Scholarship Winner Naheed Vadsaria Publishes Book

Tajik Hope: Reflections on Engaging Women in Kapisa Province.
by Naheed Vadsaria

Naheed Vadsaria is currently an MBA Candidate at at Johns Hopkins University. She won the Lint Center’s ‘Lee and Byun International Relations and Cultural Awareness’ Scholarship and wrote about how communication can be a difficult aspect of National Security for her essay submission. She was the Recipient of Non-Article 5 NATO Medal, Superior Civilian Service Award, and French Brigade Ministry of Defense and Veterans Commander Commendation Award. She also Co Authored an article on Brazil’s Silent Resolution: http://www.diplomaticourier.com/brazils-silent-revolution

She published an ebook titled: Tajik Hope: reflections on engaging women in Kapisa province. A short summary can be found below:

The ebook discusses her work and interactions with Tajik Women in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan, while she worked as a Social Scientist with the Department of Army’s Human Terrain System in Afghanistan. As a Social Scientist, she was embedded with French Brigade Task Force Lafayette (TFLF). It was here where she conducted operationally relevant research and analysis on major socio-cultural issues affecting TFLF’s area of operations. She also worked with Provincial Reconstruction Team Kapisa’s ad hoc Female Engagement Teams and Kentucky Agricultural Development Team to identify and collaborate with local Women’s Shura (councils) and key female leaders residing in Nijrab District, Kapisa Province, Afghanistan.

The ebook Tajik Hope includes a series of case studies that can be used to broaden the lens of Coalition Forces’ (CF) perception and widen Western Audiences’ understanding of how women in Afghanistan might be understood and engaged. Although most interviews conducted throughout the case studies were conducted with ethnic Tajik women, this ebook is intended to serve as a sociocultural awareness tool to assist CF in understanding how they can respectfully interact with Afghan women, including key female leaders and Women Shura. The document provides key conclusions drawn from each case study. Throughout these case studies are Holy Qur’anic Surahs and Hadiths, which support Afghan women’s rights in accordance to Islam.

Here is a link to the ebook: http://www.diplomaticourier.com/2016/03/08/tajik-hope-reflections-on-engaging-women-in-kapisa-province-2/

New Operations Manager

It is with great pleasure that we can say that Amber Antony will become the new Operations Manager here at the Lint Center. Congratulations Amber!

Amber began at the Lint Center a little over two years ago as a volunteer/internship application screener and then moved on to screening scholarship applicants and eventually managing all of the scholarship screenings. She was then promoted to the Volunteer Coordinator position and then to HR Manager in 2016. While at the Lint Center she created the Lint Center Scholarship Screening Standard Operating Procedures, oversaw and assisted with the screening of over 100 volunteer applicants which assisted in increasing the size of the Lint Center’s volunteer base. In addition to this, During a contest to name a new scholarship given by a donor, her write up of great grandfather, Ira Dale Smith, Chief Petty Officer, US Navy (Ret.) was selected to have a scholarship named after him.

Thank you Amber for your service to the Lint Center and we appreciate all that you have done. We look forward to seeing you in this new position!

Thanks,
The Lint Center

A Memorial Day Message from The Lint Center

This Memorial Day, the Lint Center honors those American’s who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country. Originally recognized at “Decoration Day,” this commemoration dates back to 1868 where people across the nation recognized the fallen from the Civil War. It’s original date of May 30th was chosen because it was not on the anniversary of any Civil War battle and was later moved to the last Monday of May to provide a three-day weekend for federal employees. Although many of us are fortunate enough to enjoy this long holiday weekend, let us not lose focus on what this day is about. Today is about taking the time to reflect and honor those heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our great nation. We must never forget them or their families.

Yale Doctoral Candidate Recognized with Lint Center Scholarship

Lint Center for National Security Studies Awards Winter 2017 Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. Scholarship

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., a non-profit organization focused on supporting the next generation of America’s National Security professionals through scholarship and mentoring opportunities, today announced the award of the 2017 Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. scholarship.

