THE INTELLIGENT SINGAPOREAN

Powered by the Plogosphere

The Forgotten Soldier – Breaking the Chain of Command

Posted by intellisg on July 13, 2007

forgotten-soldier.jpgHow many of you really know what the chain of command is, be it in the military or a factory manufacturing battery operated dildo’s? Most of us, I dare say, including myself know it, simply as a the neck bone is connected to the hip bone. The hip bone’s connected to the tight bone. The tight bone’s connected to the knee bone that sort of thing. It’s a chain, hardly rocket science, right?

In a military context, the chain of command is the line of authority and responsibility along which orders are passed. Don’t bother yourself with the details, it roughly the same thing. For example, a common soldier who has difficulty carrying out an order is likely to be disciplined for not observing the chain of command if he skips the officer who is in direct command of him and directly appeals to a higher-ranked officer in his chain of command.

The world should in theory hum along quite happily, but what if the chain of command breaks down? What if the system doesn’t work? What if our world spins out of control? Do we break the chain of command?

It’s a big dilemma that’s not only confined to soldiers, but affects anyone who has to work in a hierarchy. For instance what would a financial controller do, if he’s being asked by his superiors to massage the figures? How would an in-house counsel respond, if he was asked to overlook a case which perverted the course of justice?

Let’s not kid ourselves –its complicated. Especially when the chain of command offers only a rough guide to those who are in the field, they seldom have perfect information to make an informed decision, clarification regarding policy or seeking permission may as well be like a man posting a letter from the moon.

In situations like these, the task of pursuing proper channels by following the appropriate chain of command sounds a bit like theory gone all awry. Assertively pursuing the best route out of the quagmire, does little to clarify, define and win the day – this matter is heightened in the new information age, in which those who may feel the system has broken down has the capacity to leverage on the public will at large by accessing endless channels of telling their story.

Infamous incidents such as the My Lai incident and the Abu Ghraib “human pyramid,” abuses in Iraq live on in the collective consciousness precisely because we no longer live in the age or sail or horse drawn carriages. Technology enables news and information to be disseminated faster and more efficiently than ever before in human history, and this so-called ‘CNN-effect’ puts even more stress on the mechanisms of responsibility, namely the ethics concerning the chain of command.

Some may claim justification by ‘opening the whole can of worms’ before a public forum if the chain of command fails, but it raises the question: can public opinion be the basis for reaching a fair and impartial verdict? Others may contend, these whistle blowers who continuously break the chain of command are driven by altruistic goals to improve the system, therefore they should be accorded some measure of immunity and protection. After all don’t we live in an age where decision makers are less willing to assume responsibility for failures or unjustifiable decisions by those in the lower ranks of the bureaucratic machinery? The dilemma arises again: is merely having an altruistic goal justifiable? It could be argued those at the lower ranks of a bureaucracy, don’t necessary have a helicopter or bird’s eye view of the bigger picture. Besides even the concept of ‘right’ is hardly settled. One could all too easily be ‘right’ and still be woefully ‘wrong.’ So the argument of justifiably circumventing the chain of command hardly holds one drop of water.

Central to the debate whether there are any mitigating circumstances which can justify the chain of command to be either circumvented or broken brings us to a thorn bush – the issue of ethics – for example: is it justifiable for a soldier to shoot a mother carry a baby walking up to a check point? No. But what if there’s a possibility, that person is a suicide bomber?

That’s how the ethical dilemma is usually framed and encountered at the ground level, usually with doses of imperfect information to make an informed decision. In less than perfect situations where the little folk must choose the best moral course of action in a predicament from which there are two competing and equal moral choices. It’s all too easy with the benefit of hindsight to say – you should have followed the chain of command! But the argument, you were not there! Is just as compelling.

The issue of ethics in the context of acting outside the scope of the chain of command also raises the dilemma of rights – yes, you have a right to blow the whistle! But it doesn’t answer the question – who gave you that right in the first place to position yourself as the sole arbiter to choose the best moral course of action without knowing in advance the outcome of the decision? In the long run, the chosen course of action may not be beneficial for all parties involved in the decision and may even exacerbate the situation – thus denying one party a fair and impartial hearing.

What needs to be appreciated is whenever the chain of command is broken for whatever reason, it automatically raises the ethical dilemma of whose rights are we protecting here? Before you put up your hands and shout out, “my rights as a citizen!” Let me remind you even your best moral choice may not be best for all the individuals involved in the predicament. It may only exacerbate the situation further, for this reason I am not a big fan of those who decide to break the chain of command unless either people or planet is clearly in danger – other than those extraordinary circumstances there’s no excuse for anyone to follow the procedure laid down and there is a very good reason why I always plumb that way – it’s a way of respecting the rule of law and the whole entourage that goes with it i.e natural justice, ethics, morality etc. Besides, its just my nature to always reach out to the other guy who slipped or dropped out – I don’t know why. Maybe I am screw up artist par excellence, but I know people just don’t go bad for no rhyme or reason. Maybe his girlfriend dumped him, or his dog died or maybe his mother is suffering from terminal cancer or maybe he was dropped on the head when he was a baby – all I know is leadership isn’t about check listing question boxes, any fool can do that! It’s got to do with the serious business of bringing out the best in people, enabling and not disabling them! That’s the creative and imaginative part, such as listening and understanding. That’s why I am just sitting on the fence right now, only because I am waiting to hear the forgotten soldier’s side of the story – there’s always the other side of the story.

Darkness 2007

(This has been brought to you by Aurora your friendly brotherhood controller – 2007 / Executive Summary 990392 – The Forgotten Soldier 2007 of Extended Piece (EP 990392 – The Brotherhood Press 2007)

Advertisements

38 Responses to “The Forgotten Soldier – Breaking the Chain of Command”

  1. inspir3d said

    nice piece. i like this executive summary.

  2. Aurora said

    Hello,

    Thanks Inspir3d, I did the summarizing, the great chronicler told me to ‘keep the spelling mistakes’ dunno why??????

    The EP version Extended Piece runs just under 7 pages long! Alot of ethics, natural justice stuff like audi alteram partem, nemo judex in causa sua etc.

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    I am so happy you like it. Happy reading.

    Your friendly controller

    Aurora

  3. inspir3d said

    yes. i genuinely do like the summary. it’s long enough but not too long to lose the readers’ attention. has the b’hood appointed u permanently as controller?

  4. Aurora said

    No Inspir3d. I just did this under by own initiative, besides I report directly to KOHO which is an separate from those boys, they dont allow girls to play their game.

    We are the ICG (Interspacing Com-Sat Guild)-we handle all space communications and space related traffic / Geo – Static Support and logistic assets in the Strangelands.

  5. inspir3d said

    i see. would u happen to be available in singapore for coffee? i do like to be able to put a face to who i’m working with.

  6. Aurora said

    Sure that would be nice Inspir3d, pls contact me on the secure line, SLF which I use to forward u our articles.

  7. a timebomb said

    unfortunately, the reality is that this chain of command is predicated on the competency and ethics of hired staff( for most,does ethics exist where YOUR money and YOUR interests are at stake?) in a complex structure of bueaucratic inefficiency and politiking plus legal loopholes etc etc.

    couple with an uncaring elitism blessed with privilege excuses too busy putting in the office, the rising number of forgotten soldiers may suffer silent injustices for now, but they will NEVER forget and will one day return to haunt again and in so many ways too.

    a negligent timebomb waiting to explode!

  8. commando said

    Spoken like a true red beret commando officer – we never leave a man behind. Never! That’s our motto!

  9. Aurora said

    Dear Valued Readers

    Pls note the much awaited 9th edition is finally complete, based loosely on the popular Korean tear fest mini series “Yeonriji,”

    it was adapted by darkness albeit with a special twist / it is said, he saw the mini series during a trip to Japan and wrote it all out / Yeonriji sells at 32.3 Imperium Shekelians per episode and runs at happy 50. Happy reading all! Your Friendly controller,

    Happy reading!

    Aurora

  10. Jan said

    Dear Sir / Madam,

    “How many of you really know what the chain of command is, be it in the military or a factory manufacturing battery operated dildo’s?”

    I really enjoy reading the brotherhood press very much as many of their articles offer insightful and interesting points into on-going discussions.

    However, I fail to understand why someone who is obviously very intelligent, well-read and held in high esteem by his peers needs to regularly resort to this sort of cheap tabloid profanity?????????

    Many thanks.

  11. Aurora said

    Janifer,

    I comsat your complain directly to him. I received this, he is in ‘ostfront’ (that is what the European gamers are calling it) in Tiriana and shall be there for quite a long time.

    I dont understand what it means, he speaks in riddles, but I was given the assurance you do.

    Happy reading.

    Your friendly controller

    Aurora.

  12. motherhen said

    Ladies,

    At times, English seems so limited don’t you think so? Despite its enormous vocabulary. Many languages say in one word what can’t possibly be directly translated into English without extensive explanation.

    ‘Desafinado’ is a bit of a word puzzle. In Portuguese and Spanish, ‘afinar’ means ‘to quicken or sharpen the taste’ so the past tense, ‘afinado’ means ‘sharpened’ The ‘des’ prefix is the same as ‘dis’ in English; it reverses the meaning. So ‘desafinado’ would literally mean ‘not heightened, slow but with a very deliberate focussed intent – to move with contemplation, like a bull fighter just before he strikes.’

