To Kill a Profession

Undoubtedly you have heard or should have heard of the Space Force officer that wrote a book highlighting the threat that cultural Marxism presents to the US military and by extension our national security. I have not yet read it, I will, but the bottom line up front is that you ought to buy it.

It matters little if most in the book is easily knowable by any literate, educated person with critical thinking skills (many do not know this information). Lohmeier adds a description of an effect that many are likely blind to. Buy it, read it, share it!

Now, some might say, out of cynicism, that Lohmeier is a grifter. After all, he is retirement eligible, writing a book that ensures you get fired and forced to soon retire places one right in the middle of the Twittersphere, on the podcast circuit, and sells books. And frankly, all that is probably true. However, we throw the grifter term around rather loosely. We cannot know his heart and to be honest, with all the facts above being true, I commend the man on a brilliant way to exit his career in a way that actually makes an impact. Buy the book, read it and share it.

I would also add that Lohmeier, in his own words, in the now infamous interview that kicked all this off, spoke as if he wanted to actually stay in and make changes for the inside. I am about 13 years older than this guy and served on active duty about 15 years more than him, so I can say this. He used what I term ‘tool talk’ when he argued that most senior leaders care about people. That is the lie people in the military tell each other about each other. It is not true in the aggregate (more below) but he used shop jargon to signal that he wanted to stay on the team. I am not positive anyone can argue he intended to be cashiered out soon. We can perhaps take him at his word, he wanted to highlight a problem and change it.

The elephant in the room is a lot bigger than the military’s acceptance of inane cultural Marxist notions and socially progressive policies. That is the ‘what’ of the current problem, the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ is much more complex, longer in scope and deeper.

Lohmeier comes from the Air Force, and the new Space Force has the organizational DNA of the Air Force all over it. The Air Force is tainted with the amorality of Curtis LeMay and his lackeys. It has always been an organization that sought efficiency over effectiveness, was quick to adopt ideas of the world and in general, was averse to risk-taking (that last statement is hard for the uninitiated to grasp). Lohmeier knew the USAF/USSF would crush him for this.

The Goldwater-Nichols Act in the 1980s ensured that the Air Force would have a seat at the table in joint commands, as a result, much of the cultural flaws of that service diffused to the others over time.

After the Gulf War, all the services cut the force drastically. This had a real effect on how people behaved, what risks they would take, and what values they retained. Donald E. Vandergriff did yeoman’s work in the 1990s highlighting how those reductions in force (RIF) shaped the profession.

By 2000 we saw the effect, young captains were leaving the service at a rate that one can only term an arterial bleed. They refused to serve under the toxic, narcissistic, amoral field grades who had witnessed the RIF and became careerists concerned primarily with saving their own behinds and careers.

Leonard Wong at the Army’s Strategic Studies Institute has produced some fabulous work that highlights the effect of this cultural change. Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession is perhaps the best. Wong works for the Army, and has never been able to say the complete hard truth out loud (the complete why), but has approached it closely.

The foundational problems were never solved. In the early 2000s, the services simply paid people thousands of dollars to stay in, that plus the patriotic call of war appeared to make the problem disappear.

However, the dirtbags that were concerned only with self while speaking ‘tool talk’ freely in public remained, they became generals and admirals and the worst of them wear four stars today.

How an honorable profession slipped so far is complex but the trail of clues in there, cultural Marxism did not just pop up and pollute a pristine organization, the stage was set long before.

 

The only way to fix it would be a purge, to tear it down and ‘build back better’, so long as bad generals promote bad people below them the fix is in forever.

Author: Barry

Southerner, father, husband, Christian and a retired Army field grade officer. Author of five books and of several papers and articles on ethics, culture, history, geopolitics and military affairs.

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