Just how Republican is the military?

posted at 7:45 pm on February 12, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

I suppose I’m one of those people who has long subscribed to the idea that the United States military, while not 100% monolithic, was composed primarily of those who tended to lean toward the conservative side of the aisle, if not actually registered Republicans. I suppose that goes back to my own time in the service when it certainly seemed to be a prevalent attitude in the enlisted circles I traveled in. There’s also an understandable perception that those who are willing to put their lives on the line for their country would likely be strong on national security issues, traditionally a GOP strong point. Further, even in modern social media, the more prevalent “mil-blogger” voices you tend to see are conservatives. (Granted, that’s purely anecdotal from my own perception.)

But now, (via OTB) some research from a view years ago compiled by political scientists Jason Dempsey and Bob Shapiro seems to indicate it’s more of an even split similar to the civilian population at large than I would have suspected.

It is true that the upper echelons of the military tilt right. My own research confirmed that about two-thirds of majors and higher-ranking officers identify as conservative, as previous studies found. But that tilt becomes far less pronounced when you expand the pool of respondents. That is because only 32 percent of the Army’s enlisted soldiers consider themselves conservative, while 23 percent identify as liberal and the remaining 45 percent are self-described moderates. These numbers closely mirror the ideological predilections of the civilian population

Dr. James Joyner sums up the contributing factors and how much of a difference the military vote may make in elections.

1. The military, and especially its senior officers, are more Republican and conservative than the country as a whole. But the extent of this is grossly exaggerated, because the media naturally focuses on the attitudes of the officer corps, particularly more senior officers.

2. These differences are almost entirely explainable by the demographic makeup of the military, which is self-selected.

3. As with the rest of the country, the younger cohorts of the military–including its officer corps–are less Republican and less conservative. See, for example, the enormous swings in attitudes on gays in the military over the last 20 years.

4. The notion that the “military vote” plays a major role in choosing our presidents is vastly overstated. In addition to the issues Lawrence notes, a third of the states essentially disenfranchise military personnel by mailing absentee ballots too late. The caveat is that, because a disproportionate number of military personnel claim Florida as their home of record in order to avoid paying state income taxes, they could potentially serve as a decisive swing vote in an incredibly close contest along the lines of the 2000 election. Those are, of course, quite uncommon.

I suppose all of that makes sense. Demographics do tend to shift from one generation to the next, and there’s no reason that the military would be exempt from this. What would be more interesting would be to see if similar studies were ever conducted in the past and compare some snapshots from the forties, the sixties, the eighties and today. But another factor not mentioned here might be that no matter which party controls the White House, you don’t tend to see the members of the military running around criticizing the administration in public. This comes from generations of training which teach them not to run around trash talking the chain of command, including the very top of it.


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And by, “obey orders” I mean most of them will “obey illegal orders” from those in authority. The psychological evidence and historical data on this is overwhelming.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 8:53 PM

B.S. The first week of boot we were taught “just following orders” is not an excuse. If its something illegal, it doesnt matter if there was an order given or not. Its still illegal, and UCMJ will still get you.

As for the political leanings, it depends on where you are. We had one lib in our platoon, and everyone hated him for being a DB. When I was in Air Assault School on the east cost, there were tons of them. You want to talk about self righteous a-holes in real life, try the military. One guy I argued with almost pulled rank on me because I was arguing the conservative point of view and he didnt like it.

Here is the military voter breakdown from the last election.

http://www.militarytimes.com/static/projects/pages/081003_ep_2pp.pdf

I’m not buying the moderate majority.

Logboy on February 12, 2012 at 11:36 PM

One thing should cast doubt on this thesis on the margins, and that is that the military is not demographically representative. It is wildly skewed toward the younger demographic, as compared to the rest of the population.

The younger servicemembers can lean left and right just about as their civilian demographic does, but that’s not information about the tendencies of mid-grade and senior NCOs. My anecdotal experience is that both NCOs (especially E-6 and above) and officers tend to be more conservative politically than E-4 and below.

That’s largely because they are older, and because relatively conservative or moderate (not self-declared “liberal”) personnel are the ones more likely to stay in the service.

Regarding Florida, the age and length of service matter there as well. Servicemembers who maintain residency in Florida for tax purposes are virtually all beyond their initial commitment, whether officer or enlisted. It would be incorrect to assume that their mail-in votes wouldn’t skew more conservative than average. It’s a good bet that 20-year-old E-3s don’t make up the bulk of the military absentee voters in Florida.

J.E. Dyer on February 12, 2012 at 11:37 PM

BTW, another reason the Presidential election of 2008 was an anomaly in the military ranks that will not be repeated:

http://militarytimes.com/static/projects/pages/military-times-poll-2011

In Bush’s last year, the military as a whole gave him a 48% approval rating.
In 2011, they gave Obama one of 25%.

rwenger43 on February 12, 2012 at 11:48 PM

So?

I’m pointing out that there is no reason to assume the military is dominated by rightists, particularly in the lower ranks and in support occupations, and so on. This is what the data shows and charitable giving to the heart fund has crap all to do with it.

It can be safely assumed that most soldiers throughout history were collectivists politically since most societies were collectivist.

Random on February 12, 2012 at 9:26 PM

No that can not be safely assumed because you’re still making an ass out of u and me by assuming.

The american soldier is willing to sacrifice himself for the freedom of a stranger, that is what makes him special. This self sacrifice does not come from collectivism but from a Judeo-Christian value system. Judeo Christian values emphasize free will, Collectivism does not.

Conservatives value cooperation as well as competition; understand the importance of self sacrifice as well as self interest; respect individualism as well as being a part of a team. The way you talk about collectivism and our military makes me wonder if you are even an American.

Daemonocracy on February 13, 2012 at 12:03 AM

This is an awful notion, that a gang member could learn martial arts by joining the army. The sad truth, however, is that gang recruitment is up, severely, and these gangs are actually using the military for training in martial arts, combat weapons, and all manner of skills. This could be utterly terrifying, if you think about it, a gang member being trained as a soldier and then turned loose on the streets of America.

Fallon on February 12, 2012 at 8:11 PM

It’s been going on for years — at least since the late 80s. It may have accelerated in the past couple of years, though, from some reports.
There’s a reason for that, too.

Solaratov on February 13, 2012 at 12:09 AM

“The first week of boot we were taught “just following orders” is not an excuse.”

+1

We learned the same thing.

crosspatch on February 13, 2012 at 12:19 AM

Now tell me who is more Anti-American.
My liberal family or the military dodging Romneys?

Benedict Arnold was a frickin’ war hero before he became a traitor. Prior service is no excuse for later actions that harm the country. (And yes, John Murtha is Exhibit B)

CJ on February 13, 2012 at 12:29 AM

Considering the amount of disdain towards the military from the left, I suspect this survey is flawed.

My son joined the Air National Guard right after high school and every single student and teacher at his high school who was a leftie sneered at him for it. Also, as far as I know, every person in his student flight is conservative. Every one of the kids he went to school with that are going into the military or to one of the academies is also conservative.

All of our acquaintances, family, or friends that are current or former military, any branch, are also conservative. I’ve yet to meet one single member of the military who is a Democrat.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t any, especially among young minorities, but I bet many of them change their minds as they become more educated in the military.

Common Sense on February 13, 2012 at 12:33 AM

I’m not buying the moderate majority.

