Sunday, July 24, 2011

Washington Post "Blows" GEN Shalikashvili Obit - Why the WaPo Should Employ at Least One Vet!


Once again, the WaPo has demonstrated why they should hire at least one Vet proofreader so they can quit making boneheaded misstatements like this one in their 24 July Obit: “Gen. Shalikashvili, a four-star general in the Army, was the first immigrant and the first onetime enlisted man to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the highest military council in the United States. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993 ….” As an aside, as a young Major I served with the general in the early 80s on the ARSTAF in the Pentagon and was present at his promotion ceremony to brigadier general.

Several Chairmen have enlisted service (while attending officer training) similar to GEN Shalikashvili although he was the only one originally drafted into the Army. He was drafted into the Army in 1958 and, as a college graduate, was offered the opportunity to attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) immediately after he completed his basic entry enlisted training. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1959 having never served in a line unit as an enlisted man.

The ONLY Chairman with REAL enlisted service was GEN John W. Vessey, Jr. who served Jun 82 – Sep 85. GEN Vessey enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard in 1939 at age 16 and was activated in Feb 41 in the mobilization prior to our entry into WWII. By Sep 42, he was a company First Sergeant (Top enlisted man in the unit) and received a Battlefield Commission to Second Lieutenant in May 44 on the Anzio Beachhead in Italy.

Granted GEN Shalikashvili was President Clinton’s Chairman and in retirement has become something of a darling to the left because of some of his liberal views such as his support for allowing Gays to serve but that’s no excuse for the WaPo to embellish the General’s resume. He was a distinguished Soldier in his own right with a resume that needs no puffing and his passing is a reason for mourning by all who have served. REST IN PEACE GEN SHALI (as he was known to those who knew him).