Like any truly good utensil, a good assault pack is a multi-tasker. It is an assault pack, it is go bag, it is useful for many things and can be rapidly reconfigured at need. Since my first embed, I've used the assault pack recommended to me by our own Mr. Wolf as carry-on luggage, checked luggage, gym bag, AV field case, and a few other odd and unplanned roles in addition to using it as intended. That said, I'm really looking forward to using my new Bug-Out Bag from MilitaryLuggage.com.
In a post last week, I noted that the game was afoot. There are some things going on, and it is my pleasure to introduce you this morning to a company that is helping make things happen (and not just here): MilitaryLuggage.com
Let's face it, there is gear and then there is gear -- the stuff that works, works well, and lasts. Now imagine that there was a place that used their expertise to get not one name, but a collection of gear that is available at the best price possible with a determination to get it to you quickly and inexpensively. Nor is that all they want to do for troops and veterans. In their own words:
Military Luggage Company was born out of the vision of providing all branches of the Military with the best and most comprehensive selection of bags, packs & cases for field operations, travel & casual use.
Since we have prior Military on staff, we have a good insight into the needs of all branches and are focused on providing outstanding gear at reasonable prices. We are also focused on speedy shipping and even though we currently stock 581 different products, we currently have a 99.4% fill rate in orders shipping out the same day they were placed.
We do not wish to neglect any branch or extension of the Military so we have separate sections on our site for Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, National Guard, & ROTC. In addition due to the fact that Law Enforcement and Homeland Security work with the Military, we also have sections for them.
We are currently a start up so at the moment we have one retired Military member on staff and 1 veteran. As we grow, we would like to employ more prior Military as it our sincere desire to create well paying jobs for those who have served doing something they will enjoy (who wouldn't enjoy being around the best gear all day long).
Our entire team is very passionate about serving those who serve us and we are all inspired to give our absolute best as we build the country's largest bags, packs & cases superstore for the Military in www.militaryluggage.com
Jobs for vets is an important issue for me, and one that we are working at Cooking with the Troops. That this company is wanting to grow and hire veterans as a part of making that happen makes this sponsorship even better.
One other thing that says a lot of good about them is that they want to talk about the company, not one or two individuals. As they note, they plan to grow and that takes a team -- and it does not do a team good to have one or two people in the spotlight all the time.
I can also tell you that they are not joking about the stock they have or how fast they can get it to you. The items they sent me were here within a couple of days without expediting shipment, and I felt like a kid at Christmas when it arrived. In the weeks ahead, I am going to be introducing you to some of that gear, and later I'm going to talk about how well it does under a variety of conditions.
I'm really looking forward to this, and want to thank MilitaryLuggage.com for their support in what is to come.
For those of you on Facebook (not all, we know), go check them out and help them reach 10,000 likes.
URGENT! Don't be like those Occupy Wall Street hacks...
Posted By Mr Wolf
Right. You actually WANT a job. You want to serve your country in some manner. You want a job that can give you great experience, satisfaction, and fantastic compensation potential.
In short, you should look at one of these jobs.
Some friends of mine are seeking the following types of people, and believe me, you really need to take a hard look at these positions. And if you know someone who would be interested, please pass this along! (Because if you DO, and the person you've referred is hired, they'll give you a new Apple iPad2!)
IO/ MISO/PSYO Planners Wanted! Available for Immediate Placement.
Join an A-Team of Info Operations. We are seeking SC Planners to work Afghanistan, in support of USFOR-A, to provide expert advice and assistance with regard to specific influence products, target audience, analysis and communication methods at the local, regional, and national level. Our SC planners will facilitate IO integration for combined military and civilian-military campaign plans for Afghanistan.
Candidates should have experience in joint/multi-national operations, experience in Information Operations, PSYOP, Public Diplomacy, Commercial Marketing or Influence Modeling, that can facilitate USFOR-A staff integration and synchronization, information flow, and dissemination as it relates to cultural, economic, political, religious, social, newsworthy, and tribal issues in each supported entities AOR. We are looking for professionals who have knowledge of, and experience with, strategic message development in a cultural context that supports the overall strategic communication planning process. Regional experience is a must
Successful candidates should meet the following minimum qualifications:
• Be a U.S. citizen with a valid, active DoD security clearance of SECRET or TOP SECRET.
• Have a minimum of five (5) years experience working in Strategic Communication/IO/PSYOP with U.S. military.
• Possess excellent written, oral, and interpersonal skills.
