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 […]

Should We Be Warriors or, should we be Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and Marines?

Over at the King of War (a blog I highly recommend) there is a discourse on the use of the term Warrior by the individual services to describe the their men and women in uniform.  The author wonders if this is right and proper (he is British). I too have wondered and worried about the use of the term warrior.  Does it somehow sets those further apart from the society they defend?  Does this term create the notion of a caste?  These are worthy question which should be given serious though, but as pointed out in one of the comments, […]

Draftee Retires After Forty-Two Years

This is a great story. We salute you, sir. Well done.

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 […]

November 4th: a day of privilege

Tuesday, November 4th is the day America corporately chooses its political leaders. Elections are bloody, outrageous, angering, bewildering contests of philosophy: political, social, and financial modes of thought and action that may or may not serve you best. Serving you, and by extension your community and nation is what the politicians swear (or affirm) to do, and every day they serve is a day in which they must perform. Elections are Performance Reviews in which you decide if the incumbent has satisfactorily served, or if new ideas are needed to invigorate your situation. Your vote does have an impact – political parties […]

“Where is the Case for Co – Ed Ground Combat?”

The Center for Military Readiness published this earlier in the month. I just saw it today, courtesy of the Krampus. I recommend you read the exec summary at the very least. Here’s a little snippet: In the 155 mm Artillery Lift and Carry, a test simulating ordnance stowing, volunteers had to pick up a 95 lb. artillery round and carry it 50 meters in under 2 minutes. Noted the report, “Less than 1% of men, compared to 28.2% of women, could not complete the 155 mm artillery round lift and carry in the allotted time.” If trainees had to “shoulder […]

The Day Our World Stopped Turning

As the junior member of the group I haven’t really reflected on this today.  11 September 2001, I was in the seventh grade.  12 years old, mom almost kept us home, but the college decided they were going to push and she dropped us off at school.  I honestly don’t know if she got much work done that day. As much as my teachers may have wanted it to remain normal, they exacerbated the issue by not playing the news for us that day.  We’d all watched the beginning with the towers smoking, I didn’t see either collapse until that […]

VMI and the Theory of Broken Windows

There exists a theory in the worlds of law enforcement and social control called the Theory of Broken Windows. The theory posits that when one sees visible signs of vandalism, this is evidence that the social order is collapsing or has collapsed as those who would maintain order – the citizens – have fled. The US military has a similar body of thought, but it is a law and this law has existed in the American Army since 1775. “Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Discipline” is the military’s way of describing how one gets Broken Windows. An army that neglects to take corrective action is not […]

VMI Needs to be Left of Bang

What does that mean? It does not mean it needs to control the narrative, but that is an added plus. VMI is out there to teach young ladies and young gentlemen to be leaders in this harsh world. If VMI cannot be left of the bang, how can it teach cadets to be leaders that can analyze situations in a way that they identify solutions and stay a step ahead. That is what being left of bang is: a step ahead. The reason why I said it did not mean to control the narrative was specifically because of what occurred […]

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 […]