Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Am I Being Petty to Notice This?

We lost a major general in a green-on-blue attack in Afghanistan. Am I--an ex-enlisted man--being too sensitive about the method of noting his death?

This is how the email notice begins:

Condolence Statement from the Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno for the Loss of Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene

Truly, I am sorry for his loss. And I add my condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.

But every other casualty notice I have ever received--to the best of my memory--has begun:

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

Or words to that effect.

At what rank do you have to be to earn the condolences lead rather than the identification announcement?

No, the military is not a democracy. Obviously, it has a hierarchy.

But it serves a democracy. I understand that someone of that rank will get more attention unofficially.

But must we not maintain the rank distinction in death, implying that the other deaths are of lesser concern?

If "DoD Identifies [Service] Casualty" was good enough for the more than six and a half thousand other military deaths in the Long War, it should be good enough for a major general.

Or am I being overly sensitive?

UPDATE: I stand corrected. The Department of Defense used the standard announcement. I guess I still think that General Odierno should have timed his condolence statement after the official announcement.