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Field Manual 22-102  Headquarters

Department of the Army 1 April

WALL-TO-WALL COUNSELINGFM 22-102


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Wall-to-Wall counseling has been around longer than the American military.
Many famed units used it as their primary motivational tool, and some used nothing else. It’s still prevalent in many hardened military units.
The Spartans
The citizens of the city-state of Sparta, Greece, didn’t mess around. Wall-to-wall counseling was the order of the day among the Spartan. The Spartans believed in hard training and hard discipline, and wall-to-wall counseling is about the hardest kind of discipline that there is. The Spartans were feared both in war and at peace, and they worked hard to maintain their image. Babies were quality controlled at the time of their birth, and any not meeting the standards were put on the sides of mountains to die Needless to say, until the day when wall-to-wall counseling completely erased the desire of the citizens of Sparta to perpetuate the race, nobody screwed with these people.
Patton
General George S. Patton, the famed World War II tank corps commander was a great fan of wall-to-wall counseling. It showed in the, way he led his troops. He never used a kind word when a foul one would do just as well. One of his most famous wall-to-wall counseling sessions occurred in a field hospital Patton believed that combat fatigue was cowardice, and promised to shoot anyone exhibiting it. On a trip through a field hospital, he ran across a shell-shocked private. When the private claimed that he could hear the shells flying overhead but not exploding, Patton became furious He slapped the soldiers in the head, waved a loaded pistol in his face and called him a pussy. Then he ordered him back to the front to fight “so the brave soldiers in this hospital won’t be contaminated by this coward.” That Patton was not punished as severely as he should have been for this deed shows that wall-to-wall counseling has a place in the US Army.

