Skip to comments.How the military is making it hard to remember our wars
Posted on 11/11/2017 9:02:25 AM PST by GreyFriar
A veteran laments the deletion and disorganization of records from Iraq and Afghanistan.
I often wonder what people will say about the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan decades from now. What I will tell my children when they are able to understand the answers to questions about what happened over there. I am afraid I will forget. As every day passes, I struggle more and more to remember all the names of the soldiers in my platoon, the hard-to-pronounce places we fought, the day-to-day things we did during my two year-long combat tours in Iraq.
But what worries me most is that we, as a nation, will forget.
On Veterans Day we pay tribute to all American veterans, living and dead. We show our thanks in many ways. We attend Veterans Day parades, visit veterans hospitals or ask veterans about their service. But most important, we remember. Excerpted per WAPO requirements.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
I recommend that everyone, veteran and non-veteran read this. The Army has still not fixed the problem with preserving its combat records. The Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army (OAA) has not followed through with SecArmy McHugh’s order of 1 July 2013 for the OAA, Mr. Gerald O’Keefe, to require the Records Management and Declassification Activity to fix the problem.
Just got my CD from a FOIA request for my C File. The last 1/4 of my official records are a duplicated miscopied page....
So....where did the actual records go? They get burned or shredded after they got scanned?
The rotational troops wars should be ruled illegal.
Get in a war only to win and all out fight until we do.
2017 to 2011 is 16+ years
None of the problems at DoD have been fixed, in spite of what the President thinks or may be told. Mattis is proving to be nothing but a caretaker and now we see why he progressed during the Obama years, he is ok with the moral and cultural rot at the Pentagon, along with lack of money to make Defense worthy of the name.
The Power Point Creed
This is my PowerPoint. There are many like it but mine is 4.0.
My PowerPoint is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master my life.
My PowerPoint without me is useless. Without my PowerPoint, I am useless.
I must format my slides true. I must brief them better than the other staff section who are trying to out-brief me.
I must brief the impact on the Commander before he asks me. I will.
My PowerPoint and myself know that what counts in this war is not the number of slides, the colors of the highlights, nor the format of the bullets. We know that it is the new information that counts. We will brief only new information.
My PowerPoint is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its fonts, its accessories, its formats, and its colors.
I will keep my PowerPoint slides current and ready to brief. We will become part of each other. We will
Before God I swear this creed. My PowerPoint and myself are defenders of my country. We are the masters of our subject. We are the saviors of my career.
So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but peace (and the next exercise)!
That’s against the rules.
The United States is not allowed to win wars anymore - evidently by Congressional and Executive fiat. And I’m not even sure if the bulk of our armed forces are capable of actually doing so.
Dear 1 Inch Group,
By “C file” do you mean your personnel records file, what in the Army was called the “201 file?” If you were in after the 1974 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, your entire file, as it was retired by your last records clerk. the original paper files have been retained and are scanned to a cd when requested.
I was an Army Historian and Archivist until I retired a couple of months ago. Send me a FReep mail and we can discuss specifics of your case.
They didnt have computers or laptops back then. Nor one year deployments.
Good luck on piecing your father’s records together. Many of the pre-fire (1973) records at the NPRC were burned. I know that my father’s were and I’ve found more of his records when my mother was moved to assisted living and I had to go through the house, than are at St. Louis. If you haven’t been to the NPRC site https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records . It also has a ‘fact sheet’ that explains which records were destroyed in the fire and which ones survived.
Thanks for posting this. Hopefully, some members of Congress will pressure the Army to fix this problem.
And perhaps citizens letters to either their congressman/woman/senator and to the current Secretary of the Army asking him why Mr. O’Keefe has no following the orders he was given by former SecArmy McHugh to fix the Army Records Management System. That letter is here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/726201-rep-miller-pdf-adobe-acrobat-pro and https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/726200-recordkeeping-2013-memo .
According to friends of mine, the US Army Center of Military History completed its mission collecting the 150 TB of documents that Major Spencer refers to and has transferred them, in toto, to the Army Records Management Division which is part of the Army Records Management and Declassification Agency (I incorrectly called it and “Activity” in an earlier post.)
Both documents are of this article: https://www.propublica.org/article/army-says-war-records-gap-is-real-launches-recovery-effort
Thanks for the additional comments and links. I hope the Center of Military History kept a copy of those 150 TB of documents so they don’t go down the memory hole.
In such conflicts, rotation into and out of combat and limited terms of service make sense because they spread the burden and are more suited to strategies that play to America's economic and cultural strengths, with military force applied in a limited manner. This approach led to the dissolution of the USSR and Warsaw Pact without a catastrophic general war. We have reason to hope and expect that radical Islam will also dissolve in time like other totalitarian systems.
Yeah...trouble is, that CD took me 18 months to get...and the part I wanted was all accidentally replaced by the same miscopied series of 3 pages, over and over again.
Assuming the next request is also going to take 18 months...
I recommend that you make a copy of the CD and sent it back to NPRC with a letter pointing out the error. And have it “Attn: Branch Chief.”
And that is true for the corporate world as well. I am at the point in my engineering career where my time is taken up in meetings filled with corporatespeak. And I get asked when the project would get done. My response was “We will continue to have meetings until we determine why no work is getting done.” I then left to fill in the people who work for me what needed to be done - it was not going to get done with being stuck in continual meetings.
The trend seemed to have started in the military in the mid 1970’s, with whatever the latest management fad was at the time. I was in Air Force ROTC at the time. Buzzword bullsquat bingo.
Good info, thank you.
You’re welcome. Glad to help out a fellow vet.
Have gotten over 200 pages from them so far. Just nothing about him being wounded in WWII and Korea. Though he was 100% combat disabled. ;-/
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