Army Branch Songs: Where Did They Come From?

Just recently, the National Guard Bureau (NGB) released the news that it now had its own official song! Now, this was not something that the Soldiers and Airmen of the National Guard had ever asked for, or even desired, but like most things coming out of NGB, we got it anyways. And, like most things …

The Perils of Command

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything on here. And for that, I blame command, which sucks away all the years of your life. It’s basically “The Machine” from Princess Bride, just with more soldiers with DUIs. However, the topic of command is fascinating in and of itself. Especially when one examines the span of …

We Were There Too: the US Army at Belleau Wood

Two days before the beginning of the Meuse-Argonne Campaign – the largest and bloodiest battle in American history – the New York Times ran a letter from an Army infantry officer who was then serving in France: The troops that took Vaux   An advertising agency is a good thing at times, but when 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 …

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. …

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, …

The Ghost of Black Jack Pershing: the US Army and the Centennial of WWI

It’s the 100th anniversary of the U.S. participation in World War I, as many of you know. The Department of Defense has tapped the Army to lead the way for the whole organization when it comes to centennial activities and planning, because - let’s face it - it was an Army run show. Yes, the …

Guest Post: a Current Officer’s Thoughts on Robert E. Lee

By Butters' Bars In the aftermath of the abhorrent racism and bigotry put on display in Charlottesville, Virginia three weeks ago, it is easy to lose sight of the root cause of this violent outburst. The question at the center of Charlottesville is whether or not General Robert E. Lee, most famous for his role …

Guest Post: Celebrating the Army’s Positive Past

With racial tensions growing since the events in Charlottesville, the debate of the U.S. military's continued use of Confederate names has been brought back in the limelight. The Chief of Staff of the Army General Mark Milley tweeted out “ The Army doesn’t tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks.”  https://twitter.com/ArmyChiefStaff/status/897742317897093121 However, there still …

The History of the Military Knife Hand

  There are many iconic images in U.S. military history: Washington crossing the Delaware, the surrender at Appomattox, troops landing on Omaha Beach, to name a few. But few paintings or photographs have managed to capture one of the most significant weapons in the U.S. arsenal: the knife hand. Able to cleave the air with a …