Tag Archives: leadership

battle lessons

battle lessons

Battlefield Lessons Applied to Civilian Life

Someone who spent a lifetime immersed in healthcare leadership, knowing my pastime of military wargaming and simulation, sent me an article which describes a hospital administration “staff ride” across the fields at Gettysburg.  I applaud the thought, having wrung lessons about mass casualty incident response from repeated simulations of the Battle of the Bulge. But I caution against a wholesale rush to mimic these attempts.

The writer of the article assumes that everyone knows about  Confederate General Ewell’s failure to take the Heights. I think it possibly fool-hardy to take a snapshot of a moment in time and think that one can extrapolate from that some bit of wisdom that can be used in any organization because “leadership” retains the same form in any world.  On this particular event involving people from a hospital in Florida, perhaps the fellow conducting the staff ride gave a more complete explanation than did the author who condensed it down to a short article.

The Battle of Gettysburg, by the way, is probably the most intensely study battle in history.  YouTube has hours and hours of staff rides conducted by historians and military experts under the aegis of the US Army War College. Equally, there are many tabletop and electronic simulations of the battle through which you can stick you toe into those waters. Reading military history is tremendously worthwhile. Simulations abound.  Examples on the European continent, as well as from the Revolutionary War, other battles in the Civil War, and more can be found. Be wary of thinking that you learned something.

In the case of Gettysburg and the article for hospital administrators, I can see at least three or four major items that were or are not considered. First is the degree of desperation present among the Confederates.  While it was true that they had just completed a short strong of stunningly successive battles; they were the results of having been out-thought, out-generated and having made fewer critical blunders. Second is that fact that the soldiers were underfed and had marched long distances; that’s in great part why they were in Pennsylvania, the breadbasket of the Union. Third is the fact that their cavalry, their eyes and ears and their most rapid form of advance, was — under Stuart’s direction — absent from the battle. Fourth is the fact that the troops under Ewell’s command who could have taken the Heights had already marched 30 miles to arrive; the early-arriving units suffered significant casualties during massive assaults on Oak Ridge.

Finally, their most audacious leader, the one who units played critical roles in those recent successes, the fellow who led what was known as the foot cavalry, was no longer present to lend and inspirationally direct his men to accomplish those rapid marches.  “Stonewall” Jackson had been mortally wounded just before Lee’s move North and his absence was surely measured on the “morale” scorecard. As has been noted, Jackson and Lee worked well together because they were frequently of the same mind; the subordinate responded well to suggestion, and Jackson’s flank attack at Chancellorsville resulted from spartan discussion and a suggestion.

Leadership cannot be discerned in a single moment.   Gettysburg is well-studied because, in its early moments, it is an example of a “meeting engagement”, “a combat action that occurs when a moving force, incompletely deployed for battle, engages an enemy at an unexpected time and place.”

A meeting engagement is a dynamic event; it is always changing.

Leadership is not tactics, nor strategy, nor even management. If you want to study management, start with “A Passion for Excellence”.  If you want to study strategy, start with a treatise on the art of the indirect approach known simply as “Strategy” and continue on to Sun Tsu and Boyd’s OODA Loop.

If you want to study military leadership, start with this book by this man, in which he described five traits of an effective leader: Will, intellect, courage, presence, and energy.

There is more here,  http://guidestarinc.com/miltary-leadership-skills/, but find a good used copy of the book and spend a companionable day or two with it. Leadership is spelled with a C, he says, and the whole idea of emotional intelligence comes into focus too.

You need not spend a lot of time reading the history of battles past; you are immersed in a massive battle right now.  Look around you, and open your eyes.


One’s true capacity for moving,

or being moved, can be achieved

only when one’s commitment to others

is in fact connected to and derived from

his primary commitment to himself.

When we find this kind of alignment of purpose,

there is a harmony of motivation

that can provide the fuel and clarity

to overcome great obstacles

in the pursuit of great challenge.

from The Inner Game of Work, by W. Timothy Gallwey



Wood’s book is summarized on pages 21 through 25 in http://boydownthelane.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Tab-N-Leadership.pdf 

See also 




In order “to understand where we are going as a country and what the worst case scenario for a civil war without limits will look like”, Mike Vanderboegh 

— a favored villain at the Southern Poverty Law Center, visible focal point and lightning rod for the Three Percenter movement and one of five panelists who participated in a sobering discussion via podcast entitled  What’s Next for the Liberty movement? — 

will be reading three books by a leading figure in the Yugoslavian resistance movement

The podcast was hosted by Samuel Culper (likely a pseudonym), author of SHTF Intelligence: An Intelligence Analysts’s Guide to Community Security (now on my desk) who recommended Joseph Martino’s book “Resistance to Tyranny” , now also on my desk, where they reverberate with the more historical pdf version of “Total Resistance”, a Swiss Army Guide Guerilla Warfare and Underground Operations

All these books are getting the attention of increasing numbers of people.

