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 Post subject: Re: Gen. Pierre Desruisseaux Campaign Thread
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:16 pm 
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David Danner wrote:
General Desruisseaux, sir I read with great interest your Club activities of the past and current association. However you gave no clue revealing how, as President, you might conduct Cabinet Meetings and discourse with Club-wide attitude and general philosophy as an executive for both sides. Thanks General.


Thank you General Danner. Those are great questions.

Cabinet meeting will be conducted as per club rules. Members have the opportunity to provide ideas and suggestions for meeting topics. Since we are using the forum it will be easy to setup threads to open the discussion of multiple ideas. Within a reasonable time, as per club rules, discussions will be held and a proposal would be generated by the person who brought the idea forward. Once the proposal is received there would a vote, as per club rules.

I will ensure that all correspondence be done within a respectful atmosphere. I will also propose that a more formal approach be used in meetings. The use of proper titles such as President, Secretary and General when addressing Cabinet members will be suggested during meetings and correspondence.

I have to tell you that before I joined the Cabinet I heard rumors. It was confirmed when I approached a talented individual to join the Cabinet. He said he was not interested because, in his own words, ‘it can be a Vipers nest’. I was shocked when I heard that. I decided I would join the Cabinet, un-seating an incumbent, which I would not normally do, to see what was going on. It was true, from individuals on the Cabinet; antagonistic, rude, insulting behavior was directed at other members of the Cabinet. Once I joined and asked that this be stopped, I was attacked with rude and insulting messages. I can only now imagine what was going on before I joined and this is a major problem in my view. One of the primary reasons why I wanted the meetings to move to a forum based system was to have a record of what is going on. People would naturally be careful of their responses in a forum.

My goal will be to create a respectful atmosphere where everyone can be heard in and out of the Cabinet. All ideas and discourses are welcome without antagonistic behavior from anyone in the Cabinet or Club. This has always been my personal philosophy. This was a personal philosophy when I created the club forums way back when. Rude and antagonistic posts would not be tolerated. That is my club wide philosophy.

I cannot understand antagonistic behavior from anyone in the club. All members are volunteers. If you dislike an individual that is one thing but to throw insults at everything they say is not acceptable. We do NOT tolerate that kind of behavior at the Forums why would it be OK during Cabinet meetings.

Is there a solution?

To really solve any future problems I would like that the Cabinet discussion be more visible to the general membership. Our Parliament is televised as well as the US congress. I don't understand why the Club Cabinet would need to be so secret. You should be able to read most topics, perhaps not all, to learn the interactions of the various members and know their opinions. The Cabinet forum would be locked to prevent any one to make comments. However the Cabinet question forum is always available. Some would need to remain private such as disciplinary actions against individuals and other sensitive topics. I think it would be very important that the Cabinet be a place where nasty individuals would have no place. It is a shame that excellent potential Cabinet members would hesitate to join the Cabinet because of that. I don’t think the ACWGC can afford or survive that.

All members from the Brigade commander to the President of the club must comport themselves in a respectful manner at all times. This is a club where like minded people come together to play war games, we may not agree in what we consider fun or interesting in a game but we must treat each other with respect. If you cannot do that then this may not be the club for you. There are moments when things may get heated and we may succumb to a lapse but after smoke clears we must continue to respect each other.

_________________
Best Regards,

General Pierre D.

5th Bde, IV Cavalry Corps
Army of Northern Virginia
ACWGC President 1997 - 2006, 2012
ACWGC Forum Administrator


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 Post subject: Re: Gen. Pierre Desruisseaux Campaign Thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:45 am 
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Blake wrote:
Gen. Pierre,

What is the President's role in uniting the Club? Where do you, personally, draw the line in the sand between what is considered a members personal independence of choice and their command structures perceived right to command and order actions based on the historical period we are "representing"?

At the end of the day which is more important - a members freedom of choice and thought or a command structures right to control their officers?


President Blake,

Thank you for these are good questions.

The President’s role is to lead and help govern the club. The Cabinet was formed with the intention of having various members to work with the President. The Cabinet is a clearing house for ideas and suggestions before presenting them to the membership.

