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Our broken system for creating USAF generals--insider perspective

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Very interesting...


"...the Air Force is promoting people who think in terms of one-on-one aircraft engagements. Generals need to be able to think in terms of thousands of people, political-military affairs on a national level, and grand strategy. Yet the current system requires senior officers to guess about future senior leader performance with little information over a decade before officers will assume those positions. The evidence suggests the generals are not guessing well.  To make matters worse, the system does not allow for correcting any mistakes after putting an officer on the fast track. Once an officer is designated a high-potential officer, incidents that should end a career become “teachable moments.” Most general officers reject the notion the system is flawed because it promoted them and they have a difficult time believing they can err in judging character. Additionally, if one general officer fires a high-potential officer, others may see it as a challenge to the judgment and reputation of the “sponsoring” general officer. Consequently, generals resurrect the careers of high-potential officer protégés following unfavorable investigations and firings. 

...colonels, squadron commanders, and senior noncommissioned officers learned there is no real accountability for high-potential officers."

In addition to what is outlined in the article, part of the "problem" is a peacetime military bureaucracy that is no better than any other huge govt agency or corporation.  Most senior officers (hopefully) would be swept away in a major war (like "Colonel Blimps") and more competent "warriors" would emerge - as they did in past major conflicts like WW2 etc.  The challenges of our current conflicts is that they are not serious enuff to be run as anything more capable than a govt bureaucracy/mil-ind complex profit center (vs a war in which national survival is at stake).

Edited by Erwin
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While on balance I am glad we have not had any life or death big wars, I can see that in this issue that we could well use something that was once called "the moral equivalent of war". Aside from such exercises as are held at the NTC and Red Flag, I don't know what that would be. The root of the problem is as it has always been, that any institution private or public where wealth and power are concentrated tends to attract the lazy, the corrupt, and the incompetent, and they of course tend to scratch each others' backs.


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