Special Forces Gear Logo
Monthly NewsletterSeptember 2011
In This Issue
Dave's Message
Voice of the Soldier
Videos
Word of Truth
The Blue Warrior
Warrior's Wisdom
Special Forces History
Survival
Aesop's Fables
Embroidered Items
Featured T-Shirts
Special Product Coupon
Quotes & Jokes
Featured Items
Featured Tactical Gear
Featured Watches
Monthly Sale
Clichs of Socialism
What Has Really Changed?
Articles

Newsletter Archive
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
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

What is Leadership without Salesmanship?

 

"I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him, he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone."    

- Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

Leadership plays such a key role in our lives that I have chosen again to write about it. A leader must be a good salesman if he cannot persuade the people he leads to follow he cannot lead.

 

There are many ways for a leader to persuade but perhaps the most effective is people are usually more convinced by reasons they discover for themselves than by those found out by others. These three considerations are key to successful persuasion.

  1. Message - What is it you want them to understand?
  2. Method - What and where is the best way to get their attention?
  3. Timing - What is the optimum time to deliver the message?  

There are also many ways you should not use to persuade people and the best advice I can give is never use a method of persuasion that will lead to distrust or undermine your authority.

 

Hannibal 

 

We can learn from the Carthaginian General Hannibal, one of the great captains in history understood how important persuasion is and used the power of persuasion to the fullest. To persuade Hannibal used his knowledge on human behavior to identify patterns so he would know what to say and do to win over his Army's confidence. With his ability to identify patterns in his men's thinking he was able to manipulate and predict the outcome he wanted to achieve. Hannibal persuaded many different peoples to join him in his quest to cross the Alps and invade Italy to conquer Rome. Although he never conquered Rome he did succeed in crossing the Alps at great cost invading Italy and holding the Romans at bay for 17 years never losing a pitched battle on Roman soil.

 

Here is an example from history of Hannibal using the power of persuasion.

 

Hannibal PortraitThis is from The Complete Histories of Polybius - Book III translated by W.R.Paton

 

Hannibal has just crossed the Alps with his Army and they had suffered great loss from attacks and the elements starving, cold and weak, in no condition to give battle. A Roman force out numbering them more then 2 to 1was closing on them and Hannibal needs to persuade his men to fight or they will surely die.    

 

As it was now close on the setting of the Pleiads snow had already gathered on the summit, and noticing that the men were in bad spirits owing to all they had suffered up to now and expected to suffer he summoned them to a meeting and attempted to cheer them up, relying chiefly for this purpose on the actual view of Italy, which lies so close under these mountains, that when both are viewed together the Alps stand to the whole of Italy in the relation of a citadel to a city. Showing them, therefore, the plain of the Po, and reminding them of the friendly feelings of the Gauls inhabiting it while at the same time pointing out the situation of Rome itself, he to some extent restored their spirits.  

 

   He had lost many of his men by the hands of the enemy in the crossing of rivers and on the march in general, and the precipices and difficulties of the Alps had cost him not only many men, but a far greater number of horses and sumpter-animals (Pack animals). The whole march from New Carthage had taken five months, and he had spent fifteen days in crossing the Alps, and now, when he thus boldly descended into the plain of the Po and the territory of the Insubres, his surviving forces numbered twelve thousand African and eight thousand Iberian foot, and not more than six thousand horse in all, as he himself states in the inscription on the column at Lacinium relating to the number of his forces.

 

     The devise by which Hannibal tried to encourage his men was as follows. Mustering the troops, he brought forward certain young men from among the prisoners he had taken while molesting his march in the difficult part of the Alpine pass. He had purposely, with a view to the use he was going to make of them, ill-used them: they wore heavy fetters, they had suffered much from hunger; and their bodies were disfigured by the marks of blows. Placing them in the middle of the meeting he exhibited some Gualish suits of armor, such as their kings are wont to deck themselves with when about to engage in single combat. In addition to these he placed there some horses and had some rich military cloaks brought in. He then asked the young men which of them were willing to do combat with each other, the prizes exhibited being destined for the victor, while the vanquished would be delivered by death from his present misery. When all shouted out with one voice that they were willing to fight, he ordered them to draw lots, and the two on whom the lot fell to arm themselves and do combat. The young men, the moment they heard this, lifted up their hands and prayed to the gods, each eager to be himself one of the chosen. When the result was announced, those on whom the lot had fallen were overjoyed and the rest mournful and dejected, and after the combat was over the remaining prisoners congratulated the fallen champion no less than the victor, as having been set free from many and grievous evils which they themselves were left alive to suffer.

 

The sentiment of most of the Carthaginians was identical; for looking on the misery of the other prisoners as they were led away alive, they pitied them on comparing their fate with that of the dead whom they all pronounced to be fortunate. When Hannibal had by this means produced the disposition he desired in the minds of his troops, he rose and told them that he had brought the prisoners before them designedly in order that clearly seeing in the person of the others what they might themselves have to suffer, they should thence take better counsel at the present crisis. "Fortune," he said, "has brought you to a like pass, she has shut upon in on a like listed field of combat, and the prizes and prospects she offers you are the same. For either you must conquer, or die, or fall alive into the hands of your foes. For you the prize of victory is not to possess horses and cloaks, but to be the most envied of mankind, masters of all the wealth of Rome. The prize of death on the battle-field is to depart from life in the heat of the fight, struggling till your last breath for the noblest of objects and without having learnt to know suffering. But what awaits those of you who are vanquished and for the love of life consent to fly, or who preserve their lives by any other means, is to have every evil and every; misfortune for their lot. There is not one of you so dull and unreflecting as to hope to reach his home by flight, when he remembers the length of the road he traversed from his native land, the numbers of the enemies that lie between, and the size of the rivers he crossed. I beg you, therefore cut off as you are entirely from any such hope, to take the same view of your own situation that you have just expressed regarding that of others. For as you all accounted both the victor and the fallen fortunate and pitied the survivors so now should you think about yourselves and go all of you to battle resolved to conquer if you can, and if this be impossible, to die. And I implore you not to let the hope of living after defeat enter your minds at all. If you reason and purpose as I urge you, it is clear that victory and safety will follow for none ever who either by necessity or choice formed such a resolve have been deceived in their hope of putting their enemies to flight. And when the enemy has the opposite hope, as is now the case with the Romans, most of them being sure of finding safety in flight as their homes are near at hand, it is evident that courage of those who despair of safety will carry all before it." The object-lesson and the speech were well received by the troops, in whom they produced the enthusiasm and self-confidence that the speaker desired, and after commending them he dismissed them, ordering them to be ready to start at daybreak.

 

The two Armies clashed with the Romans giving Hannibal his first victory on Roman soil.              

