Special Forces Gear Newsletter - Voice Of The Soldier
Monthly Newsletter September 2010

In This Issue
Dave's Message
Voice of the Soldier
Word of Truth
The Blue Warrior
Special Forces History
Requests For Support
A Warrior's Wisdom
Military Maxims
Aesop's Fables
Embroidered Items
Featured T-Shirts
Special Product Coupon
Quotes & Jokes
Featured Items
Featured Tactical Gear
Featured Watches
Monthly Sale
Clichés of Socialism
What Has Really Changed?
Articles
Special Forces Gear Forum
Newsletter Archives
August 2010July 2010June 2010May 2010April 2010March 2010February 2010January 2010December 2009November 2009October 2009September 2009August 2009July 2009June 2009May 2009April 2009March 2009February 2009January 2009
Customer Comments
I am a Cpl. in the Army and just returned from Iraq. I carried my shotgun all year on my back in your shotgun scabbard, and it worked great! I was glad to have it around several times, and it proved to be an easy way to keep the shotgun handy for the squad. Thanks for your great product, and for your support of our troops!!

Cpl. C.R. [omitted]
36th Infantry Div.



Got the T-shirt....IT ROCKS!!!!

Thanks guys
kelly [omitted]



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

Thanks!!!
[name omitted]

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



Dear SF company.

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

Thanks again.

Another happy customer
Bob Miller



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

Most Sincerely,
Bryan P.



Thank you!!!

Your Shirts are the best.

Andreas



Dear SFG,

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

I thought a little constructive thoughts were in order.

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

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

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

Sincerely,
Ed Whiteside



Dear Special Forces

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

PARASCHOS



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

Rick



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

Jack And Melanie Edgar



Steve,

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

Thank you,

Amanda Van Every



Dave,

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

David



Hello,

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

Cheers Andrew and best wishes for the New Year.
 
Dave's Message
Tale of a Great Warrior
"Never do what the
enemy wishes you to do"


A marble bust, reputedly of Hannibal, found at the city-state of CapuaOne of my favorite Maxims of Napoleon is "Never do what the enemy wishes you to do, for this reason alone, he desires it." and Napoleon also said "A field of battle, the enemy has studied and reconnoitered should be avoided, and double care should be taken where he has had time to fortify or entrench, One consequence deduced from this principle is, never to attack a position in front which you can gain by turning." 
 
Hannibal, Enemy of Rome
 
Two generations after the death of Alexander the Great, the power of the Mediterranean world was divided between Aryan Rome and Carthage. Carthage was first on the Sea and Rome, on land. Rome, an empire of trust with its closest neighbors, and a burgeoning protectorate for many nations around its borders, kept a careful eye on Carthage and eventually quarrels between these two growing powers began. This quarreling eventually brought on the Punic Wars. It was during this time possibly the Greatest Captain of History came of age Hannibal son of Hamilcar Barca the supreme Carthaginian Commander during the First Punic War
 
Hannibal received his first schooling as a soldier during the first Punic War at the age of nine, in his father's camps in Spain. Later his brother, Hasdrubal, who was elected upon his father in law Hamicular's death to General-in-Chief of the allied Carthaginian and Spanish Forces taking Hamicular's place. Hasdrubal, made Hannibal his Chief of Calvary at the age of twenty-one. When Hannibal was 24, Hasdrubal died and Hannibal was elected to take Hasdrubal's place as head of the Carthaginian Army.
 
Hannibal's father Hamicular had planned an invasion of Italy by way of crossing the Alps to conquer Rome but his death prevented him from carrying out his plan. Hannibal was determined to carry out his father's plans.
 
Hannibal, now in Command, immediately started laying the foundation to invade Italy by liberating Spain from Roman control. It took about 3 years for him to subjugate all Spain, and after a long siege captured Saguntum. This marked the beginning of the Second Punic War. Hannibal now had a base from which he could supply his forces with food and extra troops. This was one of the first blunders the Romans made in the Second Punic War. If they had come to the aid of Saguntum against Hannibal instead of fighting Illyrian revolts, they could have fortified the city and stopped Hannibal from crossing the Alps into Italy. But instead the Romans did nothing even though they received ample warning of Hannibal's preparations. They were yet to learn of the talent and determination of the man with whom they had to deal. The Romans thought that they could strike down this Carthaginian youth whenever they pleased, and no special effort would be required. The Romans did not even react when news reached them that Hannibal was besieging Saguntum. They were disgruntled that Hannibal had broken the treaty set after the First Punic War. But Hannibal's actions were not all too different from that of the Romans as Rome had recently annexed Sardinia despite a treaty which had explicitly forbidden them from doing so. The capture of Saguntum was essential to Hannibal in his overall plan. The city was one of the most fortified in the area and it would be a poor move to leave such a city in the hands of his enemy. Hannibal also looked for plunder to keep his army happy (mostly mercenaries from North Africa, the Iberian Peninsula, and the Gauls). The money from the city could also be spent on keeping any political opponents down back in Carthage.

For those who are curious here is a link to most of the Battles of the Second Punic War.

Siege of Saguntum

Saguntum in present day SpainAfter Hannibal's victories in Spain he led his army of approximately 50,000 soldiers, 9,000 calvary and 37 elephants over an unknown route crossing the Alps into Italy which was an amazing feat unto itself. Hannibal was now in the homeland of his enemies was operating unsupported cast on his own resources with his army to feed and supply.

Over the years the Roman Legions grew in strength and experience, as his own veterans gradually disappeared leaving him but a ragged force to operate with. And yet for 16 years he marched all over Italy ravaging, terrorizing, destroying, almost bankrupting and controlling large portions of Southern Italy and none of the Roman Armies could stop him from doing what ever he pleased. During the whole 16 years he was never defeated in Italy on Roman soil. It is said, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." In the case of Rome I think it is true. I feel strongly that Hannibal was the tool of divine intervention that taught and tested Rome laying the foundation for it to grow into the great empire that gave us our roots in western culture and freedom. Hannibal means "he who enjoys Baals favor" his family had brought back the cult of Baal-Shamin and made sacrifices to the gods like the Greek god Heracles before invading Italy. Aside from Hannibal's attachment with pagan Greek gods he had many strong warrior qualities with none of the weaknesses of the other great captains of history. I wish I had the time in this message to give you an appreciation for the character, qualities and genius of Hannibal, but my purpose here instead is to use an example of his cleverness to demonstrate our topic, "Never do what the enemy wants you to do".
 
When the news of the many Victories by Hannibal reached Rome, says Polybius, (A Greek Historian 200-118 BC)"not only the populace but the Senate are thrown into consternation. Abandoning therefore the system of government by magistrates elected annually, they decide to deal with the present situation more radically, thinking that the state of affairs and the impending peril demands the appointment of a single general with full powers."
 
The man they chose as "dictator," sole commander, was Quintus Fabius, a man of such admirable judgment and great natural gifts that in Polybius's own time, half a century later, he was still referred to as Maximus, the "Greatest." He was also to acquire another name, "Cunctator" meaning "Delayer," for reasons which will appear later.
 
Quintus Fabius Maximus towers above his contemporaries as Winston Churchill dominates the "Men of Munich." Compared with Fabius such mindless hotheads as Sempron ius and Flaminius were Pigmies. Yet like Churchill, Fabius had to endure a long period of misunderstanding and hostility. In the past the Romans had been accustomed to defeating their enemies in pitched battles in which they were usually victorious, Fabius realized, before anyone else, that in Hannibal they were faced with a different and more dangerous kind of enemy. He had introduced into warfare elements which gave him, for the time being, an overwhelming advantage. There was his heavy Numidian Cavalry under the brilliant direction of Maharbal a Numidian, one of the greatest cavalry commanders of all time. It provided a weapon to which the Romans, who were essentially infantrymen, had no answer. But even more important, they were faced by a mind of such powerful originality in military affairs that no conventionally trained Roman general could defeat it.
 
