The Stars and Stripes reports on comments by SgtMaj of the Army Raymond Chandler, who took the time in Afghanistan to tell troops that being a Soldier of character was more important than being a Soldier of competence:
Too often in the past the Army has emphasized competency over character and commitment, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler told troops during town hall meetings at bases in eastern Afghanistan. “The most dangerous person in our Army today is someone who is highly competent but has little or no character,” Chandler said. “Too often we tolerate mediocrity.”
Chandler noted that it is a lack of character, not Read more
In the middle of the ongoing discussion about US military troops and their use of social media comes an interesting piece at the Marine Corps Times, where former military JAGs make the case that the Marines may not be able to police troops’ use of certain websites, despite their implication they may try to do so.
The impetus behind the discussion are generally certain Facebook pages that were denigrating toward female Marines. Said General James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps:
In a May 29 letter to Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., Gen. Jim Amos denounced Facebook pages and other social media Read more
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has announced the entire Department of Defense will mimic the “health and welfare” inspection conducted by the Air Force late last year to round up “offensive” materials.
The workplace searches will be conducted by “component heads” before July 1, and Hagel expects each service to submit a report summarizing the findings. The Air Force leadership will submit a report based on inspections it ordered in late 2012 and will not be expected to conduct a new round of searches.
The article also notes Secretary Hagel intends to hold leaders responsible for the “cultural change” necessary for an environment of “dignity and respect.”
The “culture” has recently come under scrutiny, as Commandant of Read more
The Marine Corps has been emphasizing ethics as part of General James Amos’ intent to reach “every single Marine” on the topic of ethical conduct. In one case, at least, the sessions seem to be versions of college philosophy classes, with a drill down on each of the standard ethical “examples” used in most ethics courses:
Bardorf and Rowan guided the Marines through the murder of Kitty Genovese. They discussed the Good Samaritan Experiment held by the Princeton Theological Seminary, and the Stanford Read more
By now most of the world is probably aware of the accusation that four US Marines urinated on corpses in what is apparently Afghanistan. One of the group videotaped the event for posterity.
The event brought out a slew of condemnations from all sides:
- Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: “This conduct is entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military and does not reflect the standards of values our armed forces are sworn to uphold.”
- Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos: “wholly inconsistent with the high standards of conduct and warrior ethos.”
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “It is absolutely inconsistent Read more
Military leaders from all branches have begun distributing their traditional Christmas (or holiday) greetings:
- A Department of Navy Chaplains video message presented a “happy holidays to you and your family.”
- The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick West said “With the traditional festivities of December upon us, I want to wish you all the happiest possible holidays…”
- The Chief of Staff of the Air Force Norton Schwartz and his wife wished “you and yours a joyous holiday season and a very happy new year.”
- The Chief of Staff of the Army General Ray Odierno and his wife expressed “from our families to yours, happy holidays.”
- The Commandant of the Marine Corps General James Amos and his wife presented a greeting titled, clearly enough, “A Christmas Message:” “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Semper Fidelis.”
- Updated: The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey started his message singing a line from Christmas in Killarney.
- The Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert wins the Christmas turkey. His message started with “Happy Holidays shipmates” but ended with him and his wife actually singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
Commandant of the US Marine Corps General James Amos was the most senior military member to oppose repeal of the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” In an AP story last week, Amos indicates he is “very pleased” with how repeal has been implemented, but has no regrets about his initial opposition.
The article, perhaps unintentionally, demonstrates a misunderstanding of the situation as it equates silence with ambivalence:
The apparent absence of angst about gays serving openly in the Marines seemed to confirm Amos’ view that Read more
The text of the briefs given to US servicemembers on the repeal of the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is publicly available. Notably, it starts out with this phrase:
This brief is NOT an attempt to change anyone’s opinion about the subject of homosexuality. [emphasis original]
Later, the presentation says this:
There Is No Expectation To Change Religious or Moral Views: Soldiers will not be expected to change their personal views and religious beliefs. They must, however, continue to treat all Soldiers with dignity and respect. [formatting original]
With that in mind, the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, SgtMaj Michael Barrett, toured bases in the Pacific with the Commandant of the Marine Corps General James Amos in June. Addressing DADT Read more