Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Special Farces

army mechanic
army cook

Throughout my life I have meet many interesting people. Being an ex-paratrooper I love to talk to veterans. But in the past ten years I think that I have run into a statistical anomaly. Let me give you some background. First of all, Special Operations Forces constitute maybe 5-7 percent of the total structure of the armed forces. These are the nations elite, the funny thing is that the majority of people that I run into claim to be ex special forces soldiers, and to take it a step further somehow they all seem to be snipers. There was a saying in the army that says that for every combat soldier in the field there are 7 soldiers to support him. So the question is where are all the cooks and mechanics? Now I will be the first to admit that parachute infantrymen think that the world revolves around them and that the sun rises and sets on Ft. Bragg NC. Personally I cannot thank all of the cooks, mechanics, medics, parachute riggers and finance clerks who worked hard to take care of us so that we could focus on our training. There is nothing like a hot meal in the field when it is freezing outside or a truck ride back to the barracks instead of walking back. So to all of you who served in support roles THANK YOU you are the best.
The problem with these "special farces" soldiers is that they are dishonest and it belittles the role of support troops who make everything happen. Most of these "special farces sniper" types probably never served in the military but have seen lots of war movies. Usually if I press them for a few details that only those in the know have knowledge of they quickly back away and give me a wide berth as they suddenly figure out that I am on to them. Ask Martha and Rachael about the 18 year old "Coast Guard ensign" from SC who said he was the captain of a cutter. I knew he was blowing smoke so I asked "is it a 19 ft or a 21 foot ship" he confidently replied "it's a 19 footer" A 19 foot Coast Guard Cutter! Look them up they are pretty big ships. I know it's kind of mean but my Grandma always said that I have a devilish sense of humor.
I guess the problem that I have with all of this is that I hate embellished stories. I was raised by men (Dad, Larry and Pa) who had the right to brag about their athletic or military skills but they always spoke the truth about it and I appreciate that in a person. I never fired a shot in anger in defense of our country so I would never take credit for something that I did not do. It would only serve to take away from those who have done so.


kareng said...

Thanks for giving the Services/Mechanics a prop. I know that Pat sometimes wishes he was a mechanic; but def wouldn't claim any special forces experiences! Sometimes folks leave out the integrity part of the saying. It is a shame, but all the jobs are to work for the good of the unit. (Pray for Pat, working 12hr/6day a week to feed "Red Flag" and fix up the base for various inspections/awards!)
BTW: It is good to probe and require the truth of folks!

Rachael said...

Yeah, I remember ole "Pork Chop." He really freaked me out. As I recall you had to distract him while we fled to the truck. He was SO full of it. He stepped over the line when he told me he was so good at giving IV's that he wished I would get sick so he could give me one. I almost had to give him and IV...

Diana said...

DEAD RIGHT!! You go, Mike! It appears that many mange-y, shiftless men are feeling the lack of vision and courage from their aimless lives, and see what they REALLY would like to be (and have) in those of you who serve(d).

babyarnie said...

Karen, one of Mike's fav pastimes is watching people squirm when they are lying. It's too painful for me to watch!!

And as for ole "pork chop" (the guy Mike refered to).... he had the worlds WORST pickup line I'd ever heard. " I sure wish you would faint so I could give you an IV". Really we aren't kidding.

Joy said...

good post mike!

83rocketscientist said...


The only problem is that you did not include a picture of me titled "Rocket Scientist"!