Paper Tiger: The Myth of Physical Conflict with China and Implications for Land Warfare in the Pacific

China is regarded by many defense and strategy experts as a significant threat to U.S.’s national security and global influence. This sentiment was shared by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and current Undersecretary of Defense for Policy John Rood. Conversely, China views the U.S. in a similar light. On March 5, 2021, General Xu …

Tips for Task Force Engineers

It's never easy being that new person on staff. It's even less easy when you're not organic to the battalion or unit that you're attached to and have to begin all that relationship building stuff from scratch. It's like Mean Girls except with maneuver officers. Which is somehow worse. Being a task force special staff …

Operational Lessons from Legend of Korra

The Legend of Korra is not only a good primer to study insurgencies, it can also be used to study operational art. The Battle of the Bay which took place between the Equalists and the United Forces over control of Republic City in season one episode eleven is an especially suitable example. The United Forces …

The Army is Not for Everyone

The Army is not for everyone.  More often than not, this phrase is a not-so-thinly veiled critique of those leaving the service, either on their own terms or not.  Proponents of this phrase tend to mention how only a small percentage of the population serves and how much more selective the military is compared to …

Taking Ownership: The Problem of Command Teams and the SHARP Program

I spent 12 months managing a division-level Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program. It was evident, commanders have varying opinions on what “success” means in SHARP. It was even more clear Commanders were not in sync with the inner workings of their programs. The more senior in rank the commander was, the …

Message to Garcia: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

              Throughout an officer’s career, there will be inevitable exposure to a plethora of reading lists. Although a myriad of different lists exists, one essay that finds its way to a majority of junior officer reading lists is Hubbard's Message to Garcia, a story that describes a young second lieutenant’s initiative and tenacity in accomplishing …

Good Intentions Do Not a Good Commander Make

There I was, in my second year of command, feeling confident and competent. A dangerous concoction. We'd knocked out a great JRTC rotation, the company was firing on all cylinders, and I thought everything was golden. It was drill weekend and we were knocking out the M-4 range as well as some other tasks. Ahead …

The Legend of Korra – An Insurgency Masterclass

This article contains significant spoilers for Season 1 of The Legend of Korra Season 1 of The Legend of Korra is an insightful depiction of a counterinsurgency campaign which should be required watching for security studies students everywhere. It captures key elements of how insurgencies operate and highlights common pitfalls of counterinsurgents in a compact …

Army Organizational Issues that Prevent Talent Management

There's a lot of talk about recruiting and retention in the Army these days, as we try to build the right force for whatever lies in the future. Without a doubt, we need to have the right people in the right places. But too often we are hidebound by organizational issues or habits that keep …

Thanksgiving Operations Order

OPORD 11-26-21 (OPERATION TURKEY DAY) (U) SITUATION. Thanksgiving holiday necessitates high intake of Class I itemsTerrain and weather: White and drifted snow; biting wind MISSION. Your unit moves to Grandmother's House IOT complete Pumpkin Pie consumption operations EXECUTION.Scheme of Movement and Maneuver: Over the river and through the woodCoordinating instructions: The horse knows the way …