I hold our company-grade officers, noncommissioned officers, and our enlisted personnel in the highest regard. Given quality leadership and the tools necessary to do their job, they will do what every generation of American fighting men and women have done: win. Unfortunately, post-Vietnam has brought in a collection of self-serving officers at the senior levels in today’s military that have undermined our military and its ability to win a war or conflict. Unfortunately, the toxic leadership at the senior military levels is bleeding talent from our military. People are the military’s most important asset and weapon on and off the battlefield. 


To the readers, I recommend the book Grant by Ron Chernow. Grant saw political generals and admirals as the bain of his life. He saw them as a curse on the Union cause and an impediment to success. Grant said they were slow to action, unreliable, and untrustworthy and recommended that Lincoln fire over one-hundred political officers. Lincoln was up for re-election, so he could not afford to make that many enemies all at once, so Grant could only get away with firing a handful. Political generals and admirals were a problem for Grant and are a problem today.    


Where are the military leaders that our nation desperately needs? Where have the likes of Washington, Stark, Grant, Mitchell, Marshall, Puller, Singlaub, Moore gone, Olsen, and McRaven? Today, toxic leadership pervades our military at every senior level. It is the number one cause of the problems in our military today. “Bad or toxic leadership, abusive supervision, and petty tyranny in organizations are perennial issues” (Tarnished, Reed, George E. Publisher: The University of Nebraska Press, 2015).