Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A bloody New Year in middle Tennessee

By 1st Lt. William Carraway
Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Office
Dec. 16, 2012

Following his October 8, 1862 defeat at Perryville, Ky., Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg, commander of the Army of Mississippi, withdrew leaving Kentucky in control of the Union. Facing a lack of supplies and dwindling prospects for success, Bragg’s army fell back through Cumberland Gap eventually reaching the town of Murfreesboro, Tenn. in late November 1862. Bragg’s army was reorganized and redesignated as the Army of Tennessee, a sobriquet it would carry until its tattered remnants disintegrated at the Siege of Nashville two years later.

Ordered to send reinforcements to bolster Confederate defenses at Vicksburg, Miss., Bragg’s army had dwindled to just two corps under command of Maj. Gens. William Hardee and Leonidas Polk. Author of Rifle and Light Infantry Tactics, Hardee had literally written the book of tactics by which the Civil War was largely fought. Polk meanwhile was a political appointee who had served as a Bishop in the Episcopal Church prior to the War. While Hardee and Polk had widely dissimilar backgrounds they were united in their contempt and distrust of Bragg – a sentiment shared by most of their division commanders.

Whereas Bragg dealt with a divided command, Union Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans faced pressure of a different kind. Rosecrans was Abraham Lincoln’s choice to replace Don Carlos Buell who, like previous Union generals, had failed to move with the alacrity the chief executive demanded. As Rosecrans set out from Nashville in pursuit of Bragg, the memory of the Battle of Fredericksburg, not two weeks old, hung over the North with a thick melancholy. The Union needed victories, and Lincoln made it clear, if Rosecrans did not deliver them the President would find someone who would.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Lonely U.S. Army

Article suggested by Maj. John Lowe
J37 Joint Training Officer, Joint Forces Headquarters

The below article is a thought-provoking look at how the recent shift in our military strategy to Asia has affected the Army. It discusses how the Navy and Air Force will be used to project power on a daily basis without the intrusion of a large footprint of Soldiers on the ground disturbing the local populace and what this means for the Army and, to a lesser extent, the Marines.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Air Force Chief of Staff talks leadership with wing commanders

Story by Senior Master Sgt. David Byron
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III met with more than 140 wing commanders from across the Air Force Nov. 28 at Joint Base Andrews, Md., to underscore, face-to-face, his expectations of them as leaders and to discuss Air Force issues.

"Operationally, we're doing great ... mission-wise we're doing everything we're supposed to be doing and we're doing it in outstanding fashion," Welsh said. "The bottom line is performance."

Monday, November 26, 2012

What Great Leaders Have That Good Leaders Don't

By Navy SEAL combat veteran Brent Gleeson
co-founder and CMO at Internet Marketing Inc.

“My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach.” -- Navy SEAL Creed

The difference between good and great leadership can be expressed in a single word: loyalty.

Navy SEAL candidate training. Coronado Island, San Diego, By Rennett Stowe
When you think of strong leaders, you probably think of people who are decisive, bold, confident, and fearless. You’re not wrong. Good leaders have all of these qualities. But how many good leaders are also loyal? I don’t know, but I know that every great leader is.

Loyalty is one of the core values taught in the Navy SEAL training program. Instructors teach you from the first day that your team is everything to you. You succeed with them, and you fail without them. And you never leave anyone behind.

Read the rest of the story on Inc.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tapping State Defense Forces to Decrease Defense Spending

By Warrant Officer 1 Seth G. Stuck
Public Affairs Office
Georgia State Defense Force

State defense forces may well hold the key for states looking to maintain high levels of emergency response preparedness without bloating their budget. Twenty-two states currently have volunteer state guard units. These units, usually referred to as state defense forces (SDFs), offer a vital, low-cost (and sometimes free) force-multiplier for the National Guard and homeland security resources.

While SDFs might not seem like a vital need in states with a low risk of natural disasters or terror attacks, several states that are at high risk for catastrophes have yet to create a modern state defense force. And there are other states, still, that do have SDFs but do not quite leverage them to their full potential.

With state and federal budgets shrinking, states can no longer afford to place establishment and use of their SDF on the sidelines. Four national security analysts, including two retired SDF officers, recently explored this dilemma and sought out to explain how SDFs work, and why they are invaluable to so many states—and to the country.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fredericksburg: Union low tide on the banks of the Rappahannock

By 1st Lt. William Carraway
Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Office
Nov. 16, 2012

The Battles of Sharpsburg and Second Manassas highlight brilliant generalship in defense and maneuver.

