Am I ready?

By Jeff Schloesser | April 5, 2021 |

Have you ever wondered “Am I ready?” Maybe before a promotion, or a new job, or starting something new in your life? I have. Many, many times. In my book Marathon War, I describe how I sat out on the steps in front of the Farmhouse – the designated home for the 101St Airborne Division Commanding General, at dawn the morning I was to take command, with a cup of steaming black coffee, and thought to myself: Am I ready? This wasn’t so much self-doubt as it was mental preparation for what was ahead – some of which I could…


Expect the unexpected!

By Jeff Schloesser | March 30, 2021 |

So what did I learn when bombs literally fell on our parade? That night I wrote in my journal after I related the events: “Expect the unexpected!!” No one predicted the enemy would attack Karzai, the various ambassadors and generals, during a parade, in the middle of Kabul, for heaven’s sake! After deeper reflection, it was clear that we had a massive failure of imagination based on a propensity to concentrate on what the enemy had done before. We failed to plan for the unexpected, which meant we were not ready when the unexpected happened. As they say, the enemy…


What happened in Afghanistan?

By Jeff Schloesser | March 27, 2021 |

What happened?: I was feeling confident after a few months in Afghanistan. We were holding our own during the enemy’s “spring offensive” and I felt we had the right plan – for you in the military, our campaign plan, which was much like our annual operating plan in the business world. So on a bright sunny day in early summer I boarded my Black Hawk with my small security team and flew to Kabul to participate in the Afghan National Day festivities, as did every general and dignitary in the country. Smack in the middle of a 21-gun salute to…


Why write a book?

By Jeff Schloesser | March 14, 2021 |

Why write a memoir about an unpopular war that refuses to totally end? In a place most Americans could not easily find on a map, much less identify with its people? And with an enemy numerous but incredibly difficult to categorize with certitude? First reason: because I needed to. It helped me deal with my own demons, as I lay out in the book. Second reason: because as I put finger to keys (I wrote the entire first draft on an iPad), I went from merely recording and relating what I saw to actually THINKING about it, pondering what I…


Welcome to my first blog!

By Jeff Schloesser | March 7, 2021 |

Hi, I’m Jeff Schloesser, and THANKS for clicking onto my very first blog ever. I spent over three decades leading troops in combat, and the last decade working in the no-fail aerospace sector, but I’m a beginner at blogging – I promise I will learn fast, and in each blog provide an insight I have harvested from life and leading. The capstone of my U.S. Army career was commanding the famous 101st Airborne Division for almost three years, with fifteen months of that in combat in Afghanistan during the tough years of 2008-2009. I led over 30,000 soldiers, Marines, airmen,…