Be the Weight Behind The Spear

The debut book by Dr. Josh McConkey

Available now online at & Barnes & Noble

America is as divided-generationally and politically-as it has ever been. But the strength of America has always been its people. Our teachers, families, coaches, mentors, and volunteers have the opportunity to shape America's future.


Be the Weight Behind the Spear is a call to action for all Americans to engage in their communities in whatever capacity they are able. Whether volunteering, mentoring, teaching, or serving their community in other ways, they are providing the foundation and building blocks that develop our future leaders and heroes!

About the Author:

Dr. (Colonel) Josh McConkey is the proud father of three little Americans. His biggest mission in life is to help shape these children into the future leaders of America with the help of his wife, Elsa. Together, they reside in Apex, North Carolina. They are part of a very tight knit family with both Cuban and Irish heritage. The wonderful aromas that emanate through their house from cooking time-honored, secret Cuban family recipes brings a warmth, love, and security that only tradition can bring. Dr. McConkey has worked clinically as an Emergency Physician for over 20 years. He served in academics as a professor at Duke University from 2013-2014 and as adjunct faculty until 2018. He is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine with the American Board of Emergency Medicine and Fellowship Boarded in Emergency Medical Services (EMS), a subspecialty encompassing subject matter expertise in Disaster Response Medicine, National Incident Management Systems, National Response Framework, and National Disaster Medical Systems. Dr. McConkey has also had the distinct pleasure of consulting on international health policy and development, once meeting with New Zealand's Prime Minister, Helen Clark. He attended the National Security Course at National Defense University, College of International Security Affairs, Fort Lesley J. McNair, in 2017 where his policy discussions with members of Congress encouraged him to put his unique experiences to use in developing healthcare policy. Dr. McConkey currently serves as the commander of the 459th Aeromedical Staging Squadron at Andrews AFB and he served on the Air Force Association Council developing legislative and policy recommendations addressing quality of life, equipment modernization, and military construction issues that affect the Air Force Reserve.

Be the Weight Behind the Spear outlines the leadership ethos of Dr. (Colonel) Josh “Blackjack” McConkey. With 20 years of working in the trenches of America's emergency rooms and with 22 years of military service, Dr. McConkey combines lessons of leadership and poignant examples of how we can move Americans forward. From the battlefields of Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom to the death and destruction right here at home caused by the opioid crisis, Be the Weight Behind the Spear encourages a national dialogue on the importance of motivating all Americans to be the weight behind the spears of America's heroes and focus on developing our youth into the future heroes and leaders America needs.


McConkey divides his book into four parts: How to Be the Weight, How to NOT Be the Weight, Experiences That Shaped My Weight, and My Weight. In the first part, McConkey highlights the foundations of leadership drawn from experiences in combat, his childhood, and his time as a commander. In the second part, he highlights how attributes of selfishness and greed rot America’s core principles and that foundation. In the third part, he offers anecdotal stories of his experiences as an emergency physician around the world that illustrate what makes America unique as the shining beacon of freedom in the world. In the fourth part, McConkey describes how near-death experiences and his family have been the weight that shaped him as a leader and why it drives him to keep fighting for our American values.


Be the Weight Behind the Spear is a call to action. America is as divided- generationally and politically- as it has ever been. But the strength of America has always been its people. Our teachers, families, coaches, mentors, and volunteers have the opportunity to shape America's future. America is always at its best when we are faced with a challenge, but only if we are prepared to meet that challenge. Our national security and our future depend on it.

Josh McConkey is a member of the United States Air Force Reserves.  Use of his military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the United States Air Force Reserves, Department of the Air Force, or the Department of Defense.  All factual military information and photographs are provided in conjunction with other non-military biographical data.