Friday, September 28, 2012

Personal Development Ideas for Company Commanders

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In this article, I would like to share some personal development ideas for Company Commanders. These are some tips you can use to develop your own leadership skills and become a better Company Commander. Let's get started.

# 1 Read

Without a doubt, reading is the easiest and best way to develop your skills. You can read biographies and non-fiction books about Company Command, military leadership, communication, conflict resolution, team building and tons of other topics. I suggest you read 1-3 books each month throughout your time in command.

# 2 Find a Mentor

All successful people have mentors. You should find a mentor that you can consult with. It can be a former commander, your boss, a trusted peer or even a paid coach. Ideally, you want someone who already served as a commander and someone who has the ability to help you sort through your own leadership challenges.

# 3 Talk with Your Peers

Whenever possible, form friendships with your peer commanders in your battalion. Additionally, try to network with other commanders. You can all share ideas with each other and find solutions to your challenges. You could all meet once day a month over lunch or you could do a monthly conference call via SKYPE.

# 4 Attend Seminars

Seminars are a wonderful way to learn new skills. Depending upon where you live there's a good chance there are lots of seminars in your area. You could choose a seminar about leadership, communication, team building or any other topic that you think you would benefit you. Many of these seminars cost $49 to $200, so they are very affordable.

# 5 Continuing Education

All Commanders have to take the Pre-Command Course before they take the guidon, but there are other classes you can take. The Army and ARNG offer lots of different leadership courses. You can check in ATTRS or sit down with your S3 and see if any courses are available. You can also attend leadership courses at your local community college.

Final Thoughts

I truly believe that all Company Commanders should do whatever they can to hone their skills and become a better leader. You msut make a conscious effort to do it. During your entire time in command, try to do something each month to improve your leadership skills. At a minimum, I would read 1-3 books a month, take one class a year, attend a seminar each year, and find a mentor.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Top Five Gifts to Give Your Company Commander When They Leave

I truly believe it's a good idea to give your Company Commander a gift when they leave their duty assignment. In most cases, the Company Commander has made a huge personal and family sacrifice to lead a unit for 18 to 36 months. Assuming the person did a great job, or even just a good job, their soldiers and subordinate leaders should chip in and get the Company Commander a gift. This is a nice personal touch and in my opinion, is the right thing to do.

For the purpose of this article, I would like to share some gift ideas for Company Commanders leaving command. Of course, these gifts could be used for any service member leaving a duty position, either for ETS, retirement or transfer.

1. A Unit Guidon: Traditionally, a unit commander will receive a unit guidon or replica unit colors when they leave a unit. In most cases, the guidon is framed and comes with a unit coin and a little plaque inside of it. It is a prized possession for most former commanders.

2. A Unique Plaque: You could make a unique plaque with the unit motto, a catchy phrase, a few words of the person's contributions and even a picture. Most plaques, depending upon the design, can be made for $30 to $100. You can get a real nice plaque for about $75.

3. A Picture: You can take a photo of everyone in the section and have everyone sign it. Once you do that, you can get the photo framed and give that as the going away gift.

4. A Gift Card: Money talks. You could have everyone in the office chip in what they can afford and get the person a gift card to one of their favorite places. This is a great idea and is normally very appreciated.

5. Custom Clothing: You could have a custom-made jacket or shirt with the unit motto or logo and give that to your commander as a going away gift.

All of these gift ideas are a wonderful way to recognize your Commander's efforts and contributions to a military unit. If I had to recommend the best option, I would tell you to get your CO a framed guidon. Trust me, that is what they want to get!

If you are a First Sergeant, Company XO, or Platoon Leader, make sure that your Company Commander doesn't leave their duty position without getting some type of gift from the unit. It's the right thing to do!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Top Five Ways to Improve Morale in an Army Company

If you're leading a small unit in the Army either as a Company Commander, First Sergeant or Platoon Leader, I'd like to offer you ten helpful tips to improve the morale in your unit. I truly believe that the morale of the unit is dictated by the leader of the unit. A good leader can make a bad unit good and a bad leader can make a good unit bad. That being said, here are five things you can do to improve morale.

1. Set Unit Goals and Share Them: As the leader of a unit, you should establish written goals for the unit. These goals should be incorporated into your command philosophy and the goals should be posted on the unit bulletin board and shared with soldiers. Your goals help tell your soldiers WHY they are doing what they are doing. This is a great morale booster.