As Fabius saw the situation, there was only one way to defeat Hannibal, and that was to wear him down. The Carthaginian's weakness lay in the fact that, as the commander of an invading foreign army on Italian soil, he could only destroy the Romans State by enlisting the support of the peoples allied to Rome. As long as the allies remained loyal there was hope that the tide would turn, but every time the Romans lost a battle their allies' faith in them weakened. The answer to the problem was never to engage Hannibal in battle but always keeping at a discreet distance, to hang on the rear and flanks of his army, in sufficient numbers to discourage the allies from going over to the enemy, yet never challenging the Carthaginians to open combat.
 
It was a sound scheme but an unpopular one, because the Romans, accustomed to breaking their enemies' power by direct action on the battlefield, found it hard to stomach a policy which involved standing by inactive while Hannibal ravaged their country as he pleased. The methods of Fabius, "the Delayer," while acceptable to the wiser minds among the Roman government, irritated and eventually infuriated the man in the street. Such is the weakness of popular government, which rarely learns anything except the hard way.
 
It seems that Hannibal, realizing that he was not yet strong enough to attack the capital, concentrated first on improving the health of his men by letting them forage at will in rich country. At the same time he tried to break the allegiance of the allies by proving that Rome was powerless to protect them. So far not one colony had defected, but one more decisive Roman defeat might well turn the scale.
 
Before Fabius marched out of Rome with his army, he heard more grave news. The Carthaginians had again become active at sea. While their generalissimo was plundering far and wide in the Adriatic provinces, a Carthaginian naval force had cut off a whole convoy of Roman corn ships off the west coast, near Cossa in Extruia.  These captured ships had been intended to supply the Roman army in Spain.
 
Now followed one of the most extraordinary episodes in the Second Punic War-or indeed in any war. There was no major clash of arms, no fiercely fought, decisive battle and Hannibal was spoiling for a fight, while his adversary, Fabius, with a much larger army, was equally determined not to engage. The area in which they faced each other covered an area of thousands of square miles, from the Bay of Naples almost to the Gulf of Taranto.
 
Remaining always at a safe distance Fabius kept Hannibal under constant observation. Every time the Carthaginian moved, Fabius moved also-at a distance. Sometimes the Romans were able to intercept one of Hannibal's raiding parties which had strayed too far from the main army. This gave the troops useful exercise and did something to mitigate the boredom of inactivity.
 
By remaining in the field, even without fighting, Fabius overawed the allies and discouraged them from revolting. Hannibal had hoped that the Apulians would join him: they did not. He recrossed the Apennines, moving through the country of the Hispanians and the Samnites, on the western slopes of the Apennines above the Bay of Naples. And as he moved, so "the Delayer" followed him, keeping to the high ground and marching parallel with the Carthaginians.
 
Throughout his long wandering march, Hannibal had continually tried to sting Fabius into action. "He began to provoke and try his temper, by frequently shifting his camp and laying waste the territory of the allies before his eyes; and one while he withdrew out of sight at quick march, another while he halted suddenly, and concealed himself in some winding of the road, if possible to entrap him on his descending into the plain." But Fabius refused to be drawn, through his troops, and especially his Mater of Horse, Marcus Minucius, became increasingly restive, impatient and angry.
 
When the Romans arrived on the heights of Mount Massicus and looked down on the Falernian plain they saw "the most delightful country in Italy. . . being consumed by fire, with the farmhouses and all the lands. . . smoking from the flames." And their indignation broke into open anger. Minucius, who had been intriguing against Fabius and hoped to supplant him, saw in this an opportunity to win the soldiers over to his side. Addressing the officers, he exclaimed:
 
"Have we come here to see our allies butchered, and their property burned, as a spectacle to be enjoyed? And if we are not moved with shame on account of any others, are we not on account of these citizens, whom our fathers sent as settlers to Sinuessa, that this frontier might be protected from the Samnite foe which now not the neighbouring Samnian wastes with fire, but a Carthaginian foreigner, who has advanced even this far from the remotest limits of the world, through our dilatoriness and inactivity?
 
Massicus would eventually get his way in the future but he learned a hard lesson. Hannibal wiped out his Legions in short order with Massicus barely escaping death.  
 
Despite the unpopularity of his policy, Fabius remained unmoved, even though some men began to call him a coward. Firmly pursuing his strategy of containment, he garrisoned in Casilinum in the enemy's rear.
 
Fabius had acted very cleverly. By all the rules of orthodox warfare, Hannibal was caught in a trap. He could not expect to winter in Campania, since once his army had exhausted its supplies it could not stay. It was without a single town in its possession, and with no means of pasturing its cattle and storing the masses of plunder it had accumulated. Beside many thousands of cattle, Hannibal was encumbered with numerous prisoners, plus the corn, oil, wine, and other provisions. His plan was to retreat across the mountains to Apulia, where there was an abundance of corn and open grassland which in winter was green and fresh, providing wide pastures for his cattle. Knowing his intention, we recognize a splendid insolence in the way Hannibal allowed Fabius to lock him within Campania, shutting door after door and apparently barring every escape route. One is reminded of the type of circus performer called an "escape artist" who, after inviting members of the audience to bind him in every possible way, even locking him in a box, manages in a few seconds to free himself.
 
Summer wore on and still the Carthaginian made no move, while his army reveled in the plenty of the richest region in Italy, and the Romans, greatly superior in numbers, watched anxiously from the hills. What would Hannibal do?
 
The only road along which his army can escape is that along which it came, and this narrow mountain pass is guarded by a strong detachment of Roman soldiers while Fabius, with the main army, is camped some distance away, watching the pass.
 
One has to wonder about the genius and self confidence of Hannibal to take on such a challenge for he knew that he was leading his army into a trap with one way out.
 
One night an orderly enters the tent of Fabius and wakes the leader. Throwing on his clothes Fabius leaves the tent and finds Marcus Minucius, his Mater of Horse, gathered with other officers outside. They are all looking, not at the pass along which they expected Hannibal to attempt his escape, but at the hillsides above it.
 
The sight is enough to alarm and astonish them. Up the steep, dark slopes thousands of lights are moving, dipping and swaying, but all moving towards the heights. "We've got them, Sir!" shouts the excited Minucius. "The fool thinks he can get away over the hills at night, while we're asleep! But only a few have got away. Move the army down to the foot of the pass now, and we can stop the rest!"  He implores Fabius to give the order, but Fabius remembers the disasters of Sempronius at Trebbia, and Flaminius Lake Trasimeene."No," he says gravely."This is another Punic trick. We have a force guarding the pass. They'll deal with these men. The army will not move. We shall stay here until dawn. Don't move I forbid you."   In vain Minucius and the other officers try to persuade Fabius to attack, while more and more glittering lights move up the dark hillside and over the crest.
 
Meanwhile, the Romans guarding the pass seeing the lights and believing that the enemy was trying to outwit them, leave their posts and scramble up the hillside. It is hard going in the dark, for the mountainsides are steep and treacherous, and it is some time before the more agile soldiers come close enough to get to grips with their adversaries. A young centurion, sword in hand, runs towards one of the moving lights and then stops, bewildered. His companions, when they join him on the heights, look on in astonishment and disappointment before slowly they sheathe their sword. What they see before them is a huddle of cattle with burning brands tied to their horns. From above and below they hear the excited cries of their comrades who, like them, are climbing the heights in pursuit of imaginary enemies.
 
The cries change to shouts of disgust and anger. Realizing that they have been tricked, they begin to hurry down the hillside again, back to the posts they have deserted. Then they get another surprise. They blunder into dark shapes standing among the rocks, the shapes not of cattle but of men. Quietly, but with deadly efficiency, the small force of picked Carthaginian troops who have driven the cattle up the slopes, fall on the dismayed Romans and cut them down. No one knows whether the shadows around him conceal men or beasts. Leaderless, out of their accustomed formation, alarmed and terrified by the darkness and the uncertainty, the Romans wait for the dawn, remembering the stories they have heard concerning Hannibal, who now seems more like a god than a man.
 
