How Desert Storm Destroyed the US Military

By Ray Starmann

The US military that won Desert Storm or Gulf War I in 1991 was a spectacular military, a gargantuan industrial age military with high tech weaponry and well trained personnel, that when called upon, achieved victory with the speed of Patton and the elan of Teddy Roosevelt.

Overlooking the vast eight mile carnage on the Highway of Death in Kuwait, destruction that was caused by a US Air Force and Navy that bore almost no resemblance to the two services now, a sergeant in the 7th US Cavalry remarked, “America sure got its money’s worth from those Joes.”

In 44 days, the largest military force assembled by the US and its allies since Normandy destroyed the world’s fourth largest army in a brilliantly led, fabulously executed air and ground war in the sands of the Middle East.

The ghosts of Vietnam were vanquished by men who had experienced the horrors and strategic errors of that war and who inculcated those lessons to the personnel they led.

Both General Colin Powell and the late General Norman Schwarzkopf had both served multiple tours in Vietnam and their experiences there made them highly skeptical of the press and its intentions.

Therefore, no reporters were embedded with combat units during the war.

The world was given a Nintendo video game, sanitized version of a war; while albeit short, had many elements of the nastiness of wars past, but appeared to be nothing more than a high tech cake walk.

Because there were no journalists in the field, the world never saw H.R McMaster, the President’s National Security Adviser, who was then a captain in the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, fighting the Tawakalna Division of the Republican Guard at a now famous grid line dubbed the 73 Easting.

On McMaster’s left flank, the scouts from the 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry were also battling the Tawakalna and the ghosts of the Little Big Horn, at a nameless speck of desert landscape known as Phase Line Bullet.

Later that night, grunts and tankers from the 1st Infantry Division, the Big Red One, hit the Guard at Objective Norfolk and before the night was over, found themselves engaged in close quarters fighting with fanatical Guardsmen in a place most of them want to forget, but can’t. Two days before, the Big Red One had spent the opening hours of the war burying Iraqis in the trenches alive with bulldozers.

On G Day +3, the US 1st Armored Division hammered the Iraqi Al-Medina Division of the Republican Guard at a place now known as Medina Ridge. The Battle of Medina Ridge was to date the largest tank battle since Kursk in 1943.

On the left flank of Lieutenant General Fred Franks’ VII Corps was the XVIIIth Airborne Corps, which included the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division. The 24th Mech was led by the extremely aggressive, highly competent and definitely non-PC, Major General Barry McCaffrey.

The first two days of the ground war, the 24th Mech raced across the Iraqi desert, heading towards its objectives in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley.

On February 26, 1991, the 24th Mech advanced through the valley and captured Iraqi airfields at Jabbah and Tallil. At the airfields, it encountered entrenched resistance from the Iraqi 37th and 49th Infantry Divisions, as well as the 6th Nebuchadnezzar Mechanized Division of the Iraqi Republican Guard. The 24th;s Task Force Tusker attacked entrenched Iraqi forces on February 26th to seize battle position 143, effectively severing the Iraqi Euphrates River Valley line of communication to the Kuwait Theater of operation and destroying the major combat elements of the Iraqi Republican Guard Forces Command’s elite 26th Commando Brigade.[Despite some of the most fierce resistance of the war, the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division destroyed the Iraqi formations and captured the two airfields the next day. The 24th then moved east with VII Corps and engaged several Iraqi Republican Guard divisions on the last day of the conflict.

Two days after the Gulf War ended, on March 2, 1991, elements of the 24th Mech were fired on by the Iraqi Hammurabi Division of the Republican Guard, which was retreating north in a five mile long convoy. McCaffrey ordered his division to destroy the Hammurabi and by the end of the day, the 24th Mech had annihilated the division, destroying 187 armored vehicles, 43 artillery pieces, and over 400 trucks. The Battle of Rumaila Oilfield was a classic showcase of the kind of warrior aggression the US military’s senior leaders used to display, but which, in the era of the perfumed prince with stars has all but disappeared. Barry McCaffrey would last about five minutes on active duty today, as would Norman Schwarzkopf.

McCaffrey and Schwarzkopf are the type of generals who win wars. What do the the generals do now?

Yet, the world saw none of those battles being fought as they saw no Marines storming through Kuwait. There were no journalists; hence no video, no film, no photos; nothing to show the world except a few shots of B Roll of the Iraqi Army surrendering to Marines on the border. To the American public, the Iraqis were surrendering en masse, when in actuality the Republican Guard was going down with the ship. For example, the 10,000 man Tawakalna Division was virtually annihilated, including the division commander who died in an artillery barrage on the night of February 26, 1991.

While General Schwarkopf’s power point presentations enlightened the world, the soldiers and Marines found themselves in a Dante’s Inferno, with smoldering vehicles, dead Iraqi soldiers strewn over tank turrets in a man-made darkness of oil fires that smothered any sunlight and the vast remnants of an army, which littered the battlefield: rifles, helmets, sundry equipment and arms and legs that were picked at by packs of roving wild dogs.

War is hell…but the American public never knew.

The day Desert Storm ended, the death of the US military commenced.

The Pentagon, basking in glory and bowing to pressure from the public and crackpot feminists like Patricia Schroeder, started drinking the Kool Aid and they’ve never stopped. The war was a video game, a clean, quick rout. Modern war was now sanitized, where the bad guys would die at stand-off ranges of a mile or two and explode in little black and white pixels on Pentagon TV screens. In fact, war was now so quick and so easy that women should be allowed to serve in the combat arms and Special Forces.

Our victory in Desert Storm became the catalyst for every left wing wacko to hack at the military with a meat cleaver.

Since, 1991, the US military has been slowly coming apart at the seams. Stress cards, open homosexuality, transgenders on active duty, sensitivity training, pregnancy simulators for male troopers, lactation stations in the field, babies born on US ships of war, female graduates of Ranger School, including a 37 year old mother (it’s funny how the women looked so well fed), women in the SEALs, women in Marine infantry units and females in the field artillery (even though most cannot carry a 155mm round) are just some of the insanity that has taken place in the last 26 years, but which snowballed into hell under the Obama administration.

A social revolution engulfed the military, starting with Tailhook and continuing to this day. Warriors were forced out and feather merchants and PC flag bearers were promoted. Girl power was in and masculinity was out. The warrior culture was buried and a new culture was reborn that resembles corporate America, not the US military of yesteryear.

No, General Kennedy, it’s not your father’s army and that’s a problem, a big, festering problem.

And, now, with the world in flames, with ISIS blowing up Europe, with Putin pumping weights in the Artic while he watches his BMP’s on skis roll by, with Kim Jong-Loon on the loose with a toy chest of nukes and missiles and with Iran figuring out that Trump ain’t Barney Fife, the US military needs to be rougher and tougher and more ready for a fight than ever.

And, we ain’t. And, that’s the fact, Jack.

Many are waiting for Mad Dog Mattis to stick a pike in the heart of the military’s social engineering forever.

We are still waiting…

Perhaps, Secretary Mattis is so busy dealing with the thugs on the planet, that he has forgotten that the armed forces that will be engaging the thugs is still in trouble.

Secretary Mattis must once and for all shut down the feminist fantasy of women in the combat arms.  There are thousands of jobs for women in the military where they can serve honorably and be promoted, without, in Mattis’ own words, ‘setting themselves up for failure in combat.’

Mattis also needs to get rid of the perfumed princes, and the feckless duds who have infested the senior ranks of the armed forces. I would rather have a sergeant with guts running a division than a two star coward who is more worried about his pension and future job on cable news than the mission and the troops.

The US military is still being led by people who believe that the military is nothing different than working for Google, except that the military has uniforms and weapons.  When you eschew the glorious traditions of the military and combine that with ludicrous social engineering, you are setting yourself up for massive failure.

While the US military interpreted the results of Desert Storm incorrectly, the real lessons from that conflict are crystal clear. The US military functioned well in an environment that focused on the mission, not on political correctness, LGBT rights, day care centers on submarines and breastfeeding Rangers.

With our enemies stacking up against us, time is running out to fix the problems which were initially caused by a victory 26 years ago, in a war that has largely been forgotten.

204 comments on “How Desert Storm Destroyed the US Military
  1. I wouldn’t say the US military has been “destroyed”, but it has most certainly been weakened and is arguably on life support. Thanks to constant hysteria and harassment from Democrats and the virtue signaling liberals who eat out of their hands, the military has basically turned into one huge social experiment. They aren’t known as the “regressive left” for nothing.

    • Funny how the Israelis manage to function with both men and women in their military without any of these issues. This whole screed is a weak minded attempt to attack women in the military and it’s disgraceful. Women are serving honorably everywhere in the military today and blaming them for being women is Bullshit. Women pilots are flying strike missions as I write this and doing it as well or better than the men they serve with. Just because one woman couldn’t carry a 155 millimeter shell isn’t a reason to exclude them from combat duty. This article is just a hard right wing piece of crap not worth calling an article about the actual military today. It’s an attempt to lay blame for a non-existent problem. It’s shameful and the author needs to apologize for his disgraceful attempt to smear our female soldiers, sailors, and airwomen.

      • The Israelis stopped mixing men and women in most combat units after the 67 war. There are a few security battalions that are all female. It’s not just one woman that can’t pick up a 98 pound 155 round and carry it 100 yards during the USMC 34 million dollar study, it was 90% of female Marines tested. Go to the CMR online and you can go through the hundreds of pages of the study that was totally ignored by Ray Mabus.

      • The Israeli’s do indeed have women in their IDF ranks AND had them in line units on the front as well. UNTIL they figured out what a mistake it was and REMOVED the women from the line units. If you are going to comment you should know of what you speak. From your comment it appears you are exactly the sort that this article is holding up to scrutiny as the downfall of our military.

      • You are wrong. Women can do many things as well as a man, but fighting is not one of them. If you had ever spent some time in an infantry platoon, you would not suggest that women serve in that role. It is ridiculous. Also,Israel female do not serve in traditional infantry units. They can serve in a couple units that provide border security. Placing women in infantry and special operations roles does ntohing but reduce lethality and capability.