Torey McMurdo, a Yale doctoral candidate, was awarded the Lint Center’s Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. scholarship for her continued and demonstrated commitment to advancing national security. The Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. scholarship provides $1,000 to recipients pursuing scholastic study in fields related to alliance building, counterintelligence, cultural understanding, and national security studies

“It is a distinct honor to receive the Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. scholarship and the support of the Lint Center,” said Ms. McMurdo. “This scholarship will assist with data collection and interviews for my doctoral dissertation on information warfare, particularly in Europe. Staff Sgt. Eaton spent his youth just a stone’s throw from my current residence in New Haven, CT, so this scholarship resonates especially strongly. I look forward to earning this honor by emulating his standards and character both academically and professionally in the years ahead.”

Ms. McMurdo’s winning essay established a clear understating of cyber-attacks and technological vulnerabilities facing the United States. Her previous experience working with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to advise companies on national security issues resonated with the scholarship committee.

Gold Star mother, Sharon Noble Eaton, said “I had the honor and great pleasure of enjoying luncheon with and presenting my son’s Lint Center for National Security scholarship (in memory of Army SSG Richard S. Eaton) to Torey McMurdo, a native of California, current Ph.D. candidate at Yale University. Her Ph.D. research targets the real-world threats of cybersecurity and cyber conflict.  Torey has and will use her gifts of intellect, integrity, leadership, determination and humanity to make significant contributions in (national security). The world will be a safer place because of people like Torey McMurdo.”

Mrs. Sharon Eaton (right), mother of Army SSG Richard S. Eaton, presenting the Winter 2017 Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. Scholarship to Torey McMurdo (left).

“Torey has all the makings of a good intelligence professional,” said James R. Lint, CEO of the Lint Center. “That is a high bar to achieve and she has a great background that will allow her to grow. The scholarship is named for a great comrade in arms, Rick Eaton, who constantly pushed himself. I believe Torey will follow his lead and remember him whenever faced with a challenge.”

Due to the generosity and continued support of Stratfor, the world’s leading geopolitical intelligence platform (www.stratfor.com), Torey McMurdo will also receive a one-year subscription to Stratfor Worldview which includes industry leading geopolitical analysis, and rigorous forecasting of emerging global developments.

This press release was prepared by Lint Center Volunteer, Elizabeth Monila. 

About Stratfor:

As the world’s leading geopolitical analysis platform, Stratfor brings valuable context to global events, empowering businesses, governments and individuals to more confidently navigate their way through an increasingly complex international environment. By leveraging a deep understanding of history, politics and geography in conjunction with our unique methodology, Stratfor delivers informed perspectives on today’s events and develops a more accurate view of the future. Individual subscriptions and enterprise membership are available at Stratfor.com.

About the Lint Center:

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., founded in 2007, is a non-profit IRS 501 (c) (3) organization awards award merit-based scholarships and mentoring programs for students pursuing careers in national service with a particular focus on counterintelligence, military intelligence, national security and cross-cultural studies. The Center is Veteran and minority operated and managed. It awards scholarships semi-annually in both January and July. For more information, please visit http://www.lintcenter.org/.

MBA Candidate at Johns Hopkins University Receives Lee and Byun International Relations and Cultural Awareness Scholarship

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, a non-profit organization focused on supporting the next generation of America’s National Security professionals through scholarship and mentoring opportunities, today announced the award of the Winter 2017 Lee and Byun International Relations and Cultural Awareness Scholarship.

Naheed Vadsaria, a Technical Trainer/Information Assurance Specialist for Harris Information Technology Systems and MBA candidate at Johns Hopkins University, was awarded the Lint Center’s Lee and Byun International Relations and Cultural Awareness Scholarship for her continued and demonstrated commitment to advancing national security.

