Cheap Seats 2016
Discipline and Order - 12/14
By Eugene Trzupek
(Captain, retired, United States Army)
A note from Rich: Over the 16 years that I’ve been writing this column my brothers Gerry and Larry have contributed their own pieces to the Cheap Seats now and again. But you, my dear readers, have never heard from my eldest brother, Gene.
He’s a Viet Nam veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in that conflict. Gene was deeply offended by a speech President Obama gave last week as, I am fairly certain, a good many other veterans were. My esteemed publisher and I offered him this forum to express his thoughts. The title of this column and the words that follow this aside are all Gene’s.
For those of you who suffer from Trump and/or Trzupek derangement syndrome and who will feel the need to tell Gene how incredibly wrong/racist/fascist/whatever he is, you can drop me a line. As veteran readers know, I don’t get into debates with readers (although I do read whatever you send), but I’ll pass what you send about Gene’s thoughts along to my big bro, and – if he has any thoughts in return – he’ll either write you back directly or continue to use me as a conduit.
Finally, on a personal note, I am immensely proud of my two sisters and three brothers. I feel incredibly blessed to have such siblings. But, I’m sure the rest of my sibs will forgive me if I say that while I consider all of you superstars, I find that Gene’s star shines especially bright at this moment in time. Enjoy:
One of the foundations of the great military forces since the time of the Greek and Roman Armies is the adherence to order and discipline.
Speaking about the importance of discipline, The Army Officer’s Guide (page 256, 1966/67 Edition) says: “One of the differences between a fine military unit and a mere rabble is the degree of obedience to the will of the leader. Fine discipline is the cement or cohesive force of a good organization. Where discipline is weak, leadership is faulty.”
On Dec 6, 2016 the Commander in Chief of the US Military told the assembled airmen at McDill Air Force Base that soldiers need to rise up against Trump if they feel he is pushing policies that are ill considered. President Obama told the troops, “each of us has…the universal right to speak your minds and to protest against authority; to live in a society that’s open and free; that we can criticize our President without retribution.” (for details see: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/12/07/obama-urges-soldiers-to-question-trumps-authority-criticize-our-president/).
This puffed-up community organizer’s remarks to the soldiers further confirms that he regards the US Military as just another platform for social engineering & dummying-down. He has absolutely NO CLUE regarding the role of Discipline and Order in a military environment.
As a Vietnam Vet and former Army Officer I regard Obama’s guidance to the Troops as subversive – bordering on treason.
Subversion is: “undermining the power and authority of an established system or institution”.
Treason is: “the action of betraying someone or something: e.g. doubt is the ultimate treason against faith”.
An Army is not just a bigger extension of, for example, a Community on the Southeast Side of Chicago, or some civilian corporate entity.
In a well-disciplined Army, legal orders are not questioned, whether they come from a Platoon Sergeant, a First Sergeant, a Company Commander, a Battalion Commander ….. or from the Commander in Chief of the United States of America.
Any attempt to water down Discipline and Order in an Army does a supreme disservice to the men and their leaders whose lives are all on the line in times of war/battle.
General of the Armies Douglas MacArthur, in his 1962 speech to the graduating class at West Point, spoke about “Duty, Honor, Country”.
He said, in part, “The unbelievers will say they (“Duty, Honor, Country”) are but words, but a slogan, but a flamboyant phrase. Every pedant, every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, every troublemaker, and, I am sorry to say, some others of an entirely different character (and I, the author of this article include President Obama in this group), will try to downgrade them even to the extent of mockery and ridicule.
But these are some of the things they do. They build your basic character. They mold you for your future roles as the custodians of the Nation’s defense. They make you strong enough to know when you are weak, and brave enough to face yourself when you are afraid”. (See the full text of MacArthur’s speech at: http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/au-24/au24-352mac.htm)
In conclusion, Section-4 of the US Army ‘Code of Conduct’ says “…. I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way”.
Anyone serving in a disciplined Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force or Coast Guard, regardless of rank, serves under the rules of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and does NOT have a universal right to protest lawful military authority exercising that authority in a lawful manner.