Skip to comments.Shinseki To Be Veterans' Affairs Secretary
Posted on 12/06/2008 3:44:15 PM PST by jamese777
Democratic officials say President-elect Barack Obama has selected retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki to be the next Veterans Affairs secretary.
The officials said Obama will announce his selection Sunday. They spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid pre-empting the official announcement. Shinseki is the former Army chief of staff who upset his civilian bosses in 2003 when he testified to Congress that it might take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to control Iraq after the U.S. invasion. He was forced out of his job within months for being "wildly off the mark." But his words proved prophetic after President George W. Bush in early 2007 announced a "surge" of additional troops to Iraq after miscalculating.
(Excerpt) Read more at nbcwashington.com ...
Isn’t he the same a-hole that decided ALL troops should wear a beret, not just the special forces guys who actually earned it?
Why? Isn’t he the one that came up with the black beret because he felt that would give each and every soldier a sense of pride. I seem to remember that he compared it to the ‘green beret’.
Yep, That’s Mr Feel Good!
Many times these “condition of anonymity” leaks are made to give a chance for it to be a trial balloon so if it fails it doesn’t reflect badly on Obama. If everyone laughs, they just claim it was only a rumor and never really true. Often the “anonymous” leaker is the official spokesperson, but just tells the press “now this is spoken on condition of anonymity”.
However, he was right about Rumsfeld's estimate of troops needed in Iraq being way too low.
>> Isnt he the one that came up with the black beret because he felt that would give each and every soldier a sense of pride.
I thought wearing the uni and serving your country gave you pride? Good to know that Zerobama hires the Bush rejects like General Feelgood.
But, he also wanted a larger force in the Iraq War.
Yup, one and the same. Everyone should wear the same beret so no one’s feelings would be hurt.
The O made the announcement official. Puke
Didn’t he want 400,000 to 500,000 troops in Iraq.
And where did he think we were going to get that number?
And he was right! Folks can dump on him for the beret but you can’t dump on him for looking out for his soldiers.
You need two hands to put a beret on. You needed only one hand to put the old baseball cap on.
Also, recently it was decided that combat badges (hitherto restricted only to infantrymen) would now be awarded to certain other branches (such as the armored and possibly the engineers). Which means, that the branch which has the lowliest, dirtiest, and most casualty-ridden job gets deprived of one of its unique distinctions, which helped give it pride.
Pretty soon we’ll just start handing out medals to everyone like they hand out good grades to everyone in schools, so that no child fails...
I don't think it gave a sense of pride to soldiers, but seeing a pregnant female soldier in maternity Battle Dress Uniform and a black "Ranger" beret sure gave a sense of pride to Marines.
Eric Shinseki is a protoge’ of Senator Dan Inouye, who is up for reelection in 2010, when he will be 86 y/o. I’ve read that Inouye wants Shineski to be his successor.
Has anyone here served with him? Could you give us some inside info on what he is really like?
Better choice than Max Cleland.
well, in the pic at the link he’s wearing Ranger rocker on his sleeve, but no CIB.....so he gave away the Black Beret
and the surge didn’t need “several hundred thousand”.....it was well under 200K total, IIRC
what a guy!.....
General S is like a stopped clock - even he is right a couple of times a day - but only for a fleeting moment.
Dems have a history of picking out loser generals.
‘Surge’ came late.
Perhaps if there was a larger footprint we wouldn’t need a ‘surge’ and getting wiped out in the 06 election.
I don’t have anything against the guy. Just glad he didn’t pick a commie.
Discipline, Honor and Respect Must be Earned — They Cannot Be Issued
On October 17, 2000, the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, General Eric Shinseki, stated in a speech to the AUSA National Convention in Washington, D.C.:
“It is time for the entire Army to accept the challenge of excellence that has so long been a hallmark of our special operations and airborne units. As another step towards achieving the capabilities of the objective force, effective 14 June 2001, the first Army birthday of the new millennium, the Army will don its new headgear. The black beret will become the Army standard. Special operations and airborne units will retain their distinctive berets. But starting next June, the black beret will be symbolic of our commitment to transform this magnificent Army into a new force — a strategically responsive force for the 21st century.”
The Black Beret has been worn exclusively by Army Rangers and has become a powerful symbol of excellence earned only though extreme effort under adverse conditions. General Shinseki’s directive was quickly followed with an order that all active duty Rangers serving throughout the United States Army were to remain silent on this issue.
In general, Rangers support your vision of transforming our Army. The entire Army should be more lethal, with increased mobility and ease of deployability. We don’t enjoy seeing soldiers who are discouraged due to inadequate housing, outdated equipment and no funding for training. These are definitely areas where there is room for improvement and we applaud your efforts in that regard.
However, it is our view that giving soldiers a symbol which has served as a mark of distinction for others to aspire to, will merely cheapen the symbol. It will not solve the soldier’s problems of inadequate housing, need for better equipment, or increased funding for training. These are issues which merit additional consideration, beyond changing what the average soldier regards as headgear, and that which we regard as a powerful symbol of excellence to be earned.
