Now that Big Boss has officially left, I thought it would be a good time to discuss some of the points that he brought up in his letter, especially the parts that were complete lies and written to inflate his already gigantic ego. This is all, of course, my opinion.
First, we will discuss his claim that he “will be involved in establishing the long-term relationship between “us and them.” While I know that the wars in Afghanistan, and to a lesser extent Iraq, will be fought for a very long time, I doubt that our customer will be establishing a long-term relationship with our Reserve headquarters for future missions of this type. It’s not that Reservists are not capable; I think it has more to do with the fact that much of the previous unit that was here skirted the rules and outright broke the law while they were here, stealing high value items without impunity. Unfortunately, they were also a 316th unit, so the reputation of our Reserve higher headquarters was already sullied by that unit. Why our customer would desire to continue a relationship of this kind would not make a whole lot of sense to me given this history. They were already looking at us warily before we arrived, and Big Boss was part of the reason. If a MOA is ever written, I think it would shock mostly everyone, including our customer and everyone else besides Big Boss. It’s been his plan all along to attempt something like this, and he may have bitten off more than he should chew.
Secondly, no “mistake was made.” Big Boss’s arrival in theater was a surprise to no one, though they did try to prevent it from happening while we were still in our pre-mobilization phase. They may not have expected him to be an O-6, but the first time they met him, they tried to replace or remove him. His “strategic-level thinking” and other grand ideas were not welcome in an environment where professional Soldiers have been doing things their own way for years, extending beyond the 7+ years spent in Iraq and nearly nine in Afghanistan. They are not an organization that needs big ideas from a Reserve O-6 that has not really been there, done that, especially one that would not listen to his CSM with nearly 30 years working within the same community.
Furthermore, the disparity in rank between Big Boss and the new J4 was an easy excuse for him to use, and honestly one that could have been overcome with a different officer in Big Boss’s position. And if our customer is contemplating “to reduce the enlisted structure by eliminating E-9s,” I’m sure they will wait until after our extremely competent E-9s leave, including one E-9 who, again, has nearly 30 years experience in this organization, and the other who was simply brought along by Big Boss as an attempt to eventually replace the other.
Thirdly, our battalion headquarters in the rear is not struggling because of “the tremendous workload.” They are struggling because of the incompetence of the civilians left behind and the inefficiency of the AGRs that dodged this deployment. In the past, we have supported more units with less people, and one would think that the job would be much easier when 80% of your down trace is deployed or deploying. It further goes to show that the right people in the right positions can really affect performance. No amount of “synergy” can fix incompetence.
Finally, after 3+ years of this “synergy” rhetoric, it has finally reached a point that is beyond ridiculous, especially when the person preaching synergy does not follow the principles that he preaches. He keeps stating that “positively-led organizations have 400% more institutional energy than traditional information-led organizations.” I still don’t know what this means, or where this statistic comes from. I’m sure it was some study that was paid for by Stephen Covey to justify all the things he wrote about in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly-Effective People.” And preaching about allowing “ONLY positive leadership” is even more of a joke coming from him, as he was one of the most negative leaders that I have ever met.
In closing, my only hope is that as he makes his way back into the day-to-day operations of our battalion in the rear, he doesn’t truly start to exert control and influence over that organization. It has already been ruined by three years of his “leadership.” I will eventually have to return there to work upon my return, and I was hoping not to have to deal with him, or worry about him having undue influence on the hiring of the new SSA there. All I know is that the only way he was able to “pin” on O-6 was because he went to our group headquarters. If he is willing to give back his rank to resume battalion command, that is one thing, but if he goes back and does the same as an O-6, that is simply unacceptable, and not only because I want to apply for the SSA job. If this ends up happening, I might just have to file an IG complaint or something. We’ll see what happens.
Until next time…