Right wingers seized the "Liberate Iraq, Support Our Troops" mantra and challenged any progressive with the courage to oppose the biggest foreign policy error of our generation, Iraq.
Now, with progressive Veterans emerging to run for Congress and other elected seats, the right wing attack machine is forced to reach into the bottom of the barrel.
Check out the latest dumpster diving escapades of the right wing blogosphere!
Apparently, someone has a problem with Steve Sarvi being an Active Duty Captain, but coming back years later into the National Guard as a Sergeant. They hint that Sarvi must have done something wrong to go from a junior officer rank to a non-commissioned officer rank.
National Guard units are "staffed" in a much different fashion than most outside of the military think. One's "MTOE" will only allow for a specific amount of soldiers and equipment. When I left active duty in 2001, I needed a MTOE slot in Mechanized Infantry for an 11M30J3(Mechanized Infantry Staff Sergeant Bradley Master Gunner). Minnesota had no openings for me then, although I could have taken a Sergeant position somewhere, Moorhead I believe.
I knew officers that got out during the Clinton years and joined the 20th Special Forces Group in Florida. They ended up as enlisted folks as well. It's really not a big deal. Hell, in my eyes, moving from a tanker Captain to an Infantryman Sergeant is a helluva promotion!
Lets be clear here, IF an Active Duty Captain gets "busted" as the right wing bloggers assert, there is no chance that soldier comes back into a National Guard tour and makes Sergeant First Class. Promotion boards look at that stuff. You don't make SFC with baggage.
While these ridiculous accusations are easy to get fired up about, it's the right wing blogger assertion that Sergeant's don't lead.
Sarvi is trying to use his supposed leadership in the military against Kline. However, unlike Sarvi, Kline continued to be promoted and continued to lead. Sarvi on the other hand gave up his leadership position and instead picked a position where is led. A true leader doesn’t typically like to be led.
Sure there are legitimate reasons for the above situation, but given that the supposed reason for it keeps changing, it’s hard to trust Sarvi’s word. One would imagine that if he released his military service records, it would set aside many questions. I don’t think that is an unreasonable request since he’s chosen to make himself a very public figure, running for public office on his military service.
Or else we just have to take his rather questionable word that a Sergeant is a better leader than a full-bird Colonel.
Well Mr Ecker, Colonel Kline was led too. You see, the military has a pretty easy rank structure, where everyone is "led". You always have someone to answer to.
As a Sergeant, one is leads a team of soldiers, 4-5 men. As a Staff Sergeant, one typically leads a 8-10 man squad. As a Sergeant First Class, you lead a 25-35 man platoon.
Mr Ecker, Sergeants lead and they lead from the front, everyday. We spend countless hours working with our soldiers on gunnery training, basic infantry drills and tactics, and live in close proximity to them. The best Colonels I knew had the utmost respect for the Sergeants in their unit. Sergeants are the "Backbone of the Army" and despite what Ecker thinks, most military minded individuals get that.
While carrying the "nuclear football" is surely a position of honor, it falls short the right wing authors own definition of a leadership position.
Regardless, attacking Sarvi on his military record is a treacherous path for the right wing bloggers to take. I respect Congressman Kline for his service to our nation, but completely disagree with his voting record on Veterans issues and Iraq.
When can we call into question the patriotism of the right wing bloggers who attack the service record of a distinguished Iraq Veteran?
(Update): Dave Mindeman at mnpACT! has a post up about this as well.