Damn Millennials!

The Long March
British officers inspect a group of American sailors for impressment into the British navy, ca. 1810, in a drawing by Howard Pyle. The practice angered Americans and was one cause of the War of 1812. But American naval officers engaged in the same practice against British sailors.
Library of Congress

Sometimes when I read commentary on today’s U.S. military, I think that the biggest problem older service members have is with their younger comrades.


This thought was provoked by an article in the March issue of “Proceedings” that states, “We have overadjusted policies to recruit and retain Sailors based on the prevailing millennial ‘profile’—particularly, the perceived need for millennials to be reassured that what they are doing is okay. Our ribbon racks appear to be getting very ‘me’ (personal award) heavy when compared to the number of ‘we’ awards and decorations, at the expense of teamwork and forceful backup. When everyone is told they are special, it gets hard to tell who really is.”

Maybe “Proceedings,” “Marine Corps Gazette” and “ARMY” should just each have a monthly column called, “Damn Millennials!” In them, each month a senior NCO or aging officer would bellyache about what those kids are doing now on the grass.

Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose

The admiral in charge of Navy special operators will decide whether to revoke the tridents for Eddie Gallagher and other SEALs involved in the Navy's failed attempt to prosecute Gallagher for murder, a defense official said Tuesday.

The New York Times' David Philipps first reported on Tuesday that the Navy could revoke the SEAL tridents for Gallagher as well as his former platoon commander Lt. Jacob Portier and two other SEALs: Lt. Cmdr. Robert Breisch and Lt. Thomas MacNeil.

The four SEALs will soon receive a letter that they have to appear before a board that will consider whether their tridents should be revoked, a defense official told Task & Purpose on condition of anonymity.

Read More Show Less

Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman made sure to take the time to correct a Congressman on Tuesday while testifying before Congress, requesting that he be addressed by his officer rank and not "Mr."

Read More Show Less
From left to right: Naval Special Warfare Operator First Class Eddie Gallagher, Army 1Lt. Clint Lorance, and Army Special Forces Maj. Mathew Golsteyn

On Friday, President Donald Trump intervened in the cases of three U.S. service members accused of war crimes, granting pardons to two Army soldiers accused of murder in Afghanistan and restoring the rank of a Navy SEAL found guilty of wrongdoing in Iraq.

While the statements coming out of the Pentagon regarding Trump's actions have been understandably measured, comments from former military leaders and other knowledgable veterans help paint a picture as to why the president's Friday actions are so controversial.

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. aircraft carrier strike group Abraham Lincoln sailed through the vital Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday, U.S. officials told Reuters, amid simmering tensions between Iran and the United States.

Tensions in the Gulf have risen since attacks on oil tankers this summer, including off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, and a major assault on energy facilities in Saudi Arabia. Washington has blamed Iran, which has denied being behind the attacks on global energy infrastructure.

Read More Show Less

Iran continues to support the Taliban to counter U.S. influence in Afghanistan, a recent Defense Intelligence Agency report on Iran's military power says.

Iran's other goals in Afghanistan include combating ISIS-Khorasan and increasing its influence in any government that is formed as part of a political reconciliation of the warring sides, according to the report, which the Pentagon released on Tuesday.

Read More Show Less