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 Case Against Starbuck: Why Talent is Not Enough

                For anyone who watched television in the early 2000s (oh, woe be upon us before the era of on-demand, streamable drama), Battlestar Galactica was a staple of the weekly line up. For anyone who was not an avid fan, the show featured an ensemble cast and their struggle against the Cylons, a race of …

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. …

Fixing Veterans Day

On Veterans Day, at my son’s request, I sat in a crowded elementary assembly as part of a Veterans Day ceremony.  I listened uncomfortably to fifth and sixth graders repeat what they had been taught in their classrooms about veterans and about military service: that veterans represent the best our country has to offer, that …

Warfighter: Helm’s Deep

Enemy forces in depth. Mass over maneuver. As an engineer officer, I care passionately about just a few things: castles, engineer buttons, and combined arms breaching. And while there were no engineer buttons at Helm's Deep - a simple oversight, I'm sure - that engagement encompasses a wide swathe of engineer lessons learned. Yes, this …

Pandora’s Inbox: The Army and Social Media

It's become cliche to say that social media is changing the world that we live in. But what the hell, I live for cliches, so let's go for it. I guess it would be more accurate to say that social media has already changed that world, and we just haven't seen all the effects yet. …