Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Prodigal Soldiers

  1. #1
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,636

    Prodigal Soldiers

    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  2. #2
    Global Moderator
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional
    Albany Rifles's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Apr 07
    Location
    Prince George, VA
    Posts
    8,955
    Must be nice to be in academia and have all of this time to read while your cadets are beavering away on their assignments!!!
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

  3. #3
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,636
    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Must be nice to be in academia and have all of this time to read while your cadets are beavering away on their assignments!!!
    I typically read in spurts with 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there. Over breaks I get to tear through books depending on what the family is doing. For example, I read four books over the Thanksgiving Break and Prodigal Soldiers will be book #4 since then. Christmas was spent watching sick kids, driving to the in-laws, etc., and so I didn't get to read much at all.

    As you probably know from teaching as an adjunct, you probably spend 3-4 times the amount of time on a lesson as does a student. Reading the assignment, coming up with a game plan on how to present it, looking for additional material/resources to try and make the subject come alive, etc. Throw in office hours, additional duties, and what appears to be a cozy schedule is actually full-time work. I'm not complaining, as there are definitely less enjoyable jobs out there.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  4. #4
    Global Moderator
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional
    Albany Rifles's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Apr 07
    Location
    Prince George, VA
    Posts
    8,955
    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    I typically read in spurts with 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there. Over breaks I get to tear through books depending on what the family is doing. For example, I read four books over the Thanksgiving Break and Prodigal Soldiers will be book #4 since then. Christmas was spent watching sick kids, driving to the in-laws, etc., and so I didn't get to read much at all.

    As you probably know from teaching as an adjunct, you probably spend 3-4 times the amount of time on a lesson as does a student. Reading the assignment, coming up with a game plan on how to present it, looking for additional material/resources to try and make the subject come alive, etc. Throw in office hours, additional duties, and what appears to be a cozy schedule is actually full-time work. I'm not complaining, as there are definitely less enjoyable jobs out there.
    I agree totally. One of my best buddies is a business professor at a small liberal arts college just north of Richmond. He now has all of his classes on Tue & Thu. I kid him about having a part time job...he just snears at me!

    I understand the reading in spurts. I am currently reading Lee's Endangered Left about Sigel and Hunter in the Shenandoah - 1864 to get ready for a tour next month. I stepped down a Scoutmaster but have become the District Eagle Scout Coordinator, a Unit Commissioner, and Vice Chair of District Committee...this voluntyeer stuff is just killing my time.

    I find most of my reading gets done after 9 PM with a ball game on!

    BTW, let me know how you like the book
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

  5. #5
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
    Join Date
    12 May 05
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA.
    Posts
    14,728
    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    I typically read in spurts with 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there. Over breaks I get to tear through books depending on what the family is doing. For example, I read four books over the Thanksgiving Break and Prodigal Soldiers will be book #4 since then. Christmas was spent watching sick kids, driving to the in-laws, etc., and so I didn't get to read much at all.

    As you probably know from teaching as an adjunct, you probably spend 3-4 times the amount of time on a lesson as does a student. Reading the assignment, coming up with a game plan on how to present it, looking for additional material/resources to try and make the subject come alive, etc. Throw in office hours, additional duties, and what appears to be a cozy schedule is actually full-time work. I'm not complaining, as there are definitely less enjoyable jobs out there.
    Agreed Sir, If I did not have 30-60 mins a day of reading the results would be absolutely maddening. Thank god for good books and a few minutes to spare daily.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

  6. #6
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,636
    I'm about halfway through right now, and having read Colin Powell's and Schwartzkopf's autobiographies, a lot of the material is very familiar. One thing that has been fascinating to read about is the high rate of fatalities within the USAF during their training missions during the Cold War.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  7. #7
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,636
    I finished the book last night. It does a good job in telling the story of the Vietnam era generation of officers that rose to command in ODS as well as the story of their mentors that commanded the Army through the 1970s and put into place the systems that came to fruition in ODS. Having read Powell's and Schwartzkopf's book before, I don't think that I gleaned a whole lot of new information or insights, so if someone has already read either of those books, I wouldn't make this book a must read recommendation.

