2nd Biennial Military Rhodes Scholar Reunion

December 13, 2013

2nd AARS Military Rhodes Dining-Out

On the eve of the 114th Army-Navy Football Game, those Rhodes Scholars who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces will once again gather to celebrate their connections to service and Oxford.  This year we are honored to have Karl Marlantes (OR & University 1967) as our keynote speaker.  Karl has one of the more unusual progressions through Oxford.  He arrived in fall of 1967 from Yale with a commission in the Marine Corps Reserves in hand, which would have allowed him to pursue his studies in Oxford.  Within a few months, Karl changed his mind and informed Warden E.T. Williams that he intended to volunteer for active duty.  This, of course, coincided with the spasm of violence marked by the 1968 Tet Offensive and it was not long before Karl was a platoon leader in Vietnam where he earned the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals, two Purple Hearts and ten Air Medals.  After completing his active service, Karl returned to Oxford with the Rhodes Scholar Class of 1970.  He received his degree and has worked as an international business consultant in India, England, Singapore and France.

Thirty years in the making, a small West Coast publisher took a chance on the manuscript and published Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War, which was later picked up by Atlantic Monthly Press in 2010 and became a sensation.  Reaching The New York Times Top 10 Bestseller List, Karl’s novel won numerous literary prizes from the Pritzker Military Library, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, the Center for Fiction and Indies Choice.  This work was followed a year later by What It Is Like to Go to War, a nonfiction meditation on his experience of war and its aftermath that distills the essence of the novel and points to modern society’s failure to grapple with the real spiritual, moral and psychological injuries sustained by those who endure the ordeal of combat.  We have asked Karl to offer his thoughts on the latter book.  For those interested in getting prepped for the discussion which will follow Karl’s remarks, read the book, but short of that take a look at the essay by John Nagl (NE & St. John’s 1988), “What It Is Like To Remember A War” The Amercian Oxonian Vol. XCIX, No. 4 Fall 2012.

The 2nd Military Rhodes Dining-Out will follow structure familiar to all of us. For the details of the 2011 event, take a look at Keys, Nagl, Probasco, “The Rhodes Military Dining-Out” The American Oxonian Vol. XCIX, No. 2 Spring 2012.

The National Press Club Building is located at 529 14th Street, N.W., at the corner of 14th & F Streets.  The Club is on the 13th Floor.  The Red Line Metro Center Station is two blocks away at 13th & G Streets.  There is limited on-street metered parking which commences at 6:30 pm and there are several parking garages on G Street and 13th Street convenient to the Club.  When you arrive at the Club, there will be signage directing you to the Holeman Lounge where the drinks reception will be held.  At 8:00 pm, we will move next door to the First Amendment Lounge for dinner and the program.

Each year we endeavor to improve the rolls of military Rhodes Scholars and we ask your help in reviewing the list of names in the Paperless Post invitation and advising us of any that we have inadvertently missed or overlooked.  If you have an e-mail address or some other means of contact, please share it with us.  For example, Steven Sturm (CO & New 1969), was, as of 2010, the Director of the Defense Policy and Capabilities Directorate.  

Scholars