Skip to main content

I suspect that when the American public watches an active duty general either testifying before Congress or giving a press briefing, they niavely believe that they're receiving candid information.  Nothing could be farther from the truth

Due to the lack of common military experience among the American public, a vast majority are unaware of the career progression that military professionals endure.  And, I believe this ignorance to even extend into the halls of Congress.

So what does it take to be "a damn good general?"  In my considered opinion as a retired USAF Master Sergeant who spent the majority of his career writing articles, reports, evaluations and commendations to make officers look good and, even editing their master's degree papers, the first quality it takes to be a "damn good general" is political guile tempered by unwavering loyalty to the chain of command.  These obviously are complimentary qualities that boil down to the simple tenet: Don't embarrass your boss.

Now, while the enlisted ranks have a less politicized career progression which depends on technical testing, professional military testing, time-in-grade (TIG) points, award points added to evaluation report points (often politically influenced), officers have a much more simple career progression.  Provided that one is afforded the opportunity for achieving educational milestones, whether getting that masters degree or attending war college, one's career progression is limited only by the highest level of endorsement one receives on their annual Officer Evaluation Report (OER) since this is what is evaluated by the promotion board against peer records.  I'm sure that there's a TIG as well as an award point component but this pales in comparison to OER endorsement level. Furthermore, promotion boards never release their promotion criteria outside of average statistics for those promoted.

So, what are the levels of endorsement for evaluation reports?  Unit level, Squadron/Battalion level, Base level, HQ level, Pentagon level, and of course, Commander in Chief (CIC) level.

Now, here's the point of this diary, no general ever made his 4th star by criticizing his boss.  Regardless of how wrong headed any strategy might be, dissent is tolerated only behind closed doors, and once you walk out that door SOLDIER, you toe the party line or suffer the career consequences.  Yet, the enlisted and lower ranking officers depend on their leadership to prevent their needless sacrifice.

In my opinion (yet again), the last "DAMN GOOD GENERAL" was Shinsecki.  Rather than lead his troops to their ultimate death and the evisceration of our military, he retired in protest.  Ret. Gen. Batiste, who also took a principled stand against Bush’s Iraqi fiasco, has joined him recently.  They both have been joined by a plethora of retired generals that have come out against this Iraqi travesty.

In my opinon, there isn't a "DAMN GOOD GENERAL" on active duty today.  Only the ugly gold-diggers.

So when you see that General (Petraeus or whomever) testifying before Congress or giving that press briefing, please understand that it's really George Bush speaking.  Good soldiers don't get promoted for embarrassing their boss.

Originally posted to tristan57 on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 07:09 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Right On The Money (10+ / 0-)
    The public needs to understand that.  

    To advance in the ranks today you really, really need to be pro-Bush or a complete spineless SOB.

    The fact that these generals will take part in overt PR campaigns to distort battles and overall strategy is not what they teach you at officer school.  Doing such things is morally wrong, and, basically, a lie.  Officers aren't supposed to lie.  That was in our oath.

    Petraeus is gambling his future on giving Bush what he wants in Iraq.  The GOP and Bush has bet everything on the gamble.  Trouble is, Petraeus will have to fabricate things in his report to allow it to become a GOP boilerplate to use against Dems in 2008.  He'll cut corners and leave, or blur any parts that don't fit the Bush plan.

    Wes Clark could speak out more, directly, against these guys.  But he won't and hasn't.  He is advocating leaving the generals alone and focusing on diplomacy in the area.  That's a cop out.  It leaves the gates wide open for Bush, using his generals, to further distort things in Iraq without challenge.  Clark needs to show that HE has some moral courage and take Petraeus on.  So far, only a non-general, Juan Cole, seems to be doing that.

  •  tag police (6+ / 0-)

    please use full names in tags.

    i fixed your tags.

    As to the substance of your diary, we have no way of knowing how many high level active duty military are opposed to the war.  It's not only because being critical of the president keeps you from being promoted: active duty officers are not allowed to openly criticize the Commander in Chief according to the UCMJ.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
    IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 08:43:49 AM PDT

  •  Glad I pulled up diaries I've missed today - this (7+ / 0-)

    one was worth the read.  Thank you.

