The Hardest Battle



e e cummingsTo be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.

–e e cummings
American Poet (1894 – 1962)




Into the Storm: A Study in Command

Tom Clancy

Lessons for managers from how the Army re-made itself between Vietnam and Desert Storm.

I was moderating a conference of business owners in the late 1990s as they lamented the poor work habits and other failings of “Gen-Xers.” Finally, I’d had enough so I said, “Say what you will about body piercing and Starbucks, I don’t think that’s the key issue. It looks to me that our generation’s contributions were the drug culture and Vietnam while the present generation has given us the Internet and Desert Storm.” The question becomes, how did this happen? Into the Storm provides part of the answer.

I am a baby-boomer who came of age in the Vietnam era, so my interest in things military was slight and my general opinion of military organization, I’m ashamed to say, came more from Catch-22 and MASH than reality. Yet, the U.S. Army has done some huge and useful things, so I was willing to take a fresh look with this book.

In the aftermath of Vietnam, “the Army began a revolution in (more…)