Postcards from Tradocia

one team, one fight?

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.

4 Comments

  1. Spike

    Definitely cabin fever. You should quote Whatsherface from Buffy at them:

    “Why can’t you just masturbate like everyone else?”

  2. Spike

    Bugger. Too tired to work out if that works without context.

    Homer sleep now.

  3. SGT P

    I ran into two guys in their Class A’s downtown last night, bowties and everything. They were wearing the Red Bull on one sleeve, 1st CAV on the other. In my drunkedness I told them I was on leave and one guy seemed to be really cool and encouraging. The other guy, upon hearing 134th Signal, was kind of giving me this “you don’t roll you aint shit” attitude. After reading your entry, I was reminded of the incident.

  4. Anne

    My husband and I argue a lot over the whole National Guard VS Active Army competition. He is AA and I am NG. I do take a lot of pride in serving the nation when it is in need of me and I believe myself to be a very well trained and proficent soldier. But in his arguements he states that I “play pretend Army.” The truth is, many AA soldiers poke fun at the NG or Reserves. I believe that we all chose different paths for ourselves. NG members just chose to be a civilian until they are called upon to help aid the nation in its times of need. AA members chose to make a profession and career out of the military lifestyle. AA say it’s not fair that NG should be treated with the same respect and have the same ranking structure as AA does because we don’t serve full time. I believe that honestly, every soldier should be viewed differently… not based on where they fall in at, but the standards and accomplishments that one makes and upholds while they are serving. Granted, NG does not serve full time, however, we are not treated equal. NG does not get paid the same, whereas, AA members get paid “active pay” and NG members get paid “inactive pay.” We also do not fall under the same medical coverages/retirement plans/school grants/etc. So although my husband likes to think of NG as a lesser than AA, I would like to believe that when we are all in the same uniform, we are all abiding by the same standards and should all be granted with the same respect of being a soldier.
    To me, being a soldier means to be able to give ones’ life for the sake of the nation’s well-being and to fight for freedom and our rights as a United States Citizen… because that’s truly who we all are… soldiers are United States Citizens who love their country enough to defend it!
    So now… being a member of the NG… which is a branch that CONTINUES to fall under the United States Army, all I gotta say is, Hooah!

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