How to Break An Officer

Young officers are like moldable clay; they take lessons to heart fast.  Some of them will be amazing, most will be good, and then you will have a lot of bad.  It is easy for them to become enraptured by their own image when they’re doing well; it is even easier for them to fall flat on their face.  How do I know this?  I’ve been there.  When a new officer comes into the FORCE/FLEET he needs to be embraced by the battalion and company level organizations he is a part of.  In the Army we tend to have a […]

Blurred Lines: Soldiers versus Police

In an earlier post, there was a too-brief discussion on the on-going blending of US military and the police forces of our governments from Federal to municipal. With many Reservists and Guardsmen and women serving in the police, their skills and knowledge of the green blend almost seamlessly with the blue. However efficient that relationship is, Americans have an inborn fear of using the Army to police the People. Likewise, while Americans understand criminals will upgun whenever possible, even purchasing from federal police agencies, there is still a fear of a hyper-militarized policeman patrolling the streets. This fear, or desire […]

Russian Naval Infantry Regaining Expeditionary Capabilities

The Russian Naval Infantry has been in the news lately. Between it’s deployments to Syria and the Ukraine, the Russians are beginning to realize an expeditionary capability that complements Russia’s diplomatic and economic efforts. France says warship deal with Russia still alive Russian naval infantry will be soon equipped with floating bulletproof body armor Russian Naval Infantry: A Brief History After the Cold War

Who Goes Nazi?

It is also, to an immense extent, the disease of a generation—the generation which was either young or unborn at the end of the last war. This is as true of Englishmen, Frenchmen, and Americans as of Germans. It is the disease of the so-called “lost generation.” Sometimes I think there are direct biological factors at work—a type of education, feeding, and physical training which has produced a new kind of human being with an imbalance in his nature. He has been fed vitamins and filled with energies that are beyond the capacity of his intellect to discipline. He has […]

Lee-Jackson Day

So I guess the Institute is continuing its Culturally Aware ways.  Although I will say, as a Cadet from the West, that I did not understand Lee-Jackson Day.  In reality VMI doesn’t care.  In fact VMI only cares about two holidays, one of them is Founders Day, which is also Veterans Day.  When I was at VMI, they cared little that November 11th represented something other than the founding of the Institute.  And then you have New Market Day.

Why VMI Matters, Part 300

The core of VMI are its graduates living honorably, succeeding and failing as their own merits, demerits and as luck permits. The mechanism that raised the bar and distinguishes VMI from the service academies and near-peer educational organizations is VMI’s Honor Code.    Yesterday, 1/3 of America’s Strategic Defense force was exposed as non-combat capable. USAF officials, including senior members of its officer corps approved a blatant lie meant to undermine concerns. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, the primary mechanism for maintaining peace was the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). Apparently the new philosophy is “By Any Means […]

Scrap the JLTV Program, or start over.

Currently I’m stationed at Ft Bliss, TX. I see M-ATVs everywhere.  The Army talked of scrapping a lot of MRAPs, well here we see M-ATVs having replaced almost all of the HMMWVs in the 1 AD BCTs.  In fact the amount of M-ATVs here is a bit on the ridiculous side. When it comes to the JLTV program it’s something I’ve followed relatively close for the last  five years.  In 2008 the there was a down-select to three platforms [from seven],  which were offered: the BAE Valanx, GTV Eagle, LockMart JLTV, for the engineering and manufacturing development phase.  Of those […]

Donald Rumsfeld, A Documentary

I ran across the trailer for the Documentary: The Unknown Known.  The title of the documentary comes from a DoD briefing in February of 2002 when he famously said: “There are known knowns.”  It was directed by Academy Award winner Errol Morris whom also directed The Fog of War, which was an excellent documentary about the life of Robert McNamara. I’m unsure how I will take this, I grew up in the shadow of war following, 11 SEP 2001.  However, I will say I was well read, knowing of the Neo-Conservative movement and all of the folks that were in […]

Material for Thinking

Robert Kaplan whom I first encountered when I read his Balkan’s Ghost prior to deploying to Kosovo in 2000, is in my opinion one of the big thinkers of our age.  Over at Foreign Policy, he has a fascinating article that I urge all to read and think about, entitled Augustine’s World. Syria is the Levant, the geographical core of Late Antiquity. And its disintegration, like the crumbling of Libya, Yemen, and Iraq, along with the chronic unrest in Tunisia and Egypt, signifies not the birth of freedom but the collapse of central authority. Rome could not save North Africa, […]

Assymetric Oddity: Warheads Seized in Jamaica

An asymmetric oddity with your morning coffee: Police in Jamaica say authorities have seized 3,300 missile warheads and a machine to make missiles and bullets.