Atmospherics: Exit Your Bubble

Standing in front of a dusty wall-sized map in late 2005 in West Baghdad with an intelligence officer and a civil affairs officer, the three of us realized the pieces of our intelligence picture didn’t fit together. The intelligence summaries we got from higher headquarters weren’t matching the debriefs our small unit patrol leaders wereContinue reading “Atmospherics: Exit Your Bubble”

Overcoming Weakness: The Veteran Network

In the 1998 action film Ronin, Robert De Niro and Jean Reno star as a couple of former intelligence officers hired into a team to track down a mysterious package that’s wanted by both Irish terrorists and the Russians. At a couple of points throughout the film, as De Niro’s character Sam and Reno’s characterContinue reading “Overcoming Weakness: The Veteran Network”

The Standard Operating Procedure: a Green Beret Practice for Dads

Do you ever get the feeling that the thing you’re doing at that moment, you’ve done at least once before? Do you find yourself trying to remember how you did it, so you can do it again? This happens to me yearly now when I’m doing a seasonal task – packing for vacation in theContinue reading “The Standard Operating Procedure: a Green Beret Practice for Dads”

Triangle As Defensive Posture for A Pause in Combat

Today Steve Bryant guest-hosted the Why Is This Interesting Newsletter and listed out applications and misapplications of the triangle in different contexts. Talking with Chris Papasadero about the triangle most common in a Green Beret’s world – the patrol base, Chris had this to say: As an 18B Weapons Sergeant, my job was to makeContinue reading “Triangle As Defensive Posture for A Pause in Combat”

Duties & Responsibilities for AI on the battlefield: Thoughts

There’s some thought out there on how AI can make armed groups more effective, but what problems will it help us solve? And what’s the right way to use it? Chris Sauceda and I wrote a short piece on the Mad Scientist blog about how to think about AI on the battlefield. Some of theContinue reading “Duties & Responsibilities for AI on the battlefield: Thoughts”

Rules to live by: a glimpse of the value of the NCO

Some months back I transcribed a xeroxed list of “rules to live by” handwritten by a famous Ranger Command Sergeant Major. It’s gotten some traction in military & veteran circles, and it’s a pretty honest look at some of the details that good frontline managers focus on in their jobs. It’s inspiring. The list canContinue reading “Rules to live by: a glimpse of the value of the NCO”