20 July 19xx

A G-2's Lament


As I clean out my files here at Boeing, in anticipation of retirement from
the Company at the end of the month, I stumbled across this piece of paper,
which had been provided to me by one of the many Captain 02's passed over in
the 80's & assigned their last days at Camp Pendleton to either take
advantage of their last chance for promotion, or call it quits.  The Captain
that provided this writing was one that chose to get out.  I offer it as
something that should not be lost in time.  From time to time I pull it out
& know that most members in the military intelligence community have been
down this path before.  I'm sure many of you have seen or heard it before.
For those that remember it, here it is again.  For those that have never
heard it, enjoy or lament, as appropriate.

Here It Is:

"G-2's are a sad, embittered race of men, very much in demand in war, who
sink resentfully into obscurity in peace.  They deal only with facts, but
must work for men who merchant in theories.  They emerge during war because
war is very much fact.  They disappear in peace because in peace, war is
mostly theory.  The people who merchant in theories and who employ G-2's in
war and ignore them in peace are GENERAL'S.  G-2's hate GENERALS.

"GENERALS are a happily blessed race who radiate confidence and power.  They
feed only on ambrosia and drink only nectar, except when they are drinking
bourbon.  In peace they stride confidently and can invade a world simply
sweeping their hands grandly over a map, pointing their fingers decisively
up terrain corridors, and blocking defiles and obstacles with the side of
their hands.  In war, they must stride more slowly because each general has
a G-2 riding on his back and he knows that, at any moment, the G-2 may lean
forward and whisper "NO, YOU CAN'T DO THAT".  Generals fear G-2's in war and
in peace, generals try to forget G-2's.

"Romping along beside generals are G-3's and G-4's.  G-2's despise G-3's and
G-4's.  G-3's and G-4's don't know about G-2's until they grow up to be
generals, which they usually do, although sometimes generals will discipline
errant G-3's and G-4's by telling them about G-2's.  This sometimes gives
G-3's and G-4's nightmares, but deep down in their hearts, they do not
really believe the stories, especially if the general lets them have an
occasional drink of his nectar or bourbon.

"Sometimes a G-2 gets to be general.  In such case he must associate with a
general he hates; he has a retinue of G-3's and G-4's whom he despises and
on his back a G-2 whom he fears.  This is why G-2's who get stars also get
ulcers and cannot eat their ambrosia."