Sunday, February 28, 2016

When We Struck a King

The Persian Gulf War ended today after a 100-hour ground war, 25 years ago (well, except for the destruction of the Republican Guard Hammurabi division on March 2, 1991, which redressed part of the complaint that we'd stopped the war too quickly to destroy the whole Republican Guard force).

This was "my" war, I suppose. Although the closest I got to it was a unit formation prior to dismissal in January 1991 during which a series of somber officers and NCOs explained to us repeatedly that if we were mobilized we were obligated to report pretty quickly. And my unit tested the phone tree--before or after that, I can't remember now--to contact us, alarming my office co-workers at the time.

I found out that summer that we had been on the mobilization list from the Pentagon. Then we were off of the list for some reason. We never went to war. Although my unit later went to Iraq in 2005 or 2006--long after I was out.

Anyway, I had submitted this essay for a Military Review contest on the lessons of the war on the tenth anniversary. In a change of editors, the contest was kind of unofficially cancelled.

It did get cited by Stand-To! on March 20, 2006, in the "what's being said in blogs" section of the Army site (cited as TDD rather than TDR) after I posted it on this blog.