 

Hannibal's War Path 

 

"People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found out by others." - Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

 

No one can withhold admiration for Hannibal's generalship, courage, and power in the field, who considers the length of this period, and carefully reflects on his movements from city to city, on the difficulties that at times faced him, and in a word on the whole scope of his design and its execution, a design in the pursuit of which, having constantly fought the Romans for seventeen years, he never broke up his forces and dismissed them from the field, but holding them together under his personal command, like a good ship's captain, kept such a large army free from sedition towards him or among themselves, and this although his regiments were not only of different nationalities but of different races. For he had with him Africans, Spaniards, Ligurians, Celts, Phoenicians, Italians, and Greeks, peoples who neither in their laws, customs, or language, nor in any other respect had anything naturally in common. But, nevertheless, the ability of their commander forced men so radically different to give ear to a single word of command and yield obedience to a single will. And this he did not under simple conditions but under very complicated ones, the gale of fortune blowing often strongly in their favor and at other times against them. Therefore we cannot but justly admire Hannibal in these respects and pronounce with confidence that had he begun with the other parts of the world and finished in this field.

 

Hannibal was a great leader and we often admire his military genius, cleverness, strategies and tactics but his leadership without persuasion would have amounted to nothing and history would have been rewritten.

 

True leadership involves salesmanship. A leader must persuade his men or people underneath him to accept his authority. In the case of our military a leader must skillfully persuade those caught up in the bureaucratic structure to accept their authority. This is no easy task because somewhere along the way our country has forgotten the importance of good leadership and has substituted management, bureaucracy, politics, appeasement, incompetence all adding up to a system of mediocrity. We have forgotten that one of the building blocks of our nation was leadership.

Hannibal with Elephants 


There is much debate about the Father of our country George Washington's Generalship and I think he did a great job considering he was mostly self taught learning as he went but despite his lack of military genius he was a great leader and most of all he had humility which is what enables a person to learn and Washington learned on the job. Here is an example of Washington using persuasion at a desperate time for our country.

 

 Washington recrossing the Delaware

 

A major reason for recrossing the Delaware had been to establish an emotional base for recruiting the men whose enlistments would expire with the new year, in two more days. "My brave fellows," Washington exhorted, "you have done all I asked you to do, and more than could be reasonably expected, but your country is at stake: your wives, your houses, and all that you hold dear. You have worn yourselves out with fatigues and hardships, but we know not how to spare you. . . . The present is emphatically the crisis which is to decide our destiny."

 

     About half the men stayed on, and Washington's bold return to New Jersey was bringing out the local militia. In spite of the fact that a British column under Lord Cornwallis, much more powerful and more numerous than Washington's force, was marching towards him from New York, determined on revenge for the defeat at Trenton.

"Would you persuade, speak of interest, not of reason." - Benjamin Franklin

 

George Washington was a hell of a salesman evident by the way he maintained authority, keeping the Continental Army in the worst conditions no food, no pay, no clothes, no ammunition and sometimes no shelter. Fighting not only the elements but also diseases like yellow fever, small pox and a superior well supplied British army. He brought victory to the Continental Army and the United States of America.

 

Another example of George Washington using the power of persuasion is after the war the soldiers assembled at the Capitol demanding making demands for pay and land promised them some had not been paid for years. They were an angry mob threatening to revolt and take over the government lead by some of their senior officers. This is how Washington persuaded them to stop.

 

   Washing went out to stop the revolution that would have surely changed the fate of the United States. Before he addressed the angry mob Washington pulled from his pocket something only his intimates had seen him wear: a pair of eyeglasses. Gentlemen," he said, "you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country."

 

This humble act and simple statement did what all Washington's arguments had failed to do. The hardened soldiers wept. Washington had saved the United States from tyranny and civil discord. As Jefferson was later to comment, "The moderation and virtue of a single character probably prevented this Revolution from being closed, as most others have been, by a subversion of that liberty it was intended to establish."

 

"Character may almost be called the
most effective means of persuasion." - Aristotle
   

   

As you can see without the art of persuasion Washington and Hannibal could not have accomplished the impossible against all odds. Always consider these three:

  1. Message - What is it you want them to understand?
  2. Method - What and where is the best way to get their attention?
  3. Timing - What is the optimum time to deliver the message?  

"Persuasion is often more effectual than force"- Aesop

 

Often Tyrants are mistaken for having good leadership skill which they do not because tyrants do not use leadership but rule by fear and the art of persuasion they use is to appeal to mans weaknesses like envy, greed and bitterness as opposed to leadership which plays to a man's strengths duty, honor and integrity. This you should consider evil is most dangerous when organized so It is the system of organization that keeps there men in ranks not leadership. Mao tse tung was not a good leader but he did spin a web based on selfish envy and fear to trap people into Communism. Once people have given over to communism and made dependant on the state they are ruled by fear not leadership. Anyone can force another to do something but it's another matter to persuade people to do what's right that's leadership.

 

As one warrior to another I will end with this advice. In a marriage the husband has the legitimate authority, but if he cannot persuade his wife to accept his authority it is useless. Unfortunately having authority does not imply the husband has the capacity or the ability to handle that authority and for you women the first sign of his inability is when a person resorts to yelling, threatening, coercing, and even violence. When this happens authority is abused and there is tyranny. 

 


"We must be silent before we can listen. We must listen before we can learn. We must learn before we can prepare. We must prepare before we can serve. We must serve before we can lead." - William Arthur Ward

 


HOOAH

DAVE

 

Click here to Discuss Dave's Message With Other Readers! 

Click here to send Dave a private message. 

 

Voice of the Soldier
This section is designed to give you a voice where you can express opinions or give messages. We encourage you to speak out! Send us your commentary, stories, articles, etc...


Special Operations Warrior Foundation

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

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

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

Learn More about the

Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) >>


Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club

  

The Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club is a not-for-profit (501c3) fraternal organization. It was formed to provide a fraternal organization for qualified military veterans who have served, or are currently serving, in the Armed Forces of the United States or US Allied Nations.  They support Veterans and Active Duty Members in many different ways.  A few of the many causes projects they support are: mailing over 900lbs of care packages to Active Duty Service Members Monthly to Visiting Veterans Homes to put a smile on a Veterans Face.  Please visit them at www.warriorbrotherhood.com.

 

All profits from these items are donated to

Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club 

 

Learn More about the
Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club >>


Mail From the Battlefield


My name is SPC Daniel Tompkins, I am writing you on behalf of 3rd Platoon.. I am currently deployed in Afghanistan with Bravo Company, 3rd Platoon, 1-5 Infantry, 1-25th SBCT out of Fort Wainwright Alaska.

