Tom Ricks has covered the U.S. military for several decades and is the author of six books, most recently Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom. He has won some prizes.



This Week In Reliefs, Firings, Suspensions, And Other Military Mischief

July 11, 2018

honda point disaster military mischief
The Navy deep-sixed the skipper of the attack submarine USS Montpelier after confidence was lost. Investigation of some aspect of his behavior is underway.  Marine logisticians at Camp Pendleton, Calif., got charged with a variety of offenses.  The commander and the senior enlisted guy in a Navy SEAL unit in Africa were relieved over sexual … Read More

We Need A Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign And Civil Defense Force

July 10, 2018

Our nation is in a latent war in the information sphere. Fake News, troll farms, and bots — encouraged by nation states like Russia — are undermining Western political and social edifices. This real and pervasive attack is weakening both state and international security. At the same time, the American public has not been successfully mobilized … Read More

Book Excerpt: What Can An Academic Tell American Soldiers In The Field?

July 10, 2018

It was near the end of the evening commander’s update briefing on 6 June 2010, and her audience included dozens of staff officers in various combat uniforms. Hundreds more joined via videoconference from the regional commands in Afghanistan and NATO bases around the world. ISAF commander General Stanley McChrystal sat solemn-faced at the hub of … Read More

Is The Army’s Command And General Staff College Refusing to Admit Pregnant Officers?

July 9, 2018

army Command and General Staff College CGSC pregnant officers
Last year, several pregnant officers were informed upon arrival to CGSC that due to their physical state they would not be allowed to attend. School leadership informed one of us, Maj. Jenny Gunderson, that she could not start the course and would have to disenroll—but, they added if she were to come back next week … Read More

New Long March Contest! What Military Phrases Civilians Should Never, Ever Use?

July 9, 2018

military phrases civilians should never use
You know, like, “Stay frosty” or “downrange” or “Semper Fi.” I just think those are phrases that the non-uniformed should refrain from using. Please email to me or post as a comment other military sayings you think civilians should avoid, and I shall endeavor to compile a list. If you like, explain why you think … Read More

Marine Leaders Need to Show That Racism Isn’t Welcome in the Corps

July 6, 2018

marine corps recruit depot parris island abuse hazing trial marine corps racism
“Get the heck out of here, boy! This meeting is for squad leaders only.” The year was 2007 and I had just walked into a dimly-lit conference room two weeks after checking into initial military occupational specialty school at Marine Detachment Corry Station, Pensacola, Florida. At that point, I’d been in the Marine Corps for … Read More

Is The Deck Stacked Against Being A Marine Officer And A Mother?

July 6, 2018

u.s. marine corps female marines gender integration marine officer
This chart certainly makes me think so. Look at the numbers: In every rank from lieutenant to colonel, the majority of female Marines with more than 10 years of service have no children. Most notably, among majors, it is 68 with children, 126 without. Here’s a link to the Marine Corps Gazette article by Maj. … Read More

Friday Dog: Now Those Are What I Call Canines

July 6, 2018

military working dog canines
A Marine Corps dog shows her teeth.