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Drowning in the Military Swamp

The Swamp. Candidate Donald Trump alluded to it constantly during his historic campaign. No one explicitly stated the definition of the Swamp but it was tacitly understood to be a visual analogy for what was occurring in Washington: a site of stagnation, stench, and rot.

Translated into political imagery, the Swamp has been identified as the source of dysfunction, waste, and deceit. “For too long,” Trump said in his inaugural address, “a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.” Some Americans associated the Swamp with selfish elite politicians, bureaucrats, operatives, and lobbyists responsible for outsourcing and the loss of jobs, and trade deals and taxation benefiting the rich. But amidst the righteous patriotic anger at the state of our country, one victim of the Swamp has gone largely unnoticed: the military. As one of the only institutions that Americans continue to have faith and respect in, it nonetheless has not been immune from decay, cronyism, and dysfunctional, scelrotic bureaucracy.

After serving in the Marines for nine years as an officer and naval aviator, I witnessed firsthand what Trump has called the “broken system.” The military began fiscal year 2018 with a budget of $717 billion, bases across the world that serve as self-sufficient, self-contained cities, and hundreds of thousands of civilian and contractor support personnel. Despite these basic but significant conditions, we are suffering from a readiness crisis, sometimes with deadly consequences, as seen in rising aviation mishap rates and Navy ships colliding on the high seas.

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What is readiness? The military defines readiness as “the ability of U.S. forces to fight and meet the demands of the national military strategy.” In layman’s terms readiness is maintaining a quantifiable level of proficiency in assigned missions over the course of time. For an aviation mission like close air support, readiness is how well we can put our rounds on a target at the right time today, tomorrow, in a month, and in a year. Every military unit utilizes a reporting system that quantifies readiness. The Marine Corps utilizes the Defense Readiness Reporting System and updates their data every 30 days.

The causes of the readiness crisis are complex, and in order to separate and analyze them it is useful to visualize the military as a living organism. Just as an animal needs blood and nutrients to survive, so too does the military need resources to function properly. But today the massive Swamp leech is slowly bleeding the military dry of time, equipment, money, and resources.  

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The first nutrient the military needs is time. The average American is under the impression that members of the military spend the majority of their time and energy doing their stated jobs or military occupational specialties. Pilots fly their planes and soldiers train on their weapon systems. But nothing could be further from the truth.

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Leonard Wong, a former Army lieutenant colonel turned researcher, conducted a rigorous study at the direction of the U.S. Army War College to determine the burden of administrative training requirements placed on soldiers. His team’s findings were released in April 2002 and found that company commanders had to fit 297 days of mandatory training into 256 available training days. Reporting again in 2015 after interviewing dozens of Army officers, Wong found that the burden of training requirements created a culture where “subordinates are forced to prioritize which requirements will actually be done to standard and which will only be reported as done to standard.” From one officer, “we can probably do two or three things in a day, but if you give us 20, we’re gonna half-ass 15 and hope you ignore the other five.” Several phrases that consistently appeared in the study’s interviews were “hand waving, fudging, massaging, or checking the box.” In other words, administrative training requirements created a troubling culture of dishonesty and deception.

What is the nature of this training? Some training, such as the rifle range or conditioning hikes, contributes to readiness, but a great deal does not. From my time in the Marines, here’s a non-exhaustive list: Anti-Terrorism Training, Uncle Sam’s Operational Security, Violence Prevention Program Awareness (no this isn’t a joke; there is a program to teach warfighters to be non-violent, instituted after the Fort Hood shootings, which were a terrorist attack, not workplace violence), Semper Fit Tobacco Cessation, Combating Trafficking in Persons, Cyber Awareness Training, Sexual Health Training, Sexual Assault and Response Training, Records Management Training, Suicide Prevention, and Risk Management. This “training” consists of nothing more than computer-aided tutorials which must be repeated each year. In practice most Marines just click through the programs as fast as possible so rosters can be completed.

