How to lose great leaders, ask the Army.

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by tug_boat, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    1,757
    Likes Received:
    539
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,546
    Likes Received:
    1,007
    Another excellent article post from tug. I like the idea of allowing more freedom, within the needs of the services, for selecting your next job. I also think they give way too much credit to the private sector for how they value their people and their concerns.
     
  3. osdad

    osdad Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    28
    Applies to enlisted too.

    Another area, and one that hit close to home, is how the services (Navy in my case) disregard previous evaluations of superiority when he/she doesn't quite make it to the top. Specifically I'll use this example: getting selected for BUDS is tough. The young men go through evaluation for physical attributes and get months of special attention and mentoring. These guys are supposed to be the best. But should they be dropped from BUDS (and 75% do) they get a list of open rates no different than if they just barely met minimum entrance standards. There's no assessment of skills. No evaluations of where they might be of most use. Nothing. Just pick from this list.

    SEALS is not the only area where this applies. Navy Nukes is another. Don't quite make it through prototype? To the bottom of the list you go.

    So they're taking the top and treating them as if they're the lowest. Is it any wonder my son says that he'll not re-enlist in his current rate. For example, he is a licensed commercial diver yet that was never considered when he dropped from BUDS and had to choose a rate. I understand the opinion that he took a slot from someone who might have succeeded but that looks backward not forward. He has a friend who also dropped who holds a PhD in physics - he's now a MA. How is that getting the most out of his commitment?
     
  4. billyb

    billyb Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    31
    I have a family member that is an air force officer. I thought they do have some sort of job board that lists positions and you can choose to apply to certain ones. When I was in, the Army had no such thing. Everything was "needs of the Army." Maybe I wasn't high enough rank yet to be exposed to it. I think the military does move people around to "round out" their experiences and expose them to more things, which isn't a bad idea. I do think they could be much better about accentuating strengths of the people it has. I saw many a great officer leave the military because they didn't have any control at all over where they were going to go or what they were going to do.
     
  5. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,239
    Likes Received:
    272
     
  6. billyb

    billyb Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    31
    ah.... then it is like the Army. Ha!
     
  7. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    444
    Nothing new, similar discussions were happening back in late 90's. Had a face to face counseling session with my CG when I resigned (2001) since the leadership was concerned about junior officers leaving.

    Perhaps I have been a part of the institution too long, but I don't agree with many of the generalization in the article

    "No junior officers know where their next job assignment will be, or if it will fit with their interests, strengths and talents."

    After commissioning, the path is pretty clear, BOLC, any specialty school, platoon leader, specialty platoon, company XO, and BN staff, than to your Captains Career Course. Of course there are deviation based on your branch, but nothing changes. I was a 2LT long time ago, but what strengths and talents do 2LTs have? A 2LT could be interested in Computer Science, but if he or she ended up branching Chemical Corps, guess what personal interest matters little. I remember an air force LT, C 17 pilot, being a contestant on the American Idol - her talent is signing so we should ignore the money we spent to train her to be a C17 pilot and assign her somewhere else where she can sing? Or I like to see a bank teller transferring to investment banking because he or she is interested in investment banking.
     
  8. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,239
    Likes Received:
    272
    So, what? Are people just identical punch cards that can be stamped to become whatever you need them to be?
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    444
    No, that's why folks can pick which service, ask and work towards getting the specialty they want, and allow to resign when their commitment is over.

    Becoming a military officer is different from just getting a job. My personal opinion is that serving in the military is at least 51% needs of the military and 49% needs of the individual. If the military needs to cater to individual needs more, we shouldn't call it "serving." I assuming AF has something similar to the Army values, one of them being "selfless service."

    The military personnel system is not perfect, but I don't have any better solution as any changes will have 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on consequences. If we allow commanders to hire and fire who they want, what do we do with officers no commanders wants or gets fired?
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,755
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    At the end of the day, do they really care?

    This is the interesting part of not only military service, but federal work.

    Your value is "theoretical" in some ways. "He's a great leader." "She's so smart." "I would follow him anyway."

