Thrown into the Deep End: Tips for New Platoon Leaders

Whoa there, high speed. Look at you, all brand new and shiny, right out of your basic officer leader course, hard-charging to take over your first platoon. Thing is, behind that brash exterior, you're probably confused as all get-out. After years of training in ROTC or a military academy (you OCS guys know all this stuff …

A Combat Badge Does Not a Soldier Make

Today's guest post comes from Tim Shea (@trshea88), a former U.S. Army Captain hailing from Joint Base Lewis-McChord's now defunct 4th Stryker Brigade. In 2014, Tim traded the green pastures of Army life for the exhilarating, cutthroat world of economic development consulting. He maintains his sanity by writing here. To all the badge, tab, etc. lovers …

Seven Military Leadership Lessons from Calvin and Hobbes

When I was seven, my mother did the worst thing I could conceive of: she took my Calvin and Hobbes books away from me. Why, why would she do such a horrible thing, I asked her at the time, probably kicking and screaming and waving my tiny fists. It was a very simple answer: I was acting too …

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 …

Center for Galactic Lessons Learned

This past weekend, I spent some time re-watching Star Wars episodes IV, V, and VI, or as I call them, Star Wars. Watching them with a critical eye towards leader development, tactics, and strategy, I was struck by a number of critical flaws on both sides that could have been fixed with some basic organizational …

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 …

History: The Overlooked Military Discipline

This article first appeared on Point of Decision, August 24, 2015. Rock of the Marne. 3rd Infantry Division, WWI. DA Picture. There are several governing metrics for unit commanders in the Army: physical fitness, marksmanship, and military education. Each Soldier is required to pass the Army Physical Fitness Test, qualify on their assigned weapon, and be trained …

Unicorns At War: Leadership in the Army

This post first appeared on Medium here. It has been reposted in its entirety. A famous person once said, “No modern army has ever lost a war when they had unicorns on their side.” I have not found any empirical evidence to show that this is not the case, so the adage must be true. …