Got the T-shirt....IT ROCKS!!!!
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!!!
(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.
Another happy customer
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
Your Shirts are the best.
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.
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.
They turned out GREAT!!!!!! Thanks. I will be back for other things.
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
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!
Amanda Van Every
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.
Just to let you know all items have been recieved, fantastic quality as all ways.
Cheers Andrew and best wishes for the New Year.
Patience is a Great Weapon
And the Path to Victory of the Warrior
"To lose patience is to lose the battle."
"There is no road too long to the man who advances deliberately and without undue haste; there are no honors too distant to the man who prepares himself for them with patience."
Jean De La Bruyere
For the seasoned warrior patience can be thought of to sustain and endure the assault of the enemy and circumstances with the warriors' code of no surrender.
Please take note of the two key components in the statement I just made.
First to "sustain," which to the warrior would be to maintain his bearing.
Second to "endure," which is to keep on going to the end. No surrender.
This warrior's definition that I just gave you is what I consider to be the essence of patience.
Always in control of yourself while persevering and enduring to that moment of opportunity and then taking appropriate action. This is how the warrior preserves his chance or hope for victory. The warrior in the status of patience knows it's "not over till its over" anything can happen so he endures always ready and prepared waiting for that moment of opportunity to take action and seek victory.
A warrior is either advancing or retrogressing there is no standing still - except in patience - which is the hardest thing for a warrior to do. Yes the only time a true warrior ever stands still is in patience. For the warrior, patience means restraint from reacting and perseverance staying focused, listening and observing waiting for that right moment or time to take action. Warriors live for action and the hardest thing in the world for them is to stand still. The warrior must learn to have confidence that patience is the road to victory and success.
"The Determined Patient Warrior is the most dangerous warrior"
His motto is:
"Smooth is slow and slow is fast"
Warriors persevere through long, hard, rigorous, repetitive and tedious training both physically and mentally preparing themselves for that day they will be put to the test. Preparation and progress is accomplished slowly and painfully, but when he's prepared and ready that slowness becomes smooth and when put to the test that smoothness becomes fast.
The objective of this message is to expand our knowledge of patience and hopefully motivate all warriors to master patience one of the warrior's greatest weapons. Once you have understood this article, my hopes are that the warriors motto above will take on more meaning and patience will become apart of your arsenal, and your path to seek victory.
Perhaps the best way to explain the motto "Smooth is slow and slow is Fast" is using some characteristics of a tiger, the fiercest predator of the cat family.
One method of hunting Tigers employed is to stake out some animal like a bull as bait or if a tiger has killed a person or large animal and has not eaten all the kill they often will return to finish their meal so if you can locate the kill by tracking it down to where they have secured it you can lay an ambush preferably by getting up in a tree out of reach because they often return at night.
When the Tiger approaches they do not have much sense of smell so they rely on their sight and hearing which is far keener then ours. They observe every little detail as they approach slow and careful selecting an approach with out exposing themselves and a lot of times from a location you would not expect. They constantly observe the area to see if anything is out of place or disturbed. They have excellent night vision and they are listening for any sounds to give warning to them, they can read the sounds of a the jungle like we read a book. They are patient and will only approach the kill when they feel it is safe. Many a hunter in ambush has sensed they're being watched only to look around to find the predator staring at them. The hunter becomes the hunted. For the hunter it is also a game of patience that started with setting up the ambush. Now we have a game of patience and to get
that shot off without wounding the Tiger and making the situation worse he must be patient for the right opportunity. If the hunter has prepared properly (Smooth is slow) when that small window of opportunity comes things will happen fast and he will make that kill (slow is fast) if not the hunter often will become the hunted and the next meal.
"Smooth is slow and slow is fast"
Patience never reacts it takes action at the right time. I was having lunch with a good friend I have known for many years we use to hang out a lot when we were younger anyway he was a great fighter - two times a world champion Kick Boxer on the professional circuit in France which is the equivalent of professional boxing here and I put him to the test. I asked him what is patience to a fighter and he immediately answered "waiting for opportunity". I responded with another question does time ever run out for patience in the fight
and he said "no" and I said "even if it meant losing?" and he said "yes" and I said "you passed" and incidentally I would not want to ever get into a fight with him because he is not only a great fighter but a smart fighter which is a very dangerous combination.
He was right, there is no time limit on patience. Patience is enduring, persevering and has no end it just keeps going on.
I think this is a good time to relate a story I read in a book in the 70's titled "Death in the Tall Grass" by Peter Capstick a big game hunter in Africa. I have to tell this from memory because I do not have the book. Peter was hunting a wounded Leopard and before I begin I would like to say that experienced hunters consider the wounded leopard to be the most dangerous animal in the world and not only are they the most cunning but they are vindictive often they have turned and charged past other hunters to get the one that had fired the shot that wounded them. To makes things worse they like to kill. LTC Paterson, the man who killed the man-eating lions of Tsavo, that had terrorized and killed approximately 140 railway workers over the course of 9 months had this to say about leopards "leopards often kill for pure pleasure" his flock of 30 goats and sheep secured at
sundown in a grass hut were slaughtered one night as they listened afraid to charge out and investigate thinking it was the demon lions. In the morning they found every one of the goats and sheep dead laid out on the ground with there throats bitten through. The Leopard had killed them all for pure love of destruction and not one was eaten. In India the Leopard of Panang was credited with 400 confirmed kills of people over an 8 year reign of terror even breaking into people's homes at night carrying them away. In all the villages you could see the scratch marks of the leopard trying to get in even tunneling through walls. The real count was much higher because often the bodies were not recovered and if some one died a day later from the wounds that was not counted either.
Anyway back to the story. Peter and another hunter were pursuing a wounded leopard for most of the day and towards the end of the day they broke for a smoke before continuing to pursue the trail of the leopard. Well the leopard had laid an ambush for them. It first left a trail of its own blood perfectly positioned next to a tree under a big branch suitable to conceal the leopard then it doubled back on its own tracks and got up in the tree concealing itself on the branch waiting for the hunters to enter his trap. The game of patience was on here is the wounded leopard bleeding as it waited for Peter to enter his ambush. They decided to pause and have a smoke before entering this thicket. They followed the trail taking them into the leopards trap and the hunters turned suddenly to their horror the Leopard had lunged at them dying in midair and lay dead at there feet before they even had
time to react. It had bled to death waiting for the hunters to enter his trap. The wounded leopard considered by many to be the most dangerous of all animals also understood patience has no time limit as it used up the last moment of its life waiting in ambush.
Most everyone understands what patience is and that its one of the hardest virtues for a warrior to fulfill but most of us are unaware of the magnitude of its importance, power and the roll it plays in settling or turning around bad situations and the consequences of impatience. Everyday most of us are constantly challenged with the test of patience in countless ways. The good news is that we will always get plenty of opportunities and practice to learn patience.
What is patience and how to master it and the consequences of impatience is the objective of this message.
First I would like to state the obvious that you are not patient unless you have a reason to be patient and that's usually some problem, some pressure, some irritant, some person, or some circumstance.
For some situations it means to be long suffering, to have fortitude under pressure for others, it means to restrain from reacting emotionally like when in a fire fight or caught in an ambush and one of your team mates goes down or things seem unfair, you didn't get chosen for that position, promotion or school you wanted, someone accusing you of something you didn't do, someone verbally attacking you in public and the list goes on. But no matter what the circumstances patience always keeps focused, thinking and waiting for that right time to take action and turn a bad situation into victory.
This means patience is undisturbed by obstacles, by delays, by failures.
Patience in the human realm always means slowness; (smooth) slowness in reaction in what is otherwise an irritant to what can upset you. So the quality of patience you have must always overcome your gut reaction (emotional) to some set of unpleasant circumstances, drama, crises or disappointment. We often have a gut reaction (emotional) to something that happens to us. We may panic or explode because we may not like what's going on at all and that's when patience has to kick in. So in our capacity (ability) derived from training, preparation, confidence and virtues acquired by the warrior over time, we are slow (smooth), slow to anger, slow to take offense, slow in deliberation to try and consider all facts and all the angles under the circumstances in which we find ourselves, that's patience. I would like to remind you that patience is not slow in a crisis when it is time to take
action. (Smooth is fast). A true warrior knows this is payday for all his long hard work in training and preparation.
Here are some points on the critical characteristics of patience to help the warrior understand and to develop patience.
Patience looks like this:
"Rangers Lead the Way"
First - Rogers Rangers in the 18th century America were out on a reconnaissance patrol and could take few chances with his tiny element against a far superior force of French and Indians. Elements of his patrol had just linked up at their rally point when Rogers smelled a trap as he observed the behavior of some enemy canoeists indicating that a land party was heading directly toward them with an eye to squeezing the party in a vise.
He quickly weighed his limited options: to abandon the boats, break his command into yet smaller groups. And melt into the forest would put them in the path of a column of unknown size; but to stay put and fight could only play directly into the enemy's hands, because the Rangers could fold only after they had exhausted their ammunition. Crowding into the boats would only make them the target of every canoe afloat. Rejecting all the obvious, Rodgers instead ordered Putnam, the wounded Durkee, his brother Richard, and four others to stay with the camp and position themselves behind the pine trees crowding the shore. Then he, Ensign Johnson, and five men hopped into one bateau (small boat) as he ordered Lieutenant Grant and the other five into the second.
They splashed out into Lake George, giving the pretense, according to Rogers's orders, of flailing in panic south down the lake. The French and Indians on the water rose to the bait, moving swiftly to cut their escape, but once they came within range, the Rangers discharged a thunderous broadside from the wall-pieces (small canons), killing several men outright. The enemy canoes paddled furiously northward out of rage before the rangers could reload. But in doing so, they drew close to Putnam's hidden detail, gave them a smart Volley killing yet more and riddling the canoes. Whooping with delight, the rangers rowed after the crippled craft, Rogers shouting for Putnam and the land party to get away in the third bateau. No sooner had they dragged the cumbersome boat to the water's edge and pulled away then the French ground force broke out of the woods and, reported Rogers, "made a
brisk fire" on them. Later Putman counted more than a dozen bullet holes in the blanket he wore around him. Now all three boats chased the frantic enemy up lake.
War on the Run by John Ross
Captain Rogers in this small battle with the enemy showed us what patience looks like in battle and how patience carefully calculated all the possible options like in a game of chess and selected the best possible course of action and executed it with confidence, courage and patience. Rogers's patience and ability to think and take action under great pressure caught in a trap turned a hopeless situation into victory without the loss of any of his men.
Secondly - Major Robert Rogers is the father of our modern day Rangers. The small unit leadership and tactics he developed and left for us as Rogers Rules of Ranging or Rogers Standing Orders and his legacy of determination are the building blocks for all Special Operation Units. The secret to his success was patience so I will give you this quote from him.
"We bare or endure the testing and suffering life throws at us without giving into it, without complaining, without whining and this is important with out retribution or backlash. Patience doesn't go to retribution and it doesn't backlash when you have a desire to do that."
Major Robert Rogers
"Rogers became a keen observer of Woodland Indian cultures, absorbing much lore about the forest and its remarkable abundance and even elements of Algonquin languages. "The Indians do not want for natural good sense and ingenuity, most of the Indians are possessed of a surprising patience and equanimity of mind, and a command of every passion, except revenge," but which he may have meant rather more a sense of justice. He studied their leaders and observed that success comes to those who were "fortunate, brave, and disinterested, stressing that they would only follow one "in whom they firmly believe that these qualifications are united." He underscored the importance to them of "secrecy in all operations; in which art they greatly excel, their designs being seldom known to any but themselves, till they are upon the point of being executed." In
years to come these principles would form the center of Rogers's own way of leadership."
