Life of Newly Commissioned Officer in Transforming Military

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by cb7893, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

    Dec 6, 2011
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    This is my attempt to branch out a new thread from one already underway.

    Originally Posted by scoutpilot View Post
    The Army is in the midst of a big transformation. I would urge you to read Force 2025 and the Army Strategic Planning Guidance if you're interested. Good PD.

    As much as I have always enjoyed your posts which aren't packed with unintelligible Military jargon and acronyms, this may be the most useful. For those of you who google it, search "Force 2025 and Beyond", not "Force 2025", unless you play video games.

    It struck me, because last night I picked up my DS, AROTC MS IV at Ft. Riley, KS, where he completed CTLT. We spent the entire three hour car ride talking about the possible changes in the military, having never heard of Force 2025. So, thanks again.

    He is at that fork in the road: Active Duty or Reserve/Nat'l Guard and Chem/Chem E grad school. He feels confident that he would get active duty and his first choice and even more confident that he would be the kind of soldier well suited for a leaner, smarter, more efficient fighting force. He is less confident that his talents and skill set may languish if he ends up in a bad place on active duty.

    My question is, given the political/bureaucratic/institutional challenges of the military that you so often lament, and the meddling of congress, how on God's green earth will the DOD be able to pull off massive downsizing and transformation simultaneously? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Force 2025 exactly what Donald Rumsfeld was mapping out prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    I'm not interested in influencing his decision, only concerned that he is well informed in making his ultimate decision.

    Would appreciate any comments.
  2. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

    Jun 9, 2006
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    As much and as often as we try to predict the future, we aren't very good at it.

    I'd advise him to look at his decisions in one of two ways. First, will this choice be one I think I need to do. In other words, if I don't do this, am I going to look back in 10 years and wonder "if only...?" Second, will this choice keep my future options open? Limiting your future choices by current action can pay off, but if things don't work out like you planned, it's nice to be set-up well to pursue alternate avenues.
  3. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

    Dec 13, 2010
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    In my view, the "life of a newly commissioned officer" doesn't really change that much regarding a transforming military. Fact is, we are always "transforming" in the military. Transformation works its way into the lower levels but a junior officer is learning his profession, learning to lead his unit, and learning to survive as a cog in a very large system. "it is what it is" is the response to some changes (or lack there of) but the day to day job is similar in any transformation.

    I came in the post-Vietnam Carter years and left under Ronald Reagan. The military under Carter was downsized, budgets were low, gear was old, pilots were struggling to get enough flight hours, etc. Pay increases were frozen, etc. Still, we found a way to train and maintain efficiencies. When the administration changed under Reagan, the pendulum swung the other way and it was a wonderful time with pay increases and enough supplies to run all kinds of training missions. New platforms were financed and by the time I got out the fleet was getting new weapon systems, planes, tanks, etc.

    I actually think that we will see something similar in the next administration - but what do I know??

    My point is that the mission of a junior Officer didn't change. Learn his craft, accomplish the mission and take care of his people.
  4. WestCoastStudent

    WestCoastStudent New Member

    Aug 29, 2014
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    I concur with USMCGrunt that the pendulum is always swinging. It is just a personal decision to stay in during the rough patches and hope that good things come your way, or take your chances doing something else.

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