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March 2006

Entire Squad Reenlists in Iraq

I found the story below but don't have a non-subscription link for it.  I'll post one later if I find it.  I thought it interesting - especially, amidst the doom and gloom being reported.  While I've posted about huge re-enlistments in Iraq before (I think the Idaho National Guard has the record), this seemingly small act is very important because you win wars with small units like 3rd Squad/2nd Platoon of Bravo Company, 5th Engineers!


Entire Squad From Co. B, 5th Eng. Bn. Reenlists Together
by Sgt. 1st Class Tracy L. Ballog
16th Eng. Bde. PAO

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq - When it comes to fidelity, six Soldiers of Multi-National Division - Baghdad’s 3rd Squad, 2nd Platoon, Company B, 5th Engineer Battalion, 16th Engineer Brigade, take their dedication to each other seriously - so seriously that the entire squad committed to remaining in the military by reenlisting together March 22.

“In my 33-year military career, this is the first time I’ve known an entire squad to demonstrate their commitment to each other and to military service with such esprit de corps, and I’m very proud to be a participant in reenlisting this fine ‘Beast’ squad of the ‘Fighting 5th’ Engineer Battalion,” said Brig. Gen. Robin Timmons, commander, 16th Eng. Bde., who conducted the reenlistment ceremony.

“This simultaneous reenlistment shows your unique cohesiveness, respect and confidence in each other and to the military,” he told the squad.

1st Sgt. Douglas Gault, Co. B, 5th Eng. Bn., credited the squad’s leader, Staff Sgt. Ramon Martinez on his leadership for the team’s unique commitment.

“This squad reenlisting together shows the loyalty and confidence in their squad leader and the mission - that’s what leadership is about, 100 percent loyalty,” said Gault.

Staff Sgt. Martinez, a combat engineer from Yuma, Ariz., has 12 years of military service and has been assigned to the squad for the past year. He attributed his Soldiers’ commitment, pride in their mission and a bit of luck as real factors in his squad’s rare reenlistment opportunity.

“I was in a unique situation by having all my squad members’ reenlistment windows open at the same time. They all came to me for advice, and I gave them what I could to help them make their own decisions about reenlisting,” he explained.

The squad’s reenlistment was made even more distinctive in that all the soldiers, except Martinez, were first time re-enlistees...

Continue reading "Entire Squad Reenlists in Iraq" »

The Private Body Armor Ban

By now, probably most of you have seen this story about the Army banning the use of privately purchased body armor. Three key points in the story are, of course, almost at the bottom. The Army has asked Pinnacle to provide 30 sets for independent testing, which the company will be able to provide in May; previous small-scale testing was "disappointing"; and, it also notes that more than $800k has been provided to Pinnacle in funding to develop improved armor. Pity that this information could not be brought up before the end...

When I saw the story last night, I asked some people to provide me with some thoughts. One of whom I think highly said:

First of all, the Army really doesn't have much of a choice but to put out a policy like that for a couple of reasons. First of all, unlike the enemy we face today, we wear uniforms and adhere to the rules of war as outlined by the Geneva convention and to remain in uniform the Army has to establish guidelines. More importantly, the Army has an inherent responsibility to protect and take care of its soldiers. If they allow Joe to wear whatever body armor he/she wishes and it should fail in combat, the public and press would have a field day with the Army for not properly protecting their kids. The article mentions a new Dragon Skin armor that is very appealing to soldiers, especially SF guys (I'm told from some of my SF friends) because it allows for much more mobility. What needs to be fixed is the system by wear the Army tests and appropriates these new technologies to make it quicker and more efficient.

... the Army has to err on the side of caution to protect your soldiers and just because the Dragon Skin might be popular with the boots on the ground, doesn't mean that it'll protect them when it matters.

For those interested, there is a good deal of information about attempts to reform the military procurement system, as well as changes, available at Winds of Change. In this case, it appears that Army procurement has been moving to deal with this situation, and not all the delays can be laid at their doorstep.

We can but hope that all parties will expedite as much as possible, and also know that the efforts to help give our troops the best possible protection are continuing.


Mohammed goes to Borders & My wife & Willow V

Borders has cravenly caved to non-existent threats of violence and given free speech a black eye. I don't expect corporations to act honorably, that's not their function, but this is s little sad. So I will be bringing to them what they chickened out of stocking, yes the dread cartoons of blasphemy will be displayed outside my local Borders tomorrow. I will solicit commentary from Borders customers and report back, if I survive.

I have also heard commentary about Ms. Willow V who I quoted yesterday about the student elections. I introduced her to my wife last night and....

