How to Break An Officer

Young officers are like moldable clay; they take lessons to heart fast.  Some of them will be amazing, most will be good, and then you will have a lot of bad.  It is easy for them to become enraptured by their own image when they’re doing well; it is even easier for them to fall flat on their face.  How do I know this?  I’ve been there.  When a new officer comes into the FORCE/FLEET he needs to be embraced by the battalion and company level organizations he is a part of.  In the Army we tend to have a […]

Seduced by Success?

This needed to be written, the question needed to be asked. In fact, the military conditions under which we’ve operated for the past two decades have been historically atypical. They have allowed too many in uniform to believe the hype. What happens when men whose whole professional life has known only success meet real challenges and the threat of defeat? The article is aimed at the Army, but applies to all the Services. And think too, of the coming austerity, the political correctness, the quotas, the feminization of combat arms, the punishments for anyone who speaks out. The worst is […]

Hold up the mirror

Behaviour is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.     – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe   Op-for presented a series of posts featuring toxicity in leadership, corruption in acquisitions, and servicemembers who cheated on their competency examinations. From each of these posts, of which Townie’s is the latest lagniappe, one has to wonder who holds the mirror up for introspection? For an examination of self and a determination of one’s own boundary?   No one put a gun to the head of those servicemembers and told them to lie, to cheat, to steal, and to tolerate the putrefaction of […]

Toxic Leadership in Today’s Military

Toxic leaders. You know them. Male, female, in uniform or Armani, you know them. No day goes buy without being subjected to ridicule in a public briefing, or yelling that can be heard over the 60Kw generators. The air stinks of doom. Every day is a special report to the RDC of Hell. There are VMI grads among them, much to my chagrin. I am equally embarrassed, as a Soldier Emeritus, to learn of the Army’s on-going deception when dealing with the Washington Post in its expose’ of toxic leaders in DoD. The Army mentioned it promoted competence over likability, and […]

Why VMI Matters, Part 300

The core of VMI are its graduates living honorably, succeeding and failing as their own merits, demerits and as luck permits. The mechanism that raised the bar and distinguishes VMI from the service academies and near-peer educational organizations is VMI’s Honor Code.    Yesterday, 1/3 of America’s Strategic Defense force was exposed as non-combat capable. USAF officials, including senior members of its officer corps approved a blatant lie meant to undermine concerns. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, the primary mechanism for maintaining peace was the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). Apparently the new philosophy is “By Any Means […]

Miracles of NYPD Marksmanship

This story needs to be entered into Lt Col P’s “Miracles of NYPD Marksmanship.” A mentally disturbed man is wandering through traffic outside New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal. Naturally, the NYPD open fire. They miss the guy. However, the sidewalks being full of people, they manage to hit two female pedestrians, one of them already using a walker, which comes in handy when the coppers shoot you in the leg. So the DA charges the guy with assaulting the women The level of incompetence and lack of awareness tells me these NYPD clowns should be working for Chuck Hagel […]

Another view on How Officers Should Be Commissioned

Townie’s post on How Officers Should Be Commissioned is a must read as America moves through the post-war pattern of downsizing the Army. Townie and I have been having this discussion on this site and via email for the last two years. Our Army, and by extension all of our military and uniformed services have reached a disturbing state. While it may prove impossible to restore a Constitutionally-aligned force, we should still examine how to maintain the band of combat/tactical excellence, and improve the Operational and Strategic leadership. My response to Townie’s post and Slater’s ripose was too long, and therefore, […]

Stray Shots from Across the Net–Thursday Edition

Stray Shots From Around the Web.  I took three days of leave this week, I was suppose to go to Pennsylvania on some personnel business, however my wife’s mother is ill so instead I put her on an airplane.  So I have had time to wander the web so to speak in the morning and find some interesting articles as I drink coffee and eat breakfast while I take care of our eleven cats (yes I said eleven we are the crazy cat people at the end of the cul du sac)  and two dogs. Item 1:  Our USAF Missile […]

OPSEC Anyone?

So the SEALS conduct a raid into Somalia and Delta captures a bad guy in Libya. Can someone tell me why we know this and why more and more details are being discussed about these actions every day? And why has nothing been written about the action the 3d Ranger Battalion got into on Saturday night in which a number of Rangers were killed and wounded? As a Submariner, I learned early on that our strength lay in our silence. It is the Silent Service for a reason. If the bad guys know capabilities, operating patterns, limitations, etc., then they […]

Help Wanted: Personnel Reliability Program

This is new: gambling. Another Gibbs-slap for the US military’s nuclear community. The Personnel Reliability Program exists for a good reason. Question being: is this a recent bad habit, or has the admiral been having issues for a while?