Having trouble reading this newsletter? Click here to see it in your browser.
You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up from our web site. Click here to unsubscribe.
In This Issue
Join the Special Forces Gear Forum!
 
Previous Newsletters Customer Comments

Dear Sir, The Falcon Chest Harness finally arrived to me at Camp Taji, Iraq. Thank You! It is now set up for fitting over my IOTV and Battle Ready!!!

Thanks!!!
[name omitted]

(already the guys are asking who to order one from, so you might be getting a few more requests!!!).




Dear SF company.

Thank-you for sending another t-shirt it looks great the boys in the unit will want one when they see it. I'll be sending them right to you.

Thanks again.

Another happy customer
Bob Miller




When I was stationed at Camp Pendleton I was in Weapons Company 3/5. The unit made us t-shirts with the 3/5 logo/emblem/crest, "Consumate Professionals". I was honorable discharged in 1999 and the t-shirt has been long-gone. I searched a couple of web site to find a shirt with the logo/emblem/crest but there was no luck. It didn't take me long to search this site before I found what I was looking for. When the shirt arrived it was better than what I expected. I love the t-shirt and wear it with pride and often. Thank you SpecialForces.com

Most Sincerely,
Bryan P.




Thank you!!!

Your Shirts are the best.

Andreas




Dear SFG,

Thank you for being so prompt with my order, and the refund as well.

I thought a little constructive thoughts were in order.

The "HRT" boot knife is well constructed. I had to "hone" the edge though, both sides,to get it up to spec.

As for the "GI USMC Combat Knife"......Well, it wasn't really a K-Bar, at least not one that I've ever seen. It read "US", and above that it read "Ontario". No worries though, after I used a ceramic sharpening stone on both the small back edge and the full length edge, I'm quite pleased with them both. Oh, I almost forgot, both were very pretty well balanced.

I'll be purchasing again from you in the near future.

Sincerely,
Ed Whiteside




Dear Special Forces

I received my order i have to say that is better than i expected! Thank you and you'll hear fom me soon.

PARASCHOS




They turned out GREAT!!!!!! Thanks. I will be back for other things.

Rick




Thanks Folks. As always you have been most polite and professional. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Jack And Melanie Edgar




Steve,

OMG! That looks awesome! Is there any logo on the front? Can I buy these off the website? I'm sure a lot of SWCC guys are going to want these!

Thank you,

Amanda Van Every




Dave,

We love the art work. They are awesome. I'll be ordering mine right after this. Thanks for all the work. I am recommending you guys to all the other battalions and ODA's.

David




Hello,

Just to let you know all items have been recieved, fantastic quality as all ways.

Cheers Andrew and best wishes for the New Year.




Dave's Message

 

"For as he thinketh in his heart (the mind) so he is."
– Proverbs 23:7a

It is impossible to hide what is inside of you. It will always come out at some time or another during some crisis or difficulty during the situations in our lives. Sooner or later what is really inside will always reveal itself.

A warrior may be judged by his overt behavior, but he is what he thinks he is. The warriors' mental attitude determines, motivates and influences his behavior and actions. The warrior must have a stabilized mind in order to have the by–products of confidence, constancy and love. The stabilized mind is a direct result of the tranquil mind — a mind free from worry or fear.

"I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself."
– Robert E. Lee

One of the most impressive examples of stability in modern history is that which General Robert E. Lee displayed during the Battle of Gettysburg — the most decisive battle of the War Between the States. Everything was about to collapse for the Confederacy. Officer after officer reported in "General Lee sir, my division does not have any men left... my regiment... my battalion... my company is wiped out... we are out of ammunition." After each disastrous report, Lee would answer, "That is all right, I will take responsibility. Take the remnants of your force and move south and form up with General... "and so on. General Lee remained completely calm and stable as he continued to issue orders in the face of this terrible disaster to his Army.

Stability is judged by the overt act, but behind every decision and command given by General Lee was a mental attitude which produced the stability for the situation.

It is not what you do that stabilizes circumstances — it is what you think!

A person who can think under pressure is the one who has a stabilized mind.

How does a warrior acquire a stabilized mind? The stabilized mind is acquired through training, knowledge, truth, principles and self control, (control of your emotions).

"The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude." William James

We will start with the battlefield of your mind. The battle is for control of your mind. The warriors' greatest weapon is his mind and like all weapons it must be mastered to be deployed effectively. The battle starts with what weapons we arm our mind with.

I think the workings of the mind will help you understand the importance of the type of weapons we arm our minds with. What we put in our minds has a similar effect to how we fuel our bodies with food. Garbage in equals' garbage out. Now a quick lesson in how our mind works. My objective here is only to familiarize you with how it works so don't get too wrapped up in what I present here because it all happens naturally. What we are most concerned with is what weapons you arm your mind with and how it affects your thinking.

The Warriors Operations of the Mind

Knowledge enters our stream of consciousness where it is stored, sorted and transferred into seven compartments. I must caution that there is a type of knowledge that produces pride which promotes self importance or simply arrogance and there is a type of knowledge that promotes truth and reality. So it is important what type of knowledge we arm our mind with.

We learn by rejecting or accepting knowledge through these three methods.

The Warriors Three Methods of Learning

1. Rationalism: This is where we accept knowledge through the practice of guiding ones opinions solely by what seems reasonable.

2. Observation: This is where we learn by observation so what we see is what we believe. Although sometimes we see things we don't believe and that is usually because of arrogance. In arrogance people see what they want to see instead of reality.

The latest example was our president bowing before the Saudi King caught on camera and pictures but some people have refused to accept the reality that the president of the United States bowed to the muslim King and then substituted excuses and dismissed the reality.

Obama bows to Saudi Arabia's king

3. Faith: This is where we are told things that we have no way of knowing about and accept them to exist or be true. For example; I have never been to Mt. Everest but I believe it exists and people have climbed it.

As you can see none of the three methods of learning offer any guarantee as to the integrity or truth of the knowledge. The three methods are used in different combinations with each other, with the faith method of learning and accepting knowledge as the one used most by everyone.

When the knowledge is accepted or believed it is then transferred to different compartments. This is a critical stage because false knowledge will lead to bad decisions and create arrogance.

"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance."
George Bernard Shaw

The Warriors Seven Compartments

I. The frame of reference — this is where accepted knowledge accumulates gradually in increments. The goal is for truth to be built upon truth if not, your thinking will become divorced from reality. The best example is what we are seeing in our country today. Our politicians and bureaucrats and most of the people are out of touch with reality all carrying on with their own agendas divorced from the reality of our many current situations. Although there is a hint some people are starting to wake up to reality.

From the frame of reference knowledge is transferred to other compartments and prepares you for whatever responsibilities you have in life.

II. Memory center — This is where knowledge is stored and recalled for use in our daily lives. For the memory center to work it requires inculcation and repetition, or as my Sergeant use to say as he drilled us over and over again, "muscle memory." In many ways our mind is like our muscles, it must be trained, fed a diet of proper knowledge and exercised daily to maintain peak performance.

III. Vocabulary Storage — this is your dictionary. Thinking demands vocabulary because we think with words. The larger your vocabulary the more you can understand, think, express yourself, and communicate with others.

IV. Categorical Storage — this is where knowledge, words, principles, etc. are organized and stored developing the frame of reference which is critical to understand, evaluate and grow smarter or wiser. The warriors' motto, "Keep on becoming strong." Especially applies here. As we get older our physical performance weakens but the true warrior compensates by becoming more dangerous through a stronger mind with wisdom in his arsenal. Wisdom is the application of knowledge to experience.

"Wisdom comes only from truth."
Dave

V. Conscience — this is where our norms and standards are stored, enabling us to determine right from wrong; it also establishes priorities, guides and regulates our lives. People can have a strong or weak conscience depending upon the knowledge and standards they have acquired. Some people we encounter seem like they have no conscience and that is because of what they have learned or haven't learned. They serve as another example of why it is so important what knowledge we arm our minds with.

"Conscience is the root of all true courage; if a man would be brave let him obey his conscience."
– James Freeman Clarke

VI. Momentum — this is where our capacities grow hopefully maturing us and making us wiser. Capacity is the key to everything. I'm sure when we were little we were all told this principle. "You should never tell a lie because each time you tell a lie it becomes easier to tell another lie until all you can do is tell lies." This story serves as an excellent example of how capacity works.

Each time a lie was told the capacity to tell more lies increased. The good news here is capacity works the same for everything. If one wants to build capacity for happiness he must practice being happy or if one wants to overcome his capacity for fear he must practice courage. Many people are on quests or searching for these things but the answer lies in capacity created through practice. Momentum is achieved through increasing your capacity. To build capacity and increase momentum in any endeavor takes the perseverance to keep advancing a little at a time increasing that capacity creating momentum moving you towards your goal.

One big pitfall we all tend to fall into is remembering and poring over, past failures compounding current problems and hindering advance. Forget past failures and concentrate on the objective. "Keep your eye on the ball", as I like to say. Keep your momentum going and capacity growing with an aggressive mental attitude.

"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
Winston Churchill

VII. Wisdom —is the last compartment and the ultimate weapon one can arm his mind with. This is the result of knowledge, experience and motivation from all compartments. This is where thinking is converted to action applying your knowledge to the circumstances of life.

"Common–sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom."
– Coleridge

"Wisdom is knowing what to do next; Skill is knowing how to do it, and Virtue is doing."
– David Starr Jordan

This may seem all too scientific, but again I only presented this to demonstrate how important the knowledge you acquire will effect your decisions. What you put in your mind will determine what you think and remember "you are what you think".

