Welcome to the Scuttlebutt!

Welcome to The Scuttlebutt: Understanding Military Culture, a weekly pre-recorded program presented by The Veterans Breakfast Club.

“Scuttlebutt” is a military term (specifically Navy) for talk or gossip around the watercooler below decks. The staff at VBC arrived at this title as a way of defining what our new program is about –  an informed conversation about the military experience, past and present. 

Unlike our very own, Lauren DelRicci (Navy), our other hosts, Todd, and I (Shaun) are not veterans. However, we all passionately serve the mission of The Veterans Breakfast Club by creating communities of listening around veterans’ stories to connect, educate, heal, and inspire. We conceived The Scuttlebutt to educate the average Joe and Jane about current affairs and issues facing not only the American military but all of us. We start from that premise: military matters, veterans affairs, are never simply military matters or veterans affairs. They’re the business of every citizen. Each week, we’ll develop discussions by asking big questions about our military and our veterans. Each episode will range from the topical to the historical and from the big picture to the everyday. 

We want The Scuttlebutt to bridge the divide between those who serve and those who don’t. Currently less than one-half of one percent of the American population serves in the military. A percentage that hasn’t been seen in nearly a century and is occurring during the longest sustained conflict in American history: The Global War on Terror. We believe this divide negatively affects our collective knowledge of military norms and culture. The Scuttlebutt is here to help. It is our job as United State citizens and voters to know about our military and think critically about the ways in which our military is being used in the world through an apolitical lens. 

We’ll tackle military headlines from across the branches (including the newly formed Space Force) from a mostly civilian perspective. Joining us weekly will be special guests from VBC’s extensive veteran network to get behind these headlines and tell us why we should care about them. 

We’ll ask questions like   Is the all-volunteer force model effective? Who serves in our military? Why do they enlist? Is it appropriate to say, “Thank you for your service”? How is the military a mirror of our society and culture? Does racism exist in the military? Is the military a meritocracy? Is the US an empire? How has the role of women in the military changed over the last century? Are MREs actually any good? And many more! 

We examine these questions with engaging guests and entertaining conversation. Each week’s episode will be accompanied by a blog post with show notes, links, and reading and viewing recommendations. We welcome comments, questions, and informed ideas to help build our discussions in the future. So please join us on this journey and comment, like, share, and subscribe (on YouTube) to spread the scuttlebutt. 

Shaun

FURTHER READING

“Here’s what we know about 8 of the soldiers who have died this year at Fort Hood”: https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/25/us/fort-hood-soldier-deaths-trnd/index.html

“Murder, sexual harassment rates at Fort Hood among highest in the service, Army secretary says”: https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2020/08/06/murder-sexual-harassment-rates-at-fort-hood-among-highest-in-the-service-army-secretary-says/

“Too many stories” of murders, sexual assault and harassment at Fort Hood prompt outside investigation”: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-fort-hood-army-soldiers-found-dead/

“Fort Hood gets new acting commander; Army orders ‘in-depth investigation’ into the chain of command”: https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2020/09/01/fort-hood-gets-new-acting-commander-army-orders-in-depth-investigation-into-the-chain-of-command/

“Two special ops soldiers killed, three injured in helicopter accident”: https://www.stripes.com/news/us/two-special-ops-soldiers-killed-three-injured-in-helicopter-accident-1.643074

“Remains of Sailor and 7 Marines Killed in Training Accident…”: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/08/us/marines-training-accident-recovered.html

“Sergeant at Fort Bliss dies in vehicle collision during training”: https://www.stripes.com/news/army/sergeant-at-fort-bliss-dies-in-vehicle-collision-during-training-1.643622

“Navy surveillance plane crashes in Virginia, crew bails out ‘OK'”: https://www.foxnews.com/us/navy-surveillance-plane-crashes-in-virginia-crew-bails-out-ok

“Meet the ‘deadliest recruit on Parris Island'”: https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/your-marine-corps/2020/08/25/meet-the-deadliest-recruit-on-parris-island/

“Unsafe, unprofessional intercept of US bomber by Russian aircraft over the Black Sea”: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/765224/unsafe-unprofessional-intercept-us-bomber-russian-aircraft-over-black-sea

“The Coast Guard has launhed ‘Operation Bubba Gump.’ No, seriously”: https://taskandpurpose.com/mandatory-fun/coast-guard-operation-bubba-gump

“Sound-powered telephone”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound-powered_telephone