It’s just not like that anymore

It’s an exciting Saturday night for me: drinking Guinness and reviewing Morris Janowitz’s The Professional Soldier. Just before I put it down for the night to go read Robert Young Pelton’s new book Licensed to Kill, I came across this passage that had to be shared. Janowitz, writing in 1960, saw a different service life than we have today (something he knew was changing). In this section about military community, he’s describing the role of soldiers’ wives (p187-8 if you want to follow along), and includes:

Army and Navy lore is full of stories of wives actively intervening in service affairs and in service politics. Among the more famous is that of George Patton’s wife who, having a command of French, assisted him in translating textbooks used by the French cavalry schools, thereby enhancing his military reputation as an advanced thinker.

That’s a great partnership (at least that’s how I’d explain it). Just imagine how you’d pull off what Janowitz writes in the next sentence:

Another well-known account deals with a colonel who had his wife memorize Army regulations, so that he would have a readily available reference source.


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