But the god is far away. He is down in the unguarded pass far below, joking with Maharabal, Hasdrubal and the rest, as they move unmolested over the mountains to safety. Behind them march the thousands of Africans, Numidians, Gauls, totaling approximately 30,000 loaded with the plunder of Campania, and driving before them some 2,000 cattle. Before dawn they will be out of danger and on their way to the lush grasslands of Apulia, to which Hannibal had promised to lead them.
 
When the dawn light seeps across the green Campanian plain, it reveals the Roman army still within its camp, where Fabius is still assuring his officers that this is yet another Punic trick. He is right, of course, and this time the victim is Fabius. When his scouts, whom he has sent to reconnoiter the Carthaginian camp, return, it is with despair and frustration on their faces. Hannibal has gone; and so has all his army with its booty.
 
"Know your enemy and know yourself and
you can fight a hundred battles without disaster."

- Sun Tzu

I have not read every book on Hannibal, but in none which I can recall has it been pointed out what seems to me to be the brilliant facet of this maneuver. It was a clever trick but one which was intended to be recognized as a trick. Once again Hannibal had studied the mind of his opponent and taken his measure. Both Sempronius and Flaminius were rash fools who fell into the traps prepared for them, but Fabius was not a fool, and Hannibal knew this. If " Fabius the Delayer" had been as impetuous as either of the two Consuls whom Hannibal had already defeated, he would have been deceived, and would have led his army out of the camp in time to intercept Hannibal's main force. Being a cautious and prudent general, he stayed where he was and so allowed the Carthaginians to get away. But in all three of the Major Battles so far with the Romans the result was the same. Hannibal made his opponents do what he wished them to do, and reaped the benefit himself.
 
Hannibal still undefeated on Roman soil was recalled back to Carthage after his 17 year campaign against the Romans. But it was back in his homeland that a Roman Scipio Africanas defeated him with the use of Hannibal's own Tactics which he had made a priority in his life studying and learning everything he could from observing Hannibal for 13 years. It was however, not really Scipio that defeated Hannibal it was inevitable to occur. The Carthaginian cause was doomed from the start because it was a war far off in another land that did not have the full support of the people of Carthage. The lack of support from the Carthaginian Senate and failure to win over a number of allies in Italy nibbled away his strength for seventeen years putting  Hannibal into a exhausted condition which brought Hannibal's career to a close. Hannibal lived 19 years after his defeat and during that time Rome never felt secure until his death.
 
Hannibal ranks high with the few great captains of history. Although some would say he never achieved his ultimate goal of conquering Rome he had a great impact leading up to modern history. Hannibal taught the Romans what war really is; that there is more than merely marching out, fighting a battle, and marching home again. He showed them that with a small army, fewer arms, less material and few allies he could keep Rome on the brink of ruin and despair for nearly a generation. He showed them for thirteen years he could accomplish more then they could despite their numbers. He impressed his own strategy so thoroughly upon the Romans that it modified their whole method of waging war. Hannibal tested the Roman Empire in every way and it was only Rome's loyalty to its strong system of government that enabled them to survive Hannibal.
 
Hannibal in his life was simple, pure and self contained. He always forgot self in his work far above such weaknesses of any form of self indulgence or arrogance. He was singularly self poised; no one could ever divine his thoughts or intentions. He was self reliant with the ability to keep his own council, never to betray his purpose, a master of deception. Hannibal never promised what he couldn't deliver. His mind was broad, delicate and clear. His conception of operations and discriminations and means were equaled by his boldness - even obstinacy - of execution. Hannibal's influence over men was perhaps his most wonderful trait. He earned the fidelity and love of his men by his personal qualities alone unlike Alexander the Great who won the loyalty of his men through his victories on the battlefield. 
 
Hannibal's marches were quick, secret, and crafty. He was singularly apt at guessing at what his enemies would do and could act on it with speed and effect. He was unsurpassed in logistics.
 
The Romans learned practically all they ever knew about the art of war from Hannibal.  We may call Hannibal "the father of strategy"  
 
"We will either find a way, or make one."
- Hannibal

 
HOOAH
DAVE  
  


References:
The Complete Histories of Polybius - Translated WR Paton
The Great Captains -Theodore Dodge
Hannibal enemy of Rome - Leonard Cottrell
Nothing Less then Victory - John Lewis
Scipio Africanus - Lindel Hart


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

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46Th Special Forces Company (Airborne) Association, Inc.

46TH SFCA Wounded Warrior Cruise III flyerjust received an e-mail from our travel agent LYNN DYE; she informed me that CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES has extended our $50.00 deposit schedule until 10 September 2010.
What this means is that because we have already signed up 30 + cabins they have extended our payments. If you decide to go on our cruise you have to contact LYNN DYE at MARYSVILLE TRAVEL 1-800-568-7477 or e-mail lynn@marysvilletravel.com and put down a $50.00 deposit and your next payment is not until June 2011 with final payment due in August 2011. That is one year to pay off this great trip.
 
If you cannot go on the cruise think about yourself or your organization sponsoring a WOUNDED WARRIOR and their significant other to join our Cruise. The last cruise we had 28 WIA and their significant others, everybody had a great time. This cruise we would like to double that.
If each Special Forces Association Chapter donated just one cabin we could make this the best cruise ever and show America we take care of our own.
 
We have checked with our CPA and he said that because we have briefings and events during the cruise that most of the cruise is tax deductible.
 
Please take a look at the attached flier and then contact LYNN this will be a great chance to get away from all your problems and the cold weather
 
Yours in Comradeship, Reed F. Johnson D2550L CEO 46TH SFCA



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Combat Survival Magazine is a free quarterly e-publication with a focus on self defense, preparedness/survival and shooting sports. Subscriptions and past issues are available online at www.huntsurvival.com or by emailing comsurmag@aol.com.


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Newsletter Feedback

I've never had the honor of serving in the armed forces, but I do protect and serve as a Deputy Sheriff. Your message of choices is the same message my wife and I have always taught our children. More people should realize there only good choices and bad choices with consequences to both and realize the ramifications, not only to themselves, but to others; both short term and long term.

Thank you for your newsletter
- Britton
Excellent article on where the power of our country is going. I agree a 100% and have become, for the first time in my life, not very proud of my country, due to lack of leadership, and poor decisions being made by the progressive elites.

- Tom "Rangers Lead the Way!"
Great message this month, Dave. You hit it on the head. Too many are content with being sheep. If they don't wake up, the slaughter is coming for them. I have been and am continuing to ready myself. Having been in the first gulf war, I have seen what happens and is happening. The government no longer stands for its oath to the Constitution or believes or follows it even after all these years. I for one do.
 
Thanks for your message,
- Joseph
Hi,

Another awesome newsletter. But, I just had to point out, in the article titled "They Picked The Wrong Man to Rob - Only in Texas!", the incident actually took place in Brazil.

- Matt
Hi,

Dick from Sweden here. Got my tee for the firebase phoenix today and its perfect. Promise to bear it with pride!

Thanks,
Dick
Thank you for your great customer service. I appreciate you sending another shirt when the one I ordered was too small. Your delivery was very quick. Your shirts, as always, are great.

Thank you again.
- George
Just received the box of shirts and marketing material..They look GREAT! We will make sure and hang your banner at all of our fundraisers and events. I would like to make you our main corporate sponsor when it comes to gear etc. What type of deal can we work when ordering from you? I will also list you as a corporate sponsor on all of our material/events etc.
 
Once again I appreciate the support and look forward to doing good things together.
-  Chris
I just read your newsletter. Thank you for the insert of SIG.

Chris Stalnaker
President,Operations
Word of Truth
The Word Of Truth - Alive and Powerful

The Word of Truth

By Rev G.J. Rako

LTC (Ret)

IN USAR


The Battle is the Lord's
 
Moses said to the people of Israel as they were about to be annihilated by the charging chariots of the Egyptian army;

"But Moses said to the people, "Do not fear!  Stand fast and watch the deliverance of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.  The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent."