Logboy on February 12, 2012 at 11:36 PM

I don’t believe most are moderate. Most were, when I was in, fiercely libertarian. For example, many would hold conservative beliefs personally but felt no need to enforce their personal beliefs onto others. Many wanted the government to be responsible with their money, pick their fights carefully, fight to win, get out when we’re done, don’t try to use the military as a police force or a nation building force. Many of the values that Sarah Palin spoke about, the “leave me alone” small government, common sense constitutional approach would appeal to most in the military.

The problem in American politics today is that both the far right and the far left want to use Washington DC as a platform to enforce their social agenda on the whole country. They need to leave the rest of the country alone and let the various states and regions set the social agenda that suits their culture. That works out better for everyone because then everyone can find a place that fits their values, they don’t have to worry about an oppressive federal government on their backs, and a region that makes bad choices sees the damage limited to only that region. If they go off the deep end with liberal economic decisions, fine, people and business can move away. The state goes into decline, and their political clout declines with it.

An example would be California. Their political clout declined in relative terms this last census. For the first time since statehood, California did not gain any seats in Congress. California has peaked and will soon begin the decline that New York (lost 2 seats) and Illinois (lost 1 seat) saw in 2012.

The federal government should REFLECT the culture of the country, not dictate it. There is NOTHING moderate about that approach. The culture wars should be fought at the state level by the people residing in that state and if you don’t reside there, mind your own business. If you do reside there and the state becomes something that no longer suits you, there is likely a state that reflects your values much more fittingly. Move there.

The problem with Democrats is that they tend to be totalitarian in all respects. Far right Republicans tend to be social totalitarians. “Far” anything tends to want to dictate their ideology on people. Leave us alone to live our lives. Washington DC has enough problems to worry about without having to worry about what is going on in one or another of the states.

crosspatch on February 13, 2012 at 12:34 AM

My husband was is active duty Army. And I have the honor of knowing quite a few military spouses/families and also people/friends my husband served with. Among this group, I would say, most if not all lean conservative.

A few points:
1) The number of recruits from the South, far outnumber any other region.
2) My husband has told me that the Air Force and Navy have a more even breakdown. (Republican/Democrat). Whereas the Army leans 55%-60%+ conservative, and the Marines 60%-70%+
3) A “moderate” in the military is not like a “moderate” in the civilian world. A moderate in the military will lean considerably to the right.
4) If the breakdown was really about even, the democrats in heavy blue states/districts would not go out of their way to disenfranchise military ballots.

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 13, 2012 at 12:35 AM

It should also be added that Obama’s approval rating among the military is under 30%

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 13, 2012 at 12:37 AM

Did it really change that much since 2004?

In the survey of more than 4,000 full-time and part-time troops, 73% said they would vote for Bush if the election were held today; 18% said they would vote for Kerry. Of the respondents, 59% identified themselves as Republicans, 20% as independents and 13% as Democrats.

Dawnsblood on February 13, 2012 at 12:59 AM

Benedict Arnold was a frickin’ war hero before he became a traitor. Prior service is no excuse for later actions that harm the country. (And yes, John Murtha is Exhibit B)

CJ on February 13, 2012 at 12:29 AM

You forgot “Halp Us Jon Kary.”

Logboy on February 13, 2012 at 1:03 AM

When I was in the military (during the Carter and Reagan administrations) very few voted. By very few, I mean that among the men in my platoon, I was the only one who voted that I knew of.

Most in the military just weren’t that political at all.

crosspatch on February 12, 2012 at 7:57 PM

This. Still very true today. And for the ones who are political:

Obama & Paul are popular with the GIs. Could that be because we’ve been at war for 10 yrs & they’re growing weary of it?

itsnotaboutme on February 12, 2012 at 7:52 PM

This.

Republicans are beyond deluded when they think their pathetic calls for militarism and starting wars are actually well received within the ranks. “Hey, look this Republican warmonger says he loves us, so he wants to send us to some foreign place that hates us so thousands of us can die and tens of thousands os us can get wounded while not actually accomplishing anything!”

Republicans actually think military personnel are that stupid. Its insulting. The whole relationship Republicans have with the Jewish demographic is similar. Patronizing, uninformed, motivated by protestant evangelism, rather than a genuine concern for the demographic in question.

Daikokuco on February 13, 2012 at 1:05 AM

Did it really change that much since 2004?

In the survey of more than 4,000 full-time and part-time troops, 73% said they would vote for Bush if the election were held today; 18% said they would vote for Kerry. Of the respondents, 59% identified themselves as Republicans, 20% as independents and 13% as Democrats.

Dawnsblood on February 13, 2012 at 12:59 AM

No. Its BS. Here is a 2008 election survey. If there are all those moderates, why didnt they poll for Obama?

http://www.militarytimes.com/static/projects/pages/081003_ep_2pp.pdf

Logboy on February 13, 2012 at 1:08 AM

Daikokuco on February 13, 2012 at 1:05 AM

Another Paulbot.

Logboy on February 13, 2012 at 1:09 AM

Just how Republican is the military?

Enough that their votes won’t be counted because the Dems can’t take the risk.

Left Coast Right Mind on February 13, 2012 at 1:12 AM

Daikokuco on February 13, 2012 at 1:05 AM

You do realize that the US has a “volunteer” military?

And anyone that thinks Paul or Obama is popular among the military is on some serious sheet.

A recent poll put Obama’s approval rating among the military as a whole at 25%.

http://militarytimes.com/static/projects/pages/military-times-poll-2011

And one final thing, you do realize that the biggest warmongering presidents in history were Democrats?

LBJ, FDR, Wilson

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 13, 2012 at 1:13 AM

Just how Republican is the military?

Enough that their votes won’t be counted because the Dems can’t take the risk.

Left Coast Right Mind on February 13, 2012 at 1:12 AM

Yup.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/ballot/overseas.asp

Logboy on February 13, 2012 at 1:14 AM

No. Its BS. Here is a 2008 election survey. If there are all those moderates, why didnt they poll for Obama?

http://www.militarytimes.com/static/projects/pages/081003_ep_2pp.pdf

Logboy on February 13, 2012 at 1:08 AM

Thanks for posting that.

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 13, 2012 at 1:17 AM

And anyone that thinks Paul or Obama is popular among the military is on some serious sheet.

A recent poll put Obama’s approval rating among the military as a whole at 25%.

http://militarytimes.com/static/projects/pages/military-times-poll-2011

And one final thing, you do realize that the biggest warmongering presidents in history were Democrats?

LBJ, FDR, Wilson

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 13, 2012 at 1:13 AM

But Ron Paul has the most military support! It must be true because Ron Paul said so! Paul’s military support numbers are like Obama’s “jobs created/saved” numbers: easy to claim, impossible to prove. I have yet to find one of his military supporters in real life.

Logboy on February 13, 2012 at 1:20 AM

On this “Aim to kill” criticism. It’s absolute B.S!

First day of basic, I was taught to shoot off a man’s finger at 50 paces with a 9mm, so he couldn’t hurt nobody.

Next day, we started with how to make a bed….h

Random on February 12, 2012 at 8:44 PM

This is BS!

davidk on February 12, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Yuh think?!
/s/

Solaratov on February 13, 2012 at 1:29 AM

That doesn’t mean there aren’t any, especially among young minorities, but I bet many of them change their minds as they become more educated in the military.

