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ArmyU Newsletter

Special Edition Vol 1, Issue 1
Introducing ArmyIgnitED

We are proud to introduce ArmyIgnitED. What is ArmyIgnitED? The new, automated portal for Soldiers to request Credentialing Assistance (CA). Right now the portal is open to Soldiers at Fort Knox, Fort Campbell, JBLM, and 7 ARNG states (NH, MD, KY, MN, MO, WA, and WY), but goes Army-wide on 17 Aug 2020. Visit today to create your account and explore the available credentialing options. Visit

Posted August 13, 2020

LTG Rainey Discusses A Practical Approach to Developing Leaders

At the recent Army Virtual Maneuver Warfighting Conference, LTG Rainey the Commander of US Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth gave a short 20 minute talk on how to develop leaders. He says that leaders need to have a goal for their program, understand the needs of the individuals, properly resource it, and then develop a detailed plan to ensure it’s actually executed. The video is worth watching for anyone looking to build a strong holistic program in their organization. Visit

Posted September 21, 2020

How to Develop a Unit Reading Program

Joe Byerly

Lately, I’ve had several conversations with incoming battalion commanders about creating reading programs for their units. They’ve all agreed that having one is important, but their philosophies differ greatly on the scope, the execution, and even the types of books they plan to use. Almost every unit I’ve served in had some type of reading program. However, almost all of them had problems. In one, the commander assigned reading, but kept moving the planned discussion on the calendar to the point that it never occured. Eventually he changed command and we never understood why he selected the book or what he wanted us to take away from it. Another commander assigned some extremely dense reading to junior officers, and it fell flat. The book covered the operational level of war, and they didn’t have the experiences or contextual understanding to appreciate it. They hated the book and some of them came to hate professional reading because of that experience. So what does a good reading program look like? Visit

Posted September 15, 2020

AMSC Podcast with Michael D. Formica (Army Management Staff College)

Invthe newest episode of the Army Management Staff College Leader Up Podcast, special guest Mr. Michael D. Formica, Deputy to the Commanding General, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, KS, discusses the current and future state of Army Civilian professional development. Visit

Posted September 14, 2020

25th ID NCOA Instructor Named a Facilitator of the Year

Pfc. Rachel Christensen

Excellent leaders walk a fine line between nurturing Soldiers and disciplining them. They are the iron hand that enforces the rules and the first to stick their neck out for those they lead. Leadership is not a position or a title, it is an action and example. “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”, said John F. Kennedy. For Army Sgt. 1st Class Rachelle White, a senior facilitator at the Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, this is a daily lesson. Visit

Posted September 14, 2020

CGSC Hosts Profession of Arms Forum

The Command and General Staff College's Profession of Arms Forum is scheduled Wednesday, Sept. 16, from 8:30 to 11:45. The virtual forum will feature Dr. Don Snider, speaking at 8:30, a Stewarding the Profession panel discussion beginning at 9:30 and a closing address from Lt. Gen. James Rainey, Commanding General of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth and Commandant of CGSC at 11. Faculty and guests can observe the forum at or

Posted September 14, 2020

Why We Should Read Fiction and Nonfiction at the Same Time

Jeroen Verhaeghe

Avid readers will recognize the feeling of guilt that comes with buying ever more books knowing full well that the unread stacks you have at home are more than enough to last you several months of quarantine. Luckily, from time to time I stumble across an article that justifies the occasional buying frenzy, even making me feel good about it. Of course, before a book can get on my “to read” list, it has to go on my “to buy/find/borrow” list, which is a problem of another order of magnitude that I’m not going to discuss here. Visit

Posted September 9, 2020

A Tale of Two Influencers: Some Advice from the Cheap Seats

Steve Leonard and Joe Byerly

Imagine, if you will, two influencers. One, young and brash, with a dedicated following of millions on social media, the other maybe a little older and more seasoned, working diligently to keep a leadership blog afloat with a few thousand equally dedicated followers. One can post a video on TikTok and generate a reaction felt around the world. The other can write a meaningful post with broad implications for the profession of arms and it generates a modest response. Both are social media influencers; both have a significant influence on the profession of arms. Visit

