Fighter Pilots take Officer Corps into Nosedive?


Robyn B. Blanpied, PhD, Major, USAF (ret.)

In this article Robyn raises some interesting questions about management strategy in our “global war on terror” (GWOT).  With her background of eighteen years in the Air Force and retiring as a Major with a wide range of assignments, she certainly has the creds for her contrary questioning of military practices.  In my view, one of her most important questions relates to the role of non-military mercenaries with military assignments.  b. traven

Our General Officers Corps are MBA armchair warriors, who often were drawn from the ranks of fighter pilots, the one segment of the Officer’s Corp which is never integrated into the actual functioning of their Services.  As junior and field grade officers, they rarely are given experience with the logistical and administrative intricacies that line officers are exposed to.

The emphasis on management, rather than military best practices and science is evident in the 15 year war they have been managing. There was no indication they learned from the attempted occupation of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union. Stripping away their entire deployment capability and handing it to for-profit contractors was suicidal and murderous. US military forces can no longer deploy without consent and assistance from businesses who work for the highest bidder.

The fashionista insistence on ‘dressing like a warrior’ outside combat zone is psychologically devastating. That’s why there was a clear division between combat wear and service dress.

Piss testing officers is a stunning admission that oaths mean nothing. That officers can’t be trusted to follow orders without proof. Doesn’t foster trust and mutual loyalty. If Generals can’t trust their officers, why should enlisted?

The insertion of Christian religion into our military debased and degrades our volunteer service members. Holy wars are always the ugliest. History will not be kind. Every junior officer should know the causes and consequences of the Sepoy Rebellion.

JCS needs to abandon their dreams of corporate sinecures. Competence counsels a swift ending and withdrawal of forces.

Corporatization of the military has failed the American people. Like government, professional Armed Forces cannot be ‘managed.’. Establishment of Service Academies are proof of the validity of the separateness of military competence from other disciplines.

The fighter pilot fetish of the 1990s Air Force decimated the Service and raises the question of whether they should be brought back under the Army.  “If you support the man, you should work for the man.” CSAF Merrill McPeak. The worship of the ‘warrior’, without a deep understanding of the entire military machine is a recipe for disaster.

And here we are.

6 thoughts on “Fighter Pilots take Officer Corps into Nosedive?

  1. Hmmm. Before the Department of the Army makes a move to relegate the US Air Force to being “The Army Air Force” again they should probably ponder who has the vast majority of the fighters and bombers these days!! Perhaps Army can form a coalition with Navy, since the latter has a lot of planes, also. (stated with a big wink, of course!)

      • Really?!? The count must include every amphibious landing vehicle and such-like, I surmise. Hmmm. Sounds like the Army ought to absorb not just the Air Force but the Navy as well!!! Can you imagine the dander that such a proposal would raise?? Hilarious to contemplate, but of course there will be no genuine reform of the Pentagon’s ways any time soon, I don’t care who wins the Presidency later this year.

  2. Tom Cruise. Top Gun. Deputy Dubya. Mission Accomplished!

    Yeah, sure.

    As this enlisted Vietnam Veteran likes to say about the U.S. military’s “warrior” officer corps: “If they knew what to do, they’d have done it already. If they could have, they would have; but they didn’t, so they can’t.”

    Parkinson’s Law meets the Peter Principle. Endless excuses and endless demands for More! More! More! always More!

    Way past time to demobilize the lot of them and save the U.S. taxpayers significant sums of their hard-earned money.

  3. It’s me! I just overheard a TV commercial with a female narrator touting the Air Force Academy, but sneering at the idea of being a pilot. Someone really needs to provide these guys with adult leadership.

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