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To Special Forces,
I just received my SAR Vest and Ground Pounder holster. Both are well made and very functional, but I was also impressed with the customer service. I called and asked some questions prior to purchase and all my issues were addressed. I placed my order and boom, my packages arrived FEDEX a day later despite only paying for USPS. Overall, a great experience.


Received and very happy. I'll be "BACK"!
Steve B
Franklin, WI

Dear Sir,
Thank you for sending the sweat-shirts they are very good. I'm in de Dutch National Guard, as sergeant-major for training and education. Its not in common for dutch paratroopers to have these but, I have earend my wings in Sept. 1990 during my stay with 194th LRSD(A) of the IOWA Army National Guard. So, I'm very proud to wear them.

It's was good doing bussines with you,
Thanks a lot.

Your sincerely,

Sgm van der Bend
Royal Netherlands Army National Guards

I finally got everything that I ordered forwarded to me over here in Afghanistan, and it's all great. Even though it was a complex order you didn't miss a thing. Thanks. The guys and I will probably be emailing you a follow up order. The stainless steel mugs were a big hit but I only ordered two, so I know guys are going to want more. And, we'd like to get some embroidered hats too. So, I'll get back to you with what we need.

Thanks Again

A Message from Dave


"....Meditation is really a form of concentration. Concentrate on the body. Pay attention to what it is telling you. The mind will wander, so learn to quickly notice when it wanders and bring it back to focusing on the physical task at hand. For example, a runner might focus on each footstep or the swimmer on each stroke or the oarsman on the rhythm of the moving oar. Each time the mind wanders, bring it back, gently but firmly. If there is pain, focus on it. If this is done with enough concentration, the mind turns inward, to a state of relaxed concentration, of detached awareness."

- (William Stockton from his New York Times article "ON YOUR OWN: Fitness; Strategy for Workouts: Mind Over Boredom", New York Times 10-17 1988)

Much has been written about the ability to focus or concentrate well from theologians and historians to coaches to military leaders to athletes ...to soldiers. Stockton's thoughts could have easily described the sensations to retain focus under pain for any soldier under fire or a military man focusing on carrying out a difficult mission or complex impossible order.

However in order for you the reader citizen soldier to understand how a soldier or sailor must use all his powers of concentration to carry out -- often times the most incredible of orders...we'll review first the components of concentration and then in this first of this two part, two month essay, one of two of the most extreme orders issued in two very different eras, to two very different, but similar men (who are both perhaps, the two finest examples of sustained concentration of any American warriors under arms in the last 120 years --) -- one a Marine officer the other a Army officer -- who in too completely different eras used all their focus, and all their efforts to carry out their individual orders which were :

"Get that message to Garcia!"(To the Army Officer) and "Hold and Die!" (To the Marine).

Concentration is the key to all success in life: It is the key ingredient to any warriors' success. Without Concentration their can be no success and no way to master a warriors skills. No where is that best evident than in the life of a SOF operator.

How did Colonel Hal Moore who in command of the 1st Battalion , 7th Cavalry Regiment , and 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, during the Battle of Ia Drang on November 14-16, 1965 (memorialized in the novel and film "We Were Soldiers Once...and Young") make all the right decisions and maintain the high moral courage to disobey a command for him to pull out before he and his team and focus to multi task as his force, who are surrounded by the North Vietnamese Army(NVA) not get overrun and the cognitive insights not to retreat and face a slaughter by the NVA ?

How does the warrior stay focused on defending the several angles of attack? Which at the moment, might look ever increasingly "General Custer-esque " in execution, yet which have often turned out to be, some of the most seminal examples or courage and brilliance in combat under fire -- and later doctrine for the warriors way.

"...there is always one more thing you can do to increase your odds of success."

(- an Old dictum frequently expressed by General Hal Moore)

Moore was determined to defeat the enemy. He relied on his training to adapt to the odds facing him. But without concentration to his overall scenario, the outcome to his situation at the Ia Drang would have ended up really different...


Any military SOF operator or Intel officer -- If you're pinned and deployed via such a MOS -- knows that concentration, or lack there of, can me life --or death:

-After three days of no sleep, no food, constant fighting and unsure intent-- you swing your arms mechanically forward again -- hand over hand on an I beam across swinging under a bridge with 50 pounds of high explosives slung on each shoulder your body shutting down, with only your mind screaming at you-- you carry on ...And only then, at near exhaustion crimping blasting caps with ones teeth!

-Putting forth maximum effort in an athletic endeavor such as a rowing race where every stroke is harder than the last or a cross country skiing biathlon where you go from maximum heart rate to total Zen like calm... in a matter of moments... then rally again to put out maximum aerobic effort.

-Learning a foreign language good enough to converse fluently...within a few months.

-Taking aim with a sniper system toward and mans sized target perhaps 800 yards out...with an 8 knot breeze blowing -- from the fantail of a vessel in 5 foot seas-- on a enemy helicopter coming at you with the dawn sun behind him.

- Swimming ten miles on a compass heading...on a moonless night... on a re-breather.

-Slogging it out across the desert, up the mountain, through the jungle -- so dark --you cannot see the man in front of you...

-Consistently making your groupings count, at the same target day after day -- quicker and quicker each time to improve....

-Accomplishing a mission in a war zone where you stand out like a sore thumb on a mission most secret...with out questions, help or objections or guidance ...

We All have strived to advance and improve when there is no visible path except ones own self evaluation. Having a 'can-do that' and done so often demeanor associated with many of us in national service. But many of us don't understand and those aspiring to emulate our exploits need to know is what intrinsic core components drive one to concentration to accomplish a task -- especially while in harms way with eminent danger to our physical and mental well being around us?

If you're an observer form the sidelines -- know one key element that puts us there is a dear and love for our particular brand of duty-- innately.

Yes, your can train one to be a spy or commando. But if they are kicking and screaming the whole way; or if their personal ideology cannot be trusted are you going to want that man at your side on operating on your behalf when the chips are down? Doubtful, I'd say.

Concentration or focusing the human mind is all about self determination. Ironically, a staple in successful individuals be they in business, athletics or military endeavors who either innately understand this key symbiotic relationship of the human condition; or who come to learn it, understand how essential being self determined and focused are key components to taking initiative -- the key component to any successful schooling, personal goal, business endeavor, sporting pursuit or military skill set or operation any human being will ever pursue. So accordingly, concentration to the warrior is all about focus and self determination.

From the combined unconventional and direct actions of the American Old west scout tracker sniper Major Fredrick Russell Burnham working for the British in the second Boer war of the late 1800's and nicknamed by African tribesmen as "he who sees in the dark " ; to countless special operations missions like the combined Rangers and Alamo Scouts rescuing GI POW s in a bold totaling last minute all out focused and successful rescue operation at Cabutuan in 1945 or modern day operations in GWOT many individuals concentration has been so focused, that there outcome as become legendary.

Concentration and focus and self determination like my friend has, does not guarantee anything...except perseverance.

Concentration has been described as: "...centering the mind on one single thought." During concentration, the minds vast neurons are culled together to focus on the object of concentration. There is no jostling of the mind. One idea occupies the mind. The entire energy of the mind is concentrated on the one idea it has .The bodies senses become still. They do not function. When there is deep concentration, there is no consciousness of the body and surroundings.

For the warrior he may not always have that luxury and that's where training and conditioning comes in handy: to allow focus on many things at once.

"The only business tougher than making a Hollywood movie is going to fight a war,' so goes an old adage..."

Funny, I know this guy, who after operating with the Navy, now everyday busts his ass as a civilian to live to accomplish and pursue his life long goals: Making theatrical motion pictures that you or I might go see in neighborhood movie theater someday. As he is truly focused toward a set of milestones in that arena... yet it's his self determination behind his concentration which moves him closer to his goals.

"The power of concentration...can be described as focused attention. It is the ability to direct the attention to one single thought or subject, to the exclusion of everything else. When our mind is focused, our energies are not dissipated on irrelevant activities or thoughts. This is why developing concentration is essential to anyone who aspires to take charge of his or her life. This skill is essential for every kind of success. Without it, our efforts get scattered....But with it, we can accomplish great things....Concentration has many uses and benefits. It assists in studying and understanding faster, improves the memory, and helps in focusing on any task, job, activity or goal, and achieving it more easily and efficiently. It is also required for developing psychic powers, and is a powerful tool for the Efficient use of creative visualization..."

(-From "The Power of Concentration - Part One" By Remez Sasson)

Author William Stockton has further added how an Athletes concentration is a form of meditation to which:

"....the mind over exercise...becomes a means of paying careful attention to the body during a workout. In the act of focusing on the workout second by second, the mind begins to transcend the pain or the shortness of breath or the sluggishness we feel at the moment, all those things that make the workout such a chore. Time flies in this semi-altered mental state, the proponents claim. They say that when we reach this wondrous plateau, the entire body seems to be moving in synchrony, effortlessly."

Have you the Marine, Ranger, SEAL or SF operator ever wondered why in SOF, the idea of upper body endurance built up over extreme amounts of push-ups pull-ups and over hand 'O-course' work to create a physical skills set as torturous as hanging pull ups with a hundred pound back pack on ? Or how many of you in the course of being pushed to the physical edge of your training or in combat have either laughed it off and kept going -devil may care-- or prayed to God, to just help you survive and get through the ordeal?

Many a U.S. Marine from Archibald Gillespie to Mitchell Paige to Pappy Boyington to Peter Ortiz could claim this. Perhaps, it's because some time again in he future they'll be a need to put all the concentration into a task whereby concentrating on making pain a key advantage to you, will be the means to complete the focus at hand someday when your called upon...Much like the legendary Marine who 36 years ago received that bone numbing order to:

"HOLD and DIE!"

Through examination of the selfless exploits of the recently passed U.S. Marine Col. (then Captain) John Ripley, and his unique combination of fitness, ingenuity, a high tolerance of pain, leadership and faith show how a combination of these components forged a self determination for insuring a job gets done, well. With his natural mindset for his ability to follow through and not quit by nature, facets which helped Ripley almost single handily, halt a --close to -- division one enemy in its tracks, one Easter morning nearly forty years ago, is the stuff made of legends...and concentration to what a warrior is all about.

"Along with observations that did not surprise, and which almost sounded like a more adult version of the 12 points of the Boy Scout Law, one man described his skipper as "supremely confident without being brash." That confidence was contagious and several men chimed in that Capt. Ripley's resoluteness and old fashioned bravery sustained them all. Not a small number of his men came up, in different, separate conversations, and credited their survival in Vietnam specifically to his [Ripley] having led them. Not stopping there, those same men often said that because of Capt. Ripley they were better husbands, fathers, and did better in their civilian careers by having been unintentionally exposed to his brand of leadership."

(-From "Honoring the Warriors" by Richard Botkin World Net Daily March 27, 2007)

This above passage illustrates is why leadership by example is so important to concentration. Often your qualities and traits get passed down to your men who will advance and eventually take your place.

Take a glance at the scenario Ripley was embroiled in:

By 1972, there were very few Americans still in combat in Southeast Asia. The majority of U.S. Marines "in country" were fire support or communications specialists and the advisers with the South Vietnamese Marine Corps (The TQLC, or VNMC )... Those Americans Marines selected to serve with the VNMC were considered the "chosen few" for being the last Marines in combat and for the exotic nature of their assignment. As advisers, they wore the distinctive Green Beret and "tiger stripe" battle dress of the VNMC... (...a distinction ironically utilized by other U.S. Special Forces of the era).

Fewer people know how the story of "Ripley at the Bridge" is legendary in the Marine Corps. Or how his "Quad Body" training and unique style of self determination and faith, were suddenly behind his focus to accomplish the most momentous task before him on an Easter Sunday morning in 1972. That day Captain Ripley, while under intense enemy fire, put all his efforts into humbly destroying the main, very over built by US Navy Seabee's heavy bridge, just north of Dong Ha on the Cua Viet River, to stop a major invasion by North Vietnam. His story is required reading for all United States Naval Academy Students, as what it is to focus all your efforts into accomplishing task that when issued seems like a real mission impossible.

Always seeming to draw tough assignments, the Third Marine Battalion - or " Soi Bien" - was a storied unit within the Vietnamese Marine Corps. While John Ripley's actions on Easter Sunday of 1972 would make him a legend among his brother 'covans' and professional contemporaries, he was at least evenly matched with the man who led the Soi Bien.

Major Le Ba Binh was a Marine's Marine. He was to the Vietnamese Marine Corps, in its by-then 18-year history, what Chesty Puller and Dan Daly combined were to the by then 196-year history of the U.S. Marine Corps. About the same age as his trusted friend John Ripley, Binh had even served as a student at The Basic School in Quantico where all American Marine lieutenants are schooled in the warrior arts. Wounded at least a dozen times, he already been decorated for valor on seven separate occasions when the Easter Offensive began.

Binh was the consummate combat leader. Always out front where the action was heaviest, he was revered by his men and would endure any burden to defeat the hated communists. With the world crumbling around his Marines and the generally poor showing being put forth by most ARVN units in Military Region 1, he intended to follow the orders he received - to hold at all costs. At the end of March the NVA began a massive attack toward the South. By mid-day Eastern Sunday, nothing was on the QL-1 axis between the enemy and the coveted Quang Tri City except a river, a bridge and a battalion of Vietnamese Marines and tanks. With them on the ground in MR-1 were the advisors. The 3 rd VNMC Battalion, with Captain John W. Ripley as its sole American advisor, was spreading along Route 9 from Cam Lo to Dong HA. Ripley was on his second tour in Vietnam [providing] "advise" and fire support coordination to the 700 man VNMC unit on the south side of the river sent to gain enough time for the 3 rd ARVN Division to organize a new defense line south of the Thach Han River....Friendly Fire bases to the north and west of the Third Marine Battalion and Ripley at Dong Ha were being over run and armor columns were moving south.