  •  Bear in Mind ALL Current Flag Officers (9+ / 0-)

    Over 2 Stars were personally approved by that paragon of military virtue and master strategist Donald Rumsfeld.

    Knowing what the fuck you are doing has been an automatic disqualification for several years.

    No man should seek to do any more than his duty, nor be satisfied to do any less.

    by The Baculum King on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 08:39:47 PM PDT

  •  so, once out, never a critical word either? (11+ / 0-)

    What's up with Colin Powell?

    He was treated poorly, reportedly disagreed with the Iraq boondoggle, and yet promoted it, good soldier that he was, in the UN, and never took a principled leadership position while SOS or afterwards.

    I really admire the Generals and lower ranking officers who have taken a public stand against the war.

    Based on what you have said here - and what we have observed - the courage and willingness to step out of line is even more admirable. Some, like Powell, just don't seem to be able to make the change to civilian life and independent judgement.

    Sad...

    Very interesting diary. Thank you.

    And thanks to the rescue rangers.

    •  Colin Powell is a conflicted individual... (7+ / 0-)

      ...While he abhors what he supported and condoned in invading Iraq, he is more convoluted and contorted by the death and maiming of 30,000+ soldiers to date.  This administration dreads the day the Colin Powell speaks out...and it's coming.  Like Moses unable to live in the promised land, Colin Powell has his own cross to bear and it weighs heavily upon his shoulders every day of his life.  Colin Powell knows, unlike the Bush cabal, Colin Powell knows.

      ..most profound moments of my life...the last few..

      by tristan57 on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 10:11:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  never going to happen (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hard to Port, KansasLiberal

        Powell put his loyalty to Bush ahead of his duty to the nation. That's unforgivable. It's treason.

        He's a coward who did as he was told. His presentation to the UN was a bravura performance, but it was acting. He knew that he was presenting lies. Likewise with his assistance in the cover-up of My Lai. Mr. Good Soldier.

        Powell knows this, and that's why he can't speak out. He's guilty. He was the one person who could have spoken out and halted this madness. He failed, and he'll be relegated to the dustbin of history, where he belongs.

        •  If Powell is treasonous, what do we have left? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hard to Port

          ...Colin Powell exemplifies "a damn good general" despite the fact that I believe he wasted his loyalty and credibility on a superficial and stupid Commander in Chief. Within his first years at his position, he made it clear that it's this one shot and I'm out unless you get it right. Bush didn't get it right and Powell punched.  How much more clarity do you need???  Powell was/is the lone thread of accountability within this administration.  If you put Powell on the ticket as an independent, both parties would be vying for that VP slot.

          ..most profound moments of my life...the last few..

          by tristan57 on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 11:12:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Powell as a presidential candidate... (0+ / 0-)

            ...brings tears to my eyes!!!!

            ..most profound moments of my life...the last few..

            by tristan57 on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 11:35:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  one shot and I'm out? accountability? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hard to Port, KansasLiberal

            How exactly does Powell represent accountability? Bush used him and discarded him like he did hundreds of people. He knew in advance that Bush wasn't going to get it right (Shinseki was "retired" and not enough troops were being sent in). Why didn't he ever speak up, not before, not after?

            He doesn't deserve to be president. If he runs, he'll be chopped apart for supporting "intelligence" that he knew to be false.

        •  You noticed during that testimony, George Tenant (0+ / 0-)

          was seated immediately behind Powell, in camera view.  That was because when Powell asked Tenant if the intelligence in favor of war was valid, Teneant said "It's a slam-dunk."   Powell then said he'd present the report, but told Tenant he'd be sitting right behind him.

          Sec. Powell was never part of Bush's in-crowd.  Although he's made professional mistakes, I think he's a man of character.  He'll write.  He's got a hell of a lot to get off his chest.

