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! […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

James Fallows on Civil Military Divide

James Fallows who writes for the Atlantic has written a splendid article on Civil Military relations.  Whether one agrees or not with his premise, I urge all to think critically about what he has to say.  This is a subject of great importance.

A Man worth Following

Yesterday Senator James Webb announced an exploratory bid for the presidency.  I honestly never thought of him as a Candidate for the job.  The reality is that the bench on the Democratic side is extraordinarily slim.  The Republicans have a few guys I’d take a look at.  Many of you might recall him as the combat boot wearing candidate who ran for the Virginia Senate seat.  Although it was in solidarity of his son who was deployed at the time.  Webb, a Marine, is a Combat Veteran of Vietnam who was award for conspicuous gallantry on numerous occasions, an accomplished […]

Book Review of George Marshall: A Biography

Not sure if I shall bother reading this new biography of George Marshall, but here is a review of it in the New Republic.  Concluding paragraph says a lot about George Marshall the man: For a military man, Marshall’s heroism was peculiar. It did not arise from his conduct on the battlefield. It arose from his modesty, including “a modest daily schedule that often ended at three or four o’clock in the afternoon” and his avoidance “of lucrative corporate board memberships so commonly available to retired high military officers in our more avaricious times.” Most importantly, Marshall’s modesty flowed from […]

Lessons on Leadership

Leaders never blame subordinates because Leaders are responsible for their subordinates’, as well as their own actions and inactions. Meanwhile, Virginia’s Leader awards spoils. Three points to consider: 1) we’ve had a spoils system since the Constitution was ratified and while people profess outrage, they vote incumbent; 2) governors’ political philosophies translate into education philosophies and budgets; and 3) the donor connected to VMI contributed the least. Perhaps those contributing over $100,000 would be so kind as to donate that money to VMI’s English and History professors? Or pay off some keydet loans?  

Shinseki is not the problem

Whatever else he is, GEN (R) Eric Shinseki is not the problem at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Firing him solves nothing, and serves only as a distraction: everyone offended by the criminality and incompetence of the VA will feel good about his ouster. “Feeling Good” is what the Leftists preach – our veterans and their families and care-givers need results instead. Taking ‘feel good’ actions only serves to distract from the structural problems of the intrinsic lack of respect for the Secretary, philosophical homogeneity, and resistance to change that makes the VA a collection of rogue satrapies that murder veterans.   […]

How to Break An Officer-Bump

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 […]