I hope Bob, my husband, will wax eloquently about the military branches---which one is the heart, the hands, the backbone, the nerves...
I don't understand the history or the way the military is put together. But, I am trying to understand. To me, it does not make sense to take newly graduated from college guys and gals and throw them green into the mix of folks who have had way more experience. The tension between the two groups---officers and enlisted, is palatable. You can feel it in a room, and sense the sneers, and condescension. It is unnerving. But, it somehow works, and it is what we have.
When an officer accepts a commission---he swears to uphold The Constitution of the United States of America and defend her against all enemies, foriegn and domestic. Whereas the new private swears to obey. So, the thinking and responsibility falls upon the shoulders of the officers. And their men look to them for leadership. Sargeants are suppose to gently bring the new green lieutenants along, watch their back. But, how many sargeants do? And what is to keep the sargeant from looking down his nose at this guy with no experience, just book learnin'?
I am amazed at how parents and wives are treated with Rock Star status by the majors and colonels. They seek us out, and shake our hands, and ask how far we have traveled. All the while, our son stands shaking in his boots probably praying we do not embarrass him with some childhood story to his superiors. And threatening the wife---if you don't smack him hard on the chest when putting on the new rank, that he will?? Yikes. From our seats, it looked like Amber was joking around smacking James on his new silver bar, but now I know she was trying to save him from a worse hit. Oh, these traditions---thankfully, they have done away with the "blood wings" directly into the chest. But, the velcrow ripping sound reminded me of an old TV show where this guy is "branded" and all his insignia is ripped off.
hey---howcome when I check my spelling for sergeants, and click on the "editing" it corrects it temporarily. When I then hit publish, it goes back to my own bad spelling! Yikes.