- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, I was idly reading an internal Army report about quality problems in the officer corps, and these sentences jump out at me:
It is clear that those [commissioning sources] in which the Army makes the greatest investment leave the Army first and in the greatest numbers. Officers from the Military Academy and those who had three and four year scholarships in ROTC simply leave at an unacceptable rate.
Take that, all you cranks who sent me hate mail about me writing that West Point was too expensive. Now you can address your complaints to:
Gen. George Casey
Chief of Staff, U.S Army
But this isn’t just a gotcha post. Lots of other interesting stuff in this report, which I am told is referred to as "the Reno report" and to my knowledge has never been made public. For example, for all of you who pinged the ARFORGEN problem in the TRADOC discussion the other day, there is this vote of concurrence:
The ARFORGEN model of RESET, READY and AVAILABLE, absent sufficient BCTs to conform to the model’s tenants [Tom: he means ‘tenets’], is dysfunctional from a personnel fill perspective.”
(I know that sentence is meaningless to well-adjusted humans, but to those interested in Army personnel issues it speaks volumes.)
Speaking of poor old TRADOC, there is this zinger about that command:
The decision to define TRADOC as an ‘other force’ in establishing manning priorities has relegated it to a second or third tier command in terms of priority."
(I guess that answers the question I was posing about what happened to TRADOC — basically, the Army hamstrung it.)
Overall, the report concludes gloomily that, "The quality of the officer corps, relative to the past several decades, is declining." This, the report finds, is basically because everyone gets promoted nowadays, fewer are getting good graduate educations, and also because of the "growth of OCS dominance in the officer mix."