Alexander Vindman up for Colonel, Could President Trump Nix Promotion?

| June 21, 2020

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman is up for Colonel this year. Democrats are worried that President Trump will step in and cause Vindman’s name to be removed from the promotion list. They’re trying to paint such action as “vindictiveness” and “politicizing the military”.

From Military Times:

Vindman is among hundreds of officers selected to be promoted to full colonel this year, a process that typically only involves superficial approval from the White House and Senate.

But reports that Trump may take the unusual step to block Vindman’s career advancement drew concern from Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., an Army veteran, who said that “partisan interference with the military’s merit-based promotion system” could cause serious problems.

“The military defends our nation and is not aligned with a political party,” he said in a statement late Thursday. “There are laws and traditions to prevent individuals from polarizing the U.S. Armed Forces to the detriment and demoralization of all.

“The promotion process is about individuals, but it also sends a signal to our troops about what kind of soldiers get promoted … I do not know the results of that promotion board, nor should I. The Army decides these cases on the merits, and I would hope the White House does as well.”

Reed’s armed services committee colleague Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., an Iraq War veteran, issued similar warnings on social media Thursday, saying she’ll be pressing Pentagon leaders for assurances that politics won’t interfere with routine promotions work.

Military Times has the full article here.

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Category: Army, Trump!

Comments (142)

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  1. Slow Joe says:

    How the fuck can that rat even be considered for promotion?

    Had he been an NCO, he would have been canned a century ago.

  2. Green Thumb says:

    If not for the turmoil gripping our nation over the past 6-7 years, this clown would have been slapped down for what he did.

    There is no place for his actions in the Army. I have hated some senior NCO’s and Officers, but I still followed the rules.

    Dude was about himself. And where in the fuck is his MSM and Bronze Star Meritorious?

    • Jus Bill says:

      He drove a desk with merit?

      • Green Thumb says:

        I have seen dudes (and chicks) drive less….

        • rgr769 says:

          Green Thumb, I answered your query to me on the WOT on M-60 barrel changes. (See my reply there) The short answer is no barrel changes. Also, I don’t believe we had extra shortened spare barrels, but we could have sent one of the full length ones if necessary. In the five months my company was operational before deactivation, our M-60s were never fired in combat. Fortunately, their firepower was never needed.

    • Mason says:

      To be on the O-6 promote list without either is really astonishing.

      • ninja says:

        Mason, before OEF and OIF, there were lots of O5/LTCs who were selected for promotion to O6/Colonel in the Active Army who did not have a Bronze Star.

        I know. I have sat on Promotion Boards.

        • MSG Eric says:

          Well, this is 2020 and long after OIF and OEF. So I would say this is a time when you should see those unless there’s an extreme reason. Especially since by this point they should have a deployment or two under their belt with the higher level awards.

        • Mason says:

          Totally, I’m saying for the last several years.

          Ever look at the pictures of the senior enlisted advisor for each branch? From the 60’s to the mid-90’s there’s a slow progression of new medals. From about 2000 to now the ribbon racks on some of these guys exploded and are two or three times the size they used to be. The AF is the worst offender IMO, I can speak to that having been on the inside. If you didn’t have three rows of ribbons as an E-5 people thought you weren’t doing anything.

          • MSG Eric says:

            The only thing I think of when I look at the rack for my dress uniform is “75 bucks”.

            I look back to the badasses of WW2 and see like 3 or 4 ribbons and know they really went through some shit and didn’t need an award for everything.

            • Jay says:

              PRECISELY. The bigger my stack got (and trust me, it wasn’t huge), the more I got pissed about how much it was gonna cost to get mounted. Never failed: I’d JUST get my shit mounted and the next awards update would come out and i’d rate a star or some BS participation award for SOMETHING. My last 5 years my shit was so far out of date, I didn’t even care anymore. I got my stuff mounted ONE last time when I retired. That was IT. I’d rather look at the collar/sleeves of the guy than his chest. I have the nostalgic notion they promote based off of merit, vice awards where 90% of the time it is based off the write up.

              • Anonymous says:

                I hear ya: Stop giving me petty little sh*t right before a board– can this wait? Surprise, you get to spend $70/apiece and jump through your butt to get a DA photo (or look ate up) we already put it in iPERMS!

              • MI Ranger says:

                Except that starting in the early 2000s it became no Soldier left behind. You had to do some really screwed up $hit and be reprimanded in writing in order to not get promoted (Officer and NCO). Even then, Commanders sometimes did not get the paperwork in on time to prevent an Automatic promotion. For Officers it finally stopped in 2015 (at least for O-5+, but not to O-4).
                Vindman is being looked at in his Functional Area, not as an MI Officer though. As a Foreign Area Officer he is highly qualified: He Speaks, the language, knows the customs, and has worked the positions…heck you could say he is a native (which he is)! Hopefully they did not send him to the War College when he got fired, or he would be completely qualified!

          • NHSparky says:

            Don’t even need to go that far.

            When I came in, a NAM might be a retirement award for E-6/7. I knew a CPO in ET-A school in mid-80’s whose ribbon rack consisted of 5 GCMs and NDSM. That was IT.

            By the time I got out, I was on my 4th row with 2 NAMs (7.5 years at sea has that effect) as a senior E-6.

            I see kids today who just put on E-5 that look like Nork generals.

            • Jay says:

              Yup. Before I retired, my HIGHEST award was a NAM. I wrote myself up (I did all my OIC’s correspondence. He was a good dude, just couldn’t write worth a damn.) for a MSM as a friggen JOKE. Joke was on me, the damn thing got approved. When they read it out at my retirement, I blurted out “You gotta be shitting me!”

              SgtMaj looked like he was about to friggen murder me as he handed it to the old man to pin on. Of course, how often do you see an E-7 with an MSM?

              • NHSparky says:

                In the Navy? Never, unless dude was a flag writer (Admiral’s Yeoman), and a damn good one at that.

                Only submarine guy I can recall was my first Chief of the Boat (COB) on my first boat. Then again, he had been in 42 years before he finally pulled the plug.

              • MSG Eric says:

                Impressive. Congratulations.

                All I can say is, what’s the SgtMaj gonna do, kick you out? Bend your dog tags?

                Sometimes E-9s need to have their button pushed just to make sure they are still functional. It can be fun, from time to time.

              • SFC D says:

                Not uncommon in the Army at that level. I have 2.

                • 11B-Mailclerk says:

                  Things have changed. I typed up no more than three or so MSMs my whole time as awards clerk. One was for a stellar Captain end of tour. The others were retirement Awards for NCOs.

                  Peacetime, stateside.

  3. How come these demoRAT shit birds didn’t say anything while vindman was involved and working with obamas shadow Govt. slow moving Coup to remove the POTUS????

  4. 5th/77th FA says:

    If he can’t be considered for promotion because he was a rat, then he shouldn’t be considered for promotion because he is a rat.

    And what out of this world dimension are those kongress kritters in that think that promotion to higher from 05 is NOT political? The dims will make sure he gets his Bird.

    Speaking of birds, the spapos seagull showing up in 5.4.3.2.. Here’s a novel thought. Let’s quit feeding the spapos, maybe when he gets hungry he’ll just go away and stay away.

