Four Star General Life-Style Under Scrutiny

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by EDelahanty, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Here's a link to an article in today's Washington Post. Along with the recent book by Thomas Ricks about the favorable treatment of generals today compared with yesteryear, this will bring increased attention to the upper echelons of the nation's military. In addition it will be used, inappropriately in my opinion, in the debate over the future role and size of the military.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world...4f48-3043-11e2-a30e-5ca76eeec857_story_1.html
     
  2. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    Terrific, we'll have even more PMEE classes next year!
     
  3. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    glad to see yuks are still bitter.
     
  4. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    Who doesn't love a good ethics and morality power-point eh?
     
  5. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Rooftop gardens, that's the ticket. And the taller the building, the closer to the sun.

    (and since deer aren't allowed on elevators, there's one major nuisance solved)
     
  6. sprog

    sprog Member

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  7. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Do you have a version that doesn't require digital membership?
     
  8. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    google: living like royalty in militaryland; chicago tribune.
     
  9. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    I'd agree. Generals don't see reality very often, unless they go out of their way. It certainly struck me as odd when a 1-star came to a BMT squadron at Lackland. They brought out white tablecloths and nice dinner wear in the dining hall, which normally worked more like an expedited middle school cafeteria!

    I also agree that the social gulf between military and civilian society is concerning.
     
  10. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    An editorial from a retired diplomat decrying the military as a closed society is about as unconvincing as any souce that I can think of. It's disingenuous but instructive for this retired ambassador to say that his profession values negotiation to achieve its ends as though the Military does not. The difference between State Department culture and military culture is far more about details- The military values quantifiable action with concrete steps to achieve outcomes and conducts negotiations from the perspective that negotiations work best when there is both a carrot and stick, and that the negotiation is not in itself an outcome. Diplomats by contrast are always sketchy on details, timelines and the nuts and bolts of how things are accomplished.
    From my perspective there is in reality far less of a gulf than the periodic "concerned talking heads" like to portray. People in powerful positions from any walk of life in our society have perks and prerogatives that are far beyond what the "average joe" gets. What do you call it when salaries for upper level management people in the financial industry are in the millions? I alternate between amusement, anger and envy when the corporate plane disgorges senior executives for them to bring us the word from on-high about our latest corporate plans. The social circle that senior people live in is always a limited one drawn largely from those who are in similar circumstances- people making a high six figure salary don't typically live in developments that also have 3 room bunglows- or go to any college town in America and see how much the faculty mingles outside of their peers? And yet unlike civilian society, military leaders largely have to make their way up the ladder in their chosen profession from near the bottom to the top, living and working side by side. So they at least have some idea of what they are asking of their people and how those impact their people in their daily lives and jobs- unlike much of the Civilian sector of the economy which routinely seems to think that brilliance in money handling is the key to all management ,and that people and resources are just numbers on spreadsheets.
    I have had the privilege of working for a long period time in both camps- and from my perspective, military society is no more a closed and rarified world than any other large organization. It has its fair share of people who lead secret lives without moral grounding, and it has its share of folks who are oblivious to the trends outside their circles as well as it fair share of those who progress up the chain by sucking up and by brilliant packaging rather than solid performance. But the military certainly has no more of those than any other organization or segment of society. If I have a beef with military life, its more grounded in what Tom Ricks has noted in his latest book- that there is an increasing unwillingness to hold senior military leadership accountable for failure. That to me is a far bigger issue than the "isolation" of military society from the larger civilian one that this guy decries.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  11. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I had an old co-worker who was yelled at by some DHS folks for using Prezi.:rolleyes:
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    State Department, like the FBI, "does not play well with others."
     
  13. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    Thanks for your perspective Bruno. I appreciate it.

    For the state department to decry the military's culture as too rarified is too much.

    Nothing beats a Brigade PRT leader (a state department SES) pulling rank on a battle space owning brigade commander in Iraq to demonstrate a DoS culture steeped in privilege over mission accomplishment.
     

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