FREE OF BIAS? ARMY OFFICER EVALUATIONS

In April 2020 we published an article that argued for the removal of the official photo from the Army’s promotion and selection process. The goal was to eliminate a source of bias from the process and the Army took notice and removed the photo requirement. Bonnie “Buffie” Clemente joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to discuss how the officer evaluation system still has sources of bias that have to be addressed to ensure a true meritocracy. Buffie brings to bear her years of experience with evaluations and promotion boards to identify both conscious and unconscious forms of bias in the system and the way ahead to try and minimize their impact.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-062-FREE-OF-BIAS-ARMY-OFFICER-EVALUATIONS-Transcript.pdf

DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION: THE DOD’S ROLE (EISENHOWER SERIES)

In September 2019 we introduced you to the Eisenhower Series College Program (ESCP). Though we are approaching life as we remember it pre-COVID, travel limitations significantly limited the ESCP from visiting colleges and universities, interacting with audiences often unfamiliar with members of the U.S. Military. It is our hope at WAR ROOM to bring you a glimpse of what some of those presentations might have looked like via A BETTER PEACE.

In this first episode of academic year 2021 our podcast editor Ron Granieri is joined by War College students and ESCP members Rebecca Connally, Aixa Dones and Adisa King. In their conversation they share their personal thoughts and experiences as career military officers and leaders in the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. They try and tackle the question of how well either the armed forces or American society as a whole have lived up to their stated values of diversity, equity and inclusion. They discuss where they have seen success and failure and what the path looks like going forward.

Transcript: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-086-DIVERSITY-EQUITY-AND-INCLUSION-THE-DODS-ROLE-EISENHOWER-SERIES-Transcript.pdf

THE GANDER AND THE GOOSE: WOMEN AND SELECTIVE SERVICE REGISTRATION

The United States has employed the conscription of military service members as far back as the Revolutionary War and as recently as the Vietnam War. What most people now know as the draft or Selective Service came into existence in 1940 via the Selective Training and Service Act. The first peacetime draft in the United States, it required men 21-36 (18-65 once the U.S. entered WWII) to register with local draft boards. Though women have served in the U.S. military for many years, and more recently in combat, they have never been subject to the draft. A BETTER PEACE welcomes back Kara Dixon Vuic to discuss her study of the topic and the recent decision of the Biden administration to move the discussion out of the Supreme Court and into Congress. She joins our Editor-in-Chief, Jacqueline Whitt, in the virtual studio as they discuss the history behind women’s exclusion from the draft. They examine the legal arguments, social and ethical norms involved, as well as some of the strange alliances of recent years as the conversation continues.

THE ARMY’S ROBERT E. LEE PROBLEM

On 5 February, 2021, newly confirmed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin directed military leaders to lead a one-day stand-down within the next 60 days to address extremism within the nation’s armed forces. That same afternoon our Editor-In Chief, Jacqueline Whitt sat down with Ty Seidule in the virtual studio to record this episode. Seidule, a prominent figure in the conversation about extremism, has long fought against the veneration of Robert E. Lee and the Confederate cause in the Army, specifically at the United States Military Academy. His 2015 video on Prager University, “Was the Civil War About Slavery?” has been viewed over 34 million times. And his newest book Robert E. Lee and Me is drawing both praise and anger. Their discussion ranges from his childhood in the south to his time at West Point as the Head of the Department of History, and what he’s been doing since his retirement as a brigadier general in 2020.

EVERY SOLDIER HAS A PERSONAL STORY

A BETTER PEACE welcomes Ann Meredith to discuss her experience as a female officer in the U.S. Army. She joins WAR ROOM podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to discuss what her career has looked like as a woman, a mother and a wife in the Military Police corps. Ann recounts long separations, supportive units, honest mentors and the biases and discriminations that many women must overcome in any branch of the military. 

THE PCS PENALTY AND THE ARMY FAMILY

“If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.” It’s as outdated a saying as is the military’s impression of what a “normal” family looks like. Gone are the days of the all male force, with 2.5 kids and a stay at home mom in every government issued quarters. The types of families that make up the greater U.S. Army are far more diverse than 10-20 years ago. Dual income families are much closer to the norm and unfortunately the Army’s professional military education system and the moves associated with it force significant spouse unemployment. WAR ROOM welcomes back Paul Kearney to propose solutions to the system that aim to improve life at home, increase retention, and in turn maximize talent management.

