Special Forces Gear Logo
Monthly NewsletterApril 2012 
In This Issue
Dave's Message
Voice of the Soldier
Word of Truth
The Blue Warrior
Combat Survival
Warrior's Wisdom
Special Product Coupon
Aesop's Fables
Embroidered Items
Featured T-Shirts
Special Product Coupon
Quotes & Jokes
Featured Items
Featured Tactical Gear
Featured Watches
Clichés of Socialism
What Has Really Changed?

Newsletter Archive
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
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!!!

[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.


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.

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.


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


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

Jack And Melanie Edgar


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

Thank you,

Amanda Van Every


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



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

Cheers Andrew and best wishes for the New Year.

Welcome to the new Special Forces Gear Newsletter! Each month we send out a lot of information and great deals, and to make it easier to read, we've written a summary of the longer articles in this email.

Dave's Message



A Leader Must be organized


"Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up." - A.A. Milne


We have all experienced the difference between good organization and bad organization probably more times then we care to remember. So I thought I would attempt to give you some perspective and insight as to how a leader should organize himself and his organization.  


First in order for a leader to be organized he must think. But without correct thought he will not be able to organize properly. This brings up the question of where correct thought comes from and it starts with a good scale of values.


"Character is Victory Organized" - Napoleon


In order for correct thought the leader must have a good scale of values. Without a good scale of values his thinking will be flawed. A good scale of values is important to a leader in many ways. It is the key to his happiness for without them he will go through life unorganized because he cannot determine what is most important. If you cannot determine what is most important you will build a weak ineffective organization which wastes not only your time but also the time and resources of your organization.


The leader must guard his thoughts against one of the greatest enemies of our day to thinking which relativism is. Relativism is a theory, especially in ethics or aesthetics that conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them. Relativism has led a great assault on values and corrects thinking. It is used by the enemies of truth to disguise bad things to make them appear acceptable or good. Only with a good scale of values and knowledge will the leader be able to guard against the assault of relativism.


Next you must have knowledge to think. Without knowledge you become a slave to your emotions. It is the leader who thinks that is successful and is organized.


For serious thinking it is said "sitting" is the posture of thinking. It is best to sit when you think because the emphasis is on the brain; as opposed to when you're standing the emphasis is on the body. During WWII the Army Air Corps had this saying


"God gave us two ends one to sit on and one to think on."


The leader knows it is the brain that counts. You may see someone that you think looks the part. I hear news announcers on TV comment on how a candidate looks presidential but only a fool would use that as criteria to vote for someone but it has happened throughout history. We have all been deceived by appearances but when we get to know people it is often different then we would have wanted to think. We have all met some beautiful woman or some handsome athletic guy only to learn there is nothing upstairs and you can't get away from them fast enough. The leader knows without the ability to think you are nothing.  


Without thought you are a slave to your emotions and you will be disorganized your whole life until you learn to think.  


Leaders have responsibility to make sure that everyone in the organization is properly placed. A leader must be able to evaluate his men and recognize where a person belongs in an organization. This is important to both the organization and to the happiness of the individual because he will be where he can contribute the most. This will determine the success of the organization because an organization is only as strong as its weakest link. One should never be placed where they are in a position to fail.

When a leader is personally organized this enables him to put together an organized staff which will keep people organized down the chain making everyone's lives easier and more productive.




From correct thought and knowledge the leader is able to prioritize things. General Thomas Jonathan Jackson aka "Stone Wall Jackson" during the Civil War was constantly faced with setting priorities. He had the challenge of training up his Army from scratch to face a foe superior in numbers, arms, material and in just about every way except leadership. To top things off he also had little time to accomplish this. What he did first was to take into account the circumstances.  


"Do not repeat tactics which gained you victory in the past, but let your tactics be molded by... circumstances." - Sun Tzu


He thoroughly understood his situation and his enemy and set priorities. He had to decide the things that were most important to fight in battle and win. He focused on tactical training and soldier skills and was lax on dress code and drill and ceremony. He was hard on discipline but lax on protocol. He was caring and compassionate with his men, but he drove them hard and his punishments were severe. He never compromised on principal, but broke all the rules in strategy. His men loved him. He was able in a short amount of time to field an Army that became the most feared by the North and won many Battles.


