Sat, 18 Jan 2003 05:53:03 +0000
So you guys still let Bolcer post here, huh? And I always thought this list
had some class. Ha!
"No War in Irak"
That kills me. Before the last Gulf War, one of the "we support our troops"
demonstrators outside the Ventura County Courthouse had a placard that said
"Our viewer demographic doesn't have much education so they tend not to
share an interest in international affairs."--ABC spokesman at a press club
meeting aired by C-Span, answering a charge that international affairs
coverage by the big three New York-based networks has sunk to an all-time
Columbia University, once the nation's preeminent school of journalism,
conducted a poll last week amongst its graduate journalism students asking
them what area of journalism needs more coverage by the press/media.
#1 response: celebrity-related news
#2 response: international affairs
I wrote a piece for the Ranger web ring last year germane to a couple of the
FoRK issues at hand, but I can't find it for the life of me. Anyway, it had
to do with my CO (commanding officer) in Vietnam, a West Point graduate
named David Ohle who went on to become a War College graduate, an MBA, and a
three-star general at the Pentagon. His job at the Pentagon was head of
personnel for the US Army. He's retired from the military now and sits on
the board of Shell Oil Company.
His last job at the Pentagon was a tough one, because amongst a bevy of
other headaches plaguing military personnel during the Clinton
administration, he'd been assigned the task of trying to induce IT
scientists to stay in the military since IT scientists are the single
professional skill slot the military needs most, yet these people are the
ones the military has the most difficult time keeping. The problem exists
across the board in the military, the US Air Force being the single branch
suffering most from a paucity of career IT scientists, though in
technological sophistication, the army is catching up. The reason IT
scientists don't make a career of the military are threefold:
* Like Rodney Dangerfield, IT scientists don't get no respect. This seems to
be their chief complaint when asked why they leave the military after a
* As one poster already alluded, the current well-entrenched road to
advancement in the military usually requires that an officer have combat
experience, a prospect highly unlikely for IT scientists. The Pentagon is
full of generals who led men in battle, yet very few scientists are to be
found in a uniform sporting stars on its epaulets.
* Money. It's that simple. These people can generally make two or three
times as much money in the private sector as they can in the military, yet
for most IT scientists leaving the military after a single hitch, money
still ranks behind career advancement as a stated reason for them ditching
the military. If IT scientists could be shown that the military is willing
to make a paradigm shift in its traditional thinking insofar as how officers
are promoted, many would stay in the military in spite of the lower pay,
since the military offers a plethora of benefits that for many young
officers adds balance to the overall career picture.
Change comes slowly in the military. Five thousand years of doing things
according to a rule book that hasn't varied much over the eons isn't going
to happen overnight. During the Clinton administration, when the military
budget was cut by 40%, the prospect of offering IT scientists inducements
like "professional pay" just wasn't in the cards. Nuclear submarine
commanders for instance, are given $60,000 - $100,000 bonuses for each
six-year hitch they agree to stay on in the navy. Since it costs the US
taxpayer well over two million dollars to train such an individual, it makes
sense to offer them inducements to stay in the military. Physicians with
specialties are offered similar financial inducements to stay in the
military, as are other select MOS slots (military occupational
specialties), yet congress has approved no such specialty pay allocation for
IT scientists as yet.
That has to come soon. Drones are taking the place of manned aircraft and
robots are taking the place of the grunt -the infantry foot slogger. By
century's end, our military will be unrecognizable from what military
establishments have been for five thousand years previous, and it won't be
the West Point good ol' boys running the show then. Not a chance. A new rank
will be well established by 2099. Not the four stars worn by the Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff. No. Not the five stars of the field marshal
either. Not a chance.
This new rank will hold the equivalent of six stars(!), hell, maybe even
seven stars(!!), yet those who hold such rank won't be recognizable from the
shiny bobbles such generals wear today -those little silver stars adorning
one's collar flaps. Uh uh. This new rank's insignia will consist only of
icons plastic and gooey: one OD (olive drab) DDD-453242-YHH-543434322
government issue camouflage pocket protector, and a three-inch length of
DDD-453241-YHH543434321 OD (olive drab) government issue eye glass nose
bridge repair kit duct tape. The military standard "yes sir" and "no sir" of
today will become anachronisms of course, supplanted by a more venerable
display of respect. This orchestration will likely consist of thrusting
forward one's right arm while smartly clicking together one's boot heels
while barking out in resounding hall-ringing robust echoed mantra, "Heil
Geek! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! Heil Geek! Heil Geek! Heil Geek!"
The new MSN 8 is here: Try it free* for 2 months