We are located in a remote part of southern Afghanistan on a very small platoon size outpost. We are an Infantry Platoon so we do not get the opportunities as most do to live on larger bases with stores/comfortable living/etc.  Our base only has the basic necessities. We are blessed however, to have an MWR tent with 4 computers, 4 telephones and 1 television.

The soldiers of 3rd Platoon are great guys. Never do they complain about our living conditions, nor do they get upset when we do make the "occasional" trips to the bigger FOB's and they see how everyone else is living. They are hard working, professional individuals, and I do not think that they get the credit/support they deserve. I am contacting you to see if there is anyway your company can help to support the soldiers of 3rd Platoon. Any contribution or even a letter to these guys would be greatly appreciated and would go a long ways. We appreciate you taking the time to read this email.

Thank you,
- 3rd Platoon

For contact info and mailing info, contactSpecial Forces Gear.

 After receiving this email we contacted  SPC Thomkins, asking if he had any photographs of his company and his platoon so we could post them in this month's newsletter. He replied by saying,"there are pictures, but the people who have most of our pictures are currently at Kandahar Air Field recovering from wounds suffered during a mission several days ago."

 Feel free to write these men and women to thank them for fighting for our country and our freedoms. And god bless them all.




Viet Nam Veteran Statistics  

 

A little history most people will never know.  

 

Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall  

"Carved on these walls is the story of America , of a continuing quest to preserve both Democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream."  ~President George Bush

 

SOMETHING to think about - Most of the surviving Parents are now Deceased.

 

There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.

 

The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.

 

Beginning at the apex on panel 1E and going out to the end of the East wall, appearing to recede into the earth (numbered 70E - May 25, 1968), then resuming at the end of the West wall, as the wall emerges from the earth (numbered 70W - continuing May 25, 1968) and ending with a date in 1975. Thus the war's beginning and end meet. The war is complete, coming full circle, yet broken by the earth that bounds the angle's open side and contained within the earth itself.

 

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth , Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.

 

There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.

 

39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.

 

8,283 were just 19 years old.

The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.

12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.

 

5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.

 

One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.

 

997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam ..

 

1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam ..

 

31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.

 

Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.

 

54 soldiers on attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia . I wonder why so many from one school.

 

8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.

 

244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.

 

Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.

 

West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.

 

The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest . And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.

 

The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam . In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy€™s assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

 

The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths.

 

The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred.

 

For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.

 

Please pass this on to those who served during this time, and those who DO Care.
VIDEOS
Parachuting Into Michigan Stadium with the 101st Airborne Division
Parachuting Into Michigan Stadium with the 101st Airborne Division
Muslim Culture Meets German Engineering
Word of Truth
Peaceful Coexistence
The Word Of Truth - Alive and Powerful

By Rev G.J. Rako

LTC IN USAR (Ret)  

      

Can Christianity coexist with Islam?  Biblical Christianity has always, and will always coexist with any religion, non-religion or anti-religion.  Unfortunately the converse is not true.  Islam will not peacefully coexist with any of the aforementioned categories.  All peoples (infidels) of the earth must convert to the slavery of Islam.  This conversion to their only true god is, has, and will be brought about by the sword.  This is the attitude of the Islamo-fascist.  We see the results of their thinking everyday on the news; homicide bombers, snipers, flying airplanes into tall buildings...  Islam is the religion of peace.  There will be peace on earth when all of its inhabitants have bowed a knee to Islam.  Only then will there be peace and this peace may be brought about by tyranny, brutality, murder, and intimidation.  Convert to Islam or die!  

 

Biblical Christianity, on the other hand, holds the freedom of the individual to do and believe as he wishes to be a mandate from God, as long as that expression of freedom does not interfere with the freedom, privacy, or property of others.  God does not force us to accept His great plan of salvation.  However, He uses us to spread the good news of our so great salvation to the world.  At the moment we become believers in Jesus Christ, God gives us forty things.  One of these forty things is our unique position as ambassadors for Christ.  As ambassadors for Christ we represent Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world.  We are commanded by the living God to tell others about this free gift of eternal salvation that God has provided to all mankind.  Whether they accept the gift or not is their business.  It is a matter between them and God.

One must ask who is Jesus Christ.  Is He a liar, a lunatic, or was He who He said He was?  To answer this question you have to know what the Scripture says about Him and what He said about Himself.  He is the great "I am"!  When Moses came face to face with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God commanded him to tell Pharaoh to let His people go.  Moses said "they will ask me your name, what shall I say to them"?  God answered, "tell them that I am, that I am" (Ex 3:13-14).

The Jews, for thousands of year's referred to God as "I am".  Jesus Himself also said He was the great "I am" (John 8:24, 58).  Indeed Jesus Christ is eternal God, co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and with God the Holy Spirit.  He became a man, perfect humanity, born without sin as Adam was created without sin, so He could fulfill the Fathers plan of salvation (Heb 10:5-7).  He is the perfect Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).  He accomplished this when He became our substitute and died spiritually on the cross for every sin that was, or ever would be committed (Rom 5:8, I Pet 2:24).  That is why the scripture says, "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, whereby we must be saved, (Acts 4:12).   Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved (Acts16:31).  There are so many verses that describe to us who and what Jesus Christ is, and how through Him we can have a relationship with the living God.  Know the Scripture and you will know Him.

Ambassadors for Christ present this glorious information to those who are without hope,   and without eternal life.  This is a privilege given to us by God.  God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:9).  No where in Scripture are we told to force our faith on others.  God has provided volition (free will), to all members of the human race.  This means that each of us is free to choose for or against Christ, never under compulsion or fear of reprisal.  The decision must come from a position of freedom, and privacy (please click on my friend's web-site and take the test yourself, <http://www.eph289.com/>).  

We have enjoyed personal freedom in this nation since its inception.  The converts of Islam know nothing of freedom.  To them the freedom itself is evil and sinful and must be destroyed.  This is why they hate us and the west.  The only hope for the Muslim is faith alone in Christ alone.  But we can never force this faith by the sword.  It is simply not God's way of grace.

The question is not can Christianity coexist with Islam but, can Islam coexist with Christianity?  I think not.

Click here to contact Reverend Rako >> 

  

Blue Warrior
Blue WarriorBlue Warrior

Stop The Violence 

 

Sgt. French is currently on vacation. Please enjoy this rerun from The Blue Warrior, February 2011.

 

The clichs are abundant "Cluster Cop" killing, "Active shooters", the "Lone Wolf", "Suicide by Cop" and all the others. These clichs are catchy and they all attract various authors, articles and training opinions. I for one am tired of the clichs. I am tired of so many officers getting shot and brutally assaulted as others try and make sense of the violence.

