Strengthening the intellectual foundation for our profession of arms.

About this Blog

January 2nd, 2014 by Grounded Curiosity

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This section of Grounded Curiosity aims to share broad military lessons in order to help normalise a culture of collective and lateral learning early in a junior commander’s service. Types of posts will include:

  • Lesson reports – Erfahrungsberichte
  • Vignettes – unclassifed stories or warries with an overall lesson learnt
  • Posts – 800-1500 words on a specific topic
  • Military book and film reviews

Want to write?

This blog space is also provided as an entry-point for military writing in order to give military professionals the confidence and professional guidance to write in a public space. Commanders who want to challenge their subordinates to write can contact Grounded Curiosity.  As part of this, Grounded Curiosity aims to connect members who are new to military writing with established military writing mentors.

It is stressed that this section is not a space for military folk to work around their chain-of-command on an issue of disagreement. This Grounded Curiosity initiative is a similar mechanism to how sporting teams work within Army – with chain-of-command knowledge and approval, but with an external team structure to maximise talent and connections.

If the written work is more appropriate for the The CoveLand Power Forum, or another established military blog or a peer-reviewed journal, then the writer will be connected to these organisations. Likewise, if the work is TTP related or classified, the writer will be connected to other lessons-learned and publication mechanisms. Written work that contains public comment or sensitive topics will also not be considered for publication.

Caution with Vignettes and Lesson Reports

Reading Vignettes and Lesson Reports needs to be done with a critical eye as the examples are from a specific operating environment, for a specific point in time, and for a specific mission. The Lesson Reports are also not provided as panaceas for the next war but are used to convey principles and provide context to ideas that are sometimes dryly outlined in doctrine. The reader needs to apply their own critical thought to the Lesson Reports.  This point is poignantly made by Chris Smith in his book review of Counterinsurgency: Reconstruction Task Force 4 in the Australian Army Journal:

“The risk is that good ideas that seem to have worked in one specific context might be rapidly circulated through the Army’s learning systems when the ideas themselves may not be generally applicable. If the lessons process is too uncritical and has no inbuilt skepticism, the same systems designed to rapidly transfer good ideas to the Army can just as rapidly transfer flawed ideas.”

In reading any posts on Grounded Curiosity, you are therefore encouraged to be both thoughtful and critical.

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