We ask you to reconsider your decision and look towards other measures which would provide useful solutions to these problems.
Everyone realizes the importance of symbols. The symbols of acheivement which are hard earned serve as incentive to encourage others towards excellence. That’s the significance of the Black Beret, actually, any Beret worn in the US Army today. This is an attempt to devalue an important and effective symbol. When everyone has it, it won’t mean anything.
General Shinseki’s staff has the following opinion, taken directly from their public relations talking points:
“Over the years, the Army has made other uniform changes that required some period of adjustment for soldiers and supporters. In the early ‘80s we went from a solid green uniform to the camouflage Battle Dress Uniform; we adopted a black pullover sweater and then changed to a button-sweater with buttons; Army raincoats have changed; we did away with the Khaki uniform. This aspect of the Army’s Transformation is similar.”
Have members of General Shinseki’s staff advised him that the Black Beret holds as little meaning to Rangers as a button-sweater or a raincoat could to others?
We have undertaken this effort to retain the Black Beret exclusively for Rangers. We need to retain this powerful symbol for Rangers of the future because they deserve to earn it in the same time-honored tradition that Ranger veterans have earned it. action to be Of course, these young men will join the Rangers to be their best and lead our nation into battle, not to wear a hat that may or may not be in style.
More importantly, we also need to retain the Black Beret to honor Rangers who have gone before us and paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of their comrades and our nation’s interests. A debt is owed. You are urged to join the fight.
Other units in the Army, which are not Ranger units, already have their own powerful symbols of achievement and recognize that there is no need for this decision to be implemented. After all, who would feel comfortable being given that which other soldiers have earned only with great difficulty?
One thing is certain: Rangers must stand united to deliver a clear message. We greatly appreciate all of our Airborne, Special Forces Brothers who have decided to make the stand with us. The rate of fire must be high, focused, and sustained at a high level.
In order to accomplish this, please use the information on this website as a tool to assist you in directing your messages to the correct destinations. We are here to Inform the veterans and the taxpayer. The American people who are not aware of what the Black Beret symbolizes to Rangers need to be educated. We are requesting the support of all Ranger, Airborne and Special Forces soldier to assist the public in becoming educated on the importance of this important issue. The professionalism and well-being or our entire Army depends upon it.
General Shinsikis action may have been pleasing to him, but it tore a Ranger family apart in ways that will likely never be totally healed. Veterans want to support the Army, but expect the army to respect the traditions that the veteran established.
Shinseki is also the guy that rammed through the Stryker concept, helped cancel the M-8 AGS, destroyed anyone that questioned the rationality behind those decisions, and might have recieved kickbacks from General Dynamics with regards to the Stryker debacle.
He’s a political tool just like Colin Powell. He WILL be Inouye’s successor. Inouye was the driving force behind his career.
Shinseki isn’t worthy to wash Petraus’ dirty underwear.
Jack Murtha I believe is also involved in the Stryker BS bringing that General Dynamics pork home for him to feed on.
I wouldn’t pi** on Shinseki if he was on fire.
I'm retired Air Force and I take offense with your statement. It takes years to grow a general. I enlisted under Reagan and retired under Bush II. Professional military members don't resign their commission or separate from the military based on the political affiliation of the person serving as president. You don't turn down promotions based on who is serving as president. I witnessed Clinton promote generals who are leading men today in Iraq. Their value to our country is not diminished because Clinton promoted them.
I worked for General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems and I never even heard a whisper of him taking bribes. Do you know what business unit he took bribes from and can you provide a link to his conviction? Thanks.
this asshole wanted berets for everyone.
he bought them from china.
he is as worthless as tits on a boar hog.
History will record him as a self=serving POS.
0bama deserves him.
Ed Case may have something to say about that.
And hopefully Linda Lingle as well.
When were you in Battalion?
“Professional military members don’t resign their commission or separate from the military based on the political affiliation of the person serving as president.”
Not true. There is a difference between being a professional and simply being a career person. This is true in any line of work, including the military. I saw many cases of the best people leaving the military out of frustration with the chain of command (all the way up), while many mediocre people stayed in.
He wanted berets for the Army because he thought berets convey an elite attitude, and he wanted the berets to be black, just like the Rangers, because the Rangers are the best in the Army, and he wanted that best spread to all Soldiers.
However, the Rangers took offense, and when they couldn’t get him to reverse his decision, changed their berets from black to tan
You mean Shinseki didn't walk around drunk playing with hand grenades? Uh...er, I mean...Max Cleland was a war hero.
I think he was fired for making public statements that embarrassed his boss. Hopefully the tradition will continue.
On the plus side our wounded warriors will get a beret.
“And he was right! Folks can dump on him for the beret but you cant dump on him for looking out for his soldiers.”
No he wasn’t right. The success of the surge had more to do with tactics than the 20,000 extra troops they put in. If those same tactics had been employed earlier the situation would not have gotten as bad.
