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Accidental Soldier. A Reserve Officer at West Point in the by Richard B. Schwartz

By Richard B. Schwartz

Accidental Soldier depicts Richard B. Schwartz's army stories, first as an ROTC cadet on the college of Notre Dame and at last as a military veteran instructing in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1959, Vietnam used to be little greater than a observe on a map; inside ten years, americans observed the Tet Offensive and their campuses in flames. Schwartz was once on the flooring zeroes of that point, educating on the usa army Academy from 1967-69 after which going to the collage of Wisconsin, Madison, simply after the Dow riots and sooner than the bombing of Sterling corridor. The vital part of the ebook focuses upon Schwartz's adventure at West element, its cadets, officer corps and procedure of schooling. A sequel to his award-winning memoir, the largest urban in America,Accidental Soldier displays upon his army and educational adventure in the course of the standpoint of an over forty-year educating profession, twenty-nine of which have been spent as a dean at Wisconsin, Georgetown and the collage of Missouri, Columbia.

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Additional info for Accidental Soldier. A Reserve Officer at West Point in the Vietnam Era

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The prevailing assumption was that there was a good likelihood that you would serve in the military but little likelihood that you would serve in combat. The second reason for doing so was that the students who elected to enroll in ROTC were exempted from the university Physical Education requirement. Better (we reasoned) to march in uniform than run through campus in loosely-organized groups wearing short pants. The jogging fad—often associated with Jim Fixx’s book on running (1977)—did not begin until many years later.

Whether a soldier is learning to field-strip a rifle at Ft. Benning, Georgia, Ft. Lewis, Washington, or Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, it is the same rifle and the same technique. Uniformity is insured for both logistical and personnel reasons. e. audio-visual aids), on which more later. The instruction can also be wooden because the military (all military, as far as I can see), believe that the art of war is reducible to a set of common principles. Success is achieved by implementing those common principles with uncommon skill and determination, but their inculcation is straightforward and simple.

None of these individuals have, to my knowledge, written at length about their personal experiences there, though Robert Moore coauthored an analytical volume with Joseph Ellis which focused on the history, curriculum and traditions of the Academy (School for Soldiers: West Point and the Profession of Arms [New York: Oxford, 1974]). (For an incisive, current assessment, see Elizabeth D. Samet, Soldier’s Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point [New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007].

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