Demystifying the American Military: Institutions Evolution and Challenges Since 1789
- Thornhill, Paula
- Naval Institute Press
This book's premise is that the U.S. military is integral to understanding the United States and its citizens yet it is hard to comprehend because of its unique language history and culture. To demystify this fascinating complex institution the work focuses on three areas. The first two combine to serve as a primer for understanding military organizations and individuals. Chapter one explains the basic lexicon and essential organizational structure necessary for mastering and using violent means. This includes a working familiarity with the four military services (army navy marine corps air force) the reserve components the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff the combatant commands and the office of the secretary of defense. Chapter two provides insights into the individuals who serve in these organizations and what they do with particular emphasis on the officer and enlisted ranks and their customs and cultures. The second section consists of the remaining ten chapters that explore in some detail how the four services competed and evolved to include their purposes structures and organizational cultures. It traces the military's evolution from the nation's founding through the present day to reveal how major American experiences repeatedly reshape the military. Each chapter starts with a contemporary understanding of the common defense followed by an analysis of how each service sought to provide for it how services operated together (if at all) and how civilian leadership of the military was assured. This examination offers a constant reminder that the military is the product of accident and experience and therefore never perfectly suited to the challenges it faces. Thus today's 21st-century military reflects historical adaption agglomeration and accident that may only partially reflect the ideal military America would build if working with a blank slate. Ultimately this book seeks to open a window into the American military in such a way that the reader can see it for good or for ill for what it fundamentally is-a reflection of the nation its priorities and its people.
|Format||N/A||Published||30 Jun 2019|
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