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 […]

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 […]

Colonel A.C. Volant ’88 Takes Command

Another fair specimen of a citizen-soldier! “Col. Adam C. Volant [L] takes command of the Fairfax-based Information Operations Support Center…” Congrats on the command and the recent promotion!  

When Will the Army Learn, When Will the Army Learn?

I am not surprised that it has come to this.  Having served in the Regular Army, the Army National Guard, and the United States Army Reserve I am well aware of the fear and loathing by the Regular Army and the Army National Guard towards each other. It is hardly a state secret that many Regular Army types do not care for the Reserve Components and in particular the Army National Guard.  For four years as a Department of the Army Civilian I had to listen to the Regular Army Colonel constantly put down the “fat National Guard and Reservists, […]

Stray Shots from Across the Net–Thursday Edition

Stray Shots From Around the Web.  I took three days of leave this week, I was suppose to go to Pennsylvania on some personnel business, however my wife’s mother is ill so instead I put her on an airplane.  So I have had time to wander the web so to speak in the morning and find some interesting articles as I drink coffee and eat breakfast while I take care of our eleven cats (yes I said eleven we are the crazy cat people at the end of the cul du sac)  and two dogs. Item 1:  Our USAF Missile […]

’87 Alumnus and National Guard Officer to be Honored on Vets’ Day

COL Lapthe Flora– a Roanoker, no less– from the remarkable VMI class of ’87.

Air Guard F-16 Crash

Mid-air collision, one pilot ejects but is rescued. Now, there’s at least one VMI grad flying F-16s in the DC Air Guard but I don’t think he was involved. My question for all of the Air Force folk out there– How easily does that plane get replaced? And wher does it come from?

“Virginia Guard mom, [VMI] Marine Corps son reunite at Kandahar Airfield”

Now this is a fine story! “It feels really weird to say my mom is in Afghanistan,” Capt. Nance [VMI '06] said.” I bet. But the family that slays together, stays together! Good luck to all of them.

One of the Problems With the National Guard`

Having served in the National Guard in Virginia I well know of the problems with holding people accountable for their actions.  In one unit I served, we had a Master Sergeant who we had credible evidence that he was a member of the Klan, yet we could not get rid of him.  When I tried to get rid of him because of his P3 profile arguing that in a Light Infantry Unit he could not do his job I was told to rewrite the NCOER, I refused and it was rewritten by the Battalion Commander.  The NCO would be alive […]

Stray Voltage

I am really going to piss some people off with my comments today; so be it! It appears that Congress has knuckled under to the most ruthless lobbying organization in our nation, the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) and are going to approve a provision that the Chief of the National Guard Bureau become a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  A lesser known provision calls for the Army and Air Force to appoint National Guard Officers as the Commander of Army North and Air Force North; both of which are currently commanded by a Lieutenant […]