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 …

The Importance of Being a Self-Aware Leader

"You're in the Army, you must not have any problems being assertive. You just say things and people do them, right?" Sitting in my counselor's office, these words fell on my ears and caused me to smile. Even in parts of the public where people are more familiar with the military, the idea of the …

Want to build a combat focused culture in your unit? Start with your language

Guest post by LTC Scotty M. Autin Let’s do a test.  Close your eyes and tell me what you think about when you hear the words “dreams”, “creativity”, “fantasy”, “smiles”, “magic”, and “generation”.  Odds are, you probably thought about some variation of Disney. If so, then you’re a product of Disney’s brilliant brand language strategy. …

Finding Space – Chapter Eleven

Light flickered in and out of the cabin where Ian sat, gazing across at the frigate just a few kilometers away. A frigate that was unresponsive. Sure, there were signs of life in it, and Ian felt confident that Rafario still had control of his ship. That being said, they still couldn’t talk to each …