Not sure if I shall bother reading this new biography of George Marshall, but here is a review of it in the New Republic. Concluding paragraph says a lot about George Marshall the man: For a military man, Marshall’s heroism was peculiar. It did not arise from his conduct on the battlefield. It arose from his modesty, including “a modest daily schedule that often ended at three or four o’clock in the afternoon” and his avoidance “of lucrative corporate board memberships so commonly available to retired high military officers in our more avaricious times.” Most importantly, Marshall’s modesty flowed from […]
SMA Chandler practicing what he preaches…
Any time something about race in the military comes up I amped up. This most recent article about the Army wanting to make the military and really the officer-corps more cosmopolitan gets my dander up. Why Slater, why would you say that? Well, when they first hit the nail “they,” and whoever “they” are is the enemy, talk about the percentage of black officers within the Army. The truth is, you can’t force an all-volunteer force into being something unless you make racial quotas and deny folks that are qualified for folks that are unqualified. That’s how you get things […]
Falleth not upon the Soldier, or Marine, or Sailor, or Airman. But on the people who sent him to that beach without water. Here‘s an interesting article by Sebastian Junger who has spent much of his journalistic career embedded among Soldiers to tell their story. The Soldier. . .is a tool. When you hammer a nail as you build a bed frame, what take responsibility for it? The hammer? I would say no. It must be the person hammering the nail. To that effect, the Soldier is a tool, he should not bear the majority of the pain or blame […]
Not sure I understand this one, but then again I could be missing something. If there are no ground formations to be commanded and controlled, why a division HQ? Or is is just a convenient sourcing solution for an ad-hoc commend element? If the latter, is an infantry division HQ the right choice?
Immortalized by Ryan’s great book, A Bridge Too Far, it happened seventy years ago this week: …Montgomery developed Operation Market-Garden. A two stage operation, the plan called for troops from Lieutenant General Lewis Brereton’s First Allied Airborne Army to land and capture key bridges in the Netherlands. While these troops held the bridges, Lieutenant General Brian Horrock’s XXX Corps would advance up Highway 69 to relieve Brereton’s men. If successful, Allied forces would be over the Rhine in a position to attack the Ruhr, while avoiding the Westwall by working around its northern end. For the airborne component, Market, Major […]
When I was studying in France back in 2009 one of the many unique opportunities I had was to attend the Collogue Guerre Irreguliere/Irregular Warfare Conference at Camp Coetquidan. And one of the things a British General said was that NATO knew Afghanistan would be a 20 year war. That it would take an entire generation to fight and rebuild that country. The reason I bring this up, one of our categories here on OPFOR is The Long War. I’ve had this sneaking suspicion that my generation’s war never ended. That this irregular enemy, the non-state actor, would continue to […]
As the junior member of the group I haven’t really reflected on this today. 11 September 2001, I was in the seventh grade. 12 years old, mom almost kept us home, but the college decided they were going to push and she dropped us off at school. I honestly don’t know if she got much work done that day. As much as my teachers may have wanted it to remain normal, they exacerbated the issue by not playing the news for us that day. We’d all watched the beginning with the towers smoking, I didn’t see either collapse until that […]
Re the upcoming Army RIFs, Parker Longbaugh tossed this over the transom. Not being a member of the US Army, I have no business commenting so I’ll levy the expertise of our three (3) Army brethren plus all of you in commenter land. Thanks for serving your country, Major. Now hit the bricks. Have at it!
While I generally find William Lind a horse rear end, he nevertheless is capable at times of great insight, his comment on the Officer Corps I think hits the nail on the head particularly in the Army. At Boyd’s next level, the mental, our officers are not professionals. They are merely craftsman. They have learned what they do on a monkey-see, monkey-do basis and know no more. What defines a professional—historically there were only three professions, law, medicine, and theology—is that he has read, studied, and knows the literature of his field. The vast majority of our officers read no […]