Mark Hertling Profile picture
A retired soldier who loves family, who studies leadership & healthcare, and who is dedicated to our Constitution and our nation. Oh...and Cards/Blues fan.
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26 Mar
In studying leadership as it applies to physicians, I've also researched the oath doctors take. Most know the Hippocratic oath centers around "do no harm" (in the Latin, "primum non nocere"), but that's actually just a summary of a longer, more beautiful & moving oath. 1/
The words of the original oath describe in detail how to adhere to the ethical standards of the day. Attributed to Hippocrates, but allegedly written by a consortium of great thinkers between the 3d and 5th century BC. 2/
Here's a few of the highlights of the entire oath:
"I swear by Apollo Physician, by Asclepius, by Hygiea, by Panacea, and by all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgment, this oath and this indenture...." 3/
Read 11 tweets
11 Mar
In 2008, the WOMEN soldiers of @1stArmoredDiv sponsored a conference attended by over 300 women in northen Iraq.

The dialogue & information resulted in reduced violence, elimination of suicide networks & the 1st Iraqi women on the police force.

Women soldiers did this. 1/6
A graduation photo of the 1st group of women in the Iraqi police. The woman next to me was a conference attendee who had the idea of getting women on the force. She was pushed to tell me by a WOMEN soldier.

She later was a member of the Iraqi parliament, from Diyala province.2/
Another conference in N. Iraq - this time on medical issues - was the idea of our Division surgeon. One of our @1stArmoredDiv WOMEN doctors/soldiers reached out to ensure Iraqi women were also present, and their voice was heard. 3/6
Read 6 tweets
3 Mar
Listening to MG Walker’s honest testimony, and having commanded organizations in stressful situations, it is a bad day for the Department of Defense. But given the kind of things we all saw from the civilians in the last administration, it is also not surprising. 1/
Many of us who watched the actions of “the last guy” and his subordinates were concerned about the potential for the erosion of trust in the institution of the military. 2/
Given the berating of officials, the attempts to politicalize “his generals,” the improper insertion into legal issues (pardoning of war criminals), the appointment of “acting” officials w/o experience or accountability & the toxic leadership climate all contributed to this. 3/
Read 4 tweets
23 Feb
In teaching leadership, I’m often asked about great leaders or if I had a mentor. This man fits both categories.

It was 30 yrs ago today General Fred Franks led VII Corps in crossing the line of departure, starting the ground campaign of Desert Storm. 1/12
As a major, I had worked on the staff of Major General Franks - in the G3 - when he was the @1stArmoredDiv commander. He was quiet, smart, demanding, and caring. No one wanted to disappoint him. A true “cold warrior” in Europe. 2/12
A Vietnam veteran, he lost his leg when a grenade landed next to him. He was a major with a cavalry unit, and after being medically evac’d, he fought to stay in the service. He would be the first soldier to suffer such bodily trauma, be retained, and then be promoted. 3/12
Read 12 tweets
10 Feb
Senators have email or websites. They’re aware of mean tweets, but their offices record emails. I just wrote @marcorubio & @SenRickScott - again - asking them to uphold their oath. For my Florida friends, here are the sites:… 1/
I’d recommend civility. Remind them how their oath to the Constitution requires that they must represent the vast majority of Americans who still believe in upholding our democracy and ensuring the rule of law. 2/
Would also recommend those who write remind them that leadership requires proper action, exhibiting what right looks like...and how they vote will determine if the US survives and how we will be viewed in the world. 3/
Read 7 tweets
17 Jan
Media repeatedly citing the 25k National Guard deployed to DC. But that’s just a fraction of Guard activity across the country right now.

Imagine what these soldiers are experiencing. Another mobilization (after they’ve already done hurricane relief, Covid support, etc)...1/
...more need to coordinate w employers for time off away from their normal job, more time away from family. 2/
And then there’s the anxiety of potentially facing fellow citizens, the difficult rules of engagement they must understand and potentially apply, the challenging “use of force” against a civilian mob. 3/
Read 5 tweets
14 Jan
Had a chance to provide some info to @NatashaBertrand regarding the challenges associated with countering IEDs. That exchange caused me to ponder the question: “Could we be approaching the early stages of an insurgency in the US?” 1
Now, my friend and former DHS official @juliettekayyem has suggested the term “stochastic terrorists” to describe the actions of those who attacked the capital last week. Her model, in part, describes random timing & targeting to excite a generalized fear in society. 2
That could be past of an insurgency. But given expansive online collaboration & planning, this may be the beginning of something much more nefarious & more difficult to address. We ought to be wary of what we may be facing. Let me explain... 3
Read 14 tweets
11 Nov 20
Best to all on this 2020 Veterans’ Day!

