Sunday, August 17, 2008

Major Shortage in the Army

Interesting article this morning on the shortage of Majors in the US Army. Lots of folks leaving the Army after multiple pumps in "the suck" (Iraq, Afghanistan) is leaving headquarters staffs short of the people they need to plan and execute operations.

I head a bit of this first hand during my recent trip to Fort Sill. One of my friends (not the guy I went to see) is also a brigade commander (Colonel level command), and when I asked him his major challenge, he said without hesitation "people." When I asked him to elaborate, he began to count out the "gapped" billets on his staff, many of which would be filled (in a better resourced Army) with Majors.

This is a tough one to crack. The Army is tired. But nothing soothes the martial soul like victory, and our Army is winning the war it is fighting. Along the way, we are creating a generation of warriors with unmatched combat experience, folks who will serve the nation well for years to come. I think the Army will get past this point in a few years, once Iraq begins to truly become less of a concern.


Smoothfur said...

A strong rumor persists that DOD will recall and retrain retired Naval officers to fill the Army shortages.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Bite your tongue.

Mudge said...

It might help if our nation, especially everyone who says "I support our troops but not the war" would come out and publicly acknowledge the great work these men and women are doing over in the war...especially if they acknlowledged that we are now making great gains and that, thanks to a change in strategy and our troops' continuous great service, the people of Iraq actually have the real makings of a nation in their grasp. A stable and secure Iraqi people, liberated from a despicable despot, cannot be anything but good for our interests in the Middle East. That is what, I believe, would help keep majors and others in our nation's service. No doubt, there would still be plenty for whom Iraq and Afghanistan provided all the opportunity to serve a cause greater than oneself that each would ever need, but to come home to a cynical, disinterested and, yes, a growingly disrespectful non-serving public can't do much for one's sense of continued national service. Would it really be that hard, given that none of us HAVE to serve, to say "well done" to our Iraq veterans who carried out our nation's war (yes, whether you agreed with it or not, your nation is at war and your nation will lose that war if the civilian population is not behind it, no matter how good the military fighting it might be). So please don't tell me you are supporting the troops while you are out protesting the work they are doing. It is somewhat akin to a cheerleader saying "I support the players but I hate football" but obviously much more grievious. Let's make it more personal, how about telling your child who brings home a picture that he or she drew for you in school "Oh honey, I support you and love you, but I really don't like pictures, in fact, I find them disgusting and unnecessary." Such a parent would make national news if that moment was caught on tape and the population would be aghast. That's just a kid's picture we're talking about there. This is people putting their lives on the line. Is it really that hard to bring our insulated selves to cheer them on?

Newer Post Older Post Home