3 February 2009

The Butter-Cutter On Flag Officers Using Facebook & YouTube

Referring to my last encounter with The Butter-Cutter, I asked, “Do you still have that cell phone in your skivvies?” 

“Nah. Can't get away with that anymore; the Mess Sergeant is friskin' us when we come ta work. A week ago, a bunch o' guys got together 'n' called everybody on the Chow Line at once. Maan, it was freaky! All the servers dropped their spoons, tongs, forks 'n' whatever as they fell ta the deck--the whole freakin' line went down! The Mess Sergeant started ta scream; the Chow Hounds in the Mess Hall fell off their seats laughing; 'n' the callers tried ta photograph the whole thing with their cell phone cameras! IT WAS WILD!”

“What did they hope to do with the pictures?” I asked in bewilderment.

“Them Motherf***ers were gonna put it on YouTube. But, the Mess Sergeant smelled a rat 'n' had the MPs shake 'em down 'n' confiscate the phones.”

“That's coincidental,” I said. “I'm here to ask you about a report that a number of general and flag officers are using Facebook and YouTube to communicate with their commands.” *

“Why they doin' that?" The Butter-Cutter asked.

“Reportedly, a number of flag officers think this is the best way to keep pace with the plugged-in, hyper-connected charges they lead,” I explained.

“ 'Hyper-connected charges?' Who the f*** are they? Do YOU see a computer on this Chow Line? How many grunts got computers with them in the field?” he retorted.

“Well, maybe they don't have computers with them, but many have Blackberrys, IPhones and other smart phones or PDAs with which they can access the internet,” I corrected him. “Let us not forget your own cell phone caper and all those who were involved with you. Evidently, a lot of junior Marines are connected,” I said.  

“OK! OK! Yeah, we're connected; but, we ain't goin' ta Facebook 'n' YouTube ta see what the general has fer us each day. Them phones 'n' shit are fer hittin' on girls 'n' gettin' laid not fer lisenin' ta Spear Chuckers.  When push comes ta shove, we gotta do whatever they say anyhow, so why bother with all the whys 'n' wherefores,” The Butter-Cutter explained.

“Well, I don't agree with you. I think there are a lot of junior Marines who are very interested in the rationales for their leaders' decisions. Today's Marines are not robots but thinking men and women who are better motivated to do their assigned tasks when fully informed and this initiative is a great way to keep them informed,” I countered.

“Oh, BULL SHIT! You've been retired too long 'n' maybe now yer freakin' retarded! What the f*** d'ya think corporals, sergeants, lieutenants, captains, majors, 'n' so on are fer? These general officer Spear Chuckers don't trust these guys anymore ta pass the word? They gotta do it themselves? OK! Let's do some cost cuttin' 'n' get rid o' all them guys between us Snuffies 'n' the generals! That'll be the freakin' day! That means them hoity-toity generals will have ta get their hands dirty 'n' even get shot at! No f***in' way!” The Butter-Cutter lectured me with ever increasing passion.

“Before you go too far with you condemnation, the article I read did NOT mention any Marine flag officer involved in this initiative. Be that as it may, I do not think these officers are trying to minimize the subordinate officers in their commands.”

“Ya don't, huh? Well, how about an over-active ego? Ya think maybe they got one o' them over-active egos 'n' they just like ta hear themselves talk?” he asked before breaking out in laughter.

“Oh my goodness. There you go again trying to turn a serious conversation into an exercise in cheap shots,” I said. “I would prefer we maintain civility here.”

“ 'Civility' ya want? Well, I don't know what that shit is; but, I do know Bull Shit when I smells it, 'n' this is ALL Bull Shit. This ain't about informin' the troops. This is about turnin' leadership inta VIRTUAL LEADERSHIP. These Spear-Chuckers are sittin' in their heated er air-conditioned offices chuckin' out words ta the field while their Snuffies freeze, sweat, get soaked er get shot er whatever. Ya wanna lead me? Then come on down ta where I am 'n' LEAD ME! Once upon a time, it was called, 'Leadership By Example' er 'Leading From The Front.' I just call it LEADERSHIP 'n' it don't need changin'!”