    • rgr769 says:

      Larsie has been MIA for a couple of days. I suspect he has been busy advising his Antifa butt-buddies on “Rule of Law” and how to avoid its application to them. Plus, in the San Fransicko night before last, he was likely in Golden Gate Park for the destruction of the statues of General Grant and Francis Scott Keyes, cuz they wuz alive during slavery days. Plus, I have heard Black Block and Antifa have appointed him as their ambassador to the emerging nation of CHOPistan. So, yesterday he was enroute to Seattle.

      • NHSparky says:

        Chopistan?

        I heard it was the Soyviet Union.

        Or Wokadishu. Maybe Antifastan.

        So hard to keep it all straight.

  5. Jus Bill says:

    That disloyal POS violates the UCMJ while showboating, and then expects top be PROMOTED? He should have been prosecuted!

  6. OWB says:

    A politician “pressing Pentagon leaders for assurances that politics won’t interfere with routine promotions…”

    Translation: “Don’t you dare allow anyone’s politics other than mine to interfere with routine promotions.”

    As if this promotion would be in any way routine.

    • Mason says:

      Exactly. Not only that, but the reason Congress has to approve these appointments is solely for this reason. It’s the whole point.

      The President selects his nominees, the Senate confirms. Precisely so that the civilian oversight can at least stall, if not remove, from service officers. It’s supposed to prevent such malicious bootlicks from getting enough rank to overthrow the govt.

  7. SFC D says:

    I can’t imagine having to serve under this guy. You know the troops wouldn’t be his first priority.

    • NHSparky says:

      Apparently nobody who worked with/for him liked the guy.

      I believe one of his seniors had to have a “come to Jesus” moment with him regarding his bad-mouthing his own country in front of a bunch of Russian officers, and was previously discussed here.

  8. Zulu02 says:

    I disagree with you 5/77 FA. Anything above O4 is political. Back in the day, getting a battalion command was mostly political and probably still is. You had to check all the blocks: Masters degree, served on a high level staff, taught ROTC etc. Whether you knew your MOS or not did not matter. And you had to have a senior officer sponsor. I’ve seen battalion commanders at the NTC who did not know what a non illuminated, non supported night attack meant. And I am a retired O4.

    • Sarge says:

      “non illuminated, non supported night attack”

      Sounds like fun.

      • MSG Eric says:

        I think I would’ve preferred that in Afghanistan. My team’s hooch was about 100m from the mortar pit and there was a month long operation shooting illum’s over particular areas.

        If not for Rip It, I might not have made it through all the missions we did every day after being woken up all night.

        • Roh-Dog says:

          I would get ragged on because I sleep like the dead, hard and out, probably thru 3/4 of all the fire missions at COP Agar Quf. We were a Stryker unit so 120mm’s.
          But brew coffee…

          • MSG Eric says:

            during my Baghdad deployment my roommate would wake up some days and say, “did you hear that?” “Nope, didn’t hear a thing.”

            Though in Afghanistan I had the mortar pit on one side and a conex size generator on the other side. I had to sleep with ear phones in at night. But, I can’t complain too much, we lived fairly well on our little FOB and had the best chow hall in RC-East.

            • Jay says:

              LOVED the first day of fighting season in AFG (cue sarc/font). Getting the IDF alarm almost every hour ON the hour….

              No wonder those assholes were in such bad moods all the time, as hot and smelly as it was over there.

        • timactual says:

          Had to share an LZ with an 8″ battery once. Not just noisy, but the ground would jump when they fired. Fortunately they didn’t fire too often.

      • rgr1480 says:

        Been there, done that …. as a Green-Team Observer/Controller … in a jeep dodging tanks.

        It ain’t no fun when the full moon is not out.

        Zulu-O2, you sound like a major I worked for at NTC from 1983~85. His tag line was always, “What’s that got to do with killing communists?” He retired as a full colonel. God Bless that man!

        • MI Ranger says:

          As a Green Team OC back then you must have seen some of those 7s who came through and got their Place In the Desert with no legs.

          As the Green Teams’ 9er from 2006-2007 we had a 7 come in and tell us there were too many PIDs for him to go find. He was going to change the rules so he could get his Belt Buckle. This at a time when we could use Pluggers to find them. I left and became the Black Team 9er for my last few months (the COG moved me).

          • rgr1480 says:

            I was there with the Original COG: Colonel William Shackleford (God bless that man!) — what a non-political man. After he left we got COG #2 …… Wesley Clark. Let’s talk.

            (^__^)

            Col “Wes” Clark had flames shooting out of his ass, he was that sort of political “fast burner.” He changed the ROE almost forcing the OPFOR to lose — because they were so good and seldom gave Blue Force any chances. But it’s better to learn these lessons during peace time. “More Sweat Less Blood.”

            We OCs never agreed when BlueFor officers were relieved of command for errors — but it happened.

            Speaking of belt buckles — the tradition continues???? My OC belt buckle number is 000 …. I was the one who started that whole Scorpion tradition (even sent a letter to the president of the LRDG society informing them we were borrowing their symbol).

            Scorpion 12C
            Out

            • rgr1480 says:

              OPFOR commander at that time was LTC Claude Abate. *STUD*
              He kicked ass and took names ….

              His name sounds like “a-body”.

    • MSG Eric says:

      Yep, still is.

      Also, in some branches as long as you have a pulse, you get promoted to O5. (In Civil Affairs, I’ve known more than a few that might not have even had a pulse and still made O5.)

      • rgr769 says:

        Civil Affairs is the most worthless branch in the Army.

        • MSG Eric says:

          Funny how often we hear that from combat arms types, until it’s time to go into a populated area.

          My team was the biggest provider of “intelligence” in our AOR in Afghanistan because we had all the contacts with the local populace because of our “branch”. Among other factors making us not worthless.

          Not to say there aren’t worthless types and those that are a hindrance, but that can be said about every branch.

          • 11B-Mailclerk says:

            Well, as someone who drank deep from the lister bag of Infantry Kool Aid, only to wind up working as Mailclerk and other S-1 tasks, I sympathize.

            At least a little. Ahem.

            On the other hand, given that odious CA example that squawks on this forum, perhaps some folks may have a bit of bias induced by having to deal with gull-shit on everything.

            And on the gripping hand, urban areas are easily bypassed by an advance and subsequently kept busy as needed by artillery, right? (Grin)

            • 5th/77th FA says:

              11B, you call for a fire mission? The guns are laid and the Bunnies got nothing better to do.

              Had planned on taking the Ladies to the Theater for a play.

              https://postplayhouse.com/

            • MSG Eric says:

              I sympathize with you there. Early 2001 I was sent to the “schoolhouse” to be an instructor. I was there until ’04 and had to watch my students get deployment after deployment while I sat and taught. It was quite frustrating to the end.

              While there are CA officers of his ilk, they are not as widespread as it would seem.

              Back around 2005, there was an absurdly critical shortage of CA Officers because of the multiple back to back deployments and the well runneth dry. In 2005, there were about 5200 personnel TOTAL in Army Civil Affairs units. Each deployment to Afghanistan was about 500 personnel and when we went into Iraq, 1500 personnel from CA units were deployed with that invasion force and follow-on deployments. So, 40% of the population of CA units was deployed just to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003, 04, 05. We had an OPTEMPO of 120% for a few years.

