Memory as an Engagement Area, and what memory tells us about ourselves

Last week on the Twittersphere, a discussion began on the impact of sensory perception on memory.  It was started with this tweet: https://twitter.com/CombatCavScout/status/564959464034668544 https://twitter.com/CombatCavScout/status/564960295001804800 https://twitter.com/CombatCavScout/status/564962272624525312 You can see the tweet he was referring to, and the subsequent discussion, by clicking on the link, but in short, it was a photo of a dead Taliban commander …

The Top 10 Reasons I’m Thankful for the Army

“Show me a soldier who’s not bitching and I’ll show you a soldier that is a liar,” said someone, once, maybe. Regardless of the truth of this statement, any commander knows that when soldiers stop complaining then things are getting dangerous. Complaining, bitching, kvetching, whatever you want to call it, it is a staple of …

We know Old Soldiers just fade away, but where do Young Soldiers Go?

When I sat down to write this post, I had planned to say a few things about current veterans’ organizations and ask where the new generation of veterans fits in. However, in doing my research on past veterans organizations, I found that veterans issues have been rife with problems since the very founding of our …

Location, Location, Location: How shared locations bond two generations of U.S. military veterans

When I was a shiny new soldier, fresh out of Army basic and advanced training, I was placed in the rear detachment of a unit that was forward deployed.  There were a few other brand new soldiers in the detachment, but quite of few of the soldiers were coming off of Active Duty into the …

On Giving Thanks: My Perspective

Today, we will hear a lot about giving thanks, and giving, and family, and food, and sales, and consumer demographics, and (if you live in the Northeast) snow.  There is always a lot of talking and yes, I could rant about consumerism, commercialism, and the basic cheapening of values.  But I want to instead talk …

Tilting at Windmills: Army Officer Education versus Training

In the timeless children's classic The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, the character of the professor is attempting to explain how there can be parallel universes to the children, but is encountering disbelief. "Bless me," he says, "It's all in Plato.  What DO they teach them in these schools?"  Similarly, one could tell …

Beware of Looking the Gift Horse in the Mouth: When the Horse is Actually a Weapon

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the old proverb, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth." Well, I've gone and mixed my metaphors most dreadfully by combining it with, "Beware Greeks bearing gifts." Yes, I am now taking a proverb about horse teeth, mixing it with Greek history/mythology, and am going to use …

Hurtling Towards Mediocrity: The Army “Garrison” Initiative and the Death of Innovation

I will be perfectly honest (unlike a certain Senator): the inspiration for this post was spawned by a Washington Post opinion column by retired Army Lieut. Gen. David Barno. The opinion piece can be found here and I highly recommend it. Barno makes a series of excellent points concerning the so-called "end" of the thirteen years of …

Backyard Battles: Childhood, Military, and Perception

First things first: yes, I still have all my toy soldiers. There are buckets and boxes (yes, plural of both) in the basement of my parents' house, awaiting my maturity to adulthood to be given to another child. News flash: I refuse to mature. As a kid, I was obsessed with war. In the most …

On the Future of Army History: Still Lost in the Woods Looking for a Reflective Belt

I recently read a great article from Foreign Policy citing a lack of critical thinking skills on the part of U.S. Army officers, and it stated that a solution lay in a better groundwork in history. First off, anyone who's spent time working on staff at any level can agree to the lack of critical thinking. …