MONEY, MARRIAGE, AND MILITARY LIFE

“If the Army wanted you to have a family they would have issued you one!” It’s been a while since that phrase was in fashion, but if you do the math these days it might actually seem like the Army wants you to have a family. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Rachael Hoagland to look at the financial policies that actually incentivize Soldiers to get married, and at the same disadvantage single service members. Rachael joins podcast editor Ron Granieri to look at how the good intentions of the service to help provide for Army families unintentionally creates a pay/benefit gap that can lead to rash decisions. She proposes some solutions (don’t worry she’s not trying to take away money from married Soldiers) and lays out the cost to benefit ratio.

HONORING THE PAST WHILE SPEAKING TO THE FUTURE

The U.S. Department of Defense has had its difficulties over the last decade with recruiting and retention. The high operations tempo of the last 20 years, long separations, the danger of combat, and an ever-shrinking pool of eligible recruits are just some of the factors that have made the sustainment of the force more difficult than in many years past. The all-volunteer force depends on attracting, recruiting, and retaining the right people and managing that talent properly. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Robert Gerlach and Silas Martinez to discuss a project that hopes to address the attracting and recruiting aspect and hopefully indirectly improve the retention piece. They join podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to explain Rob’s unique Strategy Research Project (SRP). Creating the first ever video SRP, Rob worked with his advisor, Silas, to try and solve a real problem for the U.S. Army by answering a unique question; “What if the Army Museum Enterprise could be utilized to attract or identify the right people to the Army and make sure they find their way into the ranks?”

Transcript: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-077-HONORING-THE-PAST-WHILE-SPEAKING-TO-THE-FUTURE-Transcript.pdf

STRATEGY FROM THE INSIDE OUT (EISENHOWER SERIES)

In September 2019 we introduced you to the Eisenhower Series College Program (ESCP). Though we are approaching life as we remember it pre-COVID, travel limitations significantly limited the ESCP from visiting colleges and universities, interacting with audiences often unfamiliar with members of the U.S. Military. It is our hope at WAR ROOM to bring you a glimpse of what some of those presentations might have looked like via A BETTER PEACE.

In the third and final episode of academic year 2021 our podcast editor Ron Granieri is joined by War College students and ESCP members Rena Henderson-Alailima, Jeff Munn and Nicholas Ploetz. Today’s conversation addresses the internal dimensions of strategy. Once again three professional military officers and leaders apply the sum total of their experiences to examine climate change, the resulting resourcing strategy and the future of autonomous technology as it all impacts military strategy.

Transcript: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-088-STRATEGY-FROM-THE-INSIDE-OUT-EISENHOWER-SERIES-Transcript.pdf

DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION: THE DOD’S ROLE (EISENHOWER SERIES)

In September 2019 we introduced you to the Eisenhower Series College Program (ESCP). Though we are approaching life as we remember it pre-COVID, travel limitations significantly limited the ESCP from visiting colleges and universities, interacting with audiences often unfamiliar with members of the U.S. Military. It is our hope at WAR ROOM to bring you a glimpse of what some of those presentations might have looked like via A BETTER PEACE.

In this first episode of academic year 2021 our podcast editor Ron Granieri is joined by War College students and ESCP members Rebecca Connally, Aixa Dones and Adisa King. In their conversation they share their personal thoughts and experiences as career military officers and leaders in the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. They try and tackle the question of how well either the armed forces or American society as a whole have lived up to their stated values of diversity, equity and inclusion. They discuss where they have seen success and failure and what the path looks like going forward.

Transcript: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-086-DIVERSITY-EQUITY-AND-INCLUSION-THE-DODS-ROLE-EISENHOWER-SERIES-Transcript.pdf

PRIORITIZING OUR BETTER HALF

At the risk of sounding like the new kinder, gentler DoD, how does leadership expect to maintain talent in the force if service members aren’t happy? WAR ROOM welcomes Gordon Rutledge as he continues to examine the concept of how a spouse’s satisfaction with military life directly impacts the service member’s satisfaction, retention, financial, physical and mental wellbeing. We’re a little late for Military Spouse Appreciation Day (May 7), but Gordon looks at the changes that must occur in the military personnel system to account for and empower military spouses at every reasonable opportunity. He lays out how doing so benefits not only the service member and their family but the entire force.

THE COMPLEXITY OF DETERMINING RETURN TO DUTY

The question of whether or not a service member with musculoskeletal injuries (MSKIs) will return to duty is a complicated process to answer. And MSKIs significantly impact medical readiness, burden the Military Health System, and contribute to service-connected disability costs. Jeffrey Tiede and Sean Moore question whether the current return to duty process is worth the effort it requires and the resources it consumes while providing unreliable outcomes. Tiede and Moore, based on their respective experiences at the Center for the Intrepid and the San Francisco VA, propose that the process must be reviewed and further developed by experts in complex systems in order to provide a timely and reliable framework for decision.

THE GANDER AND THE GOOSE: WOMEN AND SELECTIVE SERVICE REGISTRATION

The United States has employed the conscription of military service members as far back as the Revolutionary War and as recently as the Vietnam War. What most people now know as the draft or Selective Service came into existence in 1940 via the Selective Training and Service Act. The first peacetime draft in the United States, it required men 21-36 (18-65 once the U.S. entered WWII) to register with local draft boards. Though women have served in the U.S. military for many years, and more recently in combat, they have never been subject to the draft. A BETTER PEACE welcomes back Kara Dixon Vuic to discuss her study of the topic and the recent decision of the Biden administration to move the discussion out of the Supreme Court and into Congress. She joins our Editor-in-Chief, Jacqueline Whitt, in the virtual studio as they discuss the history behind women’s exclusion from the draft. They examine the legal arguments, social and ethical norms involved, as well as some of the strange alliances of recent years as the conversation continues.

