Gen. (Ret.) Richard B. Myers: on the futility of swatting blogs (January 22, 2014)

Gen. (Ret.) Richard B. Myers: on the consequences of defeat (January 25, 2014)

General (Retired) Richard B. Myers, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking

at the Ike Skelton lecture on the campus of the University of Central Missouri on January 22, 2014.

On Wednesday, January 22nd in Warrensburg General (Retired) Richard B. Myers, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presented the Ike Skelton Lecture on the campus of the University of Central Missouri. He spoke at length, then answered submitted questions from the audience (read from the podium by Brigadier General Thomas Bussiere), and then took questions directly from the audience.

Earlier in the morning General Myers took questions from the media in a short press conference.

One of the questions from the audience:


Question: [from audience, inaudible]

General (Retired) Richard B. Myers: Okay, the question was, uh, uh, what advice could I give to, to folks that are gonna be serving today when we’re gonna have such big changes in our defense budget and, uh, the, the shape of the force to come.

Uh, I think one is, you know, to, to know your history a little bit and know that things do go in cycles, a lot of things do. Uh, the defense budget’s one of those things that goes in cycles. And that, uh, it’s going down or leveling off now when it’s been relatively high. We’ve had, uh, a lot of resources to do what we need to do. Uh, so, to realize you’re, you’re, where you are in that trend and, and then, um, to know things have to change to still be an effective force and still fulfill the security needs of the country, things are gonna have to change. So, I think it, it gives you impetus, uh, to think about new ways of, of doing business where if you weren’t budget constrained you might not think of, you might be, you might continue something that’s a little bit more inefficient. So I, I look at it as great opportunities for doing things, especially if, uh, it sounds like a young voice, I can’t you out there, but, it’s a, especially if you’re young or are relatively new to all of this, um, you have these fresh eyes, you’re out of your academic, uh, preparation, you’ve been in the field for a while, you’ve seen some things that, why, why do we do it this way, why do we do it that way. It gives you a chance I think to, to start to make those, uh, those, those changes that, that, that might help, you know, move us forward. I think with that it takes a, a certain amount of, uh, intellectually agility because you’ve been programmed through your, uh, training so far to think a certain way. You know the doctrine and so forth. And the doctrine’s useful but it’s not gonna be, it’s not gonna probably take us in the next couple of decades. We’re gonna have to continue to think about what our doctrine is, what our standard operating procedures are, and those are probably gonna have to change. And they probably should….


Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.