Jun
14

USO’s 23 facts on the US Army’s 240th birthday

Happy 240th Birthday US Army! Can we celebrate any better than to take note and enjoy the 23 fun and significant facts laid out for us so beautifully by the USO itself?
Indeed.
Army Strong! 

23 Facts for the Army’s 240th Birthday

[Read more…]

Jun
06

How D-Day led Maj. Dick Winters to be a Monastic Warrior

Readers of The Art of Manliness, from within the Military Success Network community brought this timely post to our attention. It’s the lessons from a D-Day fighter on leading a warrior life.

Major Dick Winters suggested this as a personal plan.

As a Monastic Warrior, his advice is just as relevant now in the din of all we do, post, read, hear, feel as it was in the solace of quiet and calm post World War II veterans sought. It meant not only “cultivate sharp minds and fighters’ bodies, but to develop themselves into men of the highest moral caliber.”

Winters believed that the cornerstone of character was: Honesty.

From there you worked to develop a moral compass that was guided by the virtues of:

  • Courage
  • Fairness
  • Consistency
  • Selflessness
  • Respect for your fellow men.

Winters felt that integrity was paramount.  “It’s easier to do the right thing when everyone is looking,” but “more difficult to do what you should do when you are alone.”

And because Winters added to these core values, his own ascetic precepts such as choosing to abstain from canoodling with women, drinking alcohol (he was a lifelong teetotaler), and swearing……  we now move to share the comprehensive and eminently comprehensive and well written original piece our post is taken from today… and Brett and Kate Mckay’s own words: [Read more…]

May
08

Military Spouse Appreciation Day honors patriot life partners

Just in time! For end of school term, PCS, end of service, deployment days. You name it! Always a good time to celebrate a military spouse.

Military spouse appreciation day observed in  2015 This year’s short n’ sweet post on social media by the Department of Defense (DOD) “On Military Spouse Appreciation Day, the Department of Defense would like to take the opportunity to thank and honor the husbands and wives of our service members. Salute.”  It is worth visiting the DOD on Facebook to read the tributes from military personnel to their sweethearts, so strong and true.  [Read more…]

Jan
17

Aloha to USA’s 50th Star State – Hawaii

On Jan. 17, 1893, the ruler of then independent Hawaii, Queen Lili`uokalani was overthrown by U.S. Marines who arrested her at gunpoint.
Why do we have President William McKinley in this post? Because ultimately, on June 16 1897, he signed and forwarded the Treaty of Annexation of Hawaii to the United States, to the U.S. Senate for ratification.
It would take another year until President William McKinley signed it into law in July 1898 as it required a joint resolution of Congress authorizing the annexation.
The few voices that objected the morality of the annexation were drowned by the drums of conquest. At that time, our nation was caught in the fever of the war with Spain. The three months war put United States in control of Guam, Puerto Rico, Wake Island, Philippines and Cuba. So Hawaii just went with the flow.

[Read more…]

Jan
14

Steps to smoother moves out of military milieu

Uniform2_thumbShaun Collins’ personal essay explored 1st hand some changes he experienced after he retired and stepped out of his uniform. The post resonated with many service members both in transition or planning on their move from a military to civilian milieu.

In part 2 we look into the source of part 1’s title:

 “If You Are What You Do – When You Don’t – You Aren’t”

And how he found his next steps a while into retirement from his military roles.

Shaun Collins spoke of his process to the Military Success Network site’s editor, Helena Kaufman. What follows is an excerpt from a conversation that took place on the phone just prior to the publishing of part 1 and Collins’ original writing on his transition.

Shaun, and I’ll call you that as I pose questions to you, based on your gentle request of others to do so in your essay. …You said your next steps were to figure out how to answer the question “What do you do”? [Read more…]

Jan
05

Who are you when you’re no longer in uniform?

Are we done yet with the season of  resolutions? Our lists of what we should do, change, improve, learn, stop, start? Can we now focus on our actual identity and how we want to BE rather than just do?

Guest columnist and military veteran, CW4 (Ret.) Shaun Collins explores how to be – when you find yourself on the civilian side of life. How to be – just a stone’s throw from your quarter century of service, carrying a rucksack full of memories and making your way through the transition zone. 

  • Part 1 – Asking: Who am I now?
  •                 And, how did I get here?
  • Part 2 – Answering to: What do you do?”

“If You Are What You Do – When You Don’t – You Aren’t”

by: Shaun Collins

Uniform2_thumbA few years ago, as I was retiring from the U.S. Army, I was asked by the Military Success Network’s leadership team to write about my preparation for the impending life change.  Although the preparation I engaged in was meaningful, I wish I had known about some of the emotional impact my retirement would have, especially on my identity. I could perhaps have better prepared for the mental and psychological perspectives  – both expected and not.

[Read more…]

Nov
11

“Keep Up the Good Fight” One Veteran’s impact on his family

imageOn Veterans Day, contributing writer Rosie Rebel posts a reminiscence on the life and times of her WWII Veteran grandfather. Through the values he brought to his military service and the experience he took from it, he impacted three generations. Rosie honors his service and what he shared about history’s unfolding with his family.

Below is her account and snip of a voice recording of the family listening to him speak of his D-Day service and experience at Omaha Beach. [Read more…]

Sep
13

Garden harvest sows discontent with pushy neighbor

Career Soldiers with more than 50 years of service between them, MilSuccessNet guest writers Shaun and Pamela Collins have hardly gone to seed in “retirement.” They’ve tended their own well planted garden of career and lifestyle transition. It has yielded opportunities to apply their training and experience as they teach, travel, contribute to their community and write.

With fall’s arrival comes this column of practical advice on handling a neighbor with big eyes. It is reprinted with kind permission from their original column in The Guidon at Ft. Leonard Wood.

Here is this week’s question that they answer entirely in their own words …..

QUESTION:   I have a small garden at my house, and when I mean small, I mean several potted tomatoes and two cucumber plants and one pepper plant. Barely enough for my own Family, but my neighbor asks me every day when am I going to be bringing him some produce. 

……At first I thought he was joking, actually rubbing it in about the size of my “farm” but the other day my wife picked four cucumbers and he asked if he could have two. I wasn’t home, but he told my wife that I had said he could share the results. She brushed it off as joking, but he did not. [Read more…]

Sep
11

Rick Rescorla’s 9/11 Call to Duty and the 2,700 lives he saved

The tremendous event referred to so simply as 9/11, is marked today on Military Success Network by remembering, in memoriam, just one hero of the many of the day that gripped America’s citizens and service members, and the world.

Rick Rescorla

Rick Rescorla

Rick Rescorla served as Vice President of Security for Morgan Stanley at their Headquarters in the World Trade Center. After the terrorist attacks of 1993 on the World Trade Center, he had predicted the risk that came true in the 9/11 tragedy [Read more…]

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…]