Just A Thought…
About this troop rotation business in Iraq. I do not think that any entire units should be sent back to the States in toto. Rather, they should be relieved a half a company at a time, with the new company being made up of 1/2 vets, and the other half being newbies or refreshed vets.
This should go all the way down to the fire team level. Actually, it should start from there. One half of each fire team leaves and is replaced, two to three squads from each platoon leave and are replaced. The company stays in place, the battallion stays in place, the brigade stays in place, the division stays in place.
This calculation assumes a company of 150-160 men, made up of five platoons, which are made up of four squads.
This bit of having entire units just pack up and leave is wrong, and typical of bureaucratic thinking. It is terribly inefficient, and dangerous to boot. And these rotations should be computerized, and performed stealthily, which means not on fucking CNN with a brass band and flags. The enemy, always watching, should not know if those trucks and helicopters are carrying fresh troops, or bananas.
Sending clumps of green troops in to reinvent the wheel is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. We should have R&R stations all over the Middle East, secure ones, guarded by lightly injured, recovering verterans, where our All Volunteer Military! can go for R&R when they need it. Family men should get a paid two week pass (not including travel time) every four months. No military person should have to serve more than a year in a combat zone without being rotated to a non-combat zone for at least 6 months, unless they volunteer to stay and are medically (and psychologically) cleared to do so.
If I could get away for a few days once a month and fuck and drink my brains out, and sleep with both eyes closed, I would happily stay in combat for the rest of my life.