“Your tutorial on leadership . . .”

Cutting me off, The Butter-Cutter added, “I'll tell ya what; I'm gonna give 'em a chance ta really lead AND be on the internet: Get one o' them generals ta come ta this Mess Hall 'n' we'll do a video fer YouTube titled, 'GENERAL LEADS HIS CHARGES IN GROUP CELL PHONE VIBRATING SESSION!' Hey . . . 'n' YOU can call him!”

Semper . . . Leadership,

Anthony F. Milavic

Major USMC (Ret.)

 * http://features.csmonitor.com/innovation/2009/01/20/military-brass-joins-wired-troops/  


Waddaya think?

Dick Gaines said:   February 3rd, 2009 6:18 amWhat would Chesty Puller say? "Unless the American people are willing to send their sons out to fight an aggressor, there just isn't going to be any United States. A bunch of foreign soldiers will come over and take our women and breed not only another race of people, but a hardier race of people." (General Puller was right--but it came from within.) Ref http://gunnyg.blogspot.com/2007/03/off-chest.html (from Time Magazine, 1951)

Robert Osborne said:   February 3rd, 2009 8:43 amIt really doen't matter if the a General or Admiral or any other officer/enlisted person wants to be a blogger does it. I do believe that is there right. I do believe though that the article talked about at least one high ranking officer blogging about Martin Luther King day and Inaugeration day which isverging on if not being a political discussion and if I am not mistaken that is forbidden when he is using his Military position, because of the possibility of it being used to unduly influence some of his/her subordinates. I also wonder about where they are, what they are doing, what they are saying, and don't loose lips sink ships. What kind of safeguards are in place to insure that sensitive data is not discussed.

Kent Mitchell said:   February 3rd, 2009 9:17 am
In the '50s, our COs held occasional beer busts. We had fun, got to know our officers and NCOs as a bit more human and had fun . . . and hangovers. Next day at morning formation it was business as usual with rifle inspections, etc. No touchy-feely crap, though. Those guys were MEN. Many had survived Chosin, Operation Killer and Ripper and other encounters in Korea, plus some WWII action. Needless to say, I had good role models.

RED DOG said:   February 3rd, 2009 9:18 am
If I knew a Marine on mess duty or any fixed location was using his cell phone ta get off I would find the biggest, ugliest Marine I could find, give him a cell phone and the number to the cell phone user, have him stand a few feet away from user and have big bruiser call the number. When the action starts big ugly could wink and mouth the words I love you to pacified lover boy. Then big ugly could go through chow line and whisper, I'm coming for you tonight, I have your name, I have your number, your ass is mine!.... Which reminds me, if the big brass are using Facebook and YouTube to communicate with their commands, the bad guys (big ugly) can also get on Facebook and Youtube and see just what the chair jockies are saying. They could even come on a F*** up a Marines day.... Remember Somalia? Big ugly's cell phones were used to track, coordinate attacks and rain hell, death and destruction on our guys. Remember the sight of our dead being dragged through the streets like a trophy? I don't own one and don't know how to use one and don't care to learn how. Like the Butter Cutter says, you wanna lead me, well, then carry your fat chair warming ass down here to the meat and potatoes and lead me, otherwise stay outta my f******* way, I got important shit to take care of!....Semper Hands On, RED DOG

GI said:   February 3rd, 2009 6:38 pm
Face Book and U Tube for the Flags; Just another way for the heavy breathers to audition for Hollywood or political office in their after life. Next we will see a Jumbotron in the Pentagon parking lot.

Doug Smith said:   February 4th, 2009 11:56 am
I long for the old days when USMC 1963-1969. Cell phones, Facebook, MySpace, Youtube all have their place place in today's society...but, please Facebook for military comm.?? Give me a break! Smitty