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”
22 August 2020 at 17:50
“The safety of one’s nation and the sacrifices many pay – some the ultimate – must motivate every officer to master his or her profession.” Exceptional advice. Hopefully this thought is on every officer’s mind the day he or she is commissioned. And hopefully it is still foremost in his or her thoughts on the day each officer retires. I’ve never read General Van Riper’s book. These words are proof positive that I very much need to read his book. Thank you for posting this brief article,Mario. And thank you, General!