Lesson # 11 from Starship Troopers

Today, we’re going to cover the eleventh lesson I learned from the book Starship Troopers.  This is the eleventh lesson in the 17-lesson mini-series.  If you haven’t read the previous post yet, please do so right now and try to follow it in order.

Lesson # 11: The Infantry does not fight alone!

Quote: “In the mass wars of the XXth century it sometimes took 70,000 men (fact!) to enable 10,000 to fight.”

starship troopers bookMy Take: The infantry does not fight alone.  Ask any infantryman that question and they would probably disagree.  But the truth is, for every infantryman on the battlefield, there are typically at least FIVE, SIX and up to 10 or MORE Soldiers supporting them, and usually more than that.  This includes the cooks, finance folks, mechanics, communication people, ordnance, lawyers, aviators, engineers, artillerymen and so forth.

The Army is a big organization.  If you look in any Army Division, you will quickly discover that 50 to 70% of the division is non-infantry folks.  Plus, you have all the other “non-division” support folks who have some type of support role.

You see, the Army is a team effort.  And even though there is an “I” in infantry, there is no “I” in team.  So whether you are Infantry Soldier or not, you have an IMPORTANT role in the team and in the mission of the today’s Army.  Don’t let people bully you and tell you that you aren’t a real Soldier because you are not infantry.  That simply isn’t true.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let me know.

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Chuck Holmes
Publisher, Part-Time-Commander.com
Email: mrchuckholmes@gmail.com

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6 thoughts on “Lesson # 11 from Starship Troopers”

  1. Faith A. Coleman

    This seems somehow to contradict an earlier lesson in which only the active duty soldiers are worthy of recognition (therefore allowed to vote), and anyone else doesn’t have the ability or right to determine their own government but in this lesson it sounds like they are being given credit where credit is due, to the many unseen people who support the military but are not actually soldiers themselves. And as I suggested previously, credit deserves to be given where credit is do. I’m wondering about the contexts from which these quotes were taken. That would be very interesting and could certainly alter or contradict some of the ways these issues are seen.

  2. Just as interservice rivalry is an eternal aspect of the military, inter-branch rivalry is an eternal aspect of the Army. The infantry is notorious for its views of other branches, as are other combat arms branches like cavalry and armor. In fact, the term “pogue” (you won’t find it in the dictionary, and there is no standardized spelling) derives from POG: Person Other than Grunt. However, as I have pointed out to my soldiers in the past, the infantryman won’t fare very well without ammunition, or fuel, or food, or medical care, or for that matter pay. Everybody plays a role. The combat vs. support personnel ratio, by the way, is colloquially known as “tooth to tail.”

    1. You are right, Daniel. The rivalry is there; however, it takes everybody working together to accomplish the mission. The interdependence of the various branches within and outside of the Army is evident, and it is critical that all parties work together. Team work and cooperation at its finest must exist for success.
      Thanks for the “tooth to tail” info. I love the extra bits of info.

    2. I think that it is a rivalry and eventually dies out as more and more combat arms Soldiers encounter those who support them. For example, I know a few Soldiers who used the work “POG” like it was part of their everyday vocabulary. But, after coming across a maintenance unit with Soldiers covered in sweat working on their Strykers, these Soldiers had nothing but good things to say all the time about them..

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