Outside The Wire

VIDEO: Army head coach’s Afghanistan diary

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Army football coach Jeff Monken, reporting from Afghanistan (YouTube)

The superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy wanted the school’s new head football coach to get a first-person understanding of the jobs his players — current Black Knights and future recruits — will be doing after they hang up the pads.

So Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen, himself a starting offensive lineman while at West Point in the 1970s, brought Jeff Monken along on a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan last month, with the three-star speaking with recent academy grads as well as more senior leaders to find out how to improve the school in ways that will help future students succeed as Army officers.

Monken called it “the trip of a lifetime,” and he documented some of it in the video below — everything from travel updates at airports to boarding helicopters to a grand tour of war-zone VIP quarters (long on technology, short on space).

Both the coach and the superintendent spoke with Army Times to discuss the journey, their takeaways from talking to West Point alumni in the field, and a bit about the football program’s future; read more in the issue that hit newsstands Monday.

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