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View Diary: I was trained by Sergeants (12 comments)

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  •  Not at all. (4+ / 0-)

    As a young SP/4, I complained bitterly about the winter training. Now I know better.

    •  Hell, I served with sergeants who were (9+ / 0-)

      Wehrmacht veterans!

      No joke. 1968. Sgt Becker explained to me that veterans of the Wehrmacht who had (a) only served on the eastern front and (b) not been assigned to AA units (which might have fired on U.S. planes) were eligible to enlist in the U.S. Army, and did so in no small numbers. Sgt. Becker was one of them.

      Go figure.

      Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

      by Clem Yeobright on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 03:09:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you! (7+ / 0-)

        One of our best Chancellors ever (Helmut Schmidt, in his nineties, still active, may he be blessed) was a Luftwaffe (AA) soldier. So he couldnt go that way, so we kept him! Thank you. He was and is a social democrat to his bone. He made politics together with two directly from WW: Willy Brandt - an SPD exile working with resistance in Norway - and Herbert Wehner - that man had been in Moscow´s Hotel Lux (?) for international functionaries and experienced firsthand the great terror when you didnt know who whould be gone next and who would mention you to someone to deflect attention ... and he came back reformed, a social democrat, but with a heart of iron, a survivor in his own way. I am glad that they remained and didnt go over the ocean. Together these three transformed our country. I have been to speeches of Willy Brandt, long ago. All three came out of that terrible war and they turned our country into a country for which, and of which, peace has become an unquestioned natural expectation.

        Helmut Schmidt still lives, but he´ll die soon, and you can expect Germany to go into deep mourning when that happens.

    •  The lessons of Valley Forge. (9+ / 0-)
      Von Steuben also stressed the importance of discipline and the daily routine; he went minutely into field and company administration. He prescribed that platoons should camp by battalions. He allowed sumps to be dug no nearer to occupied tents than 300 feet. He charged field officers with seeing that their camps were pitched regularly and properly, especially that kitchens and sumps were put in sanitary places. He outlined methods of getting wood and water by means of an organized system of signals and formations. He established roll calls for "troop" and "retreat" under arms and the "reveille" and "noon" without arms. He charged the noncommissioned officers with the making of an accurate check of their squads at tattoo to see that the men were in bed. At the "troop meeting", he required company officers to "inspect into the dress of their men", to see that their accouterments were properly fixed and every article about them in the greatest order." He inaugurated the Saturday morning inspection, which the captains were to conduct for their individual companies in order to "examine into the state of the men's necessaries". Von Steuben immediately couples with the duty of infinite care of the company that the state has committed to the charge of the captain. Then the vital advice of individual treatment, of knowing every man by name and character, is all too well understood by any one who has ever attempted to handle manhood in the mass. And finally the special visitation of the sick rounds out of the thoughtful attitude a company officer should school himself to employ. When analyzed, this simple paragraph spells self-control, high sense of duty, fidelity of performance and loyalty to the inferior as well as to the superior.

      Knowing full well that the captain could not, without specific help, bring his company up to standard, Von Steuben assigned the subalterns particular tasks. The lieutenant was to be zealous in regard to the "health and convenience" of the soldier, and the ensign in regard to "neatness and cleanliness". Von Steuben here discreetly laid emphasis on the development of self-respect and pride, qualities, which are the lading strings of success. Then he capped this by setting a check upon ill treatment, which arises through "pique or resentment". Understanding how partiality and prejudice may be the ruin of discipline he closed his instructions by putting a special guard on that sort of justice.

      Von Steuben spent much time in developing a keen sense of responsibility in the company officer in comparison to that of the field and general officer. He knew that if the individual soldier had affection and regard for his immediate leaders, the higher commands would take care of themselves. He realized that the pride and bearing of the rank and file were the keynotes to achievements in the field, as was demonstrated many times in World War.

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