Fort Polk Guardian 07-12-2019

Viewpoint 2/ Guardian July 12, 2019 The Guardian , a civilian enter- prise newspaper, is an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Army. Contents of the Guardian are not necessarily official views of, or en- dorsed by, the U.S. Government, De- partment of Defense, Department of the Army or Fort Polk. The Guardian is published weekly by the Public Affairs Office, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. Printed circulation is 13,000. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage with- out regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other nonmerit factor of the purchaser, user or patron. A confirmed violation of this policy of equal opportunity by an ad- vertiser will result in the refusal to print advertising from that source. All editorial content of the Guardian is prepared, edited, pro- vided and approved by the Public Af- fairs Office, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. The Guardian is printed by the Natchitoches Times , a private firm in no way connected with the Depart- ment of the Army, under exclusive written contract with Fort Polk. The civilian printer is responsible for com- mercial advertising. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts and supplements, does not constitute en- dorsement by the Department of the Army or the Natchitoches Times of the products or services advertised. Guardian Editorial Staff Brig. Gen. Patrick D. Frank Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk commanding general Col. Ryan K. Roseberry Garrison commander Kim Reischling Public affairs officer Chuck Cannon Command information officer Jean Dubiel Angie Thorne Staff writers Editorial Offices Building 4919, Magnolia Street Fort Polk, LA 71459-5060 Voice (337) 531-4033 Fax (337) 531-1401 Email: Trading post ads: Fort Polk Homepage Advertising For advertising contact (337) 404-7242 Email: FORT POLK, La. — In retrospect, I probably should have given you this review last year when the nation was celebrating the 100-year an- niversary of World War I and the U.S. Army Library system was host- ing a reading program focused on World War I. But, as you will find out when you read this book, we still had troops in Europe in 1919. Since all veterans of the “war to end all wars” are no longer with us, it may have provided a timely me- morial and salute to the great men of the “great war,” the war that forced the world into the age of modern warfare. If you are looking for one book that delivers the entire history of everything that matters on World War I, “The First World War” by Hew Strachan is it. Before reading this book, I had read quite a bit on World War I and thought I knew and understood the reasons, belligerents and results. Wow — was I mistaken! Most every minor student of mili- tary history thinks they know the causes of World War I. Most people understand that few wars are caused by one single event but rather a se- ries of events. But, having said that, there is usually one defining or the “last straw” moment that is a rally- ing point for a country to commit their country to this deadly endeav- or. In the Civil War it was Fort Sumter; in World War II, Pearl Har- bor; and the War on Terrorism, 9/11. As the author expertly lays out, in World War I, there was not a single defining mo- ment (although there were defi- nitely moments). I think read- ers will be surprised to learn who ac- tually started the war, and the partic- ipants dragged into the war — al- most unwillingly — out of a sense of loyalty to allies. What impressed me was the author did not dive right into the campaigns and offensives; instead, he goes into depth and de- tail on the real and deep-rooted causes of World War I, the long-term effects and the staggering costs in human loss and suffering. If you need a book to reference on World War I, this is it. While I am not personally a fan of the writing style of the author, there is no denying the accuracy and in-depth research and analysis he invested. You will learn something; I did. Plus, the pictures, many masterfully colorized, are an added bonus that brings the war to life and humanizes the conflict that seems so long ago. In reality, it end- ed just 50 years before I was born. That makes it seem not so long ago. As always, in every review, I try to impart what I think the Army Chief of Staff wanted us, his profes- sional leaders, to get out of the book, and why he wanted us to invest valuable time in reading it. I think the Chief wants us to un- derstand that many of the deep-root- ed tensions still prevalent in Europe today were seeds planted even prior to World War I. Understanding and knowing the history of strife and reasons for hate that still resonate today are para- mount in any ho- listic and compre- hensive engagement strategy. Eu- rope is still — and will always be — a potential conflict zone. Under- standing this theater and the war that brought to the forefront many of the tensions that exist today is im- portant — whether in a training de- ployment working with allied part- ners, demonstrating strength as a de- terrent on the continent by, with and through partners to aggressors, or more devastatingly combat opera- tions. Historical context is a powerful weapon to be gained and wielded as a weapon in all forms of engagement in the mind of a professional leader in the best Army in the world. BOOK: The First World War AUTHOR: Hew Strachan ALLEN MEMORIAL LIBRARY CALL NO: MS PRL 640.3 STR Commentary Writer paints poignant picture of WorldWar I Leslie By Retired Lt. Col. MARK LESLIE DPTMS chief, plans and operations In our view Guardian staff asked Fort Polk Soldiers, “What boosts your morale?” Here are their responses: Spc. David Foster: “Cooking foods from different cultures — Japanese, French, Ital- ian — cooking and serving food makes me happy." Spc. Jesus Gil: "Do- ing PT gives me moti- vation for the rest of the day." Leah Logan: "Any kind of incentive, from time off to free food or a free T-shirt, and helping others achieve their goals." Pvt. Fabiana Pettroza: "I feel like I can do any- thing after I finish PT. Also, knowing I don't have duty on the week- end." 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