Riffing On Logistics

Earlier this evening, I read a blog post from someone I follow on social media [1], and the poster commented something that I had noted myself, namely that riffing is a term that dates one as being of a certain age–and likely also someone also interested in the sort of snobbery that comes from noodling on a musical instrument with interests either in jazz or prog rock or something of that nature, and on focusing on an impressionistic commentary on subjects to those who are less cerebral in nature, and also that being an online content creator often involves a certain amount of vanity in believing (often incorrectly) that a substantial amount of people actually want to know and care about one’s opinion on various matters.

Be that as it may, one thing I have noticed among those who tend to post memes on military matters recently is a high degree of contempt that those who consider themselves to be combat soldiers, the tip of the spear and all, have towards logistics soldiers, calling them derogatory names and ridiculing the obvious truth that without logistics prowess, soldiers would be highly limited in their military effectiveness. Ideally, the military works as a team, with every member of it performing a worthwhile duty that contributes to the well-being and indeed the victory of the whole. It is the working together of all elements of a well-functioning team, made up of people serving a variety of different but complementary functions, that allows the team to thrive. It is exceedingly disastrous when some elements of the team, because of their flashier or more obvious or more glorious functions, seek to despise the more modest and less attention-grabbing roles in a team, and a sign that the overall effectiveness of the group is going to decline heavily.

One has to remember that whatever gentle teasing takes place between people on the same side, those who serve different functions within a team have a real opponent, a real enemy, who should be the recipient of one’s hostility. When combat soldiers turn the hostility that they should have towards their real enemies–first and foremost the combat soldiers of the opposition, and instead turn it at those who serve support functions for them, they have already lost the script and put themselves in real danger of serious loss. Do you want that artillery barrage to weaken enemy fortifications? I hope you have been kind to the artillery troops. Do you want food, clothing, and ammunition? I hope you have not held logistics in contempt. Examples like this could easily multiply. It is well worth the praise that we give to supporting players if we wish for them to support us. Losing track of the need of everyone–particularly those whose service is inglorious or largely inconspicuous–to receive glory and honor and credit does great harm to those who have plenty of credit and honor, just not the sense to recognize that others need to be paid in the same currency as well.

Why is it so hard for the contemporary person to give credit to others, and thus share the glory that exists for a victorious outcome? What is gained when one seeks to hog all the glory for oneself rather than share it with everyone who made that victory possible? If a quarterback makes a glorious last-second pass that wins a game, someone has to catch that pass. Other receivers likely served as decoys that drew the defenders away from the player who caught the pass, and still others blocked the defenders in the trenches to give the quarterback time. There were also other people, likely coaches, who drew up the play and who called it as being appropriate in this particular situation. All these people would expect, and deserve, some part of the credit for the success of the team and of the play. The same is true when a performer wins an award for singing or acting–a great many people, many of whom are anonymous except to those who read movie or song credits, helped to make that song or that movie or that television show a popular one and a good one to the extent that it is good, and such people expect and deserve praise and credit for a job well done. Why not give it to them?

[1] https://www.flappr.net/post/46-minutes

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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