Category Archives: Military

Fury and the Sherman

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First off, I just want to say that this is a fantastic WWII film that shows the dark side of American Armored Warfare at the time.  We learned of the Sherman’s handicap not from school… but from a different movie.   In school we were taught of the American Supremacy thanks to the Sherman’s great design and heroic manufacturing output from Detroit.


The reality of the Sherman was far from what we were told in school.  too little armor, too little gun, and running on gasoline instead of diesel.  It was probably one of the very worst tanks we could have fielded.   I can’t say it was one of the worst in the war – because the Brits and the Russians take those honors.  The Germans had the best tanks on the planet.  They were not as fast, but they were fast.  And they had big accurate scary good guns.  Their armor was incredible.  Basically everything the Sherman was not.

This movie, Fury, brings this all to light in one scene that had me at the edge of my seat and gritting my teeth.
Go…
Go to the theater, and watch FURY.

Military Headgear

Few things are as stupid as military hats.  Uniforms and Camo Patterns are always discussed and argued… but the one thing that everyone has given up on is the hat.

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Most Nations have some variation of this thing.  It’s a classic military style for Officers… The US has a variation of this, North Korea’s is getting bigger every year.  It’s just out of control. The one thing that no one has said though… is that it looks freaking retarded.
The only guy that ever pulled off this hat was this guy:

Eric-Braeden-Rat-Patrol

And he was the Bad Guy.  A Nazi.  But the Nazi’s had it going on with the officer’s hats.  No one else has done that style hat anywhere near as well.

Then we had this thing…

FoodHat

You look like a Food Service Industry Worker with that hat.  This was for the Enlisted.  Yes, I had this hat too.  And it was stupid.  It never sat right, and really we only wore it when running through the airport and it would always fall off your head.  I don’t know anyone that liked them.  They always looked cute on your girlfriends head though.  Think about that.   I blame the Navy for this.

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The Cavalry Officers had a cool hat.  It was actually useful.  Wide brimmed to keep the sun off.  You know, the whole reason to wear a hat.  It actually did something.  But outside of the Cavalry, no one else has those hats.   The only people that have a hat that’s this functional are these guys.   And we all know these guys:

Staff Sergeant Sergio Mesa, Bravo Company drill sergeant.

That’s the hat that says your world has come to an end.  Those Campaign Hats strike fear into the hearts of men.  That’s a badass hat.   But we can’t give them to anyone else or they will dilute the authority and power of that hat.

The Army tried to do the Beret for everyone… because worn correctly it looks awesome with dress and field uniforms.   But the problem was most folks I saw couldn’t wear it correctly to save their lives.  So it either looked like a sack on their heads or a pancake, so they just gave up on Hats and just gave this to everyone:

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But I’m wondering if we should just do that with the dress uniforms.  Have a fancier ball cap.   I don’t know… For dress uniforms, I think the hat should be a lot nicer.  I’m thinking something more like the Cavalry’s Stetsons.   Something distinctly American that no one else can touch.

Any ideas?

Arm our Armed Forces

It was decades ago when I first said it… A pistol and a fixed blade knife should be part of the Uniform.  If you are in Uniform, you should be armed.
Our Military Bases are essentially Gun Free Zones.  Most bases are like small cities, lots of traffic in and out.  And the MP’s or DOD Police are too few and far between to be effective at insuring people’s safety.   It’s asinine that we expect our Military to “Protect our Freedom” when we do not allow them to even protect themselves. This has always been the greatest hypocrisy and injustice.

When a soldier graduates their AIT… not boot camp, their Advanced Individual Training, and are officially trained in their MOS… Part of that graduation ceremony should be that they are bestowed their weapon of office.  A pistol and a knife.  These items should be given to them with the expectation that they are now part of their uniform and should be maintained and cared for and that while in uniform they should be worn at all times.

I’ve been told that my idea is “extreme”.  Really?

At Ft. Hood, 2009, an Officer shot and killed 13 other soldiers and wounded 30 others.  Now at Ft. Hood, April 2014, a soldier shot and killed 4 other soldiers and wounded 16 others.    The Navy has had a couple recently as well.  Let’s ask those people and their families if my idea is too extreme.  I bet there are a great many soldiers – trained warriors – who would have given anything to be able to defend not themselves, but their brothers and sisters in arms.   How many of the loved ones of those killed and wounded would have wanted their servicemen to have been able to defend themselves?  Ask them if my idea is too extreme.

