...He didn't seek the spotlight, but when Frank Buckles outlived every other American who'd served in World War I, he became what his biographer called "the humble patriot" and final torchbearer for the memory of that fading conflict.
Buckles enlisted in World War I at 16 after lying about his age. He died Sunday on his farm in Charles Town, nearly a month after his 110th birthday. He had devoted the last years of his life to campaigning for greater recognition for his former comrades, prodding politicians to support a national memorial in Washington and working with friend and family spokesman David DeJonge on a biography...
Frank Buckles lied about his age to various recruiters to get into the war. Finally, the Army accepted him and he made it into the "Great War."
Photo courtesy of DVIDS
Buckles served as a clerk and a driver during the war, and after the armistice was signed, helped to repatriate German prisoners back to Germany.
In 1942, he was working as a civilian in the Philippines when he was captured and interred in the infamous Los Banos prison camp. He survived 39 months in that hellhole before being rescued by the 11th Airborne Division.
He spent the rest of his life as a soft spoken advocate for his generation of heroes. He was recently honored by Secretary Gates and President Obama.
He lived a life worth living.
Godspeed, Corporal Frank Buckles. Thank you for your service to this great nation.
Rolling Stone is out hunting for Generals again and they have found a willing dupe in LTC Michael Holmes. Although calling him a dupe is unfair, he is a willing participant in this grotesque farce. Let’s tee this up in case you missed it. He claims that while on the staff of LTG Caldwell in Afghanistan he was tasked with coming up with ways to influence the opinions of visiting Senators. Seriously, that’s it. The massive outcry from the media was over something that anyone with an above room temperature IQ, including the Senators, knew happens all the time. The problem is that Holmes’ IQ is well below room temperature....
The simple answer is that Holmes was sent home from Afghanistan in disgrace for multiple violations of orders and military law. Even worse, he was planning on cashing in on his experience with a civilian strategic communications company he had formed with a female officer who worked directly for him. That cunning plan crashed and burned when he and this officer, MAJ Laural Levine, made such a public nuisance of their “inappropriate relationship” that it became common knowledge among the staff. In addition to that, they were regularly heading off base in civilian clothes and were either weaponless, had surrendered them to the restaurants they frequented, or worse had carried them concealed. The first two are offenses against the General Orders for Afghanistan, the last is a violation of the Laws of Land Warfare. If they had been captured while carrying concealed out on the town, they would have been unlawful combatants.
Now how did we find these things out? Well in addition to being as discrete as Lady Gaga, Holmes is also an ultra maroon (yes I just quoted Bugs Bunny). He posted photos of he and his “far-too-intimate-female-associate” on Facebook. Then they go ahead and flirt like Junior High Schoolers in the comments while discussing photos that show them violating their orders. That’s right, a guy and gal who think they are smart enough to advise the government and corporations on strategic communications, busted themselves out on Facebook. I mean seven letters dude, dam u dum. So the command conducted an investigation and concluded that LTC Holmes & MAJ Levine were guilty of all around ass-hattery, wrote them up and shipped them home. Now we have a disgraced buffoon trying to take some of the shite he has splattered on himself and fling it a better man. Let me make this as simple as possible LTC Holmes- Loser, LTG Caldwell- Winner and one of our most respected military leaders. We cannot afford to let a muckraking journalist and a man who should not be called an officer or a gentlemen take down one of our best.
I saw today that the Somali Pirates are at it again with the capture of a Danish yacht and 7 more hostages. Now, I get that this administration and, as Uncle J pointed out, their bong hit diplomacy continues unabated, but don't you think we might want to address this tiny thorn in our global backside before it gets to be a giant MRSA infection?
As a purveyor of solutions (as Mrs. Deebow points out sarcastically on a regular basis); Here is my international law compliant, totally 100 percent, absolutely private-proof solution to this problem; In fact, let's just call this The Deebow Accord on Piracy;
Hunt down and kill the pirates immediately in your sights and operating in your corner of the ocean, sink and burn their boats, repeatedly machine gun the surviving pirates, leave what is left to the sharks, repatriate their loot, burn their hideouts and leave all of this damage and destruction as a warning to others.
