Book Review of George Marshall: A Biography

Not sure if I shall bother reading this new biography of George Marshall, but here is a review of it in the New Republic.  Concluding paragraph says a lot about George Marshall the man: For a military man, Marshall’s heroism was peculiar. It did not arise from his conduct on the battlefield. It arose from his modesty, including “a modest daily schedule that often ended at three or four o’clock in the afternoon” and his avoidance “of lucrative corporate board memberships so commonly available to retired high military officers in our more avaricious times.” Most importantly, Marshall’s modesty flowed from […]

HQDA and Congress need to stop

Any time something about race in the military comes up I amped up.  This most recent article about the Army wanting to make the military and really the officer-corps more cosmopolitan gets my dander up.  Why Slater, why would you say that?  Well, when they first hit the nail “they,” and whoever “they” are is the enemy, talk about the percentage of black officers within the Army.  The truth is, you can’t force an all-volunteer force into being something unless you make racial quotas and deny folks that are qualified for folks that are unqualified. That’s how you get things […]

CMC Under Fire…

U N B E L I E V A B L E . At issue is whether Amos attended basic Marine officer training in 1972 as he said in the career service record he provided Congress four years ago [emphasis added] upon his confirmation as the service’s 35th commandant. Amos was a Navy pilot and lieutenant junior grade who cross-decked to Marine Corps aviation and bypassed The Basic School, a rite of passage for all Marine officers. The Corps says its top officer did complete TBS – five years later than claimed and via correspondence course. Fellow Marine and loyal reader […]

Townie 76 in Charlottesville

First time in five years in uniform, not bad!

Letters of Marque and Reprisal

Slater’s excellent post produced very thoughtful, spot-on observations from regular commentators John Minehan and Mike_B as well as our resident Townie. The takeaway from the comments is that Americans have divorced themselves from service, including warfare. Recently, Bill O’Reilly recommended a much-derided solution to the problems of sending Americans overseas at exorbitant costs in blood and treasure. O’Reilly recommended that the US raise a mercenary army to fight terrorism. To authorize such a force, our Congress must issue a letter, or letters of Marque & Reprisal. LETTER OF MARQUE AND REPRISAL, War. A commission granted by the government to a private individual, […]

The Burden of War

Falleth not upon the Soldier, or Marine, or Sailor, or Airman.  But on the people who sent him to that beach without water.  Here‘s an interesting article by Sebastian Junger who has spent much of his journalistic career embedded among Soldiers to tell their story. The Soldier. . .is a tool.  When you hammer a nail as you build a bed frame, what take responsibility for it?  The hammer?  I would say no.  It must be the person hammering the nail.  To that effect, the Soldier is a tool, he should not bear the majority of the pain or blame […]

The Long War

When I was studying in France back in 2009 one of the many unique opportunities I had was to attend the Collogue Guerre Irreguliere/Irregular Warfare Conference at Camp Coetquidan.  And one of the things a British General said was that NATO knew Afghanistan would be a 20 year war.  That it would take an entire generation to fight and rebuild that country. The reason I bring this up, one of our categories here on OPFOR is The Long War.  I’ve had this sneaking suspicion that my generation’s war never ended.  That this irregular enemy, the non-state actor, would continue to […]

BullNav, JPP, and Townie76

Why Emergency Plans are Necessary

There is a great story over at the Daily Kos about the actions taken by the Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Roger Fergerson’s actions on September 11, 2001.  His actions not only preserved the United States Economy but most probably stabilized the world economy. While they had no plan for something like 9-11; they had a plan for Y2K.  As a result of that plan there were redundancies within the IT and communications networks of the Federal Reserve.  From this plan, Ferguson was able to call audibles and move out to protect our economy. This is a reminder to […]

The Day Our World Stopped Turning

As the junior member of the group I haven’t really reflected on this today.  11 September 2001, I was in the seventh grade.  12 years old, mom almost kept us home, but the college decided they were going to push and she dropped us off at school.  I honestly don’t know if she got much work done that day. As much as my teachers may have wanted it to remain normal, they exacerbated the issue by not playing the news for us that day.  We’d all watched the beginning with the towers smoking, I didn’t see either collapse until that […]