The carnage of Fredericksburg reveals the nadir of Civil War leadership at a time when Union prospects were the lowest of the war. It was a battle of engineers, snipers, and rapidly deploying artillery. But it also evoked the leadership trap of refusing to change one’s plans in the face of failure.

Tolstoy on War

By General Martin E. Dempsey
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

I recently read “Tolstoy on War,” edited by Rick McPeak and Donna Tussing Orwin. This series of essays on Tolstoy's War and Peace is a must-read for serious students of the profession of arms.

I commend, in particular, Dr. Elizabeth Samet's essay on "The Disobediences of War and Peace."

As we contemplate our strategies for an unpredictable future, we would do well to heed Tolstoy's caution:
"When a man finds himself in motion, he always thinks up a goal for that motion."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Using Social Media To Tell The Army Story

This Army Live Blog post was submitted by Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV, Commander of U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) and Senior Commander of Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis.

Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV
assumed command of U.S. Army
North (Fifth Army) on Dec. 30, 2011.
Today, nearly three million men and women serve our country in uniform. Though that number may seem large, it’s actually less than one percent of the American population. Believe it or not, there are many Americans who have never even met a US service member. That means that there’s a large number of Americans who are unaware of the hard work, commitment, and sacrifice of our incredible Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families.Fortunately, there’s a powerful new technology to help us tell our Army story: social media. Many of our Soldiers are already adept at using social media; whether it be keeping in touch with friends on Facebook, sharing an interesting link with your friends on Twitter, or watching a funny video on Youtube. In fact, our Soldiers don’t just watch Youtube…some of them are talented Youtube stars in their own right!
It’s an incredible new tool for helping to tell our Army story, and I encourage all of our Soldiers to help share their Army story with the world, as long as they follow four simple rules.
  1. Only write/blog or talk about first-hand experiences.
  2. Do not use this new technology as a forum to air grievances. 
  3. Whatever you write or discuss must be attributable to you. 
  4. Always tell the truth, and if you do not know the answer just state that.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The U.S. Army Retools for "New" Threats

Story by Maj. John Alderman 
Georgia Army National Guard
Sept. 24, 2012

And so it begins.

Even as the Big Army takes a hard look at budget cuts, troop reductions, shrinking mission requirements, and evolving battlefields, the cascade of big complementary decisions has begun. How do we train? What do we train? What do we train for?

Says an article in today's Washington Post: "The new army, senior military leaders say, must become more nimble, its officers more savvy, its engagements more nuanced and almost certainly shorter. The lessons of the Arab Spring weigh heavily on war planners, with an array of threats looming in the Middle East and elsewhere. A high premium is being placed on devising the proper use of Special Forces, drones and cyber capabilities."

Perryville: High Tide in the West

Story and photos 1st Lt. William Carraway
Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Office
Oct. 16, 2012

In August, 1862, Confederate strategic designs called for simultaneous advances of all major armies. While Gen. Robert E. Lee would move north into Maryland, Confederate forces in the west would strike for Corinth, Miss. Meanwhile, Gen.  Braxton Bragg’s Army (soon to be called the Army of Tennessee) would occupy Kentucky, strike at the Army of the Ohio, and attempt to win Kentucky for the Confederacy. With three separate armies advancing simultaneously the late summer of 1862 would mark the largest Southern offensive of the war.

Kentucky’s strategic location, rivers, and divided sympathies made it a coveted objective. The Confederate Flag bore a star for Kentucky in hopes that she would join the Confederacy. Abraham Lincoln meanwhile remarked, “I think to lose Kentucky is nearly to lose the whole game.”

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Taking smart action to help the larger organization

Story by Maj. John Alderman IV
State Public Affairs Officer
Sept. 24, 2012

I think one of the secrets of the U.S. Army's success in modern, decentralized operations, is the "nested" effect of our operations order format. We don't just tell subordinates what to do --- we tell them what the higher headquarters is doing as well. That nested format is the enabler of what people say is our key advantage over adversaries: Initiative.

What's our higher headquarters' higher headquarters' higher headquarters concerned about right now? How does what we're doing in the Georgia Guard at drill next month fit into the larger picture?

Last week the Director of the Army National Guard, Lt. Gen. Ingram, presented to leaders his five strategic imperatives for the Army Guard.
1. Preserve the operational Army National Guard.
2. Generate ready units and Soldiers.
3. Partner with combatant commanders to provide relevant, ready forcescapable of performing unified land operations worldwide.
4. Provide the nation's force of choice for domestic operations.
5. Enhance the ARNG's core strengths, character, and culture.