        • There was a great article on Arutz Sheva, Israeli Times last year about how liberals in the Israelis govt are covering up all the problems of women serving with men in units. It’s crazy Marv, that we even have to be arguing with people about this. Women dont have the upper body strength to hit a golf ball as far as Jordan Spieth, so they can’t play in the Masters,, yet we’re going to send women in the combat arms, so idiots like Claire McCaskill are happy.

        • Tru dat man as an old infantryman. I love women and would never want one to live the life of an infantryman, never mind that they could not cut it and it would reduce combat ability.

      • Spot on and well said. I was an MP in General Frank’s IIV Corp and our units had female enlisted and officers. No comments by the author on their contributions under fire.

        • There were no women in combat arms units in the Gulf War. Are you mentioning females at the VII Corps Main?

          • Unless those women served in the 505th PIR, the 504th PIR or the 325th AIR which I served in as a paratrooper….Airborne Infantry….in the 82nd Airborne Division…11 Bravo. But no women were in those units so therefore no women were in COMBAT UNITS!!!! I was the first to arrive in Kuwait and the 152 men I served with!!!

      • If one female in a section of 8 personnel on a 155mm howitzer cannot pick up a projectile then how much of my manpower is useless? What if I have 2 females? I need all my personnel to be 100%, and if a female or a male can’t do their jobs, I have no use for them. They are a waste of time, skin and oxygen. And yes, I was an artilleryman for 23 yrs and I know what I’m talking about.

        • If you go to the CMR run by Elaine Donnelly she has the whole 200 page 34 million dollar study on there. Basically, about 90% of the women couldnt pick up the 98 pound 155 round and carry it. I don’t understand why we want to weaken ourselves to placate a bunch of crackpot liberals? Thanks sarge.

          • Well, I can’t speak for all of the combat arms but as far as the artillery goes, 100% of the gun positions have to do with lifting or moving heavy shit. Not likely females would have excelled on an 8inch howitzer either. I believe there are women out there who can do the job but they are few and far between and I don’t know of any personally, but I’m just generalizing. I do think that the quality of recruits (male and female) are pretty dismal anyway also.
            I’ve been retired for 4 years now and glad to be done with the social experiment. They can have it.
            As far as Desert Storm…I was a 20-21 yr old dumbass who was excited at the prospect of doing my best for my country and being disappointed that the war wasn’t like my father’s (Vietnam) or grandfather’s (WW2). I made due because it was the only war we had.

          • We were in the Spanish American War of our time. We beat the crap out of a Third World force run by a corrupt dictator and then were lauded as heroes.

        • In 1989 I went through ROTC Advanced Camp (they call it LDAC now). One day we got sent to an 82d Airborne artillery unit for orientation purposes. At one point we got to operate the howitzers and I watched two females try to carry a 105mm shell. Total fail! After that, all the girls in my platoon refused to go near the rounds.

          • ROTC summer camp in the 80’s was like a voyage into hell compared to the Army now. The old days where all the drills and TAC NCO’s were Nam vets and we all wore OD’s and steel pots. So, what happens when the guys on your coed arty team go down and the females have to run everything. They can’t lift the ammo! Meanwhile, Ivan counterbattery fire is zoning in on them. Adios…

          • I was in the 82nd for 6 yrs and thank goodness I left before the whole female 13B fiasco. I had 2 guys who were little dudes who couldn’t pick up the little rounds but they got better after a lot of “individual cardio and muscle exercises”. And this is the LITTLE light artillery! I believe that the female recruits and privates of today are soft, entitled, and in no way an asset to an artillery section. It is the generational gap and more importantly the physical limitations. I’m sure that they excell at things other than combat arms and artillery. Like I said, I’m glad to be gone and away from the social experiment. My career couldn’t have survived it.

      • Well Glenn; what close combat did you experience?? The article may be exaggerated somewhat, but your comments reflect complete ignorance.

      • While I understand the underlying tone of your argument, I feel it holds little merit. Israeli females are defending their nation on their own soil. The lines of supply and communications are short. They and their male peers are a few short hours from their homes- a few miles. I have never seen any of the Israeli female soldiers wearing heavy body armor and humping a 90 pound ruck, two canteens of water, extra belts of linked ammunition, all combining to be a load equal to their own weight.

        I have seen a US field grade officer carrying his ruck, weapon, extra ammo, extra water, spare radio, all equaling around 140 pounds. Crew-served weapons are humped in addition to personal equipment. I had to be able to carry a wounded soldier over my shoulder and they carry me. I was a large guy, 6 foot 1 inch and 210 pounds. I have yet to meet a female who could lift me off the ground and onto her shoulder, much less carry my limp ads even for a short distance. I doubt many could drag me either.

        Warriors promise each other none will be left behind. You tell me how the 110 pound female will be able to tote a 180 pound guy anywhere if he is unable to help himself and she is the only one around…

      • I guess you haven’t been to Israel in a while. Although the Israelis will parade women in arms out in front of cameras, in actuality, they do very little combat. Please know what you are talking about before you publish BS.

      • I’d suggest there is no way to conflate American women with Israeli women. Israeli women have grown up in conflict their entire lives. Women here? Ahahaha

      • How many years did you spend in the army as an Infantryman Glen? The Israeli women are not in combat arms. Israel knows enough to know that men and women are different. not one woman couldn’t carry a 155 mm shell 99.9% of women can’t do it. Not smearing our female soldiers but trying to bring sense back to the military to keep them and the men who they would be forced to service with alive.

      • Liberal blind and gutless, all wrapped up in one package called glen. Gutless because you can’t admit the truth even to yourself, blind because you you cannot see all the evidence that disproves your fantasy world view. Liberal because you base your life on whishfull thinking.. hope you never have to face the truth in a real world situation.

      • You comment re Israel and woman serving is a non-sequiter. We are not Israel. Furthermore Israel bars women from frontline combat roles.

        In the aftermath of the 1967 and 1973 Israel v Arab wars in which women were allowed to serve on the front line, an internal study was done by Israel and since then women no longer serve in those roles.

        Said report was also quickly classified.

      • The Israel Defense Forces are currently suffering the same problem. Ever since the ’48 war of independence women have not been in combat. Now the fringe leftist interests are trying to equalize and homogenize the army in order to give women equal opportunities for national leadership. But the fallout is coming and the cultural war is heating up. It will go on for a number of years, but the outcome is a foregone conclusion. The orthodox and traditional sectors of society have higher demographics and the extreme left is getting marginalized. There are indeed some fine women serving in the military in Israel and in the US, but the relationships between the genders have to be handled appropriately both wrt functionality and fraternization. The social justice warrior approach doesn’t wash for real war.

      • STFU you fruit cake. You clearly never served. Never put your life on the life in combat. Never had to burry a friend because of PC rules of engaement. You have a right to an opinion, 1st amendmend. Same as I have a right to tell you to shove it right up your pansy elmo loving faggot ass. YOU Glenn Klotz are a spinelss betamale who’s mother should have just swallowed.

        You are a fool who didn’t even bother to look up WHEN and WHY the Israelis stopped mixing men and women in most combat units.

      • It sounds as if you never served a day in uniform, but if this is mistaken then odds are you may have been released early or even given a general or dishonorable discharge. Whatever the case, your comments are drastically misguided and typical liberal ranting. Maybe you need one of those oh so convenient time out cards…do us a favor a use it.

      • There is a huge difference in serving in the military and serving in a combat arms element of the military. The author is not saying that women don’t have a place in the military or that women have not served for years with distinction and honor. He is saying that they do not belong in combat. You talk about other nations that have integrated women into the military with the same argument many liberals use against President Trump’s immigration policies: you miss key elements of the argument by trying to lump everything together. Like the difference between immigration and illegal immigration, the difference between women serving in the military and women serving in Special Operations Forces is huge. Here is an article that addresses only a few of the problems the Israelis face with integration of women in the combat arms role. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.748738

      • What branch did you serve in glenn since you think you are so well informed on life in military units go NAVY

    • there are no women in the seals and this article smacks of a sexist tone. Desert Storm didn’t ‘destroy’ the military, it has just been badly damaged by 2 liberal democratic presidents who turned it into a social experiment and used it for their own political purposes

      • Women in SEALs? Please cite your source.

        I have read many articles of the “progress” of women being integrated into ground combat units – most all of the articles written as puff pieces trying to shine the best possible light on the gender integration policy, and every one that mentions SEALs points out that no woman has passed BUDs. Last one I read said not a single woman has even tried out to be a SEAL candidate.

        I have known and worked with SEALs for decades, and those who’ve served in Iraq and Afghanistan say they have had women work with them in the field in a limited, focused role. When a SEAL is moving among the population, wearing native garb and blending in, they are more likely to draw suspicion as a single guy or couple of guys walking down the street, than a guy walking with his “wife” in her local garb. The women who pull these roles are not SEALs, normally not DoD. They also use females on some recon missions that require interaction with local women – because they can’t culturally interact with men they aren’t related to. Again, these women who do specific limited missions with SEALs are not SEALs, and normally are not military.

  2. Holy cow. This needs to be required reading at every level of PME, particularly the War College. This is the unadulterated truth. I’ve never seen such a bunch of politically correct pansies in my life. I’m a retired Air Force CMSgt who served from 1982-2006. I saw the greatest military in the world dismantled. First by Clinton, then by Obama Bin Ladin who stated publicly that he was going to “disarm the military”. We’ll, he did a great job of finishing off what Clinton started. I can tell you first hand that this feel-good-about-yourself-transgender-liberal-politically-correct-no-standards-selfish-non-military military is going to take 20 years to fix. Warriors aren’t, and materiel is nearly at the level of unservicability as that of the Soviet forces at the end of their existence. Wake up America, or learn to speak Chinese.

    • Roger Chief. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that most of the people who have given this article a thumbs up our former NCO’s or WO’s. Strangely, the officer corps (and I used to be one) is largely silent. When will they speak up? When TF Smith the sequel rolls into disaster in Korea?

