Four Years at West Point
by David Lipsky
I plowed through this book — couldn’t put it down. Lipsky, a reporter for Rolling Stone, followed various students in the G-4 company at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from the fall of 1999 to the spring of 2002. Lipsky details the different students he met and how they changed over their years at West Point (and how many do not actually make it to the finish line). He also introduces the personalities of the instructors and administrators of West Point and their goal to invigorate these cadets into real soldiers.
This is an extremely good book. One the one hand, it details all that is good about the Army (team work, great race relations, dedication, sacrifice, achievement, etc) and many of the Army’s weaknesses (incredible bureaucracy, uneven punishment, stupid rules that change often, etc.).
I encourage you to tell all your civilian friends to read it. I learned a ton and have continued to build my appreciation of the military.