Military service is not a petri dish for social experimentation. It is an honorable profession with unique institutional values. If military leaders fail to understand and appreciate the history of arms, it will abdicate its historic mission as a special calling devoted to duty.
General Douglas MacArthur delivered his famous "Duty, Honor, Country" speech at West Point on 12 May 1962 to an audience of cadets soon to become junior leaders in the Vietnam War. MacArthur belonged to a generation that produced a group of gifted American, European, and British Commonwealth military officers—all of whom began their military careers at the end of the 19th century in the era of the cavalry and ended their active service at mid-20th century, in the nuclear age.