In addition to this mandatory training, officers are required to manage and administer dozens of programs that correspond to the operation of their respective units. These include: Postal Affairs, Combat Marksmanship Program, Equal Opportunity Program, Historical Program, and the Performance Evaluation System, to name just a few.

Programs for morale and welfare have also grown exponentially with the war on terrorism, even eclipsing readiness and capability in priority. Shortly after the government shutdown of October 2013, then-defense secretary Chuck Hagel ordered back to work furloughed Department of Defense civilians whose “responsibilities contribute to the morale, well-being, capabilities, and readiness of service members.”

Though they supported families amidst back-to-back deployments during the long years of Iraq and Afghanistan, is it reasonable now to maintain nearly 160 golf courses across the world when less than half of Marine aircraft can fly according to standards? While combat operations have drawn down, the opposite has not occurred. As in any bureaucracy, necessary improvements always lag behind need, sometimes by years.

A short listing of support programs in the military include: Military OneSource, Family Readiness Program, Military and Family Life Counseling Program, Family Advocacy Program, Community Counseling Program, DSTRESS hotline, Marine Corps Family Team Building, Operational Stress Control and Readiness, and numerous others. The redundancy and overlap of these programs prompted my former squadron to create a flow chart of yes/no questions, a jumbled maze of a document, to guide leaders in pushing troubled Marines in the right direction. Mentoring and caring for their subordinates using “intrusive leadership,” once the duty of Marine leaders, has been contracted to a new army of civilian DoD employees, further splintering military cohesion and esprit de corps.

Hagel’s comments highlight one of the most dangerous negative effects of the civilian-military divide: the assumption by the American people that voluntary service members are only interested in “morale and well-being” in the material sense. Marine officers are taught that the purpose of military leadership is mission accomplishment, followed by troop welfare. The fallacy that has become the norm is that material happiness equals morale, and that morale correlates to readiness. But the opposite is true. Readiness boosts morale. Being given the resources and time to accomplish our missions is what makes the troops most content.

Is some of this administrative training and support required to achieve readiness? Absolutely. But without real results the current system cannot be defended. The readiness crisis is real, but the military is accepting mission failure as long as the boxes are checked. For example, naval aviation had a flight time requirement of 100 hours per year. Many Marine pilots, including myself, did not get the minimum required hours over the last several years.

Service-wide frustrations with these activities were addressed in July 2017 when Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis ordered the formation of a working group to examine the “mandatory force training that does not directly support core tasks.” Recommendations were due in December 2017. When I left the Marine Corps in April 2018 I had not heard of any changes, and today close friends still serving confirm the status quo remains intact.

The military loves to quantify things. But because we don’t have the time, money, and resources to achieve readiness, we compensate by pursuing and cataloging things that don’t matter. And as we learned so painfully in Vietnam, not everything that can be counted counts.

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In addition to time and the discretion for its use, the military requires trained personnel and functional equipment to achieve readiness. Several of the metrics used to calculate readiness pose the following sorts of questions. Does the unit have the number of helicopters or tanks on hand that are specified by their Table of Equipment and Organization and enough maintenance personnel? What is the operating status of this equipment? Is it in depot-level maintenance and not available for training or is it fully mission-capable and up for tasking?

How the Swamp has created a situation where the military lacks working and adequate equipment lies primarily in the two major regional contingency (two MRC) strategy.

After World War II, the United States developed a new national security strategy under President Harry Truman. This policy was guided by National Security Council Paper NSC-68, created in April 1950. Citing the “hostile design” of the Soviet Union and rejecting isolationism and outright war, the policy recommended the “the rapid building up of the political, economic, and military strength of the free world.”

By 1992 the USSR had dissolved, but what remained intact was the capability to fight the USSR. As the old saying goes, if you don’t use it you lose it. Shuttering an armaments industry in business for 45 years with yearly budgets in the hundreds of billions wasn’t the same as closing a seasonal Halloween store.