"Thought is the sculptor who can create the person you want to be."
– Henry David Thoreau

Our goal is to arm your mind with the right weapons. What knowledge we put into our minds is determined by our volition which is self determination. Volition is the key here, people can have a positive or negative volition towards truth and reality. I cannot explain why a person is negative or positive but I can say that a negative volition is heavily influenced by arrogance (refusal to accept truth and reality) and positive volition is heavily influenced by humility (objectivity and teach ability).

"Humility is the key to objectivity the only way to distinguish truth and reality from false ideologies and teachings".
Dave

As much as I wish I could, I cannot tell you what you should arm your mind with; you have to do that for yourself. But I can present some information to help you put truth and reality into perspective which is what all warriors should strive for. It's never too late as long as you are still breathing to have a change of mind, Sort out the garbage you may have filled your mind with, and replace it with truth and reality. All it takes is humility to start with. All true warriors are independent thinkers and are only as good as the weapons in their mind.

The Warriors Mental Attitude Dynamics

"A true warrior only competes with himself to be the best he can be".
– Dave

We will start with the three eyes.

Eyes off others

Eyes off things

Eyes off self

1. Eyes off others. We have enough to handle with ourselves without concerning ourselves with others. One of the great dangers warriors face is to assume they know something when they know nothing. When we have our eyes on others this opens the door to a lot of bad things filling the mind. From putting people on a pedestal only to find out they are a flawed human like the rest of us or we can begin to judge others leading to bad emotions and bad mental attitudes like envy, jealousy, bitterness and hatred. We then think ourselves to be better then others, we become envious and bitter because they may have been promoted given credit or rewarded instead of you and you begin to lose control of your thoughts and operate on bad emotions. Uncontrolled emotions are the enemy of every warrior. I think we have all been there and hopefully you have resisted the temptation to self–indulge in this behavior. Remember bad ammunition loaded in the mind produces misfires.

"There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance: that imitation is suicide: that he must take himself for better or for worse."Ralph Waldo Emerson

2. Eyes off things. We are all a slave to something and we can easily become a slave to things we require and desire. Driven by the desire for materialistic things lead to misery. A warrior will never find true happiness in things, enough is never enough. People who love materialistic things never seem to have the ability to love persons to any great degree. He always put the things before the person.

3. Eyes on self. This is self–indulgence, leading to self pity, monotony, boredom, and loneliness. It can lead to insatiable lusts, alcohol, drugs, and many forms of sublimation. All a frantic search for happiness through stimulation lusts for power, happiness, ect. Basically you become a slave to your desires and they all end with misery. Happiness is not dependent on circumstances or things for the true warrior.

So where should a warriors eyes be? I like to say "keep your eye on the ball". What you are doing, where you are going and how you are going to get there.

1. What you are doing — focus and concentration on what you are doing.

2. Where you are going — what is your motivation is it for self gratification, inordinate ambition and lust for power or are your motives, and goals noble? Your attitude should be one of nobility which is virtuous, superior in nature and character which is rare and transitory in these days.

"If your desires be endless, your cares and fears will be so too"
"Virtue is the only true nobility".
Thomas Fuller

3. How are you getting there — with honor and integrity, or are you going to take short cuts, instead of doing the right thing the right way. All true warriors know short cuts come back to teach us the hard way what we should have done right the first time.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
– Albert Einstein

"Wickedness is always easier than virtue, for it takes the short cut to everything."
– Samuel Johnson

The Warriors Flaw of Self–Esteem

Self esteem is a crock. Self assurance and autonomy is what a person wants. The ability to pick themselves up when they're down. The ability to carry on in the face of adversity. Self assurance solves the problems of inadequacy, fear, emotional disturbance, lack of personality identity, and uncertainty concerning one's niche in life.

Self assurance in modern usage is autonomy expressed in independence, self–determination, self–direction, but not the arrogance which self–esteem creates.

These definitions from common dictionaries make my case.

Self–esteem is undue pride in oneself; conceit. – Time dictionary.

Self–love, conceit, egotism. – Synonyms from Webster's Dictionary

Today's, psychology places great emphasis on the key role of self–esteem: a person's attitude toward self affects his entire outlook on life. As you can see from the definitions above these psychologists are preaching arrogance when they should be teaching self–assurance and autonomy.

The Warriors Self–Respect versus Self–Esteem

Self respect starts with humility which comes from true principles that produce integrity which is a cause for proper respect for oneself. From this strength of character, we can achieve a degree of success in a profession, in marriage, in family life, in relationships with others. Part of this virtue is humility which is the ability to honestly face the reality of our own weaknesses and failings and overcome them.

Such men and women of genuine respect for ones own character and reputation are exceptional. In contrast, the great majority lacks this self respect and substitutes self–esteem which is nearly always some form of arrogance.

Most people deceive themselves with intellectual rationalizations or psychological delusions concerning their own importance. A person who has what they call self–esteem always admires a lot of different people that are in the framework of whatever their scale of values is. Therefore they are distracted and often indifferent about other things and other people, being subjective and arrogant. We see a lot of this behavior today as people dismiss the behaviors of our leaders not holding them to the same standards we guide our own behavior by.

"Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is as important as the one we pass on ourselves; for that judgment touches the very center of our existence. We stand in the midst of an almost infinite network of relationships: to other people, to things, to the universe. And yet at three o'clock in the morning, when we are alone with ourselves, we are aware that the most intimate and powerful of all relationships and the one we can never escape is the relationship to ourselves. No significant aspect of our thinking, motivation, feelings, or behavior is unaffected by our self–evaluation." Self–esteem has a flaw through which comes subjectivity leading to pride and arrogance. The antidote and defense is humility and truth.

A Warriors Battle for Control of Emotions

"Emotions are like waves in the ocean they come on powerful and fast but they always dissipate in instability."

It is interesting how victory can change hands so many times back and forth during a battle. During the Battle of Waterloo Napoleon had at least 5 opportunities to win the battle. One opportunity was lost when Marshal Michel Ney was put in command of the left wing of the army and ordered a mass cavalry charge against the center of the Anglo–Dutch line. Ney's cavalry overran the enemy cannons, but found the infantry prepared in cavalry–proof square formations. Ney, without infantry or artillery support, was unable to break the squares. Ney's cavalry also failed to spike enemy cannons by driving iron spikes into the firing holes of the cannons when the cannon crews retreated into the squares for protection. They then re–manned their pieces as Ney's cavalry receded. Spiking the cannons would have made them useless for the rest of the battle and the loss of a large number of cannons would have weakened their opponent and would have caused the Anglo–Dutch force to withdraw from the battle resulting in a victory for Napoleon. Ney was seen during one of the charges after having his horse shot out from under him beating his sword against the side of a British cannon in furious frustration, which was one of the manny cannons he should have destroyed. Because Marshal Ney became angry in an emotional rage he lost the opportunity to seize victory at Waterloo.

At this time I think we should interrupt the battle for control of the mind and introduce a very dangerous adversary, "emotion".

Emotions in themselves are neither good or bad they are what we use to feel or appreciate things. Emotions are useful in a multitude of things in our lives, and when controlled and used properly can bring joy and pleasure as well as sensitivity to circumstances.

Having said all that now I must give the downside.

A Warrior's Emotions Has No Intelligence

A false concept pushed around by many today is emotional intelligence. This is destructive to objective thought. Emotion in itself is an empty physiological response; it contains no wisdom, no mentality, no norms and standards, and no common sense. Emotion reflects the character of that to which it responds. I'm sorry but I can't resist but probably the best example of this was the last election in the way so many responded to campaign speeches. I never saw so many people running on pure emotion and the cost of this is our freedom which we are now losing at a rapid pace. If I lost you on that one then this might be a better example:

When we look at a beautiful painting we feel its beauty through emotional appreciation and it makes you feel good but to truly appreciate a good painting requires thought and frame of reference. The technique, the choice of the medium used, the choice of colors, ect.

For example: to begin with an artist is either a wet worker or a dry worker. If wet painting in oils, if dry water color or tempura. There are pen and ink drawings, sketches done in pencil sometimes mixed with other mediums in black and white or color also charcoal, pastels, oil, tempura, and so on. The art can be done on canvas, illustration board, water color paper, scratchboard, lithographic stone, wood, and so on. The style might be abstraction, expressionism, realism, surrealist, modernistic, cartoon and so on. The mediums, techniques and styles are as endless as the artists themselves. For the artist this knowledge enables him through thought and emotion to have a deeper appreciation for the art he sees. In other words thought applied to emotion equals the ability to appreciate the art work.

This same principle applies to anything.

On the flip side when you're around someone who is angry and loses their temper this usually causes a negative emotional reaction upsetting everyone around except the thinking warrior who will resist temptation to react with emotions and stay rational and calm the mark of a stabilized mind. This is why we should never replace thinking with emotions as so many do. Emotions are merely feelings and when applied to thought give appreciation like the trained artist.

As if this were not enough I must bring out a double negative on emotions in regard to the mind. If you have filled your brain with knowledge and principles based on truth and reality. This gives you capacity to enjoy life, love and inner happiness that place of peace, tranquility, confidence and stability (not dependent on circumstances). The warriors' emotional response to things should always be appreciation for truth and reality.