2. Provide Tough, Realistic Training: Most people join the military because they want to jump out of airplanes and blow up stuff. They don't want to sit around the unit or armory during training. As the leader, your job is to schedule and provide tough and realistic training. Make sure you send your unit to the field and do fun and challenging training.

3. Lead by Example at all Times: You need to be a sterling role model for your subordinates. You need to do what you say and say what you do. You must show up on time and look like a soldier. Remember that people are always watching the boss. So put your best foot forward. No one wants to work for a slacker.

4. Punish Bad Behavior and Recognize Good Behavior: Don't just punish poor behavior. Yes, you need to hold everyone to the Army standard, but you should also spend lots of time recognizing good behavior. When soldiers do a good job, tell me them about it. Put them in for awards, give them a unit coin, or even pull them aside and give them an "atta boy."

5. Send Thank You Cards: This is one of the best things you can do to improve morale in your unit. Send people thank you cards every month. Pick 3-5 soldiers per month and write them a quick note. It's a nice personal touch and has a huge impact on morale.

These are five helpful ways to improve morale in your Army unit. Obviously, there are many other great things you can do too. You are only limited to your creativity.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Five Must Read Books for Army Company Commanders

If you are a Company Commander, or will be in the future, I think you should make a conscious decision to improve your leadership skills. One of the best ways to learn new skills is to read books. In the paragraphs below, I would like to share five influential books that would benefit any Company Commander.

1. Small Unit Leadership by Dan Malone - Without a doubt this is my favorite military leadership book of all time. This book explains all the "nitty-gritty" details about how to lead your troops and prepare them for combat. Dan Malone is a retired Army Colonel. His writing style is to the point and no-nonsense. I give this book a 9 of 10.

2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie - Let's face it; as leaders we are influencers. Of course, our job is to lead troops. But we also have to learn how to develop and cultivate relationships. This book will teach you to think from the other person's perspective and will help you improve your communication skills. This is one of the top 3 "all-time" books that shaped my life.

3. The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard: This classic by Ken Blanchard is a must read book. In this book, you will learn the three secrets to effective leadership. They are goals, reprimands and praise. This book will teach you how to lead others. You will learn how to manage others so they can become effective on their own.

4. Situational Leadership and The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard - This book is another gem. You will learn the art of situational leadership and you will discover how to lead different people in different situations. We all know there is no cookie cutter approach to leadership. This book offers practical solutions to your leadership challenges. I give this a 9 of 10 also.

5. First Break all the Rules by Marcus Buckingham - In this book, you will learn what effective leaders and companies have done to improve employee performance. This is a study of 80,000 managers in 400 different companies. You will learn everything you need to know about how to be an effective leader.

Of course, there are many other great books as well. But, I do believe that these are five must read books for any Active Duty or part-time Company Commanders. Once you've read these five books you can branch off and read additional books.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Five Tips to Mentor and Develop Your Subordinate Officers and NCOs

As a military leader, one of your primary responsibilities is to mentor and develop your subordinates. For the purpose of this article, I want to share a few tips on how you can do that. Let's get started.

Tip # 1: Always Lead by Example

You should make it a point to always lead by example. This means that you do what you say and say what you do. You must look and act like a leader. You must be disciplined, confident and poised. You must take pride in what you do and be good at what you do. It also means showing up on time and having a good attitude.

Tip # 2: Listen More than You Speak

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. The best leaders listen more than they speak. If you are always doing all the talking you won't learn anything. One of the best things you can do is make a conscious decision to listen more. Try to find out what your followers are thinking and feeling.

Tip # 3: Encourage Two Way Conversation

Once again, don't do all the talking. Communication must be two ways. You must encourage your subordinates to tell you what they are thinking. Ask them questions and listen. Find out what they are thinking and feeling. Some of your best ideas will "come to you" if you can learn how to listen and get your subordinates talking.

Tip # 4: Provide Continuous Feedback

Make sure you always provide feedback to your followers. If you are only communicating with your followers when they mess up, then you are setting the wrong example. You must make it a point to provide feedback to your followers. Always put your feedback in writing and do it often. You should give your soldiers an "atta-boy" when they do something right. If you only focus on the negative, you won't get the results that you could.

Tip # 5: Schedule Time to Develop Your Followers

You must schedule time in your calendar to develop your subordinates. Schedule time for question and answer sessions, classes, counseling and professional development. Spend at least a couple hours each week on these tasks. Remember that developing leaders is one of your most important jobs as a leader.