Common Sense on February 13, 2012 at 12:33 AM

Actually, you might find a number of doctors serving in the military are Democrats. I know several. And it’s fair to say that most docs aren’t dumb minorities.

bayam on February 13, 2012 at 1:30 AM

The fact that you refer to ‘military vote suppression’ tells me everything I need to know about your knowledge of the topic.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Lex, you’re a flaming lefty with a bit a chip on your shoulder. You still have no facts. But your opinion is always welcome here. Worthless but always welcome.

Yes, lex. The military vote is the last vote to ever be given the priority is rightly deserves in this country and you thank the Democrat party for this. It’s disgusting and it happened ever election. case closed.

katy on February 12, 2012 at 9:52 PM

I am not a lefty of any kind and don’t have a chip on my shoulder. I am less partisan than you are to be sure but this is not a partisan issue. A minority of absentee ballots are related to the military. Most absentee ballots are expats and it is well known that they trend Democrat. I’m interested in absentee ballots because I think they have been treated badly in the past under GOP and Democrat controlled states. You think military votes should be prioritized wheras I merely suggest that every absentee ballot should be tabulated. Military votes should not count more or less than any other citizens vote. I would hope that we all can agree on that.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Quite a few correct things you’ve asserted in your comments in this thread about the demographics of politics in the military. I disagree in at least one instance about suppressing military votes though. In Florida 2000, lawyers, armed with instructional memos were dispatched to discredit and dismiss specifically, military absentee ballots.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2012 at 11:21 PM

Well both sides played games in FL with the absentee ballots. There was court order on counting absentee ballots. I know Dems who think they can show that 600+ of those FL ballots should not have been counted because of the postmark (lack thereof) and the ruling forced those unmarked ballots to be counted. Other close states did not count any absentee ballots at all and this is down to the states having different rules from the fed standard. The ruling was by a fed judge in 2000. Let me know if you want more info on it but essentially absentee ballots were challenged for cause rather than because of where they were mailed from.

lexhamfox on February 13, 2012 at 1:34 AM

Quite a few correct things you’ve asserted in your comments in this thread about the demographics of politics in the military. I disagree in at least one instance about suppressing military votes though. In Florida 2000, lawyers, armed with instructional memos were dispatched to discredit and dismiss specifically, military absentee ballots.

hawkdriver on February 12, 2012 at 11:21 PM

Well both sides played games in FL with the absentee ballots. There was court order on counting absentee ballots. I know Dems who think they can show that 600+ of those FL ballots should not have been counted because of the postmark (lack thereof) and the ruling forced those unmarked ballots to be counted. Other close states did not count any absentee ballots at all and this is down to the states having different rules from the fed standard. The ruling was by a fed judge in 2000. Let me know if you want more info on it but essentially absentee ballots were challenged for cause rather than because of where they were mailed from.

lexhamfox on February 13, 2012 at 1:34 AM

According to federal law, military ballots can not be discarded due to lack of a postmark, because military ballots don’t always get mailed through the normal channels. So the attempt to keep them from being counted in Florida in 2000 was, in fact, illegal.

Now, it’s certainly true that “military ballot” is a bit of a misnomer, since it’s the exact same ballot that anyone overseas would be mailing. But practically speaking, there are ways to identify ballots coming from the military, so it would be a mistake to claim they could never be targeted. And therefore probably naive to think they never would be targeted.

There Goes The Neighborhood on February 13, 2012 at 1:46 AM

They do NOT receive military ballots… there is no such thing.

lexhamfox on February 12, 2012 at 10:08 PM

When one refers to “military ballots”, one is not speaking of a ballot marked “military”. One is referring to ballots that are cast BY THE MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES. And they are regularly discounted, thrown out, or otherwise not counted. (ref.: Fairfax County, Va., 2004 and 2008)
No one has said that there are specialy-marked “military ballots” – just absentee ballots coming from military posts overseas.
Yet you insist on pretending (one hopes) that you do not know this.

Solaratov on February 13, 2012 at 2:11 AM

Now, it’s certainly true that “military ballot” is a bit of a misnomer, since it’s the exact same ballot that anyone overseas would be mailing. But practically speaking, there are ways to identify ballots coming from the military, so it would be a mistake to claim they could never be targeted. And therefore probably naive to think they never would be targeted.

There Goes The Neighborhood on February 13, 2012 at 1:46 AM

Exactly right. I get the same absentee ballot everyone else in my voting district would get. When I complete it, there is a block to check as to why I’m allowed to vote absentee. I check the “military” block and my wife checks the “military spouse” block. It’s been that way since I started voting back in ’92.

Kevin71 on February 13, 2012 at 2:13 AM

I wonder why the military overwhelmingly favored Bush over Kerry then?

By an astonishing 72 to 17 percent margin, the active-duty military personnel who took the survey favored Bush over Kerry (Guard and Reserve respondents favored Bush, 73 to 18 percent). Frankly, the margin greatly exceeds anything that I or any other analyst had expected.

Capitalist Infidel on February 13, 2012 at 3:06 AM

right-wingers defend something

left-wingers defend nothing

right-winger are typically disciplined persons

left-wingers are typically free-wheelers and obnoxious

That’s my view as I have seen over my life. Take note that the foregoing are not absolutes. There has been a widening divide over the past 20 years thru generational, but also intentional, changes. If someone was strong willed, I believe that would draw the support of soldiers more than say, wanting to hand out free baby killing medicine (Irony is that I’m not even pro-life, more anti-hypocrisy and anti-manipulation). This is why the pussy flavored Republicans of late have less chance than the pandering of the current CINC and his Admin.

I bet there won’t be military ballots challenged by Soros’s Secretary’s of State winner this year like in 2008.

John Kettlewell on February 13, 2012 at 3:18 AM

hmm do bad words in a comment make it vanish and not post?

John Kettlewell on February 13, 2012 at 3:20 AM

Actually, with each of my enlistments I ended with, “so help me.” God isn’t required.

In my experience most AF members are fiscal conservatives and social centrists. Family values are important, but the government needs to stay out of marriages and the bedroom.

The only military members that support the nanny state are the teenagers, the young parents still toughening up, and the few whose kids have pre-existing medical conditions that require frequent use of Tricare.

Even the very junior enlisted, kids that they are, don’t support the occupy nonsense.

caldfyr on February 13, 2012 at 3:52 AM

caldfyr on February 13, 2012 at 3:52 AM

Yes.

Thank you,
Sgt. Vulcha

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on February 13, 2012 at 4:14 AM

The military is by and large Conservative NOT neo-conservative though. Hence why Dr Paul gets twice as much money from military personnel than all the other candidates combined!!!!

steve123 on February 13, 2012 at 4:48 AM

Oh shove your ‘neo-con’ claptrap up your waterpipe, Paulbot.

rayra on February 13, 2012 at 5:24 AM

Having spent over 20 years on active duty I can only recall having met 1 person who self identified as a Democrat. That being said most of the personnel I was stationed with over the years were mainly conservative, not libertarian. Most voted (was my units voting assistanse officer, twice) and were very openly Republicans. I believe this was the norm amongst most branches having done one tour at a Joint Service Command I actually witnessed this first hand. The thing that ticks me off the most is hearing this non-stop BS about Ron Paul getting the most support of the Armed Services. Total and complete fiction. I never saw/found/heard ANYONE express support for him, not one. I did see a bumper sticker once, it was on a civilian employee’s car. Everyone has seen the video clips showing the differences between GWB & BHO receptions. That is the norm, and I’m not talking about hand picked audiences that BHO now uses when appearing with the military. His staff actually requests this now. That is sad.

