One of the inside jokes in the Army is “All Army programs are doomed to success.” That’s a head scratcher. But, if you think about it, it’s the only way the Army can get rid of a bad program. Declare it a success and move on. For example, “Zero Defects” was a disaster. Any mistake was a defect and the Army was prohibited from having any. Hey, let’s declare that mess a success and get rid of it.
Then there was “McNamara’s 100,000.” This was back in the Sixties. Secretary of Defense McNamara was convinced that the Army should draft 100,000 Category Fours. Cat Fours were those we considered too intellectually challenged to join the Army. That’s right, really, really dumb (IQs of 65 or below). Well, the Army did it for three years. They gave distinctive service numbers to the Cat Fours so they could be identified and tracked. I guess there might have been a few success stories. The program was run by a bunch of Army sociologists whose purpose was to make the program succeed. It succeeded as all Army programs succeed.
My personal experience was to represent one of the 100,000 as he cut a swath through Deutchland. I was a young Captain doing defense work for the 4th Armored Division in Goeppingen. I was appointed his counsel after he got in a fight downtown and tore up a gasthouse. Lieber Gott. I think his name was Jake and I can almost see him. He was not a big guy and looked harmless enough. He had a twinkle in his eye. I think I got him off with an Article 15 (nonjudicial punishment). From then on, it was like I had him on a retainer. Later, he got into it with a German taxi driver. It was always hard to understand him, but I think he decided he was being overcharged. So he didn’t pay. The cab driver produced a pistol and Jake took it away from him and beat him with it. Jake was not good for German American relations. Because the pistol belonged to the cabbie, I had some success in getting Jake off.
The last time I saw Jake was when he came by my office to say goodbye. He had his arm in a sling. It appeared he had recently flipped a jeep. His buddy was still in the hospital, but was going to be OK. Jake was being reassigned to Viet Nam. I thought long and hard about whether I should notify someone. I wasn’t concerned about him hurting himself, but what about the soldiers in his unit?What about the cab drivers in Saigon?
If you are wondering whether all this is leading to me declaring this blog a success, rest easy. I’m having too much fun. GoDaddy.Com manages my web site, so all I have to do is write and publish. Plus, every time I go to GoDaddy.Com, I get to see Danica Patrick.
GoDaddy also keeps stats on how many visits I get. When I started out, I got very few visits. Of course, I had very few blogs up. If I got a hundred hits a week I was delighted. Now, I have over 230 blogs/articles and I have had my site “visited” over a thousand times in one day. GoDaddy has assured me that none of these visits to my site were from web crawling bots! What in the world is a web crawling bot? All I can think of is in the movie, Matrix, there were all these mechanical bees that were always attacking. Maybe they were web flying bots. The only thing I know for sure is that if the web crawling bots visited my web site, they were not counted. Web crawling NSA? I’m not so sure.
In 2008, I wrote a blog entitled, “Bomb Threats at Washington Square.” Washington Square was the name of the building I worked in. A disgruntled former employee of Morton’s Steakhouse, located in our building, called in 20 to 30 bomb threats over the summer. Life was bad. Anyway, I got an extraordinary number of hits on this blog. I finally figured out it was our federal spooks checking up on me. But, anybody dumb enough to put “Bomb Threat” and “Washington” in the same title deserves to be checked out.
Anyway, I know you are out there, but I would like to hear from you. I have a half dozen dear friends who send me comments and once in a while, out of the blue, I get an email from someone who liked something I wrote. But, let me know you are out there. I wrote a blog entitled, “It’s a German Thing.” It was accurate, but not complimentary of Germans. I got a comment from a German written in German using the “F” word. Yes, they too have the “F” word. The beauty of the system is that with one stroke I deleted the comment. I wonder if he was a cab driver.
Written by PJ Rice at www.ricequips.com