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I am increasingly using the hashtag #operativelivesmatter in reference to various weirdnesses.

This begs the question. What is an operative? We'll skip the _Serenity_ character and the telephone call center job.

Because of over use in the military spec-ops community, a lot of folks are calling themselves operators who don't know any better. See here for a discussion: https://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/so-who-gets-to-be-an-operator/

Back when Colonel Charlie Beckwith was stealing the SAS from the Brits in the late '70s to form what would become SFOD-D ("Delta Force"), he tripped over a problem.

Officers represent a government. Agents act on behalf of a government. Enlisted, even NCOs, do what the fuck they are told. But Charles wanted to send enlisted people to strange places and authorize them to do really unpleasant things to bad people - on their own initiative and good judgment, with nary an officer in sight. Scary stuff for hidebound military types.

So they borrowed the term 'operator' to describe an enlisted man who would, much like pointing a crew served weapon, bring great harm to the enemies of America.

There's another community - other than the military - that kills people and blows stuff up with the approval of the government. That's the intelligence community. CIA has an Operations division. 'Nuff said.

Some of these people are officers. Others are agents. Then there are the other folks. The ones who do the shit too dangerous for a paycheck, in fucked up places you get to on shitty aircraft, and hope to leave in the cabin (even with tubes in your arms) instead of a pine box in the hold.

#operativelivesmatter

And no, not me, not ever.

Here's to the operatives.

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May 2017

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