    I'll try to write up my review tomorrow.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  8. #8
    Military Professional BadKharma's Avatar
    Join Date
    18 Jan 08
    Location
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
    Posts
    1,018
    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    One thing that has been fascinating to read about is the high rate of fatalities within the USAF during their training missions during the Cold War.
    What were the causes of the fatalities? Was it intensive training leading to risks being taken in order to more accurately tune training to actual combat?

  9. #9

    Military Professional
    Military Professional S2's Avatar
    Join Date
    11 Sep 06
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    10,829

    Into the Storm: A Study In Command

    Clancy's later stuff has held little fascination and much disappointment for me. This departure, however, into semi auto-biographical work (I know that he did something similar with Chuck Horner) was, for me, particularly revealing along the lines of Shek's offer here.

    Franks' own post-Vietnam experience impressively mirrored the Army's own re-birth. That he was a combat-arms officer and an astute student of battle added credibility to insights regarding the renovation and expansion of the Army's education and training base during the twenty years between 1971-1991.

    I felt that Franks largely portrayed the angst existing between Schwartzkopf and himself appropriately when describing events leading up to ODS. He was balanced and not particularly pre-occupied with the surrounding debate, it seemed.

    A very introspective and intellectual commander. Sorta reminds me of Hermann Hoth a bit. Easy to underestimate in a beguiling, grand-fatherly type of way.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  10. #10
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,636
    Quote Originally Posted by BadKharma View Post
    What were the causes of the fatalities? Was it intensive training leading to risks being taken in order to more accurately tune training to actual combat?
    The impression I got was that pre-Vietnam, there was a strong element of hot dogging that went hand-in-hand with the mindset of a fighter pilot, i.e., a live hard, live fast mentality. Post-Vietnam, they set up the Red Flag exercises at Nellis AFB, and there were initially some commanders and pilots who performed extended maneuvers that would to a degree force Bluefor pilots into dangerous maneuvers that had a higher risk of a fatality. My impression was that it wasn't due to the initial maneuver that would give the initiative to the aggressor pilot, but that the aggressor pilots would continue to press the Bluefor pilot when it didn't really contribute to the learning. The learning was in how to avoid getting into the situation, not in seeing how long you could last until the "official" kill.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  11. #11
    Global Moderator
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional
    Albany Rifles's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Apr 07
    Location
    Prince George, VA
    Posts
    8,955
    I think also som eof it may have changed with the change in tactics. The advent of SAMs forced pilots down on the deck...where the Earth-aircraft interface chances greatly increased!

    I can remember inthe early 1980s when the Air Force and Army were brushing up AirLand Battle doctrine. It was almost a daily occurence to see 2 F-16s scream across the landscape at abouit 200 feet practicing what was called Battlefield Area Interdiction....sort of an H&I fires at 500 mph. And you would also see Jaguars, Phantoms and F104s() doing the same thing. This may have also caused some of the casualties as well.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Operation Medusa: The Battle For Panjwai
    By troung in forum Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 14 Nov 07,, 19:34
  2. Basra Two Zero: An SAS veteran views the Iraq war from the soldiers' point of view
    By Blackleaf in forum The Middle East and North Africa
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05 Nov 07,, 19:12
  3. A Soldier's Story
    By Shek in forum The Middle East and North Africa
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 22 May 07,, 22:00
  4. Gates of Fire
    By Shek in forum The Middle East and North Africa
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 26 Aug 05,, 16:40
  5. Some perspective on the Humvee Controversy from Soldiers
    By Leader in forum Europe and Russia
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 13 Dec 04,, 00:25

Share this thread with friends:

Share this thread with friends:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •