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  • johnspears6

Our Time is Now, As it Was Then

I’m grateful for lots, but the work I’ve done this past year with our US Army snipers has topped my list of blessings. I’ve been at Fort Benning—er, I mean, Fort Moore—about quarterly, including the incredible honor of being guest speaker at the sniper school.

Which only goes to prove, all you have to do is be lucky enough to be around at the start of something, live long enough, and poof! You get credited minor celebrity status.

I’m the Top

Gun Graduate of class 4-87, the first year of existence of the US Army Sniper School, making me a plankholder in our tribe of snipers. I’ve experienced three-plus decades of the evol

ution of gear and technology that’s propelled us to the amazing capabilities we have today as snipers. But the main factor in success always will be—the sniper behind the gun. No technology substitutes for the human element required.

And as to that, I have something to tell you about our current crop of service members and how I judge them in comparison to generations past.

The military is always a reflection of the society it represents. America’s in a crisis period in our culture (it’s part of a natural saeculum—a topic for another discussion) and we’ll pull out of it, maybe in the next ten years. But let me personally assure you of something.

We have never had better, stronger, smarter, more capable people in the military than the Americans we have serving right now.

They AMAZE me. I would go anywhere in the world with these folks at the drop of a hat. They are the best we’ve ever had. Understand this when you hear some TV pundit running down our military and its preparedness to go to war; the military has always been a captive group for Washington to use as a vehicle for social experimentation. Sometimes, those policies have been the best demonstration of a government acting in good faith.

Example: The US military was ordered to desegregate in 1948, well ahead of America as a whole. Good thing. Period.

More recent examples: Well, you’ve got me there. Some of the more recent policies… I can’t stand up for as they have nothing to do with making us a more cohesive or lethal force.

What I’m saying is, whatever you may think about the current state of our country and about the useless yokes placed around the necks of our troops, the capability, competence, and individual patriotism of our service members is unbelievable.

I can assure you from personal experience they are the finest warriors we have ever put to field, not the least of which are our snipers.

I’ll make another post about some of the fantastic successes by the guys I’ve had a hand in training for competitions, but just remember—they’ve been wiping the field clean because they’re great, not me.

BTW, if Fort Benning absolutely had to have a name change, who better to name it after than General Hal Moore? I’ve got no heartache about that. If you haven’t done so, read his book about the Battle of Ia Drang, We Were Soldiers Once… And Young. Or watch the movie. Mel did a good job.

But, changing Fort Bragg to Fort Liberty? Ugh. Why not name it after the 82nd’s favorite, Jumpin’ Jim Gavin, or the father of Special Forces, Aaron Bank?

It’ll always be Bragg to me.

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