War on the Run by John Ross
Third - In patience we handle people with tolerance and equanimity a peace of mind and abiding calmness that cannot be shaken by any degree of unfortunate circumstances as a result of patience. But patience is not blind or na√Øve it keeps its' guard up always to take appropriate action as the situation calls for it.
"Unlike the European schooled soldiers Rogers had risen to seniority without benefit of a military academy or access to any corpus of the literature of war. Unfettered by such reflexive traditions or rote knowledge, Rogers practiced - and largely invented - a new form of deep woodland warfare, innovating and synthesizing techniques and tactics as he went, rising from command of a company to that of a battalion and then a regiment, then to divisional command, all within five years - on deadly merit alone - a breathtaking rise not possible in the Old World for a younger son."
"Rogers knew when to be patient "Smooth" and when to take action "Fast."
His bold design and concert-pitch execution of long-distance expeditions, often under extraordinary duress, depended on his teaching a mixed force of provincial militiamen, raw woodsmen and farmers, British regular volunteers, and Indians, not to fight with dumb, lash-taught resolution but to think for more than themselves - a shattering break with past European practices. From the woods of New England emerged a new kind of war-maker, a path breaker of new tactics, an innovator of new technologies, and perhaps most important, a motivator of warriors as individuals, who could draw them far beyond their perceived capabilities.
War on the Run by John Ross
Rogers was perhaps faced with the most diversified set of soldiers to work with then anyone I have ever known of. His units consisted of snobby gentlemen officers, British Regulars from Europe, Europeans that often resented him, raw untrained Colonials, farmers, backwoods hunters, and Indians from different tribes. He had unique ability to mold them into a cohesive effective fighting unit within a short amount of time generally six weeks or less. The model he used is still the model used in our current day Ranger School. Although it took a collection of abilities to achieve this, one would have to say patience and determination was his greatest tools and weapons to success.
"The great and fundamental principles of their policy are, that every man is naturally free and independent; that no one . . . on earth has any right to deprive him of his freedom and independency and that nothing can be a compensation for the loss of it."
Ranger Rogers made this comment about the Eastern Woodlands Indians, eleven years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Four - In patience we are not quick to assert our rights we as people are a demanding bunch and we have our rights and we want them now. Patience provides the thought and time to sort out situations to keep them from turning into a spectacle and allows for us to endure with poise the many violations of our rights and broken promises preserving the most we can take away from a disappointing situation. This can be either personal or it can apply to a group as all of us have learned who have spent anytime in the military, things change and we are often the victim of that change and the only thing we can do is use patience to make the most out of it.
I have to stop and say there seems to be a huge misunderstanding amongst the people of our nation today on what a right is. First I have to say that a right is not something provided to you at someone else's expense other wise that would be a form of slavery, but today an entitlement is called a right which means someone has to pay for it against there will. A right is a freedom that provides for self determination without imposing on the rights of others. Rights are qualities that constitute what is correct, just, proper, or honorable which to any freedom minded person could never be confused with an entitlement to impose and force their will upon others or to obligate others to pay for there desires.
"If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or
give up any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end
of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to
freedom being the gift of Almighty God, it is not in the power of man
to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave."
Fifth - In patience we are not resentful toward anyone; remember that famous line "With patience toward all and malice toward none." Resentment is a bad emotion if not controlled it will lead to bigger problems if gone unchecked. Most of us who have served in the Military have had to endure the hardship of someone placed over us in authority that we resent but in patience we know time will pass and if we keep ourselves focused on the job or mission we will move on to another challenge and all the better for it. When we act on our resentment it will turn into a conflict making things worse. We use to say "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" but of course that's only true with the right attitude and patience is your great ally.
Six - The principle for patience with authority is: We let the appropriate authority handle things that would otherwise bother us and tempt us to take matters into our own hands. In reaction we want to grab whatever it is or whoever it is by the throat and we want to take some action which usually means you want it your way without consideration of what the other person may want. But patience is consideration which is a great synonym for patience. We as warriors must always respect authority and never usurp authority taking matters into our own hands; if we do we will destroy the principle of authority which always leads to revolt. The simple thing to keep in mind here is "Two wrongs never make a right." Many warriors have confidence in this saying "What goes around comes around." But I would like to add to the patient warrior.
"Impatience is the Memorial to lost opportunity"
LTC Dave Thomas
Seven - Impatience. When we get impatient more times then not we precipitate more crises and it doesn't solve anything it just brings on more turmoil then already exists. When you have to exercise patience there is already a problem and when you don't exercise patience you only exasperbate the problem and you have more turmoil and more turmoil. No one wants to be around an impatient person, it puts everyone on edge. A good example of this is if you ever had an impatient teacher and you were not grasping what they were teaching you probably remember how the frustration would grow, how nervous you would get to a point where you could no longer learn all you could do is keep upsetting the teacher and not learn. I am sure this sounds familiar I know for myself it has happened many times.
When we are impatient we don't take the time to consider our options in the light of all the facts. As leaders or any one dealing with people we are constantly tempted to jump to conclusions without gathering all the facts a luxury none of us can afford because when we do that we loose credibility, respect and often hurt or cause damage to others. I can't tell you how many times I came close to reacting to something but didn't and boy would I have been sorry if I had.
You see there's the problem when you get impatient in your relationships with people and you explode you have not taken the time to consider your options in the light of the facts. What are you doing? You are simply reacting.
"Impatience is just reaction and that never works."
Eight - Patience calls for action. The reason is because without patience we operate on the basis of our emotions. That's where we go without patience. We get angry, vindictive, we malign, we're resentful, we even hate in reaction. See we aren't getting our way and we are impatient to have our way and so we react. That's when we loose patience making the situation worse and loose the battle if we do not use patience.
Patience never reacts it only takes action. The trick here is timing. In patience we stay focused ready for that time that always comes for action. It can be immediate or it could come with a long wait but the timing is critical action has to happen at the right time because that window of opportunity is often small. We often associate holding back and waiting with patience but when caught in an ambush or in a firefight the warrior is able to take immediate action due to his training and preparation. Here the time for action is immediate if you wait or hesitate it can mean the difference between life or death. In this example I gave it shows in patience how important timing is, sometimes we have to wait and sometimes we can't afford to wait but no matter what the timing is focus, concentration and control of the situation is always part of patience. The most common mistake in patience
is to jump the gun but another not so common mistake in patience is to wait too long and let that window of opportunity pass you by. We've all been there and probably more times then we can remember.
"The two most powerful warriors are patience and time."
Nine - Patience lets our lives unfold always knowing that something in our lives could change the momentum or situation at any time. In battle many mistakes often occur but it's usually not the mistakes that determine the outcome it is the warriors patience that determines the victory. Patience always preserves the opportunity to win regardless of mistakes. Whereas reaction to mistakes mean loss of opportunity and loss of battle. The best example of this is watching sports games. I like football but it is true in any of the games the team that keeps their head in the game and refrains from reacting to mistakes usually changes the momentum to their side and wins sometimes you can see it go back and forth and the same is true in our lives.
"Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, there's Patience."
Ten - Patience is the opposite of a quick or short temper. If you've got a hair trigger temper does that mean you don't have patience? Well the answer is "yes" if you let it go off but "no" if you let patience control it when it shouldn't go off. This is important because once you've lost your temper and step back for a few moments think to yourself you will wish you hadn't done that because it seems to always make things worse. This is why we need patience to take over it doesn't loose control. Patience doesn't let you loose control because it knows if you do you will make things worse. When we use patience we preserve a chance to turn things around or make the most out of a situation and won't be regretting something we said or did later.
Eleven - Anger versus patience. If someone has made you angry or some set of circumstances is difficult, don't react. Whatever your first reaction is under those circumstances is probably wrong. When someone wrongs us the natural reaction is to retaliate at least verbally. How many of you have reacted to something stupid someone said or something injurious with your own little bit of injury coming right back at them? How dare you say that to me I'll straighten you out. You don't know what you're talking about, let me tell you. But we've got to hold our tongue here and consider the other persons point of view. I know that sounds trite, but that's what the warrior does in patience. The principle here is two wrongs do not make a right. When people express their anger at each other it usually leads to a fight, a vendetta and that's the way some wars even start. Warriors should not spend
time in trying to justify themselves or exonerate themselves or make that person see them in a better light. Presenting your case within limits is certainly legitimate, but wait. In the meantime leave vindication in the hands of time. One of the manifestations of patience is to give someone enough rope and they will hang themselves.
"What goes around comes around to the patient warrior
Anger is two wrongs never make a right."
"Beware the fury of a patient man."
If you want to know where angry will take a country just look at the Middle East they are all angry on some vendetta in fact Islam is always on a vendetta just read a good book on its founder Mohamed and you will see his life was one big vendetta. There will never be peace in the Middle East for this reason, unfortunately something as simple as this is often overlooked in our policies and understanding of the Middle East.
I have been watching a lot of anger in our nation grow which goes totally against the concept of our culture of freedom. I first noticed it on a national scale during the Bush administration and now that same anger has allowed fascism and socialism to take control of our country and as more freedom is lost there will be more potential for violence all due to people reacting in anger to things they did not like and mostly imagined. Now in this year of 2009 there is a lot not to like if you are an American at heart. I have never seen so many so out of touch with reality especially our politicians and bureaucrats. Blind, still blaming everything on Bush as their policies fail one after another. President Bush's administration made mistakes like all others before it, but nothing like we are now seeing.
In our own history we have only to look at the plight of the American Indians. Revenge was their system or sense of justice which fueled the anger and hate that eventually exterminated them amongst the forces of western civilization encroaching on them. Their practice of revenge was so hideously cruel that it fueled the wrath and opinions of the masses that the world was better off without them and they could never coexist with them. This is just a little insight which you will never get out of Hollywood. But this was clearly two wrongs do not make a right.
I hope you are now seeing how important patience is to the warrior and that patience then is one of the most important characteristics for a warrior. You should now ask yourself do I have patience. Do I react at the first hint of somebody disparaging me? Putting me down? Insulting me? Discrediting me? Blaming me? How do I handle it? "With patience."
Patience doesn't mean that you never act. It means you don't react always give the situation some time consider the facts but don't react. Reaction is emotion and emotion usually will take you down the wrong road. Warriors need thinking and consideration especially under pressure. You need to be able to think under pressure. That is what courage is.
"Patience can't be acquired overnight. It is just like building up a muscle. Every day you need to work on it."
So if it doesn't immediately come to you be patient you must practice and you must learn to stay focused on the facts and bigger picture. The right solution will appear in time usually because you have a renovated mind and you are patient enough to let your renovation catch up to your first impulse.
When you're dealing with people under pressure don't judge them hastily. Don't loose your temper. "Don't detonate and then terminate." As one of my Engineer Sergeants on my team use to say. Evaluate with your personal feelings detached. Then you'll come to the right conclusion and to the right course of action, its patience.
You don't have to vindicate yourself. You don't have to go to war with somebody to retaliate. "What goes around comes around to the patient warrior"
Patience never means no evaluation, no thought and it also doesn't mean to roll over and get trampled. That's not what patience is. Just walk all over me and I'll just lie here and never say a word. That's not patience either. Patience requires circumspection, prudence and deliberation. It is not perceptiveness; perceptions can often be deceiving or an impetuous impulse in a rush to judge or act. But with careful patient consideration you do act. It makes life so much easier, so much more pleasant and so much more right and enduring. To endure with courage and steadfastness or to be patient.
I picked this excerpt from a collection of stories on a famous hunter in India that specialized in hunting man-eaters for humanitarian reasons. The man-eaters he hunted and killed were responsible for over 1,700 deaths in India. My intention is for you to see the patience he used in the many situations he faced. I think you will enjoy it.
The Tigress of Kumaon
"But with an animal that had the reputation of never killing twice in the same locality, never returning to a kill, and whose domain extended over an area of many hundred square miles, the chance of my accomplishing my object was about as good as finding a needle in two haystacks."
