Good News about LTC Tim Karcher

I have been waiting to provide another update on LTC Karcher’s progress until I was positive he was out of the woods. He has had a rough road to recovery, but for the first time, his wife’s daily update talked of Tim’s release from the hospital. The trauma of his injury affected nearly every system in his body. He received nearly 200 units of blood and blood products. He was on and off the respirator – several times – and in and out of ICU for weeks. He has had feeding tubes and dialysis and bouts of nausea where he […]

A Flying Tiger Passes

One of the last of a true dying breed has passed on: In September 1941, he left the Army Air Forces to volunteer for service in China as part of a secret program, the American Volunteer Group, nicknamed the Flying Tigers, under Gen. Claire Chenault. Made up of about 400 pilots and ground personnel and based in Burma, the Flying Tigers protected military supply routes between China and Burma and helped to get supplies to Chinese forces fighting the Japanese. The group’s exploits became legend. Flying the P-40 aircraft, their fuselages painted with a toothsome tiger, the Flying Tigers were […]

How to Lose in Afghanistan

Anthony Cordesman writes in today Washington Post that “. . .Yet they can win only if they are allowed to manage both the civil and military sides of the conflict without constant micromanagement from Washington or traveling envoys. They must be given both the time to act and the resources and authority they feel they need. No other path offers a chance of a secure and stable Afghanistan free of terrorist and jihadist control and sanctuaries. . .”

Section Training

We do section training here every saturday at 1700. Today, a very keen LCpl of the Royal Engineers took us through an oh-fuck-we-got-hit-by-an-IED evolution. The objective was to rehearse the actions of reporting, securing, defending, evacuating the wounded, destroying any gear left behind, and bugging out. And we did it in full “kit’. VERY VALUABLE TRAINING. So, one of us played the wounded guy, two young Sappers played the drivers; two more officers got to make the initial contact report, and then haul the wounded guy out of his vehicle and into the other one. That’s a bitch; it’s hard […]

The Care & Feeding of the Military Chaplain

Read this; good article. All hands, no matter what denomination or inclination, need to pitch in to take care of the chaplain. That guy bears the weight of the battalion on his shoulders; he carries people’s confidences, their most-guarded secrets, and most serious problems. Most of the bad stuff and not too much of the good stuff gets dumped on him. Put another way, who goes to the chaplain and says, Hey– I’d like to grab a half-hour with you to tell you in detail how great things are, and how problem-free I am?? Take care of your chaplain. He’s […]

Recording History – The Adventure Continues

Hello all. Yesterday, I finished the manuscript of “New Dawn – the fight to free Fallujah.” My first great surprise was that my new publisher, Savas Beatie LLC, wanted me to send them a Word document. My last publisher, one of the largest in the world, insisted that I send them a single-sided, double-spaced, printed copy. They did not want the electronic copy. I think they still had a bunch of monks working by candlelight in the back room. Richard S. Lowry is the author of Marines in the Garden of Eden and The Gulf War Chronicles.

Disbursing Humor

Cashed a check this morning, on my maiden voyage to disbursing. Above the heavily barred window was a sign proclaiming, “____th Financial Management Company, Det 2“. And below, in small print, “We’re in Debt Too“. It took me a minute. HA! I’m glad they’re maintaining a cents of humor… (Yes, two can play at that game. But even I, an artilleryman, must yield in this case to superior punnery.)

Minor Annoyances

I discovered this morning, as I rolled out of the fart sack, that I had left my deodorant and small liquid soap squeeze bottle in the head, some 12 hours previously. I hurried in to scrape my face, hoping that some kind soul had left them in situ. No such luck; this ain’t VMI. The deodorant I replaced easily, the squeeze bottle I’ll have to get reach-back support for… it was the perfect size and shape, approx 3 ounces. Know the kind I’m talking about?? Hellfire and damnation! Update: Thanks all, for the suggestions and offers to help, however Most […]

Disconcertingly Blunt

From the ever-zesty SWJ, I saw this today: “Sri Lanka’s disconcerting COIN strategy for defeating the LTTE“. The thrust of the post is that yes, you can set aside the classic hearts-and-minds strategy and pursue the alternate, “chest and head” strategy, but that’s a policy few if any Western governments would care to adopt. In the main, I agree. However, I will point out that the strategy the Sri Lankan government appears to have adopted (successfully) in this case has one admirable element that we would do well to emulate, in our own way– A single-minded, unwavering, ruthless pursuit of […]

A Sensible Plan for an Afghan Air Force

The WaPo reports on an entirely sensible and feasible plan to field an Afghan Air Force. “Our goal is by 2016 to have an air corps that will be capable of doing those operations and the things that it needs to do to meet the security requirements of this country,” Brig. Gen. Walter Givhan told Pentagon reporters recently in a teleconference from Kabul, the Afghan capital. Even then, the Afghans will not be able to perform functions other air forces do, he said, adding, “The long-term goal beyond that envisions a continued partnership.” Read the whole thing– it’s a modest, […]