Below are links to two documents: One, a summary slide deck that will give you the basics, and the other a detailed booklet that provides some details. Between them, we leaders have a good opportunity to see how we can act within larger organizational goals to make the Georgia Guard all it can be.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

78th Homeland Response Force: On Call, We’re Ready

By Maj. Stephen Tucker
78th Homeland Response Force Plans Chief and Senior Liaison Officer
Published in the Small Wars Journal
Sept. 14, 2012

Following the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, ten Homeland Response Forces (HRF) were directed for creation within the National Guard Bureau for a Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) response. Georgia was one of ten states selected to stand up these new unit types.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Place where war becomes personal

Public Affairs Officer, 165th Airlift Wing
Georgia Air National Guard

I recently had the honor of visiting a friend at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, which is the first destination in the continental United States for caring for the wounded, ill and injured from global conflicts.

It was one of the most sobering and uncomfortable experiences of my life, yet invaluable.

The bloodiest day: Lee turned back at Sharpsburg

Story and Photos 1st Lt. William Carraway
Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Office
Sept. 10, 2012

Four days after Second Manassas, the Army of Northern Virginia, 55,000 strong, crossed the Potomac River into Maryland. General Robert E. Lee hoped to achieve a victory on northern soil and win official recognition of the Confederacy by a foreign power.

On September 9, 1862, Lee drafted General Order 191, which directed the movements of his army. Copies of the order were dispatched to his subordinate commands which were dispersed from Harpers Ferry, W.Va. to Hagerstown, Md.

Major Gen. George McClellan’s 75,000-man Army of the Potomac, only recently returned from the Peninsula Campaign, was in characteristically slow pursuit of Lee and his formidable force. President Abraham Lincoln understood that official recognition of the Confederacy would end the conflict as effectively as French intervention ended the American Revolution. He had drafted an executive order designed to free slaves held in the rebellious states with the intent of preventing foreign recognition of the Confederacy. Upon the advice of his cabinet, Lincoln had withheld the order until the Union achieved a victory, lest the proclamation appear to be made out of desperation.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Rebels resurgent: Lee’s bold gamble at Second Manassas

By 1st Lt. William Carraway
Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Office
July 12, 2012

With Maj. Gen. George McClellan and the Army of the Potomac retreating from Gen. Robert E. Lee’s attacks on the Peninsula, a number of disparate Union commands in northern Virginia were consolidated as the Army of Virginia. Major Gen. John Pope was Lincoln’s choice to command the newly-formed Army. Pope had built a reputation as a hard fighter in the west having captured New Madrid Missouri in March 1862 and Island Number 10 on the Mississippi River the following month.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Seven Days that changed the Civil War: Lee takes command

By 1st Lt. William Carraway
Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Office
July 12, 2012

In the summer of 1862, two great armies contended for control of Richmond, the Confederate capital. The 60,000 Soldiers of General Joseph Johnston’s Army of Northern Virginia stood between Richmond and the 105,000-man Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. George McClellan. The commanders of both armies had been criticized for their perceived lack of aggressiveness. President Lincoln famously wrote:

If General McClellan does not want to use the army, I would like to borrow it for a time.

In March, 1862, after months of prodding, McClellan launched the Peninsula Campaign, which was an attempt to capture Richmond by maneuvering northwest along the Virginia Peninsula. McClellan’s early efforts were met with success. Rather than engage in pitched battle against a numerically superior foe, Johnston slowly retreated, agitating both the Confederate president and newspapers. Johnston hoped to find favorable ground from which he could isolate a portion of the enemy forces and negate his numerical superiority, but pressure mounted for him to act.

Who are we?

Story by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Barry Long
J-9 Joint and Family Services Directorate
Georgia Department of Defense

Who are we?

This is a question we seldom ask of ourselves, either as organizations or as individuals. In fact, it is very unlikely that we observe reality when we ask this about ourselves. It is an impartial lens we need so that we may view others without bias, and an impartial mirror we need so that we can truly see our own faults. We can take this question from the highest echelons to the lowest, or look up from the bottom.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Battle of Secessionville: Defense in depth and a failure of reconnaissance

By 1st Lt. William Carraway
Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Office
June 11, 2012

In June 1862, Charleston S.C. was a prime target, both symbolically and strategically. With Forts Sumter, Moultrie, and others guarding the water approach, the Union Army would have to negotiate a network of Confederate earthworks if they were to attempt to seize Charleston by land. 