On the flip side if you have filled your mind with false knowledge and ideologies and truth and reality are rejected through negative volition to the truth. The emotions react with wide mood swings — irrationality, egocentricity, instability and imbalance. The result is emotion is exhilarated when circumstances are pleasant, but depressed when they are adverse. Life is like a roller–coaster ride up and down, moment by moment.

The best example I can think of to give you of how a warrior should act which may be a little over the top is 1st Officer Spock in the series "Star trek". He always brought logic and objectivity to life threatening highly charged emotional situations.

"Never Ask a Warrior How He Feels"

Never ask a warrior how he feels. How a warrior feels is for doctors. Only ask him what he thinks. When you ask him how he feels you are tempting him to turn his thoughts inward which in the warrior business can easily distract the warrior from his proper focus. When you ask him what he thinks, you can tell by his response what you really want to know.

After a tough situation a true warrior does not focus on emotion and feelings and the worst thing is to coddle a warrior with how they feel. You should offer words of encouragement and motivation to be faithful to the warrior code of "keep on being strong." During the Battle of the Bulge the soldiers divided into two groups "Warriors" and "Mice". The only thing that counted was what they thought, some panicked in retreat and others came or stayed to fight even when cut off from their own forces with no support and communications they continued to hold against impossible odds some fought to the death, some were captured unwillingly and some survived. All gave of themselves unselfishly to hold back the advance of the enemy while the mice retreated in panic. So when you greet a warrior offer words of encouragement like "Hooah" (can do) or keep up the battle or stay strong or ask him what he thinks but never ask him how he feels.

A Warrior Must Always be on Guard

A warrior should maintain a constant defense in his mind to keep emotion, false knowledge and ideologies from creeping in throughout his life. The moment he lets his guard down they will creep in because they are forever present seeking out weaknesses to exploit. This means he must post security just like an Infantry Company on the move. It must be protected by a point element for the front, and flank and rear security to provide early warning and prevent the Company from moving into an ambush. When the Company is halted for rest on bivouac, they must set up a perimeter defense with outposts to provide early warning to prevent an attack.

For the warrior idle time can be dangerous a time for emotions to creep in like a cancer and take control so he must be on guard. A good Commander understands the effects idle time has on his warriors when halted in any defense and prevents this by keeping warriors busy in a constant state of preparation. Each individual warrior should set up his own defense in his mind similar to the infantry company.

For the warrior humility is his defense against letting into the mind false knowledge, ideologies and from allowing emotions to take control.

There are many viewpoints in life one can take and the key to discerning the truth and correct perspective lies in humility. Humility promotes objectivity enabling one to see the truth more easily. Versus arrogance and emotion which bring subjectivity making it difficult if not impossible in many cases to discern the truth. Remember a true warrior always keeps his eye on the ball.

Its time to remind ourselves "we are what we think". So if we think with emotion then we will be emotional which is not good for the warrior for he will lose the battle for control of the mind and trouble will always follow.

I have mentioned the importance of principles along with knowledge and have this to say. Principles serve to guide us to do things that we would otherwise not naturally do of our own accord.

Principles play a key roll in our behavior and that is why it is so important for a warrior to fill his mind with true principles that will guide his actions, decisions and behaviors. In society today we see many without principles and their behavior accounts for that. For more info in this area of thinking see;

"A Warrior Code of Honor."

"Thoughts are things; they have tremendous power. Thoughts of doubt and fear are pathways to failure. When you conquer negative attitudes of doubt and fear you conquer failure. Thoughts crystallize into habit and habit solidifies into circumstances."
– Bryan Adam

The Warrior in Correlation between the Mind and the Body

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly."
– Harry Truman

The warrior's attitude and thoughts can have a direct effect on his health and even his physical attractiveness. The great captains of history found that when they worked their men hard and kept them busy the sick calls decreased and the men's health improved. This was because they were focused on what they had to do which left very little time to focus on themselves, which we know from the three eyes will only lead to trouble. The concept of psychosomatics is very simple. Any mental attitude of fear, worry, or anxiety — any continuous mental tension — will eventually overflow and affect the body.

For example:

It was discovered during the Korean War that many American soldiers died in prison camps from what we call ‘give–up–ittis.' With the perpetuation of this mental attitude over a period of time, an individual would simply fold up, lie down on the ground, and say, "Leave me alone." If he were left alone for two or three days, he would die! Our physicians in the prison camps reported a substantial number of these cases and diagnosed their cause of death to be a mental attitude of hopelessness and despair. I am not trying to explain the cause of a sudden appearance of some illness and its equally sudden disappearance as being psychosomatic in your case. I am just stating that our attitudes have a significant impact on our bodies.

"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment."

Marcus Aurelius

The Warriors Happiness

"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
– Abraham Lincoln

Happiness is perhaps the most elusive thing in life and most misunderstood. People search for happiness in their lives but fail to understand what they are ever looking for because they do not even know what it is. What they are really or should be looking for is inner happiness. The confusion comes from the definition and emphasis we put on happiness without understanding what it really is and how to achieve it.

Happiness is a state of mind or feeling such as contentment, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy.
– Wikipedia

The English word for happiness comes from happening.

If happenings are pleasant — your happy

If happenings are unpleasant — your miserable

This means the whole system for happiness is based on pleasant circumstances which leads to a lot of bad conclusions and puts people on a frantic search for happiness. This search for happiness is never satisfied making a person a slave to different forms of stimulation, satisfaction, peace, approbation, etc all ending with an uncontrolled lust that can never be satisfied. If happiness is dependent on circumstances then a warrior could never be truly happy.

Although this definition is correct I feel it is incomplete and leaves people wanting. The key lies in the state of mind and what is missing from the definition above is how and what controls the state of mind. For the warrior happiness is a state of mind that is not dependent on circumstances or people. It is an inner happiness which is inner strength that produces tranquility and stability in all circumstances good or bad. Not the emotions of pleasure and joy, etc. The true warrior's happiness comes from his capacity for life acquired through the knowledge, truth and reality that he has armed his mind with that which gives him an inner happiness that is not dependent on circumstances, people and things.

Things that people confuse with happiness are emotions like joy and pleasure which are dependent on circumstances and people which merely provides emotional stimulation and has no sustaining qualities.

"Happiness depends upon ourselves."
– Aristotle

A warrior's inner happiness is almost not understandable to those who do not have it so I can only describe it. From inner happiness comes peace of mind producing those by–products confidence, stability, contentment, tranquility — free of worry or fear, capacity to love, and an understanding of life and a person's role in what I like to say is "the big picture of things."

To acquire happiness it takes a lot of humility, self discipline and practice.

"We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the hut comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."
– Viktor Frankl

A Warriors Retreat from Reality

"In reality security is based on facts and these facts are imperative to deal with the circumstances of life."

The true warrior never retreats from reality and he avoids those defense mechanisms we all use from time to time. I will list them for you so you can understand them and hopefully catch yourself from falling prey to them and keep the garbage out of your mind.

1. Rationalism — this is a form of self justification a state of mind that justifies or blames others or things for adversity. For the true warrior this means it is a way of not taking responsibility for failures. The true warrior takes responsibility and makes the most out of his circumstances because he knows that is the only way to overcome the situations he faces in life.

2. Denial — this is a means of coping with unacceptable feelings, anxieties, memories, hostilities and failures by ignoring the reality of them. The true warrior always faces the reality of circumstances, adversity and failure to make the most out of his situation, adapt and overcome.

3. Sublimation — This means to express unacceptable impulses in acceptable forms often unconsciously. This usually happens from one of the eyes, (eyes on self) from allowing yourself to be bored, lonely, discouraged or filled with other bad mental attitudes and emotions. Through sublimation he seeks an antidote for his frustrations through alcohol, drugs, entertainment, sex, materialistic things, ect. The true warrior faces reality and knows he will not find the antidote in a frantic search for stimulation. He remains stable and objective overcoming these feelings to self– indulge instead of facing reality and maintaining a stablelized mind by remaining focused or I like to say "keep your eye on the ball".

4. Subjectivity — this is when emotion dominates thought and subjectivity controls your mind. Subjectivity is the opposite of objectivity and causes one to lose touch with reality. The true warrior does not indulge his feelings and emotion he remains objective in touch with reality for that is the basis for his stability and making good decisions.

"And isn't it a bad thing to be deceived about the truth, and a good thing to know what the truth is? For I assume that by knowing the truth you mean knowing things as they really are."
– Plato

A Warriors Authority

The true warrior remains oriented to authority because he knows that disrespect for authority will lead a revolt in the battle for control of the mind and will not only hurt himself but others. In the military we constantly use this principle to stay authority oriented. Respect the position or rank but that does not mean you respect the man. Authority needs to be thought of as a thing or an institution separate from the person and even though the person given the authority may abuse it you can never solve that problem by attacking and tearing down the institution of authority itself because it will lead to greater problems. It can be a tough pill but it is a principal and must be followed as such or be prepared to reap the consequences.

A Warriors Mental Toughness and Fortitude

Mental toughness starts with fortitude and I think this definition of fortitude says it all. That strength or firmness of mind which enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage, or to bear pain or adversity without murmuring, depression, or despondency, passive courage, resolute endurance, firmness in confronting or bearing up against danger or enduring trouble.

"Fortitude is the marshal of thought, the armor of the will, and the fort of reason"
– Frances Bacon

Mental toughness is a characteristic of true warriors and determination is a characteristic of people who have done great things. Determination is the one thing I have found in common with all great heroes and people that have done great things. The truly great possess an unusual amount of determination always with them. From this we learn the importance of determination and although we may not inherently possess the unrelenting determination of great heroes we can learn to summon it through mental toughness.

