Making Riflemen from Mud: Restoring the Army's Culture of Irregular Warfare

  • July 15, 2007
  • LTC James D Campbell

Nearly 300 years of American military tradition, from the colonial period until 1941, created a deeply engrained facility with unconventional warfare. Since World From the Pequot War in 1637, to the Seminole Wars in the early nineteenth century, the Apache campaigns after the Civil War, and in twentieth century small wars from the Philippines to Vietnam, the mandate for human intelligence has been a key component of unconventional warfare. Since World War Two, the wider military has lost this expertise and comfort with unconventional operations, with the Special Operations community taking on the sole proprietorship of this role. The top research paper in the USAWC Research Competition captures the experience, and lessons, of fighting on the western plains after the Civil War, and the creation of the Philippine Scouts at the beginning of the twentieth century. This was named top research paper in this year's USAWC Research Competition.