      • Ray—I posted below as “Boot” in support, and I am a former Army Captain. Just didn’t say so. I got out in 1993 when I figured out where Clinton was taking us.

        • Boot – I saw the handwriting on the wall by ’95 and retired at 24 years Active Service. I could see what was starting in Bosnia, with “nation building”. We went to the Gulf (I was in 3rd Armored Division), a highly trained, well equipped force. Hell, we were looking for a fight to show our stuff, after decades of guarding the Inner German Border from the Soviet horde. In the Armor community, we were heart broken after the Gulf War. Our branch was cut to the bone, as part of “The Peace Dividend”, once the Wall came down, Germany reunited and the Soviet empire fell apart. I went to Somalia and saw we were not prepared (nor equipped) for the political morass that turned into. Ground forces with no heavy armor led to disaster, before our forces were pulled out. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the social engineering began with a vengeance. I felt that we could no longer function in the mission we were designed and trained to do. That and feeling incredibly by that time (was 43), I knew it was time to hang up my spurs. Mr. Starmann hits the nail on the head. A bit tough on the ladies, but dean on target about the senior leaders mostly being feather merchants, only concerned about career progression and retirement. Well said Sir!

          • Spearhead! Bill, what unit were you in, in 3AD? I was in 4-7 CAV, in Swingin Buedingen. BTW,there was an excellent article written about the demise of armor branch by an officer on active duty. It’s on my site and titled, The Death of the Armor Corps.

          • Bill. I too saw the hand writing on the wall as you called it… when Slick Willie started cutting and I had to change from try and retain our best sailors… to telling too many that they were no longer needed. Without so much as a thank you..how do you do.. or kiss my ass .. as we kicked them to the curb… I made a the hardest choice of my career and also chose to leave before I was told I was not what they were looking for anymore….

      • Ray,

        Morgan here, retired officer. Love the article and I agree 100% with what you’ve said in it. However, it’s a bit hard to care when our government doesn’t, though the new administration has been in for less than 6 months, not long enough to do anything yet. But when those in power do nothing to correct, or worse, promote the actions of idiots like Ray Mabus or Leon Panetta, what are we to do? If you know, tell me and I’ll assist.

  3. The BEST article I have read in the last 26 years. PC ain’t gonna hack it in the frozen mountain passes in Korea or the “ovens” of the desert. If you can’t hack it, then your ass needs to pack it!
    Starman, gives a light version of the desert war in 1991 because he knows that most people “can’t handle the truth”.
    When the next war with NK comes, the full realization of this warning will come roaring down.

    • I agree Chief, I was in the USAF 82-2005, and have watched the destruction of the greatest military in the world. The Obama appointees still infect it, the troops are under-served and are still leaving in droves (I don’t blame them. That swamp needs to be drained, yesterday. Good article.

  4. God help us, no nation on earth fears or respects us at this point in history. We’re the laughing stock of the world thanks to all of the “PC” BS of the SJW’S, this didn’t just happen it was planned to destroy American greatness.

    Demoralize and destroy our military from the inside out has set us up to fail with very little resistance. We’re handicapped by all of the usual special interest groups, the global warming crowd, feminist, EPA, human rights, LGBT, animal rights, WICA, freedom from religion foundation and any other wacko group that someone will think up.

    God help us if we don’t stop this madness now and return our military back into what it is really supposed to be a defensive force to protect our nation.

  5. Very good article, something that is nor mentioned
    now days. Should be required reading by all those serving in the armed forces and those in charge of our armed forces, even those who are running our government now. Maybe would wake some people up.

  6. Another part of the decline of our military was also the Reduction In Forces started under Bush 41, but accelerated under Clinton.

    I was one of the first RIFed, but at that time, it didn’t bother me so much as the feeling was mutual. Perhaps I was at the beginning of a mass exodus of terrific people leaving through attrition.

    Through a lucky twist of fate, I missed Tailhook that year, figuring I could go next year. The only reason I didn’t go in 91 was because I had celebrated my birthday down in Coronado with far too many pints of Guinness, while I was TAD, the day before. When word of the scandal broke, I knew almost immediately who was going to get nailed, cause I’d just left that community, and it didn’t surprise me one bit. A gunner who was ( most likely forced to) give sexual harassment seminars onboard my last tour, didn’t appreciate all the openings he left for me & my snide remarks.

    I can remember one day while going on my way to take a cab to begin leave, my skipper saw me, pulled over, and went out of his way to give me a ride to the airport. He’s one of the few skippers that I admired, since his career was full of operational billets, including tours as a test pilot. Unfortunately, he didn’t select for admiral cause he didn’t have a “purple” tour driving a desk. That’s when I knew that me getting out was the right thing for me. It really was becoming Clinton’s New Navy at the time.

    I’m not holding my breath waiting for Mattis to do the right thing. Trump himself is not opposed to gay marriage personally, nor a lot of the social BS that has infected the armed forces over the last few decades, but he may not stop Mattis either, if Mattis ever gets around to doing the right thing. Trump needs to appoint more people like his Secretary of the Army.

    • Excellent follow up statement, Jackie!

      In 1991, our Pershing-II unit was a few days away from deployment when announcements came that the war was over. I can advise that it was an odd period for our brigade. We were already being retrograded, due to the INF Treaty, and, as odd as some may think, some of us were actually looking forward to transitioning into conflict, knowing that further opportunities would come afterwards. Realization set in VERY soon after that time period and the bulk of the technical guys, to include myself, were not given options that were appealing at all. Many went into MLRS and other units but some of us were not given a choice other than SF or units that were continually deployed. Notwithstanding, I would not have minded that option if not for already receiving some of that training from the selective type of specialized training already incorporated into working in the Pershing-II units in the first place.

      I made a choice to ETS and help my ailing father in New York. This was a monumental shift in life changes. Having recently married, I was in need of a commensurate salary to start life with a new family and tend to my father. As most of us know, the throngs of a recession were PREVALENT during that time and I literally could not get hired by McDonald’s and was continually told of either over qualification or not suitable with the work background I had. Nothing ever materialized for work in a year’s time and it lead to me seeking other opportunities, as any military member would, into different carrier fields. This lead to a career in law enforcement.

      As a civilian and in functionality as a peace officer of the citizenry of this blessed nation, I sat, and as aforementioned by other writers on this subject, watched our military transition into less of a true organized centurion and deploy-able force into one that was rout with timidity. In now way am I postulating the technology that continues in development should be shunned, but the ability to subdue with strength should ALWAYS be a measurement in which ANY battle, conflict, missions, wars, etc. is articulated.

      My prayer is that our blessed nation sees a new trend is needed in showing the fortitude of what was done, in our development as a nation, and those ideologies which actually built this country to what it is in the first place. Am I saying this condones discrimination, racist, sexist, misogynistic, and deplorable acts by instituting cronyism, white male rule, irrational concepts of development, or any negative process that stops our nation from progressing??? NO!

      A saying that I constantly use is “change is inevitable.” That change should come with rationality in thought for what “true” strength (not isolated to physical or mental) is and what being strong is meant for in the first place.

      Be encouraged

  7. Spot on, Mr. Starmann. You really cover the bases in this article about a seminal “president’s war”, which had no authorization from congress, yet inferred consent. My understanding was George H W Bush and our silent, but culpable congress, stopped the largest peace movement in opposition to a conflict in the history of our country dead in its tracks by taking the unprecedented act of immediately throwing half a million citizen soldiers in harms way, even though they weren’t really needed. Then he helped corporations profit by getting a rousing OK to get it done as quick as possible, topped off by going against reason by dumping tons of surplus Vietnam bombs on tanks, even though experts correctly predicted this would have little effect on them in a desert environment, assuring the need for more modern bombs to replace the depleted stores. And the collateral damage of the insanity is well covered by your article, as I staunchly agree with the assessment that this was the beginning of political freedom to censor military activity from public scrutiny and to enact policies that weaken military infrastructure. Kudos to you, Ray!

  8. Once again no mention of the 24th infantry division’s roll in the first gulf war. We engaged the Republican Guard in Rumaylah and Iraqi soldiers fleeing Kuwait for miles on our way down to Basra. We killed thousands of Iraqi troops and list a few of our own.

      • Thank you. We seem to be the forgotten division and some of that combat was not so easy as has been portrayed. I thank God, because it could have been worse. We were lucky. I think we lost about 15 troops in our division and had about 3 times that many wounded…give or take.

  9. Desert Storm was also the first and only war with 100 percent accountability for our troops. Every man deployed has been returned – dead or alive – we brought them all home.

  10. Wrong…We had reporters embedded…Check out the Wall Street Journal’s story on 2/67Ar….Don’t write about what you don’t know….

    • You need to go back to the Rock or wherever 2-67 AR was in 3AD. Where is the footage of 2-67 AR in combat? Where are the photos? Where is the footage of 4-7 CAV, 2ACR, 1ID and the 24th MECH? It doesn’t exist. I read the WSJ story 26 years ago. The guy was part of the pool. I never saw ONE journalist in the desert in six months. The first one I saw was Rick Atkinson in Germany. I want to see ONE piece of footage of a reporter with VII Corps in combat in the Gulf.

      • Atkinson was with the 1st AD, as was a crew from CBS. There were others there with us as we entered Iraq.

        We kicked ass during Desert Storm. A big reason for this was all the hard work by many of our soldiers during their rotations at the National Training Center in the California desert.

        We had all the advantages. Air Supremacy (no enemy air threat). GPSs to let us know where we were. (Iraqis didn’t have those). We had the best soldiers, airmen, marines and navy in the world. By far.

        In my opinion, we still do. From Delta Force to Rangers and Special Forces and Marine operators and conventional forces, today’s U.S. Military is the best in the world. By far.

        • If you search for VII Corps combat footage or 24th Mech combat footage you will only find some MLRS, Divarty stuff, Apache gun cameras. Thats about it. There is no footage of the 73 Easting, Medina Ridge, Norfolk, etc. How lethal will Delta, SF, and combat arms be when they have females along on prolonged combat operations? It’s suicide.

