Chelsea Manning and the British Army

I’ve written before about Chelsea Manning, and more recently I wrote about how the US military is now the a vehicle for progressives to enact their deranged fantasies.

Via Twitter I came across this article written by someone who went through basic training with Bradley Manning, as she was then called. It’s worth reading in full, but the following excerpts give a flavour of what sort of character she was:

Every recruit had the same packing list with the same items in that green duffel bag. They all weighed the same amount. Whether you were 6’4” or 5’4”, male or female, all recruits had to carry their own weight. Understand, that no one breezes through this exercise – everybody hurts, everyone drops their bag at least once, and everyone pays the price for it, including myself. During this exercise, Manning’s problem wasn’t that she was too small or not strong enough. The problem was, she quit. As the rest of the platoon faced one way, gritting their teeth and baring it, whispering words of encouragement to each other, she stood at an about-face the opposite direction, and said she simply could not pick up her own bag.

For the trainees of Charlie 82d, the sound of Chelsea Manning’s voice may forever elicit the two words so commonly overheard from her during her six weeks: “I can’t.” In our comparison of memories over the years, fellow recruits in C Co. have confirmed for me: when the going got tough, Chelsea said, “I can’t.”

At the end of the field exercise, that holdover was walking up to groups of us, offering to sell us candy for $20 a package. We all knew to keep our distance from him – he was untrustworthy, he was in trouble, and he was only going to get you in trouble too if you associated with him. And yet, Chelsea Manning bought a package of M&Ms from him for $20. I remember that scene, because Manning was not quiet about it. She was practically bragging out loud that she had contraband candy. At six weeks into basic training, it just wasn’t worth it, and yet that scene has stayed with me all these years, because for Manning, it somehow was worth it. Maybe by then, she thought she had nothing else to lose.

So why wasn’t she weeded out? The article explains:

In 2007, the U.S. Army was habitually failing to meet its monthly recruiting goals; the application standards relaxed and a great cross-section of humanity ended up reporting for duty that warm October at Fort Leonard Wood. In the company, there was a 17-year-old who had enlisted with a waiver, and there was: a 42-year-old mother of three who was terrified of needles; a new grandmother to a brand-new infant granddaughter; and a former coffee distributor in South America in his mid-thirties who everyone still called “Grandpa.” One recruit ironically named “Goesforth” went AWOL within 48 hours of arrival, deserted the military, and was never seen again. One recruit in fourth platoon had been homeless before he joined, and another had blown his entire first university semester’s tuition on OxyContin before he dropped out and enlisted. One recruit was a Mexican citizen who was willing to go to Iraq and fight for the United States in exchange for expedited citizenship. Another was a female with dual German/American citizenship who was so short, the German Army wouldn’t take her, so she joined up with the Americans instead. Charlie 82d had dads in their mid-thirties, and it had dads not yet old enough to buy beer. My platoon had a single mom who had been working as a an exotic dancer before she raised her right hand and took the oath; another had married young, got divorced and wanted to get as far away from her Ex as possible.

Does this sound like an army which intends to win battles any time soon? Alas, it seems we’re no better in the UK:

The Army is launching a £1.6m advertising campaign to demonstrate it can “emotionally and physically” support recruits from all backgrounds.

The radio, TV and online adverts seek to address concerns potential soldiers might have about issues, including religion or sexuality.

They ask: “What if I get emotional?”, “Can I be gay in the Army?” and “Do I have to be a superhero?”

This sounds less like an army than a social welfare programme to accommodate the most fragile of Britain’s population.

In one, a Muslim soldier explains how the army has allowed him to practice his faith.

Was there ever a time when it didn’t?

These are not the kind of recruitment adverts most people would probably expect from the Army.

The emphasis is on the emotional rather than the physical, a sense of excitement, and the usual images of military hardware.

Some will see them as a sign the Army has gone soft by focussing on people’s worries. They will question whether it’s another sign of pandering to political correctness.

Well, yes. They will also, like me, ask how this army intends to fight anyone in future.

But like most large organisations, the Army wants to be seen as modern and a reflection of the society it represents.

What was I saying about the purpose of modern militaries? It’s nice to see my views confirmed by a national broadcaster.

That means an emphasis on being open to all – regardless of gender, race, religion or class.

And ability, I’ll wager.

