The US Army has forgotten its mission

By Ray Starmann


The old adage used to go, “First the mission and then the men.”

In today’s Army, with its gallant senior leaders at the helm; the old adage has been amended to: first the pension, retirement benefits, defense contractor job after out-processing, TV analyst gig part time, permanent PX parking space for the wife and somewhere after a couple hundred more priorities there is the mission and then the men, the women and of course, the gender neutrals.

The US Army seems to be doing a Thelma and Louise every day now. Pentagon feather merchants who resemble Fortune 500 executives feed the public a constant dose of nonsense about how well the war with ISIS is going and how Obama’s social changes are just what the doctor ordered. The all you can eat cognitive dissonance buffet is open 24 hours a day at the Pentagon.

The US Army has completely forgotten its mission. The Army’s warrior spirit has been under attack for at least 25 years and maybe longer. I remember one day when I was in the Frankfurt, Germany PX in 1993. I saw two female soldiers wearing 101st Airborne combat patches. One was pregnant, the other was pushing a baby stroller. I shook my head and thought of a certain night jump over Normandy, and the brutal battles at Market-Garden, Bastogne and Hamburger Hill.

I’m sure the two female soldiers were good at their support jobs and certainly courageous. They had deployed to a combat zone and served honorably. I just wondered about their abilities to fight as infantry, should the need ever arise.

The Army has forgotten that every soldier is a potential rifleman.

From the Battered Bastards of Bastogne to Baby Strollers; and, the Army let it all happen. But, things back in 1993 were nearly pitch perfect compared to the 24/7 Poseidon Adventure the Army is experiencing now.

The Army is focused on just about everything except training for war.

The US Army is not a North American detachment of the Swedish Government, meaning its primary purpose is not to provide cradle to grave welfare benefits for service members.

The US Army is not a day care center.

The US Army does not exist to provide lactation stations and breastfeeding services.

The US Army should not be used as a testing ground for every wacked out feminist fantasy conceived in a Wellesley College, Euro-armpit, hairy leg, Birkenstock wearing, Women’s Studies class.

The US Army does not exist to provide endless degrees on International Peacekeeping and Refugee Management to officers who use their active duty time to pad their resumes.

The US Army is not an equal opportunity employer. If you can’t pack the gear and complete the mission, you have no right to be a soldier.

The US Army does not exist to instruct its soldiers that the Bible and the Declaration of Independence are sexist documents.

The US Army does not exist to waste time teaching soldiers sensitivity training in peace and war. The US Army exists to teach soldiers that the Spirit of the Bayonet is to kill, kill, kill! It does not exist to teach soldiers that the Spirit of the Bayonet is flower power.

The military does not exist for peacekeeping, nation building and the rest of the miscellaneous ways the Obama Administration has utilized the lean green machine.

The US Army is so focused on nation building and counter-insurgency that it can’t even roll out an armored Brigade Combat Team right now. I recommend Colonel Gentile’s excellent article on this subject, titled, “The Death of the Armor Corps.”

The US Army exists for ONE SOLE REASON, to wage war; to meet the enemies of this nation and to annihilate them before they annihilate us. It is the mission of the Army to destroy the enemy as violently as possible until the enemy is vanquished.

Make no mistake about it. If the US Army continues down the road it is on, with its vast readiness and doctrinal problems and lunatic social changes, the US Army is headed for a Number One train wreck.

The problem lies in the fact that so many leaders and senior leaders refuse to acknowledge that any problems exist at all. They are virtual Dorian Grays looking in the mirror in a state of denial as the institution itself crumbles before them.

Some of the conversations I’ve had with current and recently retired Army personnel are priceless. Combat arms people have told me things like “Stop writing articles about how we need more warriors. We don’t need any Patton’s around. We need more George Marshall’s.” Marshall was good at his job, but I can’t see the German Army saying to itself, “Here comes the Third Army and that son of a bitch Marshall.”

Or, a couple other favorites of mine, “It’s 2016 man, come on!” “This is the best Army the country has ever had!”

It is?

I even gave one of my buddies, a combat arms type, a chance to escape and evade. Here’s the scenario I presented to him…”It’s the opening day of the Battle of the Bulge. You’re in foxhole. The 1st SS Panzer Division is hitting the line. Who would you rather have in a foxhole with you, Kowalski (a big Polish guy who played rugby in our unit) or some woman?”

His response – “There’s absolutely no difference in the genders, Ray. Things have changed.”

Let me tell you, when the MI guy is the toughest guy in the room, you know the US Army is in Deep Kimshee.

I’ll take a double Pentagon Kool Aid, on the rocks, with a twist of denial please.

The US Army needs to have a serious Come to Jesus meeting with itself before it’s too late.