D-fusit on February 13, 2012 at 6:11 AM

The problem with articles like this is that the terms of the discussion are not framed. Define conservative and liberal and then discuss.

Bradky on February 13, 2012 at 6:43 AM

“The caveat is that, because a disproportionate number of military personnel claim Florida as their home of record in order to avoid paying state income taxes … ” – Pew Trust
http://tinyurl.com/83yjb6

I thought that was a FEDERAL § re: G.I.s not having to pay State taxes.
Is this a newish development or was it just my State: Arizona?
(okay, it was 40 years ago)
Just Curious

By the way, young people tend to follow the political views of their parents. With maturity comes common sense and conservatism – up to a certain age.
That and being mugged of course.
(chuckle)

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 13, 2012 at 7:28 AM

@daikocuco:

Republicans are beyond deluded when they think their pathetic calls for militarism and starting wars are actually well received within the ranks.

Hmmm- and yet soetero-shabazz called Afghanistan a just and vital war, while lying, er campaigning on the way to the presidency. How to explain that “call to militarism”?

Also, please explain our military activity in Libya, Uganda, and Yemen- all undertaken with Presiden Earflaps leading from behind, and all with no legislative branch approval?

Speaking of deluded….

GrassMudHorsey on February 13, 2012 at 7:30 AM

Karzai Rules of Engagement taken to a whole ‘nutha level.

Regarding our military personnel in Afghanistan, posted at Breitbart Big Peace

Obama: Soldiers in Afghanistan Must Be Fired Upon to Receive Combat Pay
By John Bernard, 1st Sgt. USMC (ret.)
Feb 11th 2012 at 3:14 pm in Afghanistan

As of February 1st 2012, Commander In Chief Obama has determined that Combat Pay for US forces will be determined by a new criteria. This new policy now requires having been shot at first. For those not understanding the problem with this, it now says that the US Government has effectively declared Afghanistan a “safe zone”! And this in spite of the nearly daily reports of Americans being either wounded or killed! In general, Afghanistan has been deemed a combat zone and all US forces deployed in that region have been eligible for combat pay due to the certainty of encountering dirt-bags in firefights, ambushes, IED’s or suicide bombings. This newest insult is certainly an effort to bolster what will be his campaign claim to have “pacified” Afghanistan during his tenure… Is this the “safe” Afghanistan where Warriors are still forced to patrol daily, are wounded in daily, killed in daily, betrayed by Afghan Soldiers and Police Cadets, daily and which the Obama Administration has now effectively declared no longer a combat zone? So once again, the health and well-being of our Warriors will suffer for political expedience. In addition, all troops fired upon, wounded or killed by our “Afghan partners” will not be viewed as combat deaths but fratricide/murder, making those incidents criminal acts. This will affect the way United States Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Coast Guardsmen who are wounded or killed in [Afghanistan] are treated by this government. It will also most likely change the SGLI eligibility status from non-taxable to taxable!!

It’s just a pure affectation he puts on, to make other people think better of him. But it doesn’t work, does it.

maverick muse on February 13, 2012 at 7:39 AM

“The first week of boot we were taught “just following orders” is not an excuse.”

+1

We learned the same thing.

crosspatch on February 13, 2012 at 12:19 AM

The Nürnberg (Nuremburg) Trials dispelled any such notion.
(psssssssssst … someone tell the bad guys again)

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 13, 2012 at 7:44 AM

“Republicans are beyond deluded when they think their pathetic calls for militarism and starting wars are actually well received within the ranks.” – daikocuco

Huh?
Maybe not cooks and supply clerks, but not combat arms troops and fighter pilots.
Why let all that painful training to go waste if you can’t take it out on someone?
At least that’s been my experience and observations.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 13, 2012 at 7:48 AM

Dang booklearnin!

KeninCT on February 12, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Try damned indoctrination, Jack.

Siddhartha Vicious on February 13, 2012 at 7:50 AM

Should read: “Maybe not cooks and supply clerks …”
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 13, 2012 at 7:50 AM

But another factor not mentioned here might be that no matter which party controls the White House, you don’t tend to see the members of the military running around criticizing the administration in public. This comes from generations of training which teach them not to run around trash talking the chain of command, including the very top of it.

That and it is against regulation not to mention inappropriate.

Happy Nomad on February 13, 2012 at 7:54 AM

Benedict Arnold was a frickin’ war hero before he became a traitor. Prior service is no excuse for later actions that harm the country. (And yes, John Murtha is Exhibit B)

CJ on February 13, 2012 at 12:29 AM

Add Kerry, McVain to that as well. Although with McVain, it would be charitable to say he hasn’t harmed us so much out of malaice as with mavericky stupidity and displaced priorities. His claim to history would be obsessing over political contributions/free speech at the expense of the economy, bill of rights and country. A clueless would-be beneovolent dictator. Glad he lost in 08 lest he damage us even more than Oboobi could.

AH_C on February 13, 2012 at 7:57 AM

I would guess that the vast majority of officers are conservative.

And I would guess that a good percentage, if not majority, of career nco’s are republican.

But, a large percentage of the military is the one-term enlisted between 18-22 who generally come from poor areas (either urban or rural) and have only a high school education. I would guess that more than 50% of this cohort is liberal/dem.

there is also a higher percentage of minorities in the military then in the general population. And, particularly with a black president, I would guess this demographic votes dem – whether officer or NCO.

So, it would not surprise me to find the military split fairly evenly or even leaning dem. Most of them probably are more hawkish then most dems, but they probably still vote dem.

Monkeytoe on February 13, 2012 at 7:59 AM

I know Dems who think they can show that 600+ of those FL ballots should not have been counted because of the postmark (lack thereof) and the ruling forced those unmarked ballots to be counted. Other close states did not count any absentee ballots at all and this is down to the states having different rules from the fed standard. The ruling was by a fed judge in 2000. Let me know if you want more info on it but essentially absentee ballots were challenged for cause rather than because of where they were mailed from.

lexhamfox on February 13, 2012 at 1:34 AM

Generally speaking, expat ballots would bear the stamps/postmark of their host nations, and come into our postal system just like any other foreign based mail – typically 1st class.

While military affiliated expat, soliders, civilians and contractors come thru the APO system, and not always on 1st class basis, rather on space available basis. That’s where most of the controversy about slow mail centers on the miliatry delivering the mail to NYC or San Fran to handoff to the US Postal system. Back in the day, it was not uncommon for a lot of letters to have stamps & no postmark. And depending on other scenarios, letters sometimes come in with neither from overseas or ships, only a APO postmark.

But one thing is certain, it is the DNC-run states that consistently seek to deny the military votes, over and beyond mere bureacratic foul-ups in timing.

AH_C on February 13, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Does anyone have a link to the actual survey results by Dempsey and Shapiro?
I checked The Military Times and had no luck.
All that I can find are references to the survey.
I’d like to look at the actual survey report and see how it was conducted, analyzed, etc.

justltl on February 13, 2012 at 8:45 AM

I went in because my business was dependent on Tourism, (911 killed it) I wanted to defend my country in those days, and possibly kill those who harmed it. The liberal’s I knew were out of college, just BORED, you could never argue with them or they’d woos out and throw rank, always portraying themselves as better than you because they got a BA in Communications or some useless crap like that. Facts never matter to liberals.

ninjacoastie on February 13, 2012 at 8:51 AM

First day of basic, I was taught to shoot off a man’s finger at 50 paces with a 9mm, so he couldn’t hurt nobody.
Next day, we started with how to make a bed….
Random on February 12, 2012 at 8:44 PM

LOL.
Somebody is pretending they were in the military….

albill on February 13, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Well, I wasted over an hour now trying to find the original report of the survey which is the topic of this thread.
Searched the Military Times, the Army Times, civilian sites, etc. with no luck.