      • I remember that my S-2 officer went out to schmooze with the press a few times while we were in the sandbox. Generally they were NOT welcomed and just tolerated, but they were highly controlled. Not sure there were any cameramen or videographers around…that was 2nd brigade, 3AD.

    • I was with MWSS-273, 2nd Maw during the Gulf War. We were stationed out of MCAS Beaufort, SC. We had a reporter tagging along, sending live pictures back to be published in the Beaufort Gazette Newspaper during the war. I was an MP and we had several free roaming reporters approach our main gate at a Desalination Industrial Plant at Ras Al Mishab, Saudi Arabia.

      • Pretty limited stuff out of Khafji, not much when the Marines moved into southern Kuwait on G Day and after except for the liberation of Kuwait City. There is nothing of VII Corps in combat on video except MLRS and DIVARTY firing. It’s widely known that there was none or very limited combat footage from the Gulf War. In 2001, I worked on a 4 hour documentary called Waging War – General Schwarzkopf’s Diary for NBC. The people at the top at NBC were screaming because there was NO COMBAT FOOTAGE or very little for the show from any network or news outlet. It’s not even a topic for discussion because there was none.

  11. Holy crap!!!! You put words to the thoughts in my head. You are 100 % correct. I was a Marine Corporal during Desert Sheild/Desert Storm and entered the Army in 2006 deployed twice as a Sergeant. I can testify to everything you just said. Thanks for saying it.

  12. Historically I think this article is pretty spot on. It lost me and my willingness to share it in my Desert Storm Veterans pages when it went political and commenting on social injustice issues.

  13. The military has always been on the cutting end of changing social norms, ever since we let in the skirts and the negros.

    And you know what, we’ve been stronger for it. If you look at history, not only is this article short sighted, but down right wrong.

  14. Though Polio stopped my attempt to join the Marine Corps. I’ve been an avid reader of “BIOS” OR Reporters “1st hand account” missives!

    STARMAN is ABSOLUTELY “right on”!

    At present I’m reading “GENERATION KILL”, [By Evan Wright; Pub.:PUTNAM]…Evan, (a war Journalist), was “embedded” with “1st Recon Battalion”, & the book is VERY HONEST, (a refreshing view…tho brutally HARD CORE HONEST!)…And TRUST me on this…There ARE Marines who STILL are genuine “JARHEADS” who don’t ask “WHY”, they simply “do, or, DIE trying”!

    I FULLY agree with EVERYTHING said above, but “GENERATION KILL” DEFINITELY gives a spark of hope, for our Military to recoup!

    Here’s what Gen.,{Monk Warrior} “CHAOS” Mattis says of “1st Marine Recon”:

    “Mattis calls the men in First Reconnaissance Battalion” ‘cocky, obnoxious, bastards’!”

    [And, there is a peek at their training level]: “…Recon Marines belong to a distinct military occupational specialty…They think of themselves, as much as this is possible within the rigid hierarchy of the Military, as individualists, as Marine Corps’ cowboys….Recon Marines go through much the same training as do Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces soldiers, [Green Berets]…Those who make it thru RECON TRAINING in one piece, (…’even those who make it, commonly only do so after suffering bodily injury that borders on the grievous, from shattered legs to broken backs…’); which takes several years to cycle all the way through, are, by objective standards, the best and toughest in the Marine Corps….”.

    This book PROFOUNDLY inspired my hope for our troops being given genuinely REAL training…tho…Evan makes clear the deficiencies that exist today, and which I WHOLE HEARTEDLY PRAY WILL be corrected, & remedied by “CHAOS” Mattis, in the near future,…ESPECIALLY if N.K. is a SERIOUS OPTION for correction!!!

    I PRAY that that RECON Battalion, in 2nd IRAQ invasion, is indicative of the “NOW GENERATION” of the next “Force Recon” Battalion!

  15. Their were reporters there. We blew the windows out of their cutv when they parked between the M198’s.

    As to the military going soft, that started prior to the Gulf War. Combat arms at the time still maintained their hard nosed demeanour, while support units were already showing the signs of what was to come. When Clinton got into office he only hastened the processes. Very little was regained under Bush. Then under Obama I saw that the worst was yet to come.

    What has been wrought upon the military will take decades to bring back, if it can be.

    • Yep, reporters in pools. Very few, if any reporters in the field. Just about ZERO ground combat footage. There were no Vietnam type reports where Dan Rather or whoever reported to the nation while they were with a combat unit in combat. Schwarzkopf was particularly hard on the press and didnt want them roaming around the battlefield as they did in Nam.

  16. “The real lessons from that war are crystal clear”.

    Wrong. I dont think they have been made crystal clear yet. The U.S. Military has been fighting cowards for the last 16 years. Cowards who, during the Cold War, were on the back burner as nothing more than a nuisance.

    The real lessons from that war will be made crystal clear when the U.S. Military runs into a real, trained, prepared, determined enemy.

    The same way the U.S. was taught a lesson with Lieutenant Colonel Charles Bradford Smith.

    Never again? No more? The enemy will see about that.

  17. G-day 26 years ago. The alarms sounded and the 12th Evacuation Hospital Soldiers were in full MOPP gear, at our duty stations, and praying for all of our Guys (MEN) and our allied troops. Safety was my pray, mission was my second prayer.

    Being a female, in a tent with 11 other females…..let me assure you Men……my opinion is women do not need to be in any combat unit, unless it is a Combat Support Hospital, etc.

    After getting prepared for the unknown that was ahead of me, next, I did three things. First I wrote a letter to my Uncle Ezra who is a Korean War Veteran. He is the only person to whom I honestly told that I was scared, scared, scared. After getting my letter to S1 to me mailed, I returned to our sleep to wait.

    I must say it was terrible. I was scared, but I had my shit together. The 11 other females in my sleep tent were screaming, crying, acting a fool and OH MY LORD…….I just screamed at all of them, told them to rest while they could, cause our job wouldn’t really start until our casualties starting coming into the hospital. But did they listen? NO NO NO

    So, I laid on my bunk, and prayed to God. This time my prayer was not for sleep, but for rest. Rest so that when the wounded started arriving, I would be the very best I could be for each and every injured soldier that got admitted to our hospital.

    Believe it or not, after asking God to help me my best for our wounded……..I didn’t hear another sound until the choppers came in several hours later.

    Morale of that story is, I would rather be with real Men, than real wimps any day any time anywhere. We had many female troops and officers that performed miracles. We actually had neurosurgeons, cardiologists, and the best Doctors in the world! We had some wonderful civilians on site to maintain our Freaking Awesome CAT Scan. So glad too, cause even though it had been field tested; it had never had to operate in the desert with sand so fine it could plug up any filter. Yea for those guys.

    I totally agree with each and every thing this article has addressed. Women’s Army Corp and females to help our guys, to tell them they are loved, they can do this, they are heroes! I was in the expectant tent. I have this big heart, and I will hold someone’s hand, give them hugs and kisses on the checks, write letters, make them laugh, or whatever ya’ll need.

    Since this War was planned so well…….that we set up our hospital in in the Neutral Zone in Saudi Arabia, 50 miles for the Iraq/Kuwait border. And our troops were first sent forward for treatment…..that has to almost be a first?

    Geneva Convention ID Card. We all had one, cause medical personnel do. So you know what that means……we are not to fire upon anyone. So I have my weapon and no ammo. Well until I would rotate through guard duty of our perimeter. Then guess what guys? They gave us 3 rounds of ammo each. Three rounds. WHAT THE ???

    I was never more glad to a Green B’ before in my life. Whew. Special Forces got to our location after a couple of weeks and then I felt safe. Shortly after, I thought wow, look at that herd of camels on the horizon…..but the Infantry and all you other bad asses (I admire you all and that is meant as a compliment I assure you).

    But it all work out. We were just where we needed to be, when you needed us. I was more please to be able to send you to Wiesbaden Germany rather than back to the front line. But duty is duty. And for all you combat medics, if you had morphine to treat your troops on your person when you got to me; then you dang sure had it back when you were leaving. No disrespect to any others, but the front line medics, even if the had burst appendix, or a 3 out of their four limbs had more stitches than Frankenstein…..YOU GUYS WOULD DEMAND TO GO BACK TO THE FRONT LINE TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR BUDDIES…..God Bless You all. But sometimes, it just couldn’t be done. And I will tell you now, that if your Commander or Top came to get your weapon…..they had tears in their eyes (that only an Angel could see) because they knew your Buddies wanted Doc back too.

    I love and admire each and everyone. But, after how I seen those I shared a sleep tent acting all a fool, and OH HERE IS ONE MORE. This may step on some toes, but I frankly my dears…..

    If someone is about be discharged from their Unit due to any type of “poor or lacking performance” then send them the hell to the house and not to War with me. If they were to lazy to take care of themselves, then they have no pride, no honor and I damn sure don’t want them behind me if I am facing the enemy, or any where near me at all. Oh wait,.,,,, they weren’t well maybe hiding behind me, if it was possible, and if not, they were hiding in a hole somewhere.

    I am honored to be able to call myself a Combat Veteran of Foreign War. I am most proud of serving my Country with each and every one of you, and all the fun times before and after deployment;;;;;than an other thing I have done in my life. I truly am Daddy’s little girl. My father is Brooks Clarence Keener. I lost him when I was only 5. Daddy is a WWII Veteran, and I am honored to follow in his foot steps.

    Ok, I am woman, but I will try to shut up. Things have changed in our Armed Forces in the last 26 years. We need to be all that we can be, and not don’t ask don’t tell, and every other detail “stated in the article.” I think our kinds need a good spanking at times….well heck, my Mother on had to tell me once…..and I listened to my elders and did what they told me to do when they told me to do it.

    We just need God back in our homes, our hearts, our Armed Services, and the press and the public do not have the need to know everything. Heck, even when I had my active duty green card, I didn’t have the need to know everything……Please God, forgives us or ignorance, and let us be strong and united again. One Nation Under God Indivisible With Liberty and Justus For All.

    God made Man. He made man first. He made them, handsome, and strong, and with less freaking emotions, and shoulders wide enough to carry the load, that I was not made to carry. I believe that in a marriage, if the husband and wife always agree, then what the Man says is how it is supposed to be.

