Retired military senior enlisted weighs in on Syria

Our military did not sign up to aid and abet known enemies. Photo: AP

WASHINGTON, September 4, 2013 — America’s fighting forces serve the country regardless of the political affiliation of the Commander in Chief. Their commitment is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. To that end, friend and foe alike should realize that our troops will relentlessly discharge their duties until mission accomplishment is achieved.

Having stated the obvious, we are compelled to ask: Whose national interests are at stake if and when we apply “limited strikes against the government of Syria” because of their alleged use of chemical weapons against its civilians?

Even if the preponderance of the evidence shows that some entity used chemical agents vs. civilians, there is still no airtight case that the Syrian government itself used such weapons.

But there are even more troubling things to consider: 1) there appears to be no direct threat to the United States by Syria, and 2) neither of the warring factions there are supportive of United States foreign policy or U.S. national interests, and 3) all warring factions in Syria are sworn enemies of our most important ally in the Middle East, the nation of Israel.

Most who serve on active duty today were not born in 1980 when the United States attempted an ill-fated hostage rescue attempt in Iran. In that mission, Operation Eagle Claw, military aircraft collided amidst a severe sandstorm in the Iranian desert, resulting in American casualties. It was a mission in which Pentagon planners ordered action by America’s finest, as a direct order from our Commander in Chief President Jimmy Carter. Yet, in retrospect, we can clearly see that there was at least a cause and a reasonable mission objective.

Our fighting forces today have in their recent memory the fact that the military was not given the order to rescue our U.S. Ambassador in Benghazi, Libya last year. Instead, the military was told to stand down and take no action. As the record shows, a few of our elite forces did not consider the order to stand down a lawful order, and chose to go into harms way to rescue Americans from the embassy compound. Here again, we can see that there was just cause for our military to take decisive action. An attack against a U.S. embassy is an act of war.

SEE RELATED: Saying yes to Syria: A disaster of biblical proportions

Our troops are so committed to serving our country that there are countless stories of those who have been seriously injured and maimed who voluntarily sign up to do multiple tours overseas within areas of known hostilities. Our citizens know that America’s fighting forces are ready, willing and able to be forward deployed to protect America’s vital national interests.

This retired U.S. Navy E9 is stating what many of our active duty military would like to say openly: No amount of public relations support from Senators McCain & Graham or Speaker Boehner can apply enough lipstick on this pig to make it appealing to the country and fighting forces.

While we agonize and see the atrocities against civilians as reprehensible, we have no business or vital national interests in Syria.

Our military did not sign up to aid and abet known enemies.

Neither did they sign up for the purpose of protecting any politician’s pride or personal image because an imaginary red line was drawn in the sand. 

Bill Randall served on active duty from Aug 74 to Jan 02, and is a retired U.S. Navy Master Chief (E9). He is a former Command Master Chief of USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) and is also a graduate of the Senior Enlisted Academy (1995), Class 67, Blue.

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Bill Randall

Bill was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the neighborhood known as the Lower Ninth Ward.  His U.S. Navy career spanned from August 1974 through December 2001, during which he had a decorated and distinguished span of honorable service.  His profession and specialty was Earth Science (Meteorology, Oceanography and Geodesy).  After retiring from active duty on January 1, 2002, he entered the private sector as an Independent Insurance Agent (AFLAC) and garnered recognition as a top performer as a new member. Shortly thereafter he earned his B.S. degree in Business Management, and later earned his MBA degree.  He has also earned Information Technology (IT) Certification from Wake Technical Community College (May 2013).  Bill worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs at the Milwaukee VA Pension Center (2002 –2005), processing hundreds of benefits claims for veterans and their family members.  Bill subsequently relocated and served on the staff of a local church in Pensacola, FL (May – Dec 2005), and then accepted a business opportunity as a Generalist with a major Management Consulting Firm (2006 – 2008).  Bill now owns a private Management Consulting company based in Wake Forest, NC.  He and his family relocated to North Carolina after his wife, Wendy, accepted a job offer in there.  He once ran for Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party (June 2009).  He has also twice run for U.S Congress (NC-13th Congressional district), winning the GOP nomination in the 2010 Primary, and losing in the GOP Primary in 2012.  He is an author and a Community Chaplain.  Bill and his wife have resided in Wake Forest, NC since October 2008.  Bill has a son and four daughters.

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