Interservice Rivalries

We’ve all heard the jokes. Soldiers say that Marines eat crayons, Marines, and Soldiers joke that Airmen think deployments are rough if they don’t have wi-fi, everyone says navy folks are… well, the navy. It’s a standard that is as old as time. But the jokes are only the surface of the deeper inter-service rivalries that exist between the various branches of the US military.

While in the past, this has led to some trouble between the branches (particularly when it comes time for the budget) it’s important to recognize how important the positive aspects of the competition between arms of the military are in regards to keeping our fighting force one of, if not the best, in the world.

History is rife with examples of how negatively the need to outdo between branches can impact a military’s efficiency. The rivalries between Nazi Germany’s Wehrmacht (army) and Luftwaffe (air force) became so bad that the Air force’s leaders formed its own infantry battalions (with expected results). Operation Eagle Claw, the failed attempt to rescue captives during the Iranian hostage crisis, was deemed a failure in part because there was not enough inter-service cooperation. And most egregious was the lack of communication between the CIA and FBI in the months and years leading up to 9/11.

To their credit, The US got out ahead of this on more than one occasion. The Department of Defense was formed during World War II to keep infighting between the Army and Navy from boiling over (the air force got the last laugh though), while SOCOM and JSOC keep things moving between various special forces groups.

These rivalries can breed a different kind of competition as well. The Army/Navy football game *GO ARMY* is one of the most famous football rivalries in college sports and has been a long-standing tradition between the two famed military academies.

Inter-service rivalry is both a boon and detractor for any country’s military. While it can lead to bitter fall outs between branches, it can also help motivate the soldiers, sailors, and airmen to perform better. If only to outdo their brothers and sisters in a different shade of camo.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.”

Matthew Bartley

Matthew Bartley

Matthew Bartley served 3 1/2 years as an Army Infantryman and deployed to Iraq earning a Combat Infantryman's Badge for his troubles. He now divides his time between family, his work, his writing and too many hobbies for one man to handle.
Matthew Bartley

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