- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Actually he is writing about the crew of a 19th century seal-hunting ship, but it is pretty similar: "They are a company of celibates, grinding harshly against one another and growing daily more calloused from the grinding." (From The Sea-Wolf)
It reminds me that somewhere, I think in War and Peace, which I read while covering boring U.S. peacekeeping ops in Haiti, Tolstoy describes an infantry unit in wartime as being like the crew of a ship-moving through the world, but still constantly seeing the same familiar faces.