The armed services "make a terrible mistake" by "having so many people skip along the tops of the waves in a job and serve in it 12, 15, 18, 24 months and be gone," he said. "They spend the first six months saying hello to everybody, the next six months trying to learn the job and the last six months leaving. I like people to be in a job long enough that they make mistakes, see their mistakes, clean up their own mistakes before they go on to make mistakes somewhere else."
Rummy suggests reforms in the assignment policies of military officers. Did he read, was he influenced by, Path to Victory?
Mr. Rumsfeld has made no secret that he views his personnel decisions as equally significant to changes he may bring to weapons procurement strategic doctrine
We'll know for sure if, some years onward, the policy of "up-and-out" is replaced by "up-or-stay." I see the spectacle weekly, of effective, determined, fit professional men and women who can't juggle themselves into a "slot" that allows them to make lieutenant colonel, even slots in units or responsibilities they do not enjoy, and consequently are contemplating retirement. These are people my age, hell, even younger than I am. We ought to find a way to keep these people in uniform, doing what they like and what they do well.
Rummy's apparent distaste for zero-defects philosophy is also refreshing.
One possible downside:
Reservists could opt for specialties that guarantee more active service time and mobilization if that fit their lives; others . . . would be confident of less time on active duty beyond the weekend a month and two weeks a year of training now.
Rumor has it that Rummy has some "issues" with Reservists. They are harder to mobilize because they, er, have civilian jobs and commitments and mortgages and such. Most of us would have no quarrel with a restructuring that takes us away from private life less often than has been the case for the last decade.
But the DoD's present heavy dependence on reservists is intentional, a lesson learned from Vietnam. If mobilization incurs a widespread social and economic impact, our leaders will be less prone to overseas adventurism. Our experience in Iraq seems to bear this out, that in Kosovo far less so. Would the United States be safer or richer if it were "easier" to go to war?
Found via Donald Sensing.
Aside: even the Gray Lady has a smidgen of difficulty with homonyms.
The idea of merging personnel, which was viewed by some officers as an attempt to reign in the independent analysis of the military's Joint Staff, is not in the proposed legislation.
That would be "rein."