08/15/2005: Soldiers are not fungible....
At Why Not?, Bryan does a bit of fact checking and points us to MilitaryCity.com's "Honor the Fallen" page on Casey Sheehan, which contains some details about the action in which he was killed. Bryan then notes:
What struck me was that he was an artilleryman, not in the infantry. They had already run out of infantry and were cross-training other specialties to fill slots. He died doing a job he hadn't really been trained to do. He wasn't eligible for the Combat Infantryman Badge, but that was the job he was given.The Army is not the Marines, and not every soldier is a rifleman. One wonders if that operation might have been more successful with qualified infantry performing it instead of having to make do with whatever troops were available to volunteer.
This is the result of Rumsfeld's belief that people are "fungible", that all you have to do is put whoever is available into whatever job that needs to be done, and things will be fine. Rumsfeld doesn't believe that military jobs require specialized training because they are all just "cannon fodder" and "trigger pullers".
Len on 08.15.05 @ 06:42 PM CST