Man, it has been awhile.
Let me first apologize to those who follow the blog more closely than others. Take one part new job plus one part TDY plus one part Jameson, and I get a little lazy about the Blog/Vlog. But there will be a new video this week, and hopefully a new comic next week.
That being said, I promised a review of the reserve retirement system. And the research I have done does not meet my standard. Not that I did not try. Don’t get me wrong. I was diving into Army Regs, National Guard Regs, Navy Regs, US Federal Codes and even, god help me, recruiting message boards.
But the research does not meet my standards. So until I can find the right answers and regulations, I am not going to put forward a sub-par product. That being said, you can go to this website to check out some information to help you out. But I will get back to this topic.
But until then, let’s talk about Racism! Wait, what?
One of the bigger issues our Army faces today, according to our leaders, is SHARP issues. I don’t know if that is the case. I am not saying that it is not an issue, but it is not the worst issue. And when I say that racism is an issue, I am not saying that there is like an undercover KKK in the Army secretly holding back “The Blacks and the Jews” or something. That is not the case.
It is a problem. And I think the real problem is honesty. Not that racist are honest about their racism. I mean, if racist would come out and be like “Hey, I am a racist, I hate the Asians”, this would be an easy problem to fix. But the problem is that people harbor racist thoughts and are not given a way to field their prejudices so that they can be defeated in a non-threatening way. I am talking about the small prejudices that don’t build up to the type of thing that overtly effect organizations, but effect units in small ways that are unnoticeable to most people, perhaps not even noticeable to the person who harbors the thoughts.
About two years ago, my company equal opportunity rep was doing a small group EO session in the company break room/battalion XO’s beat up on the maintenance control officer room. I was walking through the motorpool looking for a reason to hate on my platoon leaders, so I decided to hop by the small group session. I walked in and I was shocked by what they were saying.
I am not going to repeat what exactly was being said, but my first instinct as the Commander was to stop it right in its tracks. I saw visions of EO complaints in my future, along with the requisite paperwork. But my EO rep looked at me, and gave me the look that said, “Sir, don’t fuck this up, I have them exactly where I want them.”
So I said nothing, and just listened in. Everyone was bearing their prejudices in a non-attributional environment. People were getting offended, but the EO rep was controlling it. It was great because, as they said what they felt out loud, you could see them changing their minds without anyone saying anything. It was like they realized how stupid their thoughts were as they were saying them. Just saying what they felt to someone else without the threat of being demeaned healed the prejudice.
I don’t know if this is an institutionalized practice. I hope it is. If it is not, it says a lot about the quality of my EO rep at the time that he made the company a better place.
Some of you may be thinking, “Well that is what you get when you take away political correctness, Captain!”
I disagree. This is what you get when people are honest.
Till next time