The Bitter Truth:
 
Here is what 20 years of police work has taught me, "evil men do evil things". I appreciate the call for research to identify the reasons why the increase in violence against cops is occurring. The problem is it will take some time if not years to develop and implement. The stone cold truth of what it will take, if we want this violence to stop starts in City Hall. The man in the suit running the city will need to start making those unpopular decisions, a strong back bone, an unwavering commitment to support the concept of law enforcement, support his officers and their police departments against the trend of cutting budgets, layoffs, staffing shortages, and ignoring training & equipment problems.

When the "Suites" in this country make this transition then our police agencies can get the unpopular bullet proof glass in the station lobby, issue the unpopular "assault" rifle (as they refer to them) with every handgun, purchase level III ballistic vests & helmets for every officer, issue a Taser with every badge, and stop cutting the training budgets so every officer can get the proper training.  If these starch collars can pull their heads out of the sand then we can make a serious attempt to reduce the violence against our uniformed men and women.

An Over Glamorized Profession:Another concerning observation is that the latest generation grew up watching the popular television series "COPS" and other police shows. It seemed like the 90's glamorized police work. That isn't necessarily bad however; a generation of kids grew up watching these cops always winning their battles. This generation may have volunteered for this job with a clouded perception of an over glamorized profession. In the 70's and 80's men and woman took the oath when pay was horrible and it was cool to hate the cops. These men and woman volunteered because they truly wanted to fight evil. Today we have a mix of the two wearing the badge. Some do it for the glamour and some do it to fight the good fight. The glamour cop; you know who you are, you don't wear your vest, you avoid training like the plague, you post yourself all over the social networks in uniform, you never volunteer for any specialty assignment because its more work, you drive slow to calls were you might get hurt as other cops go flying past you to watch your partners six. You are doing yourself a disservice and most importantly you are endangering other cops. Do us a favor, remove yourself from the Warrior ranks and find a more suitable profession.

Situational Awareness:
 
Whether you're responding to patrol runs or simply speaking to a citizen, a heightened state of situational awareness can greatly maximize your chances for survival. This alone won't stop active aggression however; your reaction to an attack plays a key role in the outcome. When an officer loses the heightened state of situational awareness they are more vulnerable to attack. Simply because making correct tactical decisions when confronted with an assault requires you to process through the OODA Loop. That may only take a fraction of a second however, that may be all your adversary needs to strike first. At a minimum, that state of mind can contribute to factors, which could lead to a violent attack. Let's face it; an officer that appears unsure of himself and timid most likely has a greater chance of being assaulted.    When you respond to a domestic situation you gather as much information as possible before you arrive, you wait for back up, you grab your baton, check your Taser and enter the home with your hand on your gun. When you speak to the involved parties, you stand in a combat stance, speak with authority, watch your partner with your peripheral vision, and your hand grips the pistol grip and readies to unlock the retention strap in a split second. If you don't do these things, you are whom I was speaking of earlier.We have programmed ourselves through training to react this way at a domestic call. This type of response is a heightened state of "situational awareness". When you leave that domestic call you may drive down the street and park in a parking lot to type your report and you then let your heightened state of situational awareness dissipate. Just about that time some dude approaches your cruiser and it appears he needs directions. You roll down the window and ask the guy "how can I help you"?

Almost every time it's a non-confrontational conversation. However, you grew up watching those television shows and you never saw a guy pull a gun out of his pocket to murder the unsuspecting, willing to help cop, so you just sit there unprepared for a possible attack and answer the mans questions. That could be your last conversation. You must maintain a heighten state of situational awareness in all you do when wearing that uniform. When somebody approaches my cruiser to speak with me my first instinct is to jump out of the car as quickly as possible, if I have enough time. If that's possible then I will speak to the individual as a professional. What that individual doesn't know is that I am in a combat stance, my hand is on my gun and holster ready to draw, I am watching his hands and eyes. I am in a heightened state of situational awareness. If you don't have time to get out of the cruiser place the car in drive and put your foot on the brake, draw your handgun and place it in your lap, and watch the hands and eyes of the person talking with you constantly because it's the hands that will harm you. Not a perfect situation that you're facing but so often these predators are ambushing us when we least expect it. That's what makes them so hard to prevent. These are only two examples of many possible scenarios that could occur on the street. Don't get me wrong this idea of a constant heightened state of situational awareness won't stop a person from attacking you but they may think twice about striking if they feel they may lose the fight. Even if they do strike, there's no doubt in my mind that you're in a better position to respond and that will increase your chances to survive the battle. No matter if you're in a coffee shop or taking a suspicious person report, this state of heightened situational awareness needs to embody your every move. The military has done extensive research on situational awareness and they train our soldiers to great lengths. It's pretty obvious if you're a combat soldier in a war zone you better be dialed in with a great sense of heightened situational awareness or your dead. How does that differ from the everyday duties of the uniformed cop? The recent past has taught us that evil men will attack us in coffee shops, at the front desk of the police lobby, sitting in your cruiser typing a report and every other non threatening task we do an a daily basis.  Accountability:For the past several years the suits have cut the training and equipment budgets to the point of laughable proportions from a cop's perspective. The problem is they haven't walked a day in our shoes and beans are beans to them. Mayors, City Managers and City Councils all talk the talk but behind closed political doors policing in America is run like a business. That may be one of the greatest contributing factors in this equation and I hope these studies include these factors into their million-dollar research. If you agree that we must conduct ourselves tactically like a combat soldier but with a professional response and a courteous smile then the policy makers need to stop running police departments like a commercial business and run it for what it is. The military runs their branches of service like the war machines that they are. They are well equipped, well trained and have great resources.  Leave it to us to walk that Thin Blue line of violence and professional police service.  We are peacekeepers that are willing to combat evil men at the expense of our own lives. We don't do this for glamour or money. It's hard to verbalize to a sheep the inner calling we feel when we chose this profession. This is why they will grieve with us when an officer is murdered but behind closed doors they are so willing to neglect their duties to provide us with money, equipment, training and other resources.

Reality:

No matter how much money or training you throw at this problem of increasing cop violence the reality is if an evil man wants to ambush you he will. He has the greatest advantage at his disposal. He has the element of surprise. Evil men know police are reactive to confrontations. The way to minimize this advantage is a heightened state of awareness and preparation. Assuming that everybody you come into contact with may be a potential threat can help you recognize an ambush before it occurs.  