    Women are not as mentally or physically strong as men. Sorry ladies, but we are not. And heck, I’m a country girl, and I am tuff, and much more strong than some of the females I deployed with……but let the men lead. We will just support our MEN and Women and let me know they have someone to home too, or someone in the hospital that loves them, and needs them.

    I’ll be praying!!

    God Bless You All.

    Constructive criticism, good or bad is most welcome.

    LOVE YOU ALL

  18. I am a Desert Storm Vet and still serving. I agree whole heartedly. I have personally was the senior nco for 44 students straight from boot camp for 10 weeks. I have no idea on how they are molding them but it was pathetic. The individualism and the whining was similar to watching 8yr olds. I ended up having a melt down on them due to the lack off team work. We got thru the training and all graduated but I would only trust 10% with my 6 if we went down range.

    • Colonel Hackworth wrote and article in 2000 called the March of the Porcelain Soldiers, about how basic was a joke at Jackson back in 2000. It should still be up on my site if you search it.

  19. Ray, lived thru it with you. What does the HHT 1SG know? I know plenty, militarily have lived thru the Clinton and Bush era post-DS/DS. We almost ground to a halt in the 90’s; however, despite the absence of intellectual forethought, we pressed on training and cross-training our Troopers for the Battle Royale part 2. For your article – Spot-on! However, that has been re-articulated, in spades. ‘Til next we meet and group!

  20. sad but true the army must go back and rebuild the backbone it once had. today’s military is so watered down it makes me angry.

  21. This article describes it all perfectly. Everyone who questions the situations we are in now needs to read this. We were the boss we were feared, feelings were hurt and pc didn’t exist. We were the military and we did what needed to be done without all of the prying eyes and weak minded politicians. We were a proud nation with a strong military. WE NEED THAT BACK. Semper Fi and God bless the USA.🇺🇸

  22. I have served for 17 years, and it is disgusting to watch the decline of our forces! Everything has to be sensered because you have to watch who you offend! I am so glad to be out, but still proud that I served in the USMC!

  23. “…at a nameless speck of desert landscape known as Phase Line Bullet.”

    A Phase Line is exactly that: a line, not a “speck”. Normally a very long one.

    Clearly author Ray Starmann has no clue what he’s discussing. Enjoy that arm chair, Ray.

    • You mean a Phase Line actually goes north and south liberal troll. You might want to shut your mouth. I was at Phase Line Bullet, GRID PU734106. You know why I remember the grid cheesdick? Because I called in the first spot report. Get off of my site you liberal troll! And it was a nameless speck of desert landscape obscured by a shamal, moron.

      • Love it Ray, exactly the sort of direct, clear, and succinct communication that I find lacking in most of today’s dialog. Keep up the good work.

      • Ray, you clearly shut that guy and his ignorance down and quite well at that, but I’m curious: What about his post makes him a liberal?

        I’ve know plenty of conservatives that made far worse mistakes regarding military terminology and had even worse manners than this guy Dave…but the last thing I would call them would be liberal.

  24. All things being equal, lol, they are not. Men and women have a place in the military. Sadly it is not in the same level of political correctness as is alive and well among civilians.

  25. Wow, best truth I’ve seen . I am a retired US Navy combat vet that started in Viet nan and finished in Afghanistan serving 22 years and started to see this when they started putting women service members on combat ships this is also the reason I made the decision to retire, not to dishonor our female Service members but to say that men are men and the women became distractions and in war men that face live fire enemies do not need to be distracted. American men are taught to protect and keep from danger the weaker women children and elders, this alone makes them distractions, just saying.

  26. Interesting article. Knowing a lot of people who followed it in the papers and watched it on CNN, it comes across as a video game or movie to them. There was no way to share the real events like the stench of burned corpses, seeing your friend miss decapitation by a few inches, the utter and complete darkness inside the oil well fires while the rush of the flames drowns out the sound of enemy tanks that you can’t see or hear, but you can feel the earth vibrate, see the finest leader you have ever knows with tears in his eyes as he tells his men that one of us would not be coming home alive, knowing that each runs you loaded and sent down range likely killed a dozen or more young men who spoke a different language and had a different megalomaniacal leader sending them to their deaths at your hands, hearing the gas alarms go off and praying you got your mask and hood sealed before you got the death twitches…

    CNN made war look clean and palatable to the masses. The overwhelming victory and low casualty numbers made the masses think that every war should be a short, neat operation. It diffused Robert E Lee’s cautionary statement… “It is well that war is so terrible, lest we grow too fond of it.”

  27. I was with the 24ID in the Gulf War. I appreciate your article and your opinion. Since then, my son has fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. My daughter is just completing her duty with the Navy as an airframe specialist.
    We come from a long line of warriors.
    I am proud of anyone who wears the uniform and has the drive to excel beyond couch generals. It doesn’t matter your gender or love preference. What matters is do you have the tenacity to bare your teeth and charge head on into the guts of your enemies and rend them stem to stern with every tool and training you’ve got! There are men I fought side by side with who coward in hell and a couple of women who didn’t. Every successful soldier fights with their soul at that moment of reckoning. Viscous vile intent, primordial rage and insanity wins the day.

  28. What a bunch of bullsh*t. This article could have been written in 1919, or 1948, or anytime the military wasn’t it’s vision of perfection this jackass saw it as. I was in Desert Storm, and Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom and none of the crap this uniformed fool is happening. The military is the military no stronger or weaker than it’s society ir draws from. This guy things the military was this great thing prior to Desert Storm apparently has a problem with history. The miliary was a shambles after Vietnam, was a shambles after WW II, and was a shambles after WW I – and none of that had anything to do with women or gays or Obama. Money focused generals, interested in their pet projects and post-military careers have more to do with the problems the military faces than any social ones. Maybe 15 years of war have something to do with the military having some issues. ISIS and all the problems presented by the author have nothing to do with the military, they are geo-politcal problems that may have a military solution. Quit trying to make out that the military was perfect before all these social changes and blaming women in Ranger school and transgenders in the ranks, it’s a poor excuse for poor writing, research and knowledge.

    • Do you work for Obama? You have a lot of people who disagree with you on here. In fact, most of them just got out of the service. The military was a shambles after Vietnam, but was REBUILT by the guys who had served in Nam and who upheld the standards of the services. The military never had the PC crap shoved down its throat like it does now. The military now is run by mainly feather merchants who have let the traditions of the service go down the toilet to ensure that their pensions remain intact. Good luck out there on the battlefield against North Korea. By the way, the enemy doesn’t lactate, wear pregnancy simulators and pay for gender reassignment surgery. We do…and we’re doomed unless Mattis puts a stop to this crap.

    • By the way, Congressman Russell is still waiting for those Green Cards from Ranger School for the three female graduates. Gee, I wonder why the Army has been stonewalling a Congressman for a year and a half. Is it because the chances of a 37 year old mommy making it through Ranger School are the same as a meteor hitting the Hollywood Bowl now? Or, maybe because one of the other female grads couldn’t find her toes with a compass, even after she and 50 other females had three months of special pre, pre Ranger training at Carson. But, hey, keep on living the fantasy.

      • Ha! I’m still floored by Greist’s and Haver’s pre-graduation press conference. I’ve seen a number of photos and videos pre-2015 Ranger School graduations and attended one in person. The grads looked like Vietnam Era POWs. Fast forward to the 2015 presser and the participants are all plump and look like they just came off a brisk jog after some time at the weight room. That just confirmed for me the fix was in!

        • Don’t forget Mommy Ranger. Talk about a Bridge too Far, a 37 year old mother making it through. They all look PLUMP and in dire need of a late night call to Marie Osmond and her weight loss program. My boss lost 60 pounds at Ranger School. Most guys crawl out looking like Holocaust victims. Yet, we’re all supposed to swallow the big Pinocchio that there was no special treatment. I got the docs. Haver was in a class at Carson where she and 50 other females spent three months in pre pre pre Ranger training. Yet, the Army denied any special training. Best Ranger School hallucination story, a TAC officer in ROTC told me he hallucinated that Jesus handed him a Hershey bar. LOL

    • Lastly, the only political solution ISIS is going to get is being double tapped in their craniums. Political solutions. LOL But, what do you expect from a liberal.

  29. Wow, as someone who fought there beside a woman who helped save my life after I was wounded. You don’t have a clue or all the facts.
    I am against the LGBT community in the military. Bad for moral.
    As for women in combat rolls? I say if they can do it and pull the load as I have seen. I am all for it.
    This peice is mostly racist and feminist crap.
    I doubt you were on the front line.

    • Racist? There is not one iota of anything suggesting racism in that article. Just because a woman saved your life, doesn’t mean that women should be in combat arms units for PROLONGED Combat Operations. Cease fire with the liberal mantra of calling everyone a racist that you don’t agree with.

  30. My congratulations on an excellent and highly perceptive article. As a three-tour veteran of the 5th Special Forces and of MACV-SOG, please allow me to offer a few thoughts for people’s consideration.

    First, the modern hard left pretty much arose during the Vietnam war, especially with the McGovern campaign. The left seeks not to build anything, but rather to destroy every valuable institution and tradition that built America and the west into what it became. Yes, the left has worked diligently to destroy the U.S. military, with considerable success. But the left also has largely destroyed our educational system–I say this as a retired university professor–and has profoundly damaged such crucial institutions as fatherhood, marriage, personal responsibility, etc. My thought here is that, while the author’s point about shutting the media–which at this point is the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party–out of the Gulf War is an intelligent and very valid one, I believe that this disassembly of the military probably would have happened anyway. I offer this thought not to criticize an exceptionally well thought-out and written article, but just to offer an extra perspective. I honor the valiant men and women who have served with such great distinction in America’s more recent wars (since Vietnam), and I thank you. You have experienced the support and gratitude of our nation for you service, and that is something that those of us who fought in Vietnam never knew. Your point about Schwarzkopf and Powell learning in Vietnam what NOT to do is an excellent one. Yet America still is consumed with the tragic folly of nation-building fantasies. The left will not stop destroying all that is fine and good in this once-great nation. Thank you for a really fine and thought-provoking article, Mr. Starmann.