I would like to point out that we are all members of the ACWGC. The sides were setup for role playing purposes. When you joined, you joined the American Civil War Gaming Club (ACWGC) not the CSA army club or the Union army club but the ACWGC. The ranks and command positions and military structure within the sides are for role playing. I believe that some, even many, do not understand that the sides are for role playing only. The Cabinet is the process to oversee rules for the members. The members are ACWGC members and therefore abide by the rules of the ACWGC. The ACWGC rules outline behavior when you are role playing a side. The Cabinet is also a place where member grievances can be heard and solutions found. The Union and CSA armies have no rules other than the ACWGC rules. The President and Cabinet are the rule keepers and work to modify these rules to make the club a better place for all members. The CoA’s and commanders are managers of the day to day functioning of the role playing sides. They are subject to the ACWGC rules. The Cabinet determines what these rules will be or at least determines what rules can be accepted by the membership.

Part of the role playing requires members to follow directions by the command structure. However this is still only for role playing purposes. Some are better at it than others. Obviously the historical flavor is important for the role playing aspect.

Members have freedom of choice. They are not bound to a side for choice decisions. They are bound by the rules of the club. They are bound to the ACWGC. The commanding Officers have no authority other than for role playing purposes. Members are free to choose who they want elect to the Cabinet within the guidelines of the ACWGC rules.

The ACWGC rules are the only limits to membership activities within the club. The goal and purpose of the club is clearly defined at the clubs main page. This is the outlining philosophy of the club from day one this is my philosophy. It cannot be any clearer than this.

Club Philosophy

A friendly atmosphere is the norm for all. All recruits will pass through a training session, either VMI or the Union Military Academy, to familiarize them with PBEM and the club rules. Your level of expertise will be taken into account. The excellent staffs at VMI and Union Military Academy are there to answer questions and to help. Questions are welcome and many members are available to assist. The ACWGC wishes to provide a military and historical flavor to members, not a points ladder club, but a way to participate and enjoy the times portrayed. Promotions are based on quality of play and leadership, not just on the number of games played. The ACWGC is organized in a General Staff type system with a "civilian" cabinet administration to balance the pure military perspective. Participation by members is encouraged to reduce paperwork and administrative duties. Role playing is encouraged to portray the natural rivalry and positions of the CSA and the USA. Friendly banter is the norm, however rude and antagonistic behavior will not be tolerated.

_________________
Best Regards,

General Pierre D.

5th Bde, IV Cavalry Corps
Army of Northern Virginia
ACWGC President 1997 - 2006, 2012
ACWGC Forum Administrator


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 Post subject: Re: Gen. Pierre Desruisseaux Campaign Thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:02 pm 
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General Desruisseaux I was not aware that the Club was in such a condition as you have described, by the term "vipers." I personally met a previous Cabinet member, Robert Weir (at Fredericksburg) and have been personal traveling/friends with Derald Riggs for many years. I have only an email acquaintance with General van der Hagen and General McOmish, and I speak the General Meyer by phone occasionally about Army duties. None of these men could I ever have considered in such a way. In fact, I have high regards for all of them. I suppose, I should ask the same question posed previously in a different way. "As President will you represent both sides with equality?"

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Dave Danner
General
Commanding the Union Military Academy
Commanding Cumberland Rifles Division, XX Corps
Army of the Cumberland
S = √ 30 x d x f + - e


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 Post subject: Re: Gen. Pierre Desruisseaux Campaign Thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:24 pm 
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General Desriusseaux, as I was a member of the Cabinet at the time of your election as a CSA Secretary, and still am, I am somewhat puzzled over the sideways description you've made of the Cabinet being a "viper's nest," from which you experienced "antagonistic, rude, insulting behavior!" I can certainly recall, from the time of your election in mid-April of 2011, opposing viewpoints and substantive agruments to a number of issues raised, sometimes passionately so; but I'm at a loss as to remember any outright character assaults that may have resulted. Whether the Cabinet forum be of a closed or open environment, its elected members ought to be thick-skinned enough to endure the rigors of an occasional heated debate without taking personal offense...unless, of course, such offense be directly and personly made!

Moreover, it is a commonly accepted truism that everyone involved in these undertakings operate at a disadvantage as all of the intercourse is of a written nature in which the parties involved can neither hear vocal inflection nor view facial expression, a condition that occasionally produces misunderstandings! Anyone stepping into that environment must continually exercise at least a modicum of forebearance and benefit of the doubt until the writer has clarified his actual intents and meanings, such as I am doing now! To that end, perhaps you'd care to rephrase your descriptions of what you found upon taking your seat, or provide us with a clearer elaboration of the assaults you stated were made against you.

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General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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 Post subject: Re: Gen. Pierre Desruisseaux Campaign Thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:02 pm 
Heck, I have experienced "antagonistic, rude, and insulting behavior" while on the Cabinet. I am sure others would accuse me of that behavior even. To say its all rainbows and sunshine is to give the wrong impression. But to say its a vipers nest equally isnt accurate.