It fits in with the head of the Army General Sir Nick Carter’s mantra of “maximising people’s talent” regardless of background.

But he also insists that combat ethos and fighting power remain the Army’s priority. These adverts just might not give that impression.

Who to believe, eh? Then there’s this:

Last month, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson blocked an attempt to drop its longstanding “be the best” recruitment logo and its crest logo.

According to the Mail on Sunday, the the Army was considering changing the phrase after criticism it was “dated, elitist and non-inclusive”.

The British military is a bit like the Church of England: in order to arrest collapsing numbers in recruitment and attendance respectively, they have abandoned all pretence to discipline, standards, and seriousness – the very things which attracted people in the first place – in favour of progressive identity politics. It’s good to see the new Defence Secretary, himself a former soldier, is pushing back a little and so are others:

Colonel Richard Kemp – the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, who served in the in the Army until 2006 – said while the adverts were aimed at a number of minority groups, they missed out the Army’s core recruitment pool.

“I think what the army needs to do in order to deal with its recruiting problem is not to specifically appeal to minorities – of course, the more people from all parts of society who join the better.

“But it’s even more important than that to fill the army up with people who want to fight and want to be soldiers. And this, I don’t think, will do that.”

Instead, he called for the Army to focus on retention problems and deal with its “impenetrable” application process and the “horrific bureaucracy” surrounding it.

Major General Timothy Cross, who retired in 2007, said the Army was “really struggling” with recruitment and should not be trying to be “jolly nice to people”.

I suspect it’s too late, though. Like every other western institution, the British military has been captured by a cabal of its worst enemies who are well on the way to destroying it from within.

Army research also found its crest – depicting crossed swords, a crown and a lion – to be “non-inclusive” and recommended replacing both with a union jack with the word “army” in bold underneath.

Why people spend time worrying about Vladimir Putin and the Russian army is beyond me. They’ll win without even getting out of bed.

Share

30 thoughts on “Chelsea Manning and the British Army

  1. “the British military has been captured by a cabal of its worst enemies who are well on the way to destroying it from within.”

    From now on I think we can just say “Britain has been captured by a cabal of its worst enemies who are well on the way to destroying it from within”.

  2. I served 2 years National Service in the South African Defence Force (5th Medical Battalion) from age 22 to 24. Basic training was tough. Really tough for a 5’5″ slip of a lad. But we were all in it together and those who didn’t pull their weight were dealt with. Not by the non-coms or officers but by us. No room for slackers. Not only were we expected to run 2.4km in under 12 minutes in full kit (staaldak, webbing en geweer – Saffas will know what that means) but also expected to carry an “injured” soldier across the parade ground.

    As it was conscription (the alternative being 6 years in jail), there were lads from all walks of life, lifestyles and religions. Fortunately for the gays in our platoon, we were mature enough to shield them from the merciless bullying meted out by the more neanderthal Afrikaans non-coms. One night a delegation of us older lads met with the company sergeant-major (a hard as nails, wiry staff-sergeant who was a soldier’s soldier) to get the corporals to knock it off with the bullying. He was good enough to listen and the bullying ceased. Sure these gay lads weren’t cut out for the physical rigours of basic training, but we pulled them through and all made it to the passing out parade at the end of basics.

    The real troublemakers, usually the drug-addled and professional layabouts weren’t tolerated and their life was made hell and rightly so in my book. If you ain’t up to it pal, on yer bike. Yes it’s shit, we didn’t want to be there either but with national service you just had to knuckle down and get on with it.

    The British and US armies are volunteer forces – I don’t understand why they are so intent on bending over backwards for the snowflakes. If I was on the battlefield I’d want to know that whoever was alongside me in combat had my back, because sure as shit I’d have theirs, and not crying because it’s too hard or worried that they may break a nail.

  3. Every so often you reach what you think is the end point of lunacy, and then it goes a little bit further down Nutty Road.

    I am old; my father was in the army in WW2 and both my grandfathers were in the military — one a gunner on a battleship the other in the trenches in France in WW1. My wife’s father reached the rank of Major in the army (and was mentioned in dispatches while in Northern Ireland) and his own father was killed on the beaches of Dunkirk. Not surprisingly I have strong feelings about our armed forces. I am not deluded however; I doubt that I would make a good soldier or an able gunner and I am thankful that I grew up in an era of relative peace. I never had to test my resolve when under fire, but I admire those who do and have done it.

    But here’s the thing: we need people who can protect us. We will in future, too. Threats never go away, and the illusion that merely thinking peaceful things (when others are demonstrably not thinking peaceful thoughts) will be enough of a guarantee is a recipe for getting your rears bitten hard when you least expect it. As they say, “We sleep well in our beds because rough men stand ready to do harm on our behalf.”

    Trouble is, those rough men are running out. Some years ago I believe the US Army did a survey into the calibre of recruit they might expect, and it didn’t make good reading. The increasingly soft underbelly of our western ways results in people who cannot do simple things, cannot live without central heating and have no ounce of gumption to call on. Essentially, they are impractical and have to have their hands held. One of the issues among others was people joined up thinking they would be given a pistol and could hold it sideways on like they had seen in the movies. Cool, hey, man? The fact is that one reason the US was able to be a decisive force in WW2 was the large number of men drawn from farms and rural communities. They were used to a tough life, going without and improvising. We don’t have that so much now.

    Recruiting people who cannot cope with discipline is a bad thing, though I accept that in a deliberately-shrunken army (and with repeated clear signals from our pathetic leaders that they will not honour or indeed stand by our troops) then you have to take whatever you can. I have no problem with a woman picking up a rifle if she will use it in defence of the realm, though I do have severe misgivings about letting in members of the RoP

    Sadly, if we recruit, train and arm people whose desires are not in the nation’s interest then, as others say, it will not end well.

  4. Joining the military is also seen as a good way of getting the gender reassignment surgery done for free. Not sure about the UK I think you just need to sign a form in front of chemist and you can get it done on the NHS for free anyhow, even if you are on the dole.

    Here Are All The Nations In The World That Let Transgender Troops

    Number 8 must be on a bender and Austria annexed Czechoslovakia.

    1. Canada
    2. The United Kingdom
    3. Israel
    4. Australia
    5. New Zealand
    6. Argentina
    7. Bolivia
    9. Belgium
    10. Austria
    10. Czech Republic
    11. Denmark
    12. Sweden
    13. Norway
    14. Finland
    15. Estonia
    16. The Netherlands
    17. Spain
    18. Germany
    19. Thailand

    http://taskandpurpose.com/here-are-all-the-nations-in-the-world-that-let-transgender-troops-serve/

  5. Two main problems here, to do with the way society is changing. First, as has been acknowledged, we don’t produce tough men who will endure hardship and can be trained to direct enormous reserves of anger and aggression at the enemy. A long time ago (1980s?) I talked to an officer in the Marines, who said that the ideal platoon for him was a group of tough, abused borstal scum headed by a public school sportsman who had a good grasp of the psychology of aggression. Something along the lines of “Beast them, keep them on edge, don’t push them so far that they turn their weapons on you or each other, and then point them at the enemy”. I doubt if we produce enough of either category now.

    Second, I have often had military types tell me that the job is now so complex that the one-dimensional types above would be unsuitable. They are great for lining up against a group of people they hate, but would have been hopeless in (say) former Yugoslavia or Iraq, where they would have kicked off at anyone regardless of whose side they were on. The military value intelligence – even emotional intelligence – for a reason.

    It may be that (apart from special forces, assassination teams, etc.) that we are now too comfortable to project deadly force beyond our borders. A while ago on here there was a discussion about those twats who scale high buildings and ride trains, etc. and video the often bloody results. I suspect the countries who supply most of those young men would prevail in the event of conflict.

  6. Second, I have often had military types tell me that the job is now so complex that the one-dimensional types above would be unsuitable. They are great for lining up against a group of people they hate, but would have been hopeless in (say) former Yugoslavia or Iraq, where they would have kicked off at anyone regardless of whose side they were on. The military value intelligence – even emotional intelligence – for a reason.

    Exactly right: you need to be smart even to be a basic infantry soldier these days, but you still need the right attitude. I have lots of friends who are Royal Marine officers, and they tell me that toning down the “beast them until they drop, yell at them until they’re deaf” approach has not had the effect of producing Marines of lower quality. But quite how far you can push reforms away from traditional military discipline and training is open to question, and I reckon we’re past the point where it’s sensible.

  7. I served 2 years National Service in the South African Defence Force

    *Doffs cap*

    I hope you didn’t get snarled up in Angola, like a lot of your countrymen did.