The Future:

As time passes and theses studies draw their conclusions more cops will be assaulted and murdered. The Suits will sympathize with our cause as they offer support but behind closed doors they will continue to think of schemes to save money at our expense. The great articles of fact-finding will be published and the officer's tactics and decisions will be scrutinized at great lengths. We will be required to be even greater super heroes than that which is already expected of us. Once I sought a legal opinion from an attorney regarding an officer involved shooting. After months of being delayed he finally responded with "It's taken me a long time to research this so I could get this correct. I want the officers to have the correct answer". Although his intentions were noble my reply was laughter, and then I said "funny, you got months to get this right and my officers had seconds". This is the super hero world we work in and when it costs us our life the clichs, finger pointing and studies are abundant. Here is the simple truth "evil men roam this earth and evil men do evil things". In the end, when time has passed nothing will have changed except, that the Peace Keepers will be ready to battle evil on our own terms.

 

Stay safe,

Sgt. Glenn French 

www.tacticallifesaver.org

 

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.

Warrior's Wisdom
 
Leadership

A good leader must delegate authority. If he doesn't and something happens to him and he is gone. He will leave a mess because people cannot carry on without him. But if he does prepare his subordinates by delegating authority he will leave them in a position to carry on without him.

 

Special Forces History
Military Assistance Command - Studies and Observations GroupSpecial Forces History
with Charles Woodson

 

Green Berets Project:

Clyde Sincere Interview Part 3     

Clyde Sincere, one of the original founding members of the U.S. Army Special Forces at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in the early 1950's, recollects the training and early staff.

 

Green Berets Project: Clyde Sincere Interview 2

  1. Click here to view Part 1 >> 
  2. Click here to view Part 2 >> 
  3. Click here to view Part 3 (pictured above) >> 

Click here to discuss this month's message in the forum >>

 

Sunwood Entertainment LogoChuck Woodson is the President and CEO of Sunwood Entertainment Corp, an independent  production  company, dedicated to creating a platform that brings great stories, targeting the youth, to the marketplace utilizing the internet.  

One of Chucks projects, The Green  Berets, currently in production, is being slated for a documentary series, graphic novel series, and dramatic I.P.T.V. series. Chuck has started interviewing Active Duty members, and is looking for more great real life stories from current day U.S. Army Special Forces operations to include in his series.

 

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Combat Survival

Survival Fitness

 

Fitness is a topic we don't really talk about when thinking of survival and preparedness. I suppose for good reason, we have so many other topics on our minds; fitness ranks lowest on the list and is most often overlooked. I hear all the time about people's plans to bug-out and make a go off grid in the woods with nothing but what they can stuff in their backpack. I've mentioned before that if you're not used to carrying around a 50+ lb pack, you're certainly not going to make it far on your way out to the woods. Add to the fact you'll most likely have to trek across creeks, up and down steep hillsides and no doubt traverse some other obstacles. Functional Fitness should actually rank high on our list- if we can't perform the tasks and carry the equipment we think we need, then what's the point in the plan we currently have? Functional Fitness focuses on building a body capable of doing real-life activities in real-life positions, not just lifting a certain amount of weight in an idealized posture created by a gym machine.

 

While you may have had the best bench press of your life yesterday, you could still throw out your back picking up your briefcase today. We must train in ways that force us to adapt to our real lifestyle and or survival plan. "Conventional weight training isolates muscle groups, but it doesn't teach the muscle groups you're isolating to work with others," says Greg Roskopf, MS, a biomechanics consultant with a company called Muscle Activation Techniques who has worked with athletes from the Denver Broncos, the Denver Nuggets, and the Utah Jazz. "The key to functional exercise is integration. It's about teaching all the muscles to work together rather than isolating them to work independently." So what's an example of a functional exercise? Think of a bent-over row; not the kind of row you do on a seated machine, but the kind you do leaning over a bench, holding the weight in one hand with your arm hanging straight down, and then pulling the weight up as your elbow points to the ceiling, finishing with your upper arm parallel to the ground. "That's an exercise that will build the muscles of the back, the shoulders, the arms, and because of its nature will really work your whole body," says exercise kinesiologist Paul Chek, MSS, founder of the Corrective High-performance Exercise Kinesiology Institute in California who has advised the Chicago Bulls and the U.S. Air Force Academy. "Compare that motion to a carpenter bending over a piece of wood, a nurse bending over a bed to transfer a patient, or an auto mechanic bending over to adjust your carburetor. Anyone doing a bent-over row will find a carryover in things you do in normal life."

 

In like manner, we as preppers, survivalist, and zombie hunters, whatever term you like; must utilize functional skills that allow us do things like pack water, carry a bug-out bag, carry a rifle and ammo long distances, flip over a heavy box or crate, climb a tree or rope, etc. When you work out, get out of the gym and into the woods. You can create all the gym equipment you'll ever need with a log and a backpack full of rocks and a little paracord. I have a 200lb log, picked up from the local sawmill that I use to workout with quite often. I lift one end and curl it, then press it with one arm, then just pick it up in a rowing manner. I have also placed it across my chest and practiced lifting it off of me after I was exhausted from a sparring session against a tree and I've paid under it and bench pressed it. It takes practice to deal with a round log like that, but due to its cumbersome nature you'll notice an increase in accessory muscle response and development. I've also walked the hills with a backpack full of rocks and taken the same pack and used it for curls and triceps pressing when I rigged up some paracord over a branch and used a strong stick as a curl/press bar. You can also work your abdominals with the same set up.  

 

But, before you venture out, start out with some simple bodyweight exercises. You may be able to leg press 500lbs but can you do a one leg bodyweight squat? Probably not... This is why we find ourselves getting injured doing the most mundane tasks; we don't have core stability and we're not used to our muscles working together for function. Don't try to go too fast, the longer you've been away from exercise, the more time it takes to build your body back up.

 

About the Author: Jason Hunt is the Chief Instructor at Hunt Survival, Inc. and Frontier Christian University. You can learn more by visiting www.huntsurvival.com or www.frontierchristianuniversity.org 

 



Combat Survival Magazine CoverCombat 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.
Aesop's Fables
THE FAWN AND HIS MOTHER

A YOUNG FAWN once said to his Mother, "You are larger than a dog, and swifter, and more used to running, and you have your horns as a defense; why, then, O Mother! Do the hounds frighten you so?" She smiled, and said: "I know full well, my son, that all you say is true. I have the advantages you mention, but when I hear even the bark of a single dog I feel ready to faint, and fly away as fast as I can."  

The moral of the story is No arguments will give courage to a coward.

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Quotes & Jokes

"The God who gave us life gave us liberty.... Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction.... that these liberties  ARE A GIFT OF GOD" 
                                                                 - Thomas Jefferson


 

A guy stuck his head into a barbershop and asked, 'How long before I can get a haircut?

The barber looked around the shop full of customers and said, 'About 2 hours.'

The guy left.

A few days later, the same guy stuck his head in the door and asked, 'How long before I can get a haircut?'

The barber looked around at the shop and said, 'About 3 hours.'

The guy left.

