In modern military operations, the role of Generals and Admirals is critical in shaping the direction and outcomes of defense strategies. However, there has been an increasing concern over the failure of these top-ranking officers to fulfill their duties effectively. This essay examines the reasons behind this perceived failure and the implications for our military today.
I am a retired General Officer, and I know these mistakes. I have taken responsibility for these failures and my shortcomings. Accountability, commitment, trust, and the truth have been marginalized in the military. It is time to change and restore the values and principles needed to ensure our military can do its job for the American people.
One of the primary reasons for the failure of Generals and Admirals is the disconnection between strategy and implementation. The military’s senior leadership seems to be concerned with their continued advancement, stuck at the tactical level, focused on conventional warfare mindsets, concerned with pleasing their political masters, and failing to adjust to the changing dynamics of modern warfare. This mindset and approach have caused a lack of innovative strategies, a critical factor in today’s rapidly evolving battlefield.
Moreover, the prevailing culture of bureaucracy and political correctness often stifles candid discussions about critical issues. Generals and Admirals are constantly walking on eggshells to avoid political backlash, and they fail to address problems inherent within the system because they fear repercussions. This culture has led to the suppression of innovative ideas and the promotion of ‘yes men’ who are not critical thinkers. This failure to encourage open dialogue, contrarianism, and constructive criticism has, in turn, affected the military’s operational efficiency. An example is the decisions made and sustained in dealing with COVID-19 in the military devastated service members. These decisions have still not been corrected, and many service members and their families still suffer. Generals and Admirals have failed to prevent wokeness from undermining readiness in the military. Wokeness in the military is being imposed by elected and appointed leaders in the White House, Congress, and the Pentagon who have little understanding of the purpose, character, traditions, and requirements of the institution they are trying to change.