A good read for the weekend as we watch events in Russia unfold.
This is my own take on how the next guy down in the platoon can help the next guy up be better, and maybe make the next guy down better for it as well....
I have much to say about the Bear going over the Mountain (again), but that will come later.
Offered without apology....
The initial assault on Marjah, Afghanistan, was about to commence in February 2010. 1/6 was going in to a Taliban stronghold laden with IEDs, snipers, and insurgents. Around 8,000 ground forces and 7,000 support troops were involved including American, British, French, Canadian, Estonian and Danish forces under ISAF Command. After speeches to the Marines by the officers, Gunnery Sergeant Bryan Wallgren, A/1/6, decided to really motivate his Marines...his words were the last they heard before boarding the helos...
He received a Commendation Medal with V for Marjah. And some of you might have been one of his students at the JWTC 14 years ago...
Chicago's Pritzker Military Library is a unique non-profit organization that is committed to maintaining and improving the public's appreciation of the military -- past, present, and future. In honor of the Library's 10th anniversary, its special collections staff has selected 10 of their favorite military recruitment posters from its collection to share.
More about the Pritzker Library: In addition to more than 45,000 books on military history and several thousand artifacts, the library's collection houses more than 1,500 prints and posters from the late 17th century to the present. It includes posters from all over the world, in nine languages. The bulk of the collection consists of propaganda posters from World War I and World War II, including works from Howard Chandler Christy, James Montgomery Flagg, and Norman Rockwell. The subject matter of these posters ranges from military recruiting, fundraising, and conservation to charity, education, and protest.
Not among their 10, these are my favorites:
Time for a palate cleanser...be sure to check the one about the Congressman...
[This is a repost from 2007...yes, you've seen it before, but it still rings true, PLUS bonus theoretical models! Especially snarky additions from Blackfive Commenters and Authors have been added. You all ROCK!]
The Ultimate Differential Theory of US Armed Forces (Snake Model)
Upon encountering a snake in the Area of Operations (AO)...
Airborne: Lands on and kills the snake.
USAF O-6 and above: "Get that damned snake off the fairway!"
Armor: Runs over snake. Never knows it,as well as where the tank and the snake is on the battlefield. Continues directly ahead wondering what all those new buttons in his turret do.
Army Aviation: Has GPS ten digit grid to snake. Stands off at a range greater than any other weapon system and destroys snake with precision fires at a cost equivalent of one Mercedes 350SEL. Returns to base for fighter management and a "cool one".
Army Shrink: Attempts to get snake to explain its sexual feelings about its mother.
Army Chaplain: Tries to get snake to attend services, mend its ways.
USAF Combat Controllers: Guides snake elsewhere.
Combat Engineer: Studies snake. Prepares in depth analysis based on obscure 5 series FM about how to defeat snake using counter mobility assets. Complains that maneuver forces don't understand how to properly conduct doctrinal counter-snake operations. (Engineer School tries to hide the fact that M9 ACE proves ineffective against snakes).
Field Artillery: Kills snake with massive Time On Target barrage with three Forward Artillery Brigades in support. Kills several hundred civilians as unavoidable collateral damage. Mission is considered a success and all participants (i.e., cooks, mechanics and clerks) are awarded Silver Stars.
Infantry: Snake smells them, leaves area.
Military Intelligence, G-2: Snake? What snake? Only four of 35 indicators of snake activity are currently active. We assess the potential for snake activity as LOW.
Judge Advocate General (JAG): Snake declines to bite, citing professional courtesy.
Force Recon: Follows snake, gets lost.
USMC Infantry: Kills snake by accident while looking for souvenirs. Local civilians demand removal of all US forces from Area of Operations.
Army Mech Infantry: Runs over snake, laughs, and looks for more snakes.
Military Intelligence, S-2: Reports to ground troops that snake is a non-combatant. Six Infantry wounded. MI states that if the ground forces would have read the nesting diagram provided in the 24 page enemy intel report, they would have known the snake was a possible threat.
Military Police, Criminal Investigation: Handcuffs snake's head to its tail, reads it its Miranda rights, then proceeds to beat snake to a pulp with night stick.
