Warfighter: Battle of Endor

“He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.” - Sun Tzu In war, timing and will are two of the intangibles that are hard to train for. A battle can be all but won when suddenly the unforeseen takes place: Jackson arrives at Antietam; Sheridan rides back to Cedar Creek; the …

“What About Second Breakfast?” How “The Lord of the Rings” Mirrors Army Culture

By Jay Kirell One of the biggest misconceptions about the Army is that everyone in it is a hardened warrior. In reality most soldiers are more lapdog than sheepdog. They like their time off, relaxing, watching movies, playing games, finding forms of entertainment to escape into whatever fantasy world they find a connection with. For …

What Makes Us Forget Wars?

When someone mentions the "forgotten war" in the United States, they are usually referring to either the Korean War or World War I. Of all our large conflicts, these two seem to slip through the sieve of our collective national memory and fall into obscurity. Of our "big" wars, the Civil War and World War …

Army Hair Throughout the Ages

It was Ben Franklin who wrote, "He who neglects his hair neglects his country." Well, all right, he never did say that but he would've had he thought of it, because Ben understood the importance of a well put together coiffe of hair. The military has undergone some variations on its way of thinking about …

Thoughts While Reading World War I Rosters

Over the past few months, I've been spending a lot of time reading over World War I rosters, both unit and casualty reports. As I was going over them, I began to wonder how someone like me in the future would read my name on some roster. And then this just sort of happened. Pages …

Guest Post: The Growing Emptiness of Service

By David Dixon I began my commitment to the service of the United States in 1999, when I showed up at West Point as a fresh-faced new cadet, deeply conservative, religious, and full of a desire to be a patriot and to serve my country.  In the almost twenty years between then and now, much …

7 Characteristics of Highly Successful Non-Commissioned Officers

As an Army officer, I tend to spend a lot of time talking about, well, talking about officer things. And no, that does not mean discussing polo, the price of cufflinks, sipping brandy, and thinking of ways to make our NCOs lives harder, as some circles might believe. Although the brandy thing isn’t too far …

A Murky Heritage: the U.S. Army, the Civil War, and Memory

"I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones; So let it be with Caesar." - Julius Caesar Memory is an odd thing. It affects not only people, but whole societies and cultures. Take the memory of the U.S. …

Gin: the Military Spirit

You know, there’s nothing quite like a cold gin and tonic on a hot summer’s day - where you can see the condensation slowly build up on the exterior of the glass and smell the tang of lime garnish mixing with the scent of mown lawns and neighborhood barbecues. Or, if you’re like me, there’s …