Iraq and the Future of Our Military

It’s not getting any headlines, but several years of hard fighting in Iraq is going to shape the leadership of our military for years to come.

The large number of soldiers and marines who have seen combat, or at least been close, comprise a group of military leaders that will be changing the U.S. Army and Marine Force for the next two decades. The large number of combat experienced NCOs and officers creates a different leadership climate, and a different attitude towards combat, and getting ready for it.

The media has run stories in the last year or so about the alarming number of officers and NCOs who are leaving the military, the implication being that this stupid war is driving out our best and brightest. But there could be another explanation:

What the army did not publicize was the large number of officers and NCOs that were encouraged to leave, or get out of their combat job, to make way for people who wanted to fight and were willing to learn how.

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