A Better Peace: The War Room Podcast
Summary: This is the podcast of WAR ROOM, the official online journal of the U.S. Army War College. Join us for provocative discussions about U.S. national security and defense, featuring prominent national security and military professionals.
Don't ask, don't tell (DADT) was signed into law November 30, 1993 by the Clinton administration. It was a compromise measure intended to allow lesbian, gay and bisexual service members to serve in the U.S. military without discrimination or harassment as long as they didn't disclose their orientation, or engage in homosexual conduct or same sex marriage. Unfortunately in practice the policy often failed to live up to its intended purpose. In 1993 Dixon Osburn and Michelle Benecke founded the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network with the goal of repealing DADT and eliminating any service bans on gay and lesbian U.S. military personnel. Dixon is in the studio today with Editor -in-Chief Jacqueline Whitt to discuss the eventual repeal of DADT and Dixon's book Mission Possible: The Story of Repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
Looking after your family is a full time job. And all too often it's easy to lose yourself in that job and forget about your own wellbeing. In this episode Faith and Lynda discuss the importance of the often overlooked relationship between mind, body, spirit and the health and wellness of the military spouse. Joining in this story are Giovanna Reyes-Alexander and Payal Talwar. Giovanna is an Army spouse who holds multiple degrees in nutrition and dietetics and has shared her knowledge in these areas with people from across the globe. Payal Talwar is married to a Soldier in the Indian Military and brings her expertise in Neuro Linguistic Programming, Life and Performance coaching and training, and is a Law of Attraction trainer. Learn how to set an intention for the day when you first wake up, because body and mind are part of the same system and have to work in tandem.
It's time for the last installment of the AY22 Eisenhower Series. Brian Dudley and Kevin Payne join podcast editor Ron Granieri in the studio to share their thoughts on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the U.S. Army. In keeping with the Federal government and DoD the Army is continually revising its DEI policies "with the aim of maintaining a vibrant workforce that represents the wide-ranging backgrounds of the American people." Brian and Kevin describe how their personal and professional experiences and studies have influenced their thoughts on DEI.
If you're new to the military it can be a flurry of bizarre and foreign traditions and actions that make very little sense. Imagine if you're also new to the United States. Join Faith and Lynda for their conversation with Melanie Wilhite, German by birth and an Army spouse by marriage, she is a certified Army Family Team Building Master Trainer. They're joined by Rebecca Lockhart and she adds her perspective as a former Navy brat and current Army Spouse who embraces military life. Military traditions provide a welcome sense of belonging to all spouses regardless of rank or experience and comfort in knowing what to expect.
What went wrong in Afghanistan? Did anything go right? We're definitely not going to thoroughly answer those questions in a thirty eight minute podcast episode, but any answer to those questions should feed the greater question - What can the United States in general and the Army in particular learn from the nation's experience in Afghanistan? A BETTER PEACE welcomes three members of the Eisenhower Series College Program (ESCP) to share their experiences while deployed to and in support of operations in Afghanistan. Matt Adamczyk, Rob Greiner and Kevin Payne join podcast editor Ron Granieri in the studio to discuss the issues they encountered in conjunction with Operation Enduring Freedom and the subsequent operations in Afghanistan.
Historically, every PCS meant a job change or flat out job lost for military spouses. But times have changed and a new environment means more opportunities for employment and fulfillment. Get linked in to this episode where Faith and Lynda talk employment with Heather Kline, a Talent Acquisition Contractor with Client Solution Architects and retired Navy Human Resource Officer. Then there’s Meredith Smith, an Air Force spouse currently working as the Deputy Director for Community Events and Programs on the military spouse team at Hiring Our Heroes (HOH). Learn how to navigate resource overload, address resume gaps, and don’t give those employers a reason to say no!
Coup d'etats are sadly a fact of life on the African continent. Since 1950, of the 486 attempted coups in the world, 214 occurred in Africa with 106 of them being successful. Unfortunately countries on the African continent tend to have many of the conditions typically associated with coups. Whether it is poverty, terrorism and insurgencies, or a failure to understand basic human rights there are many factors working against peace. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Daniel Kuwali to the studio to discuss his research to understand and try to prevent coup d'etats in the future. Daniel is a Brigadier General in the Malawi Defense Force where he serves as Chief of Legal Services and Judge Advocate General. He joins podcast editor Ron Granieri to examine the organizations and changes that have to thrive in order to staunch the instability in the region and promote stable democracies.
Our military community is incredibly dependent on volunteerism. Without spouses and service members actively volunteering on and off installation, life for military families would be far more difficult and far less fulfilling. Join co-hosts Faith Bomar and Lynda Lind as they have a conversation with award winning USA Today and Amazon best selling author Eric Gardner and retired Navy Human Resources Officer and current Army spouse Heather Kline. Eric and Heather share a wealth of information about finding volunteer opportunities that can give you a sense of purpose, translate to work experience and support our service members, families and communities. Just bring YOU, we all have value to add.
