McMaster adds another Georgia Tie to Trump Administration

Yesterday, Lt. General H.R. McMaster was tapped to serve as National Security advisor by President Trump. McMaster served as Commanding General at Ft. Benning from June 2012 to July 2014. The then two star general received his third star and took his current post with Training and Doctrine Command.

And, while Trump supporters are raving over the choice, critics can rest easy as well. McMaster earned recognition after he turned his Ph.D dissertation into a book questioning leadership. While in Columbus, Lt. Gen. McMaster took time out of his crowded schedule more than once to host discussions about his book “Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam” at the National Infantry Museum.

In an interview with the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, McMaster was quoted saying:

“Some people have a misunderstanding about the Army.  Some people think, hey, you’re in the military and everything is super-hierarchical and you’re in an environment that is intolerable of criticism and people don’t want frank assessments. I think the opposite is the case. In the Army, because the stakes are so high — right? — you can’t just be a yes-man and say, “Great idea, boss!” if you don’t believe it — right? — because lives are at stake. And the commanders that I’ve worked for, they want frank assessments, they want criticism and feedback.”

Lt. General McMaster and his wife, Katie, made quite the impact on the Columbus community during their duty station. Both warm and welcoming, they brought a depth of knowledge and leadership to Ft. Benning and the surrounding area. The McMasters are salt of the earth people and an incredible addition to the Trump Administration. They have served our nation well for the last 30+ years and America can sleep a little better knowing sound advice is being given to the Commander in Chief by one who is anything but a “yes man”.

McMaster was in the final four candidates considered for the position to include former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, acting national security advisor and retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, and West Point superintendent Lt. Col. Robert Caslen. McMaster is the first active-duty Army officer to serve in this capacity since President Raegan appointed Gen. Colin Powell.

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I retired from the Army in 1997. I was a staff officer at the Division level, McMaster’s statement of “you can’t just be a yes-man and say, “Great idea, boss!” if you don’t believe it — right? ” is consistent with what I saw. We were encouraged to present alternative positions, but once a decision was made, were expected to follow orders enthusiastically. I never had any problem with that.


That’s how management in any organization – including political ones – should work.

Also, if I haven’t said it lately, thanks for your service Joe.