The Qualities The British Army Looks For In Officers Assigned To Advise Foreign Militaries

The Long March

The British Army has an interesting take on what makes a good advisor to foreign forces.


To begin with, the three top attributes for which the selection process filters are "Humility, self-reliance and restlessness." Also "patience and empathy," states Brig. James Roddis. I don't think I've ever seen an American military requirement along those lines. "I need people who are patient and comfortable in their skin," he explains.

One reason he needs emotional maturity, he adds, is "the leader must have the confidence to not have every idea.. . .They have to trust their Lance Corporals and Corporals to run more stuff."

A few other interesting observations in this short article:

  • "You must be comfortable in leaving tasks horribly unfinished because success, certainly in the initial phases of a task, might simply be being asked back."
  • " Everything they do must be sustainable. A mature ego is important – do no harm must be the mantra. The worst thing you can do during your task is make your successors' jobs more difficult."
  • "Leaders in the Specialized Infantry will need to be comfortable feeling uncomfortable. They will recognise problems, accept the problems need to be solved, yet also accept that they will not be able to solve them in their own deployment cycle. All this leads to the acceptance that their role is actually laying the foundations for their successor's successor to help the partner force blossom."
  • "Tactical success is not always the top priority. "During the first few iterations of a mission the most critical task is establishing a relationship." (This made me think of a phrase I hate: "Failure is not an option." I think it really is a way of justifying risk aversion. If failure isn't an option, then you are not taking enough risks. And you may be seeking strategic gains without taking tactical risks, which is a recipe for stalemate or worse.)
The payslip belonging to Gaius Messius, a Roman auxiliary soldier who likely served in Masada, Israel between 72 and 75 CE. (Twitter/@DrJEBall)

A 1,900-year-old scrap of papyrus proves that while warfare may change, the bureaucratic bullshit that comes with military life does not.

Read More Show Less
A screenshot of Del Hall's two-week recap YouTube video.

If you run across Army veteran Del Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, over the next couple of weeks, offer to buy him a beer.

No, seriously — it's all he's can have until mid-April.

Read More Show Less
An airplane with the Russian flag is seen at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas, Venezuela March 24, 2019. (Reuters/Carlos Jasso)

WASHINGTON/CARACAS (Reuters) - The United States on Monday accused Russia of "reckless escalation" of the situation in Venezuela by deploying military planes and personnel to the crisis-stricken South American nation that Washington has hit with crippling sanctions.

Read More Show Less

Victory over ISIS has come at a tremendous cost for America's Kurdish and Arab allies in Syria.

More than 11,000 Syrian Democratic Forces fighters were killed and 21,000 others wounded fighting ISIS, the group announced on Saturday following the group's formal liberation of ISIS' last enclave in Syria.

Read More Show Less
Sailors from Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD), currently assigned to USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) works on a mock patient during a mass casualty drill for Mercy Exercise (MERCEX) in December 2018. (U.S. Navy/Cameron Pinske)

Editor's Note: This article by Patricia Kime originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

In March 2014, at Naval Hospital Bremerton, Washington, Navy Lt. Rebekah "Moani" Daniel was admitted to have her first child. A labor and delivery nurse who worked at the facility, she was surrounded by friends and co-workers when daughter Victoria entered the world.

But four hours later, the 33-year-old was dead, having lost more than a third of her body's volume of blood to post-partum hemorrhaging. Her husband's attorney argues that the doctors failed to deploy treatments in time to halt the bleeding, leading to her death.

Her baby, now 5, never felt her mom's embrace.

This Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to hear a petition from Moani Daniel's husband, Walter Daniel, in his case against the Navy hospital where his wife died. Like every other service member, Daniel was required to get medical care from the U.S. military, but her family is prohibited from suing for medical malpractice, barred by a 69-year-old legal ruling known as Feres that precludes troops from suing the federal government for injuries deemed incidental to military service.

"Suppose you had two sisters. One was on active duty and the other was a military dependent. Both of them give birth in adjoining rooms at the same military hospital [by the same doctor]. Both are victims of malpractice. One can sue and the other one can't. How can that make sense?" asked attorney Eugene Fidell, a former Coast Guard judge advocate general and military law expert who lectures at Yale Law School.

Read More Show Less