In writing this book, I have been assisted by too many people to mention them all, particularly each of the more than 100 generals and admirals whom I interviewed over the last thirty-five years. These men are the epitome of character, whose selfless service to God and country has made others admire them, follow them, and believe in them. These exceptional men have never stopped serving, and unlike any other profession I know, have a never-ending commitment to the development of subsequent generations of young men and women who have chosen military service as their career. To each of these officers, we all owe a huge debt of gratitude.
No author could have received better support from a publisher than the support I received from Presidio Press. Colonel Robert V. Kane, USA (Ret.), the founder of Presidio Press, read the early drafts of the manuscript three times, and with each draft taught me more and more about what skilled and intelligent editing can contribute to organization and to enlightening prose. I was also fortunate to have received meaningful editorial assistance from Richard Kane and E. J. McCarthy of Presidio Press. During the process of publishing the manuscript, copyeditor Barbara Feller-Roth made many sound suggestions for improving the book for which I am most appreciative.
My youngest son, A. A. "Cotton" Puryear, provided exceptional computer skills and journalistic ability. His ideas and suggestions were invaluable and I owe much to him for the quality of the prose and the organization of the chapters. I cannot thank Deborah Foster enough for her patience, speed, and efficiency in typing many