Further there was no one I could ask for advice, for this was the first man-eater that had ever been known in Kumaon; and yet something would have to be done. So for the next three days I wandered through the jungle from sunrise to sunset, visiting all the places for miles round where the villagers told me there was a chance of seeing the tigress.
As Jim familiarized himself with the lay of the land he heard this story.
"Two months ago a party of twenty of us men were on our way to the bazaar at Champawat, and as we were going along this length of the road at about midday, we were startled by hearing the agonized cries of a human being coming from the valley below. Huddled together on the edge of the road we cowered in fright as these cries drew nearer and nearer, and presently into view came a tiger, carrying a naked woman. The woman's hair was trailing on the ground on one side of the tiger and her feet on the other - the tiger was holding her by the small of the back - and she was beating her chest and calling alternately on God and man to help her. Fifty yards from, and in clear view of us, the tiger passed with its burden, and when the cries died away in the distance we continued on our way."
Jim asked "And you twenty men did nothing?"
"No, sahib, we did nothing for we were afraid, and what can men do when they are afraid?"
This was an excellent account of a group of people who reacted in panic with fear had they any patience they would have thought of some form of action to attempt to save the helpless women. Panic is absence of thought under pressure and courage is thinking under pressure. Patience requires thought which requires courage.
I was new to this game of man-eater hunting or I should not have exposed myself to an attack in the way I had done.
This was her four hundred and thirty-sixth human kill and she was quite accustomed to being disturbed at her meals by rescue parties but this, I think, was the first time she had been followed up so persistently and she now began to show her resentment by growling.
If the tigress lost her temper sufficiently to launch an attack, it would not only give me an opportunity of accomplishing the object for which I had come, but it would enable me to get even with her for all the pain and suffering she had caused.
The growling, however, was only a gesture, and when she found that instead of shooing me off it was bringing me faster on her heels she abandoned it.
Before stepping down into this watercourse I looked up it, and saw the left hind leg and tail of a tiger. The tiger was standing still with its body and head hidden by a tree, and only this one leg visible. I raised the rifle to my shoulder, and then lowered it. To have broken the leg would have been the right thing to do if its owner was the wounded animal, but there were two tigers in this area, and to have broken the leg of the wrong one would have doubled my difficulties, which were already considerable.
"The Jim Corbett Omnibus"
Patience is what kept Jim alive in the many situations he faced against the many man eating predators he faced. Jim Corbett went on to kill the tigresses reign of terror that claimed 436 peoples lives.
In this story you will continue to see the qualities of patience exhibited by this time LTC Patterson faced with two male man-eating lions terrorizing for a period of nine months eating approximately 140 of his railway workers in Tsavo as he was trying to construct a bridge. The challenge and threat the lions posed for nine months required patience and determination of the highest degree. The thing that you will find in both these excerpts is the level of patience tested in both Jim Corbett and LTC Patterson versus the patience of the man-eaters. In this battle of patience these two men won where hundreds of men before them had failed.
The First Appearance of the Man-Eaters
Down to my night of watching, and I was soon thoroughly chilled and wet. I stuck to my uncomfortable post, however, hoping to get a shot, but I well remember the feeling of impotent disappointment I experienced when about midnight I heard screams and cries and a heart-rending shriek, which told me that the man-eaters had again eluded me and had claimed another victim elsewhere.
At this time the various camps for the workmen were very scattered, so that the lions had a range of some eight miles on either side of Tsavo to work upon; and as their tactics seemed to be to break into a different camp each night, it was most difficult to forestall them. They almost appeared, too, to have an extraordinary and uncanny faculty of finding out our plans beforehand, so that no matter in how likely or how tempting a spot we lay in wait for them, they invariably avoided that particular place and seized their victim for the night from some other camp.
I succeeded in tracing the lions to the river after they had seized a victim, only to lose the trail from there onwards, owing to the rocky nature of the ground which they seemed to be careful to choose in retreating to their den.
These, however, were only the earlier efforts of the man-eaters. Later on, as will be seen, nothing flurried or frightened them in the least, and except as food they showed a complete contempt for human beings. Having once marked down a victim, they would allow nothing to deter them from securing him, whether he were protected by a thick fence, or inside a closed tent, or sitting round a brightly burning fire. Shots, shouting and firebrands they alike held in derision.
The Man-eaters of Tsavo - LTC Patterson
LTC Patterson endured for nine months the assaults of the lions. He remained patient as the lions grew bolder. Hundreds of hunters had come out to help to no avail. In the end it boiled down to Patterson winning the contest of patience. After nine months the lions made their mistake and began to hunt him giving him that opportunity he had been waiting so patiently for that consisted of split second decisions determining who lived and LTC Patterson won the game of patience. LTC Patterson enjoyed using the hides of the two lions as rugs in his house for twenty years, and then he sold them for five thousand dollars to the Museum of Natural History in Chicago where they are now on display.
"Patience is the companion of wisdom."
Saint Augustine (354 AD - 430 AD)
There are always times when disappointment, incompatibility, or hostility arises in our most intimate of relationships. Often we hurt the people we are closest too and the people we are closest too we can hurt the most. This being said, I will close this months message challenging you to use patience with the people you are closest too which are often the hardest for us to be patient with because we always expect and want more for them and from them.
I think this passage from the Bible says it all.
"Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
(I Cor. 13:4 - 7)
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The more confidence you have the more patience you have.
The more confidence you have the easier it is to be patient.
"Smooth is slow and slow is fast"
|Voice of the Soldier|
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Send us your commentary, stories, articles, etc...
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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 >>
Tim Davis / Special Tactics Memorial March
Starting on October 6th, 12 men will begin an 850 mile plus ruck trip. They will carry packs of 50 lbs each. What is more important, they will carry the memory of their lost brothers in the war on terror. They will carry a baton with the names of the Combat Controllers that have been lost. My son's name will be on that baton.
It sickens me that the news no longer considers it of any importance to report on these losses. These men will take their leave and walk for the over 750 children of their lost brothers. These children don't have a voice....only sorrow. Has the lost field of honest journalism gone completely to the reporting of car industries, economy and fair air time for Obama?
I'm sorry, but this is the news they should be reporting. I will be joining these men in different parts of their march for the children of the fallen. For all of their efforts to raise awareness and $50,000 it looks like they have only raised $2,500. Where in the world is the grateful America I knew and that my son died for?
Yes, I am trying to help. If you wish to help these men accomplish their goal:
Make checks out to: SOWF Spec Ops Warrior Foundation
121 North "W" Street
Lompoc, CA. 93436
Or Visit: Tim Davis/Special Tactics Memorial March via FirstGiving.com
"Operation S.E..R.V.E." is currently working on its non-for-profit status with the government for our Veterans association which will deal primarily with wounded veterans coming back from war. Our plan for their rehab is primarily aqua therapy by specific use of the sport of Scuba diving.
We are planning a kick off event to celebrate the official opening of Operation S.E.R.V,E. on November 14, in a three day event with the final day culminating in a potluck celebratory BBQ. The event will take place at Veteran's Park in Redondo Beach. Please feel free to join us in our celebration. For More information and details please refer to our Operation S.E.R.V.E. Face book page.
Visit Operation S.E.R.V.E. on FaceBook
Let Us Know What You Think About Last Month's Newsletter
Thanks for the slap in the face,
I have browsed very little of your news letters in the past, mostly thinking this was another GI Store...
Today is Saturday the 8th Aug, I was up early for a run and workout then to breakfast and then to read some emails from back home. Presently I am on my second deployment, this time to Kosovo, (not sure if you can classify this as a "Danger Area" compared to Iraq but here I am.)
My eye caught the title of your article and I started to read. You actually went from one point into the Ten Commandments, I am surrounded by many agnostics and atheists but I am no one to talk of them as I don't go to church nor read much of my Bible anymore. I do however believe in God and most of what was written in his word.
It was good to read that your article hit home with such a common sense reason why we (America) are in such a poor moral state.
Integrity is a word and value that encompasses all Army values, yet we as Americans and many soldiers lack!
The 10 Commandments do indeed allow free men to be free, if only free men (politicians and all who profess to yearn for freedom) would get back to the basics we most likely would not need so many laws this great country of ours has...
Trust in God and what he has for us, and treat each other as we would have them treat us... too easy! Or is it?
Thank you for restoring my faith! Guess I too have gotten way off the beaten path of what is right and what is what "people say is right"
Blessings and a Salute to you all! From an old soldier,
SSG Robert J Sweeney
APO AE 09340
Dave, out-frickin'-standing!! You definitely have a way with words, man!
Thanks for standing up for us!
Dave I had something good to say but won't. The products of the sixties are in charge. Pampered brats, that crapped away the gifts bestowed on them by the WWII generation. I have no respect for people who sh*t on our troops for six years and all of a sudden because they're in charge, the troops are cool again. I won't ever forget the conduct of the Democrats during the entire war and still to this day. Our Constitution is under attack, we took an oath to defend it against domestic enemies.I think you need to remind people of that. Do you agree that our Constitution is under attack? If so, I think someone should sound off loud and clear. Let people know where our very own govt. now treads.This is complete madness. I know right from wrong. and what's going down "right now" is wrong. But who will stop it who will stand like our forefathers in 1775. Who will dare?
Thanks for all your great articles. A lot of knowledge that should be taught in school.
I really think that this should be mandatory reading in all schools through out the United States. I wish I knew how to get this kind of story to all the people that don't know what they are leading OUR GREAT NATION into. It saddens me to see so many people that are blind to the real truth.
Great Newsletter as always Sir
Your message is clear as a bell and as correct as correct can be, unfortunately our nation is being dragged into a position of loosing those truths and freedoms you, myself and multitudes of our past and present warriors have fought and died for. Our present political government and administration considers themselve above "We The People", they set their own benefits and pay, through a system that is not available to "We The People". The serve thyself attitude of the elected politicans it deeply in the process of doing away with any "Freedom or Rights" WE fought for. I fear that when counters actions are initiated it will cause a real Civl War. Our only hope is that our former and active service members, following the Oath we all took to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemys foreign and DOMESTIC... Yes I agree that our potential failure is being
brought upon us by our own.
Stewart M Bestwick, USA SFC (Retired)
Great article, you really hit the nail on the head with this one. IMO we need a Million Veterans March on Veterans Day in DC and be prepared to tell the Leaders of this Nation that they have to fix what is broke and never attempt to try and change it again.
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable".
I thought it was very clearly done. And so very true too.
Great article but for one error. The Second Commandment, I believe refers to taking unto thee no craven (graven) image. While it melds with the First, it is not the same wording. Good job.
I'm amazed, I've just about given up hope on the Church, our Country, moral obligations and then I get this letter from you. "My people are destroyed by lack of knowledge". You are providing what is lacking. I thank you for renewing my hope.
God Bless America
A Chance To Put It On The Record
is a website where anyone is welcome to tell the story of their own life or the life of someone who deserves recognition and save it for posterity as well as put it before an interested audience and professional agents, publishers and producers who just might find a best seller or a great TV show. The founder of the website is Monika Jensen-Stevenson, who, along with her husband Bill Stevenson wrote the bestseller, Kiss The Boys Goodbye: How the United States Betrayed its own POWs in Vietnam which was dedicated in part to ". . . the men of U.S Special Forces who wanted to go back and get them (the prisoners.)"
