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Thread: Officers With PhDs Advising War Effort

  1. #121
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Dec 2006

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    Good Evening John and welcome !

    But I would also note that a strong but self centered leader will generally screw up any endeavor.
    Tom and I were somewhat lucky. We would taste failure and victory in less than a one year period dealing with CTs and egos.

    Perhaps why this thread is smoking along !

    An embassy and its CT are at times intense. We all begin being measured as individuals, but we are supposedly part of the team. An intelligent leader will use those individual traits where most appropriate. However, some of our leaders choose to ignore those specialties and/or unique qualities because their views differed (read agendas). If we let that happen with say DHS, the info becomes vague and from there, nothing you report will be taken seriously.

    Regards, Stan
    Last edited by Stan; 02-12-2007 at 07:48 PM. Reason: forgot something !

  2. #122
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    Tom and Max--

    My, but we are in violent agreement! I especially want to echo Tom's second point. But I would also note that a strong but self centered leader will generally screw up any endeavor.
    A good friend (even if he was in the Army) while looking around the sad state of leadership in the corporate world said to me, "A bad platoon commander can screw up a unit faster than the clap".

    You can't breed for leadership and you rarely reward it.
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  3. #123
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    For you Joe Dirt fans, for the last 4 days I have been like the dog on the porch, hence a lack of posts--it hurt too bad to reach for the computer in Toto-land where it was 0 to 5 degrees every morning.

    But anyway.

    The team leader comments are all spot on but I would add one--you cannot train experienced leadership. You can teach leadership as a subject and we have to; history is always my favorite lab for that.

    To me the sign of an experienced leader is one who can recognize his own shortcomings even as he sees the strengths of others. CTs and platoons are alike in that they are small and you have to maximize the benefits of your collective strengths as you minimize the effects of individual or collective weaknesses. Egos are by defintion potentially crippling weaknesses.

    The smallest possible team is 2 (unless you speak to yourself and answer in a different voice); one of the most arrogantly stupid moves I ever witnessed was my successor in Zaire's (Congo) decision to put Stan Reber back behind a desk. One of the smartest I ever saw was Ambassador David Rawson's decision to turn over security arrangements for the National Security Advisor's visit to Kigali to my Navy chief--I was in DC and returned the day before the visit.



  4. #124
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    Mar 2008


    Tom - the GRADSO, PADSO and BRADSO career service incentives are substantial innovations. With these programs the Army has made "willingness to serve" a figure of merit along with military and academic order of merit. As such, these programs figure significantly in the distribution of fully funded graduate school, commissioning branch and initial duty station to ROTC and USMA cadets. In particular, the GRADSO program is exceptionally innovative in that it functions much like a stock option. Cadets selecting the GRADSO option secure the option to secure a fully funded masters degree between their sixth and eleventh year of service. Under GRADSO they can attend any graduate program of their choosing in the United States for up to 22 months. Thus, if an officer desires to pursue a Masters of Engineering at MIT and he/she has the scores to gain admittance, he/she can attend MIT. As an added innovation, officers can "pay ahead" up to two years of "3-for-1" service obligation entailed in attending graduate education. This feature of the program is much different from traditional graduate school programs in that officers can "pay-down" their graduate school service obligation prior to actually beginning graduate school. This adds flexibility to the program so that officers can better manage their careers and still allow officers to complete their graduate school service obligation by sixteen years of service. Heretofore, with the exception of winners of Hertz, Rhodes and other scholarship programs, typical USMA and ROTC cadets had no ability to secure access to graduate school prior to commissioning. Moreover, the Army had linked attendance at graduate school to a subsequent service in a "utilization" tour. With GRADSO, continued service in the Army constitutes "utilization." This allows operational field officers to return to troop assignments immediately after graduate school. As an innovation, the GRADSO, BRADSO and PADSO options are designed to increase junior officer control over key aspects of their career and development so as to increase their career satisfaction. Additionally, the GRADSO option is designed to achieve two other objects. First, with GRADSO, new officers can be certain that they will be afforded the opportunity to attend graduate school at mid-career. Graduate education at this point will provide these officers with the means to update their general human capital as they begin to move from service in general leadership fields to specialized fields entailed in service as a field grade officer. As such, this investment in human capital will add to these officers’ productivity as Army leaders. Officer participating in the GRADSO program can also expected to garner a permanent and substantial increase in their expected lifetime earnings after military service. As such, GRADSO benefits the Army and participating officers. Since the Army launched the GRADSO, BRADSO, and PADSO incentives in 2006 about 33% of USMA graduates and 45% of eligible ROTC graduates have participated one or combinations of these programs. As a result, by 2014 the number of officers attending graduate schools within each year group will rise from about 400 today to 1000. This investment by the Army marks a strategic choice to substantially expanded resources (time and dollars) to develop adaptive leaders for the challenges that lie ahead.

  5. #125
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    That is all great news. I have over the past couple of years seen a couple of officers take one of these programs. I especially like the idea that one can prepay obligation and that continued service meets the obligation versus the old "ute tour" requirement.

    Thought about getting out around my 10-11 year mark and I asked FAO branch was there an obligation to an in-country tour when I had already served a "ute". They made the mistake of saying, "we don't know. Try it and find out."

    The next call they got was from the DA IG's office. I stayed in obviously but I know that some wished I had not.

    Anyway welcome aboard and thanks for the post. Do two things for us{

    a. Break up your paragraphs. Ken and Old Eagle get lost in such long paragraphs.

    b. Introduce yourself here so we can place your contributions in context.



  6. #126
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    May 2007

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    ...a. Break up your paragraphs. Ken and Old Eagle get lost in such long paragraphs.
    in that paragraph...

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Hi George,

    BA Sociology and Comparative Religion,
    MA Canadian Studies (Cultural Studies concentration)
    Ph.D. Sociology (Social Anthropology)

    Just an FYI

    Very good exchanges here.

    Friends, do not be drawn into the MSM trap of saying "ooh lookey those dumb soldiers got them some edjumacating ", this is really just demeaning to all military professionals.

    Actually the US Army expects all its leaders NCOs & Officers to be college educated eventually, on paper, I know of no other institution that forces so much learning.

    Holding a PhD is pretty much so normal in the Army that it only guarantees commissioning as a 1LT typically today.

    Although my PhD is in Comparative World Religions it is beneficial to my present work in Iraq. So the group the title of this thread addresses is much larger than might be expected. PhDs are not just white jackets & staff advisers. Some of them are actively leading troops like me.

    Most importantly, our Army puts a priority on lifelong learning. We should be proud.
    Last edited by Bullmoose Bailey; 12-16-2008 at 09:00 AM. Reason: sp.


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