An insider’s view of the pentagon:
Three of the four military services have their headquarters within these walls… The underlying idea is that proximity will force the services to work together in neighborly harmony. And it would seem to make sense because after all the four military services perform the same basic mission, the same rudimentary purpose… And why it makes sense is precisely why it doesn’t work, we’re all vying for the same taxpayer bucks, pool of human talent, and opportunities to strut our stuff.
The Army is the oldest, the largest, the smartest, with obviously the most primo jag corps. The Marines are also fairly good guys. Primarily because they think like the army, except they’re a lot more hormonal… The Air Force, newest of the services, is like an orphan teen-ager with a fat trust fund. Prematurely arrogant and totally obsessed with all the cool shit they can buy. Nobody likes them but we all envy them. Last, our seafaring comrades, an overdressed yachting club whose main contributions to national security seems to be propping up bars and bordellos in strange and exotic ports.
Each service sees the world according to its strategic perspective… The Navy sees the globe as three-quarters water, with several largely irrelevant land masses called continents populated by quarrelsome people who somehow become scared shitless the minute an aircraft carrier rolls up off their shore.
For the airforce, the world is a really neat target range, conveniently dotted with cities and towns to stop stuff on, so long as it doesn’t interfere with happy hour…
And so the cynical, sharp, acerbic, acidic wit of the Jag officer investigating the suicide/murder of an officer….
A joint staff manned by officers drawn from the four services, are supposed to shelve their loyalties and their career aspirations, to direct the services to work together cooperatively, rationally and efficiently. This is like hiring the marriage counselor who’s fucking your wife to fix your marriage.