displeasure of being an O/C for, when he took his battalion to the NTC for a rotation? Yeah, dirtbag number one. And, he didn’t change a damn bit, either–I knew people in his battalion, and they all described the same atmosphere as we experienced in his company command days. The man was probably one of the best-looking and worst officers I ever worked around or for, and if there had been more of them, my career would have been severely truncated. By decades.

    We’re doing something wrong, in the Army, and it’s been going on since the end of the Reagan era. There’s been a slow slide, ever since the last of the post-Vietnam reformers retired, and now we’re experiencing the Courtney Massengales and victory disease. If they don’t pull their heads out of their asses before long, the Army is going to wind up looking a lot worse than it did in the 1970s. I’m pretty sure that at least the supposed dregs we had serving in that era would have put up one hell of a fight, had the Soviets come over the IGB. Now, I’m not too sure–The new generation might call up the EO office and complain that some nasty people are saying hurtful things, and shooting at them.

    I can’t help but wonder if all this idiotic social engineering bullshit hasn’t been carefully calculated to drive a lot of demographic groups away from service, and it’s not coincidental that the ones that are no longer joining have been some of our most effective soldiers throughout our history. I don’t think that an army recruited solely from the fashionable, ever-so-very-tolerant urban hipster crowd is going to be as effective as the one we used to recruit from among those society now regards as hopelessly declasse and Neanderthal-like.

    1. S

      Look on the bright side. Come Civil War V2.0, the carpetbagger’s enforcers are going to have a nice hard game of catch-up. Bring waders, the bitter tears will flow prodigiously, and earplugs, the whining will be epic.

    2. Hognose Post author

      Jim Webb wrote a whole book on the premise that the scrappy nature of the Scots-Irish of the mid-atlantic and southern states was fundamental to American martial success.

  9. Tom Kratman

    Correction: Kennedy’s career included at least one stint away from Intel; she commanded the San Antonio recruiting battalion, which she commanded largely through threats and terror. Yes, as a matter of fact I did know her there.

    1. Hognose Post author

      I knew her in Germany and have stories, but only for in-person over an adult beverage. But she was the classical sucks-up and shits-down type.

  10. Rob

    Regarding the last picture in this post, officers are most certainly not exempt from “Resiliency Training”, just from the online portion. All Soldiers are required to have 16 hours of demeaning and demoralizing face-to-face “Resiliency Training” annually.

  11. Darrin BAILEY

    This will end badly for America and Americans.

    The liberals will succeed in destroying the military like they have the rest of America.
    I think the Russians and Chinese are laughing at this sharp training and wearing high heels for sensitivity training.
    They are preparing for a real war as we prepare to be politically correct.
    America has gone too far.

  12. S

    You still have two fairly decent oceanic moats, a lot of resource rich land between them, and weaklings on both of your land borders (which boundaries would slam shut tighter than a frog’s whatsit as soon as .gov is no longer forcibly keeping them open). Yamamoto’s grassblades are more numerous than ever, and conceal a whole lot less illusions than 70 years ago. You’re still exceptional and have tremendous opportunities and assets, but will likely lose in the moral dimension; and the assets will eat each other up so that the opportunities are lost and the resources go to another.

  13. SOTM

    I am without words. Where were the SMG, senior NCO’s?
    There is an obvious push to pacify men in our society ranging from our schools to mainstream. The fact that this officer got away with it testifies to it. (speeking of the high heels). I am dumbfounded.

    Where is the attitude of valor that arises from a man who understands genuine manhood? Men who will fight, even for the fun of it. I am no talking about a loose cannon, but about someone who understands the times and applies wisdom and commands a sense of respectability. Where is the fear of God?

    As to the SHARP, suicide prevention and reintegration crap: I sat through many of these and was patient. I knew it was only to cover someone’s ass somewhere in the higher-ups. But even those who are well intended are gravely mistaken. They are only trying to curb our weaknesses, failures and distress because it costs them money. God forbid they let a chaplain talk refer to his faith or the bible when addressing suicide (They to stop a chaplain at 5th RTB.) So they have to use something other than God. They are trying to use psychology. I was honest once in one of those reintegration questioners… and never again. They had me sit down with some shrink who did not give a rat’s ass. I would rather sit with the simplest man who lives beneath the Cross of Jesus then spend another minute with any psychologist.

    Psychology is good at analyzing and observation of behavior, but that’s it. They cannot grasp this one thing: what is sin. “In the presence of a psychiatrist I can only be a sick man; in the presence of a Christian brother I can dare to be a sinner.” The psychologist knows something of my distress, weakness and failure…he searches the heart but never plumbs its ultimate depth. “The Christian brother knows when I come: here is a sinner like myself, a godless man who wants to confess and yearns for God’s forgiveness. The psychiatrist views me as if there is no God. The brother views me as I am before the judge and merciful God in the Cross of Jesus Christ.” (D. Bonhoeffer)

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