Voices

Permission To Speak Freely



Let’s Do This: What Military Leaders Can Learn From ‘Leeroy Jenkins!’

leroy jenkins
“Alright chums! Let’s do this… LEEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOY JEEEEEENKIIIIIIIIIIINS!” These are the hilarious words uttered by Ben Schulz, the creator of the “Leeroy Jenkins” World of Warcraft character. For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Jenkins, I encourage you to watch A Rough Go – Leeroy Jenkins. Leeroy Jenkins offers us a metaphorical example of why we … Read More

Finding Meaning After The Military: Sorting Out My PTSD Led Me To A Ph.D.

Finally we get a contest entry from a female vet! Here’s no. 13 in our contest about finding meaning in life after leaving the military. Katharine Dahlstrand: “Within twenty-four hours of my return from Iraq, a team consisting of therapists, medical professionals, and a chaplain diagnosed me with PTSD. Through a series of bumbles, bureaucratic … Read More

Here’s What You Should Think About Before Getting Out Of The Military

reenlistment
When it comes to deciding whether to leave the military or to make it a career, too many folks just wait until their current contract expires and say, “Oh shit. I have to get a real job now.” Others just robotically keep signing papers every few years, sleepwalking from tour to tour until they’ve ended … Read More

I’m An Army Reservist And A High School Teacher. Guess Which Job Is Scarier

second amendment florida shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz
I showed my high school students how to use my Army-issued tourniquet last week in case there is a shooting at our school. I was motivated to do so by the Tactical Casualty Combat Care training I recently received as an Army Reservist. As I sat there in the training absorbing the key lessons we … Read More

Yet Another CENTCOM Chief Rises In The Trump Administration

Gen. John Abizaid, commanding general U.S. Central Command, speaks prior to the amphibious landing exercise, Sept 15. 2005.
I see where retired Army Gen. John Abizaid is going to become the next American ambassador to Saudi Arabia. That’s just fine and I think he will be good. Among other things, Abizaid was head of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), which oversees our endless wars in the Middle East, from 2003 to 2007. I … Read More

The AI Column: How To Practice Safe Cyber

Defense Secretary James Mattis announced last month that his department would be standing up a new task force to make recommendations about securing the defense industrial base from cyber attack. This comes after a Chinese company was charged with attempting to steal trade secrets from a leading U.S. chip manufacturer. Service members and veterans are … Read More

Meaning After The Military Will Find You When You Least Expect It

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Brain Chilson, with Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) 63, assigned to Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 5, watches over the departure of an LCAC from Red Beach in preparation of San Francisco Fleet Week Sept. 27, 2018
Here’s the 12th entry in our contest about finding meaning in life after leaving the military. Michael Hartman writes: “It has been over 25 years since I left the Army. Plenty of time to have felt the emptiness, to have tried to find meaning in my job, and then, years later, to have found meaning … Read More

What Today’s Army Can Learn from the Interwar Navy About Mission Command

To create an environment where this was feasible—where officers could use individual judgment and yet cooperatively further the overall objective — the Navy sought to strengthen the ability and effectiveness of officers but to do so within a standardized framework. The educational system of the Naval War College was a core component of the framework, … Read More