A large part of her motivation in creating the site grew out of her increasing frustration with not being able to include great numbers of important cases of men left behind because there is just so much material that fits into a book. It was a situation she encountered with all of her books, and earlier when she was an Emmy award winning producer with Sixty Minutes. Her goal with this website is not just to list names of MIA/POWs and those who were willing to and often did sacrifice everything for country. She wants people to know that these men were truly the best and brightest of their generation; to see photos of them, learn about their families and what they accomplished and keep it on record, in alphabetical order so that even our great and great great grandchildren will have easy access to it. A comprehensive record of this kind can help identify any POWs who were, or may
be, still alive. As he years pass, this possibility becomes more and more remote. But there is always the hope for setting the record straight.
Monika says that she can only achieve this admittedly huge goal with the help of as many veterans as possible. The website is free and easy to use. Memoirs can be as short as a paragraph, captioned photo or as long as a book, photo album or video. Check out the current memoir of the month by First Sergeant Joseph Welsh (Ret.) who as military adviser to the website will be happy to help anyone who has technical questions. And pass the link along to family and friends. www.myfamilymemoirs.com
|Word of Truth|
The Word of Truth
By Rev G.J. Rako
I am growing increasingly intolerant of those that misrepresent the definition of toleration. The far left, the media, and the ever increasing PC types would have us believe that to be tolerant means to condone, or approve of the destructive thoughts, motivations and actions of others. They spuriously call Christians intolerant for believing that faith alone in Christ alone is the only means of reconciliation with the living God. Soon this lack of toleration on our part will be identified as a hate crime. Persecution of Christians is just around the corner. They do not tolerate Christians or the absolute standards of the Bible.
Webster defines the word tolerate;
Main Entry: tol·er·ate
Function: transitive verb
Latin toleratus, past participle of tolerare to endure, put up with; akin to Old English tholian to bear, Latin tollere to lift up, latus carried (suppletive past participle of ferre), Greek tlēnai to bear
1: to endure or resist the action of (as a drug or food) without serious side effects or discomfort: exhibit physiological tolerance for, 2 a: to allow to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradiction. b: to put up with <learn to tolerate one another>, the act of putting up with something or somebody irritating or otherwise unpleasant.
Oxford dictionary: tolerate
• verb 1 allow (something that one dislikes or disagrees with) to exist or occur without interference. 2 patiently endure (something unpleasant). 3 be capable of continued exposure to (a drug, toxin, etc.) without adverse reaction. - DERIVATIVES toleration noun. - ORIGIN Latin tolerare ‘endure’.
The PC crowd insists that we accept without question every degenerate, evil, vile human practice. The true function of toleration is enduring their degeneracy, socialism, activism, and false standards. Live and let live is the principle of toleration. The Bible states that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination to God. However, as a Christian I tolerate their freewill choice to be homosexuals, until they attempt to force their lifestyle on others or me. Homosexuality, adultery, lying, cheating, stealing, and a host of other activities are sin. Why do I not see adulterers, liars, or thieves having pride parades to legitimize their evil lifestyles? They do not force their sinful behaviors on others calling them alternative lifestyles that we are suppose to accept. Our schools are not teaching that murderers, liars, thieves and cheaters are born that way and that students should
experiment with these practices to find out who they really are. If you take a stand against this bizarre behavior of accepting the homosexual lifestyle you will be criticized, vilified, and maligned.
Socialism is constantly gaining ground in government and with the people of the United States; it is one more example of evil that Christians should barely tolerate. No child left behind is an abysmal failure and waste of our tax dollars. Anything that big government controls with an endless ever-growing bureaucracy ensures mediocrity at best and a complete failure at worst. I would say that graduating high school seniors who cannot read constitutes a complete failure. This is supposed to be the "land of the free home of the brave." With the intrusion of government, we are no longer free and there are very few brave, because displaying the characteristics of bravery or any kind of aggressiveness are no longer politically correct.
What then is the Christian’s responsibility when interacting with people that possess these evil philosophies? First, never compromise divine norms and standards that you have learned from solid Bible teaching. You stand your ground and keep your principles intact. Second, people have a right to think or believe anything they wish without any interference from you or me. The application of impersonal love to those you find unattractive, obnoxious, or repulsive either physically (my, you are shallow), or philosophically means you tolerate them. You always treat people with dignity and respect, even if they are way out in left field.
Personal love is having an attraction to someone or something, the object of personal love. I love (personal) ice cream, because I am attracted to the flavor, consistency, and sugar. Impersonal love, on the other hand is the expression of your integrity toward someone who is unattractive, repulsive, or in some way irritating to you. Impersonal love is another word for tolerate. Someone is unattractive or completely antithetical to what you believe, but the standards of integrity in your soul from Bible doctrine allow you to tolerate them. As you tolerate them, you from your own character treat them with respect and fairness, even if they do not deserve it.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten [uniquely born] Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
God does not love the world or the fallen, sinful creatures in it personally. This verse is an expression of God’s impersonal love. God loves us personally only after we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The moment we believe in Christ God bestows upon us forty things. One of these forty things is the imputation of perfect righteousness (2 Cor.5:21).
God personally loves His own righteousness; therefore, He now loves us personally, because we now possess His perfect righteousness. This divine righteousness given to us at the moment of salvation gives us for the first time something attractive to God.
Likewise when we deal with people in our own periphery that are acting in an irritating way or whose philosophies are directly opposed to our own we can apply impersonal love, or toleration. Toleration remember, is not agreement with their false standards. We are called to love our neighbor as our self and to love our enemies. We are not called to be attracted too, compromise with, or to be sweet to evil people. I do not like everyone in which I come into contact. However, I can love them impersonally from my own integrity.
The humanity of Jesus Christ the perfect God-Man voluntarily went to the cross and took our place. He became our substitute. On the cross, He bore our sins and not just ours but the sins of the whole world. God the father judged every sin ever committed and the work of salvation was complete. This great act of impersonal love secured our salvation and guaranteed eternal life to any who would believe in Christ. (Acts 16:3) Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
I tolerate a great many people and policies. I do not have to like them. I have, over the years had relatives, friends, or co-workers who were liberal or recreational drug users, or simply had a different viewpoint than mine. I tolerated (expressed impersonal love through my virtue) those things I disagreed with or found repulsive in some way. I did not bend to their evil thoughts or lifestyle. (1 Cor. 15:33) Be not deceived, evil companions’ corrupt good morals. (Prov. 13:20) He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools brings harm.
Toleration is impersonal love for all mankind. Toleration is not bending your standards to those who do not possess standards. Toleration is not approval of degeneracy because the rest of the world seems to be going along with it. Toleration is the application of your integrity to others as you display respect and dignity toward them.
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with Sgt. Glenn French
Patrol Response to Active Shooter & Terrorist Incidents
As the children in our country return to school for another year of studies law enforcement still continues to struggle with the concept of how to respond to an active shooter incident. We criticize training concepts and response methods depending on the individual or police department’s perspective or current methods. For whatever reason, officers and police departments feel the need to learn a specific tactic and deem it their method of response. This debate over a single entry response or a small unit response is counter productive. There is no single police tactic that works for all combat situations. As a police trainer or tactical commander never let your thinking become so narrow that you side with one of these tactics and argue it to be the best over another.
The on going debate if police officers should respond solo or in a tactical formation will be left to the discretion of the officer(s) on the scene working the problem as they formulate their response plan and put it into action. They will make the decision based on the limited information on hand at the time the problem is unfolding. Both concepts are proper measures of action depending on the situation.
I have watched this drama unfold for several years now and to me the answer is clear. The uniformed officers in this country need tactical options, tactical training and tactical equipment available to them on the streets. We wouldn’t send our soldiers into combat without proper tactical training so why are we training our uniformed officers a single tactic and professing it’s the best tactic to neutralize an adversary that is hell bent on murdering innocent victims.
The Columbine incident was supposed to be a wake up call for law enforcement and yet we still struggle to grasp the true changes needed in law enforcement. The Columbine shootings started at 11:19 a.m. as the two murderers walked through the school, shooting and killing children. At 11:24 a.m. a Jefferson County Deputy arrives and engages the two suspects standing at a door. Inside that door a student, lay injured from gunshots. The deputy emptied his gun and radioed for assistance. The two suspects ran back into the school and continued the carnage. The injured student made his way to safety and lived. Three others would be murdered shortly after. It’s apparent that the deputy’s actions of engaging the two gunmen may have saved that students life.
Both terrorists ran back into the school, shooting and killing and or injuring another 22 students. During the course of their terror they were able to set fires and ignite small bombs. At 12:08 the two cowards committed suicide. The first SWAT teams entered and started to clear the school at 1:08 p.m. and they found 12 dead students and 22 injured students.
So, lets hypothetically ponder the idea that this Jefferson County Deputy would have had a level III tactical vest, a tactical ballistic helmet, a patrol rifle with 8-12 magazines and some tactical training. Lets also assume that other responding deputies would have the same tactical equipment and training. Perhaps these officers are SWAT members but assigned to uniformed duties and carry all their tactical equipment with them.
Either way they could have arrived on scene and assessed the situation. They could have prepared for combat like our military soldiers do on every mission. They would have donned their tactical gear, formulated a tactical plan and in a matter of minutes they would have been able to confront the two suspects with a clear plan of attack.
Hypothetically, the incident could have concluded in less than five minutes after arrival on scene and not an hour and ten minutes later. This level of response is where professional law enforcement needs to be. I would like to note however, that these deputies and officers at that time where acting as they were taught and as their department protocols demanded. They are not to blame for the response time into the school.
The response to the Virginia Tech massacre is another example of the standard that police agencies should set for their departments. The shooter in this incident entered Norris Hall on the Virginia Tech campus and killed 32 people.
The entire shooting rampage is estimated to have occurred within eleven minutes. From the time the first 911 calls were received from Norris Hall to the time the shooter kills himself fewer than nine minutes will pass. Blacksburg police and Virginia Tech police arrived at Norris Hall and made entry into the building in less than five minutes. Once entry was gained and the team moves to the sound of shots fired and reach the second floor twenty-eight seconds will pass. Cho takes his own life as the two teams searched for the killer.
The officers that entered Norris Hall arrived and assessed the situation, formulated a plan of action and began working the problem. They where equipped with tactical equipment and some were patrol officers that were also on the part time SWAT teams. They encountered problems like you will on any tactical mission but they overcame these obstacles and their presence neutralized the killer.
Another standard that police agencies should strive to achieve should be like the response to a gunman that burst into a North Carolina nursing home and started shooting everything, killing seven residents and a nurse and wounding at least three others. The lone officer has been praised as a hero and did exactly what he was trained to do. The Carthage police chief told reporters it is standard procedure for an officer to go in without backup for some emergency situations "where multiple lives are at stake." The officer hit the suspect with the only round he fired, and he was shot himself. Within minutes, other officers responded to assist but the uniformed Warrior had already neutralized the suspect.
This incident is an obvious success from a law enforcements perspective however, this officer still could have benefited from a level III vest, and a ballistic helmet.
These incidents are only a small sample of the types of responses to active shooters. There are many more examples that make the case for solo entry and small unit tactics. The common theme here that is being overlooked is that patrol officers need the same tactical options that are available to SWAT. If not, then SWAT needs to be held to a standard of response that is much quicker than the old way of doing business as it applies to acts of terrorism or an active shooter incident. If the majority of the tactical teams in this country are part time and or multi-jurisdictional I think it’s safe to say that the response time for these units probably average around an hour or more. Obviously, the active shooter incidents in this country prove that we only have minutes. So, why is an hour still an acceptable response time? The answer is, it’s not. Active shooters are a patrol
problem unless patrol has tactical officers on the road.
Tactical officers that are assigned to the patrol division should be allowed to carry their tactical weapons and tactical gear in their patrol cars. Departments could also have one officer sign out and carry in their patrol cars various items such as less lethal munitions, chemical munitions, audio and video electronics for scouting, flash bangs, shields and any other equipment to support a small squad tactical mission. Uniformed officers would then be able to respond with more protective gear, better weapon systems and most importantly the tactical skills and knowledge that only SWAT has been getting for so many years.
