What’s Wrong with Army Leadership? - Granite Grok

What’s Wrong with Army Leadership?


Since 1775 the mission of the Army has been to “Fight and Win our Nations Wars.” It’s a pretty straightforward mission statement. Short and to the point.

We expect the Army to protect the nation by whatever means necessary be it a combined arms team with overwhelming firepower or engaging in personal close combat. This then is the essence of the use of military force in achieving our national strategic objectives. It is not the profession for the faint of heart or those who don’t like a little turbulence in their lives.

Serving in the Armed Forces of the United States is a noble undertaking as well as being a fulfilling and rewarding experience. Less than 1 percent of the population gets to experience the honor, pride, and satisfaction of being part of a team in every sense of what the word team conveys.

We’d like to thank Dragon6 for this Op-Ed. If you have an Op-Ed or LTE
you would like us to consider please submit it to Skip@GraniteGrok.com or Steve@GraniteGrok.com.

There is no greater honor than wearing the uniform that represents all that is good about the United States. Some have said that this 1 percent provides the safety and security for the other 99 percent of Americans so they can go about their daily lives in relative freedom. I think this comment captures the essence of why we expend taxpayer dollars and why we send our sons and daughters to serve.

Contrary to popular belief the armed forces are not about Generals and Admirals. The heavy lifting has always been done by young enlisted soldiers in the 17 to 25 year age bracket volunteers all like my Grandson who last year were just graduating from High School.

It’s hard work making “mission” just ask any hometown recruiter where finding qualified candidates becomes a full-time job. My emphasis is on “qualified.” You don’t just walk in and sign up. Does not work that way. This job is made tougher by the fact that a majority of young men and women in this age group are ineligible for military service which is hard to believe.

There are many reasons but mostly driven by their lack of a high school diploma, failure to pass the aptitude exam or a background check, inability to score minimum requirements on the physical fitness test, fail a drug screening or have other disqualifying factors. A lot of hard work goes into enlisting every eligible civilian and turning them into soldiers.

With all that said, the young men and women who do step forward to provide selfless service to the nation are the creme of the crop. The average soldier today comes from the middle class, is highly motivated, hungry for discipline, and desires to be part of a values-dominated team while operating in one of the most technologically advanced professions in the country.

The training they receive is second to none. It can take up to 2 years or more to train a new recruit to operate today’s sophisticated weapons systems and the cost to the taxpayer is considerable. Many will make the military a career while others will return to civilian life and continue to make significant contributions in their communities. Senior leaders then have a priority to focus on recruitment and retention of these great soldiers and make sure that the Army and the taxpayer get a return on investment.

When Mothers and Fathers send us their sons and daughters they have every right to expect that their loved ones are taken care of especially by our senior leaders. One of the primary responsibilities of Army leaders is to ensure the force is properly manned and morale is maintained so recruitment and retention are always a priority.

I never forgot that every soldier was a “volunteer.” They came willingly and they should be treated as such. Recently, a number of news reports paint a troubling picture regarding the actions of Army senior leaders that have a direct impact on soldiers, morale, retention, and readiness.

If the Army’s new recruiting ad is any indication, the Army is no longer focused on its principle warfighting mission. Instead, the main effort appears to be a focus on one’s identity and the need for the Army to adjust its environment to accommodate the needs of the individual. So much for working as a team.

This terrible cartoon ad is an indication that the Army has decided to go full “woke.” Missing was any emphasis on the warrior ethos. How this ad would help recruit young adults is beyond me. I am sure our adversaries watching this cartoon must be enjoying every minute of it.

The Army spends millions of taxpayer dollars each year via its outsourced recruiting program. I believe that these civilian marketing agencies are riddled with far-left progressives who see an opportunity to infiltrate our Army and to use it as a means to change our values and our culture. At the end of the day, this reads like pure Marxist propaganda. We better start paying attention before our Armed Forces go fully over to the dark side. It is happening in plain sight.

The current Secretary of Defense himself a former Army General Officer has his own focus namely to identify and eliminate “extremest” in the force. Did I miss something? Since when is extremism a problem in the ranks unless we are talking about domestic terror organizations such as BLM and Antifa.

Sorry, I know that’s politically incorrect.

What threat assessment if any drove the SECDEF and the Army Chief of Staff to reach this conclusion? I will go out on a limb and say none. How many soldiers have been discharged for “Extremism” whatever the hell that means? Again close to or at zero.

The military is supposed to be non-political and senior leaders are responsible to set the proper environment not encourage and promote division. Think about what this does to unit and soldier morale knowing that your leaders lack trust in you to the point that they put you through a “loyalty” screening process and indoctrination classes to make you monitor your fellow soldiers for adverse behavior. How would this work in an Infantry Platoon in combat?

We should not overlook the most recent example of Army senior officers losing sight of their responsibilities as Commanders and leaders. In this case, the Commanding General of the 101st Airborne/Airmobile Division has taken it upon himself to force his 15,000 young soldiers to either get the COVID vaccine or be denied any leave which they earn and is their right to take and be placed in a non-deployable status.

Even soldiers have rights.

None of them should be forced to take an experimental vaccine against their will. To my knowledge, the 101st has no epidemic of COVID19, and the chance that any of these young physically fit soldiers would contract the virus and become hospitalized is insignificant. Yet, we appear to be willing to turn the division upside down, put morale in the toilet, and basically make the entire division non-combat ready to bow to political correctness.

Does the Army Chief of Staff condone this behavior? I hope recruiters are not highlighting the once-famous 101st as a station of choice. Thanks, but I’ll pass.

America needs to wake up and pay attention. It takes years to produce trained and capable junior officers, noncommissioned officers, and soldiers. The overarching standard to judge any personnel change is to answer a simple question. Does this policy improve the readiness of the force? There can only be one right answer.

This leftward drift away from combat and individual readiness and viewing everything through a political lens and how one identifies themselves is dangerous to the nation. We need to get back to basics and focus on what matters most the ability to fight and win our nation’s next war and that takes our most important resource, soldiers.

While we are at it, let’s take away Twitter, Facebook, texting, and other social media platforms from our General Officers so they can get back to an emphasis on how to fight the force not how to go woke. If some General Officers are finding it hard to focus on real priorities maybe its time they found something else to do. We might wake up one day and find we have a hollow force that can’t fight. Now that does sound familiar to many of us.