Amid today’s budget squeezes, some question whether the best officer training and education really take place at the service academies. Instead, they suggest that perhaps ROTC programs should be bolstered, or that officer candidate school should suffice. But when I reflect on my own experience, the answer becomes clear as past moments flood into the present.
Squeezed shoulder to shoulder, backs braced against the wall, my cadet classmates and I shout a quote, one like so many others we have had drilled into our collective consciousness over the past few months: “War is an ugly thing . . . ”
We get it wrong, as fourth classmen invariably do, forgetting the required introduction, and are corrected by an impatient upperclassman. “Start again!” he roars.