Thread: EpDis: GROPOS
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Old October 14th 05, 22:06   #40
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Kansas, USA
Posts: 87

Having watched this episode recently on my DVD here's a response. I thought there were some great dialog moments, such as the scenes in LT Keffer’s room, General Franklin’s put down of Garibaldi, and the reconciliation between younger and elder Franklins. But, being an Army veteran there were some glaring glitches. When Sheridan, Garibaldi and Ivanova report to the initial briefing and General Franklin orders “at ease” Sheridan and Ivanova assume the proper position, but Garibaldi puts his hands in his pockets, a definite no-no. (If a Soldier stands around with his hands in his pockets, he might suffer a rude joke.) After departing the briefing from General Franklin, Sheridan, Garibaldi and Ivanova carry on a veiled conversation about it in the hall with subordinates present. I can assure you that no top secret information would be discussed in any fashion in the hearing of anyone that did not possess the same level of clearance.

Another matter was that I noticed that everyone properly addressed the GROPOS Command Sergeant Major as “Sergeant Major,” except for Ivanova. She committed the faux pax of calling him “Sergeant.” Under normal circumstances the Sergeant Major would probably have reported the matter to the General and she would have received a private counseling about showing the respect due the division’s senior non-commissioned officer. The military takes respect of every rank very seriously. (Actually a real Commander would know better.)

In terms of the operation on Akdor, JMS, writing the episode in 1995, seems to have conceived the tactical assault with Viet Nam in mind rather than the modern strategy employed in the first Gulf War, which occurred in 1990-1991. Where was the air support that could have taken out the mine fields and leveled the fortress with bunker busting bombs? Why didn’t the EA Division level the fortress with rockets from ground artillery? Why not level the fortress with missiles from the Destroyer in orbit? Why not use a tactical nuke on the fortress? But, if you actually wanted to preserve the fortress there is such a thing as a neutron weapon that kills without destroying the infrastructure or even chemical weapons. And, what was the point of a helicopter assault as was commonly used in Viet Nam? Today helicopters are not flown close enough to an objective to receive direct fire from the enemy. The infantry makes far more use of light armored vehicles to take them to an objective. I would expect that military tactics, weaponry and equipment would get more sophisticated two hundred years from now, not be inferior to current capabilities. (JMS must not have had a military advisor on this episode.) This aspect of GROPOS was disappointing!

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