Leadership: March 12, 2001


President Bush is facing his first crises with the military. Army Chief of Staff General Shinseki decided to have everyone in the army wear the black beret, currently worn only by the elite Ranger infantry regiment. This was very unpopular. Surveys quickly revealed that the majority of the troops disagreed with policy. But Shinsheki went forward anyway. Current and former rangers, and many members of Congress, have appealed to president Bush to reverse the policy. This puts the president in a tough spot. He can reverse the policy and undercut the head of the army, or he can let the policy stand and lose popularity with the troops. Given Bush's style, he is likely to have a long talk with Shinsheki and get the general to reverse the policy himself, with some clever rhetoric sooth the bruised egos. 


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