Jim Kraft, Minot
A position of the Republicans, in the talks on government spending, has been no cuts in defense. The automatic cuts (sequester) did rip into the defense budget. To suggest a department as large as defense, cannot be cut without damage to our national security, is folly.
At the end of the Vietnam War, an Army colonel by the name of David Hackworth, suggested the military do away with their annual appraisal system. In the appraisal system the supervisor must write a short story to support the appraisal given. It must be written in a unique style to pass reviews of which there are usually two. It is typical for a supervisor to spend an entire eight-hour day in preparing a draft for review. I personally witnessed 44 rewrites of an appraisal. Sometimes the reviews are used as an opportunity to pick at the supervisor.
The written appraisal is most often much embellishment, tall stories, exaggeration and brag of someone who just did their job. It is more a writing exercise than an appraisal and has value as a writing exercise if you can afford it. We can't. Business and other government agencies do not require such pomp and show. Tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, could be saved by discontinuing the practice. Morale would get a boost for the majority of members.