The Gray and the Green

Stories From West Point, Between the Wars

But it doesn't take long for the class to move back to what they're here for—"officership." After a short discussion on army pay ("You'll get paid enough," Messitt promises) and a case study on the officer as moral arbiter, only 10 minutes of class remained.

The new West Point cadet, raised on Hellfire sandwiches
photo: Scott Anger
The new West Point cadet, raised on Hellfire sandwiches

Messitt quizzes the students on what went wrong with Private Jessica Lynch's company. One answers that the soldiers' weapons jammed. That's right, Messitt says. Some had only one clip of ammo. "Sir, why do they make heroes out of the guys that screw up?" another student asks. Messitt smiles. West Point's lessons are already sticking.

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