Marcus Aurelius: LTG Dave Barno on Building Better Generals (and Fewer of Them…)

04 Education, Cultural Intelligence, Ethics, Military, Officers Call
Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius

Interesting paper that came out a couple of nights ago from one of the DC think tanks.  The principal author, LTG Dave Barno, was my classmate in a school in the early ’80s when we were both captains.  Biggest thing I see is the assertion that the major fraction of GO positions are “enterprise management” vice “operational,” or “tail” vice “tooth.”  Assuming correct numbers and analysis, that should be an ego-defeater given the culture of the military.  If you can buy into that, some of the other stuff seems reasonable.


If left unaddressed, the divergence between the leadership skills of current senior military officers and the demands of an uncertain future may result
in a U.S. military led by generals and admirals who are prepared for neither the complexity of future warfare nor the efficient management of a hugely complex – and now resource-constrained – defense enterprise.

. . . . . . .

Many future flag officers will have no extended educational opportunities during the entire second half of their careers.

. . . . . . .

Once an officer is appointed to three-star rank, he or she will never pass before another promotion board, will never receive another written performance evaluation and will
rarely engage in setting formal expectations or goals with his or her boss in a new position.

PDF (40 Pages): (U) Building Better Generals (Barno et al,CNAS, 20 OCT 13)