              Because of that, they started scraping the USAR barrel for any officer who didn’t have a deployment and even some enlisted to deploy them as “trained” CA. In 2005, they were (no shit) putting officers through a “2 week” CA course, which was really about 7 days to make them CA “qualified” officers and they deployed shortly after.

              There were quite a few that did an excellent job, but there were also many who were total fuck ups. (I had to deal with an O4 in Afghanistan for a short time who was sent home and labeled Persona Non Grata in that theater.) A few years later the CA officer qual course became much longer and far more intensive and, believe it or not, officers were actually failed and sent home if they didn’t make the cut.

              • 11B-Mailclerk says:

                Don’t get me started on the insanity of a never-ending war without a clear Victory objective.

                When there is a levy on units, do the commanders say “This is important! Filter out our top flexible talent and send them.” Or “Great! Flush our turds.”

              • timactual says:

                I have long wondered what civil affairs did and how much input they had in “Operation Iraqi Freedom” from 2003 on. Got any good links?

          • timactual says:

            I have thought for several decades now that the Communist use of a “political officer”, zampolit, or whatever you want to call it, was actually a useful idea. If I recall correctly, one of the functions of the political officer is civil affairs, which also concerns the behavior of our troops toward the civilian population. This function is critical in revolutionary wars and counter insurgency, and unless things have changed a lot since I was in we do a god-awful job of it.

        • Roh-Dog says:

          JAG called, they offend.

          • rgr769 says:

            As an ex-lawer, I would disagree, but only because a JAG lawer can draft a last will and testament.

            In response to the MSG, I concede Civil Affairs is a necessary function, I was just never impressed with their officers, especially the Reserve officers. I once briefly interfaced with a Reserve Civil Affairs Group here in CONUS at their annual training, its officers all struck me as being on a boondoggle with pay for a smoozefest.

            • 11B-Mailclerk says:

              What if promotion to O-3 for -any- Army branch required a Ranger Tab? Expand the school as needed, but no slack at all in standards. And I mean not just combat arms but doctors, lawyers, chaplains, -any- officer.

              We need to be looking for a better moral/virtue filter. Do “officer” right, or do without them.

              • MSG Eric says:

                The biggest issue I would see with that is, you would then need to open about 10 more Ranger schools to meet the school seat demands of all those O-1s and O-2s to give them the opportunity to attend Ranger school. The Army isn’t going to spend the money to do that kind of thing.

                And not to disparage the Ranger tab, but I’ve met more than one officer with one that was scum and didn’t deserve to wear the uniform, let alone a Ranger tab.

                • 11B-Mailclerk says:

                  Oh any system can be gamed. The trick seems to be having a system ruleset that even “gamed” tends to produce good, or at least useable, results.

                  I keep telling co workers to say to me what I am doing wrong, from their point of view. Kudos are nice, but don’t help me fix bad habits (Of which I have plenty). It is one thing for an opponent to say “you suck”. Quite another for a colleague to say “try a less energetic response to new events.”

                  So, if the idea is workable, ramp up the school. Start with GOs. Work down.

                  That all around peer review is a culture I think important.

                  If only the opinion of the boss is essential, I think there is a built in bias that is dysfunctional.

                  We can’t eliminate shitbags and careerist gamers, but can we significantly reduce them, and at least ensure they can be utilized in a primary Army mission role successfully?

                  Still have to solve the problem of squandering our people in endless carnage unrelated to “conquer the bastards and leave them, and potential other threats, terrified of ever pissing us off again”.

                  • MSG Eric says:

                    I’ve seen more than one commander pissed off because of the infrastructure development mission and act as if it is Civil Affairs’ fault they have to do it.

                    Iraq was an industrial nation, we didn’t need to completely rebuild and in some cases “build” their whole country to get them functioning again. Infrastructure was important, but it was more important for them to figure out who they were after decades of Sadaam.

                    Afghanistan’s situation didn’t need as much money and they already had all of the process structure they needed to function on their own. Did they need some money to build? Sure. but spending money became a competition for too many coalition leaders and we were paying for the dumbest shit they didn’t need and in some cases didn’t want. They also knew the contracting rules better than we did. (Again, not CA’s fault.)

                    The primary CA goal is to go in, make them functional and sustainable on their own as quickly as possible and get the “F” out. We aren’t there to run their country, town, village, etc. We are there to work ourselves out of a job and go home.

                    • timactual says:

                      I seem to recall that the Special Forces started out with that mission; sort of an armed Peace Corps. “Winning the hearts and minds of the people” may be an old and much ridiculed cliche, but that is what COIN is all about. Now it seems that anything with “special” in it wants to be strictly a Rambo type commando unit.

              • rgr769 says:

                I think you would have a great many unpromotable LT’s forced to leave the service. My Ranger school class was the seventh one which was mandatory for all RA combat arms second lieutenants. Needless to say we had quite a few other than infantry officers who were not happy to be there.

                After a few years the Army abandoned that requirement. I doubt Ranger school training has much utility for an Air Defense Artillery officer or an AGC officer.

                • 11B-Mailclerk says:

                  On the other hand, having all the support folks able to understand, on a personal level, what mission they support seems like a good idea.

                  And there are myriad stories of units where various non-infantry are pressed into service as riflemen, averting catastrophe.

                  The current system seems broken. The biggest problem is the lack of Victory thinking. (What is it in this case? How do we obtain it? If we ain’t done, and can’t say when we are done, we ain’t thinking Victory.)

                  What -works-?

                  • MI Ranger says:

                    It is actually contradictory in MI. I got my tab when I was enlisted (11B), and because of that when I got commissioned they did not Branch Detail me. However, it also kept me stuck in Operations, and away from the strategic side of things. For that reason , and a tendency to poke leaders in the chest to make a decision (now not later), I did not get touchy feeling positions. When my old injuries started making problems I got quietly told Command was not in my cards, but I was not qualified for anything else…thanks for the service!

            • MSG Eric says:

              I did multiple JRTC rotations and I wasn’t impressed with any of them in regards to the scenario and what CA did as part of it.

              The problem is, every “problem” that popped up I was able to out-think and every question I asked, the white cell didn’t have a straight answer for. They also pushed out “issues” that I was unable to solve because of exercise restrictions, though in reality I could make a call, or walk into a village and get an answer for myself.

              Of the many exercises I did in Korea, I was astonished at how little engagement we had with the scenario. If we were there for real (which might actually happen if Kim Jong Fat Kid is really dead), we’d be busy as hell. Most of those exercises were pretty useless other than to interact and meet others we worked with in the supported units. One issue actually had 20,000 civilians in a particular area that was going to be blown to shit shortly. I finished my shift for the night, came back in the morning and within 12 hours, those civilians were all just “gone”. I asked what happened to them and was told, “well, they were moved out!” “By who?” “What do you mean by who, they just were!” In reality, that would be a multi-day effort and would take a crap-ton of resources, but trying to explain that to the exercise weenies was futile.

