We're not lost, Sergeant, We're in … France


2018-2019 Military Classics Seminar Schedule

I’d fallen off on my attendance at the Military Classics Seminar, but if you’re a historian or military history aficionado, you should be attending these. They’ve changed the location of the meetings to the Athena Pallas Greek Restaurant (located at 556 22nd Street, South, Arlington, VA 22202) but the concept remains the same.

Each month, we gather to have a few drinks, enjoy dinner and hear someone give an oral review of a military history book. Some are classics, but some are more modern. Of course, the grandest benefit of attending is meeting your peers. There are military historians from every branch, authors of all kinds, retired military officers and interested amateurs like myself. Some of the greatest benefit to the meetings is the discussion between the attendees throughout the evening. It wanders across all periods of history, including sometimes dealing with personal experiences, and across all kinds of topics.

The dinners cost $35 and there’s a book raffle (I always put in an extra $5 and come away with a book a few times a year). We gather at 5:30pm for a social hour, followed by dinner at 6:30pm and the presentation at 7:30pm. There is some parking in the restaurant’s lot and some along neighboring streets.

Make your reservation no later than the Wednesday prior to the meeting by replying Eric Joyce at this e-mail address militaryclassics@gmail.com or to Bob Goldich by phone at (703) 359-1074. Pay for the meal with check or cash ($35) at the entrance to the meeting room. Those who make a reservation and do not show are still obligated for the cost of the dinner.

September 25, 2018 (one week delay because of Yom Kippur)

Parker, Geoffrey. The Thirty Years War. 1984.

Speaker: Kelly DeVries, Loyola University

October 16, 2018

Kuehn, John T. America’s First General Staff: A Short History of the Rise and Fall of the General Board of the Navy, 1900-1950. 2017.

Speaker: Edward J. Marolda, U.S. Naval Institute

November 20, 2018

Coox, Alvin D. Nomonhan: Japan Against Russia, 1939. 1985.

Speaker: Stuart Goldman, Scholar in Residence, National Council on Eurasian and East European Research

January 15, 2019

Corbett, Julian S. England in the Seven Years War: A Study in Combined Strategy. 1907.

Speaker: Randy Papadopoulos, Secretariat Historian, Department of the Navy

February 19, 2019

Travers, Timothy. The Killing Ground: The British Army, the Western Front, and the Emergence of Modern Warfare, 1900-1918. 1987.

Speaker: Bruce I. Gudmundsson, DPhil, Quantico, Virginia

March 19, 2019

Crane, Conrad C. Cassandra in Oz: Counterinsurgency and Future War. 2016.

Speaker: Shane Story, Director, General Histories Division, U.S. Army Center of Military History

April 16, 2019

Crist, David. The Twilight War: The Secret History of America’s Thirty Year Conflict with Iran. 2012.

Speaker: Mark Reardon, Senior Historian, Histories Directorate, U.S. Army Center of Military History

May 21, 2019

Gross, Gerhard P. The Myth and Reality of German Warfare: Operational Thinking from Moltke the Elder to Heusinger. 2016.

Speaker: Bianka Adams, Historian, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

June 18, 2019

Neiberg, Michael. Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I. 2013.

Speaker: Brian F. Neumann, Historian, Contemporary History Division, U.S. Army Center of Military History

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A great Army deserves a great museum
31 July 2014, 16:36
Filed under: Museum, Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Before our departure for the French Embassy, General Creighton Abrams spoke to our conference about the need for an Army museum.The General spoke about the great things that the Army has done, both in it’s actions and the affect it has had on it’s members.

As I said just yesterday, everyone has a story, and the Army museum will attempt to tell those stories.

Engage, Educate, Honor, Inspire.

General AbramsThey’re in the process of gathering funds and the General spoke about the Museum and about the Brick Program. Outside the museum, the brick walkway will be lined with commemorative bricks and as a part of the fundraising effort, you can purchase a brick to commemorate your own or someone else’s service. You can bet that there will be a brick for LTC Richard Henry Henderson in that walkway. I encourage everyone to purchase one.

“People aren’t in the Army. People ARE the Army.”



A Sailor’s Dying Wish
14 November 2013, 17:16
Filed under: Uncategorized

As time goes by, we lose more and more of our WWII veterans. My good high school buddy, Joe Meakin, who served in the Navy on carriers, passed along this blog entry about a Pearl Harbor survivor being granted a final wish. He wanted to visit the Navy in San Diego and he got more than just a visit. The sailors he met got more out of it than they expected as well.

Let’s wish fair winds and following seas, EM2 Bud Cloud.

Surface Warriors

Bud Cloud

After signing my Pop, EM2 Bud Cloud (circa Pearl Harbor) up for hospice care, the consolation prize I’d given him (for agreeing it was OK to die) was a trip to “visit the Navy in San Diego.”

I emailed my friend and former Marine sergeant, Mrs. Mandy McCammon, who’s currently serving as a Navy Public Affairs Officer, at midnight on 28 May. I asked Mandy if she had enough pull on any of the bases in San Diego to get me access for the day so I could give Bud, who served on USS Dewey (DD-349), a windshield tour.

The next day she sent me an email from the current USS Dewey (DDG 105)’s XO, CDR Mikael Rockstad, inviting us down to the ship two days later.

We linked up with Mandy outside Naval Base San Diego and carpooled to the pier where we were…

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Ten miles in their shoes

This past weekend, my lovely wife, Melissa, ran in the Army Ten-Miler. She did it in honor of her father, COL Richard Henderson, and carried his St Christopher medal and dogtag, both of which he carried through his two tours in Viet Nam. Over the last mile, when her muscles were betraying her and the end of the race seemed so far, she gripped his icons in her hand and toughed it out, just as her father would have. Ten miles in his shoes.

We went to a restuarant in Arlington for lunch with her mother and couldn’t help but notice several runners come in together all wearing the same distinctive t-shirt. On the back, it had the silhouette of a soldier carrying his rifle, with Sgt Andrew C Nicol’s name.

Photo of Sgt Nicol's funeral, a wooden casket carried by Ranger pallbearersI was curious and had my smartphone with me. So, I quickly searched and found him listed on the Military Times Hall of Valor. Sgt Nichol had been killed by an IED in Afghanistan during his fifth combat deployment. He’d graduated from Exeter High School in 2006, joined the Army and quickly found his niche in the Rangers. In five short years, he deployed five times.

He was a wrestler in high school and the kind that never gives up. His coach related a story of a semi-final match that Nicol was losing badly on points that he won by pinning his opponent in the final seconds. He could also kid around with his friends and teammates, known for his crooked smile and his imitation of Seinfield’s Kramer. Like all Ranger sergeants, he was a leader, tasked with leading a team of up to 40 men when he died. He was awarded his second Bronze Star posthumously.

After we finished our meal, I stopped by to chat with the group. His father, Roland, and his sister both talked about running for him and pointed out that another in their group had a brother who’d been killed overseas as well. I’m an emotional guy, so mostly what I was able to choke out was that I was sorry for their loss and grateful for his service. Melissa and her mother also spoke about Dick’s service and Melissa’s run.

The A Team ranked 24th in the “All Comers” team category, running ten miles in Sgt Nicol’s shoes.




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