The Birds of War: Twitter as a Professional Development Tool

This is a response to the CCLKOW post by Gary M. Klein on Social Media and the Military Leader. Read the post and join the discussion on Twitter #CCLKOW. Last week I was privileged to take part in a Military-Twitter Exchange Summit hosted at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, which brought leaders from across the …

What Do the Revolutions of 1848 Tell us About Modern Politics?

In 2010, as the popular uprisings that comprised the Arab Spring were flaring across the Middle East, more than one commentator must have looked back in time to make comparisons to other democratic revolutions. And as the Arab Spring became drenched in blood, heartache, and divisiveness, that same commentator might have noted with sadness the …

All Things Old are New Again The U.S. Army and the Changing Operating Environment

This post first appeared on the blog Point of Decision. It is no secret that the U.S. Army is in a time of change and disruption. It is desperately seeking to emerge from an era unprecedented in Army history: fourteen uninterrupted years of direct conflict in a counter-insurgency (COIN) environment in two theaters, with mobilizations …

The Fighting First Sergeant: Walter Pottle and World War II

Napoleon Bonaparte is credited with the saying, "Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them." This would generally seem to be the case, as while many may have heard of General Walter Krueger, commander of U.S. Sixth Army in the Pacific, very few have ever heard of Walter E. Pottle, the first sergeant for …

A Socratic Dialogue with a Staff Officer

Way back in the hazy days of Army history (1905), there existed a mythical bird: the Oozlefinch. First sighted by inebriated denizens of the Coast Artillery Corps Officer’s Club at Fort Monroe, Virginia, the Oozlefinch was quickly adopted by that corps as their mascot. Allegedly featherless but with large eyes with which to see the …

If U.S. Wars were Arrested Development Characters

Let's be honest, we all watch far too much television. In the old days, when our ancestors had no electricity and far too many brain cells, they occupied their time by reading silly things like the Iliad and other such classics. Because of this, they were able to associate current events with Classical literature, forming …

The Art of Control

This post is part of the discussion begun by @rkranc at his site The Stable of Leadership. This discussion centers on the issue of control in leadership: how do you delegate authority, what are your concerns when doing so, and how do you mitigate these concerns, or risks? At this point in the professional development …

The Caliphate Strikes Back: Star Wars and the Islamic State

As one famous general once said, “Every military scenario is best explained using a Star Wars metaphor.” Okay, so maybe no general ever said it, but rest assured, if by some miracle I am ever given a star, it will be the first thing out of my mouth. In Episode IV, “A New Hope,” the …