Don Vandergriff: The US Army’s Poor Leadership — How Did It Get So Bad?

How did the US Army’s leadership problem grow so bad? Summary:  The US spends $600 billion on the US military (narrowly defined; almost a trillion broadly), yet repeatedly fails to defeat our poorly trained and equipped foes. In this chapter of our series asking “why”, Don Vandergriff points to ways the Army selects and promotes officers …

Don Vandergriff: Next Steps for Military Personnel Reform

Next Steps for Military Personnel Reform Mandy Smithberger, 19 September 2016 Ten years ago the Center for Defense Information published Raising the Bar: Creating and Nurturing Adaptability to Deal with the Changing Face of War. Written by Straus Military Reform Project Advisory Board Member Major Donald E. Vandergriff, USA (ret.), the book has been used …

Don Vandergriff: Personnel Reform and Military Effectiveness

The following piece was first published in August 2015 by POGO’s Center for Defense Information. Warfare is first and foremost a human endeavor. Wars are fought by people using their minds; weapons are only tools to implement people’s ideas. It is people, and the ideas they wield, that make the difference between a sharp, decisive …

Worth A Look: Don Vandergriff – The Path to Victory – America’s Army and the Revolution in Human Affairs

Revised and with a new foreword from leading reform advocate COL (ret) Douglas MacGregor, PhD, Don Vandergriff revisits his 2002 manifesto for the evolution of the U.S. Army. From the foreword: “Few books in the history of the U.S. Army have made a more convincing argument for change than Don Vandergriff’s Path to Victory: America’s …

Worth a Look: Don Vandergriff – Raising the Bar – Creating and Nurturing Adaptability to Deal with the Changing Face of War

Don Vandergriff’s experiences, research and interaction with fellow military professionals suggest that a cultural revolution within the U.S. military is essential if the nation is to successfully adapt and prevail in the emerging 4th Generation Warfare (4GW) or asymmetric warfare threat environment. An Army cultural revolution has three parts: 1. Strategic leaders must change a …

Worth a Look: Don Vandergriff – Manning the Future Legions of the United States – Finding and Developing Tomorrow’s Centurions

An Industrial Age model continues to shape the way the Army approaches its recruiting, personnel management, training, and education. This outdated personnel management paradigm―designed for an earlier era―has been so intimately tied to the maintenance of Army culture that a self-perpetuating cycle has formed, diminishing the Army’s attempts to develop adaptive leaders and institutions. This …

Winslow Wheeler: Don Vandergriff’s “The Path to Victory: America’s Army and the Revolution in Human Affairs,” second edition

Major Don Vandergriff (USA, ret.) has released the second–expanded and updated–edition of his critical analysis of the Army’s officer corps, The Path to Victory: America’s Army and the Revolution in Human Affairs. The book explains why and how the Army’s leadership has simultaneously designed itself for bureaucratic success and leadership failure in battle.  It is …

Steven Aftergood: CRS on US Army Out-Gunned & Out-Armored

INNOVATION IN FOREIGN ARMY SYSTEMS Several nations are independently pursuing development of ground combat weapon systems that are comparable or superior to their U.S. Army counterparts, says a new report from the Congressional Research Service. Accordingly, there is a “possibility that in the not-too-distant future, foreign armored vehicle design and capabilities could surpass existing U.S. …

Winslow Wheeler: What Lays Beneath the Officer Ethics Scandals

The defense trade press and even some major media have recently produced reports about ethical problems in the US military officer corps.  Bill Hartung writes at Huffington Post that “Military Ethics Reform Should Start at the Top,” advocating a reduction in our astoundingly–even historically–high officer bloat.  Lt. Col. Danny Davis writes in Armed Forces Journal …

Chuck Spinney: Sy Hersh Channels John Boyd, Chuck Highlights Hersh

In identifying “difficult subordinates who should have been promoted, I should have included Colonels Doug Macgreagor and Jim Burton and especially Major Don Vandergriff.  Sorry for the omission CS note – Hersh channels John Boyd* : my comments are inserted in “blue” [italics]   my added emphasis to Sy’s words in bold black.  Of course, this …