When it comes to the military, everyone thinks he’s an expert. Every civilian who’s ever seen Full Metal Jacket or Top Gun thinks he knows all about basic training/boot camp/officer training school and thinks that a person goes straight from basic to the “war zone” which, nine times out of ten, is right here in the good old USA where you thought you were safe.
The Hollywood movie producers never make movies about the training a military member gets for his/her career field. Classrooms and field settings in which one learns how to be a proper infantryman, supply officer, aeromedical technician or aircraft mechanic just don’t make for compelling drama.
So the average civilian thinks that newly-minted GIs pop out of basic training and get on-the-job training by fire—literally in the case of those going to someplace like Iraq or Afghanistan. Well allow me to school ya, as it were.
I had four career fields in the Air Force; the longest technical training lasted nearly a year and a half, the shortest, eight weeks. And we’re not talking college hours. We’re talking Monday through Friday classes, eight hours per day. You know, like a job?
We learn every aspect and every conceivable contingency involved in that career field and we are objectively tested for our knowledge using both written tests and task evaluation, when appropriate.
We aren’t just dropped into, say, Baghdad, and told to do our job.
So when every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks he knows better than the professionals in the military how to move personnel and equipment under adverse conditions—like in the aftermath of a hurricane--I can point to an actual logistics officer named Jason Van Steenwyk as a trained and experienced expert, rather than listening to someone who is “talking out the side of his neck.” I’ve highlighted one post; however, read from September first on. Jason also points to others who know what they are talking about.
KATRINA RELIEF: Arab Nations
KUWAIT CITY Sep 4, 2005 — The oil-rich Persian Gulf state of Kuwait said Sunday it will donate $500 million in aid to U.S. relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina.Wow! God love them, too.
The offer is the largest known put forward since the hurricane ravaged Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and follows a $100 million aid donation from the emir of a Mideast neighbor, Qatar.
Kuwait's energy minister said his country would provide "oil products that the disaster-stricken states need in addition to other humanitarian aid."
"It's our duty as Kuwaitis to stand by our friends to lighten the humanitarian misery and as a payback for the many situations during which Washington helped us through the significant relations between the two friendly countries," Sheik Ahmed Fahd Al Ahmed Al Sabah said in a statement carried by Kuwait's official news agency, KUNA.