Sunday, July 29, 2007


I didn't notice it until today, but August will mark the start of my third year of blogging. Neato.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Holy Zombie Comment!

So, I was looking through my comments trying to find any spam ones about enlarging my penis, refinancing my home, or placing bets in an off shore, unregulated sports book, when I found a recent comment made in a non-recent post. If you're not interested in following the links you can probably make a good assuption about the content. Since I never promote comments which praise me, announce their worship of me, or are otherwise flattering or complimentary, then obviously someone tossed some insults and I feel like responding.
You military people are pathetic, I'm frankly sick of the manipulation and lies used to lead naive unassuming men to death.
Thank you for your opinion Rhonda. I appreciate the time you took to share with me how you feel. However I would appreciate it if you could direct your vitriol to those who you intend to insult. When you say "military people", and then specifically address the actions of recruiters, you're insulting about 1,990,000 servicemembers who have nothing to do with the recruiting process. On their behalf, leave them out of your rant. Quite honestly, to call the people who are interested in joining the Army "naive" is to assume that these people are so obtuse and ignorant as to have avoided all mention of anything which has transpired since 9-11-2001. The fact is, the young men and women who I speak with every day are, probably, the most informed generation in history. And it's also rather sexist of you to assume that only men are giving their lives in the service of their country in the War on Terror.
What a piece of shit you would brag about total deception.
Remember, the post of mine which started this was me dealing with a hypothetical interview where the applicant wouldn't commit to enlist because of the risks of going to war. I'm curious how I'm "bragging" about anything. I was sharing an interview techinique I've used to moderate success when dealing with a very, very serious issue. At a few points in the hypothetical interview I mention the dangers of war and the Army, and how enlisting is not something that any one person in particular needs to do. I actually think I'm very upfront about the situation and I'm addressing their possible concerns in a head-on manner. Rhonda, please demonstrate to me where I'm being deceptive in any way. I'm curious so I can correct it in the future.
The reality of this situation is that no matter how you twist the story once a person has signed a contract with the US military nothing is guaranteed but ONE thing and that is you will do what the military tells you to do regardless of the contract, you can be pulled at any time and deployed to IRAQ or Afghanistan.
You're right in that, by signing that contract, you're agreeing to serve as a member of the Armed Service. When you enlist you state it quite clearly in the Oath of Enlistment "I will obey the order of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulation and the Uniform Code of Military Justice." I don't see a whole lot of wiggle room there. And that's the third line of the Oath of Enlistment. I'm not seeing a whole lot of deception going on here Rhonda. People who enlist into the Army not only hear that statement, they say it back in a loud, thunderous, motivated voice.
I'm frankly sickened by the military for the sorry underhanded tactics they use to entice people to die.
I too am sickened when I see or hear about recruiters doing underhanded things. I've even written about it. As a matter of fact I'm willing to bet that I'm more sickened by lying recruiters than you are Rhonda. Unlike you, I take their actions seriously because they reflect upon everyone else who has to do the same task, and do it honest and above-the-board.

Anyways, thank you again for your time Rhonda. I appreciate your time and am glad you found something that interested you enough to comment. I hope you have a great weekend.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Projecty goodness!

As I was driving home late last night I had a thought for something which might be a fun project. This is something anyone can do, but because it's my idea I might as well start.

Let me introduce you to AR 601-210. It's the USAREC bible, including a lot of fire and brimstone. Chapter 4 in 601-210 lists all of the charges which disqualify someone for the service. For those who wish to do this yourself, here's a quick primer for what is allowable, and what is not.

Paragraph 4-8 lists minor traffic violations. These are, for practical purposes, no big deal. As long as fines, defensive driving classes, or any other restitution have been paid, traffic will not disqualify anyone, nor require a waiver.

Paragraph 4-9 lists minor non-traffic violations. Stuff like littering, public intoxication, curfew violations, etc. Per 601-210, four or more minor non traffic violations require a waiver.

Paragraph 4-10 is where things start to really matter. These are the misdemeanor charges. With a few exceptions I'll mention later, a person can have one misdemeanor and not require a waiver. Two to four misdemeanors require a waiver to enlist. Five or more and you're disqualified.