Major General David Hunter, a 35-year veteran, had served in the Second Seminole War and the Mexican-American War. Emboldened by his success at Ft. Pulaski, where rifled cannons had overwhelmed the fort’s masonry structure, Hunter landed two Union divisions on the southern tip of James Island south of Charleston. Hunter planned to move north, flank the harbor defenses, and sever the railroad west of Charleston, the town’s sole remaining supply line. If successful, the Union would have a base of operations to launch strikes into the heart of the Confederacy.

Preparing our families is one of our duties as Guardsmen

By Maj. John Alderman,
State Public Affairs Officer, Georgia National Guard
June 11, 2012

Would you be prepared if gravity suddenly reversed itself?

I know being prepared for emergencies is part of being a good Guardsman, but every time I approach the topic of getting my family ready for emergencies, it seems like I eventually get into such a series of what-ifs that it becomes harder to visualize exactly what I should be doing to prepare. What checklist do I use? What emergencies should we prepare for first? How do we keep spare change from falling out of our pockets if gravity really does reverse?

Paralysis by analysis? Maybe. But whatever the reason, I’ve set out to do better by attacking this elephant one bite at a time.

I’ve considered where we are as a family, and what we should do immediately to meet basic readiness guidelines – and what we can do continuously to improve that readiness over time. So we’re going to follow this plan: assemble basic emergency supplies, confirm some basic emergency plans, and set our family’s proper attitude toward preparedness.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

48th BSTB takes on officer professional development

By Lt. Col. John “Opie” Davis
Commander, 48th Brigade Special Troops Battalion
June 4, 2012

As Commander of the 48th Brigade Special Troops Battalion Commander, I, along with Command Sergeant Major Roy Marchert, recently conducted an internal Officer Professional Development session at Clay National Guard Center. The intent was to educate, mentor, coach, and develop Company Commanders and Battalion Staff on how the State Headquarters interacts with major commands (MACOMs) and National Guard Bureau.

The session supplements the training company commanders receive when taking command, and provides interaction with each of the designated personnel: G-1 and State Education officer, G-3, G-4, G-5, G-8, USPFO, Warehouse, CFMO, Recruiting and Retention, Maj. Gen. Butterworth (Georgia's Adjutant General), Maj. Gen. Moore (Georgia Air National Guard Commander) and Brig. Gen. Jarrard (Assistant Adjutant General - Georgia Army National Guard).

This unique officer professional development gave the 48th BSTB company commanders and battalion staff the opportunity to gain a better understanding of how the Georgia Army National Guard interacts with MACOMs and NGB, and works to prepare and train the Soldiers and Airmen of the state of Georgia.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Civil War Ironclads, the Georgia Guard and the most recognized consumer brand name in the world

By 1st Lt. William Carraway
Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Office
May 14, 2012

Captain Ben Penton squinted against the sunlight as it reflected off the rippled surface of the Chattahoochee River some 30 miles south of Columbus, Ga. The air was perfumed with diesel exhaust, and the rumbling groans of hydraulics betrayed the source of the Captain’s interest. Along the river bank, bulldozers of the 560th Engineer Battalion worked to clear mud from a massive wooden form. Penton inspected the object thoughtfully. It was a vessel, wooden framed, and massive. Half of its 220-by-60-foot frame had been excavated from the river mud, and Penton could clearly see that many of the vessel’s pine timbers were badly charred. Observing the work of the Guard engineers and civilian excavators, it is doubtful Penton knew that nearly a century earlier Guard and civilian volunteers had been engaged in a far more desperate struggle over control of these very timbers.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Diversity as a matter of perspective

By Command Sgt. Maj. James Nelson, Jr.
State Command Sergeant Major
Georgia Department of Defense

About a month or so ago, I engaged in a philosophical discussion with one of my colleagues (a senior leader) on the subject of how the military recognizes various ethnics groups that make up the Armed Forces. One question that stemmed out of this discussion was: was it more important that I be personally recognized as the first African-American State Command Sergeant Major in Georgia, or was it more important to be recognized for doing a great job and being a good leader whom all members of the Ga. DoD would wish to emulate – a leader who just happens to fit into a certain ethnic group?

