Armistice and After: The Legacy of the WWI Generation in the U.S.

"This is the great reward of service, to live, far out and on, in the life of others." - Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain I came upon this quote about four years ago - near the 100th anniversary of Chamberlain's death - and right around the time that France, Germany, the UK (and the Commonwealth Countries) were …

Reading List for the U.S. in World War I

As we move through the centenary of the U.S. experience in World War I, I've had several people ask me for book recommendations on the topic. Which is tough, because when someone generally asks me for recommendations my head goes blank and I mutter something about "Good Omens" (seriously, phenomenal book, nothing to do with …

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 …

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 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 …

A Soldier and His Dog: Review of “Sgt Stubby: An American Hero”

As some of you know, I don’t really do movie reviews on this site. But this spring I have had to break my own rule because of the animated film that combines two of my favorite things: dogs and the First World War. I am speaking of the movie “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero.” For …

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 …

World War I Stands as a Lesson Against a “Bloody Nose” Strike on North Korea

How do you solve a problem like North Korea? This is the song that Pentagon planners have been singing for decades now. We’re told that there are plans to use a limited strike on a North Korean target that would send a message to the dictator that the U.S. isn’t playing around. A strike that …

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 …

ASO’s Summer Reading List

Summer means many things: vacation, lazy days by the beach, cook-outs, and the smell of freshly mowed lawns. Or it means yet another NTC rotation, another deployment, a PCS move, or other less-fun Army experiences. Whether you're burying your toes in the sand on the beach or trying to get the sand out of your …