              That is the “bane” of Civil Affairs in exercises, including Annual Training. There is no “scenario” deep enough to allow our ability to function fully. Though often we have done real assessments, real estimates, real interaction with real civilian infrastructures and local government entities to put our training to the test, which was far more worthwhile than any exercise. It just doesn’t happen as often because there’s a lot to make it happen.

              • 11B-Mailclerk says:

                I read the CA blurb on the GoArmy site, and it sounds like we have to ask the locals nicely to go along with us, and we plan to be around for a long time.

                I suspect that second part is part of the problem. I dont believe most folks in any current or potential engagement area -want- us around very long, even as liberators. We are too alien.

                We are alien to most of the world, you know. Judge that by the ones who dont come here and don’t want to come here, not the ones fighting to get in.

                • timactual says:

                  Nobody wants a foreign Army in their country, even a friendly one. A famous British complaint from WWII is that Yanks are “overpaid, oversexed, and over here”. A necessary evil is still evil.

        • NHSparky says:

          Ah, that explains how Lars made Major.

      • ninja says:

        “Also, in some branches as long as you have a pulse, you get promoted to O5.”

        MSG Eric, are you speaking of the Active Army, the Army Reserves or the National Guard?

        If you are speaking of the Active Army, then your statement is incorrect.

        • MSG Eric says:

          I would concur that there will be a higher number in the Reserve component (National Guard and Reserve), but there are still those in the Active Army, even if they are fewer.

          Ever met an O5 and you wondered who tied his shoes for him?

          • ninja says:

            The O5 tied his or her own shoes.

            To be honest with you, never looked at a person’s shoes and ask that question, no matter what rank that person is.

            Has to be something in your background that you made that snide comment.

            So sad. And coming from an E8.

            Sadder.

            • MSG Eric says:

              I think you are fortunate if you haven’t met an O5 who shouldn’t be an O5, regardless of component.

              The way you phrased that, you make it seem like you’ve only ever interacted with one or two O5s in the Army in your career, which is stunning, but possible I suppose? (I’ve dealt with hundreds of field grades, Reserve and Active component in my over two decades of service)

              I’ve met plenty of damn fine officers who held their own and that I would follow anywhere. But I have experience with my share of officers who had no business being in the Army, let alone at the field grade level.

              Here’s an example of an O6 who somehow made it to O6 while also being a scumbag who shouldn’t have been promoted: https://www.militarytimes.com/2013/03/27/germany-based-colonel-relieved-of-duty-report-finds-toxic-command-climate/

              The ironic thing is, this is commentary on a posting about a LTC who has questionable decision-making skills.

              As a Senior NCO, I’ve learned to call it like I see it. I don’t tell the commander what he “wants” to hear. I tell him what he “needs” to hear. I’ve told a commander more than once that a particular officer shouldn’t be put in charge of something, including selected as a company commander more than once. Usually they need more time and experience before they take on bigger responsibilities, but there are a handful who wouldn’t cut it (ala, who ties their shoes?)

              You can call it snide all you want, it’s a fact of military service.

              • ninja says:

                “…you make it seem like you’ve only ever interacted with one or two O5s in the Army in your career…”

                Seriously?

                If you only knew…am not going to use this blog to discuss the ninja family Army Career…

                You single out an Officer via a Military Times article.

                Which is similiar to CNN singling out a LEO in MN.

                One bad apple does not mean the others are bad.

                Sound familiar? As in folks wanting to defund LEOs?

                And BTW, I have had MY share of BAD NCOs, one of them a MSG.

                As a Company Commander, I fired my 1SG.

                But I don’t cut down the NCO Corps because of that MSG..

                So…when are you gonna start knocking down the NCO Corps?

                And the Enlisted?

                And Warrant Officers?

                3…2…1…

                • MSG Eric says:

                  You should read my other comments, but at no point did I disparage the ENTIRE OFFICER CORPS.

                  You didn’t even make it past the second paragraph, or you wouldn’t have posted what you just did.

                  Sounds like you’re a bit too defensive and should count to ten before you post further. Perhaps check with the ninja family first to be sure?

                  • ninja says:

                    Wrong.

                    Again.

                    I read everything you wrote.

                    I can’t count to ten…remember? According to the Gospel of a Senior NCO,
                    us Senior Field Grade Officers don’t know how to tie our shoes, let alone count.

                    In fact, according to the Gospel of Senior NCOs, us Senior Field Grave Officers don’t know how to do much of anything.

                    Well, that’s your oponion and assessments.our Soldiers, Enlisted, NCOs, Commany commanders Platoon leadrs love us. No backstabbimg

                    • MSG Eric says:

                      What in the holy hell are you talking about?

                      Seriously, it’s like you’re reading something else and applying it here.

                    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

                      Are you two not on the same team?

                      You are both professionals in different fields. Neither NCO nor Officer is “better”.

                      Different.

                      Essential.

                      What happens to a good infantry battalion if every single officer is missing for a week? Every single NCO instead?

                      Answer as a member of that unit, facing an enemy, not your particular fraternity.

                      The problem is shitbags. Neither of you is accepting the other’s criticism. Both of you are in error in some ways.

                      Other than pride-signaling, what is the -solution-? Hm?

                    • MSG Eric says:

                      I see your point 11B and totally agree. However, I’m not seeing where I said all officers are bad, nor all NCOs are good.

                      I provided plenty of examples of both good and bad officers and NCOs. (The top three best bosses I’ve ever had were O4s and O5s.) Perhaps my comments were misconstrued as such, but that was definitely not intended.

                    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

                      MSG Eric, I do not believe I or Ninja said that.

                      I think folks have their pride up, and the conversation stopped being about solving the excess of … sub-par folks in leadership roles.

                      And there -is-. For many reasons.

                      It gets people killed needlessly. It leads to all sorts of bad press, which we comment on endlessly.

                      Unchecked, it threatens the Republic.

                      So everyone dial it back a few notches, and understand that mocking dingleberries can be amusing, it isn’t really a solution.

                      We have all met guys that inspire, Officer and NCO. We have all met guys that probably should be tuned-up with one well placed “accidental” round. The latter is -more- corrosive than the problem-child. Thus the need to fix before it comes to that.

                      So time out, put aside the pride, shake hands, and tell me how this gets -fixed-? Hm? Senior professionals?

                    • MSG Eric says:

                      Pride is the problem. The fact people get butthurt because their “group” gets talked about and/or someone in their group does which they think reflects on the whole. I would say that’s not just a rank thing, but also a branch thing. We should be able to make fun of each other regularly without people whining AND point out scumbags as such without defensive blocks being put up. (Two decades in Civil Affairs, I’ve heard it all)

                      Humility is a huge thing and far too many in the Senior ranks (Officer and NCO)have forgotten it. (I knew a CSM that had a fuckin’ CSM flag in his office, bigger than the unit colors. Yes, really.)

                      Letting bureaucrats administer evaluations. Some people might like the “Enlisted Evaluation System” (EES), but all it does is computerize everything. It also changed NCOERs as us not competing against ourselves to competing against other NCOs. If the Officers want that system, then fine. But even the officer version is broken and I’ve had conversations about it with those providing the loopholes to work with. “Well, if you have two equally good officers the one in the primary zone, give them the top block and give the one in the secondary zone a lower block and take care of them when they hit the primary zone!” (That was also taught as a recommendation for raters/SRs at AG BOLC.)

