Loyalty in the Army and in Life
W. Edwards Deming Dept.

 

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=== Nathan says, re: the US military ===

The idea is put forward that the Army is not acting exclusively in its self-interest when training, paying, and feeding the Soldier. 

This may not be the appropriate forum, but could you expand on these premises? I'd genuinely like to explore this.

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=== Jeff says, re:  the US military ===

Sure.  First topic - Have you served?

Let's start with:  who are the people you have best known, who have had honorable careers in the U.S. armed forces?  Could you tell us a little bit about those people?

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=== Nathan says ===

I have not served. My father served in the Air Force in his younger years. He was mostly absent from my life but is, on the whole, a good man. My father-in-law (the man I admire most in life) is a career marine and is currently making his living as an instructor at a military academy. To keep this short, he's a great man. My wife's ex served in the army and I would consider his overall worth to be less than ideal. : )

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=== Jeff says, re:  the US military ===

There we go.  My experience has been similar.  The Servicemembers I have known have been a cross-section of society generally.  Most of them are good men (and women), and some of them are bozos.

The same is true at Boeing.  The same was true in my 11th-grade class.  The same is true at the church where I work.  The U.S. Army is made up of people.  It's not a cyber-organism.  When you say "the Army cares about its Soldiers" or "Boeing cares about its employees" you are saying that the Major cares about people, that the District Manager cares about people.  Which they do.

..........

One of my best friends, a guy named Ed, is a crusty old drill sergeant who, one time after his recruits had a lousy day at the range, walked them all into the shower and punched them one by one.  He got busted down in rank and put at a recruiting station.

But he was a good man, and he cared about the young men he trained, and he wanted to make the world a better place.  That guy IS the Army, and he wasn't acting exclusively in his self-interest when he trained recruits.  He was living his life according to his beliefs.

If Ed had been in a firefight in Jordan, and one of his men caught a bullet, you think Ed would have carried his man out on his back, at risk to his own life?  You'd better believe it.  Why?  What do you think motivates him - and by extension, what motivates the Army?

You want rreeeaaaaallll inspiration, start with stories of Army heroism.  The guy in the picture above is an example.  In Afghanistan 2009, Staff Sgt. Romesha's position was overrun by the enemy.  Men around him dead and dying, his position ... um ... "tactically indefensible," Staff Sgt. Romesha dug in like a pit bull and "led the fight to protect the bodies of fallen Soldiers, provide cover to those Soldiers seeking medical assistance, and reclaim the American outpost."

The President said, "Throughout history, the question has often been asked, why? Why do those in uniform take such extraordinary risks? And what compels them to such courage? You ask Clint and any of these Soldiers who are here today, and they'll tell you. Yes, they fight for their country, and they fight for our freedom. Yes, they fight to come home to their families. But most of all, they fight for each other, to keep each other safe and to have each other's backs."

There's no end of these stories of loyalty.  Yet sometimes it seems that every Soldier, and commander, would do the same.  Is the Army strictly self-interested and exploitative?  Well, are the people IN it that way?

...........

More than 50 years ago now, W. Edwards Deming changed the face of Corporate America by convincing the CEO's of a very simple thing.

Nobody wakes up in the morning, driving to work, wanting to do a lousy job that day.

Once the CEO's were able to see this, the CEO's were able to place a tiny drop of trust and faith in their people, and to start giving them some respect.  To start treating them like fellow human beings.  I've known a college professor or two who could have done with a smmaallllll dose of this respect for the average American.

Sergeants in the Army don't wake up thinking about how they can do a lousy job that day.  Neither does Eric Wedge.  These guys love their wives, love their sons, and want to make the world a better place.  

You put a young man's life in their hands?  They're not hoping to ruin the young man's life.

Sure, the Seattle Mariners want to win.  They've got 15 guys who would like to be the starting catcher this spring, and they MUST tell 14 of them No.  But the Mariners would like to treat those 14 men well.

The Army wants to win its wars.  But the commanders in the Army would also like to see the young men, under their command, better themselves.  And go on to good lives.

