Army and talent retention

goon175

Ranger
Verified SOF
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
Messages
1,803
Location
Jedi Center of Excellence
SSMP
SOF Mentor

ThunderHorse

Verified Military
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
5,101
Location
The Big D
I know on the NCO side that everything is about points, but some of the NCOs I've seen teaching in the Armor school house...woah, scary. It's said to be the same, and possibly worse at the Infantry school house. I'm speaking from a BOLC perspective.

On the officer side...I got to see this as I was going entering the pipeline and then going through college and that's why time to make Captain and Major was reduced because the Army, also the Marine Corps, were just bleeding from officers leaving. What I find hilarious is that I know a lot of West Pointers that say they're doing their five and punching their ticket, some of them I'd love to not have now and some of them I would love for the Army to keep in. But that's the same with some of the ROTC commissioners that I know, they plan on doing their three or four and punching it.

I read the article yesterday, it's good, not close to excellent as he uses some extremely arbitrary stats. If the Army had cared...kids were still lining up, they could have easily filled the slots with only guys that had diplomas or better.
 

DA SWO

SOWT
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 18, 2007
Messages
9,800
Location
San Antonio Texas
I know on the NCO side that everything is about points, but some of the NCOs I've seen teaching in the Armor school house...woah, scary. It's said to be the same, and possibly worse at the Infantry school house. I'm speaking from a BOLC perspective.

On the officer side...I got to see this as I was going entering the pipeline and then going through college and that's why time to make Captain and Major was reduced because the Army, also the Marine Corps, were just bleeding from officers leaving. What I find hilarious is that I know a lot of West Pointers that say they're doing their five and punching their ticket, some of them I'd love to not have now and some of them I would love for the Army to keep in. But that's the same with some of the ROTC commissioners that I know, they plan on doing their three or four and punching it.

I read the article yesterday, it's good, not close to excellent as he uses some extremely arbitrary stats. If the Army had cared...kids were still lining up, they could have easily filled the slots with only guys that had diplomas or better.
Funny, in a sad way. I just finished a three book series (Yellow Green Beret) and he said the same thing about his Armor OBC Instructors.
 

ThunderHorse

Verified Military
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
5,101
Location
The Big D
I had some that were also excellent by far, not only could teach a young LT but showed the example of professionalism that we all need to see.
 

Marauder06

Intel Enabler
Verified SOF
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
11,375
Location
CONUS
Is it just me or did that article kind of start off in the middle of a thought?

Rather, junior officers are generally limited to rank-ordering the base locations they prefer. Commanders are limited to making a “by-name request” of some officers, but this is more often than not ignored by higher-ups. Labor supply is coordinated with labor demand by large bureaucracies that haven’t changed much since Harry Truman was president in the 1950s.

And the whole "commander's pick" thing is a recipe for nepotism, cronyism, and all kinds of other -isms. Sometimes a distant system is better at ensuring equality than individuals with their own preferences, biases, and prejudices.
 

Diamondback 2/2

Infantry
Verified Military
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Messages
6,866
Location
Tejas
SSMP
Military Mentor
I think one of the biggest retention problems with the whole Army (enlisted and officers) is the ridicules amount of bullshit that gets pushed down from higher levels. The only way any of these issues will be fixed, is to purge the stupidity at the top and work down the list. Stupid shit like “joe might have to fight next to jane who can’t meet the same standards” or online training for combat soldiers, or promotions based on the stupid point system, or the standards being tossed out the window, or the lack of use of professional development schools, or the stupid rising to the top while the rest say fuck it and leave, etc, etc, etc.

The Army is stuck on stupid, and the soldiers are getting tired of it. So they leave. The honor of being a professional soldier is largely overstepped by the complete loss of faith in the system.

I use to think it was all fixable and that it would just take a lot of time, I now think that the system as a whole is so ridiculously stupid that there is little to any hope in fixing any of it at all.

Why stay in the Army and deal with all the bullshit?
 

Viper1

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
2,499
Location
Kansas
Class of 2005, West point, after nearly 8 years of service is close to 35% remaining in service. That's out of a total graduating class of 911 people. More will be leaving as many of my peers are doing company command and then getting out. The majority have used the GI Bill for grad degrees upon leaving the Army. Very very few have gone into the Reserves or NG.

I have multiple theories on why this is the case but I'm going to mull it over for a bit....
 

Marauder06

Intel Enabler
Verified SOF
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
11,375
Location
CONUS
How different is that from a normal class? I thought that a majority of West Point grads usually did something less than a career.
 

DA SWO

SOWT
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 18, 2007
Messages
9,800
Location
San Antonio Texas
True but at 5 years we were at 50%, a historic low.
I'll requote the book "Yellow Green Beret"; his take was most (if not all) of the Cadets were in it for the Free Education, and most make the decision to stay after betting commissioned.

My (non-WP take) is the Service academies have turned into giant frat/sorority houses. I worked for a guy (Kosovo) who was a professor at the AF Academy; I visited and was greatly disappointed with the lack of Military Bearing/Courtesy there. Annapolis had issues, and I have to think WP is just as bad.

I would almost like to see a Joint Service Academy where you spend your first year, then pick which school (class ranking) you want to go to. Less Academics, and more war-fighting.
 

ThunderHorse

Verified Military
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Messages
5,101
Location
The Big D
I did not join the Army because I wanted a free ride to college. It just so happened that I got one, however I'll repay that debt and then some as a I plan to stay for a career, some of the good ones need to.

