We know we encouraged you, dear reader, to write. Seriously, it’s a good idea.
But that doesn’t mean we want you to shoot yourself in the foot.
Young 1LT (PROMOTABLE!) Max Lujan actually wrote as a guest author at Foreign Policy. That’s a pretty big audience. Unfortunately, it seems he might have benefited from some time in the minor leagues of the blogging world.
Gary Owen (a psuedonym, of course) at Medium has some helpful pointers on how Lietuenant Lujan, and his peers, might better approach the subject.
A promotable first lieutenant in the US Army, presumably a functioning adult who doesn’t require a caretaker, wrote a guest column in Foreign Policy. Beyond the fact that lieutenants, even promotable ones, know little and should talk less, this one gets comical early and often. I don’t normally recommend this, but do read the comments. Lujan’s digging himself deeper with each engagement there, and it’s a little sad to see.
But like all good trainwrecks, there are lessons to be learned: things to sustain, and things to improve. In the interest of all things Army, then, here’s a few lessons learned, a hot wash of five things to learn, or at least understand, about Lujan’s masterpiece.
Let me just address one of GO’s points, innovative training.
Here’s the thing about “innovation” for junior leaders. Before you can think outside the box (successfully, anyway) you have to know what’s inside the box. The Army has been around for a couple hundred years. Your platoon sergeant has been around for 15-20 years. There’s a good chance that they’ve seen your innovative approach before, and know why it wasn’t adopted.
It’s a lot easier to borrow someone’s proven good idea, than come up with a new idea and then set about proving it is actually good.