• Have a Bachelors or Masters of Arts degree in a social science discipline: history, sociology, psychology, political science, etc.
The following are additional, value added skill sets:
• MEL 4 or equivalent (SAMS a plus)
• Battle Staff Course with 2S Identifier
• PSYOP/MISO Officers Qualification Course
• FA 30/Information Operations Qualification course
Compensation Commensurate with Experience includes paid CONUS travel and paid vacation time plus discretionary performance bonuses.
Salary: Negotiable, but commensurate with current rates in theater. Place of Duty: Kabul, AFG.
Please email your resume, level of clearance, timeline you are available to deploy to: INFOPS2011@gmail.com.
The American Legion Riders met their yearly goal of 450k. Yeah, and then some. A BUNCH of 'then some'. In fact, they are likely to supersede last year's total. This is after many posts came forward during a part of the convention today with their donations that were collected over the last year.
So far, they have raised $591,592.00 in donations for the Legacy Foundation, which helps to give funds for the education costs of the children of fallen servicemembers.
Way to go guys, way to go. So makes the ride worthwhile...
Convention Kickoff- UPDATE 7 (Along with Greyhawk and MOTHAX)
Posted By Mr Wolf
UPDATE 7: Coming up is Rep Boehner (R-Ohio) who will be addressing the Legion. His remarks are highly anticipated, as he'll be addressing what the Prez is supposed to be talking about tonight. We have advance comments (see Greyhawk/Mudville Gazette here) and I'll have reactions by the crowd and any 'deviations' from his prepared comments at that time.
1335 local time- He's up now- will be listening and capturing his comments after. Oh, and before I forget- Sen Feingold (D-WI) was up just as we went to lunch. 'Tepid' would be a generous description of his reception.
So far, he's following the script verbatim... so much so they put up a teleprompter just for his appearance.
Right down the script. But I do hope they are carried across the nation....good applause, and frequently too. Better than Feingold's for certain.
* Of particular note- including the Ft Hood attack in a string of 'terrorist attacks' on US soil. Something the administration, as well as DoD, has not done.
UPDATE 6: Wow- what a day. Now we have Sec'y Shinseki, Dept. of Veterans Affairs. He was a keynote speaker at the convention last year as well. Paraphrasing comments below:
-DVA relationship with AL has never been stronger, or more important
-Going to tell us what was accomplished, not so much where headed in next year [a farewell? -Mr]
-Congress and Mr. Obama has increased funding, appropriately.
-In 2009, we had enhanced budget of 98 billion. Then started making a new framework for change to enhance access to benefits and services.
-The 2010 budget grew to 114 billion, one of the largest year-to-year increases in over 30 years. 2011 will give us 125 billion, an incredible increase even over the 2010 record increase.
-To accomplish what we need, we the DVA MUST be the, THE advocate for veterans and transform and fix problems that have plagued the department for decades. A sense of urgency to 'match the presidents commitment' is required to do this. New processes, new procedures that transform the agency.
-328,000 veterans are using the GI Bill and getting their education under the bill.
**See Greyhawk's capture of the new PTSD rules- these are a key change in the DVA definition of them. I think this will be one of the largest effects on the DVA than just about anything they face in the future.
-145m budget to break the backlog of cases via technology. This is one of the larger efforts- break this backlog we will
-One in six of American homeless are a veteran. One emphasis of the remaining time I have is to ELIMINATE [his emphasis] veteran homelessness in the next 5 years.
-40m granted to fund new state and national cemeteries across the nation. Total budget for the increase is 89m dollars.
UPDATE 5: Gates is up now. He's a bit more soft-spoken in person than his predecessor, that's for sure. Greyhawk is posting up comments as well- check there for more.
''Built on a swamp, still a swamp'' as he describes D.C.
He's an Eagle Scout (like Marines, no 'former' or ex-Eagle Scouts; I'm also one), strong supporter of Scouting, and is describing how important the Legion is to both Scouting and the military.
He's describing how the Legion helps those injured in time of duty- the example of a post in Florida who jumped in and helped re-vamp an injured soldiers home. Also describing an Army Captain who, after only a year in rehab after losing his left leg and right foot in AFG, rejoined the fight and patrolling after passing pre-deployment physical fitness tests. He's going on to describe the challenges facing us today- and why we need to face them. Effective tomorrow, he says, Iraqi Freedom becomes Operation New Dawn. Surprisingly, he describes the 'gains achieved in the last 3 1/2 years'. Read into that what you will. Says al Queda in Iraq has been 'cut off from its masters abroad'. It has been beaten but is not gone- reflect with pride what our troops and their Iraqi partners have done. We'll continue to support the Iraqi forces as they transition and train.
