15 March 2017


by Andy Weddington
Wednesday, 15 March 2017

I accept reality and dare not question it. Walt Whitman

More than 35 years ago was my first experience leading women Marines. 

Fresh out of a deploying infantry battalion in the 2d Marine Division, executive officer duties in a non-infantry battalion required daily interaction with and leading women. 

Those women Marines deserved and received the same respectful but demanding leadership as my infantry Marines. Favorites I did not play. Nor accept anything less than I expected from the Marines in my rifle and weapons platoons.   

My wife of more than three decades is today a senior naval officer. During our marriage there's been a few times I bluntly confronted (sexist) senior officers; not giving a damn who they were. If there's military officers more sympathetic to the respectful and fair treatment of women in uniform I've not met them. 

That said for context ...

The recent news of degrading women Marines et al., on social media I've seen and digested. 

Not happy about it. At all. 

In short, what was once contained to squadbay foot and wall lockers is now in the cloud lockers. 

What yesterday was limited to a (controllable) tiny unit audience is today a (practically uncontrollable) global audience.

Statements addressing this intolerable, destructive nonsense and reiterating the demand for mutual respect from senior Marines and others, I've heard and read. 

Yesterday was a long travel day - airports and airplanes. Time to ponder. 

The matter is complex but it is not. The tangential, and there's plenty of that ongoing, a distraction. 

The heart of this "problem" was bluntly and eloquently addressed, comprehensively, more than 25 years ago by an indisputable authority. So, common sense timeless perspective lives to guide today's leadership. 

The real problem is, and has been, ignoring the experience, insight, and reflective wisdom of this leader (some ridiculously label dinosaur). 

In short, simple facts, truths, reality, common sense, and true leadership (never easy) not only preclude but solve most all problems. 

Maybe, just maybe, leadership (not just Marine) - for the macro message - needs to watch again. And again. And again. And again.

Offered in previous commentaries but time; again. 

"Solomon" reflects ... 


The high ground and "high ground" is not easily attacked nor handily surrendered.

Walt Whitman's opening thought germane. 


Tom Hickinbotham said...

And to those who do not learn from the past, are bound to repeat it. Add recruit training abuse in the last year to the mix... This is a recipe for organizational suicide.

Ken Plato said...

Whoever prepared the commandant for his testimony before Congress yesterday should be fired. He should have been prepared to answer those questions from the female members of the that committee with something more than “I don’t have a good answer. That’s on me. I take responsibility.” Weak. Made it look like the MC really wasn’t doing anything in response to this disgusting scandal. What it really looked like on TV is the MC is run by a bunch of old guys (good ol’ boys) who don’t know how to respond to today’s digital world. Gen Neller - what exactly is the Marine Corps doing in response to this behavior so destructive to our Corps?