Showing posts with label Military. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Military. Show all posts

Thursday, June 12, 2014

"How the U.S. Military Prepared Me for Agile" (No, that's not a joke or oxymoronic statement...)

Scrum Alliance - How the U.S. Military Prepared Me for Agile

When I retired from the military at the ripe old age of 38, I had spent 4 years in the United States Marine Corps and 16 in the United States Army. As the retirement pay for a First Sergeant/E-8 with just over 20 years of service was not enough to fully support a family, I had to get another job -- and fast. At that time, I had an associate degree in computer programming, so I took a position as a full-time programmer trainee and went to college at night to get my bachelor's degree in software engineering. I had never really considered how my career in the military affected my civilian career until I started learning about Agile. Don't get me wrong; I knew that the military-instilled discipline and sense of honor and loyalty had made me not only a better man but also a better employee, but I had never really considered how my skills as a First Sergeant could have made me a better software engineer.

During my time in the military, I learned principles that mirror those I have seen in some of the common practices that several of the Agile frameworks/processes espouse. I would like to compare some of these practices with what I learned in the military. As you read, please keep in mind that I am coming from a combat arms unit -- mainly infantry -- perspective and that this perspective is based on the time I spent in the military (1971-1992). Things have changed dramatically since I was on active duty, so what was common practice then may no longer be in effect. I also understand that the Marine Corps has established a few doctrines that are somewhat based on the principles and practices of agility.

The first concept I want to address is organizational structure. ...

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Conclusion

I believe Agile is like a multifaceted diamond. It takes a trained eye to spot all of its brilliant dimensions. But if you take the time to stare into it long enough, you will see that each angle reflects light differently. Remember, you are not here to "be" Agile like anyone else. You are here to "be" Agile like only you can be. You are unique. No one else has your experiences and your knowledge; they are yours and yours alone. My years in the military have enriched my Agile practice. I hope that this article spurs you to take some time to think about the principles of Agile and to consider how you may have used them in your day-to-day activities without even realizing it.

I appreciate the time you have taken to read this post, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Be safe."

As an Army vey myself, though only a Sargent, I can see where he's coming from...

Friday, May 23, 2014

Pluralsight's way of saying thank you... Active Military and Vets can get one free month

Pluralsight - This Memorial Day, we thank our vets with free training!

Memorial Day is around the corner and Pluralsight would like to show our appreciation to anyone who has served our country or who is currently serving.

We are offering all U.S. veterans and active military personnel a month of free training. Please fill out the form below, and we’ll hook you up with access to 4,000+ hours of developer, IT and creative training for 30 days! Here’s to you!

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And thank YOU Pluralsight...

Friday, May 16, 2014

CONPLAN 8888 - The Pentagon's Counter-Zombie Dominance plan [Not a joke, but not real either, think "Training Exercise"]

dvice - Pentagon is dead serious about its fake zombie apocalypse plan

The Pentagon has an unclassified document known as Conplan 8888, or the "Counter-Zombie Dominance" plan. Unlike the plan issued by the CDC a couple years back, this is not a survival guide for the masses. Instead, Conplan 8888 is a five-phase military strategy for restoring order after the outbreak. And just in case some of you out there doubt the sincerity of this 37-page document, here's the first line: "This plan was not actually designed as a joke."

So there you go. Conplan 8888 goes on to detail the different types of zombies that the military might encounter during the outbreak. These range from your traditional pathogenic zombies (PZs), carriers of the disease, to occult-induced evil magic zombies (EMZs) and non-threatening vegetarian zombies (VZs). Even the real-world chicken zombie is covered — over four paragraphs.

