If privates ruled the world

Today: +1
Days Rated: 115
Average Day: 2.08

The current Army is populated by three groups. Officers, who come up with big ideas. NCOs, who figure out how to get these ideas accomplished, and Joes, who do all the work. Being a member of the third group for most of my army career, I am naturally predjudiced in favor of my fellow enlisted drones. However, all three groups are necessary. Pretend the mission is to defend Anchorage, Alaska against an impending terrorist attack.

If there were only officers in the army:
A plan would be devised. It would be given an acronym like “CONFACT”. Oporders would be produced. Catchy code names for different parts of the operation would be developed. The radio would be abuzz with chatter like “Ferret6, this is Marmot7, Broken Arrow, repeat, Broken Arrow.” A more detailed plan would be written. A 1/3 scale model of Anchorage would be constructed and decorated with colored twine, post-it notes and plastic soldiers. Humvees full of officers, politicians and reporters would drive through the city and use a loudspeaker to reassure the populace that they were safe from terrorists, at which point, the terrorists would attack and destroy Anchorage.

If there were only NCOs in the army:
Everyone would immediately go home to their families. After spending one evening with their wives and children, a massive hunting/fishing trip would be organized. Boats, trucks, motorcycles and RVs would be marshalled, and a huge exodus of all military personnel would take place to a remote corner of Alaska, where it would be decided over cases of beer that if the terrorists want Anchorage and all the military dependents still there, they can have it.

If there were only joes in the army:
A massive, democratic meeting would take place beneath the flagpole, probably at night, and around a bonfire. Thousands of privates would arrive, toting weapons, in various combinations of military and civilian garb, some wearing facepaint. Rules would be established that only the person with the conch may speak. The meeting would soon descend into anarchy and sporadic gunfights. At the conclusion of the meeting/tribal council/riot, fifty percent of the soldiers would decide to place themselves on leave (desert) and make their way back to their homes in the lower 48 as quickly as possible. The other half would converge on Anchorage in a swarm, raping, pillaging and looting, then burn it to the ground. The terrorists would quickly and fearfully choose another target.


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