Posted September 9, 2020

In 2020, Eisenhower is a Lantern in the Dark

Derek Chollet

Four months ago, as America’s monument to Dwight D. Eisenhower readied to open officially just off the national mall in Washington, the celebration was shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the country grappled with its greatest crisis since the era that made Ike a hero, the symbol of the kind of nation he represented and tried to build — and the global role it aspired for — stood ready, gleaming, yet temporarily shuttered, awaiting a new day. Now that day has arrived. Yet while dignitaries gather on Sept. 17 to cut the ribbon for “Eisenhower Park” — a $150 million memorial marked by a massive steel tapestry with seven-story high columns and nine-foot tall statues spread across four tree-filled acres — the pandemic has only gotten worse. As the disease rages and economy sputters, America’s civic life is unraveling. In this time of darkness, Eisenhower’s example is as important as ever. Visit

Posted September 9, 2020

Transforming Athena: Educating Military Officers During An Era of Great Change Through Experiential Learning

Jonathan E. Czarnecki

The challenging and uncertain combat and combat-like environments that armed forces find themselves in require leaders who can creatively imagine and think as well as quickly decide and act. They must have the intellect of Colonel Terzo in the story referred to in the prologue, and they must have seen their “dead men” to succeed in operational environments the good colonel could only imagine in his nightmares. Those environments—or what is variously named hybrid, unconventional, complex, chaotic warfare—are as the Army describes them volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.[1] One could also add that they are terrifically deadly. Visit

Posted September 8, 2020

Why We Tweet: General Officer Use of Social Media to Engage, Influence, and Lead

Mick Ryan, Tammy Smith, Patrick Donahoe

We are now nearly 15 years into the Era of Social Media. Facebook emerged in 2004 and Twitter began its rise in 2006. Both have hundreds of millions of users, including military personnel. It is well past time that all of our senior leaders appreciated the value of an open dialogue facilitated by these social media tools. These new 21st century technologies for interacting are not the only means to effect engaging and transparent leadership, but they provide an additional tool in the leadership kitbag of the most senior military leaders. Visit

Posted September 8, 2020

France '44: Red Ball Express Published (Army University Press, Sept. 3)

"France '44: The Red Ball Express" demonstrates how logistics led to the liberation of Europe and the demise of Nazi Germany. Intertwining current Army doctrine with the incredible story of the Red Ball Express, this film examines the logistical successes and challenges sustainment planners encountered in the European Theater of Operations. Produced in collaboration with Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM), "France '44: The Red Ball Express" provides important sustainment lessons for supporting large-scale combat operations that remain relevant today. Visit

Posted September 3, 2020

Image of Class 71
Changes in the Mode of Delivery for the latest Sergeants Major Course, Class 71

Danielle ODonnell

The NCO Leadership Center of Excellence and Sergeants Major Academy launches the latest Sergeants Major Course, through a blended educational model that combines virtual and resident style learning, effective September 14. The number one priority of Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Schmidt, the commandant of the NCOLCoE, ensures the protection of the staff, cadre, students, and family members. Visit

Posted September 2, 2020

Instructor of the Year Image
Brazilian Officer Named TRADOC Instructor of the Year

Milton Mariani Rodriguez

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year TRADOC’s recognition of their best of the best was celebrated via a virtual ceremony, hosted by Gen. Paul E. Funk II, TRADOC Commanding General, on August 6, 2020. Out of an available pool approximately over 10,000 instructors, 68 candidates were assessed by 17 judges from 14 schools and the Army University for one of seven categories that compromise TRADOC’s competition. For the fourth time, during the last five years, a WHINSEC instructor has been recognized for its exceptional qualities. Visit

Posted August 18, 2020

Army bounds over COVID-19 hurdles, vBLC exceeds expectations

Christy Graham

Last spring, the COVID-19 pandemic altered numerous trajectories. High school seniors had to find creative ways to celebrate their achievements, school boards devised plans to feed and educate school-aged kids and the Army found safe ways to continue necessary professional and leadership education. In many cases, military training exercises halted due to safety concerns, but education was a different yet equally important area of focus. Distance learning options allowed Soldiers to maneuver around COVID-19 lock downs and still receive the necessary education to supplement their previous training, nurturing their leadership skills in different ways. Visit