In summary, these are just five simple tips you can follow to mentor and develop your subordinates. Your key to success is to choose to be a good leader and then schedule the time to develop your subordinates.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Seven Must See Movies for Company Commanders

You can learn a lot of helpful military leadership lessons by watching movies. As a military leader, you can study military movies to learn new leadership skills, study tactics, and study military history. It's fun, entertaining, inexpensive, and easy to do. For the purpose of this article, I want to share some of my favorite movies that will benefit aspiring and current Company Commanders. Let's get started.

1. Band of Brothers: This HBO Series is a timeless classic of the men of the 101st Airborne Division during WW2. You will follow Easy Company, led by Dick Winters and other leaders. This series covers tactics, the art of war, military leadership and so much more. This is without a doubt my favorite military movie of all time.

2. Saving Private Ryan: This is another great WW2 movie, starring Tom Hanks, a Company Commander in the Army Rangers. You will learn about leading men, suffering casualties, overcoming obstacles and so much more.

3. Once an Eagle: This is a great book and movie. The movies stars Sam Damon and covers one man's journey through several wars as an enlisted man and officer.

4. The Lost Battalion: This is a documentary of the 308th Infantry Battalion of the 77th Division during WW1. In this movie, the Germans offer the Americans the opportunity to surrender or die. Instead, the Americans choose to attack. This is a great leadership movie.

5. Starship Troopers: This is one of my all time favorite books and movies. Starship Troopers is much more than a science fiction movie. This movie covers "principles" regarding men and soldiers.

6. We Were Soldiers: This is a great movie about the first major battle of the Vietnam War. This movie stars Mel Gibson and shows how a greatly outnumbered battalion wins a battle. There are great tactics and leadership lessons in this movie.

7. The Hurt Locker: While many critics don't enjoy this movie, I do. I think there are many helpful lessons about stress, the emotional effects of war, and the craziness of war. Whether you like the movie yourself or not, there are some very valuable lessons to be learned from it.

In summary, these are my seven favorite military movies for Company Commanders. Whether you have already taken Company Command, or will so in the future, I recommend you sit down and watch these movies. Take notes. Study what you learn and share the lessons with some of your peers and subordinates. The lessons you learn will develop your leadership skills and make you a better Commander.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

CV Writing Tips for Ex Military Personnel

When ex military personnel start to look for civilian work or training, the first thing that's required is an up-to-date CV. In order to help heroes find employment, organisations need to know what each applicant's skills are, as well as where they're based and what their ideal role would entail.

Some employers appear unwilling or resistant to employing ex forces personnel. As wrong as this seems, sometimes the blame can rest on the prospective employee too. Stereotypes and prejudices are wrong, but it is hard to prove an employer's beliefs wrong with a CV that lacks depth and appropriate information.

It is hard for employers to choose an employee based on a CV that is incomplete and does not show the applicant off in their best light.

A good CV is a headline. It tells prospective employers who you are, what you want, what you can do and how you can improve further. It shows them your potential and it also reveals just how much of an asset you could be to their company.

Think about your CV. What is included? It is almost certain to be lacking in some vital information regarding skills or experience that could land you with your dream civilian job.

It's not that the skills aren't there - often it's just that you haven't laid out what you can do in black and white. In CVs there is no boasting. Show yourself off. Here are five tips for army heroes to create the perfect ex military CV.

1. Fill in all the correct contact information so employers can get in touch.
Add in your email address (if you have more than one, use both), home and mobile phone numbers, address and if you have one, put in the address for your personal website or blog. Double check all this information to ensure it is correct.

2. Include a full career history.
If your career has been within the military for the most part, look at your roles from a civilian point of view. Write in the dates you changed within a certain regiment or service and tour dates. Also include a concise paragraph for each change of role detailing what the new position entailed.

3. Include skills you learned.
It may not seem instantly obvious, but skills learned in the military - for example team work, engineering, first aid, weapon safety and maintenance training, organisation and drill - all count as excellent transferable skills. Weapons training may not be inherently useful in a security or administration role, however the discipline learned in order to safely use and maintain such a weapon responsibly is. Similarly, drill might not be a key requirement of civilian employment, but team work, punctuality, organisation, self-confidence, the ability to follow orders and presentability are all skills every employer looks for in new team members.

