Tuesday, December 19, 2006

On the Military Organization

In the latest issue of the Corps Magazine, an officer wrote an article entitled "The Relativity of being snappy." It was an article marked by an officer's obvious concern over the restlessness of many cadets regarding the many changes and the criticism that they are contended with. It did not only was very logical but it was something that most of us, the cadets. have not seen. We failed to see that there are also others who find certain realities in the Military culture absurd.
I say this because I have always encountered not so good comments about writing things in this blog. Not that I am not able to handle it but because I pity those who fail to see that there is really no contradiction between being a soldier, having a point of view and expressing these views. It is true that our military organization is very rigid, traditional and sometimes harsh. This is the way it has been since time in memorial and to a certain extent, this has also caused some of the lapses in the organization.
In the article that I was talking about, the officer specified about this prevailing belief that those who have come ahead are in a way "more snappy." It seems that they are always right, their ideas are better and in case of any conflict between another, it is the seniority that decides. I believe this is true because in our military culture, the subordinate does not question, he simply follows. This may be beneficial especially in situations that need immediate action, but in the long run the same culture is the very disease that undermines the organization.
The military organization is made up of unique individuals with their own sets of attributes that can be used for the organization. Each one has a role to play to the accomplishment of a task at hand. The thing with the seniority is that, to a certain extent, ideas are not that much evaluated for the simple reason that the organization does not appreciate soldiers who have their view on things. Take the example of the recent comment in this blog saying that I was being very "civies." He was saying that because he has a made up idea on how is it to become a cadet. He has drawn the line on the distinction between the cadet and the civilian. I now wonder, who made this definition? Of course, that comment will just be immortalized and I will not even dare to confront the one who made it for the simple reason that it might come from someone who is my senior. But I will write about it in this blog and hope that the person reads it. Who was it that decided how I should act? Why is it that there is no written directive that I have encountered that specifically defines that I should be like this and like that? Again, it boils down to seniority, its just that he's more senior than I am... end of discussion... I lost.
Now going back to that article, it concluded in saying that by boosting the self esteem of the cadets to be confident in their decision making and going about what they are supposed to do actually strengthens the organization. Instead of the comparing and insist that I undergo the same experience that they went through in the days when having a computer was for the rich people and that cellphones were a status symbol, I would like to think that being overly critical is not contributing anything to me or to how I perform as a soldier. I would like to make the assurance that I am doing the best of what I know I should do in my capacity as a cadet and as a soldier of the people. We may not exactly agree on how I do it but this is my own experience and I am entitled to it.

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