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I work with quite a few general officers and it seems they have become more and more self-centered and entitled over the years. The current 3 and 4 stars where I work all have their own drivers and multiple cars to choose from, a household staff of soldiers who cook and clean, a laundry staff who takes care of all of their clothing, a yard staff who does all of the yard work, aides who carry their bags and equipment when they travel, a communications staff (usually 3-5 soldiers) who go everywhere with them, and quite often when their spouses travel between posts the entry gates are blocked off while they (the spouses) drive through.

None of them (1 to 4 stars) abide by the security regulations that everyone else has to follow and their staff also usually doesn't follow the regs. I have had multiple fights with them about this and I always seem to lose.

The odd thing about all of that to me is that back when I was in the military (1970's-1980's) the generals I knew (far fewer than I know today of course) all said constantly that NO ONE is above the regulations and they all followed them scrupulously. I remember when I was a lowly O-1 and I refused to allow an O-6 to pick up a document marked "Eyes Only" for the Wing Commander. This guy screamed and threatened me but when the Wing Commander got involved he praised me in front of the entire unit and I actually got a letter in my file over the incident. If I tried that today I'd probably get a letter but it wouldn't be a good one.

I'm curious why this has happened. I'm currently reading a book called "The Generals" and it's about how things have changed since WWII and the methods Marshall and Eisenhower used to promote and demote general officers. It's striking just how different things are today.

Calabogie
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Cala: I worked on Campbell Barracks back in the early 90's. The 4-Star CG (we still called him the CINC back then - a throw back to the Cold War) was notorious for lengthy briefings and endless staff meetings. We would wait for our turn to brief, trapped in the conference room for hours. On one occasion after about 5 hours of mindless slideware without a break for any thing to eat, an enlisted porter brought a roast beef sandwich in for the CINC. The rest of us waited several more hours for the meeting to end and had a snack bar meal. I guess it hasn't improved much. I hoped the transition from peacetime Army to a war footing would have brought warriors to the top.

I also recall back after the Cold War ended and we drew down the force we actually had a few more GO authorized. My recollection was 400 GO during the peak years of the 80's with 760K soldiers. The reduce the force to 480K and keep 400 GOs. There's your problem. They don't have enough to do and that's why they keep bird-dogging other folks wives...

Duty First!

sgtbill
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I think we should award Calabogie a star!

Regards,
Grumpy
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I'm curious why this has happened.

The military isn't isolated from the civilian world. In the U.S. civilian world, wealth has been re-distributed upward more and more over recent decades. With wealth goes power and the ability to be above the law. How many banking executives are going to jail for all the bank fraud of recent years?

In short, the same thing that is happening with high-ranking civilian executives is happening with high-ranking military officers. And there is no reason to think it will do anything other than parallel it in the future as well. IMO, if you want to have high-ranking officers (civilian and military) to be less above the law, you need to reduce the U.S. gini coefficient for wealth.
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Great post. I can tell you that many civilian equivalent SES's expect the same. Our SES is moving to another job and is very happy because they are going to give him GO housing, which he doesn't have at our location.
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It is the liberalization of the military (small "L").

The military has been slowly dragged along to compete with civilian occupations and lifestyles. This is just another sign of it.

It will likely take a major security breech before we (over)correct it.
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It will likely take a major security breech before we (over)correct it.

I wouldn't count on it. It has become clear to me that the higher your paygrade, civvy or mil, the more security you can violate. Cell phones in scifs because, well, he's the general. Classified brought home because, well, its safe with him. etc.

But heaven help the poor enlisted who fails to sign the lock up checklist the night before. SECURITY IS EVERYONE'S JOB!!!!

Whatever.

-pessimisticsquid
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SECURITY IS EVERYONE'S JOB!!!!
All animals are created equal ...but some are more equal than others.
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All animals are created equal ...but some are more equal than others.

Or, in this case, all animals are created equal...but some made rank.

-spookysquid
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Cala: I worked on Campbell Barracks back in the early 90's. The 4-Star CG (we still called him the CINC back then - a throw back to the Cold War) was notorious for lengthy briefings and endless staff meetings. We would wait for our turn to brief, trapped in the conference room for hours. On one occasion after about 5 hours of mindless slideware without a break for any thing to eat, an enlisted porter brought a roast beef sandwich in for the CINC. The rest of us waited several more hours for the meeting to end and had a snack bar meal. I guess it hasn't improved much. I hoped the transition from peacetime Army to a war footing would have brought warriors to the top.

Yep, still about the same although they've reduced the HQUSAREUR commander to a 3 star. Campbell is about to close down next year which is kind of depressing but it's really about time. I'm not looking forward to moving to Wiesbaden but the commute would kill me if I didn't.

I do want to come back in a couple of years (before I go back to the states) to see what the Germans do with this place.

Calabogie
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I wouldn't count on it. It has become clear to me that the higher your paygrade, civvy or mil, the more security you can violate. Cell phones in scifs because, well, he's the general. Classified brought home because, well, its safe with him. etc.

Yep, cell phones was one issue that we won though. We installed some cell phone detectors outside of a secure area and didn't tell anyone (other than our direct boss) so when one of the VIPs came by to do a walk-through (one of the biggest wastes of time) and no one checked him for cell phones before entering, this deep bass voice suddenly intones:

"AN UNAUTHORIZED WIRELESS DEVICE HAS BEEN DETECTED! PLEASE REMAIN WHERE YOU ARE UNTIL SECURITY PERSONNEL ARRIVE!"

We laughed our butts off afterward. The idiot was going to ignore it but we had the reg posted on the inside of the door and believe it or not our boss backed us up. It's a minor victory but I'll take any I can get.

Calabogie
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Yep, cell phones was one issue that we won though. We installed some cell phone detectors outside of a secure area and didn't tell anyone (other than our direct boss) so when one of the VIPs came by to do a walk-through (one of the biggest wastes of time) and no one checked him for cell phones before entering, this deep bass voice suddenly intones:

"AN UNAUTHORIZED WIRELESS DEVICE HAS BEEN DETECTED! PLEASE REMAIN WHERE YOU ARE UNTIL SECURITY PERSONNEL ARRIVE!"

We laughed our butts off afterward. The idiot was going to ignore it but we had the reg posted on the inside of the door and believe it or not our boss backed us up. It's a minor victory but I'll take any I can get.

Calabogie


That's awesome. I heard one similar recently. The security chief (male civilian) of a secure facility was hanging around outside the female bathroom and when another female walked up to go in. He stopped her and very loudlyy said "please tell the woman in there to turn off her cell phone and see me outside immediately if she wishes to avoid charges". Good times.

-spookysquid

-spookysquid
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