4. Talk about your goals.
If civilian experience is a bit thin on the ground in your CV, explain your goals and hopes for the future. If you want a full-time role with the security that brings, talk about your dedication and hard-work ethics. If you are looking for a position that offers training, expand on your willingness to adapt and grow as a team member; put yourself forward as a candidate who is not afraid to work hard to achieve his/her goals, is eager to learn and can pick up new skills quickly.

5. Who are you?
One section of CVs that is invariably done badly is the self-statement. There should always be a part of your CV dedicated to you and what your 'extra-curricular' activities are. Remember, employers are looking for a candidate who fits the correct skill sets, but they are also looking for a colleague. Don't go overboard - a couple of sentences should suffice - but try to tie in your hobbies and passions with your employability and skills. For instance, if you love hiking and climbing, this shows you are an active and adventurous person; reading and photography show adaptability and an interest in learning and discovering new things. If you don't have many interests outside of work, you could cite spending time in the garden or with family as your main loves in life which will show dedication and placidity.

All of these tips have been designed by professionals to help soldiers make the most of the skills they already have to make them work for them in the civilian world.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sea Cadets - A Great Place For Young Adults to Learn Leadership, Skills, and Service

The other day, I met an advisor, soon to be running a program for the Sea Cadets. This is a group which is a U.S. Navy auxiliary group which helps young kids learn about seamanship, the Navy, and the Coast Guard. If you are unfamiliar with this group you should go to their website and check it out. Further, if you have teenagers in your family and you are looking to help them learn the ropes, literally, and learn leadership, skills, and the value of service to our nation, this group comes highly recommended. Not only by the U.S. Navy top brass, but even us Navy Brats who are now all grown up now.

The Sea Cadets are not the only group of this type. If your kids would like to learn about aviation, rather than focusing on sailing, ships, and the marine industry then perhaps you might introduce them to the Civil Air Patrol which is a U.S. Air Force auxiliary group made up of civilians, and many retired U.S. Air Force folks, and they help look for lost aircraft, and groom young men and women for a career in aviation, or perhaps a military flight contract. This group is also highly recommended, by me, because I was in it in my youth.

In fact, they helped teach me how to fly, and we learned all about the history of aviation, and went on field trips to aviation manufacturing facilities, museums, and even got to go to military bases to take a look at the latest and greatest technology of the day. It is this fascination with aviation which helped propel my career and even my first business; washing airplanes.

Indeed, I have a friend who has a son and he is in the Sea Cadets, and he was able to go on an old-fashioned sailing boat in Southern California. It is like a sailing museum, literally. It has changed the boy's life. He's now more interested in school, engineering, math, and science. His grades have drastically improved, and it seems like that's all he talks about. He builds models of ships and boats, similar to when I was young building model airplanes.

There is a whole new world out there to explore for our young people if they will just take the time to get involved. Sometimes it helps if their parents know more about these things. The Experimental Aircraft Association has a group called the Young Eagles. The Boy Scouts have the Aviation Explorers, The Police Explorers, and other groups which are similar. There is no better time to start than when you are young, and it certainly gives you an advantage over the rest of the field. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Did China's Military Give Stolen US Technology to North Korea and Iran?

Now then, I'm not one to point thinkers, well that's not really true; I will point fingers back at someone who is pointing theirs at me, or at my country for that matter. In fact, recently a few of the protégés coming up in the Communist Party as the elders pass the torch had mentioned that the United States was a sneaky troublemaker causing problems for the expansion plans of the Chinese in the South China seas and other places. I find this problematic because it is a lot like the Obama Administration planing blame games blaming everything on the Republicans.

Secondly, I have a problem with it because we do know that the Chinese sometimes go out of their way to make things tough for the United States when there are disputes over trade, or diplomatic issues. The United States as the world's only superpower currently is entrusted by our allies to help keep the peace, China is definitely an ally. Some, such as those scholars at the RAND Corporation have written papers suggesting that China's international behavior is not hostile. Well, yes and no, it depends if China needs or wants something, such as resources for instance.

Many have said that the North Korean's rocket and the Iranian drone which both appeared in the global media looked very familiar, probably Chinese, but everything the Chinese has looks vaguely familiar to me, why - because it looks like US hardware, or Russian in some cases. In Bill Gertz's book "Treachery" he practically outlines the case for all of this, and he does name names as well, including companies, many of which are also state run companies.

