The military rank structure is an anachronism, and needs a major overhaul. Our current system of officer and enlisted is a left over from the days of feudalism, and being hundreds of years old in its basic concept, no longer fits into our modern society.

It used to be that officers were the educated gentry, and enlisted troops were illiterate proles who were little more than cannon fodder. During battles, it was once against the rules of combat to deliberately target officers, as it was believed that the officers were needed to keep the troops in check, or massacres would result. The concept of “officer and a gentleman” is used to assume that somehow, an officer is better than an enlisted man, and is thus entitled to better housing, food, and working conditions.

That is no longer how our society functions, nor is it how warfare functions. Gone for the most part are the days when enlisted troops were unable to read and write, and were good for nothing but serving as bullet stops. To become a commissioned officer requires one to have attended a college with an ROTC program, or have graduated from a service academy. During my time in the military, I knew some good officers. I also knew some officers who couldn’t lead a platoon of soldiers into a whorehouse without pissing them off.

Instead, a modern system of leadership and coordination could be used to overhaul the current system and make the management, leadership, and control of the armed forces more responsive, and better able to manage the war. Are there any businesses that are still using the same organizational structure that they were using 40 years ago? Our military has been using the structure that it has for over 200 years, and that structure itself was copied from European militaries who had been using it for hundreds of years as well. Something to think about.

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