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Military Competitor

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  • #41
    Originally posted by Neigh-Neigh View Post
    So glad our military tax dollars are being spent in the name of national security. Meanwhile, Joe-Shmoe the Taxpayer, is trying to figure out how to fund his daughters lesson program.
    Tell your daughter to join the military when she grows up and she can have all the leave time for Olympic sports she needs. I mean, yeah, she has to JOIN THE MILITARY with all that entails, and I realize for a lot of people these days they're too good for that sort of thing, but geez. (No, I'm not mil, I'm what in the old days of the draft they called F-4 as I have some unpredictable medical conditions that can involve blacking out, but I have plenty of friends who are career. And back when I WAS looking into one of those "cushy" military assignments (musician) it was always made clear, yes, there are benefits, but you WILL go through basic, and if the Marines in my example said "You are going to Germany and driving a truck" that's where you were going.)

    It's a VOLUNTEER force and for anyone who signs up that means they CAN be sent to parts unknown to do dirty, dangerous jobs for far less pay than the average civilian gets for their safe IED-free desk job.

    JP--love the horse, and it reminds me of my trip to Fort Myer, where they have a lot of big gray Percherons in the Army. The Spec3 who gave me the stable tour explained they try to recruit for the Caisson platoon from OUTSIDE the Old Guard because their uniform standards are...hard to get used to compared to units like the Tomb guard. An NCO once came up to him before a funeral and demanded to know "Why are there all those white hairs on your uniform!" He said he pointed to the six huge white Perches hitched to the caisson and said "Sir, they're shedding, sir!"

    Though I admit, my heart's more with Mike over there. Go Navy!
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    • #42
      Way back in the dark ages recruiters for the military services would have coffee in my late father's restaurant. It was interesting to listen to them promote the benefits of their respective branches. Not to mention how each branch was superior to the others.

      When one brother was stationed in DC, ARMY, he had a Marine friend. They ended each 'social' evening by visiting all military monuments in DC leaving the Marine Corps monument as last. It was last because the Marines were the 'BEST'. Have heard that many times from many Marines AND various responses from those in the AF, Army and Navy. It is always interesting.

      Mike Matson - great picture you posted.
      Now we need pictures of your flat work on that carrier deck. Do want to know if you had some portable XC fences brought up from below decks for practice.
      "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
      Courtesy my cousin Tim


      • #43
        I am disappointed in the tone of some of these posts. While I understand JP probably feels attacked by some of the posts I think there are comments on both end that are troublesome. The tension is obviously high.

        While I don't know NeighNeigh and I believe her comment regarding paying for riding lessons was rhetorical I think the reply was hurtful and uncalled for. We aren't living in a time when the economy is flourishing. Riding lessons would certainly be cut before losing the house or skipping other bill payments. That is a reality we live in.

        The last thing I would tell someone that wanted to pursue a serious career in eventing is to join the Military. While it will instill discipline and pride it will not easily afford the opportunity to train or compete.

        As a Soldier that makes sacrifices in family and eventing I understand the commitment required. Those that choose to judge Military members given the opportunity to take a TDY opportunity where they represent both their branch of Service and the United States at an International Military event should look at any of the countless programs the country wastes their tax dollars. (Now I sound snarky!)

        I can attest to the opportunities being far and few between. In previous years I was the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of our Mounted Platoon (as an additional duty, the requirements of which were to be completed after duty hours). Unfortunately due to budget restraints the program was cut in 2007.

        While I don't have the opportunity to ride for the Army right now I would certainly be happy and honored to oblige should the circumstance arise.


        • #44
          Originally posted by danceronice View Post
          An NCO once came up to him before a funeral and demanded to know "Why are there all those white hairs on your uniform!" He said he pointed to the six huge white Perches hitched to the caisson and said "Sir, they're shedding, sir!"
          Why would your friend call an NCO sir?


          • #45
            In addition to the congrats on WINNING at Las Cruces, I forgot to mention:

            Thank you for serving. I owe a huge debt to you, my father, Mike, and every other member of the armed services.

            Hope to see you again! (your second place companion)
            --Becky in TX
            Clinic Blogs and Rolex Blogs
            She who throws dirt is losing ground.


            • #46
              I used to teach at Ft. Jackson

              I used to teach riding at Ft. Jackson in South Carolina in the 70s. I don't remember exactly but many of the pony club families were military and as I remember they had a stable on the base.

