The author of this (which was sent to GEN Shinsecki) is a West Point
Graduate (Class of 89), and wore the Red Beret in the 82nd Airborne Division
(in Saudi for Desert Storm), the Black Beret in the Ranger Regiment, and as a
Special Forces Officer, now wears the Green Beret.

Subject: Army Black Beret

Sir,

The issue of the beret doesn't mean a rats ass to me, I am secure in my
manhood.  Tabs and berets are made of cloth and as both you and I have
seen they don't necessarily mean shit based upon some of the losers that
somehow wear them.

Reference the choice of color I think the usurping of the Ranger's black
beret was ignorant.  The Brit SAS have a tan beret that looks slick -
ground/land warfare, tan seems to make sense to me.

On the larger issue, the half assed band aid fixes that the senior leadership
is attempting to apply to solve a problem that everyone else in the food
chain clearly understands is comical.  Berets will not fix us.

We have a serious military leadership culture deficit that a beret or an Army
value card will not repair.  We are in an era of highly destructive
competitiveness plagued by an incestuously overpoliticized leadership cadre.

The new Army Leadership manual is about as comprehensive as the MS 300
Military Leadership text from WP.  Great except do you think all of the NCOs
out there have damn Masters Degrees?  Great OER support bullet, great work
from the BS and L folks but useless to the line doggies in the real world,
out of touch.  Totally absent from the document, the simplistic yet highly
effective PRINCIPLES OF LEADERSHIP you read in your bugle notes.

We have totally lost the edge and in my opinion are on the brink of
Task Force Smith II.  The parallels found in Feurenbach's, This Kind of War,
are too similar to today.  My MS 101 text that I still reference, told me
about
the post Spanish American War Army and our entry into WWI; the same
following WW I demobilization and our preparedness for WWII; then TF Smith in
Korea...I can't say who it will be against...although China's overt
declaration
they see themselves fighting us in their future might be an indication...but
the ass kicking is coming like a freight train in the night...

From my warped perspective I look at it this way.  When I was a cadet I took
a small color photo of FMLN guerrillas in El Salvador in a Time article and
blew it up and got a frame for it.  In the photo, a FMLN guerrilla sapper is
naked, covered in black soot/dirt, barefoot, moving with three other
shitheads down a stone trail.  They were a special sapper unit trained by
former Viet Cong and NVN sappers.  Bottom-line, I always reflect on that
photo a consider the mettle of the adversary.

They don't give a rats ass about Kevlar helmets; maroon, green, or black
berets; tabs, badges, BDUs, Army values, West Point, or any other
bullshit...they want to string us up from a tree and gut us like pigs.  All
this other superfluous bullshit
has totally obscured the mission of this Army...our purpose...and as Doc
would say "...its KILLIN plain and simple...".

Major General Vines, CDR 82nd ABN and my former BC used to say at the end of
each Hail and Farewell...."As we sit here tonight enjoying each others
company and fellowship, there are beady eyed little men and women in places
with names we can't even begin to pronounce that are plotting the overthrow
of our Nation and our way of life...and the only thing that stands between
them and success are people like you and I."

I will continue to stand my post until properly relieved, but my patience is
wearing thin with the absolutely BROKEN and out of touch senior leadership.
I have tried to temper my emotion and passion as I have grown older,
understanding my sort of CANDOR is not really appreciated and is branded
"sour grapes" and an attitude problem.

If the Army chooses to make me a pseudo player by selecting me for RES CGSC
on the second and final look, I'll continue to bust my ass.  If they send me
a signal as to the parameters of my potential contribution I will take a
different perspective on the Army.
I cannot handle seeing such stupidity and have no ability to contribute or fix
any of it, and I'll watch the next one on CNN from Montana or Wyoming.