With 20,000 Soldiers and 200 tanks rolling toward them, It was a shock to Ripley and the VNMC he was with to what they were about to face : "...We simply couldn't image the enemy attacking with such a great force," commented Ripley. With the report of approaching tanks, Major Le Ba Binh, the 3 rd VNMC battalion commander, was ordered by his brigade commander to hold Dong Ha... Ripley was told to expect the worst: a column of Communists PT-76 and T-54 tanks were approaching...Binh was ordered : "hold Dong Ha at all costs." Ripley recalled an "absolute fire storm" of Communist artillery fire hitting Dong HA at this point. Enemy tanks appeared on the horizon sending up rooster tails of dust as they barreled down QL-1. Naval gunfire from America destroyers in the Tonkin Gulf had some effect on the enemy advance as oily black columns of smoke rose over the north bank of the river. At 1200, the ARVN M48s began firing at the NVA tank column, knocking out six Communists vehicles...But this was not enough to stop them.-- This was the invasion of the NVA to overwhelm the ARVN.

"I'll never forget that order, 'hold and die'...the only way to stop the enormous force with their tiny force was to destroy the bridge," he said." The idea that I would be able to even finish the job before the enemy got me was ludicrous !" (- Ripley in Video Interview)

Many soldiers such as I, have dealt with death by accepting its consequences before an operation. Or, when faltering, we catch ourselves and ask 'what's the worst?' and accept it, and carry on with determination.... I think many of us; at least I know I used this same line of thinking to force situations. When I could accept the worst, it made it possible for me to become a driven machine and carry on.

...As the first NVA tank approached the bridge...Vietnamese Marine Sergeant Huynh Van Luom, a veteran of many years fighting, took two M72 light anti-attack assault weapons (LAAW) and walked up to the south side of the bridge. Although he was a section leader, he moved forward alone. As he reached the bridge, he took two ammunition boxes filled with dirt and a single roll of concertina wire and placed them in front of him. It was a ludicrous situation; the 90-- yes, read that - a nine-zero pound South Vietnamese Marine crouched in the firing position to battle a 40-ton behemoth bearing down on his meager fortification. Luom coolly extended both LAWs as the NVA tank started across the bridge. His first shot missed. His second shot hit the turret jamming it. The enemy tank commander backed off the bridge, making the worst possible decision he could have. All at once, the Soi Biehn Marines along the river saw that the enemy armor could be stopped. The whole incident took only a few seconds. Sergeant Luom grinned and the whole front breathed easier. Captain Ripley gave Sergeant Luom credit for "single-handily stopping the momentum of the entire attack."

Deeply focused, Ripley quickly surmised his options n as it became very clear what had to happen: "I called back to my superiors and said I must destroy that bridge, " noted Ripley. Now his division Commander Lt. Colonel Turley could not give him orders to do so. The decision required an upper divisional authority. "I can't give you that authority--however," [Turley told Ripley,] " you've got to do it. You've got to destroy that bridge!"

If necessary Turley would get him additional demolitions would be sent up and that higher headquarters had been informed of the decision. When Ripley heard this, he replied " He had always wanted to blow a bridge," Although he was modest, almost shy, no man could have been better qualified to do the job, with demolition expertise from Ranger training and the Royal Marine's Special Boat Squadron (SBS).

Ripley noted when he first looked out over the bridge and river, "...I initially thought I had no idea how I was going to do this. The Challenge was overwhelming. My gosh! I thought. How was I going to get my self out there? Let alone what turned out to be 500 or so pounds of explosives?" (- Ripley video interview)

Ripley contemplating his tasks at hand immediately received other American allies to convey good news and support him. At 1245, the ARVN division command post radioed Major James E. Smock, U.S. Army advisor with the 20 the ARVN Tank Battalion, authorization to blow the Dong Ha Bridge immediately.

"When you know you're not going to make it, a wonderful thing happens: You stop being cluttered by the feeling that you're going to save your butt." (- Ripley video interview)

As Ripley walked forward toward the bridge, Major Smock on an ARVN tank called "Hey Marine, climb aboard and let's go blow a bridge."

The two Americans with two M48 tanks moved forward to within 100 meters from of the bridge. Still in defilade, the tanks stopped at this point. Ripley and Smock dismounted, shielded from enemy view by an old bunker. From the bunker to the bridge was open space swept by enemy artillery and small arms fire. There were no aircraft overhead or naval gunfire coming in to provide covering fire. The Marines in forward positions fired at the north bank as the two advisers came forward.

Ripley and Smock ran across the open space. They found ARVN engineers, sticking to 500 pounds of TNT and C-4 plastic explosives at the juncture of the bridge and the approach ramp. The ARVN engineers, however, had placed the explosives in such a position that upon detonation, the bridge would merely "flap" in place and not have dropped. Ripley, quickly surveying the situation, realized that the explosives would have to be placed along the girders under the bridge. A high chain-linked fence topped by "German razor wire "prevented access to the underpinnings of the bridge. After a quick conference with Smock, it was agreed that once Ripley cleared the fence, Smock would lift the TNT over the fence and Ripley, in turn, would shoulder two satchels at a time and move forward to place it place it underneath this spans.

"I put a satchel charge on each shoulder. Then reached up and grabbed an I-beam with both hands kicking my way through the anti sapper German razor wire fence. The Other advisor [Major Smock] would pull the wire down while I kicked my way through... the razor wire quickly sliced the back of my legs...all the way up to my belt line, up to my webbing...I also had my weapon slung across my back -- not really right thing to do but I wasn't at the best t of judgment at the time." (- Ripley video interview)

Swinging his body up and over the fence, Ripley barely cleared the concertina, shredding his uniform. Clearing this obstacle, and with a satchel charge and some blasting caps, the Marine started hand-over-hand above the water along the first girder. AS he began his approach he began to realize his situation.

"As I started along burden by the explosives, my webbing my weapon...AS I started to realize that I had been awake and fighting for three solid days and nights. No rest...SO I was exhausted when I started. I also had not had any sustenance apart from a sip out of my canteen for three days. Nothing not even a tiny little bowl of rice. My body was run down. I was very exhausted. -- physically -- But I had a tremendous focus on the mission -- what I had to do in order to stop the enemy. I had a tremendous focus on the obvious requirement, that I do my duty, do it correctly and that I could be counted on..." (- Ripley video interview)

Another key to his concentration was the great training he received while serving as a first lieutenant attending Ranger school at Fort Benning, Ga., in 1965. Ripley took the class in the dead of winter, which he recalls as being especially brutal that year.

"They had to break the ice for us to qualify in the water survival class," Ripley said. "It was so cold that we had to constantly worry about frostbite and hypothermia. The real leadership of these men stood out." To create a true-to-combat training environment, the troops were deliberately kept hungry." They wanted you to continue to perform under these extremes of physical deprivation," he said. (- Ripley video interview)

During his assault on the bridge, Ripley called on all his difficulty evolutions of his past to get him through it.

"...that could not have happened had I not had the training I had at Ranger school. I was exhausted, at night; freezing cold and when I got there you had to rely on just your adrenaline and your staying power..." (- Ripley video interview)

(NOTE: I , Dave, take this above quote as personal tribute to all us "winter" Rangers.)

About halfway out over the swiftly flowing water, Ripley tried to swing himself up into the steal girders by hooking his heels on either side of the beam. It was then that he realized that he still had on his webbing and his rifle slung over his shoulder. All at once, the weight was oppressive. As he was hanging by his hands with explosives, web gear, weapon, watched by the NVA soldiers, Ripley made another effort to secure a foothold on the beam. His arms ached with pain, his finger grasp felt insecure, and he could not hang there indefinitely. After several attempts to swing his body he lodged his heels on the beam. Working his way up into the steal of the bridge, he discovered that the support girders were separated by practically the width of the ammunition crates in which the explosives had been packed.

"When I moved out over the river, despite this personal commitment, my body seemed to be failing me. I was a fit individual. yet despite being fit, because I was run down during this period, I realized this was going to be a very tough chore..." (- Ripley video interview)

Crawling back and forth between the beams, Ripley placed the demolitions in a staggered alignment between the six girders. Major Smock, remaining at the fence, muscled the 50-pound boxes near the five channels created by the six beams, by climbing the fence each time and placing them within Ripley's reach. As each channel was mined, it was necessary for Ripley to drop down from one beam and swing over the next, very similar to a high wire act in a circus.

Ripley's Concentration was deeper then any mere high wire act. With sporadic small arms fire dancing consistently and precariously close to his hand holds, he knew if he did not complete the task the ARVN would be over run. . .

"It took three hours to wire the bridge. The enemy was trying to get my attention, sending a constant stream of .30 caliber messages. They were not successful. Only heaven knows how," (- Ripley video interview)

His body taxed to its extreme limits, Ripley attributes his success to the help of Our Lord and His Mother. When his energy was about to give out and he moved hand over hand he began a rhythmic chant, "...As I hand walked out ... I can remember so clearly saying ...'Jesus, Mary, Get me there.' [to the rhythmic cadence of his hands moving]...over and over and over -- and the strength came --it just came. It was perhaps phenomenal -- It was easy to explain. But it's not easy to understand --and yet it worked! For me it worked! a perfect example of faith in action. and the result of your faith no matter how strong, assisting you in a very physical way, in a very tangible way, when you really need it. Boy did I need it! I'd been raised in the church a very faithful person... Luck comes from faith.... In this example, over and over and over you never lose your conscious stream of thought." (- Ripley video interview)

As the Marine laboriously dragged each crate of TNT down the chute formed by the legs of each of the beams, Major Smock became impatient with Ripley's meticulous manner and concerned about the small-arms fire from the north bank, 50 meters away. Smock called to him , "Hey, you dumb jarhead, that isn't necessary... What are you waiting for?"

"You tankers don't know anything," Ripley assured Smock. The charges had to be placed diagonally in order to torque the span from its abutment. Smock insisted that there was enough power to blow that bridge and "three more like it." Nevertheless, despite the inner-service rivalry, the bridge had to be destroyed on the first try. There would be no time for a second attempt... After lifting all the boxes of explosives to Ripley, Smock sat down and lit a cigarette. With, the explosives in place, Ripley slightly relaxing amidst the steel girders, .took the electric blasting caps from his pocket and crimped them to the communications wire being used to detonate the charge. Reality began to gnaw at his concentration.

"I would work myself into the steel. I used my teeth to crimp the detonator and thus pinch it into place on the fuse. I crimped it with my teeth while the detonator was halfway down my throat... At one point I was so exhausted...on the last channel on all fours... I lost consciousness. for perhaps 30 seconds... I could realize where I was as a enemy talk fired a round out side the beam it skipped off and brought me back to the moment-- a another incredible bit of luck. I'd been raised in the church a very faithful person... Luck comes from faith.... Your so busy you don't dwell on that, but you never stop thinking about the here and now and the reality. In my case I thought about my family and the terrible things I would do if I were eventually lost which was a very clear reality and I thought I was certain I was lost. I could not get that terrible feeling out of my mind ...I could not stop thinking about may family...Amy wife and how I could lose them...yet through this virtually continuous ..very simple prayer and the rhythm tic aspect of it--[Jesus, Mary, Get me there...Get me there.]...what a huge difference it made and the success I like to think came from that very simple prayer--" (- Ripley video interview)

Clearing the fence, he ran for the wire to the burning wreckage of a nearby "Jeep." As a precaution, he had cut 30 minutes of time fuse before attempting an electrical detonation using the vehicle's battery. Ripley touched the wire to either terminal, but the bridge did not blow. Now it seemed the fate of South Vietnam's Northern provinces rested on a burning fuse sputtering its way towards 500-pounds of high explosive. After what seemed like an eternity, the time fuse neared its end. The telltale smoke trail was now out of view. Smock and Ripley "waited and hoped." Ripley noticing a small Vietnamese woman grabbed her to prevent her form the explosion when suddenly, the bridge blew! The shock wave knocked Ripley and the woman into the ground. While the span, curling in the predicted twisting manner, was severed from the berm "and settled into the river."

The smoking open space between the north and south banks was a beautiful sight for the two Americans. At 1630, Ripley reported to division headquarters that the bridge had been destroyed, and that Major Smock demolished the railroad bridge upstream.

Ripley's action is considered one of the greatest examples of concentration under fire in the annals of U.S. military history. It delayed NVA forces from taking Saigon for another three years. For his actions and exploits at Dong Ha exploits earned him a Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism in destroying the Dong Ha bridge and an eternal spot in Marine Corps lore, during the That action is memorialized at Annapolis with a large diorama titled "Ripley at the Bridge".

"...[Ripley's] extreme heroism and perseverance in literally impossible circumstances resulted in his being awarded the Navy Cross, the nation's second highest award for combat valor. (There are many who believe that the heroism he displayed easily rose to the Medal of Honor level. That Ripley was not so recognized remains a mystery to this day.) The strategic significance of the Dong Ha Bridge was such that had Ripley not blown the bridge and denied the massive NVA armor and infantry combined-arms force entree into northern I Corps on Highway One at that time, the momentum of the communist attacks in the early stages of what the world would come to know as the Easter Offensive might well have carried them to ultimate victory in 1972 instead of 1975."(- "From Honoring the Warriors" March 27, 2007 By Richard Botkin © 2009)

John Ripley is now the pride of the entire USMC.

The legendary leatherneck also became the first Marine inducted into the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame on June 11th, 2008, in honor for the assault on Dong Ha Bridge. The commanding officer for the Marine detachment at Fort Benning, Ga. at the time of Ripley's induction noted how it's impossible to overstate the importance to the Corps of Ripley's induction into the Ranger Hall of Fame.

