Mindful of the Future: Courage in Counseling

Bourbon & Battles is pleased to welcome Aaron Lawless as today’s guest author. Check out Aaron’s bio below the story!


Once upon a time, there was an extraordinarily inept young lieutenant. Following a long string of mishaps, he was banished from a line company to a post on the Battalion staff, where he theoretically could do no harm. For a while, he flailed about, desperate in his quest for a mentor to save him, until he latched onto the Battalion Commander. He remained pretty much useless, able to help negotiate an end to a long-running feud between the XO and S3, but only by involving the Brigade Commander. Time went by and the young lieutenant found himself in the middle of major combat operations against an invading force. The lieutenant bumbled his way through the conflict with a few lucky successes. He guided a SOF mission behind enemy lines to rescue some State Department VIPs, managed to single-handedly destroy some enemy armor with a hand grenade, and was promoted. Soon thereafter, he left military service and joined the staff of an up-and-coming Senator from his home state. When the Senator had to temporarily go into witness protection, our clumsy hero was left with proxy voting power, which he promptly bungled by proposing emergency powers legislation that allowed the former chief executive of the republic to stage a military coup and declare himself a supreme dictator. Continue reading Mindful of the Future: Courage in Counseling

Advertisements

“I Do Not Read Recreationally,” A Reflection

To be clear, these are not my words. Read on for the source.

For those of you unfamiliar with my professional path outside of the words on this blog, I have prioritized educating, training, and inspiring future leaders of America over Bourbon & Battles for the last year. I break that silence today for some reflection inspired by a single written comment from a student.

To get to know my newest group of students last week, I asked each of them to fill out a bio card. One of the pieces of information I asked for: favorite book. I mostly wanted to see what authors and titles inspired this cohort—military history and more military history abound, as did some classics, and more than one mention of 1984. Shamelessly, I also wanted to see if I could use their recommendations to add some more tomes to my “to-read” list. Turns out, I did.

But to my instant consternation, I received this answer on one bio card: “I do not read recreationally.”

giphy1giphy2giphy3 Continue reading “I Do Not Read Recreationally,” A Reflection

Guest Post: Taking the Leap — An Amateur’s First Year in Military Writing

Bourbon & Battles is pleased to welcome Nick Alexander as today’s guest author. Check out Nick’s bio below the story!


I wonder if I can?

Sitting at a conference listening intently to a senior officer in the Australian Army start the organisation on a journey of professional mastery, the following derivatives of this question are what really got a fire burning within me.

I wonder if I can meaningfully contribute to the revolution?

I wonder if I can grow?

I wonder if I can build a network?

I wonder if I can help to solve wicked problems?

So I walked away motivated, and my first stop was to read. Everything. Continue reading Guest Post: Taking the Leap — An Amateur’s First Year in Military Writing

Guest Post: Education Opportunities in the Army

Bourbon & Battles is pleased to welcome Nathan Lunde as today’s guest author. Check out Nathan’s bio below the story.


There are many reasons a person would choose to join the military. These reasons can include patriotism, sense of social duty, family tradition, need for a job, sense of adventure and the list is as varied as the members of our Armed Forces. A big motivation for joining the military is the education benefits that are made available to active service members as well as veterans. There is a myriad of programs which can be used to assist with paying for education, and it is important that members and veterans alike know what those programs are in order to ensure that they are fully utilized and the individuals are able to make themselves more competitive amongst their peers in the civilian and military work force.

The goal of this post is to outline some of these programs. I will address some of the benefits offered by the five services but the focus will primarily be on the benefits afforded to those who currently serve or have served in the US Army.

Continue reading Guest Post: Education Opportunities in the Army

Hanging Around the Flagpole

At the end of my final semester in grad school, I have noticeably trimmed back B&B content for the sake of focusing on my thesis and other school work. But when a piece of research jumps out at me, I feel compelled to write, as with my last post in February regarding college credits for military service members and veterans. This time is like that. Continue reading Hanging Around the Flagpole

E-to-O: Enlisted Commissioning Programs & the Problem with Credits

To complete my Public Policy master’s degree, I chose to develop a policy analysis aimed at improving enlisted commissioning opportunities at my university. The Army’s version of these programs is Green to Gold. (In the Navy, it’s STA-21, MECEP in the Marine Corps, and the Air Force has a few programs under the enlisted commissioning umbrella.)