   "For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned."

Now comes time. The use of time has a direct relationship to the way priorities are set. Being able to prioritize things and allocate time properly takes pressure off. The leader must be able to relate himself properly to time.  


"Ask me for anything but time" - Napoleon


Time was something General Jackson did not have and he understood the importance and how it would affect his situation by not being personally organized. He had the impossible to do with little time and the only way to gain time was through being organized for max efficiency. Utilizing his excellent scale of values, his knowledge, identifying what was most important setting priorities and orienting himself to time allocating enough to accomplish the priorities and necessary things enabled him to take his troops into battle and fight affectively. Being well organized frees one to get the job or mission done.  


The leader must continue to lead, motivate and coach his people to continually adapt to new situations along with finding ways to improve. The enemy always adapts to his adversaries tactics and so must any organization to stay ahead and anticipate what is to come. The key to adapting is to share your vision and goals to work as a team with your organization.

"The trouble with organizing a thing is that pretty soon folks get to paying more attention to the organization than to what they're organized for." - Laura Ingalls Wilder


Being organized means to collect correct information and utilize it. This starts with reality. If the leader of his organization is not in touch with the realities facing his organization he is doomed to making bad decisions which will render any organization ineffective. A good leader knows there are always two sides to every story so he does his best to collect the facts before making judgments. This will keep the organization effective.  


"The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious." - Marcus Aurelius  






Great leadership comes from great crises.


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) >> 

Special Forces Association
Post Office Box 41436
Farettevile, North Carolina 28309-1436 
Telephone: 910-485-5433 Fax: 910-485-1041 
Email: sfah@aol.com 

1 Febuary 2012

The 60th anniversary of the Special Forces pays tribute to President John F. Kennedy's vision of building a dedicated counter-insurgency force, a vision that helped build the Green Berets into the elite force that we have become over the past six decades. Soon, we will celebrate sixty years historic years of selfless sacrifice, commitment, honor, courage and success.

Millions of men have served this great nation; however, there are few that have the commitment, determination and the enthusiasm to serve as a Green Beret. We continue to provide a sustainable military option for a variety of strategic and operational tasks.

Since 1964, we at the Special Forces Association have served as the voice for our Special Forces community; perpetuating Special Forces traditions and brotherhood; advancing the public image of Special Forces and promoting the general welfare of the Special Forces community .

It is with great pride that I introduced the FX Marketing Group as the official publishers for our Special Forces 60th Anniversary edition.

They are seeking personal or historical stories and high resolution photos from Vietnam, Central and Latin American, the Philippines, Desert Storm, Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa.

As LTG (Ret) Yarborough reflected on his years of service within the community; "The character, soul, and substance of today's magnificent soldiers who wear the Green Beret are the products of the experience, enthusiasm, and convictions of the architects of their art. Among these whose names should be forever enshrined are: Roger Hilsman, Slavko Bjelajac, Dr. Jay Zawoony, Bernard Fall, Ray Peers, Russell Volckmann, John Little, Arthur O. Simmons." You are the next generation, we owe it to ourselves to capture our stories and share them with others.

As our creed reflects, "I am an American Special Forces soldier... A Professional." Please submit your suggestions and lets begin to capture the next  60 years of out proud lineage and history. These stories will be archived with the SFA historian and select stories will appear in the SFA sanctioned 2012 commemorative edition set to be published and distributed at the SFA conference in early June.

Please submit your stories and photos to - Ms Donna Lyons, Managing Editor at Author1@live.com. Once submitted, they will likely contact you for a follow up.

We hope that you will take part in our 60th Anniversary celebration in June as we commemorate our call to duty! "De Oppresso Liber" - To Free the Oppressed.