"An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men"
– Thomas Fuller

Mental toughness in the military begins with physical toughness. In my younger years we would use the words "technically and tactically proficient" which meant to train, to prepare and equip to become combat ready and part of being combat ready is being mentally tough. The true warrior knows that he either goes backwards or forward there is no coasting in life. To keep on becoming strong and live up to this warrior's motto he must be mentally tough and not cave into his feelings and emotions. He must stay determined to push himself, evaluate himself to find weaknesses and overcome them. He does this through physically pushing himself to stay fit, practice and improve his skills and build on his knowledge to acquire wisdom and to remain forever humble through out the process.

"There is something inherently tough about Americans. They will not accept defeat. The astronauts of "Apollo 13" would not give up, John Nash in "A Beautiful Mind" would not give up, and Jim Braddock would not surrender to poverty."
– Ron Howard

In closing I wish to remind you that "You are what you think" and my hopes are that you will arm your mind with truth and reality and forever stay humble.

HOOAH!

Dave

Click Here to let Dave know what you think about this month's message!

 

Voice of the Soldier

This section is designed to give you a voice where you can express opinions or give messages. We encourage you to speak out!

Send us your commentary, stories, articles, etc...

Click Here to have your voice heard!


Special Operations Warrior Foundation

Special Forces Gear is now hosting a special section for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) provides college scholarship grants, along with financial aid and educational counseling, to the children of Special Operations personnel who were killed in an operational mission or training accident.

All profits from these items go to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation

Learn More about the Special Operations Warrior Foundation >>


Feedback:

Let Us Know What You Think About Last Month's Newsletter


I finally read most of the letter from feb and excuse my french fuckin A that is a badass letter. My hats off to you and i appreciate that kind of input. I have never done any military service yet am a martial man by nature. I study and teach martial arts for the past 25 years. From wrestling to boxing to muay thai to choy li fut and any filipino art you can throw in there and I am an avid patriotic American citizen who is watching our country go down the tubes thanks to over government and lack of understanding. Im watching the new world order take affect and its sickening to me. I want you to know that I send you mad kudos for this letter and all the clippings you added onto it to demonstrate your point. Im with you.

In reply to Special Forces Newsletter - February 2009

Thank you, truly,
Citizen Soldier Forever


Conscientious Coffee:

I am currently a police officer in the UK but i had the pleasure of serving in the British Army for twelve years.

I have served in many conflicts along side US forces and was attached to the US Marine Expeditionary force in Operation Telic in Iraq in 2003.

All soldiers know what it is like to recieve care packages from our loved ones back home, indeed some companies support us over seas and they send us their food and beverage products as a morale boost, but imagine the shock to hear that when troops wrote to Starbucks to ask for some coffee they recieved a reply saying "WE DO NOT SUPPORT THE WAR NOR ANYONE PARTICIPATING IN IT", i must say ive never heard of conscientious coffee.

In reply to Special Forces Newsletter - May 2007

Richard Hamilton


It is befitting many a woman of today's times again. MY wife is in such a category. I am on my 3rd tour in Iraq, I served in Just Cause and Somalia. MY oldest of two boys will join the service here within the year. I am left with the thought that I see bravery, honor, pride and love in the woman who accepted my way of life and am inspired to give her my best. Good words Dave. thank you

In reply to Special Forces Newsletter - May 2007

rick lozier


The stories about Mother were heart warming and shouold be made a part of the education system. It is hard to believe, but other than Mothers Day, which started in West Virginia, the Nation does not honor our Mothers and give credit for their sacrifices. No where in America is there a National Memorial or Monument to honor the mothers who gave part of themselves for our freedom.

In reply to Special Forces Newsletter - May 2007

H Woody Williams


Hi Dave

I appreciate the information good. Keep up the good work!

In reply to Special Forces Newsletter - May 2007

Rudy Delgado


Thank you so much for recognizing the Mothers of our soldiers this month. My son, Staff Sgt J. Cullen Branch, Air Force Security Forces, K-9 Military Working Dog Handler, has always had my support in joining the Military. The pride I feel, and other Mothers feel, is beyond description. My son's wife, Mandi, has been a big support and ready for anything" (with their 2 sons) while my son was deployed or had other duties that kept him away from home. Our Military, men and women, have always had and will always have, my outspoken and written support. On another subject, thank you for the article on Ed Freeman .... you are right, the media did not focus on what a hero he was to those soldiers he kept coming back to pick up. I don't understand the citizens of America who downplay our Military. They have no clue. God Bless all our military and the ones who support them. Thank you.

In reply to Special Forces Newsletter - May 2007

Jackie Olsen


Proverbs 31: 25 - 27,

Strength snd honour are her clothing;
And she shall rejoice in time to come.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom;
and in her toungue is the law of kindness.

She looketh well to the ways of her household;
and eateth not the bread of idleness.

These are the words of King Lemuel portraying a virtuous wife.

Happy Mother's Day to all warriors.

In reply to Special Forces Newsletter - May 2007

Go Goats
Martin F. Herlacher


Your Newsletter should be a Postmaster message to every home in America!

In reply to Special Forces Newsletter - May 2007

Execellent!
Tony S.


Dave:

Great Mother's Day articles!

In reply to Special Forces Newsletter - May 2007

Bob Howard


Thank you.

In reply to Special Forces Newsletter - May 2007

Rebecca Roberts


Sir,

Another great newsletter. I would offer that another fine example of the attributes of motherhood can be found towards the end of Pressfield's "Gates of Fire," when the Spartan platoon commander tells his troops of the purest example of courage and uses the example of Spartan mothers.

Keep up the good fight,
You are all in my prayers,
Semper Fi,
JD

In reply to Special Forces Newsletter - May 2007

Jim Desy


Dear Rev. Rako;

Greetings! thank you very much for that very enlightening message on the FORTY THINGS WE RECEIVE AT THE MOMENT WE RECEIVE CHRIST!

i learned them already when I was a new convert but this time, it hit me again squarely as I was reminded of my position in Christ!

Keep up the good work!!! Thank you very much!

In reply to Special Forces Newsletter - May 2007

Jaime O. Bayaban


Low Flying and Crazy Fast Passes

Pilots flying very low. Various aircraft including the Harrier, Mirage, Jaguar, F-16, an A-10, a tanker, and one amazing skydiver in a batsuit performing low level passes for your enjoyment.


Awesome Paint Job!

Check out what some of our boys overseas did to their helicopter.

This very special Mi-24 helicopter is presently flying in Afghanistan, where it is no doubt causing quite a stir.

Word of Truth

The Word of Truth - Alive and Powerful

The Word of Truth

Deceiving the World

By Rev G.J. Rako
LTC (Ret)
IN USAR

 

Satan has a plan, policy, and system of deceiving the world.

Rev 12:9 Then the great dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who keeps on deceiving the entire world.

Rev 20:8 and he will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth,

He is the ruler of this world (Lk 4:5-7; Jn 12:31, 14:30, 16:11; 2 Cor 4:4), and is opposed to God. Therefore, his plan is to deceive humanity with regard to the eternal truth of the living and written Word of God. His plan and policy can be entitled the "lie" for "he is a liar and the father of lies and there is no truth in him (John 8:44)." The Bible is the "truth"; Satan's system is the "lie". As the Word of Truth has many facets, so each must be countered by the lie.

Two aspects of this great lie are Satan's deceptions and counterfeits regarding first, salvation and then the Christian way of life.

1. The Bible states that there is one way to heaven and a relationship with the eternal God, that is, faith alone in Christ alone.

Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.

John 14:6 Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but, by Me

Now, how many other names can you think of, all of which characterize the lie. Satan in his genius has developed a system to counterfeit God's plan of salvation. We call this insidious system "religion." Religion is man by man's own efforts attempting to gain the favor of God. It is a system of works and merit on man's part. God's plan of salvation is grace.

Eph 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not of yourselves, it is a gift from God, not of works, so that no man can boast .

2. Once we become believers in Jesus Christ, our purpose is to grow to spiritual maturity and execute the unique spiritual life of the church age. We are commanded to renew our thinking,

2 Cor 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day .

Eph 4:23 ..and that you be renewed in the spirit of your thinking

Col 3:12 "...and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him

By fulfilling the command to "grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:18)," we replace the doctrine of demons or human viewpoint with the absolute truth that God provided.

1 Tim 4:1 But, the Spirit explicitly communicates that in latter periods of time, some believers will fall away from doctrine, giving attention to deceitful spirits, even doctrines from demons.

We must counter Satan's deceptions with the truth of the Word of God, the thinking of our Lord,

Phil 2:5 Have this thinking in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.

Often we think ourselves too smart to be deceived. If Satan deceived the woman in the garden, (Gen 3:13) he can deceive any of us. God himself created her perfect in every sense of the word. She had a perfect body and a perfect mind. Yet, Satan in the garden was able to deceive this perfect person. If perfection could fall to deception then certainly all of us (imperfection) can be deceived, and yes, we are all being deceived. Only ignorance and arrogance thinks itself safe from deception. Satan's deadly deception permeates all systems of human thought and endeavor.

There is only one way in which we can combat this deception. We must make the Word of God the priority in our lives.

2 Thes 2:9-10 That is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with every deception of unrighteousness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love for the truth with the result that they might be delivered

The love of the truth is God's answer for our deliverance. This is God's purpose, plan, and will for our lives. Fulfilling the command to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ is the only way we will even recognize the lie. We are bombarded with the doctrine of demons all day, everyday. It is on the lips of our family, friends and associates. It comes across the television and the radio.

