- 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.
By "Petronius Arbiter"
Best Defense department of Army affairs
A few small things, some annoyances, and some big fixes that could make a good Army better:
- CSA position needs to be Commandant-like, commanding the Army, not just directing the Army staff, assigning Generals or formulating the Army budget. Army structure should empower him to do so.
- Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes, acknowledge that the institution made a mistake and then fix it, even if it means going back to the way something was in the past or even getting a black eye.
- Do not, I say again, do not, have a regulation/policy/or law that you are unwilling or reluctant to enforce; examples, enforcement of the height/weight program, or the prohibition of cell phone use in moving autos. To do less is to violate the first principle of leadership and makes a mockery of the institution. Enforce unilaterally, not out of convenience. Perfect example is the inability to enforce the Army height/weight standards in order to maintain force structure manning for deployments. Cynics develop over things like that.
- Eliminate NCO business or NCO time as an institutional mantra. It becomes Army business or all our business, focused on one solution and focus.
- Do nothing in the Army that does not build soldiers’ and officers’ confidence in themselves and their units.