Color me skeptical about the entire premise.

justltl on February 13, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Having spent over 20 years on active duty I can only recall

Regarding “Republican” voter views of 20 years ago, from the military or from any other constituency?

1. Rear view mirror, a VALID instant recall of the past from the current perspective. You actually served active duty; thank you.

2. Consider when you entered the Military what those who’d already served 20 years active duty thought as Republicans. For those who weren’t aware 20 years ago, read what was written/said back in the day from that perspective of “current events” 20 years ago, recalling circa 1980-90. Voters who still swayed national policy did not see that Republicans (including those enlisting into the military) acknowledged the interventionist agenda as Republican Policy. It was happening with Reagan, but covert, not overt CIA operations. Americans did not so recently believe our “right” to first strike initiating military warfare invading other nations. Kissinger transformed the Republican Party into the Neoconservative Party, and most voters had no idea their party’s platform had mutated into the authoritarian party. That revisionism was achieved behind closed doors and through illegal activities that increasingly merged the CIA into the Military Leadership after having achieved the “most favored” economic merging of the US and Red China. Btw, who profited? NOT consumers, see inflation, failing Dollar, bail-outs and fallen standards of American living. The banking/investment globalist industry that has set its claws into every nation’s central bank, toppling governments and promoting “humanitarian” wars in order to pirate has profited.

3. Backtracking 20 years prior yet, read what Republican Policy was, 1960-70. “Trust” in the United Nations was NOT a characteristic from voters in any of America’s political parties, particularly given Eisenhower’s recent warning against the military-industrial-congressional complex on his retirement. The American sentiment never trusted the UN. (Rather, “If you want a job done well, do it yourself” proved the sentiment, explaining why Americans contributed to the alliance that was supposed to be against authoritarianism — but never was.) Goldwater was the Republican Party’s exemplar not so long ago, given Boomer active voter memory. And the Republican Party did not promote interventionist warfare, given that the GOP still valued campaigning for smaller government (not for LBJ’s “compassionate” Great Society). Republicans still considered the long term consequences and blow back, yet suffering the Korean “conflict” extreme pain from having allowed politicians to coerce military futility replaying the broken record since Wilson ordered and abandoned US troops to fight in Russia’s Revolution, and subsequent administrations ordering our troops throughout Asia, Asia Minor, the Middle East and what was called Latin America in warfare that Congress failed to declare and fails to properly appropriate tax funds.

As a conservative American with strong affinity for our finest youth responding to the call to protect our Constitutional Republic, I’ve observed as the neoconservative diatribe revised the purpose of our Government and usurped our Military to nation build in Islam, requiring that our military personnel “win the hearts and minds of the enemy” via suicidal rules of engagement so far as our military warriors are concerned. The recent administrations have abused and disillusioned our military personnel, consigning them as grunts in never ending globalist warfare. Three words or less: military suicide rate.

I have the utmost respect for the service that my father, uncles, grandfather and forefathers provided, responding to the Congressional Declarations of War. I honor the memory of my loved one who successfully commanded with no communications one of the most horrendous Korean Battles representing only one of the many heroic battles in hell from which he emerged, being himself the man who put out fire of his force’s munition supply, remaining without any protection with all those men on that god forsaken hill, hand to hand combat with the Communists, actually sacrificing his own helmet to another man, his own body blasted by enemy mortar, remaining in the fray until being the very last man on that hill, supervising the evacuation of all Americans though severely injured himself. THAT was the first US/NATO/UN war, and he would not speak of it, though we heard all of his skirmish stories and conquests against NAZI forces that he achieved while yet fighting through France and Germany — plenty of blood and ripe guts. By the time he (a Republican) retired from the Pentagon, he’d earned his way from being a Private to a full Colonel, having completed the writing of his branch’s Manual. Contrast that Manual with today’s. There’s a world of difference between what our Military’s purpose and strategic means to achieve victory was and is today. And certainly that “difference” is not referencing the advancement of technology, other than to say how our government abuses its every advancement to the detriment of constitutional integrity, to the dire disadvantage of American citizens, and to the detriment of our active duty Military Personnel allied with al Qaeda abroad.

Just how Republican is the military? Just how “Republican” is the Neoconservative agenda? At this point, just how much of “a Republic” do Americans still have?

maverick muse on February 13, 2012 at 9:27 AM

I wonder why the military overwhelmingly favored Bush over Kerry then?

By an astonishing 72 to 17 percent margin, the active-duty military personnel who took the survey favored Bush over Kerry (Guard and Reserve respondents favored Bush, 73 to 18 percent). Frankly, the margin greatly exceeds anything that I or any other analyst had expected.

Capitalist Infidel on February 13, 2012 at 3:06 AM

Thanks for posting this link. The author of the 2004 column (who happens to be a professor at ultra-liberal Duke Univ.) closes with this rhetorical question:

The Democrats have wooed the military more ardently (though perhaps not more wisely) than ever before. Does the fury of a spurned suitor prepare someone to be a good commander in chief in wartime?

rwenger43 on February 13, 2012 at 9:28 AM

First day of basic, I was taught to shoot off a man’s finger at 50 paces with a 9mm, so he couldn’t hurt nobody.
Next day, we started with how to make a bed….
Random on February 12, 2012 at 8:44 PM

So,…. what service was that again? Look Captain Chaos, you just shot any chance any vet is going to buy a single friggin thing you say… I was in Air Force boot, and we didn’t touch a weapon till the fifth week, and then, for two days,.. 1980,.. I had to wait till I was in Security Specialist school,.. Then, we had US Army instructers, and Army Rangers, and Army Ranger qualified AF personel as instructers..Then the m-60 school,.. at no time was anyone ever taught to shoot at anything, but center mass.

One shot, one kill.. and the goal was survival, because a wounded man can still kill you, or did you shoot all his fingers off Tex?

and if you on the first day, could hit a finger sized target with a nine at 50ft.. you do know the services measure distance in meters/… right?

fool..

mark81150 on February 13, 2012 at 9:32 AM

hyperbole
1. an obvious and intentional exaggeration.
2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “She’s as big as a house.”

justltl on February 13, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Republicans are beyond deluded when they think their pathetic calls for militarism and starting wars are actually well received within the ranks. “Hey, look this Republican warmonger says he loves us, so he wants to send us to some foreign place that hates us so thousands of us can die and tens of thousands os us can get wounded while not actually accomplishing anything!”

RepublicansDaikokuco actually thinks military personnel are that stupid. Its insulting. The whole relationship Republicans have with the Jewish demographic is similar. Patronizing, uninformed, motivated by protestant evangelism, rather than a genuine concern for the demographic in question.

Daikokuco on February 13, 2012 at 1:05 AM

first, you are an ass… I easily fall into your defintion of neo-con, which seems to be, advocating we actually friggin defend ourselves… and I enlisted, something which Paulbots never seemed to get around to doing,.. oh wait, yeah that whole self sacrifice thing, Paultards ain’t into helping others,.. it’s icky, and neo-con, and well, brave and things… which are all… BAD, because we aren’t.. um, uh.. brave..

