This past week at Fort Leavenworth a Civil-Military Panel was convened where five members of the military and military professors fielded a debate on what comprises Civil-Military Relations for the future of our service. This panel was aired on CSPAN and a grievous comment was made from the student body about who we as the military fight for. What do we see as the reason we sacrifice so much for our nation? The opinion presented was that we fight for the people in this country that think like us. I take specific issue with this comment and I offer my apologies to the American people for it. We fight for three reasons, and the opinion presented by this contemporary of mine does not speak for all of us.
First and foremost we fight for the very oath we take before we are commissioned as officers. In our oath it states that we will support and defend the constitution of the United States. We fight for the idea of the separation of powers imbued within the Constitution. We fight for what it stands for and the fact that we as a military do not rule this country. That we serve at the call of the President, the Congress, and the people of this great Union. That we do not make the decisions but rather offer advice and in the end execute what we are told to do by our civilian leaders. That is one of the key facts that make us different from tyrannical regimes the world over that we so vehemently defend others against. If we look at our very National Strategy we see a crucial part of it as extending democracy to all people the world over. We, in turn, recognize the fact that we as a country are a democracy and take great pride in this, and thus defend it with our lives if needed and called upon by our civilian leadership.
Secondly we fight for the Bill of Rights and most specifically for this discussion the First Amendment. I will not lie to you and tell you I sit idly by and have no opinion on national political matters. I will not lie to you either and tell you that some pundits on television news do not turn my stomach and make me want to shake them and ask what is wrong with you. BUT, that is what makes our country great. We are a free nation and all men within it are created equal and have a right to free speech as long as it does not endanger other human beings. To make a statement that I only fight for those Americans that share the same feelings as me is just down-right wrong. Every day of my tours in Afghanistan and Iraq I was prepared not to fight and die for those that think like me but rather for the idea that all men have an opinion and can express that opinion. That is what makes a Republic and what makes us a great Republic. We are not tied to a group think mentality where only one idea or school of thought is recognized. Any person can have an opinion and offer it. This is what we stand for, this is what our country stands for and this is what we fight for.
Finally and it will sound cliché but we fight for each other. As a Rifle Company Commander in Iraq and an Advisor in Afghanistan there is no stronger tie then those of your fellow soldiers. On top of all these other ideas we fight for, we fight for each other. In truth I have had several men who I cared for deeply die under my command. All of them died in the line of duty serving the greater good, and serving their country. To state that there sacrifice was for only those people who might think like them absolutely degrades their sacrifice. They did not lay down their lives for this reason, they laid it down for their friend to their left and right, they laid it down for their country, and they laid it down so a people so long oppressed might know true freedom. A freedom that we in this great country have so long enjoyed and a freedom that we must do everything to protect always. We go into battle with our eyes wide open, we know the dangers and the risk that we take; but we do it for this greater good, and that is something that can never be degraded.
For all of these reasons above we fight and die for our country. We are a nation at war in a time of persistent conflict. Most importantly we as military leaders can never lose sight of why we are doing these things. It is easy to allow ourselves to slip and to begin to think in a cliquish mentality. But that is not why we are here. We are here to be the field grade leaders of our Army and the senior leaders of our Nation’s Army tomorrow. We must stand for all the reasons above, or in truth we are no better then the tyrannical despots that we have deposed. I apologize again to all of you who may have seen the CSPAN Broadcast. In totality we fight for all of you, and do so quite proudly and gladly.
God Bless America
Sphere: Related Content
I drive your truck
3 hours ago