We also know that China has been hacking into our defense contractors, our oil industry, and there is so much corporate espionage going on in the research and development arena in Silicon Valley, Boston, Atlanta, Austin, and Washington DC that it would make your head spin. The Chinese aren't stupid, after all they built the first firecrackers, rockets, fireworks, and they make all of our American flags that we proudly displayed during our Fourth of July. Obviously it's their holiday too, and they are enjoying those financial rewards.

Some have said that the reason that China supports Iran is because it is a thorn in America's side, it keeps us busy. That, plus the Chinese buy oil from Iran, and they are able to sell Iran military hardware and equipment. I would submit to you that the same thing is true when it comes to North Korea. Having the Chinese involved in six party talks is hilarious, after all it is probably the Chinese that gave the North Koreans most of the technology they have today. I find the whole thing laughable, if it wasn't so unfortunate that it is coming from our nation's preferred trading partner.

If I were to advise China on anything, it would be not to piss off the United States of America, and start negotiating from a win-win perspective on things such as trade, rights of the sea, and international banking and monetary policy. If China joins the Western world in a win-win situation we can unite this planet and we won't have to worry about any of the other nonsense going on from rogue nations, no one deserves to have to deal with that crap. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why America's Army Succeeds

When the chips are down, circumstances on the ground are dire, and the stakes are high America's political leadership and in fact all Americans turn to America's can do force - the United States Army. America's senior military service has built an unsurpassed legacy of achievement through the grit and determination of millions of men and women who have shouldered America's burdens for over 237 years. Soldiers have risked everything to bear the unbearable, suffer the intolerable, and achieve the seemingly impossible.

Today, when assessing why or how the Army is able to succeed where other organizations fail, one may be inclined to point to overwhelming resources - the weapons, the remarkable technology and the awesome firepower the Army can bring to bear. That determination, however, would miss the fundamental element. The truth is much simpler. America's Army succeeds because of its people - the values they adhere to, the processes they employ, and the tenacity they exhibit.

Soldiers come from all walks of life. They don't look the same, they don't talk the same, and they don't think the same except in one respect: soldiers intend to win, plan to win, and fight to win. The Army succeeds in achieving the most difficult tasks, in dangerous, austere environments, because quality people do the necessary things to guarantee success.

The Army, like the other armed forces of the United States, is an institution designed to confront, manage, and overcome the two most influential aspects of the human experience: power and fear. America's Army is the land force charged with managing national power. The Army applies and manipulates deadly force to achieve the national will. To carry out this charge under extreme duress, the Army as an institution collectively, and soldiers individually, must deliberately and directly overcome fear.

The Army relies on universal, immutable principles to organize vast and powerful units, synchronize myriad capabilities, and complete complex and formidable missions. To accomplish the most demanding tasks, to succeed in the most severe circumstances, and to triumph over the most threatening of all adversaries America's Army operates by three indispensable precepts: America's Army is Values Based, Mission Focused and Action Oriented.

These three cornerstones of Army doctrine and Army exploits are the very same principles employed to achieve success in any and all areas of life. The Army has adopted measures to inculcate these principles into its culture. Soldiers come to understand that the power of a team proceeds from the strength of its foundation. Values based, mission focused, action oriented is the Army's foundation and is why America's Army succeeds.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How About a WWII Hawker Hurricat Strategy For Special Forces With Jet Man Wings?

Back in World War II Britain was being challenged by German U-boats preventing supplies from getting in, and because it was unable to trade with the rest of Europe the people had to severely ration their food supply. Luckily, the United States was able to send convoys of ships with supplies, but unfortunately they were also being sought by the German U-boats, and later German bombers.

Since the British didn't have any aircraft carriers, and even if they did they wouldn't last long with German U-boats submarines around, they had to come up with a plan to prevent the German bombers from attacking those ship convoys bringing armament and food. What they did is they took a Hawker hurricane and mounted it with a rocket motor so it could take off from a rail attached to a slingshot catapult from a ship. The aircraft would rev-up, ignite the rocket motor, and they would initiate the catapult.

The aircraft would then use the rocket assist to quickly gain altitude and the aircraft would then go after the German bombers. They called this the aircraft; The Hurricat. The aircraft would then have to land back in the water and ditch, but every time he shut down a German bomber it saved the convoy of supply ships from destruction. Okay so, what if we took this basic strategy and used it for Special Forces operations?