Let me guess, you were Navy? Just kidding, but seriously I’ve never seen anyone in my 20 plus years of military service separate because of the party of the president. I didn’t think I was that unique. My wife is still active duty and I just asked her and she can’t recall an incident either. I saw more people leave because of money more than anything else. In the Air Force we couldn’t keep computer techs, network admins and air traffic controllers because the starting money on the outside quadrupled their base pay. Guess you live and learn huh?
BS. If that were true Rumsfeld would still be SecDef. The tactics that were employed would not have been successful without the additional troops. Why would the Army increase troop strength/presence in country if they were not needed? Your theory lacks logic.
By Leo Shane III Stars and Stripes European edition
WASHINGTON A Kentucky National Guard soldier on Thursday became the first woman awarded the Silver Star for service in the war on terror.
Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester, a Tennessee resident; Staff Sgt. Timothy Nein, an Indiana resident who served as squad leader that day, and Spc. Jason Mike from Kentucky, a medic, all from the 617th Military Police Company, received their honors in a ceremony at Camp Liberty in Iraq. Hester is the first woman awarded a Silver Star since World War II.
I'm honored to even be considered, much less awarded, the medal, Hester told the American Forces Press Service. It really doesn't have anything to do with being a female. It's about the duties I performed that day as a soldier.
Army documents state that Hester was serving as team leader during a March 20 mission outside Baghdad when her convoy came under attack. Hester maneuvered her team through the kill zone, then turned around to assault the insurgent's trench lines with grenades.
According to soldiers' accounts, she entered the trenches with Nein and killed at least three insurgents with her rifle. The unit killed 27 insurgents in the attack without losing a single soldier.
Your training kicks in and the soldier kicks in, she told American Forces Press Service. You've got a job to do protecting yourself and your fellow comrades.
The citation reads that her actions saved the lives of numerous convoy members. She has also earned the National Defense Service Medal, Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.
Hester, 23, was born in Kentucky and joined the state's Army National Guard in 2001. According to her Army bio, she lives in Nashville and works as a retail store manager.
Hester's father, Jerry, told The Associated Press that he is overwhelmed by his daughter's accomplishments.
It's something to be very proud of, and my wife and I are. Leigh Ann is a very good soldier. She played softball and basketball all through high school, and she's won a lot of games. But those games didn't mean nowhere near what this medal does and what she's done for her country.
The soldiers were presented their medals by Army Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, Multinational Corps Iraq commanding general, who lauded them as heroes.
Three other unit members received Bronze Stars with combat V for their actions during the ambush: Spc. Ashley Pullen, Spc. William Haynes II and Spc. Casey Cooper.
Receiving Army Commendation Medals with V were Spc. Jessie Ordunez and Sgt. Dustin Morris. All five were in the 617th MP Company as well
I must question the character of a man who wears a Ranger rocker but not a CIB or even an EIB, who arbitrarily declares the well-deserved headgear tradition/distinction null and void. I would LOVE to know the historical and psychological events that caused him to do this. I simply cannot believe that he was ever a truly a Ranger in his spirit.
I surely hope that whatever drove him to do it will not manifest itself against Veterans in general if he takes the helm at the VA. We’ve had some dandies in the past, and don’t need another.
the beret : Made in China
“The tactics that were employed would not have been successful without the additional troops. Why would the Army increase troop strength/presence in country if they were not needed? Your theory lacks logic.”
They wouldn’t have needed the extra troops if the tactics were used. They had to add them by the time the surge took place to regain control.
Bull squat - and Shinseki deserved every insult thrown at him...
Shinseki was no warrior and thought warriors were made by their uniform and equipment.... He was wrong.
Rummy for all his faults - was right on the numbers, assuming the numbers were comprised of REAL WARRIORS, not pansies of Shinseki... Rummy tried to force Shinseki to focus more on small, swift, deadly tactical forces.... Shinski thought more on the order of large set pieces, large artillery and pretty uniforms.....
Shinseki was another perfumed General - and bringing him back into any military role is a mistake and insult.
Do you at least acknowledge the fact that Rummy was against the surge? You can't make up history. Rummy's position against the surge caused McCain to say and I quote, "the war in Iraq has been mismanaged for years and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will be remembered as one of the worst in history." You can spin all you want but the Petreaus led surge worked and Rumsfeld was against it.
We're going in circles here buddy. Gen Petreaus called for an increase in troop levels to support his surge and it worked. He didn't merely call for a change in Rumsfeld's tactics. There's no getting around the fact that without the additional troops Petreaus requested that Rumsfeld said weren't needed America wouldn't be as successful as we've been in Iraq.
“There’s no getting around the fact that without the additional troops Petreaus requested that Rumsfeld said weren’t needed America wouldn’t be as successful as we’ve been in Iraq.”
It wasn’t 500,000 troops buddy.
Shinseki is an idiot and a perfect example of a Clinton general.
Professional Military is Professional Military - but you ignored Da Coyote's point:
That Democrats pick the losers, both immoral and unprofessional, to be their Bitches.