I heard a pundit on the radio say that they need to have been searches at the Base Gates.   Search every car and ever person coming on base.  This person is an idiot.  We can’t even keep contraband out of Prisons, let alone a busy military base.  This person has obviously never been near a military base.   Let’s take a look at a small one.   I happen to live right close to a small Marine base.  And every morning I am in the traffic flow heading into that base.  I turn off before the gate, thank heavens.  It’s bad enough as it is.   Seriously… the traffic is hell on wheels.  And a detailed search of everything going in?  That’s just flat out unrealistic.  Getting on base would take hours.  And for what?  You take all the problems of the TSA at Air Ports and magnify that to controlling the incoming traffic into city sized areas?

How about we trust our Armed Forces with Arms?  Considering that we train them to use them, it seems like a pretty simple solution.   A pistol and knife is a lot cheaper than hiring and training an army of TSA type security people to secure every gate and every fence-line at every military base.   And you’ll keep the traffic flowing.  No one wants to go to work 3 hours early just to get through security to get into work.  That’s just stupid and short sighted.  Because you only serve to maintain the gun free zone inside.  You would have a hard shell on the outside… and inside would be just as gooey and soft as it’s been and a mass shooting could still happen.  Because like I said before – we can’t even keep contraband items out of our prisons.

To make this worse, even the Base Commander at Ft. Hood is against the idea of his soldiers being armed.   Think about that for a moment.  He feels like he can’t trust his own soldiers?  Isn’t that an indication that maybe he shouldn’t be a Commander of any base?   Here’s a question to you Officers out there… If you can’t trust your own men, what does that say about your Leadership?

Think of the disconnect of logic here… Civilians are protecting our Armed Forces, because we don’t trust them to protect themselves. Yet we trust them to protect the Civilians.  Where is the logic in this?  Just thinking about that gives me a migraine.

Also note – The shooter in this case was rampaging for 15 to 20 minutes.  This has been repeated in the media’s news coverage.  So now would be copycat maniacs and terrorists now know the response time at Ft. Hood and probably other bases.  And they know our bases are essentially great Gun Free Zones.  Which means that situations like this are more likely to happen in the future than before.  We’ve already had 3 this year?  We’re going to see this happen again and again.

Why?  Why are our soldiers good enough to Protect America yet the troops are too inept to be allowed to protect themselves?  I’ve heard even other Military Guys say that they would hate to see a PFC packing.   Come on.  I’ve seen plenty of PFC’s with more sense than many Lieutenants and yet “Officers” automatically get a pass?  So an Officer’s Rights according to the Bill of Rights is more important that a PFC’s?    That’s bullshit.  Utter bullshit.   And don’t talk to me about the antics of the younger Enlisted – That’s a direct reflection of their Leadership and you know it.

A few days of pistol training, as a part of BASIC TRAINING is not too much to ask for.   You could pay for the cost of a Battalion’s worth of pistols for the price of a couple Javelin Missiles.  Here is the extreme part.  When the Soldier leaves the service… They keep the knife and the pistol as a token of their Oath.  Because that Oath doesn’t expire.

We can roll this out easily.  Start by arming our Officers and NCO’s.  E5’s and above.  Then cycle the rest through training and issuing sidearms as the training is complete.  Then issue sidearms at AIT Graduations moving forward.

Arm our Armed Forces.

Another Marine Battle.

 

BATTLE ERUPTS OVER MARINE CORPS TRAINING DOC THAT CITES ‘LACK OR LOSS OF SPIRITUAL FAITH’ AS POTENTIAL SUICIDE RISK FACTOR

Read this article.

