Category: Military Thingies

Infamy

Today is that day.

And, sadly, we are losing these guys.

For first time, no USS Arizona survivors will be in attendance at ceremonies to mark attack on Pearl Harbor

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – When a moment of silence is observed at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center Friday morning to commemorate the attack on Pearl Harbor, it will be without an important component.

No one who survived the bombing of the USS Arizona battleship will be in the audience.

“This is the very first year,” said Daniel Martinez, historian with the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

Health issues and doctor’s orders prevented Lou Conter from coming.

“She said you cannot go. You better cancel out,” he said in telephone interview from his home in California.

Conter is 97. The handful of survivors of the battleship’s sinking are all in their 90s.

“I’ve noticed the interest of people asking, ‘Will there be any of them there?’ because they’ve been so visible,” Martinez said.

You can fight everything, but time.

#Remember

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

…to my BELOVED Corps!!!

And to my loved ones, brothers, and sisters in green, a hearty #SemperFi

35 Years Ago Today

And nothing’s changed.

They’re still the murderous goat fuckers they’ve been from the beginning.

D-Day

#NeverForgotten

In an EPIC Reenactment Event

…the 82nd Airborne is LIVE-TWEETING the D-Day invasion, hour-by-hour, as it happened for them. Filled with tidbits, maps, illustration, photos and GREAT BIG BALLS OF ALL-AMERICAN BRASS, it’s SPECTACULAR.

Check in on it and scroll through history as it happened.

And God bless them. EVERY. ONE.

Remember

At the end of April I had the honor of bearing and raising the colors in a joint march and memorial here in Western Australia for ANZAC day. The holiday was first started to commemorate the loss of more than 60,000 men of the Australian and New Zealander Army Corps during the First World War, later representing a commemorative service for all war dead in the subsequent years with a nationwide dawn service. As the suns sets here in Australia, it’s just starting to ink the horizon of the East coast of the United States with brighter shades and will begin our Memorial Day, like ANZAC day, remembering those who gave their lives that others might live and do so in freedom.

For those of us that have served, the concept of degrees of separation is far less than six to be remembering a missing brother or sister in arms today, even family. For we Americans, regardless of their degrees of separation, today is a day of reflection, of doing the things that our loved ones loved to do, remembering the good times gone by, helping families cope and visiting the lost. Flowers are laid, prayers are said, tears and laughter alike to be had.

Those of us abroad who can’t be home to visit with loved ones or visit the resting place of our family carry our own tributes. It might be a bracelet, a small token, pictures, but it helps. I picked up our flag in April in my own remembrance of not just of our fallen allies, but of our own joint fallen in these last decades of combat, to include the closest thing I have to a little brother. I spent today kayaking and making a haphazard attempt to fish which I know John would have been in tears laughing to watch, because boating and fishing were two things we enjoyed doing as children; things he obviously got far, far better at than me as an adult. In a few hours, instead of raising a flag, I’ll put a beer on the table next to John’s picture since that was the last brew we had together a few years back while I was TDY in Colorado, where he was stationed. After, I’ll sit back and watch Predator, one of our favorite movies growing up and I’ll probably follow that up with Aliens. I’ll call my folks and John’s folks once they get up and we’ll talk about old times and what’s going on now, I’ll send John’s wife and munchkins my love. Coincidentally, today is also my birthday and the irrationality of it all is that if I had a birthday wish it’s for the one thing I really can’t have, outside of old pictures like when we went to Medieval Times as kids for my birthday. I was born four years before John and am thankful for every moment we had, but I’ll be damned if I don’t wish I woke up in my bed in Guam the morning I got the news and it was all just a horrid dream.

Across the globe folks are doing similar things remembering the thousands of other losses in a service to sustaining our way of life. If you have half a chance, I’d ask you attend a memorial today, be a part of that national tribute to those that went before us. It doesn’t particularly matter if you don’t know someone who’s been taken in service of our Nation, you’re a tribute to their passage because you are walking, talking example of what that sacrifice was meant to preserve: you are an American.

Love you and miss you brother.

~ Ebola





“Rommel! You Magnificent Bastard!”

“I READ YOUR BOOK!!!”