Wasting little time, in 1993 the Pentagon under Defense Secretary Les Aspin came up with the workaround: the two MRC strategy. The idea was that the military would be sized to fight two major regional conflicts simultaneously.

Reporting in 2012 for Time magazine, Mark Thompson described the two MRC strategy “as a floor on just how much of a military we need to buy; if we need X to wage and win one war, it sounds logical that we need double that—2X—to prevail in two places.” He summarized that it “isn’t a strategy at all, but merely a capability.”

In October 2017 the Heritage Foundation completed their yearly assessments of the military branches, using the two MRC strategy as the standard for grading capability. What type of capacity is required for a military capable of fighting two MRCs? For the Marine Corps, by far the smallest service, it means possessing more combat aircraft than the United Kingdom’s formidable Royal Air Force. Through the lens of the two MRC strategy, the crisis is fairly straightforward. By law the Marine Corps must fly and maintain enough aircraft to fight two big wars at the same time. This sorry state of affairs led the commandant, General Robert B. Neller, to declare in 2018 that the Marine Corps had “too many airplanes.” As noted in the Heritage assessment, only 40 percent of those aircraft could actually fly as of December 2016. An emphasis on quantity has negatively impacted the quality of the aircraft.

And digging deeper, that 40 percent even includes aircraft that aren’t fully mission capable. To be safe for flight is one thing; to be capable of attack is another. If certain weapon systems or sensors are not in working order, the aircraft can still fly, but is reduced to a flashy looking news helicopter, incapable of locating and shooting targets.

A similar story plagues the other services. In the Army, 21 Brigade Combat Teams  of 4,500 soldiers apiece are required for one major contingency. But in 2017, only three of the 58 were considered ready for combat.

Setting these expectations creates spending allocation problems. There simply isn’t enough money to fix, operate, and maintain all of our equipment. Analyzing the fiscal year 2018 military budget, more than 40 percent of the budget, or $272 billion, was alotted to pay and benefits of military personnel and their dependents before one bullet or bomb was purchased. After accounting for procurement at $115 billion and research and development at $82 billion, $223 billion was left to split between the four major services for operations and maintenance.

A military sized for two simultaneous regional wars requires massive contractor support in order to run training ranges, flight simulators, and higher-level maintenance facilities. In 2012 the contractor army stood at 670,000 and cost $129 billion to maintain.

Without the proper tools in capable hands, military exercises to prepare for war degenerate into nothing more than elaborate propaganda displays. On my first deployment, while on board the USS Bonhomme Richard off the coast of South Korea before Exercise Ssang Yong 2014, our executive officer emailed the aviation detachment the following statement: “Everyone needs to realize this is not a tactical exercise. This is a political exercise to show that even in fiscally constrained times we (Uncle Sam), can do a beach assault with all of our toys. What actually makes it to the beach is mostly irrelevant.” The “exercise” that followed resembled a cross between the Westminster dog show and a Leni Riefenstahl production.

The mock enemy positions, simple fighting holes dug a few hundred meters inland, in no way simulated a North Korean defense, there was no live fire, and the outcome of the exercise was predetermined: the Marines won. What Marines public affairs officers reported about the exercise was more valuable to our leaders than the training value extracted for the participants whose morale suffered accordingly. Trump was right to cancel them. Upon further examination, our leadership wasn’t being disingenuous.

According to a Marine Corps Times article published in January 2018, the Marines want the Navy to man and operate 50 amphibious ships to be able to practice large scale amphibious operations as called for by current policy. Currently there are 32, down from 62 in the 1990s. The result? The Navy “could not fulfill 93 percent, or 293 out of 314, of the Marine Corps’ requests for amphibious training for the San Diego-based [Marine Expeditionary Force].” Current plans call for 38 ships by 2033, still well short of the 50 desired.

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Another facet of our equipment problems stems from the military procurement system. We now have a military that supports the procurement system, rather than the other way around, resulting in ineffective, unreliable, and irrelevant hardware plagued by cost and timeline overruns that span years and gobble up billions.

