2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 3 Dec 2002 19:35:19 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Re: [CPEO-MEF] I&E Reorganization
This is an anonymous response from an "insider":


As you probably know, each OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense]
organization maintains a distinct culture:  OSD/Readiness focuses on
combat readiness of fighting units (i.e., people & equipment); OSD/I&E
[Installations & Environment] focuses on the ability of the
installation/facility to support the combat mission (i.e., real property
and infrastructure).  

Because of the distinct focus of each OSD office/organization and their
associated responsibilities, it has been extremely difficult for both
parties to understand each other's requirements and operations, much
less understand holistically a problem as complex as managing
encroachment with environmental stewardship and operational readiness.
The conflicting positions between the Service Chiefs and OSD in last
Spring's testimony regarding encroachment impacts on readiness clearly
illustrates the cultural divide with DoD. Of course, this is not news to
anybody working within this milieu for a couple of years. 

But here's the important part:  while it's a good thing for external
stakeholders to have a defined and relatively independent DoD
environmental office to work with, it's created a distinct disadvantage
WITHIN the DoD corporate structure because the Environmental offices
are, in fact, viewed by the warfighters (whether in the Services or OSD)
as extraneous to the overarching mission of the Department.  Integrating
environmental requirements and considerations into the process of
maintaining combat readiness would improve the interaction between the
two distinct DoD communities, and would also place environmental
mandates within a meaningful chain of command (that is, meaningful from
the perspective of the warfighter).  

This integration would be overwhelmingly positive if it translated
environmental sensibilities into specific practices that average
military personnel -- not environmental specialists or their contractors
-- can implement as a function of their regular assigned duties.


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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