Comments: SSG FITTS

Sarah,

As for the "The CO cares about the mission, I care about the people" statement:

When I went through officer training, one of the things they stressed was that was an officer, your primary motivating factor must always be to complete the mission. Your number two goal will be to take care of your people. BUT - your people should always feel that they are at the top.

It is not that officers are selfish, and only looking to get ahead - but that the military has a mission - and we can never be so risk averse that we will not risk, god forbid, the death of our troops to complete the mission. We will make every effort to protect our people, and hopefully try to take no foolish actions which will needlessly risk the lives of our troops.

From what I've seen (albeit not much), the enlisted Army hates officers. It's hard to believe, but enlisted Marines seem to hate officers even more.

If you think it's tough being an Army LT - try being an AF LT in a flight suit on an Army post. Most soldiers would rather commit suicide than salute you.

Posted by S at November 17, 2004 11:39 PM

I feel for you, LT S. There's definite military branch animosity.

My problem with that statement is not the Army priorities that it reflects, but the way it was said...and in front of a bunch of enlisted wives. To me, it sends a bad message: the CO doesn't care about your husbands or your families. It just rubbed me the wrong way.

Posted by Sarah at November 18, 2004 06:54 AM

In the AF, most likely that kind of statement wouldn't be made.

From my very, very, very limited exposure to the Army, it seems there is a tendency away from suger-coating things, even for dependants. Including making unnecessary statements to show how tough they are and to make allusions to how little the officers care.

In the end Sarah, as you've experienced first hand, the great majority of officers are focused on their unit and the enlisted members. At least you can be confident in knowing your husband and his fellow officers are caring for their soldiers, regardless of what others say.

Posted by S at November 18, 2004 08:35 PM

Sarah,

As an experienced "Army Brat" (child of enlisted) and "Enlisted Spouse", I can completely understand how you can feel like enlisteds hate officers. Growing up the rivalry even existed between the children of officers and enlisted. The basis for this rivalry had no real basis, other than we had heard it from adults in our community, so it must be so.

Now that I have grown and matured, I have come to see what it all boils down to…Experience or Education! In the military of the past officers were often college educated while enlisted people were not, thus beginning the endless argument of who is better.

In today’s Army the argument of old doesn’t necessarily apply…………many enlisted have degrees as well and many officers have gained valuable experience very quickly, due to excessive deployments.

Overall, I feel that neither experience or education is more valuable than the other, both are needed for the military and individuals succeed in life.

In the case of SSG Fitts……while I understand his need to rally his men after such devastation, his timing and audience SUCKED! He should have thought twice about his choice of words, especially in front of a reporter.

Lastly, where was Public Affairs? How could they allow something like this to be printed….isn’t it their job?

My heart goes out to Mrs. Sims and her family……officer or enlisted….he was, above all a man, a husband, a son and a father. God bless you all!

Posted by Vonn at November 19, 2004 03:09 PM