    Uh huh, but who cares? The service submits a budget request, it's squooshed around a bit, and eventually a budget comes out the other side, independent of Mr. Leader or Ms. Smarty-Pants.

    "But LITS, the military is made up of people, that's what makes it so great."

    News flash, everythings made up of people in the work force. Some work forces can SHOW the return on investment for their people. Dead weight is toss to the curb, productive folks rise. There isn't any "in 1.5 years I will make O-2, then 2.5 years later I will make O-3, and then 6 years later I'll make O-4."

    There may be EXPECTATIONS of some movement, but if it aint getting down, you're going to stay put and the new guy might move up faster.

    Moving adds uncertainty, absolutely, but another news flash from the outside..... you don't dictate your entire career in the private sector either. They don't just create a position because you say "It's my time..." unless you are one of those GREAT assets.

    I think the military's issues aren't just "not promoting" but promoting **** bags all the other guys know shouldn't be promoted. Anyone in uniform or having been in uniform can probably count on more than one (or two) hands the guys and gals who SHOULD NOT be at the rank they're at. And they can count people who should have been.
     
  11. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,755
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    You send them packing.... like any other employer. Do we REALLY think there's something unique about the military? What do we do with them? We stop paying them and we remind them if they don't do their jobs, they won't have jobs....
     
  12. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    444
    Sure, I don't disagree. We do send them packing, perhaps not fast enough. During the war, the selection rate for promotion was very high, now it will go back to historical norm or lower (i.e. instead of 90% plus selection rate for LTC, something like 50% and so on). At MAJ and below, twice non-select for promotion means separation. A Selective Retention board will be held for CPTs (i.e. Army will board all the CPTs in the target population and separate X number of CPTs).

    One unique aspect of the military is that we have grow from within. Can you fire a Coast Guard ship captain and hire someone outside of Coast Guard to fill the vacancy?
     
  13. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,755
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    Sure. It would take some training and time, but sure, without a doubt. And that's true for any senior position. They can be replaced. They can even be replaced with people who were not in their pipeline. But the further the new hire gets from the original, with respect to experience, the longer "getting up to speed" takes.

    Could I find someone to drive a boat, fly a plane or helo? Yep (and they do, direct commission aviators). Could I find senior members of the private sector with leadership qualities equal to, or even greater than admirals or generals? Yep.

    We act like something magical happens. It doesn't. It's a job. It's a role. There's certainly dedication, and there is a learning curve, for sure. And yes, the work can often inspire awe and respect. But these aren't miracle workers. They're you and they're me. Some will succeed, some will fail. Some will do far more than we ever think we could do, and some are disappointments.
     
  14. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,239
    Likes Received:
    272
    Agreed.

    My somewhat intentionally provoking response was to try to get across that, where possible, the military would likely get better results from people working jobs they really want. A different selection system would likely help.

    From what little I've seen of the AF way, people are assigned based on records where "everyone is a star" (OPR/EPR system being a whole can of worms itself), or "available bodies." That's the appearance, anyway.
     
  15. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    8
    They are holding separation boards for Majors as well.
     
  16. Packer

    Packer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,877
    Likes Received:
    5
    I have a co-worker whose son in law did AROTC on scholarship, majored in computer science, graduated at the top of his class and selected signal corps. He was branch detailed to infantry as he suspected he would be. Somewhere along the way his commitment turned into 6 years for reasons I didn't quite follow. He ended up serving in infantry for 5-1/2 years and in signal corps his last 6 months. He was not happy and could not wait to get out once his commitment was up.
    I am sure there is more to this story but why does the military spend the money on educating somebody in a field that they will never utilize?
     
  17. aglages

    aglages Parent

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,680
    Likes Received:
    4
    A question I've also been curious about. How about grad school after a 4/5 years in a service academy. Why does the AF take an electrical engineer with a BS from USAFA send him/her to grad school for an MS in electrical engineering and save him/her a UPT slot?
     

Share This Page