I just leafed through the UN Convention on The Law of the Sea and I can't find anything that says we are not allowed, in International Waters, or in the waters off Somalia, to do this. There actually does not need to be a law on this, because this is what nature's law kind of says in regards to predators and vermin and how they are to be dealt with. I am actually totally OK with the law being silent on this, because it gives the Deebow Accord the room it needs to "breathe" all the way to the US Navy SEAL operational level. We don't need a National Security finding or an Executive Order, just follow the Deebow Accord.
In fact, the Deebow Accord is small enough to be printed onto a business card (which is very environmentally friendly) and carried in the right front pocket of all the SOF that would handle this for us. Kind of like a little ROE card to refer to if you get confused about what to do. Nice thing is, it is short enough that it is easily memorized (part of my overall plan), so the card may be redundant.
I have am trying to imagine a nation (an actual functioning nation state in this case), that would be against this way of handling pirates. Let's save ourselves some duckets and not detain, try, and incarcerate thesewarts on the behind of the world, thereby subjecting them to some of the same "catch and release" ACLU supported BS that the Gitmo detainees are participating in. Let's just excise them and move on.
I say that this would not only be an effective and efficient way to deal with these vermin, but saves us precious jail space and resources to detain and incarcerate others who much more deserving of a long time in the Stony Lonesome.
Anyone know someone I could talk to about this at NATO or the UN about this for the next meeting?
US Army Captain D.J. Skelton - Someone You Should Know
Posted By Blackfive
DoD Photo By Fred W. Baker III, American Forces Press Service
"I wanted to return to my men. The fact is .. .they never quit on me, and I wasn't going to give up my fight and quit." - US Army Captain DJ Skelton on returning to command after being severely wounded six+ years ago.
While the above photo is of CPT Skelton in command of an M.I. Company, he will take command of a Stryker company in combat in Afghanistan.
...What he will do, starting in a few weeks, is take command of 192 men from his previous unit, the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, this time in heavily contested southern Afghanistan. Skelton is the Army's most seriously wounded soldier to return to combat command.
Those who know Skelton attribute his return to his incredible perserverance and strength of character.
"It is physically incapable for him to do what he is doing," marveled Skelton's friend retired Army officer Lt. Gen. John Nagl. "And I have no doubt that he will succeed." Nagl has seen Skelton's determination in action because he is the president of the Center for a New American Security, where Skelton completed a military fellowship while recovering.
While in recovery Skelton also completed a fellowship at Harvard, wrote a caretaker's guidebook for wounded service members, served as military adviser to then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England and co-founded Paradox Sports, a nonprofit that helps those with physical disabilities to participate in outdoor sports, such as rock-climbing...
All photos were takend by Sgt. Benjamin Watson of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan Media Operations Center:
A U.S. Special Forces intelligence sergeant assigned to Special Operations Task Force – South climbs over the ruins of an abandoned compound during a security patrol Feb. 20 in Panjwai District, Kandahar province, Afghanistan. The SOTF-South Special Forces team in the area conducts regular patrols in order to secure known abandoned compounds from the possible storage of explosive-making material.
U.S. Special Forces soldiers assigned to Special Operations Task Force – South greet Afghan children during a security patrol. Can you guess which one is the Team Commo Sergeant?
