Friday, June 09, 2006

Hail to the Chief

While I reserve this space for angry, drunken tirades about how our country is screwed up, I spend my working hours churning out stuff like this piece on our chief of staff, who's retiring next week. When I get out, my best guess is that I'll have written somewhere around a thousand of these.

Chief of staff 'humbled' by Soldiers

Gold says combat command provided lifetime of memories.

.. Gold has seen the results in action.

Before arriving at Fort Knox to take on his current job, he served as the commander of the 1st Armored Division's "Bulldog" 3rd Brigade, which participated in the initial ground war in the first Operation Iraqi Freedom and in the subsequent occupation of western Baghdad, including the district of Abu Ghraib.

He said the success of those missions is proof that the Army's system for recruiting and training Soldiers is far from broken.

"My time over there left me a lifetime of memories," he said. "I am humbled, and will remain humbled, by what is standing in our formations today... a mixture of generations X and Y.

"I said this in Iraq before I left. History will show that this mixture of generations is equal to, if not better than, any other generation of Americans -- to include Tom Brokaw's World War II generation that my dad was a part of."

Gold said he was amazed to watch today's Soldiers perform under incredibly difficult conditions, including extreme heat, harsh living conditions, and an always hostile environment.

The rest can be found here.

See? I'm not some kind of defeatist loon. I was rather torqued, however, at the fact that my subject in this story got to read it prior to publication, and since he's the chief, the changes he made stuck. It's a matter of backgrounds, of course, but field grade officers usually have a different idea of what makes a story "flow," so there are passages in the final copy that I feel are stilted and repetitive. But hey.