Posted August 18, 2020

War Books: a Bookshelf for Competition with China

T.S. Allen

These days, every military command needs its resident “subject matter expert” on the People’s Republic of China. China’s vast global reach and the importance of competition with China in the National Security Strategy mean having an analyst familiar with Chinese issues is critical even if you are on the other side of the world from the Middle Kingdom. Unfortunately, Mandarin-speaking analysts can be hard to come by. If you get tapped to be the command’s “China person,” you’re mostly going to get asked military questions, so you can probably fake the required expertise convincingly by brushing up on America’s China strategy, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s comprehensive report on Chinese military power, Army Training and Doctrine Command’s outstanding products, some of the excellent academic work on Chinese defense issues that have been usefully summarized by Peter Mattis, and M. Taylor Fravel’s foundational work. For those analysts who want to dive deeper into China’s approach to competition, here are six books that have helped me fool people into thinking I know what I’m talking about: Visit

Posted August 18, 2020

Image of military helmet and mortarboard
Dozen U.S. military members earn master’s degrees thanks to unique partnerships

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Jason Schneider said his Penn State degree will allow him to bring innovative ideas he learned through his coursework back to the military. For U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Julio Armas, he said his degree program can help transform the way the Army teaches its senior noncommissioned officers. The two are part of a dozen members of the U.S. military who will earn their master’s degrees from Penn State on Saturday, Aug. 15, thanks to a pair of special partnerships between the military and University. Visit

Posted August 17, 2020

CSP helps Soldiers get the jobs they want

Sgt. Alexandra Shea

“I am transitioning from active duty and was able to participate in the Career Skills Program,” said Sgt. Porch Colts, a 42A – Human Resource Specialist working in the Company D, 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment training room. “I was able to gain skills in the financial services industry. Because of CSP, I’m employed. My last day at Fort Jackson is the first day of my new job.” Visit

Posted August 17, 2020

Professional Military Education: Understanding Creativity and Its Implementation

Adam Lowther, Brooke Mitchell, Gerard Puccio, and Nathan Schwagler

Is it possible to incorporate a creative mindset into professional military education curriculum? In our War on the Rocks article, “Professional Military Education Needs More Creativity, Not More History,” we argued that it is possible, but did not explain how. Here, we offer some insight into developing a creative mindset by first explaining what we mean by creativity and then offering steps for embedding creativity education into a joint professional military education program. Our recommendations are drawn from successful creativity programs the private sector invests in for their own employees, from examples already used across professional military education, and from academic research. Visit

Posted August 14, 2020

What is a Tiger Team and Why is the Opportunity Valuable?

Brian Thorson and Zachary Rozar

When first approached about participating on a tiger team, we were unsure if our boss was trying to be funny and make a Tiger King joke at our expense or if we were being given another task. With the benefit of hindsight and reflection, the authors of this article now see this experience for what it truly is. Serving on a tiger team is an opportunity to inform, shape decisions, and develop personally. What follows are the experiences of two officers recently tasked with leading and contributing to the efforts of a tiger team. Our aim is twofold; that you would see serving on a tiger team as an opportunity and that our lessons observed become your lessons learned. Visit

Posted August 11, 2020

South Carolina National Guard hosts virtual BLC

1st Lt. Tracci Dorgan

The South Carolina National Guard hosted a virtual Basic Leadership Course (BLC) at the 218th Regional Training Institute (RTI) at McCrady Training Center in Eastover, South Carolina, in June 2020, in order to train U.S. Army National Guard Soldiers to be non-commissioned officers (NCO), while also following safety guidance for COVID-19. “This is a first in our history of the Basic Leader Course conducted by 3rd Battalion [Non-Commissioned Officer Academy] (NCOA),” said U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Timothy Adams, 218th RTI, 3rd Battalion NCOA deputy commandant “Future leaders of the United States Army came together on various platforms to learn the skills needed as they make the journey to becoming a non-commissioned officer.” Visit

