The Corner

An Officer Corps Isn’t Built in a Day

This from a reader.

I often mention to the more impatient among us that it takes FOUR YEARS, under peaceful conditions and with over 200 years of tradition, to produce even a green, untrained officer at West Point, which is the finest leadership training facility in the world.  And when those young men and women go forth to undertake their various duties, the wisest among them will take as much guidance as possible from the experienced NCOs they encounter.  It takes a hell of a lot more than four years to produce a good NCO, and they are the backbone of any competent military.  It wasn’t just Rome that wasn’t built in a day; the Roman army wasn’t built in a day either.

I have heard many in the military talk about the problem of developing a good NCO cadre in the Iraqi army.  It takes time to do that, but we are doing it.  It is one of the areas of progress where insurgency has no effect.

With 300,000 troops in their hands, Iraqis have the solutions to their own problems in their hands.  Now it is a matter of them developing the discipline and operational effectiveness that will allow one province after another to be transferred to their control. 

Mario Loyola — Mr. Loyola is a research associate professor and the director of the Environmental Finance and Risk Management Program at Florida International University and a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. From 2017 to 2019 he was the associate director for regulatory reform at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.


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