What if we took Navy SEALs and strapped on "Jet Man" wings on each one of them, allowed them to take off from a rail system very similar - then fly up to altitude and 10-15 miles to where they needed to be, and then pulled the parachute? This would allow them to fly into dangerous areas very rapidly, and since the Jet Man wings are so small they would hardly appear on radar, and very difficult to shoot down as they are so maneuverable. This would get them into where they needed to be to do what it is they need to do.

Such a system could be mounted on a very small assault vessel, a small destroyer, or even on the outside of a submarine. Although the extraction might be a more difficult strategy, this would allow them to get in without the use of helicopters, and at a very rapid speed. It could perhaps be a brilliant tactic if it were played correctly. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it, and if you have any comments or questions please shoot me an e-mail.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Special Forces Challenge Coins Recognize the Performance of an Elite Group

The Special Forces are specialists in their field and are often given the Special Forces Challenge Coin in recognition for their expertise and dedication. The coins are manufactured in various sizes, shapes, designs and are similar to challenge coins given to other members of the military except there is an even deeper meaning for those who receive them.

The Special Forces challenge coins are given to military members who provide numerous services including hostage rescue, counter-terrorism operations, surveillance and recovery of military information in hostile situations and demolition missions. In addition to the risk that is experienced by members of the military on regular missions, the elite members that perform high-risk missions are honored for their contributions with these coins.

Special Operations Units

Army Rangers, Green Berets and Delta Force, the Navy SEALS, the Marine's Force Recon and Scout Snipers and the Air Force's Pararescuemen are just a few of the special operations units of the military. Special Forces provide their services during peace and wartime. As a way of honoring their unique talents and the 'behind the scenes' duties that are performed, Special Forces challenge coins are given.

Representing a Bond

The coins represent much more than belonging to a particular group. Because these members often work very closely and have to rely on each other in areas where total isolation is necessary, they develop a special bond. This bond quite frequently extends to their personal life long after their military service is completed. The coins received may contain anything that has a special meaning to the members of the group. This includes text or an insignia representing their branch of the military.

They may also include a motto or other saying that is specific to the group. One type is the Green Beret challenge coin. It features a green beret, a sword and the words, "De Oppresso Liber" at the top and "Liberate from Oppression" at the bottom. Another type includes 'U.S. Army Special Forces" on the coin. There are older vintage Special Forces challenge coins that are highly regarded by collectors. They are made from silver and bronze.

The coins may also contain emblems and the words, "Duty, Honor, Country and Proudly Served." Others have theU.S.flag and an eagle. The coins can vary according to the preference of the person who is having them made. Their main objective is to convey the camaraderie among the members of the group and to commemorate the time shared and missions accomplished.

The Special Forces challenge coin is one of the most highly regarded coins of members of the military. Those who receive these coins are courageous, dedicated to serving their country and committed to protecting the safety of the well as their fellow members. Family members preserve the coins and their meaning to hand down from one generation to the next as a symbol of the bravery of grandfathers, fathers, sons and uncles.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Best Practices for Enhancing Military Logistics Strategies

Military logistics strategies are based on the idea that a working navy is only as good as the equipment that they have available. This is more than just supply lines and getting equipment to the sailors that need it; it is making sure that the equipment that they have is the most up-to-date and that it works. This is not only necessary for success, but the lives of those that must use the equipment; a faulty valve can not just wreck a valuable piece of equipment but also kill. Because of this there are several strategies that can be employed to ensure that people have the equipment that they need.

The most basic logistics strategy is to maintain a solid inventory. This means that a ship's quartermaster must be aware of his ship's inventory, and what it lacks according to the ship's manifest. He must also allow for estimated need; if the ship is going into battle, he must have additional spare parts for the weapons as well as ammunition. By maintaining his inventory, and doing precisely, he is able to meet demand before there is a demand. More to the point, the more quartermasters that do so allow the fleet quartermaster to better allow for demand himself; this means that he will not need to emergency order anything and that the logistics officer has a simpler job maintaining a good running delivery system.

Supply lines must also be clear. This can be an obvious problem during battle, but this can be a problem when your targets are constantly on the move. This means that you need to either keep your bases over-stocked, or that you need a way of precisely estimating when your ships can be stocked as requested. A ship that is delayed because it is waiting on a shipment can be bad, especially if it needs to be somewhere else. It is simply more efficient to know where a ship will be, and then make sure that the shipment gets there just ahead of the ship.