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The South Korean Army
The Army of the Republic of Korea uses wall-to-wall counseling in its daily operation. It is sanctioned and approved by the Ministry of Defense. South Koreans feel that the harsher peacetime is, the less the soldier will notice the hardships of combat with North Korea Wall-to-Wall counseling rises to its zenith with the ROK discipline board This group wall-to-wall counseling session is convened for offenses that would result in punishment by court-martial in the US Army. The soldier walks into the discipline board. Is wall-to-wall counseled, and is carried out of the board, either on a stretcher or on ice. While US Army waIl-to-wall counseling is not likely to result in serious death to the soldier, the Korean discipline board is a model to be emulated by all US Army units.
When should you wall-to-wall counsel?
You should wall-to-wall counsel a soldier when he needs it And all soldiers occasionally need wall-to-wall counseling.
Determining when this most severe of leadership techniques is warranted requires the leader to intimately know his soldiers and be aware of when a soldier is far enough gone that a swat in the head is the only thing that will adjust his behavior.
Minor offenses
Simple infractions can be dealt with quickly by a simple ass-beating. Soldiers appreciate this, as it saves them the hassle of having to visit the commander for UCMJ action.
Lateness
Soldiers arriving late for military functions should be screened carefully before being wall-to-wall counseled. A soldier who has never before been late would not benefit from having the shit beat out of him; indeed, it will only destroy his motivation. A soldier who has been late for the past four months, on the other hand, is possibly incorrigible and a well-deserved ass-beating would not only be profitable, but enjoyable. Especially if the soldier has caused you to visit the company commander on less-than-friendly terms.
Incompetence
Soldiers who have proven themselves incapable of performing the demands of their chosen profession may indeed be candidates for wall-to-wall counseling. The source of their incompetence must be determined before harsh measures are implemented, though. If a soldier has just graduated from Initial Entry Training and has never performed his job, corporal punishment would not be a good idea. If, on the other hand, he has performed his MOS for the last two years and still does not know shit from Shinola, the soldier deserves his ass beat and it should be performed at the earliest possible opportunity.
Challenging or defying Authority
Soldiers who harass their leaders are prime candidates for ass-beating. In this case, the soldier should not be given an opportunity to try to pull anything on you the second time. If the soldier harasses or ignores you, kick the shit out of him. Enough said.
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Farting
Off Soldiers who fart off should be treated the same as those who fuck with their leaders. Any soldier found sleeping in the back seat of their vehicle in the motor pool instead of working on it should be immediately taken in front of his whole platoon and have the shit kicked out of him. No slack can be placed on soldiers of this nature. The rest of the platoon will appreciate you.
Major offenses
Soldiers found guilty of major transgressions will be punished by the military authorities.
A soldier who kills another soldier will probably be shot. However, long wall-to-wall counseling sessions prior to the arrival of the military police are appropriate in cases where the transgression was against another soldier, and are best conducted in the presence of the wronged soldier. If the wronged soldier is still alive, he or she should be invited to join in to the session, as he or she will feel that revenge is called for and participating in the session will help to heal mental wounds caused by the perpetrator.
Rape
No offense is as damaging to the victim as rape. Murder does not come close, since the victim is dead and knows nothing. A raped soldier will have psychological scars for the rest of his or her life. A male soldier who is the victim of a homosexual rape is especially damaged, and many commit suicide rather than live with this burden immediate wall-to-wall counseling is required, and it must be so severe that bones are broken. Dimension lumber must be used during this session, and the minimum length of the session is three hours. If any part of the rapist’s body has not been hit with the board, the session is not complete. At least one arm and one leg will be broken during the session and the testicles will be hit at least ten times.
Murder
Coming close to rape in its severity is murder. The victim will not be able to participate in the counseling, of course. A long counseling session with a baseball bat and jackboots will be initiated and will continue only until the perpetrator is unconscious. Then the murderer must be revived and beat on some more.
Arson
Arson, of course, affects us all. Besides the possibility of losing your life, seeing all your shit go up in smoke and having to sleep in the street for the next three years, arsonists steal unit morale, cohesion and esprit de corps. After all, if you can’t trust someone to not burn your place down, how can you trust him in a combat situation? Arsonists are very simple to counsel. They are to be placed in the burning building and the doors are to be locked.
Robbery, burglary and barracks thievery
These crimes also affect unit morale. When a soldier rips off your stuff, all you want to do is kill him. Well, if it’s your shit, go ahead and do him in. In fact, do more than that. If however, it wasn’t your shit he took, you should let the wronged do the little shit head. Popular punishments for barracks thieves include the soldier falling down the stairs twenty or thirty times. Soldiers have also been penned into their rooms and tear gas powder blown under the door with a hair dryer. Anything cruel is good barracks thieves. In fact, it is best if you hold a formation to make the entire battalion observe the barracks thief being killed. People who do shit like this do not deserve to live, as they are far below contempt. I would rather have Russians distroing message traffic than a barracks thief in the company. And I definitely do not want Russians pulling WSC.
Other serious offenses
There are many serious offenses that require only moderate amounts of wall-to-wall counseling.
These are normally simple offenses, but are compounded by their circumstances. WaIl-to-wall counseling is demanded before these things get out of hand.
Failure to make coffee for the dayhos
A coffeeless dayho is a grouchy dayho, and grouchy dayhos tend to think of stupid shit for us to do. Any trick worker aware that the dayho coffeepot is empty who does not take steps to remedy this condition will immediately be hit in the head with dimension lumber. If they do it twice, they will be sent to ORMA for the next six months to make coffee and type memorandums which forbid trick workers to breathe.
Excessive errors on reports
Reporters who make excessive errors on their reports cause extra work for their QCs. All reporters who are found to have made more than three errors on a report will be hit on the side of the head with a base ball bat.
Snobbishness
Some soldiers believe that they are God’s gift to the Army. They believe that they do not need to do Army things, like going to formation and doing PT. Some are so bad, they think they are better than their superiors. This is especially bad when the soldier in question is a college graduate and the super-visor is a high school graduate. These soldiers believe their leaders are bone headed morons and will not listen to them. Others believe that the only measure of a soldier is whether that soldier has been to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. The linguist-nonlinguist battle occasionally gets so bad that there are verbal abuses thrown around in several languages, none of them clean. What is the leader to do? The leader has no one to blame but himself if he does not use wall-to-wall counseling to correct this problem. A quick Jap slap will straighten out this bullshit before it gets any worse.
Determining when wall-to-wall counseling is inappropriate
Although an effective technique when properly used, there are some places where wall-to-wall counseling is the wrong thing to do.
Conducting a wall-to-wall counseling session in front of the 7th Army commander, for instance, would probably not be the wisest decision, as it would probably lead to the initiation of a relief for cause NCOER. However, the presence of high level VIPs should not be the only determinant in the decision to delay or withhold a wall-to-wall counseling session.
Soldier’s physical size
Always consider the size of the soldier before initiating a wall-to-wall counseling session. If the soldier is twice your size and his forearms are bigger than your thighs, and the soldier still requires wall-to-wall counseling, a partner will be required. Details on selecting a partner will be covered in the chapter titled “Preparing for a wall-to-wall counseling session.”
Soldier’s hobbies and interests
While leadership actions rarely require you to take into account the soldier’s hobbies, this is one place where knowledge of what the soldier does for fun may prove immensely helpful. If the soldier is heavily involved in kick boxing, martial arts or just happens to be the world heavyweight wrestling champion, a simple wall-to-wall counseling session may turn into a trip to the hospital for both the leader and his assistants. In such cases, restraint and discipline will prove profitable for all concerned.
Wall-to-wall counseling after drinking binges
Leadership actions should never be conducted while you are impaired by alcohol. Ass-beatings given after a six-pack have three drawbacks:
The soldier will not realize the purpose of the session. He will, instead, believe that you got wasted and beat the shit out of him for no reason whatsoever. You will lose respect m the soldier’s eyes as well as in the eyes of the rest of your unit. The soldier may decide to reciprocate and wall-to-wall counsel you at a later time on your transgression. Since wall-to-wall counseling is a tool only the wise leader who knows his troops intimately can properly use, its use by subordinates who may decide to rashly apply it is inadvisable.
The soldier may decide he has been assaulted and call the military police. Since the MPs take a dim view of leaders who get drunk off their asses and beat up on subordinates, you may find yourself facing a court-martial you never intended to face.
Perhaps most importantly, the leader may have gotten so drunk that the subordinate is able to turn the counseling session into a first-rate ass beating directed against the leader.
Since the hospital will treat your injuries as an “alcohol related incident,” they will call your commander (who may have never read this field manual) who will enroll you in the detox program. The detox program, especially if they put you on Track III (residential treatment facility) rates in the entertainment department right up there with getting checked for the clap.
When counselee is counselor’s sexual partner
In the section about conducting wall-to-wall counseling while under the influence of alcohol, we pointed out that the leader must know his troops intimately in order to effectively counsel them. When the leader knows the counselee too intimately, though, there are bound to be inherent problems with the session. First, you can safely figure that you will never again get into this lady’s pants after the session is done. Second, she will probably tell the commander what the two of you have been doing for the last six months, and then you will have some very heavy explaining to do. Third, but not least, she will tell every other female on post what you did, and then you will get no more pussy for the rest of the time you are stationed at that post…even in the red light district with a fifty dollar bill pinned to your jacket. Therefore, the best advice at this stage of the game is: don’t sleep with your subordinates.
Preparing for a wall-to-wall counseling session
More counseling sessions have been ruined by poor preparation than by anything else.
Wall-to-wall counseling is no different from any other counseling in this respect. However, wall-to-wall counseling imposes its own special considerations due to its violent nature.
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Dress for success–mean and lean
A leader must be properly dressed to gain the respect and confidence of his subordinates. A wall-to-wall counselor’s dress must also inspire confidence. The soldier must be very confident not only that he is going to get his ass beat, but that this man who is standing in front of him preparing to beat his ass is in fact the one who will do it. A military uniform is very much the wrong garment to wear to a waIl-to-wall counseling session, though. More radical dress is called for. A stop by a clothing store catering to members of the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club is in order. Basically, you want to look like Attila the Hun. Full leathers are good for extra protection should the soldier attempt to fight back. Proper jewelry is important. Spiked wristlets not only enhance the terror you want to instill in the soldier, but if properly weighted can increase the pain and damage which a sidearm blow to the solar plexus can cause. Wearing a large Eric the Red biker’s ring will not only make you look tough, but the half pound of metal it contains will increase the effectiveness of punches. Wearing a Hell’s Angels’ deaths-head earring, though, isn’t such a good idea. Although it’s an intimidating item, the counselee may grab it and pull, and then you are in a world of hurt. If you plan to conduct many wall-to-wall counseling sessions, interesting in some large tattoos of Vikings beheading people with blood-covered swords would be a good idea. Additionally, the pain endured while they are being done will toughen you up and make you a more effective counselor. Watching films like The Road Warrior; The Last Boys and Conan the Barbarian will give you more apparel ideas.