More Mohammed and Vauntess meets Willow V here

Student elections stolen- Rove suspected

The UW held it's elections for student government and it seems certain a nefarious plot by the VRWC has been unearthed. They scheme to steal the elections and install Stepford students programmed to do the bidding of the evil Darth Rove and infiltrate the last bastion of right er progressive thinking that remains.

Record turnout overloads system, candidates furious

Election officials halted voting on student government elections and two campus referenda Wednesday after technical errors due to high voter turnout rendered the results invalid.

This is an outrage and shows clearly that the rethugs purposely overloaded the system by registering prisoners from Gitmo as students and then voting a straight fascist ticket.

UW student Nesby Glasgow said "You would have thought that here in Madison we would be safe from Rove, but this shows how scared the Bush crime family is of real democracy."

Graduate assistant in Womyn's Studies Willow Vagina added "The patriarchy violates our political body again in a blatant attempt to force all women to breed armies of brainwashed little Godbots to further the ramifications of the dipulation, allow me to ventilate my colon."

Oops sorry I started channeling Damon Wayans from In Living Color there at the end. Does it make me bad that I am enjoying this?

                                - Uncle J

Dems on security & Supremes on NSA

At least the Dems have decided to ensure no one will trust them with our national security, and since the economy is humming that leaves them out in the cold. Here is a brilliant example of why:

Congressional Democrats vow to provide U.S. agents with the resources to hunt down Osama bin Laden and ensure a "responsible redeployment of U.S. forces" from Iraq in 2006"

The bin Laden bit is rich, since the same Dems have been howling like banshees about every substantive effort we make to gather, analyze or exploit intelligence. CIA torture prisons WHOOAAHH! Gitmo Gulag WHOOAAHH!, Surveillance of Al-Qaeda phone calls to the US, WHOOAAHH! I can barely hear above the wailing and gnashing of teeth, and yet these whinging (Au sp) twits expect anyone to take them seriously about national security, HA!

More reasons to support Al Gore '08


Cassandra says:

It's that time of year again, when young men, sound of mind and limb, worried that they may not be pulling their weight in a war that seems to be dragging on and on, form that age-old line down at the recruiters' office....

She thought she was joking, but unbeknownst to her, a little letter marked DON arrived at Doc Russia's house. Cassandra posts here sometimes, so you all must know her, but you may not all know Doc. You should, though, both because he's one of the original members of the MilBlogs ring, and because he's one of the best writers in the blogosphere. As this post indicates, he's also an honorable, patriotic man.

Drop by and see what he has to say.

Bricks for Peace


I believe I have proven my tolerance quite a few times and I really don't care if people protest the war or W or whatever. But when some pampered pissant wants to disrespect the military that keeps us all safe, well I get pissed.

"The Army Recruitment Center is often a target of anti-war protests  due to its location and accessibility to campus.
"It's one of the main institutions of the military that is on our campus," Pryse said.

"It is something that we as students can affect directly. As of now, ROTC's function is to train officers to go and fight in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and possibly future wars," he added."

Failing to grasp that protesting the military because you disagree with W, is like protesting your car because you got drunk and crashed it. That is the intellectual rigor with which this ass clown approaches the situation.

The rest including a real maroon

Wounded Warrior? American Hero and Tough Guy

Howdy, Subsunk Again.

The LA Times has an article by LTC Tim Maxwell, who was wounded in Iraq by a mortar attack.  I found it via Mudville Gazette, and was frankly surprised that no one has commented on it yet.  It is a deeply moving article on what makes our Men tick, and what they live for.  I urge you all to read it. It starts like this:

A wounded warrior

By Tim Maxwell
Tim Maxwell is stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. E-mail: woundedteam@sempermax. com.

March 27, 2006

I AM A MARINE — a lieutenant colonel. I know about war. I have studied it for more than 20 years. I have been deployed overseas six times. Three times since 9/11.

Recently, I learned all about another part of war. I was badly wounded during a mortar attack in Iraq in October 2004. It is a traumatic brain injury. My left elbow also was busted. My left cheek has metal in it. It was tough to eat for awhile. It's hard to see.

But that stuff is irrelevant compared to the brain injury. A section of the left side of my brain is dead. I am learning to read and write again. It's tough. My third-grade son reads a lot better than me. Typing this article was exhausting. 

But I have learned something too: what it is like to be a wounded warrior.

Continue reading "Wounded Warrior? American Hero and Tough Guy" »

Moderate Muslims sighted in Madison

This Friday and Saturday UW Madison was host to the International Conference on Islam.

I managed to see some of the session on Muslim Integration & the EU and Islam & Dialogue. I also got to sit down with the chair of the organizing committee, UW grad student Mustafa Gokcek. I hereby declare my search for moderate Muslims to be over, Mr. Gokcek and the folks at this conference offer a stark contrast to the Islamists, and ought to be getting our attention and assistance.

The rest of the story and video of the interview here