Some have suggested vets post pictures in uniform. But...I’m going to post a few w those met among the way.

Here’s CSM Roger Blackwell, sharing thanksgiving dessert on top of Mt Sinjar. One of the best soldiers I’ve ever met. 1/
Here’s LTC (Dr) Kamal Kalsi, who was brave and courageous in combat and in making changes in the Army. dear friend & patriot. 2/
Here are 3 WWII veterans who parachuted into Normandy, at a reunion at St Mere Eglise, 68 years after they fought for freedom on the European continent. One of them now sadly gone to higher ground. 3/
Read 12 tweets
6 Oct 20
Gettysburg is one of my favorite places, I’ve been there hundreds of times.

It’s extremely wise for @joebiden to go there to speak about national unity and our values.

Lincoln’s was not the primary speaker in Nov 1863, months after the battle, but his words resonate today.1/
Edwin Everett, a famous orator of that period, was the main speaker. He attracted a large crowd & he gave a grand speech for over 2 hours.

President Lincoln, as an afterthought, was asked to provide “a few remarks.” He spoke 272 words & it took just under 2 minutes. 2/
What was unique in Lincoln’s speech was the use of key words: we, us, dedication to unfinished work, a reference to our nations documents, what should unite rather than divide us. 3/
Read 7 tweets
11 Sep 20
In the middle of a friendly conversation with a new civilian friend this morning, he asked: "Do you remember where you were on 9/11."

My wife and I glanced at each other with knowing looks.

"It's a long story, how much do you want to hear?" 1/
In August 2001, I was assigned to the Pentagon for the first time in my career. That's because I was selected for promotion to Brigadier General, but first had to serve in a "Joint Assignment" as per law.

Our family left the high Mojave Desert and we drove to DC in July. 2/
Arriving at the Pentagon, I was told I couldn't assume the position until the Senate confirmed my promotion. My boss, a great 3-star Marine, gave me stuff to read & told me to lay low until the Senate acted.

After 3 weeks, he told me to take some leave. That was 3 Sept. 3/
Read 18 tweets
29 Jul 20
"The plan to pull US troops from the long-time NATO ally has been met with broad bipartisan opposition amid concerns that it will weaken the US military's position vis a vis Russia, however the Trump Administration has decided to proceed with the move." 1/ (of 15)
Having just watched the SecDef, Vice CJCS and @US_EUCOM Commander, I am sickened by this decision and explanation.

It is not tied to any strategic advantage, and in fact is counterproductive to showing strength in Europe.

A couple things:

First, what is obvious to me - having served 12 years in Germany and having participated in the last force structure change from 2004-2011, this is not a "strategic" is specifically a directed personal insult from Trump to our great & very supportive ally Germany.
Read 18 tweets
27 Jun 20
Report of Russia bounties on US Troops in Afghanistan is shocking but not surprising. There was intel on their arms transfers and support of the Taliban months ago.

Putin wants payback for our actions against their forces in Syria and for us supplying the Muj in the 1980s. 1/
The fact that no action was taken is also shocking, but not surprising with this administration.

The process of sound diplomatic engagements, application of strategy & policy, and use of all elements of national power is broken.

But it's not just with Russia. 2/
The multi-year strategy to address N.Korean missiles still simmers, and seems more dangerous than ever...… 3/
Read 12 tweets
26 Jun 20
During this @WIMSummit conference last night, we spoke briefly about the importance of "communicating in a crisis."

After watching the @HHSGov briefing a few minutes ago, perhaps it's timely to share some thoughts on communicating... 1/12
First, communicating has many factors:
-Who's the messenger, what's the forum and what are the objectives?
-What are the facts?
-What's the message?
-How does body language, facial expression, tone of voice contribute?
...and most importantly, is there a basis of trust? 2/12
The key communicator(messenger(s)) must:
-have expertise
-must have the trust of the audience (if not, he/she must find ways to quickly establish that trust)
-speak plainly and clearly, after rehearsing
-establish a vision for what will happen 3/12
Read 12 tweets
25 Jun 20
What an amazing webinar with Women In Medicine (@WIMSummit #WIM). Thanks @ShikhaJainMD and @LaurieBaedke for hosting Dr Mansfield and me.