Location
The room in which waIl-to-waIl counseling sessions are conducted has a great deal to do with the success of the session. Not only do you not want to be interrupted during the session, but you do not any large objects behind which the soldier can hide or which the soldier can push you into and hurt you.
Modern construction standards, in which large amounts of sheet rock are used, have changed the face of waIl-to-wall counseling. When was were built of plaster and lath, you could bounce the soldier off the walls a few times, kick him in the nuts once or twice, swat him in the head and that would be the end of it There were no worries that the room would survive the counseling session, because you knew that it would. However, you can easily throw a soldier through a sheet rock wall. The Army will make you pay for any walls you damage during counseling. Therefore, you want a large, strong room to conduct your wall-to-wall counseling sessions in.
Before calling the soldier in for his wall-to-wall counseling session, inspect the room thoroughly. Make sure the door is of good quality and is equipped with a working door lock. The lock is important not only to keep the session from being interrupted prior to its conclusion, but also to hinder the soldier’s leaving prior to having received the full impact of the lessons you are teaching him. Try to find a room without any windows.
If this cannot be attained, windows placed high on the wail are acceptable. Not only will the lack of windows prevent others from looking in and observing the wall-to-wall counseling session, but if the session gets really intense, the soldier could accidentally push you into the window, breaking it and injuring you. The purpose of a wall-to-waIl counseling session is to impart the maximum learning and pain upon the counselee with the least amount of damage to the counselor’s body, and a glass shard in your ass is a poor reason to prematurely terminate a session.
However, in a windowless room lighting takes on prime importance. You need to see the soldier so that you know where to hit him next, and the soldier needs to see you hitting him. Make sure the lights work and that the light switch is covered with a piece of green tape to prevent the soldier from easily turning the lights off.
Inform the soldier
After the area is selected and prepared, but before you dress for the session, find the soldier inform him of the time and place of the session. Also give a reason for the session. Don’t approach the soldier and tell him “You’re a fuck up and I’m going to beat your ass at 1530 in the first sergeant’s office.” This puts the soldier on the defensive. Instead, tell the soldier “Meet me in the first sergeant’s office at 1530. I want to talk to you about your performance at NTC last month.” (You can tell him that he’s a fuck up and is going to get his ass beat when he gets to the first sergeant’s office.)
Find counseling assistants
You usually want to conduct wall-to-wall counseling sessions on a one-to-one basis. This is fine you’re counseling a 120 pound basic trainee who doesn’t know shit anyway. If, however, you’re counseling the captain of the Fort Hood Boxing Team and you are a 135-pound woman, you may want to get two or three assistants.
It is simple to find them. Visit the gymnasium and go to the weight room. If you see someone is there putting many fifty-pound plates on a bar and then doing curls and 20 bench presses then you’ve found your man. It’s even better if he is in your unit and hasn’t yet been instigated in an assault case.
If you can’t find anyone like that, though, look for boxers, wrestler or anyone else who fights for fun. The ideal waIl-to-waII counselor has a six-foot reach, fists the size of volleyballs, can bench 35-pounds, runs ten miles a day and has over 20 knockouts.
If you can’t get Mike Tyson to assist you in your counseling session, though, anyone who maxs his PT test would be good too.
The wall-to-wall counselor’s toolkit
Although many successful wall-to-wall counselors have conducted sessions using nothing but their bare hands, a small toolkit will ease your job, especially in those critical first few sessions.
A wall-to-wall counseling toolkit does not have to be elaborate or expensive. In fact, you probably have all materials in your unit right now, and all that it takes to use them is a little imagination.
Baseball bats
No leader can consider himself a wall-to-wall counselor without possessing a good baseball bat technique. A regulation baseball or softball bat is good. Wood or aluminum, short or long, any bat will do as long as it is not splintered. A splintered bat may break during those long swings. Viewing the film The Untouchables will give you ideas on baseball bat technique. You can invent new techniques as you go along.
Dimension lumber
Although dimension lumber is usually used in the same manner as baseball bats, other techniques for its use are easily devised. A two-by-four is a handy thing to have. Cut two of them. One needs to be three feet long, while the other should be four to five feet long. Drive six nails into the longer one so that the sharp ends of them stick out of the board. This is nailed high on the wall of the counseling morn and is primarily there for shock effect.
If a baseball bat is also available, have your assistant grab the counselee’s arms and pull them be-hind his back. Place the board even with the elbows, pull the arms dawn to the body and secure with green tape. This prevents the soldier from attempting to assault his leader.
If two-by-twelves can be obtained, get one about six feet long. While it is not suitable for swinging, the counselee can be secured to it with green tape, lifted high in the air with the aid of your assistant and dropped.
Pool cues
Pool cues are quickly falling out of favor among the modern wall-to-waIl counselor. It is still effective for barroom brawls when the proprietor will not allow you to bring in your toolkit. It is also good for when immediate wall-to-wall counseling is called for and you can’t go out to your car to get a tire iron or a jack handle.
The pool cue sits in a strange and unenviable position among weapons: If held so that it can do some good, it is easily broken; if it is held so that it will not break during blows, it is not long enough to do much good. It is also more expensive than either a two-by-four or a baseball bat. In all, the baseball bat is a much more satisfying tool than the pool cue.
Restraints
Although wall-to-wall counseling is much more challenging and rewarding when a soldier is free to move and fight back, many counselors prefer the expediency of beating someone’s ass while he is tied up.
By taping the arms to the sides as detailed in the Dimension Lumber section, counseling may be accomplished quicker and with less hassle. Many items may be used for restraints; here we list but a few.
Handcuffs
Available at all police supply stores, handcuffs are an easy, effective way to restrain the counselee. Two pairs should be used if no assistant is available. One end of the cuffs is attached to the soldier, the other to a pipe or other support. The soldier may also be hand cuffed to an object by putting his hands behind the object and the cuffs snapped on from there. The new “cable-tie” style handcuff is a cost-effective and useful restraint. It is usually long enough to secure the feet and is available for mere pennies. Its only drawback is that it is only usable once; it must be cut off cut off after the session and thrown away.
Green tape
The Army standby, green tape, better known as hundred-mile-an-hour tape, is effective as a short-term restraint, providing the soldier is not strong enough to break it. It is available in several widths; the standard 2″ width is sufficient for most soldiers. The almost-unobtainable 6″ width is not good for wall-to-wall counseling due to its extreme width and liability to twist at the slightest provocation. It is also more expensive.
Ropes
Ropes are only marginally acceptable as restraints, but are good for tying the soldier to trees in the field and for dangling him from fire escapes by the ankles or wrists. If the counselor intends to hang the soldier from a fire escape, though, special care must be taken in the selection of the rope to insure that the weight of the soldier will not break the rope and cause him to land on his head and die. Army issue rappelling rope is the best obtainable wall-to-wall counseling rope due to its high strength and easy availability.
Conducting the wall-to-wall counseling session
Wall-to-wall counseling can be conducted in many ways.
For on-the-spot counseling, a quick swat across the back of the head with a closed fist or a slap in the face will probably be sufficient. For prolonged periods of misconduct by the soldier, prolonged periods of wall-to-wall counseling are in order. All wall-to-wall counseling sessions, though, are notable for their intensity and aggressiveness. The counselor should have a broad range of counseling methods available to him. He would be wise to study boxing manuals for additional suggestions. Enrolling in a martial arts class would also be a good idea, if he has the time to spare. In addition to improving counseling skills, the martial arts teach patience, discipline and self-control…all desirable traits for any leader.
Basic blows
The basic blows used in wall-to-wall counseling are the jab, hook, uppercut and knee to the nuts. These are also basic street fighting techniques
Jab
The jab is performed by pulling the closed fist back and striking the counselee with a generally straight motion. It is a quick and handy technique. Which will find much use in your daily counseling.
Hook
A hook is a sideways-curving stroke. It may be performed with either hand. It is best to know which hand the counselee prefers, so that you can use the same band to hit him with. In this manner, the danger of the counselee blocking your shot is greatly reduced. It is another blow which will prove itself worthy of inclusion in your counseling repertoire.
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Uppercut
Similar to the book, the uppercut is an upward-curving stroke. It is best used on the solar plexus and the jaw. If the counselee sticks his tongue out at you, the best cure is a swift upper-cut. If you are sufficiently forceful, you can succeed in clipping off the counselee’s tongue, and therefore prevent him from talking back, at least until they sew it back on. Although a good blow, the jab and hook are generally more useful and therefore should receive more of your training hours. However, the uppercut will find use in your sessions, and so you must be prepared to use it.
Knee in the nuts
Needless to say, this doesn’t work very well with female soldiers! However, most wall-to-wall counselees are male, and on them it is probably your most effective blow. Just flex the knee upward until it hits the balls. Alternately, if you can get your foot up that high, you can kick them in the balls with it. If you have performed this hard enough, the counselee will immediately drop to his knees. It will be the only blow you will need. If the soldier does not drop to his knees, you are counseling either an extremely flat and ugly woman or a eunuch. In neither case will this blow work, and in both cases you have just entered a world of shit.
Advanced blows
Advanced blows include the Jap slap, boot to the head and tool techniques. These are effective, but more-limited, counseling techniques.
Jap slap
Everyone has seen karate movies, How can the jap slap, which is performed by slapping the soldier on one side of the face and immediately following it with a backhand to the other side of the face, be considered an advanced move? Simple. Both blows must be of equal intensity to have the greatest effect. If one blow knocks the head out of the socket, the other must put it back in. The backhand is usually the most intense blow, and is performed last. It takes much practice to make them equal.
The ideal object to practice with is the heavy punching bag found in all Army gymnasiums. On any given day, you will find many wall-to-wall counselors practicing their Jap slaps against this bag, so you may need to wait in line. Rest assured that the wait is well worth it.
If your unit’s leaders embrace wall-to-wall counseling as a common leadership technique, you may be able to convince the Unit Fund Council to install its own heavy bag. If you are in an in an infantry unit or are in charge of many O5Ks, though, the sheer number of counselees will provide sufficient opportunity to practice and hone your technique. Still, there is no substitute for the heavy bag. Not even an 05K can rep lace it, though some of the new ones come dose.
Boot to the head
This is just what it sounds like…you kick the standing soldier in the side of the head with your foot. Whether you have a boot on will depend on the circumstances. If you are counseling a soldier during a field problem, you most definitely will have on a boot, and the extra mud caked in the sole will enhance the effectiveness of the blow. If, however, you find a soldier smoking grass in the barracks, you may not have a boot on, though you might want to go put one on. In fact, you might not have anything at all on. It’s obvious why this is an advanced blow: can you raise your foot six feet in the air without falling on your ass? Martial arts training is a definite asset to counselors employing this technique.
Tool techniques
