Thursday, September 27, 2007

US army officer asks for for future generals to be evaluated by subordinates

In a stinging article titled "A failure in generalship", Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, an active duty commander in Iraq, says, "Different military and civilian leaders in the two conflicts [Vietnam and Iraq] produced similar results. To understand how the U.S. could face defeat at the hands of a weaker insurgent enemy for the second time in a generation, we must look at the structural influences that produce our general officer corps."

In other words, Yingling is saying the system was the same in both cases, and that something needs to be done to fix the system. Yingling calls for a 360 degree evaluation before promotions are made:

"Congress should require the armed services to implement 360-degree evaluations for field-grade and flag officers. Junior officers and noncommissioned officers are often the first to adapt because they bear the brunt of failed tactics most directly. Junior leaders have valuable insights regarding the effectiveness of their leaders, but the current promotion system excludes these judgments. Incorporating subordinate and peer reviews into promotion decisions for senior leaders would produce officers more willing to adapt to changing circumstances, and less likely to conform to outmoded practices."

I encourage you to read the full article.

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