Copy/Paste has Ruined Originality in the Pentagon

“There hasn’t been an original thought in the Pentagon for 20 years because everyone relies on copy/paste.”

While it’s half in jest, I think there’s some merit to this.

Do you think this statement is accurate?

| Leave a comment »

Original post

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Terry W. Davis

Nope, it is not accurate. BLUF: It is a “blanket” statement and those are rarely every correct. There are many creative, original thinkers in the Pentagon, just as there are in any organization. What is not pervasive in the Pentagon is a culture that quickly or carelessly embraces change. The Pentagon for the most part consists of a very risk averse, rules-oriented, law abiding culture. There are some good reasons for this. Mistakes are not covered by tax write offs or costs passed on to the consumer (except for mistakes by the Defense Industrial Base that just take more money from our taxes). There is tremendous scrutiny of many Pentagon activities and decisions by Congress and numerous “watch dog,” special interest groups, not to mention a tremendous number of people concerned about the welfare of loved ones that work in harms way. Yes, there are some areas that would benefit from an increase in creative agility and adoption of new methods and technology. There are some functionsreas that should be conducted with much greater oversight and control (e.g., budget/spending accounting).

Dave Hetterly IV

One word… “incorrect”

It is my opinion that innovation and progress is at the top and the bottom. Group Think is in the middle but it will take time for group think to “think” like those above and below them…

Doug Snyder

I think it’s fair to say that a copy/paste “mentality” has definitely affected society & the world in general though.

Daniel Reed

I work for the Marines…. and I would agree with your statement. … at least from a planning perspective.

Carol Davison

I’ve worked my way from from E-1 to MD State employee to GS-14. I feel most constricted as a Federal Government employee. Many government employees are “afraid of their mother” so they fear any innovation or challenge.

And as Twain said “All generalities are wrong including this one;” I have a tendency to disregard blanket statements.

But actually I think the phrase “more sweat in training, less blood in combat” pretty much expalins the military mentality (too bad I can’t civilianize it!). I remember writing reports as a E-3 that made the Navy scramble fighters or even more significantly cancel missions. Because we knew that we served the warfighter we busted our hump to make things happen.

Carol Davison

By the way, I turned down one of the assignments because the interviewer talked about the command and control of the military. Actually they were the ones that wanted me to work in a very little box. So much for their high reputation organization.

Christopher Dorobek

Sterling… To be honest, I’m not sure what you mean? Where is this ‘copying/pasting’ going on?

There are many challenges in the Pentagon — and across government agencies generally… and I’ve always argued that feds generally are more victims of bureaucracy then they are purveyors of it.

So… I’d love to hear what people mean about copy/paste?

But I’d also be interested in hearing what IS the biggest challenge facing the Pentagon… and federal agencies.

Sterling Whitehead

Copy/paste features sometimes result in less than original work. When people are pressed for time, they will sometimes pull data or examples from previous works (contracts, PowerPoints, you name it). The problem is that previous work may not have worked or it may be outdated. Just look at an old statement of work, which may simply be a rehash when the rehash isn’t called for.