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CONPLAN 8888

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I think the Space Zombie and Chicken Zombie are more favorite... BTW, you really do have to check the part about the Chicken Zombie...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
[Zombie, Humor] - US Army Zombie Combat Command & FM 999-3 (Counter-Zombie Operations at the Fireteam Level)
The CDC provides more Zombie Preparedness tips, this time via a graphic novella
Centers for Disease Control (US CDC) provides Zombie Apocalypse 101 Survival Tips (really...) - And Zombie badges too!
Zombie attacks catching you unaware and getting you down? “Record Zombie Attacks - Home CCTV DVR Solution”

Monday, May 12, 2014

May is the National Military Appreciation Month

National Military Appreciation Month: Celebrating Our Troops

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May is National Military Appreciation Month (NMAM), a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of the courageous men and women who have served or are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Designated by Congress, NMAM encourages Americans to publicly show their appreciation for the sacrifices—and accomplishments—made by our military personnel. During this important month, Americans have the opportunity to come together to thank our military for their patriotic service in support of our country, at several national events planned throughout the month.

each year, kicks off our Nation’s month-long celebration of military appreciation. In his proclamation of Loyalty Day, 2014, President Barack Obama reminded Americans of the significance of this important day: “On this day, let us reaffirm our allegiance to the United States of America and pay tribute to the heritage of American freedom.”

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Image source courtesy of DOD http://www.defense.gov/afd/

Other important events honoring our military’s achievements include Victory in Europe (VE) Day celebrated on May 8, Military Spouse Appreciation Day celebrated on May 9, Armed Forces Day celebrated on May 17, and Memorial Day celebrated on May 26. Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day are the best known of the May military-themed holidays. Armed Forces Day, which was created to honor all branches of the U.S. Military, replaced separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. And Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who died while serving in military service....

National Military Appreciation Month (NMAM)

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As a veteran, a son-in-law in the Navy and a son deployed in Afghanistan, this year the National Military Appreciation Month has special meaning. You don't have to do anything special, you don't have to hug a troop or buy them a drink. Most troops are embarrassed by the attention. To them, it's just what that do...

What you can do is use this month to remember freedom is not free, and smile, nod or say thank you...

Saturday, February 22, 2014

[Personal] Special Microsoft This Week on Channel 9 Shout Out to Jacob

This week on Microsoft's Channel 9, This Week on Channel 9 show, the team really came through for me and helped me deliver a special tribute to me son...

Thank guys!

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(Link, which if it doesn't work, it's a 11 minutes, 20 seconds into the show)

We're on the way to a special unit deployment ceremony now. If I get any good pictures...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
[Personal] Supporting my son in my own weird little way...

Monday, February 17, 2014

[Personal] Supporting my son in my own weird little way...

My son's unit, the 730th Transpiration Company (PLS) begins to deploy to Afghanistan this coming Saturday, February 22nd. He will be at Ft Hood, TX for a month or so and then it’s boots down in Afghanistan. He’ll be there for 9 months or so and then it’s back to Ft Hood for another month’ish, then, finally, home. So pretty much he’ll be gone a year, a very long year for all of us.

To show my support, I vowed to shave my head and keep it that way until he’s back home. This past Saturday was the day to fulfill the vow…

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Yeah, wow.

Welcome to the new Greg, same as the old Greg (just with less hair).

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Yes, I know "Breaking Bad"... LOL. And yeah, I think I'm going to grow the goatee, and then we'll really see :)

Anyway, remember, our freedom is not free. It's paid by the blood, sweat and tears of those who serve and their families. God bless them and God bless the USA. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"How to React to Enemy Contact" if you're an 88M, 730th Transportation Company Shows How...

730th Transportation Company Trains on How to React to Enemy Contact

730th Transportation Company training at Fort McCoy, Wis., during the Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) 86-13-01. The unit is rehearsing a combat maneuver called the wagon wheel. Video by Staff Sgt. Jerimiah Richardson, 366th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

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This is my son's unit when they were at their annual training this past summer... Not really sure why the video's category is Comedy. :/

Friday, December 28, 2012

New year and some new "interesting" job openings in the Military-Industrial area (Top Secret Janitor, Twitter Stalker and more)

wired - The 8 Craziest Job Openings in the Military-Industrial Complex

Top-secret janitor. Pollster to the spies. Classified comic book artist. Any organization sufficiently large is bound to have the odd job opening within it. But few organizations are as freakin' colossal as the U.S. military intelligence industrial complex, with an estimated 4.9 million Americans holding security clearances today. Which means there are thousands of unconventional positions to fill at any given moment.

Here are some of the wilder military and intelligence "help wanted" ads we found online. Some classifieds are for truly wacky jobs. Others are for slightly more standard positions -- but presented in an odd way. If you find more, let us know in the comments, on Twitter or on Facebook. We'll post some of the best suggestions.