"At a recent ceremony here, we had the chief of staff of the U.S. Army at the 2008 Best Ranger Competition. He said that if the Army is the strength of the nation, then the Ranger is the heart of the Army, so when you hold it in that level, with the title and distinction of being a Ranger, to select a retired Marine Corps officer is evidence of how impressive his career is." (~Lt. Col. Jeff Knudson, 39, commanding officer for the Marine detachment at Fort Benning, GA, June 2008)

John Ripley died in his home in Annapolis Maryland October 28, 2008 During his military funeral at the U.S. Naval Academy with full honors, his son, Captain Thomas Ripley USMC, in his eulogy to his father, recounted the following components of his fathers make up which revealed just what always stood be his ability to concentrate under fire and pressure.

"Over and over in his notes he says the same thing - To be a Marine is to be blessed. My emblem is the same as yours and the same as the hundreds of thousands that went before me - they are watching me perform. I have to uphold the standards. My father's style of leadership was summed up on a card he gave me when [I was] commissioned. A Marine Leader must have:

  • The Spirit of the Attack - March to the sound of the guns
  • Boldness - You are part of the finest fighting force in the world - act like it.
  • Receptiveness for risk taking - Risk comes with the job, and if you are not comfortable operating with risk then you need to get into a new line of work.
  • Endurance, mental & physical - Mental is far more important than physical
  • Decisiveness - Make a decision, Lieutenant!
  • A sense of mission, a sense of duty. - Mission first, Marines Always!
    (- Captain Thomas Ripley USMC, in his eulogy to his father)

Colonel John Ripley USMC , throughout his life and his career exemplified what it is to be a warrior who concentrates. For a warrior who concentrates, is engaging the enemy. When a warrior disengages the enemy he no longer concentrates his efforts towards the enemy.

The source of Colonel John Ripley's ability to concentrate under fire; carry on through sleep deprivation and without three days of food, is found amongst his training anecdotes and those notes to his son as the reasons for his ability to endure and concentrate -- from the day he enlisted into Marine corps, until his final breath on the day he passed away.

He will always be a national treasure and truly missed by the special operations community.

* * * Next month stay tuned for why self determination is the other key element to a warriors successful concentration , in Concentration Part II.


For the record Col. John Walter Ripley USMC was born in Radford, Va., June 29, 1939 and descended from a long line of veterans going back to the Revolutionary War. His father was a Annapolis Grad in 1922 and his two other brothers were also Marine officers.

(Dressed in their U.S. Marine Corps uniforms, the Ripley brothers -- (from left) John, Michael and George Ripley -- pose with their father, Francis Ripley, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1922. Courtesy of the Ripley family)

John Ripley enlisted into the Marine Corps in 1957 at 17 years holdout of High school. A year later after spending a year in naval school in Newport, R.I., he was appointed to the Naval Academy by the secretary of the navy, graduating in 1962, with a B.S. degree in electrical engineering, and received his commission as a second lieutenant. John Ripley was regarded by one of his Naval Academy Classmates of 1962 as "a Marine's Marine, respected, highly respected by enlisted men, by his peers and by his seniors." After completing basic school he joined the Marine Detachment on the USS Independence. After his sea duty, he joined 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines. In May 1965, Ripley was transferred to 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company, and after training, he deployed to Vietnam with his platoon.

In October 1966, Ripley joined 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines in South Vietnam. He served as Company Commander of Lima Company, known as "Ripley's Raiders," was wounded in action, then returned to active duty and completed his combat tour. During his two years of Vietnam service, he participated in 26 major operations.

Ripley, as a Capitan in 1972 is credited with stopping the North Vietnamese invasion of the south tanks by blowing up a pair of bridges --known as the Bridge at Dong Ha during the April 1972 North Vietnamese Easter Offensive of the Vietnam War. This action (also known as the Nguyen Hue Offensive) with about 735 South Vietnamese Marines has often unofficially credited Ripley as the key America serviceman to delay a further invasion of the NVA to the south for 3 more years.

In addition to numerous decorations for extensive combat experience at the rifle company and battalion levels, Ripley also earned the Marine Corps "Quad Body" distinction, for making it through four of the toughest military training programs in the world: the Army Rangers, Marine reconnaissance, Army Airborne and Britain's Royal Marines.

In 2002, he also became the very first Marine officer to receive the "Distinguished Graduate Award", the highest and most prestigious award given by Annapolis. Also, in May 2004, Marines of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit named a Forward Operating Base after him (FOB Ripley) in south-central Afghanistan.In July 2006, the Naval Academy Prep School dedicated its new dormitory as "Ripley Hall", honoring their former graduate. In addition to the Navy Cross, his personal decorations include the Silver Star, two Legions of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals with 'V' for Valor, the Purple Heart, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the South Vietnamese Army Distinguished Service Order, 2nd Class, and the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star.

Requiem in Pacem, Colonel Ripley. Semper Fidelis.

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I have read numerous selections of yours on Courage, Honor and Fortitude .... Nothing stands more important than this last piece of yours....All I can say is that there is a group of us who are banding together to try and educate all those who took that sacred Oath to Keep that sacred Oath...

OATHKEEPERS.ORG Check us out and please continue to write your inspirational newsletter...

Marty Farrell
Oathkeeper MD

You are correct.. I fought for this country and server 25 years.. I hate the news and how easily America has given into what I fought against for so long.. I hate all the BS and leftist propaganda that is being published as fact.. We need to remember who we are as a nation and take back our country.. Too many have give so much to be forgotten..


Thank you Dave.

I spent 9/11 at Arlington visiting old friends.
I spent 9/12 on DC West Lawn making new ones.

Best wishes for all,
A Viet Vet.

You are a true american!

I think your newsletter this month is a timely much needed words. I feel such despare in this country. My son being a special forces warrior is always on my mind. I hate the direction of this country by our cowardly leaders. BOTH sides. I only pray pray pray we survive. It grieves me so I wept at the sight of our present leadership and all thier destruction of our great country. Keep up all your work God b ewith you and all our great fighting military


Your message is exactly correct for us right now in the US. Many time I think when I hear or see things we are doing that it must be an absurd movie I'm watching or a football game where the commentators are saying stuff so far from what I'm seeing that I ask, "what game are THEY watching?"

WE must all keep fighting and win all the little wars, within our individual communities, towns, cities, counties and states or we will be left a loser and this country will be gone - forever. It's up to us, the few who will never quit, to rally our country back and away from the liberals and give-aways that now are trying to wrestle our freedoms and strengths away from us. DO NOT FALTER, NOR GIVE UP. Remember, you will always GET WHAT YOU TAKE. If you take their crap and rheteroic then that's what you will get - so don't take it! Fight and do so smartly until we again TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY.

Skip "NO Mercy" Hall

My goose pimples are only diminished by those troops crossing the Delaware. Keep it up,

chuck USA Ret

Right on. You've hit the nail onthe head. Great Job-Keep up the good work. Take a look at oathkeepers.org.


Where have all our leaders gone as I look around and see the people no longer the same people but still pulling the same DOO DOO. When the colonist founded this country as one nation under GOD was long before everyone else got in the picture and screwed everything up with their views of heritage as a voice of the people, but who's people ! The Russian's revolted with the Bolshevick's against Imperial Russia when they didn't like the way things were. Castro did it in Cuba when he didn't like the way Cuba was was run, but used that excuse to kill or exile old family ruling just like the Chinese did against their Imperial state like communist's like the Kmere Rouge did to all those poor souls in Cambodia. Now since they all came here to America they try the same lines for the people as they attack and trade off our old administration for the new one and things are even worse for all of US now as I see old friends and families broke up and students working protest against out govenment as the did in Athens or even China, and pull the same thing here like in Rodney King or some other ethnic or racial issue as American's and or her citizens as they sacrifice those old sacride cows for someone elses BULL!

White Cloud

That is how we found 2 under and behind BRANCHES tree's, saved a lot of 5th spec. forces ,learn by example!


Dave, I agree with you 110%. Our so-called leaders on both sides of the aisle no longer govern for the people. It has reached a point that they have decided they know more than the people do and will govern to such that they will decide what is best for the people even if the people voice their desires differently. It is as if they will decide for us and make us like it no matter what. We are reaching the widesd devision in America we have ever know and I dread where it seems to be taking us. God help the military and what they may be called on to do here in America if this continues on. Loyalties are going to be streched to a breaking point I fear.

Jim Matthews 1st Sgt.Ret.

U.S. Army



The plane in these pictures is still officially the 'Air Vehicle. Number 1', a prototype, on board the USS George Washington CVN-73 for catapult fit checks. Not exactly still Top Secret but certainly not yet made public.

It will be known as the F/A-37. Although specs are classified, it is believed to be Mach 3.5 (top speed in the Mach 4 range) super- cruise stealth fighter/bomber/interceptor with approximately a 4,000nm range.


You've been hoaxed again. These photos are ancient. This thing was a prop for the 2005 film "Stealth." http://www.snopes.com/photos/airplane/a37.asp Also, while the Blended Wing Body / X-48 program continues, it's on a very slow track. I expect it'll be more than 20 years before this thing flies. Keep up your (other) good work, of course. :-)

Timely Dave,

I sure hope the one's that read it take heed. We are losing by the fact we do not care. A little of our freedom here some there and soon we are serfs. The time to go is now. make ourselves heard. So maybe we can't kick out a liberal in a liberal area but we can let them know we are concerned about the loss of our free will and the eroding freedom from oppression. Go!


Great message I have been saying this for years. To be a true leader you have to care about who you are leading. Our dictators do not care they are about profit. An old Daoist proverb is that a true leader follows his people so that he knows what their needs are, meaning what will bring the best out of the people and what will help them thrive, because if your peole thrive, so does the rest of the country not just a choosen few. Great message again Dave...


great message. Keep them coming. Though we may be outnumbered we have the resolve to see this thing through. God Bless America


Dave - Your selection of General George Washington, 1st President of the United States, is a selection that means things to most people. In the form of a real leader that has prove himself for many years of dedication would be General Colin Powell, He demonstrated his principles and honor when he withdrew from the position of US Secretary of State. Thought he declines political involvement he should be pressed to re-evaluate his position. A Scholar, Soldier, Leader with an honest understanding of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, he could and should be an immediate replacement for the failure we currently have. General Powell would not allow the radical liberal democrats to slice away at our American Rights. Possibly putting the actions of Obama Administration in check and reversed those that harm the Americam way of life and standards built and fought for by our ancestor's from 1776 thru 2008. I believe his common sense and intellect would LEAD this country to the principles is has stood for.


Bill Ayers must be running the Whitehouse.


Timely Dave. I sure hope the one's that read it take heed. We are losing by the fact we do not care. A little of our freedom here some there and soon we are serfs. The time to go is now. make ourselves heard. So maybe we can't kick out a liberal in a liberal area but we can let them know we are concerned about the loss of our free will and the eroding freedom from oppression. Go!


Great message I have been saying this for years. To be a true leader you have to care about who you are leading. Our dictators do not care they are about profit. An old Daoist proverb is that a true leader follows his people so that he knows what their needs are, meaning what will bring the best out of the people and what will help them thrive, because if your peole thrive, so does the rest of the country not just a choosen few. Great message again Dave..


Here I am, introducing myself.

I have ordered for you guys, but it,s been a while (I am out of the game, so to speak, but I believe in the oath I have take more then once)

Anyway; Hi, I am Adam, I write about what I do and how others can do it and what to take and I review gear. I also have an adventure (brand new) forum (just started it up a few days ago.

http://www.professionaladventurer.com is my main site, I get about 6000 readers a month. You will notice I have NO ADs. I am starting down that road soon. Any interest in being the first? I also do sponsored reviews ( send me some piece of gear on loan or permanently). I write the review with links back to your products. OTB Boots, Atlantco (TRU SPEC Combat shirt), Counter Assault, Hennesse Hammocks and others have done that.

Anyway, check out my site, love to hear what you think. Ads, no ads, sponsored gear reviews or not no matter. I like reading your newsletters, look forward to them and thanks for he work I know goes into them.

Cheers and have a great day!

Adam Appel

Adventurer & Consultant

Excellent piece. I am sending out the following to all in government. I had to take a stand: WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES

To those we have elected;

We The People Of The United States, with one voice and in complete agreement write this to all that we have placed in trust of our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

You have totally broken this trust that we placed in you in working for us. You have limited our rights, you have worked to control what we do, you have sought to take control of private businesses, you are trying to do away with our 2nd Amendment rights, control what we say, put in place socialism to name a few.

It is at this time that We The People are declaring you the people we trusted to speak and do our will concerning governing this country a tyrannical government. You have let us down. You have forgotten that you work for us the people of this great nation. We are the government. Not you. We had hoped it would not be this way but in order to save our country from being destroyed by you, we are taking back control of our country. Not the following:

"Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." --- The Declaration of Independence

It is our right and responsibility as guaranteed under the Declaration of Independence and Constitution to initiate this. We are going to do everything within our legal rights to accomplish this as you are not suitable trustees of our country.

We The People Of The United States


hi dave your dead right but its not only the usa its here in england ,complete apathy from the masses and no sign of a true leader i cant see where its all going aprt from social disintergration ,keep up the good work and hopefully something might happen.......gary [uk]

Dave, as always you write a thought provoking excellent article. However, posting pics of a fictitious plane, US Navy, you need to do better research. That plane was from the movie stealth, and the LT test pilot was the actress Jessica Biel.

Keep up the great work. I always forward parts of your newsletter to people everywhere. The stories you provide us with ALWAYS make me proud to be an American and thankful for the brave men and women that serve us. God Bless you for doing this work and God Bless our service men and women.


Enjoyed your message. I guess all of us are getting too old. Don't have the energy for a fight anymore. Wish I did.