INNOVATING FROM THE GROUND UP: THE DRAGON’S LAIR

How does a very large, very complex organization encourage innovation, especially when so much of the daily operations are based in uniformity, a strict rank structure and layers of bureaucracy? That’s exactly the question the U.S. Army XVIII Airborne Corps is trying to answer with its new program, Dragon’s Lair. WAR ROOM welcomes Joe Buccino to give an inside look at the inner workings of Dragon’s Lair. He explains how the Corps hopes to harness diversity of thought at the problem level and speed solutions past the bureaucracy to the decision makers. It sounds similar to other Army innovation programs, but Buccino points to its Shark Tank style episodic competition that directly rewards the innovators and makes this program so successful.

FORESHADOW IN THE PACIFIC: EXERCISING JOINT CAPES IN AN ERA OF AUSTERITY (DUSTY SHELVES)

The circumstances for both exercises centered on an imagined invasion and occupation of Oahu, including the naval base at Pearl Harbor and surrounding Army airfields, by an enemy coalition dubbed “Black” forces. In February 1932, the Army and Navy conducted concurrent training exercises, Grand Joint Exercise No. 4 and Fleet Problem XIII, respectively. These exercises, […]

THE IMPENDING CLIMATE WAR WITH CHINA

Climate change is still a divisive topic and some countries are doing better at addressing it than others. China’s economy depends largely on “dirty energy” and their belligerent nature makes them an easy target for pundits to blame. At least one conservative commentator has facetiously suggested military action to curb their emissions. WAR ROOM welcomes back Pete Helzer as he examines why the United States needs to start taking diplomatic and economic steps to address climate change before it becomes an urgent matter that would require military intervention.

THE PCS PENALTY AND THE ARMY FAMILY

“If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.” It’s as outdated a saying as is the military’s impression of what a “normal” family looks like. Gone are the days of the all male force, with 2.5 kids and a stay at home mom in every government issued quarters. The types of families that make up the greater U.S. Army are far more diverse than 10-20 years ago. Dual income families are much closer to the norm and unfortunately the Army’s professional military education system and the moves associated with it force significant spouse unemployment. WAR ROOM welcomes back Paul Kearney to propose solutions to the system that aim to improve life at home, increase retention, and in turn maximize talent management.

A CORNERSTONE OF PEACE: WOMEN IN AFGHANISTAN

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. ― Desmond Tutu In November 2001, just one month after the United States […]

CHINA, SUSTAINABLE ENERGY AND GREAT POWER COMPETITION

The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) BRI is currently the world’s largest global foreign investment program and has the potential to shape the future of global sustainable energy. In 2018, fossil fuels met 70% of the world’s increasing energy demand, and developing countries accounted for the majority of that demand. Developing states require tremendous amounts of energy to […]

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT: RADICALS IN THE RANKS

UPDATED: 1450/15 Dec 2020 A BETTER PEACE welcomes Robert Payne to discuss the radicalization of U.S. military members, particularly in the Army. Payne joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to examine how individual members of the Army are radicalized and what the service and law enforcement need to do to defeat the […]

WANTED: INNOVATION TOOLS FOR AIR FORCE LEADERS

The Air Force may say it values innovation and experimentation, but despite significant efforts and “innovation theater,” we fall short. How do you do more with less? The Air Force, like most organizations, has always had to learn how to operate in an environment with finite resources. Despite a 156.3 billion dollar budget in 2019, […]

HELMAND: TWO YEARS LATER

We taped the curling edges of our makeshift map to the General’s conference room – a holdover from the 2014 drawdown at Camp Bastion – and began to plan. We frantically duct-taped our map together, matching gridlines from adjacent sheets of paper as an image of the snaking Helmand River emerged. Despite the reintroduction of […]

PAST VISIONS OF FUTURE WARS

A BETTER PEACE welcomes Adam Seipp to discuss the world of Cold War literature. Adam’s previous article in our DUSTY SHELVES series reviewed Sir John Hackett’s 1978 best seller, The Third World War: August 1985. Hackett, deemed both the heir to Pat Frank and Neville Shute and also the ancestor of Tom Clancy and so […]

OPIOID MISUSE/ABUSE BY SOLDIERS AND VETERANS OF THE U.S. ARMY

Opioid overdoses affect active duty and reserve component military personnel and military veterans. Every eleven minutes, there is a death from opioid overdose in the United States. Latest data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that opioids killed nearly 67,000 people in 2018, and 67% of those deaths involved synthetic opioids. Despite receiving […]

SWARM GAMING: REGAINING THE STRATEGIC INNOVATION INITIATIVE (WARGAMING ROOM)

Adversaries will deliberately create situations for which U.S. military leaders have not been educated, trained, or equipped to overcome. The United States’ enemies are smart, dedicated, and determined. They will not attack strengths; they will attack weaknesses at times and places of their choosing and seek to do so in ways for which the DOD […]

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING AND HE’S HERE TO HELP

Facial recognition technology promises to help law enforcement identify and track suspicious individuals ideally revealing bad actors before they can commit acts of violence or other crimes. The more promising facial recognition becomes as a technology however, the louder grow the voices concerned about the potential invasion of privacy that such mass collection could or would […]