Thoughts on LTC Vindman

Attacking the source, or an “ad hominem” attack is one of the logical fallacies. However, saying that someone is a “bad person” may be irrelevant as to whether their argument is valid or not, it is not a logical fallacy to judge the trustworthiness of testimony based on the character of the person giving testimony.

I served in Europe just a few short years after the incident outlined in the link took place. I’ve actually trained in the facility mentioned (although not with the Russians as they’d done the Crimean land grab at that point).

While I am not a close acquaintance of LTC Hickman, we did serve in the same theater together during overlapping periods, and I have no reason to question the accuracy of the his recollections about then Major Vindman.

Other military professionals have taken a cursory look at LTC Vindman’s fruit salad (ribbon rack) and come to a few conclusions.

If you read LTC Vindman’s testimony, you would know that he revealed nothing new, and provided no evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump. He wears his ribbons out of order of precedence (a punishable offense under the latest revision of AR 670-1), including his parachutist badge and Ranger tab out of order. The only reason to do that is to highlight the purple heart rather than awards for being on staff, and the fact that at one point as a much younger man he earned the ranger tab (like 70% of all Infantry Officers in the US Army, really, it’s not that big of a deal). His unit affiliation is the 2d Cavalry Regiment, a fine outfit to be sure, but not as distinguished as the 75th Ranger Regiment or any of the other “cool guy” units that demonstrate someone has “been there, done that.”

Additionally, the current state of the military blogosphere is oddly quiet with people jumping up to defent LTC Vindman. With a 20 year career, surely there is someone who would know him well enough to rise to his defense if he was truly a man of impeccable moral character.

And maybe he is, maybe he’s not a political animal who plays up a purple heart from a single combat tour to sell himself as a “decorated veteran” to the media. Maybe he’s not a guy who did the minimum time necessary in the Infantry before bailing to be a Foreign Area Officer and spend the rest of his career working out of embassies. But I don’t think so. An Officer of the United States military does not get to say the President is wrong about foreign policy. That didn’t work for Oliver North, and it certainly won’t work for Alex Vindman. Quite literally the sentiment I get from field grade leaders is, “a 20 year career and fewer combat stripes? Where was he hiding out? What the hell was he doing?”

In short, LTCs are expected to haul the water for those who are actually in charge of making policy, not attempt to make policy themselves.

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3 Responses to Thoughts on LTC Vindman

  1. DW says:

    I don’t have anything good to say about Vindman either, but it is disappointing that this type of person exists in what appears to be a growing nucleus within the officer corp of the armed forces. But LTC – how in hell does that even happen? Can that pudge-bucket even pass a basic fitness test (for men not women)!

    That he is attached as liaison to the NSA is not surprising given that the NSA doesn’t give a rip about the constitution and the bill of rights. It’s a perfect match.


    • rthtgnbs says:

      The US Army under commissioned year group 1999. That means YG99 Officers had a higher than average promotion rate simply to put bodies in billets. My year group was over commissioned, and my year group experienced abysmal promotion rates to Major as the Army was told to downsize, to the point now that we are on an upswing, anyone still lingering has a very good chance of making Lieutenant Colonel simply because the Army cut so deep it will need to promote a lot to put bodies in billets…

      So the Big Green Machine doesn’t get it right every time, but on the flip side, there aren’t a lot of LTC Vindman’s in the news, most of the Officer Corps strives to be apolitical and serve the Republic, protect and defend the Constitution, and execute the lawful orders and policies set by the civilians who control the military (through law, funding, and order).


      • DW says:

        In my career in IT consulting I have seen the effect of poor management hiring decisions. Best case the company loses good quality people, worst case it loses money / goes bankrupt. In the military those type of decisions/putting bodies in billets tends to get people killed.

        As to your last paragraph, you are simply paraphrasing the oath you take in the military and also our elected officials. I used to believe 100% that the military would honor that oath, not so much any more, certainly the majority yes, but we’re not at 100% anymore. As to congress, they are in single digits percentage-wise on honoring that oath. I am sure you see the inherent problem. But I do hope I am wrong and you are right.


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