Perhaps the best anecdote of the Warrior Brotherhood is from Gen. Sherman with respect to Gen. Grant, “He stood by me when I was crazy, I stood by him when he was drunk; and now, Sir, we stand by each other always.”
This sentiment is the essence of Warrior Brotherhood. Since time immemorial battles have been won only through direct contact. Starting with sticks and stones, then adding spears, next comes swords, then the addition of artillery (archers) and armor (chariots), followed by cavalry all of which required direct contact with the enemy. The invention of gunpowder only provided a little more distance to the equation. It was the same afloat. Adm. Nelson famously said, “No Captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside the enemy.” War is kinetic and results in lost blood, lost limbs, lost lives. None know this better than men who have been there. Men under fire may have ideals and all have faith, but they don’t fight for these vague beliefs. They fight for the man next to him and do this freely regardless of the exterior paint scheme. Beneath that frail epidermis we are all the same. We all bleed red and care not of who shares their blood to save us with the firm knowledge of he is my Brother. The Black Marine who jumps on a grenade to save his White Brother doesn’t do it for his posthumous MoH, he does it to save his Brother. The SEAL who risked all to save not only his severely wounded Officer but also to save a Vietnamese SEAL wasn’t seeing race or class, he was only trying to save his Brothers. Since long ago yesterdays up to today and as it will be tomorrow, this is the Ethos of the Warrior. Tactics change, the opponents change, clearly weapons have changed, but what hasn’t changed is the absolute need for the Warrior Brotherhood.
Our Democracy as great as it is fickle. It changes like the weather as sure as the changing tide and too often not for the better. When we had the Draft, our feckless “leadership” hiding in the Halls of Power, had to put their child in danger just as the Sharecropper in the South did the same. The much-feared telegram could be sent to any Mother’s door. This was Equality and it worked. But after the conflict was over our heroes once again became cannon fodder and were left to the wolves. Too many returned with fewer limbs than when they left, disfigured, and blind. Almost all have some degree of PTSD. What does society do? Besides a few pieces of colorful ribbon, very little. Sure, many offer a now meaningless “Thank you for your Service.” Our Government ignores them and leaves it up to Charities to step in and help our Hero Brothers try and live a contented life. We should be ashamed of this atrocity.
All the above being a fact of life that we chose to live with a new philosophy has taken hold. The Power’s that Aren’t have taken on the DoD as a means for Social Experimentation. It started with women being brought to the equation, then gays and the full gamut of the alphabet soup of self-identities. Maybe given time we could make this work. But somehow we have now embraced all the panoplies of “Wokeism,” with self-identity being paramount, divisive implementations of “Diversity,” the inclusion of any category, and worst of all the lowering standards to the least common denominator for something called “Equity.” Social Justice Warriors are the antithesis of real Warriors. Wokeness and Winning are anathema to each other. We can only Pray that we won’t have to prove ourselves wrong through the disastrous results of some future conflict. Oh wait, we already have in Afghanistan. Maybe Brandon is right by choosing not to provide woke power to help our Brothers in Ukraine. I, for one, would rather fight for Zelensky than our pampers and pablum basement dweller in chief.
We owe it to our Warrior Brothers to do something about this. We can’t keep politics aside. This is all about politics. The once proud Democratic Party has been taken over by the looney left. The once strong GOP is now led by Neocons and RHINOs. The strength of our Nation is and always has been the People. The Mothers and Fathers, the Brothers, and Sisters, regardless of flavor are who we are. The Permanent Political Class are the leeches on our soul.
Their only desire is gaining and keeping power. They become rich through insider trading and crony capitalism. We shouldn’t put up with this. We should demand term limits. We should clean house. It might be a good idea to embrace a more Parliamentary style by having votes of confidence to remove feckless fools. We desperately need to take control of social media. If the mainstream media continues its current focus on a one-party state through lies and obfuscation, we need to rethink the First Amendment. The first step is the Midterms. The Nation needs new blood inside the Beltway. Our Brother Warriors, regardless of Party, are a logical choice. They know only too well the cost of our truly miserable “leadership.”
All of these issues have found an unlikely home in our beloved Service Academies. We are training the future Leaders of our Brother’s in Arms to focus more on being woke, than being a Warrior. Teaching them to form enclaves of separation for the self-identified. Learning to hate each other instead of loving each other. Wars are won by not being different, but by building cohesive teams focused on the mission and their Oaths. This present foolishness will only end up in loss of blood, friends, and battles. It will only change with a new Congress and hopefully a new President a couple of years thereafter. Good order and discipline should rule the day. Honor, Courage, Integrity, and Discipline are the traits that matter.
I’ll end with the last stanza of my favorite poem, Invictus:
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
About the Author:
Cdr. Dale Lawson is a Naval Academy graduate and former Navy fighter pilot. He is working with a group of concerned individuals to change the focus of our military and specifically our Service Academies.