In 2006, the War on Drugs was running strong and concurrent with the Global War on Terrorism. As part of that effort, Petty Officer 2nd Class Shawn VanDiver, a fire controlman, deployed to waters off of Central and South America as the lead technician for the Mark 92 Fire Control System, work center supervisor of the work groups within combat systems fire control and gunnery divisions, and anti-terrorism officer. For the next six months, his unit patrolled waters infested with drug runners. Deployed on the USS Thach, the crew took in 29.2 tons of cocaine as well as several tons of marijuana. Thach and her crew were recognized with multiple unit awards for their efforts. This is VanDiver’s story.
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño
I recently had the pleasure of reading “Breaking the Trust Barrier: How Leaders Close the Gaps for High Performance” by retired Air Force Col. JV Venable, who formerly commanded the Thunderbirds, the Air Force’s crack flight demonstration squadron. His new book is a quick and easy read focusing on success found through a repeatable formula that Venable has used through multiple commands. It reinforces concepts anyone who has led an organization should know. That said, it’s not always easy to focus on these concepts on a daily basis, but Venable seems to have cracked the code and aims to share it with all of us through his book.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer A. Villalovos
There’s one national security threat that has hardly received any attention in the hours of presidential debates we’ve seen so far this cycle.This threat decreases resilience at home, destabilizes hotspots abroad, and puts men and women in uniform all over at greater risk through any number of factors.
During my time in service, I encountered several types of leaders. Some were good, some weren’t so fun to work for, and some were absolutely incredible. Every veteran can recall one or two significant leaders who they would follow into a firefight no matter when, where, or what the odds, based solely on their strong and principled leadership.