Tom Ricks Blog

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by bruno, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Breathalyzers: Another Navy Dept. nail in the coffin of 'special trust and confidence'


    http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/post...in_the_coffin_of_special_trust_and_confidence

    Here's an interesting perspective that should generate a lot of conversation within the Forum and within the Navy and Marine Corps. I do ask that it be kept civil and respectful to both the Navy and your fellow posters whether you agree or disagree with the proposed program.:rolleyes:
     
  2. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    I agree with you. To me - they are trying to fix the problem of bad officer promotion policies with gadgets. They have put people in place who are ill-suited to be commanders, but rather than fix that process, they want a micro managers magic wand to do the job and get the people responsible for making those bad selections off the hook. Relying on this test is just the system exonerating itself with a "hey how could we know that they were unfit- it was the booze that made this person different". But as most of us know- those types of Commanders often exhibited really bad leadership traits o their peers and subordinates long before they fouled up so badly that their superiors had to take notice.
    So IMHO this is just a political gimmick that will undermine leadership and let a flawed system continue. Personally- it seems to me that having "360 evaluations" would enlighten people a lot- an old commander of mine (who wound up at the 4 star level) used to talk about the problem of evaluating people form above- he compared the problem to how a Camouflage net works. From above , everything looks normal, but at the ground level you can tell that it's just a net on some poles. Same deal with promotions- lots of people are flaming idiots to their subordinates and even their peers, but the commander doesn't see that- instead when making his evaluation he sees just what he's supposed to.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  3. BarrettaM59

    BarrettaM59 Member

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    Breatherlizers in congress

    Breatherlizers should be installed in Congress. They make more potentially dangerous decisions than our military officers.

    Maybe they will add them to the voting machines next?
     
  4. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Thanks for the post, Bruno. I'd been wondering what had become of Thomas Ricks, whose columns at the WaPo I used to read, as well as some of his books (Making the Corps, Fiasco).

    It seems to me that if a reason for implementing this policy is that in 13 of 20 instances where a commanding officer was relieved it was attributable to alcohol, then perhaps the new breathalyzer policy should be phased in, starting with commanding officers only for the first year or two.
     
  5. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Another "don't punish one, punish EVERYONE" policy

    Uugh -- insanity seems to have creeped into our leadership's ranks if this is the direction they continue to go down. A very stupid new policy / idea, that if allowed to go forward will be just one more nail in the coffin of getting outstanding junior officers who may be sitting on the fence about whether to stay to finally say enough and test greener pastures in civilian life. :mad:

    Has there been a rash of alcohol related incidents in those who have been relieved of command? Yes, yes there has. But I ask you, what percentage of those who have commanded or are currently commanding over the past decade HAVE been relieved? 5%? 10%? I'll be willing to bet the % is MUCH lower.

    So, in the ranks of the Navy's leadership there has been a few bad eggs. Guess what, the same thing happens in civilian society. And in the SecNAV's eyes, the behavior of a VERY SMALL minority warrants demonstrating a lack of trust in the vast majority of those who do the right thing, every day. :thumbdown:

    We used to have a saying for these types of situations, where the leadership punishes everyone for the behavior of a small few: "When one guy poops his pants, we ALL have to wear diapers." This is a fine example of that; a policy that stinks to high heaven (pun intended) because leadership feels they have to DO SOMETHING or it makes them look bad. :unhappy:

    If you treat everyone like children, then don't be surprised if they start behaving like children and take their ball and go home...
     

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