Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way

Written by Jerry Curry on June 2, 2013

600px-MCoE_SealA real leader revels in challenges, problem solving, and accepting responsibility. Military units and civilian organizations expect their leaders and commanders to know how, or at least be able to discover how, to solve problems. That is why they are chosen to be leaders.

One of the first things the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia teaches those it trains to become officers is, “A Leader and Commander is responsible for all his or her organization or unit does or fails to do.” They are also taught never to blame failures on their predecessors, no matter how easy or tempting it is.

They accept existing successes and failures as their own, build on the successes and fix the existing failures and problems. Today the United States could use a strong dose of Fort Benning infantry officer style leadership at every level of government, especially at the top of the IRS, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the White House.

The current presidential administration is peopled at the top with more untrained, inexperienced bureaucrats than any administration I have witnessed in my lifetime. It is the fault of the news media and our citizenry. From the beginning the news media failed the nation; it failed to do its job of vetting President Obama and his subordinates. It supported and is still supporting and championing the appointment of unseasoned, inexperienced political operatives to important high level government offices.

When Candidate Obama told the nation he was going to change America, our gullible, trusting citizens cheered but failed to ask, “Change from what to what?” That is, they failed to do their part in making the government work by not using their common sense to vet the new president-to-be. So while our overly trusting citizens slept at the switch, the news media helped deceive the nation into electing an untried, inexperienced, inept president.

Daily the American people lose more and more confidence in President Obama and his administration’s ability to set the course for the future, lead, and manage national and international affairs — one of the reasons being his repetitive use of the words, “I, my, me, and mine.” Most things he does or says seem to center around him or his person.

The second reason is his failure to take responsibility for his actions and those of his subordinates. When caught in a lie or questioned about an embarrassing occurrence, he pleads ignorance of the facts, his subordinates gladly emulate him, and the news media gives him a pass.

Now is the time for Obama to get out in front of the IRS debacle. Of course this requires the conducting of a full investigation, not just a superficial audit. To be trustworthy and believable the inquiry must be a serious investigation, free and independent of the administration’s influence. This requires the appointment of a fully empowered independent counsel of some sort. Anything less will not gain the confidence of the American people and its findings will be suspect.

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General Jerry Ralph Curry (D.Min.) is a decorated combat veteran, Army Aviator, Paratrooper and Ranger. He enlisted in the Army as a Private and retired a Major General. For nearly forty years he and his wife Charlene have served this country both in the military and while he was a Presidential political appointee.