Get Out of the Way and Let Us Do Our Jobs: A NCO’s Perspective

Today's post is by guest author, SoonerGrunt. He is a retired Army non-commissioned officer with twenty-two years of experience in both the Regular Army and the Army National Guard. My Twitter friend Angry Staff Officer had a response from a junior officer’s perspective to a blog post entitled “31 Things Your Senior Rater Wants You …

18 Things I Look For in a Senior Rater

Last week, one of my favorite blogs - From the Green Notebook - ran a guest piece called, 31 Things Your Senior Rater Would Like You to Know That He Probably Won’t Tell You. Quite a mouthful. While I disagreed with nearly everything that the author said, he did start a good conversation on leadership styles that has bloomed …

Walking a World War I Battlefield

I've been to a lot of battlefields: from the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. Most are neatly marked with "this thing happened here" or "Robert E. Lee's horse drank from a puddle here." I've even been to a few from the Soviet-Afghan War and Operation Enduring Freedom, although I saw …

It’s Time for Another Louisiana Maneuvers

Back in 1941, the Army did something extreme: it tested its doctrine. Not on tabletop wargames, not in a computer simulation, not with an invasion of a small Latin American country. No, the Army mobilized over 400,000 Regular and National Guard troops, spent a year training them up, and then let them fight each other …

Ballad of a Young Staff Officer

One Friday night, dark and dreary, At my desk I slumped, weak and weary. A late-night tasker, come my way, Too “urgent” to wait just one more day. “See here, LT,” the S-3 had said, “This suspense can’t wait, don’t mark as read, “Write WARNO, write FRAGO, pen the order, And ensure your slides have …

What is Readiness and How Do We Get There?

Let’s have a little chat about readiness. To be more specific, let’s talk Army National Guard readiness. First of all, what does readiness even mean? The word is being tossed around like a football these days (that’s American football to you other folks who refuse to acknowledge our arbitrary break with the rest of the …

“Of the Highest Order:” June 16, 1918

He bent low. His back ached. He could smell the earth below his face, the stinking, ever-present mud. Mercifully, free of gas. For now. The soft lip of the trench - or, what had been a trench before German artillery had blasted it to ever-living hell - was a dim reflection in the early morning …

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 …