SWAT has many and various options available to them for any given tactical problem to help them resolve it successfully. Each tactic is specific to that particular SWAT problem. You won’t here from most SWAT cops that any “one” tactic is the only tactic to use. That’s because different tactics will net different results. That concept also applies to patrol responding to active shooter incidents. The mentioned active shooter incidents are proof of that.
It’s time we stop arguing about which active shooter response is best and train in all the various concepts. You Warriors can only enhance your response capabilities by educating yourselves in as many tactics as possible. Like any other call for service, it should be left to the responding officers discretion which tactic to employ when it’s your life on the line.
The single most factor that will change the way law enforcement does business with terrorist and active shooters is to change the current mind set of contemporary policing. There is no doubt that answering calls for service is the primary function for patrol however, patrol is also the first to respond to the active shooter.
When the time comes for your agency to respond to such an event it is our duty to provide the innocent victims with the most professional police response available. That means giving the uniformed Warrior the proper tactical gear to protect himself as he enters into combat. Much like a fireman putting on his protective gear to battle a fire. It also means giving the uniformed Warrior the training, tactics and skills to bring the incident to a successfully resolution. Ultimately, success for the officer is success for his department and it’s image. Progressive police agencies are starting to slowly make this transition. They recognize the importance of giving their Warriors the proper tools for success. The day may be near when the debate on how to respond to active shooters will be a thing of the past.
Sgt. Glenn French
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.
1776 to 1976 — What Has Really Changed?
What's Washington got, that you haven't got?
Governments want you to think they have magic words, special abilities, genius you can't match or understand – they can do big things for you.
With what? Government makes no money, produces nothing, has not a dime it doesn't take from you, out of your profits or your income.
And governments are just people – people like you and me – and some of them not as good.
But you have hired them to spend the money you give them. See that they spend it for the greatest good of the nation – your good, not theirs.
It's your money. Never forget it.
Robbing St. Petersburg to pay Paul
Why should I expect you to pay my bills? Yet that is what "Federal" funds mean.
It may be all very well for Florida, for example, in its generosity to give St. Paul a new Auditorium or some shiny transit system. But don't call it Federal money because it isn't – there is no Federal money. It all comes from Florida and New York and California – and St. Paul which sends its taxes to Washington where 2 million Federal employees must take out their "handling charges", and send back what's left, cluttered and hamstrung with Federal restrictions.
If St. Paul (and every city and state) would meet its own needs by paying its own bills under its own management, those bill would be far lower, and the money would be better spent.
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|Quotes & Jokes|
Small, specialized units such as the 1st SSF did not, by themselves, win World War II for the Allies. Their value cannot be based on battles won or lost, or in the number of towns liberated or prisoners captured, or in the casualties inflicted upon the enemy. But perhaps their well-reported exploits and indomitable spirit in the face of overwhelming odds contributed in a major way to optimism ... in the darkest days of the war..."
- Flint Whitlock from an Article he wrote, January 2000
"The First Special Service Force was formed in 1942 as a light infantry raiding force to be used in cold, high mountainous terrain; specifically, operations in Norway...
...While they never made it to Norway as part of the FSSF, these men were part of the recovery of the Aleutian Islands from the Japanese and most notably the assault on the outwardly impenetrable German strongholds in Anzio, Italy...
This joint American and Canadian unit, also known as 'The Force' was one of the toughest and most effective combat units in Europe. Even though it was only activated for two years, it laid the foundation for SF units in existence today..."
- Maj. Karla S. Owen 10th SFG(A) Public Affairs USASOC News Service, Aug. 28, 2009
"A ginormous amphibious air tanker called the Martin Mars just made a massive water drop over Mount Wilson, the hill northeast of Los Angeles where the century-old Mount Wilson Observatory and nearby TV, radio and cell [NATIONAL SECURITY COMMS ]phone towers are all located. The World War II-era flying boat literally water-bombed the peak today to douse flames from the Station Fire, which has burned 127,000 acres (the largest in LA County history)...A Martin Mars air tanker, also known as a Super Scooper, dropped 7,500 gallons of water on Mt. Wilson."
- Xeni Jardin, Ann M. Simmons Los Angeles Times Staff Writers and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Capt. Scott Visyak .
Wow. The MARS just flew over my house en route to another drop on MT.WILSON . MUCH more impressive in real life.
- ASTRONOMER MIKE BROWN ON OBESERVING THE UNCONVENTINAL WATERBOMMBING ACTIONS OF JRM-1 HAWAII MARS DOWSE THE HISTORIC HILL TOP OF MT. WILSON, DURING THE STATION FIRE OF LA
"We are going to burn, cut, foam and gel. And if that doesn't work, we're going to pray. This place is worth a lot, but it's not worth dying for. "
- Los Angeles County Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Martin said In response to trying to save the critical and historic communications antena farm and Observatory on Mount Wilson
"The key to fighting and winning is an understanding of "how we train to fight" at every echelon. Training programs must result in demonstrated tactical and technical competence, confidence, and initiative in our soldiers and their leaders. Training will remain the Army's top priority because it is the cornerstone of combat readiness!"
- General Carl E. Vuono
"...In fact, the Colonel was quite an innovator. Witness the Modern Technique of the Pistol, Practical shooting and the Scout Rifle.
But like G.K. Chesterton, he had no patience for the modernist who insists that Thursday is better than Tuesday simply because it's Thursday. That is why he had no patience with 'political correctness.' The term itself is creepy. It's the denial of critical thinking and conscience. It's Orwell's newspeak.
Repeat the unacceptable until it becomes the assumed. Everything is relative. The truth is what we say it is. It takes a village. Women are men. Men are women. People are human resources. She's pregnant, but it's not a baby. The 2nd Amendment means the National Guard. It's a collective right. It's not a right, it's a privilege. It only covers muskets. It's not a sporting firearm. It's the weapon of choice. It's a living document. Up is down, day is night. God is dead. And 2007 AD, Anno Domini suddenly becomes 2007 CE, Common Era. Common to what? Shhh. Don't answer. It's not PC and it's inappropriate in our common era.
Jeff Cooper had no interest in living in a common era. Why, he asked, should we celebrate the common when we should aspire to the extraordinary?"
- From a eulogy was delivered by Bill O'Connor at Colonel Cooper's memorial on May 10, 2007, the the NRA Whittington Center.
"...The massive wildfire looming over Los Angeles finally inched its way up to Mt. Wilson, and for a while yesterday the mountain was so obscured by smoke that news helicopters could not even see the complex. Many feared the worst.
But as I watched a live feed from the news helicopters, something miraculous happened. The smoke over the mountain suddenly cleared and an enormous plane, a Martin Mars Flying Boat, swooped down and let loose 7,500 gallons of flame-retardant gel. The Martin Mars is itself a relic of the past, a WWII-era behemoth whose oversized construction and sturdiness echoes the ambitions of the men who built Mt. Wilson. It was as though the past were reaching out to save the past.
But of course, there were people flying that plane, risking their lives. And it turned out they were not alone. Although firefighters had been pulled from the mountain on Monday, they had since returned. As the flames approached there were 150 people up there, setting backfires, clearing brush and repairing the pumps on the observatory's 750,000 gallon water tanks.
Talk about risky business. Mt. Wilson stands at the very peak of the San Gabriels, surrounded by sheer cliffs, a place with no exits. The bravery of people who would place themselves up there boggles the mind."
- From Gabriel Rotello and his "Saving Mount Wilson" from The Huffington Post, September 2nd, 2009
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Smith & Wesson TRR8 Revolver
A revolver that meets the tactical demands of today.
By the NRA Staff
The term "tactical revolver" sounds almost contrarian these days. Although the double-action revolver has a host of virtues, the explosion of tactical semi-automatic pistols seems to have relegated the revolver to a few select, but important, roles: concealed carry, home defense and hunting. The idea of a cutting-edge, tactical wheelgun that is a preferable tool for anticipated high-intensity encounters seems absurd when so many other choices abound. Well, not so fast.
Innovation in materials and design, coupled with a specific unanticipated problem with the semi-automatic platform, prompted Smith & Wesson's Performance Center to develop the TRR8—a revolver that meets the tactical demands of law enforcement or serves as a home-defense gun for the well-equipped homeowner.
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A NEW BREED OF SUSPECT
A recent robbery suspect was arrested after trying to kill his arresting officer. In the suspect car was a notebook labeled, "23 rules for winning shootouts with police."
The list included:
Park where the least detectable know your exits.
Recognize plainclothes cops Predict cop's movement to gun Choose locations police cannot easily surround.
Move to confuse
These "rules for survival" are very inclusive and cannot be labeled anything less than formal training. Whether he knows it or not, this suspect's list covers the following concepts:
Rules for engagement Lag time
Cover and concealment
This type of preparation should not surprise us, but remind us. Many of today's suspects are tactical thinking, some are military trained, they read police periodicals, they share information and practice. In the last 18-24 months, we have seen a visible increase in suspect tactics. Body armor, radio communications and fully automatic weapons are an example of the type of equipment that has become more and more popular. The use of lay-off suspects, (crime partners posing as customers), has become common. When we engage a suspect, these silent crime partners will usually engage from behind, with deadly consequences. Last year, 55% of the officers killed were the victims of head-shots. This is partially because of a trend on the rise. Suspects are now more likely to execute a downed officer before leaving a crime scene. Gang members have joined the armed forces only to gain the combat
firearms and tactics training. After training, they take a dishonorable discharge and return home. When asked about their unfortunate discharge they proudly explain how they "infiltrated the military." There were 791 gang-related murders in Los Angeles County last year.
Most suspects we encounter are not this prepared. But what about the one who is? He's out there. He's in EVERYTOWN, USA . We have stopped him in the street and in his car. Since 1990, over 100,000 officers have been assaulted. On the average 10 cops a day are shot at. This year there have been too many cop funerals, all resulting from felonious killings. Over 50% were while attempting arrest and over 50% were caused by handguns at less than 10 feet. Many of these resulting from bad searches. Today's suspect is committed and has the mindset of a soldier going into battle. We are his enemy. He's ready for us. Let's be ready for him.
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Till Death Do Us Part
by Matthew Bogdanos
"Any man in combat who lacks comrades who will die for him, or for whom he is willing to die," William Manchester wrote of his time as a Marine in World War II, "is not a man at all. He is truly damned." A century earlier, Robert E. Lee famously remarked that it was good that war "is so terrible. We should grow too fond of it." Neither was glorifying war -- they hated its carnage. They were, rather, paying homage to the unique bonds forged in war, especially the one that enables so many to risk their lives, not only for friends but also for those they might have just met or have nothing in common with back home.
This extraordinary feature of combat is depicted in movies in bold, heroic colors, without depth or explanation. Most leaders in the military, however, spend a lifetime trying to understand its complexity. Our pursuit usually starts at Thermopylae, a mountain pass in northern Greece where, in 480 B.C., 300 Spartans faced the entire Persian army. Leonidas, the Spartan king, had a choice: retreat, and live to fight another day, or stand. When the Persian king offered, "We do not want your lives, only your arms," Leonidas answered, "Molon labe" -- come and get them. They held out for seven days, fighting until their weapons broke and then, Herodotus says, "with bare hands and teeth." Their spirit lives whenever wounded soldiers ask to return to their units rather than rotate home or sentries rest their chins on the point of a bayonet to
stay awake so others sleep safely.
Before going into harm's way, we reflect on this remarkable aspect of combat. Using its history as a source of pride and inspiration, we make this bond part of our ethos. We are humbled to follow, yet hopeful to live up to, those who have gone before -- as at Belleau Wood in 1918. When his men were being cut to pieces by German machine guns, Marine 1st Sgt. Dan Daly, already the recipient of two Medals of Honor, charged the guns shouting, "Come on, you sons-o'-bitches! Do you want to live forever?" More than just history, this retelling to each new generation becomes a pledge: Although some will die, those who follow will keep the faith by keeping our memory -- a promise of immortality that asks, instead, "Don't you want to live forever?"