I am currently deployed to Iraq as Operations Battle NCO of a 30 person Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Company. We are closely partnering with our Iraqi counterpart in order to return control back to the Iraqi's which will allow us to fight bigger/meaner battles in Afghanistan. On 12 August, the Kirkuk City EOD team lost 25% of its members to a vehicle-borne IED. We are planning to memorialize these men on three barriers here on FOB Warrior. However, this will take resources. We are planning a 5-mile run to raise money for this cause. Could Special Forces donate bags, bottles, hats, shirts, or anything we could use as prizes to entice participation? Thanks for your support of the US military.= o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"


TSgt Steven Stillings
FOB Warrior
APO AE 09359

FOB Warrior/McHenry
DSN: 318-444-2334/SVOIP: 242-2208
NIPR: steven.stillings@krab.afcent.af.mil
SIPR: steven.stillings@krab.afcent.af.smil.mil

A Marines Request:

Anyone interested in helping just contact Special Forces Gear for details. specialforces@specialforces.com

To whom it may concern,

Good afternoon. My name is Sergeant Brian, United States Marine Corps. I'm currently a Platoon Sergeant in the Infantry with the Marines. I've done 3 combat tours to Iraq and 1 MEU. We are currently on a work up to deploy to Afghanistan spring/summer of 2010. The reason I am writing this letter is to find out if you would be able to help provide support to my platoon for the future operations on our deployment. My platoon consists of 40 Marines and 2 Navy Corpsman. I know this is a great amount of men, however any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time to receive my request. Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sgt. Brian Wpns Platoon MAR DIV


We just received our latest order of t-shirts here on the DORADO. I just wanted to thank you for the large banner that you guys sent our way too. It looks great! We have it hanging in our office with pride. Thank you again for your guys support and great customer service.


Thank you very much. Just received Caps. Good service and products. Cheers from New Zealand...

Word of Truth

The Word of Truth - Alive and Powerful

The Word of Truth

Good and Evil

By Rev G.J. Rako
LTC (Ret)

Dr. Eugene M. Osterhaven, professor of Systematic Theology at Western Theological Seminary of Holland, Michigan states, "The New Testament teaching on human works are characterized in general as: "from the devil," 1 Jn 3:8; Jn 8:41; "of darkness," Rom 13:12; "of the flesh," Gal 5:19; "evil," Jude 15; Mt 23:3; "lawless," 2 Pet 2:8; "dead," Heb 6:1, 9:14. The only works that will stand the scrutiny of God are those which are effected by His Holy Spirit and grounded in faith [Bible doctrine], Jn 3:21; Jn 6:29; 1 Thes 1:3; Rom 2:6-7; Acts 26:20. Soon after the apostolic age, a drifting from the Biblical viewpoint of good works is noticeable. Whereas the New Testament had taught that the Kingdom is built upon God's grace, not human merit."

  1. Dr. Osterhaven has discovered that what Christians often call 'good' is Satanic, from the old sin nature, evil, lawless, and dead works.
  2. Many sincere believers have entered into a system of good deeds that are not acceptable to God, in fact, they contradict the plan of God.
  3. There are many believers who have the gift of helps and have taken that gift beyond its function; for the gift of helps was never designed to control other people. The gift of helps was never designed to be a system of dependency, where people depend on you. It was never designed to be a system of developing cliques or organizations within a church. It was designed for something far greater.
  4. There are two categories of good: divine good and human good.
  5. Principles Related to Divine and Human Good.
    1. Divine good is an absolute concept related to God. Human good is a relative concept related to mankind. Divine good is related to God's perfect standards. The fact that we, as believers, can perform divine good means that God has given us in grace the means of doing so. The means of producing divine good is the filling of the Holy Spirit and the perception of Bible doctrine.
    2. Divine good is permanent and absolute. Human good is temporary and relative.
    3. The absolute good from God will last forever. The human good from mankind may last a day, month, year, decade, or century.
    4. Human good is corruptible, because mankind has a sin nature and commits acts of personal sin. Human good produces blind arrogance and corrupts the one who produces it.
    5. By way of contrast, the absolute good from God is incorruptible and eternal. When the believer is filled with the Spirit and growing from doctrine, his human good is converted into divine good.
    6. Human good is based upon the relative standards of mankind; divine good is based on the absolute and eternal standards of God.

  6. Human Good and Dependency.
    1. It is possible for believers to enter a congregation, and through the function of human good create a dependency so that there is a church within a church.
    2. The dependency becomes a substitute for doctrine. A person becomes a role model, a crutch. Our dependency is on Bible doctrine and not on the good that can be and will be done for us.
    3. The spiritual gift of helps never crosses over that invisible line. The spiritual gift of helps means the filling of the Spirit and occupation with Christ provides a fantastic motivation of doing something as unto the Lord, and does not discriminate with regard to whom is being helped and what their attitude may be toward you.

  7. General Introductory Principles.
    1. Absolute good is from God, and therefore, incorruptible.
    2. Human good is from sinful standards, and is corruptible. This is why human good can be parlayed into evil by arrogant motivation.
    3. Human good is corrupted by sin in two areas: sinful motivation or intent; sinful result from human good.
    4. When human good is corrupted, it is parlayed into evil.
    5. There are two categories of the corruption of human good.
      1. Sinful motivation produces the formula: sin plus human good equals evil.
      2. Sinful result produce the formula: human good plus sin equals evil.
    6. Human good cannot sustain itself in the sphere of spiritual death. In spiritual death we are in total depravity, total separation from God, and total helplessness to do anything to establish a relationship with God, and a dichotomous status quo. This makes it impossible for the unbeliever in spiritual death to understand God or the plan of God, even that related to good. However, he can understand establishment good. Therefore, establishment good is something that both the believer and unbeliever can accomplish by self-determination.

  8. There are systems of human good, such as: socialism; the attempt to create perfect environment.
  9. Counseling is a part of human good.
  10. Good includes the fact that God has already done everything for us in grace.
    1. The Exodus generation had to learn that God had already done everything for them. For example: the crossing of the Red Sea, water in the desert, the Manna, the quail. The battle is the Lord's and He will fight for us every day.
    2. Since God has already done everything, we only need to stand still and not be concerned about anything. The key to this is what happened on the cross.
    3. Our Lord did the greatest deed or good work in history by bearing our sins. Who has the nerve to take his human works and add them to the perfect finished work of Christ? Christians who say you also have to:
      1. Make a commitment to God.
      2. Repent (which they define as feeling sorry for your sins).
      3. Make Christ Lord of your life. God the Holy Spirit did this at the moment of salvation by entering you into union with Christ. You do not have the power or ability to make Christ Lord of your life.
      4. Perform some ritual work, such as being baptized.
      5. Be good, be moral, keep the Mosaic Law.
      6. Perform some psychological work, such as raising your hand, walking forward.
      7. Feel saved, speak in tongues, weeping tears at the altar.
      8. Invite Christ into your heart or into your life.
      No spiritually dead person can invite Christ anywhere. The spiritually dead person can only accept the invitation of God to believe in Christ.
    4. All good deeds begin with what God has done for us. Anything added to faith in Christ for salvation is human good, and it cancels the validity of faith. Tit 3:5; Rom 3:20-28; Rom 4:4-5. Anything added to faith cancels faith, Eph 2:8-10.
    5. If human good and human works are excluded from salvation, and they are, it follows that human good and human works are excluded from the plan of God for the believer. Mankind in spiritual death has no system of good deeds by which he can impress God and have eternal life. When it comes to salvation, the only good that impresses God is the saving work of Christ on the cross.

  11. What kind of works are involved in the plan of God for the Church?
    1. There is a system of good which can be performed by believers, and which is acceptable to God. These works are classified as divine good.
    2. Divine good performed by the believer is always a result of the grace provision of God. God provides the basis by which we can perform the good deed. He provides the filling of the Holy Spirit, our portfolio of invisible assets, problem solving devices, promises from the Word of God, and the doctrine which motivates us to perform the good deed.
    3. Divine good is the only legitimate system of works in the protocol plan of God. Human good can be performed in relationship to the laws of divine establishment, but for the believer the divine mandate requires divine good. We are created in Christ Jesus for good of intrinsic value deeds, Eph 2:10.

Evil on the other hand is:

  1. Evil is the policy of Satan as the ruler of this world. Evil is the modus operandi of Satan from the time of his fall throughout the angelic revolution and down to the point when be became the ruler of the world.
  2. Evil is Satan's failure to produce a system of good in mankind and society that would bring in a pseudo-millennium.
  3. Evil is Satan's system by which he administers the rulership of this world. Satan cannot restrain sin, and he parlays human good into sin and evil.
  4. All evil has two sources: sin and erroneous thinking, and human good (the motivation of evil) and erroneous thinking. Where the sin of self-righteousness plus human good or sincerity combines, there is a saturation of evil in a nation.
  5. The principle is that if Satan as the ruler of this world is not capable of ruling the world he controls, then no man can rule it either. Man cannot solve his problems by human solutions. All solutions to the problems of life depend on the imputation of God's perfect righteousness.
  6. Evil is the function and innovation of that person who is consistently involved in the cosmic system.
  7. Evil is the adverse trend of society. It is the destruction of society, the malfunction of society, and the removal of legitimate authority and its function under category one truth, i.e., the laws of divine establishment.
  8. Just as grace and doctrine represent the genius of God in relationship to the human race, so evil represents the genius of Satan in relationship to the human race.
  9. The soul is the battleground of every believer in the Church Age, especially because this is the intensified stage of the angelic conflict. What you think is more important than you realize.
  10. There are two ways of thinking.
    1. Divine viewpoint is thinking doctrine, which glorifies Christ.
    2. Human viewpoint is thinking evil, which dishonors Christ.
    3. Therefore, the issue is thought versus thought.

  11. Recovery from sin is instantaneous through the use of the rebound technique(1John 1:9), but recovery from evil takes a long time through post-salvation epistemological rehabilitation.
  12. Evil is the human good panacea which attempts to solve the problems of life apart from doctrine and divine establishment. Doctrine and establishment came first, being from the mind of God.
  13. Evil is often a distortion of doctrine or a distortion of the laws of divine establishment. Satan's original sin was a distortion of doctrine. Evil distorts law and order, substituting evil, as in crime.
  14. Evil comes in many forms: altruistic humanitarianism, philanthropy, religion, legalism, socialism, political internationalism, government interference, distortion of the law, bribery in government, cutting down the military, gun legislation, sociology, public welfare, and the United Nations.
    1. Evil is the misconception of "brotherly love."
    2. The whole idea of government trying to abolish sickness, mental illness, economic problems, frustrations, and human problems by legislation and human solutions is evil. The world's problems can never be solved apart from Bible doctrine and the laws of divine establishment.
    3. Evil also includes social action, the social Gospel, restriction of human freedom for the greater good, the distortion of law to solve social and economic problems; i.e., the interference of government in business and free enterprise, setting restrictive regulations, legislating car requirements, government quotas, gun legislation, catering to minorities; these are all illegal and distorted laws.
    4. However, the greatest of all evils is religion. Legalism and apostasy are the greatest manifestations of evil.
    5. Evil includes all systems of Christian function outside of and apart from the local church. God only ordained and authorized one institution, and that is the local church. God has ordained and authorized the local church as the only vehicle for spiritual growth in the dispensation of the Church. No one has authority over believers in the spiritual realm except for the pastor-teacher, who must teach doctrine in the local church.
    6. This means that not only are denominations evil, but so are independent service organizations. Most denominations last about 100 years.
    7. Evil is what you think as an apostate, reversionistic liberal, a bleeding-heart, guilty type.

  15. So the worst and most detrimental thing that can happen to a believer is to come under the influence of evil. The recovery from evil is lengthy. It requires the inculcation of the Word of God.
  16. Evil is every deviation from Bible doctrine and the laws of divine establishment.

The above are excerpts from a very lengthy study of good and evil by R.B.Thieme Jr. He was Pastor of Berachah Church in Houston, Texas for fifty-three years. It was my distinct privilege to sit under his teaching for over thirty years.

As we look at the United States of America today, we can see that human good and evil are invading every aspect of our once great nation. The only hope of recovering from the departure of personal responsibility and freedom is for believers to learn and apply divine viewpoint. Of course you cannot apply what you do not know. Therefore, the road back to freedom and prosperity begins with the constant intake of accurate Bible teaching, word upon word, line upon line.

Click here to contact Reverend Rako >>

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

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

Blue Warrior

Blue Warrior
with Sgt. Glenn French

Tactical Leadership

Tactical leadership is an art that requires personal attributes to inspire and motivate others toward a common mission. Leadership is the ability to inspire people to do what needs to be done, even if they don't necessarily want to do it.

Great leaders won't tell their officers how to do their jobs. Great leaders will assure their personnel have already been well trained in how to do their job. A great leader will present the task or objective to be completed, establish the platform in which to operate and then will allow the officer to achieve his own success. When the officer achieves success that results in success for the leader and the team.

A great leader will solicit input from his officers. It doesn't matter if it's at a critical incident or a training event. When you do solicit input you will discover different concepts an ideas you were sure to miss. This also develops trust and a bond that only SWAT officers experience.

Tactical leaders should empower your SWAT operators with tasks and objectives allowing freedom for creativity, granting the authority to make decisions and to act upon them. Also, the leader should provide direction and support depending on the SWAT operator's experience.

The next component of great leadership is to "grow" future leaders. This may be the greatest challenge to the tactical leader but as the commander you are responsible for the over-all operation of your unit. It will take a significant amount of time and effort, but the unit's future successes will depend on your efforts. Provide opportunities to all your SWAT officers, so you avoid favoritism.

When growing future leaders consider challenging every individual, everybody will benefit, and the sharpest SWAT cops will rise to the top. Identify leadership potential early, and challenge appropriately. Encourage SWAT operators to make decisions, experience leadership, and take risks. Officers will learn from both successes and failures. Provide opportunities for professional growth and promotion.

