Book Review - "The Iron Major Survival Guide" by David W. Dunphy
This book is f#cking awesome. BLUF: First off, this book should be read by every military officer and senior NCO. Second, I wish I had one back when I was a Group S2/S3Air or the Brigade Training Officer in the 3 shop. It is useful for all but I would strongly recommend that all 2nd LTs and ensigns have a copy. This is what they DON'T teach you in ROTC or the Academies or OCS... Penned with a wry wit, LTC Dunphy outlines the do's and, more importantly, the don'ts of leadership from a staff officer's perspective. Politically incorrect as hell, Dunphy has items like "mouth breather" alerts and "bush league/amateur hour" statements. As I read through the survival guide last night, I found myself nodding in agreement or outright laughing along with the author. However, the book is not about entertaining Major B, it is about making Major B a far better officer than he thinks he is. With chapters like "The Beer Math of Doctrinal Consumption", Dunphy usually opens up with some smart-ass remark that then evolves into the lesson to be learned. Por ejemplo, in the section about building a solid relationship with your commander, Dunphy starts with, "Fight the close fight and run the daily operations of the Battalion so your boss can look at the big picture, fight the deep fight, and make out with the good idea fairy." before outlining some common sense methods to accomplish that goal. While most of the information should be intuitive, with 15+ hour days, deployments and field work, leaders may miss some/most of the points made by Dunphy. The survival guide serves as reminders to us all on (1) what to focus on, (2) what not to step in, (3) how to be a better leader and (4) how not be f#cked up like polio.