|Hon. James N. Mattis|
Secretary of Defense
Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis has issued a memorandum on the importance of maintaining discipline. Excerpt:
Enforcing standards. is a critical component of making our force more lethal. Our leaders must uphold proven standards. They should know the difference between a mistake and a lack of discipline. If a subordinate makes a mistake, leaders should learn to coach them better. But we must not tolerate or ignore lapses in discipline, for our enemies will benefit if we do not correct and appropriately punish substandard conduct. Time, inconvenience, or administrative burdens are no excuse for allowing substandard conduct to persist.Why was this memo written? What does it mean? It refers to "the cancer of sexual misconduct." Is it an effort to nudge commanders to take more cases to court?
The military justice system is a powerful tool that preserves good order and discipline while protecting the civil rights of Service members. It is a commander's duty to use it. Military leaders must not interfere with individual cases, but fairness to the accused does not prevent military officers from appropriately condemning and eradicating malignant behavior from our ranks. Leaders must be willing to choose the harder right over the easier wrong. Administrative actions should not be the default method to address illicit conduct simply because it [sic] is less burdensome than the military justice system. Leaders cannot be so risk-averse that they lose their focus on forging disciplined troops ready to ferociously and ethically defeat our enemies on the battlefield.
H/T to Military Times for the heads up.