We are continuously being brainwashed to believe the lie instead of the truth. Moreover, in so doing we have become combat ineffective, casualties in the spiritual conflict that rages around us. The Apostle Paul warns us,

Romans 12:2-3 Stop being conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renovation of your thought, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For I say through the grace which has been given to me to every one who is among you stop thinking of self in terms of arrogance beyond what you ought to think; but think in terms of sanity for the purpose of being rational without illusion, as God has assigned to each one of us a standard of thinking from doctrine.

We are told to;

Eph 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

Prov 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Isa 55:8-9 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Do not be deceived. Do not blame the government or others for the problems in this country.

Isa 5:13 Therefore, My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge...

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest nation. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

As goes the believer, so goes the nation,

2 Chron 7:14 If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

God will heal our land by the choices you make. You can make a difference. The choice is yours. Use your volition to execute the unique spiritual life of the church age, or become a casualty in spiritual combat by believing the lie. There are no accidents, coincidences or tragedies in the Christian way of life, everything happens for a reason. Everything happens for our benefit. Ignorance of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will keep your thinking in the center of Satan's deadly deception. Knowledge of God will break the chains that enslave, Jesus said,

John 8:31-32 ...If you live in My Word than you are truly students of Mine, and you shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

John 8:36 ...and if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

 

Click here to contact Reverend Rako >>

Have a question about the Bible? Ask Reverend Rako by Clicking Here

Click Here to let Dave know what you think about this month's Word of Truth!

Blue Warrior

Blue Warrior
with Sgt. Glenn French


The Warrior and Cognitive Thinking

The past weekend we Americans celebrated Memorial Day. For many of us it was an extended weekend with family gatherings and parties.

A week earlier we that walk the "thin blue Line" also celebrated National Police Week. May 13th is the "Blue Warriors" Memorial Day. So in a two-week period the warriors of today reflected on the warriors of yesterday.

Every year these dates fill my heart with memories and sorrow of fallen friends that gave the ultimate sacrifice. When I see their children growing without their fathers I think of my own children and how important it is for me to return home every night. Although we don't always control our own destiny, we certainly can try to mitigate the factors that can harm us.

One-way is to recognizing one of the most important factors in a warriors fighting skills, "cognitive thinking". Cognitive thinking may be the single most important trait of a fighting warrior. When dealing with a deadly adversary in that dark moment of combat your success may hinge on your cognitive thinking abilities. The cognitive thinking process includes:

Divided attention and your ability to manage it: Divided attention allows you to handle two or more tasks at one time.

Working memory and your ability to utilize it under pressure: Working memory is the ability to retain information for short periods of time while processing or using it.

Processing speed of the information presented to you: Processing speed is the rate at which the brain handles information.

Long-term memory of past incidents and training: Long-term memory is the ability to both store and recall information for later use.

Visual processing of the situation: Visual processing is the ability to perceive, analyze, and think in visual images. Visual discrimination is seeing differences in size, color, shape, distance, and the orientation of objects. Visualization is creating mental images.

Auditory processing of the situation: Auditory processing is the ability to perceive, analyze, and conceptualize what is heard. Auditory discrimination is hearing differences in sounds, including volume, pitch and duration.

Logic and reasoning of the information and situation: Logic and reasoning skills are the abilities to reason, prioritize, and plan.

Warriors should focus on these cognitive thinking skills to quicken and more effectively respond to an adversary's action(s). Creating training with realism is the primary factor that will help build better cognitive thinking skills so when SWAT cops are subjected to actual combat they will feel that they've already been there and been exposed to that environment.

There are several techniques you can use when training SWAT cops to achieve this, but introducing stress into all of your training is paramount. Stress can be as simple as physical activity such as running in full SWAT gear prior to engaging targets on the gun range, or performing SWAT tactics in full SWAT gear, with your protective gas mask donned, while being timed on the task. These are some simple ideas and obviously the list can go on and on — you're only limited to your imagination in dreaming up different stress techniques. The key to introducing stress into your training is to make it applicable to what the training objective is and make sure you take your SWAT cops to that dark, uncomfortable place, over and over again.

Simunition scenarios are another great technique. Training on SWAT tactics using Simunition provides stress while conducting the training operation. The mere presence of the possibility you may be shot by simunition induces stress. Simunition induces stress on two levels. First is the fear of the sting when you're shot but most importantly, SWAT cops do not want the stigma of being ‘the guy that got tagged' by his adversary — it's embarrassing. This is the time a lot of SWAT operators throw their tactics out the window and it's a great time to capitalize on training points, as you will now have a captive audience. Processing speed, auditory perception, and divided attention are the focus of Simunition scenarios.

The best leaders in combat tend to be low motivators who can give instruction under perilous conditions. So try this technique to build leadership skills and induce stress for those who lack in leadership skills. Pick different team leaders for the day during training sessions, including less experienced officers. Then during the training day, throw challenging tasks at them that will incorporate some type of physical stress, with a deadline to complete the challenge and make the challenge some type of SWAT problem to work out like a hostage rescue, barricaded gunman, warrant service, or a physical challenge.

Incorporating a physical challenge into your training can be very simple. For example, take your two entry teams or split your team in half and have them compete against each other by pushing a police car up a hill for time and after they get to the finish line have them complete a SWAT tactic while being tired and winded. This is great for team building but when you add the SWAT tactic after they will be forced to use logic and reasoning under a great deal of stress from the competition and the physical aspect that was performed. On the gun range have the teams matched up in head-to-head competition, running and traversing obstacles while engaging targets. Range safety is paramount but head-to-head competition splits their attention, and they will train their auditory processing and visual processing skills while trying to move without endangering the other teams shooters. As the rookie team leaders command their team they will experience all of the above cognitive thinking processes and improve their cognitive thinking. The focus of this training is logic and reasoning as well as divided attention.

Observation training is another great technique that improves cognitive thinking skills. Give your SWAT cops a simulated scout mission during training such as a room in a building and have them proceed to that objective. Set up the room with items that are natural to that environment but also add things that can be critical pieces of intelligence to a SWAT commander. Give the scouts time to report to the team leader the intelligence they collect. When they are finished you can evaluate the information — don't be surprised by the difference in perceptions your officers will have. The focus to this training is the memory and the visual processing of the information.

The key component to training for cognitive thinking is repetition and intensity. You should strive to replicate the fear of the battle, the intensity, the uncertainty, the chaos, and the ambiguity of combat and repeat it over and over again until your SWAT warriors' cognitive thinking process is as sharp as the knife in their pocket.

Sgt. Glenn French

Detroit Special Operations Group

www.DetroitSOG.com

Creating training with realism is the primary factor that will help build better cognitive thinking skills so when SWAT cops are subjected to actual combat they will feel that they've already been there and been exposed to that environment. There are several techniques you can use when training SWAT cops to achieve this, but introducing stress into all of your training is paramount.


Glen French is a Sergeant with the Sterling Heights(Metro Detroit) Police Department has 18 years police experience andcurrently serves as the Sergeant of the Sterling Heights Police DepartmentTraining Bureau, Crime Prevention and DARE unit. He has twelve yearsSWAT experience and served as a Sniper Team Leader, REACT Team Leader,and Explosive Breacher for the Macomb County SWAT team.

Sgt. French also is the president of the Detroit Special Operations Group tactical training company andfounder of the Detroit SWAT Challenge www.DetroitSWATChallenge.com. Glenn is a columnist with www.PoliceOne.com, and his column is the"SWAT Operator".

Glenn has instructed Basic and Advanced SWAT / Tactical officer courses, Basic and Advanced Sniper courses, Cold Weather / Winter Sniper Operations and Active Shooter Response courses and others. Sgt French served in the U.S. Army and is a veteran of the Gulf war "Operation Desert Storm." During his military tenure Sgt French gained valuable experience in C.Q.B., infantry tactics and explosive breaching operations and he served as a Platoon sergeant and a squad leader.

What has Really Changed?

This section has been dedicated to the new "call for change" and we say there's nothing new about change.

What Has Really Changed?


"Let the Government do it for You"

1944

If one thing more than any other has made America great, has given us the highest standard of living in the world, it is the grand American custom of "paddling your own canoe". It is that manly habit that has led millions of Americans to launch their own businesses, creating millions of better jobs for others.

They have added billions to America's wealth and wages—ten thousand times more than any profits they made for themselves.

That sort of thing does not happen in nations where the government does the thinking and planning for its people. It is from those countries that the people are most anxious to escape to America.

Some Americans have lost their courage; some foreigners in our midst don't want us to regain it. All the more reason for every true American to paddle his own canoe and not "let George do it" for him.

There has never once been a time in America when courage, thrift, hard work did not pay. There has never before been a time when those American traits were so vital as today.

Embroidered Items

Medic Patch - Custom

Click here to Buy this Patch >

Featured T-Shirts


17-7 Stetson Troop
OEF 09-11


Click here to Buy >

Live Free
Freedom Eagle


Click here to Buy >

Special Forces Group
Customizable


Click here to Buy >

Crossed Shotgun and M-4
Customizable


Click here to Buy >

Quotes & Jokes

"I will be able to go to Washington any time you suggest. As one of my professors put it, I do not intend to let my medical course interfere with my education"

~ Then C.J.Lambertsen Medical Student and University of Pennslyvania to LTCMDR Behnke, USN NEDU, on his desire to give the U.S. Navy Experimental Diving Unit his full attention to further develop the first true Combat Swimming SCUBA rebreather despite what that may have done to his medical school studies, 1942: Philadelphia, Penn.... Dr. CJ. Lambertsen A WW II OSS veteran is considered to be the "father of all U.S. combat swimmers "


"America's intelligence professionals and special operators, like their OSS forbears, provide exceptional strategic and tactical intelligence, and conduct demanding special operation... Their goal is to ensure that our troopers are never are never engaged in a fair fight."

