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Duties and Honors

By Greg L | 28 February 2007 | 51st HOD District | 25 Comments

When Faisal Gill was up in front of the PWCRC on Monday night giving his candidate speech, a I was pretty amused at how he was on the defensive, talking about irrelevant things like the last time he had visited Pakistan and mentioning twice that “things have been written about me”, without addressing what they were. As funny as it may be to see a candidate clearly off-track and crashing through the bushes when confronted with some tough questions, that’s not what really caught my attention. I looked at this guy, this pretty substantial-looking guy, and wondered to myself “Is this guy eating his way out of the Navy?”

I served as a non-commissioned officer in an infantry unit up until 1998, and every once in a while we’d have some random private who would decide that the military life wasn’t really that appealing to them, and they would belly up to the trough and pork up until they failed enough weigh-ins to get discharged. It usually took a few months for the process to work. First they’d fail a weigh-in and have to go on the weight control program. They’d get counseling. And they’d have to be weighed-in on a periodic basis and show progress. If they didn’t, they got a general discharge, which would usually revert to honorable after six months. So if you wanted out, all you had to do was eat enough twinkies, and your path to the exit door was pretty much consequence-free. We called it “eating your way out of the Army.”

Faisal’s campaign literature says that he’s “currently a Lt. Commander in the US Navy Reserve.” As a member of the Navy, he’s required to meet Navy height & weight standards. I’d guess that Faisal is about 5′ 9″ (maybe I’m generous here), which would limit him to 186 pounds. What was in front of us the other night sure didn’t appear to meet that standard. Maybe I’m wrong, and he does meet the standard, as I don’t make my living estimating how much people weigh. But to this former Sergeant, if Faisal Gill isn’t on the weight control program, someone is seriously failing to enforce Navy regulations somewhere.

Why would this seeming trivia be worth noting? Meeting physical readiness standards is a duty and an obligation, and it’s pretty serious. For an officer, that duty and obligation is critical as officers are required to demonstrate the highest standards to those who serve with them and those under their command. Being an officer is not an excuse to slack off, professional ethics require them to work harder than anyone who serves under them. Even if you’re a JAG officer and do personal combat with nothing more than file folders and paper clips, the standards for you are the same standards that a front line Marine officer who carries a rifle every day is required to meet. Those of us who have served under an officer’s command in the past aren’t too impressed with leaders who don’t seem interested in following the rules they enforce on their subordinates.

Instead of seeing dedication demonstrated here, there’s an affinity for twinkies. How can you continue to be a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy, when you are beginning to look like William R. Shafter, the infamous commander of American ground forces in the Spanish-American War who was so unfit for duty his troops carried him around the field of battle on a door? While Faisal Gill is eager to claim the honor of his rank and position in the Armed Forces, is he as eager to fulfill the obligations required of that rank and position?

It doesn’t look like it.

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  1. Not Tom Kopko said on 28 Feb 2007 at 11:36 am:
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    So now you’re discriminating against weight-challenged Republicans, you dumbs**t! This man will cut taxes and his weight, you SOB blogger!

  2. 1200 miles from Manassas said on 28 Feb 2007 at 12:12 pm:
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    Good point!
    Gives food for thought.
    “where are those chocolate chip cookies”?
    sure is good reading around here.
    “sticks and stones may break your bones
    but NAMES will never hurt you”

  3. phriendlyjaime said on 28 Feb 2007 at 12:37 pm:
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    OK, I have 2, actually 3 things to say.

    1. This post is hilarious. Thanks for it.
    2. This is why I fear (as a moderately liberal Dem) nationalized health care. I for one, do NOT want to pay for lazy people to get their stomachs stapled. There is a large percentage of people told every single day that they aren’t fat enough for surgery, so instead of eating well and exercising, they do everything in their power to gain weight and get their intestines re-routed. Disgusting. This is a very important topic, especially in light of Pat Buchanan stating that Al Gore is too fat to run for President (um, the majority of America is fat, why shouldn’t we have a portly President?) and the boy in England who is 218 pounds and 8 years old and may be taken from his own family for his safety.
    3. I read on the internets that an old Navy trick is to slather Preparation H on your waist, wrap the area in plastic wrap, and sleep on it. Apparently, this will shrink your waist by 1-2 inches if done for a week. Is this true? If so, I am not the person at the grocery store loading up on Prep H later tonight. Really, it isn’t me.

