Eric E. Shinseki Chief of Staff, United States Army THE ARMY OF TODAY “A Capstone Force”
POINT 1 ARMY LEADERSHIP TODAY ARMY LEADERSHIP TODAY * Successful leadership requires avoiding honest feedback to senior leaders and to the soldiers we command. Dodge tough decisions. * Try to get everyone to like you by avoiding confrontations with people who need to be confronted about providing necessary resources; procrastinate on difficult choices about unit readiness. * Avoid upsetting anyone by treating everyone equally "nicely,” regardless of their contributions, abilities, and even violations of laws. Everyone is “equal,” no matter what their APFT scores, sexual or (im)moral conduct, duty performance, or soldierly (in)abilities. * Most importantly, obtain the services of a well-known Marketing and Public Relations Firm to tell you “What Soldiers Want” (WSW).
POINT 2 “Soldiers must stop bringing problems to work. We must help them feel good so they will do what they are told.” * Soldiers must feel as though we care, even – especially! – when we do not. [TQM is good for this.] * Commanders must establish as many communication barriers as possible to help cover up gaps, weakness, or failure. This helps to initially feign concern for “unknown” problems and (later) to blame underlings when something goes wrong. * Leaders must know What Soldiers Want (WSW) and not so much what they “need.” If we give them what they want, we won’t have to give them what they need.
WSW #1 “The Army has hired Elite Media Experts to use focus group research to discover WHAT SOLDIERS WANT (WSW)”. research to discover WHAT SOLDIERS WANT (WSW)”. * Soldiers want to “LOOK GOOD.” Fashion is very important, especially given today’s more diverse demographic. * Soldiers want to “LOOK SPECIAL” as though they have completed special “Warrior” training and earned assignment to an elite combat organization. [Everyone must feel “equal” and “accepted.”] * Soldiers want to “LOOK SEXY” for television while standing next to their European counterparts. [The helmet and BDU cap do nothing to enhance their profiles for the cameras.]
WSW #2 MARKETING CASE STUDIES AND FOCUS GROUPS * Extensive marketing Research and Development studies have been conducted with demographically diverse focus groups to determine What Soldiers Want (WSW) : 1. A new uniform hat that will make a positive fashion statement 1. A new uniform hat that will make a positive fashion statement. 2. A hat that will bring them together and make them feel better 2. A hat that will bring them together and make them feel better. 3. A hat that will symbolize their profession and their core VALUES. * WHAT SOLDIERS WANT (WSW) is a …………....
WSW #3 Details are Important! Following Vice President Gore’s suggestion, we placed a low-level DOD employee in a crowd wearing a “Beret.” Does she “LOOK GOOD,” both in person and on television? As you see, she does look good on TV. But is she attractive to the total stranger next to her?
WSW #4 “You never know until you try…” It's easier to get forgiveness than permission, especially when there is “no controlling legal authority” [VP Albert Gore, Jr.]. Yes! The total stranger thinks she looks good in person.
WSW #5 Keep looking…! The Army of the future will LOOK GOOD. WHAT SOLDIERS WANT is a proactive fashion statement: a change from the BDU cap and overseas cap to a Beret. The Beret will solve recruiting, morale, and retention problems, and it will prevent future problems. 14 June, 2001: all of our soldiers will look like this.
WSW #6 "Only by attracting the attractive people will we accomplish great deeds." Our best assets are people who work well in Washington. Through one employee’s outstanding work and commitment to “WSW,” we will soon bring this work to the field. In honor and appreciation of her tireless efforts, the new Army Issue Beret will be called the “MONICA.” [Again, a special “Thank You!” goes to Vice President Gore for his inspiration.]
WSW #7 “Clothes Make The Man (or Woman).” Based on the expected results of the MONICA project, the Army is developing a unisex dress uniform for our fighting persons [men and women]. Its fire-retardent fabric will not ignite when smoking cigars; it also has the capability to retain DNA for battlefield identification.
WSW #8 “WE GIVE SOLDIERS WHAT THEY WANT." * A soldier must “Dress Right to Fight”, and a soldier that LOOKS GOOD is defined as“GOOD.” * Fashionable soldiers need fashionable hats, just as quality tires need white walls on tires. “Without ‘em, it just don’t look right.” Unity, Excellence, and Values * The new Beret will symbolize Unity, Excellence, and Values.