The Great Train Beat-Down

This story, I tell you, is truly inspiring. I turn (improbably for me) to the NYT— Alek Skarlatos, a specialist in the National Guard from Oregon vacationing in Europe with a friend in the Air Force, Airman First Class Spencer Stone and another American, Anthony Sadler, looked up and saw the gunman. Mr. Skarlatos, who was returning from a deployment in Afghanistan, looked over at the powerfully built Mr. Stone, a martial arts enthusiast. “Let’s go, go!” he shouted. Mr. Stone went after the heavily armed gunman and, with his friends, pounded him to the floor of the train carriage…. […]

Matriculation Day

Happy  Matriculation Day!   Unlike some of the group I am a firm believer that they need to re-integrate more adversarial interactions during the rat-line, it can still be professional.  And if a Shit Eating Third or dumb Second crosses the line, then give them con pro and a 10-6-30.  But it is the hardest school, that puts out the best products, VMI graduates are akin to Demascus Steel, continuously beaten on the anvil and hardened.

Don’t Worry, Europe– We’ll Keep Defending You

Off-duty American servicemen subdue Moose-Limb loon bent on murder and mayhem. AMERICA, F YEAH.  

General Dempsey, Coach K on Leadership

Good article over at Anglican Ink about what makes a good leader.

Black Sheep, White Wolf: What Is Liberty?

Before you read further, stop a moment and think of your definition of liberty. In the library of the Lincoln Cottage, also named Anderson House for the same man who commanded Fort Sumter, is a drawing of a black sheep, a shepherd and a white wolf. This illustrates a parable Lincoln gave to an audience in Baltimore. The question Lincoln wrestled with, and put to his audience is ‘what is liberty?’ “The shepherd,” he says, “drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as a liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same […]

The Army Has a Credibility Problem

This story from the Washington Post says that the Army has a credibility problem.  Comments?

A *Fifth* Star for ’87!

Thanks to MSS3 ’87, we learned that Colonel Lapthe C. Flora, of the Virginia National Guard and the VMI Class of ’87, has been nominated and confirmed for the rank of Brigadier General.  He is the fifth member of ’87 to pin on stars. COL (P) Flora ’87 is, I hasten to add, one of my fellow Roanokers, part of the sizable contingent in that class from the Star City and environs. Look him up and read about him, he has a tremendous story. Also from MSS3’87, a running count of the classes in recent memory with the most stars– […]

I Wonder What Patton and Marshall Would Say?

USMC0802 tossed this (angrily) our way: “The Army’s Confederate Cowardice,” wherein an Army captain and lawyer shares his opinions on Army base names. I’ll not quote from his little article, you can read it yourselves, but I will float two three questions of my own. Does “military mediocrity” appear anywhere in his OERs? What would Generals Patton and Marshall, neither of them being mediocrities, say to him? Or, indeed, General Ridgway, who spent a good deal of time at (dare I say the name??) Fort Bragg?

DoD’s new rules for the Media

Many people have forgotten how open the US military has been to war reporters and photographers, even when those people have been openly hostile to the military and its mission. Bryan Whitman, deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, said in a C-SPAN interview this morning that he believes reporters should be allowed extensive access to military operations because they’ll cover what he likes to call “the good, the bad and the ugly.” “They’ll see the goodness with which our troops carry out their missions. Our troops are human though, too, and they’ll make mistakes, and I believe that […]

George C. Marshall and the American Nuclear Age

From former VMI Professor of Chemistry Frank Settle, who taught from 1964 to 1992, a brief opinion on the role of George C. Marshall ‘901 on the development of the American nuclear age. Marshall is unique in having a senior level vantage point for over a decade in which he participated in or witnessed all of the important decisions about the arrival of the nuclear age. Professor Settle spoke on this topic at VMI on August 6th. If anyone attended and can give a review, please contact us.