Lead with the best version of yourself.

The History of a Great Culture

The History of a Great Culture


By James “Beau” Wasson

“This is the story of three years in the lives of thirty-eight American soldiers. Typically, they are descendants of nine nationalities, from all sections of America, helping to defend their liberty, families, and the rights of free men everywhere. Entrusted with the reproduction of top military secrets involving the lives of thousands of men and the success of the invasion prior to D-day, they were charged with operating, maintaining, and moving $1,000,000 worth of equipment, and its destruction if threatened with capture. . . . 

Largely over age, rich in civilian experience, they fought with their skills twenty-hours out of twenty-four, in two shifts, bore arms and performed their full share of other Army details. . . . They make no pretense of being heroes and fortunately wear no Purple Hearts. This is merely a record of their travels and their contribution to wrecking the Festung Europa and driving the Nazi Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe to a final battlefield surrender.”

An anonymous Soldier penned these words about the Reproduction Platoon, 902d Engineer Air Force Headquarters Company in 1945. They appeared in a unit scrapbook titled 902 in the ETO. This scrapbook, along with hundreds of pages of unit reports, articles, newspapers, and pictures, provide numerous stories from the 902d Engineer Construction Company’s history. More than simple stories, these tales form a narrative that shapes the culture of the organization today. 

How to Succeed in a World of Merciless Taskers


By Colonel Glenn A. Henke

The Problem

     Every Army command team faces the same challenge: how to manage the ceaseless onslaught of tasks that come from higher headquarters while conducting your own training and operations. Battery, company, and troop commanders are the leaders who direct actual Soldiers to execute missions dreamed up by their higher headquarters, all the way from the Department of Defense on down. To make matters more unfair, every commander above them has a staff to organize these tasks. A battery has the commander, 1SG, XO, and perhaps a training room NCO.

     Battery command teams frequently mention this challenge as the most significant issue preventing them from leading effectively. This is exacerbated when higher headquarters fail to observe established training lock-in windows, or when they task a unit for more than they can physically execute. This challenge accumulates at each echelon, so a battery that is lucky enough to have a perfect battalion staff is not protected if the brigade or division staffs are not equally disciplined. Even when the higher headquarters spread tasks equitably in a timely manner, allowing units time to plan, the sheer volume can overwhelm the best training plan.

     Leaders at the battery can manage this challenge by using planning horizons and applying fundamental Army processes, specifically the 8 Step Training Model and Troop Leading Procedures. This approach is more likely to succeed than fighting the battalion over every tasking. Commanders can’t control what happens, but they can control how they deal with what happens. 

Learn and Look Before You Tweet

Learn and Look Before You Tweet


Some things you should understand before jumping headfirst into the information environment

By Larry Kay

Last week was “media literacy week,” which unlike national doughnut and Twinkie day, should be elevated to a more prominent occasion given how central the internet, media and social media are to our lives. Given how clouded and competitive the information environment is, it is supremely important that people become ‘media and internet literate.’ What I urge everyone to recognize is that the information environment is as open and amusing as it is caustic and dangerous in today’s strategic context. To put a necessary point on it: these are dark times and for every piece of truthful and accurate information, there is an equal if not greater amount of falsehoods masquerading as truth. Many discussions today about the information environment or information operations are concerned primarily with how to win, but often do not apply much thought or consideration toward not losing or identifying disinformation. This article aims to help people navigate the treacherous waters of the web, to prevent them first from losing to disinformation and falsehoods. However, before you search on Wikipedia for the definition of ‘media and internet literacy,’ please consider the following before you begin your journey.

When the Unexpected Happens at Home

When the Unexpected Happens at Home


By Aaron Childers

As a member of the military, we are programmed to plan, especially for deployments. We have to fill out DD93s, Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance (SGLI) paperwork and get medical clearance. Whether we want to or not, we are poked, prodded, and complete health assessments. Planning for the worst-case scenario isn’t just encouraged, it is mandatory.

But, we don’t talk about when the unthinkable happens at home.  We don’t plan for our spouse or child to get sick. There is no manual or regulation that guides us when our families go through something traumatic. For an organization that is so good at planning, we fail to account for something that is so devastating to mental readiness – A major health crisis at home.

For my family, this became apparent when my wife was diagnosed with cancer last December and spent the next 10 months fighting and eventually winning HER battle. Along the way, we applied several lessons that I learned in the military. I think they are worth passing on in the event you find yourself in our shoes.

Before You Commission, Read These 5 Books

Before You Commission, Read These 5 Books


By Oren Abusch-Magder

Former Defense Secretary Mattis famously once wrote, “Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation, never at a loss for how any problem has been addressed before. It doesn’t give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead.”

In order to light my path, I have often turned to books. Of the books I have read, five have been particularly instrumental in my development as a leader. They are from a wide array of genres, including both fiction and non-fiction, history, psychology, and organizational leadership. The lessons found in these books helped me navigate the experiences of being a cadet and have helped me to think ahead about what I need to successfully lead soldiers. If I could charge every cadet in the country with doing one thing before commissioning, it would be to read these books.