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OT: HBO's Generation Kill

 
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OT: HBO's Generation Kill - 5/12/2010 7:00:02 AM   
Arnhem


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Like to hear comments from the this little corner of the world about the miniseries, while some of the scenes seemed a little OTT (it is after all acting) and the stupidity of Hitman Actual seem a little far fetched for an officer of his level I kinda liked it overall. Thoughts?
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RE: OT: HBO's Generation Kill - 5/12/2010 5:35:14 PM   
Kwik E Mart


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i have a friend that served in a Marine logistics unit during this conflict. he was an E5 or E6 i believe and he drove humvee's for his unit. he described a story in which his CO was in the humvee with him and demanded to drive thru a town that was "hot", even though the advice was to drive around it. as all good marines do, my buddy said "aye, aye" and proceeded thru town. the sh*t hit the fan and they barely made it thru to the other side. this CO may not have been at Hitman Actual level (i belive he was battalion leader?), but still demonstrates the moronic things leaders do for ego or fame or glory or whatever. my buddy said for the most part, the series was spot on...

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RE: OT: HBO's Generation Kill - 5/12/2010 6:00:51 PM   
Nemo121


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By all accounts the representation of the officers was pretty spot on. They were clear, in the book, to make clear that these officers weren't idiots and actually hugely effective intelligence officers who were widely read and theoretically excellent. The problem is that brilliant staff officers do not necessarily make good commanders at the tip of the spear. This appears to be what happened here.

I've always thought the German/Prussian model whereby officers can specialise in staff roles or command roles is excellent as it recognises that an officer might be excellent at staff work ( or vice versa ) but rubbish in command ( or vice versa ). If the marines had had that doctrine I doubt we'd have seen these officers in command of recon units.

One of the issues in the Gulf War I was that these recon marines were used to operating as very small units ( squads and possibly a short platoon ) but were, for the invasion, organised into a Bn force. As such the officers who were nominally in command of the Companies - but who, in reality, didn't actually command them in the field, instead focussing on higher level stuff - actually had to command them in the field in situations for which they didn't have the experience and temperament. That and the officers' knowledge of how they were viewed ended up being a lethal cocktail.

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RE: OT: HBO's Generation Kill - 5/12/2010 7:14:47 PM   
sfbaytf

 

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In any organization of size you're going to have a mix of competent and incompetent people. No matter how hard you try to select the people trying to join. Usually if you have your eyes and ears open you'll discover the ones you can count on and those you can't rely on. The one big difference with the military is their job. Wars don't come along very often and war is really the only way to find out who's good and who isn't. I'm also sure that behind the scenes there was jockeying for positions. In general promotions come faster for those with combat experience on their records. That creates a dynamic of it's own.

Over the years there have been much written on the process of the selection of leaders for the military. Many nations have a different philsophy on how best to go about it. Interesting stuff if you're into that sort of thing.

(in reply to Nemo121)
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RE: OT: HBO's Generation Kill - 5/12/2010 7:53:14 PM   
The Gnome


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I think even good commanders, with the best intentions sometimes get caught between principle and practical. So in GenKill where they went through the town, or when they charged the airfield with potential armor, the belief in principle was, you don't want to let the enemy dictate your actions, and that momentum is key. Practically though, you might need to modify those principles.

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RE: OT: HBO's Generation Kill - 5/12/2010 9:59:02 PM   
Nemo121


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Practically, a 7.62mm round in the cerebellum beats principles

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John Dillworth: "I had GreyJoy check my spelling and he said it was fine."
Well, that's that settled then.

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RE: OT: HBO's Generation Kill - 5/17/2010 8:19:31 AM   
skrewball


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You get that in any service. Competition is so great for the officer corps that you see them try to do anything in order for distinction.

I see it all the time out here, random changes for no apparent reason just so officers can list accomplishments on their Evaluation report.

After all do you think anyone would ever make it to general if their evaluation report said, "Maintained status quo"?


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"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."

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RE: OT: HBO's Generation Kill - 5/17/2010 2:30:04 PM   
usersatch

 

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Very spot on for the officers in my unit. Some good, some bad, some kind of there.

The SMJ was a reincarnation of my old old smaj. What an a-hole.

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RE: OT: HBO's Generation Kill - 5/17/2010 11:31:08 PM   
Swayin


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A friend of mine at work was actually *in* that unit and left for law school about a year before they deployed. He knows almost all those guys to this day and said 95% of the miniseries was accurate as far as representing the people involved (such as Rudy) - as for the individual set-piece action sequences, of course, he couldn't comment on because he wasn't there.

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