                      We aren’t afforded enough time to do quality mentorship and counseling (especially in the reserve component). “Just get it done!” is far too common and mentorship and leadership building becomes “check the block” because we’re too busy doing 50 mandatory classes every year, among other stupid bullshit.

                      We go to war and we do great for a while. Then the garrison mentality sinks in and/or we forget we’re killing bad guys. We should always be training to kill bad guys, not thinking of how to fill that last 30 minutes of a Thursday so we have a “full” training schedule to submit in DTMS.

                • timactual says:

                  “One bad apple does not mean the others are bad.”

                  When that one bad apple is inspected and graded multiple times and still gets to the top of the barrel the probability is that there are other bad apples also rising to the top of the barrel.

              • Honor and Courage says:

                The wheels of the Army could not move without Master SERGEANTS. When the Officers get their hands on the work it starts turning to shit! Working at DOD Staff level I have seen my share of worthless Officers, the average would run at about 30%. That the 04,05 levels, that’s includes all components.
                I activated an 05 for a slot at DA HQs, that I had a by name request for and he called me and ask how was he supposed to get to Washington! I ask him if he had a Car and , drivers license.

                • 11B-Mailclerk says:

                  I can give examples of shitbag “NCOs”.

                  I am sure officers and NCOs can give examples of shitbag junior enlisted. I sure can.

                  We need competency at all ranks, and virtue at all ranks. No army can function without all three sets being present, privates, sergeants, officers. Ours functions -well- to the degree all three are purged of the sub-par and the shitbags.

                  Show me a good example professional response.

                  Lead by example -is- a thing, right?

    • ninja says:

      Zulu02 wrote:

      “Anything above O4 is political. Back in the day, getting a battalion command was mostly political and probably still is. You had to check all the blocks: Masters degree, served on a high level staff, taught ROTC etc. Whether you knew your MOS or not did not matter. And you had to have a senior officer sponsor.”

      How long have you been retired, Zulu?

      Your statement is not exactly true, especially the “political” part.

      “Taught ROTC..” Interesting considering the two members of the ninja family never taught ROTC, yet the ninja family members both retired at a higher grade level than O4/Major.

      “Not know your MOS”…Interesting since Officers have to be Branch Qualified to move up the ladders.

      Yes, to be promoted, it is expected for an Army Officer to obtain a higher degree than a Bachelor’s Degree.

      It is expected for an Officer to command at different levels, i.e. Platoon Leader, Company Commander, Battalion Commander, Brigade Commander.

      Not all Officers have a chance to Command based on their Branch and the needs of the Army. Politics has nothing to do with it.

      “Senior Officer Sponser”? Interesting. Neither ninja family members had “one of those”, yet somehow, we managed to move up in rank to retire at a higher level than Major/O4.

      Again, when did you serve? Active Army? Army Reserve? National Guard? What Branch?

      Just curious as well as not agreeing what you commented.

      • Ret_25X says:

        Politics is everything. It’s just not the thing described by the Army.

        No officer known to be dedicated to mission and troops is viable outside certain “special” occupations.

        As for “branch qualification” don’t make me laugh. Holding a KD assignment is NOT the same as a qualification system.

        We don’t test for knowledge. We no longer test for tactical or technical ability. We no longer run real qual courses (outside SF and CA) and we certainly don’t confuse ability with qualifications.

        There are very few “qualified” officers outside the SOC and Fires communities who actually conduct missions. LTC and COL are desk riders and force providers in almost every other type of unit.

        Where do you think the saying “f*ck, the old man is coming, where are the dogs and ponies stored” came from?

        • ninja says:

          So speaks the Senior NCO about Commissioned Officers.

          Were you ever Commissioned, Ret_25X?

          What is a KD assignment?

          When were you in?

          Active? Reserves? National Guard?

          Interesting how I have yet to read one comment coming from an Active Duty Commissioned Officer (Retired or Active), unless Zulu02 is the exception.

          Still wondering the time frame Zulu served.

          Comments seem to be coming from NCOs that seem bitter about something.

          Wonder why the bitterness. Passover for promotion? Not getting an award they wanted? Jealousy?

          Just curious and at the same time, feeling sadness for those who address the US Army Army Promotion system, yet never served as a Commissioned Officer or served AGES ago.

          Those who consistently knock down Army Officers (it gets old after a while): If you think you could do better, then why didn’t YOU become a Commissioned Officer?

          And don’t use the excuse “I have no interest in being an Officer” or “I was too busy to get a degree” or “I could not go ROTC or Military Academy”…there IS OCS and Direct Commission.

          Please remember there ARE TAH Members that ARE or WERE Commissioned Army Officers…

          🤔

          • MSG Eric says:

            You seem to be a bit too defensive about this, as if we’re talking about all officers being scumbags, which is definitely not the case.

            As a Battalion CSM, I had to fire two 1SGs because they didn’t cut it. I saw more than a few senior NCOs who should’ve been fired, but weren’t because of “something something”, which often meant they were buddies with the CSM or someone else and became untouchable. I don’t count all Senior NCOs as scumbags because of those few.

            At one point I also had an Active Army battalion commander who regularly disparaged our company, our mission, and our personnel to THE REST OF THE BATTALION. What was done about it? Well, he wasn’t allowed to be a “commander” ever again, but he still made O-6. I’m sure he’s crying in his O-6 pension check every month.

            I also had to cover down on an O4 and two O3 positions because Army HRC took the two officers I had and didn’t replace them for months. I’ve done the job and it sucked, but I got it done.

            I also knew an Active Army Major who was on a BCT staff and would, during staff and VTC meetings, disregard orders given and refuse to accomplish tasks assigned. Nothing was done about it. Why? The subordinate units I worked with equally hated that officer and didn’t want to interact at all (I got asked to and helped as I could).

            Do they reflect on every officer in the Army? Fuck no. I take each officer, each NCO, and each enlisted member at their own abilities.

            Again, if you think there aren’t officers out there that suck, regardless of component, then good for you that you haven’t dealt with or interacted with them in your career, Sir.

          • Ret_25X says:

            After so many years of trying to squeeze 300 officers into 30 KD billets, or watching KD billets sit empty because the CDR did not personally like people, I knew that officers get the shaft–from their seniors. KD assignments are often nothing but favors seniors hand out to “their” juniors. There is usually no OML, no competition, no attempt to vet and validate the officers to ensure some attempt is made to implement some objective performance based metric is used.

            Unfortunately, that is now true for NCO billets in many cases as well. Again, this is an admin side of the Army issue.

            I don’t “bash” officers, I simply hold them to the supposed “standard” they claim to meet. After all, better pay, better schools, more assignment choice, more options, I expect more of them. Alas, outside a few, I was not impressed. Had many of them been enlisted soldiers I would have moved to chapter them.

            I get that it can cause butt hurt to see the observation that your group may be highly diluted by careerists rather than true soldiers, but it is the objective truth. What I don’t understand is why you can’t admit it like the Sr NCOs here do about their own ranks.