- Exodus 14:13-14
 
David, when facing the giant knew it was the Lord who would be with him and fight for him.  He had great confidence in the Lord's plan for his life.
 
"This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,  and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord's and He will give you into our hands."
- Samuel 17:46-47
 
Nothing has changed; the one who fought for the people of Israel; the one who killed the entire army of the great Pharaoh is the same one who fights for you today.  He is the one who goes ahead of you in battle.  He always takes the point, and He always prepares the battlefield in your favor.  His name is the Lord Jesus Christ, also known as Y'Shua HaMashiach (Jesus the messiah).  The ultimate warrior is the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
There are many military or battle references to the Lord.
 
 Then said David to the Philistine, "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied."

- 1 Samuel 17:45
 
"Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand (185,000): and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.
"
- Isaiah 37:36
 
"And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.  And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the wine press, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs (200 miles).
"
- Rev 14:14, 19

I know most people think of Jesus Christ as a weak, mild mannered, sweet man who would not hurt a flea.  You can read from the scriptures quoted above that nothing could be further from the truth.  Consider the flood of Noah's day.  The Lord killed everyone on the face of the earth except Noah and his family.  The Lord at the Second Advent will kill every unbeliever on the earth and only believers will enter the millennium.  Yes, He is the ultimate warrior!  We are told to be imitators of Christ.

"Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
"
- Corinthians 11:1

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;"
- Ephesians 5:1

"You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit.
"
- Thessalonians 1:6

By making application of the warrior passages describing the Lord, you too can be an ultimate warrior.  You must understand the whole essence of the Lord, knowing all of His characteristics, accomplishments, and motivations.  One must be grace oriented, humble, filled with the Holy Spirit, and have a soul saturated with the Word of God.  A tall order, but I know you don't have anything better to do.

In order to benefit from the Word of God you must be a member of God's family. 

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved."
- Acts 16:31

"God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten (uniquely born) Son; that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. "
- John 3:16

Once you have made this most important of all decisions you become a new creature in Christ (2 Cor 5:17).  As a new spiritual being you can understand the things of the Spirit.

"God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth (Holy Spirit and Bible doctrine)."
- John 4:24

"Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature, which belongs to the fullness of Christ."

- Eph 4:13
 
To be an ultimate warrior as a Christian, you must grow to spiritual maturity and learn the profession of arms.  Having the peace of God, which produces calm under pressure, and humility, which permits you to learn your profession under authority orientation will give you an edge on the battlefield.  Living your life in the light of eternity changes your focus from your insignificant problems to the One who has provided solutions to all problems.  God has a perfect plan for your life.  Learn the Word of God, trust what you learn, believe that what God has promised He is also able to bring to pass.  David was oriented to authority and humble when he thanked God for training him in the profession of arms.

"A Psalm of David.  Blessed be the Lord, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle."
 - Psalms 144:1

The ultimate warrior (The Lord) trained the ultimate warrior (King David) how to fight.  He will do the same for you if you trust Him and consistently advance in the spiritual life by making the Word of God the priority in your life.

The battle is the Lord's!

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Blue Warrior
Blue WarriorBlue Warrior
with Sgt. Glenn French


Bus Assault

The following article appeared on PoliceOne.com and provides a great insight into the hostage situation and bus assault that occurred in downtown Manila last week. Next months Blue Warrior will explain a different version of a bus assault tactic.

Stay safe,

Sgt. Glenn French

Scott Stewart
Special Contributor to PoliceOne.com


On Aug. 23, Rolando Mendoza, a former senior police inspector with the Manila police department, boarded a tourist bus in downtown Manila and took control of the vehicle, holding the 25 occupants (tourists from Hong Kong and their Philippine guides) hostage. Mendoza, who was dressed in his police inspector's uniform, was armed with an M16-type rifle and at least one handgun.

According to the police, Mendoza had been discharged from the department after being charged with extortion. Mendoza claimed the charges were fabricated and had fought a protracted administrative and legal battle in his effort to be reinstated. Apparently, Mendoza's frustration over this process led to his plan to take the hostages. The fact that Mendoza entertained hope of regaining his police job by breaking the law and taking hostages speaks volumes about his mental state at the time of the incident.

After several hours of negotiation failed to convince Mendoza to surrender, communications broke down, Mendoza began to shoot hostages and police launched a clumsy and prolonged tactical operation to storm the bus. The operation lasted for more than an hour and left Mendoza and eight of the tourists dead at the end of a very public and protracted case of violence stemming from a workplace grievance.

Hostage-rescue operations are some of the most difficult and demanding tactical operations for police and military. To be successful, they require a great deal of training and planning and must be carefully executed. Because of this, hostage-rescue teams are among the most elite police and military units in the world. Since these teams are always training and learning, they pay close attention to operations like the one in Manila and study these operations carefully. They seek to adopt and incorporate tactics and techniques that work and learn from any mistakes that were made so they can avoid repeating them. Even in highly successful operations, there are always areas that can be improved upon and lessons that can be learned.

Indeed, in the Manila case, the events that unfolded provided a litany of lessons for hostage-rescue teams. The case will almost certainly be used in law enforcement and military classrooms across the globe for years as a textbook example of what not to do.

Breakdown of the Incident

Shortly after 10 a.m. on Aug. 23, Mendoza commandeered the bus and its occupants (his police inspector's uniform was likely helpful in gaining him access to the vehicle). Within minutes, he released two female hostages. Soon thereafter he released four hostages (a woman and three children). Mendoza used a cell phone to call the Manila police, inform them of the situation and make his demands: that the charges against him be dropped by the police ombudsman's office and that he be reinstated to the police force. These early hostage releases would generally be seen as a positive sign by the authorities, showing that Mendoza had some compassion for the women and children and that even if he was reducing the number of hostages for pragmatic, tactical reasons (to allow him better control over the group), he was at least reducing the number by releasing people and not killing them.

The police maintained communications with Mendoza, who stayed aboard the bus and kept the motor running. This not only kept the vehicle cool, but allowed Mendoza to watch events unfold around the bus on the onboard television set. He had his hostages close the curtains on the bus to make it more difficult for the authorities to determine where he was in the bus.

Shortly after 1 p.m., Mendoza requested more gasoline for the bus and some food. He released another hostage, an elderly man, in return for the gas and food. Two other hostages, both Philippine photographers, were released as a deadline for action set by Mendoza (1500 hours) came and went. One of the photographers was released before, one after. There were also reports that Mendoza had initially set a 12:30 p.m. deadline for action. The fact that these deadlines passed without violence would be an encouraging sign to the authorities that the incident could be resolved without bloodshed. Food was again taken out to the bus just before 1700 hours During the afternoon, Mendoza could have been engaged by snipers on at least two occasions, but since negotiations were proceeding well and Mendoza did not appear to be close to shooting, the decision was made to try and wait him out and not attempt to kill him. If the snipers failed to incapacitate Mendoza, it could have risked the lives of the hostages.

During the ordeal, Mendoza continued to watch events unfold on the television inside the bus and reportedly even talked to journalists via cell phone. Mendoza also ordered the bus driver to park the vehicle sideways in the center of the road in an apparent attempt to make it more difficult to approach without detection.

Things took a marked turn for the worse around 1820 hours, when negotiators, accompanied by Mendoza's brother Gregorio (who is also a police officer and who had earlier helped convince Mendoza to extend his deadline), approached the bus with a letter from the office of the ombudsman offering to reopen his case. Mendoza rejected the letter, saying he wanted his case dismissed, not reviewed. At this point, there are conflicting reports of what happened. The police negotiators told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that Mendoza's brother told Mendoza that the letter from the ombudsman's office was garbage and that he should not surrender. Other press reports indicate that the brother pleaded with Mendoza to take him hostage and release the tourists and that his pleading was seen as counterproductive to the negotiations.