A CORNERSTONE OF PEACE: WOMEN IN AFGHANISTAN

EDITOR’S NOTE: The current temporary theme we are using only credits a single author. This article was written by Kyleanne Hunter, Jeannette Gaudry Haynie and Natalie Trogus. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, […]

LIKE YOUR BRAIN HAS JUST GONE TO THE GYM (WARGAMING ROOM)

A BETTER PEACE welcomes Chris Dougherty and Becca Wasser from The Gaming Lab at the Center for New American Security (CNAS). Chris and Becca join host Ken Gilliam in our special series the WARGAMING ROOM to discuss the efforts and contributions of CNAS to the gaming world. The three discuss how strategic gaming is used […]

UNDERSTANDING A DIFFERENT PEOPLE: THE OKINAWAN IDENTITY

When planning for interactions with foreign countries, whether in peace or in war, it can be easy for military planners to be lulled into the false security of the homogeneity of a culture or race or nationality. Many would argue that was exactly what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq in the last two decades. But […]

WOMEN IN PEACE AND SECURITY

On October 31st, 2000, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1325, which reaffirmed “the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace building, the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and the need to increase […]

WHOSE HISTORY? WHOSE HERITAGE? MEMORY AND MEMORIALS IN THE ARMED FORCES

I would venture to say that there are a lot of black troops that understand what those names mean and just have chosen not to take it up as an issue. Bragg, Benning and Hood are names that are universally known throughout the Army and most of the Department of Defense. They are some of […]

INCLUSIVITY, DIVERSITY AND THE MILITARY AS A LEADER OF CHANGE (EISENHOWER SERIES)

What you’re describing…always has been a leadership problem. It’s leadership at the extreme echelons. So leadership at the top of the Army and leadership at the bottom of the Army are primarily where you address and solve this problem.   In September of 2019 we introduced you to the Eisenhower Series College Program. Members of the […]

NOT WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS: ABANDONING THE DA PHOTO

The Army wanted to make sure you were fit, knew how to wear your uniform, and you were not ‘stealing valor.’ As promotion and selection board season rolls through every Army post, officers rush to finish evaluations for their deserving subordinate officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs). But there is another rush happening too: At the […]

THE MARTIAL CITIZEN

Martial Citizenship…is the concept that since soldiers serve the state the state therefore owes something back. The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service released its report “Inspired to Serve” on 25 March 2020. The Commission’s two primary statutory charges were: (1) to “conduct a review of the military selective service process” and (2) […]

THE BALANCING ACT FOR FEMALE OFFICERS

Meaningful progress will occur only when male leaders engage in deliberate and sustained efforts to change the culture and when the proportion of women increases more substantially. Although formal barriers to women’s participation across branches and specialties in the United States’ (U.S.) armed forces have been removed, women still comprise a relatively small percentage of […]

EXECUTIVE ORDER 9981 AT 70: WHAT INTEGRATION MEANS FOR TODAY’S MILITARY

As we wind down Black History Month the Editorial Team thought it most appropriate to re-release this and one other podcast on Executive Order 9981. Originally released in July 2018, the 70th anniversary was a great reminder to examine the official order to desegregate the military and consider how far we’ve come and what still […]

EXECUTIVE ORDER 9981 AT 70: DESEGREGATING THE ARMED FORCES

As we wind down Black History Month the Editorial Team thought it most appropriate to re-release this and one other podcast on Executive Order 9981. Originally released in July 2018, the 70th anniversary was a great reminder to examine the official order to desegregate the military and consider how far we’ve come and what still […]

DIVERSITY IN PROFESSIONAL MILITARY EDUCATION

Every voice will bring something a little bit different and that particular voices have particular things to add. For the past century we have been discussing diversity in some form or fashion in the United States Department of Defense. There have obviously been great strides but many would argue there is still a long way […]

WAC MARRIAGE CASE: THINKING ABOUT GENDER, SEX, AND MILITARY SERVICE

The law only required that both parties be consenting adults…which tells us something about the assumptions at the time A BETTER PEACE welcomes Tanya Roth to discuss a topic that we often think of as an issue of modern day — LGBT service members — but has been a fact of military service for decades. […]

REAL MEN: COUNTERING A CENTURY OF MILITARY MASCULINITY

If national security leaders truly want the nation’s best to serve the common defense, they should equally value the unique contributions of all who are willing and able to serve. One century ago, a massive conflict was mercifully drawing to a close. The First World War subsumed industrialized Europe within a hopeless quagmire of murderous […]