Friday, February 6, 2015

The Daily Beast reports, "Average Soldiers Don’t Trust Their Generals and They Have a Point"...

A survey last year showed only 27% of the military felt senior leaders looked out for their best interests.  To fix the morale crisis generals need to stop acting like politicians.

Through a decade-plus of war, America’s military men and women, and the families that support them, have experienced their share of hardships. Separations through multiple deployments and the inherent dangers of combat are enough to press the emotional and physical limits of even the strongest individuals.

For some of these faithful defenders of America’s interests, there have been difficulties far beyond the battlefield—difficulties not imposed by any enemy or the distance and time that separates them from their loved ones. Most ironically, the assault against them—intended or not—can sometimes come from within the military institution for which they fought, bled and sacrificed so much.

It’s no wonder why there’s concern for morale in today’s force. Just recently, outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said he too is worried about the decline in enthusiasm, and he believes it will take some time to reversing the mindset and perspective of the force.

There’s no single reason for the decline in morale, although some reasons are more pronounced than others. Take for instance the question about whether “senior military has my best interests at heart.” In 2009, 53 percent of respondents answered yes. By 2014, only 27 percent answered affirmatively.

One recurring complaint involves what many service personnel perceive as the excessive politicization of the military during wartime, giving rise to high profile prosecutions, excessive punitive actions and decision making that is at odds with the best interests of service personnel. So much so, instincts necessary in combat have been replaced with second-guessing and hesitation, matched by a growing sense of distrust among the ranks.

The examples are plentiful. So too are the excuses—often given in defense of ambiguous and restrictive rules of engagement—that seem to ignore the realities of war or the fact that in combat, split-second decisions must be made for the purpose of preserving lives and attaining objectives.

Food for thought:  You recruit them!  You train them!  You lead them!   But you don't betray them.  Unless you hold a top "political" post in the military?! 

You would think that by now, the 1964 CRA and its amendments would've already been extended to ALL military personnel, instead of just the "privileged" class.  The abuse of authority by the military’s top brass goes beyond the cliché, “Rank has it privilege”, and is no different in the public sector.

Since joining the military in 1989, at nearly every duty assignment, I’d either bore witness too, or was on the receiving end of discrimination, sexism and/or blatant abuse of authority by senior officers towards junior personnel.  Instead of upholding a service member’s Equal Employment Opportunity Rights, Commanders would rather violate their rights, just because they know they can!!

I'm not sure why Congress chose not to hold these Generals (and Admirals) accountable for their actions, maybe out of fear?!  Who knows?!

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