From epic program failures and the lack of GOFO accountability there to; a lot of people have been trying to look for some reason and/or solution for what is a clear rot in our bloated senior levels of leadership.
Until recently, if anyone raised the topic they were accused of everything from bitterness to cluelessness - but that is no longer the case as everyone up to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff see the problem. There's the rub.
Accountability and reform are unquestionably needed - but this is not the reform we are looking for. It starts sounding like something good people can fall on both sides of - the b-school fad of 360-deg evaluations.
After a series of scandals involving high-ranking officers, the American military for the first time will require generals and admirals to be evaluated by their peers and the people they command on qualities including personal character.Don't be distracted by the pretty feather being jingled at the end of the string. No, look near your rear-quarter;
Under General Dempsey’s plan, teams of inspectors will observe and review the procedures of commanders and their staffs. The inspections will not be punitive, but will provide a “periodic opportunity for general officers and flag officers to understand whether, from an institutional perspective, we think they are inside or outside the white lines,” he said. In addition, new programs will be instituted to ensure that a commander’s staff, and a spouse, are fully aware of military regulations.In the name of all that is holy, is this where we have found ourselves? We defeat the Soviet Union only to bring on the Zampolit? Some quasi-Inquisitional gaggle of perma-staff "#1 MP" oxygen thieves traveling from UIC to UIC evaluating people who they are not fit to be a 3-digit N-code with?
General Dempsey said he would be putting the new assessment procedures in effect for all generals and admirals serving on the Pentagon’s Joint Staff and in other military headquarters around the world in command of combat operations; the other chiefs will do so within their individual armed services.
Are we going to have show trails, write self-criticisms? Will it have some of the French Terror's spirit or that of Mao's Great Leap Forward with the bands of "deputized" delinquents?" Ohhh the options we have.
By all means, let's undermine the authority of Commanding Officers even more; that has a great track record.
Why even have someone have the responsibility to write your FITREP; "Sorry Fred, you would be my #1 Commanding Officer, but the evaluation by the Peoples Commissariat outlines some significant socio-political and ethno-cultural issues that make my position untenable. I cannot be on the record having ranked over Sam and Sallie when their report from the Zampolit and published self-criticisms are now being used in our quarterly anti-bullying campaigns."
There is not enough deckspace to spill tea on to take care of the Commissariat Away-Teams that will be using up manhours by the echelon. Just do the math on that aspect of this. We are already thick with non-value added administrative burden. Just wonderful. We all know that the cure for leadership failures are outside inspections and PPT sessions.
All this really demonstrates is a failure of verve by leadership. When the top level of the very tight club that is the community of General Officers and Flag Officers decides to outsource their leadership - what other signal can you get but one of foundational rot?
If this is the case, do we really need to argue anymore that Goldwater-Nichols and all that came after needs to be ripped up root-n-branch? In essence, we have the 4-stars advertising that they have neither the will, desire, or ability to evaluate their subordinate GOFO. WWGCMD (what would George C. Marshall do)?
If they had an O5/6 Commanding Officer state that is was just too hard for him to rank his JOs, so he was outsourcing to a mix of CWO and contractors from WBB to do it instead, the ISIC would relieve him for cause and then have his escorted to the 4th floor of the hospital for a PSYCH eval.
Salamander solution? Straight to the Vince Lombardi playbook - emphasize the fundamentals. Cut the excess in number of GOFO and the number and layers of Staffs. Accountability; treat GOFO performance the same way we do CDR Command. Focus on performance - not personality. When people are given a pass on pi55ing away billions of taxpayer dollars, but others are crucified for being fans of Mel Brooks - then there a signal that something is off.
When will we have the leaders stand up? What .. what was that? "I can't speak up right now. I just got my 2nd Star and I need to make it to 3-stars before I can make a difference." ... "I can't speak up right now. I just got my 3rd Star and I need to make it to 4-stars before I can make a difference."
Well GOFO, Karma is a b1tch. Welcome to the jungle. Just know the type of people who will make it through this filter. Don't think about the good that will sneak through - but the great that will never make it.
"First they came for the junior sailors, and I did not speak out because I wasn't a junior sailor."
"Then they came for the blueshirts, and I did not speak out because I wasn't a blueshirt."
"Then they came for the Chiefs Mess, and I did not speak out because I wasn't a Chief."
"Then they came for the Commanders, and I did not speak out because I already successfully completed Commander Command."
"Then they came for the Captains, and I did not speak out because I already successfully completed Major Command."
"Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me."
Oh, like or hate this topic? Well, just wait ... another on a similar note is coming tomorrow.