The Officer Corps Explained

However you felt about this comic, you may feel the same way about these:

Illustrated Parables

State of the Union (short, dark, surreal, articulate political comics)

Here are some essays critiquing the United States Military:


2 responses to “The Officer Corps Explained

  • Edgar Gravel

    I has been my experience that soldiers will not follow an officer that demonstrates this kind of behaviour. They will tolerate them, but they will not follow them.

    I do know that the Canadian and the US military training systems do not condone the behaviour shown by the “officer” cartoon character.

    The best leaders I ever worked for came from both the civilian and the military environment. So did the worst. The only real difference between these two environments is that military leaders get far better training (the cartoon notwithstanding) than civilian ones. It is actually far more likely that a junior officer in those two military systems will have had much more actual and useful leadership training than someone who is responsible for a civilian team of network administrators. It is not about “better” but the military tends to invest in its junior leaders while civilian organisations tend not to do so.

    When a person in a leadership position acts as a servant leader, whether or not they understand the concept, they are conducting themselves in the manner most desired by military leadership training.

    J.E.J. (Ned) Gravel, CD

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  • Dale Wilson - Author of Command Performance

    Unfortunately, your cartoon’s portrayal remains a factor in today’s military among those who lead and follow. Power, titles and rank seem to be more important to a few officers than taking care of their troops and earning their trust; it gets to their heads. So, I won’t sit here and deny it, although I resent the notion that many (or most) military leaders conduct themselves in this fashion. I think this kind of leader gets washed out early in their career before they can damage the morale and effectiveness (esprit de corps) of the troops in their command.

    Autocratic leadership had been the standard in the military. But, the military has realized, gradually over the last couple of decades that kind of leadership style is somewhat archaic. It is becoming less top-down and hierarchical leadership structure. Think about the military, in total, as a leadership organization where you invite participatory involvement in decision-making; where people at every level, from the sides and the bottom, have a voice and a view, and are permitted and encouraged to provide feedback. If you delegate more, if there is more distributed decision-making, then you see an organization that is a ‘leader organization.’ That is exactly what is happening in today’s military.
    In the private sector, more leadership organizations will find that transforming to a more ‘democratic’ leadership style, where everyone is a leader, everyone has a voice, and leadership at every level produces better, timely and more successful results.

    I sincerely hope that your post today is not to paint all military leaders as tyrannical and unprofessional. There are many more mentor-oriented, servant-oriented leadership. I’m sure that this leadership style is cascading down the ranks to the young officers, and even the military academy Midshipmen and cadets. The “in your face” style is old; the servant leader is the leader of the future.

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