Post-deployment, we are also engaged. Despite countless other tasks after a combat tour and the need to begin preparing for the next mission, we pause to value what has occurred, trying -- not always successfully -- to reconcile the horrors of combat with the bond created during those horrors. Perhaps it is the dimly perceived recognition that together we are better than any one of us had ever been before -- better maybe than we ever would be again. Or the dawning awareness that if we store up enough memories, these might someday be a source of strength, comfort or even our salvation.
Take the simple act of goodbye, of wishing comrades in arms fair winds and following seas.. Those who have seen action together are not morbid about it. Just serious. It is, after all, the nature of the profession of arms that goodbyes are frequent and often final. But there is also the recognition that each of us has our own life and family to go back to in the "world.." And even if we do "keep in touch," it will never be with the same intensity, never again as pure as it was when I had your "six," (your six o'clock, your back) and you had mine.
We examine as well the many contradictions of life in a combat zone. Our eyesight and hearing are sharp, our other senses keen. The water always quenches our thirst. The sky is bluer than we thought possible. And we're with the best friends we'll ever have. The good gets better, but the bad gets worse. We always have some minor eye or ear infection, our feet hurt all the time, and sleep is sporadic at best. The heat is sweltering, the cold bone-chilling. We're constantly tense to the breaking point. And lonelier than we ever imagined.
Once you've experienced it, the memory never leaves -- even after those fair winds and following seas have taken you as far as they did Sen. Mike Mansfield. After serving two years in the Marines as a teenager, he spent 34 years in Congress (the longest-serving majority leader ever) and 11 years as ambassador to Japan. He died in 2001 at age 98. His tombstone in Arlington National Cemetery bears seven words: "Michael Joseph Mansfield, PVT, U.S. Marine Corps."
Ultimately, because of the business we are in, expected to fight, suffer and die without complaint, we also cultivate this bond to call on when needed. At times, it means being ruthlessly hard, as at Balaclava in 1854. When the "thin red line" of the 93rd Highlanders were all that stood between the Russian onslaught and the British camp, Sir Colin Campbell commanded the regiment he loved, "there is no retreat from here, men -- you must die where you stand." At times, it means having compassion, as on Tulagi Island in the South Pacific in 1942. After an all-night attack, Marine Pfc. Edward "Johnny" Ahrens lay quietly in his foxhole. He'd been shot twice in the chest, and blood welled slowly from three deep bayonet wounds. Thirteen dead Japanese soldiers lay nearby; two others were draped over his legs. Legendarily tough Lewis Walt --
later assistant commandant of the Marine Corps -- gently gathered the dying man in his arms. Ahrens whispered, "Captain, they tried to come over me last night, but I don't think they made it." Choking back tears, Walt replied softly, "They didn't, Johnny. They didn't."
Being effectively ruthless and genuinely caring are each manifestations of courage. The ability to effect their integration and foster the bond between leader and led can spell the difference between defeat and victory, because wars -- fought with weapons -- are won by people. Your sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers. We are honored to lead them.
Russian Navy UFO records say aliens love oceans
The Russian navy has declassified its records of encounters with unidentified objects technologically surpassing anything humanity ever built, reports Svobodnaya Pressa news website.
The records dating back to soviet times were compiled by a special navy group collecting reports of unexplained incidents delivered by submarines and military ships. The group was headed by deputy Navy commander Admiral Nikolay Smirnov, and the documents reveal numerous cases of possible UFO encounters, the website says.
Vladimir Azhazha, former navy officer and a famous Russian UFO researcher, says the materials are of great value.
"Fifty percent of UFO encounters are connected with oceans. Fifteen more - with lakes. So UFOs tend to stick to the water," he said.
On one occasion a nuclear submarine, which was on a combat mission in the Pacific Ocean, detected six unknown objects. After the crew failed to leave behind their pursuers by maneuvering, the captain ordered to surface. The objects followed suit, took to the air, and flew away.
Many mysterious events happened in the region of Bermuda Triangle, recalls retired submarine commander Rear Admiral Yury Beketov. Instruments malfunctioned with no apparent reason or detected strong interference. The former navy officer says this could be deliberate disruption by UFOs.
"On several occasions the instruments gave reading of material objects moving at incredible speed. Calculations showed speeds of about 230 knots, of 400 kph. Speeding so fast is a challenge even on the surface. But water resistance is much higher. It was like the objects defied the laws of physics. There's only one explanation: the creatures who built them far surpass us in development," Beketov said.
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Cost of Inmates
As a California Dept. of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) employee, I have had my fill with the statements being made in the media about how the overpaid state employees (prison guards) are draining the state's budget, and how the poor inmates (convicted FELONS) are dropping like flies due to substandard medical care and brutal living conditions. Allow me to cast some light onto these shadowy areas with my ten plus years of insight behind the walls.
California spends approximately $50,000 a year to house each of our 170,000 inmates. Roughly $12,500 of this is on their "substandard" medical care. In contrast, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs spends about $1,400 per veteran. You read that right. That's nine times more money being spent on convicted felons than on our nation's veterans. Texas, which ranks second in the nation in inmate population, spends about $5,100 a year, per inmate, on health care. In California, if an inmate has a health complaint, he fills out a form and may be subject to a $5 co-pay, unless it is deemed an emergency by health care staff. If that's the case, there is no co-pay and he is seen immediately. If an inmate claims a pain level over a 6 (on a scale from 1 to 10), he must be seen immediately by a registered nurse, and scheduled to see a doctor. I don't recall the last time I heard an
inmate claim less than a 6. I don't know about you, but the last time I went to the ER it took me five hours to get in and cost me 50 BUCKS!
On the educational front, California ranks 29th in the nation on funding per student, and 49th in "student per teacher" ratio. Over the last two years, $11 BILLION has been cut from education. Add to that more than $5 BILLION in proposed cuts over the next two years. I have friends who have told me that their child's school had to cut the library program due to budget cuts. My own child's school had to cut the music program, although we still have a library. For now. And the few athletic programs we still have are run by volunteer-coaches, as there is no money to pay someone. The prison I work at has several paid coaches, in addition to a "recreational coordinator". There is a staff of who knows how many teachers, while my child's school had to lay-off two. But let us get back to these poor, fragile creatures we lovingly refer to as inmates.
The typical day in an inmate's life consists of being awoken at around 6:45am for chow. They walk to the dining hall, where they are served coffee and/or juice and a FREE balanced breakfast, that would cost my child $2 at school. They sit and eat breakfast, and socialize with their brethren, for about 15-20 minutes, and on the way out receive their free bag lunch. Then, if they have a job, off they go (the average workday for an inmate is about six hours). If they aren't employed, they go back to their housing unit until the yard opens at about 8:30 or so. Once out to yard, they have a myriad of recreational choices in which to indulge. Some inmates play basketball or run the track. Others prefer handball or tennis. Less adventurous fellows may choose to throw around a Frisbee or participate in a game of horseshoes. Some simply lay their blanket out o n the grass and sunbathe. There are
softball tournaments to compete in for prizes (sodas, ice cream, etc.). This scenario is repeated three times a day for a total of about 8.5 hours of daily recreational opportunity, seven days a week. Wouldn't that be nice?
I have read numerous articles about the state prison guards making outrageous amounts of money in overtime. While it's true that I did make about ten thousand in overtime one year, what isn't known is that I didn't volunteer for a single overtime shift. Due to a hiring freeze and the usual attrition, ALL of my overtime was mandatory because of short staffing. In other words, much like the inmates, I was not allowed to go home after my shift those days. Unlike the inmates, I could not play horseshoes.
Up to this point, I have been "given" three furlough days for a total pay cut of around 15%. That was roughly equivalent to my mortgage payment. I am, however, no longer saddled with that burden as, due to said cuts, the bank has relieved me of that responsibility by taking back my house. The hardest part to swallow is the fact that while I'm losing everything I've worked for, the inmates have not had one program or privilege cut thus far. As a matter of fact, they gain new rights and privileges with every new lawsuit. Speaking of lawsuits, prisoner-initiated lawsuits have cost the state more than $ 191 million over the past six years. How many homeless veterans would that feed?
I hope I've opened some eyes as to what really goes on inside the walls of California's state prisons. Voters have made themselves heard with the three-strikes law and other get tough on crime issues. The people of this state demand justice when one person takes another's in cold blood. The problem is, once that person is convicted and locked away, he is portrayed as a victim of the system. Suddenly he is guaranteed rights that neither you nor I enjoy. Like the right to instant medical attention (despite what the media says); for free. The right to three balanced meals a day. The right to their own personal TV and radios. The right to buy Ramen soups or Snickers bars or Dreyer's ice cream. We, as the citizens of this state, need to pull our collective heads out of the sand and see what is going on in this state. We are taking money from our future, our children, to repair the damage
these inmates have caused to themselves over a lifetime of drug-abuse and self-neglect. Instead of blaming Corrections staff and other state employees for the budget problems this state faces, let's take a hard look at what we're spending to care for and coddle the inmates in California. I'm not denying that basic medical care is a basic human right, but would you rather spend your $40,000 on a convicted child molester's total knee replacement, or pay a teacher a year's salary to educate 30 of our children?
So, In closing, let me just ask you this. If prison is such a barbaric, inhumane, insufferable place, why do 80% of them come back after their first term?
If you agree with this article, please pass it on to everyone in your contact list. If you don't agree, better see a doctor about that bleeding heart. If you commit a felony, you can see one for $5.
World War II Special Operations Unit Celebrates 63rd Reunion
By Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Kosterman
HALIFAX, Canada (USASOC News Service, Aug. 28, 2009) - A little more than six decades ago, Vernon J. Doucette was a sergeant in the First Special Service Force fighting his way north on the Italian peninsula during World War II.
Doucette, who served in 4th Company, 3rd Regiment of the Force, remembers the campaign in detail.
"We worked in small units, and we stayed together," explained Doucette. "We had a quite a few casualties, guys coming in and going out."
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Captive Egyptians defeat Somali pirates, sail free
By MOHAMED OLAD HASSAN, Associated Press Writer
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Using machetes and guns, the men fought a desperate battle to take control of two boats off the Somali coast. But this time, it wasn't pirates who launched the attack — it was Egyptian fishermen who had been held hostage for four months and who killed two brigands and took others captive as they regained control of their vessels.
On Friday, the roughly three dozen newly liberated fishermen sailed toward home. One pirate was in custody in Somalia after local fishermen found him near shore with machete wounds, police said.
Another pirate, who said he escaped during the fight on Thursday, described the struggle in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
"They attacked us with machetes and other tools, seized some of our guns and then fought us," said the pirate who identified himself only his nom de guerre, Miraa. "I could see two dead bodies of my colleagues lying on the ship. I do not know the fate of the nine others."
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Heritage, honor continue with presentation of 2009 Frederick Award
By Maj. Karla S. Owen
10th SFG(A) Public Affairs
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Canada (USASOC News Service, Aug. 28, 2009) – The men of the ‘Devil's Brigade' have been coming together for 63 years to reminisce about their service, share their stories and remember their hardships many years ago. Their combat experiences do not compare to the history reports and only in talking to them directly can one truly understand what they carried out. They don't consider themselves heroes and most conveyed that they were merely doing their job.
The First Special Service Force was formed in 1942 as a light infantry raiding force to be used in cold, high mountainous terrain; specifically, operations in Norway. This joint American and Canadian unit, also known as ‘The Force' was one of the toughest and most effective combat units in Europe. Even though it was only activated for two years, it laid the foundation for SF units in existence today.
