Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

The dangers of reading Foreign Policy?: Army tosses infantry bde commander

The Army on Monday fired Col. Frank Zachar as commander of the 172nd Infantry Brigade, which is based in Grafenwohr, Germany. No hanky-panky alleged — they are just saying he was a lousy commander. As if that were grounds for relief! Next thing you know, we’ll see generals held accountable. Zachar looked destined for stars ...

172nd Infantry Brigade/U.S. Army
172nd Infantry Brigade/U.S. Army
172nd Infantry Brigade/U.S. Army

The Army on Monday fired Col. Frank Zachar as commander of the 172nd Infantry Brigade, which is based in Grafenwohr, Germany. No hanky-panky alleged -- they are just saying he was a lousy commander. As if that were grounds for relief! Next thing you know, we'll see generals held accountable. Zachar looked destined for stars -- an Airborne Ranger who had been both to SAMS and the Army War College, and who posted Foreign Policy as one of his favorite links.

The command sergeant major also got the heave-ho.

Meanwhile, Tim Kane looks at why so many good officers, like my boss, are leaving the military voluntarily. Kane proposes more of a market orientation for handling jobs in the military. I like this idea, but wonder what it would do to the "suck it up" mentality that is the foundation of Army culture.

The Army on Monday fired Col. Frank Zachar as commander of the 172nd Infantry Brigade, which is based in Grafenwohr, Germany. No hanky-panky alleged — they are just saying he was a lousy commander. As if that were grounds for relief! Next thing you know, we’ll see generals held accountable. Zachar looked destined for stars — an Airborne Ranger who had been both to SAMS and the Army War College, and who posted Foreign Policy as one of his favorite links.

The command sergeant major also got the heave-ho.

Meanwhile, Tim Kane looks at why so many good officers, like my boss, are leaving the military voluntarily. Kane proposes more of a market orientation for handling jobs in the military. I like this idea, but wonder what it would do to the “suck it up” mentality that is the foundation of Army culture.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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