Forget Love in the Time of Cholera, How About Assessment in the Time of COVID-19?

Assessment is how the military determines “the overall effectiveness of employing capabilities during military operations.”. That said, the military does not practice this dark art well. If an objective is clear-cut, measuring its performance is also straightforward. Broader objectives cause problems. This was the challenge in Iraq. It was also at the heart of the …

Mental Health in the Military: A Parable

Sometimes, as you trod along the road of life, you look up, trying to get a glimpse of what lies ahead. Sometimes it's dark and gloomy, and you realize it's been been growing so for some time. There isn't much to see. Peering through the murk is exhausting, as is trying to navigate with the …

5 Ways the Military is an Absurdist Organization

Most people think of the military as a no-nonsense place, where everyone is filled with rigid discipline and chock-full of common sense. And while that might be the image that we often like to have portrayed of ourselves, there's a lot more that goes on that would definitely elicit a few, "WTFs" if they were …

A Tarnished Legacy: Confederate Battle Honors and the Army National Guard

On July 18, 2020, an African-American woman took command of a military unit that once used to be part of rebel general Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's famous "Stonewall Brigade." Captain Candice Bowen became the first woman to command an infantry company in the Virginia National Guard, assuming command of B Company, 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment. …

How “Scrubs” Characters are Basically Your Military Unit

Sure, at first glance, you wouldn't think that a TV show about a doctors, nurses, and a crazy janitor at teaching hospital would have anything to do with the military. However, both the military and the medical professions have a lot in common: life and death decisions, long periods of boredom punctuated with brief moments …

Put Down Clausewitz, Pick Up Pratchett 

Step aside Clausewitz, a new thinker has entered the professional military education (PME) ring – Sir Terry Pratchett.  Military theory and history are the bedrock of PME. They should remain so. However, popular fiction, even books which at first blush have very little to do with the military, can contain very useful insights for leaders. …

The Issue with the Army’s SHARP Program: How Army Culture Dismisses its Female Service Members

   The Army, specifically Fort Hood, has been in the spotlight due to the recent events surrounding the disappearance of PFC Vanessa Guillen—and it’s not going to change anytime soon. What we are seeing is the surfacing of the issues regarding consent, power dynamics, and the inability of junior and senior leaders to foster an …

Leader, Know Thyself

Stay in the military long enough, and you'll gain rank. Rank comes with privileges and responsibilities. But it also comes with something else: something more dangerous. Ego. Now, one might say that if you're aiming to be a leader in the military then you're going to have ego anyways. People who strive for leadership positions …

Russian Military to Occupy Baltics to Prevent COVID-19 Infections

Author's Note: This is a satirical article meant to highlight the absurdity of Russia’s reportedly low COVID-19 infection rate and it’s continued use of hybrid warfare in conflicts with its neighbors. After a frenzied 24 hours of military activity, President Vladimir Putin announced that the Russian military has sent assistance to the Baltic countries of …

Yes, #MilTwitter is Still Worthwhile

While perusing Twitter, I saw this piece pop up: "Is #MilTwitter Worth It?" Since I often ask myself that same question, I clicked on the link and read the author's thoughts. He points out - rightly, in some cases - that Twitter can be a bit of dumpster fire. And MilTwitter an especially smelly dumpster …