The Best Defense

Army punishment roundup: Engineers CO heaved in Buffalo, hospital cdr fired at Ft. Bragg, Gen. Boykin reprimanded

The Army didn't say why the commander of the Corps of Engineers in Buffalo was relieved except for the old line about loss of confidence. Spokesperson said, "I think that because this is an ongoing personnel action, it's inappropriate to discuss any details." But she didn't say when it would be appropriate to discuss it. I can't believe we pay people tens of thousands of dollars a year to make such statements. 

Ditto for the commander of the hospital at Fort Bragg. And his posse.

Also the other day retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, former commander of the Elite and Secretive Delta Force, was reprimanded by the Army for some stuff he put in his book, which no one noticed until now.

Department of Defense

The Best Defense

A few moments with the Articles of Confederation: The officering of the Army

I was looking up something the other day and noticed that the book in hand contained the Articles of Confederation, the notorious failure that preceded the U.S. Constitution.

I'd never read it, and the Red Sox game was heading south fast, so I sat down and looked at it. First, yes, it has a reputation of being dull, and it is well-earned. It is rather plodding and procedural.

But a couple of things made me stop and think. One thing that struck me about it is that it makes a clear distinction between control of the Army and of the Navy. The federal government is assigned to appoint all naval officers but only some of those of the land force. That is, the states get to pick "regimental officers." That's a pretty big exception, if regiments are the basic unit of your combat land force. This seems to me to give the states a lot of power, a vestige of which we see in the continuing power of the states to appoint the leaders of their National Guard forces.  

Famously, Article 11 of the AoC also expressly invites Canada to join the United States. Still hasn't accepted the offer.

Civil War buffs also should note that the Articles state twice that "the Union should be perpetual." The second time is the last sentence in the document. Too bad that sentence wasn't retained when the drafters of the Constitution set out to create a more perfect Union.