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Old 08-18-2017, 03:39 PM
 
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I get that the vast majority are enlisted and stay in either long enough just for benefits and the like, but what kind of people actually manage to do all that's required to become a General/Admiral etc.?
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:03 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debnor View Post
I get that the vast majority are enlisted and stay in either long enough just for benefits and the like, but what kind of people actually manage to do all that's required to become a General/Admiral etc.?
In the U.S. Military, there are approximately 1,429,995 active duty military and there are about 222 General's/Admiral's
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:31 PM
Status: ""Abortion Stops A Beating Heart!"" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Kansas
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What kind of people? Well, my son went to basic training for the Army Reserve in the summer of 1994 after his junior year in high school. He continued with the Army Reserve through his senior year and in college which he completed in 3 years going year round. He was enlisted for all of this time. He then became an officer in the active Army. I don't remember for how many years, and then returned to the Army Reserve and went home to complete some more education and was once again in the active Army Reserve. After that year or two, he went full-time active Reserve and has remained in that capacity at age 39 making LTC. He has nearly enough credits, a couple more years, I think, and he'll be eligible for retirement. I think he is on the list for colonel now, but says it will take awhile to make that. I suspect he'll remain in, but he might get fed up and retire, just depends.

What kind of people? People with a plan to get that far who don't mind putting up with the crap that the military dishes out. I was in the military, and I was not the kind that could put up with the crap that they dished out! I have heard the best way to deal with it is "learn to play the game", and I wasn't much for "games".
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Hard aground in the Sonoran Desert
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General/Admiral isn't in the career path of an enlisted military member. Why enlisted stay in has nothing to do with what is required to become a flag officer.

Flag Officers are the top of the career path for commissioned officers. An officer staying in long enough, performing well, taking the proper assignments, and good politics in the wardroom are what is required to make it to the top of the officer ranks.
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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While enlisted people do sometimes go on to be commissioned officers, it's rare for them to rise to "flag rank" (general, admiral).

It takes some luck along with willingness to learn to do the "next job up the line" for a long time to get to flag rank. And senior management skills, which you can learn if you want, but come to some more readily than others.

For most enlisted people, making it to E-9 is probably a more realistic "stretch goal" - and this is not an easy goal, only the top 1% of enlisted people can be E-9.
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Old 08-18-2017, 07:50 PM
 
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Smart people make general. Really smart like a patreus or a swartzkoph
Able to integrate and connect things that others may not see
Ambitious and competitive. Think 'the immortal' movie and TV series. "There can be only one"
Loyal and personable. They may be introverts but they have great people skills. Tell great stories
Inspire confidence from troops and officers. Good officers became great under GEN Powell for example.
political. Cautious in making decisions. Every good general I worked for would ask "how will this reflect on the Army" before making a decision.
Energy a good work ethic. Vitalty strong quick
Good memories. Long memories. Would shake things up when they needed
Lots of self confidence and confidence in your people

Most of the others skills and attributes needed are sorted out as young officers make their way up the chain. Basically you and your family are part of something bigger than yourself

I was a Protocol officer and served in staff positions for many general officers and they were all different. Some were people oriented, you could look up from your desk or foxhole and they would be there. Some were strategic thinkers and planners. Some were good trainers and get the job done type people. The Army knew what they needed in upcoming years and started tagging Colonel level based upon perceived. Future needs. They basically could look into your soul probably because they had been there.

The sorting out process to get to the top is rough. They are not all spectacular or nice but those who make to the 3 and 4 star level are really special. I think that is what you were asking anyway
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Old 08-18-2017, 09:03 PM
 
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They are driven, motivated, disciplined, competitive and they excel.
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:02 PM
 
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People who make flag ranks are almost always extremely intelligent.

In addition to being intelligent, they are usually workaholics with extreme type A personalities. It's not uncommon to see these individuals searching out the most challenging and demanding jobs.

The third and most important trait is their political skills. Being a senior officer in the service is heavily dependent on your political skills and how well you can play the promotion game.

They are usually groomed from the time they are junior Officers to be competitive for flag ranks. You could be the smartest officer in the world but you won't make it far without people in your camp.

So it breaks down to being extremely intelligent with workaholic tendencies and high political skills. That's who you usually find at the top.
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Old 08-20-2017, 04:07 AM
 
1,185 posts, read 368,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
What kind of people? Well, my son went to basic training for the Army Reserve in the summer of 1994 after his junior year in high school. He continued with the Army Reserve through his senior year and in college which he completed in 3 years going year round. He was enlisted for all of this time. He then became an officer in the active Army. I don't remember for how many years, and then returned to the Army Reserve and went home to complete some more education and was once again in the active Army Reserve. After that year or two, he went full-time active Reserve and has remained in that capacity at age 39 making LTC. He has nearly enough credits, a couple more years, I think, and he'll be eligible for retirement. I think he is on the list for colonel now, but says it will take awhile to make that. I suspect he'll remain in, but he might get fed up and retire, just depends.

What kind of people? People with a plan to get that far who don't mind putting up with the crap that the military dishes out. I was in the military, and I was not the kind that could put up with the crap that they dished out! I have heard the best way to deal with it is "learn to play the game", and I wasn't much for "games".
Only if you plan on making it a career and beyond. I'm glad I made it to retirement and RETIRED! I got fed up with all of it and refused to play the azz-kissing games also. I made it to a Senior Enlisted rank, but I know some who made it all the way to E-9 by doing 25% of their actual job and 75% networking, working special duties, back stabbing their peers, kissing the right azz, volunteering for as many deployments as possible thus not making their families priority, etc. But hey, if those are their priorities to get to the top and not during any of their time reaching their "goal" they thought to at least get a 2 year college degree (because there is life after the military), hey... to each his own....smh

Officers are a little different because most are groomed from an early career to get the "right" assignments.

Last edited by Remington Steel; 08-20-2017 at 04:22 AM..
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Old 08-20-2017, 09:54 AM
 
4,666 posts, read 5,258,915 times
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You have a point. One 4 star commander I worked for had a business dinner in his quarters every night with local officials or politicians from DC or elsewhere. That is why the Army provided enlisted valet and cook. His poor wife was getting to where all she wanted was a family dinner. But she did her job and did a lot for soldiers wives and children.

Army business did not stop at 5pm. The brief case went home with the GO and would be picked up by an aide at 1100 pm and returned to the office and destributed out for the next day's work effort.

Army is a hard life, maybe a different kind of hard at that level. Time is not your own. Family has to be prioritized.

Some single GOs were notorious for sleeping at the office and working 24/7

And that is just in Garrison. We aren't even talking deployment and combat
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