1.  Pitch yourself right. Editor Lindy Kyzer with advice for those difficult-to-translate backgrounds: “A military career in the infantry, field artillery, armor or S-3 may not have a direct civilian equivalent. And while GI Bill benefits are there to help bridge the skills gap, college isn’t for everyone. . . . Don’t get caught up writing a resume or searching for a position that’s a direct parallel to your military work – it probably doesn’t exist. And don’t label your resume ‘Transitioning EOD Specialist looking for job.’”

2.  Defense Industry’s Top 5 Draws. Here, Editor Lindy Kyzer outlines the best reasons to work in the Defense Industry, and they’re good ones: “Surrounded by negativity, you may be asking yourself, ‘why did I sign up for this, anyway?’ If the private sector is suddenly looking more alluring and you’re considering fleeing your government digs for a spin in the commercial sector, take heart. You DO have an important job, and there are great things about working in the defense industry.”

3.  No degree – 6 figures. Also from editor Lindy Kyzer with some good news for experienced Vets just not ready for college.


1.  The Philippines – we cannot get there fast enough. Reuters Andrew R.C. Marshall and Manuel Mogato report from Tacloban, “A U.S. aircraft carrier set sail for the Philippines on Tuesday to accelerate relief efforts after a typhoon killed an estimated 10,000 people in one coastal city alone, with fears the toll could rise sharply as rescuers reach more isolated towns. The nuclear-powered USS George Washington, carrying about 5,000 sailors and more than 80 aircraft, was joined by four other U.S. Navy ships and should arrive in two to three days, the Pentagon said . . . .” AP reports, “2 Planes; 3,000 people.”  Finally, a roll-up of relief from around the globe.

2.  Nasiruddin Haqqani killed in Pakistan. LongWarJournal.Org’s Bill Roggio reports, “Nasiruddin Haqqani, a senior leader and financier in the al Qaeda-linked Taliban subgroup known as the Haqqani Network, is reported to have been killed during a clash in Pakistan last night. Numerous Pakistani news outlets have reported that Nasiruddin was killed in a shooting on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. Gunmen on motorcycles killed Nasiruddin as he and two others were driving in a car outside Islamabad, The News reported. Some Pakistani intelligence officials are claiming, however, that he was killed ‘in a clash in an Afghan area close to Pakistan,’ Dawn reported.  Khaama.Com differs in report of the location of Nasiruddin’s death: “According to reports, unknown gunmen have shot dead a senior Haqqani Network leader, Nasiruddin Haqqani in Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad. Nasiruddin Haqqani, son of Haqqani Network’s top leader, Jalaluddin Haqqani was shot dead near his house in Islamabad late Sunday night, an Afghan intelligence official speaking on the condition of anonymity said.”

3.  Blame game on Iran. Geneva failed, this time, but before we get back to it, blame gets passed around. Aljzaeera.Com reports, “Iran and the United States have blamed each other for the failure to reach an agreement on a deal to limit Iran’s uranium enrichment in exchange for an easing of Western sanctions in talks in Geneva. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday criticised US Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks that blamed Iran for lack of the deal and said that the American’s ‘conflicting statements’ damaged confidence in the process.”

4.  President supports and honors Vets.  American Forces Press Service’s Donna Miles reports, “Speaking to hundreds of veterans from every U.S. campaign, including audience member 107-year-old World War II veteran Richard Overton, Obama said this commitment is particularly important as forces in Afghanistan return home from the nation’s longest war.”


1.  The Badger that just won’t die. DefenseMediaNetwork.Com’s Steven Hoarn explains, “Designed in response to a U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Request for Proposals (RfP) for a vehicle capable of being carried internally in a Bell Boeing CV-22 Osprey, that was awarded to General Dynamics, Boeing developed the Phantom Badger. Despite not being selected, Boeing has remained committed to the program, even though a potential client remains unclear at this point. . . . Looking like a mini-me version of a Humvee, the Phantom Badger packs an impressive array of capabilities in such a small frame. The Phantom Badger followed the directives of the RfP, which In addition to having the ability to be carried in a CV-22, sought among other things a vehicle that is capable of carrying two passengers in addition to the driver, include an installable weapon station mount that can be fired within a minute of offloading, be able to carry three to six casualty litters, and include a winch and mount.”

2.  Pentagon sidling away from Blackberry. NextGov.Com’s Aliya Sternstein reports, “The Defense Department, owner of 470,000 BlackBerrys, is distancing itself from the struggling vendor while moving ahead with construction of a department wide app store and a system for securing all mobile devices, including the latest iPhones, iPads, and Samsung smartphones and tablets. Just two months ago, when BlackBerry announced the company would radically curtail commercial sales, Pentagon officials said their business partnership remained unaffected.”


