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About the Series - War Is My Business

The idea to write about the commonalities and contrasts between military organizations and businesses started when I was discussing the nature of military theory and how it impacted engagements with Realtors and how similar certain business concepts were to military ones. As I examined the methodologies learned from professional military education and private study, and how similar its concepts were to those found in the business world, a bigger picture started to appear. Sure the terminology is different, and their purposes are indeed leagues apart. Still, fundamentally, it always seems to function in similar ways - leadership, training, planning, etc., undeniable threads were linking them all together.

I wanted to dig into why this was the case. I have seen others follow a related path - Sun-Tzu, Miyamoto Musashi, Clausewitz, and Machiavelli being some of the most significant surrogates used for contemporary business and leadership examples. In all these cases, however, they never really got around to saying why it works. Why their actions, writings, and concepts can even be a surrogate for a contemporary business environment. It seemed more like they were identifying potential patterns without verifying if they were grounded in something more concrete - something more scientific.

From this lack of development, War Is My Business started as a means to bridge the two. There is more to military studies than just Sun-Tzu, but if you check Amazon, you may think that that was all there was. You don't see much of other martial leaders and different cultures used as surrogates. Just the same few leaders, rehashing the same concepts. You may see Veterans discuss their service and how it has impacted their business endeavors, but beyond that, this particular subject matter is pretty shallow.

I argue that we can utilize any period of military history from any culture. Any concept, principle, and tenet could be applied to a business if only we could find a fundamental truth. That fundamental truth is grounded in contemporary science - the study of our universe, how life came to be, and how humans and their social norms developed into those principles, concepts, and tenets of which I speak. What I wanted was to be able to harken back to some scientific explanation for the things that we do. Why something that works in one domain can work in another - not just saying that it can work, but scientifically showing that it already does.

As I worked through the scientific section of War Is My Business, I desired to expand my knowledge of business theory, management, and organization so that I could more effectively speak the language of the target audience. Every profession has its lexicon, institutions, and conventions. I know I had difficulty reaching others using military terms, but by understanding how they do understand theirs has allowed me to communicate with them more effectively. For example, talking about the practicality of effects-based operations in business, it has been easier to explain it as a military-form of Lean Six Sigma or something similar. It is easier to discuss new concepts when starting with a shared understanding of a related concept.

It was about this time that I discovered that the Department of Defense was having an issue with an ever-increasing uninformed public on the ways of their military. Senior military leaders were reaching out to all uniformed personnel to attempt to bridge the ever-increasing civil-military divide. They feared that a uniformed public would be unable to effectively identify poor policy decisions and be reducing the bridge our nation would be more effective in its use of the military instrument of national power. It wasn't enough to wait for the civilian population to bridge the gap. They wanted us to reach out to them. War Is My Business, therefore, adopted that mission as its primary objective - bridging the divide.

Once I completed the scientific section, I secured the social media pages, established an assumed business name in the State of Oregon, and ensured that the layout of the website and its parts looked good. I decided to make go live on the 2nd of September 2019. More than two years of laying the foundation for WIMB, it finally came to fruition. I have no intention of ending this as I do love the study of military history and the sciences of this profession and desire to bring elements of it to the masses. Helping to bridge the civil-military divide simply makes an effort ever more important.

About the Author - Colin Marcum

I am Colin Marcum, author of War Is My Business, and here to tell you about myself if you are interested.


  • In 2005, I enlisted in the Oregon National Guard as an infantryman. It was part of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and Army National Guard (ARNG) Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP). I served with the Guard for just about four years before graduating from Oregon State University.

  • In 2009, I graduated from OSU with a Bachelor of Arts in History and received my commission as a Lieutenant in the Field Artillery in the Regular Army. In the first half of 2010, I completed my officer basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma - then went on to serve just short of three years in the Republic of Korea with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team.

  • In 2013, I returned to Fort Sill. While there, I worked with the Field Artillery Captains Career Course (FACCC), the Fires Center of Excellence (FCoE), and then attended FACCC myself. While there, I was promoted to Captain and earned a Master of Arts in Military Studies from American Military University.

  • In 2015, I transferred to Fort Bliss, Texas, where I finished up my Regular Army service with the 1st Armored Division Artillery.

  • In 2018, I separated from the Regular Army and transferred to the Army Reserves where I served with the 5th Armored Brigade at Fort Bliss, TX. I finished my Masters of Arts in Business Administration from American Military University at the end of the year and was conferred in February 2020.

  • In 2020, I transferred to the 2nd Mission Command Training Detachment of the 2nd Brigade, 91st Traning Division in Clackamas, OR where I am currently serving as an Observer, Controller, Trainer (OC/T).
colin marcum, war is my business, military theory, business theory

Photo was taken in 2011 in the Republic of Korea.

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