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 …

“Are the Shields Up?:” Decision Making in “Return of the Jedi”

By Cory Hollon Rebellions are built on hope. - Cassian Andor, 1 BBY Hope is not a plan. - Every decent commander, ever In 4 ABY, the Alliance to Restore the Republic gained critical intel about the construction of a new Death Star. Clearly learning from the lengthy process of creating the first planet-killing battle …

The Perils of Command

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything on here. And for that, I blame command, which sucks away all the years of your life. It’s basically “The Machine” from Princess Bride, just with more soldiers with DUIs. However, the topic of command is fascinating in and of itself. Especially when one examines the span of …

We Were There Too: the US Army at Belleau Wood

Two days before the beginning of the Meuse-Argonne Campaign – the largest and bloodiest battle in American history – the New York Times ran a letter from an Army infantry officer who was then serving in France: The troops that took Vaux   An advertising agency is a good thing at times, but when the …