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.



The Navy’s Admiral-To-Ship Ratio, Then And Now

November 12, 2018

The US amphibious assualt ship USS Iwo Jima off the Norwegian coast, as part of the naval component of the exercise the high value units such as Iwo Jima are escorted by other warships such as the UK's HMS Northumberland
It has been said before, but as the song says, it bears repeating: “In 1944 there were 256 flags for 6,084 ships; today there are 359 flag officers for 280 ships.”

How I Found My Tribe After Leaving The Military

November 12, 2018

U.S Army Spc. Brett Hawley, assigned to Alpha Company, 98th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 505th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade, 335th Signal Command, fires an M4 carbine rifle during a nighttime fire qualification event during the Army Reserve Command Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy, Wis., June 26, 2013.
Here’s the 10th entry in our contest about finding meaningful employment after leaving the military. Brady Treanor writes: “We won no great peace, for our world or for ourselves. We had nothing but each other. To strip us of that can strip us of purpose, as it does to so many. At my first internship … Read More

This Army Vet Died Of An Overdose In His Jail Cell. He Deserved Better Than Laughter

November 9, 2018

An Army Veteran Was Left To Die In A Cell While His Jailers Laughed And Took Video
“I understand how difficult the transition can be, but we are still responsible for our own choices regardless of anything we may have witnessed or done overseas. He chose to put that poison in his body. He is responsible for his own death. “He absolutely deserved to die over his drug problem, because that is … Read More

I Found The Answer To Life After The Military In Helping Vets And Communities

November 9, 2018

Here’s number 9 in our contest about finding meaningful work after the military. Nathan Bond writes: “I found a job serving my fellow veterans. Thirty of the States and Territories have County Veteran Service Officers.  Most states require that the position is held by a veteran. Here’s a website. I also found my way to … Read More

One Major General Was The Fall Guy For The Niger Ambush. The Real Fault Lies Elsewhere

November 8, 2018

niger soldiers
Major General Marcus Hicks, the senior officer reprimanded in connection with last year’s ambush in which four Army soldiers were killed in Niger, was not set up for success. The way this has been handled sends a clear message, but it is not a good one for building trust, accountability, and underwriting mistakes. The way this … Read More

Not All Veterans Are Created Equal. You Have To Earn Your ‘V’

November 8, 2018

U.S. Marines assigned to Fox Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, assault uphill during training operations as a part of Eager Lion 2018 in Jordan April 24, 2018
Not all veterans are equal. There are veterans, and then there are Veterans. The difference has nothing to do with what we did in the military. The capital “V” is earned after leaving the service. Take Sarah Wilson. She’s a Veteran — a Huey crew chief who protected her fellow Marines with her door gun … Read More

Is Trust An Essential Element In Strategy?

November 7, 2018

Casablanca Conference
The other day I began re-reading Piers Mackesy’s The War for America, 1775-1783. It was as brilliant as ever, a book I learn from every time I open it. It is one of the 2 or 3 best works I’ve ever read on strategy. But I think it is wrong on one key thing: Its … Read More

Sometimes Finding Meaning After The Military Means Not Looking For It

November 7, 2018

Here’s the eighth entry in our contest about finding meaningful work after the military. Thor O’Connell writes: “I think the purpose and sense of meaning you have from serving in the military is rarely replicable in civilian life solely through your employment.  Those that can replace that sense in their employment are very few and … Read More