Lets just say its a fascinating mix between the two. I'd rather Pierre not dig through his old emails from some of the more heated discussions and publicly post the more "fascinating" quotes of days gone by. But I sure recall them.

To try and take seven men with different viewpoints, sometimes radically so, and expect them to work perfectly... not gonna happen. But I think we have done fairly well. We argue but thats to be expected when you have seven individuals on the Cabinet with strong opinions. In the end though we have always made up - no long-lasting harm done so far as I know.

Although I have heard rumors there is a dart board in the Union HQ with my picture on it :shock: (thats a joke)


As an added note:
Since the creation of the Cabniet Forum that we use the "heated discussions" and "fascinating" quotes have become almost extinct. I am not sure what the correlation is but since that time the Cabinet has really altered things. Maybe communication is better on forums or maybe because its "forever" and not in emails that vanish but there is a definate change since we started the forum for the Cabinet. Most of the old altercations were during the emailing days. I really do think emails lead to easier misunderstandings.


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 Post subject: Re: Gen. Pierre Desruisseaux Campaign Thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:24 pm 
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Ought not General Desruisseaux answer the request for himself?

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General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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 Post subject: Re: Gen. Pierre Desruisseaux Campaign Thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:29 pm 
I dont feel Cabinet Members should be asked to give quotes about the times they were insulted (or even felt they were) in the Cabinet in public forums. If a Cabinet member felt like that he should make it known to the Cabinet itself in private. Your right, to be on the Cabinet you have to have thick skin. The fact that in the last few years nobody has complained is proof that they do. But, like I said, the Cabinet is really quiet since we switched to communicating on the forums. Emails just bred misunderstandings once they got past two or three replies.

I am only replying so that we may keep all private Cabinet conversations... well... private.

For him to give quotes and examples is to damage the reputation of officers who corresponded privately in the Cabinet.


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 Post subject: Re: Gen. Pierre Desruisseaux Campaign Thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:43 am 
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Thank you for telling us how you feel, President Strickler. Now I would like to hear if General Desruisseaux feels the same way, if that is not too much trouble.

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General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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 Post subject: Re: Gen. Pierre Desruisseaux Campaign Thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:44 am 
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Pierre,

Having been a member of the cabinet for some time prior to your election as CSA Secretary and for some months after your taking office I must say I’m a bit taken back by your characterization of the cabinet and it’s behavior. By it’s very nature there is assumed to be varying perspectives and heated discussions as the cabinet tends to be populated by members with a passion for the continuing success of this club, you yourself share that passion as driving force behind the creation and success of the ACWGC. And while some discussions were heated and we did have a member resign due to a conflict of perspective (prior to your election I believe), the rude and antagonistic cabinet you describe is not the cabinet I recall.

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 Post subject: Re: Gen. Pierre Desruisseaux Campaign Thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:25 am 
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I am also somewhat mystified about all of this business referring to a club member's "freedom of choice" being usurped by his Commander! I have not received nor been made aware of any complaint by any officers within my command that their "freedom of choice" has been trampled upon by their commander! That being the case, I can only assume that it may be I, or some other member in "High Command" who has done the trampling! Is there some substantial proof behind this claim, or is this just more of the same sort of invented or distorted rhetoric that gets so casually and unresponsibly offered upon these forums from time to time?

I believe that I agree with General Desruisseaux concerning mostly everything that he has stated in his reply to President Strickler's question on this matter. But he seems to also share this vague, notional view that someone's "freedom of choice" has been violated.

Quote:
I believe that some, even many, do not understand that the sides are for role playing only.


And...

Quote:
Members have freedom of choice. They are not bound to a side for choice decisions. They are bound by the rules of the club. They are bound to the ACWGC. The commanding Officers have no authority other than for role playing purposes. Members are free to choose who they want elect to the Cabinet within the guidelines of the ACWGC rules.


That's all very well and good! Now tell us why you've felt the need to even bring it up!

Is there or has there been some horrible denial of a club member's right to cast a ballot or speak his mind by his commander? Or is this some kind of invented issue made to appear as sinister as possible without having to responsibly identify it?

_________________
General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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 Post subject: Re: Gen. Pierre Desruisseaux Campaign Thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:57 am 
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Gentlemen,

Sorry for the late reply. We have yearend at our Company and I have been busy. I only just now read the questions and points.

I will try to address all the question and points. Forgive me if I missed any.

