LEAD WITH THE LEFT

Staying in Step for a Successful Military Life

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The Butter Bar Years: Lessons & Advice

This weekend I promoted for the first time and traded in my butter bars for silver ones! Although right now it's pretty much a 100% promotion rate from second to first lieutenant--MADE IT, btw--I'm still proud of my first two years in the military and excited to see...

Training Through Uncertainty

I’ve been hearing a lot about uncertainty these days, as the pandemic has altered, deferred, and dissolved timelines, events, and the ability to plan for so many of us. Weddings grew smaller, deployments grew longer, and many of us have found ourselves being grounded in a place we didn’t expect to be for so long…

Idaho Outdoor Fun Roundup

When people describe Mountain Home Air Force Base, they describe it as one of those places that, “You cry when you get here, and you cry when you leave.” Although we were happy to move here, it was still an adjustment! But over the almost-two-years that we’ve lived here, we’ve discovered lots of fun outdoor sites and activities!

Postpartum Recovery Tips for Military Women

Disclaimer for my Public Affairs heart: None of the recommendations/links below are endorsements by the DoD or USAF. They're just my personal opinions and things I found helpful. Also, postpartum fitness is a tricky thing, so be sure to check with your medical team to...

My Top Breastfeeding Items for Military Moms

I’ve been back at work for a few weeks now, so I’ve had a chance to establish and tweak my routine for breastfeeding. I think it’ll still be a work in progress as I roll with the ebbs and flows of my workload, but these are six things I’ve found helpful in supporting my desire to breastfeed while working!

Book Review: Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership

There is a lot of talk about “toxic leadership” in the military right now, and I’ve oftentimes wondered how people can develop over the years from promising young lieutenants and airmen into toxic leaders. How does it happen? Why is it that many people start their leadership journeys out so well and end them with catastrophic failure? How do they not see their weaknesses undermining their leadership strengths over time? How do I keep that from happening to me? 

Book Review: Turn the Ship Around!

He said, “I would have to grapple with the tension between how I aspired to be as a leader and how I actually was.” This man is speaking my 2nd lieutenant language. I was hooked because I can identify; I’ve had very much the same types of experiences already in my short time in the Air Force: times where leaders have trusted me with responsibility and authority that made for some of my best days in the Air Force, and times where I have tried to pass that on to my airmen only to watch my efforts fail.

Rogers Marriage Core Values

To those of us in the military community, the term "core values" is a familiar one. We all know the core values of our branch of service, the ideals and standards by which we are to live and serve. Air Force doctrine defines core values as, "...a statement of those...

4 Ways to Make Male Spouses Feel Welcome at Spouse Events

Last year I wrote a post about my first Officer's Spouse Club event and my experience there as a male spouse. Not only did I win a pink pineapple, but I also enjoyed myself! In the last year since then, I ended up joining the OSC leadership board. This year I even...

Book Review: Winning Through Culture

“It’s been said that people only remember two types squadron commanders, the best they ever had, and the worst. Our charge to you is: be the best. Be remembered as a commander whose bold leadership changed lives and inspired greatness. As squadron commanders we are entrusted with our Air Force’s most valuable assets – America’s sons and daughters. If that isn’t enough intrinsic motivation, this job isn’t for you.”

Training Through Uncertainty

Training Through Uncertainty

I’ve been hearing a lot about uncertainty these days, as the pandemic has altered, deferred, and dissolved timelines, events, and the ability to plan for so many of us. Weddings grew smaller, deployments grew longer, and many of us have found ourselves being grounded in a place we didn’t expect to be for so long…

Idaho Outdoor Fun Roundup

Idaho Outdoor Fun Roundup

When people describe Mountain Home Air Force Base, they describe it as one of those places that, “You cry when you get here, and you cry when you leave.” Although we were happy to move here, it was still an adjustment! But over the almost-two-years that we’ve lived here, we’ve discovered lots of fun outdoor sites and activities!

My Top Breastfeeding Items for Military Moms

My Top Breastfeeding Items for Military Moms

I’ve been back at work for a few weeks now, so I’ve had a chance to establish and tweak my routine for breastfeeding. I think it’ll still be a work in progress as I roll with the ebbs and flows of my workload, but these are six things I’ve found helpful in supporting my desire to breastfeed while working!

Book Review: Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership

Book Review: Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership

There is a lot of talk about “toxic leadership” in the military right now, and I’ve oftentimes wondered how people can develop over the years from promising young lieutenants and airmen into toxic leaders. How does it happen? Why is it that many people start their leadership journeys out so well and end them with catastrophic failure? How do they not see their weaknesses undermining their leadership strengths over time? How do I keep that from happening to me? 

Book Review: Turn the Ship Around!

Book Review: Turn the Ship Around!

He said, “I would have to grapple with the tension between how I aspired to be as a leader and how I actually was.” This man is speaking my 2nd lieutenant language. I was hooked because I can identify; I’ve had very much the same types of experiences already in my short time in the Air Force: times where leaders have trusted me with responsibility and authority that made for some of my best days in the Air Force, and times where I have tried to pass that on to my airmen only to watch my efforts fail.

Book Review: Winning Through Culture

Book Review: Winning Through Culture

“It’s been said that people only remember two types squadron commanders, the best they ever had, and the worst. Our charge to you is: be the best. Be remembered as a commander whose bold leadership changed lives and inspired greatness. As squadron commanders we are entrusted with our Air Force’s most valuable assets – America’s sons and daughters. If that isn’t enough intrinsic motivation, this job isn’t for you.”

What’s It Like to Be Pregnant In the Military?

What’s It Like to Be Pregnant In the Military?

I’ve had a couple questions/conversations during my pregnancy that have made me realize a lot of people don’t really know what it’s like for pregnant women in the military. Totally understandable, particularly because the typical “face” of the military isn’t often a woman, and definitely not a pregnant woman!