Second, that is a first, being called a Jew hater, for actually loving the Israeli’s and supporting their fight to survive. Because drum roll please, this F’tard thinks it’s for the wrong reason…

oh Hell, I guess the Paultard let em get nuked and die policy, is so much more indicative of a deep love and respect for the Jewish people, than wanting them to actually..

live..

I don’t usually question the intelligence of people, it’s not very civil.. but having just been insulted, in such a convoluted and twisted distortion of reality,.. I’ll backslide..

get educated,.. you fail,

mark81150 on February 13, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Another example of hyperbole:

“Mooch’s ass is so big, each cheek has its own zip code.”

justltl on February 13, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Officers are Republican.

Enlisted, not so much.

For the most part, the military is apolitical though. They don’t have time and can’t get the news for the most part anyway.

NoDonkey on February 13, 2012 at 10:18 AM

“…the upper echelons of the military tilt right.”

Hardly.

All generals are politicians, however very few are warriors as well.

Generals know which way the wind is blowing and they know how to play the Washington and the promotion game. Most are neither right nor left, rather merely self-centered.

bizman on February 13, 2012 at 10:24 AM

This.

Republicans are beyond deluded when they think their pathetic calls for militarism and starting wars are actually well received within the ranks. “Hey, look this Republican warmonger says he loves us, so he wants to send us to some foreign place that hates us so thousands of us can die and tens of thousands os us can get wounded while not actually accomplishing anything!”

Republicans actually think military personnel are that stupid. Its insulting. The whole relationship Republicans have with the Jewish demographic is similar. Patronizing, uninformed, motivated by protestant evangelism, rather than a genuine concern for the demographic in question.

Daikokuco on February 13, 2012 at 1:05 AM

No military person wants war. Neither do Republicans. Both, however, understand the basic history lesson that liberals seem to forget: disarm or appease and national security will be threatened. Both World Wars in the last century were preceded by disarmament and isolationism. So was Korea. And the Domnio Theory as regards Communism was real. Vietnam was fought in the streets of America. The military lost no major battles. Police actions do not work (which was Barry Goldwater’s point and for which he was accused by Johnson of wanting to blow up the world).

When Jimmy Carter was President, we had a Navy that couldn’t cover even one ocean. We flew planes which were older than the pilot. Spare parts were cannibalized for both planes and ships and it was the only time in my life, I was seriously concerned about the possibility of nuclear war because Carter’s invitation to Soviet adventurism was so out of control, we were waiting for the Soviets to militarily go after someplace we couldn’t avoid non-action, like Israel or India or Pakistan. As it was, they invaded Afghanistan and the only action the US could take was to cancel our attendance to the Olympics. He pulled the rug out from under the Sha of Iran and they can connect the dots between that 9-11 and the rise of militant Islam. They know that actions we take today affect them a few years down the line (Mubarick comes to mind).

I’ve found most in the military understand that history isn’t the nightly news and leftist rhetoric and rewriting of history is dangerous to them and the country and the constitution they’ve sworn to protect. Are you actually saying here that our military men and women take that oath with plans to break it?

Portia46 on February 13, 2012 at 10:55 AM

I was in Air Force boot, and we didn’t touch a weapon till the fifth week, and then, for two days,.. 1980,.. I had to wait till I was in Security Specialist school,.. Then, we had US Army instructers, and Army Rangers, and Army Ranger qualified AF personel as instructers..Then the m-60 school,.. at no time was anyone ever taught to shoot at anything, but center mass.

One shot, one kill.. and the goal was survival, because a wounded man can still kill you, or did you shoot all his fingers off Tex?

and if you on the first day, could hit a finger sized target with a nine at 50ft.. you do know the services measure distance in meters/… right?

fool..

mark81150 on February 13, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Surprising that there are still a number of “fake” soldiers trying to pass their BS off on us.

BTW, I did BMTS in July/August 1980. So hot, we didn’t drill as much as is typical, which was fine by me. Every day with a blue or black flag (IIRC the colors) was a good day for me. LOL. Our squadron motto was “Lead, Follow or get the hell out of the way!” Still a favorite motto of mine. :)

AH_C on February 13, 2012 at 11:20 AM

“…the upper echelons of the military tilt right.”

Hardly.

All generals are politicians, however very few are warriors as well.

Generals know which way the wind is blowing and they know how to play the Washington and the promotion game. Most are neither right nor left, rather merely self-centered.

bizman on February 13, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Weasley Clark and Colon Powell come to mind, even Mike Mullen & McChrystal.

The officer corps that actually care about soldiers and are conservative usually get run out before they get near the JCS.

AH_C on February 13, 2012 at 11:25 AM

This is really not that surprising. Soldiers today received the same liberal education as those not in the military. I’m sure it takes several years to get the stink off.

Ken James on February 13, 2012 at 11:27 AM

I’m personally of the opinion, if you use the words “neo-con” and “warmonger” together in a sentence,.. well actually hurl them in a spittle flecked accusation.. you have removed yourself from any possibilty of being able to have an intelligent and civil conversation.

The entire isolationist argument, is based on falsehoods, that we actively seek to start wars for no valid reason, and that if we just ran home and hide in our closet, the decent folk who blow up our buildings, murder our women and children as the primary target, not colateral damage,… would stop having to .. sigh, defend their sovereignty….., and imidiately sue for peace.. then, we can bring our troops,(insert Paulbot collectivist smear about robotic baby killers), whom we love dearly, snicker,…

I get the Paul argument about right?

I can, in a quieter moment, with an intelligent classic liberal, find some comfort in they aren’t all bad people.. with the isolationists?

There ain’t a dimes worth of difference between them, and those radical socialists in code pink.. not. a. dime……

They are so convoluted in their thinking, that they can easily, easily, work up a foaming hate for their fellow Americans,..

then the radical islamicists who kill them.. these guys.. the isolationists, find sympathy for.. and while I’m sure a few will deny it, the trail of comments left by others is pretty clear..

I’m disabled, I can still walk, but not for long, or easily, I can’t run without falling, or balance well.. eyesight not as good anymore either.. but to dfend this country, I’d volunteer again, I’d fill sandbags, cook chow, clean their quarters, anything to help.. to free up men for the fight, and don’t leave the keys laying around, I’d find a way to get in the fight..

because, you guys fundementally, do not understand those you smear as “neo-cons”.. the fight is real, radical islam doesn’t care if you think they’re harmless, doesn’t care t6hat you’d disarm and run away.. they’ll still come for you, and only a complete fool, could think it’s all made up to make money off war profits, as so many allege..

you are clueless..

and it won’t save you.

good thing Paul hasn’t a chance in Hell.. Even Obama would fight, (like a cornered rat), to survive,.. you guys?…. you just stock up that root cellar, and go on hating the gubmint,.. and bluebellies… nobody is taking you seriously..

mark81150 on February 13, 2012 at 11:32 AM

First day of basic, I was taught to shoot off a man’s finger at 50 paces with a 9mm, so he couldn’t hurt nobody.
Next day, we started with how to make a bed….
Random on February 12, 2012 at 8:44 PM

LOL.
Somebody is pretending they were in the military….

albill on February 13, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Was Jesse MacBeth let loose again?
Love that red beret, Jesse!
(chuckle)

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 13, 2012 at 11:42 AM

I’ve been in active duty/reserves for a combined 15 years now, and this survey confirms my recent observations. Part of it seems generational where the younger ranks tend more moderate or libertarian. But many folks I know soured on the Bush administration, particularly on the Rumsfeld notion that we could pacify Iraq on the cheap. Many are tired of neoconservatism–the idea we should launch wars continually to plant democracy in a completely alien culture. Democrats are still a minority, but they are more vocal now. The Iraq war was a watershed event in terms of many openly dissenting around the water cooler. It was not uncommon to see Obama bumper stickers in the ’08 election on military bases. Overall, I would say the military still tilts conservative, but not as much as it used too.

msmulan on February 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Let me know if you want more info on it but essentially absentee ballots were challenged for cause rather than because of where they were mailed from.

lexhamfox on February 13, 2012 at 1:34 AM

Lex, this is all I needed to know about my point.

