By lex, on June 28th, 2011
After 9/11, the Army directed its Pentagon troops wear combat utilities even in the button-downed hallways of the Five-Sided Wind Tunnel. The reasoning was to emphasize that even those in the rear were a part of the Global War on Terror.
It was then-Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker’s intent after he took the job in 2003 to “get people to realize that we are in combat,” says the US Army’s top noncommissioned officer, Sgt. Maj. Raymond Chandler – and that the war “wasn’t going to get done with anytime soon.”
The current Army chief of staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, decided that starting in July Army troops at the Pentagon will wear their (service uniforms) – considered business attire for troops.
“Everyone understands that we are at war,” Chandler said. “Everyone has been touched by it.” Now, he added, there is a gradual shift within the Pentagon to emphasize “the corporate part of the Army” as well.
This marks a key movement away from “this muddy boots culture that has pervaded everything” in the US military, says retired Col. Charles Allen, professor of cultural science at the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.
The downside of an extensive emphasis on war fighting is that “sometimes it can take away from the long-term focus of the Army,” Dr. Allen added.
With the drawdown in Afghanistan, “the Army needs to bring back the best and the brightest now fighting the wars and bring them back into the institutional side of the house.”
In other words, with the war in Iraq over for all intents and purposes, the war in Afghanistan winding down, and the political class gone seeking for another few hundred billion in defense savings, it’s time for Corporate Army to get serious about fighting for resources with its real enemy: The US Marine Corps.