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Remaining Professional, Even When Others Aren’t | U.S. PATRIOT NEWS & REVIEWS

Remaining Professional, Even When Others Aren’t

The military is not a civilian office place. Soldiers are not their 9am to 5pm counter-parts. They arrive at work early, stay late, and find themselves away from home for weeks if not months at a time throughout the year. They are solutions-based people, that are often less interested in the process, and more interested in the solution. This can lead to problems, conflicts, and personality issues that threaten to unhinge a successful team.

Recently, an imposing three-star General was investigated for a litany of insults and unprofessional comments made during a briefing.  The General was the middle man, assessing the work of the staff presenting a briefing on behalf of the Admiral. In a moment of disappointment, the General allowed his professional demeanor to falter, and started dressing down his subordinates.

Expressing his frustration, he told the staff members that they had failed him, that they should shoot themselves, and that if they briefed the Admiral of their plan, he would commit Seppuku, in other words, suicide. Many have looked at this situation and expressed disappointment that these actions were investigated. They reference with disdain the military today that produces people whose feelings are so easily hurt. They speak about the reasons why they left the military, and how bad things have become.

SaluteThis is an interesting approach to this situation because, above all else, professionals should seek to be professional. In the case of a General, or more importantly, any leader, professionalism, tact, and an ability to lead is something that we should expect. Subordinates should be developed, mentored, and surely reprimanded if they fail to accomplish tasks, but within the context of the job.

Just because many of us joined the military during the days of the smoke session and insults, doesn’t mean we should put up with people that are reminiscent of when NCOs used to be able to conduct wall to wall counseling and beat soldiers up. As the military has become more professional and less hazing-based, we should not criticize people who never had to stay in the front-leaning rest until they thought their shoulders would explode. We should endeavor to impress upon our subordinates the drive to succeed, and the mentorship to get there.

That does not mean that it will always be successful. As any Company Commander or First Sergeant can tell you, just because you gave a safety brief on Friday, doesn’t mean a subordinate is not going to get a DUI the next day. They do it in spite of your hard work and dedication to developing them. In the case of General Mulholland, his tirade will go down as an example of what leaders should refrain from doing.

The kind of leaders from World War II such as Patton would likely not make it in today’s military, but that is not a bad thing either. General MacArthur disrespected the President of the United States on multiple occasions himself. The reality is that, at the end of the day, today’s military is not one of conscription and draftees, but one of volunteers that chose to defend their country’s interests. They should be treated with, at the very least, a modicum of respect.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Kyle Soler

Kyle Soler is an active duty Infantry Officer serving in the US Army. He has served in the military for more than 10 years, working his way from an Infantry Squad Leader to a Company Commander with multiple combat deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan in between. Kyle earned his bachelor’s degree in History from Willamette University, and three Master degrees from Jones International University in Information Security Management, Health Care Management, and International Business. He also holds certifications in Six Sigma Lean and Six Sigma Lean Black Belt. His primary focus is realigning organizational priorities to get the most out of the time available in terms of training and development. Prior to entering military service, he worked as a fire fighter and an EMT. His areas of knowledge include military, training, leadership, disaster and continuity planning.
Kyle Soler

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2 thoughts on “Remaining Professional, Even When Others Aren’t

  1. Mr. Soler, you are once again unfortunately venturing into the murky depths of ass-kissing and political correctness motivated by the pestilence of officer careerism. I never once see a Soldier “traumatized” nor injured by spending some time in the Lean & Rest, being gruffly counseled, or dealt with in a professional MILITARY manner. The fact that you posit that General George S. Patton wouldn’t excel in “today’s Army” encapsulates why you and most of your careerism collegues are in the wrong profession. The General didn’t give a crap about political correctness or anything other than getting the job done. The “job” was to kill as many enemy human beings as possible and to break their sh×t. Those basic requirements of soldiering hasn’t changed in any successful military force since the Roman Legions or even Sun Tzu’s armies. Stop leading from the rear end writing pieces that you know are going to be read by your raters and try learning how to be a military man, PC be damned. The philosophies of yourself and other like-minded officers are a large contributor to the steep decline of today’s force. The Profession of Arms has no room for politicians, especially when we are faced with numerous foreign challenges comprised of leaders who actually understand what they are trying to accomplish. Perhaps a transfer to Logistics or Public Affairs would be a better fit for you? I welcome your response.

  2. When you fight a war against a foreign military, this may be true. But when you fight a war against “terror”, where the enemy and friendly forces appear one in the same, one cannot simply “kill as many enemy human beings as possible.”

    If the goal is to exterminate an entire people, then sure. Otherwise, a military leader today is faced with a different paradigm and set of challenges.

    Are you implying that the general was wrong was he said it would not have met his own standard of conduct? Be who you choose to be, but saying that respect is something that should not be a component of the military seems inane.

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