Monday, August 1, 2011

What the SECDEF fears

“Men and women in the prime of their professional lives, who may have been responsible for the lives of scores or hundreds of troops, or millions of dollars in assistance, or engaging in reconciling warring tribes . . . they may find themselves in a cube all day reformatting power point slides, preparing quarterly training briefs, or assigned an ever-expanding array of clerical duties. The consequences of this terrify me.”

Former SECDEF Robert M. Gates

More of Jeff Bacon's BROADSIDE humor HERE.


Ranger said...

I was a RANGER over in Iraq (3 tours). Now I am a RANGER (PPT) at the Pentagon. Honestly, I prefer to know who the enemy is. Hard to tell here in the 5 sided bldg. Mostly, I think it is the Navy. Zoomies are a close second.

Ranger - Not for the weak or fainthearted.

CWO4 Brian Ashpole, USN-Retired said...

I freely admit that I was a poor action officer. It is something that I did not necessarily excel at.

Anonymous said...


Our country needs and recognizes the valuable service you have provided for them in Iraq, it is indeed unfortunate that you have earned your way to the Pentagon where you now have to endure the political side of the conflicts. I spent 24 plus years in the Navy and very few ever considered me an enemy, there is one thing for certain if you want someone to be your enemy just tell them that, they will comply with your wants.

Very Respectfully,

Stalwart said...

What I think Ranger was trying to say was that the Navy not the individuals are the source of his angst. I can agree that the Navy can be frustrating when used to dealing with the more mission-oriented units like Rangers etc. I am also a Ranger (prior enlisted Reconnaissance Marine who tabbed at Ranger school) and now Naval Officer who often grows frustrated with 'big Navy'.

For thought: we have the oversight of flag officers in fleet concentration centers who are more concerned with TORIS figures of merit than actual proficiency in warfighting areas, staffs at the CTF level who due to their own bureaucratic inefficiency have failed to approve literally hundreds of awards for approx 50 Aircrewmen from one of our NIOC's over a 2 year period, broken and failing training pipelines, manning issues that allow some Sailors (with the same NECs/qualifications) to maintain a near 80% OPTEMPO while others accumulate less than 15% in identical tours and the list could go on.

Having spent 12 years in the Marine Corps (with significant amounts of time with the Army) and now 8 in the Navy, I would offer that we could learn a few things from the more 'intense' units or services out there. I enjoy the Navy, but have met very few who have experienced a joint or SpecOps environment who thinks that as a whole the Navy functions very well.