Troops Will Carry General's 'Common Sense' Rules On Wallet-Size Cards


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280PLUS
June 27, 2005, 03:18 PM
New York Times
June 26, 2005
By Eric Schmitt
WASHINGTON, June 25 - American troops in Iraq are getting a new list of dos and don'ts on how to behave in the war zone from their top ground commander.

At a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday, the officer, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., briefly referred to the 11 rules he had issued on wallet-size laminated cards, after Representative Silvestre Reyes, a Texas Democrat, expressed concern that the American military might be underestimating the violent insurgency.

"Boy, that is something we watch every day," General Casey said. "To give you an example, I published 11 FAR's, call them Flat-[expletive] Rules. And one of those FAR's is to be focused on the enemy and to be opportunistic."

General Casey's command has ordered 170,000 of the cards and 1,000 2-feet-by-3-feet posters emblazoned with the rules, which advise the 139,000 troops in Iraq on topics including learning Iraqi customs and searching for creative solutions to knotty problems.

"FAR's provides basic rules for dealing with the Iraqi people," Col. Archie Davis, General Casey's spokesman, said in an e-mail message. "They are basic common-sense guidelines that should be applied to any situation."

The command began issuing the cards to troops in late May and the posters on June 10, Colonel Davis said. He said he did not know how much it cost to produce the cards and posters. Combat troops routinely carry a separate card that outlines the rules of engagement for using deadly force.

General Casey's rules offer a window into his priorities for the troops, military officials say:
*Make security and safety your first priorities.
*Help the Iraqis win - don't win it for them.
*Treat the Iraqi people with dignity and respect. Learn and respect Iraqi customs and cultures.
*Maintain strict standards and iron discipline everyday. Risk assess every mission - no complacency!!
*Information saves lives - share it and protect it.
*Maintain your situational awareness at all times - this can be an unforgiving environment.
*Take care of your equipment and it will take care of you.
*Innovate and adapt - situations here don't lend themselves to cookie-cutter solutions.
*Focus on the enemy and be opportunistic.
*Be patient. Don't rush to failure.
*Take care of yourself and take care of each other

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Malone LaVeigh
June 27, 2005, 04:13 PM
Looks about as effective as the Fire Orders every firefighter carries in their wallet. IOW, not very.

The_Antibubba
June 27, 2005, 09:05 PM
If the rules were really about common sense, the first one would be, "Get stationed in Germany"! :D

bogie
June 27, 2005, 09:23 PM
Actually, I kinda like that... 2nd Lt. Blunderbuss starts getting stupid, I can easily see Sgt. Seasoned tactfully mentioning "But Sir, we really should assess the situation and then call in the Iraqis..."

Sean Smith
June 27, 2005, 09:28 PM
Puting crap on cards and making people carry them around is what Generals do when they don't have a clue about anything. :rolleyes:

The STRAC guys don't need them, and take them as an insult. The slack guys ignore them. The dumb guys can't comprehend them. The general staff guys have 12 copies of them so they are never caught by the general without one. And the general mis-remembers what he had put on them in the first place.

Reminds me of the "army values" tags and crap that they handed out back in 2000. If I have honor, I don't need your bull?????, and if I don't, a card sure as hell won't fix it, you jack-hole.

Sam
June 28, 2005, 12:49 AM
We call that eyewash.

Sam

RevDisk
June 28, 2005, 01:17 AM
Reminds me of the "army values" tags and crap that they handed out back in 2000. If I have honor, I don't need your bull?????, and if I don't, a card sure as hell won't fix it, you jack-hole.

I have one with the "Army Values" and the "Warrior Ethos" on the other. I still don't have either memorized, I scrapped one edge to be relatively sharp and use it for a box cutter. The effect properly creepifies officers.

beerslurpy
June 28, 2005, 01:31 AM
12 more years Rummy says. Gonna be a long haul. I really feel for the people that are getting ready to rotate back for a 2nd tour. At least they arent breaking up units anymore with individual rotations anymore.

I didnt know you could bestow common sense on someone with a card. At least it reminds them to send in the darkies first. One might think that was a little mean spirited if the general hadnt put it on the card.

Trebor
June 28, 2005, 01:41 AM
12 more years Rummy says. Gonna be a long haul. I really feel for the people that are getting ready to rotate back for a 2nd tour.

I know of guys who are already in their 3rd tour.

RevDisk
June 28, 2005, 02:03 AM
12 more years Rummy says. Gonna be a long haul. I really feel for the people that are getting ready to rotate back for a 2nd tour. At least they arent breaking up units anymore with individual rotations anymore.

Na, it's not the number of tours that suck, it's the length of time. I know of some folks that got stuck with 18 month or 22 month tours.

Azrael256
June 28, 2005, 02:08 AM
If the rules were really about common sense, the first one would be, "Get stationed in Germany"! Since SavageDoc is off gallavanting about the countryside for the next week, I'll fill in for him on that one.

HA!

He was stationed at Bamberg... then he had a little trip to Kuwait. Then he invaded Iraq.

beerslurpy
June 28, 2005, 02:14 AM
I thought everyone was on the long tours. I heard about that a while back.

