05 December 2006

The Manifesto... Reposted

The League of Disgruntled Majors is starting to get more web traffic, so I think it appropriate to re-post for the masses what we believe...the foundation upon which this august union was based. Therefore, I resubmit for your consideration, in its entirety and unaltered form, our Manifesto as it was originally posted back in August.


We are the League of Disgruntled Majors, a loosely affiliated group of officers in the United States Army. We are comprised mostly of Major’s, though we are certain that there are Lieutenant Colonels and some senior captains who align themselves with our beliefs. We have even found we have compatriots of similar grades in the other armed forces of the United States. We are mostly those who work behind the scenes of an operation to make it successful. We seldom march at the head of formation, kick in doors, fly aircraft, or drive tanks, though we support those who do daily, with little fanfare. We are planners, logisticians, communicators and coordinators. To steal a phrase from the special operations community, we are “quiet professionals” who do our jobs well, though are seldom recognized for it. For our efforts, we are infrequently praised, and frequently disdained by those we support and those we help make successful.

We are patriots. We serve because we love our country and because we agree with most of its policies, though some may be flawed. We agreed to give up personal comfort and personal freedom to serve a cause which we believe to be a higher calling. We serve to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, regardless of the political party in power; past, present or future. We serve the American Ideal.

We have forgone Glory. Many of us used to be Soldiers who kicked in doors and took the fight to the enemy, though we do it no longer. Those we support use the M4 Carbine and up-armored Humvee gun-truck as their weapons. We use MS Office, a laptop, and an internet connection. You will not see us in a Time-Life photo spread on images of war. We will not be interviewed for TV, unless it is on a 3:30 AM C-SPAN airing of a congressional subcommittee meeting investigating US Army expenditures on Non-Tactical Vehicle leases in a theater of war. We wear combat patches on our right sleeves, but those who go off the installation to patrol the streets wonder if we actually deserve them. We are certain we do.

We are lab rats. We are gerbils in a cage. We are doe-eyed white rabbits naively believing the Army will take care of us as it performs experiments on us with monikers like “Task Force 21”, “OPMS 21”, “Transformation”, and “Modularity”. When the experiment produces inconvenient results, we, like other lab animals, come to the cold realization that we are to be euthanized. Or at least our careers are.

We are “They”. We are the shadowy “They-people”. When something goes wrong or a new policy is released, and those around us say “They screwed it up” or “They said we have to do it this way”, we are “They”. We work in invisibility…until something goes awry, then we are in a spotlight hued red by anger and frustration. Those we support don’t necessarily know what they want, but they will know when they see it, they want it yesterday, and lots of it…They don’t care how much it costs, until they get the bill.

We are Cannon-fodder. When we do our jobs well, we are frequently found at fault for it. When we fulfill our obligations, we are deemed “roadblocks”. When we are successful, we are viewed as unsuccessful. Those we report to don’t understand what we do, and have no intention of trying to. As a result, when it comes to advancement, evaluations, assignments, and awards, we are frequently at the bottom of the heap. We are perpetually “center-mass” in order to help build the profile for those our raters do understand. We have reached the point where this surprises us no longer. We will simply keep our heads down, keep working, and see what happens, come what may. We will fulfill our obligations and do our jobs, expecting no accolades from those we support. We know that the Army expects more commitment from us then it will provide to us (paraphrased from the Army Training and Leadership Development Panel Report, lest we be cited for Plagiarism).

We Embrace Ambiguity – Mediocrity – Sarcasm. These are our watch-words. Ambiguity, because if we are lucky, the climate we operate in will be Ambiguous at best. Mediocrity, because regardless of the quality or timeliness of our output and contribution, those we support will view our efforts as mediocre compared to their own. And Sarcasm, because at times the only way to survive to fight another day is through the biting balm of sarcastic humor.

We Look Forward to Our Pay-off. Why do we put up with it and why do we continue? Why not hang up our seat-worn uniforms and join the civilian sector? Because in the end we know our jobs are important and that that our Army would not be successful without us. But more importantly, we know that prior to leaving the Army and entering the retirement rolls, we will be in the most powerful positions in the Army. No… we won’t be generals or commanders, or even high powered staffers. We will likely still be Majors, passed over twice, sitting in dimly-lit offices in the basement of the pentagon, with longer than regulation haircuts, rumpled uniforms, unkempt mustaches and a bottle of scotch in the bottom right-hand drawer of our desks. We will be the most powerful men in the Army because we will be Majors getting ready to retire with nothing to lose by telling you exactly what we think, consequences be damned…We will be the most dangerous men in the Army.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

At last, I've found a home on the web...that is, if you'll have a member of that group of Signaleers gone bad...

December 07, 2006 3:13 AM  
Anonymous Chogi-Boy 6 said...

Wow! This sounds like the manifesto of a typical chemical officer...

