About Townie 76

Townie 76, aka COL Hank, was born in Lexington Virginia and graduated VMI in 1976. He entered the Army in November 1976 as an Armor Officer. He left the Army in 1984 and joined the Virginia Army National Guard where he remained until 1998 when he returned to Active Duty as a Title 10 Active Guard and Reserve Officer. He retired from the Army on 31 July 2006 and was recalled to active duty the next day where he is now beginning his third year as a recalled retiree. COL Hank has served in various Command and Staff assignments in his thirty two years of service, to include assignment in Korea, Germany, Kosovo, Iraq, and Kuwait. COL Hank finally retired from the Army in July 2009. He now works for the Department of the Army in the Pentagon as a Department of the Army Civilian.

Commandant’s Guidance

Whoever is the next CSA should take a page from General Dunford’s play book and provide guidance to the force.  Here is what the 36th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps said about orders (see entire guidance attached)2015CPG_Color: “Mission tactics serve as a contract between senior and subordinate. The senior agrees to provide subordinates with the support necessary to help accomplish their missions but without unnecessarily prescribing their actions. The senior is obligated to provide the guidance that allows subordinates to exercise proper judgment and initiative. The subordinate is obligated to act in conformity with the intent of the senior. The subordinate agrees […]

Academies, ROTC, which is better?

We who are graduates of VMI often find ourselves believing that West Point, Annapolis, or the USAF Academy are somehow evil purveyors of elitism and privilege.  According to the author, they are, and no better than ROTC in producing good leaders.  Is there some truth to the analysis, I don’t know?  In the Army today all but two; the FORSCOM Commander a Princeton Graduate and by all accounts a toxic leader; and the AMC Commander a graduate of a Historically Black University or College; are West Point Graduate.  Why is this? This article is worth reading and considering but I […]

Good Articles on Islamic Terrorism in Europe

Over at Sic Semper Tyrannis there are three great articles on Islamic Terrorism in Europe, here, here, and here.

Leadership Failure

This article is very disturbing. In the late 1970’s my first assignment was as a training officer (Executive Officer XO) and later Company Commander of a Basic Training Company. I learned very quickly that being associated with a Basic Training Company was not a 9 to 5 job. Clearly there were leadership lapses, as a Training Officer I pulled Staff Duty Officer, it was an all night affair, and you were expected to go through the Brigade Area once before midnight and once after. I always made it a point to check in on one or two Charge of Quarters […]

Is He Watching and Reading

Do we have a secret admirer?

Smedley Butler and War Is A Racket

Over at Tom Rick’s Best Defense is an excellent piece that is an Ode to Smedley Butler who wrote War is a Racket.


Several weeks ago I posted suggesting that President Obama needed a new National Security team.  At the time I thought I was a wolf in the wilderness (or maybe Churchill between the wars!); in today’s Daily Beast Leslie Gelb offers some recommendations to Mr. Obama to wit clean house.  I really like his suggestion here, but I would go one better, bring them back into the Administration as trusted advisers, even in their dotage they would be better than what we have today. Finally, Mr. Obama will need the usual wise men for regular informal consultation: Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft, […]

March in Paris

I find it incomprehensible  that no United States leader, other than the U S Ambassador, was present at the march in Paris today.  The fact that neither the President, Vice-President, leaders of the House and Senate, the Secretary of State or the Attorney General who was in Paris, thought it important enough is a slap in the face of the French and the world.  

Andrew Bacevich Eviscerates President Obama

Over at the Spectator (UK not American) Andrew Bacevich offers a blistering critique of President Obama, primarily from a foreign policy stand point.  Two quotes stand out: Furthermore — and here we come to the third explanation for his administration’s lacklustre performance — as President, Obama surrounded himself with mediocrities, hacks and time-servers. One need not romanticise the achievements (nor overlook the faults) of individuals such as Henry Stimson, George Marshall, Dean Acheson, Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski to say that no one of comparable calibre has found a place in the senior ranks of the present administration. Members of […]

British Officers Musings on the Lack of Messes in the American Military

Over at King of War a very interesting piece, for your consideration.