  4. phriendlyjaime said on 28 Feb 2007 at 12:41 pm:
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    And by the way, those Navy standards are VERY generous. The max weight allowed for my height is a heckuva lot heavier than I would let myself be, even right after the holidays. It really shouldn’t be too hard to make the requirement.

  5. Not Jad said on 28 Feb 2007 at 1:12 pm:
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    You have crossed the line. Faisil Gill’s ever expanding waistline is not a concern of yours. So what if when he boards a ship, it lists to Port? So what if his shadow weighs 160 lbs. So what if he walk with a coffe cup on his belly and not spill a drop. That doesn’t interfere with his dutys to the Navy, or does it interfree with his abilities as a lawyer defending illegals from deportation.

    I am going to be sending you a Crease & Dezist letter from my law frim, just as soon as I can figure out how to run my spell-checker

  6. Anonymous said on 28 Feb 2007 at 3:08 pm:
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    Good thing Shafter wasn’t deaf, he would have been totally useless!

  7. CONVA said on 28 Feb 2007 at 3:22 pm:
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    Gill’s weight is the last thing I would be concerned with. One is known for the friends he keeps, lobby’s for or represents in court….Hmmm!

  8. Big Dog said on 28 Feb 2007 at 3:43 pm:
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    Too fat for President? Wasn’t Taft a Republican?
    And aren’t you guys the party that loves Fat Cats?

    (Wow, guess Huckabee better stay on his diet.)

  9. Seamus O'Flanneryhan said on 28 Feb 2007 at 8:06 pm:
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    I know through enlisted reserve friends that they sometimes lax the requirements in non-combat, reserve componenets of the military. If you were an active-duty infantry NCO, then I’m sure you were held to the standards.

    You also know of course that fitness requirements are often up to the discression of the unit’s CO, and if Gill is in fact a Lt. Cmmdr, then he is likely the CO of a unit himself and can thereby offer his own exemption.

    I had an acquaintance in the Air Force Reserve. He was an NCO in logistics. He could not have been taller than 5′3″ and could not have been lighter than 200lbs.

  10. Greg L said on 28 Feb 2007 at 8:13 pm:
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    I was in the guard - 29th ID. There were no lower standards, there were only Army standards, and God help the complete idiot who might have thought that since we were Guard that we didn’t have to follow the same rules and regulations as the active duty folks. The Sergeant Major would have boot so far up the unfortunate sob’s butt he would have tasted shoe polish for a solid week.

    There is no discretionary authority for CO’s in regards to standards of individual readiness. Any CO trying to exercize some would be subject to punishment under the UCMJ, and I figure a bunch of JAG officers wouldn’t think they’re above the laws the help to enforce.

    I can’t imagine Gill trying to provide himself a waiver for his own fitness requirements. He would be stripped of his commission if he tried.

  11. TheOldTown Observer said on 28 Feb 2007 at 8:42 pm:
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    Thank you for your service to protect my fat @$$.

  12. Greg L said on 28 Feb 2007 at 9:05 pm:
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    My pleasure, just don’t try to hold down a reserve commission until you work it off!

  13. NoVA Scout said on 1 Mar 2007 at 11:07 pm:
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    I had assumed that Mr. Gill was trying to make a visible statement of solidarity with other weighty champions of the current crop of self-styled conservatives who flit around PWC and Virginia Republican lamplights. Although generalizations are always suspect, I think it’s safe to say on average, this is not a petite bunch. In fact, when Bolling made public his efforts to lose weight, I took it as a political statement that he was forsaking the Rotund Wing of the Party after his near loss to ultra-liberal Leslie Byrne.

  14. Jonathan Mark said on 2 Mar 2007 at 8:38 am:
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    Well, he is running against Julie. so this weight thing is a double-edged scimitar.