While they never made it to Norway as part of the FSSF, these men were part of the recovery of the Aleutian Islands from the Japanese and most notably the assault on the outwardly impenetrable German strongholds in Anzio, Italy.
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Afghan spy boss killed in Taliban suicide attack
By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer
KABUL - A Taliban suicide bomber attacked officials leaving a mosque east of the capital Wednesday, killing the country's deputy intelligence chief and 22 other people in a major blow to Afghanistan's security forces.
The brazen assault occurred as tensions are running high after last month's divisive presidential election and a sharp rise in U.S. casualties — events that have already raised alarm in Washington over the future of President Barack Obama's strategy to turn the tide of the war.
A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, claimed responsibility for the bombing, which happened as Afghan dignitaries were leaving the main mosque in Mehterlam, 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of Kabul, after ceremonies marking the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
The bomber approached the crowd on foot and detonated an explosive belt, killing 23 people, including Abdullah Laghmani, deputy chief of Afghanistan's National Directorate for Security and the target of the attack, according to provincial spokesman Sayed Ahmad Safi.
The chairman of the local provincial council and the executive director of the local governor's office also died in the blast, Safi said.
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Was Russia's 'Arctic Sea' Carrying Missiles to Iran?
By SIMON SHUSTER / MOSCOW
In July, the Russian-manned cargo ship the Arctic Sea disappeared on its way to take timber from Finland to Algeria, sparking reports of the first incident of piracy in European waters since the days of the buccaneers. Experts and observers weighed in with their theories: the ship had been snatched in a commercial dispute; it was being used to run drugs; it was carrying something more precious - or dangerous - than timber.
Since then, the Russian navy has found the ship, and the alleged hijackers who boarded it on July 24 have been charged with kidnapping and piracy. The ship's captain, his crew and whatever cargo the ship was carrying have also been detained. An initial search of the hull turned up nothing suspicious, and now Russia's official explanation of what happened will probably become the final one - this was a hijacking thwarted by its navy without a shot being fired. But there are baffling details left unexplained, leading some experts to claim that the truth is much more sinister: the Arctic Sea, they say, was intercepted by Israel as it carried a secret cargo of weapons to the Middle East. (See pictures of dramatic pirate-hostage rescues.)
The highest-ranking official to put forward this version of events is the European Union's rapporteur on piracy and a former commander of the Estonian armed forces, Admiral Tarmo Kouts. In an interview with TIME, he says only a shipment of missiles could account for Russia's bizarre behavior throughout the monthlong saga. "There is the idea that there were missiles aboard, and one can't explain this situation in any other way," he says. "As a sailor with years of experience, I can tell you that the official versions are not realistic."
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Blackwater tapped foreigners on secret CIA program
By ADAM GOLDMAN and PAMELA HESS, Associated Press Writers
WASHINGTON – When the CIA revived a plan to kill or capture terrorists in 2004, the agency turned to the well-connected security company then known as Blackwater USA.
With Blackwater's lucrative government security work and contacts arrayed in hot spots around the world, company officials offered the services of foreigners supposedly skilled at tracking terrorists in lawless regions and countries where the CIA had no working relationships with the government.
Blackwater told the CIA that it "could put people on the ground to provide the surveillance and support — all of the things you need to conduct an operation," a former senior CIA official familiar with the secret program told The Associated Press.
But the CIA's use of the private contractor as part of its now-abandoned plan to dispatch death squads skirted concerns now re-emerging with recent disclosures about Blackwater's role.
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US extends Iraq contract for Blackwater firm
By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writer – Wed Sep 2, 7:29 pm ET
WASHINGTON – The State Department said Wednesday it has extended a contract for protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq with a subsidiary of the security firm once known as Blackwater USA even though the company doesn't have a license to operate in the country.
Spokesman Ian Kelly said the contract with Presidential Airways to provide air support for U.S. diplomats had been temporarily extended because the firm chosen to replace it is not yet ready to take over. The contract had been due to expire on Sept. 3 and be taken over a day later by DynCorp International, he said.
"DynCorp came to us and asked for additional time," Kelly told reporters. DynCorp's request for additional time was made last week, he said, adding that the Iraqi government had been informed of the decision and had not registered objections.
Iraqi officials in Baghdad could not immediately be reached for comment.
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As Marines push into Afghan town, fire from '360'
By ALFRED de MONTESQUIOU, Associated Press Writer
DAHANEH, Afghanistan – U.S. aircraft and missiles pounded Taliban mountainside positions around Dahaneh on Thursday as Marines pushed through mudbrick compounds searching for militants in the second day of fighting to seize this strategic southern town.
Also in the south, four NATO service members — three British and one American — were killed in separate explosions Thursday, military officials said.
August's casualty count is likely to surpass the record 75 deaths U.S. and NATO troops suffered in July, the deadliest month for the international force in the nearly eight-year war. The violence comes as Afghans prepare to vote in Aug. 20 presidential elections.
U.S. Marines launched a major assault Wednesday against Taliban forces in Dahaneh, a town of 2,000 people that controls major trade routes in the northern part of Helmand, the southern province that has become center stage in the war.
By Thursday evening, the Marines and Afghan troops had managed to take about half the town, with Taliban resistance tougher than expected.
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Death Rays From Space: How Bad Are They?
Cosmic rays pour down on Earth like a constant rain. We don't much notice these high-energy particles, but they may have played a role in the evolution of life on our planet.
Some of the mass extinctions identified in the fossil record can be linked to an asteroid impact or increased volcanism, but many of the causes of those ancient die-offs are still open for debate.
"There may have been nearby astronomical goings-on that drastically increased the radiation on Earth," says Brian Fields from the University of Illinois.
A supernova going off 30 light-years away could cause such a jump in radiation on our planet that could directly, or indirectly, wipe out huge numbers of species. Currently researchers are looking for possible evidence for this sort of cosmic foul play.
"Just finding dead beasties is not proof of a nearby supernova," Fields says.
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They Carry Guns
By Rosa Jurjevics
It's a beautiful day in Pacific Beach as Nate approaches the bronze pelican statue on the boardwalk. He's slight and blond, spectacled and clad in jeans and an army-green T-shirt. He squints. The sun's so bright overhead that he is prompted to spray a fine mist of sunblock over his fair skin to stave off a burn.
I've never met Nate before, but I know it's him (a) because I've seen his picture and (b) due to the handgun that sits on a holster against his hip. I'm about to get up from where I'm sitting and introduce myself when someone else beats me to the punch. A scraggly-looking beachgoer, a man of indeterminable age because he is so weather-beaten, approaches.
"What's that for, bro?" he asks, pointing in the direction of Nate's gun, a Taurus Tracker .44 Magnum revolver.
Before Nate can answer, the man continues.
"There are surfers at the beach looking to party, and you show up with that? That's not right. Love life! Be mellow!"
This is when I walk up and introduce myself. The beachgoer looks at me for a moment with wild blue eyes, then looks back at Nate, as Nate is beginning to explain what he will have to reiterate time and time again to concerned and/or interested parties: he is open carrying.
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US Navy: Pirates fire on US helicopter
By BARBARA SURK, Associated Press Writer
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Somali pirates holding a hijacked ship off the coast of Somalia fired at a U.S. Navy helicopter as it made a surveillance flight over the vessel, the first such attack by pirates on an American military aircraft, the Navy said Thursday.
The helicopter, which is based on the USS Chancellorsville, was not hit and there were no injuries, the Navy said.
The copter was flying on Wednesday over a Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessel, the Win Far, which pirates seized along with its 30-member crew in April and were holding south of the Somali port town of Hobyo.
The helicopter was about 3,000 yards (meters) away from the ship when the pirates opened fire with "a large caliber weapon," the Navy said in a statement. The helicopter did not return fire, it said.
Since seizing the Win Far in the Gulf of Aden, the pirates have used the vessel as a base for attacking other commercial ships, including the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama. Four pirates seized the Maersk Alabama in April, taking its captain Richard Phillips hostage. He was held for five days in a sweltering lifeboat off the coast until U.S. Navy snipers shot three of his captors dead.
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How Dare Second Amendment Activists Express Political Views
How dare Americans carry firearms to a political rally. After all, constitutional rights should never be exercised around politicians. They might be offended by it all.
The Baltimore Sun, a typically liberal rag in a typically liberal state, made their point today that it was a "colossal lack of judgment." Why is that? The Sun editorial went on to say: "U.S. Secret Service agents might claim that President Obama is not put in danger by such behavior when it takes place outside their secure perimeter, but surely it doesn't make their job any easier." Well, we can all feel safe now that the Baltimore Sun editorial staff has made it known that they are experts on threat assessments. The self-anointed geniuses of America have spoken. They know even more about presidential security then the Secret Service. Surely the Secret Service feels much more confident knowing that the editorial staff of the Baltimore Sun can now provide security consulting services when called upon. But, let's not stray too far from the main point of this
There were plenty of other Americans carrying firearms at Obama's appearance in Phoenix this past week. The difference between them and the Second Amendment rights activists was what? One group worked for the government, and the other didn't.
The perspective of the Baltimore Sun, as is the view of most far left liberals is, Americans can't be trusted. We are a danger to the President and other government workers. Our job is supposed to be to put them into power, pay our money to them, then shut up so they can take care of us. After all, it seems we aren't capable of handling the basic essentials of our lives, such as taking care of our families, our healthcare, or our personal security. We are, to the Baltimore Sun and other leftist whack-jobs out there, untrustworthy and incapable of anything more than showing up to a political event and doing our duty with mindless cheering and waving, then go home and wait for the next government program that will make our life just a little bit better, whether we agree with it or not.
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MARSOC Marines take to the hills
Story by: Sgt. Steven King
MOUNTAIN WARFARE TRAINING CENTER, Cailf. (Aug. 14, 2009) – In 218 B.C., during the second Punic War between Rome and Carthage, the great Carthaginian, General Hannibal, did what many Romans thought to be impossible – he invaded northern Italy by marching his army over the Pyrenees and the Alps mountain ranges. Not only did he have to fight his way through various tribes using clever mountain tactics, he also had to combat the harsh mountainous elements, the elevation, logistical problems, and the terrain. After engaging in three strenuous weeks of training at the Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif. during EXERCISE WHITE MOUNTAIN the operators of 3d Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command may have a new appreciation for the challenges that Hannibal faced in the mountains.
"One thing is for sure, it wasn't a stroll though the park," said Cpl. Victor Escobar, watch officer, about the mountainous terrain. "It took us a few days to completely get used to the thinner air. Sports athletes who train in high altitude environments don't have to do so with thirty pounds of gear on, but combat athletes like us do."
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Haas assumes command of SOCAFRICA
By Capt. Bryan Purtell
Special Operations Command Africa Public Affairs
KELLEY BARRACKS, STUTTGART, Germany (USASOC News Service, Aug. 25, 2009) – U.S. Army Col. Christopher K. Haas assumed command of Special Operations Command Africa from Brig. Gen. Patrick M. Higgins at a change of command ceremony held here Aug. 24.
Col. Haas was the Director of the U.S. Special Operations Command Legislative Affairs office in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of Duquesne University where he was commissioned through Army ROTC as a second lieutenant in the infantry.
"To all the members of SOCAFRICA, I am in awe of your accomplishments and your professionalism," said Haas, who counts among his awards three Defense Superior Service Medals and a Legion of Merit. "You all have my deepest respect, trust and confidence. And I will, in the coming months, endeavor to earn yours."
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PSYOP Soldiers tryout for team to serve alongside Army Rangers
By Sgt. David Harris
4th PSYOP Group (A) Public Affairs Office
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Aug. 25, 2009) – Five Psychological Operations specialists assigned to the 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) recently underwent a grueling five-day assessment to determine if they are fit to serve and fight with the 75th Ranger Regiment.