Chogi-Boy 6
(a former Chemo)

December 08, 2006 2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have brought tears to the eyes of this Navy Supply Officer. Your Manifesto, is our Manifesto.

December 13, 2006 6:49 PM  
Blogger LDM Grand Poobah said...

The Manifesto was born while I was serving in a joint assignment in the proverbial "Centcom AOR". A Navy Supply Corp Officer was instrumental in its conception. Welcome to the League.

December 14, 2006 2:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, then it is no wonder the particular brand of desperation came across as so familiar. Thank you for the Welcome Aboard.

December 14, 2006 8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for giving voice to us National Guard AGR guys. There's a certain heartwarming from knowing I'm not the only one not feeling the institutional love! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

December 28, 2006 5:08 AM  
Anonymous Z said...

Ponder this, Poobah and friends.
95% of Army O-3s will make O-4.
92% of Army O-4s will make O-5.
82% of Army O-5s will make O-6.

So while crying in your beer about Powerpoint Ranger Tabs and OPMS 21, recognize that if you can keep away from sexual relations with other species (and fraternization), you will have 70% chance of hitting O-6 (if you're O-4) or a 63% chance if you're O-3.

Those kinds of odds for a career ain't all bad.

The fact that you might have to STAY as a REMF, staff puke, or behind the Iron Desk shouldn't bother you one bit.

January 05, 2007 12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your/our manifesto brought tears to my eyes (well maybe if I had feelings). From my foxhole ( a 4x4 cubicle) surrounded by hundreds just like it, I read this and find true peace. Keep up the fight. I knew I was doing my job the other day when I found out that a COCOM Cdr refered to me as that Army Major. The direct quote was that " I'm tired of being told no by that Army Major. Cheers!

January 19, 2007 10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

92% to O5… what great odds!! In the Corps it’s 65% for in-zone (50% if you’re a pilot). But your odds of being bent over and have your bore rammed clean by an O5 trying to be one of our 33% in-zone to make O6 are about 92%

February 23, 2007 12:21 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

You know, I am a very disgruntled Navy Supply Corps LCDR. Y'all got a waterborne auxillery? Your manifesto cries out to me and mirrors the pitiful mockery that my service has become.
Semper Gumbi

June 07, 2007 5:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gotta agree with the 'most powerful positions' comment at the end. Once I decided to retire at 20 as a MAJ (prior svc) I was liberated from the shackles of conformity and protocol. I think I put in some of my best work then because I did not give a shit what some LTC said or where I would fall in some COL's Senior Rater profile. Nothing is more dangerous than a MAJ who knows his/her shit and doesn't give a damn about career survival. Rock on! Mark Yockey

October 17, 2007 4:12 PM  
Blogger BrianFH said...

If you're going to plagarize/paraphrase, do it grammatically!

"then it will provide to us (paraphrased from the Army Training and Leadership Development Panel Report"

That would be "than"; then it will be right.

May 14, 2008 7:42 PM  
Anonymous Woodstock said...

Please permit a civilian contractor with lots of USAR enlisted years, and recent involvement with OIF, to say "Right On'. Thanks to all of you for what you do, what you have to put-up with and for the sacrifices of your families for your decision to do what you do.

Blessings on you all.

December 28, 2008 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LDM, I'm looking for feedback here.

Am I alone here being faced with multiple babck to back COM OER's from SR single OER ratings? Not even having the opperunity to meet them with the current OPTEMPO?

Will the 05/ LTC promotion rates continue with this economy as the current LTC are not retiring as they do not want to enter the job market in the sape that it is in? My prediction is that LTC promotions will significantly decline over the next 24-36 months.... lust my thoughts...Thanks

YG 96 Major

February 11, 2009 5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You just made a disgruntled Marine captain's day. Semper Fi!

August 17, 2009 2:45 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Please take the apostrophe from:
"We are comprised mostly of Major’s..."

I may be just a Major, but I am silently correcting your grammar at all times.

April 14, 2014 9:15 PM  
Anonymous Gingagorn said...

Hmm. Actually, I believe the use of "of" with comprised is not correct. If we are to use "of" it should be "composed". The word comprises already implies "of", and thus the phrase could be re-written as "Comprising mostly Majors, we..."
Gingaorn, Guild of Average Healthcare Administrators, Great White North chapter.

June 10, 2015 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, a bunch of Canadian Armed Forces Majors were discussing the merits of your League. We want in! How about a Canadian Chapter??!!

June 11, 2015 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Checked all the blocks, Completed all the schools, never had a negative action against me or a bad OER. Yet was passed over for the second time this morning. I raise my LDM coffee mug in a salute, and start the count down clock to retirement in 3.6 years.

July 16, 2015 3:51 PM  
Blogger Rolling Thunder said...

Might be because you took your DA photo in a tuxedo t shirt, maybe.

June 28, 2017 7:37 PM  

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