Only 26% of Officers Say Army Headed in Right Direction, Cite “Political Correctness”

Is the United States Army heading in the right direction? According to an internal Army survey, only twenty-six percent of active-duty Army officers say “Yes.” “Political Correctness” was cited by those that said “No.”

While the report gave several reasons for the view of the officers, two of them stood out above all the rest. The first was a concern of the downsizing of the Army and some thought it might impact national security.

The second was the issue of “political correctness.”

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The report said,

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“several comments indicated that political correctness or the influence of politics in the Army is a reason the Army is not headed in the right direction. These comments generally cited the negative influence of government policy makers (outside the Army) as being detrimental to the future of the Army, and indicated that senior Army leaders themselves felt the need to bow to ‘politically correct solutions’ to appease policy makers, or to ‘play politics’ within their own organizations.”

Some 16,800 commissioned and non-commissioned officers were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement: “The Army is headed in the right direction to prepare for the challenges of the next 10 years.” Here’s how their answers broke down:

Seventy-four percent, either actively or passively, did not agree with the statement: And of those who did not agree, these were the top reasons:

— 58 percent cited the Army’s inability to “retain quality leaders.”

— 57 percent cited “a lack of discipline, or the “Army is too soft”

— 53 percent pointed to “Ineffective leaders at senior levels”

— 52 percent said “senior leaders focus on the wrong priorities”

— 46 percent said junior leader promotions/advancements are happening too soon

— 39 percent said “resources/funding or technology are insufficient”

LTC Jeff Allen said that the overall survey, which was more than 200 questions, shows positive indicators concerning “the current state of commitment, satisfaction and engagement” of Army leaders. He also added that the Army did the study themselves and believes they are the best at introspective organization in the nation.

The survey was conducted in 2011 and has a margin of error of plus or minus seven points.

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