Anonymous Letter Discussion and General Kurt Sonntags rebuttal (MERGED)

Marauder06

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Why separation from the Army?
The opted for a CM and the CG backed down, opting for a GOMR.

That's not what I read. These two said they weren't involved and I have no reason to doubt them. I was referring to the individual(s) who wrote that letter. I think administrative separation is totally appropriate for an individual who went so beyond the pale of what we expect from a serving professional.

So what's someone supposed to do when every normal avenue has been approached with regards to command decisions being contrary to making the best special operations combatants for that specific segment of the rainbow wheel?

What avenues did they take, other than complaining loudly at a town hall? IG... Congressional... open door with USASOC or SOCOM commanders... what did I miss that they did? It was a rather long letter and it's possible I missed a couple of things.

We never considered vanilla SF to be part of the rainbow. But it's been ten years so maybe that changed too.
 

Ranger Psych

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That's not what I read. These two said they weren't involved and I have no reason to doubt them. I was referring to the individual(s) who wrote that letter. I think administrative separation is totally appropriate for an individual who went so beyond the pale of what we expect from a serving professional.



What avenues did they take, other than complaining loudly at a town hall? IG... Congressional... open door with USASOC or SOCOM commanders... what did I miss that they did? It was a rather long letter and it's possible I missed a couple of things.

We never considered vanilla SF to be part of the rainbow. But it's been ten years so maybe that changed too.


White's all colors of the rainbow before it hits the prismatic factor... SF's a funky monkey anyway with regards to the differing classifications/capabilities/taskings between ODA's, etc.

I don't know what all they did, but the greviances listed in the letter are pretty heavy. I wasn't defending the letter as much as actually wanting to get a clarified response with regards to COA for "shit at that level".
 

Gunz

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As an outsider, I see the recriminations against the CO of the instructor company and the two NCO instructors who say they had no part in the letter as a pretty good indication that the letter's claims had validity. The General is having a Mad Minute on full-auto, spraying the whole tree line hoping to hit the one guy hiding behind a tree.
 

DA SWO

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That's not what I read. These two said they weren't involved and I have no reason to doubt them. I was referring to the individual(s) who wrote that letter. I think administrative separation is totally appropriate for an individual who went so beyond the pale of what we expect from a serving professional.



What avenues did they take, other than complaining loudly at a town hall? IG... Congressional... open door with USASOC or SOCOM commanders... what did I miss that they did? It was a rather long letter and it's possible I missed a couple of things.

We never considered vanilla SF to be part of the rainbow. But it's been ten years so maybe that changed too.
Agree that the authors had to go, but they knew that was coming when they e-mailed the letter to the world.
The collateral damage (Company Commander, and 2 (innocent?) NCO's ) isn't appropriate.
I wonder if the Bn Commander took a hit too, and if not why not?
 

Marauder06

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Agree that the authors had to go, but they knew that was coming when they e-mailed the letter to the world.
The collateral damage (Company Commander, and 2 (innocent?) NCO's ) isn't appropriate.
I wonder if the Bn Commander took a hit too, and if not why not?

We don't know if it's inappropriate or not. The only people talking to the press, and thus to us, are the people under the gun. It may have gone down exactly as they said and the whole situation is BS, or they're leaving something out or downplaying the significance of what they did. It's also possible that they're more involved in the letter than what they let on, or that they may not have "sent" the letter but were somehow complicit in its construction or dissemination. And it's also possible that their situation is the result of a series of things: them developing a for-profit venture on the Army's time; unlawful influence in compelling their students to buy/use/test their app; the letter; their lack of support for the chain of command; the letter. I don't know any of these things to be true, but I think it's at least worth considering.

It's unclear to me why the company commander was relieved. If it was because the letter went out on his watch, that seems a little extreme to me. But it's possible he had some involvement in the situation as well. I've also seen commanders get relieved for things that didn't have anything to do with the underlying issue being investigated. When you're under that much scrutiny for something, it's possible a lot of other things can come to light. For example (because this is completely unrelated), there's an investigation because a sensitive item comes up missing. During the Commander's Inquiry, it comes to light that the company commander is sleeping with his enlisted driver. The sensitive item turns up but the commander still gets relieved.

