posted on May, 30 2008 @ 07:35 AM
posted by xpert11
The second issue is Bush poor leadership has lead the US military being overstretched and arguable to near breaking point . Due to the fact the US
military should remain a direct arm of the US government the private sector has no business in having such a wide spread role in the workings of the
US military .
Maybe you are right, Mr X11. Maybe my problem is that I was there at the beginning. Maybe that is why I am ill-disposed towards elite units. SAC -
the Strategic Air Command - was the elite unit of the Air Force. Gen. Curtis E .Lemay. As part of an incentitive to get the best in the AF to seek to
be part of SAC, he managed to get the Food Service Squadrons to hire local civilians to do the Kitchen Police - KP - duty that normally fell to the
Lower 3 grades of EM to do. E1 to E3.
That was not entirely novel. All Air Force bases outside the US used local civilians in that task as well as others, such as policing the grounds of
the Air Base. Inside the US - called the Zone of Interior - ZI - already NCO Clubs where many upper grades (E5 to E9) ate at subsidized prices - and
always the Officers Clubs - also subsidized - had employed civilian workers to do the all manual labor.
The word soon spread among the AF’s lower ranks that the much dreaded KP duty (usually once every 6-8 weeks) was no longer required in the SAC. That
had the desired effect. About the same time - mid 1950s - The ATC - Air Training Command - was having trouble retaining instructors and so, they
adopted the same program of replacing military with civilians in the Food Service.
Unfortunately it was an historical miscasting of jobs that led to this. Every soldier and airman wants to eat 3 meals a day. Feeding the troops is one
of the most important jobs in the military. But somehow the job of Food Service was denigrated and misfits were put into those units. Promotions were
slow. Morale was poor to bad. One bad decision on top caused more disenchantment at the bottom which in turn justified - in the leaders minds - their
earlier decision to use Food Service an Motor Pools - mainly truck drivers - as a catch-all for otherwise non functional men. Well, I hope you can see
the history of this. Mixing military and civilians.
I believe our total military personnel numbers 1.3 million. To get done all those chores we now “outsource” would require another 300,000 men
(and women). If we paid them on average $30,000 per year, that would be less than $10 billion a year. Add a like sum for their fringe benefits,
housing and clothing and I see a trivial expense item of $20 b. a year to go back to doing it the OLD WAY. Under the OLD WAY, the military commanders
have DIRECT control over the performance of the soldiers under them. And more important they have DIRECT responsibility for getting the job done
When you try something and it does not work, then you need to quit that and try another thing.