Unless you follow “milblogs” this press release may have passed you by. The Army (and Marines) are promoting a whole passle of Colonels to the rank of Brigadier General. Officers with PHDs as well as combat experience, most notably H.R. McMaster–Scholars of war, in particular “asymmetric” war, disciples of General Petraeus, some of them. New generals for the new, fab wars of the 21st century. Some of them are Special Ops guys–Snake Eaters. Some are commanders of “Light Cavalry” Stryker brigades and one is from the military police. Six are women, including the Milpo, Colleen McGuire. These are not the Colonels that make it to that first star, in general. The disaster that is Bush’s war has forced reform–of sorts–on the Pentagon circle jerk. At first thought, this seems like a net positive but my hindbrain is not reassured.
I am not a pessimist. OK, stop laughing. I have invented a new term for someone with my general outlook: I am a dark roast realist. Like coffee, I take my outlook black–no cream, no sugar, no vanilla syrup. As a dark roast realist I trust my hindbrain. Congratulations to all the freshly minted one star generals. I salute you from my armchair, and fasten its seatbelt.