            The Pareto principle applies to officers just like every other group.

            One need not have been an officer to observe their behaviors and what many of us observe is bad. Just bad.

            It’s my opinion based on 10 years as a SEL or CSM in CA, CS, Joint, and Coalition positions from BN to GO level jobs. I don’t “hate” officers, I’m just disappointed that the officer corps on the whole is not more professional than it is. I also understand that individual officers are not actually supported in ways that might produce better outcomes.

            It’s not your fault. Don’t take it personally. All you can do is be your best and hold your peers and subordinates accountable. But be aware, soldiers see what is going on and understand it. They don’t have to have schooling to be smart enough to analyze and conclude that the officer system is a mess and needs considerable work. As does the enlisted system.

            I don’t see that happening any time soon. Too many are benefiting from the current reality.

            • MI Ranger says:

              RET_25X much of what you describe is the same issue with NCO leadership ability as well.

              My personal experience goes this way: I never had a leader counsel me on what was expected in my job but twice, prior to my evaluation being due. Coincidently both of those leaders did not rate me (one chose not to give me a 90 day OER because it might hurt me…when in fact it did the opposite; the other retired and did not give me a close out because I deployed forward).

              If leaders would take the time to establish the standards they expect, and follow through it would be easier to counsel them and rate them.

              Instead we get officers saying “I don’t have a ACM to give right now, you’ll have to wait until next OER, but don’t know enough to write the bullets to make it read like an ACM…either that or I had a lot of really spiteful raters that were great at lying to my face!

            • timactual says:

              “soldiers see what is going on and understand it.”

              Why thank you. As a former enlisted swine I am surprised and gratified that a senior NCO or officer would say such a thing. That is, I believe, the first time I have heard it said.

              It is definitely true and is why my once generally positive opinion of officers is now negative; guilty until proven innocent, so to speak. “Salute the uniform, not the man” is a pretty sad way to operate.

          • Honor and Courage says:

            TURNED DOWN A SHOT AT A BATTLE FIELD COMMISSION! ALREAY HAD TO 10 MONTHS IN AND DID NOT WANT TO START OVER WITH A 3RD YEAR IN THE BUSH! 90% of the best field officers were Rifted when the war started winding down. The ring knockers were all retained. I put many an Officer back in the system while processing new Soldiers in the Army. My Battalion S4 was on 04, and came back as an E6 Supply SGT to finish his Career. Most parted ways with the Army because they could make more money on the outside!

            • 11B-Mailclerk says:

              The whole endless not-quite-war because not-quite-victory is a -big- part of it. -biggest-

              I have a pretty harsh view of that. I think some folks need to be willing to say “fuck my career. Your are full of shit.”

              As a PFC, I told off my 1SG over an illegal order, as I saw it. Professionally, respectfully, patiently, but when pushed a bit to far, I told him I wouldn’t obey because I had been assured we would share a cell, and that scared the hell out of me because he was married and would got lonely first.

              I said that, to his face, in front of my Adjutant.

              I made it stick. I also did work to find something -he-could live with. I had to endure a whole bunch of 1SG attention I could have avoided by going along.

              I got promoted. He concurred. No one was more surprised than me.

              I am told that is -not- typical.

  9. MustangCryppie says:

    Well, on the “merits” I would say the “good” Colonel is fucked.

    If he is selected, THAT would be political in my opinion.

    • Buckeye Jim says:

      You are totally correct.

      BZ

    • MSG Eric says:

      The way Army Human Resources Command functions, I wouldn’t be surprised if they added him to the promotion list just to spite the CINC because that’s the kind of crap HRC as a bureaucracy pulls.

      They were perfectly fine with kicking thousands of Soldiers to the curb under the last regime after all.

      • ninja says:

        HRC has nothing to do with this.

        Do you know the Active Army Officer Promotion System, MSG Eric?

        Sincerely, the ninja family members who have sat on Active Army Officer Promotion Boards and Active Army Officer Command Selection Boards

        • MSG Eric says:

          I’ve sat on boards myself. The best thing I could say about “selection boards” is, they can only make a recommendation based on the information they are provided. A CSM I knew once was talking about a Senior board he was sitting on where an NCO he had rated had a packet before that board. The evaluation he wrote for the NCO was nowhere to be seen, but the board president told him, “sorry but we go with what’s in the file, not what you know ‘should’ be there.”

          I’ve seen plenty of evaluations (for both officers and NCOs) that didn’t cut it. I also saw quite a few that seemed as if they were for someone else entirely.

  10. George V says:

    Well, using something I heard about when I served in the Navy, if he were a Commander up for Captain, he could be promoted and then made CO of an un-powered sludge barge based in Adak, Alaska.

    Oh, and it’s not TDY, it’s a full 3 years, it’s an unaccompanied assignment (leave the wife behind) and there’s quarters on the barge, so no quarters allowance.

    Doesn’t the Army have similar plum assignments the Colonel could have?

    • SFC D says:

      I had a BDE Commander, O-6, got a DUI. From outward appearances, he got off with a slap on the wrist, and allowed to finish his command.

      Next stop was as Chief of Staff, West Point. Where his career was allowed to quietly die.

      Guy had at least 2 stars in his future before he got in that car.

      • Honor and Courage says:

        Had an 05 in DC that used the IPERMS system to look up political, Officers. He got a General officer Reprimand and his security Clearance revoked! You know what an 05 without a Clearance does? Empty trash cans in Germany. when his time was up. he was discharged.

    • ninja says:

      George V:

      What is YOUR definition of a “plum” assignment for a US Army Colonel, Active Duty?

      Asking For A Friend

  11. ArmyATC says:

    Democrats are so hypocritical. You know damned well that if Vindman doesn’t get his bird the Democrats are going to make it political and scream for an investigation.

  12. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    Give Vindman a Bird

    (Raises finger)

    Okay.

    ….

    Hm. Wrong bird? Okay. Give him our seagull. They deserve each other.

    Same difference.

  13. Mustang Major says:

    Vindman could be edged out by diversity selections. The Army’s “woke” leadership may give the selection board instructions concerning diversity selections this year.

    On the other hand, some of the selection board members will think about their future career prospects for serving on a board that didn’t select Vindman. Re: What does Gen. Millie expect.

  14. Harry D says:

    “Reed’s armed services committee colleague Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., an Iraq War veteran, issued similar warnings on social media Thursday, saying she’ll be pressing Pentagon leaders for assurances that politics won’t interfere with routine promotions work.”

    By saying that, these leftist imbeciles just made this partisan AND political.

  15. Ret_25X says:

    During 5 assignments as a SGM/CSM, I only met one COL who was not a full on advocate for far left politics.

    ONE

    Let that sink in. 4 BDE Commanders and literally hundreds of COLs on staff and I only ever met ONE who wasn’t a full on lefty. He was a neoliberal, but not a leftist. Predictably, he saw the reality and retired earlier than he might have.

    The real war fighters of the 2003-2009 period have all been moved along in favor of those who steadfastly adhere to the party line.

    Sadly, the E9 selection list is becoming the same.