Probably would have helped if Lil’ Rocket Man had a copy of The Art of the Deal, right?

Photo: Reuters

Right.

While Nobody Was Looking

…the Vice-President’s Army physician was busy tanking somebody’s reputation and career.

According to four administration officials, the main allegations were brought forth by Vice President Mike Pence’s Army physician Dr. Jennifer Pena, who is assigned to Pence by the White House Medical Unit and does not work directly for the office of the Vice President. Those officials contend Pena has held a long-time grudge against Jackson because of his continuing promotions in the White House. She began her career at the White House during the Obama administration. According to the officials, Pena, who is still active military and assigned to the White House Military Office, did not follow proper protocol to report on the allegations. Instead, she went directly to the Senate with the support of some current and former White House medical staff who were her loyalists. None of the allegations she allegedly brought forth have been substantiated.

She “held a long time grudge“?!?! That’s IT?!?! And in this #MeToo #MeanGirlzRule age, I guess that gives you the “by your leave” to just act out your fit of pique and destroy willy nilly, as long as the target goes down.

There’s United States Army honor, courage and integrity values for you!

Now, as Ebola rightly pointed out, ANY service member can jump the chain of command and go straight to their Congressional delegation, for ANYTHING, free of repercussion. In most cases, those events have to do with legitimate service beefs, not indulging in personal vendettas and acting out.

It also makes one wonder, as all the “loyalists” and the ringleader herself are OBAMA HOLDOVERS, why weren’t these horrific allegations and turbid insinuations brought up when Mr. Feelz was president? SURELY HE was the guy to vanquish this toxically masculine insult to all that is moral and straight in the White House Medical Corps?

Surely he was. Unless justice wasn’t where you were going in the first place.

As RealJeffS said, I too, am hoping she finds herself – swiftly – in a lovely methadone clinic in Nan’s San Fran, accepting dirty needles back from the needy. It would be quite a while before I’d trust her with clean ones.

Whoever’s Service This Young Man Belonged to

this is GHASTLY:

Russian pilot blows himself up to avoid capture by jihadists

…Maj. Roman Filipov’s Sukhoi 25SM fighter was struck by a portable surface-to-air missile as he flew low over opposition-held Idlib in northwestern Syria, according to the UK’s Telegraph.

The 33-year-old pilot managed to keep the plane in the air briefly but was forced to bail out after one of the engines failed and his flight controls became unresponsive.

Extremists from al Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham opened fire on him after his parachute opened, but he made it to the ground and shot two of the rebels with his Stechkin pistol, the Express reported.

Dramatic video circulating in social media shows the fighters ducking as the gutsy aviator then shouts, “This is for our guys!

He then pulls the grenade’s pin and blows himself up.

But, really, the only alternative to capture when facing Obama’s JV Team, considering their well cataloged horrific treatment of anybody and everybody NOT THEM.

I only wish he could have taken more of the vile animals with him.

Ebola Expounds On Trump, the Rocket Man

…and button sizes.

That’s our boy.

“Why I don’t give a shit about POTUS tweeting Kim…or any dictator for that matter.”

Last day or so my feed exploded with folks incensed over the God Emperor “not understanding foreign policy” to the level of inane utterances like, “How can you be making jokes? We could all die!” Either of these statements rather ironically point to the outright ignorance and/or purposeful expunging of intellect on foreign policy by those very people proclaiming the “Trump dumb” trope.

First, let’s address the strategic realities, as they impact the political realities:

North Korea (aka Norks), armed with Soviet armaments and tanks, waited for the US to start removing it’s troops on the Korean Peninsula, and for the South Koreans (Republic of Korea, aka ROK) to lose US monetary support and receive only low level arms support, surreptitiously blitzkrieging into the South in the end of June, 1950. Why is this important? Because it establishes who the aggressor is, then and now.

