26 May 2010
Why Disparage the Nasty Guard?
My own retort, cleverer than his, I'd like to think, was that Guardsmen are fairly adept at thinking for themselves, and we don't need a higher-ranking folks telling us how to dress each day, thank you very much.
That last point brings me to a more important one: the National Guard is a more effective fighting force precisely because we have a broad array of skills honed in our civilian lives that help us solving battlefield problems.
I know that many active duty forces will vehemently disagree, but that's like a union plumber arguing that a non-union guy can't do his job as well. It's bogus, and it assumes that warfighting is a discrete skill that has no relation to skills necessary outside of war.
Even Soldiers completely absorbed in the Army Way will tell you that soldiering is based on fundamentals of communication, teamwork, leadership, and discipline. All of the above are found in abundance in the civilian careers that compose the National Guard force.
I think, in fact, that America's national interests would be better served with a larger Guard force, even at the expense of the active duty force.
Go ahead, argue away. But you can't disparage Citizen-Soldiers who get much of their training in the world in which the vast majority of Americans live.