Leading with Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton

In his narrative, the author provides an engaging exploration regarding the treatment of military personnel in captivity during their time as a POW. He provides detailed background and context from his own experience that will command every reader’s attention from the very beginning. The author takes them on an unforgettable journey that is filled with candor and life stories from the POW camps. While in captivity, Ellis and the other POWs continued to be challenged in the true meaning of character, discipline, integrity, and faith, both mentally and physically, every day.  

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The Blackhorse in Vietnam

The primary goal of The Blackhorse in Vietnam is to show that US armored cavalry forces in the Vietnam War, showcased here by the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, were highly effective from a military force-on-force perspective. The US Army initially asserted these types of units would be a hindrance in the war, not a help. Donald Snedeker is the 11th Cavalry unit historian.

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War and Resistance in the Philippines, 1942-1944

A few days after departing the Philippines in 1942 to command the defense of Australia and prepare offensive forces against Japan, General MacArthur coined the now famous phrase, “I came through and I shall return.” This simple phrase gave the guerillas, with modest American in-country support, the confidence and hope that the United States would return in sufficient numbers to expel the Japanese in due time.  

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First Great Triumph: How Five Americans Made Their Country a World Power

This book is about imperialism, which was not popular in the late 19th century, and is often communicated through the actions of John Hay, Henry Cabot Lodge, Alfred Mahan, Elihu Root, and Theodore Roosevelt. These five leaders acted on “Americanism” or “large policy,” and occasionally as “expansionism” for the dreams of future global power to be enjoyed outside the shadow of a tyrannical government the United States rebelled against only a century prior. Warren Zimmermann outlines the book in two parts, with the first concentrating on the abridged biographies of each man. The second part concentrated on the recounting of events bringing each man into American imperialism. The writing in this book is a mixture of history, explanation, needless information, and networked ideology connected through the actions of leaders willing and capable to bring Americans from the land of the free and the home of the brave to imperial occupiers with false hope of democracy. 

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Vicarious Warfare: American Strategy and the Illusion of War on the Cheap

Thomas Waldman defines vicarious warfare as a tradition of war that seeks strategic goals while paying a minimal price. It’s not trying to find an advantage over the enemy as much as to wage a war without making a sacrifice, separating the ends from the means, and looking to get something for nothing.   

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Sovereignty: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Men

Every man is born with just one thing: his sovereignty – his power to respond to his environment and his circumstances. Unfortunately, most men have spent much of their lives giving away that sovereignty. Every time a man passes blame or shirks his responsibility, every time he makes excuses for his performance, and every time he trades his unlimited potential for a little perceived safety and security, he willingly submits himself to the mercy of others.

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Borderline: An Oral History of the Brexit wars 2020-2022

Themes, concepts, and timeless maxims tie the book together, in ways familiar to any reader of military history or political thrillers. Ireland’s historical neutrality is no defense against violence; state-sponsored, criminal, or both. There are poor actors willing to manipulate tensions from the shadows. The IDF goes to war with what it has, learns hard lessons, and the value of friends. Finally, it serves as a subtle reminder of why every nation needs the capability to police its own borders, airspace, and territory–or else.

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Mars Adapting: Military Change During War

Mars Adapting examines what makes some military organizations better at this contest than others. The book explores the internal institutional factors that promote and enable military adaptation. It employs four cases, drawing upon one from each of the U.S. armed services. Each case was an extensive campaign, with several cycles of action/counteraction. In each case, the military institution entered the war with an existing mental model of the war they expected to fight.

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The 100 Book Journey

In 2020, I started to focus more on my reading. I always read what I thought to be a great deal during my life, but in 2020, I buckled down and read over fifty books. As I read more and more, I developed a greater perspective on issues that I had only seen as one-sided before. The diversity of books I read last year was more varied than ever before. I read science fiction, philosophy, biographies, books on real-life tragedies, and even a book on rocket fuels. In my reading, I found a great quote which re-affirmed the importance of the endeavor I was undertaking. Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis in his book Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead writes:

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