Monday, December 17, 2007

Join the Military Leadership Book Club

A book club for link-minded military leaders in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, OCS, or ROTC discuss the art and science of military leadership.

Go to The Military Leadership Book Club You will need to sign up for a free shelfari user account.

Ranger Handbook

I would argue this is better than the FM 7-8. It cuts straight to the tactics and techniques. Download it, Print it, Read it, Know it, Do it.
Ranger Handbook

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Military Book Report & Movie Review Template

This resource is for OCS and ROTC cadre. It is an assignment template for candidates to write war movie reviews or military related book reports. Click here

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Understanding the History & Religion of the Region

Maps of War is a must see for today's military leader.

Click on the links below to see interactive maps and timelines:

Imperial History of Middle East
"Who has controlled the Middle East over the course of history? Pretty much everyone. Egyptians, Turks, Jews, Romans, Arabs, Persians, Europeans...the list goes on. Who will control the Middle East today? That is a much bigger question."

History of Religion

"How has the geography of religion evolved over the centuries, and where has it sparked wars? Our map gives us a brief history of the world's most well-known religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism. Selected periods of inter-religious bloodshed are also highlighted. Want to see 5,000 years of religion in 90 seconds? Ready, Set, Go!"

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Great PT Workouts

Crossfit is a free website that gives total body, PT focused, workouts and videos specifically for the military/law enforcement needs. A great resource and community for supporting you and your soldier's fitness.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Top 10 Things a Platoon Leader Must Do

Often we talk about the principles and theory of leadership but rarely do we specifically discuss the practical how to side of leadership. As an Officer Candidate approaching graduation and assignment to my first platoon, I remember searching for those nuggets of practical advice on how to be a Platoon Leader. So I have created my top 10 list of actions you can do as PL or small unit level leader that are specific, measurable, and observable signs of a leader doing their job. This will be the first post in this series and I will talk about each item in more detail in future posts coming soon.

1) Proactively take care of Soldiers (promotions, schools, awards)

2) Use the DA 4856 Development Counseling form and counsel ( click here to download the form in MS format)

3) Set goals on your OER Support Form and log you significant contributions

4) Create a Leader's Book aka Battle Book (with Battle Roster, SOP's, AAR's)

5) Write Platoon level OPORD's, Training Schedules, and Time lines ahead of time.

6) Start up a Unit Newsletter, Website, and Bulletin Board

7) Conduct Leader's Recons and Platoon-level collective Rehearsals

8) Conduct AAR's and Platoon Climate Surverys

9) Do Risk Assessments and give Safety Briefings

10) Build the team with Platoon Motto, Name, Guidon Design, PT Shirts

Troop Leading Procedures Cheatsheet and Checklist

The TLP's are an art and science not appreciated and respected my most junior officers and small unit leaders in the military. I have learned to love them. The nature of the work we do in this business can be very complex and overwhelming but these 8 steps have always kept me focused during preparation for missions. I have noticed among fellow officers and now in training officer candidates that most do not understand what the TLPs are, why they are important, when and how to use each step, who to delegate to, and where it all fits in to build your 5 paragraph operations order throughout this process. I have decided to publish and share my master troop leading procedures cheat sheet and checklist. Click on the "download pdf" link below the preview screen so you can print out and employ or click here

Vets for Freedom

A good buddy of mine asked to pass this along:

On behalf of Vets for Freedom, thank you for your service! Veterans for Freedom is organizing the country around a pro-mission, pro-victory message: We support our troops and their mission. We are looking for veterans to help get the word out about our message. We need leadership on the ground in your state as a State Captain. Here’s how you can help:

We are asking our State Captains to commit to the following “Six Action Items”

1) Sign-up pro-mission OIF/OEF vets at

2) Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper (we can help you with this)

3) Recruit pro-mission Vets to attend a Senator’s or Congressman’s Local town-hall meeting (We will provide you with dates, times and locations)

4) Conduct radio and television interviews with local media (we will coordinate these for you)

5) Call your Senators and Representatives: tell them to support Gen. Petraeus and our troops' mission

Need contact information for your elected officials? Click here:


Commit to attend "Vets Take the Hill" day in D.C. Over the course of two days Vets from around the country will converge on Capitol Hill, telling Congress to stand strong with our troops and their mission.

Vets Take the Hill will take place September 17 and 18. VFF will pre-pay all expenses making the trip completely free to the vet traveler up front.

Feel free to call me at 605-254-2624 with any questions.

Joel Arends

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Clock Max PT

A classic timed workout specifically designed for the military physical fitness test. Do as many repetitions as you can in the alloted time. This will get you to the pace you need to reach in order to be in the 80-100 rep range for the test to get that perfect score. If you are Army you can skip the pullups since we don't test on that part but I wouldn't and don't forget to run.

