How Armies Work

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Submitted by Richard Albarino (United States), Jan 10, 2022 18:18

I was drafted during the Berlin crisis and sent to the reconstituted 1st Armored Division in Fort Hood, Texas. As a college graduate with two degrees and some experience as a newspaper reporter and filmmaker, I was assigned to the Public Information Office at Corps level as an editorial staffer on the post newspaper. I also wrote the highly political Commanding General's speeches and nurtured his public profile. I had the run of the division with four photographers, still and motion, and additional writers. I was the only enlisted man of forty thousand troops with his own jeep and driver. I was privileged. The line officers who were above me, one an artillery officer with a bad back, were totally dependent on me. My access to the General gave me unimaginable (to civilians) power. I had the general's ear. Consequently, everything Army was open to me and I got a Ph.D. in Army. One of the things I learned is that unofficially all Armies worldwide preserve and protect their talented managerial personnel from dangerous frontline duty. They are rarely frontline grunts. Why? Initially, when WWI started, Britain had an all-volunteer Army. Those with the biggest stake in the society, the most rewarded, most educated, were the most likely to volunteer. The casualties in WWI were horrendous. Britain never truly survived WWI. The nation was robbed of its managerial class in the war. Nations around the world learned this lesson. Norman Mailer, who was an enlisted man in WWII as well as a Harvard graduate told me that his biggest struggle was to remain a frontline grunt so that he could write "The Naked and the Dead" from direct experience. Preservation of the skilled and necessary is a national policy, unfairly, ,the rest are what is grimly and coldly are regarded as "cannon fodder."

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Other reader comments on this item

Title By Date
⇒ How Armies Work [303 words]Richard AlbarinoJan 10, 2022 18:18
Theodore Roosevelt Jr [11 words]David P KuhJan 9, 2022 18:21
Same is said about Vietnam [47 words]David KuhJan 9, 2022 18:16
One SDided War [27 words]David WeinkrantzJan 9, 2022 17:53
Correct [12 words]John GillisJan 9, 2022 17:25

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