ComNavOps has been reading the book, Boyd (1), and was struck by a passage that could have been written today. See if this doesn’t sound overwhelmingly familiar.
“By 1978, both officers and enlisted personnel were leaving the military services in large numbers. They left not because of pay, as military leaders had said for the past few years, but because they were displeased with what they saw as a lack of integrity among their leaders. They thought careerism inhibited professionalism in the officer corps. The military also was having readiness problems; expensive and highly complex weapons systems were fielded before being fully tested. These systems were not only expensive to buy but expensive to maintain, and they rarely performed as advertised. Stories began to appear in the media of
The military’s answer was to place more emphasis on what it called the “electronic battlefield” by buying even more expensive and more high-tech weapons. Somewhere in the military there must have been those who sensed the system was headed toward a meltdown. If so, no stepped forward to change it.”
Lack of integrity in leadership, officers more interested in career than profession, readiness issues, untested weapons, budget problems, hollow forces … This could be a summary of the posts on this blog!
The military experienced a resurgence in the 1980’s but instead of maintaining and building on that surge, allowed themselves to regress back to the same problems. This is serious condemnation of leadership, both civilian and uniformed, but it also offers the hope that we can pull out of these problems, as we did before. Recovery and resurgence starts with recognizing the problems which is what I try to do on these pages. If recognition can occur, recovery can begin.
(1)Boyd, Robert Coram,
Back Bay Books, NY, 2002