Warfighter: Helm’s Deep

Enemy forces in depth. Mass over maneuver. As an engineer officer, I care passionately about just a few things: castles, engineer buttons, and combined arms breaching. And while there were no engineer buttons at Helm's Deep - a simple oversight, I'm sure - that engagement encompasses a wide swathe of engineer lessons learned. Yes, this …

Never Tell Me the Odds: Prospect Theory, Risk Acceptance and Asteroid Fields

By Lt. Col. Jim Davitch Darth Vader looked on as the Millennium Falcon, engines screaming to life, darted from the ice planet Hoth and into the freedom of space. The getaway was short-lived. C-3PO implored anyone to listen as he tried to explain that the hyperdrive was damaged, and consequently the Rebel ship would not …

5 Time-Saving Tips for National Guard Company Commanders

Taking command is a big deal. For most officers, we spend all our lieutenant time with that as the goal. But taking command as a National Guard officer versus Active duty is a pretty different beast. Look, we all want to pretend it's one team, one fight, right? And - once the bullets start singing …

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 …

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 …

Is the Army’s Professional Military Education System Broken?

The Army takes the education of its soldiers very seriously; so seriously that it developed the term “professional military education,” which it then turned into an acronym, PME. That’s how you can tell that the Army is serious about things: proliferation of acronyms. But seriously. Military Education Military education is incredibly important - it sets …

ASO’s Summer Reading List

Summer means many things: vacation, lazy days by the beach, cook-outs, and the smell of freshly mowed lawns. Or it means yet another NTC rotation, another deployment, a PCS move, or other less-fun Army experiences. Whether you're burying your toes in the sand on the beach or trying to get the sand out of your …

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 …

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 …