I've been reading a lot of what SMA Chandler's agenda seems to be, however after actually giving it some thought I'm curious to how other folks feel about it.
Personally, I'm a bit undecided, with his whole mantra of getting back to the basics and kicking out the fatbodies, and trouble makers, and tatted troops, etc. With the down sizing of the military and all, his rhetoric just seem to be a bit "right on time" for what the government had in mind considering the $500 billion cut in the defense budget if I recall the numbers correctly. I'm kind of side eyeing SMA Chandler, had he been SMA say 5-7 years ago, would his ideals and opinions be the same?
Granted the Army is in need of change, but "getting back to the basics" seems a bit regressive to me. I've felt and currently feel that the Army is not better or worse than it ever was, however the leadership has either not evolved with the changes that have happened over the past 10 years, or is simply burned out. The rise in drug and alcohol abuse, for example, isn't simply an Army wide epidemic. The correspondence between illicit drug use and soldiers with multiple deployments is obviously no coincidence. Don't get me wrong, I'm not sayin it's okay to smoke weed just cause you've been down range 4-5 times, or that there is a valid excuse, or that they need not be punished when they pop hot on a UA. What I am saying is there is no sudden loss of standard bearing that occured out of the blue sky, and that fact of the matter is it should have been expected. Again that does not mean Soldiers that are failing to meet Army standards or those who are ingaging in illegal activity should be spared the hammer, but in a sense these things should have been expected and better controls should have been implimented prior to the whole, "okay we're cutting the defense budget, let's start kicking folks out" policies.
I digress, the SMA just seems to be riding along with what DA says needs to happen in my opinion. Like his proposal of a new PT test to include a 4 mile run and a 12 mile ruck. Is there no better way to weed out the dirt bags from the cream of the crop? I'd like to hear the opinions from folks in this community, if you were SMA how would you improve the Army. Bear in mind the "dirtbags" we're putting out didn't just get here, let's go back 10-12 years pre 9/11 and those who came in a year or 2 afterward. Let's try to keep it civil and see what the common theme among folks like us is, and if it resembles SMA Chandler is talking about.