April 29, 2007

More On Yingling

Filed under: — Chap @ 5:52 pm

I think my previous comments are still valid in light of what I’ve read the last couple of days. The commentary is still pouring in on LTC Yingling’s article, though…

Phil Carter likes the article a lot. I guess he either didn’t read Yingling’s recommendations, or they somehow are better than I thought they were. Also, I don’t see how changing generals to fit this war makes the next one better.

Skippy thinks Yingling’s piece is a good article for a military journal. If so, his point only underscores how terribly lame Proceedings and related journals are these days. Me? I think the article is ehh, particularly since we’ve had the Small Wars Journal on the sidebar there for a long time–and there you can get your Nagl and Kilcullen unfiltered. I may be overstating it but I see one article sort of like Yingling’s every month or two…but none of them get on two daily newspapers at the same time.

Gee. I wonder why that is.

Update: Cobb weighs in. I think he’d enjoy a dustup with some of the more procurement-minded military folks such as CDR Salamander–the generals that buy stuff are in a different position than the ones who shoot stuff. Cobb’s got an entertaining point:

Whenever I hear about some general or military officer fussing about what went wrong in Vietnam or what is going wrong in Iraq, the first question I want them to answer is the following fill-in-the-blank. The reason I’m not teaching at the Army War College is: _________.I suspect the most common answer to that would be, I’m not smart enough, but they would likely answer ‘politics’.

In the Navy’s case war college time is not exactly the career plum it is for, say, Air Force. For instance: the Permanent Military Professor program takes officers who agree to finish their career in academe to stay there and teach. Not exactly the Brownian motion between academia, business, politics and think tanks we see in American government.

5 Responses to “More On Yingling”

  1. Skippy-san Says:

    Proceedings is lame…and has been for quite a while. Its been a long time since someone published something controversial and most people know that when someon does, and they are active duty, a 3star will go a on witch hunt for the offender. Ergo their “Comment and Discussion ” featue which used to be very long is now one of the shortest parts of the magazine. You can, howeer, always read about how great the Naval Enterprise is though. :-(

  2. Chap Says:

    I’ve got some fire withheld on that magazine because, well, personal reasons. I agree with you heartily and have chapter and verse to describe why. They are hemorrhaging money by the building-load, too.

  3. Skippy-san Says:

    PMP is only for USNA and PG school is it not? I thought War College instructors had to be JSO’s, available, and senior which is tough enough for a service that has “inventory” problems with its O-6’s. (Ask anyone who has tried to retire early……). And PMP’s trade promotion for the security of being in one place for the rest of their careers.

    How many War College instructors make flag is a better question-the answer is single digits I’m sure.

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  5. Chap Says:

    I think it’s in the 1520 instruction nowadays; bottom line is that if you can get selected O-5 there are about one or two slots every year or two, with the usual caveat that it’s an administrative board and they may want to spend the billet money doing something else that year.

    NPC website says

    Faculty and Employment Opportunities at Educational Institutions
    Numerous opportunities are available for motivated officers who are interested in pursuing various positions as an instructor or faculty member at a service college. Normally Joint Professional Military Education, joint experience, teaching experience, and advanced education are desired for assignments as a faculty member. However, operational experience and unique expertise often provide a solid basis for selection.

    However, I know of officers who went PMP to the War College; as a matter of fact, the school had spent a good chunk of time recently trying to figure out how to sweeten the pot in terms of Ph.D. opportunities for them. Here’s what NPS says:

    The Permanent Military Professor (PMP) Program

    This program is designed to prepare Navy officers to become military instructors at the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), the Naval War College (NWC), and the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). These officers serve a critical role in the education of the Navy’s Officer Corps by combining fleet experience with advanced academic preparation to convey relevant knowledge to USNA midshipmen and officers attending NWC or NPS. Applicants for the PMP program must have attained the rank of 0-5 (select); and 0-6s may apply if already in possession of a completed doctorate in the discipline they propose to teach. The Navy Personnel Command announces the program and publishes application procedures through an annual NAVADMIN message. Applications for doctoral study at NPS under the PMP program are reviewed by appropriate Departmental Ph.D. committees; the Navy Personnel Command conducts the selection board and notifies selected officers. Once selected, the officers are obligated to serve as a PMP until their statutory retirement date.

    No upward movement there, no sir. Also note that they’re taking a control grade billet as you mentioned, but the opportunity is closed for the brilliant strategy guy I knew who didn’t make XO and therefore like others was 2xFOS. Don’t cry too badly for him; he’s tripling his salary since he got forced out at 20 (and looky there–Navy just lost another control grade officer by doing that!) I just shake my head sadly at the mass of guys who were at one time considered the elite of the officer corps, sitting here waiting to hit 20 and retire while the officer community managers wonder why they can’t fill those billets with bodies.

    And of course the other service colleges have exchange billets for their war colleges, and they’re 1050 billets IIRC, which means exactly what you think it does for a detailer posting a guy to Leavenworth for a year or three. The Air Force guys here at work really place a premium on in-residence war college time (as in “you don’t promote unless you get picked”). I found that a bit, uh, different from what I know of Navy consideration of war college time.

    I know of no NWC instructor who made flag. I know of NWC commanders who did, and some EAs, but not any instructors. I know I’ve got some lurkers here–weigh in, will ya?

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