Feedback is a bit of an art form. And there are as many different types of mentorship and coaching as there are soldiers in the Army. So how do you effectively train leaders as they come up through the ranks to provide effective, honest feedback and evaluations that are in the macro sense uniform and evenly applied across the force. Michael Shaw has looked at the problem and is the first to admit that he doesn't have all the answers, but he's got some great suggestions about resources that are already out there. There's no doubt the Army has mastered the bureaucratic process of evaluations but in this day and age can the service tolerate a system that isn't optimized to find, develop and advance talent wherever it's found - and not just in the top block.
Take an already stressful event like moving, add in a possible foreign country, throw in some training enroute or the only vacation time you'll see all year, sprinkle with some kids, maybe a few pets and do it all on the military's shifting timeline. And don't forget the end of a job for your spouse and maybe you as well and a host of new responsibilities, maybe a change of command waiting on the other end. Mix it all together and you and about 1/3 of the U.S. military are smack dab in the middle of Permanent Change of Station or PCS season. Listen in as Faith and Lynda discuss how to prepare yourself and your children for the big and little moments of a PCS. Joining the conversation from Pisa, Italy where her family is currently stationed, Wendy Way suggests that you “Book that move, don’t mess around.” Wendy is a military spouse, former Army Logistics Officer, and the CEO and co-founder of LOGSA Mil Moves. And adding her moving tips is military spouse Christine Carol “C.C.” Gallagher, a highly sought-after expert and developer of the Stressless PCS Kit. No matter how many moves you have made, you will learn something in this episode!
It's time again for the Eisenhower Series College Program (ESCP). Established over 50 years ago, the ESCP engages colleges, voluntary organizations, think tanks and other public forums across the nation to introduce War College students to audiences that might be less familiar with the military. Their goal is to have reasoned and thoughtful discussions with the society they serve and protect. In past years A BETTER PEACE has augmented the limited travel plans of the ESCP and though travel has increased again we're pleased to bring you the first of several discussions for the Academic Year '22 forum. Joining podcast editor Ron Granieri in the studio for this episode are Leila Green, Jason Groat, Mike Rossman and Amit Talwar. Interestingly enough not a one of them is in the U.S. Army and only one of them is a U.S. citizen, they represent but of course don't speak for, the British Army, the Australian Army, USAID and the Indian Army, respectively. The four guests share their expertise and insights regarding the U.S. shift away from a focus on terrorism and violent extremism toward a renewed interest in great power competition. Much of their conversation with Ron centers on allies and friends and the balance of soft power versus hard.
Last episode the team dove into the daunting process of changing schools (again) and setting your children up for success. But what if you need just a little bit extra. Join Faith and Lynda as Danielle Foote helps them update their magical PCS binders (you know you have one) with tips and tools for our special needs and special education kids. Danielle is a former military brat and current Army spouse. She has over ten years of special education teaching experience across numerous grade levels in five different states. In this episode you’ll hear that knowledge is power and that it’s good to speak up, advocate for your child, and to teach your child how to advocate for themselves.
In the modern age the United States rarely ever enters a conflict alone. Fighting alongside an ally or as part of a coalition magnifies capabilities and lethality and often more importantly brings legitimacy and access. But the coordination and communication necessary for successful multi-domain operations is intense. Add multiple different languages, disparate communication and networking systems and simple deconfliction can become a herculean task or result in a simple but drastic reduction of interaction and interoperability. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Aaron Dixon to the studio to explain how many of the network issues of coalition operations in the MDO can be resolved, without breaking the bank. Aaron joins podcast editor Ron Granieri to discuss why the solution to the problem doesn't involve newer, better, faster technology, at least not in the immediate future. He argues for more disciplined, targeted training and refusing to ignore issues in the exercise environment. EDITOR'S CORRECTION: When introducing our guest Ron states that he commanded the 3rd Security Force Assistance BRIGADE. He actually commanded 3rd Squadron, 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB).
As if PCS season isn't stressful enough it can be overwhelming when you begin to navigate the requirements to register your children in their new schools. Join Faith and Lynda as they jump right into all things school related for your child as well as continuing education for yourself. They are joined by Michele Sumter. Michele is a military spouse who has served in military-connected schools as a principal at all levels. She enjoys sharing her knowledge of school systems and transitioning students with her military friends. The key to it all is it's never too early to start contacting schools to ensure your military child is set up for success.
Wargames can be incredible teaching and learning tools when they are built and utilized properly. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors and require a skilled hand in their creation. A BETTER PEACE welcomes two such skilled developers, Chris Steinitz and Erin Sullivan to the studio to share their experiences as game developers and discuss how they started in the wargaming world. Chris and Erin join podcast editor Ron Granieri to talk about what makes a great wargame, what crucial information is necessary before even starting construction of a game and when you truly need a wargame versus tailored analysis.