The Art of Swag

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The word “swag” has multiple meanings. In the sense that I am going to discuss in this post, swag concerns the way a person carries themselves. I know urban dictionary is no realistic source, but they define “swag” as “appearance ,style ,or the way he or she presents them selves.”e I believe swag goes a long way in business…those marketers with swag generally exude an overwhelming amount of confidence, without having to say very much.

I bring this up because I feel people in the military often think that “swag” has to do with appearance, and because we wear a uniform we don’t have an opportunity to display our swag. Instead, I feel that it is challenging to find your swag in uniform and when it is successful, it immediately gives a first impression. Swag is not just about what you look like, but how you present and carry yourself. The greater confidence you have, especially in the many socially awkward settings that the military ends up putting you in, the more likely you are to convince your counterparts that you are the best (or maybe you really aren’t but are convincing enough to make others think that you are…great example of swag).

Most soldiers in the military display negative swag, a kind of confidence that shows cockiness and arrogance. In this sense, I feel having a ton of swag works to your disadvantage. One of the greatest downfalls of a new platoon leader is arrogance and cockiness, especially if you lack the technical and tactical skill to back up your arrogant swag. Many officers think that coming in with a big stick, puffing their chest out to show everyone who is boss (ie: arrogant swag) it will make them more successful. This sort of swag definitely works to your disadvantage.

I bring this topic up because we have had multiple new Lieutenants arrive to my unit in the past couple of months and I have yet to see one who has the proper swag. Either they are too timid and nervous, or display the arrogant swag that I spoke of earlier making them immune to correction if you will. I’ve never entered a job in the military thinking I knew it all, because I quickly learned that I didn’t. Instead, I exuded confidence and pumped learned from the experience that I was surrounded with. I feel a lot of young officers can’t find their “swag niche” and end up acting too cocky, forcing those they lead to lose respect for them. Instead, they need to take a step back and analyze what they say, how they appear, and their daily actions.

GIRLS IN GREEN…find your swag.


Today’s Workout 9 July 2013

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Was introduced to a new website ….here was today’s workout!!


3x: 250m Row, 5x pullup, 5x snatch pushpress, 5x overhead squat (65lbs)


20 min AMRAP

5x Handstand pushups, 7x chest to bar pullups, 10x Barbell squat snatch (no weight)



4x: 6 backsquats (135), 12 squat jumps, 25m weighted plate carry (45lbs)



Tabata Row  20 sec on, 10 sec rest for 1000 m

3x: 15 Vsits, 10 good mornings


3x: 50 crunches, 25 in/outs, 25 toe touch, 1 min plank


I know the athlete who sacrificed his time to do this with me will probably read this…thank you for pushing me! 


GET IT! Girls in Green…



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I did this one with a partner, who kicked my ass to say the least…sometimes you need someone to push you…

Run 30 minutes


Back squat 3×5

Front squat 3×4

Overhead squat 3×3


Gymnastics Strength

4x (10 Handstand Pushups+15 sec hold)

4x 10 dips



2 rounds for time

100 single jump rope

25 overhead squats

25 pullups

1000m row



Our Achilles’ Heel…

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Finally getting a few good posts in. Though it hasn’t been too crazy around here, we are trying to get into the weeds of work in a completely different environment and it is always a little frustrating. I am still trying to find time to read inspiring books, just like Knowing Your Own Value by Mika Brezezinski.

I have written a post or two about likability vs. success with women before. After my last post, I felt revisiting this topic was completely necessary. Mika puts its simply: “The double bind is this: in order to be a competent leader you need to be assertive- but if you’re a woman, you’re judged harshly for displaying the traits that make you an effective leader.” One of my personality traits is to be very open and sociable. I try hard to make strong connections with my coworkers because it builds a better work environment and also extends your social network as a leader. Unfortunately, being “nice and sociable” can also bite a woman in the ass, as with my last post. Specifically in the Army, it seems that if you are spending time with a person of the opposite gender, regardless of the reality of the situation, you are scrutinized. I enjoy eating lunch with people other than the females that work around me, and I refuse to give into the norm of eating in my “female circle” on a daily basis, especially since majority of my peers and my executive officer network is composed of men….oh wait, they are actually all guys.