The current strategic reality in the intervening time, just shy of 70 years, is that the Norks have reinforced the 38th parallel in terms of hardened artillery emplacements, with mobile batteries being the norm further North. Conservative estimates right now put 400k rounds of artillery on civilian and military targets in the opening hour. There is absolutely no question that the Norks will target civilians, as they already have in prior engagements, to include open terror incidents. In those seventy years, the militarization of the border has increased at an ever more rapid pace, North of the border. US troops, on the other hand, have largely dropped in that time. Why is this important? Because it establishes that the US has continually backed off its footprint on the peninsula, to ever increasing Northern buildup, purposely pointed at threatening ROK civilian population centers (now with the advent of ICBM tech within the nation, US civilian population centers). It also establishes that more time has dramatically expanded the capabilities of the regime, regardless of political and economic embargo. Currently Nork capability to launch a nuclear assault against the US is limited and unlikely to be precision capable, but with their rapidly expanding capabilities, time is not an ally.

The political reality:

The Norks have been reliable in one thing alone and that is not abiding by agreements. A multitude of agreements from disarming, to ceasing research of weapons of mass destruction (chemical, nuclear, biological, etc.), have continually been broken. In every instance the Norks have leveraged a “we’ll do/finish this, unless you give X” to the tune of billions in foreign aid over a multitude of administrations. The Norks have continually been in violation of exporting conventional arms, missile technology, or even WMD tech to third parties, state or non-state. Nork uranium hexafluoride was shipped to Libya via Pakistan, in turn Syrian nuclear reactor tech was almost entirely Nork, for a few examples. In 2009 a shipment of chemical warfare suits bound for Syria were interdicted. Why does this matter? A tyrant regime that purposely targets civilians, and have literally bombed civilian airplane flights, is not going to hold back on giving a WMD to a third party group for a buck if it is at all possible.

The executive reality, the interplay between heads of State, is a different matter. The Kim family, for seventy years, has successfully neutered the US’ Teddy-like stance of “speak quietly and carry a big stick” on that particular stage. The US, under the onus of an appeal to emotion fallacy, continuously paraded, has allowed the Kims to repeatedly break agreements and expand their military capability. Why is this important? The Kims have pursued nuclear weapons specifically to continue a heritage of using threat over civilian populations in return for more money, which is then dumped into their military industrial complex. For the first time, we have a President that is outright saying the behavior is enough and threatening a response in kind. This has observably caught the Kim Jong-un government off footing, as they’ve had 70 years of threat with effectively no response from a US executive. This is easily observable with their threat to attack Guam, then President Trump’s rebuttal of “all options on the table” netting a tacking back in Nork threats on the international stage, with none of the planned test launch towards Guam or nuclear fire anywhere in the US.

The short of it is that propaganda out of the Norks is an everyday thing for the last seventy years. What’s changed is we’ve allowed them ample time to gain more ability to threaten civilians all over the globe. Now, we have a bunch of facebook pseudo-foreign policy types, most with no semblance of field experience, chiming in that we should //allow the Norks more time// while ceding them the stage to do so, thereby encouraging other similar regimes to action. Sounds like a solid plan!

I have family and friends spread throughout Westpac, and while I’m not in a hurry to have a fight that’s not necessary, there are some fights that don’t get better with time. Seventy years of pleading and playing politely has gotten us nowhere; it’s beyond time for a change in tack. That’s why I don’t give a shit about our President bluntly telling a tyrant that time might have granted him a toothpick, but we’ll respond in kind with a baseball bat; it has shown results before. Even if a conflict did break out, now is better than later. Allowing the Norks to hit the level where MAD theory actually applies is exactly what we will get under the argument of “be nice, maybe things will change.” The Cold War will look quaint by comparison.

Jeez

You just want to eat him up.

A Day That Will Live In Infamy

Salvage operations, USS Oklahoma (BB-37), sunk during the Pearl Harbor attack. Looking forward on the offshore side of the capsized battleship, at the 109° position.

Medal of Honor Winner Thomas Hudner Has Died

What a phenomenal MAN.

Selfless, courageous, AMERICAN.