              Our servicemembers write a blank check to the American people that can be redeemed with their lives.

              I was honored to teach them. And I am glad they can serve openly now.

              Thank you (and the grey mare) for your service!
              A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton


              • #47
                Originally posted by Kairoshorses View Post
                In addition to the congrats on WINNING at Las Cruces, I forgot to mention:

                Thank you for serving. I owe a huge debt to you, my father, Mike, and every other member of the armed services.

                Hope to see you again! (your second place companion)
                Exactly. Let's look at what this thread was apparently really about--a brag and to get some congratulations on winning a horse trail.

                Were there really only 4 starters in a Novice Senior division with 3 completions?


                • #48
                  Originally posted by elctrnc View Post
                  Exactly. Let's look at what this thread was apparently really about--a brag and to get some congratulations on winning a horse trail.

                  Were there really only 4 starters in a Novice Senior division with 3 completions?
                  Keep in mind some areas don't have a large competitor base. So the OP competed against her peers.
                  So what if there were only 4 competitors and only 3 completions. That means the OP was the best of the SR Novice competitors that day/weekend.

                  Anywho many folks post on the board to brag. Sometimes because the folks around them do not appreciate the individual's achievement.

                  Congrats for your win and thank you all who serve and those who support the ones who serve.
                  "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                  Courtesy my cousin Tim


                  • #49
                    That's great that the USAF embraced you representing them. I was in the Army for 25 years and the last CCI** I rode before I retired I wanted to wear my uniform for the jogs. I queried the chain of command up to the Institute of Heraldry and was never able to get their concurrence. I think they've relaxed and granted some riders approval since I see folks wearing their uniforms now. It's a great advertisement and also an acknowledgement of the military origins of eventing.


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by jumpingpercheron View Post
                      Thank you for the support.

                      FLeventer, yes, you read right. I will be getting to Valdosta at the end of May!

                      Valdosta!! We lived there with a horse for 3 years. I have intell! When I get a chance I'll PM you or you can PM me.


                      • #51
                        Frequently anyone who disagrees with an (that is ANY) OP is branded as "snarky", especially if they disagree in less than 5 sentences. (sarcasm if any one missed that)

                        The OP found a way to have Uncle Sam pay for her eventing hobby. She isn't doing anything illegal, she found a loophole and exploited it.

                        Here is Unpopular Opinion #427 - I can't agree with DoD supporting someone's Olympic dreams this directly. I just don't think it's right. The libertarian in me thinks there are things that even service members should support on their own dime. I'm sure our government $ end up going to other prospective Olympians as well, and I'm not really thrilled about that either. I just don't think that is the role of government.

                        Being able to wear one's uniform in competition is one thing; having the armed forces financially support your horse habit is another. I don't see a MWR subsidized base stable as being the same as paid time off for non-work related activities.

                        I don't think the comparison of spending MWR $ for a departmental kegger or softball game to this is really fair. Fun for 40 or 400 compared to fun for 1?

                        I will certainly concede that there are questionable spending and waste in other government agencies that dwarfs this. Does the fact that in this case it benefits an eventer, or a servicemember, make it less wasteful? Here is the sniff test - put someone else's name on the check (i.e. expenses covered, paid leave granted, & extra work required by colleagues) and ask if you think it is still a reasonable expense for DoD, especially given the coming budget cuts?

                        I wish the OP good luck, but I can't support the use of DoD funds for her endeavors.
                        Visit my Spoonflower shop


                        • #52
                          Red Mares - the DoD once provided the horses, trainers and riders for all Eventing competitions. It was strickly Military worldwide through the 1948 Olympic Games, interesting enough in London. Begining with the 1952 Olympic Games the US Equestrian teams included civilian riders.
                          Thanks to the Military Equestrians we now have the USEA, formerly USCTA, and Pony Club.

                          That any branch of the Military is able to recognize their heritage is amazing. FYI - The US Air Force was once ARMY Air Corp.

