Saturday, April 6, 2013

A small gripe

Michael Howard, I am sure is a competent person, who writes competent books. His review here struck me as eminently competent too. But in his first paragraph he refers to an "enlisted cadet." What the heck is an enlisted cadet? I think I know what he means, but now I am also pretty sure he has little experience with actual enlisted people or actual cadets. (I know, technically, there are a few enlisted cadets, i.e. cadets who happen to be enlisted already, but they are special cases, and I am sure Howard doesn't get this.)

These mistakes are telling. They say that the historians, philosophers, political scientists, and others who are tasked with understanding all sorts of things about the military do poor jobs. Moreover, they subtly reinforce the beliefs of people who do understand the inner workings of the military that military scholars are too removed from the military to be saying anything useful to them.  

So scholars: Get your facts straight before you write about some topic. 

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