I tend to disagree with assertions that the military is ‘broken,’ but there is more than just anecdotal evidence that the military is under a great deal of strain due to the heavy deployments overseas. Via Gary Farber, here is some more:
Struggling to retain enough officers to lead its forces, the Army has begun to dramatically increase the number of soldiers it promotes, raising fears within the service that wartime strains are diluting the quality of the officer corps.
Last year, the Army promoted 97% of all eligible captains to the rank of major, Pentagon data show. That was up from a historical average of 70% to 80%.
Traditionally, the Army has used the step to major as a winnowing point to push lower-performing soldiers out of the military.
The service also promoted 86% of eligible majors to the rank of lieutenant colonel in 2005, up from the historical average of 65% to 75%.
The higher rates of promotion are part of efforts to fill new slots created by an Army reorganization and to compensate for officers who are resigning from the service, many after multiple rotations to Iraq.
The promotion rates “are much higher than they have been in the past because we need more officers than we did before,” said Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, an Army spokesman.
That is an exceedingly high rate, and I worry about the quality control.