Analysis: The US military’s evolution

How the military changed since the beginning of this term

Written by Vice President for National Military, CSIS’s Ret. Adm. Dillpick88, Former U.S. CJCS

Since I left the military about a month back, I haven’t noticed any true activity from USM. My successor, FaisalWellesley, has done little publicly. While I do wish the military luck, I don’t see it going anywhere in the state that it’s currently in. When I left, most of the Joint Chiefs went with me, which, admittedly, crippled the U.S. military. It was once full of such passion and dedication — and I haven’t seen that return in my time away. When I took over as Chief Naval Officer, the U.S. Navy was in pretty rough shape. Like the Air Force of the time, we had no functional commands, no truly active staff; very few dedicated members. In my second term as CNO, I worked to bring the Navy back to what it was meant to be; and it will always hold a special place in my heart. The point is, restructuring and rebuilding is possible. Competent and dedicated military officers have to be hired into the JCS or the U.S. Military may fall back into what it was before; inactive, empty, always losing.

The U.S. military has tremendous potential. When run properly, it can soar to the highest of heights in terms of combat operations, activity, and general loving of its’ duty. I’m back in the IC. I saw better paths, and took them.

As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I don’t believe I accomplished fully what I intended to. With the successes, also came failures. New technology and a large member spike were introduced into the military, which further helped it’s function. The largest obstacle I faced as CJCS was disobedience. Many were mutinous of their commanders, and didn’t follow their orders respectfully. Some of them deserted, while others felt what they were doing was was righteous.

This can very easily happen without proper control of the military. Inexperienced leaders can fail to control insubordinates — which could lead to a collapse of the JCS if not handled properly. The question that we as a country must answer is, “Is our military’s leadership competent enough to lead the military in a strong direction?”

The results of this remain to be seen.

— Dill