After fifteen years of service in the United States Marine Corps, I have often stated to others that I believe everyone could benefit from a little time in the military. I do not say this to offer support for a mandatory enlistment program. I am actually against such a program. I say this because there are many positive lessons that can be learned in a short amount of time in the military. These lessons encompass just about everything a person needs in life in order to be successful in any endeavor. Discipline, bearing, decision making skills, I can go on all day but I do not mean for this to sound like a recruiting commercial. In my opinion the two most important traits that are acquired in military service are leadership and integrity.
It is painfully obvious after President Obama's first 100 days in office that he has never served in the military, not that this is his fault. I am sure he would be the first to say that he is not to blame for his absence of service in the military, and this is indirectly the point I want to concentrate on. I am not pompous, but feel more than qualified to offer this lesson to our Commander in Chief, should he be inclined to listen to anyone for a change.
I have learned over time that the higher rank you achieve in the military, the more missions and tasks you become responsible for. Once you have climbed the ladder high enough, you can no longer attempt to accomplish tasks on your own, but must delegate them to the troops you are in charge of. This is identified as, "Delegation of Authority." This is where leadership becomes more complicated, as you can no longer merely count on yourself to get things accomplished, but must train, instruct, and trust that your junior troops are going to accomplish the mission on your behalf. If you are a good leader you will be pleased with the results most of the time, but once in a while your superiors will not be pleased with the results of what they assigned to YOU for completion. I capitalized the "YOU" because you, as the leader, are responsible for the results. When things go bad you can not shift the blame on your workers. After all you were responsible for them. In the same regard, your superiors (if they are worth a cup of coffee) don't march you into their superiors office to explain why the mission failed, they take their own responsibility for it.
Apparently President Obama hasn't grasped this idea as of yet. He likes to blame everyone else when he or his troops (cabinet) make mistakes. Most recently it was the "Scare Force One" fiasco, where he claimed to know nothing about it but promised to look into it and the Biden "Swine Flu Fear Mongering" where he sent his minions out to explain what Joe, "meant to say." Not long ago it was the Saudi King incident where he clearly bowed to the leader, but rather than admit error, insulted everyone's intelligence by claiming it was not a bow. I've also not seen any "oops" or "my bad" from the DVD gift fiasco, knowledge of the AIG bonuses in the bailout package, attempting to force war veterans to pay for their own medical care...I could go on all day but I think you get the point. He seems to not take responsibility for any mistakes he or his cabinet makes. This is not a positive trait for the most powerful leadership position in the world.
Allow me to use a non-military analogy to simplify this. I live in military housing (I know I said non-military, bear with me). Military housing is like a subdivision. There are rules like many subdivisions have stating acceptable levels of cleanliness, what may be displayed, etc. I, being a father of three children; aged 12, 14, and 17, have been known to delegate some of my yardwork to them. If I delegate authority to them to mow the lawn, and they do a poor job, or don't complete it at all, I may receive a citation from the housing office for failing to maintain the grounds on my property. If this happens, what do you think my recourse is to go before the housing board and argue to them that it isn't my fault, as I assigned it to my kids and they didn't do it? Or, better yet, what if I claim that my children "meant to" do it properly? Exactly!!! After being laughed at for such a silly defense, I would probably be informed that it was my responsiblity to see that the job was done, and that I cannot blame my children. You see, leaders generally learn the rule early on that you can delegate authority, but you can never delegate responsibility.
This, Mr. President, is a simple lesson that you should learn if you wish to be taken seriously as "LEADER of the free world."