    In a similar vein, only ONE of the hundreds of COLs and GOs I have worked with were the least bit interested in my soldiers. At all. Ever. Unless that fake concern could be used to advance themselves. We won’t discuss their complete uselessness professionally. Most of them couldn’t find their own ass with 3 Majors pointing at it.

    Senior rank is reserved for the politically reliable. It is only a matter of time before the Army has an NKVD to “police” the force for this. Lars will wet his pants in joy at this.

    This is root reason that the Army has to relearn tactics in each new conflict.

    • Ret_25X says:

      To add to this, both the evaluation system and CSL system for assignments are designed to reward the narcissist or toxic personality.

      No selfless service personality will ever have the cheese whiz evals to compete for promotion.

      We select for Massengales and not Damons….(referring to Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer).

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_an_Eagle

      • ninja says:

        “Once Upon An Eagle.”

        Oh, Bother.

        That book took place during WW1.

        OLD SCHOOL.

        Give me a break.

        Massengale= West Point.

        Damon= OCS/Battlefield Commission.

        This is 2020, not 1920.

        Stereotyping Commissioned Officers.

        Not good.

        • 5th/77th FA says:

          ninja, or we could say that the good Officers follow the teachings of the Bobby Lees (Duty is the sublimist word in the dictionary), the Tom Jacksons (Then, Sir, we will give them the bayonet), the Lewis Armisteads (Trust on God and Fear Nothing); where as the not so good Officers follow the examples of the Johnny Popes (My Headquarters will be in my saddle) or the Dan Sickles (I did not like my assigned position in the line so I moved ahead on my own accord).

          I served with both, but have always patterned my behavior with the former v the latter. Plus the good Officer remembers/knows, that the Mission, Men, Myself will usually work out better if the sequence is subtly Men, Mission, Myself. You take care of your Men (Troops), then they will take care of the Mission and you.

          “I’d charge hell itself for that Old Man!” “Fight til Hell froze over and then fight ’em on the ice!”

          • ninja says:

            KoB wrote:

            “You take care of your Men (Troops), then they will take care of the Mission and you.”

            AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!

            THAT is EXACTLY what the ninja family members were taught and what we ALWAYS believed in.

            The ninja family has had their share of problem children. It is not fun to Chapter a Soldier out of the Army, but for the good of the Army, we had to.

            And I don’t give a rats behind what others think of Bobby Lee. That man was an OUTSTANDING Army Officer.

            Just my two pennies.

            hbtd/rtr/gabn

            • 11B-Mailclerk says:

              Do you know LTC (ret) Tom Kratman? Read his books?

              That is my idea of a damn good officer. He was my company commander.

              CSM James McIntosh? (RIP) He was my CSM.

              That is my idea of a damn good NCO.

        • timactual says:

          “That book took place during WW1.”

          You should have read the whole thing.

          ” The book appears on the Commandant’s required reading list for all First Lieutenants in the United States Marine Corps, and frequently serves as a text for cadets in leadership classes at West Point.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_an_Eagle

    • ninja says:

      Ret_25X:

      Interesting.

      The ninja family, retiring at Field Grade Officer level, are not Left.

      Neither are their friends and co-workers, a mixedture of NCO and Officers.

      Officers not caring for or interested in their Soldiers? Interesting considering the ninja family still stays in touch with some of their Solders.

      Sorry you did not have a good experience in the Army, Ret_25x, even though it looks as if it was not that bad since you seem to have elevated to a high rank in the NCO Corps.

      Perhaps you had that negative experience because you were in the Signal Corps??? We were not Signal Corps. We believed and in taking care of our Soldiers when we served and have always been Conservatives from the day we signed up with Uncle Sam until the day we retired.

      • old98z says:

        Perception that promotion to senior grade is suckass/positional is historical.
        Whats new?
        And Ninja is also right.
        Don’t accuse without facts.
        My experience is most probably different than yours.
        Mine was 20 years ago and MI but the military won’t change until people do.

        • ninja says:

          Thank You, old98z.

          You NAILED IT when you wrote “the military won’t change until people do and “Perception that promotion to senior grade is suckass/positional is historical.”

          SPOT ON!

          👏👏👏👏👍👍👍👍

    • timactual says:

      “only ONE of the hundreds of COLs and GOs I have worked with were the least bit interested in my soldiers”

      That was my experience, also, albeit at a lower level. Did see my Div. commander once, though. At an impromptu (maybe) press conference, all polished and starched, his little non-reg patent leather holster (those 1911s are just too heavy) shining in the sun, as he told the press about his boys’ high morale, aggressive spirit, etc.

  16. Andy11M says:

    ” Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., an Army veteran, who said that “partisan interference with the military’s merit-based promotion system” could cause serious problems.”
    Hmmm, I know if I spent enough time digging around I could find that video of Hillary when she was still in congress making that Army Gen at his confirmation hearing for the some major command (it escapes me now) testify that we were loosing the war,solely to embarrass Pres Bush, and she was barely able to suppress a smug grin. Truth is, anything above light Col IS political, just depends if those politics are inside a given branch, or in the halls of congress.

  17. E4 Mafia '83-'87 says:

    Full bird colonel? He’s shown his desire to circumvent the chain of command, disregard standing orders, and displayed loyalty to nation that is NOT the United States. What happened to his new gig as Ukrainian Sec of Defense?
    None of these Democrats give 2 shits about this guy. They just want to reward him for being their stooge.

    • rgr769 says:

      Plus he leaked the contents of a classified phone call with a foreign leader to Eric the Rat at CIA, with no need to know, solely for a political purpose, the Whistleblower impeachment charade.

  18. ninja says:

    Did or has Vindman gone before a Promotion board?

    Was he considered with his peers to go before the Board before the Impeachment hearing?

    Was his name already on a list to go before Senate Confirmation before the Impeachment Hearing?

    https://www.senate.gov/legislative/noms_confn.htm

    Did he receive an OER on his last assignment? Was his Senior Rater a Civilian or Military?

    Vindman was selected for War College before the Impeacment Hearings. Most Officers selected for War College are potential selectees for promotion to Colonel/O6.

    The ninja family are HUGE supporters of President Trump and as with others, knows the “Impeachment” was a scam, a political stunt pulled by desparate Democrats.

    That being said, IF Vindman has already gone before a board and is on a list, then it will be up to the Senate to confirm his nomination.

    But I thought you all already knew that.

    It is so sad to read comments from some who stereotype the US Army Active Duty Promotion System, let alone knocking down Commissioned Officers.

    To those who think you can do better in leading and taking care of Soldiers, then my question to you is :If you think you can do better, then why don’t you get a Commission?

    No excuse or a BS response “I have no interest in being an Officer.”

    Sincerely, the ninja family members, both prior Enlisted and Retired Field Grade Officers

    • old98z says:

      Perhaps address the graphic chosen for the post. Obviously it was going to provoke comments if there is a rat badge posted on a figure’s US military uniform.

      Whether or not it is fair to characterize a person that way, it is sure to get the comment count up.

      More mundane posts here never score more than single digits in responses, a post starts with a controversial image is more likely to get the blood pumping and comment count up.

