The Pentagon's controversial plan to hire military leaders off the street
Defense Secretary Ash Carter wants to open the door for more “lateral
entry” into the military's upper ranks, clearing the way for lifelong
civilians with vital skills and strong résumés to enter the officer
corps as high as the O-6 paygrade.
The idea is controversial, to
say the very least. For many in the rank-and-file military, it seems
absurd, a bewildering cultural change that threatens to upend many
assumptions about military life and traditional career paths. But while
it's not universally embraced, there is interest in Congress and among
some of the military's uniformed leaders — even, they say, in exploring
how the services could apply this concept to the enlisted force.