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10/16/2013 11:58:00 AM
Accountability welcome
Catholic News Service
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Stephanie Robertson, a member of the female engagement team, speaks with local civilians during a 2010 engagement mission in Marjah, Afghanistan.
Catholic News Service
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Stephanie Robertson, a member of the female engagement team, speaks with local civilians during a 2010 engagement mission in Marjah, Afghanistan.

We have always been big fans of the Marine Corps. These Always Faithful warriors believe in going through life the hardest possible way. That appeals to us.

The top commander of The Few and the Proud made headlines when he cashiered two major generals for incompetence. Good training all-round.

These two were held responsible for a Talib attack on a NATO airbase  in Helmand Province, in Afghanistan, in which two Marines were killed, some injured and six pricey Harrier jump-jets destroyed.

The brass were fired for inadequately protecting their troops.

Commanding troops is an awesome responsibility and caring for the well-being and safety of your men (and women) is top priority.

Relieving battlefield commanders occurred with regularity throughout history. Consider Washington, Lincoln, Eisenhower, DePuy.

Those who keep track of such things say relieving officers fell into disuse after Vietnam. Commanders then often had a surplus of officers keen for command time to be reflected on their fitness reports.

Beyond that, the tactics were so aggressive and the destruction so great that incompetence could not be countenanced for long.

In many units, junior officers served six months commanding troops in the bush before giving way to a successor. The grunts, meanwhile, stayed out for the duration of their tours, 12 to 13 months, living in holes in the ground at night and slugging it out with the Other Side each day.

In this age of political correctness and conflict avoidance, the Marine approach to accountability is a refreshing turnabout. Would that other organizations do the same.





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