Now, here comes the bind, if I speak my mind and say that this “perception” hurts the culture of our unit, I am immediately ostracized. Though I am sure most of us have been in a situation quite like I was in where the perception is not reality with a male coworker, I doubt that those of us that are still in leadership positions have actually said something about it. Joy Behar, one of the personalities on the television show The View says “I’m a big mouth, but i’m not demanding and I don’t say I have to get special privileges or anything like that…you want people to feel that you’re a team player.” But being a team player doesn’t necessarily make you a great leader…everyone knows and talks bad about the “bitch” in your company or unit…and don’t say you don’t have one, or maybe she really isn’t a bitch and you have just marginalized her that way, she may not be a team player, but she gets what she wants. Behar goes on to say that these “bitches” ” don’t really give a f**k that you think they’re a bitch. You and I, we don’t like to be thought of as bitches…if you don’t care that people think you’re a bitch, you can run the networks and the country.” These same women don’t accept the criticism, and say something about it, whether or not they would be ridiculed. When perceptions are mistaken for reality it can destroy a business culture, or at least harbor a lot of resentment. Though I too hate being thought of as a bitch, sometimes it’s necessary to be assertive and bring pertinent issues to light.

But how do you bring light to an issue without being too hard? Because of course, then you seem “over emotional.” I have also been characterized as “emotional” myself. Sheila Bair the chair of the FDIC and voted by Forbes magazine as one of the most powerful women in the world, says “emotionalism doesn’t work…don’t ever get emotional. Sometimes that’s hard. You get so frustrated and you care deeply…I’m really talking more about anger; for me it was more anger. When you’re angry it hurts your ability to think straight. If you start to get angry, the adrenaline starts pumping in you.” When addressing an issue you need to think through your argument first, calm yourself down and then tackle the beast. This is one shortcoming I have tried to internalize, instead of jumping the gun on every issue that the Company has, I try to take a step back, evaluate, tone down my anger and then address it.

Girls in green…don’t be afraid to bring an issue to the table…you may turn into the bitch, but if you control your argument, you will be heard…

Perception is Everything….NOT

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Yesterday while eating dinner with one of my fellow Executive Officers, he mentioned something to me that really struck a nerve. This week, his Commander told him that he needed to be careful about hanging out with me and eating lunch because of “what people will think,” specifically because I am a single female and he is a married man. I was shocked…honestly shocked…I have had derision come in my direction but never have I been accused of possibly putting off the impression that because I am socializing with someone that I am interested in them. I have never made any suggestion to any male in my battalion that I was interested in them other than working next to them in a military environment. Apparently this comment stemmed from the Battalion, the command group, not just his Commander.

Ladies, however much you try to be yourself and still put up a shield to the criticism and the perceptions you will never be exempt from the derision. However much you try not to act like Barbie, or Butch, your ass is still on the chopping block. You could be one of the best performers, never have an infraction in your unit, never have a relationship with anyone in your unit and yet still you will be looked at as a potential issue.

I went as far as to joke that I should cage myself in my office, maybe that will make it more obvious that I don’t have interest in anyone, but my Commander reminded me that taking a step back is not what to do. Instead, prove them wrong and keep going about your business. Never give in to the derision or act like you are privy to it, if you are doing the right thing, keep doing the right thing. She made sure to point out that if she and I ate every meal together, we would just be called lesbians. Therefore, there is no happy medium.

Your coworkers will always talk, the only way to protect yourself is to do the right thing, be yourself and prove them wrong. Never give up and keep reminding yourself that there are some things, unfortunately that will never change…the fact that you have boobs and a bun in your hair will always make you different than the guys whether or not you like it. You can not change who you are, and you can not change how people think or their perceptions all you can do is know in your heart that you are practicing patience and always setting the standard.

Girls in Green…don’t get discouraged…people will talk, and perception is NOT everything…

Workouts of the LAST TWO Days! 23 and 24 June 2013

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23 June 2013

1500m row

squat snatch 2×4/2×3/3×1
power clean and jerk 3×4/ 2×3
back squat 5/3/2

Gymnastics Strength
4 x (5 chin-ups+5 pullups)
4x (10 HSPU +15s handstand hold)

50 double unders
10 burpees
15 wall balls

24 June 2013

100m row

Olympic strength
back squat 4×3 @ 90%
front squat 3×5 @ 70%

Gymnastics Strength
4x (10 ring pushups+10 ring flys)
4x 3 strict pullups


30 KBS
10 burpees
20 power cleans
15 burpees
20 box jumps
15 burpees
30 KBS


Workout of the Day 21 June 2013

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A semi- smoker…probably didn’t help that I had a cigar and a few near beers last night!

1000m row

Olympic Lift
power cleans 5 @ 65lbs, 4 @ 85 lbs, 3×3 @ 115 lbs
back squat 4×3 @ 135 lbs

Gymnastics Strength
6x (10 ring dips + 15 sec hold)
4x (5 toes to bar+ 10 tuck crunch)

METCON for time
10 pushpress (65lbs)
20 wall balls (14 lb ball)
8 push press
20 wall ball
6 push press
20 wall ball
4 push press

10 min row for pace 1:45 for 400 m

work it out GIRLS IN GREEN!

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