Max pullups
40- 50 sit-ups in 1:00
max pushups in 1:00
20-25 sit-ups in 30 seconds
max pushups in 30 seconds
10-13 sit-ups in 15 seconds
max pushups in 15 seconds

Monday, July 30, 2007

Link: How to Predict the Weather without a Forecast

Article from a How To wiki descrbing 12 different ways to predict the weather without a forecast using animals, clouds, wind, and your senses.

Click the link below to read the full article.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Video: What ya going to do PL?

Click to download: Whatcha Gonna Do, PL? (16M file)

How to Troubleshoot your Foot & Boot

If you are getting hot spots on the bottom of your feet --> Your boots are too loose

If you are getting a blister on your heel --> Your boots are too tight

If you are getting a blister on the top of your foot --> Skip the shoe lace hole(s) of the area

Before you eat and sleep, take care of your feet.

Take care of those dogs.

More Foot Maintenance Guidance from CPT Durnell
1. Each night before going to bed, perform the following routine: --Wipe feet down with isopropyl alcohol
-Let feet dry
-Spray feet with antiperspirant deodorant (i.e. Arrid XXX Dry); pay special attention to ensure you get it between your toes.
Let feet dry
2. Prior to each road march, perform the following routine:
-Apply moleskin, if required, to any known problem areas (a problem area is a spot where you know you get blisters or hot spots)
-Apply foot powder to feet and ankles. Don't over due it, simply put on a thorough coat.
Apply foot powder to the inside of your sock
Apply foot powder to your boot insert
3. During the road march:
-If hot spots or blisters occur, pause long enough to change your socks. At a minimum, readjust your socks and apply foot powder. You can apply moleskin, but it will be difficult to get it to stick at this time.
4. Socks:
-I strongly recommend buying good boot socks. A good sock is one that friction by fitting tightly on your foot, and reduces moisture by wicking it away from you foot. The stitching of the sock should be on the outside so that it can not rub against your toenails. I use Fox River Blister Guard™ socks and reduces absolutely recommend them. However, there are plenty of options out there.
5. Boot Inserts:
- This will be money you will be thankful you spent. Army issue boot inserts are average to poor at reducing friction, moisture and impact. You will need to spend about $20 to get a good pair of inserts, but you will be happy you did. SOF Soles or Spenco or popular brands. You can go to any quality hiking/outdoor store and find good insoles. (Dr. Scholl's are NOT what I'm talking about!)

Monday, July 23, 2007

PT Workout: Pushup/Crunch Superset

This is one of my all time favorite PT workouts. The sequence, time, and repitions are set at a perfect ratio. Perform 10 reps of the following 6 exercises in order in under 2 minutes, any left-over time is rest.

1 Cycle in 2 minutes:

Regular Pushups x 10
Regular Crunches x 10
Wide-Arm Pushups x 10
Reverse Crunches x 10
Tricep (Diamond) Pushups x 10
Half Situps x10

Goal: 10 cycles

Friday, July 13, 2007

Running Cadence Rhymes

The Formation sounds off with:

Caller sounds off with in between:

Pick em up
Put em down
Hear the sound

stay together now
shake the ground

Breath in
Let it out
Now shout

Feeling good
Looking good
Sounding good

Dress it right
Keep it tight
We're out of sight

Top 10 Army Forms Every Leader Must Have

(in MS Word Format!)

DA Form 4856 Developmental Counseling Form.doc

DA Form 67-9-1a Junior Officer Dev Support Form.doc

DA Form 67-9 OER.doc

DA Form 2166-8 NCOER.doc

DA Form 638 Recommendation for an Award.doc

Hometown News Release.xls

DA Form 2062 Hand

DA Form 4697 Report of

DA Form 2823 Sworn Statement.doc

DA Form 285 Ground Accident Report.doc

Saturday, June 30, 2007

8 Minute PT Blow Out

Complete 1 cycle of the following exercises for the prescribed durations in order back to back with no rest in between.

2 min Push Ups

2 min Sit Ups

1 min Scissors Crunches (AKA supine bicycle)

1 min Flutter Kicks

2 min Thinking Position (AKA brigde- hold in front leaning rest position on your forearms)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

FM 22-100 Army Leadership Resources

FM 22-100 Army Leadership: Be, Know, Do is the Army's best published manual I have ever read.

Click here to view the manual online.

Click here to download the FM 22-100 in pdf format.

Click here to view my mind map summarizing the framework laid out in the manual.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Welcome to "Be Know Do Now"

Commo Check?

We're up!

The mission: A rally point for TTP's (Tactics Techniques and Procedures) for all things related to military leadership.