To identify and develop future leaders, team commanders should know your officer's strengths, weaknesses, and goals. Create an environment that encourages officers to take reasonable risks and treat setbacks or failures as opportunities for learning and improvement.

When the officer's initiatives fail, commend the attempt and use the experience as a learning experience. A lot of younger officers have a fear of failure, which often prohibits him or her from achieving their full potential.

Practice what you preach. SWAT cops are observant and can see through a leader in short order. Expecting your officers to perform in one manner and you doing something other than what you expect of them will foster animosity. Eventually, you will lose their respect and their confidence in your leadership. Once an officer loses respect for his leadership the success of SWAT operations may result in failure. Lead by example with character, confidence and loyalty.

George Washington required of his officers in the Continental Army; character, professional ability, integrity, prudence, and loyalty. He provided a concept or platform for his leaders to command by, rather than stringent rules that could get misinterpreted by individual leaders and ultimately causing failure. Use Washington's concept to allow your team leaders to command with confidence without the fear of breaking policy in lieu of sound tactical decisions.

A tactical leader should have the vision to see beyond the current dilemmas they are faced with and the strength of character to stay the course as they command in the face of adverse conditions.

Remember these tips to command by and enjoy your unit's success:

  • Empower subordinates to be creative
  • Set standards that give SWAT operators goals to reach
  • Provide challenging and enlightening tasks
  • Identify and develop people with leadership potential
  • Recognize unit and individual successes
  • Encourage and facilitate professional growth
  • Begin developing and training future commanders

Tactical leaders should work hard in the eyes of their officers. Gen. Colin Powell put it this way, "If you want them to work hard and endure hardship, you must work even harder and endure even greater hardship, they must see you sacrifice for them".

Worry about what your SWAT operators think of you. Don't worry about what the upper chain of command thinks of you. If you are a great leader, with sound tactical decision-making skills with concern for your officers then the dedication and commitment your officers give to you will be the positive impression that the upper brass needs to form an opinion of your leadership skills.

Your officers must see you do the hard things, they must see you giving credit to SWAT operators when credit is due, and they must see you take the blame for something that they did wrong. It's important that they feel you really care for them, that you will sacrifice for them, that you trust them. This can't be achieved through words. Your actions as a tactical leader will provide the foundation for your officer's trust and total commitment. All successful SWAT teams in this country have great leadership.

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.

What Has Really Changed?


It's time to sound the bell for business... business before the times take their toll of business.

Too many politicians and much of the media (newspapers, magazines, radio and TV) seem to take pleasure in downgrading business; but business does not reply. If all the public knows is anti-business, why shouldn't they believe all the worst, which is what they are hearing?

Yet, across America, it is business whose taxes pay the school bill two to three days every week, it is business who pays the bulk of maintaining our government (and too often being castigated by it). It is business who pays the bulk of relief costs for the poor, support for hospitals, new research to improve the nation's health. And it is out of business profits that come the pensions for retired workers and the vital defense of our country.

Even in poor times business provides million of good jobs and works to create more. And it is business in search of profit that has brought us up out of the drudgery our forefathers suffered. Inflation is caused by government; you and business are the ones who suffer for it.

Yet business remains silent; it takes the blows but does not fight back.

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Quotes & Jokes


A discussion of Thanksgiving in the 1860s would not be complete without some mention of how the soldiers celebrated Thanksgiving during the war.

The Tribute Book devoted an entire chapter on Thanksgiving Day, 1864 in the army, navy and hospitals. Although Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving to be a national holiday, it was not celebrated the military in1863. Some units did organize and prepare special dinners, but it was not widespread. In 1864, the Union League club of New York City collected money in order to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for Union soldiers and sailors. They published the following plea, "We desire that on the twenty-fourth day of November, there shall be no soldier in the Army of the Potomac, the James, the Shenandoah, and no sailor in the North Atlantic Squadron who does not receive tangible evidence that those for whom he is periling his life, remember him . . . We ask primarily for donations of cooked poultry and other proper meats, as well as for sausages and fruits . . . To those who are unable to send donations in kind, we appeal for generous contributions in money."

( The Union League was successful in its mission: they collected over $57,000 which purchased 146,586 poultry and money from donations purchased an additional 225,000 pounds of poultry. Donations of large of other meats, cakes, gingerbread, pickles, apples, vegetables, cheeses, and mince pies were valued The express companies did not charge for shipping the boxes of holiday delights to the soldiers. Adams' delivered sixty tons of Thanksgiving supplies to soldiers from Boston. People from Maine shipped thirteen packages to Pensacola, Florida. The Christian Commission supplied the camps and hospitals of Pittsburgh two hundred barrels of apples, ten barrels of canned fruit, and mince-meat for six thousand pies.)

"Few people outside of the Marine Corps and only the most serious, erudite students of Vietnam battle history recognize the name John Ripley. Best known for his exploits during a subsequent combat tour on Easter Sunday, April 2, 1972, when he personally em-placed, under enemy fire, 500 pounds of explosives into the belly of the Dong Ha Bridge in a four-hour period, and then personally blew up said bridge..."

~ "From Honoring the Warriors" March 27, 2007 by Richard Botkin © 2009

"A man good enough to shed his blood for his country, is good enough to receive a square deal afterwards . . ."

- Theodore Roosevelt

"Excreta Tauri Astutos Frustantur" (Latin for "Bullshit Baffles Brains")
Motto for British Royal Army...( not present day Royal Marines...)....Special Boat Service 1941 to October 27th 1945 (pictured men of RA SBS 1)

"I could ask someone but then at the same time, how hard are you going to work for something if every time you get in trouble somebody catches you? I did something to put myself in this position I have to work my way out of it."
( ~ Pat Barry UFC Fighter Whose determination is an example to us all see his story at: http://sports.yahoo.com

"The secret to my longevity? Clean thoughts and dirty girls."

~ Jack Lalanne fitness guru aged 95

'Put your muscle where your mouth is...The food you eat today is walking and talking tomorrow.'

~ Jack Lanne( NOTE: if you don't know who he is and your into fitness and health you need to look him up...)


...May your stuffing be tasty....
...May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

(Amen to that! This picture is reminiscent of the Seinfeld Episode when Kramer Sunbathes in butter an courtesy of Laura in SF)

Thanksgiving Proclamations

By the President of the United States : a Proclamation

...In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union...

...I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.


By the President of the United States : a Proclamation

...The skies have been for a time darkened by the cloud of war, but as we were compelled to take up the sword in the cause of humanity we are permitted to rejoice that the conflict has been of brief duration and the losses we have had to mourn, though grievous and important, have been so few, considering the great results accomplished, as to inspire us with gratitude and praise to the Lord of Hosts...


By the President of the United States : a Proclamation

It has long been the honored custom of our people to turn in the fruitful autumn of the year in praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for His many blessings and mercies to us as a nation. That custom we can follow now even in the midst of the tragedy of a world shaken by war and immeasurable disaster, in the midst of sorrow and great peril, because even amidst the darkness that has gathered about us we can see the great blessings God has bestowed upon us, blessings that are better than mere peace of mind and prosperity of enterprise.


By the President of the United States : a Proclamation

God's help to us has been great in this year of march towards world-wide liberty. In brotherhood with warriors of other United Nations our gallant men have won victories, have freed our homes from fear, have made tyranny tremble, and have laid the foundation for freedom of life in a world which will be free. Our forges and hearths and mills have wrought well; and our weapons have not failed. Our farmers, Victory gardeners, and crop volunteers have gathered and stored a heavy harvest in the barns and bins and cellars. Our total food production for the year is the greatest in the annals of our country...


By the President of the United States : a Proclamation

As a Nation much blessed, we feel impelled at harvest time to follow the tradition handed down by our Pilgrim fathers of pausing from our labors for one day to render thanks to Almighty God for His bounties. Now that the year is drawing to a close, once again it is fitting that we incline our thoughts to His mercies and offer to Him our special prayers of gratitude... Especially are we grateful this year for the truce in battle-weary Korea, which gives to anxious men and women throughout the world the hope that there may now be an enduring peace.


By the President of the United States : a Proclamation

...Over the years, we have made Thanksgiving a unique national occasion. Thanking God for His goodness, we thank Him as well for the promise and achievement of America. Our reasons for gratitude are almost without number.... Much as we are grateful for these material and spiritual blessings, we are conscious, in this year, of special sorrows and disappointments. We are engaged in a painful conflict in Asia, which was not of our choosing, and in which we are involved in fidelity to a sacred promise to help a nation which has been the victim of aggression. We are proud of the spirit of our men who are risking their lives on Asian soil. We pray that their sacrifice will be redeemed in an honorable peace and the restoration of a land long torn by war...


By the President of the United States : a Proclamation

...As we continue the Thanksgiving tradition, a tradition cherished by every generation of Americans, we reflect in a special way on the blessings of the past year. When this Nation and its coalition partners took up arms in a last-resort effort to repel aggression in the Persian Gulf, we were spared the terrible consequences of a long and protracted struggle. Indeed, the millions of people who prayed for a quick end to the fighting saw those prayers answered with a swiftness and certainty that exceeded all expectations. During the past year, we have also witnessed the demise of communism and welcomed millions of courageous people into the community of free nations.


A Soldier's Thanksgiving

Over there a soldier's thinking
Of a time not long ago,
When his loved ones got together;
'Twas Thanksgiving Day, you know.

Over there a soldier's dreaming
Of a turkey baked just right,
Mashed potatoes, golden gravy,
Chestnut dressing, pure delight!

Over there a soldier's hungry
For whipped cream on pumpkin pie.
Squares of cornbread, crusts so tender,
Homemade biscuits stacked up high.

Over there a soldier's wishing
He could have one buttered roll.
But he feasts on GI rations
While his unit's on patrol.

Over there a soldier's lying
In a ditch, his makeshift bed.
Mud and dirt are his companions;
Been awhile since he's been fed.

Over there a soldier's praying
That his open sores will heal.
He is sure that he'll feel better
Once he has a good hot meal.

Over there a soldier's hearing
Loud explosions, muffled cries.
Shrapnel killed his foxhole buddy
Right before his very eyes.

Over there a soldier's quoting
Scriptures learned at Mother's knee,
Proud that he's a mighty warrior,
Keeping all his loved ones free.

This Thanksgiving as you're eating
That sweet corn that grandpa grew,
Say a prayer for that dear soldier
Who would love to be with you.
© 2007 Mariane Holbrook

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Right side has 3 ammo pouches, above the ammo pouches, the right side has a large shell carrying pouch and a shooting pad. Left side features a pistol holster capable of carrying most medium-framed pistols, 3 pistol magazine pouches which are fully adjustable to the height of most normal-sized magazines. Vest is mounted on tough nylon mesh material which aids ventilation. Shoulders on vest can be adjusted with long Velcro™ strips, and also have 2 mental D-rings for the attachment of carabiners or other material. Vest zips up in front and can be secured additionally with a pistol belt (included) threaded through the loops on the bottom. Interior of vest has two zip-up document pockets left and right. Rear of vest is double-ply mesh which allows for the addition of a hydration bladder. A carrying handle is provided as well as strips across the back for the addition of camouflage material or other pouches. Left and right sides can be adjusted for width via drawstrings.

Tactical Tips

Tactical Tips


Those of us who been around some of the worlds most dangerous places( whether be they in some of the deadliest longitude and latitudes on our globe, or surprisingly in our own back yards....) understand the reason and meaning for a "bugg out" - "go to hell" or simply "go bag." (a.k.a. a "72-hour kit.")"

Depending who you speak with this bag should be able to sustain you for a unexpected night out or up to 72+ hours at a E and E pace ; but be light enough to keep you light on your feet--( 12 -20 pounds depending who you are .... ) or get you back to a new secure locale to hunker down at.... The focus is on evasion, rather than long-term survival, distinguishing the bug-out bag from a survival kit, a boating or aviation emergency kit, or a fixed-site disaster supplies kit.

As a tactical tool we find the best platform a go bag is best suited in the column style bag( Such as the Special Forces Gear SO Tech Hog Roll and "Go Bag" or California Competition Works Column Sling Bag II bag) ) These rigs are all unique in that they can be worn as a over the shoulder sling like a Hog role type bag or cinched around the waste as a fanny pack( depending on how you stuff it ! They aslo stow very well and are very well engineered .Other small 3 day or recon patrol packs work well to but the key to the go /bug out bag is to be able to do it all with the least amount of weight.

Based on a 1930's mountain climbing club and numerous early to mid 20th century adventurers and explorers; civilian survivalists and operatives your modern Go/bug out 72 hour kit bag should have...the ten essentials. They are:

  • Map
  • Compass (optionally supplemented with a compact GPS receiver) Colonel Aaron Banks father of U.S. Special Forces said it best as to when asked, why one should always carry a pocket compass he answered : "So one will never lose his way." (Note there is insightful deeper philosophical metaphor behind that line of wisdom for you warriors out there reading this last point....)
  • Encased Sunglasses and sunscreen help prevent snow blindness.Sunlight, especially when reflected in snow, can seriously limit visibility, and one's ability to travel safely.
  • Extra food and water
  • Extra clothes with a floppy well collapsible hat
  • Headlamp /Flashlight --Extra batteries and bulbs are highly recommended. Lamps using LED's have become very popular, due to their robustness and low power consumption.
  • First Aid kit contains items to treat cuts, abrasions (blisters), punctures and burns. Additional items might address broken fingers, limbs, gunshot wounds cardiac conditions, hypothermia frostbite , hypothermia, hypoxia , insect and snake bites, allergic reactions, burns and other wounds. If applicable, include any personal medications.
  • Fire Starter --matches, lighter magnesium stick and flint strikers combos; 35mm film canister (hadn't seen one of those in a while) that was black with a gray lid. Inside the canister was four cotton balls, each saturated with Vaseline.
  • Knife(s)- A leather man or Gerber multiplier tool; a tactical folder or suitable field survival knife. a SOG SEAL Pup comes to mind ..) or .larger based fixed blade depending on region you are in.
  • Water treatment device ( water filter, survival straw or small purifier or chemicals ) and water bottles

Recommended supplementation to the ten essentials: Water treatment device ( water filter, survival straw or chemicals) and water bottles

  • Ice axe for glacier or snowfield travel (if necessary) or collapsible combat axe tomahawk for desert and jungle field needs.
  • Repair kit, including duct tape and a basic sewing materials.
  • Insect Repellent (or clothing designed for this purpose)
  • Signaling devices, such as a Whistle, cell phone, unbreakable signal mirror, flare and if you can afford it a micro two-way radio or sat satellite phone or Panasonic Tough book handheld rugged-ized outdoor communication hand held phone.
  • Compact Monocular- Binoculars.
  • Plastic tarp and rope for expedient field shelter.

