Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Michael Yon... back in Iraq. His post on entering is here.

Although I won't at all pretend to be the writer or have the experiences that Yon does, I will echo one of his points...that it is the senior enlisted guy who gets things done.

This was one of the lessons of my (humble and entirely peacetime) military service that was difficult, and came late to me. Air Force officers--especially pilots (and most especially, fighter pilots)--are taught to be arrogant. The world turns around them, and the enlisted are there to make sure it does. While I enjoyed being a FAIP (First Assignment Instructor Pilot), the AF does a disservice to these young officers by creating a work environment where they are almost completely segregated from enlisted and especially non-commissioned officers.

It wasn't until my last year or so that I began to learn that the enlisted can and will make or break an operation. It doesn't really matter what the General, or the Colonel, or the Captain may think about something. Until the Master Sargeant thinks that an operation or a new program makes sense, it'll never get off the ground.

Yon's attraction to the CSM is just an extension of this. The CSM is a badass guy, who is also smart. The press make the same mistake I made as a young junior officer by ignoring him.

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