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Love/Hate The Life of a Leatherneck ***Special Edition***

Some may have read the story of the SECDEF requiring Marines to disarm prior to meeting him.
The Major General that gave that order stated that the reason it happened was because the Afghani soldiers attending were required to drop their weapons and that "there's a new sheriff in town".
Allow me this opportunity to tell you one of the main reasons OEF is going the way it is. General officers that currently serve as commanders in theater are totally out of touch with reality on the ground. The average 2-3 star General takes about 25-30 years to pick that rank up. Now, if you do the math, those Generals would be roughly Lieutenant Colonels or Colonels when the war on terror kicked off. This would mean that they are at the Battalion and Regiment levels of command at that time. For those that don't know, Battalion Commanders (BN CO's) in the war on terror (especially Afghanistan) hold zero sway over what happens in their Area of Operations (AO). The Company Commanders (Captains) are the guys that make the hard decisions and act like pseudo emmissaries to the civilians in their AO. The only policies or decisions made by the BN CO are of the punitive and restrictive nature ie don't wear bandannas under your helment, clean your uniform, no shooting pin flares at vehicles to warn them, etc. This is the only influence they can have over the distributed type warfare required in Iraq and more so in Afghanistan. Everything centers on, at the most, platoon maneuvers. So you see, as these guys get promoted, they only thing they take away from their experience in country is what their Company CO's tell them. Company CO's, while not cowboys, are not usually fully invested in the Marine Corps or Army machine yet. Many still don't know if they will make a career of it and their focus is winning, not careerist. So, in turn, they don't tell everything they did to their careerist BN CO because he will then fire them for their "cowboyesque" tactics, techniques, and procedures. So, this safety bubble the BN CO's think they are in, the bubble of dictating when you need a haircut, who has to go into a Key Leader Engagements, etc is carried with them as they are promoted. Unfortunately, as they are promoted, those stupid archaeic ideas are implemented on larger and larger groups of Marines or soldiers. In turn, you get pinheads like Maj Gen Gurganus saying "theres a new sheriff in town" like he's going to change the entire war with his stupid rules. If guys like him only knew how guys like me gaff off his rules, he'd realize how helpless he is.

Billy the Kid

DP Veteran
Feb 16, 2012
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Wanted to say I agree with your post. This was a stupid decision on the part of the "higher ups". Thanks for your service.
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