Aug
13

“Raising the Bar” & Adaptive Leadership book talks with author, Don Vandergriff

“Learn How to Do Everything Better” is the tag line you’ll find on Major (Ret.) Don E. Vandergriff’s website. How he transitioned from a 24 year military career in the Marine Corps, Army National Guard and Army as an infantryman and tanker into his business is what we explore on today’s WoW- Words on Wednesdays.

It’s the first of our interviews with this educator and author currently based in Virginia, but hailing from Tennessee. His book, “Raising the Bar” – one of the 5 he’s published, was named #1 to the Cadet Command Mandatory Reading List for 2014.  It’s full title is:  Raising the Bar: Creating and Nurturing Adaptability to Deal with the Changing Face of War (See Amazon link below)

Don Vandergriff

Don Vandergriff

Vandergriff has devoted most of the last decade working on new learning methodology and training doctrine on how to develop and nurture adaptability into U.S. Army leaders. He has briefed four-star generals and Congressmen as well as the Secretary of the Army.

The adaptability methodology he created is used by US Military Academy, US Army ROTC as well as at the Army Reconnaissance Course (ARC). It is applied at the Army Centers of Excellence and Special Warfare Training Group and Ranger Training Brigade, as well as Law Enforcement.

While serving as professor at Duke and Georgetown University, Vandergriff developed the entire curriculum for the Army ROTC departments. He then persuaded chain of command to allow him to implement and as a result successfully evolve both programs into high performing organizations turning out top cadets nationally.

When he founded Adaptive-leader LLC it was to develop and share innovative approaches in:

  • Leader Development
  • Education and Training techniques
  • Team building

The goals are to impact both military and civilian spheres were decision-making and effective action are concerned. We’ll share more on his ideas about generational change in leader development paradigms in preparing for 21st Century warfare and of the science of creating more effective non-military organizations in upcoming posts.

………..and now Don Vandergriff gives MilSuccessNet readers a first glimpse into his work and his writing proceess in his own words…..  [Read more…]

Jul
30

2003 Oscar winner “The Fog of War” relevant now

WoW- we unearthed this archived Words on Wednesdays. Who knew a post on a book by a military leader on death, decisions and war’s ravages would be an ‘evergreen’ item as marketers call an always relevant or in demand product? 

Now… back to the future in this encore post…..

I was in my own operational fog, the day I pulled “The Fog of War” a multi award winning film by documentarian, Errol Morris from the library shelf. At that moment, I lacked the clarity of Robert Strange McNamara, the sole focus of the 100 and something minute film. Of course, he was talking with perspective of a lifetime further distilled from 20 hours of interviews with him. And I didn’t have an 11 lesson framework on which the Former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara based his recollections and comments.

Fog of WarCritics have dubbed this film, the 11 excuses of McNamara. Others have said this film is evidence of his wandering the earth looking for redemption, for doing too little too late in relation to the Vietnam War. This must surely be part of the fallout from the Fog of War, where military operations which depend heavily on communications and intelligence to be successful, yet can be compromised when any elements fail. Confusion can occur. From that, miscalculation in strategic tactics and the ultimate price paid by individual service members in combat situations, including friendly fire fatalities.

Of course, there’s also the paper part of the fog of war. The political version, in which misinformation or facts are reported ambiguously to influence opinions.

At 85, he had perspective. He could talk to us all about his life and actions. [Read more…]

Dec
18

“5 Love Languages” book for the Military marriage

Holiday gatherings serve up delicate communication challenges. Between the dollops at the buffet are opportunities to show appreciation and even express love to those with whom we share meals and accomodation. It’s as good a time as any to note that while military families share all the fun and fretting that comes with the plans and preps, they’re also dealing with added variables to contend with over civilian settings.

Jocelyn Green family

Jocelyn and Rob Green

MilSuccessNet guest writer, Jocelyn Green, has addressed some of the unique communication challenges in a book she has co-authored with Gary C. Chapman. Dr. Chapman has authored a series of books on Love Languages.

This book is specific to the Military marriage and is adapted from the #1 New York Bestseller series by Gary Demonte Chapman on the concept of “Five Love Languages.”  The premise helps people speak and understand emotional love when it is expressed through one of five languages. Those categories are:  words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service or physical touch.

Chapman argues that while each of these languages is enjoyed to some degree by all people, a person will usually speak one primary language. That’s how they relate both giving and receiving love, and therefore connection.

