FACE IN THE MIRROR: AN ETHICS CODE FOR THE ARMED FORCES

Historically the U.S. military has enjoyed the trust and respect of its citizenry at levels well above other U.S. institutions. And while that confidence is still high the trust has decreased significantly over the last decade. Reed Bonadonna is concerned that unless the military addresses an ethics problem it will only get worse. To remedy the issues he has observed, he proposes an explicit code of ethics for the Department of Defense that leaves little room for interpretation while supporting the values of the Constitution, human rights and decency.

WE’RE SO META: PODCASTING ABOUT PODCASTING

Name a topic or an interest and you can probably find a podcast about it. With over 2 million podcasts and more than 48 million episodes somebody is talking about something you want or need to hear. Today we’re talking about our little corner of the podosphere. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Mary Foster, Abram Trosky, and Jacqueline Whitt to the virtual studio to talk about how they incorporate podcasts and podcasting in the classroom. They join podcast editor Ron Granieri to discuss how the medium can be used to share information in support of educational objectives as well as its utility in developing better communicators.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-081-WERE-SO-META-PODCASTING-ABOUT-PODCASTING-Transcript.pdf

CHARISMATIC LEADERSHIP AND THE RISK FOR MILITARY CULTISM

In the heat of the moment, adrenalin rushing, emotions coursing, a charismatic leader can motivate followers to do things they never thought possible. Unfortunately that charisma can lead them to do something they never should have done. WAR ROOM welcomes back Assad Raza to look at the concept of military cultism as it relates to charismatic leadership. He examines what can happen to ethics, groupthink, innovation and self awareness when a leader’s vision is absolute and unquestionable.

LEADERSHIP IS NOT A BUZZWORD

The Army has allowed the word leadership to become a buzzword, devoid of real meaning. It is used indiscriminately and applies to what is essentially management or command. That’s what Thomas Williams says and he’s concerned that this misuse of the word has produced failures such as the recent events at Fort Hood. Williams makes the case that it is past time to revise our thinking and to teach leadership as something distinct from management or command.

READINESS EFFECTS ON THE U.S. ARMY OCONUS DURING COVID-19

EDITOR’S NOTE: The current temporary theme we are using only credits a single author. This article was written by Gregory Gharst and Jose Velazquez How has U.S. Army leadership ensured overseas readiness during this pandemic? Since January 2020 and as of 6 August 2021, approximately one person (0.73) in the U.S. has died of COVID-19 […]

DOS 101: FOREIGN POLICY ADVISORS

To many people the U.S. Department of State (DOS) is as foreign as the countries in which our embassies are placed. Fortunately, we here at A BETTER PEACE know some people, and on this episode we welcome Andrea Gastaldo to share her experiences as the Director of the Department of State’s Political-Military Bureau Office of State-Defense Integration (PM/SDI). That particular office may not be familiar to most military folks but the Foreign Policy Advisor or POLAD program that Andrea is responsible for probably rings a bell. She joins our own Associate Editor Amanda Cronkhite in the next installment of this multi-part series to discuss the details of a program that probably has more direct contact with the military and combatant command leaderships than any other office in DOS. Andrea has served as a POLAD to the Commanding General of U.S. Army North and has experience around the world in such places as South Africa, Belarus and New Zealand. Her current position finds her recruiting and mentoring future POLADs and that experience makes her the perfect guest to conduct the next installment of what we’re calling DOS 101.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-094-DOS-101-FOREIGN-POLICY-ADVISORS-Transcript.pdf

FREE OF BIAS? ARMY OFFICER EVALUATIONS

In April 2020 we published an article that argued for the removal of the official photo from the Army’s promotion and selection process. The goal was to eliminate a source of bias from the process and the Army took notice and removed the photo requirement. Bonnie “Buffie” Clemente joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to discuss how the officer evaluation system still has sources of bias that have to be addressed to ensure a true meritocracy. Buffie brings to bear her years of experience with evaluations and promotion boards to identify both conscious and unconscious forms of bias in the system and the way ahead to try and minimize their impact.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-062-FREE-OF-BIAS-ARMY-OFFICER-EVALUATIONS-Transcript.pdf

THE ERA OF CONSTANT COMPETITION – PURPOSE AND PRINCIPLES

Competition. In the midst of the 2020 Summer Olympics it seems a very relevant topic. But the rules and goals of the Olympic games are well spelled out, as opposed to competition in the national security realm. WAR ROOM welcomes Tom Harper and Jim Armstrong to examine what competition between the West and Russia and China looks like. They argue that the U.S. and U.K. need to update the principles of war to adequately adapt to the changing character of war and continuous competition.

INFLECTION POINT: ARMY LEADER DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

Land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace, that is the multi-domain environment that the Army sees operations occurring in from now forward. What does this shift in viewing the environment mean for all the aspects of raising and sustaining an army and all of its interactions and interdependencies in the joint force? Doctrine is being written and re-written across the force to adapt to this new schema, but all the doctrine in the world is useless if there aren’t leaders in place that understand it and execute it. Jeff Barta joins podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to talk about the efforts of Army University to change, synchronize, modernize and distribute the education and training necessary to develop the leaders of today and tomorrow to operate in the multi-domain environment.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-072-INFLECTION-POINT-ARMY-LEADER-DEVELOPMENT-STRATEGY-Transcript.pdf

TRAIN LIKE YOU FIGHT: BYSTANDER-INTERVENTION TRAINING

In the military you train. You train a lot. Physically, mentally, emotionally, on the firing range, in the tank, in the aircraft, drills underway, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coasties and now Guardians train constantly through repetitions. Repetitions build muscle memory so when the event — the crisis occurs in real life, instinct and training take over and bypass hesitation and doubt. What if training to prevent sexual harassment was conducted the same way. Rebecca Segal shares how one unit in the Army is applying good old fashion hands-on repetition to Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Training with a strong emphasis on prevention in the earliest stages.

