John Livingston News

What has Trump Done for The Military?

I served for 20 years. I interact monthly with active-duty enlisted and officers. They have never been more proud of their Commander in Chief than they are of Mr. Trump. Our military was almost destroyed under the previous administration. 75% of combat jets were not operational. 8 of 12 carrier groups were not deployable. Rules of engagement with the enemy were stifling and placed our forces in the field at a distinct disadvantage, 500 senior enlisted Master Chiefs and Master Sargent’s were rifted out for political reasons from 2016-2018. Six hundred O-6 and above promotions were held up for the same reason. I knew several who made Flag Rank and had their promotions rescinded. One is working for the CIA and today 85% of our planes are operational.

8 out of 12 carrier groups are deployable, the rules of engagement have finally come back to conforming principles of the Geneva Convention. Military medicine and the VA system have been brought out of the dark ages. And the proof is in the pudding reenlistments are up significantly from what they were from 2012-2016, Academy appointment requests have increased significantly, special forces and recon applications have almost doubled.

Senior Enlisted E-6 and above with bachelor degrees or Master’s degrees in technical and none technical ratings have increased significantly Family Advocacy Programs are reporting less spousal abuse, less divorce, and fewer suicides even amongst families who are deployed or who have a deployed love one. Unfortunately in the Navy suicide and mental illness is still high, but rates are directly related to length of deployment down from 11 months with Obama to 8 months average currently, and turnaround time to next deployment 18-months till now over 2 years.

People today are again proud to be in the military and applications to Officer Candidate School remain high even during the booming economy which is unusual. In my almost 50 years of being involved with the military I have never seen a more popular President amongst the rank and file. Even Regan didn’t compare. “He has their backs” I recommend reading Chronicles or Isaiah in the Bible or Google if you like and read about King Cyrus. It may give you some context and perspective on Mr. Trump.

Great leaders are not always nice guys. They ask more of us many times than we are willing to ask of ourselves. They don’t promise free stuff, they demand accountability. I think back on people who influenced me great teachers and coaches and even my own father who I never liked until I was 30. Many times I despised them at the time. I put a picture of my organic chemistry teacher Dr. Howard Curry on a dartboard and every night tried to hit his eyes. Dr. Zollinger at Ohio State for 6 months kicked my ass and if he didn’t call me a dumb f___ once a day I thought he didn’t really care about me. Then he writes a letter of recommendation for me and starts me on the way to my surgery career. Years later I was asked to fill out a survey about the two best role models I had in College and Medical School and I filled out Doctors Curry and Zollinger.

If you watched the Michael Jordan “Last Dance” series you will see something interesting. Michael wasn’t liked at the time by his teammates, his opponents, and the press until they understood that he was only about winning. He terrorized his own teammates in practice and on several occasions would punch them and fight because they weren’t playing up to his standards. Twenty-five years later every one of his former teammates appreciates what Michael was all about then, winning. Michael was a great leader who wasn’t fully appreciated until many years later when his methods could be put into context.

I have never been more proud of my President than I am today. What he has accomplished with the military alone is remarkable. Count Supreme Court Justices, economic growth, his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and his ability to confront and finally defeat the “deep state” has been remarkable

God Bless America, We can still say that in Idaho.

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