I know all I need to from the memo. They specifically called lawyers to question ballots sent from military addresses and gave examples of what an overseas military address was. The comments on similar memos referencing overseas ballots in general didn’t specifically target military addresses.

hawkdriver on February 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Worth mentioning once again that this survey was written up in 2008. This isn’t a current evaluation; it’s almost 4 years old. And it doesn’t conform with other surveys taken in 2004, 2008, and 2011.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, and as a couple of others pointed out as well, it takes the overwhelming number of first-enlistment servicemembers to make the military look like the rest of the population. E-1 through E-4 first-enlistees are always in the majority, and their political trends have an outsize and misleading impact if they are extrapolated to the military as a whole.

J.E. Dyer on February 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

To those stating they are sick of hearing Ron Paul has most support of rank and file military…

Ron Paul receives most contributions from military than all other candidates, combined.

FEC numbers from the “Army Times.” The numbers are admittedly “hard to count”, but an indication still exists that Ron Paul does in fact receive more contributions from active military than other candidates.

mattmillercr on February 13, 2012 at 12:45 PM

BTW, I did BMTS in July/August 1980. So hot, we didn’t drill as much as is typical, which was fine by me. Every day with a blue or black flag (IIRC the colors) was a good day for me. LOL. Our squadron motto was “Lead, Follow or get the hell out of the way!” Still a favorite motto of mine. :)

AH_C on February 13, 2012 at 11:20 AM

That was a Hell of a hot summer wasn’t it? We had a detail cutting grass way out on the bases edge,.. they called a red flag, and the message never made to us, I ended up with a vivid lobster red sunburn on my left arm that ended up scarring. They wanted to send me to Wilford Hall, but I wanted to stay with my class, didn’t want to be washed back a week. I drilled sick as hell for a couple of days, but the TI was old school, and he let the Flight help me through it. 3708 BMTS Aug 20 to October.. 18th I think?… a Hell of a hot summer..

Made training in NBC gear a B*tch,.. that thing stunk after a few dozen guys sweated out in it.

mark81150 on February 13, 2012 at 12:47 PM

msmulan on February 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM

It’s still center left, in fact, always has been, the only debate is how many lean centrist as opposed to conservative. The liberals still are a small subset, in my experience clustered around the support units,.. active combat, and combat type units, were always heavily conservative.. and I’d bet still are, though I was medically discharged in 82, so my experience is dated.

The numbers are largely the same.. I’d say too most troops are nonpolitical.. at least in the beginning. That PDF up the thread, the numbers showed overwhelming support for McCain, except among Blacks.. no surprise, but my brothers.. really.. if the support for Obama was based on his race..

Imagine the reaction of those black Obama voters, if guys came forward and said they voted for McCain, because he was white.

doesn’t sit well, does it…

at some point MLK’s dream has to matter, and character has to be the defining test.

mark81150 on February 13, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Then the m-60 school,.. at no time was anyone ever taught to shoot at anything, but center mass.

LOL– Mark, I am a 20 year military wife and even I know this. It is amazing those that say their in the military don’t think that most military can smell a fake a mile away. The military is its own unique community.

melle1228 on February 13, 2012 at 1:00 PM

For the most part, the military is apolitical though. They don’t have time and can’t get the news for the most part anyway.

NoDonkey on February 13, 2012 at 10:18 AM

They can’t? Even in Afghanistan my husband had access to the internet.. Geez, my husband has been enlisted and officer(warrant), and he was conservative in both as was many of his comrades. The military has even more reason to be political. World events control their lives.

melle1228 on February 13, 2012 at 1:02 PM

It was not uncommon to see Obama bumper stickers in the ’08 election on military bases. Overall, I would say the military still tilts conservative, but not as much as it used too.

msmulan on February 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM

I don’t see that at all. I see some younger soldiers who voted for Obama, because he had good rhetoric about getting out of war. They soured on that pretty quick when the Iraq war continued until Bush stated it would anyways. Young people tend to be liberal for the most part. Serving under a Democratic President as opposed to a Republican can cure that real quick. I know I remember being green and liberal with my green and liberal husband when he joined 21 years ago. Clinton cured those liberal tendencies right quick.

melle1228 on February 13, 2012 at 1:08 PM

That was a Hell of a hot summer wasn’t it? We had a detail cutting grass way out on the bases edge,.. they called a red flag, and the message never made to us, I ended up with a vivid lobster red sunburn on my left arm that ended up scarring. They wanted to send me to Wilford Hall, but I wanted to stay with my class, didn’t want to be washed back a week. I drilled sick as hell for a couple of days, but the TI was old school, and he let the Flight help me through it. 3708 BMTS Aug 20 to October.. 18th I think?… a Hell of a hot summer..

Made training in NBC gear a B*tch,.. that thing stunk after a few dozen guys sweated out in it.

mark81150 on February 13, 2012 at 12:47 PM

3708th? For some reason I was thinking they numbered off with 47xx. Anyhoo, I googled it, yep I was in 3701st.

Yeah, Summer of 80 was very hot. The TIs kept telling us if we didn’t make our minimum quota for drilling, they’d wash us all back. But it didn’t happen. Just another mind game of theirs as logistically, it would be impossible to wash a bunch of flights at once.

Even at the graduation parade, they gave us the threat that if you fainted, you’d wash back, but not one that I know of didn’t get washed back. This was before all the emphasis on hydration. I’d wager that every other column had a someone locking up and falling. That was at the end of August.

September I spent at Sheppard AFB — hot but dry. The barracks were fine and the only marching was to/from class. It was also the year of toga parties. Star Trek the Movie and Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie just came out at the base theatre. Too much drinking & clubbing – drinking age limits hadn’t kicked in yet on base.

Then October at England AFB doing advanced training on A7s/A-10s. Hot and humid, take a shower and come out sweating. Come out of A/C class and glasses fogged up and sweat some more.

Luckily no marches and lived in billeting (like a motel, with cable, maid service and shared bathrooms between every other room). There were at most maybe 6 of us students. Fun times.

Oh if you get the sense I hate marching, I do. LOL

AH_C on February 13, 2012 at 1:31 PM

AH_C on February 13, 2012 at 1:31 PM

My tech school was at Lackland, so we didn’t escape far,.. ended up bumping into my TI in the BX parking lot.. he was the coolest Tech Sgt. I ever knew… had a long scar on his neck, and talked like Gunny Highway. We still marched, and drilled.. SP school,. we had more in common with the Army, than with our fellow Airmen after basic.

