The Best Defense

A Marine captain lists 10 things he wishes he knew before commanding a company

Capt. Lucas Balke writes in the September issue of the Marine Corps Gazette that there are 10 things he wishes someone had told him when he was a lieutenant. (I really like "what I've learned" articles, and I also am happy to highlight this article because I've been hard on the poor old Gazette in recent years.) Here they are:

  • Plan now to command a company.
  • Start collecting PME items.
  • Read 10 pages a day.
  • Become an expert regarding one battle.
  • Start constructing your "perfect" field exercise.
  • Enable your Marines to be self-sufficient.
  • Prepare your Marines to be dismounted infantrymen.
  • Trust your NCOs.
  • Be prepared to fight tomorrow's counterinsurgency.
  • Learn to train for free.

Tom again: What do you wish you'd known before taking your current position?

National Park Service

The Best Defense

2 x 2: Navy fires Mercy medical captain

He allegedly lied about his weight. The Navy throws in the usual charges about failing to obey and order and not acting like an officer and a gentleperson.

Oddly, his east coast counterpart, aboard the Comfort, got the same heave-ho a couple of weeks ago, but over leadership issues.

On the upside, a Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon, a specialist in neural engineering, joined the Navy Reserve -- at age 42.

On a more somber note, I want to express my sympathy for the families of all those who were killed yesterday at the D.C. Navy Yard, as well as for all those who work there.

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