Military Quotes

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,626
Sydney
#41
actually , the ancient foreign policy options were Marriage , Tribute , Alliance , Gifts , exchange of hostage ,trade agreement
war was only the more noticeable and the more reported
 

M9Powell

Ad Honorem
Oct 2014
4,308
appalacian Mtns
#42
So they're self-aware that what they're doing is wrong and evil. That doesn't excuse them from actually doing it for years.
I was a soldier for 28 years. I don't consider anything I ever did too be wrong or evil. There is no higher calling than defending one's country. I know the USA isn't perfect, but it's still the best country on the planet. I was proud too serve it. Let's put it like this, had you rather be taken prisoner by Hadji or the US Army?
 
Last edited:
May 2018
551
Michigan
#43
I was a soldier for 28 years. I don't consider anything I ever did too be wrong or evil. There is no higher calling than defending one's country. I know the USA isn't perfect, but it's still the best country on the planet. I was proud too serve it. Let's put it like this, had you rather be taken prisoner by Hadji or the US Army?
Some people make a big deal about how the US was wantonly massacring Iraqis and Afghans. I spent a year in both countries, and never killed a single civilian who wasn't trying to kill us. Ditto for everyone in my battalion, and even the Army rumor mill: I never heard even a remotely credible rumor about US forces murdering locals, aside from a few rare and high profile incidents in the news.

I did, however, see people get punished for not being considerate to the local population. Or damaging the property of locals.

The idea of a murderous US military is largely a left-wing fantasy. Maybe in 1888 in the Old West, but the reason My Lai was a big deal was because it was so *uncommon*.

I will also note that the Afghans had stories abound about how badly the Russians treated them in the 80s. Whereas we were building wells, the Soviets were poisoning them.

Why was I in Afghanistan? Because the Taliban openly supported Al Qaeda. And they made the Madhi of Khartoum look like Abraham Lincoln.

Why was I in Iraq? Because I was ordered to be there, but I do recall several Iraqis thanking us for showing up. Anti-War Americans (I was against the war too, until I got there) may not have wanted us there but they weren't the ones who lived daily under Saddam's tyranny. I'd urge anyone against the Iraq war to consider how they'd feel about the US invasion if Uday and Qusay raped and murdered *your* daughter. Or if you were Kurdish in the early 90s and watched your family get gassed. Or a fuckton of other literal crimes against humanity committed by that regime. WMD's be damned, you don't need the CIA to tell you how vile that regime was.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
4,949
#44
The problem was the system the US GWB government put in place after 9/11. From Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib.

The US lost the moral high-ground, and it was entirely self-inflicted.
 
Likes: Zanis

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,626
Sydney
#45
I'd like to know the context of this quote. As a former soldier, I've never liked philoshophies like that: initiative and independent thinking are required skills, at the very least for NCO's and above.

Even a private or specialist should be ready to take charge if they are the highest ranking person present, due to casualties or chaotic circumstances.
I was delivering gear ( binoculars ) which had to be checked as per routine maintenance ,
the sign was next to the door of the main armory building ,
there were dozen of draftee waffling around
the major running the place was very intolerant of initiative and believed in proper paperwork and procedure
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,438
#46
"They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance."
American Civil War Union Major-General John Sedgwick, moments before a Confederate sniper bullet killed him.
That one is a bit of a popular myth, at least as far as it is usually presented on the internet. It is usually claimed to be his last words, and some versions don't even allow him to finish the word distance before he is struck.


I gave the necessary order to move the troops to the right, and as they rose to execute the movement the enemy opened a sprinkling fire, partly from sharp-shooters. As the bullets whistled by, some of the men dodged. The general said laughingly, "What! what! men, dodging this way for single bullets! What will you do when they open fire along the whole line? I am ashamed of you. They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." A few seconds after, a man who had been separated from his regiment passed directly in front of the general, and at the same moment a sharp-shooter's bullet passed with a long shrill whistle very close, and the soldier, who was then just in front of the general, dodged to the ground. The general touched him gently with his foot, and said, "Why, my man, I am ashamed of you, dodging that way," and repeated the remark, "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." The man rose and saluted and said good-naturedly, "General, I dodged a shell once, and if I hadn't, it would have taken my head off. I believe in dodging. "The general laughed and replied, "All right, my man; go to your place."

For a third time the same shrill whistle, closing with a dull, heavy stroke, interrupted our talk; when, as I was about to resume, the general's face turned slowly to me, the blood spurting from his left cheek under the eye in a steady stream. He fell in my direction ; I was so close to him that my effort to support him failed, and I fell with him.
Sedgewick was performing his duty as an officer admirably when he is killed.

Dedication of the equestrian statue of Major-General John Sedgwick
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,438
#47
"I confess, without shame, that I am sick and tired of fighting — its glory is all moonshine; even success the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families, appealing to me for sons, husbands, and fathers […] it is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated […] that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation. […] I declare before God, as a man and a soldier, I will not strike a foe who stands unarmed and submissive before me, but would rather say—‘Go, and sin no more.’

---William Tecumseh Sherman


"My heart is broken by the terrible loss I have sustained in my old friends and companions and my poor soldiers. Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won..."

---Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, on Waterloo
 
May 2018
551
Michigan
#48
I was delivering gear ( binoculars ) which had to be checked as per routine maintenance ,
the sign was next to the door of the main armory building ,
there were dozen of draftee waffling around
the major running the place was very intolerant of initiative and believed in proper paperwork and procedure
Dang. What era was it? Sounds like it was awhile ago if there were draftees.

One of the things I like about the U.S. Army are its Prussian roots thanks to Baron von Steuben. Prussian military philosophy is pretty supportive of initiative and independent thinking, kind of amazing given the somewhat autocratic culture it had of the era. I recall an anecdote during the Franco Prussian War where Helmuth von Moltke actually lambasted a Prussian Major for not disobeying orders and taking the initiative. He said something along the lines of "You are an officer of the King, and as such are expected to advance the King's cause if you see the opportunity even if it means disobeying orders."

Not exactly something you'd expect to hear from the Germany military, at least as we view that era now from a cultural perspective. I recall many times I was simply told, "Sergeant, take three guys and accomplish task X".
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,626
Sydney
#49
I saw a similar quote
"You have been made an officer in the Imperial army to know when to disobey order"

or Gustavus Adolfus to the very young Thorstensson used as a messager during a battle
seeing a change in the enemy position , he altered the verbal orders of the King
then told him what he had done
"Lennart, this could have cost you your life, but maybe you are better suited to be a general than a page at the royal court"

P.S. yes it was a millennium ago
 
Likes: frogsofwar
May 2018
551
Michigan
#50
The problem was the system the US GWB government put in place after 9/11. From Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib.

The US lost the moral high-ground, and it was entirely self-inflicted.

Its the same system that has been trampling on American Civil Liberties for almost two decades now. Although I now believe the Iraq war was justified due to the vileness of Saddam's regime, it doesn't mean I support the infrastructure set up post 9-11.
 

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