The general problem is that my school doesn’t support prospective enlisted-to-officer candidates very well, though they want to—that’s where I come in. I sent out a survey just this week to several university admissions offices and various ROTC programs (of all services) to ascertain trends and capture best practices. Although the work is far from over, a concerning trend is already clear: many troops don’t have credits for core college courses. Continue reading E-to-O: Enlisted Commissioning Programs & the Problem with Credits

Captain Dad: On Being a Modern Parent Leader

Parents are the leaders of families. This is not a new concept, and it has been recognized when considering things like parents’ role in leading their kids’ education and upbringing. The tie between parenting and leading outside of the household is also fairly easy to see, and you can check out other pieces that identify the similarities between leading kids and adults (written by a former SEAL), note the boost to leadership parents receive, and list the numerous lessons learned from parenting that are applicable to leadership. Not to be forgotten, The Military Leader ran a piece a couple years ago about this very topic. (A version of that same post also ran on Task & Purpose.)

All of that is to say that the body of literature on parenting vis-à-vis leadership is fairly saturated. But even after reading much of the existing work, I found little mention of some of the comparisons I had in mind. I don’t claim to be a stellar example of either a leader or a parent, but I can certainly see the overlap. So, here’s my contribution to that “scholarship,” with a mind especially to company grade leadership and the help of the TV show Modern Family:

Continue reading Captain Dad: On Being a Modern Parent Leader

Bourbon & Battles: One Year In

During Christmas Break one year ago, I wrote a piece for PMJWire, the blog for PolicyMatters Journal, which is the student-run journal for my school, the Goldman School of Public Policy. In that blog post, I argued for including women in registering for the Selective Service. Not satisfied with whatever audience that post would reach, I decided to share the post on Medium—my first self-published piece. I published a few more things on Medium, but it wasn’t long before I bought BourbonandBattles.com.

So began Bourbon & Battles Year One.

Continue reading Bourbon & Battles: One Year In

#BourbonOfTheMonth – November 2016

This month’s B&B #BourbonOfTheMonth is a few days late, but such are the consequences of the end of a semester—sue me. Besides, I had a strange problem this month: too many good bourbons from which to choose. What follows is what I deem the best of a handful of good pickups from my local booze shop. One or two of the others will likely follow. Continue reading #BourbonOfTheMonth – November 2016

#Reviewing JFK and LBJ: The Last Two Great Presidents [The Strategy Bridge]

Godfrey Hodgson. JFK and LBJ: The Last Two Great Presidents. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015.

JFK and LBJ Cover.jpg

I am pleased and grateful that the fine folks at The Strategy Bridge published my very first historical book review. Click here to read what I think about Godfrey Hodgson’s JFK and LBJ: The Last Two Great Presidents.


If you like this post, please share it using the buttons below. Follow Bourbon & Battles on Twitter |@BourbonBattles and on Facebook |https://www.facebook.com/BourbonandBattles. Add to this conversation by leaving a reply below.

Lessons in life, leadership, history, bourbon, and stuff.

3x5 Leadership

Your Foremost Digital Leader Development Resource

Sigspace

Form Without Function

Story of My Life

Things I've learned. Things I've seen. Things I've experienced.

Social Health

Insights on the Power of Social Bonds

Foreign Policy

the Global Magazine of News and Ideas

Military-JiuJitsu

Tackling leadership and followership questions for the military professional and providing perspectives on life lessons learned through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Pathfinder

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail - Ralph Waldo Emerson

MILopoly

Economics of Defense

Command Performance Leadership

A Blog Discussing Military & Corporate Leadership Competencies - By Dale R. Wilson

Soldiers' Mail

Letters Home from a Yankee Doughboy 1916-1919

ProDev2Go

Professional Development for Leaders on the Go !

From the Green Notebook

My thoughts on war, warfare, and leadership

Combat Cav Scout - From the OP

Reality-Based Opinions in a World Gone Black & White