Army worried about losing officers

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by patentesq, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. patentesq

    patentesq Parent 5-Year Member

    Jan 6, 2011
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  2. kp2001

    kp2001 10-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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    A lot of interesting and thought provoking articles on this recently:

    From 'The Atlantic'
    Why Our Best Officers Are Leaving

    darn can't find the other one I was thinking of. I think it was from Proceedings if anyone can remember.
  3. hornetguy

    hornetguy 10-Year Member

    Jun 9, 2006
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    I'm sure the Army LTCs I am working with (and me!) would be happy to hear this! :D
  4. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom 10-Year Member

    Jul 9, 2006
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    ^I am sure they are - they see what happened to John Nagl.

    This concern has been going on for quite a while now - here is a Post article from 3 years ago when LTC John Nagl retired:

    IMO - they should have promoted him to General and found a way to keep him in.

    I found this interesting - talking about Captains:
  5. Bullet

    Bullet 5-Year Member

    Jan 9, 2008
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    I'm positive that had LT COL Nagl stayed, he was well on his way to a star, eventually. Leaving was his PERSONAL choice, as it is for the vast majority of officers. Something that adds to each personal scale of "cost/benefits" over the past decade has been "how MUCH time does the Army want me to be away from my family in some gosh-forsaken piece of trash on Earth? Is THAT worth it to me?" To many (including me), the answer was "No". Not because we didn't love serving our country or or particular service, but because we loved our families more, and realized that when we died (hopefully years from now), it wouldn't be the service mourning at our graves, it would be our families (if we still had one).

    Will they miss the responsibility, the rush, the sense of power? Certainly.
    Then again, after a full day formatting Powerpoint slides and writing performance reports, they will go home, watch the kids soccer game, eat a meal cooked by a loving wife, read the kids to bed, then fall asleep in their own bed next to the one they love. And a HUUUUUGE part of them will say "it's worth it".

    And when the Army (or Marines, or Navy, or AF, or Coast Guard) asks them to leave that all behind agan for ANOTHER year (possibly for the 3rd or 4th time), they will seriously question which they would rather do: stay and work on Powerpoint, or go back to those cr@ppy places AGAIN, and ask their families to understand why daddy (or mommy) wasn't there AGAIN.
  6. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot 5-Year Member

    Apr 29, 2010
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    "Gates said he’s terrified what will happen when Army captains charged with “reconciling warring tribes” and directing millions of dollar in reconstruction projects in Iraq and Afghanistan return to garrison life where “they may find themselves in a cube all day re-formatting PowerPoint slides, preparing quarterly training briefs, or assigned an ever expanding array of clerical duties.”

    I'm surprised that he doesn't think this is already happening. Moving into a staff billet from a tactical billet is a soul-killing change--one that happens every day.
  7. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team" 5-Year Member

    Feb 1, 2009
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    ..if only the cold war was still around!
  8. BillSL

    BillSL USMA Class of 2016 5-Year Member

    Mar 8, 2011
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    Those are all interesting articles.

    A curious thing I read some time ago - and I'm not sure if that is true or not - was that WP was starting to offer their cadets a chance to pick the location they want to be deployed to, at the expense of serving 3 more active-duty years instead of reserve. Would be great if anyone could verify the veracity of this.

    Another interesting subject I read on "Master of War" (a book by a CNN reporter on Blackwater's rise and fall) was that the U.S. Army was rather skeptical about the big rise in popularity of Private Military Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan (besides other theaters, such as Africa and continental U.S.) would transform the U.S. Army into a big training camp for future contractors, because they pay was so much better in PMC than in the Army.

    Anyways, I am not really familiar with the military way of handling army careers (I am applying for the USMA), but the proposals by "The Atlantic" seem fairly reasonable, specially because Officers rarely have the choice of which career they want to pick... I think. Again, that was something I was told.

    On the "age-requirements" for certain ranks makes some sense to me... I mean, I don't know how most Officers would react under a 20- or 30-something year old general while they were serving for much longer than that guy, but that's besides the point (as long as that rank was achieved by merit, something rare according to The Atlantic). I am just thinking about General McClellan... he was 35 when he was commissioned Major General, right? I don't know if the issues with the Army of the Potomac were any related to his age... Any thoughts?

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