- By Thomas E. RicksThomas 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was always struck at how the culture of the majority of the Marine Corps is very different from its aviation community.
The Marines don’t talk about that much, so I was surprised to see retired Col. Gary Anderson (a frequent Best Defense contributor) mention it in an article in the November issue of the Marine Corps Gazette.
“The aviation officer community is the most bloated and inefficient element of the Marine Corps,” he writes. “Staffs are inflated to find jobs for aviators without cockpits to occupy, and the aviation community’s undue influence has been a plague to Marine Corps efficiency for years.”
He’d like to see warrant officers flying Marine Corps fixed-wing aircraft. That’s a good idea.
He also wants to see “iron colonels” kept on longer to provide some needed truth telling. “At some point, a commander at any level needs to hear, ‘Sir, that is a dumb s—t idea’ from someone whose career will not be immediately be terminated by the dumb s—t with the idea.”
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