What would be really interesting is to read the investigation summary, but I don't think that has been released yet.
 

Gunz

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There's been incredible pressure brought to bear for diversity and inclusiveness in combat arms MOSs. I just know--without knowing--that the pressure must have influenced some senior commanders to facilitate the process, to make it happen.

I believe these instructors are genuinely concerned about the degradation of their historically high standards and angry at the changes they see as being force-fed by politics. But one thing we've all learned, the military is not a democracy. Change comes from the top of the chain, not from anywhere else. Unless you outrank the guys who make the rules, you buck it at your peril.

I was really surprised reading about "town meetings" held by senior officers to hear the complaints and suggestions of NCOs. That, in my lowly and cynical NCO mind, is a good way to identify the sea lawyers and malcontents and target them for future recriminations.
 
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Marauder06

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Those are good points. I've had many of those same feelings as well. To continue the conversation about the proper means of seeking redress, there are several viable options, to include an IG complaint (not likely to go anywhere, frankly), elevating the issue up the chain of command, and, the thing that I think would really have gotten people's attention, a Congressional.

To produce a letter like this one, with this level of invective, scorn, and disrespect, is begging for an Article 134, at a minimum.

We did town halls at JSOC and in several other of the units I've been in since. They can be a good way for the senior leadership to get the pulse of the organization. Generally you kind of already know who the malcontents are, they don't need a town hall to be outed. But you can also get some things that are really bugging people out in the open, and the commander can often address them on the spot.

An unintended consequence is often that you find out who the real idiots are in your unit. I can't count the number of times that I, as a member of the audience and not a leader in the organization, have looked at one of my peers and thought "WTF did you just say?"
 

Ranger Psych

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Those are good points. I've had many of those same feelings as well. To continue the conversation about the proper means of seeking redress, there are several viable options, to include an IG complaint (not likely to go anywhere, frankly), elevating the issue up the chain of command, and, the thing that I think would really have gotten people's attention, a Congressional.

To produce a letter like this one, with this level of invective, scorn, and disrespect, is begging for an Article 134, at a minimum.

We did town halls at JSOC and in several other of the units I've been in since. They can be a good way for the senior leadership to get the pulse of the organization. Generally you kind of already know who the malcontents are, they don't need a town hall to be outed. But you can also get some things that are really bugging people out in the open, and the commander can often address them on the spot.

An unintended consequence is often that you find out who the real idiots are in your unit. I can't count the number of times that I, as a member of the audience and not a leader in the organization, have looked at one of my peers and thought "WTF did you just say?"

The perspective is the same (with regards to your last statement) from the audience. There's real questions, then there's retarded crap. I liked what our BC/CO's would do rather often when someone derpy asked a dumb question... mic to the audience and an overwhelming roar of the right answer as it was common, briefed, inspectable knowledge.

Then came the woodline after formation/whatever. lol
 

Marauder06

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The perspective is the same (with regards to your last statement) from the audience. There's real questions, then there's retarded crap. I liked what our BC/CO's would do rather often when someone derpy asked a dumb question... mic to the audience and an overwhelming roar of the right answer as it was common, briefed, inspectable knowledge.

Then came the woodline after formation/whatever. lol


It got bad sometimes at West Point. Many cadets asked very thoughtful and useful questions. But from time to time, cadets asked inappropriate or just plan stupid questions. They caught a LOT of crap from their peers when that happened.

I ran a course that the seniors had to take. When I would open the floor for questions, it went a little like this:

"Ok, the Superintendent will now take your questions. So if you have any questions..."

<a bunch of hands go up>

"...that are suitable for lieutenants to ask of a three-star general..."

<most of the hands slowly go down, some cadets' hands are "helped" down by their peers>

"...you may ask them now."
 

DA SWO

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Box

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What we really need now is a tri-signed letter from the highest levels of command preaching at the troops about how the troops need to tighten their shot groups and put more effort into discipline and integrity.
Then we need to have everyone below the rank of 'senior leader' attend a few hour-long powerpoint classes on ethics and standards so we can nip this culture of lies and deceit the bud.
 
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