These are my Rules of Engagement for the up coming Epic Veteran Writers Battle.

Rip off:  I am not ashamed to say that I am ripping off this idea from the ‘epic rap battle’ concept.  Since I am not doing rap battles, I am really just using this as a template for battling veteran authors.

A Thing?  Battling veteran authors is not a thing, but I am trying to make this a thing.  I will be most flattered if I am copied.  Better copied then ignored.

Veteran Writers Battle Rating Criteria:

Veteran status: Have to be a veteran.  No ‘almosts’, but medically unfit.  Served or not served.  Yes or no.  Easy as that!  No complex wire diagrams or flow charts or worse yet a: power point presentation, to determine veteran status.  Next I dig into what type of service:  combat versus no combat.  Fighter versus not so much a fighter. Supply guys might not like that.  Full disclosure, I am a supply guy who did a civil affairs deployment and was an embedded trainer with the Iraqi Army for my second deployment.  Cool stuff right? but not a fighter; also did two logistics type deployments[sad face here!!].  Also excluded are embedded journalists, such as Dave Finkle, Evan Wright and Sebastian Junger- who is far more the man and writer I could ever be, but not a veteran.

Writer:  Writing had to be a critical part of their life, maybe not their profession, but certainly their vocation.  The authors could not be hack writers or hobbyist such as myself.  A one-off memoir does not make the list either.  Regrets to Nathan Fick, loved his book and recommended read: “One Bullet Away”.

Awards:  Both military and civilian, yes, awards help with the evaluation as does financial success.

Personal Bias:  Does anyone really believe in pure objectivity?  I will be upfront and say ‘yes, you are damn right I was not objective!’

The Competitors: I selected well known authors that may or may not have been know as veterans.  For some the list might be surprising.  I admit, I knew the Team America authors were all veterans, but Team Europe‘s British authors were a surprise.  I thought George Orwell was a socialist pacifist and JRR Tolkein, the author of “The Hobbit” just a brilliant creative mind.  I was mistaken, both served- Orwell during the Spanish Civil War and Tolkein served in the British military.

More to follow- The Brackets: Team US vs Team Europe.