Regarding the June 27 article “ ‘Toxic’ leaders worry Army”: I strongly agree with the idea of establishing a system of evaluation that includes subordinates’ as well as superiors’ views. And, while the system is being revised, also allow input from those of the same rank and of equal status.

During my career I knew a number of senior noncommissioned officers and officers who could be considered “toxic” in one way or another, but there was no way to put the brakes on their advancement because the promotions were always based upon evaluations by their superiors. The superiors often didn’t know the whole story and, even worse, the “toxic” individual was usually very careful to keep the fact that he was a problem away from them.

The only “work-around” I ever found was to go to the reviewing officer and try to make him understand the problem. But that was tricky as well as not always that effective.

Sgt. Maj. Jim White (retired)

Osakasayama-shi, Japan

Aid Americans, military first

So “Somalia’s neighbors get $45 million in U.S. aid” (article, June 28)? I am in a state of confusion with all of the money that is given in aid to foreign countries when our own country is in so much debt and we face an economic crisis.

Currently under review is reduction of military forces — the same forces who have kept their word and honored their oath to protect and defend, but our benefits are being reduced and our pay advancements and promotions are being slowed. And when will our government honor its commitment to our military and the American public?

I would like to see $45 milion in aid given to our states that have seen so many natural disasters. More importantly, if our government gave a quarter of the money that it has spent in Iraq and Afghanistan to rebuild our country’s infrastructure, schools, medical care systems, military and police forces, maybe our economy would be in better shape. Stop the madness!

Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Miles

Camp Liberty, Iraq

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