How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Here's some more observations on my week in Vegas. I'm putting the new ones up top, and putting the old ones in parenthesis.
- Cops can be funny. The El-Tee had to be requalified on his rifle before he shipped out, so he had to go out to the range. Everyone else in the class was also in Security Forces. All cops. Miles and miles of desert--serious nothing-style desert--surrounded us at the range. It was also surrounded by barbed wire. Each one of them was armed. Yet, when they all got out there, each and every one of them locked their cars and set their alarms.
- Once, the base was guarded by Security Forces at every gate. They were well-trained. They were the first faces presented to outsiders. They were an elite group. Now, the gates are patrolled by contracters. Rent-a-cops. That's because the real ones were needed elsewhere.
- No one in this war is doing exactly what they were initially trained to do.
- I watched, listened to, and talked with a number of honorable men and women. None of them said anything against this war, and none of them said anything against the President. But there was no enthusiasm either.
- You don't want to be on the wrong side of a good cop.
- You don't want to be on the wrong side of a Master Sergeant.
- When the good cop's a Master Sergeant...be verrry nice. He or She can make or ruin your life without breaking a sweat.
- I was struck by the incredibly businesslike approach that everyone I encountered displayed. Even 18-year-olds, preparing for deployment, seemed to take this all in stride.
- That these 18-year-olds (and 23-year-old Butterbars) took this all in stride is directly proportional to the professionalism of their Sergeants.
- Every business needs Sergeants.
- There is a big difference between cops and soldiers. Even if the soldier is a cop, he's a cop first.
- Everyone in the USAF is immensely proud of their pilots, their skills, and their aircraft.
- Everyone in the USAF hates the pilots. Especially the fighter pilots. Including the other pilots, who love only themselves.
- In the current war, the fighter pilots are the least necessary part of the military.
- Everyone in the USAF disregards Security Forces. They don't dislike them (unless they're breaking a law), they don't like them (unless someone's breaking a law against them). They're just part of the landscape.
- In the current war, Security Forces are the most necessary part of the military.
I will try to replace this post with a more cogent one later on this weekend.