Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Can Do

Quoting the entire post below so the text in bold makes sense.

I do not think it is likely that we'll hand the job off to the Navy or the Air Force. I do think the Navy has the history and the background to make a good go of it.

But. How many millions of people are veterns who embody the can-do spirit and live the Seabee motto: "Can do." Most of us, I think. Does this carry over into the work we do for corporate America? I know it does.

Current Chaos Manor mail
Subject: D Day thoughts

Indeed it is well to remember a few things about what these United States Of America accomplished on June 6, 1944:

On D-Day, the Allies landed around 156,000 troops in Normandy. The American forces landed numbered 73,000. Ninety-five per cent of these American soldiers just 912 days earlier, on December 7, 1941, had been civilians with no military training, experience or even any great desire to be soldiers.

11,590 aircraft were available to support the landings. On D-Day, Allied aircraft flew 14,674 sorties. All of these aircraft had been built in less than three years. Ninety per cent of their pilots had never flown IN an airplane, much less piloted one, before December of 1941. Ninety-five per cent of the mechanics and other ground support personnel who maintained their engines and other systems had never set foot on an airfield, much less worked on an aircraft, prior to December of 1941.

Operation Neptune, the naval support operation for the Overlord landings, involved huge naval forces, including 6939 vessels: 1213 naval combat ships, 4126 landing ships and landing craft, 736 ancillary craft and 864 merchant vessels. Some 195,700 personnel were assigned to Operation Neptune: 52,889 US, 112,824 British, and 4988 from other Allied countries. A third of the ships were from the navy of these United States of America. 80% of those ships had been built since December, 1941. Ninety percent of the seamen and eighty per cent of the officers manning those vessels of war had never crewed more than a rowboat prior to December, 1941. A third of them had never seen the ocean before December 7, 1941.

A pipeline was laid under the ocean to carry fuel and lubricants to the allied forces. Two pre-fabricated harbors had been designed, built and towed through one of the most treacherous bodies of water in the world and installed on the Channel coast of France while under enemy fire.

All of this, and more, done in 912 days. All of it done without electronic computers. All of it done without fax machines, without cell phones, without voice mail, all of it done with manual typewriters and mechanical calculators and reams of paper and legions of men and women filing and stamping and checking and rechecking and working as if their lives depended on it. As if!

And today, with all our wealth and technology, our "leadership" tells us we cannot control our own borders, we cannot find Americans willing, at any price, to hew wood, draw water and break stone, that tell us daily that we cannot build a nation fit for heroes and the children of heroes without foreign labor to bake our daily bread.

The American military, despised in the 1920s and 1930s, under funded, officered by men who often came from the despised rural regions of the country. rose to the task and, for better or worse, did the job they were asked to do. Then they laid down their weapons, dismantled their armies and fleets, and returned to their plows, by and large.

When the leader of this great effort in due time rose to the chief magistracy of these united States, his final speech to the nation he had served so honorably was not a summation of military horns and laurels, all his to rest on, and more. No, he used that auspicious moment to warn his nation of the danger of the military if allowed too great an influence in society.

And today again the United States military is often mocked, easily despised, and all too often given tasks as "impossible' D Day in 1944. And it still accomplishes them.

You want industrialization of space? A moon colony? An outpost on Mars? Give the job to the military. While you whine about the militarization of space, they will quickly and efficiently accomplish it, and then hand the keys to your new world to you. And then return to their barracks.

We do not deserve them. We never have. But they are the best we have.

Petronius The Arbiter Of Taste
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