Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

How to recruit for the Army at Yale?

So many questions today, little grasshoppers. I felt sorry for the two officers in this photo sent over to peddle the Army’s wares at Yale. Check out that defensive body language. I don’t think trinkets for the natives is the way to go. Little voice: OK, smart guy, how would YOU pitch the Army at ...

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

So many questions today, little grasshoppers.

I felt sorry for the two officers in this photo sent over to peddle the Army’s wares at Yale. Check out that defensive body language. I don’t think trinkets for the natives is the way to go.

Little voice: OK, smart guy, how would YOU pitch the Army at Yale?

I would spread out on a big table two displays. On the left side would be a bunch of books by Army officers-say, H.R. McMaster’s Dereliction of Duty, John Nagl’s Eating Soup with a Knife, Andrew Krepinevich’s The Army and Vietnam, Peter Mansoor’s Baghdad at Sunrise, Andrew Exum’s This Man’s Army, and Burgyone and Marckwadt’s The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa, and so on. On the right would be a display of Army gear, the full battle rattle of helmet, flak jacket, weapons, and so on. I’d have a sign: “Think you can you handle both? If so, talk to us.” And maybe a follow-up question: “Wanna be part of the defining event of your generation?” There are lots of students at Yale who would be intrigued by that intellectual, physical and moral challenges.

Or: “Hey, Ivy Leaguers, wanna really freak out your parents? Join the Army!” Now that would be audacious.

(HT to Voodoo94)

So many questions today, little grasshoppers.

I felt sorry for the two officers in this photo sent over to peddle the Army’s wares at Yale. Check out that defensive body language. I don’t think trinkets for the natives is the way to go.

Little voice: OK, smart guy, how would YOU pitch the Army at Yale?

I would spread out on a big table two displays. On the left side would be a bunch of books by Army officers-say, H.R. McMaster’s Dereliction of Duty, John Nagl’s Eating Soup with a Knife, Andrew Krepinevich’s The Army and Vietnam, Peter Mansoor’s Baghdad at Sunrise, Andrew Exum’s This Man’s Army, and Burgyone and Marckwadt’s The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa, and so on. On the right would be a display of Army gear, the full battle rattle of helmet, flak jacket, weapons, and so on. I’d have a sign: “Think you can you handle both? If so, talk to us.” And maybe a follow-up question: “Wanna be part of the defining event of your generation?” There are lots of students at Yale who would be intrigued by that intellectual, physical and moral challenges.

Or: “Hey, Ivy Leaguers, wanna really freak out your parents? Join the Army!” Now that would be audacious.

(HT to Voodoo94)

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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