Give Thanks for What?

At tables all across the United States, families will be gathering to share a meal heavy on starch, alcohol, and awkward conversation. Inevitably, someone will look around the table and suggest that everyone go around and offer one thing that they’re thankful for, which will cause a chain reaction of people reaching for the wine …

Battle Staff Made Human

  Everything we do in the Army seems somehow dehumanizing. We remove individual identity at basic training, in order to meld individuals into a cohesive group. Individuals are referred to by their rank or just their last name. Our entire careers can be summed up on one or two sheets of paper (usually incorrectly). While …

Center for Galactic Lessons Learned

This past weekend, I spent some time re-watching Star Wars episodes IV, V, and VI, or as I call them, Star Wars. Watching them with a critical eye towards leader development, tactics, and strategy, I was struck by a number of critical flaws on both sides that could have been fixed with some basic organizational …

Get Your Cynical Fix On at Facebook

The world of social media is ever-changing and constantly unnerving. While I am an inveterate Twitter user/addict, I understand that much of my audience may prefer Facebook, which is why you can now get your daily fix of the Angry Staff Officer on Facebook: Here. In addition to my shoddy writing, I also showcase the …

This Veterans Day, Let’s be Americans

Today is the 61st Veterans Day. It comes at a time when many see a military-civilian divide. It is a good time to look back and examine why we have a day set aside for veterans and how to bridge the gap. It might strike some as odd that although we have had veterans even …

The Veteran Transformation of November 11, 1918

November 11, 1918, dawned as any other day for the exhausted men of the U.S Army’s 26th Division, nicknamed the “Yankee Division” because it was a National Guard division from New England. The Yankees had been on the front since February, with only one brief rest for two weeks in August. They had taken so …

How Forward Operating Bases Created the Illusion of War in Iraq and Afghanistan

There’s a common phrase among military members who have deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq as part of the Global War on Terror: Fobbit. It is a play on the words “hobbit,” from J.R.R. Tolkein’s fantasy works, The Lord of the Rings, and the acronym for Forward Operating Base: FOB. Fobbit tends to also be synonymous …