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Don't just get rid of West Point as a 4-year college, get rid of ROTC, too | The Best Defense

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I think that America's fiscal resources could be better utilized in the following manner:

1. Those interested in commissioning would enlist in the armed forces, attend basic training, and advanced individual training. They would then be assessed into an officer development program and transferred to the National Guard or Reserves and receive a scholarship that would pay tuition, room and board, and books and laboratory fees at the college or university of their choice. While they could major in any subject they choose, they would be required to complete required courses as part of their development program.

2. They would have four years to complete their degree.

3. They would continue to drill with their assigned National Guard or Reserve unit.

4. Upon receiving their degree they would then proceed to the campus of the USMA at West Point (Naval Academy for USN & USMC; Air Force Academy for USAF) where they would undergo a year long course of instruction and evaluation leading to commissioning. It would be comprised of tactical and academic instruction along with extensive field operations where they would have to demonstrate their mastery of tactics and their leadership ability.

During the year they would receive not only academic evaluations, but also evaluation of their leadership ability through 360 degree assessments. The last three months would be an extended field exercise equivalent to "Ranger School" which all would have to satisfactorily complete in order to be commissioned. At any point up to the day of commission they could be dismissed from the program for academic, conduct, or leadership failures.

5. Once a year the army (navy and marine corps; air force) would commission all the officers of that years cohort of officers of the line. Some would be detailed to the Reserves and National Guard to fulfill their mandatory commitment of 10 years of commissioned service. All would be required to serve a total of ten years as a commissioned officer which could be divided between the active and reserve components.

6. Those who failed to complete their assessment for commissioning would be inducted into the regular army where they would serve for four years until such time they paid back their "college assistance."

It is my humble opinion I would have been a better Lieutenant and a better officer if I had I gone through a "Sandhurst"-like program.

My plan would guarantee that everyone had an appreciation what it was to be "the last man, in the last squad, of the last platoon." Moreover, it would level the playing field, everyone would have the same date of rank and where one went to college would not matter. Most importantly it would give us well-rounded officers who were connected to society and not isolated from it.

This is not as crazy an idea as I thought it was, upon reflection.

What do you think Jared?

he may have gone too far...if we wanted to try something like Sandhurst, why not just attend college then apply to the only officer commissioning location (Sandhurst/USMA) where all officers are made. I am not sure the extra steps are necessary during college.

  • Dan Wilcox Isn't that what he said...sort of?

    2 hours ago · Like

  • Jared Sperli no, he wanted everyone to be OCS/Green to Gold by going through enlistment before college and then keeping up with the Army with guard or understanding of the British system is 3 years for college, just like anyone, then one year of fun times at Sandhurst

  • Timothy Brooks I personally don't give a fuck what Tom "I never spent a day in the Army but I know how to run it better than Generals" Ricks has to say about West Point, ROTC, OCS, Sandhurst, or anything else he was too much of a coward to do himself but feels free to critique. As for the author of this article, he thinks he would have been a better officer for going to a "sandhurst type program..." no he wouldn't. He might have been a better officer for going to Sandhurst, but that's because the British Army treats men like men and doesn't lower its standards so everyone can play. If we implemented a field exercise like "ranger school" (quotes his) that everyone had to complete, then we would make it weak enough that everyone could complete. USMA is not an anachronism. Its loss of relevance is mostly due to what Pete said: cheap steel. We've filled our officer ranks with a cross-section of American society, rather than people who are best fit to lead men into Taliban mudhuts. We've recruited potential leaders based more on their high school football stats than on their desire to lead Soldiers. It doesn't need abolished; it needs quality control. It definitely needs people like Jose Gordon to get in there and treat cadets like soldiers. It needs less shit like "french cuisine club" and more shit like the MMA club and the Combat Weapons Team. It needs to quit trying to accomodate for the fully-rounded college experience that cadets chose to forgo and focus on giving high quality, tough, realistic military training that will make them better leaders. It needs fucking awesome NCOs that cadets will learn to listen to. The concept of having a core cadre of officers in the Army and Navy who are committed to Duty, Honor, Country is a good one. We don't need to get rid of West Point; we need to hold it accountable for being what it ought to be, and what it can be.

    about an hour ago · Like

  • Chris Thielenhaus I think Tim hits a really good point here: Why don't we AT LEAST have an NCO per platoon of Cadets? Even better, one per squad? Someone who can actually teach cadets what it means to lead soldiers directly BY EXAMPLE. I always thought it was shameful that for most cadets the first NCO they really have a learning relationship with is their Platoon Sergeant.

Good food for thought. Will have to reflect on all these points of view.

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