Military Officers Face a New Evaluation
Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is leading important changes following recent scandals involving high-ranking officers. This is part of training and development programs for generals and admirals. They will include new courses to train the security detail,
executive staffs and even the spouses of senior officers.
Saying he was disturbed about the misconduct issues, General Dempsey said that evaluations of top officers needed to go beyond the traditional assessment of professional performance by superior officers alone. He said that he had decided the changes were necessary “to assess both
competence and character in a richer way”.
“You can have someone of incredible character who can’t lead their way out of a forward operating base because they don’t have the competence to understand the application of military power, and that doesn’t do me any good”, General Dempsey said. “Conversely, you can have someone who is intensely competent in the skills of the profession, but doesn’t live a life of character. And that doesn’t do me any good.”
General Dempsey said that regular professional reviews would be transformed from top-down assessments to the kind of “360-degree performance evaluation”, which includes feedback from subordinates, peers and superiors. For the new training programs, he said that while it may be impossible to prevent infractions, “most officers need to be reminded of the rules and regulations on a routine basis”.
Teams of inspectors will observe and review the procedures of commanders and their staffs. The inspections will not be punitive, but will provide a “periodic opportunity for general officers to understand whether, from an institutional perspective, we think they are inside or outside the white lines”, he said. In addition, new programs will be instituted to ensure that a commander’s staff, and a spouse, are fully aware of military regulations.
“In my 39 years in the military, I have learned that you are not a profession just because you say you are. You have to earn it and re-earn it and re-evaluate it from time to time”, General Dempsey said.
Adapted from www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/us
According to the Macmillan English Dictionary Online, the word issue has the following definitions. Read them and answer the question below.
1. a problem that needs to be considered.
2. a magazine that is published at a particular time.
3. a set of things that are available to people at a particular time.
4. (formal) the act of officially giving something to someone.
5. (legal) someone’s children
According to the text, a 360-degree performance evaluation (paragraph 4)
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