USAF Missileers: Lays in target coordinates to snake in 20 seconds, but can't receive authorization from National Command Authority to use nuclear weapons.
Military Police, Field: Snake safely infiltrates rear area of operations.
Navy SeaBees: Build snake elaborate rec room, complete with secret still.
Navy SEAL: Expends all ammunition and several grenades, then calls for naval gunfire in failed attempt to kill snake. Snake bites the SEAL, and dies of salt water poisoning. Hollywood makes film in which SEALS kill Muslim extremist snakes.
Navy, Surface Action Group: Fires off 50 cruise missiles fro several ships, kills snake and makes presentation to Senate Appropriations Committee on how Naval forces are the most cost-effective means of anti-snake force projection.
Ordnance: IDs snake as having improper scales. Deadline snake and order parts against snake. Parts come in 15 days later but the snake has been upgraded to FMC due to scrounging of parts through improper channels.
USAF Para-Rescue: Lands on snake upon descending, thereby injuring it, then feverishly works to save the snake's life.
USAF Pilot, A-10: Has Global Positioning Satellite coordinates to snake. Can't find snake. Returns to base for refuel, crew rest and manicure.
USAF Pilot, B-52: Pulls ARCLIGHT mission on snake, kills snake and every other living thing within two miles of target.
USAF Pilot, F-15: Misidentifies snake as enemy Mil-24 Hind helicopter and engages with missiles. Crew chief paints snake kill on aircraft.
USAF Pilot, F-16: Finds snake, drops two CBU-87 cluster bombs, and misses snake target, but gets direct hit on Embassy 100 KM East of snake due to weather (Too Hot also Too Cold, Was Clear but too overcast, Too dry with Rain, Unlimited ceiling with low cloud cover etc.) Claims that purchasing multimillion dollar, high-tech snake-killing device will enable it in the future to kill all snakes and achieve a revolution in military affairs.
USAF Pilot, Fighter, Generic: Mis-identifies the snake as a HIND and engages it with missiles. Crew Chief paints snake on airplane.
USAF Pilot, Transport: Receives call for anti-snake equipment, and delivers two weeks after due date.
Army Pilot, AH-64 Apache: Unable to locate snake, snakes don't show well on infrared. Infrared only operable in desert AO's without power lines or SAM's.
Army Pilot, HH-53 Jolly Green Giant: Finds snake on fourth pass after snake builds bonfire, pops smoke, lays out flares to mark Landing Zone. Rotor wash blows snake into fire.
Joint Security Area (JSA) Korea: Puts on Class B uniform and stares snake down for 40 years. Snake dies of old old age, but son of snake assumes staring contest.
Army Cavalry Troopers: Shoots near snake to prevent it from crossing FLOT because their mission is "Screen" and Not "Destroy." Put in for Silver Star, but is downgraded to ARCOM w/ "V" Device. Cav is successful in not becoming "Decisively Engaged"
NTC O/C: Shoots snake with Godgun, tells it to take off its fangs and wait for Medivac. Other Snakes berated in AAR for not knowing their 9-Line Medivac.
Military Intelligence (Tactical): Puts Rubber Snakes around Snake as "Battle Field Deception." Junior MI Soldier left near to make hissing noises because sound system is deadlined.
Retired SGM working at CIF: Gives snake a statement of charges for not having the same skin it was issued. Snake goes and kills other snake; Tries to turn in other snakes' skin. Spends 8 hours in CIF parking lot washing skin.
ROTC Cadet: Cadet dies of Snake Bite after asking Snake how he did at "Advance Camp"
SFOD-D: Deploys 2 man SR Team to maintain "eyes on" while squadron prepares for deployment. $2.1 M. worth of "Discretionary" funds are used to contract a company to produce a .50 cal subsonic round whose weapon effect closely resembles a mongoose bite. FBI's HRT is deployed to stand around while an Operator shoots the snake with the "Mongoose Round" while wearing an HRT Jacket. SFOD-D Cooks and Clerks expend a total of 1.7 Million Rounds of ammo back at Bragg so that it looks like SFOD-D was never deployed...
