News and views

Russia rolled out a new tank named the Armata, whose red carpet premier is the Victory Day parade in Moscow. Western leaders decided to snub Russia’s celebration of Victory Day over Russia’s seizure of the Crimea and military adventurism and blackmail. Given Obama’s “Dream Team” of National Security advisors, will America stumble into war with Russia? Meanwhile, back in America, an uproar over Cadets wearing heels at another staged rally. I suppose some would rather have seen them in Michael Kors or Givenchy, but Cadets don’t make that much money. At least the shoes are a bright, offensive shade of Artillery Red! […]

Goldwater-Nichols, an answer: the Roles for Organizations

The is the second in a series of responses to Townie’s post “More Thoughts on Goldwater-Nichols 1986.” Earlier, I posted a response concerning the questions on the roles of people. Before we begin this response, let’s recap the definition of role: “Role” is the discrete responsibility that can only be performed by the person assigned that role. If you have to get the kids to football practice, your role is “Driver.” Organizations have roles that are equally discrete. An infantry company (Army or Marine) has the role of destroying the enemy through dismounted firepower and movement (maneuver). That’s it. An infantry […]

Goldwater-Nichols, an answer: the Roles for People

This is the first in a series of posts answering Townie’s excellent post “More Thoughts on Goldwater-Nichols 1986.” Looking at the list of Townie’s questions, they can be broken down into three areas: What is the proper roles for people? What are the proper roles for organizations? Are the legal authorities correct for this new era? This post will look at the first question by examing three of Townie’s questions: As currently defined, is the role of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff too broad, narrow, or just right (see 10 USC 153)? Upon assuming the role of the Chairman […]

Marine Corps IOC ends female integration program

Over the past three years under pressure from Congress to integrate women into the teeth of America’s fighting Force, the Marine Corps at the fore front opened the Infantry Officer Course at MCB Quantico to female volunteers.  The last two volunteers were dropped on 2 APR 15, Day 1 for this iteration of IOC.  Of the 90 men that began that day, 9 were also dropped due to their score on the Combat Endurance Course. Unlike IBOLC at Ft Benning the first day of IOC at MCB Quantico begins with the Combat Endurance Course, just so you know, the “E […]

More Thoughts on Goldwater-Nichols 1986

As many know I posted something about Goldwater-Nichols last week, below is an article and some comments to an article on reforming Goldwater-Nichols.  I had originally intended to post this as a comment, but decided at the last minute to post it here for our OP-FOR community.  You will note that I have asked questions.  I think this the only appropriate way to approach the future of shaping our National Security Strategy and our the future organization shaping our National Security organizations.  To state conclusions upfront is to limit debate. Over at Breaking Defense, there are some very interesting comments […]

Does micromanagement lead to corruption in the US Military?

Over at StrategyPage, micromanagement, AKA “Zero Defects,” is considered the core corrupting authority of the US military’s officer corps. …The core problem is what the military calls micromanagement and it led to impossible and unreasonable demands on commanders and troops which then led to the troops rationalizing cutting corners and telling their bosses what they wanted to hear, whether it was true of not. The impact of this was first noted a few years after September 11, 2001 when the army found that an unusually high number of junior officers were leaving the army. When these officers were asked why, one reason […]

NDAA for the 21st Century

Over at Breaking Defense there is an article regarding John McCain’s desire to take a look the Goldwater-Nichols Act and make a determination if it needs to be updated or changed. In the same article it was also mentioned that he wanted to take a look at the Defense Office Personnel Management Act (DOPMA). There is no question that we need a new National Security Act for the 21st Century, part of the attempt by in Goldwater-Nichols was to be a partial step towards shaping DoD for the 21st Century. We need a National Security Act for the 21st Century […]

Why does the Marine Corps Maintain the Standard?

I happen to be a tried and true Cavalryman that loves his jarhead friends to death.  I never wanted to be a Marine, but with how the Army is pursuing the integration of women into the teeth of her fighting force tells me so much.  Women only make up 14% of the Soldiers in the Army, so what is the point? The Marine Corps will not degrade the standards, but they will allow women to join them.  So far, no women have it made it past week 3 at IOC. The Army seems to want their test to be Ranger […]

Fish rot from the head: Senior Officers Behaving Badly

Earlier today Townie directed us to an article praising Commandant of the Marine Corps General Dunford. It was good to see the general performing the physical fitness test. From the looks of things, being a leader AND a flag officer are becoming mutually exclusive. From XBradTC: If naval officers were guilty of bribery or other misconduct, by all means, haul them in front of a court martial or a federal court. But do not allow the process to become the punishment, particularly when that process is fouling the duties of others with no direct connection to the scandal. [emphasis added by author] […]

Knowledge Management & the Competence of Officers

In an earlier post advocating abolishing West Point and the other service academies (and I would belatedly include the Merchant Marine Academy since we have no merchant fleets), the question of the value of the academies is a red herring. The value of the academies is not its graduates, grounds, or current body of students and staff. The value of the academies is the information stored, developed and conveyed to students. This information is what the academies hold onto with a Vulcan death-grip. ROTC and OCS can not compete because they do not have access to the information, nor to the men […]