The commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is Todd Semonite, a stocky three-star general who recently turned sixty-three. Every workday for the past forty-one years, he has served in uniform. On his left wrist is a FitBit; on his right, the kind of Casio calculator watch that he has worn since he was a teen-ager. In high school, in Vermont, Semonite wasn’t the biggest guy on the football team, but he played varsity center; he told a newspaper that size is “not really a disadvantage if you work hard.”…
He knows how to work hard.
George Washington created the position of chief engineer at the outset of the Revolutionary War, to oversee the design and construction of military batteries and fortifications. The Corps was formally established in 1802. Combat engineers solve problems through math and physics: they move troops (build the bridge) and protect them from attack (blow up the bridge). The military runs the Corps, but ninety-eight per cent of the agency’s thirty-six thousand employees are civilians: geographers, biologists, ecologists, architects…
…This past spring, when covid-19 overran the United States, Semonite was determined to provide vital infrastructure quickly. He told me, “America needs a capability to step up when something gets really, really hard.”
The article is about what he and the Corp, did, how they did it…and, most of all, it’s a tale written for readers of the NewYorker. We expect damned good writing and a thorough knowledge of the subject – to educate us on the topic.
I really like TWITTER. Facebook and others of that ilk bore me to tears. The 1 or 2-liner concept at TWITTER fits into my perception of general online commentary.
Anyway, this will probably get me my first-ever ban from TWITTER; but, damn it, it’s how I feel about gun-happy cops. Give ’em the same amount of running start these children had – and let the kids shoot at criminal bastards who think shooting at unarmed children has anything to do with Protect and Serve.
Hand these pigs’ guns over to the children they fired upon.