Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ask the Corporals and Captains

Corporals (E-4) and captains (O-3) are the heart of our armed forces, yet too often they are ignored when discussing strategy. Before talking to members of the press, they are reminded to “stay in your lane”; that is, don’t answer questions above your paygrade. That might be decent advice for a normal evening news sound bite, but not when attempting to get to the bottom of a matter that’s so crucial to our nation’s best interests.

Another reason those in the ranks are rarely asked for their professional opinions is the flawed assumption that they can provide feedback any time they choose. This is true in theory, but in practice, many have learned from experience that their advice is too often dismissed or ignored and are hesitant to offer up what might be perceived as controversial whining or “out of their lane” pontificating, unless it is vigorously solicited.

From the Armed Forces Journal
Ask the corporals and captains
Lt Col Glen Butler
United States Marine Corps

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