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View Diary: Military Privatization (67 comments)

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  •  long time (5+ / 0-)

    First, thank you and congratulations.  You have achieved my dream - collecting more retirement than active pay!!!  I hope I can stay healthy enough to do so!

    One of my first squad leaders had been a "Specialist Six" when conversion happened and he was made a Staff Sergeant.  He was no Sergeant and had never wanted to be one but we pounded that square peg into a round hole anyway.

    No more bitch box.  It has progressed from the CQ phone to pagers to cell phones.  Now when Top wants to talk to you he sends a text or an email.

    Some contractors are a good thing.  When I was an S4 I had the additional duty of overseeing the dining facility.  Thats when I discovered the Army had 32 food service Sergeants Marjors.  What the Heck?  How could burger flipping ever require a Sergeant Major?  How could we need 32 when we only had 10 understrength divisions?  My own Mess Sergeant was an E7 who had not cooked a meal in a decade because he was "management."  But I still had to send him to ANCOC for 6 months so he could also learn how to be a Senior NCO leader.  I dont need well lead burgers, I need well cooked ones.

    I have cut my fair share of lawns and picked up trash but as you pointed out, we dont do that much any more.  We cant afford to have highly trained troops in high demand mowing lawns or being life guards at the pool.  When we started cutting end strength we lost all the "spare" soldiers that did those jobs.  Now it takes everyone just to get the essentials done and even then we are deploying back to back at times and everyone is pretty much on train, deploy, train.  Its better to hire a $15 an hour guy to cut the lawn than have a $200K a year soldier do it.

    During the Rumsfeld years we went past efficiency to stupidity - the hight of which was having a contractor evaluating the performance of a contractor.  Go figure they said we needed more contractors.  For a while it was limited to support staff but then I started seeing Intelligence being done by contractors.  Bad news.  Someone with a profit motive telling you about the threat.  Go figure there were threats everywhere and the only way to find them and track them was more contractors.

    Under Secretary Gates we started cutting contractors and we continue to do so today.  Last year my organization was told to cut by 50% and we had to get a waiver to not take a sword to our one contractor.  Its been a while since I have seen an intel contractor but looking at the global email directory I know they still exist.  

    We lost something when we stopped taking care of our "homes" (units) ourselves but until we slow down, there is no way to go back.

    Thanks for the great story and perspective.  

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 01:07:54 PM PST

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