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08 September 2011


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William R. Cumming

Thanks PL because have always enjoyed stories of "military discipline" and how perceived by those subject to it. Perhaps the ARMY is the most democratic of the services because the leaders can always look over their shoulders at all those loaded rifles and grenade launchers. Question? Were the class attendees ever asked their opinion or as to the relevance of the instruction?


A lovely anecdote, Col. Made me me think of the epilogue to "The Time Machine".

We live in indecent times.

RAISER William

Thanks, Col. All too often we never hear these kind of "war" stories, or forget them. Good to be reminded that some, most (?), of those who have really been "there" can and do retain their fundamental humanity.


In those days, the so-called career course offered a 9-month respite from reality, a chance to live a 8-4:30 life with weekends off, and other diversions (a full dozen wives finished our course pregnant). Never had to suffer with the idiocy you described as we amused ourselves playing 'spring- butt bingo'. The biggest laugh was the offer to the high scorers that they just might be considered for the faculty! Then as you said, the course was over and we went back to real life.


Bravo. We may not have been very successful at stemming man's inhumanity to man, but, by God, at least one group of combat intelligence officers certainly controlled man's inhumanity to rabbits.

John Minnerath

Great story sir.
I wasn't an officer, but us in the ranks were herded together for the same dog and pony shows put on by those same REMFs.


Awesome story!


Colonel Lang,

A good story [White Rabbit] at many levels. I liked it.

USMC 65-72
FBI 72-96

Nancy K

That is a wonderful story. Thank you.



I have a question. It is a variation on the nurture v. nature one. Don't you have to be sort of be born to put yourself voluntarily in a combat situation? I never have, but it seems that theories, or abstractions, are not all that important. Would that explain the chasm between the warriors you describe, and their appointed instructors?


I meant being born that way.

The Twisted Genius

As someone who has had pet house rabbits for over twenty years, I find this story especially uplifting. I remember all the rabbits living at Camp Darby at Fort Benning. A lot of Ranger students (me included) did not feel the need or hunger to kill and eat the rabbits issued to each squad. Obviously, many of our predecessors did not feel the need either.

The surly attitude in your class was several orders of magnitude greater than anything I was involved in. However, during the Infantry Advanced Course in 1980, we did feel sorry for the fellow captains who had to teach us how we were going to defeat the 3rd Shock Army with the "active defense." We didn't cut them any slack.



Your posts show that you have more than a government job in DOD for a while back then; you have a Calling to Serve and tell the Truth.




Aesop, eat your heart out. More stories like this, please.

Medicine Man

This is a touching story, Colonel. Thank you for sharing it.

Patrick Lang


33 years. Proud to serve, still serving. pl

Patrick Lang


Typical Ranger crap. We turned ours loose. pl

Patrick Lang


I think you have to be a bit of "throwback" to be comfortable with it. All the guys I knew who were not were just terribly unhappy no matter how brave they were. The people in that class had pretty much all "seen the elephant" and could have found some way out of another tour like the last one if they really tried. They were the real deal. the Chemical Corps colonel looked afraid. I don't know what would have happened if he had made a serious move on the rabbit. pl

Patrick Lang


We were repeatedly asked our opinion and gave it. the more "nuts and bolts" material was pretty good, but the fluff time fillers like the invasion of the bunny killers were absurd. pl

William R. Cumming

Thanks PL! I was never quite sure how INTEL and Army Doctrine fit together!

Patrick Lang


That was then. I leave it to someone else to say what it is like now. pl

Green Zone Cafe

Good story, and funny as hell.

Now tell us about the pig in the SF medic course.

Patrick Lang


In SF field exercizes representing a behind the lines extended situation, the SF medics would buy a pig or a goat, anesthetize it and shoot it. Then they would spend the rest of the exercize treating it for its injury. At the end of the exercize we would eat it. i think that was different. the medics needed the experience. none of us needed the useless experience of watching the rabbit die. pl


9 months of training? I'm sure some gang of consultant's got a bundle cutting that down to a few TV videos and an 'app' for the 'next generation'.

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