That's the title of an interesting book review from the Wall Street Journal's online opinion division, OpinonJournal. The book is Imperial Grunts, written by Robert Kaplan, and is about the U.S. Military. The author has traveled around the world meeting the guys who are on the front lines of the military's 6 "commands," i.e. there geographic areas of operations. But what was interesting were these statements:
One of the more surprising of Mr. Kaplan's findings is that evangelical Christianity helped to transform the military in the 1980s, rescuing the Vietnam-era Army from drugs, alcohol and alienation. That reformation, together with the character-building demands of Balkans deployments of the 1990s (more important, in his judgment, than the frontal wars against Saddam Hussein), created our "imperial grunts…"
"We're the damn Spartans," explains Maj. Kevin Holiday of Tampa, "physical warriors with college degrees." A civil engineer with three kids, he is a National Guardsman with an attitude. "God has put me here," he tells Mr. Kaplan. "I'm a Christian. . . . You see this all around you"--the dust, deprivation and anxiety of Injun Country--"well, it's the high point of my life and of everyone else here." It's not just officers, and not only the Green Berets. Cpl. Michael Pinckney, a Marine, tells Mr. Kaplan: "I don't want to be anywhere else but Iraq. . . .This is what manhood is all about. I don't mean macho [stuff] either. I mean moral character."
Interesting stuff. Go read the rest of the article here.