The first book I ever bought on military fitness was The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness by former Navy SEAL Stew Smith. I was a teenager, maybe 15 or 16 years old, and for me, the Navy SEALs were the epitome of physical fitness and preparation. The book contained sections on nutrition, stretching, a collection of different exercises, some information about pullups and dips, running and swimming at BUD/S, etc. But the meat of the book were the workout plans. There was a beginner, intermediate, and a 12-weeks-to-BUD/S plan. The idea was that someone would start with the beginner program, work that until they could fulfill theRead More →

Over the years I have read and listened to a lot of resources that have influenced the way I think about mindset, specifically the right mindset to solve problems in human violence. I think it is important to understand why some individuals and units can create a culture that sets them up for success in conflict and why others fail. Here is a collection of the resources that influenced me the most. I’d like to share them with you and see what you think of them. Matt Larsen on Managing Violence PodcastMatt Larsen is the father of the modern US Army combatives program. As aRead More →

Tactical Decision Games (TDGs, also known as Sandbox Exercises, Tactical Vignettes and a myriad of other names) are an important part of professional military education. Military professionals at all levels have to constantly practice decision making in tactical situations in order to sharpen their judgment and also widen their horizon. USMC Major John F. Schmitt writes in his paper How We Decide on the importance of TDGs as leader development tools and explores the reasons why they are an important part of professional military education. Gen. (ret.) James Mattis, former Commandant of the USMC and Secretary of Defense, has often stated how a study ofRead More →