Archive for category Blogs

Cool Stuff: Matthew VanDyke, An American Freedom Fighter

Now this guy is interesting. He is famous for going to Libya and fighting for the rebels there. He was also captured, then released after 5 1/2 months as a POW, and then went back to the front lines to fight again.

He also enlisted in the National Liberation Army and was assigned the position of being the the DShK gunner. Although he claims to have not accepted any payment for his service, his experiences will definitely have value when he writes a book and does a documentary about it all. Hell, even a movie would not be out of the question. Call it the Hemingway method of war volunteerism–which turned out to be quite profitable for ‘papa’ in later years.

Which brings up the next deal about Matt. He has a website complete with Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube accounts. So he is going full bore on promotions of his work and future work. Not only that, but he has started a blog complete with free email subscription.

Now the question you are probably wondering is if he plans on going to Syria to fight?  I know he follows the situation there and has hinted about going back to the middle east, but I have not heard anything about him going there specifically. But you never know?

The other cool little tidbit is that he stopped in at Tim’s guest house in Afghanistan during his motorcycle trip. I wish him well and he definitely gets the Feral Jundi award for best pro-bono security contractor last year. lol –Matt

Website for Matthew VanDyke here.


The DShK Gunner!!


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Cool Stuff: SOFREP, A Website ‘Organized For Victory’ And Authored By Spec Ops Veterans

This is a great resource and I highly recommend checking out this site. SOFREP is a website authored by some fantastic writers who are all veterans of the special operations community. If you follow Feral Jundi on facebook, or are a reader of such sites as Kit Up, you will recognize a few of them. Definitely check them out if you are interested in this aspect of military operations and like them on FB if you are active there. Also, if you have an RSS reader, here is their feed. –Matt


Brandon Webb, Executive Media Director
Jack Murphy, USASOC Editor
Bill Janson, MARSOC Editor
Glen Doherty, NSWC Editor
Laura Simonian, Media Coordinator
Contributing Editors – Fire Support
Clinton Emerson
Sean Nack
Steve Speirs
Mike Ritland
SOFREP.COM (Special Operations Forces Report) is the number one site for authentic, accurate, and timely information related to the US and Allied Special Operations Community. In addition to daily reports and edgy media content, we offer an in-depth Special Operations “Wiki”.  We have taken content from all of the US SOCOM component commands and customized it in a way that is easy to understand and navigate.
What Makes us Unique?
Typical news and media sites provide perspective about the Special Operations Forces (SOF) community and have no Special Operations background or understanding of our community.  This lack of understanding leads to fundamental errors in reporting on SOF current events .  Until now…..
A Unified Team of Operators
For the first time a group of former US SOCOM Operators have united as one team.  We represent all branches of Special Operations; Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC), Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC), and US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC).  Our Editors are ALL former Special Operations personnel with combat experience; they are responsible for managing their respective branch content and keeping the cultural integrity and authenticity intact.  What does this mean to you? It means that you are getting SOF news and information straight from the experts.
This is where interested individuals go to learn about all branches of the Special Operations community.  Want to learn about Air Force Special Operations? Go to AFSOC.  Want to compare Army SOF to Navy SOF? Go into USASOC or NSWC to get personal perspective and decide what community best suits your interests. What is Marine Corps Special Operations about? Click Marsoc. Concerned parent? Send us a Comms Check and ask a real operator that’s been there done that.
Look for exciting short series shows like our very own Inside The Team Room and Behind the Brand. These shows are directed and produced in house. Inside The Team Room will launch in April so stay tuned.
War Room
The War Room is the place to go for unique and legitimate content about Special Operations history and current events.
If you are a Special Operations enthusiast, future Special Operations candidate, or just a veteran just looking to re-connect, you finally have one simple resource to turn to for legitimate perspective.  The Team and I welcome you to the site and appreciate your participation and contribution as a SOFREP Team member.
Brandon Webb (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Class 215)

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Blogs: To Be Or To Do, By J. Scott Shipman

Thanks to zenpundit for posting this. Scott has put together a great little blog and website related to all things Boyd. And you gotta love the title!  So definitely put this on your RSS reader if you are interested in following this stuff and I will put the site on my blog roll. –Matt


Welcome to the To Be or To Do Website and Blog!
January 25, 2012
This website and much of my work was inspired by John Boyd’s professional life-example, his “to be or to do” challenge, and his thoughts on teamwork. However I have included principles that do not apply to Boyd and drawn conclusions that Boyd may well have disagreed with. As I’ve told friends and colleagues, I have taken Boyd’s scaffold, or outline, if you will, and introduced my ideas and experiences. This is the substance of my forthcoming book, To Be or To Do and of my service to clients.
The core of the To Be or To Do material is based on five attributes that exemplified John Boyd’s professional life, plus two. The core Boydian attributes, or principles, are:
No doubt, others could find other laudable attributes, but these principles seemed to define the man for me. The two “extras” are:
By most accounts Boyd was not a particularly humble man, nor optimistic, however I’ve included because I’ve seen the power of these two attributes up close. My late grandfather, Robert F. Shipman, was the most humble man I’ve ever known, and I’m pretty sure he’d be disappointed if I didn’t include humility as an essential principle by which to live. My late mother-in-law, Janet Turney Mulvaney, PhD, succumbed to breast cancer after an eight-year battle. She attributed part of her longevity to “optimism” and impressed upon me that optimism was a key part of a life well lived. On both counts, I agree.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Cool Stuff: Feral Jundi Reaches A Key Milestone–One Million Page Views!

