A message to Garcia

Andrew Summers Rowan

My unit, part of the 181st Infantry Regiment, issued an assignment to its soldiers to read A Message to Garcia (1899). It is an essay that describes the character of Officer Andrew Rowan, who was called upon to deliver a message from President McKinley to General García — and it is a must-read.

In summary, it claims men need a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to “be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies; do things,” using Officer Rowan as the exemplar. This is, unfortunately, not the average man, who has “the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it… [an] incapacity for independent action.” A man who does what they are told — no more and no less — is hard to find. A Message to Garcia says as much, while also calling readers to become that man.

You can read it here: https://courses.csail.mit.edu/6.803/pdf/hubbard1899.pdf

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