Whatever the story, Mendoza's brother was then arrested and his arrest was carried live on television and seen by Mendoza in the bus. Shortly after his brother's arrest, Mendoza fired two warning shots and demanded in a radio interview that all the Manila Police Department SWAT officers be removed from the scene. Shortly after 1900 hours, Mendoza repeated his threats and refused to speak to his family members. Growing increasingly agitated, Mendoza shot two of the hostages when his demand for the SWAT officers to retreat was not met. He released the Philippine bus driver, who reportedly told police that all the hostages were dead. (We are unsure why the driver said this when only two of the passengers had been killed, but the police would have been able to tell from the volume of fire that Mendoza had not truly killed all the hostages.)

At about 1930, the tires of the bus were shot out and a police tactical team approached the vehicle and began to smash its windows with a sledgehammer. The police attempted to slowly enter the back of the bus by crawling through one of the shattered windows from the top of a police truck but were forced back out of the window by gunfire.

At about 2040, police deployed tear gas into the back of the bus through the missing windows. Gunfire erupted and Mendoza was finally killed in a hail of bullets. Six additional hostages also perished during the exchange of gunfire. It is unclear at this point if they were intentionally shot by Mendoza or if they were caught in the crossfire.

An Avoidable Situation?

By the time of the rescue attempt, the saga of Mendoza's firing from the police force had been going on for some time, and it is important to recognize that he did not make a spontaneous decision to seize the tourist bus. Even if the bus was targeted shortly before the attack, Mendoza's path toward violent action would have included several significant warning signs. As in almost any case of violence that stems from issues in the workplace, once the chain of events are examined more closely, reports will emerge that warning signs were either missed or ignored. Had those warning signs been noted and acted upon, this situation might have been avoided.

Since the event was not pre-empted, once it happened and developed into a hostage situation, the primary objective of the authorities was to resolve the incident without violence. Skillful hostage negotiators do this by allowing the hostage-taker to vent. They also work hard to defuse any tension that has the attacker on edge and to gently wear the attacker down to the point of surrender. One of the essential principles in this effort is to isolate the hostage-taker so that he or she cannot receive outside communication, motivation, encouragement or other forms of support. Hostage negotiators seek to control the flow of all information into or out of the crime scene. That did not occur in this case. Mendoza was able to talk to outsiders on his cell phone and even gave media interviews. He was also able to use the television in the bus to watch live media coverage of the incident, including video of the deployment of police officers. This gave him a considerable advantage and far more information than what he could have observed with his eyes from inside the curtained bus.

As shown in the November 2008 attack in Mumbai, India, it has become more difficult to isolate assailants from outside communications in the cell phone era, but there are ways that such communications can be disabled. It is not known why the Manila police did not attempt to jam the outside communication signals going to and from the bus, but that is certainly something that will come up in the after-action review, as will their handling of the media and onlookers (one of whom was wounded) during the incident.

As negotiations are proceeding in a hostage situation, the authorities must always be busily preparing to launch an assault in case negotiations fail. When the assailant is agitated or mentally disturbed, the situation on the ground can sometimes change quite rapidly, and the rescue team needs to be prepared to act on a moment's notice. Usually the team will come in with an initial assault plan and then alter and refine their plan as more intelligence becomes available, and as they become more familiar with the site and the situation.

If the hostages are being held in a building, the rescue team will get the blueprints of the building and collect as much information as possible in an effort to plan their assault on the location where the hostages are being held. In this case, the hostages were being held on a stationary bus, which made it far easier to collect that type of intelligence -- a bus is a bus. The authorities also had access to released hostages who, had they been debriefed, could have described to authorities the situation inside the bus.

In a protracted hostage situation, the authorities will frequently employ technical measures to gather additional intelligence on the activities of the hostage-taker. This may involve the use of overt or clandestine video equipment, parabolic microphones or microphones surreptitiously placed in or near the site. Even thermal imaging sets and technical equipment to intercept cell phone communication or radio transmissions are sometimes used.

All the information gleaned from such efforts will not only go to the negotiators, to help them understand the hostage-taker's frame of mind, but will also be used to help the rescue team fine-tune their assault plan.

Meanwhile, as the assault plan is being tweaked, negotiations continue and the hostage negotiators work to wear down the hostage-taker. It appears that the negotiators in the Mendoza case were doing a fairly good job of keeping the situation calm until the situation flared up involving Mendoza's brother and the letter from the ombudsman's office. Authorities clearly erred by not sending him a letter saying they had dropped the case against him. (They did not need the extortion charges now that they could arrest him and charge him with kidnapping and a host of other crimes.) It is hard to understand why the police department quibbled over words and refused to give him the piece of paper he expressly demanded. The police then aggravated the situation greatly with the public arrest of Mendoza's brother. Those two events caused the situation to deteriorate rapidly and resulted in Mendoza's decision to begin shooting. Once he shot the first two hostages, the negotiations were clearly over and it was time to implement a tactical solution to the problem.

Three Missing Components: Speed, Surprise, and Violence of Action

In a hostage situation, the use of force is a last resort. If force is required, however, the rescue team needs to hit hard, hit fast, and hit accurately. There is little time for hesitation or error: Lives hang in the balance. This is where things began to get very ugly in the Mendoza case. Not only was there a delay between the murder of the first hostages and the launching of the first assault attempt, the assault was not hard, fast or accurate. To succeed, an assault should be dynamic, assume control of the scene by overwhelming force and use surprise and confusion to catch the hostage-taker off guard and quickly incapacitate him. The rescue team needs to dominate the place where the entry is being made and then quickly and accurately shoot the assailant. When the police began to smash the windows of the bus with sledgehammers and then continued to beat on the windows for more than a minute, Mendoza had ample time to kill his hostages had he wished to do so. The only thing that saved the hostages who did survive was Mendoza's apparent reluctance to kill them.

It appears that the intent of the police was to smash the rear window to provide an opening and then to continue smashing windows as they moved forward in an effort to draw Mendoza's attention to the front of the bus while the assault team entered from the rear. When the police did attempt to enter the bus using the roof of the police vehicle, however, it was a slow, clumsy attempt that was quickly repelled by Mendoza once he opened fire on the team. They did not enter the bus quickly, and their tepid approach caused them to lose the element of tactical surprise, denied them the opportunity to employ overwhelming force and allowed Mendoza time to think and react and begin firing. There was no hope of the assault team's dominating the breaching point (or the rest of the bus) when they entered in such a half-hearted manner. Then, instead of following through with the assault by storming the front door while Mendoza was firing at the police in the rear of the bus, the police withdrew and went back to the drawing board. Again, had Mendoza wanted to kill all his remaining hostages, the withdrawal of the assault team gave him ample time to do so.

More than an hour after the first assault, the police again approached the bus and deployed tear gas grenades through the broken windows at the back of the bus. This flushed Mendoza toward the front of the bus and, after a brief exchange of gunfire, he was killed. There were some reports that he was killed by a police sniper, but we have seen no evidence to corroborate those reports, and it appears that he was shot from a relatively short range. Eight of the hostages survived the ordeal.

Granted, a bus does offer some challenges for a takedown operation, but is also a very common form of transportation throughout the world, and there have been numerous hostage situations involving buses in many different countries. Because of this, professional rescue teams frequently practice bus takedowns in much the same way they practice building takedowns or aircraft takedowns.

It was very apparent that the Manila SWAT unit lacked the experience, equipment, and training to conduct effective hostage-rescue operations, and we have seen this problem in other local police departments in the developing world. We have not been able to learn why the police did not seek the help of a national-level hostage-rescue unit for the tactical aspect of this situation rather than leaving it to the Manila SWAT team to resolve. Given the prolonged duration of the situation and the location in the nation's capital, higher-level assets should have had time to deploy to the scene.

Unlike many cases of workplace violence, this one did not involve a disgruntled employee charging into his former office with guns blazing. Instead, Mendoza embarked on a course of action that would, as it turned out, cause a great deal of public humiliation for his former employer. Indeed, the head of the Manila police district tendered his resignation Aug. 24. Four leaders of the Manila SWAT team were also placed on administrative leave.

