Friday, September 22, 2006

Born Quitting?

Jim Webb's campaign, and Jim Webb himself, has said on numerous occasions that he spent 4 years in the Reagan administration. The first 3 years as one of many assistant Secretaries of Defense. The last 10 months was spent as Secretary of the Navy, a promotion in anybody's book.

What Mr. Webb and the campaign staff want to gloss over is his manner of departure from the position as Secretary of the Navy. I could go through all of the history, but in the interest of saving space and time, I'll instead direct you to a contemporaneous account from the Washington Post, (March 7, 1988).
Jim Webb - novelist, lawyer, decorated Vietnam veteran - quit his job as Navy secretary two weeks ago in a fiery barrage of moral outrage and personal frustration.

It was an explosive ending to a short, stormy tenure as the civilian chief of the Navy and Marine Corps. Although his resignation came abruptly, it did not surprise some colleagues who had watched the growing tensions between Webb and his boss, Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci.
You can read the entire article at the A-Team blog.

The Washington Post article also contains this little nugget. While I was aware of the circumstances surrounding his resignation, I learned from this article that he also quit his previous position as well.
Webb, 42, was recommended for the Navy post shortly after he quit the Pentagon job he'd held for three years as assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs.
Since his Marine career ended, Mr. Webb has held two political jobs. Both of which he resigned when he saw he could not get his way. Is this the temperament Virginians expect from their Senator? This Virginian doesn't think so.

I'll end this post with 2 quotes from Jim Webb.

On your (or anyone's) military career;
It [the military] functions not on money but on nonmaterial recognition. Do something good and you receive a good fitness report, an award, a meritorious mast, promotion to higher rank. Do something bad and you are reprimanded, court-martialed, jailed, demoted. You cannot quit your duties if you don't like your job or your boss or the place they're sending you.
And ironically we find that his father's military career ended in an eerily similar manner. In Jim Webb's own words;
During the Vietnam war he [James H. Webb Sr.] served at Air Force Systems command on sensitive satellite link programs and as a legislative affairs officer in the Pentagon, leading him to become a vocal critic of Defense Secretary McNamara's leadership methods and causing him eventually to retire from the Air Force, partially in protest of the manner in which the Vietnam War was being micromanaged by the political process.

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