From that thought exercise, the conversation spilled over into the need for diversity in our force and what diversity means in the Armed Forces. I might have simply left the conversation where it ended if it weren’t for the subject being such a thought-provoking one. So, I’ve decided to float the question to you.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Decisiveness in COIN Operations: A Perspective from a Counter Insurgency Instructor

By 1st Lt. William Carraway
Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Office
April 27, 2012

Dr. Terry Tucker, author of Counterinsurgency Methods & The Global War on Terror, and former instructor at the US COIN academy in Kabul, examines the role of conventional operations in a counter-insurgency (COIN) environment. This month, we asked Dr. Tucker:

What is the decisive point in counterinsurgency and can conventional operations be decisive in a COIN environment? 

Dr. Tucker: I don’t want to be cliché, but regrettably I need to be. The Human Terrain is what is decisive. Everything we do must work across security, governance, and economics to begin to achieve that decisiveness. 

Everything that we do in stability operations, COIN, or security cooperation should strive to achieve support from the Human Terrain. In COIN, it is an accumulation of many small successes which run in packs across multiple lines of operation that can make the outcome decisive on a political, economic, and social level. It is decisive when the locals support your integrated actions.  

Fort Pulaski: Rifled artillery alters the design of the defense

By 1st Lt. William Carraway
Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Office
April 27, 2012

While April 1862 is most associated with the Battle of Shiloh, Tenn., Georgia played host to a battle which would have implications on the Confederacy’s defensive strategy for the remainder of the war. This month’s article focuses on the Battle of Fort Pulaski and the lessons learned from that engagement.

In 1829, a young engineering officer on his first assignment out of West Point surveyed the construction site for the future Fort Pulaski. The Lieutenant would serve as the superintendent for the first year of construction on Cockspur Island in the middle of the Savannah River.

Returning in 1861 to observe the fort’s commanding presence overlooking the approaches to the Savannah Harbor, the former Lieutenant, Brig. Gen. Robert E. Lee, pronounced the walls of the fort to be secure against artillery bombardment. At first glance, the 11-foot thick solid masonry walls of the fort, 48 cannon, and garrison of nearly 400 men offered a formidable target for land-based or naval-based siege operations.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Army Professional – The Evaluator?

CW2 Barry D. Long
Human Resources, Systems Automation, Intel Officer (S1/S2)
J9 - Soldier and Family Services Directorate

The Chief of Staff of the Army calls us professionals. This profession at arms is, to us, merely what we do, but we are more than warriors, and certainly more than what we seem to be.  The average Soldier today is more educated, better trained, and more physically fit than any civilian in a similar field.  

The best way to maintain that advantage is to mentor, evaluate, train, educate, and lead our troops in a more professional manner than our civilian “professional” counterparts.  As leaders, telling our Soldiers to take advantage of our benefits and educational assistance, giving them “off-the-shelf” training, and arranging unit PT (Physical Training) programs, does not do justice to our Soldiers, nor does it exemplify our ideals.

Ask yourself a few questions as a leader:
1. Do I truly know the Army Values?  What do they mean?  Do I live by them daily?  Can my Soldiers and leaders see my true self?  Do I set a good example?
2. Do I know the Soldier’s Creed?  Does it mean anything to me?  Am I the “Soldier” mentioned in the creed?
3. Is my career most important, or is my career a product of the Soldiers and leaders around me?
4. Do my Soldiers truly profit from my leadership?  Who does?  What do they see in me?
5. Do I tell my bosses and my subordinates what I truly think?  Is my opinion valuable?
6. Am I growing in the service?  Am I worthy of all of those who have gone before?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Adjutant General's Mission, Vision, and Values [VIDEO]

Major Gen. Jim Butterworth, Georgia's Adjutant General, talks about what it means to serve in the Georgia National Guard. He also gives his take on the National Guard motto: "Always Ready, Always There."

Friday, March 9, 2012

Weaponry of the Civil War

By 1st Lt. William Carraway
Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Office
March 9, 2012

When considering the tactical lessons of Civil War battles, through staff rides or just when reading after action reports, it is helpful to keep in mind the relative capacities and limitations of the time's weaponry. Even just knowing the range of these weapons can offer incredible insight as to why some commanders made the tactical decisions they did.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Seven things the Navy taught me about leadership

By SDF Capt. Andrew Creed
Public Affairs Officer, Georgia State Defense Force
February 27, 2012

As a former Naval Officer who was Army trained at the Citadel, I understand the unique aspects of  life at sea and how the experience relates back to life both in the field and at home in the daily civilian world. As a current captain in the Georgia State Defense Force and leader in the corporate world, I know some of the Navy’s lessons are still applicable in how other organizations – military and civilian – do business.