These include baseball bat blows, dimension lumber work, and chains. They also include the use of restraints. They are easy to use but also require great discipline to ensure that the soldier survives the counseling. No directions will be given here. We leave that for the counselor to figure out for himself. Creativity is one of the hallmarks of a good leader.
Using these techniques
Wall-to-wall counseling is much like any other counseling.
You choose the place, inform the counselee, meet him there, counsel him until his problem is solved and conduct follow-up actions. In wall-to-wall counseling, though, how you determine when his problem is solved is when he screams for mercy. Then you hit him once or twice more to reinforce the counseling session and make sure the problem stays solved, and only then end the counseling session.
Determining how much wall-to-wall counseling is enough
The successful wall-to-wall counselor needs to be able to determine how much wall-to-wall counseling to give. A soldier who misses one formation can be sufficiently counseled by hitting them once in the back of the head. A soldier who missed every formation since he arrived at the unit two years ago, however, will require counseling with dimension lumber and a baseball bat. The counselor will quickly learn the proper amount of counseling to give.
Of course, if the soldier is a rapist, robber or murderer, just start your wall-to-wall counseling session and continue until the military police arrive.
Follow-up actions
No counseling is complete without follow-up actions. This is especially true in wall-to-wall counseling. Following up a wall-to-wall counseling session is covered in the chapters entitled “Triage” and “Legal problems.”
The counselor should be prepared to wash his hands of the whole matter, especially if the session drew blood. The counselor should, therefore, place a bar of Lava soap in the latrine prior to the session. Its gritty consistency will remove all traces of blood from your fingers, and it will help to dean off your baseball bat, too.
Triage
The soldier may need immediate medical attention following a wall-to-wall counseling session, especially if you used a baseball bat during it.
If the soldier is a true fuck up, broken bones, internal injuries and hemorrhaging may have occurred. Inspect the soldier to make sure he is still conscious, still breathing and does not appear to have any external damage or signs of internal damage (blood or cranial fluid leaking from the ears is generally a sign that the counseling session was a little too thorough). One of the three is generally sufficient. If the soldier can still move following the session, immediately restrict him to his room. If he is not breathing and will not obey a direct order to resume breathing, perform rescue breathing and then beat his ass some more after you revive him. If his heart stops, apply CPR and then recounsel him for inability to remain alive during a counseling session. Not hitting the soldier right over the heart or the top of the head may cut down on the frequency and severity of death among your counselees.
If the soldier beats your ass during counseling, though, there is little you can do. If you aren’t fucked up too badly, you can just lick you wounds and hope the bruises heal before your wife sees you. If you need to be ambulanced off to the hospital, though, you can tell the judge that the soldier hit you first. If the judge believes your integrity (and he should…after all you outrank the soldier who kicked your ass. If you don’t, you may be in deep kimchi…) you should be all right, especially if the soldier actually did hit you first If you hit the counselee first and he still beat you up, then you need to spend more time in the gym.
Legal problems
Some unenlightened legal personnel, including the MPs and JAG, may not have read this manual.
Therefore, they might not recognize the corrective nature of your actions and instead term them “brutal, heartless assault,” which is also true. The solution to this problem is preparedness: Requisition sufficient copies of this manual so that everyone on post that can legally fuck you over can have one. Once these people have read this manual, they will respect you for having made the wise and just decision to wall-to-wall counsel.
If, on the other hand, you are dumb or overanxious and hold a wall-to-wall counseling session without having made the proper preparations, you need to be prepared for the worst. Simply bring this manual to your court-martial. After the judge reads it, you are certain to be acquitted.
There is one very large proviso, though: if you have to bring the soldier back from the dead as a result of your wall-to-wall counseling session, however, you are up shit creek and have no paddle. If you succeed in killing the soldier and he stay dead no matter how strict your order to resume living is, then you way be certain that you are going to jail. In this case, you will not get fucked with too badly. Just inform all the inmates that you are in jail because you beat another man to death with your bare hands and no one will even think about touching or going near you. No one likes the idea of being the next in line.
Special circumstances
Wall-to-wall counseling is an effective leadership technique when it is properly applied.
Unfortunately, not every situation is the same. What works well in one instance way get you killed under other circumstances. We present some sample situations for your perusal and study.
Armed soldiers
Soldiers who are armed (for example, military police) with loaded weapons present special challenges and problems to the wall-to-wall counselor. The problem is the gun. “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is a favorite slogan of the National Rifle Association. No shit. However, the gun is going to be used to kill you if you start beating on the soldier who has it. Therefore, the first step in this counseling session is to get the gun away from the soldier. If the soldier will voluntarily surrender his gun, he is a disciplined individual. He is also a stupid motherfucker. If the soldier is dumb enough to give you his gun, he deserves to have his ass beat. If the soldier is not dumb enough to give you his gun you will be forced to take it from him. The best things to use for this are larger guns and partners. Your partner can hold the soldier from behind in a full-nelson while you relieve the soldier of his lethal burden. If you have no partner, larger guns are handy. If the soldier carries a .38-caliber revolver, pull out a .45 auto. If the soldier has a .45, you need an M-16. If he has an M-16, you need an M-60 machine gun (If the soldier is the gunner on a Vulcan, Chaparral missile system or field artillery piece, you’re really fucked…) Once the soldier is free from things that can kill you, feel free to beat the living fuck out of him.
Lieutenants
Most lieutenants require daily wall-to-wall counseling for the first three years of their Army career. Unfortunately, the Army frowns on beating up lieutenants in your chain of command. In fact, it disapproves of beating up any lieutenants. Something about them outranking you. Therefore, the easiest solution is to find someone in another unit to come over in civilian clothes and counsel your lieutenant.
Dayhos
Dayhos a-re especially fun to wall-to-wall counsel because they act like they are God. In fact, God has decreed that we beat up dayhos whenever they fuck up. For some, this is two or three times a day. For others, it’s hourly. And then you have the dayhos who are really stupid mother fuckers. The only distinction you need to make is whether the dayho out ranks you. If he does not, feel free to beat the holy shit out of them. If they do on rank you, only counsel them once a day, whether they need it or not They usually do.
Civilians
The problem with wall-to-wall counseling civilians is that there are actually such a thing as civilian policemen, and they will actually throw you in a civilian jail where you will be immediately considered fresh meat and fucked right up the ass by some AIDS-infested Hell’s Angel, and then you will die. Therefore, it may be a good idea to bring the civilian on post, where civilian cops have no jurisdiction. Then you are more than welcome to work them over in any manner you like. A big secondary problem is that some civilians carry guns and/or do drugs. People carrying guns fall into two categories: those who are members of the police and those who are not. Those who are police are generally more disciplined but are better trained in the use of their guns. This means that they might not shoot at you but will definitely hit you if they do. Drug pushers, bank robbers, murderers and other common rabble will probably shoot at you but may not hit you. Unfortunately, some well-heeled cruds are buying black market submachine guns and carrying them under their jackets. These guns, whose ranks include the Uzi and the Ingram MAC-10, are equipped with large-capacity magazines and can pump out more lead per minute than an M-60 machine gun. When the criminal pulls one of these, he will use it to hose down targets of opportunity, which in this case means you.
If you feel the urge to wall-to-wall counsel a drug dealer, use a shotgun. It’s easier and faster. It does make a mess, but you can console yourself with the fact that you are helping to make America a safer place.
Wall-to-wall Career Counseling
Every leader has been through it. We all know the soldier who can’t seem to make up his mind as to what he wants to do with his life. One day he wants to be an Airborne Ranger. Two days later he wants to go to DLI to study Urdu. And the next week he wants to get out of the Army and grow marijuana in 0regon. What do you do? What can you say? This is what you do and what you say.
When the soldier makes the eighteenth decision on the same day, you take him behind the racks, grab his collar, slam him into a rack door, and yell in his face, “What the fuck are you doing? Make up your God-damned mind what you want to do! Now!” In those words, and at the top of your voice. Swat him twice across the head for GP and put him back to work. I can more than guarantee he will decide to stay in the Army within ten minutes and figure out what he wants to do within twenty minutes, especially if you inform him you are going to kick his ass some more in an hour if he does not.
Wall-to-wall child care and upbringing
There is no parent alive or dead who has not been faced with a child who wants to do nothing but cause his parents and everyone around him grief. From their incessant “Momma, can I have a puppy?” whine to the temper tantrums they throw when they’re not allowed to stay up to watch Behind the Green Door on the Playboy Channel at three in the morning, their entire life seems to be designed to piss off everyone around them. And the worst part is that they don’t learn when you spank them. In fact, some of the more incorrigible youths of today seem to become more rebellious when you spank them or ground them. And with the overcrowding in our prisons as bad as it is, having the police pick them up usually won’t help, as they’ll be released on their-own recognizance in an hour.
However, there is an easy, quick way to deal with your frustrations and anxieties caused by the upbringing of undisciplined little brats. Needless to say, it involves wall-to-wall counseling. First, leave this manual on the coffee table so that they can read it and learn what you will do to them the next time they fuck up. Then, next time they make even the slightest slip, let them have it with both barrels. Baseball bats, dimension lumber, hundred-mile-an-hour tape, bare fists, anything you can think of is good. The only thing you need to be aware of is that wall-to-wall counseling a child to death is quite a bit easier than with that private you hit in the privates this morning. So go a little easy on them But just a little.
“It shouldn’t hurt to be a child,” the AFN commercial admonishes. Well, it shouldn’t hurt to be a parent, either! After you wall-to-wall counsel your children two or three times, your life will become much easier. And if you counsel your little girl on top of the head enough times, her head will become flat, and she will be able to get a lot more boyfriends. So it works out better for everyone.
A sample wall-to-wall counseling session
The following is a true story. Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.
SGT Joe Snuffy was out with his friends across from a small Army base in a foreign country. After having a few beers, but not enough to cloud his judgment, he observed a soldier in the small restaurant he was in acting like a fool. The soldier was being obnoxious, yelling at the top of his lungs, embarrassing the women in the restaurant, and generally degrading the image of the Army. SGT Snuff decided to take action.
SGT Snuffy had SPC John Holmes summon the obnoxious soldier to come outside the restaurant for a simple talk. The soldier, SPC Jack Meoff, came outside in a very belligerent manner. SPC Meoff took off his jacket in a threatening manner and unprofessionally swore at SGT Snuffy. SPC Meoff was rip roaring drunk. He hit and pushed SGT Snuffy, SPC Holmes, and several of their friends. He even hit two of them with a plastic chair. SGT Snuffy took action. He wall-to-wall counseled SPC Meoff striking him with two punches. SPC Meoff fell to the ground. The MPs came and took the unrestrained SGT Snuff to the MP station in a squad car. SPC Meoff had to be cast into irons for his trip to the MP station.
Lessons learned by this wall-to-wall counseling session:
1) Never conduct a wall-to-wall counseling session when you are drunk, unless you have to.
2) Never conduct one in plain sight of the front gate of a military installation.
3) And, most importantly, when wall-to-wall counseling is called for, DO IT. 
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Something for the Classroom! – The American Trinity: The Three Values that Make America Great