I’m sure the subject matter will be sneered at derisively by many in the stenographic media, rejected as preposterousness, magical thinking, or some form of tomfoolery, as exemplified by the use of the term ‘self-radicalization’.

But that in and of itself would be foolish, even if only handfuls of people are bloodied as examples.

Admitting that I have such information will draw attention from one or more organizations within the Federal government which repeatedly and increasingly identify the most severe threat as the ones coming from Americans who have “self-radicalized” (Newspeak for “awoken”, “read more deeply and broadly that the MSM”, and/or are disgusted with the fact that what was once perceived as a great nation has lost its moral compass and fallen into traps set by evil and foreign interests). 

For those who are unfamiliar with me and my background, let me state that I’ve had a long-standing interest in military tactics and strategy which has interplayed with a lot of reading and some simulation gaming. I rejected the opportunity extended to me in the mid-60’s for soldiering not because I didn’t want to get killed, but because I didn’t want to kill. I probably wouldn’t have survived long anyway. I’m no Rambo-in-waiting. 

I don’t own a firearm. I don’t train, or meet with, anyone.  I don’t practice.  Beyond some extra cans of veggies and some rice, I’m not a prepper.  

But that didn’t stop me from reading the military histories of the American Revolution, the American Civil War, and many more, or various versions of Sun Tzu.  It didn’t stop me from reading and annotating Sir B. H. Liddell-Hart’s book “Strategy” (on the art of the indirect approach), or about Boyd’s OODA Loop. 

I diverted from the pretend Army games into an interest in communciations, political science, and the art and science of saving lives.  I burrowed deeply into mass casualty incident management and performance psychology. I’m a blogger, a sweatsuit journalist in the sense that I write about politics, culture, the media and more; over at OccurrencesForeignandDomestic, I read multiple news sources voraciously each day, and I too am curious where we are going as a country. 

I think our political leadership is at the very least misguided, corrupted, and quite arguably treasonous. 

We are being herded into civil war. If it should arrive, I’m more than likely to be involved in rolling bandages and using them than engaged in more direct activity.  And I’ll be a journalist, keeping a journal and, when and if the time comes and it is necessary, doing more. I recognize my limitations.  I’m approaching my seventies, have seen better days in terms of health and fitness, but I work on my health, keep my mind as sharp as possible and  read a lot. 

So I too can and must recommend that you do some homework and spend some time in serious thought and reflection. Your mind, your family, your community will tell you what to do with what you know, have learned, and can do. 

As is my wont and in sync with my interests, I browsed Joseph Martino’s book “Resistance to Tyranny”, read the first chapter, then the 18th, and then the last chapter and especially Appendix B. 

Sobering stuff…. 

If you do not think we are teetering on the brink of tyranny, I recommend you take a “snow day” and walk through the past two and a half years’ worth of entries at occurrencesforeigndomestic.com/.

As a nation and a people, no matter “what side of the aisle” you sit on, no matter what your spiritual or religious or political beliefs, we’d all better sober up soon. 

It would be refreshing if we saw some of the political candidates, political leadership, bureaucrats, corporate enterprises and media pundits show us the path to sobriety.


By now, you may have seen this:


[…] an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior,” symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.

Music fanfare:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVgs38tpMhs (6:45) 


Here’s why I am angry about authority:

I have a deep sense of having been betrayed.

Everything I have been told by authority since I can remember has tuned out to be a lie.


Were my parents uninformed, deluded, in denial?  I’ll be kind and say that they were misled. I could be more harsh and say that they were complicit, at least through their own willful inattention.  That they were the victims of a poor education, or from having drunk the Koolaid, is a possibility.  But my father grew up within rock-throwing distance of Yale, and my step-mother belonged to a family whose patriarch is alleged to have been involved in MK-Ultra ritual sex abuse circles.

Can I prove that?  No, the references have been scrubbed off the Internet, but his picture grabbed from that article, the one that sent autonomic shivers of recognition down my persona the first time I saw it, still stares out at me from deep inside my hard drive. Was I directly involved?  Not to my conscious knowledge.  Indeed, it can be argued that my step-mother did what she could to keep me safely away from such depredations, and perhaps that is the deep dark inner family secret no one wants to talk about. But she still whupped me regularly, and abused me psychologically, and one person with the requisite experience and knowledge told me one thing she had done went dangerously near a line that no adult should ever cross.

Were my teachers uninformed?  No, but individuals can’t do much in a system in which they are constantly watched, guided, harangued, and given boundaries.

Were my community officials complicit? Perhaps, but complicity is the group norm; otherwise your earning potential, career or lives will be made to suffer. We were all good Germans at one point in time or another.

We were the recipients of that golden glow that emanated from post-World-War-II economics; don’t rock the boat when the sea is still and placid.

