The most critical tool for training leaders

Saint Augustine wrote The City of God Against the Pagans. In this philosophical work, the Saint discussed time as subjective to the mind and viewed as three presents: the presents of past, current, and future. The Present of the Past is memory. The Present of the Current is sight. The Present of the Future is expectation. All three presents exist now in the moment and are in that way connected. In gunnery, I had the memory of failing to pass the test to compute Concurrent Met the first time I took it. I had the memory of re-taking and passing the test, […]

Leadership Failure

This article is very disturbing. In the late 1970’s my first assignment was as a training officer (Executive Officer XO) and later Company Commander of a Basic Training Company. I learned very quickly that being associated with a Basic Training Company was not a 9 to 5 job. Clearly there were leadership lapses, as a Training Officer I pulled Staff Duty Officer, it was an all night affair, and you were expected to go through the Brigade Area once before midnight and once after. I always made it a point to check in on one or two Charge of Quarters […]

“[W]e are in need of a religious revolution”

So says Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. This speech is a truly remarkable for its direct assault on the heretofore unaccountable Muslim clerisy. The speech made by Egypt’s latest military strongman ensures he won’t die peacefully in his sleep of old age, but that said, the implications are enormous. Raymond Ibrahim provided the translation, which was picked up by Roger Simon at Pajamas Media. Michael Ledeen, also of PJ Media, notes the deafening silence. Key graph from Raymond Ibrahim’s translation: I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I […]

Knowledge Management & the Competence of Officers

In an earlier post advocating abolishing West Point and the other service academies (and I would belatedly include the Merchant Marine Academy since we have no merchant fleets), the question of the value of the academies is a red herring. The value of the academies is not its graduates, grounds, or current body of students and staff. The value of the academies is the information stored, developed and conveyed to students. This information is what the academies hold onto with a Vulcan death-grip. ROTC and OCS can not compete because they do not have access to the information, nor to the men […]

Tougher Than Fighting a War

Good article over at Politico on General Pete Chiarelli’s crusade for the cause of brain injury.

“They Fired the Wrong Guy”

This just in from Cop-Turned-Bureaucrat, regarding Hagel etc., “Failure of State: They Fired the Wrong Guy”– The firing of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense raises more questions than it answers. Is it correct to blame military failures on the military establishment when the executive has not articulated a foreign policy based upon clear and sustainable national interests?  Is it proper to criticize the Secretary of Defense for discussing foreign policy issues when the Secretary of State has failed to bring forth a coherent foreign policy? The state of play in Washington, not only currently, but over the last decade, […]

Ricks* on Hagel: Why It Went South

Ouch. Not pretty but based on my personal experience (not first-hand, but hearing directly from those who did have first-hand experience, in oblique but unmistakeable terms), also not inaccurate. Spontaneous cheers could be heard in many Pentagon offices as the surprise news of Hagel’s resignation spread. Although Hagel’s predecessors, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, were hugely popular, few Pentagon wonks developed warm feelings for Hagel. Drawing on conversations from a mix of senior executives and mid-level officials, political appointees and career government servants, hawks and doves, and Republicans and Democrats, this post presents an insider view on why Hagel failed […]

Rational Thinking about Ferguson

Ever since it happened it just rang true for me.  Every time a black man is shot/killed in an incident involving a white LEO, agitators make it about race.  However, every time a white man gets shot/killed by a black cop it quite rarely ends with agitators making it about race. To take Michael Brown’s life in separate incidences is only think about snapshots.  The reality is, that day Michael Brown committed one crime.  And based on evidence from the coroner, committed another when he got into an altercation with Brian Wilson.  I will readily admit that Darren Wilson did […]

Nomination in for Next SecDef

Ashton Carter. His name is not unfamiliar to those of us who work in the building. What I found most impressive, however, are his credentials from his earlier uniformed service, such as this:   And this–   Holy shit!! Did you see that?? I had to read it again, just to be sure I got it right. I don’t know about you, but there’s a man I’d follow into battle. Just the man we need in times like these.

A Man worth Following

Yesterday Senator James Webb announced an exploratory bid for the presidency.  I honestly never thought of him as a Candidate for the job.  The reality is that the bench on the Democratic side is extraordinarily slim.  The Republicans have a few guys I’d take a look at.  Many of you might recall him as the combat boot wearing candidate who ran for the Virginia Senate seat.  Although it was in solidarity of his son who was deployed at the time.  Webb, a Marine, is a Combat Veteran of Vietnam who was award for conspicuous gallantry on numerous occasions, an accomplished […]