Here, I’m a Psychological Operations Specialist,
which sounds impressive and for some people, conjures
up images of Manchurian Candidate-like plots or mind-bending
missions. The truth isn’t nearly as sinister
and/or glamorous. In reality, my job is to explain
to the decision-makers inside the wire, what is going
on in the minds of those outside it.
Honestly, I find the whole endeavor a bit amusing.
It’s amusing because although that’s my
whole reason for existing inside the army and being
in this country (at great cost to the taxpayer) the
people who do need to hear what I have to say aren’t
really interested in hearing anything I have to say.
The older soldiers tell me it’s been that way
“since Jesus had jump wings.” Yet I don’t
remember it being this bad during my tour in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan was a different kind of conflict though,
and was fought by a different kind of soldier in a
completely different style. Iraq, I’m told,
is the conventional army way of fighting a war.
That being said, I have no idea how we won the wars
that we did. I wouldn’t call the system broke,
but it’s definitely limping along.
As you can see by now, I’ve got my gripes with
the Army. Every soldier does to some degree or another.
Even the ones who wrap themselves up in the American
flag and practically bleed red white and blue will
always have something that doesn’t sit right
with them. The phenomenon has even been immortalized
in one of many army proverbs: “It’s a
soldiers god given right to bitch.” Not that
I plan on using this column to rant off all my issues
with the U.S. military and the war. I actually plan
on using this space to fulfill part of my mission…In
Part of my mission is to explain what is going on
“out there” to decision makers. In this
case, that’s going to be you.
As many are already aware, there’s quite a
bit of context that gets lost by the mainstream media
when it beams its reporter’s stories into your
living room. Some of that can’t be helped; it’s
the nature of the beast when you have to cram in something
that can be as byzantine as Iraqi tribal politics
into a 30-second sound byte or a blurb on CNN’s
news ticker. Some of it can even be attributed to
shoddy reporting; after all, there are some days that
the mortars are falling a little too thickly and you
really don’t feel like leaving the hotel bar
to get the story. I understand that completely.
So, I’ll do what I can, to explain what I’m
able so at least you’ll come back with a bit
better understanding or at the very least another
piece of information that perhaps you didn’t
writer is a Psychological Operations Specialist for
the U.S. military. He writes under a pseudonym but
can be reached by email at email@example.com.