“I am truly honored to be the recipient of the Lee and Byun Scholarship International Relations and Cultural Awareness Scholarship,” said Naheed Vadsaria. “I would like to thank the Lint Center for National Security Studies for recognizing the research and analysis work I conducted as a Social Scientist with the Department of Army, Human Terrain Systems in Kapisa, Afghanistan. This scholarship will help me pave my path towards pursuing a career in national security, specifically focusing on Cyber Security. I am looking forward to leveraging the Lint Center’s mentorship program and working with this dynamic organization to obtain the skills necessary to protect our great nation. I also plan to give back, by assisting others who are also pursuing a career in National Security. I am truly humbled.”

“Ms. Vadsaria is a smart government contractor, working in multiple organizations, and changing her career focus,” said Mr. James R. Lint, President and CEO of the Lint Center for National Security Studies. “This makes her a more valuable employee due to her learning new methods in different agencies, and now new talents for further use in Federal Government support.”

The Lint Center’s Lee and Byun International Relations and Cultural Awareness Scholarship provides $500 to students who display a passion, understanding, and appreciation of international relations, cultural awareness and the impact pioneers for positive change can achieve. In her winning essay, Ms. Vadsaria’s used her experience as a Social Scientist while deployed down-range with the U.S. Army to establish a series of recommendations on how the military can improve the quality of its interpreters.

Due to the generosity and continued support of Stratfor, the world’s leading geopolitical intelligence platform (www.stratfor.com), Naheed Vadsaria will also receive a one-year subscription to Stratfor Worldview which includes industry leading geopolitical analysis, and rigorous forecasting of emerging global developments.

About Stratfor:

As the world’s leading geopolitical analysis platform, Stratfor brings valuable context to global events, empowering businesses, governments and individuals to more confidently navigate their way through an increasingly complex international environment. By leveraging a deep understanding of history, politics and geography in conjunction with our unique methodology, Stratfor delivers informed perspectives on today’s events and develops a more accurate view of the future. Individual subscriptions and enterprise membership are available at Stratfor.com.

About the Lint Center:

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., founded in 2007, is a non-profit IRS 501 (c) (3) organization awards award merit-based scholarships and mentoring programs for students pursuing careers in national service with a particular focus on counterintelligence, military intelligence, national security and cross-cultural studies. The Center is Veteran and minority operated and managed. It awards scholarships semi-annually in both January and July. For more information, please visit https://www.lintcenter.org/.

United Airlines Incident Provides Management Case Studies for Business Schools

Published with Permission by:
Lint, James R., “United Airlines Incident Provides Management Case Studies for Business Schools”, Online Career Tips, 14 Apr. 2017, Web, http://onlinecareertips.com/2017/04/united-airlines-management-case-studies/

By James Lint
Faculty Member, School of Business, American Military University
Senior Editor for
 In Cyber Defense and Contributor, In Homeland Security

Last Sunday, security officials dragged paying passenger Dr. David Dao off United Express Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky. As a result of his rough treatment, Dr. Dao was hospitalized. The incident, which passengers filmed on their smartphones, escalated into a public relations scandal for United Airlines.

By Tuesday, United’s stock fell 1.1%. This plunge wiped out $255 million of the airline’s market capitalization.

The market decline amounted to a major pay cut for United’s Chief Executive Officer, Oscar Munoz, based on his stock options and other future payments.

[Related: It’s Time to Improve Passenger Protection Laws for Overbooked Airlines]

United’s Handling of Situation Likely Caused Its Stock Decline

United’s handling of this incident is partially to blame for the stock decline. Munoz failed to promptly acknowledge the injuries Dao suffered and the stress to Dao and his wife caused by this incident.

Munoz also did not offer a sincere apology as a result of this incident at first. Instead, Munoz insisted that the security officers had followed proper United procedures. A few days later, Munoz finally issued a public apology.

In the meantime, Dr. Dao has hired two lawyers to proceed with lawsuits against United.

Solutions to the Practice of ‘Bumping’ on Aircraft

One solution for a company like United would be to offer better incentives. Perhaps the airline could increase the incentive to get off the plane from $1,000 to $2,000. MarketWatch reports “United’s revenues come to about $36 billion a year, or roughly $100 million a day.” Surely, United can afford to sweeten the pot when asking a passenger to take the next flight.

