Unit VI Article Critique

Unit VI Article Critique

Columbia Southern University

This article critique is based on the article titled “General Emory Upton—The Army’s Mahon”. It is about General Emory Upton, who developed the blueprint for the modern United States Army. General Upton endlessly studied and researched military history of the United States and abroad. Emory Upton was considered one of the premier military minds of his time, or maybe even the best in history.

In May of 1861, General Upton graduated from West Point, and was considered a bright star of his class. He trained federal troops in Washington D.C. during his first months as an officer in the military. The Battle of Bull Run was Upton’s first time to fight, where he was highly recognized for his knowledge of battlefield tactics and courage. A pivotal time in his career was the four years he served in the Civil War. The possibilities were endless for General Upton, as he was quickly rising through the ranks. General Upton made his lasting mark on the United States Army, not because of his time in battle, but because of his research and study of military history, tactics and strategies, and the structure of militaries around the world. His contributions to military history devolved two pieces of work that would change the armed services, although the change would not happen immediately. “The Armies of Asia and Europe” was the first report General Upton published with his own money in an attempt to persuade the general public to be on board with the policy changes the United States military truly needed. General Upton was a huge advocate of a strong full time military and encouraged the federal government to rely less on state run militias. Upton wanted to model the Army under three elements. The first was a strong full-time Regular Army. The second was a National Volunteer Army that could be called upon during the time of war to bring the Regular Army to full strength. Finally, was a militia to execute, protect, and enforce the laws of the land.

The second major piece of writing that General Upton, unfortunately, never got to finish was “The Military Policy of the United States”. This piece of work was found, published, and used many times to develop and implement policies for the current military policies we see today. The current structure, size, strength, and management of the United States Army can be directly linked to the work and writings of General Upton.

The advances of technology discussed in this article had nothing to do with actual fighting, but rather a way of thinking and organizing to maintain a strong and ready fighting force. The overall protection of the nation relied heavily on the ability of its armed forces to defend it. Upton exposed the weaknesses and limitations of the old way of managing the National Army.

The social climate during this time was considered “The Army’s Dark Ages” (Brown, 1953). The country was very skeptical about war and the military numbers were dangerously low. The general consensus was that the United States was safe from foreign attackers because of the large bodies of water on the east and west coasts. Also, the countries to the north and south had weaker militaries. The climate for soldiers was dismal and unappreciated.

In my opinion, this article was well written and full of facts that are very interesting and fully explains the full picture and climate of the post-Civil War era. General Upton had such a strong influence on and long-lasting effect on United States military, even in today’s society. He had such an incredible impact on the United States Armed Forces. Upton was very brilliant, and he did so much research for so many people and leaders of the country.

I felt that the author of this article truly captured who General Upton really was as a person and a man of the military. The author did a great job researching and providing resources for the article. It is very thorough. I would have liked to get to know Upton during the Civil War, and the beginning of his career. The author did not really go in depth and it was really brief. I want to know what exactly it was that sparked his interest in researching and studying military so fervently. I really enjoyed this article, and I loved learning about the man who had such an impact on the United States Army.


Brown, R. (1953). General Emory Upton-The army’s Mahan. Military Affairs, 17(3), 125-131.

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