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Lieutenant, Junior Grade Thomas Jerome Hudner, Jr., United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a Pilot in Fighter Squadron Thirty-Two (VF-32), attached to the U.S.S. LEYTE (CV-32), while attempting to rescue a squadron mate whose plane struck by anti-aircraft fire and trailing smoke, was forced down behind enemy lines near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, on 4 December 1950. Quickly maneuvering to circle the downed pilot and protect him from enemy troops infesting the area, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Hudner risked his life to save the injured flier who was trapped alive in the burning wreckage. Fully aware of the extreme danger in landing on the rough mountainous terrain and the scant hope of escape or survival in subzero temperature, he put his plane down skillfully in a deliberate wheels-up landing in the presence of enemy troops. With his bare hands, he packed the fuselage with snow to keep the flames away from the pilot and struggled to pull him free. Unsuccessful in this, he returned to his crashed aircraft and radioed other airborne planes, requesting that a helicopter be dispatched with an ax and fire extinguisher. He then remained on the spot despite the continuing danger from enemy action and, with the assistance of the rescue pilot, renewed a desperate but unavailing battle against time, cold, and flames. Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Hudner’s exceptionally valiant action and selfless devotion to a shipmate sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

Jesse LeRoy Brown, the fellow pilot Tom Hudner crash landed next to in order to try and rescue, was the Navy’s FIRST Black Aviator, and the first Black American to have a Naval Ship named for him.

Happy Birthday to My Beloved UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS!!!

America's Marines from Marco Ceo on Vimeo.

This Made Me Cry

Dammit. Still sniffling.

How Florida says “Thank you.”

And I’ll add, “God BLESS you, EVERY one.

#Merica

Pittsburgh Steeler Alexander Villaneuva Stood Tall and Alone Yesterday

…while his “team” cowered in the tunnel behind him, purportedly for “unity’s” sake.

On a friend’s Facebook post, as she’s from the area, there was a discussion and a comment was made to me I felt compelled to answer. I’m sharing.

It’s how I feel.

September 11

Never forget.

Lemme Translate

This Article in USA Today

…was supposed to shoot straight at the old heart strings, in the “how can anyone QUESTION her willingness to serve?!?!/ Donald Trump is MEAN and SUCKS!!!!!” vein.

But when you READ it – and the very careful phrasing the few military members who serve with her used when interviewed – it quite specifically makes the VERY PRACTICAL POINTS we’ve brought up repeatedly. Trans are FRAGILE. Far more fragile than flat footed folks, who are not allowed in to begin with. They are non-deployable (read that as: WORTHLESS TO THEIR UNIT) for YEARS. LITERALLY.

Transgender US soldier felt ‘fired’ by Trump’s tweet

The subject line read: “Announcing a personal change.”

The U.S. Army soldier took a deep breath before hitting the button that sent the email to more than 200 fellow troops.

“All considered, I am, and have been, traversing what is essentially a personal matter, but is something I must address publicly,” the email stated. “I am transgender.”

The April 13 email officially ended the secret that burned inside Capt. Jennifer Sims, who was known as Jonathan Sims. But the feeling of relief swiftly turned to unease last week after President Donald Trump tweeted that transgender troops were no longer welcome.

“I read the tweet while I was at work and you know it was devastating because I still have work to do and here I am reading basically what sounds like the president of the United States — who is the commander in chief, he is the ultimate boss of the military — telling me and anybody else that is transgender that we are fired,” Sims said.

Okay. I understand being upset, but let’s take a look at what your gender dysphoria is costing your UNIT…

…Sims has been on hormone therapy by her military doctor since November.

If she interrupts the treatment, her body will revert to being male.

“It would be very difficult to have to go through that,” said Sims, who is based at Hohenfels, a U.S. Army garrison in the German state of Bavaria…

Okay. So “since November” means she’s been taking the drugs for 10 months. So far, lost to her unit for TEN MONTHS. How’s the unit handling that and what’s next?

…Shorter had a lot of questions “being naturally curious and wanting to be a good friend because we didn’t really have a personal relationship. He’s, excuse me, she’s — see I still slip up sometimes — a single captain. I’m married with two daughters. Our lives are different.”

Shorter, 32, of Alanson, Michigan, describes himself as conservative. He said he struggles with his beliefs about what’s appropriate. An assistant operations officer for the battalion, Shorter is concerned about how Sims cannot deploy while undergoing medical procedures.

But Shorter, speaking on his own behalf and not that of the Army, said he would be “incredibly disappointed” if Sims, the best signal officer he has seen, were kicked out.