Another suggestion would be not to use law enforcement to remove passengers like Dr. Dao. What charges could officers have pressed? Trespassing would seem like one possibility. But airlines spend a lot of marketing money to fill seats. Telling a passenger that he is going to be removed because he is trespassing seems counterproductive to the goal of filling seats.

Management Lessons to Be Learned from United Airlines’ PR Disaster

While companies never publicly admit to mistakes for fear of lawsuits, Munoz’s initial statement violated a key element of leadership: Leaders take responsibility and fix the problem. Munoz’s numerous contradictory press statements is a case study of what management should not do in a crisis situation or how to make a complete mess of a public relations program. Public relations studies of United’s handling of the affair will go on for years.

Dao’s Treatment Could Also Impact United’s Future Markets in Asia

Dao’s claim that he was targeted for removal because he is Asian could adversely affect United’s business in Asia especially. Many future passengers have probably seen the video of this incident on social media, which could harm any plans United might have for expansion in Asia.

All in all, this was not a proud moment for the United States or for United Airlines.

United Airlines Has Provided an Excellent Management Case Study

As an instructor in the School of Business, I find this incident to be an excellent teaching event for students to discuss and learn from United’s mistakes. As sad as this case is, there are a plethora of lessons to be learned from Dr. Dao’s case, such as how good managers should act and how to properly manage a public relations crisis. These learning experiences are applicable for college freshmen as well as corporate chief executive officers.

About the Author

James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. James has been involved in cyberespionage events from just after the turn of the century in Korea supporting 1st Signal Brigade to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis as the first government cyber intelligence analyst. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, government contracting and civil service.

Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded its 45th scholarship for national security students and professionals. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has also served in the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office after his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba, in addition to numerous CONUS locations. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” a book published in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea,” and a new book in 2017, Secrets to Getting a Federal Government Job.”

Employees with Poor Grammar Affect Your Company Image

Published with Permission by:
Lint, James R., “Employees with Poor Grammar Affect Your Company Image”, Online Career Tips, 31 Mar. 2017, Web, http://onlinecareertips.com/2017/03/employees-grammar-company-image/

By James Lint
Faculty Member, School of Business, American Military University
Senior Editor for
 In Cyber Defense and Contributor, In Homeland Security

I teach a Management 100 class at American Military University called Human Relations. In this class, we talk about some hiring actions and first impressions. In today’s computer-based world, that first impression of a person or company is often online.

Proper grammar shapes that first impression. We would never go to a job interview with our shoes untied. So why would people think poor grammar is not a faux pas, too?

Good Grammar Reveals Company Credibility and Employees’ Learning Capabilities

In my class, I share Kyle Wiens’ Harvard Business Review article, “I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why.”

Wiens is the CEO of iFixit, the world’s largest online repair manual publisher. He is also the founder of Dozuki, which helps companies write their own technical documentation such as paperless work instructions and step-by-step user manuals.

Wiens is a self-described grammar stickler who hires many writers and software code writers. Anyone applying for a job at one of his companies is required to take a grammar test.

“Good grammar is credibility, especially on the Internet. In blog posts, on Facebook, in emails, and on company websites, your words are all you have,” Wiens says. We represent our employers both on and off duty, he explains. When our social media is a grammatical disaster, it also reflects on the company owner who hired you.

Wiens makes an interesting point: If a 20-year-old person applies for a job and does not know how to use proper grammar, that person’s learning curve and capability make him or her a poor candidate for hiring.

Wiens believes everyone should have learned English grammar in 20 years. He will not hire even great programmers who cannot pass the grammar test. From experience, he has found that they will fail on other tasks, even simple tasks like stocking shelves and labeling parts.

A focus on grammar shows a focus on all tasks, he says.

Writing Well Also Makes A Difference in Hiring Success

I published a book this past January on getting a job in the federal government. Like Wiens, I too focused on the need to make a good first impression in an applicant’s resume. Writing well shows your capabilities and your dependability.

