Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Taken To Task – And Lovin’ It

Over the past few weeks Voodoo and Anonymous have been quite vocal in their thoughts and opinions. Frankly I couldn’t be more delighted! The military is a team sport and each of us has a position to play. Of course standing in one position you can only get one view of what’s going on. In order to succeed it is critical to understand and appreciate the other points of view. Unless you are able to develop the broader perspective, your enemy is bound to win.

As most of you readers know I started my career in MI and moved into PSYOP about half way through my career. However, I did have two pure MI jobs in CAPOC units: S2 at the 7th POG and G2 at the 351st CA Command. The fact that I was able to move in and out of MI slots in both active and reserve organizations was something I just took for granted and it wasn’t until Voodoo’s last comment that this transparency came back to me.

Clearly if MI and SF have been able to develop mission/slot transparency then we in the MISO world must do the same. Officers and NCOs have to work synergistically to accomplish this goal. Officers, especially at the GO level can pave the way for force development and training by helping to orchestrate the funding and other resources that are necessary. The Officer Corps is responsible for managing up to the DOD even though it is our collective responsibility to ‘educate’ Congress as much as we can.

Soldier training however must be the province of the NCOs. While good officers understand what their soldiers do on the job and can pitch in when necessary, we are just not in a position to determine the proper training strategy and the details behind it. This assumes that NCOs are thinking about what soldiers need to accomplish and in their role of ‘running the Army’ consider the best ways and means of insuring that all MISO soldiers, regardless of component, are able to perform to the same standard.

As a nation we are entering a new and critical era. The pressure on budget cuts will not ignore the Department of Defense and the Army will certainly not be immune either. It’s possible that the Special Operations Community will fare better than the rest, but they too may face cuts. This means that the MISO community needs to think a bit into the future. Military slots will be harder to come by and to get the better ones, like MISO and MI, soldiers and officers alike will have to bite the bullet in terms of the usual doing more with less, but also in terms of time commitments outside of combat tours.

The demand for troops (not necessarily contractors of course) is down in Iraq and is on a down ward trend in Afghanistan. Notwithstanding needs in Africa and Latin America, the handwriting on the wall is for military cuts.

Top level leadership needs to accelerate the pace for a decision on the future of the MISO force and if it is all going to be one happy family under SOF, let’s do it and move forward, if not let’s decide that as well. In any event it is incumbent on SWC in concert with their AC and RC customers to craft a forward thinking training strategy that will optimize the force and takes into account the lean times that are likely to be ahead of us.

1 comment:

Voodoo said...

Not only are you obviously a strategic minded-commander, you're a sharp, astute, flexible, and effects-driven strategic minded commander, absent the ego that characterizes the majority of field grade officers I've worked with.

I know for a fact that at least one key Senator, and his staff, had little to no knowledge or comprehension regarding the current state of the regiment.

You've touched on it several times, but yes, we need, as a community, to make some noise with our civilian representatives.

It goes against our grain, our training, and our efforts will always be sullied by ridiculous articles such as the Rolling Stone piece, but the regiment needs to figure out how to communicate how dire the situation is to legislators who have the power to make corrections to a CRITICAL fault line in our current threat environment.

For a decade now we've been admitting we're losing the war of ideas in the global war on terror.

How long is it going to take before the defense community snaps out of it and realizes that maybe we, the PSYOP community, needs some quality TLC, rather than the counter-productive boost in numbers we saw circa 2007-9.