After Trump’s tweet, a few soldiers, including Shorter, asked Sims how she was doing. She didn’t know what to say.

Her pills will run out in three months. Doctors recommend 12 months of hormone therapy before surgery. The cost of her surgery can run close to $50,000, which Sims was expecting the military would help cover….

So she has to have a full year – UNDEPLOYABLE – on hormone treatments before she can have the surgery, which renders her, again, UNDEPLOYABLE darn near another year, on average, thanks to recuperative time and tons of counseling requirements. No pregnant woman EVER cost the service that. I’m sick of the argument.

Just WHERE does “the GOOD of the service” come into this again?

It DOESN’T. NONE of this is “GOOD” for the service OR, most importantly, the service MEMBERS who have to pick up the slack/take the overseas dets/get shot at/blown up more than they should have to because #feelingz allow their fellow servicemembers #SpecialStatus. The military is shorthanded enough as it is. And here THIS unit might well be losing the “best signal officer” they’ve seen.

What GOOD is she to the Army? How does she make it better? The Army is NOT required to be “good” to her. YOU have to bring something to the table besides a sunny disposition.

Then the practical matters of deploying. What happens in the hills of Afghanistan when the hormone pills didn’t arrive in the last shipment? What happens when the trans males, who still (because they were BORN with it) have their female bone structure, start to break down on humps? Testosterone doesn’t give you man-bones, nor change your pelvis.

Let’s not ignore the lifelong hormonal treatments the government picks up FOREVER (the fact that male to female trans get to keep their prostate, so there’s that to worry about, too), or that the VA is on the hook for any medical expenses incurred related to the surgery FOREVER, because it occurred during the service member’s period of service. A trans is basically a rated disability upon discharge from the service, with lifetime privilege.

No pregnant woman EVER cost the service that. And I’m sorry. When we’re looking at stripping one Basic Allowance for Housing payment away from married active duty couples because MONEY…we sure as Hell don’t have the bling for this.

Nope. The article makes the argument FOR the ban so much better than it makes the argument against it.

About That Transgenders in the Military Thing…

The military is about the collective, not accommodation. It is about YOU meeting the military’s needs, not the military meeting yours. Service is not a “right,” it is a privilege. Flat feet will keep you out as well, and would require no extensive surgery, no time lost for counselling or drug therapies, nor a lifetime of government funded aftercare, yet the flat foot lobby is ignored. There are no courses designed for “Clinical Care: the Flat Footed”, like the course I’ve included below related to transgender care. The strawmen about “what about blacks/women when THEY weren’t welcome” is precisely that. No surgical intervention required, no counselling, no time lost to the unit because black or female. Even the pregnancy canard falls to the wayside. Once that baby is birthed? Back to work. And no VA care commitment for the rest of the mother’s life. All this for an elective surgery. And it IS “elective,” a CHOICE. There are no gaping fissures, no sucking chest wounds involved, no burst appendix that needs immediate attending to. Choice.

You have to choose this surgery. That new life. Conceivably someone could come in surreptiously specifically for the surgery and, once in and on their way into the “process”, between counselling, therapies, recuperative time, etc., they might never spend a day of a four-year enlistment doing anything, ANYTHING they trained for, or in support of their unit. They certainly wouldn’t be deployable. And after that gift of $130,000+ surgery, all expense paid transition, for which they basically contributed nothing to the collective, they go out the door to the civilian world with lifetime medical from the VA paying for all their hormones and consequent related medical needs. Why? Because they had the surgery while on active duty.

Someone on another thread said “but it’s only tiny percentage of DoD budget” which worked out to however many tens of millions. I remember having to count actual gallons of fuel going into tactical aircraft at the end of the fiscal year because we ran out of MONEY. Those umpteefrats millions MATTER, believe me. When you have Congress talking about pulling one BAH from MARRIED active duty couples because MONEY, those “penny in the budget” millions MATTER. And I’m sorry. Your “elective” life choice shouldn’t impact readiness or another service person’s life in any negative fashion at all. God knows it’s hard enough now.

