“I Thought This Is What the Ratline Was Supposed To Do”

Ragnar sends, this link, with the subject-line question.

Me too. Me too, Ragnar.

Who is this person and what claim does he have to modern warriorship? I can’t tell from his bio. (Not being facetious, just can’t tell. Never heard of him.)

WTF is going on at VMI?

Anyone??

About vmijpp

VMIJPP hails from the star city of the south, Roanoke, Virginia. A 1989 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, he is a retired artillery officer in the United States Marine Corps, with time in both the active and reserve sides. He served in Iraq in 2004, and in Afghanistan in 2009-2010. He joined the magnificent OPFOR.com as a guest blogger from the now defunct but never uninteresting Rule 308, where he denounced gun control and other aspects of tyranny, and proclaimed the greatness of the United States. When the sun set on OPFOR.com, he migrated here with Keydet1976 and the others.
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12 Responses to “I Thought This Is What the Ratline Was Supposed To Do”

  1. DaveO says:

    After the coloring books, a little warriorship is in order.

    Like

  2. DaveO says:

    Hard to say ever since Crayola changed it crayon palette to be more diverse.

    We had veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Grenada on staff, and then graduated into Panama, Desert Storm, the Mog, and GWOT. Is VMI a Military Institute, or Peewee’s Playhouse for those who can’t get into Tech? Or just another college, albeit with a killer dress code and mandatory fun?

    Like

  3. CooperEP says:

    Have faith. The ratline changes constantly. Even in the years between my graduation and our class’s 10th anniversary reunion, the ratline was vastly different. I would have changed only one aspect of the ratline when I was a cadet would have been the midnight hazing and violence that occurred off the books to those rats who were viewed as unworthy such as me. I hated that I received such attention from cadets 1-3 years older than me purely because I was a “spaz” and earned a 4.0 GPA as an engineering student. I had no problem with the cadre performing their duties, but I hated being forced to strain out my 4th stoop window on the backside of old barracks and doing push-ups with the point of a sabre in the back of my neck. If that hateful and destructive element is gone from the ratline, then I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the new permutation of the ratline.

    Like

    • DaveO says:

      Your point is well taken, but I place no faith in a Smith Hall that lies to me, shields staff after an assault on a cadet, and then has the temerity to ask me for cash to keep The Good Ole Boys of the James River Club going just as they like it.

      Going back to Lt Col P’s question, this course seems very out of synch with VMI’s direction of being the new progressive Southern Sem, but without the rigor. Did I say Southern Sem? Sorry, I meant UC Berkley.

      Like

      • CooperEP says:

        Your points are very valid, and I wholeheartedly admit that my post was limited in scope. I was being rather myopic as I was purely looking at the ratline and the influence of the Commandant’s office upon it’s maintenance and administration. Smith Hall and it’s occupants were always very distant from me as a cadet, so their impact on my life went largely unnoticed. I was unaware of the assault by a staff member, and I am disappointed by the coloring book concept.

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  4. Ragnar says:

    What was that statement? VMI isn’t what it is and never what it used to be. Something like that. Based on that logic, anything goes. Have the rats run around in mankinis and have their parents break them out in three weeks. Carte blanche and the VMI spider sticker on the parent car.

    Ragnar

    Like

    • burkemblog says:

      Doc Carroll, a legendary VMI biology professor, was famous for saying, “VMI ain’t what it used to be…and never was.” The real VMI and the VMI in our heads, in other words, are not the same at all.

      My 1969-70 ratline was radically different, I am sure, from my uncle’s ratline in 1938-9 (he was killed in action in 1944, so we never got to compare notes). I imagine it is radically different now. I have to admit, however, that it was excellent preparation for being in combat in the Gulf War. No matter how bad things got, it was never as bad as my rat year.

      Then again, I think that many of the people undergoing whatever the ratline is of the moment have radically different experiences even within that collective context. Most of the trouble I had that rat year was my own fault–I was a wiseass rat who went out of my way to test limits and get into trouble. At the time, I didn’t think much mattered–in many ways, I still think that way, which is not a good way to think about, say, teaching. So it has its uses, but it is not universally dispositive.

      Like

  5. DaveO says:

    Why does the Ratline vary so much from year to year?

    Like

    • CooperEP says:

      Variance is the result of uncontrolled inputs and processes, and reliance on the human element as the primary controlling factor. The end result is a system that is prone to drifting rather than being constant and stable. It is the same for manufacturing processes as it is for things like the Ratline.

      Like

      • DaveO says:

        So, once again Smith Hall undermines one of VMI’s value propositions in the search for… what, exactly?

        Hey BOV! Wake up General Peay and the Commandant, they’re asleep at the wheel.

        Like

  6. slater says:

    This is what I know based on that guys CV…he’s a headshrink whose only practical experience is shrinking the heads of VMI cadets. At least Dr. Cotting blew stuff up previous to putting on that VA Mil uniform.

    In regards to the ratline shifting, I don’t understand this at all. We have an adversive system for a reason, I would say we’re starting to resemble the Academies in that it is becoming a non-adversive system. I personally had a tough time in the ratline because I was broken for most of it. What I don’t like are the huge jumps it makes every year, could it have been run more professionally and still be adversive…yes, but we’re getting to the point where it’s getting soft and not providing hardened young leaders for today’s America.

    Like

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