Retired USAF Col Jason Lamb says that toxic leaders continue to be promoted in the USAF because of a lack of transparency and accountability.


The promotion of toxic leaders in the USAF can occur because toxic leaders can have a good work ethic allied with a high intellect. The USAF sometimes wants to retain that intellect and work ethic. Lamb argues that sometimes this is a fair argument and if a leader can still provide good service to the nation, why not keep them. Another reason for retention is that many senior leaders have been involved in a toxic leaders promotion. Firing a toxic leader implies criticism of those who promoted that leader in the first place. Lamb notes that the final major consideration in whether to fire a toxic leader is the desire of the air force to avoid scrutiny and to maintain confidence in the promotion system. Lamb concludes that the problem can only be solved by improving transparency and accountability. Is it likely that Lamb’s criticism of the USAF could apply to other military organisations?