Might not be a popular concept, but it pans out. The wicked taketh the truth to be hard. 
Working with vets suffering from PTSD showed me very clearly that Servicemen who had faith, then went through the trauma and lost it – are truly at great risk. Having faith to begin with helps a great deal. Because there is a huge aspect of Self Worth for the individual soldier and faith helps one feel his self worth. Doesn’t matter what your faith is – You don’t have to be issued a religion. But a Belief is powerful here. I think a great many fall because The Adversary tears a marine’s or soldier’s faith down, then tears down their self worth… then he has them. If they keep the faith, then that armor protects them.
Now the Adversary wants to regulate the Faith out of the Soldiers and Marines.  Which is only going to result in more suicides, more pharmaceutical treatments, more mental health cases that cause loss of gun rights and more institutionalization where all of it could have been taken care of with Faith.

West Point Drama

West Point Cadet, only 5 months from Graduation, quits because West Point has too much Religion.
I smell some serious bullshit here.
Let’s read the Article… West Point is a tough school… people wash out all the time. This kid is just pissed he couldn’t hack it and is making a stink. West Point is a fantastic asset to our Nation, and this snot nosed brat wants to take it down? Not going to happen. Ah, there it is… He was denied a Commission. Mental Health issues? Obviously. So, there is no beef here. He’s quitting because there is too much religion, not that he wasn’t going to become an Officer. Yeah. That’s it.
5 Months away from Graduation too. That shows a drastic lacking in strategic thought. All that money for his education – WASTED. He could have graduated, Commission or not, few men get to put GRADUATED WEST POINT on their resume. Going out like he did – I’m very pleased this person did not get a Commission. He’s shown a very large hole in his character where Honor would be. The Religion thing is just an excuse, and not a very valid one at that. Thank GOD he will not be a Leader.

War: Risk of death or injury.

The US and Britain say Israel has a right to protect itself from rocket attacks from Hamas, but warn about the dangers of the conflict escalating into a ground war, as Obama says it would put Israeli soldiers at risk of death or injury.

War can cause a risk of death or injury.  You don’t say, Obama?

Veterans Day

Almost every year I post this.   I wrote it some years ago when Bush was the President.  When I had a bit more pride in our Nation than I’m feeling now.  But the message is the same.  “Thank you”.

Veterans Day: Just a word to you cake eating civilians out there… You don’t say Happy Veterans Day. You don’t say Merry Vets Day. But just because you don’t have a meaningless Seasons Greetings for it doesn’t mean you don’t say anything.

This isn’t some fat bunny in a sled passing around Jack O’Lanterns because it’s Santa’s birthday… This isn’t about some old fable-become-tradition.

Veterans Day is a day for those that are still alive, and for those who are dead… those who died for your freedom to flip soldiers the bird and to call them baby killers and spit on them in the airport.

Veterans Day is for the guys that died fighting for your personal independent liberty…

It’s for that Veteran that walks with just a slight limp and seems otherwise fine, but he doesn’t have a spleen because an enemy of our country blew it out his back with an AK-47 so you can get 15% Off that new leather fat-ass reclining couch that your going to sit on to mock the President from while watching your 42 inch plasma TV flipping through the channels trying to find some Friends rerun.

Veterans Day is for the guy that came home while all his friends didn’t.

Veterans day is for the woman who gave up the best years of her young adulthood so she could press her hands over the sucking chest wound of some guy from her own home town 6 thousand miles away from home.

Veterans day is for that old woman over there that raised 2 kids alone because when she was young she sent her handsome young husband off to fight for your freedom and came back as a flag folded into a triangle.

That’s what Veterans day is for… and what do you say to those people who served?

You just say “Thank You”.