So, if  you find yourself eyeing the folks you’re moving around the buffet table with as beings from another planet, chances are an understsanding of their love language might help. According to Chapman and Green, it often comes down to language, specifically says Chapman, “The primary emotional love language” that each person speaks. It can be confusing to the listener and a point of stress to the speaker who just doesn’t get why their message is not getting through.

We can imagine this dance of dialogues taking place in a military family – where there are strains and distances that really test a marriage and family unit. Where one faces dangers of combat thousands of miles away and the other mananges the homefront duties and all the decisions.

MilSuccessNet’s readers deal with unpredictable schedules, frequent moves and the challenge of reintegration.
This means stress in any one of the five branches of the military. We thought it apt to present this special resource that for many has helped navigate their relationships within a military marriage. At the very least, the title alone and knowing it’s out there, might shine a light on the more challenging spots in upcoming gatherings!
The book is based on input from dozens of military couples in all stages of their careers.
Check it out here:

According to the publisher’s notes, the Military Edition of  the Five Love Languages includes:

  1. Stories of military couples from every branch of service who have found ways to use the 5 love languages in their unique lifestyles
  2. A Decoding Deployments section at the end of each love language chapter, offering tips on how to express love when you are apart.
  3. A new chapter, Love Language Scramblers, explains how to speak the love languages
    through some of the most challenging times of a military marriage.
  4. An updated Q&A section to include questions specific to military marriage.

There’s also a 5 Love Languages profile to help partners identify their particular styles so that the principles can be put to work by readers.

We’re pleased to feature this book and to support the work of  award-winning author, former military wife and MilSuccessNet contributor,Jocelyn Green. Her books are known to inspire faith and courage in her readers through both fiction and nonfiction. She also has a loyal following world wide in her Faith Deployed ministry.

Real heroines on America’s home front, appear in her historical fiction novels. Widow of Gettysburg was highlighted in these pages on its launch.

Jocelyn Green, author (photo supplied)

Jocelyn Green, author (photo supplied)

Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. She is an active member of the Evangelical Press Association, Christian Authors Network, the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Military Writers Society of America.

She has posted tips for writers on this site and also tips on transition when she and her husband experienced that phase in his military career. Jocelyn and her husband Rob are raising their two small children in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where life post deployment and in transition flourishes and inspires others.

Read her tips for writers in MilSuccessNet archives HERE.

 

Gary ChapmanGary Chapman, PhD, is the author of the bestselling The 5 Love Languages® series, which has sold more than 8 million worldwide and has been translated into 49 languages. Dr. Chapman travels the world presenting seminars on marriage, family, and relationships, and his radio programs air on more than 300 stations. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Karolyn.

Nov
20

Words-on-Wednedsays notes on Bob Beverley

On this Words on Wednesdays, WoW is following up on guest writer, Bob Beverley’s recent post in MilitarySuccessNetwork.com. What follows are a few questions he answered during our conversation about his books and his personal mission.

Bob Beverley

Bob Beverley

When Nate, Marius and I met Bob Beverley, we were not yet a team and MilSuccessNet was not yet our mission. In a sense, however, he did bring us together at a communications boot camp we had come to separately from three different cities. His opening remarks to the 40 or so in attendance were so human and warm, that our minds and hearts were opened to the information and to the connections we were to make over the next four days.

We again, independently, chose to read his weekly ezine, The Dig, and most recently posed a few questions of Bob, some of which we share here: [Read more…]

Nov
13

Kelly Kennedy’s: They Fought for Each Other, is a testament to bonds of brothers in arms

Journalist and former soldier, Kelly Kennedy is the author of  They Fought for Each Other, the Triumph and Tragedy of the Hardest Hit Unit in Iraq.  The MilSuccessNet team had the privilege of hearing Kennedy speak a year ago in Denver at Sangria Summit, a military writers’ conference.

She took us all from the podium into the heart of her experience of the men whose lives are illuminated in this exceptional coverage of the unit who paid the heavy human cost of war. She was as honest about the situation that created those incredibly dark days and trauma as she was both loyal and protective of the warriors who got through their ordeals by virtue of their mutual caring for each other.

