The Civilian Army in Our Midst

Congress authorizes our end strength, and the Services do what they are told.  We haven’t had a strong voiced service Chief in the Army since Shinseki told Rumsfeld you couldn’t invade Iraq with a “whambam thank you ma’am” strategy.  Which is what they attempted to do. . .many issues followed the invasion to be discussed ad nauseum later. But I came across this article in the Wall Street Journal that talks about how the civilian DoD work force has just exploded in support of the military.  Yet our troop numbers are beginning to dwindle, and the guys that wear suits […]

The Return of the Hollow Force

As the youngest of us here on Op-For, I remain in service to Columbia. I signed that dotted line prior to my rat year at VMI, the War in Iraq was at its height, the surge going into full swing and there was an initiative from President Bush Called “Grow the Army.”  “Grow the Army” the Army reached a height of 570,000 Soldiers.  We all thought then, that all of us would be going to war.  Many of us have, yet most of us have not.  I would say we’re both lucky in different ways. There was an officer in […]

Next Commandant of the USMC

I think this appointment is a surprise.  I have known Lieutenant General Neller since he was a Brigadier General and was assigned to EUCOM as the Deputy J3 designate.  I had to brief him a number of times, he asks hard questions and is appreciate of hard work.  He is a warrior.  He was affectionately known to us as “Smiling Bob” because he never smiled!  On top of everything else he is a graduate of The University (for the uninitiated that is The University of Virginia.)

Maintaining the Standard-The Final Eight Fail

You know? For a significant amount of time I believed the Army would fail in this experiment.  How do I define failure?  Failure would be degrading the standards of the school in order for a female Soldier to pass.  I thought that bringing in and the eventual train up of female O/Cs told Ranger Training Brigade that they were on notice for their Army Values.  That the quality of leadership within this Army would continue to diminish.  No female Soldier passed Darby phase (8 recycled, they failed a second time). I could go on a rant about what I think […]

Dunford for Chairman

Reports are coming out that “Fighting Joe” Dunford will be the next Chairman.  Rock On. http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2015/05/04/apnewsbreak-marine-general-chosen-joint-chiefs-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 […]

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] […]

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.

Commandant’s Guidance

Whoever is the next CSA should take a page from General Dunford’s play book and provide guidance to the force.  Here is what the 36th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps said about orders (see entire guidance attached)2015CPG_Color: “Mission tactics serve as a contract between senior and subordinate. The senior agrees to provide subordinates with the support necessary to help accomplish their missions but without unnecessarily prescribing their actions. The senior is obligated to provide the guidance that allows subordinates to exercise proper judgment and initiative. The subordinate is obligated to act in conformity with the intent of the senior. The subordinate agrees […]