Striking a nerve…

This post has nothing to do with transition, but instead with a debate that been raging as a result of an article in the Marine Corps Gazette.

In addition to blogging, I write articles for various publications (such as the Marine Corps Gazette, the Armed Forces Journal, The Artillery Journal, and others) and recently was very fortunate to be brought on board as a columnist at the North County Times.  One of the articles that I wrote for the Marine Corps Gazette has really struck a nerve and the interesting bit is not so much the article itself, but the commentary that follows (although I am quite proud of the article!).

At any rate, here is a link to the article and the comments that follow:

You may find it interesting.  If nothing else, you will see how passionately Marines feel about what color your socks are…..and I would love to hear your feedback!


4 responses to “Striking a nerve…

  1. WOW!!! I haven’t gotten through all of the comment replies, but I intend to. Toxic leadership seems to be a theme of recent posts by a few of us here in the blogosphere. The reason is because it is real and it is here. I have to think that this isn’t wide-spread, but one wouldn’t get that impression reading the replies. But, what I found most amazing is that there were a few ‘leaders’ who seem to be in denial that there is a level of poor leadership; what I would call leadership by standards, rather than leadership by accountability.

    Yes, there are standard operating procedures for a reason, and there are expected actions and behaviors that are necessary, expected and professional. But, a leaders cannot ignore the circumstances that surround a subordinates failure to comply. Was it poor leadership? Was it a shortage of resources? Or, was it an absolute blatant disregard for regulation and authority? No matter the reasons, a leader must recognize the true circumstances and move to lead, not move to strike.

    Your article was very well-written. But, what followed with the comments and replies to your article truly made your article stand out, and should be read by everyone from downrange to Quantico. It needs to be addressed, and it needs to change. Our military focusses too much time, energy and resources to ensure our leaders are prepared to lead. We absolutely have to move away from putting our people on the ‘yellow footprints.’ There is a time and a place for such leadership; that was then, this is now.

    • Dale,
      Thanks for the comments. I agree completely, and hopefully some attitudes will shift back to the realm of common sense. Interestingly those who are the worst leadership offenders say that that they are the keepers of tradition, but the tradition that they claim to be keeping didn’t really exist in the history of the Marine Corps.
      Thanks again!

  2. Mike – well said, as always.
    I would suspect the difference in the “leaders” that your professionally embarrassing examples described could be attributed to a decade of conflict where it is expected that everyone will rotate through a combat zone. This results in REMFs finding their way to an environment for which they are unprepared to mentally adapt. There are examples of such “leaders” in my current location. It is marginally tolerable in our present circumstances but I can only imagine the nonsense that would ensue should we move north.
    Great article –

    • Thanks, Tracker!
      I hope that things are going well aboard the big steel expeditionary airfield…pity that such “leadership” exists underway as well as in the fight. Great point about the inability of REMFs to adapt their thinking beyond their very narrow perspective.
      Stay safe!!!

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