All of this has ''been purchased at a terrible cost'' in the blood, sweat, and tears of American servicemembers, and the terrible cost to the Iraqi people.
He is stumbling on some words now, as if his emotions in describing what our servicemembers have done is very difficult. He appears to truly care about his words.
He describes the total commitment in troops in AFG to include 150k plus 45k from our allies. This is quite a few- remember, just a few short years ago we were at 18k in country. Most of which were SOCOM.
We will be enforcing a hard line against corruption in the AFG gov't in order to build trust in their gov't again and build self-reliance. He states the drawdown next year will be gradual, and not a 'turn off the lights' movement next summer. States further that 'the Taliban will be surprised to find we are still very much in the fight'' in AFG.
The Taliban are a 'cruel and ruthless adversary', mentioning what they do to civilians. Over 150 Taliban commanders have been captured or killed in just the last 3 months. A tough, hard campaign, with rising casualties indicative of what we faced in Iraq. 3 1/2 years ago, many doubted and did not believe in our course in Iraq (talk to your boss, Mr. Sec'y?). But it is certainly worth the fight.
''We made the mistake of abandoning AFG 20 yrs ago when we pulled out and left the AFG to the Soviets.'' This is a surprising quote. Listing other countries around the world- ''we were dead wrong'' in those strategies of leaving them alone. Another strong statement that is surprising.
I am going to get the transcript of this for posting later- he's made some key statement, and I'm not able to type fast enough to keep up. I'll be sure to key in on them...
UPDATE 4: 4Troops is back on- I mean it- go listen. They are singing a medley of patriotic faves that will send chills up your spine. This place is on its feet and crazy- and that's something for a bunch of older-types. If you want live coverage views- go here.
UPDATE 3: Joining Mr Stein onstage is Sec'y Gates, who has just arrived. They, along with National Commander Clarence Hill, are awarding the Spirit of Service Awards to representatives of each of the services. More on the recipients and what the award is after they post it on the Legion site. Suffice to say, it's a VERY prestigious award to receive, especially when it's handed by the SecDef.
UPDATE 2: Ben Stein has just opened the convention. He still looks the same as ever. He was really nice to meet, VERY gracious, and most certainly a true patriot. More from him when I get the opportunity.
UPDATE 1: 4Troops is singing- if you've not heard of these guys, you should take time to go listen. They can be found HERE. Some pipes on these folks, let me tell you.
Sitting here in the convention hall in Milwaukee with Greyhawk and MOTHAX covering the National Convention. This year, they've put us out on the 'floor' among the delegates; we're at a sort of 'press table' like we're some legitimate entity or something. Is this the bloggers arrival among the MSM?
It's a good 8,000 chairs in the main hall, filling quickly, and MOTHAX is boogieing to the polka playing. Feels like I'm stuck in an elevator... or a bad mall store. Be sure to check in over at BurnPit as well- I'll post updates there as well. Greyhawk will have commentary, and I'm betting he gets a fantastic interview or three as well. So check his. Me? I'm going for Ben Stein...
Just a quick 'tease' on what's coming up this week while I'm at the convention. My second year covering it, and there are quite a few good interviews lined up. I'm also guest- blogging over at BurnPit at times as well.
For example- Ben Stein will be the MC for the convention; I will be chatting with him later on what he feels veterans should be concentrating on. He's a huge supporter, and hope to get him in a BlackFive t-shirt. Or quoting UJ 'Don't be a DouChe'.
First up this week will be Defense Sec'y Robert Gates; I hope to ask him questions on next steps in Iraq, and whether there are other 'hot spots' we may concentrate on now that Iraq has drawn down.
My big hope for the week is to get time with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who will be addressing the convention this year. Yeah. Me too.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also headline the list of guest speakers addressing the Legionnaires during the three-day event. Actor and economist Ben Stein will serve as master of ceremonies the first day.
House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, is expected to deliver a major speech in Milwaukee Tuesday on Iraq and national security issues to delegates to the 92nd American Legion National Convention
Other guest speakers at the Legion's convention include Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley; Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis.; Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis.; Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett; Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif.; and Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind.
If you have questions you think I should ask, just put them in the comments. I'll be sure to bring them up when I get in front of the VIP's.
