Presidents need “Marshall Men” not Charlatans 

Having spent a bit of time working beside people at some of the highest levels of government in DC, but being a native of the lands outside the bubble, I often study the people selected and appointed by our presidents and lawmakers to develop national and international policy as well as lead the American people in various federal agencies. 

Time and again I see our federal leaders surround themselves with too many self-serving bootlickers and charlatans masquerading as strategists and national security or foreign policy experts. 

This administration, like the last two, is no exception. While the President has wisely chosen some amazing and selfless cabinet members and a solid national security advisor he still unfortunately relies (like others before) on amateurs and self-serving loudmouths that have little to no real experience in national security, foreign policy, or leadership of America’s most prized possession—its people.  These selfish people are easy to spot as they seem to always be working on their personal brand and are not respected by real leaders in DC or across the globe in our military and diplomatic outposts. (For example some of the current “advisor and assistant” batch are considered a joke by real practitioners at Fort Bragg.)

I would recommend all leaders across the government and especially in the White House watch this video about how “Marshall Men” can be identified and selected to run our government and drive our foreign and domestic policy. 

We can’t afford to have our policy decided by idiots posing as experts. Calm wisdom  and selfless service counts in the big game.  Our president deserves only the best advice. 

—–video link—

Noted scholar and author Steve Taaffe discussed the criteria General Marshall used to select Army combat commanders who led Allied forces in Europe and the Pacific during World War II.


The George C. Marshall Foundation at Lexington VA recently hosted this historian and he beautifully outlines the process that then General Marshall used to choose the senior commanders that would win the war rapidly and with a small loss of life when compared to other wars and nation’s casualties. 

According to Dr Taaffe, Marshall chose senior leaders based on four major considerations beyond their record of achievement in previous commands and staff assignments. 

To be selected to command a Corps or above for General Marshall in WWII 

1. (First and foremost) Character-ability to lead when all goes to hell

2. Education (not commissioning source) but attendance at schools that prepare you for command

3. Youthful stamina over elderly-ness (avg age early 50s, youngest 45) (see book about the disease of generalship and its cures by Fuller)

4. Personal knowledge of the officer by Marshall or a trusted person, must have had the  full confidence of commanders above them, and maintain it

Issues that were not considered for high command selection:

1. background (nationality, ethnicity, ancestral heritage)

2. membership in any branch, faction, or clique in the military or legacy family

3. combat experience 

4. introverted, outgoing, unconventional, or peculiar personalities 

Is this selection method perfect?  Should your organization try to emulate this model?

Only 5 of the 38 commanders left their command early for negative reasons. Of those 5, Four left for mostly personal disagreements with their boss. Only 1 of 38 leaders was relieved for failure in battle and is seen by the majority of historians as a failed general. 

#leadership #command #marshall #potus #army #dos #dod #GCMF 

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