The majority of the West Pointers I've worked, the overwhelming reason was hey I can get a free education at one of the top schools in the country and then be hooked into a network "Old Grad," it sounds extremely gay (Stupid, idiotic aka Old Boys). Whilst I also see a lot of them not really being the quality of men that the Army should be accepting into the place that is supposed to supply the Army with a steady supply of officers. The fact that more money is going to the Service Academies and not to Senior Military Colleges is crazily annoying. The resources that can be commanded to train West Pointers seems wasted.

Disclaimer, I attended VMI, I did what one of my mentors said about getting a great education there, I seized it. ROTC is a great tool, because we train every week and the entire academic year, slots to schools are limited unlike at West Point where from what I understand it is a requirement for graduation.
 

Teufel

Force Recon
Verified SOF
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
4,518
Location
Tun Tavern
I don't think most of the people who went to the Academy with me weren't just in it for the free education. No one puts up with that much crap for a free education. Is it like a frat house? Sort of I guess. What do you think is going to happen when you get a bunch of 18-22 years olds together away from home? I don't care what you try to do it will always end up being like a frat house. It's just what happens with that age group. I liked to party when I was at the Academy and I turned out alright. I would say that the government got their money's worth out of me and most of my fellow graduates.
 

Swill

Intelligence
SOF Support
Joined
Dec 26, 2007
Messages
251
Location
Otisburg?!
Is it just me or did that article kind of start off in the middle of a thought?

The link takes you to page 2 0f 2. Happens a lot here. Someone will read an article then quickly cut and paste the link, which is to a seperate page from page 1. I felt like I could see the Matrix when I finally figured it out.

-break-

I like the proposals, but fully admit that every problem Mara mentioned is what waits if commanders were to have hiring authority in a "market system." Honestly, I dislike the current system so much, I'm willing to try anything new that puts more control in my hands. Here's a question: Is mentorship better in a chronyistic system?

Can't be worse than it is now.
 

Marauder06

Intel Enabler
Verified SOF
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
11,375
Location
CONUS
The link takes you to page 2 0f 2. Happens a lot here. Someone will read an article then quickly cut and paste the link, which is to a seperate page from page 1. I felt like I could see the Matrix when I finally figured it out.

-break-

I like the proposals, but fully admit that every problem Mara mentioned is what waits if commanders were to have hiring authority in a "market system." Honestly, I dislike the current system so much, I'm willing to try anything new that puts more control in my hands. Here's a question: Is mentorship better in a chronyistic system?

Can't be worse than it is now.

Ah, got it, thanks.

Many generals in the 1960s warned that without a draft, the Army would never attract enough volunteer soldiers during a shooting war. Iraq and Afghanistan proved them wrong.

We only "attracted" enough volunteers by completely compromising the system and 1) accepting people we never would have accepted during peacetime, and 2) retaining people we never would have retained had we actually had enough troops to begin with.
 

Red-Dot

Verified Military
Joined
Jul 12, 2012
Messages
439
Location
In From The East
SSMP
Military Mentor
Ah, got it, thanks.



We only "attracted" enough volunteers by completely compromising the system and 1) accepting people we never would have accepted during peacetime, and 2) retaining people we never would have retained had we actually had enough troops to begin with.


Personally, after seeing some of the products from the AF Academy I was NOT impressed.
 

Teufel

Force Recon
Verified SOF
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
4,518
Location
Tun Tavern
Personally, after seeing some of the products from the AF Academy I was NOT impressed.
That can be said about any group of people though. It's a very open ended statement with a seemingly small sample pool. We have all had bad experiences with x group. I had a bad experience with an Army brigade in Iraq, it doesn't mean that the Army sucks. Just those guys I worked with. Totally different experience with an adjacent Army unit. Could be the same thing here.
 

reed11b

Paratrooper
Verified Military
Joined
Nov 20, 2011
Messages
1,104
Location
Olympia WA
Ah, got it, thanks.



We only "attracted" enough volunteers by completely compromising the system and 1) accepting people we never would have accepted during peacetime, and 2) retaining people we never would have retained had we actually had enough troops to begin with.
Here is why I disagree. Usually when people bemoan the "lowering of standards", they are talking about service members with GEDs and moral waivers. I have known many fine servicemembers with GEDS and many of us from the Mid '90s that started this war off didn't do so hot, despite having a diploma. While I can see were one would assume the moral waivers are bad, there have been several studies that show the amount of disciplinary actions for servicemembers with moral waivers is nearly the same as it is for servicemembers with out them. If by lowering standards you mean passing folks from basic training that can't even pass a PT test, then yes I agree with you. I think recruiting older folks with families that have never served prior was also a bad idea. If you want the Army to be family friendly, stop PCSing everyone every 2-3 years, cheaper then building lots redundant family programs and paying high bennies for multiple dependents.
Reed
 

Marauder06

Intel Enabler
Verified SOF
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
11,375
Location
CONUS
Here is why I disagree. Usually when people bemoan the "lowering of standards", they are talking about service members with GEDs and moral waivers. I have known many fine servicemembers with GEDS and many of us from the Mid '90s that started this war off didn't do so hot, despite having a diploma. While I can see were one would assume the moral waivers are bad, there have been several studies that show the amount of disciplinary actions for servicemembers with moral waivers is nearly the same as it is for servicemembers with out them. If by lowering standards you mean passing folks from basic training that can't even pass a PT test, then yes I agree with you. I think recruiting older folks with families that have never served prior was also a bad idea. If you want the Army to be family friendly, stop PCSing everyone every 2-3 years, cheaper then building lots redundant family programs and paying high bennies for multiple dependents.
Reed

You know what's coming next, right? Post the links.
 
Top