17 May 2011

Sound Off! Mustangs or Academy Grads?

Are the best commanders...

... students of military art and science who move straight into leadership roles?

... grown from within the ranks with less formal education?

Sound off in the comments with your thoughts!

By: Brant


Anonymous said...

Never, ever trust a guy who went to a school where you CANT DATE.

Anonymous said...

Mustangs. How much real military art and science does one learn at an academy, that you couldn't learn outside just as well, without even having to polish your boots at 5 am for it? And yeah, you might get the "bonding experience", but just with other officer-aspirants.

The Royal Military College, Canada's only (English-language) officer factory, offers a Military and Strategic Studies degree, but it also offers Entglish, French, and Business Administration. But most of their degree offerings are in the hard sciences, including six flavours of engineering. This last is what most of the cadets actually study, and IIRC most West Point cadets used to be trained as engineers once upon a time too.

besilarius said...

Depends on the individual.
The Navy found Mustangs very useful, but mostly in specialised areas. Very successful program, NESEP, which put former enlisted into engineering. The ones I sailed with were superb, and being specialists, great in the engine rooms.
However, they were older, and never expected to raise beyond post captain rank.
A lot of Academy grads came out of the gatge like frat boys, understandably.
However, they had to mature and grow. The better ones were quickly spotted, but even the worst ones had a devotion to the service that let them be good at lower command.
Captain Edward L. (Ned) Beach was a very successful officer. He was USNA class of 39 and had become a sub commander within five years. He was my dad's classmate at Canoe U, and when they got together, the ribbing Ned had to take for his escapas was merciless. He was quite the steamer.