What the Gettysburg Address is to American political history, Major General William Sherman’s 1864 letter to the City Council of Atlanta is to American military history. It should be required reading for civilians and military professionals alike. Sherman’s gritty prose bridges the wild spirit of the frontier warfare of America’s past with its industrialized, idealistic future. Defining an “American way of war” has taken on a new urgency. As we consider our nation’s wars, present and future, Sherman’s letter is an underrated masterpiece.
When an Army specialist’s leave request to attend a baby shower was bounced back to him with the words “MEN DONT GO TO BABY SHOWERS” written in red pen, he resubmitted it with the manliest remarks of all time.
Julian LaRosa is a Columbia University student and U.S. Army veteran who lives in a university-owned apartment. All was right in the world until Columbia assigned LaRosa a new roommate, a graduate student at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. LaRosa emailed him to let him know he would have a fellow veteran visiting soon, and the man replied with a list of roommate rules:
I’m something of a science fiction fan, so the subject of time travel comes up from time to time. Movies, books, and short stories usually talk about big things like going to Germany and killing Hitler as a baby, but since the butterfly effect would be too strong there, I decided to address the smaller things, and just send myself a message with some tips on how to make my military career and life in general just a little better. Here’s the letter, I’d wish my pre-military self had received in 1991.