Was the truth about the Illuminati and Skull and Bones available to them?  I didn’t learn about this stuff until I was into my 50’s.  Why didn’t they question what had happened in Dallas?  In the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel? On the balcony of the Lorraine Motel? In the Gulf of Tonkin? The communal elders  dutifully packed their first-born to a quick death or a lifetime of hell on the say-so of an obviously corrupt leadership. Their children did the same a generation later.

The hints that there was a hidden structure to American polity were available, though suppressed and, I’d guess, ridiculed. The experience of American politics and culture has been to move to the middle, to be herded. Although I didn’t discovered it until he died in the late 80’s, my father had two textbooks on propaganda on his bookshelf (neatly titled for the field of public relations).

But the legislative history of the great snookering was available to them; at that point in time, I was still two decades or more from being born, but the creature came out of the seaside swamps where the robber barons secretly gathered (and the requisite legislation) occurred on their watch (albeit with covert means and subterfuge).

[More recently we were told by the Speaker of the House that Congress had to pass the bill in order to know what was in it.]

Off they went to another war, to Federal income taxes, to a debt-based system run by a bunch of foreigners. Emma Lazarus, that sheltered aristocratic Jewish poetess daughter of an Ashkenazi, and Augustus Bartholdi, a French Freemason who married his wife in that same town celebrated by Lazarus in other poems, sold us a trojan horse known as Liberty Enlightening The World.

Lazarus was “an important forerunner of the Zionist movement. She argued for the creation of a Jewish homeland thirteen years before Theodor Herzl began to use the term Zionism.[12]]

Liberty was made gentle, the French themes of revolution and armed mobs having been made to evaporate by the idea’s progenitor, French law professor and politician Édouard René de Laboulaye, according to the history published in 2003.

Authority in the forms of political, social and cultural leadership made it fashionable, even de rigeur, to be something other than what you held yourself out to be.  (This while I attended a school with the motto Nosce Te Ipsum. )

This started with the hypocrisy of the church-goers, extended into those who purported to be of various religions but were really godless and intent on destroying spiritual faith, jumped into the world of politics where it appeared to be (erroneously) an occasional aberration, oozed its way into academia, and finally subsumed politics and diplomacy to the point where the only functional approaches in use today involve theatrical performances of news-making events, and false flags. Open manipulation of personal sovereignty through MK-Ultra-like adaptation of pharmaceutical and psychological/psychiatric intervention was still an unknown but has now come sharply into focus.  On one hand, we have robots to do the work and we have kidnapped and trafficked adolescents to provide sex and other services. The latter, of course, is in the news as a service provided by governmental intelligence operatives to royal families, presidential-caliber politicians, and the like for the mans of controlling them, but I am certain our parents knew of such things; they simply averted their eyes, covered ours, but made available the salacious by-products.

In many cases, our governments have been actively engaged in profiting from and providing to the composers the deadly products of narcotic drugs, the illicit types and those prescribed by the friendly people in white lab coats, samples easily provided in bulk by BigPharma, usually delivered by some handsome and attractive “rep” along with a pricey dinner and some high-class marketing handouts.

“In government, the term authority is often used interchangeably with power. However, their meanings differ: while power is defined as “the ability to influence somebody to do something that he/she would not have done”, authority refers to a claim of legitimacy, the justification and right to exercise that power.”

As children here in the USofA, we were immersed in the history and verbiage of the Declaration of Independence and brought to a state of veneration and worship for it and the government it eventually birthed. Right behind that was an almost equal veneration of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, both now badly eroded to the point of absence, like a barrier beach in the face of waves of assault by people who seized power through stolen elections, subterfuge, and the sheer power of massed money, much of it itself illicitly gotten through investment trickeries, cheating, or flat out control of the system of currency to the point where quarter-million-dollar loans at the rapscallion rate of far less than a percent are given out privately to friends like an extra slosh of a fine wine at a cocktail party in the Hamptons.

No such loan was made available to the commoners, of course; we had to pay 29.9% APR for the several hundreds we charged on one of their credit cards when we had no other choice, and then deal with the humiliation of repeated phone calls from their hired attorney/collector until we acquiesced with a check drawn from savings. But any dumb pumpkin could turn a handsome profit with a quarter-million at 0.0001% interest in a few short weeks, if only by paying off their house instead of being foreclosed upon.

“… authority has become a subject of research in a variety of empirical settings: the family (parental authority), small groups (informal authority of leadership), intermediate organizations such as schools, churches, armies, industries and bureaucracies (organizational and bureaucratic authorities), and society-wide or inclusive organizations….”

Where were these people in the last twenty years? How was their silence and complicity bought? What legitimacy (especially true of the mainstream media) can they now command?  They are apparently all out watching celebrating the use of “naked force exercised on false pretenses” by watching “atrocity porn”

A more recent and immediate example is that the condo manager in the condo-glump where I last resided insisted that solar power hadn’t yet been proven to be of value, but this report is just the most recent indicator that she was lying, incompetent, or at worst uninformed.

To appear to be ignorant while maintaining that others are mentally ill because they are better informed is a sign of duplicitousness, or psychopathology, or self-delusion.