Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

The names of our times

Even though I no longer report on day-to-day military activities (I spent Wednesday reading Matthew Ridgway’s correspondence with Joe Collins in early 1951, as Ridgway took command in the Korean War, and I found it fascinating), I still read every KIA report issued by the Pentagon. Also, thanks to the December issue of the Marine ...

U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos
U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos
U.S. Department of Defense Current Photos

Even though I no longer report on day-to-day military activities (I spent Wednesday reading Matthew Ridgway's correspondence with Joe Collins in early 1951, as Ridgway took command in the Korean War, and I found it fascinating), I still read every KIA report issued by the Pentagon.

Also, thanks to the December issue of the Marine Corps Gazette, I also make sure to review a list of recent all Marine awards for valor. (I'd like to see this in Army magazine too.) Checking over the Marine commendations list, I saw as usual all the Jasons and Jordans, the Matthews, the Shanes and the Seths, but also was struck by these two names:

Capt. Akil Bacchus (3/6 2nd MarDiv)

Even though I no longer report on day-to-day military activities (I spent Wednesday reading Matthew Ridgway’s correspondence with Joe Collins in early 1951, as Ridgway took command in the Korean War, and I found it fascinating), I still read every KIA report issued by the Pentagon.

Also, thanks to the December issue of the Marine Corps Gazette, I also make sure to review a list of recent all Marine awards for valor. (I’d like to see this in Army magazine too.) Checking over the Marine commendations list, I saw as usual all the Jasons and Jordans, the Matthews, the Shanes and the Seths, but also was struck by these two names:

Capt. Akil Bacchus (3/6 2nd MarDiv)

Sgt. Jose Saenz IVIV (1/11 1st MarDiv) (To be accurate, that is the way it was listed, but I am pretty sure it is a Word-created typo for “IV”)

Congratulations, and thanks, to both gentlemen — and to all the others on that list.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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