Posted August 11, 2020

Reflections on the Command General Staff College

MAJ Billy Folinusz, MAJ Paul Scifers and MAJ Philip Henke

The purpose of this article is to provide an examination and evaluation of the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) 2020 academic year. Three officers, from three different sections, evaluated virtually all aspects of the academic year. We chose to use three perspectives to provide a more expansive insight into a year at CGSC. Often one person’s perspective can be dismissed as anecdotal and this was our attempt to offer legitimacy to the evaluation. This evaluation includes our assessment of the day-to-day classroom instruction, administrative elements of CGSC, and garrison activities of Fort Leavenworth. Visit

Posted August 10, 2020

STC to offer Cybersecurity Programs at Army Education Center

Savannah Technical College will begin offering Cybersecurity associate degree, diploma, and certificate programs at the Ft. Stewart Army Education Center starting in Fall Semester 2020 with both online and in-seat options. The College currently offers Cybersecurity at its Savannah and Liberty campuses. For the convenience of the active duty assigned to Ft. Stewart and to meet the growing demand, these programs will now also be offered at the Education Center. This will give Soldiers the opportunity to earn credentials while still serving, helping to advance their careers while preparing them for transition after the Army. Cybersecurity has been identified as one of the strategic priorities for the Army, and there are currently more than 11,000 cyber job openings around the state. Visit

Posted August 10, 2020

At the Ed Center: Today's preparation determines tomorrow's achievement

Robert Timmons

Fort Jackson’s Army Continuing Education System, or most commonly known as the Education Center, helps the community prepare for tomorrow’s achievement. Counselors and support staff at the Education Center help prepare Soldiers to receive achievements such as promotions; Officer Candidate School or Warrant Officer School applications; and aviation program testing. The center is an important part of Fort Jackson, said Jude Marranco, ACES division chief. “An E7 came to the Education Center and needed to take the Armed Forces Classification Test to raise her GT score,” Marranco said, giving an example of how important the center is. “We assisted her with the AFCT study methods and provided a lot of encouragement. She raised her GT score above the 110 needed and was accepted into the Green to Gold program and will become an Army nurse.” Visit

Posted August 6, 2020

CGSC hosts "The Changing Landscape of Homeland Security" Panel Discussion

Harrison Sarles

Command and General Staff College’s Cultural and Area Studies Office, CASO, hosted its second panel briefing of the year on July 24 entitled - "The Changing Landscape of Homeland Security in Light of the Pandemic and Societal Unrest," Two panelists shared data and analysis of the situational environment. Visit

Posted August 5, 2020

Decentralizing the Fight: Re-imaging the Brigade Combat Team's Headquarters

John Cogbill and Eli Myers

It was “Fight Night” at JRTC—the Joint Readiness Training Center—and like so many rotations before, Geronimo 6, the opposing force commander, watched his troopers confidently mount their vehicles and prepare for the battle ahead. Tonight would be unscripted, but he had fought this fight many times before with devastating effects on his adversaries. His motorized companies would probe for weak spots as quadcopters searched for the ultimate high payoff target—the brigade combat team (BCT) main command post. Once that huge target was located, and it would be located, he would bring down a barrage of long-range precision fires, chemical munitions, and a crippling cyber attack that would crush the BCT’s ability to exercise mission command. The hours that followed would simply consist of mopping up the dazed, uncoordinated infantry battalions before his soldiers could head back to their motor pool and turn in their equipment. Visit

Posted August 5, 2020

How Can We Know if Professional Military Education Works?

Megan J. Hennessey

We can learn much from educational research by civilian partners, but there are limits to this research’s findings and recommendations in a military learning context. Further, it is unwise to relegate an understanding of what goes on within military learning environments solely to the analyses often seen as part of standardized institutional assessments like end-of-course surveys or student evaluations of teaching. These surveys yield reactionary data. This data, based on the first level of Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model, is not indicative of student learning. Rather, it just reflects students’ satisfaction with any given quality of a learning event (most commonly, teacher performance). Student evaluations of teaching have also been increasingly exposed as biased against educators identifying as women as well as racial and ethnic minorities. Visit

Posted August 3, 2020

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