The military really is an excellent example here. Yes, beyond any doubt the US military is a hierarchy. A strict command and control system exist based on rank. Everybody knows that.

But… and this is a huge monkey wrench in the works … just like in the Seals, lower ranking military members close to the work have traditionally had independence to call the shots and make decisions on their own.

Like the Seals, the rest of the U.S. military is actively working to rid the culture of social hierarchy.

For example, the class distinction between officers and enlisted people is being erased. Gone are the days when a 22-year-old lieutenant socialized in a club restricted to other officers, most of whom were much older. Or when a master sergeant with 25 years experience was not allowed to socialize with officers.

These days, clubs on base have been unified.

People say that the Israeli military discovered these principles first, putting them into practice many decades ago.

They discovered that the less hierarchy existed in the military, the better performance they got. Certainly, a command-and-control structure still has to exist. You can’t effectively and quickly direct large groups of people without systems in place for that.

But what the Israelis discovered is that their systems don’t have to be based on strict hierarchy.

The US military was very skeptical for a long time, but these days they seem to be trying to adapt the Israeli model.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.