MILITARY MEDALS: AMERICAN STRATEGIC CULTURE and AIR POWER
SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AFB United States
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This paper views military medals as cultural artifacts and as a means of examining Americas values and beliefs toward air power. The methodology is largely based on historian John Lynns model from his 2003 book, Battle A History of Combat and Culture. Lynns model examines the relationship between strategic culture society and the militarys set of values, beliefs, and assumptions of how war should be fought and the realities of warfare. Lynn argues that strategic culture rarely matches the reality of war, and more often, the strategic culture is at odds with the character of war. Lynns model identifies four forms of rejection that societies and militaries exhibit when the strategic culture does not match the character of war perfected reality, alternative discourse, extreme reality, and refusal to consider war. An examination of military medals as cultural artifacts reveals that the United States has had a dynamic relationship with the use of air power supporting it and rejecting it depending on culture, technology, and circumstances.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics