Not a surprise

It’s not a surprise that now the “war” need for flesh and blood is lower, that the size of the force will be lower, and that allegations of misconduct will be a reason for getting below the numbers.

Stars and Stripes has this report.

 The number of U.S. soldiers forced out of the Army because of crimes or misconduct has soared in the past several years as the military emerges from a decade of war that put a greater focus on battle competence than on character.

Data obtained by The Associated Press shows that the number of officers who left the Army due to misconduct more than tripled in the past three years. The number of enlisted soldiers forced out for drugs, alcohol, crimes and other misconduct shot up from about 5,600 in 2007, as the Iraq war peaked, to more than 11,000 last year.

Here’s the bottom line:

When the country needs a lot of troops on the front lines, more people with behavioral problems are allowed to come in and stay. When the military begins to shrink, commanders can be much more selective about who is kicked out and who is allowed to stay.

I recollect at least two bottom-blows during my active duty time when CO’s were directed to identify their bottom 10% of performers and separate them with a general discharge.  That’s certainly the easiest way out of the problem.  So if you thought there was already a zero defect mentality, the numbers prove it.  In the early days of my practice it wasn’t unusual to find CO’s – senior officer and enlisted leaders who had more than one ding in their record.  I doubt that is too common these days.