Military and tactically minded individuals have expanded there go bag list

  • Outfit your bag with at least a 100 oz. collapsible bladder. for the water Any will do with the best being either the best priced one you can find or a Source non porous bladder or one from Gerber
  • Non-perishable food.- emergency 2400 calorie bars brick bars such as in boaters kits and/or two Hoo-Ah Bars or Power bars or equivalent. These high calorie nutrition bars / food supplements provide a low weight chow.
  • Vitamin supplementation - Emergen-C packs that are 1000milligrams of Vitamin C along with Bob Barefoots Coral Calcium 2:1 ratio formula of Calcium to Magnesium formula Is base line for internal health on a high stressed go!
  • Small pair scissors
  • Cooking supplies. A old sly metal coffee can cut down in1/2 stocked with zip-lock baggy full of spices, salt pepper and condiments makes for a great small boiling pot or... reversed cooking grill to fricassee some small game catch Note stuff this with half a dozen gallon size zip-lock freezer bags that come in handy for everything form food storage to waterproofing electronics weapons and ammo.
  • Compact Cutlery and collapsible cups/dishes.
  • A disaster plan including location of emergency centers, rallying points, possible evacuation routes etc. Professional emergency literature explaining what to do in various types of disaster studied and understood before the actual disaster but kept for reference. Maps and travel information.
  • Standard outdoors man personal hygiene sanitation supplies including travel moist wipes( great for ensuring a pleasant latrine or head experience, in the field) an Hooah towell..Soap and McNett towel.
  • Clothes - Lightweight UVA Sun blocker Bug proof Breathable warm compactable. including a fleece watch cap and wind blocker moister wicking balaclava.
  • Bedding shelter -- a surplus military poncho, couple of tent stakes and space saving emergency "space" blanket. Optional choice a comparable bivvy-sack, like a Snugpak jungle bivvy and or Merlin sleeping bag with goretex bivvy sack( only on larger bag for cooler climes)... or the OR one man bivvy shelters
  • tightly spooled 110 foot length of 550 para cord.
  • Enough medicine to last an extended evacuation period if, for example, one's home were destroyed. Pet, child and elderly care needs.
  • Radio - two way like the YAESU vx-8r hand held submersible VHF
  • Light source (battery solar or crank operated flashlight -microkind + high output LED compact sumbersible style. glow sticks also).
  • Firearm(s) and appropriate ammo -- a column style bag can easily break down a and hold many M-4 carbines. Other carbines some sniper rifles and most any combat handgun with 100 rounds is a adequate amount for stowage .( Note this might considerably curb ones ability for these other essentials
  • Small Crowbars (for a backup offensive weapon, building and vehicle entry, etc.)
  • Cash and change, as electronic banking transactions may not be available during the initial period following an emergency or evacuation- let alone in some remote dangerous hell hole where you might find your self at -- Recommendation? At least $300 in small bills.
  • Arrow heads with a take down long bow-- broad head style and spool of high test fishing line to catch or snare small fish and or game - Learn this ancient weapon system that is great for hunting and what Ben Franklin knew was better than the musket in combat!
  • Extra wrist watch Automatic shock proof with good movement with diving bezel and G Shocks are just so robotic( though practical)
  • Regional items - suitable for Mountain , desert, Jungle Sea (or riverine) urban addendum's you think before this system.
  • Amphibious addendum's to this load out -- including light weight water draining, all terrain foot wear. Seal skins socks . Water proof gloves, pocket face mask, like the SEAL style ocean swim mask used by ocean swimmers( doubles as a great dust goggle...)


Some will take their bag when venturing less than a 1/2 mile from base camp or home . This extreme mindset is better prepared for the emergency that can when one always expects the unexpected! always remember the famous Gulf War I SAS Unit Bravo Two Zulu who had to abandon all there kit while attempting to evade there Iraqi pursuers...

Not every expedition will require the use of an essential items in ones Go 'bug out bag. Carrying these basic items improves the chances that one is prepared for an unexpected emergency in the outdoors. Having enough food and water to last for seventy two hours. is best with the compact high calorie bars This includes: 4 litres (1 gallon) of water per person per day, for washing, drinking and cooking.

The point is -- bare minimums tailored to YOUR needs. Your individual needs because everyone has different perceived needs for each tactical situation whether overt, covert; civilian survivalist defensive or offensive.

This nice thing about the Column Sling Bag II type system is one can even strap a M-4 Carbine or Keltec in side it with spare mags to keep things incognito when they need to be.

Since when one has got to go it hard to say how he will get going - one can never predict when an emergency situation that will occur and in what form. So ensure your go bag gear gear will have you smoothly evade any emergency situation you encounter! And remember however you go; no matter how rough it is when you go , with your bag at your side ...Like the joker said to Batman"... if youre gonna go - go with a smile!"

Hoo-Yah! Hoo-ah's!

TACT TIP #2 -- "Jack LaLanne" Push-Up



The "MASTER" Jack LaLanne himself at age 90. Note he can do them on his fingertips! Coach Jones at age 45--NOT!



    1. Place feet wider than shoulder width and extend arms all the way over head in line with shoulders. Arms should be straight. In the "up" position you'll have a slight bend (flexion) in your hips.
    2. Lower body from three points--the hips, elbows, and shoulders. No one point will bend that much--just equal out the downward travel movement from all three points as you drop a few inches.
    3. Push hard through hands and use core to lift body back into starting position.

Tips: Push ups are usually thought of as "arms and chest" exercises but they are underrated as "core" exercises and especially advanced versions. This is the trademark push up of American Fitness Pioneer Jack LaLanne, and believe me, it's HARD CORE! If you don't have extremely developed core and shoulders you won't be able to safely attempt this advanced push up. Of all my push up variations, this is one of the absolute hardest and ranks in difficulty with the 1-Arm Push Up.


* Special thanks for my friend and fitness guru and legend Jack LaLanne for not only his push up--but a lifetime of fitness and health as he led the way for the era of Modern American Fitness the last 50+ years! For more challenge, do them on your fingertips like Jack--yeah right! Most people will drop to the floor just trying to get into the starting position. Very few people I've seen can do a Jack LaLanne Push Up--but it's good to know this challenging push up is out there and still being done by Jack at age 90...it gives me something to look forward to someday!
*Note: This exercise is intended for "normal healthy" individuals. If you have an injury, or abnormal pain is present, see your physician or a certified physical therapist before continuing your exercises. (Courtesy ronjones.org)


Click this link to read all about the diet that keeps Jack going strong!

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The European Union's anti-piracy force says a Norwegian warship has clashed with suspected Somali pirates.

A statement from the force says a team from Norwegian warship HNOMS Fridjof Nansen on Sunday went to talk to the crew of four fishing boats near Alula, a northeastern Somali coastal village known for piracy.

The crew on the first three boats cooperated but when the Norwegian team approached the fourth boat, shots were fired at them. The team fired in self-defense and retreated to avoid further violence, the statement says.

Alula village head Hareed Issa Omar says the Norwegian team fired first, killing a Somali and a Yemeni man. Omar says they were fishermen and not pirates. Somalia has become the world's piracy hotspot.

Are veteran gun rights being crushed
along with spent brass?

As always, I had a great time on Tom Gresham's Gun Talk Radio show yesterday...He said he'd been given information that the military was once again destroying spent brass rather than selling it to ammunition manufacturers...[But a recent Document pictured--has brought up the question to the civilian world alive again...]The issue, apparently, is any spent brass not sold through the Defense Re utilization and Marketing Office must, per DoD regulation, be destroyed. It's not a new requirement. So the questions are, is any, how much, and why?

Navy SEALs Could Turn Superhuman with Pentagon's PowerSwim

America's underwater special forces ops might not like it at first, but this dolphin-like device will let them reach targets fast--and without having to catch their breath.

The device is compatible with standard scuba gear, as well as the front-mounted rebreathers (artist sketch, above) used by special operations personnel to avoid telltale bubble trails.

Amicus Brief filed

by Chuck Michel (Michel & Assoc PC) Long Beach, Ca and Stephen P. Halbrook of Fairfax, VA in Millender v. County of Los Angeles, et al.

The NRA/CRPA amicus brief challenges the ability of law enforcement to write over-broad "general" search warrants which allow police to seize any and all firearms an individual may possess, even when police only have "probable cause" to search for a particular firearm. Far too often police seize legal firearms collections even when most of those firearms are not alleged to be part of a criminal offense. This is sometimes driven by a political motivation to increase gun seizure statistics so police can seek increased funding.

Animals provide Navy with a better view under the water, aiding security efforts

By Lisa M. Novak, Stars and Stripes European edition, Wednesday, November 4, 2009 Courtesy of USAG Livorno Public Affairs

A Navy sea lion trained to locate underwater objects dives off a rubber boat during an exercise in late October off the coast of northern Italy. The exercise showcased a sea lion's skills in helping the Navy provide security as well as the latest technology, including the use of unmanned vehicles for locating mines. Sea lions and other ocean-going animals are proving to the Navy that they're worth their salt. The Navy has enlisted the natural talents of sea lions, seals and dolphins to help in the recovery of underwater objects and provide security in the water, much as military working dogs do on land. Outfitted with a special harness, sea lions carry cameras that help researchers get a better view of the ocean floor or perhaps catch divers attempting to gain unauthorized access to ports or vessels. The animals also can carry tools such as tow lines to attach to underwater objects. Four sea lions and their handlers from Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego took part in a series of demonstrations in late October off the island of Elba in northern Italy held by the NATO Undersea Research Center.

Black Cats And Para-Commandos

November 3, 2009: Even before the Islamic terror attacks in Mumbai a year ago, Indian Special Forces were being beefed up with new equipment, and money for more training. In addition, the Special Forces were being sent on more operations, rather than being kept out of action as a strategic reserve force. Indian commanders believe that the growing terrorist (Islamic, tribal and communist) menace needs the attention of these carefully selected and highly trained troops. Best of all, they already have a framework in place that makes conducting operations easier and with less bureaucratic red tape...

Andrews International Acquires U.S. and Mexico Guarding Operations From Garda World Security Corporation

Combined Organization Extends Geographic Reach, Enhances Client-Service Capabilities

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - June 3, 2009 - Andrews International today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire the U.S. and Mexico guarding operations of Garda World Security Corporation (TSX:GW) ("Garda"), including the uniformed security, strike security/asset protection and U.S. consulting and investigations operations. This acquisition makes Andrews International the largest privately-held, American-owned security service provider of uniformed security, consulting and investigations and personal protection services in the United States.

Indian Special Forces The Red Devils

US, other leading armies want to train, learn from Indian Special Forces The Red Devils, the elite special forces of the Indian Army, are most sought after by the leading armies of the world who want to learn and train with them for their courage, professionalism, adventurism and spirit of soldiering.

Poll shows NZ public divided over SAS deployment

The public is divided on whether John Key should have sent the elite SAS combat troops back to the war in Afghanistan, a new poll suggests.The Herald -DigiPoll survey shows 44.6 per cent of people approve of the SAS fighting...

Commando leadership castigated

The officer in charge of an Australian special forces unit in Afghanistan has been removed from his command after a high-level investigation into the death of a young lieutenant revealed problems in the elite unit's training and leadership.

Lieutenant Michael Fussell, 25, was a member of a commando patrol on foot in an early morning operation against the Taliban in late November when he stood on the trigger of an insurgent bomb.

The explosion killed him instantly and wounded two other soldiers.

The officer in charge at the time, a major who was leading the patrol, was sacked from his command and it is understood he may sue the Australian Defence Force over that move, which is considered a serious disgrace.

Former South Korean officers accused of espionage

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korean prosecutors on Tuesday announced the arrest of two former army officers on charges of obtaining classified military information for a US defence company.

Prosecutors said the two ex-colonels, identified only as Hwang and Ryu, work for the Security Management Institute, a private organisation with access to defence information. They said the ex-officers had acquired information for Northrop Grumman, a US aerospace and defence technology company.

Snow cap disappearing from Mount Kilimanjaro

WASHINGTON - The snows of Kilimanjaro may soon be gone. The African mountain's white peak -- made famous by writer Ernest Hemingway -- is rapidly melting, researchers report.

Some 85 percent of the ice that made up the mountaintop glaciers in 1912 was gone by 2007, researchers led by paleoclimatologist Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University report in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

And more than a quarter of the ice present in 2000 was gone by 2007.

If current conditions continue "the ice fields atop Kilimanjaro will not endure," the researchers said.

Giant Crack in Africa Will Create a New Ocean

A 35-mile rift in the desert of Ethiopia will likely become a new ocean eventually, researchers now confirm.