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Comments

1
Nathan H's picture

::Nods::
Good points and applicable throughout life. Any invented entity doesn't *really* exist. People exist and it is people who shape a given circumstance. In that light, no, no entity can be exclusively one thing or another.
But these invented things, a country, a military organization, a Sunday brunch steering committee all are invented for a *purpose*. A group of people get together to decide what is the best way to accomplish a specific purpose and create an organization to accomplish it. The members of the organization that drive that organizational thinking, their thoughts and beliefs, direct the purpose of that organization. The policies enacted by an organization (in this case feeding, clothing, and training a soldier) are self-serving even if they also might have an ancillary benefit to the soldier. The army isn't in the business of creating good citizens, it's in the business of completing specific objectives by any means. The treatment of the soldier are a means to that end exclusively.
I don't know. You make good points in this article.

2

There are 300 million Americans milling around :- ) but when we add a Constitution, a flag, a territory, a set of laws, a tax system, we have a Nation.
There is the U.S. Senate, which forms when a gavel bangs, and there are U.S. Senators who go home and, apparently, work out with P90X.  That entity "U.S. Senate" exists.
That Senate, as an entity, "believes" in certain things, has a mission, correct?  It's not to fly to the moon or perform abortions or win the American League pennant.  It's to uphold the Constitution and provide expediencies toward life, liberty and happiness.  The Senate's "purpose" is identifiable.
..............
That the Army is NOT in the business of creating good men, I'll have to take the other side on that one.  Bat571, Lonnie, and others will take the other side also (as far as their branches go!).
It isn't Staff Sgt. Romesha alone who believes in Loyalty, Duty, and Honor.  Those are institutionalized Army Core Values.
To the extent the Army, as an institution, believes anything, it believes in Loyalty, Duty and Honor just like it believes in winning wars.  Ask the Servicemembers.
..............
You can say that it's in the Army's own interest to create men of good character, and you'd be right.  But it's in my own interest to make a good man out of my son.  It's in my own interest to send cash to poor people in the Philippines; I get self-esteem out of it, right?
... if I CHOOSE to sourly deny all my fellow human beings any credit for anything they do -- because you CAN always argue that I was self-motivated! -- then where will I end up?

3
Nathan H's picture

If I were to speak to the goals of military duty toward the individual, I'd be speaking from ignorance. I can defer to those who have served in this case. To those who have served, are Loyalty, Duty, and Honor instilled to make you a better person or because it would make you a better soldier?

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Chat: 7/31/15 11:03am
Interests: International (202399)
    Shouts update every 10 seconds.       
2015-08-01 00:04

I wish the Mariners would also use the straight on CF camera like the Twins feed. So much easier to digest and analyze pitches.

2015-07-31 22:42

"Of course they're relaxed. The season is over"

Yes, I think that's exactly right.
The quote that stuck out in my head most from over the winter was Lloyd's when he was repeatedly asked if he agreed the team would win even more than last year's 87. And he kept saying, "you don't start with 87--you start with zero."
So I give him credit for trying to dampen expectations. But I think the team didn't agree.

Maybe if we had started 8 and 5 rather than 5 and 8 they could have relaxed from the start. But they've been pressing throughout.

2015-07-31 22:25

Clean shaven Ackley 0 for 2 with a couple of groundouts. Not fixed yet.

2015-07-31 21:12

I wonder if the M's can get LoMo through waivers.

2015-07-31 21:06

I like the Blowers-Goldsmith combo.

2015-07-31 20:58

Iwakuma can be QO'd.

Morosi back in Feb:
@jonmorosi: So while Yoenis Cespedes is NOT eligible for a QO, Hisashi Iwakuma is. (Both will be free agents next offseason with 4 years of service.)

Cameron and others have confirmed he can be offered but Ms likely think an extension can be had cheaper.

2015-07-31 19:47

Good day in Seatle. Big W for M's.. Russell signs extension. Chancellor and Wagner being courted... then you got Bennett feeling salty, but hey..these things happen. Overall 12th man and king's court feeling good today.

2015-07-31 19:42

Of course they're relaxed. The season is over

2015-07-31 19:41

So far tonight Flores is 2-3 with a 2B in his Tacoma debut.

2015-07-31 19:41

you are not alone
I blame Happ and Ackley

2015-07-31 19:26

Is it just me, or does this seem like the first time all year they've looked relaxed?

2015-07-31 19:22

To me it looks like Montero has put on a FEW pounds. Glad to see him up and hitting, though.

2015-07-31 18:48

So glad montero production has been in AAA all year.

2015-07-31 18:42

More seriously though... If the hitting sticks, it'll just be more questions for Z. Why'd he leave him down so long? Etc., etc.

2015-07-31 18:32

If Thin Montero saves Jack's GMship... That would suck.

2015-07-31 17:58

Good Taijain is REALLY good.