A U.S. Special Forces weapons sergeant assigned to Special Operations Task Force – South directs security positions during a patrol
Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Winn, Multi-National Security Transition Command Iraq Public Affairs
Below is an all Marine message from General Amos on the use of the Marine Osprey in combat operations:
Subject: MV-22 ALMAR
UNCLASSIFIED// ALMAR 006/11 MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC// SUBJ/MV-22 100,000 FLIGHT HOUR MILESTONE// GENTEXT/REMARKS/ 1. TO THE MARINES, SAILORS AND CIVILIANS OF THE MV-22 COMMUNITY, CONGRATULATIONS ON ACHIEVING 100,000 TOTAL FLIGHT HOURS IN THE OSPREY. ON 10 FEBRUARY 2011, AN MV-22 SUPPORTING OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM CROSSED THIS SIGNIFICANT AVIATION THRESHOLD. IT IS FITTING THAT THIS MILESTONE WAS ACHIEVED DURING COMBAT OPERATIONS IN AFGHANISTAN, GIVEN THE CONSTANT OPERATIONAL TEMPO THE OSPREY COMMUNITY HAS MAINTAINED SINCE ITS INCEPTION. 2. THE OSPREY COMMUNITY HAS PROVEN ITS METTLE DURING COMBAT AND IN EXTREME ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS DURING NINE DEPLOYMENTS TO IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN AND ABOARD AMPHIBIOUS SHIPS AT SEA. THE UNPRECEDENTED AGILITY AND OPERATIONAL REACH THE OSPREY PROVIDES TO OUR COMBATANT COMMANDERS - AND MARINES THROUGHOUT THE OPERATING FORCES - CONTINUES TO DEMONSTRATE ONE OF THE MANY CAPABILITIES WE POSSESS AS AMERICA'S EXPEDITIONARY FORCE IN READINESS. HOWEVER, IT IS NOT THE AIRFRAME, BUT THE PEOPLE WHO MAINTAIN AND OPERATE THE MV-22 THAT HAVE ACHIEVED THIS MILESTONE. THE UNPARALLELED SUCCESS OF THE MV-22 IS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE HARD WORK AND PROFESSIONALISM OF THE MARINES, SAILORS AND CIVILIANS WHO FLY, FIX AND SUPPORT THIS AIRCRAFT. 3. AS A RESULT OF THE EFFORTS OF THE ENTIRE OSPREY COMMUNITY - AND MARINE AVIATION AS A WHOLE - THIS TRANSFORMATIONAL AIRCRAFT HAS ACHIEVED 100,000 TOTAL FLIGHT HOURS WHILE MAINTAINING THE LOWEST CLASS 'A' FLIGHT MISHAP RATE OF ANY USMC ROTORCRAFT SINCE 9/11. TO ALL THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE PLAYED A PART IN THE ACHIEVEMENT OF 100,000 FLIGHT HOURS, THANK YOU AND CONGRATULATIONS. 4. SEMPER FIDELIS. JAMES F. AMOS, GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS.//
Our own McQ, has an update to the story of LTC Holmes vs. LTG Caldwell. It's looking more and more to come out in favor of LTG Caldwell - which is what we predicted.
...Except LTC Holmes job wasn’t “in psy-ops” (Psychological Operations) nor is LTC Holmes trained in PsyOps. That is a very specific Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) that requires school training. The place in which PsyOps is taught is the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Ft. Bragg, NC. According to Special Operations Command, the Special Warfare School has never heard of LTC Michael Holmes.
Hastings also implies that Holmes received an official reprimand for “bucking orders” associated with the claim he was to use “psy-ops” on Senators. In fact he was instead cited for numerous violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) that included ignoring orders not to go off post in civilian clothes, surrendering his weapon to civilians in civilian restaurants, conflict of interest and telling falsehoods to superiors, among others. The reprimand Holmes received had little if anything to do with the reason implied by Hastings...
...A second legal review came to the opposite conclusion, however. On March 30, 2010, a lawyer within Caldwell’s chain of command, Maj. Tami Miller, wrote that Holmes had been given “a lawful order,” according to a copy of her assessment acquired by Danger Room. After all, Holmes was simply told “to collect, analyze and share ‘publicly available’ information” about the VIPs. No brainwashing was requested...
...What were Holmes and Levine doing when they went off of the base in civilian clothes to dine in restaurants? They were drumming up business for the company they hoped they would found after their tour. They called it SyzygyLogos LLC and they hoped to do business doing exactly what they were doing for the Army in Afghanistan. That’s why they also took pictures of themselves doing the taxpayers’ business in civilian clothes to make it appear as if they already had a private company and were contracted with the US government. On your dime...
