The Burden of War

Falleth not upon the Soldier, or Marine, or Sailor, or Airman.  But on the people who sent him to that beach without water.  Here‘s an interesting article by Sebastian Junger who has spent much of his journalistic career embedded among Soldiers to tell their story. The Soldier. . .is a tool.  When you hammer a nail as you build a bed frame, what take responsibility for it?  The hammer?  I would say no.  It must be the person hammering the nail.  To that effect, the Soldier is a tool, he should not bear the majority of the pain or blame […]

The Ride to the I, 2014

Thanks to CHC87′s timely reminder I was able to sign up for the 7th Annual “Ride to the I,” VMI’s own little Rolling Thunder. Alumni chapters from across our native state (to whom we are attached and of whose fame we are proud) are organized to gather at various points and then converge on Lexington, where we unite and ride in column of twos through the town and up to the parade deck. My day began early, to make my scheduled rally in Culpeper at 0700. It was maybe 50 degrees when I set out and I felt every one […]

Field of Lost Shoes: The Initial Op-For Review

Just got home from the 1950 showing of Field of Lost Shoes here in Leesburg. I went with COL Hank and Mrs COL Hank. A more in-depth review will follow, but I’ll go with this tonight…   In the men’s room right after the end of the film. COL Hank and I are at the urinals. COL H: “I wonder who wrote the script.” LtCol P: “He should have the shit beaten out of him.”   (More to follow.)

Got Arms?

If not, you’d best be heading to procure some. And all manner of things thereunto belonging, which includes cold hard training in life-taking and life-saving. Do you understand what’s what? (Oh, and OF COURSE law enforcement said there’s no link to terrorism. To say otherwise would be to raise some ugly questions.) Mr Farnam gets it. Grand Master de Vallette would readily grasp the problem at hand, and would not be at a loss for a solution. And you?

Big Red One HQ Headed to Iraq

Not sure I understand this one, but then again I could be missing something. If there are no ground formations to be commanded and controlled, why a division HQ? Or is is just a convenient sourcing solution for an ad-hoc commend element? If the latter, is an infantry division HQ the right choice?

“Field of Lost Shoes,” 26 September

Thanks to Parker Longbaugh, here’s a list of theaters were FoLS will open the day after tomorrow. Haven’t seen it yet, but I intend to!

Courage, a study

Can you spot the courage?

Operation Market Garden, 70 Years Ago

Immortalized by Ryan’s great book, A Bridge Too Far, it happened seventy years ago this week: …Montgomery developed Operation Market-Garden. A two stage operation, the plan called for troops from Lieutenant General Lewis Brereton’s First Allied Airborne Army to land and capture key bridges in the Netherlands. While these troops held the bridges, Lieutenant General Brian Horrock’s XXX Corps would advance up Highway 69 to relieve Brereton’s men. If successful, Allied forces would be over the Rhine in a position to attack the Ruhr, while avoiding the Westwall by working around its northern end. For the airborne component, Market, Major […]

JETHRO TULL HELPING THE HEROES

Loyal OP-For readers and contributors, Bob Morris VMI Class of 79 is putting on a concert at the National Theater in Richmond Virginia on October 5 to honor those wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Ian Anderson and Jetro Tull will be the headline group the VMI Commanders opening the concert.TULL_VMIAA_20140730_V4

The Long War

When I was studying in France back in 2009 one of the many unique opportunities I had was to attend the Collogue Guerre Irreguliere/Irregular Warfare Conference at Camp Coetquidan.  And one of the things a British General said was that NATO knew Afghanistan would be a 20 year war.  That it would take an entire generation to fight and rebuild that country. The reason I bring this up, one of our categories here on OPFOR is The Long War.  I’ve had this sneaking suspicion that my generation’s war never ended.  That this irregular enemy, the non-state actor, would continue to […]