Wednesday, June 01, 2005

One more year 
Well, I just had my annual "what do you wanna do next in the Army" interview with the acting Battalion commander last week. Normally, in the guard, all the officers play "musical chairs" and swap assignments around in the month or two after annual training. It's the best time of the training cycle to do it, since the drill after annual training is usually (and properly) focused on recovery, maintenance, and inventories anyway, so it's a good time to conduct chain of command inventories and hold meetings with leaders at the company and battalion level.

This year, though, my battalion leadership wants to keep turnover down. I had sort of planned on hanging up my spurs this year (again!) to focus on civilian life. I had not expected to be offered another year of command, since I'm on my third command tour and have already commanded HHC twice. I figured I'd probably get moved over to the battalion S-4, the staff officer in charge of supply and logistics. Which I enjoy, but enough is enough.

But my government is asking me to stay on one more year in command. And how can an officer turn down command?

I'm in. For one more year. Which will make it 13 (12 good years, and one in the IRR.)

God bless America, and our soldiers. I hope I can do them justice.


May God bless you for your dedication to duty, Jason. It is an honorable action you take.
Thank you so much for your service. The contributions of the National Guard are extremely important. Good luck and God bless.
Good job, old chap.

If I was you though, I'll hold out for a promotion. Maybe a light colonelcy or something.

Keep up the good work.

phil, London
Jason, I look forward to your *personal* contribution to this page:

No wait, let's flesh out some numbers, first...
Source as above...
Kept Score: 1,669 (+2)

Regarding Die2K (predicted date of American soldier death number 2,000 [based on 1,001 dead as of 2004/09/09]):
Current predicted date: 2005, October 13
Current attrition rate: 2.5/day

This represents (since the last 'Keeping Score' report):
- no change in the deaths/day rate; and
- predicted Die2Kdate is no sooner/later.

On second thought I think that I'd be happier still if you made this sort of list (and since you're a .mil guy you can surely appreciate the added burden that a wounder provides, versus a mere bodybag. Especially when one considers long-term costs to your society).

(Ya know the part that's a true joy to read? Where it used to be, for war, about 5:1 [wounded:dead] in this False War y'all are running about 10:1.)

That's about 15,000 wounded, to date. (Not RTD = ~ 6,300)
["Not RTD": Did not return to duty *within 72 hours*.]

Some of these monsters are now blind, grossly disfigured, psychologically fornicated in the head (well, more so now).


A suitable reward for those who would participate in a False War.

To wit:
> Every war mutilates in its own way, leaves its distinctive marks. In
> this war, unlike battles past, only 16% of injuries were caused by
> gunshots, according to a study; 69% were from explosions--the roadside
> booby traps, the car bombs, the rocket-propelled grenades. The vast
> majority of injuries are to arms and legs left vulnerable even as body
> armor is protecting vital organs. The amputation rate of 6% of wounded
> soldiers is twice that of earlier wars. But in addition, doctors are
> seeing new injuries, some of them inconspicuous compared with the
> shredded flesh of bombing victims. Traumatic brain injury occurs when
> the shock from an explosion damages neurological fibers. Soldiers may
> survive a blast with scarcely a cut, only to find over time that they
> suffer coordination and memory loss, dizziness, insomnia. Some have to
> learn to walk again--or to recognize their wives and children.

I find schadenfreude is best served blood-warm, how about you?

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