|Regrettably, many of the suggestions drawn from Mr. Robel's review of the cited works of military speculative fiction and put forward in the fourth and concluding installation of "Military Science Fiction and the Army Transformation" are not practicable.
Inherent in the majority of Mr. Robels lessons and recommendations is the presumption that it is both possible and desirable to create within the U.S. Army combatant units composed largely - no, make that *OVERWHELMINGLY* - of long-service troops, each unit drawing upon those of its personnel potentially capable of being developed as non-commissioned and commissioned officers during the course of their military careers.
The principal fly in the otherwise emollient ointment is the fact that in even a moderately prosperous economy, there are civilian sector opportunities which tend to draw from the ranks of the serving military *PRECISELY* the kinds of people upon whom Mr. Robel would rely for leadership in such long-service units as he proposes. Beyond this, though there will always be a hard core of highly capable military officers and enlisted personnel who sustain their careers out of professional and patriotic dedication, the image of the long-serving "Lifer" - the fellow who's found a home in the Army simply because he cannot compete in the Real World - evokes well-justified scorn and is ghodawfully robust. The military has always tended to accumulate deadweight, including (as anyone with a history of active service can confirm) people who have risen to positions of authority not due to capability but as the result of having learned how to "game" the bureaucratic system.
Beyond this, of course, is the fact that the system tends to crush out genuinely innovative people. Combat arms in particular have always been conservative in mindset - and for good reason; fancy damnfoolishness tends to lead to fiasco, and gets people killed without getting objectives attained. It's only in wartime - when things get desperate - that the Colonel Blimp types and the DoD suits with MBA degrees give the oddballs enough freedom to explore new avenues of attack. In times of peace there is precious little incentive for the true "outside-the-box" thinker to remain in such a fundamentally hostile environment.
Nothing of Mr. Robel's discussion addresses the problems posed by these characteristics of the U.S. Army establishment. As for longevity of service in a unit (building unit cohesion), I would draw attention to Army Regulation 600-82, establishing the U.S. Army Regimental System (USARS), which - together with the COHORT (COHesion, Operational Readiness and Training) Unit Movement System - became part of The New Manning System in 1981. This was supposed to address concerns of unit cohesiveness and a soldier's identification with a particular regiment or corps. If it hasn't accomplished what Mr. Robel would like to see, it's worthwhile considering why it hasn't, and what might be done to supplant it with something that does.