While I was in NC last month, I had ty to spend some time with Mr. C and his family. On Columbus Day, Sarge and I went over to Mr. C's friend and comrade-in-arms, Mr. V. They exemplified the quiet professionals
in the U.S. Army, humble, down-to-earth, highly skilled due to the training, and, this might surprise those who have a low opinion of the military, quite intelligent. They represent the best of U.S. Army Special Forces. Mr. V went over some basic shooting drills with me, especially aiming and hitting the target. I wish I could have spent more time on the M4, but the rifle kept jamming. (Sarge now thinks its was operator error, and not the ammo.) I wish I could do more of that--I hope I can make it out there again next year.
Later, on serveral occasions, I asked Mr. C about shooting schools and instructors. Regarding a certain CAG gunsmith who recently inaugurated a program for affiliated instructors, he said "He's not that guy." I also showed him some of the trailers for the Magpul Dynamics videos, and he was not impressed, pointing out some mistakes in what they were teaching. I asked him: Given the number of shooting instructors out there, what should one be looking for in a shooting instructor? One should check his resume and see what sort of experience he has an instructor -- whether he's taught for the military, Feds, or a local law enforcement agency. One should also see if he's taken any courses taken at a military or Federal school. In a more "personal" community, seeking a master might be easier (with the use of endorsements, lineages, and schools), but when a polity gets too big... what else can one do but evalute teachers based on their resumes/professional histories?
Mr. C was also talking about hunting, and comparing the skills he acquired in SF training and SERE -- surviving, capturing animals, dressing them, preserving them, etc. He brought the topic up because some of the men working in his house "hunt" regularly and asked if he did the same. (He doesn't.) His comment to us: they may be able to hunt and stick a body in a freezer, but could they rough it without cheap energy and electric appliances? Probably not. They're "city folk living in the country." So much of this valuable knowledge has been lost because of "modernization." He doesn't think of himself as a survivalist but as someone who is prepared in case of a major disaster or emergency.
Judging from the military men I've met, I think it is a fair characterization to say that many of the older ones at least are not traditional conservatives, though they may be "conservatives" or Republicans. Being transplants, few of them have a sense of home or being rooted in a community, and they tend to associate primarily with other people who are in the military. They might seem to have a Yankee mindset with respect to the national government and their understanding of the Constitution and the United States as a unitary nation-state, but they might not walk lock-step with Yankees or the Republicans. They might be more critical and open-minded and learning more about tradition? Though they live in the South, they may not have much regard for the locals, unless they are originally from the South. Of those that I've met, few question our foreign policy goals or interventionism?
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