April 9th 1865

He had not slept well the night before. A third or more of his Army had been captured by Federal Forces when they crossed the “T” as they pursued his beleaguered forces from Petersburg westward. Now he would attempt what he was famous for, maneuvering his forces away from Grant’s force. He envisioned a short battle that would permit him and the soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia to escape once again, to secure supplies, and link up with Joe Johnson and to continue the fight. Robert Edward Lee of Virginia rose as was his custom, trimmed his beard […]

Goldwater-Nichols, an answer: the Roles for Organizations

The is the second in a series of responses to Townie’s post “More Thoughts on Goldwater-Nichols 1986.” Earlier, I posted a response concerning the questions on the roles of people. Before we begin this response, let’s recap the definition of role: “Role” is the discrete responsibility that can only be performed by the person assigned that role. If you have to get the kids to football practice, your role is “Driver.” Organizations have roles that are equally discrete. An infantry company (Army or Marine) has the role of destroying the enemy through dismounted firepower and movement (maneuver). That’s it. An infantry […]

Marine Corps IOC ends female integration program

Over the past three years under pressure from Congress to integrate women into the teeth of America’s fighting Force, the Marine Corps at the fore front opened the Infantry Officer Course at MCB Quantico to female volunteers.  The last two volunteers were dropped on 2 APR 15, Day 1 for this iteration of IOC.  Of the 90 men that began that day, 9 were also dropped due to their score on the Combat Endurance Course. Unlike IBOLC at Ft Benning the first day of IOC at MCB Quantico begins with the Combat Endurance Course, just so you know, the “E […]

Tribute to Servicemen

This was written by Peter Bacque, a long time reporter for the Richmond Times Dispatch.  Peter passed away earlier this week.  I got to know Peter in Kosovo, he was a great reporter who did his job well, but when he finished being reporter he and sat in a Coffee shop at Camp Bondsteel and talk about Virginia, about Virginia politics and whatever else came up.

The West and the UN

Over at Defense One is a good article on the West reluctance to participate in UN Peace Keeping missions, written by Magnus Nordenman a graduate of the Institute.    

For But a Moment, Old Glory came down

So last week a group of UCI students passed a piece of legislation that took down the American Flag from the the student government work room or lobby, to which I’m unsure.  Since apparently Old Glory breeds intolerance and represents Imperialism.  The bill’s author, Matthew Guevara, I wonder if he understands irony. You see, a distant cousin of his somewhere down the line of centuries ago was Ernesto Guevara de La Serna, whom we all know as a doctor, but more so as a murderer.  His face became a symbol of rebellion, see the El Che shirts everywhere.  I wonder […]

Ethics questions

Been off-line for a little bit, but fear not I am still here. Last week there were many articles run on a study published by the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks that many of us are liars.  One of the things I cannot stand are liars and cheats.  We’ve recently been talking about how to measure leaders.  I mentioned that Once An Eagle is a great book, that shows you the correct way to be a leader and then, for lack of a better word: a schmuck. That I found there are more toxic leaders that want you to […]

General Officer Composition by Commissioning Source

Some simple analysis on the Composition of the Army General Officer population.     Grade General LTG MG BG/COL USMA 10 23 39 51 ROTC 2 21 80 112 OCS/DA 0 5 3 11

Andrew Bacevich on Obama’s Foreign Policy

Over at the American Conservative (my new favorite provocative web site; even though I don’t agree with a lot of what they write!) suggest that Obama’s foreign policy team should not be replace, that their incompetence is good for the United States.  I agree, when he says: You want vision? That will require a new crop of visionaries. Instead of sitting down with ancients like Kissinger, Scowcroft, Brzezinski, or Baker, this president (or his successor) would be better served to pick the brain of the army captain back from multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, the moral theologian specializing […]

The one diplomat every dictator listens to and complies with

In a straight line from actively supporting the elimination of democracy in Honduras through the conference feting the worst dictators in Africa and the so-called Arab Spring that chilled (at best) or killed most moderate, not-anti-West Muslim leaders in North Africa, to today’s celebration of and collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood to remove the moderate (and incredibly courageous and sensible) President of Egypt – our State Department continues its bold, innovative “smart diplomacy.”  Why do the prognazis of Foggy Bottom love absolute dictators? Put another way: the one diplomat every dictator and serial killer listens to and complies with is an infantry squad leader with […]