  8. I’d have thought an army that trained to kill as efficiently as possible was pretty much a given but social engineering pervades all walks of life it seems. I still work as a builder when I’m bored and on site being white, hetero and capable is still pretty much mandatory and I kind of like it that way although elsewhere I’m sure its different.

  9. Like a lot of people I am sure, I have no major objection to transexuals in the army, provided they can shoot straight and all the rest.

    I am utterly mystified at the idea of paying for gender assignment surgery…

    And the fact that anybody in a position of power can possibly imagine that is a good idea to spend that scarce portion of tax payers’ money that has been set aside for the purchase of bullets on that rather than the aforementioned bullets, is frightening.

  10. “The British and US armies are volunteer forces – I don’t understand why they are so intent on bending over backwards for the snowflakes. “

    Because Obama cashiered out so many who didn’t share the SJW ethic, replacing them with committed feminists and equalists and racialists, and left the rest in fear of their pensions if they didn’t get with the program. When your CIC declares that you WILL be a woke organization, and the livelihoods of all of the leaders depend on keeping your CIC happy with you, you become a woke organization.

    We have two separate militaries in the US now. One is a jobs/works/entitlement program, designed to support feminism with more public monies than are available in simple social programs, and the other is a smaller organization designed to provide for a military capability.

    The second – the true military – remains full of professional technicians and warriors who run the intelligence functions, staff the elite units which get sent in to every conflict, pilot the drones, and fly the planes. These are the ones who fight our wars. They train and work constantly, and are maxed out in terms of additional capacity.

    The first group consists of those who Obama wished to see as our nation’s representatives to the world. These are the trans-soldiers looking for free health care (and surgery), the women looking to become warriors, and the affirmative action corp. These people get next to no real training beyond gender-fairness and diversity classes. These people now make up close to half of our military.

    Thankfully we can still staff a small war or two with the professional group. If we reach the point where we need to send in true manpower, or sail boats into harm’s way, we’ll have issues.

  11. @Bloke in Italy

    It seems to be a hot potato in the US military as Trump tried to ban them and mentioned the cost which they would have to fund themselves on civy street but it seems to have been successfully appealed against.

    Sun Tze warned many years ago about the problems associated with perpetual war, I know this used to be standard reading for any US military strategist, perhaps they need to dust if off and read it again.

    … When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, the men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardour will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength…. There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare…. In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.

    ………………………………………………

    “Allowing transgenders to join the military is contrary to a directive from the Commander-in-Chief President Trump. The Trump administration appealed Judge Kollar-Kitelly’s decision but was rejected by two separate courts last week. Few transgenders can afford the sex-change surgery they desire because it can exceed $100,000. Making it free in the military is an incentive for transgenders to enlist. Because of this, the military eventually may have the highest proportion of transgenders of any ‘professional’ group in the country. [It is unknown what effect this will have on the fighting spirit of the US military.] -GEG”

  12. It is too facile to blame O’bama in the USA and Blair un the UK.

    Certainly as far as the UK goes the military has been a punchbag since the 80s.

    They have seen their numbers reduced, demoralising re-organisations of historic regiments, they have been supplied with substandard yet overpriced kit. See below.

    The Navy is about as far from Nelsons paragons as it is possible to imagine. The Rum has gone, the buggery has probably increased and the lash is now optional!!

    Famously there are more admirals than warships, more wing commanders than aircraft. The MoD procurement departments are waiting rooms for the senior ranks of BaE, Britain’ s national arms maker. see above.

    The Army still has superb infantry and they have been bogged down in pointless permanent wars for what seems like decades and many of their finest are now in wheelchairs.

    The long march through the institutions has struck while its back was turned, but personally I believe it is not too late to save it.

    What is required is a proper national sense of outrage at what is happening.

    I hope that once Brexit is out of the way however that ends up, then the right can get its act together again and start to fight these other important battles. My gut feeling is that we are reaching peak cuntery from the left and the patience of the real Britain is running out.

  13. “The Navy is about as far from Nelsons paragons as it is possible to imagine. The Rum has gone, the buggery has probably increased and the lash is now optional!!”

    And worst of all they have failed to secure and maintain the island nations borders one of the fundamental duties of any state military force. What exactly are the British military defending these days other than say the right of unwanted foreign occupiers to come there and run riot in its once secure lands?