      If so – to the mods – can’t be certain this practice does not chase off as many participants as it may attract.

      • ninja says:

        old98z:

        “If so – to the mods – can’t be certain this practice does not chase off as many participants as it may attract.”

        You made an excellent point, old98z.

        This post was supposed to be about Vindman, but sadly, ended up being a post with several negative/deragatory remarks about Army Officers, the Active Army Officer Promotion System (not true about politics or knowing someone to get promoted) or different persectives of Branches of the US Army.

    • timactual says:

      “It is so sad to read comments from some who stereotype the US Army Active Duty Promotion System, let alone knocking down Commissioned Officers.”

      It is even sadder to be able to make such comments. When you realize that the people you have looked up to and respected all your life (my father retired as an O5 after 23 years) and to whom you entrust your life and your welfare are sometimes incompetent, sometimes actually dangerous, and seldom have more than the bare minimum of interest in your welfare.

      But then I was never an officer, so my comments are obviously worthless.

  19. David says:

    “The same people calling for Vindman’s promotion to be politically influenced… er, guaranteed but officially not subject to political input from the ‘wrong’ (orange) party, are the same ones who want to use all the political influence they have to get Crozier reinstated in command.
    Might be just a bit hypocritical?

    • SFC D says:

      I’d be happy if Vindman and Crozier held hands, retired, and skipped off into the sunset, never to be heard from again.

    • MSG Eric says:

      Politicians being hypocritical? Next thing you’ll tell me is that Antifa is using Fascist tactics to further their own goals!

  20. Mick says:

    Not sure why there is all of this pointless whining and moaning about LTC Vindman potentially being denied promotion to Colonel.

    The President is the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces. Commissioned officers serve at the pleasure of the President. Therefore, the President can deny the promotion of any officer in the U.S. Armed Forces if he chooses to do so.

    If President Trump declines to promote/commission LTC Vindman as a Colonel in the U.S. Army, he is legally entitled to do so without argument or pushback from uninformed politicians.

    Excerpts from the article linked below:

    ‘In the closing lines of Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, the President is required to commission all officers of the United States: “. . . he shall take care that the Laws be faithfully executed and shall commission all the officers of the United States.”’

    ‘Commissioning is done to ensure the President is fully accountable for what the military does in defense of the nation, and this is why officers serve at the pleasure of the President. It is fundamentally different in nature from the enlisted contract.’

    Additional details:

    ‘Know What An Officer Commission Means’

    https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2017/october/know-what-officer-commission-means

    ‘[…]

    The commissioning of officers has a long history and can be traced back to the Roman Empire. In the Middle Ages, sovereigns would offer noblemen commissions to raise armies to protect the realm. The commission was a lawful extension of sovereign power. The granting of commissions became more commonplace under the British Empire. After the American war for independence, the Continental Congress recognized the need to continue the practice. Because there was no unitary executive during the second Continental Congress, authority to grant commissions was somewhat clumsily shared between Congress and state governments.

    During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the framers likely acknowledged the need to vest the power to grant commissions solely in the executive because this solution was present in the first draft that summer. In the closing lines of Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, the President is required to commission all officers of the United States: “. . . he shall take care that the Laws be faithfully executed and shall commission all the officers of the United States.”

    It is instructive that the framers chose to place this in the “take care” clause as opposed to in Article 2, Section 2, with the other enumerated powers. The framers did not see the commissioning of officers as a power the President could and should wield at his discretion, but rather a responsibility he must properly bear. Thus, the President could be held fully accountable for his constitutional responsibilities as the nation’s executive. Indeed, in 1926 the solicitor general argued successfully before the Supreme Court that all commissioned officers are an extension of executive power. In other words, the President cannot be held accountable to “take care that the Laws be faithfully executed” unless he is fully responsible for and can remove the officers who exercise his executive authority.

    Congress creates the office to which the President nominates an officer. Once the Congress approves the appointment, the President grants the officer the commission. While in practice granting commissions to officers is a ministerial act, it does not change the nature of the commission in the constitutional context. In the famous Marbury v. Madison decision of 1803, Justice John Marshall wrote that “granting a commission is the distinct act, done in the name of the President, which empowers an officer.”

    Commissioning is done to ensure the President is fully accountable for what the military does in defense of the nation, and this is why officers serve at the pleasure of the President. It is fundamentally different in nature from the enlisted contract.

    […]

    Military officership, according to Huntington, is a profession because it fully embodies these characteristics. Military officers certainly share a sense of organic unity that distinguishes them from laypersons. The expertise, Huntington asserts, is the management of violence. While enlisted personnel are technical experts in the application of violence, the officer is the manager of violence on behalf of the state. The responsibility of all officers is the military security of the state. In return, the society of the state must fairly compensate its military officers, but not overcompensate them, lest their chief motivation for service become confused. The state’s military officers are not mercenaries on behalf of a well-paying client; they are professionals of a higher calling.

    The commission binds both the officer to the state to serve lawfully and defend the Constitution, and the state’s executive to each officer, making him or her a direct extension of the executive’s constitutional power.’

  21. USAF RET says:

    No way that dude could pass a PT test.

  22. Zulu02 says:

    RGR1480: Blue Team 1982-1983 as the infantry OC, then Live Fire Team Chief. We probably know the same folks.

  23. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    It seems all promotions become political after a while, officer or NCO. But that’s true of the civilian world as well. We are political/social creatures by nature.

    We bond with certain people far more closely than others, and we tend to surround ourselves with those we trust and share a world view with. It’s human nature.

    It’s extremely unusual in any organization I’ve been involved with to find superiors comfortable with dissent.

    I thank one officer many years ago who taught me the value of dissenting opinions to any organization. His example indicated that those with a dissenting opinion were welcome to offer that with substantiating evidence and reasoning, he might ignore their dissent as he was the ultimate decision maker but he never held your dissenting opinion against you.

    Since leaving the military almost 40 years ago I’ve tried in the civilian world to make sure I follow that example, to have some folks around who don’t see the world as I do and who offer a voice of dissent from time to time simply because it forces me to consider my decisions and defend to myself what my intended plan was at that time.

    Dissent isn’t an easy thing to hear or address for many people.

    The comments in this thread reinforce that reality.

    Too many leaders like echo chambers, too many leaders look at someone who believes they are doing the right thing by voicing a contrary position as disloyal.

    Vindman took the job knowing what Trump was, and now Vindman will pay a price for that move.

    Trump is not a leader who likes dissent. Trump is the other kind of leader, the one who likes ass kissers who tell him all his decisions are great and every idea is a winner.

    A great many business owners lose their businesses because they run them with only yes men. It’s not the best method for success.

  24. Trent says:

    When I first this a week or so ago, I was pissed. Then I realized it wasnt as earth shattering as I thought.
    LTC Vindman, should he be promoted, will just be another nameless, faceless staff officer in the dark nether regions of the Pentagon until he is forced to retire.
    He has no spark and no drive.

  25. USMC Steve says:

    As everyone knows, Commissioned officer serve at the pleasure of the President. Not only can Trump deny him promotion, but after that fraudulent shitshow of perjury he got caught committing, Trump should already have taken his commission. He can also do that any time he wants.