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LTC Dominick Edwards on how to have a good Army officer career

Posted by John Reed on

John T. Reed have you seen this?

By LTC Dominick Edwards I have begun a lot of self-reflection as I near the end of my nearly 24-year career in the US Army. One of the topics that comes to mind is how many “unspoken norms” there a…
John T. Reed answer: My impression of career officers was that they had a high opinion of themselves as leaders/manages/executives. Further they’re nuts about that. There is a reason why it’s rare to see a career officer get out after 20+ and become a successful entrepreneur or manager in the business of another entrepreneur.
The problem is the Army is a bureaucracy. Officers are not required to achieve results the way, say, a plumber is. Every year you are in such an organization hurts you if you want to become a leader/manage/executive. It hurts in two ways:
1. You get virtually no negative feedback so your incorrect theories live forever and become ingrained bad behavior. When I coached, my dumb ideas hit me right in the face on game day when I lost or barely won. Same thing happens in business when I introduce a new product or try a new marketing method. Career officers never have a “game.” They never manufacture or sell a product. There is no loss column—even when they lose a war—and there is not bottom line on a profit-or-loss statement. They, in effect, spend 25 years coaching a “losing team” or “running a losing business” but they are so blissfully unaware of it that they fancy themselves great leaders of men. Unbelievable!
2. Bureaucrats must engage in all sorts of behavior that is harmful to leading, managing, executing. This officer’s list is Exhibit A of that. It’s a lot of the petty nonsense I wrote about in my article about OVUM. The salient key to a good career as a bureaucrat is being a great ass kisser. Hell, it’s almost the only key
Try doing that as a non-fiction book author and you’ll starve to death.
I would not hire this guy. I WOULD use his list as reasons why you should NOT become an Army Officer. It is noteworthy that this officer is oblivious to the bad impression he makes by saying this is what being an Army officer is about—along with signing false documents, which he leaves out of a list of career tips! That’s another article of mine:
Any list of Army officer career advice that does not warn of the need to sign false documents is akin to inviting a pre-school class to go play in an unmarked minefield.

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