The crack, 20 feet wide in spots, opened in 2005 and some geologists believed then that it would spawn a new ocean. But that view was controversial, and the rift had not been well studied.

A new study involving an international team of scientists and reported in the journal Geophysical Research Letters finds the processes creating the rift are nearly identical to what goes on at the bottom of oceans, further indication a sea is in the region's future.

The same rift activity is slowly parting the Red Sea, too.

Using newly gathered seismic data from 2005, researchers reconstructed the event to show the rift tore open along its entire 35-mile length in just days. Dabbahu, a volcano at the northern end of the rift, erupted first, then magma pushed up through the middle of the rift area and began "unzipping" the rift in both directions, the researchers explained in a statement today.

"We know that seafloor ridges are created by a similar intrusion of magma into a rift, but we never knew that a huge length of the ridge could break open at once like this," said Cindy Ebinger, professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Rochester and co-author of the study.

The result shows that highly active volcanic boundaries along the edges of tectonic ocean plates may suddenly break apart in large sections, instead of in bits, as the leading theory held. And such sudden large-scale events on land pose a much more serious hazard to populations living near the rift than would several smaller events, Ebinger said.

JUMPIN' JACK 95 and still fit and very alive!

To consider Jack LaLanne's longevity as a fitness guru, you have to go back to 1936.

While most Americans were watching President Franklin Delano Roosevelt push the New Deal legislation through Congress, LaLanne was in Oakland, Calif., opening his first gym.

Decades before fitness grew into a multibillion-dollar industry, there was LaLanne, a pied piper of living healthy. I can still envision him in his trademark jumpsuit in the early days of television doing sit-ups, leg lifts and push-ups - in black and white!

G4S aims for global security contracts

By Alistair Gray
Published: October 26 2009 02:15 | Last updated: October 26 2009 02:15

G4S will begin lobbying multinational energy, aviation and port companies next year in an attempt to convince them to entrust their security across the world to the contractor.

The world's largest security company - which guards nuclear weapons establishments, manages prisons and clears landmines - wants to win global contracts from corporate clients operating in particularly sensitive areas.

Castro's sister admits she spied for the CIA

HAVANA, Cuba (AFP) - Cuba's state-run media yesterday condemned a just-published book in which Fidel Castro's sister admits she spied for the Central Intelligence Agency.



Never forget those special ones of that greatest generation who preempted us and are rapidly going quietly into the night ...

Royal Navy Lieutenant-Commander Max Shean, who has died aged 90, was one of the small band of young men who, in the face of extraordinary peril, carried the sea war into enemy harbours; in the process they won a total of 68 awards for bravery, including four British Victoria Crosses; for his own exploits, Shean received a Distinguished Service Order Bar and a U.S. Bronze Star for his gallantry, perseverance and outstanding skills as an X-craft submariner who took his skills in sabotage to the fjords of Norway and the Pacific Ocean. 19 Juen 2009


In September 1942 Shean volunteered for special and hazardous service without knowing what this meant. After only 10 days' training, some of the volunteers dropped out; Shean thought that this took a lot of courage, while for him it seemed easier to stand at the back and hope that no one noticed his fear. When he learned soon afterwards that he was to become a diver in a secret, 51ft, four-man submarine known as an X-craft, his knees began to shake. But with his combination of engineering skills and seamanship, it turned out to be a task for which he was well-suited...

As an X-craft diver, Shean had to practise getting in and out of his submarine underwater through a small wet-and-dry chamber, shutting himself off from the rest of the crew before flooding the compartment and opening an external hatch.

Shean practised cutting underwater nets in Scottish lochs, which were always cold and black. There were accidents and deaths during training, but Shean and his fellow Australians always felt sure that they could beat the odds.

His first mission was Operation Source, the attack by a flotilla of X-craft on the German battleship Tirpitz in north Norway in September 1943. The X-craft were manned by passage crews and towed there by parent submarines, while attack crews, including Shean's, prepared themselves in the towing vessels.

Disaster struck, however, when Shean's X-9, behind Syrtis, broke her tow and the passage crew was lost. The towrope became tangled round Syrtis's port propeller, and Shean, whose diving suit was in X-9, plunged over the side into the freezing waters. Wearing overalls weighted with steel bars in the pockets, Shean repeatedly duck-dived until he could free the tangled rope. Knowing that, if attacked from the air, Syrtis would dive and abandon him on the surface, Shean was more frightened than he had ever been; and when he was hauled on board, the submarine's commanding officer rewarded him with a brusque "Well done!"

One of the lessons of Operation Source was the potential for confusion during multiple attacks; so on Operation Guidance, in April 1944, Shean, now in command of X-24, was towed by Sceptre to Bergen, Norway, to make a solo attack on a large floating dock.

Shean successfully penetrated the fjords to reach the harbour, but faulty intelligence caused him to lay X-24's explosive charges under a 7,800-ton German merchant ship, Barenfels, instead of the floating dock. Otherwise it was a model attack, and 24 hours later, sick and suffering from headaches caused by the stale air in the boat, Shean and his crew rendezvoused at sea with Sceptre. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his great courage, skill and determination in a most hazardous enterprise.

Following D-Day, Shean's flotilla was deployed to the Far East in command of an improved craft, XE-4. When Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas, and an experienced submariner, saw his first XE-craft he declared it was a "suicide craft" which had no place in the Allies' order of battle. But when orders came from Washington to cut two underwater telegraph cables off Japanese-occupied Saigon, he found that the British midget submarines were the only force capable of achieving this.

The aim of Operation Sabre was to force the Japanese to use wireless communications which could be intercepted and deciphered. Shean designed new grapnels to hook the cables, which Engine Room Artificer Vernon "Ginger" Coles manufactured, and set off under tow from Queensland. En route to Indo-China, Shean nearly drowned. XE-4 was running on the surface, with the hatches closed to prevent the boat flooding, when Shean was swept away by a wave; but after "swimming the fastest strokes of my life" he grabbed the rudder and hauled himself hand-over-hand along the jumping wire and climbed on board again.

Undeterred, with only underwater dead reckoning updated by occasional sightings of Cap St Jacques lighthouse, Shean expertly navigated XE-4 into the shallow mouth of the Mekong river where, on July 31 1945, he began a submarine trawl for the cables. After ploughing the seabed for hours, XE-4 was, at 12.05, suddenly brought to a halt: it had snagged the first cable, and 13 minutes later the diver, fellow-Australian Sub-Lieutenant Ken Briggs, returned with a short length as proof that it had been cut. Resuming his trawl at 13.26, Shean found the second cable, much deeper than the first, and Sub-Lieutenant Adam Bergius made three attempts to cut it.

Shortly after midnight, Shean rendezvoused with the submarine Spearhead and was towed in triumph to Subic Bay, in the Philippines. He was awarded a Bar to his DSO and the US Bronze Star for his gallantry, perseverance and outstanding skill. Coles, who was in Shean's crew in X-24 and in XE-4, was awarded a DSM and a mention in despatches.

Maxwell Shean was born on July 6 1918 in Perth, where his father was clerk to the Supreme Court, and the young Max spent his youth "messing about in tin boats on the river". He was studying Engineering at the University of Western Australia when he heard news of Dunkirk. Although strongly advised to finish his studies, he was determined to join the Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve.

The Royal Navy needed skilled anti-submarine warfare officers for the Battle of the Atlantic, and eventually one fifth of all ASWOs were trained at HMAS Rushcutter in Sydney, where Shean was sent in late 1940. By the summer of 1941 he was in his first ship, the corvette Bluebell, which he described as "like your first girlfriend, she goes into your heart. I served 14 months in Bluebell, she kept me afloat and gave me three meals a day, made me seasick and she sank a U-boat."

Bluebell was part of the 37th Escort Group escorting convoys between Britain and Gibraltar, and Shean took part in some of the bitterest fighting of the Battle of the Atlantic. His skill as an ASWO and proficiency in using his ASDIC (sonar) earned him the nickname "King Ping".

Shean could only wait until an exhausted Bergius emerged triumphantly from the airlock brandishing a length of cable.

At the end of 1941 Bluebell took part in the desperate defence of convoy OG77, which was attacked by a wolf pack; but five U-boats were sunk. On the night of December 11/12 Shean heard the high-pitched whine of torpedoes three times through his headset and warned his captain to turn Bluebell, and at midnight he dropped two patterns of depth charges. Shean's postwar research in British and German archives convinced him that he had sunk U-208.

While training in X-craft on the Isle of Bute, Shean travelled to Aberfeldy, Perthshire, to seek his Scottish ancestors. There he was warned that the village shop's pretty assistant was "spoken for". Nevertheless, romance blossomed, and despite wartime security Shean even smuggled her into the builder's yard, where she broke a bottle of Australian champagne on the bows of Shean's boat, XE-4, and gave it its unofficial name, Exciter.

After the war Shean finished his degree and worked for the City of Perth Electricity and Gas Department, and the State Electricity Commission until his retirement in 1978.

In 1979 he celebrated the 150th anniversary of the settlement of Western Australia by winning the open division of the Parmelia Yacht Race from Plymouth to Fremantle. His yacht, Bluebell, is today moored at Fremantle Sailing Club. In May 2005 Shean and his wife joined the Department of Veterans' Affairs VE-Day mission to Europe.

Shean's logical approach to problems and his interest in engineering shine through his modest wartime biography, Corvette and Submarine (1992). Once one of his daughter's boyfriends remarked that he ran his household like a battleship, which Shean took as a great compliment.

Max Shean, who died on June 15, married Mary Golding in 1944. She survives him with their two daughters.

Lieutenant-Colonel Norman Field

Intelligence officer with the secret guerrilla army charged with resisting a German invasion, Lieutenant-Colonel Norman Field, who has died aged 92, played a notable part in training and leading Auxiliary Units (sometimes termed "Churchill's Secret Army") in the first phase of the Second World War. 18 Oct 2009

Lieutenant-Colonel David Danger

who has died aged 85, served with the SAS in North Africa and Europe as a radio operator;was parachuted into enemy-occupied France in 1944 and was later awarded a Military Medal. In June 1944, Danger, then a corporal, was dropped near Dijon as a member of the main reconnaissance party for Operation Houndsworth. The mission's objective was to disrupt enemy lines of communication and prevent German units from moving up to Normandy , to reinforce their offensive against the Allied bridgehead from the D-Day Landings at Normandy....

Lt-Col Bob Walker-Brown – an update

A Daily Telegraph reader adds a fascinating chapter to the heroic tale of SAS Operation 'Galia' 21 Sep 2009 update

SAS officer who led deadly guerrilla raids behind enemy lines in Italy and occupied France 17 Sep 2009

Donald Black

Donald Black, who has died aged 76, was only 20 when he won a Military Cross in the Korean War for his role in fierce hand-to-hand fighting with Chinese troops.

Black had begun his National Service with the Black Watch in early 1951, and was commissioned later that year and posted to Berlin. In 1952 the regiment was sent to Korea as part of the Commonwealth Brigade supporting the United Nations force.

Lieutenant-Colonel Tom Carew

Lieutenant-Colonel Tom Carew, who has died aged 89, was an SOE "Jedburgh" officer parachuted into enemy-occupied France and Burma's Arakan coast , and won the DSO and the Croix de Guerre....

On the night of December 27 1944, Carew was dropped into the Burmese jungle in the Arakan. His objective was to organise resistance, sabotage, ambush and intelligence-gathering against the Japanese. The "Jed" teams were not spies; they landed in uniform.

With him were Captain John Cox; his radio operator, Sergeant John Sharp; a guide; and a kilo of opium for currency. Most of them, Sharp recalled, suffered badly from nerves before the jump, but Carew slept throughout the flight.

A Manual of Burmese, published in 1888, formed part of the equipment. It contained useful translations for words such as "laudanum" and "chambermaid"; quoted a fare of a few pounds for a passage from Rangoon to London; and listed, among the principal exports of the country, edible birds' nests and sea slugs.

Within two weeks Carew had recruited 400 hillmen to make up a volunteer guerrilla force. Acting in small groups, sleeping by day and moving at night, they struck at Japanese patrols, rivercraft and communications. They also produced high grade intelligence and, in January 1945 at Minzegyang, on the information they provided, the RAF inflicted 200 casualties on an enemy concentration in battalion strength.

The Japanese tried to hunt them down, but the Jeds crossed streams backwards to give the impression that they were going in the opposite direction, and walked on blankets to avoid leaving tracks. In six weeks of relentless raiding, Carew's force caused the Japanese 110 casualties for the loss of one man. The citation for his Ditinguished Service Order (DSO) paid tribute to his courage, coolness and resourcefulness...

Lt-Col Geoffrey Sherman

Lt-Col Geoffrey Sherman, who has died aged 93, was the Royal Marine responsible for orchestrating the Japanese surrender in Singapore, which marked the end of the Second World War in the Far East.Geoffrey Sherman, who died on March 22, is survived by his wife, Evelyn, whom he married in 1939, and by two sons and a daughter. The Union flag used at the Japanese surrender in 1945 flew at his thanksgiving service. 30 Apr 2009

Sir Dick Franks

Saboteur with the WW II Special Operations Executive who went on to become Chief of MI6 during the Cold War who died on October 12 aged 88, was Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, or MI6) from 1978 to 1981. Franks spent a lifetime in intrigue and espionage, serving with the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during the Second World War, Franks parachuted into Serbia in 1944 to spy on enemy traffic on the Danube river. He then transfered his talents as a covert agent into a career in the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).

At different stages in his secret life, he was involved in sabotage in wartime Serbia, engaged in espionage activities in Eastern Europe after the end of the 1939-45 war, and played a role in Operation Boot, a CIA/MI6 plot in 1953 to overthrow Mohammed Mossadeq, the nationalistic Iranian Prime Minister, which led to the restoration of the young Shah of Iran to the throne...

