In an American Cemetery in France: Thoughts on Memorial Day

A gentle breeze slipped past the gravestones near me, rustling the slim folds of the American flag overhead, tapping the fasteners against the pole in a metallic rhythm. Aside from our low voices, the soft sounds of insects and birds, and the occasional passing car, it was the only sound to be heard. We were …

“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 …

Guest Post: Hashtags are not Enough

There’s an interchange on I-185, right outside of Fort Benning. It’s a big, glorious waste of taxpayer money, featuring statues of eagles and Old Bill and Iron Mike, embodiments of Armor/Cavalry and the Infantry, respectively. Big fountains that must be hell to maintain in the soul-sucking Georgia summers. And twenty American flags; ten on each …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Tommy and the Road to Stanley: A Bedtime Story of the Falklands Conflict

By Dan Kim Author’s note: This is the second in a series of conflicts adapted into a children’s bedtime story, aided and abetted by both Angry Staff Officer and Toby Dickinson.  Toby, I can’t thank you enough.  I apologise in advance to any member of two particular regiments who may take offence to my portrayal; with …

A Leadership Vacuum: “The Last Jedi” and Mission Failure

SPOILERS AHEAD. Most determine the great struggle in Star Wars to be that between the Light and Dark sides of the Force. But from a military perspective it has always been between a highly regimented Empire and a loosely organized Rebel force. And even within these communities there have been contentions as to how best …

What is Worth Fighting For?

It's a simple sentence. Deceptively simple. And yet, it's one that people resist answering or get awkward if it gets brought up. What is worth fighting for? And further, what is worth dying for? Home? Family? Religion? Way of life? Economic pursuits? Safety and security? How about this one: what is worth killing for? Yes, …