Monday, December 14, 2009

Me fail English? That's unpossible!

There's something seriously ironic about misspelling the names of prominent highly-educated members of other services in a published article advocating for more educational opportunities for senior Marine officers.
Military professionals pursuing advanced education at the doctoral level is not something that only exists outside of the United States. Indeed, all three of our sister Services have formal doctoral education programs, the results of which are inarguably successful. The United States Army has developed many of its own homegrown counterinsurgency experts with names like Patraeus (doctorate in international affairs from Princeton), McMasters (doctorate in American history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), and Mansoor (doctorate in military history from Ohio State University). These are officers who have obtained doctorates while in uniform and yet remained operationally relevant, serving in combat as commanders at the brigade, division, and corps levels.
I wonder if Patraeus and McMasters ever crossed paths with GEN Petraeus and BG McMaster...? (Sic. Emphasis above is mine.)

Seriously, the article is fine and makes a good argument, but I laughed out loud when I saw that. I'm really not making fun of Marines here. (Ok, only a little bit.)

UPDATE: If if makes you feel better, Devil Dogs, I misspelled "misspell" on first publication. (But it was a typo.)


  1. An intellectual in the Gnome Society movement, LtCol Schuehle has posted a semi-response to the Gazette article ( ).

    He also has penned a point/counterpoint thingy for the Gazette and a letter to the editor that more fully explores his thoughts on the subject.


  2. SNLII -- Saw that in the comment thread on SWJ. Thanks.

  3. On several occasions I have heard Petraeus mispronounce McMaster as "McMasters," including once when they were in the same room together.

  4. On several occasions I have heard Petraeus mispronounce McMaster as "McMasters," including once when they were in the same room together.

    Don't you mean Patraeus?

  5. In Bing West's (good) book "The Strongest Tribe," then-COL Sean MacFarland's name is spelled "McFarland" every time (and he's a pretty major character).

  6. I don't feel so bad about my atrocious writing skills anymore. Thanks, Tintin!

    - Madhu

  7. If you think that's a forehead-slapping typo, just take a look at an early version of USACAC's home page, where they touted themselves as the "intelectual center" of the Army.

  8. Several years ago, I noticed that a website devoted to the second amendment actually had the second amendment in their banner image... misquoted. As a gun-toting NRA member, I was quick to inform them of their gross oversight. They ignored me and still hadn't corrected it after several months. I think the site eventually (thankfully) went defunct.