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Thu Nov 3, 2022, 07:09 PM

I made an old guy appearance at the local ROTC detachment today.

The ROTC detachment at my alma mater is restarting a cadet group that started back in my day but had been allowed to lapse.

The times are very different than in my days as a cadet just after the end of Vietnam. The cadets look infinitely more like soldiers than we did in my day. They were all sincere and intelligent - if younger than I remember being as a cadet. I was impressed by them.

The future of the Army seems to be in good hands.

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Reply I made an old guy appearance at the local ROTC detachment today. (Original post)
TomSlick Nov 3 OP
COL Mustard Nov 3 #1
TomSlick Nov 3 #2
COL Mustard Nov 3 #3
TomSlick Nov 3 #5
GP6971 Nov 3 #4
TomSlick Nov 3 #6
GP6971 Nov 3 #7
TomSlick Nov 3 #8
Wonder Why Nov 3 #9
TomSlick Nov 3 #10
Wonder Why Nov 7 #11

Response to TomSlick (Original post)

Thu Nov 3, 2022, 07:27 PM

1. When I did ROTC in the mid-late 70s

We did things and got away with things that would never be tolerated today. The times have definitely changed and I think for the better. But these darn kids today...don't have to shine their boots, don't have to (can't) starch their uniforms....man things have gotten soft after 20 years of conflict!

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Response to COL Mustard (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 3, 2022, 07:40 PM

2. The Army made the change to the rough-out boots before I retired.

I did not miss polishing boots. I had long before accepted that BDUs were not to be starched.

Polished boots and starch were too easy a way to judge a soldier. The real test for a soldier and an officer is more subtle. I made rash conclusions based on short conversations. There was insufficient information for my judgment but I prefer to think I am correct.

Absent evidence to the contrary, I will believe the future of the Army is in good hands.

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 3, 2022, 07:51 PM

3. As the saying goes....

No combat ready unit ever passed inspection.
No inspection ready unit ever passed combat.

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Response to COL Mustard (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 3, 2022, 08:13 PM

5. I had never heard that - but I like it.

The cadets were young but sincere. I insist on believing they will grow into fine officers - or at least have at least as good a chance as we had.

The Army will be fine.

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Response to TomSlick (Original post)

Thu Nov 3, 2022, 08:11 PM

4. My Army ROTC program

was kicked out in 71 and it hasn't returned although Navy and Air Force programs returned in 2012.

Strange times in those days...constant protests against ROTC. I was in ROTC 1969 - 1971 and the Army and Navy programs tried very hard to maintain a low profile, but to no avail.

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Response to GP6971 (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 3, 2022, 08:24 PM

6. The times have definitely changed - for the better.

When I was a freshman cadet in 1976, there were many on campus how did not appreciate our being on campus in uniform.

Now the university encourages cadets to be on campus in uniform and they are respected by the student body.

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 3, 2022, 08:45 PM

7. At that time, the Army offered an accelerated

program for our college and a couple of other schools on the chopping block...the 4 year program in 2 years because they knew they were being thrown out at end of the 70/71 school year. So everything was doubled for those 2 years. Thankfully only one summer camp at IGMR.

After the program was thrown out, we were administratively transferred to another Army ROTC university in the state until we were commissioned in 73.

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Response to GP6971 (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 3, 2022, 08:53 PM

8. Those were hard times.

Thank you for your service.

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Response to TomSlick (Original post)

Thu Nov 3, 2022, 08:55 PM

9. In the late '60s on my campus, we were pretty military but

through an administrative mistake, I was left off the list for the second two years so I was out and it didn't bother me.

I graduated, got a deferment as an engineer working for a defense contractor but weeks after graduation, I felt that it wasn't fair so I went to Officer Training School then spent 12 years in the service before deciding to pursue other options.

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Response to Wonder Why (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 3, 2022, 09:04 PM

10. Wow. I'm impressed.

Your early service was in dangerous times - a danger you could have avoided.

As the Army folks now say: Hooah!

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Response to TomSlick (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 7, 2022, 10:14 AM

11. Thank you but it wasn't anything special. In those days, there were

a lot of protesters but there also were a lot of guys who thought they owed the country their service. Many of them went into the Army or Marines (the more dangerous services). I went in the Air Force because shortly before graduation, an Air Force recruiter on campus said we could take the physical with no obligation. That was my first real physical and I wanted to be sure I was okay before starting my career. I then forgot about it until a letter came from the Air Force six weeks after I started work at my new company telling me I was qualified and it got me thinking about what I was doing sitting on the sidelines. I thought about protesting or serving but decided to show my support for the country and not the war would be best done from the inside. So I went to my boss and told him I was thinking about it. He said he was retired Navy and he told me that he didn't mind which way I decided. After a few days, I went back and told him I was resigning. The company then reassigned me to spend my last two weeks in training as I would then not be on the books as a "cost" to the project. Had it been a recruiter on campus from another service, I would have ended up in that service.

It's the same now. We can protest on the outside or become part of the solution by joining those on the inside who want the right wing traitors to be stopped. It's everyone's choice. At my age, I have done my share so all I can do now is vote and speak out.

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