There are few sights more exciting than a futuristic fighter jet tearing across a clear blue sky. In video games, movies, and comic books, these slices of imagination dominate the skies and look good doing it. And whether or not they’re hitting Mach 3 during an attack run against invading aliens or attempting to topple some genocidal giant robots, it's nice to know that the Pentagon can always just turn to Netflix for inspiration when it starts dreaming up the warplanes of the future.
When I was a staff officer in the Army, once a quarter we’d meet for a day of the most painfully long PowerPoint briefs you can imagine. Quarterly training briefs (QTBs) would lay out all of our unit’s training goals and our overarching status on our mission essential task list (METL). These meetings were a long list of slides with red, amber, or green bubbles that gave a snapshot of how close we made it to our goals.
The University of Southern Mississippi offers an odd list of 40 books with which every graduate student in military history should be familiar. How many have you read? I was surprised at how few. Some of the books listed here aren’t even the best on their given subject. And then there are books that are responses to books that aren’t listed. But to each his or her own.