THE MIDDLE CLASS

What is your family income: $250,000/yr; $200,000/yr; $150,000/yr; $120,000/yr …?

The Dark Side

The subject is torture, the subject is imprisonment, the subject is our Constitution, the subject is how the United States squandered (my words not her words) the standing we had in the world after 9-11 by using techniques for obtaining information, which we in the past have condemned.

New Destroyer Named

…for a Medal of Honor winner. One of the Navy’s largest new surface warships will bear the name of a Navy SEAL who received the nation’s highest award for valor. “DDG 1001, the second ship in our newest class of destroyers, will be named after Michael Monsoor,” Navy Secretary Donald Winter said remarks prepared for an address to be given Wednesday night in New York. “Michael Monsoor’s name will now be linked with one of our nation’s most visible examples of military power — a U.S. Navy warship,” Winter said in the address prepared for a Navy SEAL Warrior Fund […]

Reserves Get Overdue Respect… Up North

A big tip of the toque to The Torch for pointing us to a great article on Canada’s reserve forces, and the battles they’ve had to fight just in order to be able to fight a few battles. Reservists and Guardsmen here in the States have some significant challenges, but at least we have laws and widespread company policies that look after us (for the most part) while we’re gone. And reservists pay a separate price that by definition cannot be asked of the career soldier: They routinely put either job, professional development or schooling on hold in order to […]

Breaking News from 1962

Russia-Cuba ties worry U.S. WASHINGTON — Amid rising tensions over Georgia, U.S. officials are increasingly concerned that Russia is moving to rebuild one of the most dangerous features of the old Soviet Union’s security structure — its alliance with Cuba. Moscow has been signaling that it wants to restore a long relationship with Havana that included not only economic ties, but also military and intelligence cooperation. The relationship brought the world to the brink of nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, when Russia secretly installed nuclear missiles on the island. An interesting story on today of all […]

Soldiers, UN retreat as rebels advance in Congo

What a headline by Michelle Faul, Associated Press Writer! KILIMANYOKA, Congo — Rebels advanced toward Congo’s eastern provincial capital of 600,000 people Tuesday, sending tens of thousands of terrified civilians into a makeshift shelter as Congolese troops and U.N. tanks retreated. … In Kibati, a few miles from the front line, young men lobbed rocks Tuesday at three U.N. tanks also heading away from the battlefield. The U.N. has 17,000 U.N. peacekeepers in Congo — the biggest mission in the world. “What are they doing? They are supposed to protect us,” said Jean-Paul Maombi, a 31-year-old nurse from Kibumba. Indeed, […]

Another (This Time Classified) Navy Cross

There is a report in Navy Times about a Navy Medical Officer who was awarded the Navy Cross last year. Somewhere out in the fleet, there’s a Navy medical officer who earned the Navy Cross during vicious, hammering combat five years ago. And he’s not authorized to wear the award — second only to the Medal of Honor. That’s because the 2003 mission, during which the officer fought like a demon and put himself in the line of fire to save several wounded American and Afghan comrades from al-Qaida and Taliban forces, remains classified. In my time on active duty, […]

Marathon Day!

The 33d Marine Corps Marathon gets haze-gray and underway to-day. Weather looks good for the start. If you’re a local or in the area on a visit, get out and see the race. The runners love the energy they get from the crowd (especially on the desolate stretches like Hains Point). GO GO GO! UPDATE: FYI, here are some finishers of note… GEN Renuart, age 58, Commander US Northern Command: 5:15:45 BGen Mark Clark, age 50, Director, Strategy & Plans Division, HQMC: 3:18:04 (not bad!) BGen Ron Johnson, age 51, Director, Operations Division, HQMC: 4:41:58 Mayor Adrian Fenty, age 37, […]

History…Coincidence?

So, John brings up Agincourt. I will bring up Samar and Grenada. 0737 Mercury 33 v Taffy 33 Big fellows make first run, form on me in order, DREADNAUGHT, NEBRASKA, BRASSLOCK. Little fellows form up for second run. BRASSLOCK, wilco out. JUGGERNAUT, wilco out. DREADNAUGHT was USS SAMUEL B ROBERTS. Seven destroyers and destroyer escorts were escorting 6 “jeep” carriers. The action was intense. “…about the time of the torpedo attack, the destroyer JOHNSTON came by us and I saw her for the last time. That picture is engraved in my memory…She had taken a terrific beating. Her bridge was […]

NMCB 7 Takes Over in Iraq

Last week, NMCB 7 relieved NMCB 3 in Iraq: AR RAMADI, Iraq (NNS) — Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 7 relieved NMCB 3 at a brief ceremony held Oct. 16. The transfer of authority (TOA) ceremony marked the end of NMCB 3′s six-month deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan and the start of NMCB 7′s deployment. They have some hard work ahead of them, but I know they will do well. Seabees are a tough bunch whose motto is, “We build, we fight.” Not to mention, NMCB 7 is commanded by our (me and LT COL P, that is) BR, CDR […]