August 29, 2011

Army Drones Not Just for Reconnaissance Anymore

Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler has seen fit to ban "toe shoes" according to the Army Times. Chandler, and his merry band of nanny state busybodies, don't like innovation:
“The decision was based on the lack of conformity with the Army’s conservative professional appearance,” said Hank Minitrez, a spokesman for Army G-1. “The Army continues to foster a professional, conservative, nonfaddish image in its soldiers, and they believe this type of shoe detracts from this appearance.”
How the Army can claim it's conservative and nonfaddish after DADT repeal is beyond me. I'll tell you what's non-faddish in the 21st Century: unimaginative drones who wouldn't know creativity if it stepped all over them. The only service to ban these shoes, you get the impression Army leaders are like a bunch of dinosaurs stomping around Jurassic Park waiting for the asteroid.

Central leadership is no match for the challenges of large, complex organizations where the demands of competitiveness require constant change and innovation. While I think "toe shoes" look goofy and agree they don't mesh with the conservative Army culture, military athletes swear by them.

All good organizations resist the impulse to micro-manage allowing maximum latitude at the periphery. I'd imagine that thousands of soldiers ARE operating in their own best interests and picked these shoes because they ultimately enhance fitness and reduce injury.

Given Lao Tzu's observation that the best leaders are those you barely know exist, perhaps it's time to ban the sergeant major and his board of directors.