First of all the term “Vipers nest" was not mine. This was a characterization by an individual about the Cabinet before I joined the Cabinet. When I did join the correspondence was certainly rude at the very least and in my humble opinion antagonistic and insulting at times both to me and others. General Meyer you were there and perhaps you had a different opinion since you did not intervene.

I do not know what went on in the Cabinet before I joined and do not know where that characterization came from. But it did concern me that someone would even think that. I am sure it would to most as well. It may be only a blip in the Cabinet normal business I cannot say and can only base it on my current experience. I think that my first several months in the Cabinet were not the norm. The last few have been very good the first few were bad. I can only assume that this had a major influence in President Blake not going for another term as has been the norm for just about all the other Cabinet members.

I have no reason to believe the excellent record and atmosphere in the Cabinet recently can't continue in the future The meetings on the Cabinet business forum are working great. I have no issues with anyone on the Cabinet.

Cabinet correspondences (emails) are private and I would not divulge any or publish any in public.

May statements regarding member’s freedom of choice were in answering a question. I stated my position on the subject. I have no knowledge of a members rights being abused. If I did you would have heard about it even if it meant bothering someone.

All the answers were to be candid and for the members to understand my position. I have read in the past, and I believe that some forum post may mention it, that the Cabinet is for show only and not have any role, or at least a minimum role, in the clubs activities. Some say that the CoA's are only a figure head. I mentioned the sides are for role playing is order to clarify how I see the Cabinet and the clubs interaction with the sides. The Cabinet is important, the CoA's are important, the Cabinet secretary’s roles are important, members are important. That was the point I was trying to make.

I look forward to an interesting and enjoyable time in the Cabinet. I think that this will be case.

I hope I covered everything.

_________________
Best Regards,

General Pierre D.

5th Bde, IV Cavalry Corps
Army of Northern Virginia
ACWGC President 1997 - 2006, 2012
ACWGC Forum Administrator


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 Post subject: Re: Gen. Pierre Desruisseaux Campaign Thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:14 pm 
Joe,

I dont know. I thought a member (myself) had the right to ask questions concerning the opinions of the candidates on the rights of the members. Apparently you feel that I have violated some unwritten rule in some way and demand an explanation for my question.

So, I guess your answer to members rights would be that members do not have the right to ask questions without fear of being forced to explain why they asked it in the first place.

Luckily Nelms and Pierre seem more receptive to questions and dont feel the need to demand why they are being asked in the first place.

Interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Gen. Pierre Desruisseaux Campaign Thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:01 pm 
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General Desruisseaux, thank you for your reply, especially in the midst of what must be a fairly busy work schedule. It is good to know that the Cabinet discourse environment is civil, free of insults and unantagonistic; and that there are no reports of a club member's rights being violated.

_________________
General Jos. C. Meyer,
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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 Post subject: Re: Gen. Pierre Desruisseaux Campaign Thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:16 pm 
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General Desruisseaux. Sir, thank you for your response and I know you are quite busy, but I believe you failed to answer the question posed to you yesterday which I will repeat. "As President will you represent both sides with equality?"

_________________
Dave Danner
General
Commanding the Union Military Academy
Commanding Cumberland Rifles Division, XX Corps
Army of the Cumberland
S = √ 30 x d x f + - e


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 Post subject: Re: Gen. Pierre Desruisseaux Campaign Thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:52 pm 
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David Danner wrote:
General Desruisseaux. Sir, thank you for your response and I know you are quite busy, but I believe you failed to answer the question posed to you yesterday which I will repeat. "As President will you represent both sides with equality?"



General Danner,

I believe I did so when I mentioned that everyone in the club is an ACWGC member and the sides are for role playing. As President I will represent all members equally. Based on your question you seem to believe that sides are more important than they are. That's what I was trying to explain with my long answer on membership and role playing in the club. When I set up the Cabinet in 1997 I felt it was important to give the CoA's the veto. Why? Because it would ensure that no Cabinet decision would adversely affect one sides over the other with rule changes. Some things are done on each side to enhance the role playing and as such the CoA's would have a way to stop any changes that would not be good for their side. This one fact alone gives no power of one sides role over the other regardless of which side dominates the Cabinet. This fact alone makes what side I am from in the Cabinet irrelevant. The reason the Cabinet is made of equal members, not including the President, from each side is to provide input for ideas and discussion from each sides experiences.

I hope that clarifies my answer to your question. I apologize if I did not previously answered your question directly I had a few to respond to and got caught up in them at the same time.

_________________
Best Regards,

General Pierre D.

5th Bde, IV Cavalry Corps
Army of Northern Virginia
ACWGC President 1997 - 2006, 2012
ACWGC Forum Administrator


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