Heartbreaking. This could be a good question for Ty Seidule.

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This is indeed troubling. They would rather feature the West Point football teams of the 1940s than the Union Army in their commercial. You are exactly right in saying the US Army in the Civil War probably provided its most valuable contributions to our history. I also agree that it probably wasn’t an accidental omission. A disproportionate percentage of the Army’s accessions are from the former confederacy, and with already historically poor recruiting numbers, I suppose they don’t want to alienate them and make it worse. That’s a problem.

In my experience in the Army, I knew of a disconcerting number of guys with sympathies of either rebels or Nazis. I found it strange and surprising they served in an army who fought and defeated both of those opponents. I was a cadre member of a cavalry initial training troop and our commander gave us all replica confederate army sabers as a memento of his time with us. I think I and another fellow were the only two who thought it weird.

I don’t know how relevant this is, but I think it is another example of extremism in the military. I am reminded of a post made on the official Facebook page of the Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps in December, 2019. The author of the post discussed a unit commander and all the difficulties he faced in the opening stages of the Battle of the Bulge. That commander was Joachim Peiper, commander German SS troops and convicted war criminal. That post neglected mention his troops role in the massacre of US ARMY TROOPS at Malmedy during that part of the battle. An Army officer called this out and it was soon deleted, but why was a Nazi featured? Why does the Army’s service in the Civil War get ignored? You raise important points and I hope my experiences add to this conversation.

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In way of full disclosure I am a military historian (post-Civil Wa/post-Civil War US)/archaeologist and a former US Army officer. That said I agree completely with Kevin, the omission of the Army's role in the Civil War is not accidental and I also think unfortunate.

Kevin's comments about this video trigger an interesting line of thinking for me. I am not sure the Army is, or ever has been, comfortable with its Civil War role. To understand this I think it is important, and well beyond this context, to understand the difference between 19th century US regulars and US Volunteers and 19th century state troops. The volunteers ( including the US Colored Troops) made up the bulk of the Untied States land forces during the war. Yet by the US Army of the time they are not really considered part of the US Army. This may sound like the ultimate in historical trivia and to most people it is but not to an Army concerned about its lineage. and its role in history

And, relating to lineage you have the very real problem of units in the Army national guard today that trace their lineage back to units that fought on both sides in the Civil War,. One of the Army national guard units (116 Infantry) that landed on Omaha Beach on D-day (and is still part of the force structure) traces it lineage back to the Stonewall brigade of the Confederate Army and to Maryland regiments that served in the Army of the Potomac. At, one time this was considered a proud example of sectional reconciliation. Today, not so much.

I suspect the producers of the video Kevin posted found it easier to ignore these aspects of Army history than incorporate them ways that would not offend anyone. Im not sure it's possible to read these topics in a way that doesn't offend someone. But leaving them out is just as offensive.

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