As MacArthur said there is no substitute for victory…

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13 comments on “The US Army has forgotten its mission
  1. Yeah, it’s bad. I’m an old soldier who enlisted during the Carter years and still have a Reserve ID. I can’t believe some of the garbage that emantates from the maw of “soldiers” nowadays. Total indoctrination into a fantasy world. The way I see it nothing is going to change until there is a total catastophe. I’m just glad I’m old enough to remember when things were different.

  2. Thankfully you have retired. Fortunately most others with your viewpoint have too. If you can’t evolve, you need to move on!

    • Sgt Crum’s attitude is what ALL soldiers need today. You have your freedom to write what you like because of the soldiers willing to, and DID, give their life or limbs to protect those rights.

      From your remarks, I would wager that you couldn’t even survive basic training.

      I am quite proud of my time in the military from basic training to discharge in the mid 70’s and to the day I die, I firmly believe in eliminate the enemy PERIOD !

    • And your vast sum of military experience is?

      The military on the whole needs to go back to being the military not the ever expanding social justice experiment it has become. It is time to again have high and tight haircuts, spit shined boots, starched uniforms…and cruits need to learn they are pons scum not mommies baby…push ups and being yelled at will not kill them. My DIs and RIs are rolling over in their graves seeing today’s military

    • Yeah, evolve. It’ll be wonderful to see that evolution from lean mean garrison machine to sniveling pile of fecal matter when your pampered asses actually have to pony up come bullet flinging time because there won’t be a time out or safe space to retreat to because you got your feelers hurt.

  3. Our job was to break things and hurt people. I too joined under Jimmy Carter and retired in 2014. Our job was to kill. And the quicker you could do it the more you could kill. Today it’s not about killing.

    In fact I lost friends because the short minority female on the M2 never fired a shot. She told everyone later that she joned the Army for the educational benefits, not to kill. She was hailed as a hero for some reason.

  4. The 53rd Regiment stands with Ray Starmann. It is sad how far will have fallen and how fast we have fallen. We’re going to hit rock bottom in the form of a wake-up call, which will mean loss of American lives. We are living in dangerous times while our military capabilities erode. See

  5. At this point I’d probably just surrender to the Krauts.

    We wouldn’t be in this mess if the Germans had won the war.

  6. Been saying this for years, though nowhere near as eloquently.
    I served three and a half years in the Navy in the mid to late eighties when Reagan was in office. It was a great time to be in the service. We where holding back the Commies and whooping Kaddafi.
    On September 11th of 2000 (great timing, eh?), I joined the Army after a long break in service, basic was miserable and therefore somehow encouraging. Because it was a testosterone fueled nine weeks of shared misery with a bunch of other men (no co-ed at Ft Knox back then, and I said men, not just males, men) , learning how to “embrace the suck”, learning that killing the enemies of our country and possibly dying while doing so was the highest calling one could aspire to. The only women we saw were former convicts with “meth teeth” working in the chow hall, or on extremely rare occasions the highly rude and grumpy military and civilian women working at sick call ( probably intentional so as not too come across as “available” in any way shape or form).
    Then I graduated, went to AIT, and that’s when my optimism faded. POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) training, was necessary, but not in the way it was taught and not as frequently as it was taught. Consideration of Others training, Equal Opportunity training, again necessary, but not every single monthly Battalion Training Day, or even every quarter.
    There are weeks of mandatory online courses now, You literally spend WEEKS every year in front of a computer taking mandatory online classes that frequently have test questions with “correct” answers that contradict the subject matter. And that’s just the training mandated by Army Regulations. Installations and every echelon down to Battalion level is encouraged to add on courses they think will “enrich their Soldiers understanding of the Army and how it works”. Literally weeks! By contrast, how much time does the average Soldier spend training on their assigned weapon if it’s a M16/M4, with live ammunition? How about none. That’s right, zero time annually. We qualify twice a year, the only marksmanship “training” Soldiers get is remedial if they fail to qualify and consists of reconfirming their iron sights (optics if they’re lucky) zero, going over marksmanship fundamentals, then they are expected to qualify. Zero confirmation is allowed 18 rounds before mandatory retraining on fundamentals. 40 rounds are allowed for 40 targets. So 58 rounds, twice a year. That’s how much training most Soldiers get on the use of the most important tool a Soldier has after their mind.
    But we can train our Soldiers how to not sexually harass or rape other Soldiers or be vocal racial bigots all the time. You know, things that could be hit on as a quick reminder after basic training?
    I could go on, and on, and on. It’s truly pathetic and depressing, and nobody wants to hear about it, or push back against the sheer stupidity of it all because “that’s just the way it is” or “orders are orders”, and I’ll be glad to retire soon. Maybe I can effect more change from the outside, or maybe we’ll just have to wait for the next big war or 9/11 level terrorist event on American soil. Who knows? But if the military keeps on the way it’s heading, were done as a nation.

  7. The problem isn’t the Soldiers. Soldiers will do what they are told. The problem is the United States foreign policy. You can’t fight a culture wanting to change hearts and minds.

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