  31. I am a veteran of DS as well as OIF. I did 30 years for this great nation. I was a student at CAS3 in October ’91 after our return from DS. Then Army Chief of Staff, GEN Sullivan, spoke to our class. Will never forget his statement – “NO MORE TASK FORCE SMITHs!”

    Well, that is a lesson forgotten in the ’90s and beyond.

  32. Very well written article. As I read it I imagined a lot of public view of the military is like the boy/girl scouts (is that even PC now). They’re just out on a field trip, albeit with weapons. Spending 31 years in the AF (officer BTW) from 1970 to 2001, then 14 years as a flight sim instructor I have seen a distressing transition of our fighting force on many levels, too many to articulate here. Suffice it to say, our military has a long uphill battle to get back to the fighting force that was employed in Desert Storm. War is not a sterile stand off proposition. At some point in time you must look the enemy squarely in the eye and take over what is his, otherwise, there is no real victory. Brutal but true.

  33. Ray Starman, you absolutely did not do your research for this article. Oh you embellished it yes but your facts are off as well as the main character that lead to these units you have listed, to do their jobs. Why you have neglected to tell the truth or even not be bias is beyond me. To be perfectly honest with you, have been on the go for 20 hours a day for 7 months this straight and having sat in on briefings, i find your article insulting to the facts that actually happened.

  34. So much truth! Obama purged the military of those leaders that disagreed with the progressive social agenda. I’m afraid our technology cannot overcome the loss of a true military warrior culture.

  35. I question the knowledge and bias of the person who wrote this article. The art of war has changed significantly since desert storm. This is the point which changed the idea of needing man power vs intelligent battlefield machines. While down sizing unneeded logistics within the us military. Allowing any and every type of citizen to join the front line of combat does not degrade the strength of our force what so ever. Yes it’s a new approach for our military to take, but it’s not the first military to coddle its citizen soldiers.

    • So, are you saying we’re supposed to allow senior citizens and the handicapped into the combat arms just to be inclusive? Because God knows we wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. The job of the military is to kill people and break things and to do it swiftly and violently. Any time you make a unit coed, or include people detrimental to morale, you are destroying the combat readiness of the military. It’s a fact. Mattis knows it too, so does Dunford.

  36. Interesting article. A little too doomsdayish in my opinion. There are several factors that aren’t being considered. Technology has changed a lot, there were no smart phones during the Gulf war and social media was unheard of. Adapting and being flexible to political and social changes is always going to be a challenge. It is what it is and we do what we can. Its also not just us, the enemy has mastered the art of propaganda and use of technology to spread it. We are now being held to a higher standard of war-fighting and the additional restraints of 21st century rules of engagement. Poo pooing about how it’s not how it used to be is pointless. Operator up and learn to work within the system. USAF(EOD) 96-2006, USA(AMMO) 2009-present. Joint-guard, Joint Endeavor, Southern Watch, Noble eagle,Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom.

  37. it is an interesting read, and the first thing that came to mind was racial integration that started generations ago and the military led the way. It had a lot of resistance at the time. I also remember reading about all the jobs in the 40s that women did while the men were away like welding, etc, and the lot were put out of the work force so the men could get jobs. for many it was back to being the home maker, but now, to have a good life, both parents must work. So that concept has gone over the side. I remember one woman talking about the heartbreak of no longer being allowed to be a welder which she loved doing. As for the sanitation of what is reported and how, yes the major news media did the rah-rah thing as described, but if you read a bit more (i.e. show some interest in going beyond sound bites), in this age of information, your read about the battles described and saw the carnage of highway of death were the US military blocked both ends of the loot train and then blew up everything in the middle. We also saw how the leaders failed to provide protective gear and families buying flak jackets themselves to send over, the soldiers welding on whatever metal they could find to protect HUMVEEs from IEDs, and soldiers maimed from that action and stories of convoys shot to pieces, etc. The book “Management techniques from the best damn ship in the navy” is an interesting read to see how things continue to evolve. Even more so, the news stories turned to how well we planned the war, but had no idea what to do for peace, and how for years the brass ignored the people in the theatre who told them countless times what needed to be happen, and finally, years later, things started to change. Then to further thing along badly, we’ve left 100s if not 1000s of people who helped our troops to rot there whose lives are in danger. If someone wants to put on the uniform and serve their country, and for many its their only chance to have a chance to earn a college degree (and look up how for profit universities cheat people with GI Bills and their recruitment practices) then they should be able to and not suffer for it because they are different. And all this commentary comes from someone who has never served. But my family members have, and one is gay, and a number of my gay friends have served and have told me of their stories. One was an ace in the air force in vietnam. So we have a military that is still the most powerful in the world, and in many ways is still catching up to other armed forces with these kinds of programs, like Isreal. The things that he laments at the end of the article I fail to see how they connect. Providing for the needs of the soldiers has little to do with commanders and leaders who worry more about presentation than substance. Michael Abrashoff’s book shows the difference. There have been iffy leaders in the military going back to Washington, and that will probably never change as people who want power etc will play the system. But linking social progress to other issues in the military, well, I don’t see it. And that echos what was covered up or not talked about in society like scandals at the catholic church, child abuse, trafficking, and even heads rolling at fox news. Are we worse off for knowing about and doing something about those things as well? Or do we go back to the halcyon days of the past were if you weren’t of a particular ilk, you were a second class citizen.

  38. While I agree completely with your sentiments, I would caution against overly comparing the Gulf War with the conflicts we have engaged in since that time: each have had completely different aims, objectives, and constraints.

    • No comparison really. DS was like the Spanish American War, a competent US military destroyed a corrupt Third World military, then went home and was lauded as heroes. Iraq and Afghan much more like Nam.

  39. I’m just going to come out and ask:

    Being a hetro male myself, with no dog in the game so to speak…

    Is there anyone who can point to [link please and thx] a documented case of where an America gay male soldier did not pull their weight [attributed to their gayness] , resulting in a peers death on the battlefield ?

    • If you go to the Congressional Record, every year the DoD has to report on sexual assaults to Congress. As of the last one I studied a couple years ago, the Navy and USMC portion includes genders of perpetrator and victim. USA and USAF portions do not include genders.

      So in the USN and USMC portion you’ll find 9% of the assaults are same-sex. According to data submitted by homosexual advocacy groups to the U.S. Supreme Court, less than 3% of the general population is homosexual. In my observation, military men have a lower rate of homosexuals than the general population. But if we take the numbers generously, we conclude 9% of the assaults are perpetrated by 3% of the military population. Therefore we see homosexuals in the military are 3x more likely to commit sexual assaults than heterosexuals. And in the individual reports (in the Congressional Record) you see cases of attacks occurring in bathrooms, while victims are showering, and while victims are sleeping – all situations where people must trust their shipmates, and situations that advocates guarantee us that homosexuals do not take advantage of.

      To emphasize that 3x is actually a conservative number, I have been through sexual assault awareness and prevention training dozens of times in my career, and as a leader have also engaged with the counselors available to my people in multiple assignments. Without exception, the counselors and educators will tell you that a large portion of assault victims feel shame and feel like filing a complaint makes them look weak, and would make people suspect they were complicit or did something to earn the assault, so they might go to a counselor, doctor or chaplain to confidentially seek help, but they will not make an official complaint. These confidential cases are not included in the reports to Congress, only the cases reported and confirmed by investigators are in the reports to Congress. And the counselors and educators without exception say the person who is least likely of all to report being assaulted is a man who is attacked by a man, and that male victims of gay attackers are twice as likely as a woman victim to formally complain about the attack. So that 3x factor could well be 6x or more.

      But conservatively if we stick to that 3x ratio, there is no doubt that the civilian leaders who forced acceptance of homosexuals in the military did so knowing they were sentencing thousands of men and women to becoming victims of sexual assaults who otherwise would not have been. And there was not one general or admiral in the military willing to unpin their stars and publicly say they would not be part of inflicting this harm on the people entrusted to their leadership.

      Beyond the assault victims, subjecting combat units to the dynamics of having people serving in intimate living conditions (no private bedrooms, no private bathrooms, no private showers, and in field conditions no bathroom stalls and in many environments not so much as a bush to go behind) with a gender they prefer for sexual relations cannot be anything but a breakdown of confidence and trust. It’s a distraction even in the periods where no one is getting assaulted. Distracted people in combat conditions results in dead people who should not be dead.

      Beyond the stats and the rational conclusions of cool consideration, I have been in a number of units where same-sex assaults occurred. It has a devastating effect on unit cohesion and effectiveness. I had conversations a few years back with multiple women who favored ending limits on gays in uniform. Once I got them past the bumper-sticker slogan level of thinking and got them to thinking back to actual experiences, they both recollected that in each unit they’d served in there had been female-on-female sexual assaults, and yes “now that I think about it, it was an enormous disruption to the unit.”

      So my anecdotal observations and observations of those I’ve spoken with back up the rational analysis which backs up the stats that opening the military to homosexuals (and now transgenders) is a decision made for political expedience and social agenda, not for military effectiveness.

  40. “perfumed princess” huh? Who? Name them. You’re so certain they’re completely gacked up, put names on them. Give us your list of them. If they’re that senior, then they’re all out there, by name. Let’s have them.

    • I’ll start with Martin Dempsey. The SOB sat by and did nothing as the military was feminized to the point of no return. You can include the rest of the JCS with Dempsey, except for Dunford who is completely against women in the combat arms, but was surrounded by enemies in the Pentagon.

  41. Spot on. However in today’s military if you were to speak honestly about such real observations from experience you would be met with reprisals thus ending your career. To many good personnel have been removed already when speaking out against political correctness that has made the military less leathal. These are perilous times we now live in. I pray the repairs can be achieved in time for the next looming threat on the horizon. CPT Obvious

    • IMHO, the only good thing Dempsey did while CJCS was give my son his coin. Otherwise, he was a political lackey who did the POtuS’ bidding.

  42. Mr. Hammer:

    You are clueless. Check your facts before you make stupid comments. Yes, women serve honorably and with effectiveness; not the same as serving in the infantry, armor, special forces, SEALS, etc.

