Why the U.S. military should mandate officer retirement by age 50

It's time for young blood and fresh ideas in the military's highest ranks

Joint Chiefs
(Image credit: (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images))

France's military history is littered with cautionary tales and glorious triumphs. And the secret differentiator between the two may be age.

The average age of Napoleon's generals was 41, and many of the brightest were even younger. Jean Lannes was named a general at 27, and a field marshal at 35. Andre Masséna was named a general at 35. Louis-Nicolas Davoust was named a general at 23 (really), and a field marshal at 34. Joachim Murat, Napoleon's legendary cavalry commander, was named a general at 29.

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