Col. Frank Zachar, relieved as commander of the 172nd Infantry Brigade, sounds like a real winner. Judging not by the Stripes article that broke the news–but by the anonymous comments accompanying it. Sure, anyone can say anything anonymously, but there is some consistency there.
“He was so bad that the soldiers nicknamed him the Fuhrer,” writes “Iron Ranger.” “CSM French was also terrible. When I was with the 16th he was a 1SG, and was easily the worst one I ever served under, he regularly micromanaged his company and consistently undermined his platoon sergeants. Believe me, the 172nd will be stronger for this.”
Zachar was in charge of 3,500 personnel in Grafenwöhr and Schweinfurt, Germany, and the Stripes story is a magnet for folks like “Iron Ranger” who just didn’t like this dude.
The comments paint a picture of a commander who was self-aggrandizing, played favorites and “would sell his men out for a tiny piece of ribbon. An absolute disgrace.” Again, Iron Ranger.
It gets personal. “Konails05” writes that while “Konails05” was going through an Article 15 for a drunk and disorderly charge, Zachar told his fiance she was dumb for standing by him.
“Instead of a solution he basically told her to abandon me and move on. Me and my fiance have a four month old baby boy and we haven’t let my article 15 hinder our dreams and desire to serve, but come on why would the leadership you look to for guidance discourage an “Adaptive Army Member” so to say not to readjust his/her attitude but just say quit& get religion. What he didn’t know is I have an excellent Religion and Faith and things seem to work in mysterious ways. I thank both of them for their closed minded attitudes, me and my family has grown closer and stronger. Hooah! Mysterious huh?”
“Yes, he and his family need the Lord’s blessing, as do we all. But I must emphatically state that having known them for years on a personal and professional level, he DID NOT do a GREAT job. He was a monster to work for, unless you were one of his favorites. You got to be one of his favorites NOT by working hard and doing your best and being dedicated to the soldiers and the mission, but by kissing up to him. He always tried to be chummy with his peers and to grandstand as much as possible for his superiors. For his subordinates, however, he took a perverse joy in making life absolutely miserable. It was disgusting and disheartening to experience.”
“As someone who has worked in close proximity to these two during their tenure as Commander/CSM I can honestly say that the 172nd is definitely stronger for this. When he told a field grade officer that his OER is directly determined by the amount of times he, him personally not the troops in the BDE, makes the paper or when he said he didn’t care how many people he had to put in an 8×15′ room that was designed for one, these are just a few of the things that made myself and several others lose all respect for that man. The fact that the CSM didn’t stand up for the troops or the training program speaks volumes more then I could ever say.”
“Zachar ran his troops into the ground, every morning I would wake up saying to myself “today is going to suck” He never let up, we had a Soldier get killed on the range and he had us finish the live fire saying thats what the fallen Soldier would have wanted. He was a typical officer who only cares about his OER. As a squad Leader in his Battalion I can honestly say I learned nothing because every FTX or Training excercise we did was so scripted you couldn’t think outside the box. I actually developed quite a drinking problem while under his regime as most of my platoon did, it was the only way to get some kind of release.”