Happy New Year to all and hello to a new beginning. It seems that every year people try to start over with their lives and make it better or at least somewhat different. You don’t have to start over. The best way is not to start over because this is virtually impossible. You can’t change the past or much of the present, but you can take charge of the future and make it a new beginning for you and your family. The most important way to do this is to make changes that will benefit you and others. We are entering a new presidency that will obviously make changes for our country that will affect us all. With the beginning of 2017, we especially need to have new military changes take place.
One of the most important decisions our new president will have to make is what changes in our military will make it better. He will have to continue our fight against terrorism here in the United States and abroad. What can we as military leaders do to change and strengthen our armed forces? We cannot continue to accept the so-called “new generation” and its way of life in our military. We seem to have accepted the lack of military bearing and professionalism in our military. The constant lack of discipline and all-out mediocrity we have in our service members no matter what branch they serve in.
What Is Needed
The first and most viable change that needs to be in our military is discipline! The lack of discipline in our military is at an all-time high. Why? We seem to have accepted the lack of discipline due to leaders actually being somewhat afraid to discipline a service member. Our leaders don’t have the respect from their subordinates because the “kinder, gentler military” has allowed this to go on and now is out of control. We accept now that we allow this new generation to have all their games and technology over the commitments and oaths they took. They did not talk about Clash of Clans or Facebook in any of their oaths. This technology-driven new generation lacks the ability to communicate unless it’s by text or Facebook messenger! Our military is seeing that we are weaker now than we were years ago. We must not only give our leaders back their ability to properly discipline their subordinates but also hold them accountable for their actions or lack thereof. We need to take away the crutch of technology and its constant distraction that has made our military weak. We all know what I mean. It seems that nobody can go anywhere or do anything without a phone constantly in their hands talking, texting, or playing a game to get to a billion strength points.
Our technology-driven generation lacks the proper ability to communicate unless it is through text or instant message. You can call them and they may not answer. But when you text them, they do answer and it’s with a lack of professionalism due to their sarcasm or just text language in itself. The communication, or lack thereof, is constantly misunderstood. There is no longer room in our military for constant texting or messaging. We must regain our ability to speak to our subordinates face-to-face rather than through a text or email.
Another important change our military needs to make is increase the amount of proper training for young military members and leaders. We spend more time now with online training during or after duty hours instead of in a classroom or in field training. We spend more time typing answers or should I say giving soldiers the answers to questions, so they can complete the online course instead of teaching them the proper way! How can you expect a soldier to remember a phrase in DARI when all they do is keep guessing the answer until it is right?
Turn Back Time
We need to turn back the military clock, look at the past, and see how much more disciplined and professional our military was without all the phones and hoops hanging from soldiers’ ears or wearing jeans with their boxers showing. We need to turn back time and give the leaders the ability to lead through discipline, passing on wisdom and experience, not sending a text that says, “have you completed your online course for SERE?” How about doing it the right way, so they learn and don’t just guess A, B, C, or D. We send them to SERE. This they will remember because they learned firsthand that our enemy doesn’t care if the internet is down or you don’t have data left!
Where It Begins
A military member’s career begins in boot camp. This is where discipline begins. This is where we decide if this person can be effective in battle or if they can really be trusted to carry a weapon or be held accountable for completing a mission without posting pics and information about it on social media.
Back to the Basics
It is time to get back to the basics. Return to discipline, communication, proper training and education without using Google or Snap Chat. The military needs to use the technology we have as a tool, not a necessity. We will continue to weaken our military unless we get back to the basics and fundamentals that made our military strong. We’ve won many battles without an iPhone or Xbox. Let’s learn from past experiences and quit making the same mistakes. We must bring back the discipline and the commitment that it takes to defeat our enemies. We spend more money on technology then we do on proper weapons, equipment, and training to our service members.