By following these strategies anyone in a working navy can be assured that they have the best equipment available, and equipment that they are proficient in its use and maintenance. Some of these may take time and changing of attitudes in order to implement, but that is effort well spent. More importantly, it helps increase the likelihood of any mission being successful, and with minimal casualties, which is precisely what the best military logistics are based on.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Syrian's Russian Made Military Helicopters Used to Slaughter Resistance Considered

Well, I can tell you that our think tank has been saying that Syria's civil unrest issue is now a civil war, and it has been since this time last year. The number of people that have lost their lives is now in the tens of thousands, and both sides are taking huge casualties, not just the civilians or the rebels. Syria is now using helicopter gunships to go after the resistance, and they've also used fighter planes to target certain buildings known to have housed the rebels, but probably also hundreds of civilians in the cross-fire, or without regard. The bloodshed is getting out of control.

Of course, all these issues were pretty much forewarned when Russia said it was bringing more military helicopters to Syria. The Syrian military already has a number of Russian-made helicopters, and these helicopter gunships are ominous, and they are pure unadulterated killing machines. That's what they're made for, and that's what they're good at. There is a very good book you can read on this topic, I've read it myself. The name of the book is; "Soviet Helicopters: Design, Development and Tactics," by John Everett-Heath.

In this book you will find all the performance data, armaments, and abilities of these Russian-made gunship helicopters, and you'll begin to see what I'm talking about. If this continues without the rebels having handheld or shoulder launched surface-to-air missiles then many of those rebels will be slaughtered. Of course, if the rebels are given armaments of this type, and the Assad regime falls, there is a chance that Al Qaeda will take over or gain a stronghold, and if so they will end up with the rebel's shoulder launched missiles which are unused at that point, along with Syrian's stockpile of chemical weapons. Not too funny I'd say.

Do you remember how the freedom fighters of Afghanistan had these types of shoulder launched missiles to shoot down the Russian helicopter gunships? Those were supplied by the US military, or so the rumor goes through the CIA. Al Qaeda knows how to use them, and Osama bin Laden was a member and at one time a leader of that group of freedom fighters. Are we going to see history repeat if we arm the rebels? What's really going on there?

We can't actually know by watching the news media, but you can bet military intelligence and our CIA are on top of it. The outcome for Syria's Civil War is just one click on the other side of extremely serious. As the history unfolds in the summer of 2012, we will soon find what this means for the rest of the region, and all of Syria's neighbors - and inevitably the world. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Body Armor Throughout the Years

Origin of Body Armor

Body armor, or oftentimes called personal armor, is a type of clothing used to protect the body from unwanted damages such as blunt force traumas or lacerations. Historically, they were first used by soldiers but since then have developed throughout time. Body armors in western history can date back from the Mycenaean era where chain mails were used. Whereas in East Asia, its inhibitors has adapted the use of lamellar, eventually influencing the Japanese's still-famous samurai armor.

One of the factors that were considered of its development can be attributed to the type of market that benefits from armor production. The market has to be considered because body armors are not only used in battle, even if it was the primary reason for its invention. In the modern setting, it is not anymore limited to military purposes. Body armors can now be seen in a wide variety of sports especially the extreme and dangerous kind. Football players have been using these armors, from back and spine protectors and pads to chest and rib protectors. Extreme sports like snowboarding use performance jackets and protective snow vests, an example that these armors are also used to protect athletes from extreme weather conditions. But don't mistake that these armors are only used for outdoor sports; It has also been widely used in hockey, martial arts, and roller derbies.

Bullet Proof Vests in Modern Times

Another factor that was considered for the development of body armors is the threat that the users are trying to protect themselves from, more specifically military users and the enemies and weapons they face in combat. It has been observed that throughout history, body armours developed in parallel to the development of the weapons used in combat. As the weapons improved in gun power in the battlefield, the armors have improved to increase better protection but without the expense of mobility. That is why the material used in armor production has changed drastically from its first invention, from the use of metal plates to fibers. Nondescript armors are also advantageous to the market where they are used for personal reasons or for bodyguards.

Kevlar is now the most commonly known component used in body armors and bullet proof vest since they are bullet resistant. They were used by the United States military forces since the early 1980's. Now, they are still widely used by police officers, security personnel, SWAT and FBI teams. Kevlar is also used as a protection gear that can be used in emergencies, especially those that involve high heat. Even civilians, like motorcycle riders also use them to prevent abrasion injuries.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bulletproof Vest: An Introduction

What are Bulletproof Vests?

