The Armed Services Officer, Chapter 3: Responsibility and privilege, pp. [27]-[33]:  This is the chapter where the practical starts stepping in and the theoretical becomes a little less of a high flight.

When I went to school at Texas A & M University, there used to be two acronyms floating around campus: ‘R.H.I.P.’ and ‘R.H.I.R.’ and stood for “Rank hath its responsibilities” and “Rank hath its privileges”.  In the common parlance, they were both terms that were supposed to encourage stoicism: do your job, no matter how distasteful or inconvenient, and don’t look at what others have that you don’t.  Unspoken in the Corps of Cadets, I think, was that what you don’t have you can get by assuming the responsibilities of each progressive year at A & M.

The ASO tracks a theoretical progress out in real situations.  Some officers are in situations where promotion might be faster or slower, just as in business promotion.  The ASO is very direct on this point.

There is a comon saying. . . that greater privileges grow out of larger responsibilities, and that the latter justify the former.  This is part truth and part fable.
In military organization, as in industry, business, and political life, the more important a man’s position, the more lavish he is likely to be in his office appointments and living arragements, and the greater the care that is apt to be taken in freeing him of trifling annoyances.
But that is only partly because of the need for thim to conserve his time and energy.  When men are successful, they like the good things. of life.  Why deny it?

So a combination of incentivizing (“privilege a reward for effort and enterprise”) and efficiency create the trappings of higher office.  Rank is like a double-sided suitcase, with higher rank meaning more baggage.  And at one point, baggage is used as an example: 

In the early stages of World War II, it was not unusual to see a junior officer walking on the public sidewalk, hands free and looking important, while his wife tagged along, trying to keep up, though laden like a pack mule.  This was because somone had told him that is was not in keeping with an officer’s dignity to be seen heavily burdened.  In the nature of things, anyone so lacking in gallantry as that would stimulate very little respect for the officer corps. [29-30].

I think the unspoken part of this example (ha ha) is that anyone who treats his wife that poorly is bound to be a burden on the troops he commands as well.  A similar reading of Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty, under feminist lines, compares the fate of the unlucky horse through various owners as an exploration of the plight of women across class and personality of “owner”.  But never mind that now:  the idea is that there are universal codes of conduct, and those whose fortunes are somewhat dictated by a leader will invariably scrutinize that leader for indicators of fairness, temperament, style, and content.  Along with assessment, those observers begin to calculate a rudimentary comparison of benefits conferred and responsibilities undertaken: a ratio of efficiency factors versus prestige factors, and a ratio of prestige factors to contributions made.  It is a calculation that stock owners need to make with the presidents of companies, voters make when in the voting booth, and HR representatives make when deciding whom to hire and whom to promote.   The ASO notes in particular however, the friction between leaders and their staffs with this problem:

What puts most of the grit into the machinery isn’t that privileges exist, but that they are exercised too often by persons who are not motivated by a passionate sense of duty.  . . . .  [28]
In recent years, we have learned a lot about American manpower. (. . .) American young men when brought into military organization do not resent rank and are amenable to authority.  Indeed, they expect that higher authority will have certain advantages not comon to the rank-and-file, because that is normal in society in all of its workday relationships.
But they do not like to have their noses rubbed in it by officers who, having no real moral claim on authority, try to exhibit it by pushing other people around.  And when that happens, our men get their backs up.  And they wouldn’t be worth a hoot in hades if they didn’t.  [28-29].

Then the rest of this chapter talks about American military culture as it modifies this explanation of rank and privilege:

It is a paramount and overriding responsibility of every officer to take care of his men before caring for himself.  . . .  Hw deeply does this rule cut?  In line of duty, it applies right down to the hilt.  When a command is worn, bruised, and hungry, officers attend to their men’s creature comforts and make sure that all is going well, before looking to their own needs.  If a command is so located that recreational facilities are extremely limited and there are not enough to go around, the welfare of the ranks takes priority over the interests of their commissioned leaders. 

 Preserving service reputation is also included in this chapter, where poor conduct by a member of the armed services can be corrected by an officer who is using “judgement, tact, and [a required] nerve.”  Likewise, an officer has a duty to befriend a service member who has been left in uncomfortable or dangerous straits, such as a picked pocket or transportation delay from leave.   

The last set of adjurations in this chapter deal with skipping rank to get things done.  Quite frankly, in public life this is less understood, but generally true: any time you skip a supervisor, you are asking for trouble.  But there are ways and ways . . . 

And even though people who work for bosses could use much of this advice, far more could bosses in the private world take these maxims to heart.  Because in essence, they are about a strict, but essentially servant-based, leadership.

And if I had been that J.O.’s wife, I would have clonked him with this portmanteau.

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