You asked me to tweet about "burnout" here are some thoughts... 1/9
There's loads of research by terrific Dr Christina Maslach on the causes of "burnout," and all of the causes occur in healthcare.
(here's one study I like: Maslach, C. & Jackson, S.E. (1981). The Measurement of Experience Burnout. Journal of Occupational Behavior, 2: 99-113) 2/9
Burnt-out results from any individual feeling emotionally and/or physically exhausted, repetitive work without a feeling of accomplishment, repetitive negative engagements with others, a feeling of not being appreciated, and "life" being out of control. 3/9
Read 9 tweets
17 Jun 20
There are Senators who often act contrary to the best interest of all American. I often forget @SenJohnKennedy is one of them...likely because he’s so predictable.
Ft Polk is in Louisiana. I know, because I served there for over 3 years in the early 80’s. When I was there, all the soldiers knew there was a KKK chapter in a town near the tanks ranges. Ft Polk was named for Confederate general and West Point graduate Leonidas Polk.
Polk graduated from West Point, then immediately resigned his commission to become a minister. He was the largest slaveholder in his county by 1840, with 111 slaves. By 1850 census he owned 215, with estimates as high as 400.
Read 7 tweets
10 Jun 20
While I’ve studied Civil War history, I’m certainly not an subject matter expert on the lives of all confederate generals.

But I do know who the good ones and bad ones are, from a leadership perspective.

But don’t rely on me...let me cite Mr Wiki.... 1/12
Braxton Bragg, of Ft Bragg NC fame, is “considered among the worst Southern generals. Most of his battles ended in defeats.Extremely unpopular w/ his men, he was criticized for many faults, including poor battlefield strategy, quick temper & overzealous discipline.” 2/12
“Leonidas Polk, the “fighting bishop” was one of the most notable & controversial of the war. Pres Jeff Davis elevated him to high position despite a lack of experience. He is remembered for his bitter disagreements with immediate superiors & for a lack of success in combat.”3/12
Read 12 tweets
8 Jun 20
A thread on the issue of pulling 9500 troops from Germany.

I'll start with the arguments are significantly more complex than the binary "we need them to stay" or "some European countries need to contribute more."

Both true, but neither address US strategy. 1/13
During the Cold War, there were about 270,000 US soldiers (avg) in Germany. That was reduced when the wall fell, and by the end of the 1990's the total strength was about 90,000.

Starting in 2004 under the direction of Pres Bush, a new plan further reduced to about 30,000. 2/13
Rumsfeld's "Europe transformation plan" reduced the size and the missions the US forces in Europe had, as well as lowered the contribution of forces to the NATO alliance.

Not many know what remain as the missions, so I'll highlight just a few here. 3/13
Read 13 tweets
7 Jun 20
In addition to watching the stories about protests, COVID19, the economy, and other national security issues, I'll be monitoring 2 other issues this week.

The first is mentioned in the piece below. The other is the testimony of SecDef Esper & CJCS Milley.

Here's why 1/13
First, the POTUS announcement of 9500 troops returning from Germany by September.

A caveat: I served in Europe for 12 years, was involved in the last 2 reductions, & know a bit of how this works.

It'll ll be harder & take longer than POTUS thinks. 2/13
It appears DoD, State, NATO, Germany & Congress were not informed before the announcement & there is still no official "order." Not atypical.

That will make it more difficult, since unlike pulling troops out of combat, military personnel in GE live & have families there. 3/13
Read 13 tweets
4 Jun 20
With terrific leadership & masterful understanding of the military's oath to the Constitution, ADM Mullen's article made the intellectual case.

From his time on the "inside" & understanding of the implications, former SecDef/GEN Mattis brought some emotional fire. 1/17
But here's some food for thought:

While those in uniform will never attack their fellow Americans,

They also don't hold the key to "saving" them, either.

Hear me out... 2/17
There have been many that have commented on President Trump's chipping away at Constitution norms over the last 3+ years.

We've sen a crescendo and a constant deterioration, and in the last three days it has reached an inflection point 3/17
Read 17 tweets
4 Jun 20
Will be joining @donlemon in a few minutes. If your still up, join us.
Sorry about the audio technical problems. I said Sec Mattis is a professional, it took him a while to step forward due to that professionalism and the unwritten code of not bashing someone you worked for, but it likely reached a crescendo and he felt he had no other choice
Read 4 tweets
1 Jun 20
Couple things, for context, when discussing deployment of active forces in the US:

1. National Guard forces spend significant training time preparing for domestic disturbances. They train on & have equipment related to this mission. Active forces (3ID, 101st, etc) do not. 1/9
2. GEN Milley, the CJCS, is by law is the "advisor" to POTUS, SecDef, HLS, NSC. He does not have "command authority" over any US forces, rather he advises the SecDef on how to use combatant commanders for that role. (…). 2/9
Re the Insurrection Act: Both 2007 & 2008 NDAA changed POTUS's ability to use the act, but many factors rightfully hinder consideration. (See H.R. 4986: National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008". 3/9
Read 9 tweets