The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Sgt. McCain: Behind Enemy Lines

Posted on | June 29, 2022 | Comments Off on Sgt. McCain: Behind Enemy Lines

My Army son just survived a mission in hostile territory. He has been assigned to the newly revived 11th Airborne Division, based in Alaska, which will specialize in arctic combat. Just in case there is some country in a northern area (perhaps on the other side of the Bering Strait) that wants trouble, if you get my drift. So what Bob and his family did was, they sold their house in Georgia, bought a big camper trailer, and drove 5,000 miles to Alaska which, if you look at a map, means they had to cross over that most dangerous of all our enemies, Canada.

I don’t want to argue with anyone foolish enough to think that Canada is our “ally.” Our failure to conquer Canada when we had the chance, during the War of 1812, is a stain of dishonor on our national history. And now, as might have been expected, Canada has come under the control of a totalitarian madman named Justin Trudeau who, like all totalitarians everywhere, is seeking to disarm the civilian population.

The civilian population of Canada is very nice, my son said, and I warned him not to be lulled into a false sense of safety while he and his family (and their cat) traversed the wilderness of British Columbia and the Yukon. Everybody knows (or should know) that behind that mask of Canadian “niceness” lurks a dangerous ideology of anti-American hatred that supports the Trudeau regime. What is the national purpose of Canada, after all? Why does it even exist, except to be Not America?

Canada is basically like Iran. They hate us for our freedom.

Anyway, I’m sure all my readers share my Fear and Loathing of the Northern Menace, but Bob courageously endured several days traveling across Canada with his wife, his daughter and their cat, so he probably deserves some kind of medal. You could call it a “reconnaissance mission,” I suppose, and basically write it up like a Tom Clancy novel, except with lots of moose and elk and buffalo instead of terrorists.

Staff Sergeant McCain will soon become Sergeant First Class McCain, and will lead a platoon in the 11th Airborne. Speaking of which . . .

Every branch of the military is struggling to make its 2022 recruiting goals, officials say
Every branch of the U.S. military is struggling to meet its fiscal year 2022 recruiting goals, say multiple U.S. military and defense officials, and numbers obtained by NBC News show both a record low percentage of young Americans eligible to serve and an even tinier fraction willing to consider it.
The officials said the Pentagon’s top leaders are now scrambling for ways to find new recruits to fill out the ranks of the all-volunteer force. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks consider the shortfall a serious issue, said the officials, and have been meeting on it frequently with other leaders.
“This is the start of a long drought for military recruiting,” said Ret. Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr of the Heritage Foundation, a think tank. He said the military has not had such a hard time signing recruits since 1973, the year the U.S. left Vietnam and the draft officially ended. Spoehr said he does not believe a revival of the draft is imminent, but “2022 is the year we question the sustainability of the all-volunteer force.”
The pool of those eligible to join the military continues to shrink, with more young men and women than ever disqualified for obesity, drug use or criminal records. Last month, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville testified before Congress that only 23% of Americans ages 17-24 are qualified to serve without a waiver to join, down from 29% in recent years.
An internal Defense Department survey obtained by NBC News found that only 9% of those young Americans eligible to serve in the military had any inclination to do so, the lowest number since 2007.
The survey sheds light on how both Americans’ view of the military and the growing civilian-military divide may also be factors in slumping recruitment, and how public attitudes could cause recruiting struggles for years to come.

Is anyone really surprised by this? Fifteen years ago, when today’s recruits were toddlers, Democrats had enthusiastically embraced an anti-military, anti-patriotic agenda to encourage (and exploit for political gain) public backlash against the Iraq War. When our kids were little, the boys always got G.I. Joe for Christmas, but after about 2006, stores stopped stocking G.I. Joe. Why do you think that happened? Why did military toys disappear from stores? Isn’t it because of the anti-military agenda that the Democratic Party encouraged? And if boys don’t grow up playing soldier . . . Well, we know what happens to boys like that.

Having raised a soldier — who completed Best Ranger competition twice, and even survived a week in Canada — I should be credited with knowing a thing or two about what it takes to produce top military personnel.

First, and most obviously, boys ought to be encouraged to go outside and play. You might think this would be a no-brainer, but apparently not all parents understand the vital importance of playing outdoors. Recruiters will tell you that they have the best success in small towns in more rural parts of the country, simply because those are the kinds of places where parents let their boys run around out in the woods. The future soldier is likely to be fond of camping, hiking, hunting and fishing — the hearty outdoor life — and you’re not going to find many boys like that in the city.

Second, athletic participation should be encouraged. Except for a year or two of soccer, Bob wasn’t an extraordinary athlete as a kid, but he was raised up as a football fan — Roll, Tide! — and there was at least the usual amount of our boys running around throwing the ball, etc. As a teenager, he went through a bit of pumping iron and at one point, he and a buddy had a big punching bag in the basement that they worked out on. Physical fitness counts for a lot in being a soldier, and athletic participation helps encourage that. None of my kids are part of the “obesity epidemic.”

Third, a family military tradition matters. My own family has produced soldiers going back at least as far as the American Revolution. My dad was an Army staff sergeant in World War II and my brother was in the 101st Airborne. Two of my wife’s brothers were in the military, including one who did tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and her youngest sister’s husband was an Army tanker. So my sons had four uncles with military backgrounds, and Bob joining the Army was thus part of a family tradition. Recruiters know this, too, which is why so many of our troops come from families with similar traditions.

Finally, a future soldier should be exposed to a patriotic culture that teaches heroic values. Kids who are taught to love their country are more likely to become soldiers, especially if they are exposed to movies and TV shows that venerate military heroism. When Bob and his twin brother Jim were nine years old, I took them to see Black Hawk Down. Bob now says no nine-year-old should see that movie and, yeah, maybe it’s a bit intense for young children, but that movie and others like it — The Patriot, for example — express patriotic and heroic values.

Notice that I speak of raising boys when I speak of raising soldiers. That’s because the fantasy of a “gender neutral” military is an anti-American political project backed by the worst people in the world. They promoted the idea of women in combat as a way of making our military completely ineffective. They don’t want America to win wars, so they encourage every bit of “woke” nonsense as a means of destroying combat effectiveness.

My Army son, of course, cannot be blamed for his father’s blunt expressions of fact. The sergeant has no opinions whatsoever. He is a soldier who follows orders, and if the Army had wanted him to have opinions, they would have issued them to him. So if his commanding officer were to say, “Gee, McCain, your old man sure hates Canadians,” Bob’s reply would probably be, “That is a fact, sir.”

A good soldier is a smart soldier, you see. HOOAH!



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