Bateman, Robert L. 1967-
BATEMAN, Robert L. 1967-
PERSONAL: Born April 17, 1967, in Bethlehem, PA; son of Robert (a research physicist) and Ursula (Veziné) Bateman; married Deborah A. (a fitness instructor), October 7, 1989; children: Morgan, Ryann, Connor. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: University of Delaware, B.A., 1989; Ohio State University, M.A., 1998, and doctoral study.
ADDRESSES: Home—8 Brookstone Dr., Fredericksburg, VA 22405.
CAREER: U.S. Army, career infantry officer as airborne ranger, 1989—; present rank, major. Military assignments included rifle platoon leader for 25th Infantry Division, operations officer with multinational forces and observers in Sinai and Egypt, company commander of 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY, assistant professor of military history; military fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.
MEMBER: Association of the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps Association, Armor Association, Infantry Association, Ranger Association, Mensa.
AWARDS, HONORS: Military: Meritorious Service Medal. Other: Named Military Author of the Year, Association of the U.S. Army, 1994; Golden Pen Award, 1st Cavalry Division Association, 1996.
(Editor) Digital War: A View from the Front Lines, Presidio Press (Novato, CA), 1999.
No Gun Ri: A Military History of the Korean War Incident, Stackpole Books (Mechanicsburg, PA), 2002.
Contributor to military periodicals. Some writings appear under the pseudonym Matthew Brennan.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Shifting Gears: The Interwar U.S. Army, 1919-1941.
SIDELIGHTS: Robert L. Bateman is an infantry officer and the author of several works of military history and analysis. In his books and articles he looks both backwards, at the history of the U.S. Army, and forward, to consider the paths that the armed forces might take in the future.
Bateman's first book is Digital War: A View from the Front Lines, a collection of essays by Bateman and others about the effect of the "digital revolution" upon the armed forces. The volume focuses on the Army in particular, but "there is a great deal in this book that will interest anyone following the debate over the shape of the U.S. military in the information age," Erik J. Dahl concluded in Naval War College Review. The "highly readable anthology" contains several "provocative, well-written essays," Ron Laurenzo wrote in Defense Week, and it also asks important questions about the future role of ground troops in the American military—will they be rendered obsolete, as proponents of increasingly accurate guided missiles and bombs suggest, or remain a crucial part of American tactics and strategy? Perhaps predictably, Bateman and his infantry and cavalry colleagues come down firmly on the latter side. "With all the hype in Washington about the promise" of air power, Laurenzo commented, "maybe Digital War will restore the balance somewhat in debates about the ultimate role of firepower."
In No Gun Ri: A Military History of the Korean War Incident, Bateman debunks a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles published in 1999 by three Associated Press reporters who claimed that American soldiers massacred several hundred South Korean civilians at a railroad bridge at No Gun Ri, Korea, on July 26, 1950. In fact, although one small group of soldiers did fire on a crowd of refugees threatening to force its way through U.S. lines to flee the fighting, the refugees who were hit numbered under three dozen. "Bateman meticulously traces the situation that led to the incident," David L. Snead explained on H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online, including the poor training given to those troops and the chaotic situation on the ground at the time. "It is doubtful that anyone will ever describe the No Gun Ri incident in more detail or with more accuracy than Bateman," Snead concluded.
In addition to chronicling the actual history of the No Gun Ri incident, Bateman also "presents a compelling and conclusive case about how one man's war story can be spun into a national scandal," James H. Clifford explained in Air and Space Power Journal; "whether or not they are interested in this particular incident, people who consider themselves military historians should read No Gun Ri." The book was recommended as "a required textbook for every journalism student—and an eye-opener for working reporters and editors," Robert Skole wrote in Skeptical Inquirer.
Bateman told CA: "As one of the most prolific soldier-writers (and aspiring scholars) of my generation, I found myself operating in circles I would never have foreseen at the beginning of my military career. With more than fifty works of military history, theory, and prognostication in professional military journals and magazines, I met several others of the small group of people who are both soldiers and published authors. Realizing that I stood at the epicenter of this unique group was the moment of genesis for my first book, the anthology on the future of war, Digital War.
"My second book, No Gun Ri, derived from work with veterans of Korea and the initial false reports of the media about the actions of fake combat veterans at No Gun Ri in the opening days of the Korean War. As a veteran of the same unit accused by the Associated Press of committing what others characterized as a 'war crime,' I was uniquely situated to conduct knowledgeable research into the military archives, and I had access which other writers did not to the veterans of my own unit.
"Currently I am a doctoral candidate in history at Ohio State University. My writings, both historical and theoretical, reflect my training as a U.S. Army Airborne Ranger and my classical academic training for the doctorate in history."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Air and Space Power Journal, fall, 2002, James H. Clifford, review of No Gun Ri: A Military History of the Korean War Incident, p. 113.
Defense Week, January 3, 2000, Ron Laurenzo, review of Digital War: A View from the Front Lines.
Journal of Military History, April, 2003, James I. Matray, review of No Gun Ri, pp. 622-623.
Naval War College Review, autumn, 2000, Erik J. Dahl, review of Digital War, p. 158.
Skeptical Inquirer, September-October, 2002, Robert Skole, review of No Gun Ri, p. 53.
History News Network,http://hnn.us/ (September 9, 2004), Bonnie Goodman, "The Face-Off: Bob Bateman vs. the Associated Press."
H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://www.h-net.org/ (March, 2004), David L. Snead, review of No Gun Ri.
Pritzker Military Library Web site,http://www.pritzkermilitarylibrary.org/ (October 21, 2004), "Front and Center: With John Callaway: The Debate over No Gun Ri."