Allen B. West

Abject disdain for our military: troops get pink slips in combat

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There is stupid and then there is simply absurd. The Obama administration is sending pink slips to troops while they’re serving in a war zone.

I remember being a young captain returning home after Operation Desert Shield/Storm and the decision was made to conduct a RIF (Reduction in Force). Officers were given a choice to voluntarily separate, which many did, or be involuntarily separated, based on performance reviews. But this decision came after the combat operation had ceased.

Leave it to the Obama administration to do something so amazingly dumb it takes your breath away.

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According to the New York Post, “In a stunning display of callousness, the Defense Department has announced that thousands of soldiers — many serving as commanding officers in Afghanistan — will be notified in the coming weeks that their service to the country is no longer needed. Last week, more than 1,100 Army captains — the men and women who know best how to fight this enemy because they have experienced multiple deployments — were told they’ll be retired from the Army.”

Let’s just review what’s going in the world right now, shall we?

  • Islamic State (IS -the terror artists formerly known as ISIS) is creating a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East.
  • Israel is locked in combat with Hamas.
  • Iran is marching towards regional hegemony and nuclear capability.
  • Russia is seeking to expand its domain.
  • China is threatening our allies in the Pacific Rim.

This is the time the Obama administration has decided to send pink slips to our combat warriors while they are serving in a combat zone? Simply brilliant! But then again, deserters (i.e. Bowe Bergdahl) are heroic and serve with distinction according to National Security Advisor and Obama lapdog Susan Rice — so who needs these men and women of honor, integrity and character who faithfully stand guard upon freedom’s rampart?

I’m also perplexed why we don’t want to retain these hard-charging combat veterans, leaders, commanders — but we need $3.7 billion to promote a PR campaign in central America and accommodate tens of thousands of illegal immigrants — oops, I mean refugees — into America.

So once again I must ask, whose side is Obama on?

The Post says, “the overall news is not unexpected. The Army has ended its major operations in Iraq and is winding down in Afghanistan. Budget cuts are projected to shrink the Army from its current 520,000 troops to 440,000, the smallest size since before World War II. What is astonishing is that the Defense Department thought it would be appropriate to notify deployed soldiers — men and women risking their lives daily in combat zones — that they’ll be laid off after their current deployment.”

Does this mean these men and women can be redeployed from the combat zone in order to get on with their lives? We can’t fire a union-supported Veterans Administration supervisor who lied and created a “death list” for our nation’s heroes — but the Obama administration can fire our nation’s heroes while they serve in harm’s way? Yeah, some Commander-in-Chief we have, huh America?

As one Army wife posted on, “On some level I knew the drawdowns were inevitable, but I guess I never expected to be simultaneously worried about a deployment to Afghanistan and a pink slip because my husband’s service is no longer needed.”

The Post reports that a senior Defense Department official warned: “If the force is smaller, there’s less margin for error. Let’s face it — things are pretty uncertain out there.” Commenting on the extraordinarily large number of captains being retired, Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. John Campbell said: “In other times, they’d probably continue to stay in the Army. But these are not normal times.”

No sir, these are not normal times — these are perilous times and the last thing we should be doing is reducing our force capability to pre-World War II levels. And shame on our uniformed leaders for sitting on their hands and not standing up to defend our young men and women in uniform.

The Obama administration shows its true colors and how it feels about our men and women in uniform nearly every day. But just think about this simple juxtaposition: a Rose Garden ceremony for the parents of Army PFC Bowe Bergdahl, and the abject dismissal of concern in the case of Marine SGT Andrew Tahmooressi locked in a Mexican jail.

Former U.S. Army Capt. Jonathan Hendershott (West Point, 2007), who wrote the New York Post piece, served in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division and as a company commander in Ft. Hood, Texas. He concludes by saying, “None of our soldiers has ever asked for our gratitude — they never really expected it. But they did expect to be able to finish the job they trained to do. Sending pink slips to commanders still serving in a combat zone is wrong. They deserve so much better than this.”

The current U.S. Army motto is “Army Strong” – but not if the Obama administration has anything to do with it.

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