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Now, what's the military problem? The military problem is to think in terms of the usage in terms of power of a technology which is changing in these kinds of terms. In other words, the military today has the problem of turning into social terms the fastest-changing technology that the world has ever seen. This is what the military mind is occupied with. It is occupied, in other words, with a world in which over a twenty-year span there has been the most enormous paradox that there ever has been in history. They are dealing with a world which technology has shrunk until it is so small that we can go around it in hours and communicate with one another through outer space. Yet, at the same time, the world over that period of time has been growing as fast as it has been shrinking in social terms. It has been getting larger in terms of numbers of coun. tries. It has been getting larger in terms of numbers of people, and it has been getting larger in terms of the numbers of people that we care about.
So what does the military mind think about? The military mind thinks about the relationship between this technology, as I suggest, and its impact socially and psychologically and economically and politically on the world in which they live. But they have to take a step beyond this. The military today also has to be able to think in terms of training missions the world over, a more complicated problem than is faced in any other profession because he may be training at one time in South America, at another time in the Far East, and at still another in Africa or in Europe. He has got to know more than most economists know in terms of international economics-he must know village economics, and he must know how people eat, and he must know village sociology, and he must know village politics, and he must know the history of regions, and he must know the prejudices of regions, the theology of peoples, what motivates them, what they think about; he must know what they want to be so that he can help them to be the kind of people they really want to be.
This, then, is the world of the military. There is no profession which is more intellectual than this one, and that is why I suggest that the military mind really doesn't have very much time on its brain cells so to speak, to be worrying about taking over the government or starting world wars. It is really much more con. cerned with meeting the ever-increasing demands and responsibilities thrust upon this nation.
GRADUATION ADDRESS BY WILFRED J. MONEIL, FORMER COMPTROLLER OF THE
DEFENBE DEPARTMENT, TO THE INDUSTRIAL COLLEGE OF THE ARMED FORCES, WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 9, 1964
General Schomburg, distinguished guests, faculty, gentlemen of the student body.
It was a great honor for each of you to have been selected to attend this school. It is a still greater honor to be graduating today, and I consider it a unique privilege to be able to join with you in this graduation ceremony.
You have had the opportunity of a year's study seldom available in the business world or elsewhere for that matter. To many an individual, this year would be something to cherish all one's life and many a commercial enterprise could well and profitably undertake such a program.
With a year's hard but satisfying work behind you, you may properly return to your careers with pride and a sense of accomplishment. Certainly, you go to your new duties better equipped to contribute to the solution of the problems of national security.
Postwar, James Forrestal, then Secretary of the Navy, felt deeply that a true way to achieve a more effective military establishment was to create an environment where responsible officers of each of the military services—together with a leavening of senior people from other Government Agencies—might live and work together in an academic atmosphere of the broadest character. He collaborated with Secretary of War Stimson in broadening the field of the Industrial College, and in establishing the National War College, your sister school across the way. While the Industrial College had a long and illustrious career under Army cognizance it is gratifying to see the results of this effort to broaden its field and encouraging to find the close and cooperative relationship that exists between these two senior schools today.
It is often the habit of a graduation speaker to compare the problems that faced graduates of other years. Let us look at those that existed at the time that the College was first identified as the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. There were many grievous problems confronting the nation.. Greece was fighting the Communist insurrection; Iran was being pressed by Stalin for an oil agreement; Turkey was under direct Soviet pressure; Hungary had just succumbed to the Communists and freedom in Czechoslovakia was being rapidly undermined ; Britain was virtually bankrupt; Italy was near chaos, the De Gasperi government, Italy's eighth since the liberation, was under violent attack by the Communists; the Yugoslavs were threatening the free territory of Trieste; South China was hard pressed and the unification of Korea had reached a stalemate.
Many of the problems of that day were solved. Economies of many of those countries are at new high levels. In many, political stability—then only a distant goal-has been achieved. Today, the names and some of the problems are different, but they are no less in significance. Then, as now, the broad viewpoint, the mutual understanding and the trained mind offer the best chance for successful solutions.
The Department of Defense must ever be more dependent upon those who are competent in matters you have studied here. With rising costs, increasing complexity of equipment, greater problems of logistic support, those in charge must have adequate knowledge and background to ensure effectiveness.
The present tendency to increasingly greater civilian control, over both defense planning and execution, must be tempered by an increasingly skilled and competent Officer Corps. The need was never greater for fully professional men. There is a necessity for the realism of the true professional.
Civilian control is a principle, of course, that underlies our military forces. But compatible with this must be recognition of the fact that the most effective defense establishment is one where the skills and talents which can be found only among uniformed personnel, are integrated with other skills which normally are more highly developed in civilian enterprises.
The military must accept the fact that participation in more precise and objective ways of service and joint planning is now an essential element of their military profession and their duty. On the part of civilian authority, there must be an enlightened attitude toward acceptance of advice in planning and in operations, together with an understanding of what it takes beyond material resources to build and direct fighting forces. They must learn to evaluate military judgment.
Our national defense is as much a matter of strong and dynamic ideas as it is weapons systems, bases and manpower. If we lack a wealth of ideas, our wealth of the material means of defense will be meaningless.
These ideas must be cultivated at every level of our defense system. They must be encouraged and must flow with relative freedom to the very top levels of government where they can compete for acceptance.