The Marine Corps’ latest ship-to-shore troop connector, the Amphibious Combat Vehicle, selected in June 2018, swims at seven knots in the water, the same speed as the 46-year-old Assault Amphibious Vehicle it replaces. This, despite deputy Marine commandant Lieutenant General Brian Beaudreault stating in 2017 that “we have to find a solution to getting Marines to shore, from over the horizon, at something greater than seven knots.” In between these vehicles was the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, a high speed connector that churned through $3 billion and more than two decades before finally being canceled in 2011.

As the Project on Government Oversight’s Dan Grazier has reported, unit costs for the $1.5 trillion F-35 program have more than doubled from $62.2 million in 2001 to $158.4 million today. The program is 12 years behind schedule and, most recently, program office officials have downgraded or altered potentially fatal or mission-degrading design flaws to avoid blowing through yet another development milestone. The cost of future modernization is now approaching $10.8 billion, easily clearing the threshold for an entirely new Major Defense Acquisition Program. Lockheed Martin wisely spread the pork across 45 different states employing 146,000 workers, undermining any congressional will to cut the program, resulting in the ultimate coup d’état of the defense industry over the military and taxpayers.

In fact, between 2001 and 2011 the Department of Defense spent over $46 billion on weapon systems that were ultimately canceled.

On the surface, the two MRC “strategy” seems reasonable: whoever has the most soldiers and highest quality equipment wins. Why are the streets of Paris lined with trees? So the Germans can march in the shade. In World War II they outmaneuvered a larger and better equipped French Army that had eight months to prepare for war and had a home field advantage. The conflict lasted 43 days. As TAC contributor and military historian William Lind has mentioned, American military theory is French-inspired and over 100 years old. But outside of that interesting and necessary debate, something much more nefarious is at play.

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Trump’s national security strategy, released in December 2017, focuses on the return of great power competition with Russia and China. The strategy states that the United States must “retain overmatch—the combination of capabilities in sufficient scale” and also “must reverse recent decisions to reduce the size of the Joint Force and grow the force while modernizing and ensuring readiness.”

As alluded to previously, the military-industrial capacity that found itself without an enemy at the close of the Cold War is now in the driver’s seat. Just as when a totalitarian government overtakes the legal system the motto of justice becomes “show me the man and I’ll show you the crime,” our defense policy motto has become “bring me a $717 billion defense bill and I’ll find you an enemy.”

With this strategy in hand, a new spending spree has commenced with the passage of the latest $717 billion defense bill, which includes 473 new Bradley fighting vehicles for the Army, $40 billion to fix the aviation crisis, 15,600 more troops overall, and, of course, a 2.6 percent pay raise to show the troops how much we love them.

Will it solve the readiness crisis? In the short term there will likely be relief, but as government shutdowns increase in frequency, with no end in sight for overseas contingencies, and debt projections reaching $33 trillion by 2028, the system will no doubt relapse into dysfunction. The hallmark of a “broken system” is a constant, unacceptable result despite changing initial conditions. Without the time to achieve the mission, without operating equipment, and without the proper allocation of resources the readiness crisis will continue unabated despite fresh infusions of billions. We have to choose between having a large, underfunded paper tiger military or a smaller, properly funded, lethal military. We can’t have both.

The military is drowning in the Swamp. Will she survive? For my friends still serving and for our country’s sake, I sure hope so.

Jeff Groom is a former Marine officer. He is the author of American Cobra Pilot: A Marine Remembers a Dog and Pony Show [1] (2018). Follow him on Twitter @BigsbyGroom [2].

18 Comments (Open | Close)

18 Comments To "Drowning in the Military Swamp"

#1 Comment By john On December 6, 2018 @ 10:23 pm

I have a dog, she is a good dog. I have no doubt that she would lay down her life for me. She provides “security” around the house mostly barking at squirrels and passing pedestrians. She claims we are under threat and should get another dog so together they can bark at more pedestrians and more squirrels. I think it is threat inflation and getting out of hand, she is questioning my patriotism.

