SEARCH ALL ARTICLES BY Thomas Smith, Jr.:
Mr. Smith is a contributor to Human Events. A former U.S. Marine rifle-squad leader and counterterrorism instructor, he writes about military/defense issues and has covered conflict in the Balkans, on the West Bank, in Iraq and Lebanon. He is the author of six books, and his articles appear in a variety of publications. E-mail him at marine1@uswriter.com.

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RECENT ARTICLES

  • This Week in American Military History

    This Week in American Military History: Aug. 14, 1942:  U.S. Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Elza E. Shahan, flying a P-38 Lightning, scores the first American aerial victory in the European theater of operations when he finishes off a previously | Read More »

  • God’s Will in a Military Maxim

    Sir Galahad Years ago, I wrote a piece entitled, “Spirituality and military service,” wherein I said service in the military is something akin to a religious experience. Writing then I said, “It is important that this is so.” After all, | Read More »

  • This Week in American Military History

    Marine Gen. Alexander Archer “Sunny Jim” Vandegrift Aug. 7, 1942:  Exactly eight months to the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, elements of the soon-to-be-famous 1st Marine Division – under the command of Maj. Gen. Alexander Archer “Sunny Jim” | Read More »

  • This Week in American Military History

    This Week in American Military History: Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette July 31, 1777:  The Marquis de Lafayette, a 19-year-old French nobleman whom Gen. George Washington will soon take under his wing, is commissioned | Read More »

  • This Week in American Military History

    Excerpt: Apollo 11 Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong—Eagle Scout and U.S. Naval aviator, who flew multiple combat missions over Korea, and was shot down once—becomes the first human in history to walk on the surface of the moon.

  • This Week in American Military History:

    WWI poster depicting Farragut    July 11, 1864:  Confederate Army forces under the command of Lt. Gen. Jubal Early reach the outskirts of Washington, D.C. Brief skirmishing follows. Artillery fire is exchanged. But a previous delay at nearby Monocacy Junction | Read More »

  • This Week in American Military History

    Excerpt: July 3, 1863: Day-three of the Battle of Gettysburg: Confederate Maj. Gen. George Pickett leads his ill-fated division against Union Army forces under the command of Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock positioned on Cemetery Ridge. Said to be "the highwater mark of the Confederacy," Pickett’s charge will fail.

  • This Week in American Military History

    Excerpt: Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt, in total disregard for his personal safety, and accompanied by only four or five men, led a desperate and gallant charge up San Juan Hill, encouraging his troops to continue the assault through withering enemy fire over open countryside. Facing the enemy’s heavy fire, he displayed extraordinary bravery throughout the charge, and was the first to reach the enemy trenches, where he quickly killed one of the enemy with his pistol, allowing his men to continue the assault.

  • Face-off with a Wild Boar

    I love remote wilderness country – all Marines do – but as I learned years ago; a man may feel a comforting sense of oneness and primal isolation in the backcountry. But he damned-sure best be prepared for the unexpected | Read More »

  • From Crazy Horse to the G.I. Bill

    This Week in American Military History: Crazy Horse June 20, 1941: The U.S. Army Air Corps is reorganized as the U.S. Army Air Forces (the predecessor to the U.S. Air Force). June 22, 1944: Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the | Read More »

  • Bunker Hill to the Marianas Turkey Shoot

    This Week in American Military History: June 14, 1775: The American Continental Army is formed in Boston: thus June 14 becomes the official birthday of the U.S. Army. George Washington will be appointed commander in chief of the new army | Read More »

  • June Rites of Passage

    [AUTHOR’S NOTE: This week in American military history will return next week. Meantime, here are some personal musings about military anniversaries in June.] Every June, we Marines are reminded of a fateful day in 1918 wherein our reputation in the | Read More »

  • Polish Government: Bestselling Book Marks ‘Historic Moment’

    Less than 24 hours after learning that Quiet Hero: Secrets from My Father’s Past, the heart-wrenching story of an American journalist and her relationship with her Polish resistance-fighter father,  had earned a spot on both the New York Times and | Read More »

  • Jackson at Pensacola to the Lions of Cantigny

    This Week in American Military History: May 22, 1968:  The fast-attack submarine USS Scorpion (the sixth of six so-named American Navy vessels) is mysteriously lost at sea several hundred miles off the Azores. All hands – 99 sailors – perish: | Read More »

  • First Enterprise to Gordo’s Big Day

    This Week in American Military History: May 15, 1862:  U.S. Marine Corporal John F. Mackie participates in an action against Confederate forces at Drewry’s Bluff, Virginia, for which he will become the first Marine in history to receive the Medal | Read More »

  • Green Mountain Boys to Hamburger Hill

    This Week in American Military History: May. 8, 1846:  In the first major battle of the Mexican War, U.S. Army forces under the command of Gen. (future president) Zachary Taylor decisively defeat Mexican forces under Gen. Mariano Arista in the | Read More »

  • Credit for Bin Laden’s Killing Goes Entirely to Special Operators

    Obama and Washington had nothing to do with the years of painstaking devotion to this mission by a select few, including an elite SEAL team.

  • From Chancellorsville to Alcatraz

    This Week in American Military History:  May. 1, 1898:  The Battle of Manila Bay opens when U.S. Navy Commodore George Dewey utters his now-famous words, “You may fire when ready, Mr. Gridley [speaking to Capt. Charles Vernon Gridley, commanding Dewey’s | Read More »

  • This Week In American Military History: From the Irish Coast to “Desert One”

    This Week in American Military History:  Apr. 24, 1778:  Capt. John Paul Jones – commanding the Continental sloop-of-war Ranger (the first of 10 so-named American warships) – captures the Royal Navy sloop HMS Drake in an action off the Irish | Read More »

  • “Disperse Ye Rebels, Ye Villains, Disperse!”

    [Today, Apr. 19, marks one of the most important anniversaries in our nation’s history. I’ve written about this day over the years. It has always been one the most important days in our nation’s history – I would argue more | Read More »