In reference to "Army screening NCOs to rid service of marginal leaders" (article, Aug. 17), about the reinstatement of the Qualitative Management Program and the impending records reviews for substandard noncommissioned officers: I believe this is too little, too late.

In our quest to swell the ranks, we became stuck with leaders who are severely lacking in physical fitness, appearance, tactical and technical knowledge and people skills in general, because we allowed the bar to be lowered.

How is it too late? Because the attitude these substandard leaders brought forth was allowed to permeate the ranks and we have now marinated in it.

Slack behavior, deviation from written standards and flouting of regulations are all now the rule rather than the exception, and they have bled down through the ranks enough to have become standard operating procedure. Complacency and incompetence are like highly communicable diseases, and a 2 percent cut of those who are near the eve of their retirement anyway is the equivalent of a Flintstone’s chewable.

I’ll fight the aforementioned problems to the very last, but I know that the Army can do better than a drop in the bucket.

Staff Sgt. Joseph M. SarmientoCamp Liberty, Iraq

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