(Feature image: LTC Megan Bogden with her father at her promotion ceremony)
Welcome to the most boring article I will ever write for SOFREP—‘The Rep.’ In that it is indeed my most boring article is not inherently my fault. It’s just a boring news event. If you want a news story that sparks, how about these titles:
‘Dog Bites Man’
‘Man Bites Dog’
‘US Navy SEAL Bites Dog’
‘Gay Navy SEAL Bites Dog’
(and my favorite) ‘Gay Navy SEAL Bites Gender Dysphoric Dog (film at 11)
That last title has something for everyone in days of late seeking identity from titillating (that’s right titillating) tabloids, or as Jumpin’ Jack Murphy calls them: “Loids.”
‘Qualified Officer to Assume Command Conducive to Level of Rank’ Nobody wants to read that. And you know, something about this news story within the women’s conspiracy to take over the men’s army is different. Something is missing. Can’t quite put my finger on it… ok yes, of course, I can—the hate; the hate is what is missing from this story.
Perhaps I am tooling in the wrong threads, scrolling in the wrong rooms, clicking the wrong bait, but I just am not seeing the sky falling on this one. I don’t see the hate posts and the oaths and the wringing of hands or gnashing of teeth.
I don’t see the mom’s basement dwellers sniping hate rhetoric about how women can’t be commanders and lead troops. “She’ll do fine until she chips a nail or breaks her curling iron.” “Well my God man, she’ll be having babies all over the bivouac area.” “She can’t deploy to the tropics because the humidity makes her hair limp.”
I’ll say, and the good LTC may not like it, but I don’t even see the Battalion Commander of a Service and Support unit much of a leadership position as I do a managerial one. I could just as well eat my hat if she grabs a rifle and whips her whole Battalion running the Darby Queen.
The commander of a support battalion doesn’t even have to be a good leader, just a keen manager. She would be oh so lucky to have a Sergeant Major who happens to be a kick-ass leader; that would be an ideal team right there.
I’m not for a moment saying ‘just a support commander.’ Listen, I have been at the receiving end of the best and some of the worse military service and support. The best was with Delta; the worst was during my first SF assignment with the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).
I can remember having to trade bottles of Jack Daniel’s whiskey paid for out-of-pocket to get support from our ‘support’ troops. “An army fights on its stomach,” said General Geo S. Patton, meaning front line troop performance is a direct reflection on the level and quality they can get from their rear echelon.
I have an opinion about leaders versus managers:
Martin King Jr.
Joan of Arc
Every coach in the NFL
Burek Obama (a $hitty one)
My mailman (might be a woman, I just don’t know)
In my humble opinion leaders are born, not created. I distinctly remember from my first army ‘leadership academy’ to my last, I felt the same thing about them, everyone: “what face is this that feigns to transform pigs into pigs wearing suits?” Please, just bear with me.
I recall vividly feeling no more like a leader at the graduation of my last academy than I did at the start of my first. But… I had a clue how to organize, train, and conduct combat operations. To the degree of a leader that I am right now, is what I was born with. My management prowess, such as it is, I learned all my life.
Adolph Hitler declared war on… THE ENTIRE WORLD, yet he could hardly dress himself. Martin King Jr. lead an entire nation in spiritual reform, yet he couldn’t balance his checkbook to save his life. NFL Coaches win Super Bowl rings and other worthless trinkets, yet the only reason I would every follow any of them is out of blind curiosity to see what stupid thing they will do next.
I tell you, the army has got a leg up on human behavior: Pin enough leadership awards on a booger-eater and he’ll go all Audy Murphy solo against the entire Dawlat al Islamiya fi Iraq Wa Asham. Follow Me!
We just don’t have many leaders left in our country anymore, and the number renders ever paltry. Nobody want’s to be the daddy anymore. Everyone just walks around all day with their middle finger in the air, as Doctor Michael Savage explained it once. LTC Bogden, well God bless her olive drab heart. Give a sister a chance. She needs 20 feet of rope to hang herself, I say we give her 30 feet. Sink or swim.
I’m of the mind that she will try her damnedest to palpate the mustard with a dull butter knife, to triple mix my metaphor. Think about it: she probably has not got one tenth of a gnat’s ass of vested interest in doing a crappy job in that former men-only club. I am also of the mind that if she did phuq that job up, the army would drop her tied into a hot-loaded JDAM into a fire ant-infested briar… in the dead of Summer!
The fair Colonel will be occupying one of ~16 commission officer positions in Green Beret Groups that does not require the Green Beret qualification. She must be airborne, and I see in her photos that she is indeed airborne. Oh, but her wings are slick; she’s not a Senior Parachutist or the coveted ‘Master Blaster’ fully qualified Senior Jump Master, qualified to ‘lead’ plane loads of paratroops on airborne missions. Ok so I take that away from her, she is a badge hunter and a master patch finder.
Once again she doesn’t need that crap to handle her quartermaster duty. Am I a snob? You bet I am; I’m a fully qualified laminated card-carrying, T-shirt earning snob, but I have all the squares in my hooah ticket punched.
The Sergeant Major of the Army, of the entire army, came to Delta to talk to the troops one day. We gathered in the chow hall to hear what he had to say. He was boring. But he had come just to see us, so after his speech, we approached him to grip and grin. Just a few feet to his front, most of us stopped and gawked in contempt, that the Sergeant Major of the entire United States Army didn’t have jump wings. He was a leg.
Admittedly he doesn’t need to be airborne qualified to be the Smadge of the army, but I am harder on men in the military than women. It was just shocking and sort of threw off my equilibrium a measure to see that my senior sergeant in the entire army was a dirty nasty leg. That level of snobbery is issued to all paratroops upon their fifth jump on Fry Drop Zone, Ft. Benning GA.
The good Lieutenant-Colonel Megan Bogden, step aside and give her some breathing room, and at least half a chance to do her job. As I predict, she will do a fine job. What shade of nail polish goes best with combat? Probably moonstone, or lucky penny (gray or brown if you’re a guy).
The tab-wearing vertical Green Beret proper-uppers might be a-grumbling having a chick in office, but they will prop up their Green Berets down at the GB club, drink, and forget; they always do. Bogden, I’d have a beer and spit on the floor with her. But don’t diss me, sister… do a kickass job!
De Oppresso Liber
(photos courtesy of the News Review)