Saturday, May 05, 2007

Sosh Mafia...

We like to joke in the Social Sciences department that we are a mafia. You see...we study the way the world runs, and quite a few of our teachers go on to run the world. For example, Thursday night, I went to West Points annual Donor Appreciation Dinner where anyone who donated over 100k has a nice dinner and drinks. The keynote speaker was Medal of Honor recipient COL (R) Jack Jacobs, who was also a Sosh P here in another incarnation. He is now an endowed chair for a Media class.

He talked about his time as a P when he and the other Captains and Majors would "mess around" with cadets...tripping them in the hall or on their way back to the barracks and how he enjoyed talking about politics over a game of poker with them on Friday nights. It was when he told us the "them" that I was really taken aback, however. You see, the "them" he was talking about were Lieutenant General McCaffrey, now Adjunct Professor at USMA, Lieutenant General Daniel Christman, prior Superintendant, and General Wesley Clark, who I'm sure you know.

I imagined the three of them, some twenty or thirty years ago, all young Captains, just out of command, sitting around reading my papers and playing cards. I was joking with a friend of mine the other day that if they'd just get rid of the whole Constitution and let a group of Sosh P's run the country by committe we'd all be better off. Of course I was speaking tongue in cheeck, but looking around, there are Professors here now that I can see someday not only being General Officers, but Cabinet positions or other decision makers (my current National Security Seminar Professor comes to mind as someone who, were she not in uniform, would be at the White House today).

Another interesting thing in looking at the list above is that all of the gentlement COL Jacobs mentioned have not been silent or in the shadows since their respective retirements. Almost all of them have had opinions to share about Iraq, the current administration, don't ask/don't tell, and other issues facing the military today. I guess, if the tagline of the history department is "Most of the History we teach was made by the people we taught," then Sosh's should be "Most of the theory we teach is executed by the people we taught." Sure, it doesn't have the same ring...but from what it's pretty true.


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