Tech school, M-60 school, anti-tank training, NBC warfare, Combat first aid, and our light infantry training was at Camp Bullis Texas, miles out of town, a few hundred square miles of Texas scrub, where everything that lived there wanted to bite, stab, or stick you.. rattlers, scorpions, brown recluse, tarantulas, and coral snakes..

remember to hang your boots in the rafters.. and shake em out before putting your foot in.. Then it got cold, November, last two weeks sleeping in tents, and it snowed, artic sleeping bags, but they wouldn’t issue cold weather gear, not when we graduated in a week,.. that was a very long week..

Strangely, I remember Texas fondly, mostly.

mark81150 on February 13, 2012 at 1:50 PM

To those stating they are sick of hearing Ron Paul has most support of rank and file military…

Ron Paul receives most contributions from military than all other candidates, combined.

FEC numbers from the “Army Times.” The numbers are admittedly “hard to count”, but an indication still exists that Ron Paul does in fact receive more contributions from active military than other candidates.

mattmillercr on February 13, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Ron Paul has the most military support! It must be true because Ron Paul said so! Paul’s military support numbers are like Obama’s “jobs created/saved” numbers: easy to claim, impossible to prove. All one needs to do is write “military” under occupation when making a donation. No military ID necessary. I have yet to find one of his military supporters in real life. Its a bit like snipe hunting.

Logboy on February 13, 2012 at 2:39 PM

In my 28 years I noticed a progression from hard core, flag waving Conservatism among the lower ranks towards the Left side as one got promoted.

By Left side I mean more John McCain Leftism than Nancy Pelosi Leftism.

I think that was a result of an relatively moderate officer corps picking other relatively moderate Left leaning officers for promotions. I’ll discuss NCOs below.

But there was a clean break in the political leanings of actual “war fighting” officers (Tommy Franks and to a lesser extent Norman Schwarzkopf) vs. “peace time” officers (Wesley Clark and Colin Powell)

Why that distinction? I’m not sure maybe some other pundit has a possible explanation.

As for conservatism of Senior NCOs I feel a little more qualified to comment. Promotion to senior most senior NCO grades (E-8, E-9) usually means candidates go before boards managed by one 0-6 and two E-9s.

Having been on several of those boards I’ve noticed that the O-6s look at education and accomplishments (NCO of the year, etc).

The E-9s almost always look at the ability to influence people and get the job done. I came out of an AFSC (it’s changed, I know) that put a premium on field craft and any combat experience (very limited in the days before “Desert Storm”). Once again, having selected and worked with some of the guys I help select I wasn’t really surprised to discover that most shared my big “C” Conservatism.

Most NCOs from E-5 up are inherently small “c” conservatives, it’s in their DNA mainly to act as a brake and foil to the exuberance of junior officers. Arguably the U.S. had the first recognized professional corps of NCOs in the world partially modeled on Cromwell’s “New Army and Baron Von Steuben’s “Blue Book” officially establishing the structure of the NCO Corps within the American Army.

By either design or as an unintended consequence the small “c” conservative U.S. NCOs corps was born.

The success of the U.S. military – name one other military as strong as ours that has never rebelled against civilian authority – relies in part on the fact that our senior officer corps almost never shares the NCOs and troops political and religious opinions (this is a “IMHO” with no supporting evidence) thereby creating a balance of mutual respect and accommodation of the small “c” conservative nature of those NCOs and troops.

My bottom line? Senior officers mostly Liberal; Senior NCOs mostly Conservative, U.S. military better than any other in the world.

Time for a coffee.

E9RET on February 13, 2012 at 3:00 PM

My bottom line? Senior officers mostly Liberal; Senior NCOs mostly Conservative, U.S. military better than any other in the world.

Time for a coffee.

E9RET on February 13, 2012 at 3:00 PM

That’s pretty much summarizes the typical political leanings of the military. A case can be made that senior NCOs lean strong big “C” because they see and manage self-responsibility/discipline on a daily basis. They may have their vices, but when it comes to espirt de corps, they set the standard. No room for PC crap — well, at least back in the day, but even that has tempered given the constant political pressures on high to use our soldiers as social experiments. No matter, our soldiers are the best compared to any other military hands down.

AH_C on February 13, 2012 at 3:44 PM

That’s pretty much summarizes the typical political leanings of the military. A case can be made that senior NCOs lean strong big “C” because they see and manage self-responsibility/discipline on a daily basis. They may have their vices, but when it comes to espirt de corps, they set the standard. No room for PC crap — well, at least back in the day, but even that has tempered given the constant political pressures on high to use our soldiers as social experiments. No matter, our soldiers are the best compared to any other military hands down.

AH_C

I agree completely. After re-reading my original comments I realized some of my comments could be mis-read; my fault for not paying attention to detail.

NCOs will always (with very, very, very few exceptions) follow the orders of those officers appointed over them with “cheerful and willing obedience”.

In my experience the overwhelming majority of American officers are good men and women, a very small sliver of officers are exceptional in peacetime and brilliant in combat. The percentages of poor officers I met in 28 years (and 21 days) was exceeding small….sadly, in my opinion most of them would have

What I was trying to point out is that good officers consider the consequences of their orders or, more likely, solicit their NCOs advice before issuing those orders.

Good officers issue good and necessary orders based on their evaluations of circumstance at the time of the orders. That circumstances change, sometimes dramatically, is the unfortunate component of the “fog of war” in combat and misunderstanding in peacetime; life sucks sometimes.

Despite their political leanings I have trouble visualizing an officer giving a “social” or Left order. I don’t even know what one would look like.

In my career I can only recall one officer, a USMC General in Somalia issuing some general orders that were stupid. I can’t remotely call them “Left leaning” or “social” just….stupid. The orders weren’t as much disobeyed as…..ignored. A good officer (or NCO) should never issue an order that can’t be enforced, this officer did and was smart enough in hindsight to realize that and ignore his own orders as well.

E9RET on February 13, 2012 at 4:58 PM

That’s pretty much summarizes the typical political leanings of the military. A case can be made that senior NCOs lean strong big “C” because they see and manage self-responsibility/discipline on a daily basis. They may have their vices, but when it comes to espirt de corps, they set the standard. No room for PC crap — well, at least back in the day, but even that has tempered given the constant political pressures on high to use our soldiers as social experiments. No matter, our soldiers are the best compared to any other military hands down.

AH_C

I agree completely. After re-reading my original comments I realized some of my comments could be mis-read; my fault for not paying attention to detail.

NCOs will always (with very, very, very few exceptions) follow the orders of those officers appointed over them with “cheerful and willing obedience”.

In my experience the overwhelming majority of American officers are good men and women, a very small sliver of officers are exceptional in peacetime and brilliant in combat. The percentages of poor officers I met in 28 years (and 21 days) was exceeding small….

Good officers issue good and necessary orders based on their evaluations of circumstance at the time of the orders. That circumstances change, sometimes dramatically, is the unfortunate component of the “fog of war” in combat and misunderstanding in peacetime; life sucks sometimes.

What I was trying to point out is that good officers consider the consequences of their orders or, more likely, solicit their NCOs advice before issuing those orders.

Despite their political leanings I have trouble visualizing an officer giving a “social” or “Left leaning” order. I don’t even know what one would look like.

In my career I can only recall one officer, a USMC General in Somalia issuing some general orders that were stupid. I can’t remotely call them “Left leaning” or “social” just….stupid. The orders weren’t as much disobeyed as…..ignored. A good officer (or NCO) should never issue an order that can’t be enforced.

E9RET on February 13, 2012 at 5:02 PM

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