In defense of our nation’s service academies…

against a surprisingly ill-informed source. For those of you that know me from my Academy days, I think this response will hold a ton of merit. Those of you that know me from my fleet days will appreciate and understand my “retort” even better. I have my own way of doing things, and neither the “Fleet” nor the United States Naval Academy made much of a dent in that mentality. If anything, they provided fertile ground for me to further hone that “talent.” Though I often found myself at odds with either establishment (often at the same time), I firmly respected both of them. I never felt disillusioned at Annapolis, or while on active duty. This came after resigning my commission, as I watched politicians send our nation’s finest young men and women to war in Iraq, and then proceed to bungle the war at great cost to our society…but that’s a different story. Professor Bruce Fleming’s opinion piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education didn’t strike a single chord with me. Maybe that’s not altogether true. Some (few) of his points bore validity to my life as a midshipman, but viewed from an outside context, after years of maturity in

Book Club review of Bob Mayer’s DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY

Duty, Honor, Country is a must read for any historical fiction fan…and not just military historical fiction. This is an epic account of Westpoint’s influence on our early military leaders, from the Mexican-American War to the American Civil War. At it’s heart Mayer tells a compelling story about family, torn apart against the backdrop of two early major American wars. War takes center stage in the story, but the center is supported by rich character development and a well paced narrative.” Bob Mayer’s recent foray into the historical fiction genre is not to be missed. The story starts during the early years of West Point, and follows the military careers and personal lives of several prominent figures who would play pivotal roles during the American Civil War. Mayer richly brings these characters to life, through their experiences at West Point, Mexican-American War exploits… all ultimately leading to a showdown between classmates at the start of the Civil War. The story paints a particularly interesting and stark picture of each characters’ family ties and loyalties,Union and Confederate, which are inevitably challenged as the Civil War escalates. Mayer attention to detail regarding the historical aspects of each setting is impressive, and the