It is one of those shocking German-American stories....that got reported yesterday.
The US Army in Europe....runs a headquarters here in the Wiesbaden area. Under the three-star....there is a chief-of-staff. Generally, this is the guy who coordinates the efficient running of the headquarters, notes problems and morale issues, keeps the three-star informed on daily and weekly events, and is the cog that makes a smooth or screwed-up operation. For any major Army unit....the chief-of-staff is the guy who makes wheel turn.
Well.....the US Army made the decision to ask the German Ministry of Defense to appoint a one-star German one-star general to be the USAREUR chief of staff.
What is generally said....via Stars and Stripes....details are yet to be worked out and it might take a few weeks to figure the general plan on this. I would imagine this would end up being a two-year assignment, and is mostly an experiment in the making.
Pay-back for the bad NSA episode? Maybe.
Some folks would admit that the Army in Europe (particularly the Wiesbaden area)....is under a spotlight and really needs to cleanse itself of 'problems'. Maybe a German view of things.....with schedules, standard operating procedures, and logical long-term thought decisions....might bring something new to the table.
Does this open the door for some German Air Force general to be next in line for Ramstein? I'd suggest that by summer of 2015....we might see such an act.
Rarely has the US ever allowed NATO officers or generals to be on the internal management side of their operation. Historically speaking....this goes all the way back to World War I, and it probably took an awful lot of talk in the Pentagon to convince the Army to accept this idea.
A difference in thinking and planning? Most Army generals are on a twelve-hour work-day.....seven days out of the week. They'd admit.....they get up around 5AM....read through their e-mail....do PT....run through seven different meetings prior to lunch....and probably meet at least forty different people per day. They'd also admit that they spend a lot of time on bad behavior episodes and trying to get the straight story on why Private Jones whooped up on several local nationals and how Private Jones can be adequately punished. For a general....it's not a pleasant job to manage day-to-day affairs....they'd all prefer to manage wartime scenarios and execute real mission activity.
What will this German one-star find? It might be five-star material for a fantastic book on military management and how one extreme style....met another extreme style....and transformed into something fairly different. Army social protocols might shift. Army welfare and recreation might suddenly go a step or two up. Army PT might suddenly be enjoyable (well, you could hope that). Maybe they'd even start a once-a-year march to Graf and back.
All of this....in the Wiesbaden area? Yeah......things might never be the same.