You know, thinking about it, it is sort of like reporting into a new unit.
The unit has a history, a tradition and an esprit all of its own. And when you report in your most basic desire is to be able to fit in, do the unit proud and contribute. That's especially true when it is an elite unit.
So that's where I am as I introduce myself to the readers of the elite of the milblogs - Blackfive. Having read, for years, the outstanding work of all of the Blackfive bloggers, my basic desire is to fit in, do the blog proud and contribute.
It seems my entire life has been centered around the military. Specifically the Army. Yeah, I'm a brat. My father was a 36 year career officer. An OCS grad, he used to say he'd held every rank but "warrant officer and general officer". He was an armor officer so when I went infantry he was sure I was someone else's child. My son became the third generation as a cavalry scout with the Blackhorse regiment. He still serves in the National Guard.
I spent 28 years active and reserve as an infantryman. I retired in 1997. I then I discovered the internet and eventually blogging and, well, life hasn't quite been the same since. The first serious blogging I did was at Questions and Observations, aka QandO. I was immediately addicted.
But QandO is mostly a political blog and it didn't fulfill my unrequited desire to write about military things. While I love the readership there, that wasn't exactly their cup of tea. And although they patiently endured my attempts to talk about military things, those seemed to be the least discussed of my posts. Not because anyone there is anti-military. On the contrary, they have always been most supportive. However, policy, strategy, tactics and military affairs just weren't at the top of their priority list. As I said, it's a good political blog.
To scratch that itch I had to write about the institution I love and grew up in, I started a series called "Project Hero". Like many of us, I didn't think the media was doing a very good job of telling the stories of the young warriors we had fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. I resented that and began featuring them and telling their stories.
About the same time Blackfive began Someone You Should Know both here and on Pundit Review radio. I met Matt a couple of years ago at the milbloggers conference in DC and he offered me the great honor of taking over the radio part of SYSK. I can't adequately express to you how much doing that weekly segment has meant to me these past couple of years. Paying tribute to the heroic young men and women of our military is a singular honor for which I am forever grateful. But I can tell you the opportunity Matt has given me to blog here has now brought that portion of SYSK back to its home.
To sum it up, I look forward to the opportunity to blog here about all things military. Frankly, I'm concerned about what might happen to the military with the Democrats in charge. Blogging at Blackfive will give me a better forum from which to speak out about policy, issues, and actions that may hurt our military and, obviously, degrade our national defense. I'm fearful that budget concerns coupled with our general economic problems and the normal Democratic antipathy toward the military could combine to really do some bad things. And despite the Democrat's rhetoric about caring for our vets, I believe it may spill over into veteran's care as well.
That's not to say that the Republicans have been all sunshine and roses by any stretch. But with the current global economic situation like we haven't seen in decades, we're entering uncharted territory. We owe it to the institution in which most of us have served and still serve to keep a vigilant eye on the political process and ensure the decisions made are best for both our services and our national security. That is where I hope to focus my writing here.
You're probably saying TMI (too much information) right now. My dad used to say "you only get one chance to make a first impression and you're blowing the hell out of it". Ok, he didn't say that last part, but I'll bring it to an end.
I'm pleased to have the opportunity to blog at Blackfive, and looking at the huge footsteps I'm following, hope to fit in an contribute.