PTSD

Too many people out there are ignorantly expressing opinions about Veterans and PTSD, with no understanding of either. The PTSD situation is severe and it isn’t getting better.
A big component to this is a Soldier’s sense of value, or Self Worth. Because of their negative treatment by a large population of this country and the media, and then they hear things pop up by A-Holes like Ted Turner, they are questioning their sacrifices, and time spent over in the war zones. They are weighing that against their own internal moral, ethical, and spiritual standards. Depression, Mark of Cain Syndrome, Survivor’s Guilt, Shame of a secret failure that may or may not be real. (that they let their team down)
PTSD is a deeply complicated issue. And to make the matters worse, those that seek help are made out to be villains… they lose rights… they are shunned. Sometimes police are called, guns are confiscated, houses searched, One Vet was actually raided. I’ve had contact with some Vets who have sought help who then were denied gun purchase by BCI. (Not Utah) This is not right. This isn’t how we do this. A Vet that talks to a Doc about nightmares is not a Monster about to burst his chains.
At best our Vets are treated by mental health professionals who have no understanding of Combat PTSD, because they can’t relate, being liberal minded cake eaters with no understanding of the military. I know first hand because when I was pursuing a Psychology Degree, I had to argue with students and professors that being a Rape Victim, while horrible, is not the same thing as a Veteran who put his rifle sights on another human being and pulled the trigger. It’s different. The scars inside are different. The girl that got raped didn’t volunteer for it, didn’t chose to get raped. Our Vets volunteered, they went into harms way and they chose to fight and these choices are now conflicting with their beliefs, be it Moral or Spiritual… and they come home and are then filled with more doubt about their sacrifices and self worth and no one is helping them. The Mental Health Profession isn’t geared to help Combat Veterans or Police Officers who suffer from Combat Related PTSD. There are only a very small handful of Psychologists who understand Combat PTSD. Because they have been there themselves. Others just Empathize and say they do, but they really and truly don’t and treat all PTSD the same. It isn’t. The scars are different… the layers and depths are different.
Some Vets come home to good communities and good support from friends and family and these guys are okay. They may have some nightmares but they eventually pass. These guys have that safety net of people who love and respect them.
But others don’t. They come home to people who hate them for their service. Who question them. Treat them differently. And these people really have no where to turn for just simple understanding. These guys are the ones that are most vulnerable and need the most help, and they are the ones more often than not, not getting it.
These are Good Men and Good Women. These are people who put it all on the line for us and more often than not they just need to be treated like they are normal Guys and Gals again. Even if they have a disability, physical scars… They are still our Nation’s Finest.

And then Ted Turner goes and says they should commit suicide. My anger at Ted Turner is vibrant. Therw should be repercussions to what he said.

Horse Pucky

Obama is so full of it, it would be hilarious if it wasn’t for the fact that he was our President.
His asinine remark about Horses and Bayonets reminded me of a few things. We still use Horses in the Army. A lot of them. Facebook is full of pictures of US Soldiers on Horses in the War Zone. Because nothing is better for rugged mountain patrols than horses.
The latest issue of Guns Magazine (December 2012) page 33, shows an advertisement for US PALM. In this ad it shows a rugged looking cowboy with three grunts behind him, all on horseback. The Cowboy is the senior trainer for the Arizona Cowboy College.
I had the chance to do a mounted patrol in Arizona, in the mountains above Fort Huachuca.
This patrol didn’t end well for me as the horse put me into a patch of cactus, but that’s beside the point. Horses are still a part of the military and will always be so as long as there are Horses.
My favorite part of Boot Camp was the Bayonet Training… after of course the Rifle Training. I loved the aggressiveness. I loved the Pugil Stick work. We all gathered around a circle, two fighters got in the ring and used pugil sticks to beat the piss out of each other. I was pretty good at it. I defeated a couple guys pretty easily, not because I was so awesome, but they just kinda sucked. Well the DS got this big grin on his face, took off his hat and shirt, and was handed a pugil stick. He told me to give him my best shot. A couple seconds later I had landed one on him. He stopped, took a step back and gave me this sickening smile that I will never forget and continues to haunt my nightmares. .. he then blasted me in an uppercut with the pugil stick so hard that it lifted me off my feet and landed me half out of the ring. I was knocked out for a few seconds.
The DS actually gave me a hand up, dusted me off, asked if I was okay. I said I was fine and that I wanted another round. DS patted me on my back, gave me a complement, and declined kicking my ass again. That night after chow the DS said to me that he was surprised I had actually landed a blow on him as no Recruit had ever done that before. It was barely a tap. He said that had it been a real bayonet, I’d have opened up his jugular and he he would have been dead. I said, yeah, but you would have died after my decapitated head stopped rolling around on the ground. He actually laughed.
In the field I only actually used my bayonet once. And that was to spear my rifle into the ground so I could relieve myself.
The US Marines though, those cats take the bayonet a lot more seriously. Their training is far more intensive.
I would not want the US Military to ever drop the bayonet as a weapon. It’s old school, sure, but can be very effective in the hands of a man that is trained and motivated.