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Here is the real secret of Why we are the Last Great Hope of the world!


I remember the day when I heard the news, That Ronald Magnus was elected to office. That & for the next 8 years I slept very well & soundly.
Now he was not perfect & I think that he would be the 1st to admit it. Also a lot of folks could & did honestly not agree with some of the things that he did.
But nobody could question his love of our great Country. He also guided our nation thru some mighty scary times & w/o  one dead GI. He ended the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union.
So I think that I am on safe ground. By saying that I think that History has been & will continue to kind to this Grand Old Man. May we have another one like him soon! Grumpy
Have a great 4th!

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Leadership of the highest kind

Another good example of Leadership – Gettysburg

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Allies Dear Grumpy Advice on Teaching in Today's Classroom Leadership of the highest kind This great Nation & Its People

TR is still steel on target!

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U.S. Marines in Battle of Tarawa | 1943 | WW II Documentary in Color


Now Tarawa was one hell of fight & The US Marines can be rightly very proud of it! Grumpy

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For all the Folks who wonder why we Lost in Nam – Some interesting thoughts to ponder upon

Why America Is Losing Its Wars

William Slim

William Slim

Daniel N. White.  Introduction by William Astore.
Unbeknownst to most Americans, the U.S. military has embraced special forces (SEALs, Green Berets, and the like) and has been deploying them globally to at least eighty different countries.  There’s an allure to special forces and the special ops community captured in the country’s admiration of SEAL Team 6 and Hollywood productions like Act of Valor
Yet some of history’s finest military leaders haven’t been as enamored of special forces as Hollywood and the American public.  Count William Slim among their ranks.  Slim was a British field marshal who rescued Britain from certain defeat in Burma during World War II, a man deeply respected within military circles for his leadership and wisdom. 
Slim, as Dan White shows, has a lot to teach the US military about the danger of placing too much faith in special ops, especially when larger political and strategic purposes are misguided or lacking.  W.J. Astore
Why America Is Losing Its Wars
Daniel N. White
There are two big reasons why the US military continues to lose its wars.  The first is an uncritical embrace of special forces; the second is a complete lack of clear and achievable political and military objectives.  Both reasons are best exposed through the writings of one of the great military leaders of the 20th (or any other) century: Field Marshal Viscount William Slim.
Let’s take the first point first.  Currently, the US military is undergoing an unprecedented boom in special forces manpower.  Special forces now number a stupendous 63,000 (with expansion plans to 72,000) when the US Army numbers only 546,000.  This push to create a huge special forces establishment and to make it the apex of the US military’s operational forces has gone largely unnoticed and uncommented on.  And that’s a shame, since it’s perilous both for our military and our country.
In this conclusion I’m supported by Field Marshal Slim.  Slim led the Imperial British forces in Burma, a composite army of more than a dozen nationalities, from defeat in 1942 to an overwhelming victory in 1945.
Americans celebrate our defeats of the Japanese in World War II, but our battles—tough as they were—were against Japanese forces outnumbered and cut off from supply and reinforcement on Pacific island battles.
Slim inflicted the largest defeat ever in the history of the Japanese military, and did it on an open battlefield with no great superiority in men and materiel with a defeated army he personally rebuilt and retrained.
Slim’s thoughtful critique of special ops, based on hard-won military experience, is worth quoting at length:
Special forces, according to Slim, “formations, trained, equipped, and mentally adjusted for one kind of operation only, were wasteful.  They did not give, militarily, a worthwhile return for the resources in men, material, and time that they absorbed.”
“To begin with, they were usually formed by attracting the best men from normal units by better conditions, promise of excitement, and not a little propaganda.
Even on the rare occasions when normal units were converted into special ones without the option of volunteering, the same process went on in reverse.  Men thought to be below the standards set or over an arbitrary age limit were weeded out to less favored corps.
The result of these methods was undoubtedly to lower the quality of the rest of the Army, especially of the infantry, not only by skimming the cream off it, but by encouraging the idea that certain of the normal operations of war were so difficult that only specially equipped corps d’elite could be expected to undertake them.”
“Armies do not win wars by means of a few bodies of super-soldiers but by the average quality of their standard units.  Anything, whatever short cuts to victory it may promise, which thus weakens the Army spirit is dangerous.
Commanders who have used these special forces have found, as we did in Burma, that they have another grave disadvantage—they can be employed actively for only restricted periods.
Then they demand to be taken out of the battle to recuperate, while normal formations are expected to have no such limits to their employment.  In Burma, the time spent in action with the enemy by special forces was only a fraction of that endured by the normal divisions.”
“The rush to form special forces arose from confused thinking on what were, or were not, normal operations of war…The level of initiative, individual training, and weapon skill required in, say, a commando, is admirable; what is not admirable is that it should be confined to a few small units.
Any well trained infantry battalion should be able to do what a commando can do; in the Fourteenth Army they could and did.  The cult of special forces is as sensible as to form a Royal Corps of Tree Climbers and say that no soldier who does not wear its green hat with a bunch of oak leaves stuck in it should be expected to climb a tree.”
Let’s recap.  We have the US military, the Army in particular, embarked on an unprecedented explosion of special forces within its ranks.
One of the great military leaders of the 20th century says that special forces are expensive in resources and generally don’t deliver on what they promise.  This doesn’t look good.
It looks worse when you consider that this explosion of special forces has coincided with two military defeats against what charitably must be called third rate opponents in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Slim provides additional reasons why our military’s excessive reliance on special forces contributed to these defeats:
“The question of control of these clandestine bodies is not without its pitfalls.  In the last war among the allies, cloak-and-dagger organizations multiplied until to commanders in the field—at least in my theater—they became an embarrassment.
The trouble was that each was controlled from some distant headquarters of its own, and such was the secrecy and mutual suspicion in which they operated that they sometimes acted in close proximity to our troops without the knowledge of any commander in the field, with a complete lack of coordination among themselves, and in dangerous ignorance of local tactical developments.
It was not until the activities of all clandestine bodies operating in or near our troops were coordinated and where necessary controlled, through a senior officer on the staff of the commander on the area, that confusion, ineffectiveness, and lost opportunities were avoided.”
Special forces, with their unique and often secretive lines of command, generate severe operational problems in the field, a problem which the US military has experienced in its own, most recent, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Slim’s critique supports the notion that the US military’s recent rush to special forces has contributed to its defeats of late.  The question is why this rush to special forces occurred.   The major reason is our confused thinking about war.  Any war as incoherent and objectiveless as a global war on “terror” must inevitably spawn confused thinking about what normal military operations are in such a war.
The US military simply has no coherent military or political objective for these wars.  I’ve written elsewhere about this, see HERE and HERE.
For the US military, confused thinking at the higher echelons provided special forces enthusiasts with their chance to expand beyond all necessity because they claimed (falsely) to have all the answers for the current uncharted seas we were sailing. They had a plan when others didn’t, and that’s a large part of the rush to special forces—no firm hand was on the tiller.
Here again we should turn to Slim, because he brings to the fore the dire consequence of fighting without coherent objectives:
“For the poor showing we made during the first phase of  the war in Burma, the Retreat, there may have been few excuses, but there were many causes, some of them beyond the control of local commanders.
Of these causes, one affected all our efforts and contributed much to turning our defeat into disaster—the failure, after the fall of Rangoon, to give the forces in the field a clear strategic object for the campaign….
Yet a realistic assessment of possibilities there and a firm, clear directive would have made a great deal of difference to us and to the way we fought.  Burma was not the first, nor was it to be the last, campaign that had been launched on no very clear realization of its political or military objects.  A study of such campaigns points emphatically to the almost inevitable disaster that must follow.  (Italics mine)   Commanders in the field, in fairness to them and their troops, must be clear and definitely told what is the object they are locally to attain.”
Future discussions of why the US has been defeated in its two most recent wars should use these words of Slim as the starting point for any explanation of US failure.  The US military’s rush to special forces is a contributing factor to our current military defeats, but the lead cause is as painfully obvious as it is almost completely ignored: the total lack of clear and coherent political and military objectives for our wars.
The US military’s mania for special forces bothers no one in Washington’s political circles, let alone within the Pentagon.  But from what Slim has taught us, it’s all going to end badly.  Just how badly depends on our future military adventures.
We will certainly have a less effective military because of our special forces mania.  In peacetime that’s regrettable but not fatal.  But come wartime we will ask too much of our special forces and they will fail.  Meanwhile, the regular military, weakened by years of special forces mania, may fail as well.  It’s a sure-fire recipe for defeat.
Unlike Slim, the US military—weakened by structural faults driven by special forces mania and befuddled by a lack of clear and achievable objectives—won’t be able to turn defeat into victory.
Daniel N. White has lived in Austin, Texas, for a lot longer than he originally planned to.  He reads a lot more than we are supposed to, particularly about topics that we really aren’t supposed to worry about.  He works blue-collar for a living–you can be honest doing that–but is somewhat fed up with it right now.  He will gladly respond to all comments that aren’t too insulting or dumb.  He can be reached at Louis_14_le_roi_soleil@hotmail.com.