2015-07-31 17:47

The marte excitement was short lived. He's and terrible as the rest of them.

2015-07-31 17:46

I do have to wonder why, facing a lefty, you give Marte the extra AB over Montero.

2015-07-31 17:25

Thank you icebreaker.. really dunno what it'll take to move these guys along.. they either got some dirt on someone..or are just plain likeable guys..? They surely haven't been staying around based on the product they are putting on the field.

2015-07-31 17:25

Her ya go Matt. http://www.bucsdugou...

2015-07-31 16:59

Without knowing much of anything, I'm looking forward to seeing how marte goes. About time someone hits the ground running.

2015-07-31 16:55

Jack sold about everything that could be sold. But not happy with the fact he's still around. The M's should have fired him and Lloyd after the AZ sweep. Other orgs actually worry about winning instead of hurting people's feelings.

2015-07-31 16:47

Definately excited to see Cano back. Last 11 games he has 5 hr 12 rbi and is batting nearly .400

2015-07-31 16:47

Each time I load this website now, I get an increasingly long list of SQL errors at the top in a pink box. Busch League, guys.

2015-07-31 16:24

For Iwakuma, I'm pretty sure it was a no-arbitration clause in his contract since it was before the QO system. The team can have control for 6 years as well, but that might also have been signed away in the contract to make him a full FA at the end of his contract.

2015-07-31 16:18

Interesting line-up tonight...glad to see Montero back. Hate Marte though...ugh

Dangit...I didn't realize Iwakuma couldn't be nontendered. I hope he will be willing to take a team-friendly deal.

2015-07-31 16:09

Looking forward to the game today. First time in a while

2015-07-31 15:35

It sounds like upper team officials already nixed Iwakuma deal...Espn crushed #Seattle in article as big loser during this trade period. I can see their point with limited return we got, but they also felt we should have traded away Iwakuma..instead of stopping a potential deal. Maybe it woukd have bore more fruit, but I'm glad he's staying..

2015-07-31 15:30

#International contracts come with their own clauses. Iwakuma has to be "non-tendered" at the end of his contract. You can't QO non-tendered players. Unless ownership changes I don't see a scenario where Iwakuma isn't back in #Seattle next year.

2015-07-31 15:23

I am not sure if he is up for qualifying offer or not, but probably doesn't matter as noone ever takes the qo anyway.

2015-07-31 15:11

All this trade talk is making my mouth water :)... better sooner than later.. make it happen

2015-07-31 14:42

Wasn't it reported that the Kuma is ineligible for the QO due to a provision in his contract?

2015-07-31 14:29

Sampson is a sinkerballer...he'll give up singles because he doesn't miss bats enough...nothing special, but the sort of guy you can plug in whenever you need a starter and get something competitive out of it.

2015-07-31 14:21

Sampson is a low HR, low K, mid-high H/9 guy. He's something to throw at the wall. Matt, I'm with you on Marte. He doesn't walk and has no pop....he needs to hit.300.

2015-07-31 14:08

OK...so now we can QO Kuma and #Jackson with confidence...so there's that...and we got an MLB-ready fringe BOR starter...so...there's that too.

2015-07-31 13:50

That's actually a decent pick-up and for low cost.

2015-07-31 13:45

Adrian Sampson

2015-07-31 13:34

Happ out? Wow. They that mad at him for tipping? What'd we get? I don't see anything on MLBTR

2015-07-31 13:22

Happ traded to Pirates. Can't say I blame 'em - playing his way out of QO position lately.

2015-07-31 12:53

Ketel of #Fish doesn't excite me at all.

2015-07-31 12:33

Marte with the call up. Will likely get some CF time. Would have preferred O'Malley.

2015-07-31 12:29

I like the hauls we got for both players we traded...really helps the minor league pitching depth and gives us an Endy Chavez-class fourth outfielder with upside to boot. So...nice work, Jack. Now don't let the door hit you in the tuckus on the way out.

2015-07-31 11:45

With the departures of Ackley and Lowe for prospects it is clear that the M's have given up on this season. Rightly so. But I sure hope some controls are in place to prevent Jack from making moves that are more than minor without serious review. His regime is surely doomed, and if so, one would think it wise to put any significant moves into the hands of a future GM.

2015-07-31 11:19

Brentz and Rasmussen the other two

2015-07-31 11:03

Wells should be in full-season ball next year at age 20. We'll see how he does. Looks like we're in the mode now of throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks.

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