Re: Consequences of not following the procedures...

Subject: Re: Consequences of not following the procedures...
From: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 04 Mar 2009 13:41:16 -0500

Victoria Wroblewski wrote:

> Not that it justifies the actions of anyone in this case, but I wonder
> how much the "civilian" attitude of being smarter than the actual
> technology and not following procedures is starting to creep into the
> military as newer/young recruits that more comfortable with new
> technology join. (I've got no personal experience in the military, but
> I believed it to be a place where you followed the orders you were given
> and didn't follow your own spin on the orders.)

At one level, yes, you keep your nethers out of trouble by doing as you
were told. But at some point, especially in combat units, each soldier
is given authority to do what has to be done to accomplish the
objective. "Damn the torpedos [obsolete term for naval mines], full
speed ahead!" You ignore the warning light, either because it's always
on, or because you know that you have eight minutes before the engine
explodes, and you hope you can get the job done in four--the
consequences of failure being loss of your entire squadron. Some parts
of the military (the Marines have the reputation) select and train for
that attitude.

At the command level, a general must be ready to send a group of
soldiers in to die, to achieve an objective. Many returned commanders
prefer not to talk about, "What did you do in the war?" for that reason.
They knowingly ordered men to die for their country. They'll say, "You
don't want to die for your country. You want to make the other SOB die
for /his/ country." But they won't talk specifics. Not the ones I've
spoken to.

Some cultures even teach the soldier to ride or carry the thing while it
does explode. We supposedly don't but I wouldn't bet on it.

Chuck Yeager didn't break the sound barrier by following orders and
procedures. He was technically unfit for duty, with five cracked ribs.
Flight surgeon would have grounded him. Instead, he saw his
veterinarian, got patched up, and flew anyway.
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References:
Re: Consequences of not following the procedures...: From: Downing, David
RE: Consequences of not following the procedures...: From: Victoria Wroblewski

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