~ Gen. David H. Petraeus, commanding general, U.S. Central Command, receiving the William J. Donovan Award from The OSS Society on May 2, 2009


"If you define leadership as having a vision for an organization, and the ability to attract, motivate and guide followers to fulfill that vision, you have Bill Donovan in spades."

- Fisher Howe, special assistant to Major General William H. Donovan of OSS 1942 -1945


"You are a new breed of Marine...You are a historic breed of Marine and it's a historic chapter for the U.S. Special Operations Command and for our nation."

~ Maj. Gen. Mastin M. Robeson, the commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command(MARSOC) to the ist graduates of MARSOC ITC 22 April 2009 , Stone Bay , Camp Lejune N.C



Sale Items

3-Days Assault Pack

Large load cargo capacity compartment with separate pocket to fit up to two 3L hydration bladders.

Body contour shoulder straps with D-Ring for equipment attachment, sternum starp and waist belt.

External side compression straps.

Heavy-Duty carry and drag handle.

Two double zipper pulls on the main compartment for easy access.

Individual form pad back penal for extra comfort and maximum airflow.

Grommets on all compartments for drainage.

Total of seven compartments:

Main Compartment with gear straps to secure gears and two extra mesh pockets.

Second Compartment contains three map/document pockets, two radio pockets, and penholders.

Two large pockets on the back, bottom pocket (12.5" x 6" x 3") with three elastic closure mash pocket and a zipper mash pocket.

Two side pockets (9" x 5" x 2.5") one on each side.

One Compartment for hydration systems.

Unit Weight: 6lbs

Size : 22" H x 17" W x 11" D

Click Here to Purchase the 3-Days Assault Pack
Featured Items

12 Military M.R.E. (Meals-Ready-to-Eat)

Direct from U.S. government contractor, 12 per case, various and assorted types.

Every meal may include:

  • main course (entree)
  • dessert or snack (often a commercial candy or a fortified pastry)
  • crackers or bread
  • spread of cheese, peanut butter, or jelly
  • powdered beverage mix: fruit flavored drink, cocoa, coffee or tea, sport drink, or dairy shake.
  • Utensils (usually just a plastic spoon)
  • flameless ration heater (FRH)
  • Accessory pack:
  • chewing gum
  • water-resistant matches
  • napkin / toilet paper
  • moist towelette
  • seasonings, including salt, pepper, sugar, creamer, and/or Tabasco sauce

These meals are perfect for backpackers, hunters, fishermen, or anyone who enjoys a good meal without the weight! Put one in your car and add another one to your survival kit!

Developed for the military, so you know they give you a balanced meal with the nutrition you need and want.

Each meal provides about 1,200 calories (1,200 kcal or 5,000 kJ).

Click Here to Purchase 12 Military M.R.E. (Meals-Ready-to-Eat) >>


AquaForce Analog / Digital

Features:

  • Stainless Steel Metal Back
  • 12 and 24 Hour Display
  • 50M Water Resistant
  • Analog Digital Watch
  • Illuminating Light
  • PU Rubber Strap
  • Day and Date
  • Stopwatch
  • Chime
  • Alarm

Click Here to Purchase AquaForce Analog / Digital >>

Clearance!

Hellcat MK 1 - Snap Open Mag Pouches - OD Green

Now Only $89.95!

Six Internal M4 Magazine Pouches Creates More Pouch Attachment Space

The Need: The need for high mobility brought a need for compact chest harnesses as troops found themselves spending hours in HUMVEES. And as medics and grenadiers needed to affix more gear to their vests, we saw an answer in layering.

The Answer: S.O.Tech developed the internal magazine slots of the Hellcat Chest Rigs to provide more carrying capacity on a compact chest mounted platform. By moving the magazines to internal slots (patent pending), we freed up the front PALS webbing either for the attachment of more magazine / gear pouches or to provide a low profile chest rig with all the magazines laying flat against the body. Our inspirations came from a project with a Ranger Regiment medic who asked us to place magazine slots behind his medical pouch to give him more real estate. We transferred this idea onto a chest harness and found the most effective way to carry rifle magazines into combat.~~The front face of the rig is covered with PALS webbing which accepts military issue pouches. The back is mesh covered forming a map pocket. Internal slots hold 6 GI M4/M16 magazines secured by a pistol holster type thumb break for quick extraction. Thumb break has Velcro™ to accept standard magazines and magazines with Mag Pul or other extraction devices. Shoulder straps are of wide two inch webbing for wear over body armor or alone, and affix with three large two inch side-lock buckles for quick extraction. Removable bib is sold separately.

1000 Denier DuPont Cordura Plus fabric, double layered.

138 weight bonded nylon parachute harness thread.

American name brand plastic and metal fasteners (Duraflex, ITW Nexus, ACW, etc.).

Closed cell foam.

Edges bound by double stitched nylon Type 3 seam tape

Heavy weight woven elastic.

Strength rated nylon webbing and tapes

Stress points anchored by double stitching, bar tacks, and box x's.

Velcro™ and Rip and Grip™ mil spec hook and loop fastener.

Click here to Buy >>


Flight Bag

Now Only $11.95!

Converts into Back Pack ... Great Covert Compartments!

Our Flight Bag is modeled after the bags Air Force fighter pilots use to secure and carry their Headgear. Infinitely adaptable to civilian life, off-duty pilots use their helmet bags for personal travel, as gym bags, soft briefcases and to stow gear.

Wear over the shoulder, as a backpack or handle carry. All straps stow away when not in use. The flight Bag is constructed of ripstop nylon, the same material used to build skydiving rigs. The lining is foam-backed taffeta to hold the bag's shape, insulate and protect the items inside.

Click here to Buy >>

Featured Tactical Gear

BLoCS Contoured Padded Pistol Belt

This Web belt is sewn directly to 3/8" closed cell foam belt pad for increased load bearing efficiency and lumbar support. PALS webbing surrounds outside of pad for additional pouch attachments while freeing your upper body for running and climbing. The optional back pad support Velcro's to the belt and its ergonomic shape hugs your back improving posture and reducing stress on the lower back. The cool mesh allows air to circulate for added comfort.

Weighs Less than 1 Pound!

Dimensions:
SMALL/MEDIUM: 1.33"D x 37.75"L x 8"W
LARGE/XLARGE: 1.33"D x 34.50"L x 8"W

Click Here to Purchase the BLoCS Contoured Padded Pistol Belt

Tactical Tips

Basic Point Shooting Drills

Here is one that is basic but good especially if you are tight on time and ammo...

By the way, you can adapt the drill to your particular shooting style. Drill Criteria: "Train as you'll fight", in other words; wear your everyday clothes, gun belt, holster, and weapon.

Close Quarters Drills

  1. Body Point Drill.
    1. One target - 2 to 5 yards range.
    2. Draw and fire 1 round, repeat 6 times.
    3. Total rounds fired - 6
  2. Body Point Drill w/2 shot burst.
    1. 2 to 5 yards range.
    2. Draw and fire 2 rounds, rapid, repeat 6 times.
    3. Total rounds fired – 12
  3. Multiple Assailant Body Point Drill w/2 shot burst each.
    1. Two targets, six feet apart - 2 to 5 yards range.
    2. Draw and fire 2 rounds, rapid, engaging each target, repeat 6 times.
    3. Total rounds fired – 24

Tips:

Follow all the rules of firearm safety.

This is close range shooting, make certain your targets and stand will absorb the bullet not splatter it back upon you.

When shooting from close-hip, retention, or holster top, it may be wise to cant the pistol away from your body slightly to prevent jamming the action (for automatics) or powder burns (for revolvers). Simply shoot from just in front of your torso to eliminate any problems.

For further information, May we suggest three books and one video.

  • "Shooting to Live" by Fairbairn & Sykes,
  • "Kill or Get Killed" by Col. Rex Applegate (both available free on-line).
  • The video "Shooting for Keeps - Point Shooting For Close-Quarter Combat" and the companion book
  • "Bullseyes Don’t Shoot Back" both by Rex Applegate.

     

    (Courtesy Integrated Close Combat Forum)

Articles

Mission Impossible:
The Code Even the CIA Can't Crack

By Steven Levy

The most celebrated inscription at the Central Intelligence Agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia, used to be the biblical phrase chiseled into marble in the main lobby: "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." But in recent years, another text has been the subject of intense scrutiny inside the Company and out: 865 characters of seeming gibberish, punched out of half-inch-thick copper in a courtyard.

It's part of a sculpture called Kryptos, created by DC artist James Sanborn. He got the commission in 1988, when the CIA was constructing a new building behind its original headquarters. The agency wanted an outdoor installation for the area between the two buildings, so a solicitation went out for a piece of public art that the general public would never see. Sanborn named his proposal after the Greek word for hidden. The work is a meditation on the nature of secrecy and the elusiveness of truth, its message written entirely in code.

