Welcome to my first blog!

The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Changes Commanding Generals at the Division Parade Field  at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The outgoing commander Major General Jeffrey J. Schloesser passes the Division Colors to the Incoming Commander Major General John F. Campbell. Officiating the ceremony was General Charles C. Campbell the Commander of the US Army Forces Command.   20090731

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, sailors, coastguardsmen, and civilians. I lost 180 of them to war, others to accidents and suicides. It was the most rewarding of times to me, and the most anguishing and heartbreaking – simultaneously. Unlike some, I never came to love war, nor, like Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now, ‘the smell of napalm in the morning.’ But, in truth, leading troops in combat was self-actualizing. I learned something important about leadership, followership, and being “me” each and every day.

Every night I gathered up the days experiences and things I wanted to remember – and many I wished later I could forget, as they hurt so much – and put them into a little green journal. Some “lessons” and much of the pain I swept away, hidden in the attic of my mind, under tarps. Some I could not forget, and so years after my retirement from the Army, I decided to deal with my journals, my lessons such as they were, and the pain. Marathon War – Leadership in Combat in Afghanistan is the result.

In my next post, I will explain why I wrote a memoir about an unpopular war that changed me, changed American, changed the Army and refuses to end…

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