On honest military writing

I find it fascinating – and odd – that some of the most raw, humble, and honest military writing I’ve read recently is coming from a gym in Wyoming.

I’ve been using Mountain Tactical Institute physical training plans exclusively since 2015 (they were known as “Military Athlete” back then). Over the years, they have built a dedicated community of adherents who trust the fitness methedology and many have used their plans to prepare for elite assessment and selections programs.

A few years ago, they started publishing essays written by the founder and solicited essays from the wider community.

Every day I parse through hundreds of articles, many from the numerous military-themed outlets that exist today. Anything that comes from MTI is a must read. Just look at some of their recent articles:

On not being selected:

For six years, I held an internal grudge and questioned who I was as a person. I didn’t think about it 24/7, 365; but I did think about it. It wasn’t until I came to the conclusion that the reason I failed was because of me, that I understood what truly happened. There was nobody out to get me. The Cadre were a professional group who knew how to do their job. Quality, not quantity. I knew the expectations. I knew how to be a leader. I just didn’t perform as required. Ultimately, it was my fault and I fully accept that now.

REFLECTING BACK ON MY FAILURE AT SELECTION

Some fantastic advice that you can use immediately from a retired USAF Colonel:

I’ve heard people say “That guy/girl is ‘fire and forget’.”  For those unfamiliar with the term, a “fire and forget” person is somebody that requires little to no supervision.  They understand the task at hand, the overall objective, and what needs to be done in order to complete the project.  They are both formal and informal leaders.  They are the all-stars of your unit, company, or organization.  But, they need just as much mentoring and grooming as anybody else.  However, too often, we give our top performers more work.  Why?  Because they get things done.

STUFF I LEARNED AT WORK – A RETIRED USAF COLONEL

A Major writing about why she is getting out of the Army:

And frankly, I’m not willing to deal with the drama and negative stigma associated with being pregnant and in the Army. Being pregnant in a BCT is viewed as burden to the unit and detractor from combat readiness, no matter how great you are at your job. I’m also not willing to try and find a work/life balance while being a mom and field grade officer as I don’t think it can truly exist. I have very few female mentors and the ones I do have share the constant struggle and pressure they are under both at work and at home. It looks exhausting. Being pregnant and becoming a mom is supposed to be exciting and joyful, instead the Army makes you feel inadequate and useless. Add in the constant pressure to keep up with male peers who don’t have to face these same obstacles and it’s demoralizing.

WHY I’M GETTING OUT … AN ARMY MAJOR

A writer on what it means to be “a good man”:

What I have failed to appreciate was that this zealous dedication demanded significant sacrifices in other, equally important, areas of my life. Relationships, school, and work have all taken the back seat to my priority du jour at some point. But aren’t these sacrifices just the unintended consequences of pursuing greatness in anything? Yes and no.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A GOOD MAN? …. I’M STILL LEARNING

These remind me of the raw military writing we saw early in the 2010s that has largely shifted to short-form Twitter snark.

Anyway, I wanted to bring it to your attention. Really good stuff.

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