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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Is it true though?
    No - it's not true. It's 100% false. I would even venture so far as to say that the attitude expressed in the comment is one of the barriers (a"cancer") to actually building an effective officer corps.
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    American Pride:

    You say it is not true. Mr Johnson said it is true. So far the two arguments cancel each other out. So it would be helpful if others joined in with their observations and experience.

    You remonstrated against Mr. Johnson's attitude. I think it more proper to remonstrate against his dishonesty if he is, as you say, lying.

    JMA:

    I like this format you are using here. Good job.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Default Army Is Racist Because It Regulates Black Female Hairstyles

    It is stuff like this that leads to the questions which Lind raises about Military leadership. Is this all the Army leadership has to do? Worry about Black females and their cornrows and dreadlocks and how by not allowing such nonsense they become racist.


    http://sandrarose.com/2014/04/petiti...r-regulations/


    This is why our country and the military is in such horrible shape they don't want to talk about critical issues they want conduct Marxist social experiments on our beloved Exceptional American Armed Forces. People are getting tired of this social justice stuff.

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    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl
    Mr Johnson said it is true. So far the two arguments cancel each other out. So it would be helpful if others joined in with their observations and experience. You remonstrated against Mr. Johnson's attitude. I think it more proper to remonstrate against his dishonesty if he is, as you say, lying.
    Carl, if you would like to defend a subtly racist position, be my guest.

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout
    It is stuff like this that leads to the questions which Lind raises about Military leadership. Is this all the Army leadership has to do? Worry about Black females and their cornrows and dreadlocks and how by not allowing such nonsense they become racist. This is why our country and the military is in such horrible shape they don't want to talk about critical issues they want conduct Marxist social experiments on our beloved Exceptional American Armed Forces. People are getting tired of this social justice stuff.
    Slap, I generally admire your passion but your out of proportion outrage on what you call a "Marxist social experiment" to "worry about black females and.. not allowing such nonsense" is both (1) hilarious and (2) borders on racist. This is why the hairstyle policy is objectionable:

    From the New York Times:

    At the root of the concern about the Army regulations, many black women said, is a lack of understanding about black hair, coupled with a norm that uses the hair of white women as its baseline. While black hair comes in all textures, much of it is deeply curly, making it difficult, unless chemically straightened, to pull back into a bun or to hang loose off the face in a neat, uniform way.
    My emphasis.

    As with any array of policies such as voter identification or facial hair, if it disproportionately affects a minority group it is discriminatory towards that group. In the case of hairstyles, since it disproportionately affects black women, it is racist. Failure to comply with the policy can lead to adverse administrative action. This is why Sikhs can receive exemptions for their facial hair and why black women should receive exemptions to the hairstyle policy. You don't have to say "I hate black people" to be racist in conduct. So the other option is to pay for all black women in service to chemically straigthen their hair for the sake of uniformity. Or, we could go back to the old days of no black women in the military...

    And in a note to carl, this is why EO policies are necessary in the military.
    Last edited by AmericanPride; 05-01-2014 at 07:43 PM.
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    There have been other discussions on Officer Corps here on SWC, like this one:

    Towards a U.S. Army Officer Corps Strategy for Success

    This thread had 50 responses and is worth a read through.


    Then there is this one: Initial Officer Selection

    Here we had 272 responses and again is worth sifting through.

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post

    Slap, I generally admire your passion but your out of proportion outrage on what you call a "Marxist social experiment" to "worry about black females and.. not allowing such nonsense" is both (1) hilarious and (2) borders on racist. This is why the hairstyle policy is objectionable:

    From the New York Times:

    My emphasis.

    As with any array of policies such as voter identification or facial hair, if it disproportionately affects a minority group it is discriminatory towards that group. In the case of hairstyles, since it disproportionately affects black women, it is racist. Failure to comply with the policy can lead to adverse administrative action. This is why Sikhs can receive exemptions for their facial hair and why black women should receive exemptions to the hairstyle policy. You don't have to say "I hate black people" to be racist in conduct. So the other option is to pay for all black women in service to chemically straigthen their hair for the sake of uniformity. Or, we could go back to the old days of no black women in the military...