  • Military-Industrial Artist
  • Twitter Stalker
  • Russian Counter-Espionage Expert
  • Yiddish Linguist
  • Mexican Drug War Instructor
  • Bio-Weapons Hunter
  • Gallup Pollster
  • Top Secret Janitor

..."

Looking for a challenging career?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

[Humor] "The Duffel Blog Reading Workflow" Infographic

The Duffel Blog  - The Duffel Blog Reading Workflow

If you’re unsure of how to read the Duffel Blog (many of our recent commenters are), we’ve made this handy infographic to help you with the reading workflow of the site. Enjoy, and hope you’ll share this with friends.

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My son turned me onto The Duffel Blog a few months ago and it doesn't disappoint. Now if you've not military or prior military this blog will probably not make much sense to you, nor will you likely find the humor/satire funny, but if you are military/prior you get its humor right away... And this infographic is a case-in-point.

That said, bloggers might also get a kick out of this infographic too...

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

What looks like a post apocalypse scene, isn't. The Kharkov armor repair facility in the Ukraine.

Defense Tech - Soviet Tanks As Far As The Eye Can See

"Need a tank to fend off the coming zombie apocalypse that everyone else is freaking out about? Make your way to the Kharkov armor repair facility in Ukraine where you can have your pick of hundreds of Soviet-built T-64s, T-72s and T-80 tanks that look like they’ve been abandoned since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Can’t afford the flight to Ukraine? Then click through the jump to check out photos of tanks as far as the eye can see that Pasha Itkin took when he broke into the abandoned-looking facility.

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Looks like a great place to buy items for military target practice and stuff (but I bet the shipping cost would really bite... ;) Actually looks like a great place for a movie set or game setting...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

United Kingdom Solider shapes up Helmand HQ, Afghanistan, information sharing with SharePoint

Bdaily Business Network - Army Specialist helping businesses to win the information

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On deployment to Afghanistan he replaced the outdated system being used in Helmand with SharePoint.

In a military theatre situation such as Afghanistan information must be disseminated in many different formats and often the problem is information overload. Leishman recognised that getting the right information, in the right format, to the right people at the right time was mission critical. Ultimately, the deployment of the SharePoint service in Afghanistan significantly improved the ability of the Helmand HQ to process and disseminate information.

Leishman said: “One of the key benefits of SharePoint is that it creates a virtual office environment for disparate groups to communicate and collaborate, which is particularly important in military theatre where activity is high tempo and in an ever changing environment. Passing information and orders to people at the right time is critical in the military just as it is in business.

“Following the deployment of the SharePoint service in Helmand HQ in Afghanistan momentum grew far quicker than I ever expected as users instantly embraced the technology because they saw an immediate benefit. There is no doubt that being able to get the right information to the right people, on time and in the right format can make a significant difference to any business just as it did in a military situation.

..."

Not your usual SharePoint success story...

(via Beyond Search - Staff Sergeant Discusses Managing a SharePoint Implementation Overseas)

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

747's as Aircraft Carriers? The Air Force and Boeing were thinking about it...

dvice - The Air Force's secret 1970s plan to use 747s as aircraft carriers

Flying aircraft carriers are staples science fiction and steampunk. It's an idea that sounds like it would be completely crazy in reality, but it's not crazy enough to keep the Air Force commissioning a report on the idea from Boeing back in 1973.

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By the 1970s, though, the Air Force was in need of "a versatile system with global range and supersonic performance" that could provide for a 24 hour strike capability anywhere on Earth. One option would have been to build air bases in Europe, Africa, and Asia, but the Air Force thought that it might make more sense to build mobile air bases instead, so it asked Boeing to take a look and see if turning 747s into aerial aircraft carriers was a possibility.

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The difference between an aerial aircraft carrier (AAC) and an aerial fuel tanker is that an AAC can rearm aircraft as well as refuel them, crews can switch out with each other, and it's even possible to perform repairs and maintenance on fighters. So obviously, an AAC would be pretty useful, but is it realistic? According to Boeing, definitely yes.

