Lead with the best version of yourself.

Forging Trust in Time for the Next Crisis

Enduring

by Hannah Wentland

For a long time I have struggled to write or even share my thoughts. The first notion inhibiting me is always, “Who am I to write something worth knowing?” I fear I lack the credibility to sit at the table and champion my voice: I lack the rank, title, experience, badges, and a myriad of other spoken or silent markers of merit. Still, even more pervasive, is my fear that anything I say will be construed and generalized as blanket truth for other women in similar positions. Indeed, this is one of my greatest career hurdles and daily struggles.

My perspective and experience cannot speak for an entire gender. Furthermore, my niche of being a female combat arms officer still does not mean I can speak for all women in these roles. I want you to hear my voice and know there is truth in my experienceꟷ that many probably share it, as well as my opinions, but it is only one part of the whole. The very thing that polarizes me from people is what makes me diverse, allows me to bring something to the table, and fosters a dialogue to ensure we, as leaders and stewards of the profession, create the best environment we can.

Attack the Stigma!: How Leaders can support Mental Health Maintenance

by Mandi Rollinson

What is mental health?

Despite the stigma existing in contemporary culture around the term “mental health,” mental health is not a condition in and of itself. It is a fact of being human. 

The WHO defines mental health as: “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to [their] community.”  If you’re thinking, “Well, what does that mean?”, then you aren’t alone. 

Get To Know Each Other: The Art and Power of Friendship

by Caleb Miller

How well do you know the people you work with? How often, outside of work hours, do you hang out with any of them? Do you know what they consider to be important? Do you know about where they came from before they joined the military? What they fear? What they value above all else?

Could you point out who in your platoon came from a stable home, or is in a healthy marriage, or defines success in a way similar to you?

Do you know what books they read or movies they watch? What shows they are binging?

Or, are you too busy to really think about any of that?

Every Soldier A Warrior: Bridging the Divide Between Combat and Support

by Benjamin Phocas

After twenty years of counterinsurgency, with some spending entire combat deployments in an air conditioned office on a city sized forward operating base, it has become easy for soldiers not at the tip of the spear to treat the Army as a simple nine-to-five job. Simply stated, an attitude of complacency became pervasive. Peacetime has worsened this attitude for every branch, with the true purpose of the Army, fighting our nation’s wars, taking a backseat as everyday priorities pile up.

The One Thing Series: Seeing the Best in People

by Brad Ruttman

It was very difficult to choose the one thing I wish I knew before taking command. After 8 years of operational and strategic level command, there are so many. However, there is one in particular that I never thought that I would say as a military member: to be the best leader you can possibly be, you have to see the best in people first.

For most in the military, we grow up in the tactical realm where we formulate “the way it should be” in our brain. The idea that someday, “when I’m in charge, I’m going to do it right.” After actually taking command, we find out it’s really more complicated than we thought. 

The One Thing Series: Burnout

by Bob Shelton 

I failed … my family, my unit, and my leaders.  

As a teenager, I had a t-shirt that said “Eat, sleep, and go like hell.”  I put a lot of stock in the latter part of that slogan…I believed it.  Twenty-two years of military experience reinforced that I could not only sustain, but push the pace. Regardless, the new job demanded that I do more.  Then, less than six months into a command tour, I hit the wall.

Welcome to burnout. 

The One Thing Series: You Are Not the Point

by Ben Durdle

Our education plants the seed of our perceived exceptionalism, our training waters it, and our experiences prune and bathe it in sunlight. We have signed up to do something extraordinary and believing we are capable and, in many ways, exceptional, is a valuable characteristic to possess.