29 May 2012

Sound Off! Administration and Hierarchy

We're re-running this one because it actually got no comments last time it was up.

Should civilians be in decision-making positions within the military hierarchy? Why not put "deputy assistant secretaries of personnel and recruitment" in uniform instead of business suits? Conversely, why not put division G4 folks in civvies instead of cammies?

Where should the lines be drawn on uniforms and civilians?

By: Brant


Guardian said...

This is really a complex question that demands a long answer. There are advantages to both uniformed and civilian personnel.

That said, if I were Benevolent Emperor, I would get rid of most of the DoD and Service civilians. For all the high-minded motivational posters and slogans about their professionalism and dedicated service to the warfighters, in my experience, most of the bureaucratic dysfunction and simple cluelessness about this ugly business of killing people and breaking things at echelons above corps (is that even a thing anymore?) comes from government civilians.

As an aside, it's always fashionable to bash contractors. The antics of Blackwater and the Great Defense Gold Rush of 2001-2009 haven't done much to improve contractors' reputations either. However, I think contractors are more useful than government civilians. Of course, I was, until recently, a contractor myself, so maybe I'm biased but it sure seemed to me that most of the work at EAC was either done by soldiers or contractors. I think the soldiers were motivated by their values, most notably duty and responsibility. Many of us contractors shared those values but, even if we didn't, we at least were subject to a viable threat of being put out on the street. Try that with a unionized GS-13 who, for example, sits in his office, reads the paper, and loudly passes gas all day. Not that I used to work with anyone like that or anything :).

Anonymous said...

What guardian said. Most GS's have their iron ricebowl and become a problem not a solution.

Brian said...

I served under/with any number of time-serving, empire-building, ticket-punching gas-passers too.
They all had military ranks.
The Regimental Mafia is stronger than any union, and potentially a lot more harmful.