Army or Marine Quartermaster: Encounters snake, then loses contact. Can not identify who owns snake by hand receipts. Orders new snake through supply channels. Request is denied by higher authority; issuing the unit a snake will bring the manager to a zero balance; one snake must remain on hand at all times as per their boss' guidance.
Ranger: Plays with snake, then eats it.
Signal, Enlisted: Tries to communicate with snake . . . fails despite repeated attempts. Complains that the snake did not have the correct fill or did not know how to work equipment a child could operate.
Signal, Officer: Informs the commander that he could easily communicate with the snake using just his voice. Commander insists that he NEEDS to videoconference with the snake, with real-time streaming positional and logistical data on the snake displayed on video screens to either side. Gives Signal Corps $5 Billion to make this happen. SigO abuses the 2 smart people in the corps to make it happen, while everybody else stands around, bitches, and takes credit. In the end, GTE and several sub-contractors make a few billion dollars, the two smart people get out and go to work for them, and the commander gets what he asked for only in fiber-optic based simulations. The snake dies of old age.
Staff Judge Advocate (JAG): Swear they saw something like that on the Discovery Channel . . . spend weeks arguing if it was a snake or not.
Special Forces: Makes contact with snake, ignores all State Department directives and Theater Commander Rules of Engagement by building rapport with snake and winning its heart and mind. Trains it to kill other snakes. Files enormous travel settlement upon return.
Supply: (NOTICE: Your anti-snake equipment is on backorder.)
Transportation Corps: "Snake? What snake? We were sleeping in the truck."US Congress Representative (D): After initially voting in favor of anti-snake military action, suddenly realizes that the snake can never be defeated. Goes on TV and describes current operations as 'failed' before they begin and the calls the leading herpetologist in the world 'incompetent'. Pleads with snake not to hurt us. Then introduces legislation to re-deploy all military forces to Okinawa where they can more effectively engage snakes, world-wide. Then heads overseas to attempt to negotiate our surrender to the snake. Takes intern for 'support'.
Embed Main-Stream-Media Reporter: Decides snake is patriotic nationalist agrarian reformer being molested by imperialist U.S. forces, asks snake for directions to nearest bar. If bitten by snake, charges U.S. troops with neglect of duty to protect freedom of the press.
Public Affairs Officer: "We cannot comment on any snake-related activities, and anyway that would be up to the snake's chain of command to provide comments, if any are applicable. Be sure to check out our website on 'How to handle snakes in your AO' for the current command guidelines on snakes."Naval Aviator, Jets: Lobbies Congress for new funds to buy "Snake-seeking ordnance," while pressing the point that blue-water ops are the only effective way to display American might to the snake and have a psychological effect on it. Gets funds, then launches strike. Can't drop on Snake due to targeting pod being "bent." Has to jettison multi-million dollar Anti-Snake Bomb into ocean. Comes back to boat and traps on pitching deck in dead of night while bitching about how "Snake gets ten-thousand feet of solid runway to do this $%!T on." Proceeds to blame maintenance chief for bent pod. Chief goes out to jet, pulls tapes, finds that pod was never switched to "ON" position.
And this is the Differential Theory of the U.S. Armed Forces (Suck Model):
And now this is the Differential Theory of the U.S. Armed Forces (Terms Model):
Here is the Differential Theory of the U.S. Armed Forces (Red Solo Cup Model):
UPDATE: link to the original essay here (my opinion remains unchanged).
I try not to spend my time poop-hammering veterans that don't need it. Everyone's experience is different, and the fact that you served is 99 percent of all I need to hear.
But that being said, I, along with my combat MOS/Combat Service brothers and sisters, am a bit of an elitist. The guys that have spent their time living in places with light, noise and litter discipline with Death not only tuggin at their elbow, but tying off on it with a swiss seat are more likely to be the people that I tend to bond with. People who have seen the elephant are my people.
Long days in the Finance Office at Camp Phoenix or scheduling aircraft maintenance at Bagram are likely to get me shoveling a mountain of well deserved poo-poo on you.