    Maybe the British Government would better serve its subjects if it were to sack all the existing border officials and replace them with repatriated British military forces commanded to repel the current invaders and guard its borders to prevent any barbarians from invading again.

    Back to basics.

  14. BII – ‘Peak cuntery’! LOL. Love it.

    Who do you vote for to end this wave of PC shite?

  15. One recruit was a Mexican citizen who was willing to go to Iraq and fight for the United States in exchange for expedited citizenship.

    Fair play to that lad, I say!

  16. Bardon, that was my point. Those pictured wouldn’t ever see a rifle range let alone be anywhere near the frontline.

  17. Tim, why are you referring to this lunatic as a ‘she’? By doing that you’re buying into his own lunacy. Manning is a bloke, and he will always be a bloke no matter how much lipstick he slathers on.

    The descriptions of everyone in his training unit putting up with his unacceptable behavior are rather ironic given that the person telling the story refers to Manning as a she. It seems that people are still putting up with his bullshit.

    Manning is a male, a bloke, a dude, a guy, a boy, a he, a him, and countless other descriptive nouns and pronouns. But he is not a woman.

    And he is most certainly not a man.

  18. Tim, why are you referring to this lunatic as a ‘she’? By doing that you’re buying into his own lunacy. Manning is a bloke, and he will always be a bloke no matter how much lipstick he slathers on.

    I’m following the convention of how Manning is written about in the contemporary media. I get your point and agree with it, but I didn’t want this post to be taken as commentary on Manning’s sex change.

  19. Thankfully we can still staff a small war or two with the professional group.

    Perhaps we should reserve the professional military for home defense and send the SJW branches to fight abroad (heh). It’ll be an opportunity for them to prove that they’re as competent as their boosters claim.

  20. From Bobby B: “and the affirmative action corp.”

    Shouldn’t that read “and the affirmative action corpse” as it is more likely with ill-equipped and unprepared troops?

  21. “Sadly, if we recruit, train and arm people whose desires are not in the nation’s interest then, as others say, it will not end well.”

    The same, of course, could be said for any immigrants allowed into one’s country.

    For example:

    “Second- or third-generation foreign immigrants may appear outwardly to be entirely assimilated, but they often constitute a weakness in two directions.”

    Of course a nation’s decline is not merely due to immigrants;

    “No longer do schools aim at producing brave patriots ready to serve their
    country. Parents and students alike seek the educational qualifications which will command the highest salaries. ”

    and;

    “The nation, immensely rich, is no longer interested in glory or duty, but is only anxious to retain its wealth and its luxury. ”

    and;

    “Men are interminably different, and intellectual arguments rarely lead to
    agreement. Thus public affairs drift from bad to worse, amid an unceasing cacophony of argument. But this constant dedication to discussion seems to destroy the power of action. Amid a Babel of talk, the ship drifts on to the rocks.”

    and;

    “True to the normal course followed by nations in decline, internal differences are not reconciled in an attempt to save the nation. On the contrary, internal rivalries become more acute, as the nation becomes weaker.”

    All of the above are excerpts from Sir John Glubb’s 24 page PDF, “The Fate of Empires”.

    http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/glubb.pdf

    Cheers

  22. I have no major objection to transexuals in the army, provided they can shoot straight and all the rest.

    Transexualism is a serious mental illness (it’s a delusional disorder) with a suicide rate approaching 40%. You don’t want people with severe mental health issues in This Man’s Army, and you especially don’t want people that suicide-prone handling firearms.

    The myth being pushed by World War T right now is that trans-whatevers are Just Like The Rest Of Us and if we’d just all stop being such transphobic haters they’d fade into the background and be indistinguishable from the rest of the crowd. Nothing could be further from the truth.

  23. Usually the case against inflicting weaklings on the army is presented as a hypothetical. The Bradley Manning episode has been as concrete an example of the dire consequences of lowered standards as can be imagined. And that occurred even without him being foisted onto something really hard, like the infantry.
    I am not even necessarily opposed to allowing people who are, ahem, funny in the pants to serve, but I would most certainly draw the line at the manifestly feeble. “Oxygen thieves”, in the professional jargon.
    He/she/it is the perfect poster boy/girl/thing for what happens when standards are lowered.

Comments are closed.