If Military Commissioning Sources were Hogwarts Houses

Okay, so can we all admit that as military officers, we’re actually just another category of gigantic nerds? I mean, military society itself can basically be broken down as a cosplaying socialist death cult, but that’s another story. Suffice it to say, the officer corps contains its own special levels of nerdiness. This is to …

When the Force is Not With You: Mentorship and Star Wars

We talk a lot about mentorship in the military, but for most of us, we don’t have a good example of what that even looks like. It’s not as though there are mentors dropping from the sky to deliver words of wisdom whenever we need them. No, we’re more likely to end up Googling our …

Rebel Insurgency: Without Hope or Method

By Jared James The Rebel Alliance is going to lose, not because they are outnumbered, but because they have no model on which to base plans for their campaign. There are essentially two kinds of insurgent campaigns: city-out or countryside-in; Leningrad, or Yorktown. The Rebel Alliance is fighting both of them wrongly, and has few …

Reading List for the U.S. in World War I

As we move through the centenary of the U.S. experience in World War I, I've had several people ask me for book recommendations on the topic. Which is tough, because when someone generally asks me for recommendations my head goes blank and I mutter something about "Good Omens" (seriously, phenomenal book, nothing to do with …

Mentorship: Cross-Component Leader Development

Guest post by XO of XOs Knowledge diffusion and leader development in the Army is at best, a slapdash effort.  You finish the appropriate schooling level--maybe rotating through a leadership position, or not--and then get dropped into your newest assignment.  Primary Staff, Command, on occasion the officer in charge of the officer (I had one …

Being a Rebel Leader: Disciplined Disobedience in the Army

First off, no, this is not a discussion on the merits of leaders within the Rebel Alliance in the Star Wars universe, though if it were, I'd have to say that the Rebel leadership had very few merits and we should probably not emulate their chaos-based approach to warfare. What's I'd like to talk about is disruptive …

Cake and Perfidy: the 1968 Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia

By Sasha Maggio A classmate commented on my post for the week, and the post was largely on SIGINT but in one part I make a tiny little comment about how sometimes things like radio could be used to broadcast narratives to particular “target audiences” like how the Soviet Union used it to garner public …

The Military “Give a S**t” Spectrum

Let’s face it: the Army can be a place that wears you down, both physically and mentally. It takes a special kind of person to be able to take the brand of crazy that the Army pushes year after year and walk away from it relatively unscathed. As such, it seems like you usually get …

Carte Blanche Foreign Policy: the Curse of the All-Volunteer Force

A few weeks back, I was asked to speak to some high school students about the U.S. Army in the post-Vietnam time period. At first I had no idea what I was going to say. How would I get high schoolers fired up about the demise of the Active Defense doctrine and the rise of …