It is a stressful time to be a General Officer in the United States Armed Forces. An Army Major General, Ryan Gonsalves, was on the short list to get his third star, or promotion to Brigadier General, when he abruptly inserted combat boot in mouth. An article asserts he made some colorfully blunt and condescending assessment of a Congressional delegation and particularly offended a female staffer. He should not have been so colorful. Perhaps he could have watched “A Few Good Men” for insight in how not to be condescending.
One gentlemen I know summed it up well. For millennia, men have used power to obtain sex; however, in the same time, women have used sex to obtain power. At the extremes we have seen abuses. Effective warriors in history, such as Alexander, Charlemagne, Ulysses S. Grant and Omar Bradley were effective leading people and changing the course of history. However, I would think that a general in the second decade of the Second Millennium would have some acumen. For the last two hundred years, the United States military has had civilians making policy, authorizing budgets, and setting priorities for national defense. Many times this has been contrary to the advise of the seasoned warriors who know that adversaries and potential adversaries respect the threat or the actual implementation of force.
Yet a parent’s advice to a child aggrieved about many things should still be a fundamental truth. Apparently, the wisdom of picking one’s battles carefully was not heeded by this general. Perhaps he reflects the current Commander-In-Chief in that regard. And unfortunately it seems, this general officer has learned that indeed, the “pen (to strike his name from consideration) IS mightier than the sword”.