    Retired Marine infantry

  43. The article was interesting until it turned into yet another “new army” bashing gripe fest. But th is US defense watch so I should’ve known. I’ll be sure to check the source next time.

  44. Great article!

    Former DS/DS Era Army Quartermaster officer here (had orders to Korea!) and I thought in my time females were being employed waaay beyond their abilities. I could write a novel on this topic but I can wrap it up quickly with one observation.

    I noticed whenever we did qualifications on crew served weapons, half or more the Soldiers heading out to the range would be females even though they’d generally make up about 10-15% of any particular unit. Despite that if you looked around on field exercises you’d see all these weapon systems were assigned to males who often didn’t go to qualify. Why was that? Simple, it was the NCOs effectively using their human resources! They’d send the girls to the range because they by and large couldn’t perform their MOS duties and they’d assign the heavy weapons to the non-qualified males because the qualified females couldn’t cope with the size and weight of these weapons when it could actually matter!

    For what it’s worth, I’ve successfully discouraged my kids from joining the military and do the same for kids I run across who are thinking of joining. Military service has just become unnecessarily dangerous…

  45. The article was too short, accurate, but too short.
    We attacked weak foes, with the war starting on our timelines (Bosnia, Kosovo, DESERT FOX) under Clinton, and too some extent under “W”.

    Maybe Korea happens under our timeline, maybe not. Can the perfumed princesses lead when the other guy initiates the war?

    The Navy Lt ignoring the Code of Conduct when captured by the Iranians is a perfect example of our training deficiencies.

    17 Years of war in Asscrackistan has resulted in worn out people and equipment, neither politicians nor Generals seem to know what the end-state or victory needs to look like.

    • LT David Nartker, the bozo that surrendered his crew and Riverine craft to the Iranians than praised their hospitality while one his men started balling; both are poster children for the PC military.

  46. A little hyperbolic, but I’m OK with that. It certainly needed to be said… and repeated. If anyone can recognize the problem, and change the culture, it’s Mattis. As bad as things are, they are nothing compared to the broken military that we had in 1980. Mattis lived though that, and lived the experience of rebuilding. This is a more political fight, but a battle that needs to be won.

  47. It funny looking at the comments. There are people who agree (like me as I have seen it first hand), and the others that disagree using the same old tied and typical PC emotional and superficial reasons.
    The military culture that the topic of the article is the very reason there are so many of these PC types in military ranks. However this PC group is getting smaller as truth on this matter is becoming better known.

      • ” Barry McCaffrey would last about five minutes on active duty today, as would Norman Schwarzkopf.”

        Exactly right.

        To back this up – In a white paper on http://www.MilitaryValues.org the first sentence is:
        “George S. Patton, Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller, William Frederick “Bull” Halsey, Charles Elwood, “Chuck” Yeager, Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. All of these men have something in common. They are all war heroes. Except for Boyington, who received the Congressional Medal of Honor, they were all
        promoted to senior officer rank. And without exception, none of them could have succeeded in today’s military without turning off the skills and traits upon which their success depended. ”

        http://www.militaryvalues.org/topics/a-crisis-of-leadership/

  48. We started dying off with the post communism draw down. Dudes were getting chaptered out and booted for being late for one formation. And not dudes that you would call dirt bags either. I seen experienced E7s who were very good at what they were doing were actually paid to get out before they got to the 20 year mark. I was in Europe from 1984 until around 93 and seen the Army that Mr.Reagan built, along with people like General Wickham, who got us new uniforms, got us trained up and schooled to shoot move and communicate, got discipline and pride back, got us new vehicles and equipment and got the gear out of the muddy back-40 and on to hard stands and under roofs. We were lucky that what was left to fight after the first drawdowns was still sharp enough to do the job. DS might have finished it off, but it started to go down hill with that first Trabant that crossed the Inter German Border.

  49. As a current Army captain with ten years of service, I’m probably not qualified to talk about the military prior to 2007, but the current PC atmosphere pervading the service is disheartening and sickening. The day to day activities are constantly clouded by cautious behavior, as to not offend the wrong person.

    While attending my career course last year it seemed every female was a lesbian, with one boldly telling a 22 year master sergeant her time had passed and the ‘new Army’ belongs to people like her, tattooed and entitled females who know they can get away with anything.

    It really does make me sick and seeing the infiltration of combat arms branches with these women has diluted the whole process. Can’t males have anything to themselves? It makes serving more of a labor than it should. I agree with all the points made here. Sadly it doesn’t look like it’s going to end anytime soon.

    Now it’s just a case of going through the motions to get a retirement check, which is the saddest indictment of all.

    • I saw the early rumblings of this back in 1991 when I went through Officer Basic (the predecessor of BOLC).

      One of our instructors was a freshly minted Captain who had been transferred from Armor to Quartermaster Corps. He commissioned through OCS and before that was in an enlisted combat arms MOS. In his first go at us he taught us some basic unit personnel housekeeping, in particular the way leave and passes work. He got to the uncharged leave for pregnant Soldiers who just gave birth and told us he thought that was BS because “my wife was fixing me pancakes 2 days after she squeezed out twins”! Oh, and he also dipped during the whole class period.

      Before 24 hours were out our primary instructor gave us an unscheduled mini-course on professionalism and not going afoul of regs. He finished by apologizing for the comments of the former Armor Captain and informed us the Colonel in charge of us tore him a new one for being un-PC and for dipping tobacco.

      This Captain continued periodically training us, but it was never quite the same. He’d often be about ready to give us a real world example of something he just explained then suddenly hold it back because “it might offend some of you”. Pretty pathetic stuff…

  50. I may be naïve by saying this but why can’t we just have standards for the JOB, male or female. Either you can do the job or you can’t. And if you want to have a child cross train into a different job. Whatever happened to the needs of the military comes first? You signed up knowing this. You made the choice, and you will take the consequences of your choice.

  51. Most of the posts agreeing with this article are coming from a position that women can’t meet standards. What if one can? The article refers to a 37-year-old woman who by all appearances passed Ranger training. I have read rumors, but no proof that standards were fudged during her training, and I dont want to argue that. My question is what if she did the same training program as the men and met standards? Should she still be denied the right to serve? If so, why?

    Regarding the ability to tote artillery shells: First, I haven’t heard anyone suggest women who can’t meet minimum physical standards be allowed to serve. I would disagree vehemently with any such push. Is anyone demanding that women who can’t carry arillery shells be allowed to serve in artillery units? I would agree that’s wrong. However, if 90% of the women tested couldn’t carry the shells (I wonder what the percentage was for men) that means 10% could. Is there a reason why those 10% should be denied the right to serve in artillery units? If so, why?

    The article’s author also claims the military is degraded because we no longer prohibit service by homosexual and transgendered troops. I’m not aware of any performance or training standards based on sexuality. Are there? If homosexual and transgendered troops are able to meet all professional, performance and training standards should they still be denied the right to serve? If so why?

    • Gays have a 20% higher rate of AIDS. What if you need an emergency bloody transfusion from a gay soldiers. You’re putting yourself at risk and why so we can be so sensitive to everyone’s needs. Transgenders are mentally ill. We are now allowing the mentally ill on active duty. Great. Meanwhile, our enemies are laughing themselves to death.

    • LOL! You really think the Powers That Be will accept 1 in 100+ females being able to get through some course of instruction? If you do, drop me a line; I have some Biafran Pounds and Rhodesian Dollars I’m trying to sell. I hear their values are about to skyrocket!

      • Brits are already dropping their standards in the infantry to accomadate women. Im sure ISIS appreciates that

  52. Roger that! We have got to be ready for what’s coming! And like the man says we aren’t! When War comes (and it will) we need to hit the enemy fast and hard with everything we have. There cannot be any weak links in the chain. Commanders should be able to do( the jobs ) ) of the men Command! If rank qualifies you to command combat arms soldiers. Then by god you should be able to do the job yourself!
    War is not sanitary or easy! It’s a mixture of fear, blood and death! Lord I pray we will be ready!!!

    • AIDS? Service members are screened every two years and a fitness determination is made if they test positive. What if we screen out those who test positive (including heterosexuals)? Should gays still be denied the right to serve?

      On what do you base your determination that transgendered people are mentally ill?

        • As far as I know person-to-person battlefield blood transfusions ended when MASH went off the air. My wife served as a military nurse and tells me it’s no longer taught or practiced, mostly because all blood products have to be tested for antibodies of any number of infections, not just HIV. Not to mention taking blood from a fit soldier to give to another takes two soldiers off the field.

          Where do you get your information regarding the requirement for battlefield person-to-person blood transfusion?

          • Emergency blood transfusion, also a guy who might have Aids wounded, spurting blood over the place. No health risk there at all. Besides the blood issue, open homosexuality destroys morale.

  53. The Second was the most capable ACR in the world and General McMaster cut his teeth in Armored Cav. We were prepared because we trained hard and rid ourselves of the week. We had to be prepared because we were the first line of defense against Russia through their main avenue of attack, the Furthenwald Gap. Toujours Pret brothers.

    • Garryowen! We were so close in that shamal to G TRP 2/2 ACR we could practically read their bumper numbers.

      • McMaster was 2/2 E Troop Commander, G Troop commanded by Capt Sartiano and E troop made first contact. I was in 3/2 K Troop, I troop and K Troop closed the gap on the south end. It was what we trained for with 250 days in the field. Suffa !

        • On 26 Feb, we were screening the right flank of the 3AD, with you guys to our right. The Iraqis were defending on an oblique angle along the IPSA Pipeline Road, three divisions up, two back. So, 2ACR made contact about 30 minutes before we did. The grid I called in was PU 734106, with 18 BMP;s, 6 T72’s at first contact and a lot of guys with Saggers. I think Sartiano would have been at about 7308. G Trp, 2/2ACR was close, could see them a lil through the shamal. 4-7 CAV, 2ACR fought elements of the 9th BDE, Tawakalna, RGFC.

