Monday, April 6, 2015

Paul the Apostle and the Paratrooper

The US Army has a course that doesn’t get a lot of attention – Jumpmaster school.  The reward for successfully graduating is additional work and responsibility.  There are two very challenging parts to Jumpmaster training; Practical Work in the Aircraft or “PWAC” and Jumpmaster Personnel Inspection or “JMPI.”  

One of the daunting things about PWAC is the way it demands “grace under pressure” from the student.  There’s something about hanging out the door of an airplane wearing 125lbs of gear and parachute while flying one-thousand feet above the ground at 150 mph in the middle of the night that gets your adrenaline flowing.  Combine that with trying to locate your drop zone, maintaining control of your jumpers and countless other safety considerations and “keeping calm” becomes crucial.  But PWAC is not really the hardest part.

JMPI is what spelled the demise of most Jumpmaster wannabes.  Performing a timed inspection for improper rigging or defects of three rigged paratroopers and their equipment is very taxing.  Merely exceeding the time limit, missing one major or three minor deficiencies, spells failure.  

Before each airborne operation, after donning his equipment, each paratrooper gets inspected by a Jumpmaster.  You could always tell how much trust the jumpers had in a particular Jumpmaster by how long the line of jumpers he had waiting in his inspection line.  Some Jumpmasters had fifteen guys waiting, while others were waiting for a jumper.  Jumpers wanted a thorough inspection from a guy that would tell them the truth.  If they were screwed up, they wanted to know it while there was still time to correct it.  

That seems to have all changed in our culture today.  “Don’t tell me what to do” could become the new National motto.  But that is not really what they mean.  What they really mean is, “I am going to tell you what to do.”  Unlike the jumpers who wanted their deficiencies and flaws uncovered, there are segments of society today that demand everyone accept, and even celebrate their deviance.

It has come to the point now where a pizza parlor owner in Indiana, a florist in Washington, and bakers in Oregon, and Denver have all had their livelihood’s and lifestyle’s destroyed, simply because they would not surrender their religious convictions to celebrate “alternative” lifestyle choices.  That is what happens when people no longer want to be one Nation, under God -- there will not be liberty and justice for all.  

Paul declares that you have to deliberately deny the Creator because His creation alone makes His existence apparent.  Choose to deny the self-evident, and there won’t be any acceptable excuse.  But that’s just the beginning of their end. 

Debasing yourself is destructive enough, but devastating others’ livelihoods is disgraceful. 

So, you want a Jumpmaster that won’t tell you the truth, have at it.  Just be prepared for a very hard landing.


Pascal said...

Colonel, your point is well made. I view it as charitable work.

But there are powerful forces who have inserted themselves into the mix and whom you have not addressed. They scheme to get your audience to turn a deaf ear and even to hate you.

I lack a quick way of saying this, so I ask that you please read this re-post of a 2006 essay. It shows how the other forces have a moral imperative that is contrary to ours and are at war with us.

Maybe you can figure out some compelling way to address and get through to a significant number in those other forces. Should you be attacked for such an effort, you know you will have succeeded. Surely God would bless you for it.

Anonymous said...

I know well the problems one can encounter when a jumpmaster fails to catch a deficiency during JMPI.

On one of my jumps, the jumpmaster didn't notice that my leg straps were not quite tight enough. As Murphy would have it, that allowed a bit of my anatomy to creep under my leg straps. Needless to say, my opening shock was decidedly more painful than was usual.... :-O

Terrance said...

Hello Colonel. ....there are few men today with strong moral fiber and there is a true lack of leadership. Most people wish to be lead and young people need strong guidelines. Our country is obviously in big trouble!
My father, who recently turned 95, served with the 82nd airnborne from 42 to 45 and experienced three combat jumps and two amphibious assaults. He said the hardest part of the war was seeing his friends die. He can't remember what he had for breakfast but he remembers his years gone by....