With my US holiday dhobi washed and dried if not ironed and the jetlag all but gone, I return to normal jogging here at Schloss Edwards.

My eye has, not surprisingly, been caught by pronouncements from my Army boss, the Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Patrick Sanders.

He has made the bold suggestion that the threat to our security is suddenly magnified in the new world order, with an ongoing war in Europe, one in the Middle East and another in the post, and we should prepare a citizens army to counter any threat from adversaries.

I nod knowingly and cast my mind back a few days, when I was happily driving around Maryland and Virginia taking in the museums and reliving the American War of Independence and, a century later, the Civil War.

I walked in the footsteps of Washington, Lincoln, Grant and Lee and understand more about them than I ever did before. Now, in light of the call from General Sanders, I appreciate the process and policies as much as the prosecution of their wars.

Washington led the Continental Army and defeated British forces by doing just as Sanders describes - using a citizen army to fight an enemy which tried to change their lifestyle forever. And then, as the United States, a schism appeared a hundred years later over that same lifestyle and, more importantly, how slaves were acquired, kept and used in the plantation economy.

However misguided they were in those practices, the Confederate states did exactly the same to fight the Union which wanted to end that lifestyle: they raised a citizen army.

Tragically, sometimes brothers fought on opposing sides, as did fathers and sons.

While in the US the other week, I watched in horror as Donald Trump swept all before him in caucuses and primaries, as he attempts to return to the White House.

Among his many worrying and hubristic rants is a suggestion that if re-elected, he will withdraw the vast military of the USA from NATO, leaving our eastern flank open to his friend Putin.

If that happens, then the view of General Sanders will inevitably come to pass, because the British Army is shrinking to the extent that the Army Reserve, in which I am still serving after 30 years, won’t be nearly enough to defend this country, and civilians will have to mobilise.

One wonders how that will go down with today’s potential soldiers, called upon to fight for the survival of this nation. There will no doubt be a fidgeting with piercings, a stroking of tattoos and heavy inhalation on vapes as a safe space is sought.

Our forefathers went. Now, if we want to enjoy the freedoms they fought to give us, we may have to go as well.