Almost 20 years after its dedication, the text has yet to be fully deciphered. A bleary-eyed global community of self-styled cryptanalysts–along with some of the agency's own staffers–has seen three of its four sections solved, revealing evocative prose that only makes the puzzle more confusing. Still uncracked are the 97 characters of the fourth part (known as K4 in Kryptos-speak). And the longer the deadlock continues, the crazier people get.

Read More >>


USS Freedom:
Quicker, High-Tech and Pirate-Proofed

by Vera H-C Chan

Pirates, quiver in your skiffs. Put down your rocket launchers and run. The USS Freedom has just landed. Or launched. Whatever, just be afraid.

The high-seas bandits' advantage had long been in their nimbleness in a huge ocean. Now, however, the United States Navy is touting the USS Freedom, the lead mothership in its class of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS, and littoral means coastal).

Specifically designed for the "Global War on Terrorism," the 378-foot craft aims at pirates and oh so much more. According to a fact sheet, Freedom can also defy "asymmetric 'anti-access threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface crafts." So seafaring villains thinking of trading in the crafts for submersible diesels, forget about it.

Read More >>


5 Miami men convicted of Sears Tower attack plot

By CURT ANDERSON
AP Legal Affairs Writer

MIAMI – It took three trials, three juries and nearly three years, but federal prosecutors finally succeeded Tuesday in convicting five Miami men of plotting to start an anti-government insurrection by destroying Chicago's Sears Tower and bombing FBI offices. One man was acquitted.

When the FBI swarmed the downtrodden Liberty City neighborhood to make the arrests in June 2006, the administration of President George W. Bush hailed the case as a prime example of the Justice Department's post-Sept. 11 policy of disrupting potential terror plots in the earliest possible stages.

Yet hours of FBI recordings of terrorist talk contrasted with little concrete evidence of an evolving plot, triggering two mistrials because juries could not agree on verdicts against ringleader Narseal Batiste or five followers. One of the original seven defendants was acquitted after the first trial.

Read More >>


General: War in Afghanistan is 'winnable'

By ROBERT BURNS
AP National Security Writer

WASHINGTON – The Army general chosen to take over as top commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan told senators Tuesday he believes the war can be won if a proper counterinsurgency campaign is undertaken.

"I believe it is winnable, but I don't think it will be easily winnable," Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal said at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He predicted that U.S. and allied casualties will increase as more American troops take on the insurgents in southern Afghanistan this summer. It will be important to make measurable progress within 18 to 24 months, he added.

"A classic counterinsurgency strategy, well resourced, is going to be required," McChrystal said.

Read More >>


U.S. ships must post guards if sailing off Somalia

By Jane Sutton

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (Reuters) – The U.S. Coast Guard will require U.S.-flagged ships sailing around the Horn of Africa to post guards and ship owners to submit anti-piracy security plans for approval, a Coast Guard official said on Tuesday.

The new requirements, which respond to a surge of piracy off the coast of Somalia, allow ship owners to decide whether to use armed or unarmed guards, Coast Guard Rear Admiral James Watson told shipping industry representatives at a maritime security meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The revised Maritime Security Directive, highly anticipated by the shipping industry, was signed on Monday by Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen.

Read More >>


Battle-hardened U.S. team on dangerous Afghan eastern front

By Richard Mauer, McClatchy Newspapers

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) now patrolling three eastern border provinces of Afghanistan is a battle-hardened unit with a commander who's making his fourth tour in the country.

In helping them gear up for their counterinsurgency deployment February, their training focused as much on helping Afghans build a new society as it did on fighting the Taliban , al Qaida , criminal gangs and other destabilizing forces.

"It's not really what you'd expect of a pipe-swinging infantryman, but that's the war we're in," Col. Michael Howard , the brigade commander, said in an interview in January.

Before deployment, Howard ordered a weeklong seminar for every company commander and leader from first sergeant and up. With university-level lectures, they studied historical counterinsurgency failures and successes, from Algeria and Vietnam to the Philippines and Colombia .

Read More >>


The difference between 'assault weapons' and 'patrol rifles'

A bit of a "blast from the past," for people who may not have seen this before.

Way back in October 2007 (long before I wrote for Examiner), I wrote about an . . . interesting distinction made in an editorial in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The editorial was, for the most part, fairly unremarkable. On the one hand, there were the nearly mandatory (for Big Media) clucks of disapproval about the expiration of the ban of so-called "assault weapons."

Read More >>


Love story: United by West Point, divided by the Hindu Kush

By Philip Smucker
McClatchy Newspapers

ORGUN-E, Afghanistan – A 21-minute helicopter flight apart in the dusty mountains of eastern Afghanistan wasn't what Troy Yoho and Kelsey Tardieau had in mind when the couple arranged to be deployed together in Task Force Yukon (the 4th Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division) from their base in Alaska.

1st Lt. Tardieau, an intelligence officer who works with the Afghan Border Police, and 1st Lt. Yoho, a scout platoon leader – both 2007 West Point graduates – hadn't even expected to end up together in Alaska, where they'll be married in the summer of 2010.

They were dating at graduation, but neither of them expected it to last. Yoho, 25, of Tomball, Texas, thought he was going to Fort Bragg, N.C., and Tardieau, 24, from Grants Pass, Ore., to Fort Lewis in Washington. But fate interceded. Their first picks were taken, and the Army assigned them both, by mere chance, to Fort Richardson in Alaska. The romance was meant to be, and they sealed it with a kiss in West Point's famous "Firsty Pub."

Read More >>


Sotomayor Ruled That States Do Not Have to Obey Second Amendment

By Matt Cover

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor ruled in January 2009 that states do not have to obey the Second Amendment's commandment that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

In Maloney v. Cuomo, Sotomayor signed an opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that said the Second Amendment does not protect individuals from having their right to keep and bear arms restricted by state governments.

The opinion said that the Second Amendment only restricted the federal government from infringing on an individual's right to keep and bear arms. As justification for this position, the opinion cited the 1886 Supreme Court case of Presser v. Illinois.

"It is settled law, however, that the Second Amendment applies only to limitations the federal government seeks to impose on this right," said the opinion. Quoting Presser, the court said, "it is a limitation only upon the power of Congress and the national government, and not upon that of the state."

Read More >>


Afghan, Coalition forces seize single-largest drug cache to date, kill dozens of militants in Helmand

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Courtesy of CJSOTF-A Public Affairs, May 22, 2009) – Afghan National Army Commandos of the 205th Corps assisted by Coalition forces killed 47 militants and seized the single-largest drug cache by international forces in Afghanistan to date during ongoing operations in the city of Marjeh, Nad Ali district, Helmand province, in the past three days.

The Afghan and Coalition forces launched an operation to disrupt activities in the key militant stronghold and narcotics hub May 19.

Early this morning, the combined elements began taking small-arms and sniper fire from and around a compound where the majority of the attacks against friendly forces had originated. After ensuring there were no non-combatants in the area, the combined elements returned fire and requested close air support. Thirteen militants were killed in the air strike.

Despite the area being the nucleus of their operations in the south, the militants have been unable to orchestrate coordinated attacks to effectively defend their drugs and weaponry from the Commandos and their Coalition partners.

Read More >>


CIA, intel director locked in spy turf battle

By PAMELA HESS
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The nation's two intelligence chiefs are locked in a turf battle over overseas posts, forcing National Security Adviser James L. Jones to mediate, according to current and former government officials.

The jockeying between CIA Director Leon Panetta and National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair centers on Blair's effort to choose his own representatives at U.S. embassies instead of relying only on CIA station chiefs. Current and former U.S. officials described the dispute on the condition of anonymity, because of the sensitivity of intelligence issues.

Blair's office was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to better coordinate intelligence gathering and make sure critical information isn't overlooked. But former and current CIA officials warn that his plan could do just the opposite — creating competing chains of command inside U.S. embassies and potentially fouling up intelligence operations. They also worry it could complicate the delicate relationships between U.S. and foreign intelligence services, and leave ambassadors confused about where to turn for intelligence advice.

Read More >>


MSOC takes on high angle marksmanship, demolition

Story by: Pfc. Stephen C. Benson

U.S. ARMY DEPOT, HAWTHORNE, Nev. (April 17, 2009) – When most Marines think of shooting weapons on the range, their minds go to images of a long expanse of flat land and shooting at targets directly ahead of them. In combat, as many Marines and Sailors are aware, the enemy can appear from anywhere - a rooftop, on top of a ridge or from the bottom of a valley. With this in mind, members of a Marine Special Operations Company with 2d Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, took their weapons and Ground Mobility Vehicles high atop Rocket Mountain here to conduct high angle shooting drills and demolition training, April 17.

Teams gathered in the morning preparing their vehicles and packing their long-range weaponry for the trip to the top of Rocket Mountain. Once they reached the top, the team members assembled by the edge of a cliff face, looking down on a wide valley many hundreds of yards below.

Read More >>


Wounded Warriors

CBS Evening News, 6:30 PM

HARRY SMITH: They are living examples of the terrible cost of war: America's wounded warriors. More than 34,000 U.S. service men and women have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

David Martin has the story of one soldier's remarkable recovery and the power of one special word.

DAVID MARTIN: Lt. Brian Brennan is a walking, talking miracle. There's no other word for it. One year ago today, he lost both his legs to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, and now his mother is watching him learn to run all over again.

JOANNE BRENNAN [Mother]: This is the first time we saw Brian run.

MARTIN: The 44 pounds of explosives which tore off his legs and killed three fellow soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division also left Brennan with a brain injury so traumatic there seemed little hope for recovery.