Col Richard Pickup

Colonel Richard Pickup, who died on 11 May 2009 , aged 48, was the Royal Marine who commanded the Special Boat Service(SBS) and led the task force which spearheaded the daring British campaign in Afghanistan after attack on the twin towers of September 11 2001. wasresponisble for the reorganizing the modern SBS including its official insignia. 11 May 2009

The British government's response to 9/11 was to launch Operation Veritas, an attempt to deny al-Qaeda its Afghan base. Two months later Pickup was in the leading aircraft which landed unannounced at the former Soviet airbase in Bagram, which was being strongly contested by thousands of government fighters and the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, led by Uzbek warlords.

Although vastly outnumbered, Pickup and his 100 men held on for a day and a night. This infuriated both contending armies, who were insulted by a fourth British invasion in two centuries; it also exasperated the American army's large Delta Force, which had planned to arrive first.

In this extremely tense atmosphere Pickup ordered reconnaissance patrols to ensure the safety of follow-on forces, and imposed his authority on the local Afghan commanders, thus allowing the first significant coalition foothold to be established.

After 36 hours Pickup was relieved by Royal Marines of 45 Commando in the 1,700-strong Task Force Jacana, which was charged with checking al-Qaeda's movement throughout eastern Afghanistan.

Pickup later commanded an SBS task force in a counter-insurgency campaign. The trust he had engendered among Afghan tribal leaders proved crucial in persuading them to take the first faltering steps towards peace and stability. For this he was appointed CBE.

In the two years he commanded the SBS, Pickup relentlessly advanced its role as the Royal Navy's major contribution to UK Special Forces (UKSF). He installed renewed ambition and sense of purpose in the SBS, obtaining for it an official cap badge, with a dagger on two undulating blue lines, in place of its unofficial emblem of frog, paddles and parachute.

Richard Allan Pickup was born in Yorkshire on November 7 1960 and read Biochemistry at Newcastle University. Wanting adventure, he joined the marines in 1983 and was awarded the Sword of Honour at Lympstone.

His first operational tour was six months in South Armagh. But the routine of Northern Ireland deployments and Arctic training eventually palled, and in 1986 he volunteered for the demanding selection process for the SBS. Once again he passed out top, becoming the first officer to win the Coke Snelson trophy.

As an SBS officer Pickup came into his own. He worked hard and played hard. After an arduous two months in a Far Eastern jungle, and with only hours to go before an early morning flight back to Britain, he challenged his officers and men to a pre-dawn rickshaw race round the local town.

When an Australian SAS NCO attached to his unit came close to hypothermia after a parachute drop into the sea, Pickup gave him his protective clothing. "Well, he's only an Aussie," he told his men, "and, after all, I'm a Yorkshireman."

After various staff appointments, Pickup realised his ambition of commanding the SBS in 2000. He spent the rest of his career within UKSF, including two years in Washington as special operations liaison officer during the planning and conduct of the Second Gulf War.

In 2004 he was appointed commander of the British forces in Kosovo for a six-month tour. More recently, he was Commander, Special Forces Support Group, establishing and then leading a new UKSF unit to go anywhere in the world.

He also returned to Afghanistan in another appointment. He retained his immense respect for its implacable people.

Richard Pickup had been in a new, more relaxed, post – as a defence adviser in Pretoria(South Africa) – for only three weeks when he died suddenly on March 20. He leaves a wife, Sharon, and two sons and a daughter.

Bomb expert 'who saved hundreds' dies

One of the Army's most prolific bomb disposal experts, who saved "countless lives", has been killed on the last day of his operational tour of Afghanistan. Staff Sergeant Olaf "Oz" Schmid died trying to defuse a bomb in the town of Sangin in Helmand on Saturday.

"In all my time in the Army, I have never met, nor am I ever likely to meet, a man like S/Sgt Schmid again. He truly was a once-in-a-generation phenomenon," said his commanding officer Major Tim Gould.

Always Remember

British W.W. II SOE secret agent who helped French 'snubbed by Charles de Gaulle'

A secret agent who trained members of the French Resistance behind enemy lines was told he had "no business" in France when he met General de Gaulle, newly released files disclose.

Peter Lake was parachuted into the Dordogne on the night of April 9 1944 to train members of the Resistance in sabotage and guerilla warfare in preparation for D Day.

After the landings he led a daring operation to blow up the main railway line between Perigueux and Coutras.

But less than a month after General de Gaulle's triumphant return to Paris in 1944, the leader of the Free French met Captain Lake at Saintes in south-west France.

L.A. County Board of Supervisors
honors Jack LaLanne, 95

Daily News Wire Services
Updated: 10/27/2009 11:40:56 AM PDT

Jack LaLanne, the 95-year-old "Godfather of Fitness," was honored Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in recognition of his lifetime of work promoting healthy living. LaLanne, who was addicted to sugar and junk food as a child, heard a nutritionist speak when he was 15 and changed his life, dedicating it to the art of fitness. He designed one of the world's first fitness machines and brought weightlifting, virtually unheard of in the 1930s, to prominence. He starred in the nationally syndicated "The Jack LaLanne Show" for 34 years and authored numerous books and recordings about staying fit. LaLanne continues to work out for two hours each day -- working with weights for 90 minutes and swimming for a half-hour, said Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who proposed declaring Tuesday "Jack LaLanne Day. Lalanne reminded his audience how "anything in life is possible."

Moline Blaylock Ripley

Moline Blaylock Ripley died at her home in Annapolis, Md., on Saturday, September 12, 2009, from natural causes. She was 68. Moline Ripley was born in Bluefield, W.Va., on December 7, 1941, daughter of Arnold Vincent Blaylock and Edna Pais Blaylock. She was raised in Radford, Va., attended Radford High School and graduated from Madison College in 1964 with a degree in home economics and secondary education. Upon graduation, Moline Blaylock married John Walter Ripley, also of Radford, Va. Moline Ripley was active as a Marine officer's wife, Interior Designer, and mother of four. She was a gracious hostess and the consummate southern lady. She was devoted to her role as a Marine Corps officer's wife in peacetime and war, showing compassion and providing help to families around her.

As an interior designer, she was tremendously skilled. In her career she cultivated numerous private and commercial clients to include the historic home of the Commandant of the Marine Corps at 8th and I. Like many military wives, Moline became the head of the household and sole parent during the lengthy deployments of her husband. The driving force in her home, Moline took great pride in the successes of her children and husband. Her expectations were high and unwavering. Mrs. Ripley is survived by a twin sister, Marcella Blaylock Zimmerman, of Nashville, Tenn.; her four children, Stephen Ripley, of Annapolis, Md., Mary Ripley, of Annapolis, Md., Thomas Ripley, of Annapolis, Md., and John Ripley, of West Palm Beach, Fla.; and eight grandchildren.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, 10 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 1007, New York, N.Y. 10020. A memorial service will be held 9 a.m. on Friday, September 25, 2009, at the United States Naval Academy Chapel. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 24, 2009, at John M. Taylor and Sons Funeral Home, 147 Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis, Md.

The Indian Scouts of the United States Cavalry

The Indian Scouts of the United States Cavalry were Native Americans recruited to assist and fight in the Indian Wars of the Western United States. The Indian Scouts were distinguished by a branch of service insignia of crossed arrows. In 1942 this insignia was worn by the 1st Special Service Force with the crossed arrows then becoming the insignia of the US Army Special Forces. Recruitment of Indian scouts was first authorized on 28 July 1866 by an act of Congress. Indian Scouts were disbanded on 30 June 1921. In 1922 the remaining scouts were transferred to Fort Huachuca, Arizona where they served alongside the 25th Infantry Regiment until the remaining few retired in 1947. There is still one Army Military Occupational Specialty that is active and has been since the early cavalry days: 19D CavalryScout.


Its Celebration and Its Food

Virginia Mescher
When we think of Thanksgiving Day, we usually think of the Pilgrims, Indians and a great deal of food. There has been a controversy about the date of the first Thanksgiving celebration in America. The dates range from 1513 to 1621, but the date of the first thanksgiving celebration is secondary to the acceptance and continuation of Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Most of us take the holiday for granted and assume it has always celebrated nationwide since Thanksgiving was first noted but this was not the case...


"Oh God, when I have food, help me remember the hungry. When I have a home, help me remember the homeless. When I am with friends and family who love me, help me remember those who are friendless and shunned. And remembering, help me destroy my complacency, move my heart and reach out by word and deed to those who cry out for what we take for granted."

Giving Thanks and prayer to the Old.....


A discussion of Thanksgiving in the 1860s
would not be complete without some mention
of how the soldiers celebrated Thanksgiving
during the war.
The Tribute Book devoted an
entire chapter on Thanksgiving Day, 1864 in
the army, navy and hospitals. Although Lincoln
proclaimed Thanksgiving to be a national
holiday, it was not celebrated the military in1863.
Some units did organize and prepare special
dinners, but it was not widespread. In 1864,
the Union League club of New York City
collected money in order to provide a
Thanksgiving dinner for Union soldiers and
sailors. They published the following plea, “We
desire that on the twenty-fourth day of
November, there shall be no soldier in the Army
of the Potomac, the James, the Shenandoah, and no sailor in the North Atlantic Squadron who does not receive
tangible evidence that those for whom he is periling his life, remember him . . .

WWII Rangers reunite in Columbus...

The lobby of the Holiday Inn on Manchester Express was teeming Thursday with the who’s who of U.S. Army Ranger royalty, in town this week for their annual reunion.

There was Len Lomell, who earned the Distinguished Service Cross for destroying the howitzer cannons at Pointe du Hoc on D-Day.

“I’m the guy that found the guns,” Lomell, now 89, said with a playful grin. Lomell’s friend, fellow Ranger and former company commander, George Kerchner, was also in attendance.

Kerchner was a 26-year-old 2nd lieutenant when the 2nd Ranger Battalion landed on the beach at Pointe du Hoc. In the time it took for him to step from his boat onto the already blood-soaked sand, however, he had gone from being a low-ranking officer to the company’s commander.

“On the way in the landing craft that had the company commander and the other lieutenant in it had sunk,” Kerchner recalled. “It never reached the shore so when I landed on the shore I was the company commander.

“I was very low on the totem pole, when you don’t even have a platoon to command. But all of a sudden I had a company to command,” Kerchner, now 91, said with a laugh. “And it was a little difficult for the men I think to accept me as their company commander. I mean I was their ranking officer but I hadn’t been a Ranger but six months.”

For his actions on June 6, 1944, Kerchner, too, earned the second-highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the U.S. Army — the Distinguished Service Cross.

Over the next three days, the approximately 100 veteran Rangers who were able travel to Columbus for this year’s reunion will observe a Rangers in Action demonstration at Hurley Hill on Fort Benning, tour the new National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center and take a walk along WWII Street. There will also be opportunities along the way for Rangers past and present to meet and swap stories.

Thursday, for example, the veterans teamed up with current Rangers to compete in a simulated gallery shoot-out hosted at the Holiday Inn by Ranger Joe’s.

The WWII Ranger reunion wraps[Note"wrapped"] up Oct. 25.


Its Celebration and Its Food

Veteran frogman was among first to hit Normandy beaches

By Kevin Dougherty, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Friday, June 6, 2008 Michael Abrams / S & S

World War II veteran Dennis Shryock with his daughters Donna Barlow, left, and Kelly Hampton, right. Shryock went ashore at Utah Beach on D-Day as a member of a U.S. Navy underwater demolition team. He will be visiting Utah Beach for the first time since 1944. Purchase reprint

(Photo courtesy of Randy Barlow
Dennis Shryock in 1943.
U.S. Navy photo

Dennis Shryock, shown here in his Navy diving gear during training at Camp Endicott, R.I.)

To have participated in Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy in World War II, now that’s something.

To have waded ashore through a deathly brew of bullets, blood and floating bodies, well, that’s a feat of a totally different stripe.

But to have been a Navy frogman, the first to touch beach the morning of June 6, 1944, that’s the stuff legends are made of.

A forerunner to the Navy special operations force known as the SEALs, Naval Combat Demolition Units cleared the way for the initial invasion force on that historic day.

"There was stuff blowing up all over the place," Dennis Shryock recalled..."The Germans were cutting into us, too," Shryock said of the landings on Utah. The ocean water around him "looked like pure blood. That was sickening." But he added, "we couldn’t stop doing our job."

Despite the bloodletting, Utah Beach fared far better than Omaha, the other beach in the U.S. sector. Demolition teams suffered six dead and 11 injured on Utah, according to Navy statistics. Thirty-one died and 60 were injured on Omaha.

Shryock is proud of the role he played in the battle. While his memory may fail him from one sentence to the next, the Springfield, Ill., native remains upbeat and engaging, a proud and consummate gentleman from a bygone era....

Giving Thanks and prayer to the New...

Today also, members of the Army, Marines, Navy, Airforce and Coastguard (men and women, Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard alike) will gather in mess halls or in tents across the globe as friends and comrades to enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving meal (Army Spc. Dustin Owen, a native of Franklinville, N.Y., who serves as a food service specialist with the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, cuts turkey during the preparation for the Thanksgiving meal in Yusufiyah, Iraq, Nov. 23. Photo by Staff Sgt. Angela McKinzie, USA)

So, as those of us who are blessed to be with our families celebrate and give thanks, let us remember in our prayers the homes that have an empty chair at the table and also offer a special prayer of thanksgiving and ask God’s Blessings for the brave men and women of our Armed Forces, whose service and sacrifice will, we further pray, make the world a better and safer place. And a very special prayer dear God, for those homes that have an empty chair that will forever remain vacant and for those servicemen and women who have come back to us, may their sacrifice not have been in vain.

On this Thanksgiving, America remembers the men and women of our military... May God love, bless and protect you all.

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