A week later, the same guy stuck his head in the shop and asked, 'How long before I can get a haircut?

The barber looked around the shop and said, 'About an hour and a half.

The guy left.

The barber turned to his friend and said, 'Hey, Bob, do me a favor, follow him and see where he goes. He keeps asking how long he has to wait for a haircut, but he never comes back.'

A little while later, Bob returned to the shop, laughing hysterically.

The barber asked, 'So, where does he go when he leaves?'
   
Bob looked up, wiped the tears from his eyes and said, 'Your house!'   








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Clichs of Socialism

Winston Churchill wrote, "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." Likewise, celebrated American leftist Norman Mailer conceded, "The function of socialism is to raise suffering to a higher level." But will Americans be able to resist the indoctrination of the contemporary Left's propaganda machine?

 

 

"Don't you want to do anything?"

 

 

THE SOCIALISTS use good psychology when they depict themselves as champions of political "initiative" and "action." They know that both attributes still demand the respect and admiration of descent people. Therefore, in the name of action and progress these self-styled activists denounce the friends of freedom and individual enterprise for their "negative" attitudes and "do-nothing" policies. "Don't you want to do anything?" is a common retort that aims to stymie all objections.

     These arguments are wholly fallacious. Their premises must be rejected and their conclusions corrected. In reality the call for action is a manifestation of individual lethargy and inertness. It is tantamount to a call for government action rather than individual initiative.

     The advocate of foreign aid who depicts in dark colors the misery and suffering in foreign countries does not mean to act himself when he demands action and initiative in this field of social endeavor. He does not mean to send CARE packages to starving Asians and Africans. And he does not plan to invest his savings in the socialized economies of India or the Congo. He probably knows rather well that his investments would soon be consumed, squandered, and confiscated by governments that are hostile to capital investments. And yet, he calls on his government to waste billion of dollars of the taxpayers' money.

     The advocate of more abundant and better housing does not mean to use his own funds to provide low-rent housing. He, himself, does not want to act; he calls on the government for action. It is the government whose initiative and action he would like to employ and the people's tax money he proposes to spend. He, himself, probably is a tenant complaining about high rentals but shunning the tasks and responsibilities of house ownership. He is probably aware that the returns on apartment house investments are mostly meager and always jeopardized by rising taxes and government controls. Therefore, he prefers safer investments with les worry to him, and yet, for better housing conditions clamors for government action and spending of tax money.

     Most advocates of "better education" are clamoring for more state and federal aid to education. They are convinced that better education depends on additional spending of government funds. They want new school buildings, more classrooms, modern equipment, and transportation, and, above all, higher teacher salaries. Since individual effort seems so minute in their grandiose schemes of spending, they fall on the government as the bountiful source of limitless funds.

     The apostle of rapid economic growth does not advocate personal initiative and action. He does not mean to offer his own effort and thrift toward economic growth. It takes more than $15,000 in savings to create an additional job. Even more savings are needed if the job is to be more productive with higher wages and better working conditions. In his personal life the growth apostle probably is spending nest month's income on consumption, relying mainly on charge accounts and installment loans. He, himself, does not save the capital that is needed for economic growth. His call for initiative and action is merely a call for government expenditures financed with the people's money or through inflation.

     This is why the quest for "initiative" and "action" must be seen as a quest for government action. When seen in proper perspective, the question, "Don't you want to do anything?" actually means "Don't you want the government to spend the people's money on foreign aid, housing, education, economic growth, and so forth?" It means in many cases, "Don't you want socialism?"

     This analysis clearly reveals why the friend of freedom and individual enterprise is often denounced for being "merely negative."  The terms "positive " and "negative" are relative to given points of orientation. Whoever opposes socialism and all its encroachments on individual initiative and action is "negative"  in the eyes of socialists. But he is unwaveringly "positive" when freedom is the criterion of orientation, because freedom is his positive concern. His life is filled with initiative and action.                                                               H. F. S.

 

What Has Really Changed?
What Has Really Changed?

1960

Who owns America?

 

  • Not the politicians.They are public servants, paid to serve the people. 
  • Not the rich. The corporations of America are owned by more than twelve million people.
  • Not the labor unions even though some of their leaders act as though they did.

     It is the savers who own America. By doing without things-by self denial-they built homes and started stores, bought government bonds, invested money in American industry-money which buys machines and provides jobs. Most of what their savings earn is taken away from them in taxes, but because it is in their character never to waste, they still save. If they ever stopped there would be no new capital to create new jobs, no new machinery to make better jobs, no profitable enterprise whose taxes keep America going. Yes, the savers keep America alive. Let's be sure the laws keep savers alive, too. 

 

Articles
 The Camp Striker end of state transition to the GOI and the IA is now complete. The Iraqi Army is now in complete control of Camp Striker and FOB Cropper on the VBC. Striker was the largest transit hub for Iraq . The "Sizemore Stables" named after Gunny Sizemore was established in 2003 and has housed over 7.5 million Service members, supporting over seventy-two FOBs and bases. The Stables were a historical landmark and although it no longer exists, the remnants of "Sizemore Stables" will be interned in a museum at a site yet to be determined. The signing over ceremony took place in the Striker Mayor Cell conference room yesterday. Fittingly, Gunny Sizemore was the last American to leave Striker.       

Gentlemen,
          Soon as sign over, @ that time Iraq General pause for short while and ask for Iraq Troops to Stand there positions; Troops were issued there weapons; they then took control of Camp; As we were leaving Iraq Troops very nicely greeted us and let us out of Camp Striker for last time; A very beautiful memorable experience, Iraq 3/star General got up from meeting table came over to Ms Natali and I hug us and told us Thank you for this good beautiful turn over, did two different walk threws during signing before being able to leave, things and places they wanted to see and explain once again; and of course wanted us one more time to explain where and how keys control works and where they were;

              Have a Special Bless Day / God Speed
                   Gunny

Respectfully,
Larry "Gunny" Sizemore
Billeting / Transit Supervisor


















An old soldier who won't fade away


Obama is outclassed and outsmarted by retiring Gen. Petraeus

Gen. David H. Petraeus closed his phenomenal 37-year Army career this week with a joint review at Fort Myer in Arlington. Service members from every branch were present, and flags of all 50 states fluttered in the breeze. A substantial crowd had come to hear the general's farewell address. Many were classmates from the West Point Class of 1974, smartly attired but enthusiastic and occasionally whooping like they were cadets. Others were people with whom he had served over his storied career, whom he recognized from the dais during his speech. The morning was sunny and clear, and the general was his usual affable, ebullient self.

