There is No Freedom Without Responsibility
Across the globe... it seems the desire of freedom and understanding the responsibility required to keep it embody the pillar around which all true citizens and good soldiers stand arm in arm. From this formation they gather strength to hold fast while their enemies try to chip away from outside and also from the inside. Those who love freedom and understand what is required to win and keep it include:
- The New Iraq volunteer Army. These warriors are stepping forward and are taking responsibility to rid their lands of the cowardly forces that infest it.
- The Himalayan nation of Nepal whose Royal Nepal Army is engaged in combat (with the help of our advisors) to fight Beijing-backed Chicom Maoist Communist forces.
- New Central and South America freedom fighters (being formed as we write this) to fight against the influence of the newly formed Bolivian-Cuban-Venezuelan Marxist pact (which rivals anything the Cold War brought to the various backwaters of the world in the 1950's and 60's).
As you can see, the dark forces mobilizing against us are strong. It is "suck it up time" for the guy who understands responsibility and freedom have a symbiotic relationship.
We would do well to review the British gentlemen warriors from a nearly vanished era who include a Colonel John Phillip Cross, a master of jungle warfare training from WWII for the SAS to Malaysia. Who, even though in his 80's, is still as mentally and physically fit as he was in his forties. A fitting, recent quote:
"Late 19th Century warfare never stopped, though is was masked for a time by the Cold War emphasis on atomic bombs. And in this type of warfare - that you Americans must master - only two things count: the mystic dimension of service and the sanctity of an oath. It's about the giving of one's best when the audience is of the smallest."
Though I have never met Colonel Cross his words give us a great insight - a lesson if you will - that many yet to have learn--that freedom and responsibility go hand in hand.
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I personally learned my lesson in this hallowed area when I first entered the Army out of high school in the early 1970's.
After a few days of life in the Army I had lost all my freedom and responsibilities. The Army thought of everything: I was told what to wear, what to eat, when to eat, when to wash; how to fold my clothes. As time marched on I began to see that as I conformed to these edicts required of me and I did them as prescribed, I was given more responsibility back... and thus, I gained more freedom.
I graduated Basic Training, and that was followed by Advanced Infantry Training (AIT) at Fort Polk Louisiana where I was given a little more responsibility. There I finally had a little more freedom. From there I moved on to Jump School at Fort Benning. Georgia. I had not yet made it to a unit, but there, all I had to do was show up fit for training so I had a lot more freedom--but I also had the responsibility of not abusing it.
As I moved through those quick three weeks of Jump School, I saw some of my fellow soldiers use their time responsibly and I saw others that were irresponsible and I noted that they lost their freedom and spent their weekends doing details. Sometimes their actions would also impact their fellow soldiers (me included) so that we would be punished together as an example to show how precious responsibility is over irresponsibility - especially on the basis of maintaining unit integrity when the going gets tough.
Though it all, I eventually was rewarded for my hard work by being assigned to the 1st Ranger Battalion and at the beginning had very little freedom but eventually was given more responsibility and gained more freedom. So the responsibility = freedom point was always drilled in as I went through various iterations of the Army life.
I thought about this a lot over the years and realized that it applied to my childhood.
I also found that this applies to every facet of life and realized there is no freedom without responsibility and now through the above mentioned and other voluminous match sticks of experience of I have come to know responsibility is a another word for freedom.
[EDIT NOTE: John Cross joined the British Army in 1943 and, in a career spanning 40 years, served with the 1st Gurkha Rifles in Burma and French Indo-China during World War II. He commanded a rifle company in the 1st Battalion of the 7th Gurkha Rifles during the Malayan Emergency and the Border Scouts in Borneo, directed the British Army Jungle Warfare School and recruited Gurkhas for the British Army in Nepal. ~The jungle can be seen as the environment closest to mankind's primeval origins - and the setting in which he, or most of his kind, is least at home. Certainly, whenever the human race has chosen such regions for conflict, the physical conditions have always posed unique problems and demanded special soldiering skills. In this book, Colonel John Cross, one of the world's most experienced jungle fighters, and one who has spent most of his life teaching the art of jungle warfare, gives a very personal account of this form of fighting.~ By the author of "In Gurkha Company: The British Army Gurkhas, 1948 to the Present" (1986), "First In Last Out: Unconventional British Officer in Indo-China, 1945-46 and 1972-76" (1992), "A Face Like a Chicken's Backside: An Unconventional Soldier in South East Asia, 1948-1971" (1996), "Gurkhas at War in Their Own Words: The Gurkha Experience, 1939 to the Present" (2002).]