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A Great Story about the Rangers

They Didn’t Do It for Medals
 8th Ranger Company during the Korean War (courtesy of U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center in Carlisle, PA)
“Only you — only you! — could manage to get shot in the ass!”
The year was 1987. A group of middle-aged men sat under the umbrellas at the cheap fiberglass tables of the Holiday Inn in Columbus, Georgia not far from Fort Benning. They deserved a Ritz-Carlton, but this would have to do. The sign out in front of the hotel, the letters hanging somewhat askew, read:

WELCOME 8TH AIRBORNE RANGER COMPANY

The comment about taking an unfortunate enemy round in the gluteus maximus was an affectionate jab from one member of the company to another, and it was met with howls of protest and laughter.
“Son,” a grizzled old veteran said gripping my shoulder while the other men tried to interrupt him. “Hush! Hush!” he said to them in mock annoyance before turning back to me. “I mean it went in one cheek and came out of the other just as neatly as could be! No bone, just flesh!”

The index finger of his right hand poked one of his own cheeks while the thumb of his left hand moved up and out on the other side, indicating the bullet’s exit.
The conversation turned to a man with an even more unfortunate war wound.
“I tell ya, he thought his life with the ladies was over.” The other men listened expectantly for the ending of a story they knew well. “There was so much blood, we feared he had been gut shot! But, nooo!”
“No!” bellowed another, like a member of the choir in a good Pentecostal church.
The teller of the story continued: “So, I pull his pants down and guess what? It was just nicked!”
Again, howls of laughter.
My father finished the story: “We just told him he’d have a good story to tell when it came to explaining how he got that scar.”
Men wiped their eyes and guffawed.
This was a reunion of the 8th Airborne Ranger Company, or what remained of it. The end of the American spear in Korea 1950-51, they were the handpicked elite from all airborne and subsequent Ranger units. Not surprisingly, 8th Company had the highest qualification scores in the history of the Ranger Training Command (RTC).
Over the course of that weekend, the Ranger School at Fort Benning would honor them with a demonstration of modern Ranger skills and tactics. The latest generation of Rangers would rappel from helicopters, make a practice jump, and tour them around Benning, the place where 8th Company was born in 1950. And, not coincidentally, it was where I was born.
The men of 8th Company were much older now and not as lean as the men — boys, really — who appeared in the photos from 1950-51. Most carried extra weight around the middle, had the leathery skin that came with years of overexposure to the sun, and old tattoos that had purpled with age on biceps and calves that were not as hard and chiseled as they once were — but you didn’t try to tell them that. Like old athletes, they spoke with as much bravado as ever.
I had to smile. It had been my privilege to be raised in the company of such men. They could be profane and the jokes were always off-color. They were, to a man, hard-drinking and chain-smoking. They incessantly complained about the army and were fiercely proud of their part in it. Ornery and ready to fight each other, they were nonetheless ready to die for each other, too. Their vices were ever near the surface and yet, I cannot imagine where America would be without their kind.
I was 20 years old and sat silently watching and listening as I so often did when my father swapped war stories with other veterans. But this time it was different. These weren’t just any veterans; these were the men with whom he had shed blood. This would be his last reunion and it was important to him that I be there. As the son of an 8th Company Ranger, I was, like other sons, an honorary member of this very exclusive club and therefore allowed to participate on the periphery of their banter — and fetch them beer. Lots of beer. Ranger reunions were impossible without beer. And with middle-aged men, that meant frequent trips to the bathroom.
With my father away for a moment on just that sort of mission, one of his old buddies leaned in as if to tell me a secret:
“If any man was ever born to be a soldier, it was your father. Some men have an instinct for the battlefield, and he damn sure did. Absolutely the best shot I ever saw. Could hit flies at a hundred yards. And, man, he was fearless…”
My father, returning, rolled his eyes: “That’s bulls–t, Mike. I was as afraid as any man.”
He turned to me. “It’s as I’ve told you before, son, a man who is truly fearless will get you killed. There’s something wrong with him. His instincts don’t tell him to be afraid when he should be. You want a man on point who wants to stay alive just like you do and whose senses are telling him ‘something’s not right here’ when there’s reason to believe you’re walking into an ambush. Now Mike here, was a helluva point man…” This was all very typical. They extolled each other’s battlefield heroics, but not their own.
Graduates of the 1950 RTC should not be confused with the more than 10,000 military personnel who wear Ranger tabs today and who do not serve in Ranger units. This is no slight to those who wear them. But as any Ranger will tell you, there is a difference between passing the Ranger course and serving as a Ranger, especially today where the standards have been watered down for political reasons. These men were truly elite as indicated by the high washout rate and the fact that of the 500,000 soldiers of the United Nations serving in the Korean War, there were never more than 700 Rangers.
Just as my father indicated, I had heard stories like this before, this old battlefield wisdom. My whole life, in fact. More stories followed. More laughter, backslapping, and beer. Indeed, the cans in the center of the table began to pile up and lips became looser.
Those of us who have heard a lot of old war stories, the wives, the sons and daughters, learn to distinguish the authentic from the fictional. Because the men who did the real fighting as these men had — and I mean the really brutal, prolonged, on the ground stuff where the sight and smell of the dead forever sears memories — they don’t like to talk about the details. Not even with each other. The guy who talks casually about what he did in combat? You can bet that he’s either a fraud or that battle has unhinged him.
“When your dad came home from Korea,” my Uncle recently told me, “he had a chest full of ribbons. He was a hero. But he wouldn’t talk about it in anything but general terms.” And nor did the rest of 8th Company who had their share of ribbons, too. The stories they told on this reunion weekend were mostly amusing, but to the veteran listener of veterans’ stories, you knew that the humor masked a horror.
All of these men dealt with the psychological wounds of war whether they ever received a Purple Heart or not. My mother tells me that my father suffered from hideous nightmares to the day he died, a recurring one being that he had fallen into a thinly covered mass grave full of bodies in a state of decomposition. Though he fights to climb out over the bodies, the rotten flesh slides off the bones as he grips them and their flesh remained on him for days until he could bathe, a luxury not afforded to men behind enemy lines. Though he would never say, she thinks the nightmare reflected an actual occurrence. I wager all of these men had nightmares of war.
Years later, as he lay on his deathbed delirious from the heavy doses of morphine, he returned to the battlefield. I will never forget his words, a command shouted with urgency and authority: “Cover the left flank! Cover the left flank! Move! Move! Move!” The order was repeated along with something about laying down suppression fire. Whatever the battle he was in, he was reliving it and he was determined to hold the line. In that moment, I prayed that the Lord would take him. He was suffering the horror of war all over again.
The next afternoon, his chest, heaving and belabored for days, relaxed and the air left his lungs in one long sigh. My father was dead.
A few days later, I sat solemnly with my mother going through his things. It was a joyless task. Buried among his memorabilia we found a letter from a fellow member of 8th Ranger Company, Thomas Nicholson. It was an award of sorts, but deadly earnest, and, again, the humor here serves a purpose — it makes a terrifying memory more tolerable to recollect. It read:

During combat operations in the Republic of South Korea, Charles Taunton bravely, but unknowingly, earned life membership in The Noble & Ancient Order of the Combat Boot…. He deserves the acclaim and friendship of all who learn that he unselfishly, and with little regard for his own safety, went behind enemy lines to assist a fellow soldier. This act of courage, which epitomizes the U.S. Army tradition of ‘never leaving an injured or deceased soldier in enemy territory,’ is worthy of great praise. Be it therefore known that I, Thomas Nicholson, was the injured soldier he carried back to friendly lines, and that it is with everlasting gratitude that I certify the truth of this citation.

Napoleon said that “Men will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.” Some men perhaps. But I never got the impression that the men of 8th Company cared about such things. They valued, above all, the opinions of the other men in 8th Company. To have the respect of the man who fought to your right and to your left, well, that meant something. In an interview with NBC News many years later, radio operator E.C. Rivera spoke with great emotion about his fellow Rangers and other Korean War veterans: “Nobody gave a rat’s ass about us. Nobody cared. They [i.e., people in America] were very cold to us.”
On July 27, 2013, the surviving members of the 8th Airborne Ranger Company gathered at the Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Led once again by their former captain, James Herbert, who was now a retired Brigadier General, the half dozen men sat with their wives and families. Before them stood Son Se-joo, the Consul General for the Republic of Korea, who had come to honor them:

In the face of overwhelming danger, your stories of valor and sacrifice saved our country and made it what it is today. As we pay tribute to you, I can confirm that the Korean War is not a ‘Forgotten War’ and that the victory is not a forgotten victory. The Korean people will never forget your sacrifice.