Naturally, he deleted my comments and links, and then immediately removed me from his friends list. Gee, I wonder why that might be. Hey man, I’m one of those sergeants you are so valiantly seeking to defend.
Maybe the Sith Lords got to him.
Hit all of those links as the information at all of them is useful in determining the motivation for the hit job on LTG Bill Caldwell.
...After discovering the first IED, we walked north at a steady, careful pace. Not one farmer was out tilling the lands sown with mines. Yaz again clenched his fist, knelt down, disarmed and blew up an IED. The patrol continued for a while, then halted suspiciously at the edge of a large field. On the far side were two long compound walls, dotted with “murder holes” — small peepholes for the Taliban rifle barrels.
The Marines peered at the wall through the telescopic sights on their rifles. Suddenly, the squad leader, Sgt. Philip McCulloch, fired a single shot.
“Scratch one stinky,” he said.
(A few months earlier, in Sangin, a rocket had slammed into Mac’s vehicle, knocking him out. The doctors wanted to send him back to the States, but he kicked up such a fracas that he remained hospitalized in Afghanistan until he talked his way back to Kilo Company. A few days before I arrived, his squad had pursued a Taliban gang for two kilometers. After a bullet creased the inside of Mac’s thigh, he had avoided treatment at the aid station, fearing he might be pulled to the rear.)...
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?
Then said I, Here am I; send me. Isaiah 6:8
I flew my flag at half staff yesterday not just because this one is local, but it inspired me want to pass along this story and this story too.
I didn't know Sergeant DeYoung, but I wish I did. He is the picture of what I would think a United States Marine would be.
During his more than five years in the Corps, the sergeant earned more than a dozen military honors: Purple Heart with a gold star, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal with a bronze star, National Defense Ribbon, Afghan Campaign with a bronze star, Iraq Campaign with two bronze stars, Global War on Terrorism, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with two bronze stars, NATO ISAF-Afghanistan award, Navy/Marine Corps Parachute Insignia, Rifle Expert 4th Award and Pistol Expert Award.
His Mother, Teddi, evidently knew the deal when he was born.
"I used to tell my son that he was issued in a Navy sea bag," said Teddi DeYoung. "He was born a Marine."
DeYoung said she had served in the U.S. Navy and her husband, Bruce, had served in the Marines. The couple met, she said, when they were both at Camp Lejeune, N.C., the largest Marine Corps base on the East Coast.
I want his family and the world to know that having served with young men like Matthew, that they are so much further along and worldly than many of the young men walking around today. I count myself lucky to have known danger, deprivation and hardship with men of this caliber in my life. He is the embodiment of the Recon Marine Creed. It is an honor I will cherish for the rest of my life and it will be a feeling and a time I know that I will never forget.
Sergeant DeYoung is survived by his 3 year old daughter McKenzy and his wife Aisha and by his mother, Teddi DeYoung, of Phoenix; father, Bruce DeYoung, of Ivyland, Pa.; brother, Bryce DeYoung, 19, of Klamath Falls; sister, Mandi DeYoung, 24, of White City; sister, Taylor DeYoung, 17, of Phoenix; 5-week-old niece, Adelyn Wilkins, of White City and extended step families.
If we ever run out of men in this country like Sergeant DeYoung, the light of freedom will certainly be extinguished. God Bless his family and God Bless him
We can only hope, but regardless Ah-mah-nuttah-job and his compatriots took a shot in the nads with this.
Iran told atomic inspectors this week that it had run into a serious problem at a newly completed nuclear reactor that was supposed to start feeding electricity into the national grid this month, raising questions about whether the trouble was sabotage, a startup problem, or possibly the beginning of the project’s end.
Well that is just a shame. This isn't a direct setback to their nuke weapon aspirations. but any screw up for the Mullahs is OK by me.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.