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Eric Minton, Writer/Editor: The Editor

Zoo-like sign of copy editor as species

Montage of AUSA publicationsThough my title was Copy Editor, my duties ran the gamut of the editorial spectrum when I worked for the Association of the U.S. Army's (AUSA) Institute of Land Warfare. My wordsmith assignments ranged from proofreading publication galley sheets, copy editing defense reports and briefings, and substantive editing of academic papers. I also was managing editor for two major publications: the Profile of the U.S. Army—A Reference Handbook, distributed to Army personnel, miitary families, and war colleges, which I wrote and edited while forging a close working relationship with the designer; and Your Soldier Your Army: A Parents' Guide by Vicki Cody, wife of the then vice chief of staff of the Army. That one I edited with Mrs. Cody at my side for every page, plus I designed,Covers of Your Army Your Soldier and Profile of the U.S. Army laid out, and guided it through the printer. At the time it became one of AUSA's most distributed publications.

Eric Minton casually dressed, hands clappedEven I can't escape Mr. Hyde. When I finish writing an article, I leave it for Eric the Editor to take a hack at it the next day. That Eric is a totally different journalist from the writer, challenging every phrase with the intensity of a komodo dragon and the tenacity of a polar bear.

I'm a good copy editor. I'm a great substantive editor. I'm the best copyfit editor I've ever encountered. I've worked extensively with Associated Press and Chicago Manual styles, and I've had some experience with APA style, and whenever I manage a publication I establish both an organization-specific stylebook and production manual.

However, my editing skills go beyond wielding a No. 2 pencil and working the delete key. The species of editor I'm most identified with is the managing editor, providing vision and guidance for a publication or article, assisting and supporting the writer or designer at work, and serving as a mentor and teacher when asked.

Watching a good editor at work is like watching a blues guitarist manage his frets or an architect draw up her schematics. Unlike those artists, editors really can't provide credible samples of their singular skills. Even the issues of The Officer that I edited, linked on the Project Manager page of this website, are collaborative efforts.


“I’m going to miss you and your mentoring. I learned so much from you. Nuts to your leaving!”

Jeanne Kouhestani, Associate Editor, The Officer