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Faculty Colloquium Series: Brian Linn (HIST) 10/12/2021

“Real Soldiering: The U.S. Army Between its Wars”


Tuesday, October 12, 2021 | 4-5pm

We welcome your attendance in GLAS 311
Or online via Zoom
Zoom Meeting information:
Meeting ID: 939 9387 0822
Password: Linn

Dr. Brian Linn
Professor, History, 2021-22 Glasscock Internal Faculty Residential Fellow


What happens to America’s armies after the war ends, the citizen-soldiers become civilians, and the colors are folded after the last parade? Historians and military analysts have taken to heart Spirit Sinister’s dictum that “War makes rattling good history; but Peace is poor reading.” The study of postwar armies is almost invariably the study of prewar armies; peacetime soldiering is either dismissed or caricaturized, as in Beetle Bailey. Real Soldiering challenges this narrative, providing the first scholarly assessment of the US Army’s experience in each subsequent decade after major conflicts from the end of the War of 1812 to Vietnam.  It identifies six consistent challenges faced by each recovering army, how the service attempted to address them, and the consequences, sometimes unintended, of these efforts. By focusing on the field forces rather than Washington policymakers, the book questions much of the established wisdom on the impact of top-down postwar reforms in doctrine, organization, officer and enlisted development, and preparation for war. The resulting  work  fundamentally undermines the historical consensus, while providing insight into how the US Army will respond in coming decade in the aftermath of the Iraq-Afghanistan conflicts.



The Faculty Colloquium offers faculty an opportunity to discuss a work-in-progress with faculty and graduate students from different disciplines. By long-standing practice, colloquium presenters provide a draft of their current research, which is made available to members of the Glasscock Center listserv. Each colloquium begins with the presenter’s short (10-15 minute) exposition of the project, after which the floor is open for comments and queries. The format is by design informal, conversational, and interdisciplinary.

The paper is available to members of the Center’s listserv, or by contacting the Glasscock Center by phone at (979) 845-8328 or by e-mail at

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