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 …

Land Rights and the Formation of the U.S. Army

Land use and land rights within the United States have always been touchy subjects. Just ask the first colonists who landed and were confronted by the natives; for that matter, ask the natives. Right now, ask the armed occupants who are effectively "squatting" on Federal land in Oregon, who state that, "This isn't going to end …

A Socratic Dialogue with a Staff Officer

Way back in the hazy days of Army history (1905), there existed a mythical bird: the Oozlefinch. First sighted by inebriated denizens of the Coast Artillery Corps Officer’s Club at Fort Monroe, Virginia, the Oozlefinch was quickly adopted by that corps as their mascot. Allegedly featherless but with large eyes with which to see the …

Tilting at Windmills: Army Officer Education versus Training

In the timeless children's classic The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, the character of the professor is attempting to explain how there can be parallel universes to the children, but is encountering disbelief. "Bless me," he says, "It's all in Plato.  What DO they teach them in these schools?"  Similarly, one could tell …

On the Future of Army History: Still Lost in the Woods Looking for a Reflective Belt

I recently read a great article from Foreign Policy citing a lack of critical thinking skills on the part of U.S. Army officers, and it stated that a solution lay in a better groundwork in history. First off, anyone who's spent time working on staff at any level can agree to the lack of critical thinking. …

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. …

Retrograde: The Least Sexy thing in the Army

This post first appeared on Medium here. It has been reposted in its entirety. This was my first blog post. Some say that beginnings are hard to do. For beginning a war, this might seem to be the case, as the months of planning, logistical coordination, and troop movements come to fruition in the first …