Another good piece by Carl Forsling (@CarlForsling) at Task & Purpose:
People who are good at their jobs at lower echelons have to follow scripted career paths leading to promotions if they want to stay in, even if all they want to do is be the best at their particular specialties. Almost everyone has to pretend that he or she wants to be a commanding officer, sergeant major, or master chief, because that’s the only way to survive. In some places, even admitting that you don’t aspire to those jobs is to guarantee a sub-standard evaluation, which leads to getting passed for promotion, which leads to the door out of the military.
So very true. It’s pretty crazy the lengths people have to go to in the military if they don’t want the cookie-cutter career.
Forsling offers a good balance as well, which is sometimes missing:
Of course, there is a counterpoint. The military can’t let people just stagnate and coast with no consequences. It isn’t, or at least shouldn’t, be a jobs program. The military has to find a way to keep highly competent people in the jobs they’re good at, while still promoting those with the desire and ability to lead at higher echelons.
I’m really excited by the recent talk of personnel overhaul in the military . As Forsling mentions, “personnel policy is not very glamourous”, but it is critical to keeping the best people within the military.