PSYOP roles are usually divided into two areas: strategic and tactical. Strategic roles may require a Soldier to wear a suit and work in an embassy, whereas tactical missions often see them out in the field, carrying a weighty man-packed loudspeaker system in addition to their normal combat gear.
The detachment of 16 PSYOPers supporting the Rangers is certainly described as tactical. After all, their name is Tactical PSYOP Detachment 9B40, part of Bravo Company, 9th PSYOP Battalion. Because of the tough missions and austere conditions that Rangers are notorious for, the Soldiers providing them PSYOP capabilities have to be the best available.
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Blackwater Hit Squads: What Was the CIA Thinking?
By ROBERT BAER
The other shoe has dropped. CIA Director Leon Panetta, it turns out, ran up to Capitol Hill in June not simply to confess that the CIA had a secret assassination program it never implemented but rather to confess that it had subcontracted the job out. As first reported by the New York Times on its website on Aug. 19, the CIA hired Blackwater to help with a secret program to assassinate top al-Qaeda leaders. Although no one was assassinated before the program was ultimately shelved - and the Times reported that it's not clear that Blackwater was engaged to do anything more than assist with planning, training and surveillance - Panetta must have been horrified that the CIA turned to mercenaries to play a part in its dirty work. It's one thing, albeit often misguided, for the agency to outsource certain tasks to contractors. It's quite another to involve a company like Blackwater in even
the planning and training of targeted killings, akin to the CIA going to the mafia to draw up a plan to kill Castro.
I suspect that if the agreements are ever really looked into - rather than a formal contract, the CIA reportedly brokered individual deals with top company brass - we will find out that Blackwater's assassination work was more about bilking the U.S. taxpayer than it was killing Osama bin Laden or other al-Qaeda leaders. More than a few senior CIA officers retired from the CIA and went to work at Blackwater, the controversial private security shop now known as Xe Services. Not only did those officers presumably take their CIA Rolodexes with them out the door, but many probably didn't choose to leave until they had a lucrative new contract lined up. But more to the point, Blackwater stood no better chance of placing operatives in Pakistan's tribal areas, where the al-Qaeda leadership was hiding in 2004, than the CIA or the U.S. military did.
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Military enthusiasts begin re-enacting Vietnam War
By GENARO C. ARMAS, Associated Press Writer
BOALSBURG, Pa. – The dirt paths that lead to Alpha Company's field headquarters are lined with overgrown grass and weeds. A canvas tent is protected by machine guns, sandbags and Army-green storage boxes. And lurking somewhere outside is the enemy: the Viet Cong.
But these aren't the jungles of southeast Asia, just the woods of small-town Pennsylvania, where more than 30 years after the fall of Saigon, military enthusiasts are beginning to re-enact the Vietnam War.
For decades, re-enactors have played out key events in the Revolutionary or Civil wars. Now they are illustrating one of the nation's most controversial conflicts — and paying tribute to veterans.
"We do it to honor these guys and to tell them, 'You weren't forgotten,' to tell them it wasn't always negative," said Tom Gray, 47, of Altoona, who played a platoon leader at the encampment outside the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg, about 120 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Vietnam re-enactors have no national organization, but participants say Vietnam War groups are popping up around the country. Events were staged earlier this year in Houston and Jackson, Miss. Fort Harrison State Park in Indiana held a Vietnam-era "tactical demonstration" last month.
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Gun law complaints trail Obama during park tours
By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. – Family in tow for a tour of national treasures far from Washington, President Barack Obama is trailed by criticism from gun opponents and parks advocates for allowing firearms into such majestic places as this.
"There is still time for Congress and the president to take steps to keep loaded firearms away from the valleys of Yellowstone, the cliffs of Yosemite, and the Statue of Liberty — but they need to act quickly," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
A bill that Obama signed in May permits licensed gun owners to bring firearms into national parks and wildlife refuges as long as state law allows it. The new law, which takes effect in February, will replace rules from the Reagan administration that generally require that guns in national parks be locked or stored in a glove compartment or trunk.
"If they wanted to fight that, they could have," said Jonathan Dorn, editorial director of NationalParkTrips.com and editor-in-chief of Backpacker magazine. "That one just felt like a very political decision that was maybe more about politics than about maybe paying attention to the preferences of the vast majority of people who are frequent park users."
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Officials see rise in militia groups across U.S.
By EILEEN SULLIVAN, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON – Militia groups with gripes against the government are regrouping across the country and could grow rapidly, according to an organization that tracks such trends.
The stress of a poor economy and a liberal administration led by a black president are among the causes for the recent rise, the report from the Southern Poverty Law Center says. Conspiracy theories about a secret Mexican plan to reclaim the Southwest are also growing amid the public debate about illegal immigration.
Bart McEntire, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told SPLC researchers that this is the most growth he's seen in more than a decade.
"All it's lacking is a spark," McEntire said in the report.
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Rand paper - Phoenix Program and COIN
Counterinsurgency campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq have reawakened official and analytical interest in the Phoenix Program. But Phoenix remains one of the most misunderstood aspects of the Vietnam War. Some believe it to have been devastatingly effective against the Viet Cong (VC), while others believe it to have been nothing more than an assassination program. This paper seeks to clarify what Phoenix was (and was not) while also attempting to determine what elements of Phoenix remain relevant to contemporary counterinsurgency.
Contrary to both extreme views of Phoenix , the historical record shows that Phoenix was neither wildly successful nor a massive assassination program. Instead, it consisted of two principal elements supported by a third non-Phoenix effort. The first element-the program actually called Phoenix -was intended to promote intelligence sharing among all the various U.S. and Vietnamese agencies.
The second element was the related "action arm" against the VC's "shadow government" or infrastructure. This action arm was principally the Central Intelligence Agency- (CIA-) sponsored Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRUs). PRUs were composed of South Vietnamese who, in general, were native to the province in which they served. Trained, paid, and advised by the CIA (often with the help of U.S. Army Special Forces), PRUs were often very effective in attacking infrastructure; however, they were limited in size and therefore in their overall impact.
The supporting effort was the attempt to limit infiltration of men and material from North Vietnam . This effort had two parts. The first was the high-technology program known as IGLOO WHITE, which sought to cover the main infiltration routes into South Vietnam with a variety of sensors. The second part was the secretive cross-border surveillance conducted by U.S. Army Special Forces working with South Vietnamese auxiliaries.
While determining the overall efficacy of these programs is difficult, some general assessments can be made. Phoenix made positive contributions to counterinsurgency in South Vietnam . One of the major advantages of Phoenix was that it was a relatively low-cost program (although IGLOO WHITE was not). However, the persistent belief that Phoenix was an assassination program had negative consequences in terms of what are now called information operations. It would be a mistake to apply in a rigid way the lessons from the U.S. experience in Southeast Asia to today's conflicts. That said, anti-infrastructure operations and related activities in South Vietnam do have relevance for contemporary counterinsurgency strategy, operations, and policy in Afghanistan and other conflict zones where the United States is heavily engaged. Phoenix suggests that intelligence coordination and the
integration of intelligence with an action arm can have a powerful effect on even extremely large and capable armed viii The Phoenix Program and Contemporary Counterinsurgency groups, such as the VC. Moreover, such Vietnam-era programs as IGLOO WHITE remind us of the importance of border control and the enduring requirement to deny insurgents access to resources and cross-border sanctuaries.
More broadly, Phoenix highlights the importance of understanding as fully as possible the nature, structure, and contours of the clandestine systems that sustain, and indeed help to define, insurgencies. In the case of Afghanistan , decisionmakers, military officers, and intelligence personnel should resist the temptation to treat the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and their support networks as inscrutable and analytically impenetrable black boxes; instead, they should devote far greater resources to understanding, mapping, and dismantling the subterranean "ecosystems" that sustain these insurgencies.
Link to RAND_OP258.pdf
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Sgt. Maj. Charles C. Henderson
First Sgt. Robert S. Torka, Special Warfare Medical Group (Airborne), spreads the ashes of retired Sgt. Maj. Charles C. Henderson from a UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter 500 feet above St. Mere Eglise Drop Zone in the early morning hours of Sept. 2, 2009. Henderson was a Green Beret and Vietnam veteran as a member of the then highly classified Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group.
Following the spreading of the ashes, the helicopter made a second pass in which Torka jumped with a ceremonial flag that was later presented to Henderson's family.
(Photo by Staff Sgt. Curt Squires)
Active-duty Ranger, 63
Honored for career spanning 45 years
FORT BENNING, Ga. (Courtesy of The Bayonet, Aug. 3, 2009) - Capt. Freddie Odomes said he is 99 percent sure he's the oldest active-duty Ranger in the Army.
At 63 years old, Odomes, who commands B Company of the Warrior Transition Battalion on Fort Benning, has served the Army in a career spanning 45 years - longer than most active-duty Soldiers have been alive.
During that time, he has racked up a list of accomplishments that include two tours in Vietnam, a two- and a half-year stint as a Ranger instructor, positions as a platoon leader and executive officer, and awards including a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with V device. He earned a Ranger Tab in 1971, and also wears the Combat Infantry Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge and Pathfinder Badge.
Wednesday Odomes was honored for his service and achievements in a ceremony dedicating a stone on the Ranger Monument to him.
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Corporal Benjamin Stephen Kopp
Army Ranger killed in action
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, July 20, 2009) — An Army Ranger died July 18 from wounds received during combat operations in Afghanistan while serving with 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment based at Fort Benning, Ga.
Corporal Benjamin Stephen Kopp, 21, was seriously wounded during a combat operation in southern Afghanistan July 10. Kopp was medically evacuated through Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany to Walter Reed Medical Center, Washington, D.C., where he later died as a result of his wounds July 18.
His unit had attacked a Taliban safe haven where they fought a determined enemy from multiple directions for several hours, resulting in the killing of more than 10 Taliban fighters, according to official military reports.
"Cpl. Kopp gave his life fighting against a tenacious, malevolent, and determined enemy during a sustained firefight, under incredibly difficult conditions, with his fellow Rangers," said Col. Richard D. Clarke, commander, 75th Ranger Regiment. "His actions on that day are in keeping with the finest traditions of the 75th Ranger Regiment and his loss will be felt by all."
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CW2 Douglas M. Vose
SF Soldier dies from wounds received in action
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, July 30, 2009) – An Army Special Forces Soldier died July 29 from wounds received during combat operations in Afghanistan while serving with 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) based in Stuttgart, Germany.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Douglas M. Vose, 38, was killed by intense direct small arms fire while conducting combat operations in Kabul Province while serving as the Special Forces Assistant Detachment Commander for Operational Detachment – Alpha 0114 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as a member of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) – Afghanistan.
Vose, born in Roseburg, Oregon, enlisted in April 1989 as a 19D, Cavalry Scout. He later attended the SF Qualification Course, graduating in 1999 as an 18E, Communications NCO and was assigned to 3rd BN, 10th SFG(A). He was reassigned to 1st BN in March 2002 and in 2006, he completed the Warrant Officer Basic Course, returning to 1st BN in Germany.
His awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal.
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U.S. Special Forces Soldier killed in Afghanistan
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Aug 23, 2009) - A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier was killed Aug. 22 while conducting combat operations in the vicinity of Yakhchal, Afghanistan.
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Two U.S. Army Rangers killed in combat
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, Aug. 31, 2009) - Two Army Rangers died earlier this week during combat operations in Paktika Province, Afghanistan while serving with Company A, 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.
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SF National Guard Soldier dies from wounds received in action
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20th Special Forces Group Soldiers die in Afghanistan
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U.S. Special Forces Soldier killed by IED in Afghanistan
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Four Special Operations Aviation Soldiers die in helicopter crash in Colorado
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