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Posts Tagged ‘On Military Leadership’

As long as war or threat of war existed, the professional mystique sufficed to provide cohesion within the profession and rationalization for institutional peculiarities and privileges.  But problems emerge when wars cease or when people perceive that wars are unlikely or unnecessary; or when society becomes increasingly egalitarian and democratized – or when all of these occur.  Then the moral and ethical values of society may change and the worship of the military hero ceases.  Society may demand a new justification for the military institution.  It is just such an environment that has emerged in the post-Vietnam era.
  —   Sam C. Sarkesian
From his book: “The Professional Army Officer In A Changing Society
[Or until such time as the cost of retaining a modern fighting force and its surviving veterans overwhelms the price the society is willing to pay.  After two “mostly” successful Gulf wars, the cost of peace has vastly outstripped the cost of battle and American society – at least the top 1% financially – are increasingly unwilling to pay the costs of the later, and seem equally unwilling to pay the costs of the former.  Of course, “mostly successful” refers to the actual military results, and not the political and economic destabilization which has followed our military “victories”.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 Returning Time
2013 Gentle Invitation
2012 Pleading The Insanity Defense
2011 Graduations And Conservatives
The Big Sin

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Honor, as it is understood by cadets and those responsible for training them, is a fundamental attribute of character.  Its underlying principle is truth; the cadet is truthful both by act and by implication.  The cadet honor code has, as its objective, fearless honesty in setting forth the truth regardless of consequences.  Quibbling, cheating, evasive statements or recourse to technicalities to conceal guilt or defeat the ends of justice are not tolerated.  The Corps of Cadets is responsible that all cadets meet the standards of the code.  Cadets are expected to adhere to the spirit of this code at all times and without reservation.
recourse to technicalities to conceal guilt or defeat the ends of justice are not tolerated.  The assumption is clear: it is that each man knows when he is guilty, knows when he quibbles and evades, knows what justice is.  Law is not a matter of procedure, evidence, extenuating circumstance, shades of gray.  It is Duty Honor Country, and those are plain enough.  A man knows when he has sinned.  He knows right from wrong.  American society may change its rules, the Supreme Court may make sociological law, but not West Point.  For an Army officer, morals and ethics do not change.
   —  Ward Just
From his book: “Military Men
[Honor – and the Code – which makes bullying, sexual assault and the cover-up of same at ANY of the military academies or while in active service particularly offensive to me.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 Disappointment
2013 Seeing Heart
2012 On Success
2011 What This Place Needs Is Another Theory

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I am glad if I have been a comfort to you and mama and only wish that I had also been a comfort to my self; but I haven’t.  I have lived 19 years yet it seems to me that I have wasted them.  I amount to very little more than when I was a baby.  Even in games I have never been a great success.  I am fare in every thing but good in nothing.  It seems to me that for a person to amount to some thing they should be good at least in one thing.  Other boys appear to make successes but though [I] want to I don’t succeed.  Perhaps it is just that I lack that small fraction of courage, will power, or what ever it is which makes them succeed.  Or perhaps I don’t fail any worse than any one else only my jealousy makes me think I do.  Still when I look at even my class mates I don’t feel that sense of superiority which it seems to me should be felt by a (not great) but by a successful man.  I some times fear that I am one of these darned dreamers with a willing spirit but a weak flesh a man who is always going to succeed but who never does.  Should I be such a one it would have been far more merciful had I died ten years ago for I at least can imaging no more infernal hell than to be forced to live — a failure.
   —  Cadet George S. Patton, Jr.
From a letter to his father, dated 12 November 1904
Originally found in the book: “The Patton Papers
Compiled and Edited by: Martin Blumenson
[How critical youth can be of itself…  It should be noted that General George S. Patton, Jr. ended up being one of the most accomplished American combat generals of World War II.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 In A Big World
2013 Vacancy For God
2012 Sweat Equity
Try It… You’ll Like It
2011 Still Incomplete
2010 Happy New Year – 2010

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The history of war is the history of warriors; few in number, mighty in influence.  Alexander, not Macedonia conquered the world.  Scipio, not Rome destroyed Carthage.  Marlborough, not the allies defeated France.  Cromwell, not the roundheads dethroned Charles …  Truly in war: “Men are nothing, a man is everything” …  the leader must be an actor …  he is unconvincing unless he lives his part …  The fixed determination to acquire the warrior soul and having acquired it to conquer or perish with honor is the secret of victory.
  —    General George S. Patton, Jr.
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On This Day In:
2013 A Cult Of Ignorance
2012 Counting Valor
Understanding Faith
2011 I Can Hear You Now
2010 Inception

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Real honor comes from honoring humanity.
  —  Lt. Col. Peter Fromm, U.S. Army, Retired; Lt. Col. Douglas Pryer, U.S. Army; and Lt. Col. Kevin Cutright, U.S. Army
From their article: “The Myths We Soldiers Tell Ourselves (and the Harm These Myths Do)
Found at: http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/MilitaryReview/Archives/English/

MilitaryReview_20131031_art010.pdf

Originally found via one of the blogs I follow: http://carryingthegun.wordpress.com/
The specific post is:  http://carryingthegun.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/

the-ethics-of-the-marine-corps-urination-case/

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On This Day In:
2012 Thoughts And Communications
2011 But How Does Peter Feel?
2010 Name That Regret

 

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Another expression of the be-do philosophy is the enshrinement of key policies and programs, thereby stymieing honest debate.  Such stultification is fairly common in large institutions, where the tendency is to create a narrative that makes assent to form fashionable, demonizes the naysayers, and then enforces buy-in with rewards and punishments.  Those who possess the proper faith are righteous, those who do not are unrighteous.  The result is groupthink rather than a helpful, continuous, living dialectic concerning the problem at hand.
 —  Lt. Col. Peter Fromm, U.S. Army, Retired; Lt. Col. Douglas Pryer, U.S. Army; and Lt. Col. Kevin Cutright, U.S. Army
From their article: “The Myths We Soldiers Tell Ourselves (and the Harm These Myths Do)
Found at: http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/MilitaryReview/Archives/English/
MilitaryReview_20131031_art010.pdf
Originally found via one of the blogs I follow: http://carryingthegun.wordpress.com/
The specific post is:  http://carryingthegun.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/
the-ethics-of-the-marine-corps-urination-case/
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On This Day In:
2012 One More Rung
2011 Sunday Morning Earlies      (Hugging trees and smiling…)
Hurry
Updates On Life
2010 It’s Gettin’ Deep In Here

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