The Saeculum Decoded
A Blog by Neil Howe
Mar 212010

Good article from the WSJ. Not so much gone rogue, I would argue, as taken over by Generation X (born 1961-1981) leadership.  Decentralized decision making, risk taking, and insistence on unit cohesion—all discussed in this article—are hallmarks of the Gen X style.  We’ve discussed this on earlier posts.  At this point, the great majority of officers beneath the very top echelon (e.g., McChrystal, who is a late-wave Boomer (born 1943-1960)) are Gen X.

Rogue (“a deceitful and unreliable scoundrel”) is not a nice descriptor, but one can imagine the Nomad archetype taking a certain perverse pride in it.  Sarah Palin, “going rogue” as she likes to say,  probably uses this word for a reason.

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  • Matthew E

    Let's not forget that Luke Skywalker's callsign was Rogue 6 (or Rogue some number, anyway) in The Empire Strikes Back.

    And then there's a member of the X-Men named Rogue; she's got the power to absorb other people's superpowers and memories.

    The word has some currency.

  • Aaron S

    I don't think I would give too much weight to the GenX theory. From the sound and feel of this, I would say this is simply Marines operating exactly as is dictated by the heritage and philosophy of the Marine Corps. The three descriptors you used (decentralized decision making, risk taking, unit cohesion) are the very backbone of a successful Corps, and has basically been as such over the entire course of the Marine Corps history.