Hertling: Army has a discipline problem

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by bruno, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    The effects of 10 years at war are starting to show I suspect. Routine shuttling back and forth from the AOR - with maybe a year of down time. I think it's really wearing down the institution of the Army in all aspects- personnel & equipment. I'm sure that Scoutpilot has some thoughts on this.

    "
    http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/10/ap-hertling-army-has-discipline-problem-100511/
     
  2. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    How about generational gap as a contributing factor?

    Baby Boomers
    Generation X
    Generation Y(the Millennial Generation)

    Majority the soldiers belong to the Millennial generation. A follow up discussion is what are the characteristics of the Millennial generation?
     
  3. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    I really doubt it is a generational issue. I think 10 years at constant war has more to do with it.
     
  4. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Plus, it's not exactly like the Baby Boomers were all models of discipline during their military experience. We've all seen the pictures of soldiers in Vietnam smoking dope.

    The stress of war certainly was a part of that. Not to mention that those guys had the draft to deal with, with a deferment system that wasn't particulalry fair (and bred resentment).

    And Vietnam was one of those decade-long wars, too.

    I have no idea if this is a real problem or not, or if it is only one General's opinion. I'll leave having an opinion on the merits of the General's views to guys like scout who are in the active Army and can speak from their experience.
     
  5. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    This may be relevant, so thought I'd throw it out. At RAND, all the Air Force, Army, and DoD projects require GO or SES sponsorship and the projects are selected by a rack and stack on military priorities each year.

    Anyway, in a video RAND did for it's 50 year anniversary, they interviewed a general who summed up a common problem/incidence for them. RAND had a tendency to come back to them when given a project saying "You're not asking the right question, what you should REALLY be asking is ___."

    I might dive into the FY12 Army research agenda at RAND and see if discipline is being studied this year. Will be telling how much it really matters.
     
  6. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    The Army does have a discipline problem. It's not just a conduct problem. It's a problem of military bearing and professionalism. The drive for retention to keep "experience" in the ranks over the past decade has led us to a state where fat soldiers, lazy soldiers, troublemakers, or any hybrid thereof can survive and gain rank.

    If General Hertling wants to know where the problem starts, he should look to his peers. One of his genius brethren decided awhile back that the Army needs to allow thugs off the street with neck tattoos. And people who can't muster the dedication to finish high school. Force us to take the dregs of society, and you'll get this as a result.

    Sew the wind, reap the whirlwind. Or, as the saying goes...trash in, trash out.
     
  7. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    At least the solution is simple, discharge every soldier who entered with a GED or a neck tatoo.
     
  8. Malachy Marine

    Malachy Marine Member

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    I don't think the problem is ten years at war... It might be the institution. I'm not trying to get into a pissing match between services, but the Marine Corps has been in this war just as long, and seen some of the heaviest fighting with some disproportionate casualty figures (considering our small size).

    We are not having the same increase in discipline issues. There are the standard things that Marines have always done and will always do, but no dramatic and precipitous moral debasing.
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Marines are overseas for half of the deployment time that soldiers have. Not sure what the solution is, but I'm guessing Scout's probably right about the retention issues and the willingness to overlook some issues with the hope of keeping people that know what's happening.
     
  10. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Well, let's talk about that for a second. Disproportionate to what, really? Let's compare apples to apples, please. A huge portion of your logistical and back-end support is drawn from the Army and Navy. The Army has a huge number of personnel who exist solely to support those who go out and do the fighting. If you want to talk about "proportionate" then you should compare the Army's fighting branches and those support brances routinely interacting with fighting forces in unsecure areas with their corresponding Marine brethren. You'll find that the casualty numbers are quite proportional. It all depends on how you parse it. How many Marine F-18 pilots have died in the war? None? One? If you simply look at that community, then the war seems to have been quite safe. We have to be careful about the sampling size.

    The support side is where you have your real discipline problems. Line battalions in the combat arms world don't see those issues typically, beyond the dumb stuff Joe has always done. It's the huge logistical backside where we see our real issues. Sustainment brigades, Theater Support units, etc. By and large, you tend to see less educated folks in those roles, many of whom come from less than ideal backgrounds and choose those jobs to either learn a trade, avoid the rigors of direct combat, or both.

    I'd be interested to hear the opinion of someone about the LT level about what kind of discipline issues they see across the board. It's easy to say things are A-ok from your fighting position.

    The Army will improve with the drawdown, similar to how war and a rapid expansion hurt us. The Army would love to have the luxry the Marines enjoy...the Army must recruit roughly 4 people for every 1 the Marines recruit. And then we have to ask them if they have any friends interested in joining. Many recruiters would be happy to turn away people, but that hasn't been reality until recently.

    Could the Army toughen up? Hell yes. We're finally on that road.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  11. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    You may not like the cold hard truth, but there was a good reason that the Army found those traits in a person (extreme tattooing and dropping out of high school) to be antithetical to disciplined military service. Are there exceptions? Yes, some turn out to be good joes. Most do not, and for understandable reasons.
     
  12. sprog

    sprog Member

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    I don't mind tattoos. Neck tattoos are, however, always nasty looking. I can't comprehend why people think they look cool.

    That's only cool if you're a prison inmate and need it to prevent getting stabbed.
     
  13. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Agreed, and that was my point. Some do turn out to be great. But long ago the military recognized that, by and large, those who leave school are not the type of people we want. The exceptions are always nice to hear about.

    As for the amount of time spent, we all know people who pulled the tough duty. But by and large, most Marine Corps deployments were 6 months, and most Army deployments were 12. That's fine. The Army's job is sustained land combat. We can't gripe about it, it's what we signed up for. It's our fault as the Army for not managing the need for more troops more effectively. Lowering recruiting standards is a painful remedy to a manning shortfall. It goes back to the old "sew the wind, reap the whirlwind" adage I mentioned before.

    During the surge, Marine deployments increased to seven months. Army deployments increased to 15 months. I was a bit miffed that we got three extra days of leave (to 18 days) in 15 months, while our USMC counterparts got 15 days in 7 months. Army policy was that those in country less than 12 months were not authorized R&R. But then again, no one asked me.

    The real kick in *** was that the leave was chargeable.

    Anyhow, digressing to irrelevancies...
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011

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