Profession of Arms

“No nation tends to its overseas battlefield burial sites as well as the United Kingdom. Walking through the EI Alamein cemetery along row upon row of gravestones – each inscribed with a message from loved ones at home invariably caused me to reflect deeply on the terrible costs of war and the immense responsibilities borne by those who practice the profession of arms. No words affected me more than the simple ones from a young son to his departed father: ‘Goodnight Daddy – Wee John.’ Such a loss cannot be measured in the normal calculus of war. The safety of one’s nation and the sacrifices many pay – some the ultimate – must motivate every officer to master his or her profession.”

The above quote is taken from Lieutenant General Paul K. Van Riper, USMC, (ret).  “The Relevance of History to the Military Profession: An American Marine’s View”