          Quinctilius Varus, give me back my legions.

          by Ice Blue on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 11:30:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "I'm not reading this [expletive]!!!" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hard to Port

            That is what Powell shouted during his briefing at the CIA before the presentation to the UN. He knew that he was presenting cooked intelligence.

            Powell's aides told him that there was strong dissent about the aluminum tubes, and that he shouldn't mention them. He did anyway, and I found that part particularly persuasive (increasing perfection over time).

            The reason Tenet was behind him was so that Bush could later pin the blame on Tenet, and he did exactly that.

  •  Moral: Once a General (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ice Blue, KansasLiberal

    always an ass-kisser.

    Only the rare few find their moral bottom and live by it, much to the cost of the enlisted types.

    They burn our children in their wars and grow rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

    by Limelite on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 09:00:44 PM PDT

    •  It didn't used to be that way. Roosevelt gave (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Limelite, Hard to Port, KansasLiberal

      George Marshall free rein to pick his own people, and he did so purely according to their abilities.  For instance, MacArthur made it well known that he hated Marshall's guts, yet he was kept in command of the Pacific.    

      You were in the Air Force, tristan57--look at Hap Arnold and Jimmy Doolittle.  Both earned some possibly career-killing black marks early in their careers.  Yet Marshall saw something in them.  Could it have been a talent for innovation, or guts?

      Unfortunately, after Marshall, things changed.  We began to get ass-kissers like Westmoreland.

      As I've said before, I don't trust Petraeus.  I know he's got a Ph.D. in (I think) International Relations from Princeton, but Kissinger has a doctorate, too.  Big fat hairy deal.

      And, Sarge--you say some officer made you do his homework for him?  That's so, like, not cool.

      Quinctilius Varus, give me back my legions.

      by Ice Blue on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 10:18:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They didn't make me do their homework... (7+ / 0-)

        ...they asked me to. And I'll admit that I did it gladly because they were my friends.  They weren't the generals glomming on stars on the backs of their dead soldiers.  The closest I came to that was as I was beginning my career as a military author of sorts.  I was in charge of writing material deficiency reports for Bitburg Air Base (36th TFW) for world-wide distribution.  Within that capacity, when the DCM (Deputy Commander for Maintenance) wasn't available to sign off on certain reports, I had to go to Lt. Col. MAY.  Now this man's name sticks in my mind for a couple of reasons.  Lt. Col. MAY abused everyone that darkened the door of his office.  He had a forehead that was most reminiscent of a beluga whale and a demeanor of a child that had dealt with that his whole life.  Officers and pilots never wanted to deal with him and neither did we.  Unfortunately, Lt. Col. MAY owns his own day in infamy.  In fact, for every reader of this blog, record the name of Lt. Col. MAY for like forever.  See, he was the wingman on the two ship F-15 patrol of the northern Iraq no-fly zone when that helicopter was shot down with all the NATO observers on board.  As if a frikkin helicopter can ever pose a threat to an F-15, Wingman Lt. Col. MAY ordered his (captain) flight lead to roll in and fire on that bogey and in so doing, he tragically killed 26+ in the helicopter and ended a young captain's career.

        ..most profound moments of my life...the last few..

        by tristan57 on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 10:46:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't tell me this Lt. Col. MAY is still in. (0+ / 0-)

          Shit often floats.

          (Sorry if that line about homework sounds ambiguous--I used to know an AF officer who tried to make his office's AF secretaries type personal correspondences for him, even though they were short-staffed enough as it was.)

          Quinctilius Varus, give me back my legions.

          by Ice Blue on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 11:03:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Bush fired the good generals (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moiv, chigh, KansasLiberal

    and called it "retirement."  WHat's left are parade-ground generals  who care more about their nexty promotion than their men(and I can't hel;p thinking of  "I am the very model of a modern major general" from Pirates of Penzance_.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 10:04:53 PM PDT

  •  I'm with you on Shinseki. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moiv, Ice Blue, BachFan

    It's often professional suicide to utter inconvenient truths. Look at Bunnatine Greenhouse.

    I hope they both get prominent placements during the Edwards/Clark administration.

