Today’s Boston Globe featured these headlines:
The topic of
It is my intent, in sharing the link below to today’s Globe feature article, to open a dialogue about this issue. Many regular readers of and contributors to The White Rhino Report are themselves West Point, Annapolis, Air Force Academy and Coast Guard Academy graduates, so I know that there will be no shortage of opinions.
In this brief posting, let me lay out in sketchy form some of my own thoughts, offered as an interested outsider – meaning that I myself am not a service academy graduate. I feel that I can be bold enough to comment on the issue, however, because professionally, I work with many senior executives who have served with distinction in the military. In addition, I am being asked more and more to advise junior military officers on their career options.
Here, in brief, are some preliminary reactions to today’s article:
- Many of the
graduates I see opting to leave military service at the end of their initial commitment are wired more entrepreneurially than their peers who elect to remain as military officers. Service Academy
- Those who choose to leave after their initial commitment are deeply influenced by a desire to provide for their families a more stabile and predictable life – the ability to plan for having and raising a family, choices of where to live, realistic career path for a non-military spouse. Other family-related quality-of-life issues play a significant role in the decision to walk away from the opportunity for a longer military career.
- There is a physical, mental and spiritual weariness that sets in after multiple deployments to a war zone, and many leave to find a more stable and healthy career path.
- The military has done a very poor job in adjusting to a more sophisticated officer corps. Human Resource policies and (mis)management within the military often ends up alienating fine officers who might have chosen to prolong their careers if they felt that they had been treated with respect and even a modicum of consideration.
- The private sector is beginning to recognize the unique value proposition that battle-tested Junior Military Officers bring to the table, so these JMO’s who are considering leaving the military have many more attractive options open to tem than was the case for earlier generations of JMO’s.
FYI – I noted an error in the Globe article. In two places, the author made the error of saying that
I look forward to hearing your opinions on these matters.