Please join us on Sunday 18 May 14 at 5pm (EDT) for Midrats Episode 228: “A US Military Intellectually Geared for Defeat?” :

Since WWII, have we developed an officer corps that has not only developed a record of defeat, but has become comfortable with it?

Is our military leadership structurally unsound?

In his recent article, An Officer Corps That Can’t Score, author William S. Lind makes a scathing indictment of the officer corp of the United States in from the structure is works in, to its cultural and intellectual habits.

We will have the author with us for the full hour to discuss this and more about what problem he sees with our military’s officers, and what recommendations he has to make it better.

Mr Lind is Director of the Center for Cultural Conservatism at the Free Congress Foundation, with degrees from Dartmouth College in 1969 and Princeton University.

He worked as a legislative aide for armed services for Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Senator Gary Hart until joining the Free Congress Foundation in 1987.

Mr. Lind is author of the Maneuver Warfare Handbook (Westview Press, 1985); co-author, with Gary Hart, of America Can Win: The Case for Military Reform (Adler & Adler, 1986); and co-author, with William H. Marshner, of Cultural Conservatism: Toward a New National Agenda (Free Congress Foundation, 1987).

Mr. Lind co-authored the prescient article, “The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation,” which was published in The Marine Corps Gazette in October, 1989 and which first propounded the concept of “Fourth Generation War.”

Join us live at 5 pm EDT if you can or pick the show up for later listening by clicking here .

Posted by Mark Tempest in Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, History, Marine Corps, Navy, Podcasts, Tactics, Training & Education

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  • Richard William Byers

    Mr. Lind’s scathing indictment is a sum of gross generalizations.

    He decries a lack of voices calling for substantial change while in my own time of service I watch young ensigns and senior department heads challenge the status quo; gun qualifications, the state of the Harpoon missile in the fleet, perform to serve or the validity of LCS.

    While some limited group may in a world in which junior officers inhabit a world where they hear only endless, hyperbolic praise of “the world’s greatest military ever.” Please show me this location because during my 23 years Ive never seen it.

    Today’s generation of officers have known nothing but wartime operations. While some may have received benefits from peacetime dividends others have been waging a non-stop battle for the past 12 years. Their sup upon a daily discourse; chewing upon force protection, rules of engagement and threat axis.

    We live in a world bound by ROE which give the enemy of the advantage and funding hamstrings our maintenance and training. We are the greatest military; in spite of our circumstances and perhaps because of them.

    The vast majority of our officers read no serious military history or theory. Really? Perhaps I should send you the dogged ear page of Six Frigates, Wake of the Wahoo or Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors that I have shared many times with my peers. Not to mention the countless midwatch discussions held on what we would have done in the same circumstance.

    I’m sure the combined staff colleges which are putting out thesis every quarter would be interested in your belief their officers have not read, studied, and knows the literature of his field, considering they have provided the impetus and foundation for many successes in the field of battle today.

    We can agree that the opportunity for and length of command is dramatically short. However I don’t recall any of my junior officers “currying favor.” You see such avenues provide for another opportunity… Competition, perhaps you have heard of it.

    I was a skilled officer; made only better by my friendship with and competition against two of the best within the fleet; Jesse Black and Will Koszarek. It was that understanding that someone may not make the next level that encouraged us to help one another but still push ourselves.

    The career officer has risen to where he is due to technical and tactial proficiency. Those fighting the wars on the front lines every day understand the difficulties and fight for change. They battle daily to provide for their men while criticized from those behind a desk.

    Looking back on the men I have trained; and those that trained me. A little more research is in order.