I can’t really speak to the matter of general officers from extensive personal experience with the rank; throughout my military career I was mostly in places removed from direct personal contact. A merciful deity, to quote the rabbi from “Fiddler on the Roof” kept the general ranks – kept them far, far from us, although a SAC one-star did show up one day at EBS-Zaragoza, unannounced and unheralded. It was lunchtime, practically everyone save the radio and TV op on duty had left the building. I was sitting in my office, peacefully adding another layer of much-needed polish to my shoes, when a flight-suited guy appeared in the doorway and cheerily asked, “When you’re done with yours, can you do mine?” He was a youngish-looking, personable guy, and it took me at least five seconds to grok the single star that designated his rank. He introduced himself, Brigadier General Something-or-other. said he was visiting for a readiness inspection of the SAC unit. He just thought he would mosey around and drop in to visit some of the other activities on base which supported his people so well … and could he have a tour of our broadcast facility?
Well, duh – like I could say ‘no, general, sir’. He got the brief informal nickel tour, conducted by yours truly, introduced to the few of our staffers who weren’t at lunch, and the other senior NCO, the maintenance chief, who hissed at me: “Why didn’t you tell us there was a one-star on the ground? We should have been prepared!” and I hissed back that I hadn’t had a chance to tell anyone anything, said one-star just appeared. It was likely, I added, that this general was probably much more knowledgeable about what was really going on in the activities that he visited, because of his practice of just casually dropping by … rather than doing the formal, pre-announced official inspection visit.
But to most junior and med-ranked enlisted, general officers are like saints to Catholics – we know of them, about them, recognize their attributes, and experience the effects of their pronouncements and dictates. One of the things that we know, is that after a certain rank – O-6, or colonel, they become political animals, if they hanker truly after that magical star. The especially eaten-up with ambition are political animals even before that point, but the very best don’t care about much but their people and accomplishing the mission, and yes, it is pretty obvious to any observer with eyes and a modicum of intelligence.
Being a political animal certainly doesn’t rule out competence or care for the troops’ well-being, but one must seriously wonder how military leaders like General Mark Milley (and Sec Def Austin, formerly also an Army general officer) think that an Ahab-like pursuit of the Great White Rage Whale among active military can be a winning move for an effective American military. Diversity uber alles, and stigmatizing conservative and religiously observant soldiers, sailors, airman and Marines as raging racists who must be expunged as dangerous extremists will absolutely gut the military services of the able and motivated … who tend to come from rural areas, small towns, and from families with a tradition of service. Pounding CRT into the troops and calumniating conservatives of any ethnic background as unrepentant racists through mandated “struggle sessions” will destroy unit cohesion, absolutely gut the military of experienced NCOs – possibly of junior officers as well – totally wreck recruiting. I’d expect that General Milley, Sec Def Austin and the other high-ranking officers defending the Biden administration’s racial wokery have to know this. They are not unintelligent – they would hardly have gotten to where they are in command if they all were complete dunces. I can only think that in the service of career advancement, a generous pension and a cushy post-service career these officers or former officers are so willing to essentially demoralize and wreck the American military – a service which benefitted them to a very great degree. It’s a sickening display of self-serving amorality on their part; our service men and women betrayed by a pack of ambitious, self-serving Courtney Massingales. Where are the Sam Damons? Passed over, relieved of duty and forced out of service years ago. Comment as you wish and can bear it.