Firing Line: Conversation Week #1 September 2016
a. NCO and Soldier Programs - “What do you think of 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest decision?
There are those who support and oppose 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem before NFL games this season. NFL officials and personnel offered a mixed reaction to the protest. His team issued a statement late last week calling the anthem singing “an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens.” Several players said they supported his decision. Check out Kaepernick’s personal thoughts and why he is protesting in this article.
Why do you agree or disagree with his protest decision? Use the comments section below to share your opinion.
b. AUSA Five Things - “Are Amy officers worth more than officers from the other services?”
AUSA Five Things: A Weekly Tip Sheet for AUSA Members, dated August 29., 2016: “Are Army Officers Worth More?”
A RAND Corp. report looking at possible changes in military pay scales found Army officers would have to be paid bigger incentive bonuses than officers in the other services to avoid personnel losses if the military stopped providing longevity pay raises beyond 30 years of service. Army officers needed $99,600 in pay, compared to $92,000 for the Navy, $90,900 for the Air Force and $87,900 for the Marine Corps.
What to watch: The current pay chart includes longevity increases through 40 years of service but Congress is considering having pay top out after 30 years. The potential loss of a handful of experienced colonels is one of the concerns, hence the discussion of possible offsetting incentive payments.
c. AUSA Moderator - “The nation lost a truly great man – GEN John W. Vessey Jr.”
“Retired Army Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., a World War II veteran who rose from a Minnesota National Guard private to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has died. The 94-year-old was Army vice chief of staff in 1982 when he was selected by President Ronald Reagan to be the military’s top uniformed leader. When he retired in 1985 after 46 years of service, he was the last four-star World War II combat veteran still on active duty.
“Retired Army Gen. Carter F. Ham, president and CEO of the Association of the U.S. Army, said the nation ‘lost a truly great man.’
“I had the privilege of meeting him for the first time in 1996. He never forgot, even as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that the individual soldier was the most important person in the Army,” Ham said.
d. Book Program – “Why is respect an important Army value?”
RESPECT is one of the Army Values listed in the Soldier’s Code, but one which seems to be most disregarded or misunderstood. Troop talk is often blunt, and in the “hey you” world of the motor pool, drill field, or combat zone, basic courtesy falls last very easily. Military society traditionally eschews familiarity for a reason, and the substitutes, can often be construed as condescending or insulting. Proper military courtesy always works, as does the trust seniors should have towards their subordinates in leadership positons. Lacking this, you don’t have respect up or down, and your unit or work place becomes just a place to pass the time. Moreover, it is important to respect the contributions of those who came before. Others built a reputation for your unit, it is up to you to uphold their good name which you carry for them. At day’s end, every soldier has his or her own name, don’t ever demean it.
Roger Cirillo, PhD
Lieutenant Colonel, US Army, Retired
Book Program Director
THIS WEEK'S POLL QUESTION:
(To Vote: Scroll down to the footer of the page)
Will there be a major land war in the next 5 years?
o Not sure