    And in a note to carl, this is why EO policies are necessary in the military.
    American Pride,
    The Military is a special society with one mission...... to fight and win our Nations battles and wars. Not be worrying about hairstyles and facial hair. Can you imagine what the intelligence services in Russia and China are doing. As you know they read and monitor all communications and make continuous assessments of our Military morale and how to break it. They must be laughing their collective Commie a** off about how our main concern is some mamby pamby hairstyles.

    IMO they should all wear short hair and wear OD Green uniforms , then be made to memeorize the words from a Race Relations class I took in the early 1970's that was taught by a very big and mean looking Black Platoon Seargent. "Everybody wears OD Green and Everybody is going to bleed red. So you need to learn to work together"

    That is what the leadership should be concerned about nothing else.

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    AmericanPride, I'm sorry you see fit to create a race issue out of the comment made posted from another discussion group. I would really like to stay on the issues arising from Lind's article in relation to the US Officer Corps.

    A reasonable person would conclude that the comment by one 'Rick Johnson' is neither 100% accurate nor 100% false - as you maintain but somewhere in-between. If you really want to take this matter further please start a new thread and discuss it there.


    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    Carl, if you would like to defend a subtly racist position, be my guest.



    Slap, I generally admire your passion but your out of proportion outrage on what you call a "Marxist social experiment" to "worry about black females and.. not allowing such nonsense" is both (1) hilarious and (2) borders on racist. This is why the hairstyle policy is objectionable:

    From the New York Times:

    My emphasis.

    As with any array of policies such as voter identification or facial hair, if it disproportionately affects a minority group it is discriminatory towards that group. In the case of hairstyles, since it disproportionately affects black women, it is racist. Failure to comply with the policy can lead to adverse administrative action. This is why Sikhs can receive exemptions for their facial hair and why black women should receive exemptions to the hairstyle policy. You don't have to say "I hate black people" to be racist in conduct. So the other option is to pay for all black women in service to chemically straigthen their hair for the sake of uniformity. Or, we could go back to the old days of no black women in the military...

    And in a note to carl, this is why EO policies are necessary in the military.

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    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    JMA,

    AmericanPride, I'm sorry you see fit to create a race issue out of the comment made posted from another discussion group. I would really like to stay on the issues arising from Lind's article in relation to the US Officer Corps.
    My comments were in response to a statement you quoted that in turn was a response to Lind's article. So,(1) I'm on topic and (2) you created the 'race issue'. And given that race is one of the major defining social issues in the United States with an inverse proportional amount of attention actually dedicated to it, and as an Army officer myself, I think it's highly important to discuss in regards to the quality and capabilities of the officer corps. Clearly since some see it as necessary to target minorities or programs and/or policies affecting them as explanations for why the officer corps is failing, it is absolutely essential to address questions of race. Apparently racism IS one of the issues that needs addressing because there are still service-members out there (officers included) that do not have the intellectual or moral fortitude to eliminate racism from the ranks.

    Quote Originally Posted by slap
    That is what the leadership should be concerned about nothing else.
    That's nice in abstract. But that does nothing to address the issues raised in the New York Times article. If the only thing the leadership should be concerned about is "to fight and win our Nations battles and wars" then why bother having restrictions on hairstyle in the first place? I don't think a war was ever won by the size of someone's beard or the way in which they braided their hair. So to be ideologically consistent, your recommendation shouldn't be to condemn the soldiers who are advocating for a change in the hair policy but supporting them in abolishing it totally. That applies to the new tatoo policy as well - the only difference is that tatoos are optional. Your genetically-determined hair type is not.
    Last edited by AmericanPride; 05-01-2014 at 09:03 PM.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    JMA,

    My comments were in response to a statement you quoted that in turn was a response to Lind's article. So,(1) I'm on topic and (2) you created the 'race issue'. And given that race is one of the major defining social issues in the United States with an inverse proportional amount of attention actually dedicated to it, and as an Army officer myself, I think it's highly important to discuss in regards to the quality and capabilities of the officer corps. Clearly since some see it as necessary to target minorities or programs and/or policies affecting them as explanations for why the officer corps is failing, it is absolutely essential to address questions of race. Apparently racism IS one of the issues that needs addressing because there are still service-members out there (officers included) that do not have the intellectual or moral fortitude to eliminate racism from the ranks.
    Good start a thread on this and take it from there.