Yep, you heard that correctly. One million page views! This is great milestone for the blog, and I couldn’t have done it without such a fantastic readership.  It also shows how important a brand is, and having the right architecture to support that brand.

I would have to say that the most important lesson learned is focusing in on really good content. Then use the blog’s RSS, Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin to get it out there so people know the post exists. That is extremely important these days, just because there is a ton of information for the user to access these days, and the reader’s time and attention can be difficult to capture. This blog definitely competes with the media in this regard, but I am grabbing market share or readership.

The future is only looking on the up and up for the blog. I recently did some work to improve upon the mobile version of FJ, and I expect that to pay big dividends. My theory with this is that everyone is carrying smart phones these days, and it is very easy for someone to pull out their device during the little breaks in their life and check out what is going on at the blog. Standing in the line at the supermarket, sitting down at a doctor’s office, taking a break at work, etc., all of these are the times when folks look for something to keep them occupied or are just curious about what is going on in the industry.

What is also interesting is that more and more contractors and soldiers are using these devices out there.  As long as they have access to a wifi point, they can surf the web and check out their favorite spots online. So it is a pleasure and an honor to provide a place for this industry to hang out at and stay informed.

As to the chart below, the one spike downward was when I had to switch to a new theme and upgrade the platform. But as soon as everything was up and running again, the blog did just fine. It was kind of hectic though, and it was the equivalent to doing brain surgery–or so it seemed. lol –Matt


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Blogs: DynCorp Starts A Blog And A Youtube Channel!

Very cool and it is about time. Although I do have a few misgivings about the blog itself, and this is stuff that can easily be fixed. First, there needs to be an RSS feed for the thing. I continue to see companies make this mistake, and it is just a simple little deal that makes a blog more useful. Guys like myself hunt for RSS feeds to put into our readers, and if you don’t have one then we just kind of forget about your site.

Some other ideas is to have a moderated comments section. If you check out my comments section on this blog, you will see that folks have the choice of entering a name and email, or signing in using Twitter or Facebook. This is the way to go, just because the easier it is for readers to sign in, the easier it will be for them to interact on the site. I use Intense Debate, but there are others out there.

Which is the other thing that kind of strikes me here. Who is the author?  Is it Ashley Burke, the media relations person or who? So definitely sign off on who wrote the posts, and most of all, get that individual to interact with the readership. Especially if the CEO writes a post. Blogs are great tools for interacting with your readership. And the best thing with moderated comments, is that you can filter out those who have no interest in having a reasonable conversation or who are spammers.

Some technical issues would be to have a more complete site map at the footer, and have clear links going to the DynCorp corporate page, and clear links going to the blog.  So really make it easy for the reader to know where they are at, and give them a map and clear signage as to where to go throughout your websites. An archives is important to, and put a search box on there so folks can search through your posts. Also, I did not see any tags, and that isn’t cool. All of this stuff is important to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and if DI wants to own the story about the ‘their’ company, then they need to do the things necessary that pleases Google Search.

Which along those lines, DI should also set up an official Twitter and Facebook Page. Even a Linkedin Page would be cool, although they might already have that. Either way, get hooked up on all the top social networking sites, and then link all of them together so that every time you make a post on the blog, the post automatically goes to those sites. Google Search really likes that kind of stuff, and it will help in SEO. You would really be top notch if you linked your jobs to all of those sites, and put a RSS feed on your career section.  That way, as soon as new jobs come up, folks can find out about them and jump on it. (US Training Center has an excellent jobs section, that has all of the important information and tools that job seekers like) Oh, and don’t forget about a newsletter or some kind of subscription service.  Those are very easy to set up using stuff like Feedburner or whatever.

Just some ideas, and it’s a step in the right direction guys. It is also a challenge to the other PSC’s and PMC’s in this industry. If DI has a blog, where is your blog? –Matt


About Inside DI
June 10, 2011
Learn more about the people of DynCorp International, our most recent company news, key contract wins, the causes we support and other fun facts.
Link to blog here.

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Blogs: One Hired Gun

A big hat tip to James over at DVM for this one. This is a very experienced British security contractor and is good people. Most of all, he is one of the few that is writing about the maritime security industry from an insider’s point of view. Check it out and definitely put him on your RSS reader. –Matt

Edit: 06/02/2011– Hey folks, it looks like this blog went private. 

The author on assignment.

One Hired Gun

private militaries, jihadis and pirates
“Mercenaries”, “Guns for Hire”, “Soldiers of Fortune”, “Dogs of War”. Private forces and the people who work for them are part of the second oldest profession in the world.
This is a blog about the modern-day mercenary business, from Private Security Companies (PSCs) to Private Military Companies (PMCs) and everything else in between.
The author is a British security consultant who has spent the last eight years plying his trade in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now in anti-piracy, facing off Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. This is the view from the coal face, warts and all, anything relating to the business is covered – news, views and reviews.
Comments are always welcome
Link to blog here.

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