Writing is like learning a foreign language. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

About the Author

James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. James has been involved in cyberespionage events from just after the turn of the century in Korea supporting 1st Signal Brigade to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis as the first government cyber intelligence analyst. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, government contracting and civil service.

Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded its 45th scholarship for national security students and professionals. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has also served in the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office after his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba, in addition to numerous CONUS locations. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” a book in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea,and a new book in 2017 Secrets to Getting a Federal Government Job.”

Ralph Van Deman and the Birth of Modern American Military Intelligence

Published with Permission by:
Lori S. Tagg, Command Historian,
US Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, Fort Huachuca, AZ.

When the United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, the US Army’s intelligence efforts were nearly non-existent.  Early attempts to gather information about foreign armies resulted in the creation of a Military Information Division in 1885.  In 1903, the division transferred from the Adjutant General’s Office to the Office of the Chief of Staff, where it became the Second Division of the General Staff.  However, by 1908, the Second Division had been absorbed by the Third (War College) Division, and the Army’s intelligence functions had been relegated to a committee.  Intelligence activities declined over the next several years due to insufficient personnel and appropriations as well as limited interest or understanding of its importance.  By early 1917, “personnel and appropriations were limited, the powers of the committee were narrow and its accomplishments, though valuable, were necessarily meager.  Such was the situation at the time war was declared.”  But change was coming.

In 1915, Major (later Major General) Ralph Van Deman arrived at the War College.  A native of Delaware, Ohio, he had attended both law and medical schools before accepting an infantry commission in 1891.  Over the next two decades, he gained valuable intelligence experience in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and China.  In Manila, Van Deman established an intelligence organization to conduct terrain analysis, mapping, and counterintelligence.  By the time he arrived at the War College, Van Deman was one of few career military intelligence officers in the Army.  He immediately grasped the implications of the United States’ lack of a military intelligence organization and resolved to reverse the situation.

Van Deman wrote numerous memoranda criticizing the ineffectual nature of the War College’s committee.  He stated, “To call a chair a table does not make it a table—it still remains a chair. And to call the personnel of the War College Division a Military Information Committee does not make it one” [emphasis in original].  His appeals for the creation of a competent organization were essentially ignored.  One week after the US declaration of war, Van Deman pled his case to Major General Hugh Scott, the Chief of Staff, who refused to consider the proposal on the grounds that it would only duplicate British and French efforts.

Persisting, Van Deman enlisted the aid of a female novelist and the Washington DC Chief of Police, both friends of Secretary of War Newton Baker.  Either because of or coincident to these outside interventions, Secretary Baker summoned Van Deman to his office on April 30, 1917, to explain the state of US military intelligence.  Just three days later, on May 3, the War College received an order to create an intelligence organization and detail an officer to “take up the work of military intelligence for the Army.”  Van Deman, of course, was the perfect choice to lead the newly established Military Intelligence Section (MIS).

The MIS experienced rapid growth throughout the war.  The Section was divided into a Positive Branch for intelligence collection, attachés, translations, maps and photographs, and training, and a Negative Branch for all counterintelligence functions.  A Code and Ciphers Section within the MIS became the Army’s first organized signals intelligence unit. Finally, Van Deman initiated the first personnel security investigation and identification card systems within the War Department.

By 1918, the renamed Military Intelligence Division had more than 1,400 military and civilian personnel.  At this time, it moved out from under the War College to a spot as one of four equal divisions on the War Department’s General Staff, a position it has maintained to this day.  In addition to equality on the General Staff, other long-standing consequences of the establishment of the MIS were the recognized need for professional intelligence personnel and the preservation of an intelligence effort even in times of peace.