In the past, some botched rescue attempts have spurred inquiries that have resulted in countries creating or dramatically improving their hostage-rescue capabilities. For example, the failed rescue attempt in Munich in 1972 led to the creation of Germany's GSG-9, one of the most competent hostage-rescue teams in the world. It will be interesting to see if the Mendoza case spurs similar developments in the Philippines, a country facing a number of security threats.

About The Author:

Scott Stewart is Vice President, Tactical Intelligence, for STRATFOR. He is a former Diplomatic Security Service Special Agent who was involved in hundreds of terrorism investigations, most notably the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the follow-on New York City bomb plot investigation, during which he served as lead investigator for the U.S. State Department. He led a team of Americans who aided the government of Argentina in investigating the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, and was involved in investigations following a series of attacks and attempted attacks by the Iraqi intelligence service during the first Gulf War.

Good luck & stay safe,

Sgt. Glenn French

 

Sgt. French also is the president of the Detroit Special Operations Group tactical training company and founder of the Detroit SWAT Challenge. 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.

 
Special Forces History
Special Operations Association LogoSpecial Forces History
with Charles Woodson

Special Forces has a very rich history.  Our origins go all the way back to WWII and the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).  There are even roots to Special Ops history that go back to people and events back before the American Revolution and even times before that.

Colonel Volckmann In June 1952, Special Forces was born from the vision and tireless work of Colonel Aaron Bank and Colonel Russell Volckmann.  Both men served during WWII in the OSS, Colonel Bank serving in the European theater and Colonel Volckmann served in the Pacific.
 
Colonel Volckmann was a West Point graduate, and after the fall of Bataan in 1942, he retreated into the hills and organized a resistance force among  the local indigenous, llocanos.  He trained and commanded his force in the western and northern coasts of Luzon, launching attacks against the Japanese.  During the U.S. invasion of the Philippines in January 1945, Volckmann's guerrillas attacked the retreating Japanese forces far behind the lines, capturing bases and air fields, thereby allowing the American advance to proceed at a lightning pace.

Colonel BankColonel Bank served in the U.S. Army as a Captain in the Office of Strategic Services (which would be disbanded by Harry Truman in 1946 but in less than a year provide much of the cadre and expertise for the new CIA). The OSS conducted both espionage operations (SI Branch) and "special operations": sabotage and guerrilla warfare (SO Branch). Bank was assigned to SO Branch, and led one of the OSS's operations, Operation Jedburgh, into France.

In that operation, Bank and two Frenchmen, an officer and a radio operator, parachuted into southern France in July 1944, and linked up with French guerillas of the Gaullist FFI. They liberated a number of towns, despite tense relations with the Communist Francs Tireurs et Partisans. In September, Bank left, mission accomplished, and reported back in to London.

In late 1944 and early 1945, Bank led "Operation Iron Cross", which evolved into a plan to capture or kill Adolf Hitler. The original plan was for a company of men disguised as German soldiers to jump in near Innsbruck in present-day Austria. There they would conduct sabotage and induce German soldiers to desert. The leaders of the unit were OSS men: Bank, a lieutenant, and two sergeants. The rank and file were prisoners of war from Nazi Germany who volunteered to fight against the Nazis. Many of them were Communists; in the end, Bank had weeded out 75 of his original 175 volunteers. They were paid sixty cents an hour, and a promise of a death benefit if they were killed.

Bank could not pass as a German, so his cover called him "Henri Marchand," a French Nazi from Martinique. The hope was that any Gestapo men asking questions wouldn't recognize a Martinique accent.

When General William Donovan, head of the OSS, was briefed on the progress of Iron Cross, he changed the mission. Hitler had been threatening that the Nazi leaders and armies would withdraw into the National Redoubt -- the mountainous area on today's German-Austrian border. This was exactly the target of Iron Cross, and Donovan ordered a new mission: "Tell Bank to get Hitler." The men of Iron Cross began training in raid and snatch techniques -- their goal was to capture Hitler alive and deliver him to a war crimes tribunal.
Iron Cross was canceled almost on the eve of execution: intelligence showed that the National Redoubt was a figment of Hitler's imagination, that Hitler was not in the target area, and that Nazi resistance was collapsing across Europe. A disappointed Bank had to thank his men for trying -- and send them back to their POW cages. Bank thought that one problem with Iron Cross was State Department aversion to setting so many armed Communists loose in an area destined for Allied occupation.

From Europe, Bank traveled to China, where he trained for an abortive mission into Indochina, and later, in September 1945, did parachute into Laos with a combined SI/SO team. During these postwar mopping-up operations, he met Ho Chi Minh, for whom he always retained great respect. The name, Special Forces, originated from the OSS, operational teams in the field from 1944 period of time.

Colonel Bank and Colonel Volckmann, teamed up and worked tirelessly to convince the Army to adopt its own unconventional guerrilla-style force. They had an ally in Brigadier General Robert McClure, who headed the Army's psychological warfare staff in the Pentagon. Bank and Volckmann convinced the Army chiefs that there were areas in the world not susceptible to conventional warfare - Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe especially - but that would make ideal targets for unconventional harassment and guerrilla fighting. Special operations as envisioned by the two men, and by Bank in particular, were a force multiplier: a small number of soldiers who could sow a disproportionately large amount of trouble for the enemy. Confusion would reign among enemy ranks and objectives would be accomplished with an extreme economy of manpower. It was a bold idea, one that went against the grain of traditional concepts, but by 1952 the Army was finally ready to embark on a new era of unconventional warfare.

Bank established the new organization's headquarters at Fort Bragg, recruiting former OSS officers, airborne and ranger troops, and seasoned war veterans.

The Army allocated 2,300 personnel slots for the unit and assigned it to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In the spring of 1952, Bank went to Fort Bragg to choose a suitable location for a Psychological Warfare/Special Forces center. He chose a remote area of the post known as Smoke Bomb Hill, not knowing that within ten years it would become one of the busiest places in the Army.

He then went about assembling a cadre of officers and NCOs who would serve as the hard-core foundation of the new unit, and who would act as a training staff to perpetuate and flesh out the fledgling organization. Bank didn't want raw recruits. He wanted the best troops in the Army, and he got them: former OSS officers, airborne troops, ex-Ranger troops and combat veterans of World War II and Korea. They were an unusual lot, a motivated bunch, men who were looking for new challenges to conquer - the more arduous the better. Virtually all spoke at least two languages, had at least a sergeant's rank, and were trained in infantry and parachute skills. Most were familiar with the customs of their target countries. They were all volunteers willing to work behind enemy lines, in civilian clothes if necessary.

That last item was no small matter. If caught operating in civilian clothes, a soldier was no longer protected by the Geneva Convention and would more than likely be shot on sight if captured. But these first volunteers didn't worry about the risks: they were long accustomed to living with anger. Many of them had come from Eastern Europe where they had fled the tyranny of communist rule at the end of World War II.

After months of intense preparation, Bank's unit was finally activated June 19, 1952, at Fort Bragg. It was designated the 10th Special Forces Group, with Bank as commander. On the day of activation, the total strength of the group was ten soldiers - Bank, one warrant officer, and eight enlisted men. That was soon to change.

Within months, the first volunteers reported to the 10th Group by the hundreds as they completed the initial phase of their Special Forces training. As soon as the 10th Group became large enough, Bank began training his troops in the most advanced techniques of unconventional warfare. As defined by the Army, the main mission of Bank's unit was "to infiltrate by land, sea or air, deep into enemy-occupied territory and organize the resistance/guerrilla potential to conduct Special Forces operations, with emphasis on guerrilla warfare." But there were secondary missions as well.

They included deep-penetration raids, intelligence missions and counterinsurgency operations. It was a tall order, one which demanded a commitment to professionalism and excellence perhaps unparalleled in American military history. But Bank's men were up to the challenge.
They had been through tough training before; their airborne and Ranger tabs were proof of that. But working for Special Forces was not going to be simply a rehash of Ranger techniques. If the volunteers didn't appreciate the difference between Rangers and Special Forces when they first signed up, they did when they went through Bank's training. As Bank put it, "Our training included many more complex subjects and was geared to entirely different, more difficult, comprehensive missions and complex operations."

