A War of Words: Academics and the Military Establishment in the Age of Terror

AHA Session 26
Thursday, January 7, 2016: 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Regency Ballroom V (Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Lower Level 1)
Ron Milam, Texas Tech University
Writing History as It Unfolds: A Command Historian in Iraq
Gregory A. Daddis, Chapman University
Shared Hardship: Understanding the Human Condition within War
Cameron D. McCoy, University of Texas at Austin
Decision Making at a Major Theater of Command
Aaron O'Connell, US Naval Academy

Session Abstract

T goal of this panel is to discuss and highlight the nuances of balancing academics (primarily a civilian profession) with battlefield experience and how this relationship works in communicating—with accuracy—such experiences. The larger question, which comes up quite frequently is, “Can an academic really know or correctly teach military history without having served in the military?” This has always been a struggle for many returning veterans in our current era, which also leads to other examples that fit into this framework (i.e., Brian Williams’ situation and his justifications for such actions). So then the question remains: “How much weight does a military veteran carry within the field of academics with regard to academic legitimacy?”

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