NCO Lesson: Sam, You Made the Pants Too Short!

Lesson on Leadership “Oh it is great to have a Giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a Giant”         – Shakespeare (Measure for Measure) Serving as a Drill Sergeant was one of the most rewarding opportunities that I experienced in my 28 year Army career. It is one of the few jobs that... Read More

NCO 2020: Understanding the Lines of Effort

NCO 2020 Strategy The NCO 2020 Strategy was developed for many different reasons and the roles and responsibilities for Noncommissioned Officers have evolved significantly over the last few decades. NCOs in today’s environment have had to adjust in a deliberate and comprehensive approach. The days of not understanding your duties and responsibilities have been replaced with more stringent requirements at... Read More

116-year Army Streamer Error Continues

Streamer Spelling Error I only gained a deeper understanding of the United States Army major battles and the campaign streamers that they represent when I had the privilege to edit and update the book U.S. Army Campaign Streamers: Colors of Courage Since 1775. As a Senior Fellow for the non-profit Association of the United States Army and volunteering to serve... Read More

Neighborhood Watch in Baghdad

Leader Lessons                 On 7 April 2003, I was the Platoon Sergeant of a tank platoon that had just fought its way into the heart of downtown Baghdad, Iraq, as part of what was called the second “Thunder Run.” At this point in my life, I was a Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) who viewed the thought of talking to the citizens... Read More

What’s it like having an approved Defense Budget?

Finally! It looks like a coming boom for defense buyers and defense contractors, it looks like we have a defense budget approved. This month has brought both a solution to the long-lasting defense spending freeze with the Administration’s proposed budget for the 2019 fiscal year. Hearing all these headlines and news bites in passing can be confusing to know what’s... Read More

Inconsistency of writing non-commissioned officer versus noncommissioned officer

Non-Commissioned Officer vs. Noncommissioned Officer To hyphenate, or not to hyphenate—that is the question at hand today. So there it is, you’re a noncommissioned officer, and now you have to write out your new job title. How do you write it? Is it noncommissioned officer or non-commissioned officer? Some might argue that it simply depends on who you ask. Other,... Read More

Thank You For Your Service: Respecting Those In Uniform, And The Entire Organization They Represent

DOD LGBT Pride Month event celebration cake. The celebration was held on the Pentagon Courtyard, June 8, 2016. The event is an opportunity for the entire DOD community to come together and celebrate the great diversity of the American people in a festive, affirming atmosphere. President Barack Obama signed a proclamation, May 31, 2016, designating June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual... Read More

Increased pay is vital to recruiting and troop retention

Increased pay is vital to recruiting and troop retention Employee retention is hard for any company. When even Forbes 500 companies spend time brainstorming ways to keep their best and brightest, it’s no surprise that the military could stand to do the same sort of soul-searching.   Retaining military service members has its own brand of unique challenges, but, when... Read More

Does Holiday Exodus impact soldier training?

Does Holiday Exodus impact soldier training? Another year has come and gone, sending us all back to schools, jobs, and obligations we’ve put off to be with family—or maybe binge watch our favorite TV show. Do you remember what you were doing that final day in the office of 2017? I know I don’t—except for maybe willing the time to... Read More

Excessive Training Pulls Service Members Away From Core Military Tasks Before Deployment

Excessive Training Pulls Service Members Away From Core Military Tasks Before Deployment We’ve all been there—you find yourself sitting through yet another IT safety powerpoint training. Soldiers aren’t interested, you aren’t interested and yet requirements for this sort of mindless training continue to eat up space on an increasingly crowded training calendar. You wonder if there is a better way... Read More