Taps: Norman C. Dupuis
if it is not true do not say it
Integrity is not a conditional word.
It doesn't blow in the wind or change
with the weather.
It is your inner image of yourself,
and if you look in there and see
a man who won't cheat,
then you know he never will.
Integrity is not a search for the rewards of integrity.
Maybe all you ever get for it
is the largest kick in the ass the world can provide.
It is not supposed to be a productive asset
--John D. MacDonald
Lisa reads the obituaries, and she noticed an associate of Ranger's in the Taps section of last month's Purple Heart magazine, Norman C. Dupius.
It is poignant to learn of his death now, after Ranger's recent piece on his disillusionment after his poor Officer Efficiency Report. You see, as an enlisted man who had received a direct commission, Captain Dupuis had a distinct view of soldiering which manifested in one of Ranger's fonder memories regarding the OER process.
Ranger first met Captain Dupuis (pron., "Doo-pus") when he was assigned the dubious distinction of training this young soldier newly-assigned to B53/5th Special Forces (Abn) to be his replacement, as Norm was being rotated into the S-3 (Operations Officer) job.
Ranger learned much from this sober man with a wry sense of humor who did not threaten easily. This was evidenced when our Camp Commander threatened to ding people on their OERs if they dared go a scintilla awry.
Norm replied, as only a Sergeant Major in receipt of a direct commission could: "The only way an OER could hurt me is if you rolled it up and stuck it in my eye."
Another example of Norm's direct humor followed a torturous staff meeting run by a tedious officer with a preternatural faith in charts. Norman stated, "What we really need now is a chart to show how many times we've used the other charts."
RangerAgainstWar has written previously about a fight on 22 Jan 71 outside of Camp Lang Thanh in Vietnam that led to numerous U.S. deaths. Ranger believes that failure would not have occurred if Cpt. Dupuis had been the S-3 on that day. Norm was always calm and cool, and he probably would have been more deliberate before launching the ad-hoc reaction team on their ill-fated mission. He might have hewn more closely to troop-leading procedures, and lives might have been saved.
Though we were only business associates, Ranger has always remembered Norman Dupuis fondly. He was an exceptional example of soldierly rectitude.