          • Everything worked like clockwork, although a few exceptions. No hesitation, great communication and excellent commanding ops. This is what kept the Warsaw Pact Forces on their side of the border for 50 years.

  54. I was there. A grunt, a rifleman in the 101st. We had it easy. But I got to do it again in 2003. Totally different Army. I agree with much of written here, but the bible warns not to separate a fool from his folly.

    Unfortunately, no amount of science, no argument made, will move the American Army from the dumb path it follows. There will be loss, sad, tragic loss, and more loss, bitter defeat. Until then, let them double down on stupid.

  55. Most are missing the real reason the military meltdown is occurring. The military is a slice of society and once the society begins to rot, that slice will contain rot as well. Do you really think a highly trained, lethal military can exist which would be fenced off/seperated from snowflake society?

  56. As a female reader, National Guard Vet, and Army wife for 17 yrs, I agree with you 100% about women in combat units/MOS’s, and the decline of our military.

    The future is one hell bent scary mother with the military we now have.

  57. I agree with the writer in many of his insights. The US Armed Forces stood tall then and in 2009 in Iraqi Freedom 1. There were no media members on the point of the spear. It sometimes seems as though where they were was more careful. The leaders directed them to areas of lesser risk. This satisfied them for the most part. I was present when a Colonel told the CFLCC that he was stopped awaiting his troops burial of dead Iraqi’s. The CFLCC asked what was the problem. The Colonel said he had been told all dead Iraqis must be buried with their heads toward Mecca. The General said “Take a dozier push a trench push the dead Iraqis in and cover them and place a marker on the Mecca side of the trench and move on.”

    I admit O’Bama was a pitiful leader let alone a Commander & Chief. It amazed me that Ben Laden was killed on his watch. I think the Seals killed him and later asked what to do with the body. The US Armed Forces certainly lost a lot on O’Bama’s watch.

    The people of the US must stop such experiments with our military. I asked some of the leaders of ISAF, during my last tour in Afghanistan, what they lost when they allowed openly gay service. I was told repeatingly that they lost faith in their leaders. The USA can ill afford our service members to loose faith in our military leaders because of this social experiment. When our greatest asset is our all volunteer force. I retired after 37/7. I enjoyed my service especially when I was around young Soldiers.

  58. IMHO, one of the key elements which made the military of the 80s and early 90s great was we trained beyond the minimum we anticipated. Look at the basic assumption behind the NTC/JRTC scenario; you’re in a brigade deployed to a secondary theater where the commander doesn’t have half the airpower, personnel, logistical, etc resources he’d probably have in a real world scenario and the OPFOR were all in all superior to anything likely to be faced on an actual battlefield. This concept was present at lower levels too where Soldiers in mech units conducted fairly long road marches in training and small unit leaders were expected to use maps and compasses to navigate even though GPS was becoming widely available. Because of this most DS/DS vets found the actual conflict a cake walk in comparison to their training and was certainly a factor in why they performed well.

    I read an article last week how the Marines are under siege by various elements to reduce the rucksack weight for their infantry office course from about 160 pounds because “nobody carries that much in a ruck anymore”. And then there are the new requirements where Soldiers only have to be able to carry simulated wounded comrades of comparable weight and a zillion do-overs for female Ranger School candidates. It’s as if we’re now going on the assumption every squad will go out on missions in vehicles carrying all their gear, the lowest level leadership will have every resource available at the tip of their fingers if they get in a jam and once they complete their mission against untrained opponents incapable of little more than planting bombs in roads they’ll head back to FOBs filled to the gills with the best of logistical and administrative services.

    I think we’re heading into a dark era and I’m pretty sure possible future opponents like the North Koreans, Iranians or Chinese aren’t going to accomodate us.

    • Roger on everything you said. I think the only way the nonsense will stop is when there is a total military catastrophe.

    • General Fred Franks said after DS, it wasn’t won in 4 days, it was won in 20 years at Graf, the HTA, the NTC. My old boss, a retired LTC in MI has a GS job evaluating NG units. He says a lot of young troopers dont even now how to use a map and compass. They’re so used to technology. I get the occasional hate email telling me to stop comparing DS to the Iraq War. There is no comparison. DS was like the Spanish American War. We beat the crap out of a Third World force, and were made into heroes. The Iraq War was like Nam. The moral is that the DS army had a lot of squared away Joes and the results of our easy victory in that war are haunting us today.

  59. This is a true story. My room mate was a big, bad mother. 6’6″ 240 lbs of muscle and a golden gloves boxer. We had 3 in our room, one draw back. He was gay and a sexual predator, he would take young cruits, get them drunk and have his way. Everybody knew it, but he had them so intimidated that nobody brought him up on charges. One morning my other room mate woke up from passing out after a saturday night of strong drink with his pants around his ankles. Nothing to prove but the signs were all there, we were able to have him transferred but no punitive action was taken. Later, in his new unit he brutally raped a young private. What’s the moral of this story, very poor moral, a hostile work place and if it came down to it, in combat it breaks down the cohesive bond of a unit. If you don’t have a soldiers back and if he doesn’t have yours (no pun intended) the squad breaks down, missions fail and soldiers die. The moral peril is, in combat do you let a bullet solve what the chain of command cant ?

    • If you haven’t read it, check out LTC MacGregor’s books, Warriors Rage about 73 Easting. Great book.

  60. I am one of the few remaining Soldiers that are still on active duty wearing the 24th ID combat patch. I was in C co 3/7 Inf, and was part of Task Force Tusker, talked about in this article. I participated in all of it, the airfields, and the biggest battle of the war which actually happened after the ceasefire, on 2 March. We laid down so much smoke and hate, that has never been seen since. The ground war may have been short in duration, but it was gargantuan in destruction.

    Everything that followed for the last 26 years this article speaks of is true. We are a shadow of our former selves as Soldiers, now employees, no longer professionals. I am a relic of the past, and realizing my time has passed, my career will soon be relegated to the shelf and the shadow box. I think that’s where it belongs now.

    • Those little bastards in the Hammurabi thought they could violate the cease fire and open fire on an American unit. MG McCaffrey had other ideas.

      • Yeah, and I remember standing outside our Bradley, watching their artillery rounds landing about 150 meters away. We actually laughed about it, loaded up and rolled out, commencing the smoke show. I will never forget how much destruction we laid down on them. Some literally jumped out of vehicles, running away back toward Basra, leaving the engines still running. It was something I will never forget. We brought down Hell itself on them. It was awesome, in the truest sense of the word.

        • If I remember, because of the Rumaila Battle, my unit, 4-7 CAV was sent up to set up a screen on our ceasefire side of Highway 8, to stop the Guard from getting ammo to go back into Basrah and fight the resistance. It was a hell of a light show at night. We were about 5 miles southwest of Basrah. Our only serious fire support, besides our own mortars was from the USS Missouri!

          • BWWWAAAHAHAHAHA!!!MG McCaffery would have completely gone thermonuclear if that ever crossed his desk! Good gods, that would have been epic!
            That MFR is such garbage!!

          • It’s got to be the most epic, idiotic PC thing to come out of the military, BALANCE LACTATION SUPPORT AND READINESS.

  61. “A social revolution engulfed the military, starting with Tailhook and continuing to this day. ”

    I have a big problem with this statement. Tailhook was a disgrace, a bunch of drunken disorderly primadonna fly boys who deserved to get their balls kicked. When you bring up this kind of behavior as an example of our armed forces being unfairly treated, you undermine your own message.

    An army in a democratic state must be subservient to the citizens, not the other way around. No, I don’t believe that female soldiers should be fighting in the front line units unless they can meet the same requirements as men. But this is a wholly different issue.

    • Boys will be boys and when you’re flying Navy aircraft at fast speeds, you get to raise some hell without some feminist bitch like Patricia Schroeder trying to tell you what to do. It’s called camaraderie.

  62. The “death of the US military” began when the USSR came apart & The US Government as a whole believed there was a ‘Peace Dividend’ to be had. Remember that phrase? The Forces were cut dramatically year after year at the same time we in the military were taught the “no more Task Force Smith” philosophy. Evenually the US Military went from a force designed to fight & win two wars at once to fight in one theatre while holding in the other to fight with allies contributing assets & forces to obama’s “leading from behind” strategy. It wasn’t Desert Storm success that killed the Military; it was politicians’ willingness to continually cut as long as no dire consequences were readily apparent but those dire consequences are rarely immediately apparent. They are a consequence of a serious of bad decisions meeting their eventual outcome. Consider Custer leaving 21 Gatling guns behind on his retributive raiding party to Little Big Horn. 1/7 Cavalry paid for that decision & the philosophy of fighting the Indians until they moved onto Reservations to stay.

  63. When they were moving up towards Bagdad, there WERE embedded reporters. It was 2002, I believe. One died during the push towards Bagdad. Medical issues that ran in the family. I believe it was respiratory ailment.

  64. Great article.

    Combat is the ultimate test of the strength of individual men molded together as a unified team under the most stressful of conditions. Anything that potentially weakens this bond is not worth the risk, certainly not a “politically correct” social experiment. This eliminates women, homosexuals, transgenders and any male who cannot keep up with the stringent physical and teamwork morale requirements that are tested under combat. After you are shot at a couple of times, this becomes clearly apparent.

    Even back in 1973, six USAF females went through Fairchild AFB, Spokane, Washington Survival, Evasion, Resistance & Escape (SERE) School, basically USAF Land Survival School and POW Camp, with all the rest of us men.

    At the end of the second day of POW training, all six of the women were curled up in the fetal position crying on the floor.

    That left a lasting impression.

    It all comes down to who you can trust to do the job with you and on your six when your lives are on the line together. Anything other than tested and proven men in combat who respect each other is playing dice with people’s lives.

    (I was a USAF Captain and instructor pilot in the T-38, also flew generals in the T-39, and took part in simulated nuclear attacks on the US at NORAD, HQ, Colorado Springs, CO. I have been shot at on a mission assignment from US President Reagan in Central America, and even hunted with a contract on my head.)

    Recall E&E (name withheld)

    • Thanks. To not have the toughest men you can find in a combat arms unit is the equivalent of national suicide.

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