Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"My Life Has Been Rooned"

 Ref to:

One of the more notable collateral damages of Canada's Afghan adventure is the sad fate of Brigadier General Danny Minard. His meteoric rise from promotion in January of 2010 to removal from command six months later, to embarassment and demotion, culminating in his retirement and removal, is an object lesson on tripping on one's own sword. A tidbit for the memoirs of the Rt. Hon P.G. McKay Esq. Minister of Defence.

Once said to be on the proverbial fast track to military glory and high command, Brigadier Danny, commander of the CAF contingent to Afghanistan, fell afoul the CAF's  'no-fraternization' policy and was turfed from his post. Afterward he was court-martialled and found guilty of lying and forcing a subordinate to lie, in trying to cover his hindquarters.  He was demoted in rank, fined and dismissed from the service. None of which will bother him much, as he had already resigned, taking his pension at his then-current rank. What is bothering him,  more than the 25G in 'bonus' money lost,  is that he figures 'somebody'  has ruined his life and it ain't him.

He's looking around at the media as suspects numbers one, etc. If it hadn't been for the media, well, what the heck, he would have been able to keep on keeping on.

We're told that he had begun a 'relationship' with an NCO 'well before' they both had found themselves posted to Kandahar.  There are no proscriptions of such 'relationships' at home, save for 'getting caught' by a spouse, or your CO. There are no 'officially' punitive remedies at any rate. Base Kandahar is different, CAF personnel, even married ones, are strictly prohibited from 'canoodling' on the base during their 6 month rotos. It was the latter action that presented the problem.

Actually, it was another 'action', or lack of same,  that presented the problem. A 2010 suicide bomb attack on an ISAF (US) convoy on a bridge near the Base at Kandahar, which killed a US serviceman, was laid at Minard's doorstep insofar as Canadians were supposed to be 'looking after' bridge security. And that, in the minds of Americans,  wasn't being adequately done. The Americans took Minard's 'failure' to heart and a griping campaign about his 'lack of military merit' ended-up on the keyboard of noted American military blogger, Mike Yon.  Yon mentioned that Minard might have been too 'otherwise occupied' with personal night missions to have been doing his job right. If he mentioned Minard's girl fiend's name and rank I don't know, but their liaisons were 'the worst kept secret' on the base. Mike's blog posting started the chain of events.

The military started an investigation. 

That there were unsympathetic members of the CAF who, all of a sudden, started 'leaving Danny out',  is a no-brainer. About the same time everybody at National HQ was trying to disavow knowing a soldiers' soldier who just happened to morph into deviant cross-dresser, panty bandit and double murderer. Balling the help, acceptable in some 'manly' circles, became detrimental to the career trajectory, so did associating with ballers. In fact, some were so 'unsympathetic' that they may have deliberately been proactive in throwing a spanner into Minard's works.

It was just prior to this that Danny 'accidently' discharged his personal weapon in the presence of 'big' Walt Natanczyk, the CinC. No doubt this unsoldierly lapse didn't help when news of his other laps came out.  His 'bad example' to the deployed troops had to be undone by the reappointment of his predecessor who, if nothing else,  had a reputation for  some competence.

The wheels came off Danny's wagon completely. I'm not sure that his Mrs. 'deserted' him, although, given his lack of remorse at a 'stupid rule', she might well have done that. The Major may be affected by that  'career trajectory' stuff, too. Being married to a 'loser' is one of those 'judgement errors' that could shorten the ladder of advancement in the eyes of those who might only have been bamboozled by one.

One has to wonder though, just how Danny managed to advance so far, so fast? It wasn't as if this hubris stuff would have been a 'sudden onset'  sort of malady. Danny's been skating close to the edge of the open water for some time and still would be, we're led to believe, if some media type hadn't shone the light on him, and her .. and the stupid rule everybody else was supposed to be following.

I wonder what Dan would have done with Sapper Jones, caught fraternizing with Gunner Smith?

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