Paragraph 4-11 are serious criminal misconduct (felonies). A single one requires a waiver, and two means you're done.

A couple charges which are considered misdemeanors, but require a waiver regardless of how many other charges they may have. These are the "serious offenses": Weapon on school grounds, possession of drugs on school grounds, acts of violence against school officials, Domestic Violence against someone other than a child, parent, or signifigant other, DUI, possession of Marijuana, solicitation of prostitution, terrorist threats not covered under serious criminal misconduct.

This is AR 40-501. Standard of Medical Fitness. Chapter 2 covers the medical standards for enlistment. I'm not going to go into detail on this. To make it easy, if someone is taking any medication, they're disqualified. About the only exception for this would be birth control pills. ADD medication, inhalers, etc are a no go.

So, now that I've covered this, you might for yourself saying "Self, what is this 'project' to which SFC B is referring?"


I've decided to start keeping a running tab of celebrities who are disqualified for the military.

Don't look at me like that. Everyone needs a hobby.

I'm going to go for the low-hanging fruit first.

Lindsay Lohan. Wow. It's like a train wreck. She's barely 21 with two DUIs and a possession of cocaine. Don't forget her stint in rehab. Ineligible for enlistment because of her open charges, and barring some sort of legal miracle, she's going to be permenantly DQ'd under paragraph 4-24p which says that a serious criminal misconduct (possession of cocaine) can have no more than three other charges. She's got two DUIs, and is going to, undoubtedly find herself charges with some additional ones stemming from it (probation violation anyone?). And that's without dealing with the medical DQ of having spent time in rehab.

Stone Cold Steve Austin. He'll need a USAREC level waiver for his domestic violence conviction.

I'd planned on doing more, but The Smoking Gun is schadenfreude in browsable form and I lost track of time.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


When I'd first heard of the latest dust-up in the military blog-world I thought "Who the heck is that?". For those who don't know, Alan W. Brown, a writer for Saturday Night Live back when it wasn't funnier (it's not funny now), posted a YouTube video and a corresponding diary on Daily Kos where he decides to call everyone in uniform a sub-human animal.

There are people who are better writers who have already tackled this issue. I'm not going to cheapen their effort by diluting it with my random keystrokes, and I'm really not in the mood to pile on the ad hominems by pointing out that about as many people know who I am as who knew Alan Brown before this.

I'd just like to point out something in Mr. Brown's rant.
But to answer the question, what I mean when I say I support our troops is that I actually pay for their food, their ammo, their upkeep, transport, everything. I pay for all of it. And I do that not only because I’m a patriotic American, although I am, but also because they take 35% out of my check every week and if I don’t pay it I will end up in jail.
Yes. I pay the same taxes and they go to support a whole lot of things of which I don't approve. Right now I'm sure the IRS is working on a form which will allow tax payers to line item veto their tax expenditures. I hope that it's available soon so that I can stop my involuntary support of people who choose to be mimes.

However, my dear eight readers, remember what Mr. Brown has just said, he pays 35% of his income in taxes.
But I have paid hundreds of dollars in taxes over my lifetime, hundreds of dollars, and I don’t have so much as a single picture of an Iraqi child that I paid to have killed. It would be nice to just have something, you know, to remember them by.... a picture, a lock of hair, perhaps a necklace of ears
Italics mine.

"Hundreds of dollars in taxes over my lifetime." I don't know about you all, but so far, this year, I have paid $3353.15 in federal taxes. I'm a resident of Texas so I don't pay a state income tax. By the standards of the entire Earth I'm a very wealthy man. As a matter of fact I'll bet that many tin pot dictators and petty crime lords the world over would drop their positions of relative wealth and status to live my life of blissful middle classdom. However, by the standards of America I'm no where near wealthy, and yet I pay thousands of dollars in taxes. Heck, I'm probably at tens of thousands in taxes over my lifetime.

