Steel and Stylus is a site geared toward the reader with an avid interest in War, conflict and the story of ideas over the millennia of human history. Everything we encounter in our collective history can be just as colorful and interesting as the wildest dreams our imagination can conjure up. Read the Home page for a more thorough description, and browse some of the articles to get a taste of what we’re all about here.
A little about me:
I’m in my late 20’s and from the Philadelphia area; a married father of two. My parents always encouraged me to read from a young age and I grew fascinated with all things history and warfare. Like a lot of kids, I came from a big family so books were often my only place of solitude (my parents adopted five children!, had me and my sisters for a grand total of 8 kids). In high school, I had football coaches that taught me about blocking and running… but also loaned me history books and talked philosophy with me.
I joined the Army in 2010 after graduating from college. I had an opportunity to become an officer right out of college, but I decided to enlist in the Infantry and “get some experience first”. A few weeks after graduating from Fort Benning I found myself boots on the ground in Kandahar, Afghanistan at the height of the surge with an M240L Machine Gun and a Carl Gustav Recoilless Rifle. Over the course of three deployments (and with quite a bit of help from friends), I gained some of that “experience” I wanted… No longer was I forced to daydream what it was like to be a soldier, as I had been thoroughly ensconced in all things war, combat and Army. It was an experience and an adventure.
With the drawdown in Afghanistan, I figured my time in service was up; I had joined to serve my country as generations had done before and to see if I could survive the crucible of warfare. Along the way, I met my wife and learned a thing or two about “the real world”. After serving six years, I ended my active time in service and transferred to the National Guard where I continue to serve as an Infantryman. I enrolled in a local Graduate History program to pursue my Masters Degree (now I’m looking for a Ph.D program that would have me), and fell down a rabbit hole that led me to start this site.
During my time in the Army, I missed the environment and discussion of history and ideas; Thankfully, my unit was packed full of intelligent, well-read dudes who loved to talk history, philosophy and literature with me. Say what you will about the classroom, but you can learn a lot with an open mind, a good book and a decent mentor. What I missed was being able to put my ideas and thoughts into writing and having them ripped apart by people much smarter than me (have at it, folks).
My day job? I worked as a Private Security Contractor for a little bit when I was finished with the Army (and still dabble in that world (when I need the money); when not getting paid to play overseas I work in the Chemical Industry producing, analyzing and babysitting cylinders of some pretty neat stuff.
I hope you’ll enjoy my little site and drop me a line, even if it’s just to say hello!