Saturday, February 28, 2009

Zero day

So I started BNCOC today at Camp Ripley, which is Basic Non Commissioned Officers Course. It is the first two week phase of two phases that I need to complete to be eligible for promotion. As a sidenote, for anyone who believed the marketing that the Guard is one weekend a month and two weeks a year, it was false even before 9/11. Promotion schools are almost always in addition to your regular workload.

This two weeks is a bit of a novelty for the Thul family in that I am usually Mr Mom at home with my wife working. So we had to hire a nanny to be with the kids while I am gone. Another sidenote-besides my aforementioned tax problems, now I have a nanny, so if I forget to pay her taxes I am golden for a cabinet job with the Obama Whitehouse!

BNCOC phase one is general training for all Army leaders. While I thought it would be somewhat interesting yet still mundane, I did not expect to come across a political gem that I just had to share.

Remember Sen Jim Webb? He was the Navy Secretary under the first Pres Bush that rose to public prominence when he was elected to the Senate in 2006 as a Democrat. With a military record. And a son in the military bound for Iraq, no less. He was golden in Democrat circles because he had gravitas on military matters. He argued (unsuccessfully thankfully) for a 1 to 1 military dwell time for US military personnel. In layman's terms he wanted to mandate one year at home station for every year deployed overseas. While that sounds great from a layman's point of view, it would have interfered with the needs of the military and effectively ended the surge in Iraq by making certain units off limits to Pentagon planners.
So what do I read in my first day of Army leadership training but a quote from (then SecNavy) Webb on military duty and fulfilling your obligations-

"I go anywhere in the world they tell me to go, any time they tell me to, to fight anybody they want me to fight. I move my family anywhere they tell me to move, on a day's notice, and live in whatever quarters they assign me. I work whenever they tell me to work...And I like it." "I go anywhere…": James H. Webb, A Country Such as This (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, March 2001), 247.

I guess what was good for the goose under politics he agreed with are not good for the gander under politics he opposed.

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