  •  Thats the AF, not the Army (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moiv, BachFan, KansasLiberal, Issek

    Having been in the Army for over 20 years I have only a passing understanding of the Air Force promotion system but while stationed on an Air Force base I attended enough "Passover parties" to know about the system of "endorsements."  Its wrong and stupid and limited to the Air Force.  I ask you not to drag the Army’s flawed promotion system into the utter mess that is Air Force promotions.

    Provided that one is afforded the opportunity for achieving educational milestones, whether getting that masters degree or attending war college, one's career progression is limited only by the highest level of endorsement one receives on their annual Officer Evaluation Report (OER) since this is what is evaluated by the promotion board against peer records.  I'm sure that there's a TIG as well as an award point component but this pales in comparison to OER endorsement level. Furthermore, promotion boards never release their promotion criteria outside of average statistics for those promoted.

    OERs in the Army follow a very structured "rating scheme" that makes sense 99% of the time.  For the vast majority of officers your "rater" is your direct boss and your "senior rater" is his/her boss.  One or both is also normally a commander.  The only times it gets strange is when you have a) a strange job  b) a rater or senior rater from another service/civilian and c) you work for some total asshole who invents a way to screw you.  Option C, in my experience, is about .0001% of the time.  One of the changes implemented during GEN Shinsecki’s time as Chief of Staff was that either the rater or senior rater of every Army officer would be another Army officer.  He did that because too many good officers were having their careers ruined by being rated by someone who either didn’t understand or didn’t care about what Army promotion boards were looking for.  This cuts both ways.  I rated an Air Force officer and after writing what I thought was a fine evaluation I had it completely redone (by an AF MSgt BTW) because it would have ruined her.  Same with my Air Force enlisted evaluations.  I could not wrap my brain around the concept that filling EVERY INCH of the box was more important that what someone did and that, in that job, running a unit social activity "counsel" was more important that successful key control of $25 million in real property.

    As for the current Army leadership – In the early summer of 2001, then Secretary Rumsfeld called the leadership (3 and 4 star) of the Army "talent less" and the "bench weak."  He then proceeded to fire/retire at an astounding rate, slowed only by the events of 9-11 but even then not by much.  Look around today and you will not find a single Army General in a meaningful 4 star command.  6 years of being considered dumb as rocks will do that.  After General Shinsecki and Secretary White were fired, a whole string of Army Generals retired rather than be Chief of Staff.

    Now, here's the point of this diary, no general ever made his 4th star by criticizing his boss.  Regardless of how wrong headed any strategy might be, dissent is tolerated only behind closed doors, and once you walk out that door SOLDIER, you toe the party line or suffer the career consequences.  Yet, the enlisted and lower ranking officers depend on their leadership to prevent their needless sacrifice.

    I certainly don’t see this as some kind of weakness in our system.  First off, its not like this is unique to the military.  Last I checked it got you fired at most civilian companies too.  Second, just because there is no PUBLIC dissent doesn’t mean there is a healthy PRIVATE debate.  Here we do differ from civilian companies. When I was a commander I disagreed multiple times with my commander but only one on one or with other commanders.  I was expected to provide valid, critical input, not be a yes man.  In fact, I would have been fired for NOT speaking up when I disagreed.  I was chosen for command based good brains, not good looks!  Once the decision was made though, you either buy in and own it or find other work.  Don’t be so quick to blame officers who stayed on and tried to make the best of a mess rather than just quit.  You are talking about Type A personalities to the extreme who don’t give up on anything.  You are also demanding that they quit something they love and have spend most of their adult life doing.  That’s a pretty tough standard.

    We have our flaws.  Source of commission still has more to do with making flag rank than anything else and an unhealthy percentage of butt kissers manage to move up.  But Ill stack our selection system against any in the world.  The Army/military is the ONLY large institution in this country (world?) that promotes ONLY from within.  Someone commissioned in May or June of last year will be the Chief of Staff in 2037.  No one every reaches the highest leadership ranks without passing through the very lowest.  They might forget some things on the way up, but they have all been there.  And for the Army, that also means they have to have had SUCCESSFUL commands at every level from Platoon Leader on up.  That’s a minimum of 3 commands before becoming a General and a whole bunch after.  That’s a LONG time under the microscope and any areas lacking there are not going to be made up anywhere else.

