It's time to bust some chops here.
The Military is a meritocracy. It's up or out. There are plenty of challenges and opportunities, and this author is one who took (or tried to) make the most out of an even playing field.
You work hard, study your tactics and strategy and history, care for your troops, take some time to play and build morale, and you have a shot at success. While I realize that's an over-generalization (and I've had my share of bad Commanders), it is generally true.
For Black History Month, back in 1991, George Will wrote this column about African Americans in the military (Gulf War was going on).
...Why is there a black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before there has been a black chairman of GE, GM, IBM or any of the other Fortune 500 corporations (all of which are pygmies compared to what Colin Powell chairs)? There are many reasons but one may be that today's military is a more severe meritocracy than most corporations...
For some perspective at how far we've come, check it out.
The military was always the place for people to succeed in ways that they may not have had the chance to in civilian society. Whether grunt, medic or quartermaster, the military was a place where you succeeded based on the merits of your ability, your hard work.
That's why I get really really pissed at the Obama Administration when I see things like this - this posting at the Daily Beast POLITICO via This Ain't Hell about the guest list of enlisted military members for a dinner party to mark the end of the Iraq war (OIF):
The list is being assembled by the senior enlisted representative for the five service chiefs, and the goal is a mix that is racially diverse, old and young, gay and straight.
What the hell?!
Hey, congrations Master Chief, you've been selected to dine with the President because you're the oldest Sailor in DC area who served in Iraq?!
Hey, Gunney, because you're gay and worked at Balad, you get to meet the President?!
Can't they find military men and women who have contributed blood, sweat, and tears to winning the war? What about the door kickers, the wounded, the medics, the pilots, engineers, etc etc etc?
This guy should be sitting at that dinner table (photo by Lucian Read of Marine Brad Kasal).
Or certainly, our good friend, David Bellavia should be dining with the President:
It doesn't matter who is gay or straight, old or young, male or female. It matters what those men and women DID for our country and for their team.
Are you kidding me with this shit? Why the fug should a persons sexual orientation, gender or ethnicity be a determinant in a White House invite to celebrate the end of Iraq? Why not just do a damn lottery or something? Holy shit this makes me mad.
If you want further proof that the Obama Administration is not about merit, but about photo ops for their voting base, look no further than this.
This. Is. Complete. And. Utter. Bullshit!
But I guess that's not much of shock to us with a President who got an award from an organization before he actually did anything worthwhile:
Update [related]: Deebow also discusses the meritocracy issue here (a separate attack on the military meritocracy than the one I outline above).
Can you imagine the hysterical laughter and disbelief in the British War Office during WWI if the correct answer to the child’s question (“Daddy, what did you do in the Great War?”) was “I was gay” or “I was the oldest person in my unit” or “I had a Hispanic surname.”