Who was Alpo K. Marttinen?

Introduction Alpo Kullervo Marttinen (04 November 1908 to 20 December 1975) was a Finnish-American colonel. Background During World War II he served in the Finnish Army. Following the war he immigrated to the United States and served as an officer in the United States Army, retiring as a colonel. Marttinen was one of the key… Read More


What is an Iron Eagle?

In US military slang, an Iron Eagle is a military officer who has attained the rank of Colonel (OF-5) but will not be promoted to the rank of General (OF-6 to OF-9). The term refers to the rank insignia a colonel wears, which resembles an eagle. Reasons for Becoming an Iron Eagle There are several… Read More

Living Monuments…

“And remember that an honest leader leaves numerous living monuments in the form of leaders he has helped to develop and guide, who in part at least, reflect the guidance and man management to which they have been exposed.” Colonel J.A. Dextraze (1919 to 1993) Jacques Alfred Dextraze CC, CMM, CBE, DSO & Bar, KStJ,… Read More

Keeping Up Morale…

“Message: ‘German attack east of St. Eloi. PPCLI relief postponed.’ … That extra sentence seemed a lot to men who had not slept for five days and there was some cursing in the darkness. Colonel Farquhar, following his usual custom of considering the front line as healthy as a village lane, appeared at the back… Read More

British Army Colonel Commandant Appointments

What is a Colonel Commandant? Colonel commandant is a military title used in the armed forces of some English-speaking countries. The title, not a substantive military rank, could denote a senior colonel with authority over fellow colonels. Today, the holder often has an honorary role outside the executive military structure, such as advocacy for the… Read More

Practical Application…

“Leadership is the practical application of character.” Colonel R. Meinertzhagen, CBE, DSO (1878 to 1967), Army Diary, 1899‐1926, 1960 Richard Meinertzhagen was a British soldier, intelligence officer, and ornithologist. He had a decorated military career spanning Africa, where he was credited with creating and executing the infamous Haversack Ruse. While early biographies lionised Meinertzhagen as… Read More

A Swell Racket: Three Districts vs Three Continents!

“During those years (1909-1916), I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.” Colonel John R.… Read More