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Hail to the New Chief

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  • Hail to the New Chief

    Story Highlights
    The U.S. Senate confirmed Army Lt. Gen. Frank Grass as the next chief of the National Guard Bureau.
    The Senate also confirmed Air Force Maj. Gen. Joseph Lengyel as vice chief.
    The chief of the National Guard Bureau is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    http://www.army.mil/article/84435/Ch...eau_confirmed/


    A bio of LT. Gen. Frank Grass
    Last edited by AWeisenberger; July 30th, 2012, 06:05 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Hail to the New Chief

    I'm going to hold my breath.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Hail to the New Chief

      Yawn.

      I find it difficult to get excited about these things. I honestly have no idea what these people actually do on a day-to-day basis. Surely, with the enormous disparity in funding between various states there is something that could be done by senior NGB officers to help achieve a resolution that would allow NG soldiers to all have access to at least some minimal level of military education (such as WLC for SGTs -- in NJ, it ain't happening). But somehow I doubt we'll see any of this man's work directly benefit NG soldiers.

      Take a look at his bio. He has been in since 1969 -- through the Vietnam war as an enlisted soldier and NCO, and up through the officer ranks during Desert Storm, OEF, and OIF. Not a single combat deployment, as far as I can see. I know, I know: "It doesn't matter, he's a senior leader and doesn't need small unit leadership experience." WRONG. Big Army/NG policies and directives are supposed to support the mission, and the level of individual unit readiness and morale dictates mission capability. Without a keen understanding of the things that go into keeping a unit functional in a deployed status, you cannot effectively implement policies that will positively effect mission accomplishment.

      Here's another way of looking at it. If deployed experience doesn't matter, then why not just have civilians hold these positions? There are tons of experienced civilian executives who can handle the administrative responsibilities of a General. The reason is that which I provided above. But the people that get these positions are dinosaurs who've sat around accumulating promotions for decades without ever having to execute their offices under fire.

      I guarantee you that there are a handful of talented Majors and LTCs out there who are both experienced and in possession of the aptitude to quickly assume high levels of command, to include the General Officer level. These are men in their 30s who have actually been to hell and back and know what works on a micro-scale, they just need a bit of military education and mentorship to learn how to apply that knowledge on the macro-scale. But in our rigidly structured promotion system, these guys will sit around another two decades before they ever get a chance to hold GO rank -- if they bother to stay in that long. Instead, they'll get out and start successful private sector careers where their talents will actually be rewarded.

      There have been 30 year old Generals who successfully commanded entire armies. Look up Napoleon Bonaparte. Now, this may seem self-serving considering my rank and age, but I am content to stay a 1LT. My point is that we should be seeking out these younger officers with command experience and great intelligence and using them to the utmost of their abilities, rather than letting them vegetate in pointless staff positions for a couple of decades before they get tired of being poorly compensated for their talents and get a real job on the outside.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Hail to the New Chief

        Originally posted by jwarren View Post
        Yawn.

        I find it difficult to get excited about these things. I honestly have no idea what these people actually do on a day-to-day basis. Surely, with the enormous disparity in funding between various states there is something that could be done by senior NGB officers to help achieve a resolution that would allow NG soldiers to all have access to at least some minimal level of military education (such as WLC for SGTs -- in NJ, it ain't happening). But somehow I doubt we'll see any of this man's work directly benefit NG soldiers.

        Take a look at his bio. He has been in since 1969 -- through the Vietnam war as an enlisted soldier and NCO, and up through the officer ranks during Desert Storm, OEF, and OIF. Not a single combat deployment, as far as I can see. I know, I know: "It doesn't matter, he's a senior leader and doesn't need small unit leadership experience." WRONG. Big Army/NG policies and directives are supposed to support the mission, and the level of individual unit readiness and morale dictates mission capability. Without a keen understanding of the things that go into keeping a unit functional in a deployed status, you cannot effectively implement policies that will positively effect mission accomplishment.

        Here's another way of looking at it. If deployed experience doesn't matter, then why not just have civilians hold these positions? There are tons of experienced civilian executives who can handle the administrative responsibilities of a General. The reason is that which I provided above. But the people that get these positions are dinosaurs who've sat around accumulating promotions for decades without ever having to execute their offices under fire.

        I guarantee you that there are a handful of talented Majors and LTCs out there who are both experienced and in possession of the aptitude to quickly assume high levels of command, to include the General Officer level. These are men in their 30s who have actually been to hell and back and know what works on a micro-scale, they just need a bit of military education and mentorship to learn how to apply that knowledge on the macro-scale. But in our rigidly structured promotion system, these guys will sit around another two decades before they ever get a chance to hold GO rank -- if they bother to stay in that long. Instead, they'll get out and start successful private sector careers where their talents will actually be rewarded.

        There have been 30 year old Generals who successfully commanded entire armies. Look up Napoleon Bonaparte. Now, this may seem self-serving considering my rank and age, but I am content to stay a 1LT. My point is that we should be seeking out these younger officers with command experience and great intelligence and using them to the utmost of their abilities, rather than letting them vegetate in pointless staff positions for a couple of decades before they get tired of being poorly compensated for their talents and get a real job on the outside.
        Your valid points will fall on deaf ears [of the Old Guard]. The Army is an organization that, for the most part, has valued seniority over merit.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Hail to the New Chief

          It's incredibly rare, if not the rarest to see a three star serving as a Guardsman. The highest rank you can attain in the Guard in a world of reality is O-8. He must be doing something right.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Hail to the New Chief

            Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
            It's incredibly rare, if not the rarest to see a three star serving as a Guardsman. The highest rank you can attain in the Guard in a world of reality is O-8. He must be doing something right.
            You're right. We're just skeptical that he is going to be any different/better than the outgoing Chief of the NGB.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Hail to the New Chief

              Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
              He must be doing something right.
              Undeniably; it's just a matter of whose standards of "right" have been applied to him.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Hail to the New Chief

                Well, this is obviously above my pay grade but over the years; you realize there is no set track for moving up. I mean, you have had 4-star West Point grads get fired from the war zone and I have no problem with a slick-sleeve with less ribbons that I do calling the shots. Now and days, you just have officers deploying so they can "check the block" and be competitive for the next promotion. Company commands and higher are supposedly vetted real well but yet some command times are shorter than ILE time. It has been happening in my brigade.

                SPCs with more combat stripes than me and many leaders. Acronyms pertaining to the battlefield changing constantly. This is a non-linear battlefield. I learned alot this time from my last two deployments; just experience keeps me even keeled.

                He was selected from a thorough process and was confirmed. It is a strategic position that will use his best assets. He will do just fine.

                Comment

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