A recent study on the decline in the intelligence of Marine Corps officers attributes the trend to the increasing number of college graduates pursuing military service. In an article for Fortune, Matthew F. Cancian, a former Marine officer and Michael W. Klein, a professor of international economic affairs at Tufts University's Fletcher School, look at the impact this has had on operational capability.
“Another example drawn from my experience shows the problems created by a lack of intellectual curiosity. The Afghan Army had several large pictures in their bases and on their trucks of Ahmed Shah Massoud, the famous Tajik warlord who fought against the Soviets. Few of the Marine officers knew his history, but more importantly many others didn’t care to learn. They then couldn’t understand why the local Pashtuns were upset with the presence of ‘foreign’ Tajik troops in their village. Wrongly, we measured success as merely counting the number of Afghan Army patrols, which we took as an indicator of closer relations with the local Pashtuns, without recognizing how the locals truly felt.”
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
An AH-64D Longbow Apache helicopter lands during a combined arms demonstration as part of South Carolina National Guard Air & Ground Expo 2009 at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Oct. 10, 2009. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Roberto Di Giovine)
Welcome to Confessions Of, an occaisional series where Task & Purpose's James Clark solicits hilarious, embarrassing, and revealing stories from troops and vets about their job, billet, or a tour overseas. Are you in an interesting assignment and think you might have something to share? Email email@example.com with your story.
"Nothing is more powerful than a young boy's wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns and missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine."
James Jackson, right, confers with his lawyer during a hearing in criminal court, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in New York. Jackson, a white supremacist, pled guilty Wednesday to killing a black man with a sword as part of a racist plot that prosecutors described as a hate crime. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 13. (Associated Press/Bebeto Matthews)
White supremacist James Jackson – accused of trying to start a race war by killing a homeless black man in Times Square with a sword — pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder as an act of terrorism.
A soldier plugs his ears during a live fire mission at Yakima Training Center. Photo: Capt. Leslie Reed/U.S. Army
A Texas veteran is suing the company he says knowingly produced and sold defective earplugs which were issued to the U.S. military, leading him and many others to develop hearing problems, including tinnitus.