Failure of Leadership: Army Edition

Failure of leadership is one of my pet peeves. Being incompetent is one thing, but allowing incompetent people to remain or allowing a situation to develop into a true clusterf*ck because you’re a bad leader is sooo much worse.

I’ve been critical of President Obama for being a poor leader before, and though I do criticize his politics, when I am critical of his lack of leadership that is a matter void of politics and I will criticize anyone who is a bad leader.

One place you don’t expect to find bad leaders is in the military. Training men to stand and fight requires leaders, everyone in the military is in some form or another versed in leadership. That is what makes it so inexcusable when dumb things happen there.

One of those dumb things is the Armies camouflage pattern.

In 2002 the Marines selected their own independent camo patterns using a fractal or digital pattern, now known as MARPAT(Marine Pattern).

The tiny little colored squares were cool looking and all the rage. Soon the Army decided it wanted in on the action, but the Marines guarded the rights to their pattern and wouldn’t give it up. So what did the Army do? Why hold trials for a new pattern and pick the one that was least effective of course. But it looked cool, almost. It too was digital, but instead of a distinct two sets for woodland and dessert settings like the Marines, the Army ended up with a greenish-blue that most closely that similar color of 1950’s sedans…or couches.ACU-couch-web

All this for a measly cost of $5 billion dollars, because when you’re running two wars you might as well spend money on small things that “look cool” and can be rushed into the field.

Nine years later and now we get the chance to spend another $2-4 billion to replace the ugly useless Army uniforms. Hopefully this time they’ve learned their lesson and will integrate it more slowly so as to save some money since they wasted enough already.

There’s countless better options but likely the Army will pick a new pattern and spend the money to implement it. While effective camouflage makes a difference and the old UCP pattern definitely needs to go, something should be done to simplify the matter.

Do all four branches really need there own pattern? How many decades did we go with one and there were no problems? If they want to distinguish themselves they can add collar and cuff differences to set them apart, Blue for Air Force, Red for Marines, and Gold for Army. The Navy can wear blue jumpsuits or go back to dungarees.

It shouldn’t take a failure of leadership to create a situation where someone else can then make the right decision 9 years later. That is a failure of leadership and it’s amazing to think that we even spend time and money on this stuff again so soon.

The only thing worse than the current Army uniform debacle is that of the Navy.


Whoa, man I almost didn’t see him there.


Here’s a story on the matter for more details.



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Posted on April 21, 2013, in Problems to Ponder, The Life of Man and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Really liked this article. And I totally agree with your outlook on leadership failures. I am with you on this subject. It must improve.

    • Thanks DrillSergeant74D. Leadership means a lot, it’s one of those give a man fish, teach a man to fish things.
      Teach someone to be a leader and the rest is easy.
      It’s unfortunate we don’t teach people to be achievers.

  2. Navy c+ Air Force camo don’t make much sense to me. Find the boat or plane they are on/in and blow it up. Camo when you are a solitary figure makes sense. Interforce rivalry BS.

    • Since we can’t even work out the camos for our services it’s probably asking too much to have them sort out their various weapons systems.

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