Goldwater-Nichols, an answer: What is law?

Thank you readers for your patience. Posting has been light due to a recent change of venue back to DC. Fortunately there is expiration date on this trip. I am taking far too much humor in watching these young, under-30 GS-15s go on a thunder-run in the mad belief they can drink old men under the table. Fortunately, after three drinks water resembles vodka, especially when you ask the bartender to put an olive in it. Maybe after their turn at Goldman-Sachs and a lobbying group, or their 25th birthday they’ll sort it out. But I digress. This is the third in a […]

April 9th 1865

He had not slept well the night before. A third or more of his Army had been captured by Federal Forces when they crossed the “T” as they pursued his beleaguered forces from Petersburg westward. Now he would attempt what he was famous for, maneuvering his forces away from Grant’s force. He envisioned a short battle that would permit him and the soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia to escape once again, to secure supplies, and link up with Joe Johnson and to continue the fight. Robert Edward Lee of Virginia rose as was his custom, trimmed his beard […]

The Road to War, Part One

Looking around the fluff pieces out there exhalting peace with Iran in our time, the question most asked is: ‘why Iran?’ Why not Kenya? Why not Nigeria, Uruguay or Fiji? Over 120 nations on this earth are worth America’s time and effort – so why Iran? Is it because Iran pledged repeatedly since 1979 to destroy America and Israel by any means possible? 120 nations would rather be our friend and business partner, but we side with Iran? A country that has spent time, money and considerable effort to murder Americans whenever and wherever possible. Why did Obama refused to help the […]

I’m a let you finish

But Keydet Life is the greatest Comic of all time!   To be honest, I haven’t seen stuff this good since my time with the 2eme Bataillion de France.  Those dudes can draw cartoons, these remind me of those days.  Except for the fact that an entire class would face decimation had we run off to the Keys for five days during exams…wait.

Leadership Quiz

1. Does your plan require a Hero to make it work? A “Hero” is defined as one person, and one person only, whose action creates success. 2. Does your plan resemble the business plan presented by the Underpants Gnomes? 3. Does your plan require your competitor to play nicely? 4. Does your plan require critical thinking skills? If you answered yes to any or all of these, you have a future in our State Department, where Miracles exist, and America is always a loser! Not that you’ll ever know, once the internet is gone and you’ll only have MSNBC for […]

Ethical leadership

My last post endeavored to open up the general topic of ethical leadership by looking for a reasonable, rational base for ethical behavior. The three types of ethical frameworks offered are virtue-based, rules-based, and outcome-based. In a discussion of these, Mike_B73 offered up a treatise by Profesor Challons, Ph.D. that had some good points but still lacked something, besides my understanding. I’m still reading his argument against effects-based (outcome-based) leadership. Today, General Officers are ruled by rules, and measured by outcome. This is a recipe for disaster which doesn’t even factor in the variable of ‘what is legal today will be made […]

Wanted: an ethical construct for today’s military leaders

Here on Op-For, whenever the subject of leadership comes up, we applaud those leaders who are technically capable of 1) leading; and 2) not jumping into scandal and disrepute. The technical skills we get. Personality types we get. But what causes so much of our discussion is the absence of ethics demonstrated by the subjects of our posts. The germ for this post was the observation ‘we are removing virtue as demonstrated by ethics form our armed forces – the same thing the Nazis and Communists did to create terribly efficient, vastly indifferent soldiers who murdered on orders, on initiative, and for fun;’ and […]

“Wish I had gone to VMI”

What sealed the deal for me in deciding to attend VMI was a crusty old Ranger with a CIB from tour in Vietnam. “This place [referring to the I] reminds me of the Point in 1963.” R. M. Hollander’s comment reminded me of a time when being from VMI was the goal, along with Lieutenent’s bars. We laughed, some of us bitterly, as our Cadre Corporals read an article about how brutal life was for West Point’s Plebes, forced to do 10 pushups at a time, and given breaks (poor, poor Plebes). It is good to be from VMI, even when the […]

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] […]

Rules for Leading

Very interesting article over at Military Times on exceptional leaders.  The writer is a recently retired Air Force Brigadier General, writing about what he was taught by his last boss in the military, General Joseph Dunford.  When you follow the link, I was particularly struck by the fact that as Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, General Dunford allowed himself to be pictured taking the Combat Physical Fitness test.  That is leadership by example.