Armistice and After: The Legacy of the WWI Generation in the U.S.

"This is the great reward of service, to live, far out and on, in the life of others." - Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain I came upon this quote about four years ago - near the 100th anniversary of Chamberlain's death - and right around the time that France, Germany, the UK (and the Commonwealth Countries) were …

The Killing of Major Taylor

By A Deployed Advisor Advising is a dangerous job. Indeed, it seems to be rapidly becoming the most treacherous combat occupation, because unlike a normal "fighting" role, advising requires long, patient, and intentionally vulnerable periods in close proximity to foreign and, unfortunately, sometimes hostile individuals. It necessitates a relaxation of the traditional reflexes of self …

Wait, Whose Intent? The Role of Commander’s Intent in Army Order Writing

So we’ve all written – or read, or heard – a plethora of operations orders, so much so that we can probably recite them in our sleep. This short post isn’t meant to be an operational primer but rather to help redirect order writers back to the single most important part of the order – …

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 …

If the Hoth Crash was an Air Force Investigation

By Matt Wright Accident Investigation Board - Rebel Alliance  T-47 Airspeeder (Field Modified) Battle of Hoth, 3 ABY Executive Summary During the disastrous Battle for Hoth, a locally modified version of the Incom T-47 Airspeeder was engaged in close proximity to advancing Stormtrooper infantry and heavily armored All-Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT) units of the Imperial …

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 …