Oh, and the Legion is getting ready to release a radio program next month- with two fantastic people running the program and working with guest speakers. Going to be a great show! I'll have more, and interviews, later...
We finally reached Milwaukee! 1400+ miles later, gorgeous weather the last 2 days, and a police escort you wouldn't believe, and we're at Legion Post 537 for the conclusion of the ride.
We left Stevens Point, WI at our usual 8am kickstands-up hour, and had a very leisurely ride into Milwaukee. The weather was about 72 degrees when we arrived; a far cry from the 90's when we left Indiana. It was very brisk in the morning- I actually had to get out the fleece jacket I brought just in case Minnesota got cold enough. It sure enough did.
When we hit the outskirts of Milwaukee, we paused at a Harley Davidson dealership for about 15 minutes while the constabulary set up road blocks ahead. By the time we re-entered highway 94 heading into Milwaukee, there wasn't a car on our side of the road. Every car was held back while officers from 8 different districts escorted us to the Milwaukee Legion post. No trucks, no idiot lane-changers, no merge horrors. Just wide-open, clear freeway ahead for about 20 miles. And cops at every interchange. Suppose this is how PBO feels on his way to a speech? This stretch of freeway was cleared to both announce the 'arrival' of the Legion for Convention Week, but also to keep the riders safe thru some difficult stretches where we could have been separated and lost.
At the conclusion of the ride, another lunch was held, and we then went our separate ways to hotels. I'm currently holed up in the Hilton in downtown Milwaukee. At this point, I'm impressed with the riverfront downtown. But, I do notice that traffic is nearly non-existent, even on a Friday afternoon.
I'm also guest-blogging over at Burnpit, where Mothax keeps info for the Legion. I'll be linking back to my posts there as the convention goes along. There are several really good surprises going on this week- so stay tuned as I look in on the largest veterans-advocacy group in the nation. Oh, and I cannot forget to mention our really good friend Greyhawk from Mudville Gazette will be along as well- Mothax, Grey and I linked up yesterday and I'm looking forward to catching up and furthering and growing our world media empire.
Also, be sure to check out the videos and pics over at the Legion Riders site- they've put together some amazing footage. Too bad those guys had to ride around in a cage during the ride- if that were me, I'd be jonesing for a bike in a bad way.
-One of the riders along with us I called 'Bungee'. This rider, who shall remain nameless, had some issues with throttle control. He could not maintain position in the formation- he was either running up, or dropping back, out of position. He just could not ride with someone at his 4-o'clock. Back and forth. Back and forth. Luckily, we got used to it and gave him some more room. Somebody said he was a former helo pilot and flew exactly like that...
-I had a chance to meet the REAL 'Mr Wolf'. WO1 Wolf, to be exact, of the Iowa National Guard. See, for those who don't know it, Warrant Officers can be addressed as 'Mr.' in the military. Especially WO1 rank, as they've not yet acheived 'Chief Warrant' status and don't get called 'Chief'. Nice guy, too.
-Be sure to hover over the pics for their descriptions- it's easier to tag them that way.
-This business, below, could only be found in Missouri. Yeah, looks just like the kind of place I'd like to eat. But, which is on the menu, and which is not? Can you really tell the difference? And if I have to explain frog gigs...
-The road in Wisconsin was like glass most of the way. Hiway 29 was fantastic- little traffic, very little construction, and the road was like new. Had it been winding two-lane, it would have been perfect.
-I mentioned in a previous post about the ceremony with the 5-star Freedom Riders- go look at this video and tell me what you think. If you can pull away from it. It's a mandatory viewing- they begin at :50 seconds into it.
-Remember, EVERY rider in this 400 person group was a veteran. NO non-veterans rode in the group. All were also Legionnaires; starting the ALR group in the Legion has brought more new members than any other activity. I hope you'll consider joining me next year!
I'm still out on the road following the American Legion Legacy Riders on their trip to Milwaukee. Due to some 'technical difficulties' (read: no internet) in the hinterlands of Minnesota, I've not been able to post the last segments, so I'll take up here and catch up.
As I posted before (here and here) the ALR is riding to collect for an education fund for the sons and daughters of the fallen. What I incorrectly stated was some of the totals involved- so to correct that, I got some info from the top. To date, the American Legion, as a whole, has collected over 4.1 million towards the fund goal of 20 million. They have been giving out money to the families for education, and still have that much remaining so far. The riders themselves have collected just over 1.2 million, and as of this writing had collected just over 191k on this year's ride. There is more than that in total for the year, but those will be announced during the upcoming convention. Either way, it's STILL a VERY impressive bit of work to help the kids.
