An appreciation for rivalry is drilled into soldiers from the very start of basic training, in order to kindle a competitive spirit and a drive to succeed. And indeed, especially in peacetime, competition is what drives men and women and units to excel (who can get that 15-meter mast up fastest?), which in turn hones skills necessary for the wartime that we never thought we’d see.
But here it seems that friendly competitiveness has degenerated into petty bickering and senseless infighting. One can see it on all levels, from individual teams all the way to whole branches of the military. SEN team I74 vs. I73, SENs vs. node center, 1st platoon vs. 2nd platoon, Minnesota vs. Louisiana, National Guard vs. active duty, 1st Cav vs. 3rd ID, Army vs. Marines…
Certainly unit rivalries and inter-service rivalries have been a part of military operations since men first called “fall in,” but of late people seem to be taking it to the next level. Maybe it’s the cabin fever from being in this giant pen, or spring hormones, or lunar cycles; I don’t know.
What happened to “One Team, One Fight”? It’s said that you don’t have to like your superiors – just respect the rank. Is it not the same with whole units? You don’t have to like 1st platoon, or the brigade we’re attached to, or 3rd ID, but I think you do have to respect them. We’re all stuck here, and we all have our own jobs to do. Sure, I know that everybody thinks he/she is the super-genius of the universe and yes, if you were running the show things would be different. But for God’s sake, there’s enough tension around here without having to manufacture any.