The Rangers of World War II and Korea had been designed as light-infantry shock troops; their mission was to hit hard, hit fast, then get out so larger and more heavily armed units could follow through, much the same as the modern Ranger force. Special Forces, however, were designed to spend months, even years, deep within hostile territory. They would have to be self-sustaining. They would have to speak the language of their target area. They would have to know how to survive on their own without extensive resupply from the outside.

After less than a year and a half together as a full Special Forces group, Bank's men proved to the Army's satisfaction that they had mastered the skills of their new trade. So on November 11, 1953, in the aftermath of an aborted uprising in East Germany, half of the 10th Special Forces Group was permanently deployed to Bad Tolz, West Germany. The other half remained at Fort Bragg, where they were re-designated as the 77th Special Forces Group.

In the past I have worked with historians of the United States Special Operations Command, (USSOCOM), the United States Army Special Operations Command, (USASOC), the Special Warfare Center and School (SWCS) at Fort Bragg, and the Special Operations Command Pacific (SOCPAC).  I am a documentary film producer, and have spent much of my time producing military history documentaries for the DOD and the private sector.   I have been fortunate enough to interview many of our most significant historical figures from WWII, Korea, Vietnam and more recent periods of our history.

I am currently interviewing many of our Special Forces and Special Operations members of the Special Operations Association (SOA), who are comprised of service members from the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force, as well as members from some of our Ally countries.

 

The SOA has appointed Charles Woodson as their Personal History Project Officer.  They have asked me to interview, over time, their entire membership.  We have started with this past reunion, in Las Vegas to interview the first group.This coming September 13th through the 17th we will be interviewing the second group.  The stories, needless to say, are incredible!

Sunwood Entertainment LogoWe are looking for support in this huge effort.  So any interested parties can contact me at my email address I can provide additional information.

Requests For Support
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Special Forces Gear Warrior Fund

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Good Afternoon Sir,
 
Just wanted to drop a line and give you an update. The fundraiser went well and both your company and SIG got some good exposure. Starting October thru March we will be going into mission cycle and hit the woods in search of some meth labs. I will be placing an order then, in particular i'm looking for a good but cost effective trauma kit for my medic.
 
Chris Stalnaker
President,Operations
Strategic Intervention Group,SIG



STRATEGIC INTERVENTION GROUP
VETERANS TAKING A STAND

We face several challenges in today's world;  stressed economy, unemployment and senseless crimes, however one challenge several families face day to day is Meth Addiction. Meth addiction is a disease and has become a growing problem in the United States. Since 1991 meth has spread across the nation and now today has effected every state.

We have decided to take a stand and face this
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Strategic Intervention Group was organized by veterans of the United States military and Law Enforcement. Strategic Intervention Group "SIG" is a non-profit company, with a primary focus on assisting Law Enforcement in their efforts to crack down on meth problem we face today and educating our youth on the dangers of Meth.

We welcome your financial and volunteer support
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A Warrior's Wisdom
A Warrior's Wisdom

For a nation to continue to exist these three components must be developed under the leadership of the middle class of the industrial complex.
 
1 Landed Aristocracy  - In the case of the U.S. it is the right to own property. Book Definition: A category of nobility in various countries over the history, for which landownership was part of their noble privileges. Their character depended on their country.
 
2 Military- Industrial complex - The relationship of a nation's armed forces with the industries that supply their equipment.
 
3 Undeveloped Resources/Frontier - A nation's natural resources and undeveloped land.  
 
A good example in our own country is why the South lost the war? They had an undeveloped frontier and no stabilized middle class and not much of a industrial complex.
 
In the U.S. today all three are being blocked and we are feeling the weight of the effects economically. In order for the U.S. to prosper again these three must be reenacted with vigor or we will eventually collapse and other nations will seek out and exploit our resources. China is now drilling for oil off our coast I have read in the News and we have an offshore drilling ban. One can only wonder what else is happening. 
 
Bad government policy leads to military and economic disaster which leads to further disaster as it takes its toll on the people.
Military Maxims and Principles
Military Maxims and Principles
 
Lt. Gen. Harold L. George stated that "the object of war is now and always has been the overcoming of the hostile will to resist. The defeat of the enemy's armed forces is not the object of war; the occupation of his territory is not the object of war. Each of these is merely a means to an end; and the end is overcoming his will to resist. When that will is broken, when that will disintegrates, then capitulation follows." 
 
Clausewitz had seen certain principles behind this issue long before air power made its debut, in the nature of war as a duel akin to two wrestlers each grappling for balance, all be it founded on a political decision that depends upon a network of political, economic, social, and military support. The result, he concluded, is a certain "center of gravity" for each side, the point of the greatest vulnerability, which is not necessarily its army.
 
In countries subject to domestic strife, the center of gravity is generally the capital. In small countries that rely on large ones, it is usually the army of their protector. Among alliances, it lies in the community of interest, and in popular uprisings it is the personalities of the leaders and public opinion. For Alexander the Great, Gustavus Adolphus and Frederick the Great it was their armies.

The "center" of a nation's strength, is not always the "center of gravity", but rather the essential source of ideological and moral strength, which, if broken, makes it impossible to continue the war. 

To force this reversal of the decision and commitment to fight, a commander must know himself, his own people, his enemies' people-and he must know his own moral objective as well as that of his enemy. 
 
"To achieve victory, one must first know what victory is."
Aesop's Fables
The Lion and the Mouse

A Lion was awakened from sleep by a mouse running over his face. Rising up angrily, he caught him and was about to kill him, when the Mouse piteously entreated, saying: "If you would only spare my life, I would be sure to repay your kindness." The lion laughed and let him go. It happened shortly after this that the lion was caught by some hunters, who bound him by strong ropes to the ground. The mouse, recognizing his roar, came gnawed the rope with his teeth, and set him free, and exclaimed,
 
"You ridiculed the idea of my ever being able to help you, not expecting to receive from me any repayment of your favor; Now you know that it is possible for even a Mouse to benefit a Lion."

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Quotes & Jokes
 Remember the Alamo
Col. William Barrett Travis 
 
Letter to Jesse Grimes
March 3, 1836

Do me the favor to send the enclosed to its proper destination instantly. I am still here, in fine spirits and well to do, with 145 men. I have held this place for ten days against a force variously estimated from 1,500 to 6,000, and shall continue to hold it till I get relief from my country or I will perish in its defense. We have had a shower of bombs and cannon balls continually falling among us the whole time, yet none of us has fallen. We have been miraculously preserved. You have no doubt seen my official report of the action of the 24th ult. in which we repulsed the enemy with considerable loss; on the night of the 25th they made another attempt to charge us in the rear of the fort, but we received them gallantly by a discharge of grape shot and musketry, and they took to their scrapers immediately. They are now encamped in entrenchments on all sides of us.

All our couriers have gotten out without being caught and a company of 32 men from Gonzales got in two nights ago, and Colonel Bonham got in today by coming between the powder house and the enemy's upper encampment....Let the convention go on and make a declaration of independence, and we will then understand, and the world will understand, what we are fighting for. If independence is not declared, I shall lay down my arms, and so will the men under my command. But under the flag of independence, we are ready to peril our lives a hundred times a day, and to drive away the monster who is fighting us under a blood-red flag, threatening to murder all prisoners and make Texas a waste desert. I shall have to fight the enemy on his own terms, yet I am ready to do it, and if my countrymen do not rally to my relief, I am determined to perish in the defense of this place, and my bones shall reproach my country for her neglect. With 500 men more, I will drive Sesma beyond the Rio Grande, and I will visit vengeance on the enemy fighting against us. Let the government declare them public enemies, otherwise she is acting a suicidal part. I shall treat them as such, unless I have superior orders to the contrary.

My respects to all friends, confusion to all enemies.

God Bless you.
Col. William Barrett Travis

To David Ayers
March 3, 1836

Take care of my little boy. If the country should be saved, I may make for him a splendid fortune; but if the country be lost and I should perish, he will have nothing but the proud recollection that he is the son of a man who died for his country.