Boeing took their 747-400 and hollowed out the inside, leaving two decks worth of open space. It didn't make any significant structural modifications to the 747 airframe, meaning that fighter aircraft would have to fit within just over 17 feet of width. This, of course, necessitated designing an entirely new "microfighter," and Boeing drew up five concepts:

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How awesome would that have been (and kind of scary in a air-to-air or SAM environment)? What we need now is a dirigible version for drone swarms. Solar powered, massive payload, laser based missile defense... hum... sounds like a good science fiction novel idea... :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Paris Panorama Photosynth - Browsing the U.S. Military Aircraft Corral via Photosynth

Defense Tech - Paris Panorama: U.S. Military Aircraft Corral

“Check out this panorama I made of the U.S. military aircraft on display at this year’s Paris Air Show. From right to left you’ll clearly see a C-130J Super Hercules, an F-16C out of Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany, an F-15E Strike Eagle, a new Marine Corps UH-1Y Venom and a C-5 Galaxy. And no, it’s not a U.S. bird but I had to capture Airbus’ A400M Grizzly airlfter (with the A380 behind it). …

SNAGHTML1d697854…”

I thought it neat how Photosynth was used, just how transparent it was and how much it added to the viewing experience…

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Create cool as ICE panoramas with the updated Image Composite Editor – v1.3.3 includes x32/64 versions, multiple CPU support, Photosynth, gigapixel panoramas and more…
Photosynth now available for me and you – Not only can you get the app, but also 20GB free to host your synths too!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

You've seen them in military type games, on TV and the movies. Now get your own set Military Map Symbols...

modernpresenter - Infantry Map Symbols - Get them all here!

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modernpresenter - Armor Map Symbols Have Arrived

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And the symbols just keep on rolling! Here's just the first page...

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This is one of those things that if you need it, you know it, but you can never find it...

Thursday, April 07, 2011

DARPA provides free "Hunt the Sub" game/simulation (Get it while the US Gov is still open for business...)

DARPA - ACTUV Tactics Simulator Page

"CAN YOU COME UP WITH A WAY TO KEEP TRACK OF ELUSIVE SUBMARINES THAT HAS NEVER BEEN THOUGHT OF BEFORE?
CAN YOU OUTSMART AN ENEMY SUBMARINE COMMANDER AND KEEP HIM FROM ESCAPING INTO THE DEEP?
DOWNLOAD AND PLAY THE ACTUV TACTICS SIMULATOR AND SUBMIT YOUR RESULTS TO DARPA TO HELP DEVELOP THE FUTURE OF ANTI-SUBMARINE WARFARE.

The DARPA ACTUV program is developing a fundamentally new tool for the Navy’s ASW toolkit. Before we can develop the autonomous software that will run on ACTUV’s computers, we need to understand what approaches and methods are the most effective. We have made arrangements for ACTUV to be integrated into the Sonalysts Combat Simulations Dangerous WatersTM game, and we’re offering this new ACTUV Tactics Simulator here for free public download and this is where you can play an import[ant] role!

You are invited to put yourself into the virtual driver’s seat of one of several ACTUV configurations and show the world how you can use its capabilities to follow a submarine. Of course you won’t be the only ship at sea so you’ll have to safely navigate among the commercial traffic, and the target sub has some tricks up his sleeve so watch out! Rack up points as you complete the mission objectives, and see how you stack up against the competition on our leaderboard page....

..."

The download is a 330MB zip, with setup & MSI. It installed and seem to run okay on my Win7 x64 notebook.

Here's a couple screenshots...

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When playing it I had a "War Games" moment, I had no idea what I was doing, but it looked pretty cool... :P

(via Slashdot - Free DARPA Software Lets Gamers Hunt Submarines)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Free eBook about the Iraq Surge, "Surging South of Baghdad: The 3rd Infantry Division and Task Force Marne in Iraq, 2007-2008"

USA.Gob Gab - Free eBook About the 2007 Surge in Iraq

"The U.S. Government Printing Office runs an excellent blog called Government Book Talk in which they highlight remarkable government publications. Today’s blog post highlights Surging South of Baghdad: The 3rd Infantry Division and Task Force Marne in Iraq, 2007-2008, a book describing “the experience of one unit participating in its third deployment to Iraq.”

..."

