Americans can be pretty stubborn, and as a result even the best plans too often fail, because leaders — be they in government, business, the nonprofit sector or even in our social circles or families — can’t get enough buy-in from followers. Even the idea of being a “follower” is repugnant to many Americans.
The one exception is the military. In the military, people respect the chain of command. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines — especially Marines — have it drilled into their brains from the moment they enter basic training that when the chain of command breaks down, people can die.
So if the commandant of the Marine Corps decides that his subordinates are going to do something, you can bet they’ll do it. That includes complying with the congressional mandate to start training male and female recruits together at its Parris Island and San Diego training depots.