Editor's Notes

by Lisa Alley

This is ARMOR’s 125th anniversary commemorative edition and the last printed edition before we must take the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command-ordered printing hiatus — at least for a fiscal year.

We are reviving the editor’s column for this anniversary edition only to explain why this edition is unique. This edition commemorates highlights from which the Armor Branch drew important lessons; milestones along its storied path; and other noteworthy features chronicled over the 125 years of ARMOR’s existence. We also have “celebrity” authors John Wayne and Beatrice Ayer Patton, the widow of GEN George S. Patton Jr., represented here. The Armor Branch’s professional journal is itself storied; as I understand it, ARMOR is the second-oldest continuously published publication in the United States — only National Geographic is older.

As the budget forces us to the printing hiatus, please understand that we will continue to publish — Web publishing is publishing — via eARMOR, http://www.benning.army.mil/armor/earmor/. Be sure to enjoy our old back issues, as we are building our digital archives from 1888 to more recent issues.

Since we cannot get everything worthy into the printed edition’s pages, a number of articles looking at the Armor Branch’s past are available in eARMOR’s historical series.

This edition is not rooted in the nostalgic past, however. We look back to measure how far we’ve come. We also look forward to the future. Maneuver issues and leadership, reflecting our combined-arms army, are discussed via the pens of CPT Brian Harris and CPT Joe Byerly. For this issue and at least the next one, it is rewarding to see the content support ARMOR enjoys from company-grade officers, a class of leaders whose importance LTC Chris Budihas and 2LT Brian Bove note. MAJs Steven Meredith/David Bergmann discuss practical considerations of operational power and energy.

As we look forward to another 125 years of publishing, we echo what ARMOR’s last military editor, LTC Shane Lee, said in his editor’s column (“From My Position,” July-August 2007):

“This is just not another training pamphlet; it is a magazine, and like all good magazines, it will be interesting, stimulating and, I hope, at times amusing. In it you will find current military thought, tips on training and the lessons of war illustrated by experience in battle. You will be the authors of the articles; you will contribute the ideas and suggestions that will make alive your training and your leadership. We [all have] a lot to learn and we [all have] something which, out of our own experience and study, we can teach. This magazine is to enable us to share the results of that experience and that study. I want every officer and NCO to read the [journal], and I want a lot of you to contribute to it.” – Field Marshal Viscount Slim of Burma in the [foreword] to the first edition of the British Army Journal, later renamed British Army Review.

“Although ARMOR is a professional bulletin … I could not have found a better description of our publication than the one Field Marshal Slim articulated for his own army’s journal in 1949. ARMOR is a reflection of the force it serves. As such, it serves to educate mounted soldiers and encourage them to think more deeply about their profession. Every edition of ARMOR is a brief sound bite of an unbroken dialogue that began in 1888. Long before we knew anything about knowledge management or communities of practice, our mounted ancestors came together on the pages of this publication to learn from each other. We are very proud of our branch’s professional journal and constantly seek ways to improve its quality and relevance to the armor force. Frank, but professional, discussions will always find a welcome home in this publication. … We constantly seek articles that promote thoughtful and professional discussion on any subject that affects the armor force. If you have an opinion on a particular issue, take time to organize your thoughts, conduct some supporting research if necessary and write them down. In the end, we will all benefit from your efforts.”

I would add that professional development is a must in this high-operational-tempo Army. Along with CPT Byerly’s discussion of the Maneuver Leader Self-Study Program, I would encourage you to add ARMOR to your professional-development repertoire.



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