                          I am happy the OP is having this chance to ride and compete while in the service. KNOWING FULL WELL that this situation may change at any moment, as is all too common to those in the service.
                          "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                          Courtesy my cousin Tim


                          • #53
                            "Members of the Armed Services and police units may ride in the uniform of their service."
                            That's the gist of what's written up in sec. 120 of the USDF rulebook. Could anyone get me a specific chapter and verse for retired/ honorably discharged military competitors wearing the uniform and rank?
                            ... It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that Shwung


                            • #54
                              As a daughter of a career service Marine and Navy I fully respect every person who puts that uniform on and takes on those risks. However, in the era of budget issues and the complex issues that surround our government, I would much rather see the "extra" benefits reduced in favor of providing tuition assitance (which in Colorado they have discontinued) or other benefits. You wouldn't really expect any other job on the planet to provide you money/time off for olympic sports so not sure why you would expect your military job to do it.

                              However, to the OP... Congrats on your successes with your mare and I wish you all the continued success. I'm glad that you have read the rules and understand what you can get from the program that you signed up for and that you fully understand what you got into and what you plan to get out of it. If you were a Marine I would tell you "Semper Fi" but I don't know the Air Force trigger! Comes from a Marine and Navy upbringing with only a grandfather in the Air Force!


                              • #55
                                Congratulations OP!

                                And, for those using this thread as an opportunity to criticize & snipe/gripe; OP is probably the LEAST costly recruiting expense that the military has. I would much rather see sponsorhip of actual military athletes (and actual postal employee athletes) than the big money sponsorships given to the likes of Lance Armstrong and some of the nonsense mentioned here:

                                There is actually tremendous overlap between the skills & discipline required to be a successful athlete and the skills needed to be a military leader. And, given the downsizing of our military forces; it is imperative that our military recruit those most qualified to succeed.

                                As far as the flexible temporary duty and those irritated by the number of vacation days that military members get; most would much rather be given flex time for hours worked over 40 each week! THAT would be something. My dad is a retired Air Force officer, and my husband is a Naval Officer; so I very well know about the hours spent "at work" not to mention the deployments away from family - my husband was in the Middle East for 3 years and my dad spent a year in Korea. Oh, and the effect of having to relocate every 1-3 years on a spouse's career.

                                IMO, it's pretty poor form to hijack a lovely, happy brag thread to complain about POLICY issues, which are NOT decided by the OP. Anybody challenging the use of taxpayer dollars for a given endeavor should exercise your right to vote and to contact your elected representatives rather than bash a COTH member who is serving her country and thus protecting those rights. Please also note that while those who serve can vote; they cannot be actively involved in politics. They do what they are told and go where they are sent regardless of how they feel about it. The perception that some were bashing the OP AND the military was not a huge leap, so I can understand OP's defensiveness - though I'd encourage OP to IGNORE the peanut gallery in the future "Haters Gonna Hate" holds true here, too.

                                Lastly, any business should be delighted by the marketing & recruiting opportunity to support to every degree possible an employee who is also a competitive athlete willing to represent & promote the business while competing. So, check with your boss &/or marketing department - you never know unless you ask!
                                Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing


                                • #56
                                  I am ex-U.S. Army and my unit was associated with the Cavalry. I contacted the Army and was told that honorable discharged personal can ride in a military uniform.


                                  • #57
                                    OP: I think both you & your jumping Percheron are extra groovy cool.


                                    • #58
                                      OMG! I totally remember coming across your blog when you lived in Hawaii - the urban trail rides! I am a draft horse lover and somehow happened upon your blog back in 2008 based on that. So, very cool to see that you & Klein are still together and that you continued to document your lives over the years and relocations. Just awesome!
                                      Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing


                                      • #59
                                        I think it's great for Active Duty personnel to want to do this, and more power to them. When I was Active Duty Air Force I never even considered competing "in uniform". Horses are my "not work". I wouldn't wear a logo from my current employer on my saddle pad, either, nor do I enter events with my professional title. Just not my thing.

                                        So not worth raking someone over the coals over, however. Anyone who serves should be allowed to (correctly and within the regulations, which are EASY to misinterpret and often contradictory IME) wear gear that indicates they are, or were, a member of the military. The spirit and intent are important, just like the chapter, verse, and subdivision of the regulations.

                                        Having the military pay for it? That is a bit iffy, IMO. MWR is hugely important, but this is something a bit different. I never was one for "loopholes".
                                        Click here before you buy.


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
                                          The military has always supported athletes, especially equestrian in nature. It doesn't surprise me at all they give special permission to leave for competition.

                                          You guys look great out there in your AF duds.
                                          Used to be that all our (and many other countries') Olympic equestrian teams were ALL military.
                                          Equine Photography in the Northeast