    Portuguese being a much more romantic language than English, it seems that the discord in the song isn’t merely an inability to carry a tune; there’s a hint that much more is at stake:

    What you don’t know; don’t even suspect,is that those out of tune still have the ability to ‘Desafinado’, take the classic Bossa Nova ‘Girl from Ipanema’ was sung by the guitarist’s wife Astrud Gilberto, who had no professional training. The perfect phrasing, the immaculate timing, the instinctive pitch; all combine to make it clear that she had whatever experience was required to record one of the greatest jazz works ever.

    True to the ‘style’ of ‘bossa nova’ music, it’s clear the ‘Girl from Ipanema’ is not buying it – his bullshit that is!

    Hence go and ‘Desafinado’ yourself!

  13. Girl from Ipanema said

    Jan, this just shows u how serious he is abt u and probably this topic.

  14. girl form buangkok said

    dunno what u ppl saying . i think it is very rude to exclude others in a public discussion.

  15. Boing said

    Incorrigble. wasting time only, you are not the first Jan, neither will u be the last, trying to rehabilitate him is a loss cause, best thing to do is ignore spoilt brats!

  16. guppy said

    Hi,

    I am not one who likes to break ranks (I seriously doubt ignoring him accomplishes anything), but even all of you have to admit Bambi bad boy darkness has excellent pitch and he knows how to wind us all up.

    Pls dont flame me.

  17. koalabear said

    I don’t like this idea of cold shouldering him. He makes me laugh 🙂 At myself that is 🙂 He is such a fool.

    I am just being very honest 🙂

  18. Harphoon said

    Hello all,

    This whole business of breaking the chain of command – no sportsmanship.

    I only live once, so I will say it the way I feel abt it – no sportmanship.

    Aurora,

    Where is KOHO? We need an intellution radar in the Ostfront ASAP.

  19. Harphoon said

    Inspirid,

    How are you buddy? Pls note, Aurora has taken the initiative to take over the com. I welcome this and I hope that you will give her, the full support as you have given me, pls work closely with her.

    I will not be available for a very long time, war has erupted in the Kilmaron System, every single man has been mobilized to the Ostfront – this is our biggest virtual war in years.

    Rest assured, the brotherhood will be victorious along with our allies to defeat the forces of tyranny.

    Long live the brotherhood!

    2nd Class Pre-Science Officer / Diplomatic Corp

    Harphoon.

    Ensign 002338

  20. Aurora said

    By your command.

  21. 3rd stage Navigator said

    Harphoon.

    This is a EAM, your presence is required ASAP on board in the free French starcruiser the les enfants du paradis – we have tried to comsat you by UP channel and our communicators have failed.

    Your presence in required ASAP.

    Obey this.

  22. Nacramanga said

    This whole business is sloppy discipline, I have no comment, its shit clear to me – can u imagine, if Georgie Yeo give the order to attack and there are whinners in the system!

    Even in gaming, we have a chain of command – that is why we are respected, our discipline is legendry! What more of a real army!

    Do you really expect your enemies to fear you when you do not even have one ounce of discipline to hold the line!

    You must be joking! We are obvious dealing with a light weight here!

    I do NOT HAVE TIME FOR PPL LIKE THIS!

  23. darkness said

    Calm down, close this channel Aurora. I do not want see another post on this subject again. Close the channel.

  24. darkness said

    Inspirid pls run the next article.

  25. Bedside Teddy said

    Koalabear:

    Can laff can already.

    My master say one.

    He also say never laff then the upperty-ups sure got problem one.

  26. Sumiko said

    Even a fool has a charm abt him 😉

  27. anongal said

    Yes sis, especially the fools who know how to ‘Desafinado.’

  28. chief editor said

    I don’t know much abt this Mr Darkness character. However, I do know, he is diabolically and wickedly smart, he is just giving us peeks, if he wanted to do real damage, sap sap sueh. May I say it’s a wise decision to close this channel Sir. Very wise.

  29. grapeviner said

    No point complimenting him either Chief, I really dont even think, he even reads the comments – seriously. All they seem to do is write, post and hide in their cave.

  30. Agnes P said

    Especially fools who ‘Desafinado,’ those are indeed very special fools. lol.

  31. darkness said

    Quién es el tonto más grande? El tonto que dirige, o el tonto que sigue el tonto?

  32. Agnes P said

    I shall let u win boy, only bc u ‘Desafinado’ so well – touche.

  33. prima delli said

    Oh dear, letting him win may not be such a good idea, what if he gets all big headed like a colorful and showy salsa? 😉

  34. prima delli said

    Darkness dear,

    I would like to read the extended piece (EP) version. Could you pls send it to me? Many Thanks, Prima.

  35. cheeky monkey said

    cheeky!

  36. Azmodeus said

    Eso depende de quién está llamando quién el tonto.

  37. Transformer Teddy said

    William Shakespeare, “sogno della notte di metà dell’estate„, si comporta 3 scena 2

  38. Transformer Teddy said

    Prima:

    君令捉候。以舞待圈。

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 
%d bloggers like this: