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November 2011

Hiring our Heroes–upcoming events

The US Chamber program “Hiring our Heroes” continues with the following upcoming events:

November 2011

Fredericksburg, VA
November 30

December 2011

San Diego (Liberty Station's NTC Prom.), CA*
December 1

Fort Carson, CO
December 7

Houston (Minute Maid / Astros Park), TX*
December 8

Las Vegas, NV
December 9

Fort Belvoir, VA
December 13

Click the links for more information.  Get your resume together if you’re in the area of one of these fairs and looking for a job.  Make sure to register if its required.

And good luck.


JetMan

This is so stunningly, brain-fryingly cool you need no drivel from me. I want one.

OK the jackasses from the Telegraph made the video auto start, which is aggravating and annoying especially for those of you enjoying B5 at work, so I dissembedded the video. You can see Jet man fly over the Alps and in formation w/ jets here.

Update (B5 - autoplay issue fixed):

  

Someone you must remember - William E. Barber

William E. Barber served in three wars: World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He enlisted in 1940, becoming a Marine parachutist instructor, then attended Officer Candidate School. After graduation, Barber deployed to the Pacific Theater as a platoon leader. He earned the Silver Star at Iwo Jima for the daring rescuing of two wounded Marines and the Medal of Honor during the Chosin River Campaign of the Korean War. He served as Commander of Third Reconnaissance Battalion in Okinawa, then deployed to Vietnam to run a psychological operations campaign, for which he was awarded the Legion of Merit with Combat "V."

His Medal of Honor citation is a must-read:

For The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Captain William Earl Barber (MCSN: 0-28331), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty and without detriment to the mission of his command in combat with the enemy in Korea., from 28 November to 2 December 1950, as Company Commander of Company F, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces near the Chosin Reservoir, in North Korea. Assigned to defend a three-mile mountain pass along the division’s main supply line and commanding the only route of approach in the march from Yudam-ni to Hagaru-ri, Captain Barber took position with his battle-weary troops and, before nightfall, had dug in and set up a defense along the frozen, snow-covered hillside. When a force of estimated regimental strength savagely attacked during the night, inflicting heavy casualties and finally surrounding his position following a bitterly fought seven-hour conflict, Captain Barber, after repulsing the enemy gave assurance that he could hold if supplied by airdrops and requested permission to stand fast when orders were received by radio to fight his way back to a relieving force after two reinforcing units had been driven back under fierce resistance in their attempts to reach the isolated troops. Aware that leaving the position would sever contact with the 8,000 Marines trapped at Yudam-ni and jeopardize their chances of joining the 3,000 more awaiting their arrival in Hagaru-ri for the continued drive to the sea, he chose to risk loss of his command rather than sacrifice more men if the enemy seized control and forced a renewed battle to regain the position, or abandon his many wounded who were unable to walk. Although severely wounded in the leg in the early morning of the 29th, Captain Barber continued to maintain personal control, often moving up and down the lines on a stretcher to direct the defense and consistently encouraging and inspiring his men to supreme efforts despite the staggering opposition. Waging desperate battle throughout five days and six nights of repeated onslaughts launched by the fanatical aggressors, he and his heroic command accounted for approximately 1,000 enemy dead in this epic stand in bitter subzero weather, and when the company was relieved only two of his original 220 men were able to walk away from the position so valiantly defended against insuperable odds. His profound faith and courage, great personal valor, and unwavering fortitude were decisive factors in the successful withdrawal of the division from the deathtrap in the Chosin Reservoir sector and reflect the highest credit upon Captain Barber, his intrepid officers and men, and the United States Naval Service.

Col. Barbler passed away in 2002, but he is someone we must remember. For a nation that doesn't honor its veterans is a nation that doesn't deserve them.


Arab League tells Assad to pack

This is an element of the Arab Fall that we can all get behind, although as usual the law of unintended consequences is still in effect.

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Arab League deepened Syria’s international isolation on Sunday by imposing a battery of economic sanctions meant to sever most trade and investment from the Arab world, an unprecedented step against a member state.....They were a psychological jab as much as an economic one, further eroding Syria’s longstanding claim to be the heart of Arabism, a claim already battered by the country’s suspension from the league two weeks ago.

So why should we care when a collection of oil-soaked despots tells one of its members to pound sand? Well in this case the pounding is to be done to Syria's chinless ophthalmologist Assad and that is a net good for all of us. Syria is a Baathist  regime of Alawi Shia in majority Sunni country. Its greatest ties are to Iran, and its fall would greatly weaken both Hezbollah and Hamas. These terror groups are supported at the behest and control of Iran and do huge damage to the stability of the region. The ouster of Assad makes it possible to break this axis and potentially end up with a more benign entity right next to Iraq.

The Arab League may claim this was done in response to the slaughter of protesters by Assad's forces, but the larger factor is a desire to thwart Iran. The Sunni Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia comprise the bulk of Muslim Arabs, but the Shia Crescent of Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon has long been a concern for them. Especially in light of the expansionist influence of the Iranians. Throw in the Mullahs nuclear ambitions and bats**t crazy Twelfth Imamism and I think their fears are legitimate and we ough to share them.

So like the rest of the upheaval in the Middle East, we have no idea what the end result of this will be. But that is no reason to avoid changes that weaken tyrants and tyrannical regimes. The fall of Assad in Syria would hurt Iran and several terror groups allied with it. That is good for the whole area and the rest of us as well. Let's hope this happens soon.


Nov. 27 in US Military History

1817: Maj. Gen. Edmund P. Gaines dispatches soldiers to attack the Seminole camp at Fowltown, Fla., formally beginning the First Seminole War.

1868: Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer's Seventh Cavalry attacks a peaceful Cheyenne encampment near present-day Cheyenne, Okla. The Battle of Washita River - more of a massacre - would be the first substantial "victory" in the Indian Wars.

1909: Following the execution of two American mercenaries in Nicaragua, US troops land in Bluefields to prepare for an invasion.

1942: Adm. Jean de Laborde orders the destruction of the French fleet anchored at Toulon, to avoid falling into German hands. Three battleships, six cruisers, 1 aircraft transport, 30 destroyers, and 16 submarines are sunk. Three submarines sail for Allied-controlled Algiers, and only one falls into German hands.

1951: A Nike anti-aircraft missile shoots down a QB-17 target drone over White Sands Missile Range, becoming the first successful surface-to-air missile test.

Medal of Honor: In Korea, 1950, Army Capt. Reginald B. Desiderio personally charged the enemy, inflicting heavy casualties and ultimately repelling a "fanatical" assault. Capt. Desiderio was mortally wounded in the assault. His replacement, Capt. Lewis Millett, would also be awarded the Medal of Honor for a historic bayonet charge in February.

Picture of the day: Marine pauses for a cigarette during fighting at Okinawa, 1945


Pakistan Kicks Us Out

Via the VOA:

Pakistan has ordered the United States to move out of an airbase on its territory, after shutting down NATO's two main overland supply routes into Afghanistan.  Popular anger is mounting in Pakistan after NATO's killing of 24 Pakistani military personnel in a cross-border airstrike Saturday.

American forces have been given 15 days to vacate the Shamsi airbase in southwestern Pakistan, where the U.S. sometimes lands unmanned drone aircraft used to attack militants on Pakistani territory.

Pakistan ordered the departure a day after choking off the two main land routes for moving nonlethal supplies to U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan...

Lots more info (and historical and military perspective) at the Long War Journal here and here.


Nov. 26 in US Military History

1941: The Japanese First Air Fleet, commanded by Adm. Chuichi Nagumo, departs for their attack on Pearl Harbor.

1943: The British transport HMT Rohna is struck by a German radio-controlled bomb, killing over 1000 American troops. The attack became the largest loss of American lives at sea.

1950: Chinese forces launch a massive counterattack against US and South Korean forces, driving them south and putting an end to any hopes of a quick conclusion to the Korean War.

Medal of Honor: In 1862, Maj. William H. Powell leads twenty men on a charge of a 500-man encampment at Sinking Creek Valley, Va., capturing the enemy soldiers without losing a man.

In 1970, 1st Lt. James P. Fleming rescues a trapped six-man special forces long reconnaissance patrol near the Cambodian border, despite his helicopter nearly out of fuel and in the face of heavy enemy fire.

Today in U.S. Military History is a regular feature of the Center for American Military History


Predicting What Comes Next

Instapundit links to a round of stories about the Euro crisis, and includes this comment:

“To predict the failure of the Euro was easy peasy: all that was needed was a slight familiarity with economics and the human race. To predict what comes next is much, much harder.” Yes.

I think I can make one prediction with relative safety.  The social-democracy policies that have ruined many European economies, and which currently threaten the stability of the whole European project, weren't paid for with deficiets alone.  They were also paid for by gutting European military budgets, relying on the umbrella of US protection.

You can't stand up a competent brigade overnight:  it takes a long time, as the examples of the ISF and ANSF demonstrate.  Non-Anglosphere NATO forces participated in these wars, so there is some small core of experience they can draw upon:  but by the same token, it should be clear to anyone who participated in either war that the non-Anglosphere NATO forces could not have performed other than in a support role.  Some of this is due to power-projection concerns such as heavy airlift capacity, but some of it is simply due to the weakness of these forces.

So, the prediction:  The already-common riots will evolve into insurgencies as the pinch becomes tighter, and the military forces of continental Europe are inadequate to stop them.  What comes after that?  An attempt at rapid re-militarization in Europe, with all the attendant chaos and violence that implies; pleas for a major US involvement to fill the gap while they try to stand up those forces.  What comes after that?  War, or nightfall.


Nov. 25 in U.S. military history

1783: Three months after the end of the Revolutionary War, the last British soldiers withdraw from New York City. British forces had held the city since 1776, and after its liberation, New York would become the first national capital under the Constitution.

1863: One day after capturing Lookout Mountain, Union forces under Gen. Ulysses S. Grant rout Gen. Braxton Bragg's Confederate Army of Tennessee on Missionary Ridge, breaking the Confederate siege of Chattanooga.

1864: The Confederate plot to burn New York City fails. Agents did manage to burn several hotels, but most of the fires either were contained quickly or failed to ignite. Robert Kennedy, a Confederate officer who escaped from a Union prisoner of war camp in Ohio, was the only operative to be caught.

1876: In Wyoming Territory,  Army cavalry soldiers defeat Cheyenne warriors under chiefs Dull Knife and Little Wolf, effectively ending the Cheyenne's ability to wage war.

1941: Adm. Harold R. Stark, the Chief of Naval Operations, warns Adm. Husband E. Kimmel, commander of the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, that both President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull think a Japanese surprise attack is a distinct possibility. The next day, the Japanese task force sets sail for Pearl Harbor.

1943: Five US destroyers under the command of Capt. Arleigh Burke sink three Japanese destroyers while receiving no damage themselves in the Battle of Cape St. George in the Solomon Islands, marking the end of Japan's "Tokyo Express" resupply route in the South Pacific.

1943: Bombers from the US 14th Air Force, based in China, strike the Japanese-held island of Formosa (Taiwan) for the first time.

1944: Four US carriers are damaged in a mass kamikaze assault by Japanese aircraft as US warplanes sink two Japanese cruisers off Luzon.

1961: The world's first nuclear-powered ship, the USS Constitution (CVN-65) is commissioned.

2001: US Marines from the 15th and 26 Marine Expeditionary Units land near Kandahar, becoming the first major combat force in Afghanistan.

2001: CIA operative and former Marine Johnny Michael Spann becomes the first US combat death in Afghanistan when hundreds of Taliban prisoners in the makeshift prison near Mazar-I-Sharif revolt

Medal of Honor: 1st Lt. Arthur MacArthur Jr., father of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, seizes "the colors of his regiment at a critical moment and planted them on the captured works on the crest of Missionary Ridge." The MacArthurs are the first father and son to be awarded the Medal of Honor. The only other pair is Theodore Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

"Today in US Military History" is a feature of the Center for American Military History.


The Sick Lame and Lazy....

I have a news flash for everyone.  Brace yourselves, take a seat, it might be shocking...

One of the "Occupy" movement crap-weasels appears to be posing as someone who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I know, I know, hold the Stolen Valor presses.  But I have a simple solution to this problem that I will get to at the end of my rant here, along with some background on the exact nature of this crap-weasel and his deception.

And there is a great deal to poop-hammer this guy over, not the least of which is going from the Infantry to Hippie.

The claims of a dedicated member of the Occupy Buffalo movement that he saw combat in Iraq and Afghanistan are not supported by Army records.

Christopher M. Simmance has told several media outlets, including The Buffalo News, that he served as many as three tours of duty in those war zones and that he was severely injured in Afghanistan.

Service records obtained from the Army, however, show he was stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash., for three years and he left the active-duty Army in January 2001 -- before the 9/11 terror attacks.

Simmance insists his Army records are incomplete. He told The News he stands by his claims of seeing combat.

See what I mean, and it gets better....

Continue reading "The Sick Lame and Lazy...." »