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Thread: Leadership can be toxic (catch all)

  1. #1
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    Default Leadership can be toxic (catch all)

    Moderator's Note

    Five threads merged today. There maybe others but I only searched using toxic.(ends)


    The CO of 2/508 and his CSM have been relieved in Afghanistan. And the former CO is asking for a lawyer.

    Link: http://www.fayobserver.com/Articles/2010/01/22/970220

    I feel for the soldiers in the unit most of all.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-12-2013 at 01:00 PM. Reason: Add note after merging
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

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    I was trying to figure out what this is about, so I browsed the comments at the link. I'm now dumber for doing so.

    Any idea what this is about?

    Just the BC and CSM relieved? No CO or 1SG? Odd.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default They may be better off, may not be.

    No way to tell from that article. Could be a deserved relief, could be totally flaky. Interesting that they hit both the CO and the CSM; I'm not at all sure that treating those two as a package as the Army seems to intend is really very smart. A good CSM gets paid to keep his Boss out of trouble; pack 'em together and the incentive to do that is diluted.

    Maybe it's just me but that 'Army Values' foolishness is suspicious...

    Take a while for the real story to come out.

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post

    Any idea what this is about?
    Just going by the article, it's about "values." It would logically imply that the values of the former CO and CSM were not compatible with those of thier COC or those of the Unit.

    I have a nastly feeling you may see this one pick up speed the further it rolls down hill....
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Place in context

    For the non-military members, without reading the press report, this quote gives some context from a different unit, with my emphasis:
    Yesterday, we had about a third of the battalion return home on two different flights. Seeing four people on those two flights really impacted me. First, our Battalion's Command Sergeant Major returned. He and I had a great working relationship, and probably more important, we are friends. Many folks talk about how lonely command is for senior officers and Non-Commissioned Officers, but (at least from my perspective) I always had a friend that I could talk to about anything, share anything with, and ask for advice from. Working with our Command Sergeant Major has been the highlight of my professional career. He is a great man, a selfless and caring leader, and a great friend.
    From:http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/timkarcher (Col. Tim Karcher's latest post injury letter).

    Hope that helps.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member jkm_101_fso's Avatar
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    I seriously doubt it's anything tactical...that would be the last thing the CoC command would care about.

    My guess: Drinking.
    Sir, what the hell are we doing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jkm_101_fso View Post
    I seriously doubt it's anything tactical...that would be the last thing the CoC command would care about.
    Tragic and true. How can we fix the CoC's disconnect with what matters?

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Rumors on another board that I frequent point to sexist and racist material popping up on briefing slides. No idea about the validity of that, but the overall tone seemed to be that command climate had become an issue.

    Many were quick to decry the toxic EO environment that has cropped up in the Army, but standards are standards. Follow them or spin the wheel I suppose.

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    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Default Related?

    DoD announced casualty from 2/508 PIR here
    Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit
    The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught. Sydney J. Harris

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    Council Member jkm_101_fso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    DoD announced casualty from 2/508 PIR here
    Terribly sad...but probably unrelated to the BC/CSM issue.

    jcustis is probably on the right track.
    Sir, what the hell are we doing?

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    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    Could an Army Times subscriber tell us what the current issue says? Right now the website version available to the general public doesn't say a thing.

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    Council Member jkm_101_fso's Avatar
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    Talked to a buddy. He said LTC Jenio was Steele's BDE S-3 at 3/101...and McChrystal's XO at JSOC.
    Sir, what the hell are we doing?

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    Council Member bismark17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    I was trying to figure out what this is about, so I browsed the comments at the link. I'm now dumber for doing so.
    Isn't that the truth? Another 3 minutes of my life I can't have back....

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    Default Not good: CO and CSM relieved

    Lots of speculation out there but we'll all know in the days ahead. I for onr simply hope that the CoC got this one right, and its not something that we'll be hearing about a year from now

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    There are a lot of links and analysis on this over at Ink Spots. Interesting stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Maybe it's just me but that 'Army Values' foolishness is suspicious...
    One thing I found interesting was that apparently an early official statement said the decision had been made "at the highest levels of the Army" but after that comment drew questions about exactly who made the decision, the statement was revised.

    I also note that the relief came shortly after LTC Jenio (and presumably his command group and staff) had given a briefing to some visiting congressmen.

    Perhaps someone forgot to be politically correct??

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Not good: CO and CSM relieved
    "Not good" is -given the performance of high-ranking officers in recent warfare and procurement- that NATO forces didn't total more than 1,000 sacked colonels and generals since 2002.


    I am serious.

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    This thread over at Tom Ricks' blog is filled with some sordid backbiting between representatives of what appears to be the wives of the officers involved. Who knows if this had anything to do with it, but it may be that personality conflicts from back home made their way into theater for some of this.

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    I've seen speculation / RUMINT in a few locations now that suggest this had something to do with some presentation(s).

    You live by the slide, you die by the slide.

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    Default De-motivational posters

    Early Bird this morning had this from the Fayetteville Observer: http://www.fayobserver.com/Articles/2010/01/30/972239

    Sat Jan 30, 2010
    Racial image led to removal of 82nd commanders
    By John Ramsey

    "A racially offensive PowerPoint slide meant as a joke led to the removal of two 82nd Airborne Division leaders from their positions in Afghanistan this month, an Army official has confirmed."
    "The slide - a parody of ubiquitous motivational posters - shows a picture of Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo with his arm wrapped around point guard Mateen Cleaves. Izzo is white; Cleaves is black. The text below the photos reads, "Slavery Reinstated," with smaller letters adding, "Catch yourself a strong one.""
    Not sure how I feel about this, if this is the real reason. I sat through enough staff meetings, briefings, and presentations with stupid humor slides that I'm not phased any more. I've included them in briefs I've given, though I wouldn't have put that particular type of slide (which was racist). It was apparently placed by a black soldier in the unit, and the leaders didn't see it until it came up in a briefing. I guess they set the "command climate" allowing crude humor, but this may be over-reacting by the Chain of Command. The Army promoted MAJ Hassan, but is firing 2 senior leaders over a slide they didn't create? Unless they sat in the briefing and clapped and said, "Damn straight, bring slavery back!" or something to that effect, it looks like over-reaction. I hope there is more to the story.

    Leaders are responsible for the climate, but they can't prevent the actions of every Soldier in their command. In my S2 shop, my analyst put up a series of military "De-motivation" posters on the wall by his desk. Most were a mix of anti-terrorist or WW2 humor (ie: MAJ Richard Winters, Better than you. Period."} One slide was political, calling out a particular political party, so I told him take that one down. He protested but did, and we left the others, which were funny but not offensive (unless you were a terrorist or in the Navy). MY NCOIC later threw them all out because he thought they were stupid, and the issue was resolved. If the LTC and CSM promoted racist or bigotted views, then removing would be appropriate, but if something offensive came up and they corrected it, move on. I'm sure more info will follow.
    "What do you think this is, some kind of encounter group?"
    - Harry Callahan, The Enforcer.

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