I have no idea what is going on over there. One car bomb a day in the country can seem really intense in the news but really dull if youre on the other side of the country and nothing is happening.

Is everyone really on edge or is it mostly just a day to day boring routine with rare disturbances?

spartacus2002
June 28, 2005, 06:08 AM
For the Guard/Reserve guys, a 12 month tour means 12 months in country. It does not include the 2 months of train-up in the US, the 1 month prep in Kuwait, and the 1-month redeployment prep.

So, that 12 month tour becomes 16 in the blink of an eye. Any wonder those guys feel screwed?

spartacus2002
June 28, 2005, 06:10 AM
12 more years Rummy says. Gonna be a long haul. I really feel for the people that are getting ready to rotate back for a 2nd tour. At least they arent breaking up units anymore with individual rotations anymore.

I predict an exodus of company-grade officers. Many of them were waiting til the elections in Iraq to see how things went after that. A large percentage of these guys with 10 or less years who have spouse and kids will not want to play "I'm home a year, I'm gone a year" for the next 12 years.

Wiley
June 28, 2005, 07:07 AM
Wonder when the DemoRATS will start whining about the soldiers getting paper cuts.

AhmuqGB
June 28, 2005, 07:20 AM
Is everyone really on edge or is it mostly just a day to day boring routine with rare disturbances?

I can speak for afghanistan about 12 months ago and it was mostly day to day boring interspersed with some really good opportunities to do bad things to bad people.

I predict an exodus of company-grade officers

I would agree. The General Officers are already pandering to company grades to stay in, do your duty, don't abandone your country when it needs you most, and when that doesn't work...call them disloyal. If that doesn't convince them to stay what will? Maybe we should make a card for them...

AZTOY
June 28, 2005, 07:21 AM
Great more junk i will have to carry all the time. :banghead:

spartacus2002
June 28, 2005, 07:52 AM
call them disloyal

hell, I gave over 12 years to Uncle Sam -- I'd have LOVED to have some superior officer call me "disloyal." They would be picking their teeth up off the ground, and I'd prefer charges for Art 117, Provoking Speeches.

HankB
June 28, 2005, 09:05 AM
In the corporate world, handing out cards like this is called "Hanging Paper" . . . it gives you something to frame and put up in your office.

See, if you use business-world buzzwords like DMAIC, Six Sigma, etc., and put up posters, distribute leaflets and wallet cards, you are perceived as DOING SOMETHING.

It doesn't matter that it's all so much BS, you can go to your bosses and point to the fact that you're DOING SOMETHING, you're TAKING ACTION, and - most importantly, you can DOCUMENT that you're DOING SOMETHING.

I don't know a thing about him otherwise, but just on the basis of this story, it looks like Gen. Casey has a bright future in Corporate America.

spartacus2002
June 28, 2005, 09:08 AM
I broke out Rogers Rangers' Standing Orders last night, which are beautiful in their simplicity, clarity, and easy absorption by all.

1. Don't forget nothing.

2. Have your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet scoured, sixty rounds powder and ball, and be ready to march at a minute's warning.

3. When you're on the march, act the way you would if you was sneaking up on a deer. See the enemy first.

4. Tell the truth about what you see and what you do. There is an army depending on us for correct information. You can lie all you please when you tell other folks about the Rangers, but don't never lie to a Ranger or officer.

5. Don't never take a chance you don't have to.

6. When we're on the march we march single file, far enough apart so one shot can't go through two men.

7. If we strike swamps, or soft ground, we spread out abreast, so it's hard to track us.

8. When we march, we keep moving till dark, so as to give the enemy the least possible chance at us.

9. When we camp, half the party stays awake while the other half sleeps.

10. If we take prisoners, we keep 'em separate till we have had time to examine them, so they can't cook up a story between 'em.

11. Don't ever march home the same way. Take a different route so you won't be ambushed.

12. No matter whether we travel in big parties or little ones, each party has to keep a scout twenty yards ahead, twenty yards on each flank and twenty yards in the rear, so the main body can't be surprised and wiped out.

13. Every night you'll be told where to meet if surrounded by a superior force.

14. Don't sit down to eat without posting sentries.

15. Don't sleep beyond dawn. Dawn's when the French and indians attack.

16. Don't cross a river by a regular ford.

17. If somebody's trailing you, make a circle, come back onto your own tracks, and ambush the folks that aim to ambush you.

18. Don't stand up when the enemy's coming against you. Kneel down, lie down, hide behind a tree.

19. Let the enemy come till he's almost close enough to touch. Then let him have it and jump out and finish him with your hatchet.

Sean Smith
June 28, 2005, 10:36 AM
I scrapped one edge to be relatively sharp and use it for a box cutter. The effect properly creepifies officers.

I was an officer, and I think that's brilliant. :evil:

and when that doesn't work...call them disloyal. If that doesn't convince them to stay what will?

Once you've got more ribbons than most of your immediate superiors, that doesn't work so good.

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