JOANNE BRENNAN: He didn't wake up and that's when the real terror struck us all. Oh my, he may never wake up. They said on a scale of one to ten, one being the worst, he was a one.

MARTIN: Then one day last June he had a visitor.

GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS [Commander, U.S. Central Command]: It was a very, very grim situation - very tough one.

MARTIN: Gen. David Petraeus, who once commanded the 101st Airborne, tried the usual words of encouragement.

PETRAEUS: "Hang tough, big guy. Your troopers need you back out there."

MARTIN: But his four stars carried no weight.

PETRAEUS: There was absolutely no response whatsoever.

MARTIN: Did you think there was any hope?

PETRAEUS: Not really.

JOANNE BRENNAN: I see his beautiful blue eyes, but he's staring right through me, and he doesn't know who I am and he doesn't know I'm there.

MARTIN: Petraeus turned to leave, then decided to give it one last try.

PETRAEUS: I just decided to shout out "Currahee."

MARTIN: That's right, "Currahee." It's a Cherokee Indian word that's the motto for the famous Band of Brothers regiment in the 101st.

PETRAEUS: We counted, "One, two, three, Currahee."

JIM BRENNAN [Father]: That's when he kind of sat up in the bed as best as he could.

JOANNE BRENNAN: Like saying, I'm in here, I'm in here.

PETRAEUS: All of a sudden, the lieutenant, his stumps are banging up and down on the sheets. His head is moving around and very clearly responding to his unit's nickname.

JOANNE BRENNAN: Everybody in the facility was clapping and crying. The doctors who had been working on him and given us all the bad news came running down the hall - we heard, we heard.

PETRAEUS: For three weeks, he had not responded to the voices of his family, but that Band of Brothers motto brought him back from the living dead.

LT. BRIAN BRENNAN [101st Airborne, U.S. Army]: It's just so awesome to be part of that historic unit. It was always in the back of my head.

MARTIN: And then it came to the front.

BRIAN BRENNAN: Yes it did.

JIM BRENNAN: After that, he just every day got a little bit better, a little bit better, a little bit better.

MARTIN: Last weekend, the general and the lieutenant met up again.

PETRAEUS: How are you doing there, big guy?

BRIAN BRENNAN: Pretty good, sir. How are you doing?

MARTIN: He introduced Brennan as the unsung hero in the New Jersey Hall of Fame. That walk across the stage brought the house down - and overwhelmed his father.

JIM BRENNAN: I know how tough he is. And if there's anybody in this world that could do it, he was the one.

MARTIN: Less than a year after being comatose and unresponsive, he delivered a speech to a crowd of 2,000.

BRIAN BRENNAN: I accept this honor on behalf of all service men and women-

MARTIN: And guess what happened?

PETRAEUS: One, two, three, Currahee!

AUDIENCE: Currahee!

MARTIN: Do you know what "Currahee" means? It means "Stand Alone." How perfect is that?

David Martin, CBS News, Walter Reed Army Medical Center.


Sheriff Joe and Al Sharpton


1/2 boy 1/2 man

The average age of the military man is 19 years.

He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy.

Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country.

He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's, but he has never collected unemployment either.

He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away.

He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and a 155mm howitzer.

He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.

He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark.

He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.

He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.

He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march.

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity.

He is self-sufficient.

He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other.

He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.

He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle.

He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.

If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food.

He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands.

He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job.

He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all.

He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime.

He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed.

He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away ' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking.

In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.

Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great- grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy.

He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.

He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.

Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.

And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so.

As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot...

A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.


Dynamic Assault keeps spec ops on target

Pfc. Stephen C. Benson

RENO, Nev. (April 7, 2009) – The Global War on Terror is an ongoing and ever-changing battle that demands its combatants fight from the streets of cities to the deserts and farmlands of the countryside. In these battles, our forces must be equipped with a range of skills that are adaptable and effective in all the places they may find the enemy. To that end, Marines and Sailors with the 2d Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command conducted marksmanship training, April 7, at the Washoe County Regional Shooting Facility here in preparation for the direct action package.

MSOB members who participated in the exercise were in Nevada as part of their Marine Special Operations Companies' Deployment for Training (DFT). The DFT is a team-building exercise designed to ensure the MSOC grows together as a company, as well as ensures proficiency in the basics.

Marksmanship training incorporates different shooting scenarios that put Marines and Sailors in situations that challenge their ability to successfully employ their weapons against the enemy.

Read More >>


Service members recognized for courageous actions at home, abroad

Cpl. David A. Weikle

JACKSONVILLE, N.C.—Everyday, across the globe, service members perform their duties as part of America's defensive shield.

From time to time, their actions on and off the battlefield go beyond the call of duty and they are recognized for their actions.

The 2nd Annual American Hero Awards was hosted, May 2, at SywanykS Scarlet & Gold Traditions for a group of four Marines and one sailor from across II Marine Expeditionary Force commending them for heroic deeds performed in the past.

Retired service members, as well as active-duty Marines and sailors, gathered inside SywanykS surrounded by Navy and Marine Corps memorabilia. Men and women were dressed formally and Marines wore their Service "A" uniforms.

Read More >>
Always Remember

Roberta M. Wohlstetter;
Military Intelligence Expert

By Patricia Sullivan

Roberta Morgan Wohlstetter, 94, whose classic analysis of how military intelligence failed to predict the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 became newly relevant after the attacks of Sep. 11, died of complications of pneumonia Jan. 6 at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Mrs. Wohlstetter, a historian of military intelligence, explained in her 1962 book "Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision'' how analysts failed to sort the important signals about an impending attack from the overwhelming noise of irrelevant information. Although intelligence analysts had broken the Japanese diplomatic code, that information was so highly classified and jealously guarded that it was never shared with those who could have acted on the information.

Her meticulous research led her to conclude that the failure to foresee the attack came "not for want of the relevant materials, but because of a plethora of irrelevant ones."

Read More >>

Newt Heisley dies at 88;
veteran designed POW/MIA flag

By Valerie J. Nelson

Heisley, an Army Air Forces pilot during World War II, was a graphic designer for an ad agency when he sketched the stark black-and-white design featuring the words 'You Are Not Forgotten.'

Newt Heisley, a commercial artist who designed the Vietnam-era POW/MIA flag that came to symbolize the nation's concern for military personnel missing or held prisoner in modern conflicts, has died. He was 88.

Heisley, who was a World War II pilot, died Thursday at his home in Colorado Springs, Colo., after years of failing health, said Jim Heisley, one of his two sons.

In 1971, Heisley was a graphic designer for a New Jersey advertising agency when he sketched the stark black-and-white images at the center of the flag -- the silhouette of a man with head bowed, a guard tower and a strand of barbed wire -- and the words "You Are Not Forgotten."

His client was Annin & Co., a major flag manufacturer that had been commissioned by the wife of a soldier missing in action. She had recognized the need for a symbol to represent the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia.

Read More >>


Special Forces Command host Memorial Day Ceremony

FORTBRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, May 25, 2009) - A bell rang out after the name of each departed Green Beret Soldier's name was read aloud in memory of their time honored commitment and service. The U.S. Army Special Forces Command and Special Forces Association 41st Memorial Day Ceremony paid homage to the fallen Special Forces Soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Amid a somber, but meaningful atmosphere, the ceremony was addressed by Brig. Gen. Michael S. Repass, commanding general of USASFC (A), with words of heartfelt personal remembrance and encouragement for family, friends and comrades of the fallen Soldiers.

"To each of you here today, I wish you warm greetings and heartfelt thanks as we remember the names of our fallen active duty Special Forces Soldiers and those past operators who have passed in the recent year", said Repass.

Also during his remarks, Repass expressed appreciation for the duties of the Soldiers.

Read More >>


Retirement - a departure from 42 years of service

By Maj. Karla S. Owen
10th Special Forces Group (Airborne)

FORT CARSON, Colo. (USASOC News Service, May 27, 2009) – This month ends a long career of an exceptional Special Forces officer. Chief Warrant Officer Five William P. Mellars, a native of Washington, Pa. and graduate of Washington High School, reluctantly retires from the U.S. Army May 31 after serving more than 42 years of reserve and active duty service.

Mellars, one of the Senior Warrant Officers for 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Carson, Colo., is one of two Vietnam veterans still on active duty serving in Special Forces.

Mellars entered the Army in 1966 and soon served two tours in Vietnam with the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV).

After 16 years, he left active duty service in 1982 and for the next eight years served in the Army Reserves before returning to active duty in 1990. In 1992, then a Master Sgt., Mellars made another career change and became a Warrant Officer.

Read More >>


Troops set to take part in D-Day ceremonies

A task force of some 800 U.S. service members from several Europe and stateside commands will participate in this year's 65th commemoration of the June 6, 1944 D-Day invasion of Normandy, France.

Task Force Normandy 65 will participate in about 30 commemoration ceremonies throughout the Normandy region beginning June 3, including:

• An international commemoration at Utah Beach June 5 honoring the more than 200,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who participated in the invasion.

• A U.S. commemoration at the Omaha Beach cemetery June 6 honoring the thousands of American service members listed as dead or missing on the U.S. cemetery honor roll.

A French-sponsored airborne demonstration June 7 honoring the Allied air assaults into occupied France on the morning of June 6, 1944. Participating paratroopers will include members of the U.S.-based 82d Airborne Division and 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and the Italy-based 173d Airborne Brigade Combat Team.

For additional information access www.eucom.mil/english/dday/events.asp.

Special Forces Gear (800) 260-4127