Bulletproof vests or ballistic vests are sometimes called bullet resistant vests because it is inaccurate to refer to them as "bulletproof" due to increasing and varying types of projectile. This term implies that the vest can protect the user from every firearm threat, so the term bullet resistant is generally preferred. These vests are usually worn in the torso area. This form of body armors serves as protection because it can absorb impact from unwanted objects that come from firearms and bombs.

Types and Materials Used

There are different kinds of bulletproof vests. To determine which kind of vest to use could depend on the kind of damage the person is expecting to encounter. Soft vests, which are commonly being used by security guards, bodyguards, civilians and the police, are fabricated using several layers of woven or laminated fibers. This kind of vest has the ability to protect the user from less severe small-caliber weapons such as handgun and shotgun bullets or smaller fragments from hand grenade explosions.

Furthermore, added material can be integrated into theses vests for better protection using metal or ceramic plates. Hard-plated reinforced vests are commonly used by units with a more extreme and dangerous job description like the military combat soldiers, police tactical and hostage rescue teams. The additional metal or ceramic plates are more effective in protecting the wearer from more serious and aggressive damages. These would include rifle rounds and stabbing or slashing attacks from sharp objects. Protection in their line of work is not limited to bulletproof vests though. Nowadays, other items of protection are also implemented and they can be seen using combat helmets, ballistic shoulder and side protection armor components. On a more serious note, bomb officers oftentimes even use helmets with face visors and spine protection with their heavy armor.

How These Protective Gears Operate

Even though bullet proof vests can prevent bullet penetration, it can still cause damage to the wearer because of blunt force trauma. These vests operate in a way that the fibers merely deform the approaching bullet into a dish shape where its force is distributed on a large area of the fiber material. The deformation enables the bullet to stop before it can completely penetrate and go through the material. Only a few layers of the material can be penetrated by the vest thus absorbing the energy. Nevertheless, the wearer can still absorb partial energy from the bullet and can cause enough impact that can result to trauma. That is why there are vest specifications that give the user details, both on the penetration resistance requirements and the limits on the amount of impact energy that can be brought to the body.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Iran's Shipping Shell Game Shenanigans - Somewhere On That Ocean, I Know She's Got To Be

The Iranian regime seems to be quite good at hide and seek, and you thought they only knew how to play (linear 2-dimensional) chess? Well, we live in a 3D World and now Iran is hiding its assets, oil and weapons shipments and nuclear weapons tech underground and on the high-seas, and attempting to avoid detection. Interestingly enough, they've gotten pretty skilled at doing so. Okay so, let's talk shall we?

The Wall Street Journal had an article titled; "How Iran Steams Past International Sanctions" by Claudia Rosett, and although it wasn't any real revelation, as it's been well documented by authors like Bill Gertz just how the Iranians cloak their international trade shipments, it just goes to show you that everything is in play all the time, and it's like a giant game of musical chairs or hide the stone under the nutshell. The article stated;

"By reflagging and renaming its ships, Tehran keeps one-step ahead of the law," in reference to their newest scheme of using a small pacific island nation state, an obscure one, as its latest pretend port of call.

Perhaps one way to solve this challenge is to create a new identification system, something akin to a DNA, Iris Scan, Fingerprint, or Ship-Book online profile using FbRT (Facebook recognition technologies).

There are a number of ways we could do this such as combining the pollution signature, the sonar signature, the shape of the vessel including the side profile and satellite photo. Since we know most of the vessels are legitimate, it would be easy to find those vessels which came up as a new entry, or flying a false flag. By having some sort of other recognition besides the name of the ship, and the flag it flew, it wouldn't really matter what name was on the side of the ship was, or which flag it was flying on which day. The vessel would be known by its number, code, and distinct group of signatures.

Could such a system be fooled? Perhaps it could, but it may be quite difficult and require quite a bit of reengineering, something that could also easily be detected you see that point? Look you don't have to be a Clive Cussler to figure this out. Of course, it's not an easy task to find a ship upon an ocean today, or in the past.

It wasn't easy to find the Bismarck, but they eventually found her and sank her. Indeed, we are going to need better intelligence gathering and a new type of vessel recognition signature system for the future, so let's get working on it okay? Please consider all this and think on it.