US Army History - Surging South of Baghdad

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Here's the first page of Preface;

During the autumn of 2006, the 3d Infantry Division was preparing for its third deployment to Iraq. Since the capture of Baghdad 3½ years earlier, the division had participated in a broad cross-section of the fighting—from the heady days of April 2003 when armored “thunder runs” paralyzed the Iraqi Army’s resistance and spearheaded the fall of Baghdad, to the sectarian violence in 2005 that heralded the early rise of the Sunni insurgency. To counter the deteriorating situation, President George W. Bush decided to send in extra troops, a one-time limited “surge” of U.S. ground forces aimed at tamping down the burgeoning violence. This is the story of the surge through the experiences of the 3d Infantry Division, which provided two of the five brigades, numbering some thirty thousand soldiers, that deployed to Iraq between February and June 2007. For almost fifteen months, the division occupied a key portion of the battlefield south of Baghdad, fighting the insurgents and trying to rebuild the lives of ordinary Iraqis worn down
by years of conflict.

Although the war in Iraq continues to this day, historians, journalists, and participants commenced writing about it almost immediately. Dozens of books on topics ranging from how the United States got into a war in Iraq to the fall of Baghdad to the battles of Fallujah and Ramadi have been published, but the process of writing about the surge has only just begun. The Center of Military History became an early participant in this first draft of history when the 3d Division asked for an Army historian to cover its events as it started to deploy in the spring of 2007. I volunteered, arriving at the division’s new headquarters at Camp Victory outside Baghdad in May.

Conditions were spartan. The influx of new troops to Iraq had quickly outpaced housing facilities, and most of the new soldiers and civilians— including me—were billeted in tents, which sprouted up around the base in enclaves of concrete corrals built as protection from the rocket attacks that were becoming an almost daily occurrence. Despite some personal privations, there was ample technology at the division headquarters. Banks of the latest computers and telephone systems kept this modern command post running night and day, sharing intelligence and maintaining instant and constant communication with the smallest unit in the remotest reaches of the operational area. I spent much of my time tapping into the mass of data, which, along with interviews in the field and personal observation, provided the basis for this book.

We're talking a 453 page PDF here...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Two new US Military apps for WP7, Military Ranks XRef & Digital Leader's Book ($0.99 & $1.99)

Public Sector Developer Weblog - Two New Applications Released for Windows Phone 7 

"The Military Ranks Cross-Reference Reference application allows an individual to visually search for a rank in any branch of the US Military services and will display the rank's title and pay grade, along with a picture of it. It will also display a specific rank's equivalent in the sister services, useful for searching when you know the rank in one service and need to map it to another. Future releases will include ranks of foreign countries and organizations such as NATO. To see this application on the Microsoft Zune Marketplace, visit Military Cross-Reference.

The Digital Leader's Book application is intended to augment or replace the physical (green) book that military leaders carry around in their cargo pocket. It will provide the leader with instant access to the most frequently used information about their soldiers. This information is a key factor in the leader being able to effectively lead, manage and care for their subordinates. The application will leverage the capabilities of modern smart phones such as camera, GPS, real-time mapping and directions, as well as the phone itself. Some of the information that can be stored and put at the fingertips of soldiers and leaders includes:

  • Contact information
  • Names and birth dates of children and spouse
  • Anniversary dates
  • Military schools attended and dates
  • Military awards received
  • Scores and dates of various types of qualifications and tests (such as common tasks, weapons, and physical fitness)
  • Links to various online reference publications and military awards
  • Tracking of individual counseling
  • Present for duty reporting
  • Risk management assessment

Unlike existing leader books, however, this application can be used by individual soldiers to track their own personal information to help them better manage their own career. In this scenario, the application will provide the ability for soldiers to selectively share data with his or her supervisor. ..."

Military Ranks XRef ($0.99)

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Leader's e-Book ($1.99)

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It's stuff like this that drives home for me just how fair technology has come. I spent 11 years in the US Military ( 5 1/2 Army, 5 1/2 Cal National Guard) from the mid 80's through mid 90's (i.e. very early PC, pre-internet & pre-cell era) and seeing stuff like this hammers home the relentless change that technology drives (the Army I remember was built on paper, paper and more paper... oh yeah, and some weapons and stuff too ;)