Playing Patience: Hills to Die On. Or Not.

Someday, you’re going to take that guidon or flag and you’re going to be that head honcho; the boss; the decision-maker; the grand moff. Well, okay, hopefully not the latter, as that means that you’ve somehow slipped into the chain of command of the Galactic Empire. As you rise in rank and responsibility, your duties …

The Army is Not for Everyone

The Army is not for everyone.  More often than not, this phrase is a not-so-thinly veiled critique of those leaving the service, either on their own terms or not.  Proponents of this phrase tend to mention how only a small percentage of the population serves and how much more selective the military is compared to …

Message to Garcia: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

              Throughout an officer’s career, there will be inevitable exposure to a plethora of reading lists. Although a myriad of different lists exists, one essay that finds its way to a majority of junior officer reading lists is Hubbard's Message to Garcia, a story that describes a young second lieutenant’s initiative and tenacity in accomplishing …

How “Scrubs” Characters are Basically Your Military Unit

Sure, at first glance, you wouldn't think that a TV show about a doctors, nurses, and a crazy janitor at teaching hospital would have anything to do with the military. However, both the military and the medical professions have a lot in common: life and death decisions, long periods of boredom punctuated with brief moments …

Thursday Thoughts: Developmental Counseling

Let's be honest: being a disciplined writer is tough. Writer's block is usually waiting in an L-shaped ambush somewhere, and has converged effects with Procrastination, leading to near collapse of efforts by yours truly. So, "Thursday Thoughts" is an attempt to break free, using disciplined initiative, where I place minimal words on the page in …

What Going Back to Tech School Taught Me About Being an NCO

By Sergeant M Once you graduate from your initial technical school training, you take a final look out the rearview mirror and confidently state “I’m never coming back here again.” Until you come back seven years later for a course taken en route as a requirement for your next assignment……and you find yourself right back …

Learning from Bad Examples: When Poor Leadership Can Be Valuable

By Sergeant Swivel Responsibilities of Leadership In many organizations, one of the primary duties of leaders is to develop their subordinates. Air Force Handbook 36-2618, “The Enlisted Force Structure,” or, as it’s known among Airmen, “The Little Brown Book,” lays out responsibilities associated with each tier of the enlisted forces, making sure to note that …

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 …

War as a Human Endeavor: How do we train for that?

“War is a human endeavor—a fundamentally human clash of wills often fought among populations. It is not a mechanical process that can be controlled precisely, or even mostly, by machines, statistics, or laws that cover operations in carefully controlled and predictable environments. Fundamentally, all war is about changing human behavior. It is both a contest …

Full Spectrum Professional Development

  Like many junior officers, I hear a lot about “professional development.” We hear about it from senior leaders, it is almost always on our officer evaluations, we are told to develop our subordinates, and we assume that leader development exists...somewhere. Some of us have even been developed professionally, apparently. Most often, however, it seems …