Magazine article Joint Force Quarterly

From the Editor

Magazine article Joint Force Quarterly

From the Editor

Article excerpt

At Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, I recently met a remarkable Army Soldier. A young troop sitting near me noticed my Air Force uniform and wings. He asked, "Sir, what kind of pilot are you?" At the Officer's Club, I might have said, "the best" (or something equally brilliant and punch worthy). But he was genuinely interested, and we talked a bit about military aviation. I wanted to hear about his experiences, so I steered the conversation to why he was visiting the hospital.

The Soldier had returned from battle over a year ago, after he was injured in combat and spent about a year in rehabilitation. Unfortunately, his wounded leg caused him tremendous pain. At 20 years old he faced potential medical retirement with little prospect of regaining much use of his damaged limb.

So what does this have to do with the principal topic of this issue of Joint Force Quarterly, transformation during war? Undaunted, this Soldier has chosen a courageous route, one only recently viable. After consultation with his doctors and thoughtful consideration of his options, he requested to have his leg removed--so he could get back to work! Refusing to be deterred by his wound, he not only wanted to return to his job in the Army, but he also hoped to become an Army aviator. Amazingly, based on the transformation of America's military, I think he could have a shot.

This Soldier's decision is a perfect metaphor for transformation, and it exemplifies the commitment, culture of selflessness, and sophistication of those serving in the Armed Forces. …

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