Catch-22 is not a heroic war story. But nearly six decades after Joseph Heller's legendary 1961 novel was first published, it remains a poignant and timeless satire of wartime military service.

Catch-22 recently picked up a screen adaptation on Hulu in the form of a six-part miniseries directed by George Clooney, Ellen Kuras, and Grant Heslov, with each director overseeing two episodes. Ahead of the series premiere on May 17, Task & Purpose had a chance to screen Hulu's Catch-22.

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Suicide prevention pins are displayed in recognition of suicide prevention and awareness month by the 81st Medical Operations Squadron mental health team. (U.S. Air Force photo / Kemberly Groue)

I've been thinking a lot about suicide lately. No, that's not a suicidal ideation, it's just what I've been thinking about. One of my good friends, the last person I ever thought would fall victim to the scourge of suicide, killed himself. The one guy I knew, who would have stayed up for days to talk someone else out of suicide, ended up doing it himself.

I can't figure it out. Any one of the dozens of people he had helped over the years would have come to his aid if only he had asked. But he didn't.

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Digital messaging is ruining everything. Friendships. Relationships. Work and productivity. The art of conversation. Now, finally, we can add the U.S. Navy to the list.

That's the thesis of the generational pearl-clutching published in the May 2019 issue of Proceedings, in which Navy Capt. John L. Bub, Jr., director of operations and training for Tactical Training Group Atlantic (TTGL), argued that the "highly distracting" chatrooms utilized by sailors aboard Navy vessels are a sinister threat to surface operations that desperately require our attention.

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U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. David Furness, Commanding General of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), speaks to members of CJTF-HOA during his promotion ceremony, in which he was promoted to major general, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, March 24, 2018 (Photo: Staff Sgt. Timothy Moore)

Editor's note: This article was written on the condition of anonymity by an active-duty junior Marine Corps officer in the combat arms. His identity is known to Task & Purpose but is being withheld at his request out of concern for retaliation that may harm his career. It comes in response to a policy letter issued on April 16 by Marine Gen. David Furness, commanding general of 2nd Marine Division, which established a basic daily routine due to what Furness described as "a significant decline in the basic discipline" of his Marines.

Gen. Furness,

Though I am a mere junior officer, let me be entirely frank: your latest policy letter 5-19 "Basic Daily Routine" violates the core tenets of Marine Corps doctrine. You ought to repeal it immediately.

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Maj. Gen. David Furness

The two-star general in charge of the roughly 15,000-strong 2nd Marine Division has turned micromanagement into an art form with a new policy letter ordering his Marines and sailors to cut their hair, shave their faces, and adhere to a daily schedule that he has prescribed.

In his "Policy Letter 5-19," Maj. Gen. David Furness lamented that he has noticed "a significant decline in the basic discipline" of troops he's come in contact with in the division area, which has led him to "FIX IT immediately," instead of relying on the thousands of commissioned and non-commissioned officers below him to carry out his orders.

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If the United States really wants to win against China or Russia, it needs to start investing in the infantry

In the cyber era, the infantry nevertheless remains our nation's foundational fighting force

Opinion
In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)

The 2018 U.S. National Defense Strategy (NDS) suggests our biggest national security threats come from "near-peer" rivals such as China and Russia. In order to adequately prepare the U.S. for a military conflict with one of these major global powers, the recently announced 2020 national budget prioritizes the rapid development of next-generation, high-technology initiatives in the nuclear, cyber, autonomous systems, and outer space arenas.

While these initiatives are important and worthwhile, they underestimate the importance of America's foundational and most critical military capability: the infantry.

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