Now I understand why Mr. Brown is so upset. Us "morally retarded" "bunch of idiots" make signifigantly more money than he does. It's jealously, pure and simple. Even as a private I was having more than "hundreds of dollars" taken from me in taxes. Alan Brown is a juggler and a writer who was on SNL back when it was really, really sucky. He's now been reduced to raising lions somewhere in southern Texas, which apparently pays him so little that his tax burden is under $1,000.

I wonder if he's under 42. If so, I know where he can go to get a better job.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The coveted endorsement

I finally found a campaign that's so pure, so honest, so obviously unqualified that I figured it was worth endorsing it.

Right now, in almost a dozen homes across the world there are people going "Oh finally! Now I know who I need to vote for. Thank you SFC B. Thank you!"

Yes. My minions. My lackeys. My hired goons. The people you need to vote for in the coming presidential election are:

David Borge Burge and Jeff Golodstein from Iowahawk and Protien Wisdom.

After I spent seconds analyzing their positions on the issues that matter to me I determined that they were the duo I want in the Oval Office because they have witty bumper stickers.

I figure we now live in a world where the approval ratings of our legislative and executive branches together they don't top 50%. My best friend and best man is a dyed in the wool Republican with a PhD in Poli Sci, and even he is frustrated by the latest actions of the executive branch (I learned that the only place where the Vice President is mentioned in the Constitution is when describing the executive branch, so it's silly to suggest that the position belongs in the legislative branch). I figure it would be nearly impossible to elect someone to office who would be capable of causing more strain and dissatisfaction to the people of this country, so I might as well support people who might reward me with a cushy job for my early support.

So, Vote Burge in '08. It is time for our own unpredictable psychopath!

I'm curious if my endorsement will make me a right-wing lunatic who, in Kevin's view, needs to be silenced. I sure hope not. I prefer to think of myself as a social moderate/small government conservative, I don't like talk radio enough to be lumped in to the right-wing lunatic cluster.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Who's next?

So, I was sitting in the office today, doing some follow-ups while waiting for my kid on the floor to clear phys, when I started to give serious though to who I was going to enlist next. I was going through my lists when I was struck by a bolt out of left field. Or perhaps I should say I was struck by a bolt out of first base. I decided that I want to try and enlist Jeff Bagwell.

Yes. That Jeff Bagwell.

It's been a long time since I set my goals on something super awesome and yet seemingly unachievable. Having Jeff Bagwell join the Army Reserve would be super awesome, and fits the bill for seemingly unachievable.

I, honestly, don't even know if it's possible. I mean he does have a pretty well documented injury history. But medical issues are up for the docs to decide, not me. I just get the paperwork.

I do see a couple of obstacles to this. Disregarding the whole medical issue. I still have the not-insignifigant problem that I have no idea how to go about contacting Mr. Bagwell to see if he's interested in enlisting. And the slightly-less-not-insignifigant problem that he's in Houston and I'm in Phoenix. But if anyone thinks I won't travel to Houston for a contract they're wrong.

Some people might argue that Mr. Bagwell is incredibly wealthy, he did get a 7 million dollar buyout, but I'd have to counter that part of the reason Mr. Bagwell was able to accumulate his vast amount of wealth, in addition to his unnatural ability to hit a baseball an extremely long distance, is that he had the good fortune to be born in the greatest country on Earth with the best, most professional Army in history.

Far, far, far be it for me to imply that anyone has an obligation to serve in the military. And I certainly don't mean to imply that Jeff Bagwell, the best Astro ever, and my favorite baseball player, is someone who owes anything to anyone. He's a private citizen who has capitalized on his abilites and his hard work to reach a level of perfection in his chosen profession which a miniscule few can ever hope to glimpse, let alone thrive in for 15 years. But damn, it sure would be cool to have him on my APL.

So, Mr. Bagwell, how do you like the thought of wearing a uniform again? It'll still have your name on it, but instead it will be on the front rather than the back. If you're interested, shoot me an email at john-dot-bradshaw-at-us-dot-army-dot-mil.

Yes, I am deluding myself into thinking Jeff Bagwell will somehow stumble upon my blog. What's it to ya?