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 12:28:39 AM PDT

    •  Three more things (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moiv, BachFan, KansasLiberal, Issek
      1. Time in grade starts to become a negative at higher levels.  Go too long without being promoted and you culminate.  For junior and mid-grade officers you have a two year window to either get promoted or you are done.  
      1.  Awards other than those for valor mean very little if anything in officer promotions.  Ranger School is probably the only "award" that matters after LTC.
      1.  Promotion criteria for Army officers is well established.  The official announcement for the board gives he minimum and maximum TIG group (Year Group) to be considered and even NAMES the junior and senior officers to be considered.  The nature of the board is also named - Fully Qualified, Best Qualified, etc.  Promotion regulations further lay out the mimimums needed for consideration for promotion (24 months in XXX job) and pre-board notes from your branch/promotions branch lay out what type of record is "promotable" and what is an "at risk" profile.  

      Once a board is complete a post board analysis is done that serves as a guide to those to be considered in future years.  You can choose a whacked out career path and still get promoted but you might be rolling your dice on the 2% selection rate for that way.  I have rarely met anyone who was surprised by the results of a promotion board for non-select.  I know plenty of times when the results are published and you think - WTF, how did HE make the cut??  Even then, more often that not I have found that the snapshot I knew the person for did not represent their entire career to that point.

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 12:58:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What's your opinion of Boyda walking out on Keane (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moiv

        First of all, thank you for the fantastic background information.  Second, as a fellow Kansan(?), what's your opinion of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda walking out on General Keane's testimony to the House Armed Services Committee?  

        My dream ticket in 2008? John Edwards-Kathleen Sebelius

        by KansasLiberal on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 07:13:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  News to me (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          moiv

          I had to look it up.  My first reaction is that leaving means you don't get a vote and you don't get to hear everything first hand.  One man says "I will not stay and listen to his lies!!"  I say, "I will stay and hear all his lies myself."
          Not saying General Keane lied, in fact I doubt he did.  He may have told the truth as he saw it or he may have presented just the good. Personally, I would expect that in OPEN testimony any "bad" news would be restrained.  Save that for the closed testimony.  No reason to hand then enemy a propaganda tool or demoralize your own troops.  
          I do not believe we have to cheer lead and soldiers are a lot tougher than the Fox News assholes give them credit for but the last thing you want to hear from your leadership is "man we are getting our asses kicked and there is no point in showing up to work."  So you concentrate on what is going well.  It is very ingrained in us.  We do critiques of ourselves that have things like "Successes and challenges" "Positives and needs improvement" "Sustain and areas of concern."  Did the mission fail? Of course it did but we still say it "needs improvement."  We are not about failure.  

          I think she could have used her time and stature better by staying, listening, then PRIVATELY questioning and asking what she could do to help.  Army Generals have a well earned reputation for talking straight but they are more than a little gun shy about doing it in public after seeing so many of their peers being "Rummied."  She knew there was more to the story but instead of making a friend, she slammed the door.  Her military adviser needs to be fired and an Army Legislative Liaison needs to visit her office.

          It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

          by ksuwildkat on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 07:55:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  one more thing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            moiv

            let me add that NO ONE is more into being self critical than the Army.  When we evaluate each other we pick apart every tiny fault, the smallest mistake and the most benign failure.  Then we make the person responsible stand up an identify all the things that wet wrong and God help you if you miss one or point out that it was a minor or non-factor. Its a regular communist style confession of inadequacy.  But 5 minutes later we will walk out and the commander will be hailed as the next coming of Patton.  Admit your sins, accept your penance and all is forgiven.

            I had a commander tell me "make mistakes.  It means your are trying.  Just don't make them twice or it means you are stupid."
            In fact, once you stop hearing about things that are not perfect, you need to start worrying because it means you are no longer worth the effort to "coach, mentor and teach."  We only mentor those with potential.

