True Competence is Demonstrated not Spoken
This content is not mine, it was was created by Andrew Tuohy who served alongside my brother in Iraq. I asked permission to post it here as it is mentions my brother Nick. He writes a great blog on guns and stuff. Check it out.
False bravado is often confused with true competence. Somewhere in between is something which might be defined as unconscious incompetence, a state in which someone believes that they are competent when in fact they are not. I’ve learned to recognize the differences pretty quickly due to some of the experiences I’ve had and people I’ve encountered.
The platoon-sized unit of Marines I was assigned to put band-aids on was composed mostly of guys who had been in line (infantry) companies during Operation Phantom Fury – the second push through Fallujah in November of 2004 in which 54 Americans were killed and 425 wounded in a 9-day period. Total coalition casualties reached 107 killed and 613 wounded by the end of the operation. The guys in my platoon who had fought in that battle were short-timers with just enough time left on their contracts for part of one deployment, so the Marine Corps sent them back for a second or third trip. Almost all of them were from one battalion – 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, or 3/5.