Mean Hegemons

The common perception of the 2004 film Mean Girls is a memorable teen comedy. This is wholly incorrect. Mean Girls is a primer on the risks of an unrestrainedly realist approach to hegemonic transition, and a stirring endorsement of multilateral arbitration.  The story begins when Cady Heron, previously home-schooled, arrived at North Shore High School. …

FOB Couch: COVID Isolation, Deployments, and Coping Tips

With most of Americans entering week two or three of social distancing or quarantine, circumstances are taking on some rather familiar overtones for many of us. Confined to one small area, save for periods of time where we leave the walls of safety and venture out into a hostile world – surrounded by a threat …

Assuming Command: A Guide for Incoming Company Commanders

Well, look at you. You got selected for command. First off, congratulations, you've been given an awesome trust: the lives of America's fighting women and men. There's really nothing so amazing as this. Secondly, say gooooodbyyyyyyye to your free time, 'cause the unit owns you now, baby! But hey, it's all good. You're going to …

Readiness in the Time of Coronavirus

We spend a lot of time in the Army talking about readiness. But what does readiness look like in the face of a pandemic? Do we stop training? Stop pushing out new equipment? Where does one draw the line when it comes to providing a trained and ready force, while also looking after the health …

Take a Knee and Drink Water: Mental Health in the Army

There’s a saying in the Army: “Take a knee, pull security, and drink some water.” Some extra-caring people might even add, “Rub some dirt on it.” If your medic is extra loving, they might even tell you to change your socks. It’s what you say when someone gets injured or otherwise incapacitated, usually out in …

Stop Calling Armed Mobs the “Militia”

This morning, the Virginia state capitol in Richmond saw dozens of armed men gathering to demonstrate their support for the Second Amendment of the US Constitution - the right to bear arms. These men were not merely bearing arms, however; they were fully accoutered in the trappings of what one would call a paramilitary group: …

Army Unit Numerical Designations: Where do they come from?

If you’re like me, you’ve always wondered where some of the wonky unit numbers in the US Army come from. Like, where did the other 99 airborne divisions other than the 82nd and 101st go? Did we ever have 503 infantry regiments at the same time? The answer comes down as a combination of some …