Thursday, July 2, 2015

An Army of None

Now they're wanting to change the name of Ft. Benning, where the Bear's own flesh and blood took infantry training and jump school. (They have a wonderful new infantry museum if you are ever down that way.)

You see, Benning was a southerner, and actually fought beneath the racist Confederate Battle Flag in some of the Civil War's most famous battles. He was a brave and effective general.

Henry L. Benning also used rhetoric about blacks that few white men of the day, south or north, would blush at. (The Bear is fairly certain he didn't dismiss everyone who disagreed with him as "haters," and "racists" but if anyone did, it was probably Henry L. Benning. His nickname was"Old Rock," not "Miss Buttermouth.")

The Bear happened to see another story today. It described American Army morale as "rock bottom," with about half the soldiers in an Army report dissatisfied. Perhaps re-naming Army bases would help. His own poll of currently serving soldiers in his family would indicate 100% opposition, but a sample size of two is admittedly low.

So if Benning has to go, there are a number of ways to handle it. The most obvious is to simply substitute the Evil White Southerners with the Good Guys.
  • Ft. Benning --> Ft. Grant
  • Ft. Bragg --> Ft. McClellen (and 82nd Airborne unit patch changed to a rainbow, because rainbows are in the sky)
  • Ft. Hood --> Ft. Sherman
  • Ft. Stewart --> Ft. Sheridan (Stewart was a Revolutionary War general, not Civil War, but lived in Georgia and probably had slaves)
Or, since nobody today will recognize "Grant" or "Sherman" anyway, let's start a new, positive tradition.

Our infantry can train at Ft. Friendship instead of Ft. Benning. Our paratroopers will be in Ft. Unicorn. Our tankers in Ft. Happy Butt, and so forth. 

Why, the Bear envisions California-sized chunks of American heritage sliding down the memory hole in only a few weeks.

Really, there's only one problem. Running to a Kumbaya cadence just doesn't work. On the other hand, why not just have everybody do yoga?


  1. My husband was stationed at Ft. Benning in the 70's. I vote no to renaming (not that it matters) and guarantee that he would have also.

    However, I will admit to having done some yoga while I was there. As exercise only...

    1. He would have been there when the Bear was at DLI and Ft. Campbell (Bear Assault!)

    2. We were at Campbell too - he was with the 101st there.

    3. Yep, so was the Bear. Although his remarkable linguistic skills (you pick up a lot over 1300 years) were wasted in the motor pool (the Bear was a 98 G Arabic, which is also his son's MOS Korean -- although they changed the number -- The other son is 11 B) We lived in Clarksville and had a thoroughly miserable time. Worst of all, the LT had a thing for the Bear's mate. Yes, SHE did... Ah, fun times.

    4. We lived on base, which not bad as Army posts go. Our first post was Ft. Greely, Alaska - we always said that since our marriage survived that it would survive anything.


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