So I don't feel bad for what I am about to do.....
Airborne 1943 - Troops of the 82nd Airborne Division jump en mass, during a demonstration at Oujda, French Morocco, North Africa, on 3 June 1943, shortly before the Sicily invasion. (World War II Signal Corps Collection). Photo courtesy of SOCOM.
SRES 207 ATS
S. RES. 207
Designating August 16, 2013, as ‘National Airborne Day’.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
July 31, 2013
Mr. REED (for himself, Ms. MURKOWSKI, Mr. BEGICH, Mrs. HAGAN, Mr. REID, Mr. WHITEHOUSE, Mr. CHAMBLISS, Mr. COCHRAN, Mr. WICKER, Mr. BLUMENTHAL, Mr. TESTER, Mr. BAUCUS, Mr. MORAN, Mr. ISAKSON, Ms. COLLINS, Mr. BLUNT, Mr. BURR, Mr. CASEY, and Mrs. MURRAY) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to
Designating August 16, 2013, as ‘National Airborne Day’.
Whereas the members of the airborne forces of the Armed Forces of the United States have a long and honorable history as bold and fierce warriors who, for the national security of the United States and the defense of freedom and peace, project the ground combat power of the United States by air transport to the far reaches of the battle area and to the far corners of the world;
Whereas the experiment of the United States with airborne operations began on June 25, 1940, when the Army Parachute Test Platoon was first authorized by the Department of War, and 48 volunteers began training in July 1940;
Whereas August 16 marks the anniversary of the first official Army parachute jump, which took place on August 16, 1940, to test the innovative concept of inserting United States ground combat forces behind a battle line by means of a parachute;
Whereas the success of the Army Parachute Test Platoon in the days immediately before the entry of the United States into World War II validated the airborne operational concept and led to the creation of a formidable force of airborne formations that included the 11th, 13th, 17th, 82nd, and 101st Airborne Divisions;
Whereas, included in those divisions, and among other separate formations, were many airborne combat, combat support, and combat service support units that served with distinction and achieved repeated success in armed hostilities during World War II, and provide the lineage and legacy of many airborne units throughout the Armed Forces;
Whereas the achievements of the airborne units during World War II prompted the evolution of those units into a diversified force of parachute and air-assault units that, over the years, have fought in Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf region, and Somalia, and have engaged in peacekeeping operations in Lebanon, the Sinai Peninsula, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo;
Whereas, since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the members of the United States airborne forces, including members of the XVIII Airborne Corps, the 82nd Airborne Division, the 101st Airborne Division, the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) of the 25th Infantry Division, the 75th Ranger Regiment, special operations forces of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, and other units of the Armed Forces, have demonstrated bravery and honor in combat, stability, and training operations in Afghanistan and Iraq;
Whereas the modern-day airborne forces also include other elite forces composed of airborne trained and qualified special operations warriors, including Army Special Forces, Marine Corps Reconnaissance units, Navy SEALs, and Air Force combat control and pararescue teams;
Whereas, of the members and former members of the United States airborne forces, thousands have achieved the distinction of making combat jumps, dozens have earned the Medal of Honor, and hundreds have earned the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, or other decorations and awards for displays of heroism, gallantry, intrepidity, and valor;
Whereas the members and former members of the United States airborne forces are all members of a proud and honorable tradition that, together with the special skills and achievements of those members, distinguishes the members as intrepid combat parachutists, air assault forces, special operation forces, and, in the past, glider troops;
Whereas individuals from every State in the United States have served gallantly in the airborne forces, and each State is proud of the contributions of its paratrooper veterans during the many conflicts faced by the United States;
Whereas the history and achievements of the members and former members of the United States airborne forces warrant special expressions of the gratitude of the people of the United States; and
Whereas, since the airborne forces, past and present, celebrate August 16 as the anniversary of the first official jump by the Army Parachute Test Platoon, August 16 is an appropriate day to recognize as National Airborne Day: Now, therefore, be it
(1) designates August 16, 2013, as ‘National Airborne Day’; and
(2) calls on the people of the United States to observe National Airborne Day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.