  15. Batson D. Belfrey said on 2 Mar 2007 at 11:49 am:
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    “Well, he is running against Julie. so this weight thing is a double-edged scimitar”

    Not really. Greg is questioning whether or not Gill is honoring his obligations to maintain Navy Height, Weight and Fitness standards, as part of hus duties as a Reserve Officer.

    If Julie is a bit on the rubenesque side, it should be of no concern to us, because as far as I know, she does not hold a military commission.

  16. Bob said on 2 Mar 2007 at 6:31 pm:
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    I think its ridiculous that grown adults concern themselves with the weight of a candidate. Are there not more important things to discuss in regards to the candidate?

    Such as where do they stand on the transportation? What do they think about taxes? What do they about abortion? What do they think about the traditional view of marriage?

    But what’s more important to ask is: Have these candidates put actions behind their words? WHat has Julie done to show that she’s 100% pro-life? What has she done to safeguard our conservative views of marriage? How has she demonstrated her patriotism?

  17. Greg L said on 2 Mar 2007 at 7:45 pm:
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    It’s not about a candidate being a bit overweight, it’s about a Navy officer who is failing to meet his physical readiness obligations, who just happens to also be a candidate. While his weight is a non-issue in regards to whether he will represent 51st District voters well, it is an issue in regards to another example where he has failed to meet his responsibilities when holding a position of trust and honor.

    Will he fulfill his campaign promises if he doesn’t fulfill his obligations in the armed forces? Or if he doesn’t fulfill his obligations as Vice-Chair of he PWCRC? Or if he doesn’t fulfill his obligations as chair of the taxpayere alliance? Or his obligations in pulling off a labor day picnic? I’d say it’s open to question.

  18. Batson D. Belfrey said on 2 Mar 2007 at 10:17 pm:
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    Or his responsibilites as a campaign manager to remind his candidate to file?

    Or his responsibilites as an attorney, to make sure that documents issued from his firm aren’t full of typos, spelling errors, grammatical errors, or the letterhead has valid addresses and contact info?

    One word decribes Gill: SLOPPY!

  19. Jonathan Mark said on 2 Mar 2007 at 10:19 pm:
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    “”"What has Julie done to show that she’s 100% pro-life? What has she done to safeguard our conservative views of marriage? How has she demonstrated her patriotism?”"”

    There was nothing patriotic about Faisal Gill being the chief lobbyist for the imprisoned jihadist criminal Abdurahman Alamoudi and the latter’s American Muslim Council in 2001.

    Gill was still there at the AMC in the aftermath of 9-11. Here is what the 12/17/03 edition of American Spectator said about Gill’s AMCs attempt to derail the FBIs 9-11 investigations.

    “”"If the crack research team at the FBI had looked at the AMC website in the aftermath of September 11, however, this is what it would have found under the heading, The Law Says You Don’t Have to Talk to the FBI: “The FBI is looking for information to use against you, your family and/or your community. The FBI has a history of harassing and harming minority and immigrant communities. Some people are spending a long time in jail because they or their friends talked to the FBI.…FBI agents are trained to get you to make incomplete or contradictory statements — which later can be used against you in court. It is better to say nothing.”"”"

    HOW PATRIOTIC WAS THAT? I ask you. Why was Gill working there at the AMC? Did Gill really need the money that badly that he would sell out his country and work for an imprisoned terrorist who was interfering with the 9-11 investigations?

    A few Gill supporters with sub-300 scores on their SAT verbal read the above and insist that the AMC merely told Moslems to get a lawyer before talking to the FBI. NO! Gill’s AMC told Moslems not to talk to the FBI at all.

    Maybe the AMC didn’t want the 9-11 crime ever to be solved. That way the nutcases at the AMC could blame it on the Jews, as a reported 50 percent of the people in Pakistan do.

    Don’t lecture Julie on patriotism, pal, if you want to send a chief lobbyist for the jihadist criminal Alamoudi to Richmond.

  20. Bob said on 3 Mar 2007 at 9:29 am:
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    You guys are good politicians. You deflect the questions by asking your own questions.

