I have to wonder if the person writing this has any knowledge of the Armed Services and exactly how the command structure works? It would certainly appear not. The article makes assumptions as opposed to fact-based reality.

The differences between officers and enlisted have more to do with job responsibilities than they have anything to do with aristocracy and classism. An officer’s life after the rank of Captain typically involves strategy and planning, with most of their time spent in an office. Enlisted life, however, consists of being on the ground with the troops. I refused to become an officer even when offered the opportunity numerous times, because of this simple fact. I didn’t want to sit in staff meetings listening to powerpoint presentations all day. I wanted to be on the ground, actively executing the orders. Many of us choose to stay enlisted for this simple fact. Additionally, the officer corps is meant to be smaller than that of enlisted. Ever heard the phrase, “Too many chiefs and not enough indians?” A problem arises when you have too many people making command decisions, and not enough people executing them.

This article also presupposes that a young 22 year-old ROTC student has more authority over his platoon than that of a weathered platoon sergeant. If you’ve read Robert Heinlein’s StarShip Troopers you would know this isn’t true to any degree. If a fresh faced LT gives an order that the platoon sergeant disagrees with, they’ll have a discussion in private, with the platoon sergeant usually winning out. Good officers listen to their veteran platoon sergeants. The bad ones lose the respect of their men, and sometimes their lives on the battlefield. Most officers know that the reason they become competent leaders is because of their seasoned sergeants. That is the role of the sergeant. To be the backbone and guide the officers using their experience and first hand-knowledge. Ask any young enlisted soldier who really runs the platoon. It’s always the non-commissioned officer.

Lastly, you presuppose that there are not ample opportunities to become an officer. That’s garbage. The military practically throws money and opportunities to soldiers the minute they raise their hand and swear an oath. They champion continuing education, and from the rank of Private (E-1) you can begin taking courses for college. Many, unfortunately, squander this opportunity. You cannot force people to do something they have no interest in doing.

The next time you write an article, I suggest you actually speak with the men and women of the armed services and explore the reasoning why the military command structure operates in this manner, before writing a half-baked article based on assumptions.

Storyteller | Combat wounded veteran | Metalhead | Designer | Bleeding on a page just makes it more authentic: https://benjaminsledge.com

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