The following is an opinion piece written by the world's greatest military officer.
The military has been suffering from talent management problems for many years. After over a decade of persistent conflict, many issues have finally come to a boiling point. Talented, top-tier individuals are fleeing in droves after not being properly rewarded for our abilities. This is why, after four years in the service of our nation, I have made the heartrending decision to join so many of my fellow prodigies and resign my commission.
When I graduated from my basic officer course in 2011 I received the coveted honor graduate trophy and a commendation. That, along with my 4.0 GPA from a service academy should have guaranteed me an immediate promotion to O-2, or maybe even O-3. That way someone with my level of abilities could quickly begin addressing the issues that plague our Armed Forces.
Instead of being hailed for my excellence, I was instead placed into a staff position doing busy work along with all of my other idiot classmates who barely graduated. I didn’t even get a designated parking space.
When I was finally promoted to O-2 (at the same time as those mouth breathers in the bottom 99 percent), there was no subsequent increase in responsibility. Letters to general officers and Congress describing the changes necessary to turn this sinking ship around were ignored. Instead I had to chafe every day under the blind, kool-aid swilling leadership of officers whose only qualifications for their jobs was a significant amount of time spent in each subordinate position within the organization.
The military has also made the goal of having a productive and rewarding personal life impossible. At my first duty station I met a beautiful young woman. We were engaged to be married, and then I was given the earth-shattering news that I would be deployed. For six months! Who can maintain a romantic relationship with that kind of operational tempo? Senior commanders don’t see the stress this places on countless lives, sending men and women overseas and into harm’s way without regard to their marital status.
In closing, the military is a dinosaur. An organization rooted in the social values of the 1950’s. We can’t fraternize with our co-workers, smoke marijuana (which is already legal in three states!), or grow stylish facial hair.
Draconian restrictions like these are just some of the myriad reasons executive level performers like myself are choosing to depart, and instead collect six-figure salaries from organizations like Google or Apple, which recognize and reward the best of the best, rather than stifle their development by enforcing a strict, learn-through-experience career path that has no place in the modern world.
That is why I’m leaving the military.
Editor’s Note: At the time of publication this officer had accepted a job as a military officer recruiter for a corporate talent management company.