Three Misconceptions About The Military



Your Business Blogger, second from left, c. 1978

Every Veteran would be honored to share their service experiences. And what the service is, and more important, what it is not. There are many misconceptions about the military. Here are my favorite three:

Persuasion. Discipline. Field Expedient Methodology


John Yoest, Sr., c. 1944Persuasion. This is the military’s most misunderstood structure. Orders are certainly issued and followed.

But what is not seen by civilians is something more subtle: The ability to influence a point of view and enlist a following. Only through persuasion and trust. Not blind obedience.

Discipline. The Army definition has two parts. The first is well known: “The prompt obedience to orders.”

The second part is little known outside the military: “Initiation of appropriate action in the absence of orders.” Initiative, sense of urgency, resourcefulness. The military uses both parts of ‘discipline’ to accomplish The Mission.


Uncle Joe Carr, c. 1945Field Expedient Methodology. These were my favorite type of exercises in the Army. Developing work-arounds to repair a piece of equipment, or in the broadest sense, to mold organizations — or to modify a plan while moving.

The civilian world believes that every military commander gets every thing he wants, where he wants it, when he wants it. (Because he barked out an order.)

Not true.

The boss must still accomplish the mission even when resources are thin. Every soldier has a story on how he ‘beat the system’ to get a job done without getting fired.

Men will march into hell for a heavenly cause, but only because they move with those they trust, with discipline and flexibility.

Happy Veterans Day.


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Thank you (foot)notes:

WonderKraut has Veterans Day.

Stop the ACLU has Veterans Day trackbacks.

Argghhh! has Veterans Day roundup.

BlackFive has Friday FreeFly.

LaShawn Barber has Veterans Day Trackbacks.

Michelle Malkin has Veterans Day tributes.

The Political Teen has Open Friday Trackbacks.

Captain’s Quarters has Thanks.

Conservative Thinking is honoring Veterans Day.

California Conservative has Veterans Day trackbacks.

Jo’s Cafe has Veteran’s Day links.

Dean’s World has message.

Basil’s Blog has Veteran’s Day post.

Choose Life has Open Post on Veterans Day.

Don Surber has Open Post on Veteran’s Day.

Mudville Gazette has Open Post.


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7 Responses

  1. WunderKraut says:

    Great post.

    Your points re: how a unit operates is true from what I have seen. Those points were a main reason for us beating the Germans in WWII. The U.S. infantryman, his NCO’s and his 2nd Lt’s were taught to adapt. While their German counterparts had to stop and ask back up the chain of command. Nothing is as resourceful as an American GI in battle.

  2. Stacy Harp says:


    Thank you for your service to our great nation. And I loved this part of your post…

    “Men will march into hell for a heavenly cause, but only because they move with those they trust, with discipline and flexibility.”


  3. “.. to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic…”

    While I spent a peaceful night sleeping in the comfort of home, rising early to work at home, then prepare to fly to New York City for the Pajamas Media launch, I thought about the people who’re helping to keep me free and safe.

    Four years ago…

  4. Jack Yoest says:

    WunderKraut, Well said, ” Nothing is as resourceful as an American GI in battle” so little understood by liberals and our enemies.



  5. Jack Yoest says:

    Stacey, thank you for your kind words and critique.



  6. basil says:


    Thanks, from all of us, for explaining it so well.

  7. Jack Yoest says:

    basil, Credit also goes to smart bloggers and normal people who appreciate Veterans Day.

    Unlike our friends at the liberal AmericaBlog where the lead this morning was,

    ” Friday Morning Open Thread

    by Joe in DC – 11/11/2005 07:09:00 AM

    It’s Veterans Day…one of those holidays that some people get, but not everyone….

    Long weekend or not?”

    Conservatives measure sacrifice by life and limb. Liberals value sacrific only if there’s a day off.

    Thanks again,


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