In a controversial “cultural change” that that threatens traditional promotional opportunities and career paths in the military, Defense Secretary Ash Carter has proposed a plan for the military to hire civilians as officers within the military.
Military Times reports that Carter’s personnel reform plan is intended to bring in more top talent to the military, “especially for high-tech career fields focused on cyber warfare and space” to fill important “manpower shortfalls” with highly skilled professionals.
It changes the custom the military has of growing its own leaders, and threatens to destroy the distinct culture and mutual respect all military members have for one another, creating a group of leaders who have no understanding or appreciation of fellow servicemen, explains Military Times.
Carter conceded there are some concerns. “Now, I have to say we can’t do this for every career field — far from it. It will probably never apply to line officers, as they’ll always need to begin their military careers as second lieutenants and ensigns,” he said. “But allowing the military services to commission a wider segment of specialized outside talent … will make us more effective.”
Richard Bejtilich, 44, an Air Force Academy graduate, said “Can you imagine someone coming in as an O-5 or O-6 and not knowing who salutes who? Or how to wear a uniform? The traditional military’s worst nightmare is to bring in some long-haired hippie and make him a colonel. The way I think you could make it palatable to the rank and file is, you would limit it to bringing in former military.”
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