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Best Defense

Fun and games at Army CGSC: Now they’re gonna take attendance on faculty

I’m not kidding. See page 4 of this document, fresh from Leavenworth.



I’m not kidding. See page 4 of this document, fresh from Leavenworth. “Departments will monitor the attendance of their faculty” at professional development meetings. For this they got PhDs? This strikes me as a knuckle-headed way to treat a faculty that is supposed to be world-class.

There’s more. Just to make sure that Air Force, Navy and Marine officers don’t slip in some subversive information, it is mandated that “A DJIMO [department of joint, interagency and multinational ops] faculty will be in the classroom whenever a sister service student is teaching.”

And enough of that nonsense about Army officers studying ethics or understanding the media — that stuff appears to be on the chopping block. “Departments will review the need for subjects or events added over time that are not linked to a documented requirement, (examples: ethics, media panel, certain resiliency training, negotiations, contracting) and propose their elimination or a method to incorporate the pertinent subject matter into other instruction blocks.”

The inside word is that history instruction also is gonna be slashed. History is more or less bunk, after all.

Don’t worry! This document purports to be part of the  plan to develop “agile, innovative and adaptive” officers.

Frankly, it looks to me like the inmates are running the asylum.

You want to improve CGSC? So do I. Here’s how: Get good faculty, give them the freedom to teach. Make sure the students know how to write — that is the first step in developing critical thinkers. Make it rigorous. Publish class rankings, top to bottom, perhaps once a month. Right now CGSC has lost its currency — no one particularly cares if you went there. If only the Army took CGSC as seriously as it takes the Ranger School.

Photo credit: Patrick Denker/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons

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 Twitter: @tomricks1

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