Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

The bureau of Army bureaucracy, Part II: Can junior officers really be trusted to lead physical training in the 82nd Airborne?

Here’s the second complaint in the last few days about micromanagement from above back in garrison, as the Army comes home from combat. Lenny Wong predicted years ago this would happen. I wonder if anything can be done about it. By “Def From Above” Best Defense guest columnist As of Tuesday (after the upcoming four ...

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defense.gov

Here's the second complaint in the last few days about micromanagement from above back in garrison, as the Army comes home from combat. Lenny Wong predicted years ago this would happen. I wonder if anything can be done about it.

By "Def From Above"
Best Defense guest columnist

As of Tuesday (after the upcoming four day weekend), physical training sessions in the 82D Airborne Division must be conducted at the Company/Troop/Battery level or above. This includes all staff sections, officers, etc. Apparently the CG has discovered too many small units (and presumably their leaders) slacking or not adhering to standards during PT hours and this is his solution.

Here’s the second complaint in the last few days about micromanagement from above back in garrison, as the Army comes home from combat. Lenny Wong predicted years ago this would happen. I wonder if anything can be done about it.

By “Def From Above”
Best Defense guest columnist

As of Tuesday (after the upcoming four day weekend), physical training sessions in the 82D Airborne Division must be conducted at the Company/Troop/Battery level or above. This includes all staff sections, officers, etc. Apparently the CG has discovered too many small units (and presumably their leaders) slacking or not adhering to standards during PT hours and this is his solution.

It is amusing/depressing to contrast this order with the level of combat experience most of our junior Troopers and leaders possess, to say nothing of holding it up against the CSA’s guidance about focusing on ‘the squad.’

Maybe it is a clever cost-cutting measure; consider all the NCOs and LTs we can lay off since we’ve elevated their most routine responsibilities to the level of a Commander or 1SG. Seriously, I think it is indicative of a micromanagement and garrison mind-ed-ness that is on the verge of becoming epidemic, to the detriment of our ability to retain quality leaders and people. I have led units on two combat deployments, but cannot be trusted to go for a jog with the other unfortunate junior officers in the xxx shop?

Again, doubt it rises to the level of a crisis, but I do think it is an indicator.

“Def From Above” is an Army officer who wisely chose not to be identified more precisely.

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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