In November 2010, Harvard Business Review printed an article entitled, Which of These People is your Future CEO?
It explored how, from a corporate perspective, military veterans tend to demonstrate predictable strengths and weaknesses based on the branch in which they served.
This occurs because each service branch makes a trade-off between process and flexibility, favoring one over the other. “The Navy and Air Force cultivate a process orientation, while the Army and Marines emphasize flexibility.
Former Army and Marine Corps officers depend less on familiarity with the firms as they transition to leadership roles. Former Navy and Air Force officers perform well in highly regulated industries. Executives with Army and Marine Corps experience do better in small companies than in large ones. Executives with Navy and Air Force experience excel in firms with a process approach to innovation.” As an organization the recruits both young people straight out of college and high school, and former military officers from all branches of service, the Troop benefits from a cross-pollination of all the organizational biases described above.
Over the years, Marines brought their wry sense of humor, aversion to complaining, and bias for directness and simplicity. Airmen and sailors brought managerial, procedural, and bureaucratic skills, which counterbalanced the Troop’s cavalier penchant for flamboyance and dilettantism. Special Forces men leavened the lump with their own strain of outside-the-box thinking. This inter-service mix has moved in both directions over the years, with younger Troopers leaving the unit to assume leadership roles in other branches of service while former officers "retire" to the Troop, to finish their twenty years as enlisted men and NCOs. The Troop's attitude differs from the Harvard Business School attitude however, because instead of focusing only on the benefits gained from officer experience, the Troop prefers the character qualities cultivated as an enlisted man.
In this regard, the Troop not only counterbalances the elitist tendency for educated Americans to consider themselves "too good" for military service, it is unique today as the only combat unit in the United States in which men with prep-school and Ivy League educations choose to serve in the U.S. Army as enlistees.