#2 Comment By Colin Chattan On December 6, 2018 @ 11:36 pm

FUBAR (or maybe it’s just SNAFU)

#3 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 7, 2018 @ 12:45 am

“Records Management Training”

Yeah, where are those missing 15,000 records from last year that hid the missing 6.3 trillion dollars that caused the Pentagon audit to fail?

It’s all self serving, but the ultimate failure will be economic ruination of the average person, who the 800 bases overseas, with or without golf courses are contrary, serve no purpose at all.

#4 Comment By Ed Lindgren On December 7, 2018 @ 9:57 am

“People say the Pentagon does not have a strategy. They are wrong. The Pentagon does have a strategy; it is ‘Don’t interrupt the money flow, add to it.’”

-Col. John R. Boyd (USAF Ret.)

John Boyd (Fighter Pilot, Tactician, Strategist, Conceptual Designer, Reformer) died in 1997.

#5 Comment By Ray On December 7, 2018 @ 10:44 am

As a though experiment, what kind of military would be required if the mission was something like “deter or defeat attacks on the United States”?

Bearing in mind that, excepting strategic nuclear attack, no other state in the world possesses the ability to project substantial power across oceans, I would imagine it to be something rather small. Much like the military that served American interests well enough for the fifty-year interval between the Civil War and the First World War. And even, to a lesser degree, through the inter-war generation.

The unfortunate truth is that military power has an opportunity cost. The United States today has crumbling physical and social infrastructure because it cannot afford to maintain them. But in the long run, any states ability to fight a major war depends less on what forces it has ready than its economic strength and population. Just as in 1917 and 1940, a prosperous and vigourous America will be well positioned to fight the next big one, and can rely on its uncrossable moats to provide it the time to rearm when it needs to.

#6 Comment By Barry On December 7, 2018 @ 1:37 pm

BTW, I’ve seen the same article written every five years or so for the past 30 years (all true, I’d bet).

#7 Comment By Myron Hudson On December 7, 2018 @ 1:45 pm

“For too long,” Trump said in his inaugural address, “a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.”

Well, next round’s candidates can say the same thing.

#8 Comment By Sing Song Min On December 7, 2018 @ 2:32 pm

The author does not want to blame the Force. It’s ok but too self-serving and sanctimonious to get any rational person concerned. The Nation that ate itself is how the USA will be remembered. And the largest and most destructive cancer is the Military.

#9 Comment By Steve Naidamast On December 7, 2018 @ 2:54 pm

Nothing I can dispute in this essay. However, I have been reading about such dysfunction and waste in the US military for many years. And I doubt anything will change for the better any time soon.

The other overarching issue that our politicians have no awareness of, is just how expensive and destructive to a nation’s economy fighting an actual war is. In both world wars, the US was completely unaffected by events in Europe and since the Europeans were purchasing so much from the US in both conflicts, the US came out ahead financially, while engaging in the conflict directly as merely an afterthought.

While both Germany and Russia (the main belligerents in WWII) lost millions upon millions of their people’s, the US suffered only approximately 416,000 casualties.

Going to war with China, Russia, Iran, or any combination of these states as our politicians so easily like to promote will be a fool’s errand in economic stupidity as each country’s armed forces are in far superior shape than anything the US can currently field.

As the author clarifies, actual military training that imbues the art of soldiering to our infantry forces appears to be no more than an afterthought.

People cannot seem to understand how both the Imperial German Army in WWI and the Wehrmacht in WWI could outperform any other field army put up against them. The answer was simple; training.

While in WWI, US troops were a literal laughingstock until the last 4 months of the conflict, Prussian training of German infantry forces took a complete year of phased in training prior to to WWI and was adopted for wartime impediments once the conflict began. French troops were really no better but they were somewhat better trained than their US counterparts but led by complete idiots who could not be dissuaded from their battlefield tactics.