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    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Good start a thread on this and take it from there.
    You've already started a thread and I'll take it from here.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    JMA,

    From Lind:

    Such a moral and intellectual collapse of the officer corps is one of the worst disasters that can afflict a military because it means it cannot adapt to new realities. It is on its way to history’s wastebasket.
    Substantively, at the moral level... our officers live in a bubble. Even junior officers inhabit a world where they hear only endless, hyperbolic praise of “the world’s greatest military ever.” They feed this swill to each other and expect it from everyone else. If they don’t get it, they become angry. Senior officers’ bubbles, created by vast, sycophantic staffs, rival Xerxes’s court. Woe betide the ignorant courtier who tells the god-king something he doesn’t want to hear.
    They have learned what they do on a monkey-see, monkey-do basis and know no more. What defines a professional—historically there were only three professions, law, medicine, and theology—is that he has read, studied, and knows the literature of his field. The vast majority of our officers read no serious military history or theory.
    Fixing the substantive problems is harder because those fixes require changes in organizational culture. OSD cannot order our officers to come out from the closed system, fortified with hubris, that they have placed around themselves to protect the poor dears from ever hearing anything upsetting, however true. Congress cannot withhold pay from those officers who won’t read. Only our officers themselves can fix these deficiencies. Will they? The problem is circular: not until they leave their bubble.
    Intellectual and moral weakness is the primary reason cited by Lind for the failure of the officer corps. The consequences of that weakness is not limited to fighting America's wars - and really the consequences are not the focus of Lind's thesis anyway. So if the discourse takes us through problems of lingering racism in the ranks, or to the structure of the promotion system, or to any other subject related to "moral and intellectual collapse", then we're on topic. The inability and/or unwillingness to address uncomfortable issues is one of the very problems Lind cites!

    In framing Lind's argument, I think it's better understood as a realization that the people that make up the ranks of the officer corps are not differentiated from their non-military counterparts in moral or intellectual purity or ability. And the sooner we dispense with the self-ascribed hero worship, the sooner we can move forward in developing policies that address substantive issues affecting the armed forces and national policy. Heroes don't win wars. Heroes die. Soldiers win wars. And we need to do a better job in defining soldiers than defining heroes.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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    Another response to Lind's article:

    Mr. Lind, may we focus our rage please?

    Tucked away in a 'shoot the messenger' rant there are actually are some recommendations:

    OK, there is some internal house cleaning that needs to be done – but it isn’t going to happen until there is a SECDEF or Service Secretary who makes it happen – or enables the right 4-star to make it happen.

    Some ideas:
    - Remove STEM degree requirements completely, or to no more than 50%.
    - Benchmark some of the British officer accession and retention policies – specifically related to up-and-out and specialization of career paths.
    - Repeal and update Goldwater-Nichols starting with JPME requirements. Move war college attendance until after selection to O5 (CDR/LtCol). Replace with opportunity for fellowships or advanced education 24/36-month opportunity windows. Only fund resident programs at civilian institutions. Emphasize in precepts to selection boards.
    - Expand foreign exchange tours. Emphasize in precepts to selection boards.
    - Forget BRAC, empower a broad Staff consolidation and restructuring of manning documents. Force pain ashore.
    - Freeze all officer and senior enlisted on-base housing and begin to decommission sub-standard housing without replacing units. Force leadership to live in the communities they serve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    Carl, if you would like to defend a subtly racist position, be my guest.
    Racist? Subtly racist? I don't know for that kind of thing. I'll leave it for others to judge.

