Operation Eagle Claw: 24/25 April 1980

I remember it, but was only 12 years old. Although, when I was a lieutenant at Lejeune our battalion CO organized a PME at the O Club with the senior Marine -53 pilot on the mission, and that was fascinating. He’s long since retired, of course, but as of 2006 he was working as a civilian at Quantico, if I remember correctly. The Iran hostage raid was the significant catalyst in the formation of a national coordinated special ops capability, resulting eventually in what we know today as SOCOM and all things thereunto belonging. If I may be so bold, […]

Tragic News from VMI

We reluctantly pass on this release from VMI: VMI Cadet Dies LEXINGTON, Va., April 22, 2014 – A Virginia Military Institute cadet died unexpectedly in Rockbridge County Tuesday evening. The body of Eric B. Alter, 22, of Centreville, Va., was found by Rockbridge County Sheriff’s deputies near Goshen. Local law enforcement and emergency agencies responded. He is survived by his parents, Bruce and Beth Alter of Centreville, and his sister, Betsy. Funeral arrangements are pending. The VMI Corps of Cadets was informed of Alter’s death early Tuesday evening. Counseling and pastoral care is available to cadets, faculty, and staff. “Our […]

The Lieutenant Says-Draw Down

So the draw down will affect morale, so say some company grade officers.  The reality is that the draw down, which any of us knew was coming has had little effect on the Officer Corps.  And in reality, the scare once brought via the Army Times hasn’t occurred.  The OER has changed, honestly more in favor of the rated officer.  The Army has not gotten serious about the draw down by any means.  For the last two years the Marine Corps has offered a a voluntary severance package to their officers in the ranks of captain and major for specific […]

(Speaking of Police and Soldiers…)

By way of WRSA, this from Herschel at The Captain’s Journal: The implications of this are perhaps enormous.  Quiet Man at WRSA points out that there are formal Army field manuals and doctrine and training documents for site exploitation, and remarks that “virtually everything they do will be ‘”joint” in the agency sense.”  Yes, and in the intra [sic, inter]-agency sense as well.  The military is looking more like law enforcement, and law enforcement is looking more like the military.  For those who have been watching, this is likely not accidental, and is an evolution that is at one and […]

Going to war with the Army you have

While some national leaders focus on big defense issues, Mr.  Putin has taken a personal interest in one of the smallest: the rifle. Last  year, his government consolidated rifle manufacturing into one new firm, the  Kalashnikov Corp., named after the AK’s famous inventor, Mikhail  Kalashnikov. “Putin actually goes out and shoots  these things,” Gen. Scales said. More here

Is This What 1860 Felt Like?

We’ve had some great posts and comments and counter-comments here in just the last little while– true unfettered rollicking debate. (And look, we don’t even need the Fairness Doctrine!) But it has me again asking the question I’ve asked myself over and over– Is this what 1860 felt like? Or 1775, for that matter. It would help to have statesmen in high office. Sadly, we have very few. THAT is what worries me most.

Power for Power’s Sake

Thank you to Mike Burke for his comment that brought up the concept of power. America’s Legal, Expert and Coercive Powers are out of balance – beyond that which can be explained by which Personality is in vogue. Lawmakers out in the west are meeting to address a symptom of these phenomena.   Symptomatic of the growth of Coercive Power is the number of government agencies that have their own police forces, and the ever-growing up-gunning of LEO. Serving a warrant is now an operation not unlike arresting an AQI operative in Fallujah.   In response to this destabilizing trend, […]

How to Break An Officer-Bump

Young officers are like moldable clay; they take lessons to heart fast.  Some of them will be amazing, most will be good, and then you will have a lot of bad.  It is easy for them to become enraptured by their own image when they’re doing well; it is even easier for them to fall flat on their face.  How do I know this?  I’ve been there.  When a new officer comes into the FORCE/FLEET he needs to be embraced by the battalion and company level organizations he is a part of.  In the Army we tend to have a […]

Blurred Lines: Soldiers versus Police

Bumped. The recent paramilitary activity in Nevada seems to be confusing people as to what legal, armed protest against a predatory force wearing LEO uniforms looks like. In an earlier post, there was a too-brief discussion on the on-going blending of US military and the police forces of our governments from Federal to municipal. With many Reservists and Guardsmen and women serving in the police, their skills and knowledge of the green blend almost seamlessly with the blue. However efficient that relationship is, Americans have an inborn fear of using the Army to police the People. Likewise, while Americans understand […]

The Doolittle Raid

We missed it yesterday– fie on us– but the boys at XBRADTC were on it. The  surprise attack on the Japanese capitol shocked the Japanese, and gave an immense boost to American morale. Prior to the news of the daring raid, virtually everywhere the American public looked, doom and despair were to be found. It seemed the US might lose the war. The public was still steeled to fight on, but needed a sign that their faith in the war effort was well placed.