Now, on to the ride- which is going fantastic. Our previous day's rides were during hot, humid, disgustingly sweaty days between Indianapolis and Kansas City. Today's ride started out cold, but then became gorgeous. The roads thru Minnesota and Wisconsin were ribbons of glass compared to I-70. Surprising, considering it gets far more winter weather up in these parts.
Yesterday we rode into Camp Dodge, Iowa, home of the Iowa National Guard. As a former member of the Iowa Guard, I spent time there in Camp Dodge about 20 years ago; I was floored by the changes and upgrades. FORT DODGE is more like it. We were warmly welcomed by Legionnaires from Iowa and the Iowa Army National Guard commander. Former Legion National Commander David Rehbein passed out food to the riders as well.
A true surprise were some performances by a bagpiper, and a ceremony by the ALR 5 Star Freedom Riders. I'll put up video of these performances as soon as 'technical difficulties' are fixed- the are CERTAINLY worth the wait- the Freedom Riders ceremony was outstanding and a fitting tribute to the fallen.
After we finished in Iowa, we headed into Minnesota, and boy what a welcome for veterans was on hand there. Starting at the state line, every bridge into the state had banners and American flags flying, with people waving and shouting support at the riders. Our last leg for the day ended in Albert Lea, MN, with the whole town done up. This was, by far, one of the greatest shows of support we'd experienced so far. They were thrilled to be able to see so many veterans and riders come into town. I hope to get pics from the fireman who was a few hundred feet up in the air on a ladder truck, snapping photos of the event.
We woke this morning to unseasonably cold weather, and I'm glad I brought the fleece. Fleece? Well hey, we were going thru Minnahsotah, dont'cha know... and I know it can be cold ANY time of the year. Yeah, that haul paid off. (And Thursday morning bodes to be even cooler).
-Some of the 'non-American bike' riders made a request to be able to start their bikes before the Harley's do. Seems they can't tell when their bikes are running after the Harley's kick in...
-Getting to meet quite a few veterans from all over; most of these guys are in their 60's and 70's; their stories are great, and I'll share a few soon. They've given quite a bit to the servicemen and women of today; patches from Vietnam, Germany, and other places are everywhere. Plenty of stories to go with those patches, too.
-Many of the posts are dwindling due to the ages of the members. But that doesn't diminish the histories of some of these posts. One we visited today, Post 326 in Brody, WI, has just such a history. A former 'bunker' that was also a cheese factory on the site, it's now also a community meeting house with about 70 active members. A very comfortable place in the heartland of America. If you really want to see what 'America' is like, just look at places like the legion posts. You won't find places anything like them in NYC or LA; it's true Americana in a small building. They are some of the most welcoming places on earth.
-We were able to tour the Harley Davidson engine and bike factory outside Kansas City. A first-hand look at how 'the parts equal the price' of the bikes (that's yours, Grim!) Best.Job.On.Earth. Now, if they can find a way to squeeze that V-rod engine into a Ultra Glide, I'll take one NOW. Of note was the fact that in the employee area, not only did they have a huge American flag flying, but the service flags from every service were hanging. These people are committed to veterans, for certain. And no, there were no free samples...
-Logistics: if you REALLY want to understand what it takes to do this ride, just watch the riders go thru a fuel stop. This, this is where you can see how the military backgrounds of members breeds efficiencies. Some people have showed up at stops just to see it in action. Here is how it goes:
An advance team arrives at a pre-determined fuel location, and sets up operation. 4 or so fuel islands are set aside (only certain places will work due to the size of the group; there has to be enough pavement to accommodate all the bikes after they fuel) and riders are queued up in lines; as riders pull up, they open tanks, then pull to a pump. There, a volunteer attendant hands the pump to the rider (we have to fuel our own bikes) and after filling, calls out the number to a 'writer' standing behind. That writer calls out the total to a collector; after the rider fills, he rides up to the collector, and pays for his gas. ALL the pumps for riders are pre-paid; that is, one credit card is run thru all the pumps used and a running total is kept. This saves a lot of time. Another neat trick is that if you pump 5.40 of gas, you are charged 6.00. The 'extra' is used to pay for chase truck fuel and other needs to support the ride. Using this method, they can fuel all 350+ bikes in usually under 30 minutes. By the end of the ride, this gets very quick to do.
Tomorrow, we end up with the ride's conclusion in Milwaukee- and the convention.
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.