Leadership: May 7, 2000

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Only 2,857 of the 1.37 million men and women currently on active duty have Vietnam combat experience. Within ten years there will be none. In the last only four of the 43 generals and admirals have served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff were not Vietnam veterans. Most of the coming generation of military leaders have not "seen the elephant" (been in combat.) In the past, this has meant that combat leadership in a future war will be shaky, since a lack of direct experience with combat leads to more bad, and costly, decisions under fire.

 


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