It was an honor long overdue, but too late for most. Coming as it did sixty years after the end of the war, most of the men of 8th Company were, by now, dead. Many had died on hills with no names, only numbers, in a country that was not their own, but in defense of principles they held dear. Others died later from wounds received in battle. And still more passed away as old men who fought in a war no one seemed to care about. Historian Thomas H. Taylor writes of 8th Ranger Company:

[Their] only tribute has been from their own post-war lives. Their collective lack of bitterness. Their forbearance from bitching about the lack of deserved recognition. This may be because they were mobilized but their nation was not. They went to war while their countrymen remained at peace. They fought, they bled, they won. Then they returned. Having given their all, they asked for nothing — and that’s just what they got.

I would add to this that satisfaction for the men of 8th Airborne Ranger Company came from something much more important to them than ribbons or recognition. It is something that only those who have known the battlefield can fully appreciate, but that the rest of us can glimpse in the terrible and inspiring story behind Thomas Nicholson’s humorous letter.
According to the Ranger Hall of Fame at Fort Benning:

On the 22nd of April 1951, 350,000 CCF [Chinese Communist Forces] troops launched their largest offensive of the Korean War. The attack broke the 6th Republic of [South] Korea Division that retreated 21 miles, leaving the right flank of the U.S. 24th Infantry Division exposed. The Commanding General of the 24th Infantry Division sent the 90 men of the 8th Ranger Infantry Company into this void.

It was in that void, on Hill 628, a godforsaken, bleak mass, that Thomas Nicholson was shot up badly. Wounded and expecting to die as the battle raged around him, he sat propped against a tree, bleeding to death and holding a hand grenade. His plan was to pull the pin when the enemy that surrounded them drew near, thus killing himself and as many of the CCF as possible.
But that’s not what happened.
Instead, his fellow Rangers came for him just as they came for every other wounded or dead American on that hill. Calculating that the CCF who surrounded them would not expect them to abandon their fixed positions on 628 and attack, the Rangers closed ranks, formed a spearhead, put the wounded in the middle, and assaulted the side of the hill between them and a company of tanks in the valley below (see no. 2 on this list of most heroic acts of bravery). One platoon remained on the hill to provide cover fire as the other two platoons slammed into the unsuspecting Chinese. The effect was devastating. Writes Taylor: “As the Rangers approached, Chinese came out of their holes in a banzai attack. They were mowed down — nothing was going to stop 8th Company unless every man took a bullet.”
They carried him off of Hill 628 just as a U.S. Navy gull wing Corsair fighter bomber descended, banked, and hit the mountain with napalm. Ranger Robert Black recalled it years later: “A black canister fell from beneath the plane and a moment later a towering gout of flame erupted from behind the hill.” For over a mile the Rangers fought their way through CCF lines until they reached the tanks where their wounded could be evacuated.
Thomas Nicholson spent the next 18 months in hospitals. He never rejoined 8th Company, but he did live to become a husband and father. He also became a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. Thirty years after the war was over, he issued “citations” to the men responsible for his rescue. My guess is that this included every man who fought to get all of the dead and wounded — a third of 8th Company — off of Hill 628.
When my father spoke with pride of his war record, it was never with a medal in mind. It was not in the recollection of some heroic act or a promotion. And it wasn’t in the body count of enemy dead, a statistic of which he never spoke. If I may borrow a phrase from E.C. Rivera, my father “didn’t give a rat’s ass” about any of that. No, he took great pride in one simple fact: in the history of 8th Ranger Company, they never left a man behind be he wounded or dead. Never. And if I had to bet, I would wager that the rest of the men in this remarkable company felt the same way.
Perhaps that explains why his mind went back to a specific moment in battle as death, the enemy he could not escape, closed in on him. Even in dying, the men of the 8th Airborne Ranger Company maneuvered to protect:
“Cover the left flank! Cover the left flank! Move! Move! Move!
Larry Alex Taunton is an author, cultural commentator, and freelance columnist contributing to The American Spectator, USA Today, Fox News, First Things, the Atlantic, and CNN. You can subscribe to his blog at larryalextaunton.com.

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10 Heroic Acts Of Bravery That Involved Disobeying A Direct Order

JONATHAN H. KANTOR  161

  In the military, personnel are taught to always obey the lawful orders of those placed in positions of command over them. In turn, military commanders are taught the weight of those orders and how they can either save soldiers’ lives or lose them.
Throughout history, men and women have followed orders in combat, but sometimes, an order is given and disregarded when a person decides that their life is less important than the lives of others.
Here are 10 acts of bravery that were performed when someone decided that the order they were given was not worth the potential cost to their fellow combatants, civilians, or humanity.

Featured image credit: United States Marine Corps

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10 Sergeant Dakota Meyer
US Marine Corps, Operation Enduring Freedom

Sergeant Meyer was serving in Afghanistan in 2009 where, at the Battle of Ganjigal, he was instructed by his commander to disregard a distress call due to an order to fall back. Nearly 100 American troops were pinned down by enemy fire and were repeatedly denied artillery support. Sergeant Meyer realized that the possibility of those troops’ survival was unlikely and took matters into his own hands.After being told by his commanding officer to remain behind with the unit’s vehicles, Meyer refused to follow the order and got into a Humvee with his driver. Under heavy enemy fire, Meyer drove into and out of the battle zone five times and was able to save the lives of more than a dozen fellow Marines.
Meyer’s website describes his actions:
Over the course of the five hours, he charged into the valley time and again. Employing a variety of machine guns, rifles, grenade launchers, and even a rock, Meyer repeatedly repulsed enemy attackers, carried wounded Afghan soldiers to safety, and provided cover for dozens of others to escape.
For his heroic actions in the face of overwhelming odds, and in spite of his refusal to follow the orders of his superior officer, Sergeant Dakota Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor.

9Private Daniel Hellings
British Army, Operation Enduring Freedom

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0gCyB01Bao
Private Daniel Hellings was on patrol with several Afghan soldiers in Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded in a narrow alleyway. The blast severely injured two service members, blinding one and damaging the other’s legs. Shortly after the first explosion, another was triggered only a few meters from Private Hellings, and a third soldier was injured.
Private Hellings’s commander immediately ordered him to withdraw from the alleyway because it was too dangerous. The commander insisted that an alternate route be found so that they could evacuate the injured soldiers. Hearing these orders, Private Hellings got down on the ground and began an hour-long fingertip search for more explosives. A fingertip search is exactly what it sounds like: He prodded the dirt and debris very carefully and methodically so that he could find the IEDs without setting them off. This is accomplished by lying on the ground only a few inches from the explosives.
He was able to uncover four IEDs, one of which had command wires running the length of the alley, but instead of waiting for a bomb-disposal unit, he continued. His fearless act of bravery in defiance of orders helped to save the lives of his three injured comrades. For demonstrating “a level of courage and ability far beyond that which could be expected of his age, rank, and experience,” Private Hellings was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal.

8Major General Daniel Edgar Sickles
Union Army, Battle Of Gettysburg

Daniel Edgar Sickles

Photo credit: Library of Congress

This one is contentious among Civil War historians and has been since the Battle of Gettysburg. General Sickles was commander of the Third Corps under General George Meade during the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. After being told to move his unit to Little Round Top, Sickles refused and instead moved his men to Peach Orchard, where they were nearly destroyed.
With the Union forces in the wheat field and peach tree orchard, the Confederates, under the command of General James Longstreet, initiated an attack. The small Union forces were nearly destroyed in the attack. Even though his defiance of orders led to the deaths of many of his men, General Sickles’s choice to fight in the orchard instead of the little hilltops allowed for a counteroffensive along the flanks of the attacking Confederates to succeed, thus routing the Rebels and helping to win the battle.
General Sickles was injured in the battle and lost a leg, which he donated to the Army Medical Museum in Washington, DC. He spent many of his remaining years defending his actions as being instrumental in the defeat of the Confederacy at Gettysburg. He was awarded the Medal of Honor (the only combat medal given at the time) and helped to preserve the battlefield at Gettysburg for its use as a cemetery and national historic site.

7Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov
Soviet Union

If you don’t recall the time back in the early 1980s when the United States and the Soviet Union fought in a bitter thermonuclear war, then we all owe a debt of thanks to Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov. Colonel Petrov was in charge of the command center for the Oko Nuclear Early Warning System when, on September 26, 1983, he disobeyed a standing order to report the probable launch of American nuclear missiles to his command, suspecting that it was a false alarm. It was.Petrov knew that if he alerted his superiors, they would likely order retaliation with nuclear missiles and begin World War III. Because of his ability to think on his feet and surmise the threat as being a false alarm, he effectively saved the entire world from nuclear annihilation. The incident exposed a flaw in the Soviet Union’s missile-warning system and helped to prevent any future situations. Petrov was neither awarded nor punished for his failure to follow orders, but he is remembered as the man who prevented a nuclear war.

6First Lieutenant Frank Luke Jr.
US Army Air Corps, World War I

Frank Luke Jr.

Photo credit: Library of Congress

First Lieutentant Frank Luke Jr. holds the distinguished honor of being the first aviator in US history to receive the Medal of Honor. The award was given to him posthumously following a daring raid that he undertook in spite of being ordered not to fly.
On September 28, 1918, Luke was grounded by his commanding officer and told that he could not fly and would be charged as being absent without leave (AWOL) if he flew the following day. Disregarding this order, Luke took to the skies in his SPAD XIII (a French biplane used at the time) and went on a balloon hunt. Luke was already considered an ace for having 15 aerial combat victories and was known as “The Balloon Buster” for his skill in taking out German aerial reconnaissance balloons, which were used as spotters for artillery. The balloons were always heavily defended by anti-aircraft guns, but Luke went after them anyway.
On what would be his final flight, he successfully took out three balloons before taking heavy machine gun fire and being forced to ditch his aircraft. He climbed from the wreckage and confronted the German military with his sidearm before finally succumbing to his injuries. Regardless of his failure to follow orders, First Lieutenant Frank Luke Jr. was awarded the Medal of Honor for his remarkable skill in being able to destroy 18 balloons in only 18 days of combat.

5Lieutenant Albert Battel
German Wehrmacht, World War II

Albert Battel

Photo credit: I Survived

Dr. Albert Battel, a lawyer, a member of the Nazi party, and a lieutenant in the German army, was able to block the SS from taking Jews from the Przemysl ghetto to the Belzec Extermination Camp. He was in command of a unit stationed in Przemysl, Poland, and was in charge of monitoring the Jewish ghetto laborers who were working for the army.
On July 26, 1942, Battel ordered his troops to block off and seal a bridge in order to keep the SS from entering the ghetto to remove the prisoners. Knowing that he was not only defying orders, but also putting himself and his men in danger, Lieutenant Battel was able to extract 80–100 Jewish families and move them to his army headquarters to protect them. Sadly, he was unable to prevent the SS from returning the following day and extracting the remaining Jews. While he wasn’t able to save all of them, several hundred people were able to survive the war thanks in large part to the actions of defiance of one German army officer.
Battel was only reprimanded by his superiors for his actions, and he was eventually promoted before being returned to the front lines. He didn’t know that his actions had reached the ear of Heinrich Himmler, who insisted that he be abolished from the Nazi party at the conclusion of the war and arrested. This never came to pass, as Battel was discharged due to a heart condition in 1944.
He survived the war, and his work and efforts in saving the Jews was honored as being “Righteous among the Nations,” a special honor for Gentiles who worked during the holocaust to save Jews from extermination from the Nazis.

4Corporal Desmond Doss
US Army, World War II

Desmond Doss

Photo via Wikimedia

Interestingly, Corporal Desmond Doss defied orders by refusing to carry any weapon into combat, not even a knife. This was the result of his personal beliefs as a member of the Seventh-day Adventist church. Though he was able to join the military and serve during World War II, Corporal Doss maintained his status as a conscientious objector.
His refusal to carry a weapon and his actions as a medic earned him the Medal of Honor. In April 1945, Doss was accompanying the First Battalion as they attempted a summit where they took heavy artillery and small-arms fire. Seventy-five men were wounded in the attack, but Corporal Doss refused to take cover and instead personally moved all 75 men, one at a time and under heavy fire, to a safe area. The following month, he again exposed himself to heavy rifle and mortar fire in the rescue of another man who was severely injured.
On at least five separate occasions over the course of approximately 22 days, Corporal Doss personally rescued dozens of his comrades while under enemy fire. He was finally wounded by a grenade, which severely damaged his legs, and was struck by a sniper’s bullet, which injured his arm. Even then, he insisted that he be taken off his litter in lieu of another man whom he considered to be more seriously wounded. For his bravery in the face of severe enemy opposition and for his refusal to carry even the smallest means to defend himself, Corporal Doss was awarded the Medal of Honor.

3Lieutenant Thomas Currie ‘Diver’ Derrick
Second Australian Imperial Force, World War II

Thomas Currie Derrick

Photo via Wikimedia

During the Battle of Sattleberg, in New Guinea, Lieutenant Derrick distinguished himself and was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration for members of the British and Commonwealth armed forces. The battle was hard-fought and may not have been as successful for the Australians had Derrick obeyed the orders of his commanding officer and withdrawn as he was told.
The Battle of Sattleberg was a push against Japanese forces for control of the town of Sattleberg, in which the Australians slowly saw gains over a period of eight days. As they advanced, the Japanese soldiers pressed hard against them, and the cost was high. On November 24, 1943, Derrick was in command of a small unit and was told to withdraw due to an inability to push for further ground. In response, Derrick said, “Bugger the CO. Just give me twenty more minutes and we’ll have this place.”
He then proceeded to move his men further up the hill toward the city and silenced 10 machine gun posts with accurate rifle and grenade fire from approximately 7 meters (23 ft). His push demoralized the Japanese forces, who withdrew from their position. Derrick then returned to his platoon and pushed them further toward the town before the rest of the battalion joined them the following morning and succeeded in taking the city.
The battalion commander insisted that the flag be hoisted by Derrick, who raised the Australian Red Ensign above Sattleberg, New Guinea, at 10:00 AM on November 25, 1943. For his gallantry in combat and in spite of his refusal to follow orders to withdraw, the king awarded Derrick with the Victoria Cross stating that, “Undoubtedly Sergeant Derrick’s fine leadership and refusal to admit defeat, in the face of a seemingly impossible situation, resulted in the capture of Sattleberg.”

2Major David Teich
US Army, Korean War

Korean War

Photo via Wikimedia

On April 24, 1951, then-Lieutenant David Teich was a member of a tank company that was near the 38th Parallel (the boundary that currently marks the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea) when a weak radio call came in for support. Members of the Eighth Ranger Company were nearby, wounded, and under heavy fire, as nearly 300,000 Chinese soldiers moved toward their position. Having been ordered to withdraw, Teich approached his commander and asked if he and some of his fellow tankers could remain behind and attempt to rescue the Rangers.
The captain replied, “We’ve got orders to move out. Screw them. Let them fight their own battles.” Leich refused to follow that order and manned a rescue attempt anyway. When the tanks approached Hill 628, 65 Rangers climbed the hill under heavy fire and boarded the tanks. So many men were sitting on the tanks that the guns were no longer visible.
Teich’s actions saved the lives of dozens of men who would certainly have been killed or captured had he not disobeyed the orders of his commanding officer. More than six decades after the war, Teich still receives letters from the survivors thanking him for what he did on that day in April 1951.

1General Dietrich Von Choltitz
German Wehrmacht, World War II

Dietrich von Choltitz

Photo credit: German Federal Archive

General Dietrich von Choltitz took command of Nazi-occupied Paris on August 8, 1944. When he did so, Hitler told him that he should be prepared to destroy all religious and historic monuments should the city fall to the Allies. At the time, the Allied forces of the United States, Great Britain, and the French Resistance fighters were closing in on the city.
Paris was surrendered on August 25 without a monument or building destroyed. In his memoir Is Paris Burning? Choltitz wrote that the titular question was asked of him by Hitler, but knowing the city was lost and not wanting to cause further destruction, bloodshed, and damage, Choltitz refused to follow the orders of the fuhrer. “If for the first time I had disobeyed, it was because I knew that Hitler was insane.” Choltitz risked the lives of his family and himself by lying to the chief of staff, informing him that the destruction of Paris had begun.
According to both Choltitz and his son, these events played out as he said. The French have never accepted these claims and have instead insisted that over 2,000 French Resistance fighters liberated the city. Even though the French insist that it was the Parisians themselves who saved the city, it is apparent that Choltitz was both ordered to destroy the City of Lights and had an opportunity to do so. He may have chosen to disregard the order from Hitler for his own reasons, but the fact remains that the orders were never carried out, and Paris remains a center for art and culture to this day.