- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.
I criticize ‘Proceedings’ because I used to really like it. Too often these days it runs official pabulum that reads like it was knocked out by bored commanders working for ambitious admirals. Exhibit A in the May issue is a lousy article titled "Mind the Gaps" that carries the name of two flag officers who must not have paid much attention to it. (And if that is indeed the case, isn’t there a moral issue right there, putting your name on stuff you didn’t really write? If midshipmen followed the example of many flag officers, wouldn’t they risk getting in trouble?)
This article is typical of those in ‘Proceedings’ in recent times. 1. It identifies a problem. 2. It mentions an incident involving younger officers that "served as a wakeup call." 3. It points toward a meeting of senior officers in which "a solution was immediately brokered." (No, I am not making these up — both are genuine quotations from the article.)