Col. William Barrett Travis

The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory

Col. William Barrett Travis: What are you fighting for?

Jim Bowie: More like the old life, I guess...like it used to be. Like it is in America where the people own the government. You see, Santa Anna, he thinks he owns the people. Now I don't like being owned. I'm kind of particular about that kind of thing.

Col. William Barrett Travis: This is not about land or money...but the one thing that no man should never be able to take from another man: the freedom to make his own choices about his life, where he'll live, how he'll live, how he'll raise his family.

"The way to love anything is to realize it might be lost."
 - G. K. Chesterton
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Clichés of Socialism
Clichés of Socialism
 
"Why, you'd take us back to
the horse and buggy?"

 
THE BASIC FALLACY of this all-too-common cliché is a confusion between technology and such other aspects of human life as morality and political principles. Over the centuries, technology tends to progress: from the first wheel to the horse and buggy to the railroad and the jet plane. Looking back on this dramatic and undeniable progress, it is easy for men to make the mistake of believing that all other aspects of society are somehow bound up with, and determined by, the state of technology in each historical era. Every advance in technology, then, seemingly requires some sort of change in all other values and institutions of man. The Constitution of the United States was, undoubtedly, framed during the "horse and buggy" era. Doesn't this mean that the railroad age required some radical change in the Constitution, and that the jet age requires something else? As we look back over our history, we find that since 1776, our technology has been progressing, and that the role of government in the economy, and in all of society, has also grown rapidly. This cliché simply assumes that the growth of government must have been required by the advance of technology.

If we reflect upon this idea, the flaws and errors stand out. Why should an increase in technology require a change in the Constitution, or in our morality or values?    What moral or political change does the entrance of a jet force us to adopt?

There is no necessity whatever for morality or political philosophy to change every time technology improves. The fundamental relations of men-their need to mix their labor with resources in order to produce consumer goods, their desire for sociability, their need for private property, to mention but a few-are always the same, whatever the era of history. Jesus' teachings were not applicable just to the ox-cart age of first-century Palestine; neither were the Ten Commandments somehow "outmoded" by the invention of the pulley.

Technology may progress over the centuries, but the morality of man's actions is not thereby assured; in fact, it may easily and rapidly retrogress. It does not take centuries for men to learn to plunder and kill one another, or to reach out for coercive power over their fellows. There are always men willing to do so. Technologically, history is indeed a record of progress; but morally, it is an up-and-down and eternal struggle between morality and immorality, between liberty and coercion.

While no specific technical tool can in any way determine moral principles, the truth is the other way round: in order for even technology to advance, man needs at least a modicum of freedom-to seek the truth, to discover and develop the creative ideas of the individual. And remember, every new idea must originate in some one individual. Freedom is needed for technological advance; and when freedom is lost, technology itself decays and society sinks back, as in the Dark Ages, into virtual barbarism.

The glib cliché tries to link liberty and limited government with the horse and buggy; socialism and welfare state, it slyly implies, are tailored to the requirements of the jet and the TV set. But on the contrary, it is socialism and state planning that are many centuries old from the savage Oriental despotisms of the ancient empires to the totalitarian regime of the Incas. Liberty and morality had to win their way slowly over many centuries, until finally expanding liberty made possible the great technological advance of the Industrial Revolution and the flowering go of modern capitalism. The reversion in this century to ever-greater statism threatens to plunge us back to the barbarism of the ancient past.

Statists always refer to themselves as "progressives," and to libertarians as "reactionaries." These labels grow out of the very cliché we have been examining here. This "technological determinist" argument for statism began with Karl Marx and was continued by Thorstein Veblen and their numerous followers-the real reactionaries of our time.
     
What Has Really Changed?
What Has Really Changed?
The name doesn't matter
Only the meaning of Free Enterprise

 
Some people say we should get a new name for it. Perhaps. But what does the name matter, so long as we preserve the meaning. A good thing, too, to review what it means once in a while:
 
Free enterprise means Hope: Your boy can start a business or hope to boss the one he's in . . . In countries without free enterprise only the government owns and runs a business.

Free enterprise means Decency: In so-called "liberal" countries where "everything is for the people," you can be thrown into a slave labor camp to die, just on the whim of some enemy.
 
Free enterprise means Home
: not two families "assigned" to one room.
 
Free enterprise means Courage:
and no need to cringe at the words "police" or "party member".
 
Free enterprise means Dignity:
not sobbing out a " confession" in a courtroom to avoid more torture.
 
Free enterprise means Education:
Read what you want . . . not what some official decides for you. (And much of your reading may be made possible, by the way, by a Scotch immigrant boy named Carnegie who made millions under the American free enterprise system, and spent them on free libraries.)
 
Free enterprise-Americanism-profit-and-loss system: the name doesn't matter so long as you are on the alert against the people who are trying to change and destroy its meaning.

Articles
American Flag in PHXAmerican Flag in PHX

This photo was taken by my friend Wendy at a rally at the state capitol yesterday. The news will not show it and the Capitol Police and Homeland Security would not let Americans or any of the Veterans that were there do anything about it.

My husband and his friends were threatened to be arrested and were told they would be booked under federal charges if they did anything.

I am sending this to you so that you in turn can start emailing it to every one on your list. It is totally uncalled for and people need to see it. This is not about politics...

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Incredible Afghanistan VillageVillage in Afghanistan ... Incredible!!

Photos by 3rd Recon Bn RVN USMC of a village in Afghanistan.  These photos show homes built right into the cliff-side and in caves.  And you wonder why they can't find Osama Bin Laden?

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Green Berets Add Battalion at Ft. CarsonNew SF BN for 10th Group

Fort Carson's secretive Green Beret community is getting larger.
Over recent months, the Army's 10th Special Forces Group has quietly begun assembling a new operational...

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World War II MemorialSoon To Be Gone -The Greatest Generation

This should be required reading in every school and college in our country. This Captain, an Army doctor, deserves a medal himself for putting this together. If you choose not to....

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Iwo Jima MemorialSix Boys And Thirteen Hands...

Each year I am hired to go to Washington , DC , with the eighth grade class from Clinton , WI , where I grew up, to videotape their trip. I greatly enjoy visiting our nation's capitol, and each year I take some special memories back with me. This fall's trip was especially memorable.

On the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Iwo Jima memorial. This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one of the most famous photographs in history -- that of the six brave soldiers raising the American Flag at the top of a rocky hill on the island of Iwo Jima , Japan , during WW II. 

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American MuslimCan Muslims be Good Americans?

This is certainly 'food-for-thought'.
This is very interesting and we all need to read it from start to finish and send it on to everyone. Maybe this is why our American Muslims are so quiet and...

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Islam for DhimmisChristianity will be taxed to help Muslims!

Dhimmitude - Do You Know What It Means? It just keeps coming more surprises every day. Subject of Dhimmitude - It's on pg 107 of the healthcare bill.
 
I thought you would like to know about this. I looked this up on  Google and yep, it exists! Its a REAL word.

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Aerial Combat Over Afghanistan VideoUSMC81: Aerial Combat Footage from Afghanistan!

Enemy helicopter inbound! Reporting from Khost, Afghanistan, Steven Harrigan narrates an encounter between US military forces and Taliban fighters. U.S. Troops kill 15 Taliban with zero civilian casualties...

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The Auschwitz AlbumThe Only Surviving Album of Auschwitz

This Album memorializes the arrival of Hungarian Jews to  Auschwitz in May of 1944. It is the only one of its kind, and it is solely due to this album that we have a glimpse at the visual history of what occurred in the Auschwitz...

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Pro-gay messages are A-OK, but patriotic messages will get you fired at The Home DepotThe Home Depot fires patriotic Christian, approves homosexuals

The Home Depot fired an employee for refusing to remove a "One nation under God" patriotic button from his work apron. Trevor Keezor, a Christian, said he wore the button to support his country and his 27-year-old brother, who serves...

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Dave Thomas
Special Forces Gear