Okay, so can we all admit that as military officers, we’re actually just another category of gigantic nerds? I mean, military society itself can basically be broken down as a cosplaying socialist death cult, but that’s another story. Suffice it to say, the officer corps contains its own special levels of nerdiness.
This is to say that it didn’t take the recent Duffel Blog article by the fantastic Blondes Over Baghdad to get us making the connection between commissioning sources and being sorted into houses at Hogwarts in the world of Harry Potter. Most of us have probably thought about it at one time or another, whether or not we’d admit it to each other. Yes, we may be a cosplaying socialist death cult but we’re a well-read cosplaying socialist death cult.
So, the big question lies in the allegiance of the service academies. Quite obviously, most of West Point is composed of Slytherins – they’re all about those Dark Arts like skyrocketing through the promotion system based on nothing more than an overblown pedigree – and even though the Air Force skews Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff, a fair number of Slytherins have managed to infiltrate the Air Force Academy. Annapolis as well is a hotbed of Slytherin activity; although the weird shirtless pole-climbing activity is totally a bro’d out Gryffindor thing to do. Another sign that they’re all basically Slytherin? The academy rings, which are, well, not too far off from Death Eater arm markings. Hey, I just gotta call it like I see it.
Oh, and then there’s the Coast Guard Academy and various Merchant Marine Academies which fly so far under the radar that they a weird combination of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, disguised as Muggles. Literally no one knows that they’re there unless they mention it and even when they do you’re kind of taken aback.
Next come the Wannabes: Norwich, VMI, the Citadel, and Texas A&M. Norwich is kinda like Durmstrang in that it’s in the land of ice and snow where the only entertainment is drinking – when it’s authorized – but they’re basically a bunch of stuck-up nerds. So, Ravenclaw. VMI and the Citadel are one-third Slytherin – because academies –, one-third Gryffindor, and one-third Ravenclaw. Texas A&M is half Gryffindor because of how excited they are about literally everything ROTC and one half Slytherin, because Texas.
Next there are the junior military colleges, which are basically a bunch of Muggles and Squibs pretending to be wizards and witches, but which have the capacity to produce some. They never really get sorted.
Officer Candidate School/Officer Training School are pretty much the Gryffindors of the bunch, since they’re mostly super high-speed NCOs becoming officers. They still actually believe in the military, since they’re willing to give it this much of a chance to commit to a career change. While they’re super successful they can also be a serious pain because of how motivated they are. No one likes that much dedication and bravery that early in the morning.
Direct commissions are totally all Slytherins. There is nothing more Slytherin than finding a way to subvert the entire system and commission right off the bat. Plus, they’re mostly doctors, lawyers, and chaplains – aka the Slytherins of real life.
Lastly, the Reserve Officer Training Corps, or, as I like to call them, the ones who opted for a normal college experience but with some PT, some learning, and minimal brainwashing. They’re obviously Hufflepuffs, since the Hufflepuff motto is “We’ll take the rest.” Which is basically all of ROTC. Sure, ROTC has some heroes like Tonks and Cedric Diggory, but most are pretty laid back and unassuming – just like Hufflepuffs.
In the end, these commissioning sources spit out thousands of new second lieutenants and ensigns, who will go forward to shape the lives of millions of service members over their careers. Eventually, a handful of them will rise to the very top of the Armed Services. So let’s take a look at the Houses of those at the top. We’ve got Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joe Dunford, who is a Hufflepuff. Vice Chairman of the JCS is General Paul Selva, a Slytherin from the USAF Academy. General Robert Neller is a Gryffindor from USMC OCS. Admiral John Richardson is a Slytherin from the US Naval Academy. General David Goldfein is a Slytherin as well, graduating from the USAF Academy. General Mark Milley is a Hufflepuff from Princeton ROTC. And General Joseph Lengyel of the National Guard Bureau is also a Hufflepuff from North Texas State University ROTC. What we’ve got are Hufflepuffs and Slytherins vying for power, an unforeseen circumstance for sure. It would make for an exciting new chapter in the Harry Potter series.
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About the Author: Angry Staff Officer is an Army engineer officer who is adrift in a sea of doctrine and staff operations and uses writing as a means to retain his sanity. He also collaborates on a podcast with Adin Dobkin entitled War Stories, which examines key moments in the history of warfare. Support this blog’s Patreon here.
Cover photo: The Sorting Hat aka Human Resources Command (Warner Brothers).