The Path to Victory: America's Army and the Revolution in Human Affairs Hardcover – Apr 5 2002
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About the Author
Donald Vandergriff is an active duty army officer currently serving as deputy director of army ROTC at Georgetown University. He is the author of Spirit, Blood and Treasure.
Top Customer Reviews
Despite the effectiveness and timeliness of this book, it does have a couple of significant (and related) weaknesses. First, despite the meticulous endnoting, it is difficult to sort out which ideas are Vandergriff's own and which derive from his multitude of sources. The sorting can be done, but, if done thoroughly, would require the reader actually to construct an "idea matrix" from the endnotes as he goes along.
Second, this is a work with 796 (!) endnotes -- but with no bibliography at all. All in all, Presidio Press has made the book quite difficult -- unnecessarily difficult -- to use as a reference. This does detract somewhat from its value as a synthesis of ideas and guide for follow-on work. Fortunately, these weaknesses detract very little from the overall message.
Highly recommended. (But if there's a second edition, could we please have a good solid bibliography?)
Although this book is primarily written to an Army audience it has applicability to all the Services. No other book has hit the target like this book. Many other books have alluded to problems, but Vandergriff digs deep to find the underlying reasons and causes of this dysfunctional system. He also provides solutions.
"The responsibility for military planning, direction and execution falls most heavily on the officer corps. The officer corps is critical to combat operations. It is the officer corps that reflects the values and characteristics of the military. If the corps is corrupt or incompetent, the whole army [military] will be also." As the Duke of Wellington supposedly remarked: "There are no bad troops--only bad officers." "Military excellence has always depended upon an officer corps which could think creatively about war--one that understood and practiced the art of war." Many of the deficiencies in our defense must be traced to problems in the officer corps.
Although, one can argue that many of the egregious problems of the officer corps in the Vietnam War have been corrected, many of the systemic problems have not. Several surveys done by the Army and the USAF since 1970 indicate there are still significant problems in the officer corps. Certainly, civilians in the Defense Department, the Congress (DOPMA) and the Executive Branch share the responsibility for our defense inadequacies, but a significant portion of these problems must be traceable to deficiencies in the organizational structure and within culture which officers are created, developed, and promoted.
That does NOT mean that most officers are individually to blame.Read more ›
... ... Readers with an ounce of imagination can easily draw parallels between MAJ Vandergriff's recommendations for strengthening unit cohesion - the prime determinant of how well a group of soldiers does in combat - and how their companies are organized and run. His suggestions for improving the selection, retention, and promotion of officers could also, with just a little wordsmithing, make any corporation more competitive.
People, not technologies and not lines on the org chart, are the first duty of any CEO...
Most recent customer reviews
BG Upton Failed, MAJ Vandergriff will not! Great book!11 The pending war, excepting, for Army to take the lead promote Vandergriff-MacGregor (COL-Braeking The Phalanx-at Ndu in... Read morePublished on Jan. 31 2003 by CPT Wheeler, U.S. Army-INF
Vandergriff exemplifies what Sec Def Rumsfeld says he wants-innovation & moral courage! I was in from 59 to87-Right on target-cease fire! Read morePublished on Dec 8 2002 by BG
An excellent book for even the unmilitary.The research is outstanding and gives the reader a good view of the present military. Read morePublished on Sept. 26 2002 by hb newell
Path to Victory is extensively researched, concisely written, and wonderfully appropriate to the current debate over the future transformation of the Army. Read morePublished on Aug. 7 2002
A very interesting set of ideas for changing the Army's human resources related systems and process. Read morePublished on July 1 2002 by Kindle Customer
It takes considerable courage for a serving officer in the U.S. Army to criticize the institution as well as the culture to which he belongs. Read morePublished on June 4 2002 by John G. Wilcox