That the World War I period was a watershed in US Army intelligence history cannot be overstated. No single individual did more to advance Army intelligence than Ralph Van Deman.  In 1988, the MI Corps recognized this when it chose him as one of the initial members of the Hall of Fame.  In 1992, it further memorialized him by naming the East Gate in his honor.  Maj. Gen. Ralph Van Deman is recognized as the Father of American Military Intelligence for his role in establishing the first effective, professional intelligence organization within the Army 100 years ago.

NOTE:  Join the US Army Intelligence Center when it rededicates the Van Deman Gate during the Hall of Fame activities, June 23, 2017, at 1430.

 

Ralph Van Deman

Ralph Van Deman

After the war, Ralph Van Deman, shown here as a Colonel, commanded at the regiment, brigade, and division level.  Promoted to Major General in 1929, he retired later that year but continued to consult in Army intelligence matters until his death in 1952.  (US Army photo)

The Ability to Write Well Is An Asset for Any Career

Published with Permission by:
Lint, James R. & Blanton, Doris, “The Ability to Write Well Is An Asset for Any Career”, Online Learning Tips, 7 Mar. 2017, Web, http://onlinelearningtips.com/2017/03/07/write-well-asset-career/

Co-Authored By James Lint
Faculty Member, School of Business, American Military University
Senior Editor for
 In Cyber Defense and Contributor, In Homeland Security

Co-Authored By Doris Blanton
Faculty Director, School of Business, American Public University

Writing for various audiences is a skill that takes practice, practice, practice. But writing must also be adapted to the needs of an organization and its intended audience.

Intelligence and Law Enforcement Writing

Have you ever seen a James Bond movie in which he writes a report or summarizes any mission he’s completed? Of course not. Bond is not in the espionage business to convey information, but to execute actions.

Unlike Bond, intelligence agents and analysts must be able to write about an incident with clarity and conciseness. This type of writing must be quickly understood by national decision makers, who must then act on the information provided in the intelligence documents.

Similarly, law enforcement officials and counterintelligence agents must be able to write clearly about an incident because their documents are used in court. Clarity is especially important when incidents that take place in one country must be reported and translated into the language of another country.

Management Writing

Managers have to write assessments of business performance and personnel actions. As most managers learn, when it comes to employee discipline or termination, a strong written history of the employee’s problems provides a human resources department with written proof of wrongdoing. Without this proof, personnel actions are somewhat limited.

If a manager does not take the time to document each employee incident in writing, incidents of wrongdoing can be dismissed as unimportant or non-existent. For dutiful managers, it is critical that documenting all employee incidents become second nature at all times.

On the flip side of personnel management, managers and supervisors must also think about writing award justifications. They need to acknowledge when employees perform above and beyond the job description.

Managers must make time to make these rewards because they inspire other employees to pursue excellence. Managers who fail to acknowledge the positive performances of their employees might discover their high-performing employees looking elsewhere for employment.

Business Writing

In management and business, staffing actions from one level to another must be through the written word. The action must be conveyed in a manner that gets across a specific point.

Managers should develop good writing skills because communication is a key skillset good managers possess.

There is a school of thought that says the more information that is written down, the better the document. That is, the weight of the document reflects how hard you worked on it.

This philosophy of many words on many pages might be fine for middle-level analysts conducting assessments that need to be clearly conveyed. However, a gigantic document with many pages is not useful for an executive-level manager who has 20 other projects to read and respond to in the same day.

Senior leadership needs concise, well-written executive summaries. These summaries must be to the point, reflecting a well-designed synopsis that quickly transmits information. Well-written executive summaries save time, especially in situations with minimal turn-around time for action.

Writing for Internal Job Openings

Suppose there is an opening in your department and there are two equally qualified candidates. But one applicant has a history of writing for various publications within the industry or as a representative of his employer.

The applicant with the greater writing experience will often win the job because she already has displayed a capability to write clearly and concisely and can prove it with her published work.

Employers often seek candidates who are excellent communicators by asking them about their education. A university degree suggests that a candidate has already earned some proficiency as a good writer. In addition, college is a great place to improve your writing without company leaders seeing your mistakes.

