In my mind, it goes back to an earlier article that I wrote. We are sending young folk (they aren’t kids any more, but they sure aren’t truly adult yet) off to school at eighteen with no real experience other than sucking mama’s tit. They thrash around for a couple of years and then get spit out as educated fools.
Let’s consider a really obvious example here. West Point. This is a school that takes in eighteen-year olds, indoctrinates them into believing that they will soon be water walkers, gives them book learning on strategy and tactics, and lets them hone their “leadership” skills by bullying underclassmen. All in the name of tradition.
Now, I know that I have some military types reading this, so I am here to tell you that in my experience, it is a rare ring-knocker that doesn’t have to have sense kicked into him by a crusty senior NCO. They come out from an insular, artificial mockery of a military society and think as such they can “lead” real troops. Hell, they even have “leadership” classes, thinking that this is a skill that can be taught. The real problem with them is the way that they form they the equivalent of a “Skull and Bones” society within our military.
ROTC isn’t really much different. But they do have the advantage of not being elitist pukes like most Pointers. By having contact with real folk, they usually turn out more human and for my money, better officers.
But let’s talk about mustangs. The officers that came up through the ranks. These are my favorites. They carry around their own inner sergeant. They know how the world really works. They are the best leaders. Men die for them because the men know that these guys are usually there to win the battle, and if they had to send men off to die there is a damn good reason for it.
So what I am thinking is that we have to change our education from a system where the best schools are reserved for the rich and the well-connected to a system where adults (lets say; 24 YO or in the case of West Point, a full enlistment in the Combat Arms) are selected because they have shown themselves to be worthy of advancement.
I realize that his probably won’t happen, but it is nice to think about.