Recently, there seems to be a dangerous tendency in our defense to try to anticipate what is wanted from the top and then supply it. In this kind of "give me what I want" atmosphere we lose many valuable ideas and the benefit of many points of view, each based on a particular perspective and framework of experience. And, perhaps, of greater importance, well trained and incisive people are discouraged from further attempts at unpatterned thinking.
Not only is it important to encourage this upward thrust of ideas in order to select and implement the best but it is also important that we use this process to develop alternate means of action. Circumstances and technology are moving too rapidly for us to rely on any single concept as the “only" or the “ultimate" means of national defense. In our arsenal of ideas there must be material that can be adapted and used to meet any threat and varied circumstances. The speed at which these technological changes and shifting circumstances occur make the need for the free development of ideas even more imperative.
The proof of these maxims is all around us. Many a business, nation, civilization lies buried because there were too many people saying "yes" when they should have been persenting vigorously alternate views and ideas.
Over the years I have been impressed by the quality of many of the reports coming from the several committees of students. They have shown original and provocative thinking. In fact, some have been so timely and dealt so competently with problems that were so troublesome that it was a great temptation not to ask that they be made available for staff use in the Government. As a matter of fact, and as an exception, one report was so outstanding that Secre tary Wilson and Admiral Radford made it "required” reading for senior civilian and military officials in the Pentagon. While the College is right in taking the position that such reports should not generally be circulated outside the school, I fervently hope that ideas of the kind introduced in such studies are injected into the workstream from your new duty stations.
In the high tradition of this college, you have been able to let your mind range over a wide variety of complex problems in this business of defense. Yours has been the task, as Admiral Macdonald said on opening day, of learning to appreciate the interdependence, one upon the other, of all the varied components of our overall national strength.
I am sure that many outstanding lecturers who have appeared before you have made you more aware of the political and economic factors that affect military decisions. You have had the opportunity-both factual and psychological to examine more freely the elements that foster economic growth and stability in a free enterprise economy such as ours. You know that military policy can never be divorced from economic and fiscal policy. You are better able to realize the value of the proper management of resources and the importance of sound judgment in their allocation and use. There is no more unproductive way of spending money and wasting resources than to undertake programs which lack supervision and skill in the preparation or which are unwisely directed.
Wise old Benjamin Franklin wrote a parable on this point which is worth repeating. He describes “how to make a striking sundial by which not only a man's own family, but all his neighbors for ten miles round, may know what o'clock it is, when the sun shines, without seeing the dial.
“Choose an open place in your yard or garden, on which the sun may shine all day without any impediment from trees or buildings. On the ground, mark out your hour lines, making room enough for the guns. On the line for one o'clock, place one gun; on the two o'clock line two guns, and so of the rest. The guns must all be charged with powder, but ball is unnecessary. Your style
must have twelve burning glasses annexed to it, and be so arranged that the sud shining through the glasses, one after the other, shall cause the focus or burning spot to fall on the hour line of one for example, at one o'clock, and there kindle a train of gunpowder that shall fire one gun. At two o'clock, a focus shall fall on the hour line of two, and kindle another train that shall discharge two guns successively; and so of the rest.
"Note, there must be 78 guns in all. Thirty-two pounders will be best for this use; but 18 pounders may do, and will cost less, as well as use less powder.
“Note, also, that the chief expense will be the powder, for the cannons once bought will, with care, last 100 years.
"Note, moreover, that there will be a great saving of powder in cloudy days.
"Kind reader, me thinks I hear thee say, that is indeed a good thing to know how the time passes, but this kind of dial, notwithstanding the above mentioned savings, would be very expensive, and the cost greater than the advantage. Thou are wise, my friend, to be so considerate beforehand; some fools would not have found out so much, till they had made the dial and tried it. Let all such learn that many a private and many a public project is like this striking dial, great cost for little profit."
The points to remember are that you are the trustees of the confidence and support which the public gives you; that there is the wrong way and the right way to size up and approach a problem ; that objective analysis as well as competent performance are your duty; that no degree of genius or expertise is too great to be challenged and that ideas should be filtered through the only policy computer yet devised—the minds of responsible leaders.
As General Wheeler pointed out to last year's Graduation class: "You have bad the opportunity to attain a broad viewpoint and to develop a 'trained mind' which Clausewitz said is essential to survive in the element of war.” May you continue to develop these attributes, for they are essential to our nation and its safety.
You take with you from this College, a knowledge of the close relationship between command and management. In fact, in many fields these terms are almost synonymous. You know of the great progress that the theory and capabilities of the management of resources has made in the military services since World War II. You are aware of the dangers of over-management and overcontrol. You will avoid situations where the computer becomes the masternot the servant, because you know the value of people and the application of judgment. You know that technology can fail, but leadership as characterized by the individual, must not. With this background, you have an unusual opportunity for service.
This College has given you the unequalled ability of knowing each other and those you serve. The mutual understanding and the broadened viewpoint that must be a product of your year here, will be reflected in your future service. I would hope that these qualities are never lost as you again become involved in the day-to-day problems of command and staff.
From every viewpoint, you return to other duties with greatly enhanced qualities for service to your country, and as you go, I congratulate you and your family and wish each of you good fortune and success.