Kelly Kennedy, journalist and veteran

Kelly Kennedy, journalist and veteran

WoW features Kennedy’s book on this Words on Wednesdays to acknowledge the bonds of service members. Nations stood in honor of Veterans just a few days ago, so it feels right to note that what gets our nations’ warriors through is their caring for and protection of each other, day-to-day. [Read more…]

Oct
09

Still Having Fun documents military family life

Day by day the resilience of American military families is tested. Their triumphs and tears are rarely captured and chronicled. Their stories certainly are still few relative to their numbers across the land and their vast contribution as supports to service members, and to the fabric of society. We are most likely to hear of their challenges and regrettably, the tragedies they experience.

Candace George Thompson

Candace George Thompson

Author, Candace George Thompson’s glimpse into the intimate life of one family is, therefore, a rarity and a delight. She is the daughter of a career Air Force Officer whose first mission was on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Her book, Still Having Fun, a Portrait of the Military Marriage of Rex and Bettie George, 1941–2007  is today’s Words on Wednesdays (WoW) selection. It adds joy and love to the narrative of military family life, as most of us might imagine it to be.

In today’s Words on Wednesday:

  • Still Having Fun.. the award winning book
  • Author Candace George Thompson transitions
  • Life lessons shared

Excerpts from a recent interview with Military Success Network comprise today’s WoW post:   [Read more…]

Jul
03

Destiny of the Republic book notes by Greg Johnson

Candice Millard’s “Destiny of the Republic” tells a remarkable story. It’s of American public life in the late 19th century – a period in American politics which seems to have received little attention in popular history.

Destiny of the Republic: by Candice Millard

[Read more…]

May
08

John Holmes illustrates service life and transition, frame by frame

Sweat, as in equity and hard-won military experience, paint, line drawings and bubbles of text comprise our WoW today as Words on Wednesdays spotlights John Holmes – creator of Power Point Ranger, EZKGTB and The Longest War. 

John Holmes, PPR creator

John Holmes, PPR creator

The comic strip, zombie tales book and story collection, respectively originated with John Holmes. When I interviewed him near his home and work in Saratoga, New York, we spoke of his having spent half his 44 years in the service of his country. Of those 22 years, 14 were in the army and the balance in the National Guard.

As of this publishing time, only days after our long-awaited phone call, Holmes announced that he had officially chosen to enter civilian life, full time. It appeared shortly after the fact on his social media page. 

Transition, while it does reach deeply into our personal and professional lives, is not always, for most of us, immensely public. The process for Holmes has been graduated in his shift from one service to another and now the big leap into life as most of America knows it.

And, it has been very public. Holmes has folded a lifetime of experience along with humor and relevant commentary into his creative efforts frame by frame and chapter by chapter.

His tips on transition next time. Today, a peek into his creative side, via a May 2013 interview, in John Holmes’ s own words…… [Read more…]

May
01

Real life, love, loss & war reporting inspire Widow of Gettysburg author Jocelyn Green

Jocelyn Green, Military Success Network guest blogger is today’s WoWWords on Wednesdays feature as today is the general launch day of Widow of Gettysburg. This is Green’s 2nd book in the series entitled: Heroines Behind the Lines.

Front cover of Widow of Gettysburg by Jocelyn Green A bonus on the book is that for a limited time it is available FREE to readers as a download. A great celebration of Green’s craft and generosity as well as a super warm up to not only Mother’s Day on May 12, but also the observance of Military Spouse Appreciation Day on May 10!

Now onto the words of the story and a few about the process…..  The Battle of Gettysburg is the most documented and well-known battle of the American Civil War. Jocelyn Green’s novel, Widow of Gettysburg, takes us beyond the battlefields to the daily battles fought by women and children who struggled just to survive in the time of the Civil War. [Read more…]

Apr
10

Honor Flight Movie night connects military vets, community in Colorado

Recently, one of the Military Success Network team has taken on what he feels is a privileged opportunity. He chooses to rise even earlier now on some Saturdays and to join about 70 or so veterans for breakfast. On each occasion he shares in the company and stories of veterans in America.

They comprise men and women of the American military period since WW2. They gather every week in Loveland, Colorado.

Honor Flight Poster

Honor Flight Poster

Last week he brought a flier along with him. It was about the movie Honor Flight set for special screening at the CSU, Colorado State University. The Honor Flight movie shares the stories of some of the heroes who have been impacted by the program which brings together veterans to spend time with their brothers and sisters in arms. More follows on the movie, the destination and the special event in Colorado that connected generations on a snowy night at the movies this week. [Read more…]