Of course there are the few exceptional individuals who can do it. Who aren’t the drag: like someday there will be a female who makes it through the REAL Combat Officer’s Course (not a standards lowered one). But that doesn’t speak to the larger entity, to the collective that HAS to be maintained. And that one-off changes nothing, truthfully. It can’t. You have to carry your load most all the time. And not make anyone else’s heavier because you are needy (You also have to be prepared for unvarnished truth from your fellows if you do slack, and people want their feelings protected these days, deserved or otherwise). Don’t quote SEALs at me who are now “female” and squawk at the president, when she was a HE when all the heroics went down and would never BE a SEAL were she a “she” originally. It’s now just his opinion. He’s no moral authority as a transgender because he did none of it AS a she. Glad you were on the Bin Laden raid, dude. Did you do it in drag and on hormones? No? Then STFU.

My sweet little brother couldn’t join the military because of diabetes, the other because of vertebrae crunching. I feel for them because those things are BEYOND their control and, yet, they are disqualifiers. IT’S NOT FAIR, right? Why should something that is one’s totally elective, entirely individual choice be any less disqualifying, when it is so patently a disruptive, counterproductive, expense-luxury-we-can’t-afford choice in regards to the military?

“Fair” is in the eye of the beholder and has never had anything to do with military service. That’s why it works.

Further Reading:

#91920: Clinical Care of the Transgender Patient

Not normally a fan of the Family Research Council, but they have got ALL the numbers nailed, from surgery and therapy to unit impacts.

UPDATE:

I just had to share the helpful assist for the argument via Lady Gaga to POTUS:

PERFECT! SIGN THEM UP and for God’s sake – make SURE THEY EACH GET A GUN!!!

Someone’s Career Is Over

And someone was asleep at the wheel

The bodies of missing sailors were found in flooded compartments of the USS Fitzgerald, which came close to sinking after a collision with a container ship off Japan tore a gash under the warship’s waterline, the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet commander said on Sunday.

Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin declined to say how many of the seven missing sailors had been recovered, but Japanese media said all had died. “Out of concern for the families and the notification process, I will decline to state how many we have found at this time,” Aucoin told a news conference.

The search at sea had ended, Aucoin said.

The USS Fitzgerald could have foundered, or even sunk, but for the crew’s desperate efforts to save the ship, he said.

Who decided that crossing a containership’s “T” at 2am was a good idea?

They Gave So Much

The American Cemetery above Utah Beach, photo taken when we were there in January 2015. It’s American Territory and our boys are all buried facing America. And I’m not ashamed to say I’m sobbing while typing this; it is an amazingly moving place.

“I’m Going Ahead With the Troops”

“Get word to the Navy and bring them in.
We’ll start the war from here.”

Gen Theodore Roosevelt Jr. on Utah Beach.
At 57 years old, the oldest man in the invasion fleet and the only general to personally hit the beach with his troops.

On June 6, 1944.
D Day.

He died shortly thereafter in France and is buried at the Normandy American Cemetery, next to his little brother Quentin, who was killed in his airplane during a dogfight in World War I.

Remember

Barrancas National Cemetery is a stunning place in its own right. But on a day like yesterday, with brooding clouds in the background and the light playing through the oaks and then being snuffed out by the building showers, it has a magic and poignancy second to none. Adjacent to our Daddy is the Civil War and Spanish American War section (yes, Barrancas is that old) and today we found sailors from ironclads buried there. Then we stopped by to visit Daddy, Uncle Nat and Aunt Dolly, leave them all some fresh flowers and, all the while, think of our precious, sweet John Perry.


The flags are always so terribly beautiful. And paid for so dearly.

About That…

Oh, yeah. Don’t worry about the Russians getting close, they said.
They do this all the time, they said.
EXPERTS, they said…

Russian spy ship sinks off Turkey after collision with freighter

A Russian spy ship has sunk off the Turkish coast after being breached in a collision with a freighter, with all its crew rescued, the Turkish coastal authority says.

Russia confirmed earlier that the hull of the Liman, part of its Black Sea Fleet, had sustained a breach, with crew working to keep it afloat.
The cause of the collision is unclear but fog was reported in the area.

The ship hit a Togo-flagged boat carrying livestock, Turkish media say.

A LIVESTOCK shipment?

Well, you know what they say about f*@king with the bull… 😀

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