In his remarks, Gen. Petraeus recalled the days when he entered the military, when the Vietnam War was winding down and the armed services were being pared down to the "hollow forces" of the 1970s. "The Army I joined as a second lieutenant had suffered enormously," he said. "In the wake of our involvement in Vietnam, our Army and much of our military were grappling with a host of very serious challenges." The senior leaders who first wore the uniform in those dark days were not discouraged. They began their careers with a sense of mission. "I know I speak for many when I say that we came away from that period vowing to never let our forces get to such a point ever again." Through his efforts, and those of countless other visionaries in and out of uniform, the hollow forces were transformed once again into the finest fighting force in the world.

Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presided over the ceremony with William J. Lynn, deputy secretary of defense. Notably absent were Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, whose former position as CIA director is Gen. Petraeus' next assignment, and President Obama. Their non-appearance did not sit well with some. "Obama should have been here," a warrior who served under Gen. Petraeus told The Washington Times. "And he should have invited [former President George W.] Bush. The general saved their bacon. Twice.

"Everyone has forgotten that in 2007 we as a nation had said, 'OK, we are going to lose Iraq.' And President Bush said, 'Well what if we win?' Petraeus rode into town and assembled an extraordinary team. His personal drive, his charisma, his optimism, his can-do spirit, all of that is what gave us hope that we could in fact turn Iraq around," our source explained. "And by September of '07, the progress had been dramatic enough that it became common knowledge to the American people that things were turning around in Iraq. Eight months earlier, a lot of people, including Obama, wanted to tuck tail and have another Vietnam."

That's not all. "Here is the guy who saved our reputation as a nation. Seriously, who's missing this? And then he went to [Central Command] and was doing great things. And Obama asked him to take a functional demotion and go back to Afghanistan and save our bacon again," we were told. "To leave his family, to step down from a regional command, to take on that burden. And he said yes, and he did it. Petraeus was the right guy at the right time, he answered the call, and now he's being yanked out before we're ready, just like the troops are being yanked out before Afghanistan is ready."

So what's the reason for the White House about-face? "They are sending him to the CIA to keep him quiet during the 2012 election. It shows how small and scared they are. He is an honorable man, he has never expressed political ambition. But they saw him as a threat. He is an independent thinker, the finest military mind of his generation," our source posits. "What he suffers from is that he is more excellent than almost anyone he meets, to include the president. The troops love him. Strong people surround themselves with the most excellent people they can find, even those brighter and more capable than themselves. Weak people don't."

There is a shameful indignity in how this hero was treated. "The president couldn't find the time in his schedule, nor could the [defense secretary] find the time to look him in the eye and say thank you in person," this warrior told The Washington Times. "It's one thing to say 'we support the troops' and trot out your first lady to do that, but this is where it counts. It would have been an appropriate gesture to come here to recognize the professional and personal sacrifice of this extraordinary man. It would have been the dignified thing to do."

The hero remained above it all. The cannons boomed and the crowd cheered and Gen. Petraeus stood smiling in the sun.

Copyright 2011 The Washington Times, LLC.


A soldier shares his post on a lawless border


(CBS News) 

Pakistan said Tuesday that an American drone fired two missiles at a house near the Afghan border, killing three people. Just last week U.S. officials accused Pakistan of supporting terrorists who cross from Pakistan into Afghanistan to fight American troops.

 

One of the reasons U.S. troops are fighting in Afghanistan after nearly ten years is the lawless border with Pakistan.

 

CBS News correspondent Willem Marx visited the region, and reports that the enemy finds it easy to operate there.

 

Army Lieutenant Andrew Brundson, from Boulder, Colo., climbed up to visit his men at a tiny outpost overlooking the border that separates Afghanistan from Pakistan.

 

"I want to be here. I want to be on the edge of it. I want to be where the rubber meets the road. I want to be on the border," Brundson said.

 

Brundson's men, with the 172nd Infantry Brigade, are searching for an enemy they can rarely touch. The enemy uses Pakistan, just over the border, as a haven to recruit, rearm and regroup.

 

CBSNews.com special report: Afghanistan

"Often times, if a man slips across the border, though we could pursue him, though it's within our weapons and the capability of our men, it's not what we do because this is the border region. We try, as much as possible to stay on our side of it," Brundson said.

 

These American soldiers may be the only ones "staying on their side." The border is unmarked, mostly unguarded. The tribesmen on both sides are Pashtun - one culture, one language.

 

"For us it's a matter of finding a needle in a haystack, finding where they are coming in across the mountain range. We have to make sure that when we see them we can identify that they are indeed insurgents and not just a nomad goat-herder moving across the border," Brundson said.

 

Every few days, the militants fire rockets at the U.S. base. The Americans fire back. But most often the enemy escapes to safety in Pakistan. Lieutenant Brundson knows people back home debate this war, and he told us this.

"I'm glad people question it. I hope they continue to do so. I question it myself and when I question it I come to the conclusion that this is an important thing to be doing. This is an important place to be. This is something that is worthy of my efforts, this is worthy of the risks my men are taking," Brundson said.

 

There is risk taking we can't see from here, such as strikes by U.S. special forces and CIA drones. But in these vast mountains, with outposts few and far between, the enemy moves easily across a border only the Americans choose to recognize.

 

 

  Service Members Say the Medal of Honor Is Too Hard to Get



    Written by: Robert F. Dorr on September 26, 2011

Throughout the U.S. armed forces today, many feel that too few service members are receiving the nation's top award for valor.

The Medal of Honor, in past wars a symbol of the selflessness and valor of American service members, has been mostly missing from America's twenty-first century conflicts. Only ten Medals of Honor have been awarded for action in recent conflicts - six for Afghanistan and four for Iraq. The nation awarded 464 Medals of Honor for actions in World War II, 135 for the Korean War and 246 for Vietnam. On Oct. 7, 2011, the war in Afghanistan will enter its eleventh year, making Afghanistan the United States' longest war if the length of U.S. involvement in Vietnam is measured from Aug. 7, 1964 to January 1973.

Military officers, historians and observers cite several reasons for the small total today. Although large numbers of troops are committed overseas (about 180,000 in both Afghanistan and Iraq), the number who fight in close-quarters combat is comparatively small and consists mostly of special operations forces. In Iraq, roadside bombs, also called improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are responsible for about 60 percent of U.S. casualties. "You can't distinguish yourself by fighting back against an IED," says retired Army Col. Fred L. Borch, an authority on awards and decorations.

But even allowing for today's brand of warfare being different, service members believe that extraordinary acts of valor are taking place that warrant the top award and aren't getting it. The main reason, they say, is that the process has become complex and intimidating. Many recommendations never get made because it's simply too hard.

"Say you're a commander in the field," said a senior officer in a special operations unit. "Your captain comes running up to you and says, 'I've got this kid who just displayed the most extraordinary bravery I've ever heard of.' The captain hasn't looked up the regulations yet but he's got his award-writing pen out, ready to go. That's when you have to tell him the facts of life."

