By Melissa Bower, Fort Leavenworth LampApril 5, 2012
After working at Military Review before starting his Intermediate Level Education class at the Command and General Staff College, Maj. Kevin Cutright said he was ready for CGSC with knowledge of the latest tactics, doctrinal concepts and professional knowledge.
The ILE class 2012-02 student said before working at the magazine, he considered it at the same level as some of the branch journals and just read it once in awhile. Now, even after he's no longer editing articles, he said he never misses an issue.
The magazine celebrated its 90th anniversary April 2, with a proclamation and small reception. The first edition was published Feb. 10, 1922, the same year Reader's Digest began publishing. Its first official name was Instructors' Summary of Military Articles, but the name was changed in 1942. Military Review is a professional forum for anyone interested in national defense, and serves as a continuing education tool for Soldiers pursuing leadership development. It is published in English, Spanish and Portuguese and in the past has also been published in Arabic and French. Articles are accepted from anyone, including civilians, international military, sister service members and noncommissioned officers. It publishes about 140,000 copies a year and distributes worldwide.
Col. John Smith, editor-in-chief, said the magazine is even planning on running an article from a young corporal in its next edition.
"It's the only official publication where a uniformed officer can disagree with an official policy respectfully," Smith said.
At the magazine, Smith said they welcome authors who can question the official Army policy or doctrine -- if they can provide a sound argument that is well researched.
"You can shoot off a sentence on a blog, but someone who can sustain a reasoned argument for 4,500 words with citations -- that's a valuable military writer," he said.
Smith also said it's a good educational tool for ILE students to learn how to write professionally.
Brig. Gen. Gordon P. Davis Jr., CGSC deputy commandant, said the magazine contributes to the body of knowledge necessary for the Army profession.
"It allows for a group of new, existing doctrine and practice," he said. "It identifies things that don't work, it identifies gaps in our current doctrine, it also helps flesh out new doctrine as its fielded."
Davis said the magazine also allows for new tactics, techniques and procedures that come directly from recent field operations.
A special readers edition is published about once a year with a particular focus on a specific topic. Past editions of these focused on counterinsurgency, ethics and the profession of arms.
Pete From, supervisory English editor for the magazine, said the publication had regained the spotlight in the past decade.
"The last decade has caused Military Review to come into focus again because of the war and urgency in getting information out," he said.
Many of the recent articles focus on stories and ideas straight out of the fight in Afghanistan. From said priority is given to these submissions, especially if they teach something new or encourage debate on a particular topic.
The magazine receives many submissions, but only about 18 percent are ever published. Staff at the magazine are selective, choosing only the best written and most relevant articles, From said.
The magazine is conducting a writing contest, the 2012 General William E. DePuy Special Topics Writing Competition, which includes a $1,000 prize. This year's topic is "What is the role of women in the United States Army for the next 20 years?" More information about the contest is online. In 2008, a U.S. Army sergeant won the writing competition.