Right now there is no future for the US military in terms of honor and quality. Not because the men and women of the US Armed Forces would not welcome such a transformation but because US politicians and business leadership simply are not interested. They prefer to issues threats and bellicose threats to the world thinking that 717 billion dollars is all you need to turn out well-trained units with high quality equipment.

If we ever meet Russian Forces on the battlefield, US leaders are in for a very severe rude awakening…

#10 Comment By b. On December 7, 2018 @ 3:25 pm

The word “profit” is not mentioned once in this article. It is impossible to understand, let alone fix, the pathology that is the US presidential-congressional-military-industrial complex without discussing its main objective and pathway for self-reinforcing feedback: profit extraction.

For example, training programs that exist primarily to lead to profitable contracts that allow money to go from US government debt to private contractor revenue to executive/shareholder profit to tax-deductible donation to political representative re-election of course will contribute to readiness only to the extent it is necessary to maintain the profit extraction at maximum levels.

#11 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On December 7, 2018 @ 6:50 pm

Freaking unbelievable. Read the novel “Matterhorn,” by a combat-decorated Marine officer (and ex-Rhodes Scholar) in Vietnam. At one point deep in the story, the novel’s character who is the author’s alter ego has to be physically restrained from going into the jungle to quietly “frag” his superior–and you can see why in today’s post-Vietnam military, officers above the rank of Major are all too often careerists and not real soldiers.

#12 Comment By furbo On December 8, 2018 @ 11:30 am

The author left too early. The SECDEF has taken an axe to mandatory training allowing Service Secretaries wide latitude in getting rid of stuff. A great relieve to us all.

And, we haven’t had a 2 Major Regional Contingency (2 MRC) strategy for some years now.

As for maintaining Golf Courses, the DoD would love to shutter multiple bases, but the catterwalling in the congress every time it’s suggested makes that extremely difficult.

#13 Comment By Chris Berg On December 8, 2018 @ 1:04 pm

As a former USMC officer for 21 years I agree with and commend Jeff Groom for his truthful analysis. I cannot add much to what he so efficiently wrote.
To simplify the problem:
Selfishness and greed are the main problems. Idiots in both the military and civilian government who are more interested in their personal financial enrichment and careers are THE PROBLEM. They take care of THEMSELVES at the expense of others, and those involved with government contracts eagerly accept and award those that personally benefit them.
Contractors bid for jobs knowing they will easily double the costs and delay delivery of the job. The attitude of most government workers is that the dumb taxpayers will pay for it and never know of the corruption and incompetence.
Military personnel usually do NOT enter the armed forces to get rich, they do it out of a sense of duty, an obligation to pay back to the country, and a desire to assist others at the risk of injury or death.
But once in, they see a system out of control and that they have such a small part of, and know that they cannot fix or change it because it is just too big for them.
The negatives start at the top and roll downhill.
Good people get frustrated at trying their best to play the game.
SEMPER FI.

#14 Comment By EliteCommInc. On December 8, 2018 @ 5:06 pm

I am going to buck a trend here. This is the fault of the US military. They have failed to make the case that the military’s primary function id defense.

That mission starts and ends with assessing the nation’s threats from the borders projected outward. They are then to assess what would be required to accomplish that mission of defense. And nothing is more important that the men who would be called upon to actively engage in that defense. That above all else remains the single most important resources.

Technology is great, but we have not reached the stage in warfare in which occupying territory is not required to fulfill the mission of defeating an enemy to the desired political objective(s). You have to control the spatial environment – regardless how many of the enemies tanks one destroys.

That mission has but to a very minor fraction been the task of men. And it is a filthy nasty business that breeds the kind of internal and external ethos that we generally prefer to avoid exposing women to and to that end — we don’t.

