An Army Officer’s Guide to Public Speaking

Right. So I’m just going to put this out here right off: if I have to listen to yet another stumbling, rambling, mispronounced, mumbled, dry, and generally boring as hell briefing from one of my peers, I’m going to find a way to beat someone over the head with their own PowerPoint slides. Seriously, we’ve … Continue reading An Army Officer’s Guide to Public Speaking

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If “Firefly” Characters were in the U.S. Military

If you’re like me, you discovered the TV show Firefly well after the time it first ran in 2003. While we were spared the original heartbreak that came when the show was not renewed for a second season - damn you, Fox - we are still reminded of our loss every time we watch the … Continue reading If “Firefly” Characters were in the U.S. Military

Leaning into the Belt of Obedience, or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Reflective Belt

Author's note: At the current moment, the world is in a state of fraying tempers, dangerous actors, and uncertain agreements. Suffice to say, the news can be stressful. With that in mind, this week's post is ludicrously silly.  It’s well known that we have a serious problem in the military: how to quit our addiction … Continue reading Leaning into the Belt of Obedience, or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Reflective Belt

The Different Types of Army Staff Officers by Branch

As you progress in the Army as an officer - and sometimes as an NCO – you’re bound to end up on staff at some point or another. Like death or taxes, it is inevitable – and sometimes as equally dreaded. One of the perks of staff – besides the feeling of constant dread and … Continue reading The Different Types of Army Staff Officers by Branch

Hogwarts Houses as Army Branches

In the Army, we battle more about whose branch is superior than we do about who has to eat the vegetarian omelette MRE. The infantry, of course, are the most aggressive in asserting their primacy over all others. That is, until special forces rolls in and glares at them over their beards. Cavalry and armor … Continue reading Hogwarts Houses as Army Branches

Guest Post: LARPing for Leader Development

By Mike Denny You don’t have to be a Level 20 dungeon master to enjoy dressing up on Halloween and getting into character. For non-nerds, LARPing is Live Action Role Playing, which typically describes people getting into character to create fantasyland environments (e.g. Lord of the Rings), but it can encompass the whole realm of … Continue reading Guest Post: LARPing for Leader Development

Taking Care of Soldiers: What Does that Mean?

Cover photo: Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, U.S. Army Pacific commanding general speaks with a Soldier currently training on the Gulkana Glacier near Black Rapids, Alaska, March 10, 2015. (Sean Callahan/US Army) Taking care of Soldiers. That’s a favorite catch-phrase used by leaders, usually of the sergeants major variety, to describe any number of things: extra duty, … Continue reading Taking Care of Soldiers: What Does that Mean?

Battle Staff Made Human

  Everything we do in the Army seems somehow dehumanizing. We remove individual identity at basic training, in order to meld individuals into a cohesive group. Individuals are referred to by their rank or just their last name. Our entire careers can be summed up on one or two sheets of paper (usually incorrectly). While … Continue reading Battle Staff Made Human

How Forward Operating Bases Created the Illusion of War in Iraq and Afghanistan

There’s a common phrase among military members who have deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq as part of the Global War on Terror: Fobbit. It is a play on the words “hobbit,” from J.R.R. Tolkein’s fantasy works, The Lord of the Rings, and the acronym for Forward Operating Base: FOB. Fobbit tends to also be synonymous … Continue reading How Forward Operating Bases Created the Illusion of War in Iraq and Afghanistan

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