    But whatever, Mr. Johnson didn't comment upon racism. He commented upon what he saw as the ill effects of affirmative action and specifically upon how people can game the system to slant things their way. I asked if that was true. You said absolutely not. So as I said, your word cancels out his and his cancels out yours which leads to a need for others who would know to comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    And in a note to carl, this is why EO policies are necessary in the military.
    No I think not. As a civilian, I think there are other things that are rather more important that skin color or sex. Some of those things are pretty easy to measure. You can hump that weight twelve miles in the allotted time or you can't. You can hit the target at this range and that range in the allotted time or you can't. You can lead people cross country without getting lost often or you can't. Some of the things are more difficult to measure, do you have tactical acumen? Can you read the ground? Do you know when to give somebody a kick and when to give somebody a quiet word? Do the men trust you and do they want to follow you? These things are more difficult to measure but armies have been around a long time and they have come up with some more or less reliable ways to figure them out. Not one of the things I mentioned had anything to do with color or sex. Again as a civilian, I would prefer that the Army measure those things that have to do with the outcome of a fight and I don't see how sex or color figures into that.
    Last edited by carl; 05-02-2014 at 03:15 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Racist? Subtly racist? I don't know for that kind of thing. I'll leave it for others to judge.

    But whatever, Mr. Johnson didn't comment upon racism. He commented upon what he saw as the ill effects of affirmative action and specifically upon how people can game the system to slant things their way. I asked if that was true. You said absolutely not. So as I said, your word cancels out his and his cancels out yours which leads to a need for others who would know to comment.
    I was a part of a large group of officers last year which was assembled to listen to the musings of a three-star general who happened to be in town. One of the tidbits he decided to pass on to us was that by 2030, the US demographic breakdown is expected to be about 50% Caucasian, 25% Hispanic, and 25% other. He then went on to say that the demographic breakdown of the military's officer corps needed to reflect those percentages. Though it was not expressly stated, one wonders if the fact that the nation is about 50% female will play into that as well...

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    Default The German Army in 1918: lessons to be learned today?

    Spotted yesterday a free link to read a Journal of Strategic Studies article 'The Morale Maze: the German Army in Late 1918' and Red Rat had time to read and comment:
    ..an interesting contrast to the current Lind debate.
    Link:http://ht.ly/wmZI0

    The Abstract:
    The state of the German Army’s morale in 1918 is central to our understanding not only of the outcome of World War I, but also of the German Revolution and, indeed, through the pernicious ‘stab-in-the-back-myth’, on Weimar politics and the rise of the Nazis, too. This article presents new evidence from the German archives, blended with statistical analysis, to show that the morale of some units held up better than previously thought almost to the end, and thus to suggest three things. First, it proposes that some historians have placed too much reliance on English-language sources alone, such as British Army intelligence reports, which have various flaws as evidence. Second, it argues that, while historians have increasingly moved away from generalisations about German morale, this process has further to run. Third, it suggests that no single tipping point can be identified, and that morale alone does not provide a sufficient explanation for battlefield defeat. Indeed, much of the data can only be explained if the tactical realities of the war in late 1918 are clearly understood.
    I am sure the saying "stabbed in the back" has appeared in one of teh Lind-related threads recently.
    davidbfpo

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    I often wonder if they ever have this type of conversation at NASA.

    Quote Originally Posted by former_0302 View Post
    I was a part of a large group of officers last year which was assembled to listen to the musings of a three-star general who happened to be in town. One of the tidbits he decided to pass on to us was that by 2030, the US demographic breakdown is expected to be about 50% Caucasian, 25% Hispanic, and 25% other. He then went on to say that the demographic breakdown of the military's officer corps needed to reflect those percentages. Though it was not expressly stated, one wonders if the fact that the nation is about 50% female will play into that as well...

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Racist? Subtly racist? I don't know for that kind of thing. I'll leave it for others to judge.