1.  The miracle drone flies, swims, hops. Wired.Com’s Allen McDuffee reports, “The future of military drones isn’t surveillance and dropping bombs. It’s transformation: a single unmanned vehicle that can fly, swim, drive, and even hop like a frog across a variety of terrains and obstacles. Conceived by the Intelligent Systems, Robotics and Cybernetics unit at Sandia National Laboratories, the ‘Multi-Modal Vehicle Concept’ would travel land, sea, and air by transforming itself to accommodate different terrains. Its wings become fins as it dives into water, or underwater paddles that shed casings to reveal wheels as it moves toward land — wheels with the ability to jump 30 feet into the air. An entire campaign could be conducted by a remote operator or, more likely, semi-autonomously.”

2.  Gitmo diary – leaked to Aljazeera. Also from Wired.Com, Allen McDuffee explains, “The secret diaries of the Guantanamo Bay detainee known as Abu Zubaydah, which the Bush administration heavily relied upon in its justification for many elements of the ‘War on Terror,’ are no longer solely in government custody.  Al Jazeera America has obtained the U.S. government’s English translation of the diaries that span more than a decade from Abu Zubaydah’s time as a student to just days before his capture in March 2002 in Pakistan. Al Jazeera says it will publish reports and the six volumes of the diaries over the course of multiple installments, the first of which is available today.”  Read Part 1 here.

3.  Christmas scams – Ho, Ho, Ho.  Time reports, “The holiday deals are already rolling out with early Black Friday specials on Amazon, holiday circulars leaking online and big-name retailers offering incentives to buy directly from their sites to get a jump on your gift list. But along with the amazing Internet deals come the scammers with new and inventive ways to trick you into handing over your credit-card number and personal information.”

potomac two-step

1.  Holiday’s over, let’s get back to it: “While the House spotlights the flawed health care law rollout this week, Senate lawmakers are set to clash over confirming two new judges, with Democrats threatening Republicans with a major change that would weaken the filibuster if the GOP votes them down. And while the Senate Democratic majority has refused to take up legislation altering the new health care law in the wake of a significantly flawed roll out, Republicans who run the House will pass their own bill to tweak the law, and likely with Democratic support. . . . The Senate fireworks could start as early as Tuesday, when the Congress returns from Veterans Day to vote on two nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.”

3.  Elizabeth Warren – put on your dancing shoes: “It’s hard to look at the Democratic Party these days and not feel as if all the energy is behind Warren. Before she was even elected, her fund-raising e-mails would net the party more cash than any Democrat’s besides Obama or Hillary Clinton. According to the Times, Warren’s recent speech at the annual League of Conservation Voters banquet drew the largest crowd in 15 years.”


1.  A prediction on the Muslim Bro’hood. Aljazeera.Com’s Daniela Pioppi argues, “The MB is not a stranger to serious waves of repression, and history has already proven the capability of this political, but also, or maybe mainly, socio-religious movement, to survive dire times. For the time being, and notwithstanding the current, almost unprecedented crackdown, the MB remains the main organised political actor in the country as the continuing unrest, in spite of repression, demonstrates.”

2.  Syrian women – the missing linkTime’s Leila Hilal argues, “Anyone who claims there’s no way out in Syria hasn’t met someone like Farah Nasif, who spent this spring in Washington as a fellow at the New America Foundation’s Middle East task force. The enterprising 27-year-old stringer for Western news outlets and a Damascus University graduate who hails from Deir ez-Zor (an agricultural and petroleum hub in eastern Syria), Nasif is representative of all that remains hopeful about Syria’s future.”

3.  “Risky Business – Talking to the Taliban.” Reuters contributor Paula Newberg argues, “Sharif is right to seek a civic solution to a problem that the security establishment and previous governments helped to create but cannot solve. To place violence above politics, however, by opening talks without preconditions, is to admit defeat before beginning to fight a long, difficult political battle. Powerlessness can only diminish in the face of principled politics — and for that to happen, Sharif needs, finally, to honor the campaign promises he made to Pakistanis that he would stop terror in its tracks.


1.  Philippines disaster.

2.  Reaching out.

3.  Send help.

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Ed Ledford enjoys the most challenging, complex, and high stakes communications requirements. His portfolio includes everything from policy and strategy to poetry. A native of Asheville, N.C., and retired Army Aviator, Ed’s currently writing speeches in D.C. and working other writing projects from his office in Rockville, MD. He loves baseball and enjoys hiking, camping, and exploring anything. Follow Ed on Twitter @ECLedford.