In many ways a forgotten war, the War of 1812 was America’s first test as a nation. Had it ended differently, we might have been colonies again.
Reenactors and Living Historians in 2013 reveled in the 150th anniversary of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Vicksburg, some of the most monumental battles of the American Civil War. Thousands of participants, tens of thousands of spectators, and merchants of all kinds have gathered to relive these events that shaped our nation and its people forever.
2013 and 2014 have seen anniversaries of other battles from an earlier war which has also shaped American History, the War of 1812. Though overshadowed by its later, longer and bloodier cousin, the War of 1812 was the first major military test of new United States, the only conflict in our history in which a foreign power invaded our states, and the only one in which our capital, Washington DC, was captured. The War of 1812 is famous for Fort McHenry’s valiant stand against the British fleet, the setting of Francis Scott Key’s Star Spangled Banner, and for Andrew Jackson’s (Old Hickory) decimation of the British forces at the Battle of New Orleans.
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Military history lectures to pique your interest in the past.
Napoleon Bonaparte and Frederick the Great agreed that to master military science, a student must study the campaigns of the great generals and admirals before him. In that spirit, this section contains slide presentations that have been used effectively in teaching military principles. They describe battles and campaigns in military history.
WW2 – D-Day – 6 June 1944
WW2 – Guadalcanal Campaign
How important is integrity, really, in leadership? Why? How can we find leaders with integrity? We must begin with integrity in ourselves.
In the fall of 1996, several allegations of sexual misconduct between Army leaders and their subordinates became public. The ensuing investigations found many cases in which the allegations were true, and trust began to erode within and towards the US Army. As a result, the Army sought to clarify and promote the values which have been at the heart of American military service for over 200 years. Leaders felt that by emphasizing the values that we held, fought for and died for, they could produce a better fighting force. The mnemonic “LDRSHIP”, pronounced as “leadership”, communicated what the Army was all about.
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Why have awards and recognitions, and why have ceremonies for them? Because such inducements help the organization even more than the individual.
“A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.” Napoleon Bonaparte
An Air Force physician had not had a ceremony for his promotion to major and asked me if he should have one for his coming promotion to lieutenant colonel. His former supervisor was not pleased, and though this bright and self-effacing young officer didn’t want to be honored in front of others, he also didn’t want to get in trouble.
During two years as Chief Medical Officer at an Army hospital in Virginia, I routinely interviewed people leaving the Army. Several retiring officers said that they did not want retirement ceremonies. They felt that such events put too much focus on them and they wanted to pass quietly into civilian life.
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