Michele posts this at The Command Post:

Although the announcement wasn’t supposed to be made until later tonight, the word is out: Time’s Person of the Year is The American Soldier.

They swept across Iraq and conquered it in 21 days. They stand guard on streets pot-holed with skepticism and rancor. They caught Saddam Hussein. They are the face of America, its might and good will, in a region unused to democracy. The U.S. G.I. is TIME’s Person of the Year.

….To have pulled Saddam Hussein from his hole in the ground brings the possibility of pulling an entire country out of the dark. In an exhausting year when we’ve been witness to battles well beyond the battlefields–in the streets, in our homes, with our allies–to share good news felt like breaking a long fast, all the better since it came by surprise. And who delivered this gift, against all odds and risks? The same citizens who share the duty of living with, and dying for, a country’s most fateful decisions.

Interesting–and hard to argue with the sentiment. I’m always a bit dubious when the Man of the Year isn’t actually a single individual, but it would almost always be the sitting American president if they didn’t get a bit creative.

There is also precedent for this: Time’s Man of the Year for 1950 was The American Fighting-Man.

FILED UNDER: Democracy, Military Affairs, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Steven says:

    Sure beats “The Whistleblowers” from last year.

  2. Mac Swift says:

    Our soldiers are especially deserving of this recognition (and then some), but when Time goes the way of “Anonymous “, it makes you wonder who was second in line.

  3. Mac Swift says:

    Yikes, I got sanitized. That should read “Anonymous fill-in-the-blank-here”

  4. James Joyner says:

    I think they strain every year to be inventive. George W. Bush is the obvious choice, but Time almost always gives it to presidents no more than once per term. And this choice works for me, really, given the manifold operations underway right now.