“We may be living a tragedy,” said the 78-year-old Quincy, Mass., native, who worries about an undermanned and under-resourced Army being called upon to send soldiers into battle who may be less than fully prepared, less than fully armed, and at less than full strength. “The Army has changed, and I am not sure it is for the better,” Sullivan said. “I see the Army being emasculated.”That short passage is from General Sullivan's retirement message after stepping down from heading the Army Association.
I have mixed feelings about it.
Just like the other service associations there was a time to speak out. There was a time to sit on the hill and beat drums but they were silent. Now, when its essentially too late, do they find their voice.
I suspect that some type of political considerations were taking place. I suspect that a type of calculus was made and that they did what they thought best at the time. But I'll never forget a conversation I had with American Mercenary. I was bitching (as usual) about the US Army getting too small. That serving Army officer said that I was being shrill (I believe that's the word he used) and that the Army always undergoes reductions after wars.
And that's the problem. The Army and Marine Corps adopted a type of normalcy bias and didn't see what the left hand was doing. While they acted as if they were doing another draw down, they didn't realize that the ops tempo remained high (artificially high due to the demands of Combatant Commanders and crazy exercises that have questionable value) and that the force was fraying.
How will this end? I'm not sure.