Reference: Speech by Secretary of Defense

Marcus Aurelius Recommends

Extraordinary for its candid focus on what is wrong with the US Army:

“And on top of the repeat deployments, there is the garrison mindset and personnel bureaucracy that awaits them back home – often cited as primary factors causing promising officers to leave the Army just as they are best positioned to have a positive impact on the institution.”

“Men and women in the prime of their professional lives, who may have been responsible for the lives of scores or hundreds of troops, or millions of dollars in assistance, or engaging in reconciling warring tribes, they may find themselves in a cube all day re-formatting power point slides, preparing quarterly training briefs, or assigned an ever expanding array of clerical duties.  The consequences of this terrify me.”

This is certainly rampant in the Pentagon.  Not long ago — just a very few months — there was a office I passed through frequently where a significant number, say 30 (I didn't count the cubes)  of principally field grade officers sat updating PowerPoint slides for the next day's brief.  Not far away was an other office of about 20 or so doing very similar stuff.


United States Military Academy (West Point, NY)
As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, West Point, NY, Friday, February 25, 2011

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