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…]

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…]

Jul
27

Unique bill ensures Canadians honour Korean War Veterans on July 27, forever

Senator Yonah Martin

Senator Yonah Martin

“I owe my life to all those who served and sacrificed in the Korean War,” said Senator Yonah Martin. “The passage of this Bill is one more way of ensuring that future generations remember and honour the sacrifices made by our Canadian Veterans.”

In the spirit of MilSuccessNet’s “HUA” mission, we Hear, Understand and Acknowledge the work behind Canada’s enacting of the Korean War Veteran’s Day, observed annually on July 27.

In 2013, a praiseworthy cooperation across party lines and agendas in the Government of Canada, made it so! Royal Assent of Bill S-213: An Act Respecting a National Day of Remembrance in Honour of Veterans of the Korean War enacted the day. 

“It is the first War Veteran Act of its kind in the world outside the USA. The importance of this is that the government of the day will be forever obligated to honour the contribution and existence of Canada’s veterans who served during the Korean War,” said Senator Martin during an interview a year ago with MilSuccessNet.

Speaking with veterans at KVA AGM 2014

Speaking with veterans at KVA AGM 2014

2014 marks the 2nd annual celebration of the contribution of Canadian men and women in uniform who came to the aid of South Koreans during the Korean War. It ensures that their service and sacrifices are never forgotten.

 

So, first..  to the Veterans and their contributions in Korea…. [Read more…]

Jul
23

Valhalla Project’s Resident “Old Vet” Speaks on Veteran Isolation

“I feel like I’m all by myself, isolated with nobody to talk to. I never talk to my family or civilian friends about my experiences.They don’t understand and never will, so I just avoid the subject.”

 

Gordon Cucullu, Lt Col (Ret.), says he hears this repeatedly from contemporary vets. So often that he says it’s become a mantra. He wonders why this is such a universal phenomenon?

 

Korea 1970 Cucullu early service years

Korea 1970 Cucullu early service years

So, we give over WoW, our Words on Wednesdays today to the wisdom of the ‘old vet’ resident at the Valhalla Project. Valhalla is a place where warriors seeking respite, are enjoined to work with their hands in nature. There they find clean air and easier talk of their troubles and their triumphs, with others who understand, even if in just the sounds of side by side work in the wild. [Read more…]

Jul
16

EMDR Revolution author on process in writing healing trauma book

This follow on to last month’s WoW is being published while the author of The EMDR Revolution: Change Your Life One Memory at a Time – The Client’s Guide, continues her work on healing trauma under siren sounds that alert Israeli citizens of incoming missiles. 

EMDR Revolution for PTSD and other traumas in a guide book from the clients perspectiveToday’s Words on Wednesdays, notes what compelled and motivated Tal Croitoru, clinical therapist and researcher, to share the trauma healing methods she codified in her book. Her process as author is of interest to writers. The therapy itself, is ever more of interest to Military service members emerging from duty in conflict zones and to civilians also battling their own wars, within.

A guide and checklist on “How to know if one is receiving successfult therapy” in included in this post with the generous permission of our featured WoW author. [Read more…]

Jun
06

D-Day 70 years on still evokes great emotion

Is there anything we can add to the great sea of sentiment and ocean of information that surrounds D-Day? It seems that some Canadians, their national radio, CBC, and our American site co-founders do have something to add, or to process with you, dear reader.

General Eisenhower visiting paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division the night before D-Day

Eisenhower at 101st Airborne Div. June 5, 1944. Photo: — National Archives and Records,College Park, Md.

June 6, marks the day described by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his address to the nation, as the moment in which the eyes of the world was upon the allies. The Canadian, American and British forces, whose brothers in arms trained and joined to stage the largest amphibious assault in  history.

Under General Eisenhower’s command and that of British General Bernard Montgomery, Allied troops landed on five beaches, code named Omaha, Gold, Juno, Sword, and Utah. [Read more…]

Jun
04

EMDR Revolution – a guide book on PTSD relief for clients

Ever hunted for help, when you’ve been pretty down and not yet out? Securing help when you need it most is a challenge, especially for invisible maladies like PTSD. Whether from military experiences or any of life’s trauma inducing situations, it’s tough to find help and to evaluate it when you are down or depleted.

EMDR Revolution for PTSD and other traumas in a guide book from the clients perspectiveIt’s why I instantly connected Tal Croitoru’s work to reader interests on MilSuccessNet. She is an accredited, EMDR practitioner, MSW and MBA and a doctoral researcher and lecturer and the University of Haifa.

Her guide book was written purposefully from the client’s point of view. This user friendly book helps people identify their challenges and also to envision what good help and health should look like. [Read more…]

Feb
23

Get over yourself n’ get along, civvy hubby told

A male, civilian spouse finishing up his advanced degree struggles to find his place within his Soldier wife’s family.  Suggestions and a gentle well placed kick of their veteran boots comes from Ft. Leonard Wood’s fine advice columnists, Pam and Shaun Collins. What do you think of their suggestions for the civilian fella’s attitude and their advice on how to manage a longer visit well?

Tyne out of place in the family set

Tyne out of place in the family set

READER Quandry: First, let me frame up my issue. When someone says, “your wife wears combat boots,” I take it as a compliment, because she is the Soldier and I am the spouse. I was never in the military, only a Family member.  While my wife is in the military, I have taken the last year to work on my doctoral dissertation. It requires a lot of hours, fieldwork, clinical studies and writing, re-writing and re-writing again.  [Read more…]