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Smokey Briggs


By Smokey Briggs

Tuesday, July 20, 1999

Combat Units Aren't Social Clubs

Integrating women into military combat units is foolish.

It is detrimental to morale and combat effectiveness and will eventually destroy the "esprit de corps" that separates units that win battles from those that loose.

Last week I was ready to have the Secretary of the Navy, Richard Danzig, horse-whipped for his impolite remarks made during the change of command ceremony for the Commandant of the Marine Corps.

I still am.

But Danzig's remarks give only a small window into the type of person he is a small insight into his view of the world.

The picture is not pretty.

It is a picture of a world where reality is ignored so that spineless twits like Danzig need not feel embarrassed for their general lack of manhood.

Like the man who appointed him, and most of the other inhabitants of Washington, Danzig is a pansy.

As his words and actions have shown, he abhors the traditional concepts of duty, honor and integrity that are the hallmarks of manhood.

And he is a poster-boy for those that are re-creating the military into their own effeminate likeness. In the process they will destroy it.

Danzig's pet policy of moving to integrate women into the Navy's submarine force is a perfect illustration.

Even with today's technical marvels, life on board a submarine is a cramped existence where privacy is almost unknown.

Our nuclear subs have the ability to cruise beneath the surface for years without so much as surfacing.

But Danzig wants women assigned to subs.


Because it will increase the effectiveness of the submarine force?

Because the Navy can't fill the slots with male sailors?

No. Because he feels that the only reason women aren't allowed on subs is because the male submariners are chauvinist pigs.

What a ninny.

Only someone completely divorced from reality could come up with an idea this stupid.

Lock a bunch of healthy men and women up in a steel cocoon for six months and guess what is going to happen?

Checkers will probably not be the favorite pass-time during off duty hours (or on duty for that matter).

And a group of couples does not make for an effective combat crew. Of course, it will be even worse if there are more women than men, or vice versa.

The human emotions of jealousy, passion, and the love of a man and a woman, have no place in a submarine.

Or any other combat unit.

Which is why the integration of women into combat units of any type is a step down the road to disaster. (How to define "combat" unit is another question).

"Esprit de corps" is a hard term to define. It is more than morale. It is pride and belief and trust and loyalty all rolled into one concept. It is developed through rigorous training, and cultivated from an organization's history, and a product of good leadership.

It is that intangible thing that separates units that win battles from units that loose.

It was what kept the paratroopers in Bastogne from surrendering during the Battle of the Bulge and drove Marines through chest deep water and machine gun fire onto the beaches of Tarawa.

Esprit de corps cannot exist when troops suspect that their squad leader is sleeping with one of their own number and correspondingly assigning her less dangerous duty whether he is or not. The mere suspicion will kill it.

It cannot exist when squad mates are competing for the affections of another member of the squad.

It will be destroyed when an officer has a relationship with an enlisted man/woman.

A military without a esprit de corps is a just a group of people with weapons.

And when this sexually liberated, encounter-group version of the military runs up against an equally matched force that has cultivated true esprit de corps, it will be destroyed.

(Just for the record formation of all female units would fix this entire problem. Why this has not been suggested is an enigma unless those who are pushing for sexual integration really don't believe that women can be equal on the battlefield.)

EDITIOR'S NOTE: Smokey briggs is the editor and publisher of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears each Tuesday. He can be e-mailed at:

Our View

Increased truck speed limits are good

Speed limits for big trucks will be going up soon on Interstate, U.S. and state highways in Texas.

A law passed during the last legislative session and signed by Gov. George Bush will increase speed limits for trucks to 70 miles per hour in the daytime and 65 mph at night.

The move is a good one that should make roads safer.

Generally, lower speed limits correspond with safer highways. Such isn't the case when the lower speed limits only apply to certain types of vehicles.

Currently, light trucks and cars can travel 10-15 mph faster than big trucks depending on the time of day.

This leads to a constant interruption in the flow of traffic as cars weave around the slower moving trucks.

On highways without a passing lane, the current speed limit difference leads to more passing.

And even in the wide open spaces of West Texas, passing can be a dangerous proposition.

With the new speed limits fewer motorist will need to pass each other, and the flow of traffic will be steadier.

The results should be safer roads for everyone.

Your View

Destruction at cemetery annoys Toyah reader

Recently, I went to check on a windmill because the wind was blowing quite strong that morning and I wanted to be sure the mill was working properly.

I was disturded to find evidence that our community criminal faction had been there sometime during the night. Empty beer cans strewn about along with cigarette packages. As I picked up this trash and walked up to the tank, I could see a new place where a bullet had struck its' side. Yes, I thought, another night of beer drinking, doping and trying to shoot holes in our water tanks.

These people have no respect for anything or anyone. I don't need to name these criminals because they know who they are. This behavior is bad anywhere but it is much worse when it takes place in a cemetery.

Yes, a cemetery. Most people think of a cemetery as a place for good behavior, quite thinking, and respect for others.

The criminal element in Toyah think it is a place to have beer parties, a shooting range, and a dog run.

I know that all of us who have loved ones buried here would like for you to take your parties elsewhere and stay out of all cemeteries. Let our families rest in peace.


Toyah, Tx.

Ex-Pecosites would enjoy hearing from friends

Many of your readers will remember Joann and Ray Boulter and especially Joann's parents Joe and Nell Pouns. As most of you remember, Joe Pouns, the long time publisher of the Pecos Enterprise, died several years ago.

His widow, Nell, suffered a broken hip several months ago, had surgery, and has been going down hill ever since. She is now in Shannon Hospital here in San Angelo, in very bad condition. The Pouns still have many, many friends in and around Pecos that would want to know about Nell.

I am sure that Joann and Ray would appreciate your prayers and any kind words you would like to send them at this time. If any of you would like their e-mail address, phone number, or snail mail address, let me know and I will be glad to forward it to you.


Taxpayer disappointed in cable providers

I hope the city council members enjoyed the Baseball All Star game on Channel 8 (FOX) last night, since they approved the new rate increase.

Classic Cable's Regional Manager, Bill Flowers of Brady, TX was not aware Channel 8 had been off the air for over a week.

A very disappointed taxpayer,


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