             I am willing to bet General Keane would have laid out all the warts, the warts that may be and the warts that were narrowly avoided in private.

            It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

            by ksuwildkat on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 08:45:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Endorsements are still the... (0+ / 0-)

        ...Differentiator!  Army, Air force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard or National Guard.  All other criteria being equal, the politician gets promoted.  Those lacking in political skills don't even get considered past O-4.  One even has to be married to be seriously considered for promotion past O-6.

        ..most profound moments of my life...the last few..

        by tristan57 on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 07:51:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Again, AF not Army (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          moiv

          I am sure that is how the AF does things because you tell me and I have heard as much from others but "endorsements" are not even an option in the Army system.  The rating scheme is an officially published document signed by a commander.  If your evaluation does not match the rating scheme, its no good.  Do hard jobs working for senior people get you a leg up at promotion time?  Heck yeah and they should.  But you don't get shots at those jobs without doing well in other jobs.  Do we give our toughest, most responsible jobs to people who have demonstrated ability? 99% of the time yes, thank God.  Do we reward those jobs done well with promotion?  Again yes.  But even that really only applies to accelerated promotion.  If you want to be a "Below Zone" guy and get promoted early, you have to go for those "political" jobs like being an Aide.  For a "due course" officer you just have to do the jobs we deem are necessary for proper development (BTW - I am a due course officer).  Want to be a General Officer, do them very well and do them often.  But guess what, nothing tops Command. You could be the best butt kisser in the history of the military in a staff job and if you cant excel at command, you will stop getting promoted.  No ifs, ands or butts. Command is the great equalizer.  It clarifies purpose and separates an already exceptional population into those who will continue to move up and those who will not.  Not everyone can or should command.  Command well and you will command again.

          "Political" skills come into play in the Army at the GO level but promotions up to 06 play straight 99% of the time.  

          I haven't seen marriage be a factor in promotions in a LONG time.  Let me check that.  Its a factor if your spouse brings discredit on the Army.  We have long talked about how your wife wont get you promoted but she can make sure you don't.  
          Unless there were valid concerns about sexual orientation, being single or divorced has no impact on promotions that I know of unless children make you non-deployable.  I know this is not true in the AF.  Its only been 20 years since the AF took marital status off evaluation forms (I was on an AF base when it happened).  There is nothing at all in any of my military records that any board would see that in any way indicates my martial status, wifes employment status, number of children or anything else.  I hear you on the AF but you are barking up the wrong tree with the Army.  Not saying its better, just different.

          It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

          by ksuwildkat on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 08:23:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  In FDR's armed forces, performance mattered (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    Both Weintraub, the author of several books on war, and Perry, who has written on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the C.I.A. and the Civil War, offer many examples of how even the domineering Franklin Roosevelt could not bend General Marshall’s backbone — though not for lack of trying. As Perry shows, in 1938, Roosevelt tried to pressure Marshall, then the Army’s deputy chief of staff, into consenting to a delay in the development of large ground forces until seven airplane factories could be built.

    As a dozen officials’ bobbleheads went up and down, Roosevelt asked Marshall, "Don’t you think so, George?" Marshall resented Roosevelt’s "misrepresentation of our intimacy." He said, "I am sorry, Mr. President, but I don’t agree with that at all." As Marshall later recalled, Roosevelt "gave me a startled look, and when I went out they all bade me goodbye and said that my tour in Washington was over."

    It wasn’t. Roosevelt was not used to such frank disagreement in large meetings, but he admired Marshall’s grit and conviction and soon promoted him.

    My favorite book on WWII, Why the Allies Won compared Allied to Axis leaders as military commanders. Roosevelt, Churchill and especially Stalin (in a very rare role for him) listened and took most of the advice of their senior commanders, and expected to be corrected.

    •  Marshall woulda been history as well... (0+ / 0-)

      Rummie, with Bush's blessing, woulda fired Gen. Marshall as well.  They only have their sycophants left there today.  Our military has been gutted of true leadership.

      ..most profound moments of my life...the last few..

      by tristan57 on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 07:37:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site