Everyone loves thanksgiving, or at least eating a lot. (U.S. Army Reserve/Master Sgt. Michel Sauret)

FROM THE EDITOR: Well, this has been a year, hasn’t it?

Yes, I know, I know, there’s still six weeks until the year is officially over. And those six weeks will be plenty busy — just in the next 10 days, we have the looming budget deadline and the annual Reagan Defense Forum. But here in the states, Thanksgiving marks the turn when everyone starts looking forward to the new year.

It also serves as a nice chance to take a breath and think about where things stands, particularly with Breaking Defense. Because it’s been, to put it mildly, quite a year for the site, where we’ve doubled the editorial team in just the last five months.

In addition to an incredible team that was already in place — space guru Theresa Hitchens, our cyber expert Brad Williams and of course the indubitable Sydney Freedberg — we’ve revamped the service reporters, adding Justin Katz covering Navy, Andrew Eversden covering Army, and Valerie Insinna covering both the Air Force and Pentagon leadership. And I’d personally be lost without Lee Ferran, who joined us in September as our managing editor.

The things you can find on DVIDS. (U.S. Army graphic by Spc. Taylor Zacherl)

It’s an incredibly strong group of reporters, one I’ll put up against anyone in the industry. I’m extremely thankful to them for the work they’ve put in, and for dealing politely with my constant meddling and occasional abuse of semicolons; the latter drives Lee, who I am making edit this piece, quite insane. [Editor’s note: You can just write two concise sentences instead, you know.] 

A note of particular thanks to Colin Clark, the site’s founder, who is in the process of uprooting his life and heading to Australia. He’ll be off for a few weeks while adjusting to life on the other side of the world — my understanding is he has to fight a kangaroo to get through immigration — but in January will be rejoining us as our first Indo-Pacific Bureau Chief.

I’ve known Colin since almost day one of my defense journalism career, and I’m personally grateful for the trust he put in me in handing over the reins of the publication; we salute him for his service and wish him luck in his upcoming marsupial cage match.

Finally, a delayed note on the comment section of the site. You may have noticed it disappeared several weeks ago. As of now, there is no plan for it to return. While we appreciate the enthusiasm that many commenters brought, the level of both personal insults and spam messages seemed to only be increasing, and a decision was made at a corporate level to move away from having a comments section (a decision many news organizations have made in recent years.) I know this is going to be disappointing for some readers, but I hope the quality of the journalism we put out will continue to be reason to come back.

Which, in a roundabout way, brings us to the last point of thanks: I am thankful to all our readers. The Breaking Defense audience is extremely knowledgeable and engaged (trust me, if we get something wrong, I hear about it in emails), and that’s great! The last thing any reporter wants is to work on something, put it out into the world, and have no one read it — or have people read it and not care. We’ll take an engaged audience, every time.

So thanks for reading through 2021. We’re taking a much-needed break for a few days here, but we’ll be back on Monday for the home stretch of the year. Thanks for your support, stay safe, and remember: cranberry sauce from a can is better than any homemade cranberry sauce. It’s all about the ridges.



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