I'll say right off the bat that I am not military, nor do I come from a military family, so my disclaimer is that if I say anything inadvertantly offending or just downright silly in this post, please forgive me in advance, for I know not what I do (and I would appreciate if you correct me gently, because I'm always willing to learn!). Just about every time I go out to Gettysburg (and since I am going tomorrow, probably tomorrow, as well), I see groups of cadets from U.S. military academies like West Point touring the field, sometimes with a LBG, sometimes with their own guide. They are very intent on listening to what they're being told, and they study the battlefield intently, often with maps in hand. It's really very impressive to me to see their focus and interest, but it always makes me wonder--what, exactly, are they learning/looking at/studying? Why does our military today still visit the battlefield from 150 years ago? Obviously, there is much to be learned from history, including military history--that whole idea of "Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it" is one I wholly agree with, on many levels. So studying a battle--whether your ancestors were on the "winning" or "losing" side--is enlightening. But specifically, what things can our military today, in an age so far advanced from that battle, learn from the Battle of Gettysburg? I know many of you are/were military, and perhaps you visited Gettysburg battlefield as a cadet. I know a lot of you just might have some idea about what I'm asking. I know the battle very well from my years of study, but I'd like to get some specific reasons for why our military studies it today. Thanks in advance for enlightening this civilian!