Category: Military Thingies

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… 😀

When She Heard the Syrian Attack

…used Tomahawks.

via GIPHY

Ad Astra and Semper Fi

God speed, John Glenn.

“One of These Days Somebody Will Be Blowing Taps for Me”

And so they are.

Korean War veteran Guy Taylor died Monday night at the age of 84.

May there be bugles aplenty for you, Marine, in the great ever after. Thank you.

Semper Fi.

Their Headgear Was Also Functional

God bless them, EVERY one.

Congratulations to Our Baby Boy, Ebola

Also known as the Air Force’s FINEST meteorologist.

Handsome devil just reenlisted.

#SoProud

rcre-enlist

#AMERICA

I Know Trump Is Supposed to Be the “Fuzzy” One

…one matters of the Constitution, but the Pennsylvania Avenue Pedant sure wants to give him a run for his imperial money. Take a gander at what the CURRENT EIGHT YEAR OCCUPANT of the White House had to say to a group of servicemen at MacDill about their duties as members of the Armed Forces of the United States:

…During the speech, President Obama wanted to remind the troops that they had the right and the duty to protest President-elect Trump once he takes office. He said he wanted to remind them “that each of us has…the universal right to speak your minds and to protest against authority; to live in a society that’s open and free; that can criticize our president without retribution.

I’m sure the whole “run your mouth about the Commander-in-Chief” part will be a NEWS FLASH to the folks in the audience and a revelation to members already severely sanctioned for having unwisely done EXACTLY that about OBAMA, while representing themselves AS active duty military members.

God Bless Them

Battleship USS West Virginia sunk and burning at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. In background is the battleship USS Tennessee.

Battleship USS West Virginia sunk and burning at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. In background is the battleship USS Tennessee.

75 Years

75 years ago we were taught a very important lesson, that an enemy can strike us anytime, anywhere.

And now I guess there’s some sort of kerfluffle because Abe won’t “apologize” during his historic trip to Pearl

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won’t apologize for Japan’s attack when he visits the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor later this month, the government spokesman said Tuesday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that “the purpose of the upcoming visit is to pay respects for the war dead and not to offer an apology.”

Abe announced late Monday that he would have a summit meeting with President Barack Obama in Hawaii and visit Pearl Harbor. He will be the first Japanese leader to go to the site of the Japanese attack that propelled the United States into World War II.

Why should he? I sure as hell don’t want the US to apologize for attacks we made. It was a war. They made a calculated decision that by striking first they could knock us out.

Happily we were very very lucky and they were mistaken.

I Read This For the First Time in My Life Friday

Saturday night, I could have written it.

“Have you news of my boy Jack?”
Not this tide.
“When d’you think that he’ll come back?”
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

“Has any one else had word of him?”
Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

“Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?”
None this tide,
Nor any tide,
Except he did not shame his kind —
Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.

Then hold your head up all the more,
This tide,
And every tide;
Because he was the son you bore,
And gave to that wind blowing and that tide!
~ Rudyard Kipling

UPDATE: And we’ve now heard officially about our boy, John…

Illinois, California Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan Attack

The Department of Defense on Monday identified two U.S. soldiers killed in an explosion at a U.S. airfield in Afghanistan.

The department said 20-year-old Pfc. Tyler R. Iubelt of Tamaroa, Illinois, and 30-year-old Sgt. John W. Perry of Stockton, California, died of injuries inflicted by an improvised explosive device. Two American contractors also died in the explosion Saturday morning. Another 16 U.S. service members and one Polish soldier were wounded.

Iubelt and Perry were assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas.

UPDATE Deux: Oh, more info and his sweet face…

There are other families in this agony who need to be remembered in your prayers as well, please.

We Are So Proud of You, Sgt John

From your first day on Earth, when I looked at your little red face through the hospital glass, to the day we watched you marching with that uniform on and got to meet the incredible woman who would become your wife, with everything (like 2 children) in between and afterwards, you have FOREVER been an integral, much loved part of OUR lives. Your mom Kcruella has been the sister I never had and you? Our second son, Ebola’s little brother, forever cousin, the family ties thicker than blood.

I can’t think of anything to say, my heart is so heavy and sick. Ebola had something perfect to say and so I will leave it to him, with a simple God bless you, baby boy and I pray He holds your family close.
JohnAndMe002

Dear Lord, we love you so much.

I was raised the sole child of two Marines in Southern California; my friends and my family are their friends/coworkers and children from while my parents were stationed there. Three of those children were my brothers, even while we’ve always referred to each other as cousins over the last thirty years. Years of playing hide and seek, riding bikes, of reiterating every line to Predator and/or Aliens as the movies played, laughing and bitching at each other, playing capture the flag, tag, finding injured animals and trying to nurse them to health, and telling bad jokes. We’ve all gone our separate ways over the years: the twins are successful in business, the other two of us entered service. All of us rarely get to see each other, even for special occasions, but it’s always the normal shit talking, smiles, laughter, the hate and situational discontent of youngsters. We all still talk to this day, almost thirty years later.

At 0136Z on the 12th of November, while I slept in the comfort of my home in the Pacific, the Taliban took part of my childhood. They took our brother. They took him from a loving wife, their beautiful children, from his mother and father, from an extended family, of blood and without, who loves him dearly. I’d just shot him a message ten days before, telling him happy birthday. I can’t stop reading our last email chain, filled with our normal bullshitting, split over days due to conflicting schedules and locations.

John: “What do you think you’re doing?”