    But whatever, Mr. Johnson didn't comment upon racism. He commented upon what he saw as the ill effects of affirmative action and specifically upon how people can game the system to slant things their way. I asked if that was true. You said absolutely not. So as I said, your word cancels out his and his cancels out yours which leads to a need for others who would know to comment.
    Good comment Carl.

    I believe AmericanPride jumped in too quickly to shout racism.

    If there are good officers out there who leave the military due to what Mr Johnson states then it is a morale problem and needs to be addressed as a 'structural' issue.

    I agree that the system has the potential to be gamed exactly as he states given the fear of a similar response as with the Donald Stirling incident in the US and the Jeremy Clarkson one in the UK (still developing) which would/could terminate a career with lifelong associated stigma.

    My personal belief is that the false accusation of rape should carry the same penalty as rape itself. This can be applied to allegations of sexism, homophobia or racism in the military. This whole situation seems to be too difficult for the current crop of senior military officers to deal with.

    Their solution seems to be borrowed from H L Mencken's maxim that ‘for every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, neat – and wrong.’

    These are the same guys with stars on their shoulders who can't even produce a set of hair regulations for females in the military... yet have/will have the life and death command over a few million US troops in a war.

    It is true that the US 'fish' is rotting from the head (Congress) down but this process is certainly being aided and abetted by the 'ass-kissing conformists' (according to Lind) who make up the general staff.
    Last edited by JMA; 05-02-2014 at 09:15 AM.

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    Two other threads here on SWC worth a scroll through:

    Officer Retention

    With 360 responses


    Shut Down West Point and the War Colleges

    With 63 responses

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    This thread refers to the article by William S Lind: An Officer Corps That Can’t Score

    Lind's article has been discussed on many blogs and around here but with IMHO too much emotion where the 'messenger' is attacked rather than what he said being analysed to see if the cap fits. I suggest that Lind may well be lughing and saying 'I told you so' at the quality of the responses to his article from members of the US Officer Corps.

    Perhaps in this thread contributors can attempt to analyse exactly what Lind said and agree or disagree in a constructive manner rather than with an emotional knee-jerk response? Here is my summary of what Lind stated:

    Lind starts with listing the recent wars ‘lost’ by the US military – probably to draw the attention of the serving military. He stated that unlike after the defeat in Vietnam which:



    Then expanding:



    Lind explains why it is so as follows:



    But officers are also victims:



    He continues:



    He summarises:



    He concludes:



    Does the cap fit?
    JMA---the problem is the Cap does not want to hear what he is saying as one then needs to actively question what has been done in the last 13 years and potentially admit the failures of both Iraq and AFG.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl
    As a civilian, I think there are other things that are rather more important that skin color or sex. Some of those things are pretty easy to measure. You can hump that weight twelve miles in the allotted time or you can't. You can hit the target at this range and that range in the allotted time or you can't. You can lead people cross country without getting lost often or you can't. Some of the things are more difficult to measure, do you have tactical acumen? Can you read the ground? Do you know when to give somebody a kick and when to give somebody a quiet word? Do the men trust you and do they want to follow you? These things are more difficult to measure but armies have been around a long time and they have come up with some more or less reliable ways to figure them out. Not one of the things I mentioned had anything to do with color or sex. Again as a civilian, I would prefer that the Army measure those things that have to do with the outcome of a fight and I don't see how sex or color figures into that.
    That's easy to say in abstract and akin to saying that a corporation should be exclusively concerned with profits. And while the purpose of an organization, public or private, receive the highest attention, it does not in reality receive exclusive attention. There are many factors, some of them not obvious, bearing on an organization's operation whether it's business or war, and addressing them requires leaders armed with strong intellectual and moral character to act on them. In the military, with its high demands on physical ability and discipline, sex and race play important and subtle role in framing behavior, expectations, morale, and leadership. Alienating elements of the ranks on one basis or on another is detrimental to the higher purpose of winning America's wars.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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