Bullet Wisdom

I am an Active Duty Officer in the US Army. I am a Husband, father, writer, hunter, gamer, and SOLDIER. This blog is a forum for my many hobbies as well as my random musings.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bullet Wisdom is changing

Not all at once, but slowly. I plan to gradually shift the content of my blog over towards my writing efforts. While I was on hiatus from the blog since last April, I got bored and wrote a book. That touched off a mad obsession that took up the rest of my free time during my stay in Iraq. The result is two YA novels completed, a third underway, and plans for a fourth.

I joined the Online Writing Group at KelleyArmstrong.com and entered my first novel in the Amazon Breathrough Novel Award and plan to participate in another contest over at Kidlit Contest. So bear with me if I begin to bore my traditional audience. I still fully plan to comment on defense related matters and culture. In the next year I fully plan to chronicle my education as a fiction writer and my efforts to find representation and publish my first work.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Watched Hurt Locker... again.

I want to like Hurt Locker. I tried to like Hurt Locker. I bit my lip and sat on my profession and gave the film another chance. People tell me it's well written, well directed, and well acted. This time, I watched the film with a collection of non-military family and friends. I gave it an honost try.


This remains the single-most unrealistic and unprofessional portrayal of Soldiers in Iraq to date. The Sergeant in this film would have gotten totally burned by his chain of command five minutes into the film. The problem is I'm too close to this and have way to much respect for real Soldiers who go about their business in a professional manner.

These dudes would have never been allowed off the FOB by themselves. Never. Three vehicles is the minimum. EOD never rolls without a platoon in escort. They're too valuable. A colonel would never 'tag along' with an EOD team just to get out of the office, and then wander around an unsecured site while an EOD team does a non-tactical, 3-man clearance of a warehouse. A Soldier leaving the base solo and coming back in plain clothes would have been arrested and hung out to dry. No exceptions. We respect our own safety too much to give the guy a pass. There have been documented incidents of guys who go native try to go out and give intel to the bad guys. How do the Soldiers at the gate know the sergeant wasn't off base helping direct a mortar attack on the FOB?

Hurt Locker makes the rest of us look like a bunch of adventure-hungry, boozing, jack-asses. The leadership in this movie is worse because they actually appear to condone it. The reality is most of us take pride in our job, deal with the challenges, and really only care about getting home to our families without endangering our Soldiers by taking unnecessary risks.

I can't say it's well written because it's flips on its side some basic ideals by which we go about doing business. It's well acted and well shot. The cinematography was excellent. It does represent good storytelling. I just wish they chose a different setting and country. The buffoonery in this film is more applicable to the some third-world military. Not ours.

I'm done.