May 22, 2024
It seems like just a year ago that the dedicated War Room editorial staff brought you the latest edition of our Holiday Gift Guide. Oh, wait… Yes, that’s right. We’re back! And the effort that the editors might have put into an imaginative, witty, well-crafted introduction was instead diligently put into hours scanning the furthest reaches of the internet in search of funny, inspiring, useful, and most definitely not useful delights for you, our reader, and the beloved national security wonks and strategists in your life. Whether you are celebrating the end of a normal-ish year or gratefully celebrating the close of yet another weird year in the hopes of better days, all of us at War Room wish you a happy, healthy holiday season and a great start to 2023.

It seems like just a year ago that the dedicated War Room editorial staff brought you the latest edition of our Holiday Gift Guide. Oh, wait…

Yes, that’s right. We’re back! And the effort that the editors might have put into an imaginative, witty, well-crafted introduction was instead diligently put into hours scanning the furthest reaches of the internet in search of funny, inspiring, useful, and most definitely not useful delights for you, our reader, and the beloved national security wonks and strategists in your life.

Whether you are celebrating the end of a normal-ish year or gratefully celebrating the close of yet another weird year in the hopes of better days, all of us at War Room wish you a happy, healthy holiday season and a great start to 2023.

Dueling Clausewitz and Jomini Tees

Hopefully tempers have cooled from the epic Thanksgiving dinner argument between Uncle Joe and Cousin Becky over the relative merits of the theories of Carl von Clausewitz and Baron Antonie-Henri Jomini. If so, then they can be as happy as these U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies students proudly flying their colors.

Surprising Reading Recommendation of the Year

Perhaps the works of Bulgarian novelist Georgi Gospodinov are a staple of your reading list, but we have to admit that was not so much the case for us. This review by Patrick McGuinness of Time Shelter, however, has us intrigued. 2023 book club, anyone?

Believe…in Socks

Ted Lasso helped many of us get through some grim times. Throw on these stylish Little Green Army Men Socks to feel safe, be a goldfish, and [redacted Roy Kent quotation.]

Believe…in Words

And for a completely different inspiring comedian, Volodymyr Zelensky offers A Message from Ukraine. Here at the Army War College we study strategic leadership and effective communications, few have demonstrated both more effectively than the president of Ukraine.

Military Historians are People, Too!

From time to time, War Room has been accused of having a bias towards historians. We are shockedShocked! — by that allegation.

That said, if you want to go beyond the common perception of historians as superhero-like figures, then make some time to listen to one of our favorite podcasts, Military Historians are People, Too!, for deep dives into the backgrounds, work, and barbecue preferences of a diverse set of historians, including some of our editors and Army War College colleagues.

Shameless Plug

Speaking of superhero-like figures, our annual Army War College shameless plug goes to Dean Edward Kaplan for his just released book, The End of Victory. This might not seem entirely in the holiday spirit, but to put it into context his previous book was To Kill Nations!

It’s Funny Because It’s True

Despite the Army War College’s traditional dominance of the vaunted Jim Thorpe Days, our students are reaching, ahem, a certain age. (And forget about those fossils on the faculty.) Here is a shirt that recognizes that when it comes to military service, it’s not the years, it’s the miles.

It’s Fun for the Entire Family and It’s Art

Many of us share great holiday memories of putting together that new Lego set. This year treat yourself to a challenging build that will be a great centerpiece in any room. The ultimate symbol of the Great American Melting Pot this Statue of Liberty will be great fun for the family to build together and a fantastic reminder of the diversity that is the strength of the nation.

The Final Frontier…of Glitter

We salute our dearest (and newest) colleagues in the Space Force with this special glitter tumbler that is so very on brand. Next year, gift certificates for dress uniform tailoring!

Always Ready

We at War Room are definitely thinkers like most of you. But we’re also doers that like to work with our hands. And we have always been fans of that shaggy genius of the 90s MacGyver, who could engineer his way out of any problem with everyday items at hand. We suspect that the show would have been much less dramatic if MacGyver had one of these handy multi-tools in stylish Coyote Tan. It puts his Swiss Army Knife to shame! Most shows would have been done by the first commercial break. With one of these, you, too, are halfway to foiling the bad guys (or that home fix.)

Always Listening

Now that we are all back on the move again do power management woes have you down? Missing out on the sonorous voice of podcast editor Ron Granieri because the smartphone has run out of juice? No more with this mobile charger!

Lifetime Membership to the USAWC Alumni Foundation

We do it every year, but it’s worth repeating. It’s the gift that keeps on giving to others. Give someone you love a lifetime membership in the USAWC Alumni Foundation, or get it for yourself. And if you’re already a member then be sure to stop in the gift shop on the first floor of Root Hall. The Foundation funds great programs such as scholarships and the War College’s annual National Security Seminar. (It also supports WAR ROOM. Thank you!)

Just in case you didn’t find anything to your liking in this year’s list, you can always check out our recommendations from other years here.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army War College, the U.S. Army, or the Department of Defense. The recommendations in this list are for entertainment purposes and do not suggest any endorsement of the retailers by the government.

Photo Description: Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, travelling with Operation Santa Claus, de-board an HC-130J Combat King II from the 211th Rescue Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard, after landing in St. Michael, Alaska, on Dec. 5, 2017. Operation Santa Claus is an Alaska National Guard annual community outreach program that provides Christmas gifts, books, backpacks filled with school supplies, fresh fruit and sundaes to youngsters in rural communities. After all Christmas is an air logistics operation.

Photo Credit: 2nd Lt. Marisa Lindsay/Army National Guard

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