First order of business: remove all women from any manner of combat training of men – period. No more PT, no more classes, no more sensitivity training, women are not combat included and including them is such training is both attitudinal damaging and undermines the task at hand. The tactical environment is not one in which nontactical individual be entertained or entertain in any official capacity.

Men don’t need to have the presence of a woman to acknowledge rank and decorum – that task is accomplished by stripes, bars, clusters, eagles and stars.

Second, there’s no excuse for the military, every single individual, to miss training the number and standards of training(s) assessed – none. All resources need to linked to directly and indirectly supporting combat mission readiness. No ifs and or social sensitivity acumen sessions need apply.

Third, rank and promotion should be based not soley on any one individuals’s performance, but the overall mission status of their unit. For support units, that includes the readiness of equipment and the available of supplies.

Third, there was a shift in procurement many many years ago that empowered units to make purchases of their own accord or something similar. That shirt cut delays and decreased expenses. It also enabled units to retrofit gear more to their effectiveness for individual soldiers needs to mission accomplishment – thereby enabling units to take more responsibility for their successes and failures.

Fourth the entire system needs reform from the top down, from bottom up and side to side. it is absolutely ridiculous that in 2018 the US Navy has not developed an amphibious vehicle that transports combat personnel on a beech and two miles inland faster than 7knots. Less time advocating social environments and more time on the sea hitting beaches. Which suggests, not one staff officer should go a single year without being exposed to the very same conditions a combat soldier or marine is exposed to, in fact as part of promotion, duty assignment – failing that experience should curtail any career advancement. Such duty and experience must be first hand on sight — no reading and classroom course work. That means in a Hovercraft practicing beach landings eight hours (or whatever successful completion is assessed at) a day as would those they command unseen and unknown in combat. That includes the president of the US as commander in cheif – no exceptions).

Every battalion and Regimental commander should know exactly what the chain of responsibility is concerning logistics.

Fifth, every contractor pays for cost over runs not created by changes requested by the US military – period. Whether that cost over run is 2 cents or 2 billion dollars.

Sixth, no member of the armed service exits the military without three months of transitional training and assessment, to include civilian based employment assistance.

Seventh, no spiritual services personell shall be required to counsel anyone whose behavior is outside of their faith and practice agaunst their will.

—- not a scratch of the level of service changes required to advance some of the corrections noted in this article and issues that have needlessly plagued military service.

#15 Comment By Jeff Groom On December 8, 2018 @ 6:52 pm

EliteCommInc. says:
December 8, 2018 at 5:06 pm
I am going to buck a trend here. This is the fault of the US military. They have failed to make the case that the military’s primary function id defense.

The military is under civilian control, and rightfully so. The problem is the Congress, and hence the American people who are out to lunch morally, materially, and intellectually.

#16 Comment By EliteCommInc. On December 9, 2018 @ 2:29 pm

Eighth, no officer promoted to the rank of major or the enlisted rank of staff sergeant is permitted to work on behalf of any military supplier directly or indirectly in any capacity until they have been out of service for five years or more.

—- Nonmilitary leadership

Ninth, no one elected or appointed to office shall own, trade stocks or act in any capacity with or on behalf of any organization that provides equipment, services of any manner to any government agency.

Tenth, no one elected or appointed to office shall be permitted to serve in any capacity to any organization that trade stocks or act in any capacity with or on behalf of any organization that provides equipment, services of any manner to any government agency, until they have been out of office for five years or more.

#17 Comment By Fred On December 10, 2018 @ 7:55 pm

Russia’s military can defend their country on $65 billion.

And this guy is crying that over $700 billion is not enough.

We really need to stop worshipping our military.

#18 Comment By greatfog On December 11, 2018 @ 4:00 pm

“A bureau takes root anywhere in the state, turns malignant like the Narcotic Bureau, and grows and grows, always reproducing more of its own kind, until it chokes the host if not controlled or excised. Bureaus cannot live without a host, being true parasitic organisms.”

— William S. Burroughs, 1959, _Naked Lunch_