    Really, can you answer these questoins:

    What has Julie done to show that she’s 100% pro-life?
    What has she done to safeguard our conservative views of marriage?
    How has she demonstrated her patriotism?

    You would have to able to answer these questions even if Julie didn’t have an opponent.

    So what are you scared of? Could it be that Julie really isn’t as true of a conserative as people claim?

  21. Jonathan Mark said on 3 Mar 2007 at 12:24 pm:
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    “”"Really, can you answer these questions:

    How has she demonstrated her patriotism?”"”

    Julie has demonstrated her patriotism by running against the former chief lobbyist for the imprisoned terrorist Abdurahman Alamoudi.

    If Julie were not doing so there would be more of a danger that an Alamoudi agent of influence would be in the HOD next year. That would have distressing national implications for all of us.

    Julie’s opposition to that former lobbyist for jihad Gill is intensely patriotic. It was Gill’s work for Alamoudi’s American Muslim Council in 2001 that was UNPATRIOTIC!

    It is simply untrue that a veteran cannot behave in a way that is unpatriotic. Tim McVeigh was a vet. So were his two accomplices (that we know of.)

  22. Batson D. Belfrey said on 5 Mar 2007 at 5:02 pm:
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    It is simply untrue that a veteran cannot behave in a way that is unpatriotic. Tim McVeigh was a vet. So were his two accomplices (that we know of.)

    So was Lee Harvey Oswald. So was John Allen Mohammad.

    What has Julie done to show that she’s 100% pro-life?
    What has she done to safeguard our conservative views of marriage?

    What has Gill done beside fill his cake-hole with chow?

  23. John Light said on 6 Mar 2007 at 11:40 pm:
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    What have YOU done to show you are pro-life? So, let me get this right…a woman is raped, no, your MOM is raped - would you have her carry the baby to term? If the answer is “No”, then you fail your own test, my friend.

    Greg L…when did you serve in the 29th? I was a Platoon Leader there, albeit briefly (VERY briefly) back in the early 90s.


  24. Greg L said on 6 Mar 2007 at 11:45 pm:
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    I served in HHC, 1-115th Infantry MDARNG from 1/86 to 1/98 as an 11C.

  25. LTC J Smith said on 5 Apr 2007 at 6:13 pm:
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    As a former company commander of an rifle company, I dealt with the Army’s weight control program on a few occasions. Some people did “eat their way out of the Army” as you say. Others just simply had bad eating habits and did not push themselves enough during physical training (nor did they do any PT on their personal time). But, I digress.

    My point is that I had some big guys in my company. One fellow from Kentucky was a former football player - a very big guy that played on the line. He was probably about 6′3″ or so and he never made weight. His APFT score was always above 270 (out of 300 possible points). So, he was “in shape” and could roadmarch all day long. But, he never made weight and always had to get “taped”.

    In fact, I had a fair amount of guys that fit into this category. They were just big guys that did not meet the Army height/weight standard. But, most of them did meet the “tape test” standard. Its a body fat worksheet based on their height, weight and key measurements from different parts of the body (abdomen and neck, I think).

    On the other hand, when I later commanded a different unit, I had a soldier that was obviously overweight. This happened to be a female soldier that could not even buckle her LBE belt (even with a fat boy extender)! The 1SG weighed her and she was well over the limit but she somehow fell within the fat allowance. The standard is very, very different for females. She could not pass the APFT and honestly, just wanted out of the Army. So, we figured out a way to get her out. This was pre 9/11 so things were a little different back then.

    My entire point is that this Faisal Gill guy might not make weight but he could very well meet the body fat allowance. If you’ve got a political beef with him then that’s one thing. But, as a former infantry squad leader, as you claim to be, then you ought to know all about the body fat worksheet, etc.

    I came to this page by accident so I’ve got no dog in this fight. But, as I read it further I was thinking “this Faisal Gill must be a digusting fat body!” and then I clicked on his picture and while he could stand to lose a few pounds, he could still be within the body fat limits of the Navy. I guess what I am saying is that your message loses credibility when you try to make an issue out of someone’s weight. It would be much more efficacious for you to stick to something relevant.

    Rangers Lead the Way!


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