OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
There must be accountability. In all other levels of the military, you are held accountable for your failures and ineptitude. You get bad evaluations from your superiors. You get removed from positions. You get counseled. You get demoted. Your subordinates get the opportunity to evaluate you as a leader.
But those currently in the highest levels of our military leadership are held to no standard. They are not being held accountable for their failures and ineptitude. They are facing no consequences for their disastrous leadership. They aren’t being evaluated by anyone. They aren’t being removed from the positions in which they failed. They aren’t being counseled regarding their failures. Their subordinates, who have literally and figuratively given their lives to the military at the command of these incompetent leaders, have no voice or ability to evaluate the leadership of these men.
There must be accountability.
Watch Commander Stuart Scheller give a voice to what so many in the military are feeling right now.
So many service members don’t speak up because it would mean giving up their career. It’s a tragic reality in the hyper political good ole boys club that is the military. You are, of course, welcome to address toxic leadership and failures, but the toxic leader has a lot more pull than you do around there, so you’ll find yourself in the worst jobs and worst locations, getting the worst evaluations, until you’re forced out or choose to leave. Thus the toxic leader remains and continues to rise while the soldier with integrity and morals is forced out for not playing the game. But Scheller is willing to risk it all, after 17 years in the Marines, in order to call out the absolute failures who are our highest military leaders.
Were none of our higher military leadership willing to speak up and say, “No. This is not the way. I won’t be party to this.” Are our highest military leaders such spineless and woke Biden yes-men that they were willing to sacrifice American and Afghan lives and billions of taxpayer dollars worth of military equipment so that they don’t have to stand up for what is right? Obviously the answer is yes, because that’s exactly what they all did. How many people praised General Mattis for ‘standing up to’ President Trump and giving up his job rather than doing things he believed were not in the best interest of the country? And yet not a single one of these military leaders was willing to do the same with Biden?
People not affiliated with the military often assume that the best and brightest rise to the top. That those who are at the highest levels of leadership are there because they are the experts and the most effective leaders.
That’s just not true. I’m sorry to say, that is not the reality of how the military works anymore. Perhaps it used to be like that, and occasionally a truly great one will rise to the top these days.
But experience has shown that those who rise to the top now are the ones who are willing to play the political games. The ones who pay their dues to the good ole boys club. The ones who are willing to sell out for favor. The ones who are military legacies with names that pull weight that they don’t individually deserve.
The truly great ones leave the military rather than be forced to contend unfairly with lesser-quality individuals who gain advantage by playing the political games and garnering favor.
What you end up with are sub-par leaders who have never been properly held accountable or forced to rectify poor leadership tendencies.
And that’s where we are today. The best and brightest didn’t rise to the top, and the best and brightest aren’t who are leading this country’s military.