WHICH WAR WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

The relationship between a nation and its military is an oft discussed topic in government buildings, professional military education (PME) classrooms, the media and ideally among the citizens of the nation. Hopefully the topic never fades from conversations because it is the basis of a healthy civ-mil relationship in the United States; one in which the military is subordinate to the elected civilian authority. WAR ROOM welcomes George Fust as he considers decisions made by the civilian leadership and the impact on the health of the military force and Americans’ appetite for future conflicts. George reminds the reader that obedience of the military is rooted in its trust of the Republic’s judgment.

THE ARMY’S GOT TALENT IN RESERVE(S)

The DoD has touted the civilian expertise of the National Guard and Reserve members of the force for years. Whether it was the small town mayor or civil engineer working Civil Affairs, or the physician or aviator applying their civilian “day job” skills directly to their military career fields, there are a number of incredibly successful matches that make the reserve component of the force invaluable. But what about all of the folks that have military jobs that look nothing like what they do in the civilian world? Andrew Vidourek and Rob Gerlach want to make sure the Army knows about all of the skills that exist among Guard and Reserve personnel, and specifically those that aren’t properly matched. They join podcast editor Ron Granieri in the virtual studio to pitch a new approach to better talent management through technology. Their plan is to create a database of certified civilian expertise that is accessible, searchable and readily matches people to jobs that suit their talents. Their goal is to improve recruiting, retention, job satisfaction and ultimately lethality in the reserve component.

Transcript: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-073-THE-ARMYS-GOT-TALENT-IN-RESERVES-Transcript.pdf

A FEW THINGS LEADERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DATA AND ANALYSIS – PART 2

Information has never been more available as it is in this modern age of the Internet, 24-hour news, streaming services and endless sources of data collection devices and methods. Jeff Baker and Bob Bradford are back with their second and final article dealing with data and analysis and its role in strategic decision making. This part of the series addresses challenges with data and types and implications of errors in data analysis. It’s a great primer on the types of error that leaders encounter in data collection, processing and presentation and how they can lead to bad decisions.

A FEW THINGS LEADERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DATA AND ANALYSIS – PART 1

Information has never been more available as it is in this modern age of the Internet, 24-hour news, streaming services and endless sources of data collection devices and methods. But as the old saying goes “figures always lie and liars always figure.” Now, no one is calling anybody a liar here, but information that has been collected, analyzed, used, manipulated, or just presented always has the potential for bias and even deception–intentional or not. WAR ROOM welcomes back Jeff Baker and Bob Bradford as they present a two-part article that tries to tackle the difficult task of making sense of data in decision making. Part one addresses the sources of data and how the social sciences can be used to arm leaders with better questions and improved judgment.

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

SURPRISE! YOUR ORGANIZATION NEEDS CHANGE

Organizations frequently face surprises and how they react to them impacts their future prospects for success. WAR ROOM welcomes back Bob Bradford and Jeff Baker as they describe a new framework for understanding organizational response to surprise. They define four basic types of organizations based on how they react to surprises and then apply the framework to responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

DOS 101: DECODING THE STATE DEPARTMENT PART 2

To many people the U.S. Department of State (DOS) is as foreign as the countries in which our embassies are placed. Fortunately, we here at A BETTER PEACE know some people, and on this episode we welcome back Alex Avé Lallemant to share his experiences as a career Foreign Service Officer. For this second installment in the series he once again joins our own Associate Editor Amanda Cronkhite to discuss the ins and outs of the State Department. Currently the Consular Section Chief in Harare, Zimbabwe, Alex has served overseas in every one of the State Department’s geographic bureaus, including multiple tours in Afghanistan. That experience makes him the perfect guest to conduct what we’re calling DOS 101.
Transcript – https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-076-DOS-101-DECODING-THE-STATE-DEPARTMENT-PART-2-Transcript.pdf

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.

DOS 101: DECODING THE STATE DEPARTMENT

To many people the U.S. Department of State (DOS) is as foreign as the countries in which our embassies are placed. Fortunately, we here at A BETTER PEACE know some people, and on this episode we welcome Alex Avé Lallemant to share his experiences as a career Foreign Service Officer. He joins our own Associate Editor Amanda Cronkhite in this multi-part series to discuss the ins and outs of the State Department. Currently the Consular Section Chief in Harare, Zimbabwe, Alex has served overseas in every one of the State Department’s geographic bureaus, including multiple tours in Afghanistan. That experience makes him the perfect guest to conduct what we’re calling DOS 101.
Transcript – https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-061-DOS-101-DECODING-THE-STATE-DEPARTMENT-Transcript-2.pdf

BOOSTING BIPARTISANSHIP OUTSIDE OF GOVERNMENT

Where does a U.S. politician, appointee or staffer go when their party isn’t in power? Quite often to a think tank where they apply their vast experience in economics, international relations, technology and apparently a large dose of their party’s partisanship. WAR ROOM welcomes back Chandler Myers to take a look at the influence these private entities have over U.S. public policy. He considers how organizations that should welcome innovative thought and fact based analysis that benefits the whole of the nation are all too often trapped in ideological silos of confirmation and desirability bias and become groupthink machines.