Potential Employees Should Have a Writing Track Record

In addition to a degree, job candidates are often asked about any writing projects they have successfully completed or examples of their writing. In this era of the Internet, employers will often do a search to find any writing you have posted. Finding some of your work online can be a decisive factor when the employer chooses which candidate to hire. Although we all believe we can write and clearly express our intentions, we often get bogged down trying to assess and contribute to various daily reports. The biggest asset an employee can possess is the ability to accurately proofread while also respecting an audience or a reader.

Employers tend to subconsciously evaluate an employee’s worth by how the employee writes emails, report analyses or executive summaries. Sadly, many employees are not given the tools to improve their writing for a variety of reasons:

  1. An employer might expect employees to be proficient writers without actually contributing to their writing development.
  2. Some employees might never have received effective or appropriate critiques regarding their writing abilities. They are left to presume that their written documents are fine as submitted because their employers are too busy with other issues.
  3. Employees often are involved in job-related tasks, leaving little time to focus on writing, proofreading and editing skills. Many employers and employees are pressured by job-related deadlines, which further minimizes their time to perfect their writing abilities.

Why Is Writing So Important?

There are people who debunk the notion that writing well is important. They think writing comes naturally and that readers will automatically understand what’s on the printed page.

That is not true. If you cannot express yourself clearly, your reader will not understand you. Writing well is fundamentally important to every career.

Good writing could even get you a pay increase. Your employer will want to know the whys and what-fors in your request. Your case will be stronger if you provide clearly written documentation why you deserve a raise. Writing accurately and concisely – and including specific, logical examples of why you merit the increase – will support your request for a pay raise.

To improve your writing skills, consider contributing to your company’s magazine or newsletter. It’s an opportunity to practice your writing and demonstrate your commitment to your organization.

Finally, writing to communicate to outside stakeholders further highlights to your colleagues that you can clearly express your organization’s position in the marketplace. This practice also will gain external exposure for you and your career.

Places to Publish Your Writing

There are many opportunities for publishing your writing. If you regularly read specific publications, contact the editors of those publications. Send query emails or letters about the possibility of becoming a contributor.

University alumni organizations have publications and often turn to alumni for input. This might be an easy place to start your professional writing.

Similarly, veterans have many outlets for writing, such as RallyPoint, American Legion Magazine, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the Association of the US Army Magazine. Each branch of military service has organizations that publish and share ideas. All of these publications provide upwardly moving people with an opportunity to publish their writing.

There are also venues for self-publishing, which have no editors to review and correct your work. Many self-publishing services have controversial content which is often used to gain attention for an author. Some services seek content that encourages search engine optimization (SEO) and clicks from readers to show how many readers visit the site. The biggest and most respectable sites are WordPress, Blogger and Medium.

Being Ready To Write

Writing well can make you a leader within your organization, a critical thinker, an employee worth further development and an overall asset to the company’s bottom line. Isn’t this the type of person you’re striving to be?

About the Authors

James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. James has been involved in cyberespionage events from just after the turn of the century in South Korea, supporting 1st Signal Brigade to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis as the first government cyber intelligence analyst. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, government contracting and civil service.

Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded its 43rd scholarship for national security students and professionals. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has also served in the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office after his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba, in addition to numerous CONUS locations. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” a book in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea,” and a new book in 2017 Secrets to Getting a Federal Government Job.

Dr. Doris Blanton is a faculty director and full-time professor in the School of Business at American Public University. Her research focuses on the retention of adjunct faculty, examining their experience of the online and on-ground adjunct life. Doris mentors her peers, students and professionals through job transitioning and in personal development, highlighting writing, proofreading and editing strategies.

In addition to Dr. Blanton’s professional responsibilities, she has contributed to the creation of various intervention strategies focused on the retention and persistence of new college students, specifically those with zero to 24 credits. She is active with the Roots Church and volunteers with various local non-profits, Volunteers of America and the Snohomish Historical Society. Doris also participates in local back-to-school functions, providing free haircuts, backpacks and school supplies.