'Not Worth It'

"You're going to say to that captain, 'Look. You want your guy to get recognition? A Silver Star is a serious award and it can be approved right here in the AOR [area of responsibility]. But if you want a service cross award or a Medal of Honor, it has to go to Washington. And it can take forever.' Nine times out of ten, your captain is going to shrug and say, 'Oh, hell. We'll just put him in for the Silver. It's just not worth it.'"

In 2006, when George W. Bush was president and only one Medal of Honor had been awarded in this century, Joseph A. Kinney wrote in the New York Times: "For reasons I can't fathom, the Pentagon top brass don't feel that our heroes in Iraq and Afghanistan are especially meritorious." Kinney also wrote: "If President Bush awarded the medals at roughly the same rate [as in Vietnam] more than two dozen would have been bestowed by now." Five years later, twice as much time having elapsed, the total has gone from one to ten.

Several writers cite Marine 1st Lt. Brian Chontosh as a hero who deserves higher recognition. As a platoon commander on March 25, 2003, during the invasion of Iraq, Chontosh became caught in the kill zone of an ambush. Without hesitation, he directed his Humvee directly at an Iraqi machine gun position, then dismounted and attacked the enemy trench, emptying his M16A2 rifle and 9mm pistol of ammunition, then twice picking up discarded enemy AK-47s to continue his attack. He then grabbed up an enemy rocket-propelled grenade launcher to finish his counter-assault. He single-handedly killed 20 Iraqis and wounded several while clearing 200 meters of trench line. Chontosh, who is now a major, received the Navy Cross, but has become a folk hero in the Marine Corps, and many Marines believe that he should receive the Medal of Honor.

Other Americans in uniform have excelled on the battlefield and may deserve higher recognition. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, the sole survivor of a June 28, 2005 battle in Afghanistan that produced the highest award for Lt. Michael P. Murphy, believes every member of his four-man team should have received greater recognition. After cold-shouldering Army Capt. Will Swenson, a participant in a Sept. 8, 2009 firefight that secured the top award for Marine Corps Cpl. Dakota Meyer, the Army has now reversed itself and is considering Swenson for the Medal of Honor.

Cumbersome Process

By law, any person can nominate someone for the Medal of Honor. But much more is required than just writing a paragraph or two. The rules are spelled out in Department of Defense Awards Manual 1338.43, and they impose a colossal burden on the person making the nomination.

"At a minimum," the manual dictates, a recommendation for the top valor award must be prepared in two copies and be "housed in a three-ring binder of appropriate size with an organized table of contents." It must contain "forms, narratives, witness statements, graphs, diagrams and pictures" that are "clearly legible and visible." The justification for the award "must be specific, factual, and provide concrete examples of exactly what the person did, how well he or she did it, what the impact of benefits were, and how he or she significantly exceeded expected duty performance."

"The process is unbelievably complex, if not daunting," says Borch. "The intent is to ensure that only the most deserving personnel are awarded the Medal of Honor, but the unintended consequence of it is that it takes a long time to get a nomination for the Medal of Honor to the president for his approval. For example, when a soldier is nominated for the MOH, there must be sworn statements, maps, diagrams and much detail attached to the recommendation for the award. All this takes a lot of time and a lot of effort and requires someone who can write well and express themselves clearly."

Borch said it routinely takes two years or more for a Medal of Honor recommendation to be processed. The requirements for submitting a recommendation can be viewed at this site:

http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134833vol1.pdf

Some Americans, including some veterans' groups, have urged Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to launch a review of the Pentagon's awards process to bring it in line with previous wars. It appears to be time for Panetta to do exactly that.
 

 
MEDIA ADVISORY: 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

BRAC journey ends, Dedication of new Headquarters and Complex

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.(USASOC News Service, Sept. 27, 2011) -   The U.S. Army's 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) will hold an invitational ribbon cutting ceremony at their new headquarters complex  at 9 a.m. , Friday, Oct. 14.

Col. Antonio M. Fletcher, the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) commander, will host the ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony signifying the Group's arrival and the commencement of operations at their new location.

The 7th SFG (A) moved from Fort Bragg to Eglin AFB to comply with the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure legislation.  

The ceremony will be held on Meadows field, which is directly in front of the Group's new 68,500 square foot command headquarters.  The entire cantonment sits on a 350 acre site which houses 43 facilities with a combined approximate one million square feet.

At 10 a.m., immediately following the formal portion of the ceremony, the public will be welcomed into the cantonment area where they will have the opportunity to tour the facilities and view live demonstrations by the 7th SFG (A) Soldiers.  There will also be various static displays of vehicles and the state of the art equipment used by the Special Forces Soldiers.

Beginning at 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., the Group would like to welcome everyone to join them for lunch in their new state of the art dining facility; the price per person is $4.25.

The 7th SFG (A) is one of the Army's elite units specializing in unconventional warfare. Their willingness to accept the danger, isolation and hardships inherent to their mission helps define Special Forces. Their dedication to task is expressed in the Special Forces motto: De Oppresso Liber- To Free the Oppressed.

FOR THE MEDIA:  Media wishing to cover the ceremony must contact the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs Office at (850) 885-7275.   


Amazing Technology: Watch an Armored Combat Vehicle Go...'Invisible'

   

Earlier this month, the Blaze brought you BAE systems ADAPTIV "invisibility cloak." Today we have learned additional details of this remarkable technology, and have some new photos to share.

 

As we first announced a few weeks ago, this cutting edge technology allows a vehicle to become invisible to the naked eye - as well as infrared and other radar technologies.

 

Even more amazing- ADAPTIV not only makes a vehicle or fixed installation disappear- it can alter itself in real time to mimic surrounding foliage, or entirely reshape its form. An Armored Personnel Carrier can shift to look like a pickup truck on radar, for example.

 

ADAPTIV vehicles also have the capability to electronically mark themselves to avoid friendly fire incidents.

 

Now, here are some of the newer photos that show what the technology looks like on the outside:

 

 

According to the description on BAE"s website, ADAPTIV works by:

"Using lightweight hexagonal pixels which are electrically powered by the vehicles systems. The pixels are individually heated and cooled using commercially available semi-conducting technology. The hand-sized pixels are made of metal, so that they can sustain physical impact and provide defence against enemy ordnance."

As we showed you in the past, here is what you would see on infrared before a tank turns on its Adaptiv coating.

 

And here is what you would see, or not see, after:

 

Gone.

 

Check out the full video of ADAPTIV in action here, courtesy of BAE Systems:  

BAE's Adaptive Camouflage
BAE's Adaptive Camouflage


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