Today, we hear a lot about “management” and not enough about leadership. That worries me. One thing of which I am certain, there is a great difference between managers and leaders. Good managers are plentiful — in fact, our nation graduates over 150,000 MBAs every year. But true leaders are rare. And believe me, there is a difference.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Setting leadership priorities for the Georgia Department of Defense

By Maj. Gen. Jim Butterworth
Adjutant General, Georgia National Guard
Feb. 14, 2012

As the Adjutant General of Georgia, I am the personal representative of the 15,000 men, women and families serving in the Ga. DoD. I am responsible for ensuring that we are fully prepared mentally, physically, and logistically, for the fight. Whether we are called to defend the homeland or support the war fight, I commit that I will continue to ensure this organization’s ability to win on every front. That commitment will not fade.

I am also responsible for advising the Governor, our Commander in Chief, on all military matters. Among these issues is defense support to civil authorities and the use of the National Guard in supporting “all hazards” impacting the state of Georgia. I will develop and deliver that advice with the assistance of our senior leaders and the Joint Staff. I will deliver that advice in private as well as in a transparent, public manner whenever requested by Georgia’s Commander-in-Chief.

The intent of this letter is to provide guidance for, and direction to, the Georgia Department of Defense. One of my many goals is to achieve unity of effort. Through this letter, I will begin communicating the organizational and personal priorities for the command. I do not intend to set goals or objectives with this document. The intent is to deliver, in broad terms, my expectations of the organization.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The fall of Atlanta begins at Fort Henry

By 1st Lt. William Carraway
Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Office
February 10, 2012

Recall from the January article on Mill Springs the strategic situation in Kentucky. Two rivers, the Tennessee and the Cumberland traversed the state north to south and provided high-speed avenues of approach deep into the heart of the Confederacy. Due to Kentucky’s declared neutrality, two forts were located on inferior ground just south of the Kentucky/Tennessee border. Fort Henry, an earthen fort, was constructed on the east bank of the Tennessee River and mounted 17 cannons. 

Approximately 12-miles to the east, Fort Donelson was constructed on the west bank of the Cumberland River. This design allowed the forts to be mutually supporting – an attack against one could be reinforced by forces from the other. While the location of Fort Henry offered unobstructed fields of fire along the river, Fort Henry was located in low, swampy ground that was prone to flooding.

By December 1861, Confederate Brig Gen. Lloyd Tilghman arrived at Fort Henry and assumed command of the 4,000 men present for duty at both forts. Surveying Fort Henry, Tilghman was not pleased. The fort was pentagon shaped with a ten acre footprint. While the earthen walls of the fort were initially 20 feet high, heavy winter rains had swollen the banks of the Tennessee and much of the fort was underwater by late January, including two guns and the powder magazine. Amazingly, this single flooded fort was the only fortification on the river. The entire Confederate line could be turned by puncturing it at its weakest point.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

National Intelligence Community Writing Contest

Air Force leaders publish new strategy document

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz released the 'Air Force Priorities for a New Strategy with Constrained Budgets' white paper Feb 1.

"The Air Force has made the hard choices to closely align with the new strategic guidance in our FY13 budget submission by trading size for quality," the leaders stated. "We will be a smaller but superb force that maintains the agility, flexibility, and readiness to engage a full range of contingencies and threats."

The Air Force strategy document provides an overview of the way forward for the present and future Air Force. The Following areas are outlined in the document: The Air Force new strategy; force structure; readiness; modernization; more disciplined use of Defense dollars; and taking care of people.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Kentucky is Key: The Battle of Mill Springs

By 1st Lt. William Carraway
Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Office
January 12, 2012

Note:  2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the 1862 battles of the American Civil War.  This article marks the first installment in the series that begins with the Battle of Mill Springs January 19, 1862 and ends with the Battles of Murfreesboro and Fredericksburg in December 1862.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Being a Uniformed Leader in the Civilian World

By Maj. John Alderman,
State Public Affairs Officer, Georgia National Guard
January 9, 2012

One of the great things about Guardsmen is that we take the leadership and management skills we learn from the military back into our families and communities. From clubs to committees to boards to teams at civilian jobs, our experience and training can add real value organizations just can't get anywhere else.

But if there's one problem with that, it's that sometimes our skills are lost in translation. Our different perspective is valuable; our different vocabulary can make communicating that value pretty challenging.

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