Thanksgiving 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to all, especially those who have to put the tray down and grab the binos… (Lifted from FB.)

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 […]

How to Break An Officer-Bump

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 […]

Rest in Peace, A10 the “Hog”

There are two articles I recommend every ground pounder, Army and Marine Corps read.  The first at the Washington Post is about opposition to the retirement of the A10 “Hog” and the second over at Harper’s touching on the same subject, where the author Andrew Cockburn, who concludes: As I explain in my Harper’s feature, the Air Force’s decision to junk the A-10 while retaining the B-1 and the even more unwieldy B-52 bombers for close air support may seem inexplicable, but it is in reality quite logical. The service owes its independence from the army to its success in […]

Firearms Friday: A Lot of Gun for a (Potentially) Small Price

$10 raffle tickets, for a shot at a $12k piece of gear: Not a bad deal at all. And a good cause too.   (In the interest of full disclosure, we have no interest in this… except that we’re interested in it!)

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

It’s right around midnight here in the Occupied Territories of Northern Virginia. (Where, O Where, is John Mosby when we need him??) On behalf of COL Hank, DaveO, BullNav and young Mr Slater, I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy 2014. This goes double for the boys (and girls) overseas, especially our fellow VMI alumni. May this time next year see them all home, safe and sound, wreathed with the laurels of victory. Lastly– someone’s bringing gifts to RC(SW)… GOOD STORY.

On the Shut-Down and Religious Ministry

Lots of conflicting items in the news on chaplains and contract chaplains being allowed or not allowed to celebrate Mass on military bases during the shut-down. This came in today, from– A regular reader of this blog A VMI graduate A retired Marine officer A fellow FPF Training graduate A deacon in the Roman Catholic Church Everything the [Archbishop] and his lawyer said are in all the op ed pieces -contract priests forbidden to celebrate Mass, baptisms, etc. The House passed a resolution, Senate sat on it, etc. But I can tell you that I have a priest friend (Franciscan) […]

“Sketching the Drawdown”

By way of the great Mike Fay, here is part 6 in a series of combat art pieces by free-lance artist and former Marine Rob Bates in Afghanistan. A sample:

From the WSJ: “When the Fighting Stops”

MDL tossed this our way, and we are glad he did. For many of you, this will undoubtedly sound a familiar note. For over a decade now, operations overseas offered tens of thousands of young American men a good opportunity to go and do what young men have done for centuries. One need neither to love the cause nor hate it– nor, indeed, to embrace the idea– to recognize the allure of the promise of a good hard fight against a capable adversary in a far-off and storied land. So, when the fighting stops, what then? For many of them, […]

Recommended Reading

STRONGLY recommended reading, and an unlikely selection too. Alcoholics Anonymous. Full disclosure– I am not an alcoholic (some of you might cordially disagree), nor am I member of AA, nor do I have a close family member who is (that I know of). I have simply been privileged to make the acquaintance of someone who is, and who has gotten through it. This is a book about fixing broken people; a remarkable book, and I strongly commend it to officers, especially lieutenants and captains. It is a near-certainty that company-grade officers are going to run across Marines and soldiers and […]