“Desertion and Misbehaving Before the Enemy”

CHARGED: Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who slipped away from his patrol base in Afghanistan in 2009 and was held in captivity for five years, has been charged with desertion and misbehaving before the enemy, Army officials said Wednesday … Get on with it, then. I expect the testimony and evidence to be revealing and damning, and not just for the accused.

Why does the Marine Corps Maintain the Standard?

I happen to be a tried and true Cavalryman that loves his jarhead friends to death.  I never wanted to be a Marine, but with how the Army is pursuing the integration of women into the teeth of her fighting force tells me so much.  Women only make up 14% of the Soldiers in the Army, so what is the point? The Marine Corps will not degrade the standards, but they will allow women to join them.  So far, no women have it made it past week 3 at IOC. The Army seems to want their test to be Ranger […]

Sunday Clean-Up: Links and Notes

One of the most enjoyable aspects of this activity is to get suggestions and links from all of you, on a wide variety of topics. These below have piled up over the week from some of our most loyal readers; apologies, because I’m just now getting to them. From George W ’64, a great little piece on when to get out. There’s a lot of practical wisdom packed in there. Highly recommended. From MDL, a disturbing article on a once-great military and erstwhile bulwark of the Atlantic alliance. No wonder they want to avoid a confrontation over Ukraine. This does […]

Fish rot from the head: Senior Officers Behaving Badly

Earlier today Townie directed us to an article praising Commandant of the Marine Corps General Dunford. It was good to see the general performing the physical fitness test. From the looks of things, being a leader AND a flag officer are becoming mutually exclusive. From XBradTC: If naval officers were guilty of bribery or other misconduct, by all means, haul them in front of a court martial or a federal court. But do not allow the process to become the punishment, particularly when that process is fouling the duties of others with no direct connection to the scandal. [emphasis added by author] […]

The Case of Major Golsteyn’s Silver Star

DaveO brought this up a few days ago– “Afghanistan War Hero Stripped of Silver Star”– and George W ’64 is one of several who have mentioned it too. It’s a true story of heroism and treachery. From the original article, we learn that: [Then] Capt. Mathew L. Golsteyn was leading a Special Forces team in Afghanistan in 2010 when an 80-man mission he assembled to hunt insurgent snipers went awry. One of the unit’s five vehicles sank in mud, a gunshot incapacitated an Afghan soldier fighting alongside the Americans, and insurgents maneuvered on them to rake the soggy fields with […]


MDL sent this in. Sadly, it appears that the individual who wrote it is (was? should never have been??) an officer in the Army Reserve. I can’t even bring myself to quote from it.

Hang Him

(If he’s proven guilty, that is.)

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 […]

Abolish West Point and the other Service Academies

Bruce Fleming presents an interesting argument in an article at Salon.* The service academies in the new millennium are little more than military Disneylands for tourists. They are also cash cows for the brass who send their own children there at taxpayer expense: the children of multiple current and past administrators have gotten this taxpayer-supported present, which looks to me like (illegal) nepotism. And far from “imbu[ing] them with the highest ideals,” the service academies are in fact the graveyards of the ideals of students who come looking for something that transcends the watery values of secular humanism that are […]

Scales on the M16

The other article, which was published in the current issue of the Atlantic, was by MG (RET) Roberts Scales entitle Gun Troubles. I thought it would be interesting if we each stated what we wanted in the next generation of military rifle.  There are two caveats:  Weight, of the the weapon and ammo v the burden on the soldier; and two universality e.g. the ability of the average soldier to use it successfully.  The M1 was a great rifle (I have one and love shooting it) however it was heavy, and the recoil was heavy, it was however rugged, reliable, […]