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hobbitcid

Military Academies - Infantilised Universities or Laboratories of Leadership

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In my time we washed out an MIT grad, and I saw guys with PE degrees from schools I'd never heard of fly the hell out of the jet. I concluded college performance had little to no bearing on ability to fly an aircraft.

Shack.

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Is there any really good data on the quality of officers from various commissioning sources? (Retention is a fine number, but it doesn't necessarily tell much about quality, IMO.) It would seem to me that no one liking the status quo would like the resulting headlines. I could see the results being either we pay far too much for academy grads or we under-prepare the majority of the officer corps. Would "big AF" really want either of those results as the CNN headline of the day?

As far as the article goes, Fleming brings up interesting points, but I think his "solutions" tend to fall a bit short. Perhaps his perspective (academic) limits the military utility of his proposed solutions.

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Is there any really good data on the quality of officers from various commissioning sources?

That would require a measuring instrument which accurately reflects reality, which the OPR does not. You would also have to control for graduates of the various commissioning sources showing favoritism to their own, whether consciously or not.

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I haven't run the math but I suspect that the advantage may not be as high as people think it is. At USAFA you're working with (on paper at least) a population of pretty high speed folks. While the pilot numbers out of ROTC are certainly lower the USAFA folks would probably be ranked pretty high within this more varied population.

If by advantage, you mean a greater likelihood that you will recieve a pilot slot, it is as high as folks think it is. In my class (over 13 years ago, mind you) 100% of those phisically qualified got a slot. I'm sure the numbers vary over the years, but even if they dropped by 20%, it's still pretty good odds.

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Life is a bell curve. Most people are at the top of it; everyone else is to the left or right of that line. A quality officer is going to be a quality officer regardless of where he/she got his/her rank slapped on because he's/she's an outlier compared to the rest of society. End of story.

Edited by Royal

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Reminds me of the old joke: "What's the difference between a second lieutenant and an A1C?". A second lieutenant is a second lieutenant no matter where he or she is commissioned.

As far as this discussion, I'm not an academy grad (unless we count the "Academy of Military Science"), so I don't know what it's like, but I did do 2 1/2 years of Army ROTC, so I can talk about that. I will say that ROTC was difficult, not because it in itself is difficult, but because of the challenges of scheduling ROTC training around a 15 or 18 credit semester of classes, while working part time and doing weekend warrior stuff in the Army Guard (the Army had the SMP program -- a really good deal). It was a mjor headache for me and several of my fellow friends in ROTC, but really balancing all of that was a leeson in it's own in mangaging time, finances and dealing with real-world responsibilites and headaches, along with the made-up leadership stuff that is ROTC or any commissioning /leadership program. I'm not denegrating any other commissioning source -- but really the Army got some good 2LT's from the ROTC program I was in, and certainly those ROTC cadets were a small investment with a high return for the Army (although not me -- I opted for the Air Guard and was persona non-grata anywhere near the Army ROTC bldg).

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