Me: “I assume making huge mistakes and blaming other people. How’s life cuz?”

John: “Life is good. Probably not as pleasant as Guam, but the ol’ Stan has its perks. You can buy a magic carpet over here but it won’t fly. It will make around $1500 disappear from your wallet. I just got a box from your mom and dad loaded with cookies. How much longer is your tour over there?”

Me: “Probably extending until Oct. Waiting to see if my SERE instructor or HUMINT packages get accepted. If they do, the AF retains me, if not I get out and go back to contracting. How in the fuck do camel rugs run 1500? What a racket. lol”

John: “So you’re staying in Guam until October or are you getting out then? Those rugs are expensive but about 1/4 the cost they are in the states for a handmade Kashmir Persian rug. Smoother and softer than a babys’ ass. They’ve got all kinds of crap out here you can get custom made. I’m thinking about getting a new MOS myself but I’ve got to wait until I get back and find out where the Army is sending me next.”

The last words between John and I are shooting the shit about a fucking rug. To be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way: it was us, as we’ve always been. We’re both family and we know it, it never required quaint expressions or platitudes of familial bullshit. I chuckle thinking about it, things never changed in all those years, even though we’re both vastly different individuals from who we were in our youth. I still remember trying to explain to him as kids that his wearing his LA gear shoes lit up and gave away our position during capture the flag. His talking me into telling a dirty joke, memorizing it the first time through, smiling and running to rat me out to Pop.

I can’t do shit but sit here, hate that I can’t kill every one of these goat fucking shit shamans, and wait for a time where I can do something besides tell our families I love them. When I came into the Air Force, my highest honor, to this day, was escorting my flight commander, Nathan Nylander’s family. The distinct, burning memory I have of that is standing at attention on the flight line as his body was brought off the aircraft, and having his young children begin to cry, not a stones toss from me, as the realization set in that it was really happening. It fucking destroyed me. That pain, though painfully memorable, was momentary. It was the singular hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, until now. I know that is coming for my family and the absolute pain and hatred it inspires in me is indescribable. I want to strike out, to defend something that has already passed defending. There is nothing but the most tenuous vapors the wind to strike at. My hatred accomplishes nothing, which only makes me hate all the more deeply. I am sitting at the squadron right now as I write this, a non-commissioned officer in the strongest military on the planet, thousands of miles from our families, on a beautiful island filled with wonderful people that can’t drive to save their lives… and //I can’t fucking do anything.// Now, I’ve typed a small book and said nothing I wanted to say by it.

I’ll close with what John already knew: I love him like a brother, and I wish all our/my friends had had the opportunity to get to know the fucking badass he grew into. I have no hesitation in saying he grew into a better man than I did and that will live on through his children.

JohnAndBratty

HAPPY VETERANS’ DAY!

GeoffandToadThank you, EVERY one!

brat

bobanddaddy

Happy 241st Birthday to My Beloved

UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS!!!!

EGAFlagEagle

OO-RAH and Semper Fi!!

Yes, It’s An “Isolated Incident”…

…it’s isolated the ship in dry dock

The US Navy (USN) acknowledged that delivery of the USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) will not occur in 2016 as the navy must determine the cause of problems with two main turbine generators (MTGs) on the next-generation aircraft carrier.

The USN has been working to determine the root cause of the problem, and how to fix and prevent recurrence of these issues.

The problem with the MTGs is an isolated incident, Vice Admiral Thomas Moore, commander Naval Sea Systems Command, said on 2 November, at the Washington, DC, Navy Yard.

Seems to me we’ve got some reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally expensive toys of late that ain’t quick working out the way they were supposed to.

D-Day

Remember.

What a Horrible, Ghastly, Almost Beyond Bearing Day

…for the military. Pensacola has lost one of our Blue Angels

Blue Angels pilot dies in Tenn. crash

Blue-Angels

…as the Air Force ALMOST simultaneously lost a Thunderbird

Thunderbirds fighter jet crashes in Colorado flyover after Air Force Academy graduation
Pilot Maj. Alex turner unhurt: officials credit him for dodging nearby homes

Minutes after his team streaked over President Obama and Air Force Academy cadets at a graduation ceremony on Thursday, the pilot of a Thunderbirds fighter jet maneuvered his plane away from homes as it crashed into a field near Colorado Springs.

Turner radioed he was having trouble with the jet and trying to direct it away from homes before the crash, said Lt. Col. Christopher Hammond, commander of the Thunderbirds.

…even while tragedy struck in Fort Hood Texas:

ARMY
Crews search for 4 missing soldiers after Army vehicle swept away in floodwaters near Fort Hood, killing 5

U.S. Army teams and other emergency rescue crews are in a desperate search Friday for four soldiers still missing from a truck that was swept from a low-water crossing and overturned in a swollen creek at Fort Hood, killing at least five and injuring three.

There are no words. Just tears.

We Remember

Always.

cam

Dear Worthless Bureaucrat

Take notes, please:

People are DYING waiting on the VA, unlike folks at Disneyland who only THINK they’re going to die if Space Mountain breaks down.

VA Secretary Compares Long Hospital Waits To Lines At Disneyland

…“To me personally, the day to an appointment is really not what we should be measuring, what we should be measuring is the veterans satisfaction,” he said.
To illustrate his point, he cited the long lines at Disney theme parks.

“When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line or what’s important?” he said.

“What’s important is: What’s your satisfaction with the experience.

Since dead men can’t complain, I guess those numbers are going up!

Somebody needs to leave.

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