Ronnie A. McCan
President, National Board of Officers
The Special Forces Association  

Always Remembered
311 iran ship

Pamela Murphy, widow of WWII hero and actor, Audie Murphy, died peacefully at her home on April 8, 2010. She was the widow of the most decorated WWII hero and actor, Audie Murphy, and established her own distinctive 35 year career working as a patient liaison at the Sepulveda Veterans Administration hospital, treating every veteran who visited the facility as if they were a VIP.

Any soldier or Marine who came into the hospital got the same special treatment from her. She would walk the hallways with her clipboard in hand making sure her boys got to see the specialist they needed.

If they didn't, watch out. Her boys weren't Medal of Honor recipients or movie stars like Audie, but that didn't matter to Pam. They had served their country. That was good enough for her. She never called a veteran by his first name. It was always "Mister." Respect came with the job.

"Nobody could cut through VA red tape faster than Mrs. Murphy," said veteran Stephen Sherman, speaking for thousands of veterans she befriended over the years. "Many times I watched her march a veteran who had been waiting more than an hour right into the doctor's office. She was even reprimanded a few times, but it didn't matter to Mrs. Murphy. "Only her boys mattered. She was our angel."

Audie Murphy died broke in a plane crash in 1971, squandering millions of dollars on gambling, bad investments, and yes, other women. "Even with the adultery and desertion at the end, he always remained my hero," Pam told me.

She went from a comfortable ranch-style home in Van Nuys where she raised two sons to a small apartment - taking a clerk's job at the nearby VA to support herself and start paying off her faded movie star husband's debts. At first, no one knew who she was. Soon, though, word spread through the VA that the nice woman with the clipboard was Audie Murphy's widow. It was like saying General Patton had just walked in the front door. Men with tears in their eyes walked up to her and gave her a hug.

"Thank you," they said, over and over.

The first couple of years, I think the hugs were more for Audie's memory as a war hero. The last 30 years, they were for Pam.

One year I asked her to be the focus of a Veteran's Day column for all the work she had done. Pam just shook her head no.

"Honor them, not me," she said, pointing to a group of veterans down the hallway. "They're the ones who deserve it."

The vets disagreed. Mrs. Murphy deserved the accolades, they said. Incredibly, in 2002, Pam's job was going to be eliminated in budget cuts. She was considered "excess staff." "I don't think helping cut down on veterans' complaints and showing them the respect they deserve, should be considered excess staff," she told me. Neither did the veterans. They went ballistic, holding a rally for her outside the VA gates. Pretty soon, word came down from the top of the VA. Pam Murphy was no longer considered "excess staff."

She remained working full time at the VA until 2007 when she was 87.
"The last time she was here was a couple of years ago for the conference we had for homeless veterans," said Becky James , coordinator of the VA's Veterans History Project. Pam wanted to see if there was anything she could do to help some more of her boys. Pam Murphy was 90 when she died. What a lady.

311 iran ship
Audie Murphy
Born 20 June 1925. Died 28 May 1971.

  Click Here For a List Audie Murphy's List of Decorations>>

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Word of Truth
The Resurrection and the Life
The Word Of Truth - Alive and Powerful

By Rev G.J. Rako




This month Christians celebrate the life, death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, each having great significance regarding their eternal destiny. Jesus Christ is eternal God. He is co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.


John 1:1 In the beginning (eternity past, prior to creation) was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was (is) God.


John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten [uniquely born] from the Father, full of grace and truth.


John 10:30 Jesus said, "I andtheFatherareone."


John 17:21that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me andI in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.


Jesus Christ is the unique person of the universe, true humanity and undiminished deity in one person forever.


John 8:58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am."


Jesus Christ was born perfect, as Adam was created perfect. He lived a life without sin, thereby being the only one qualified to become our substitute and die for our sins.


His death on the cross provided the free gift of eternal life to all that accept it.


Philippians 2:8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.



1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all...


Why do we need a mediator? Why do we need a savior? What do we need to be saved from? I am a good person. I am not as bad as that guy who lives down the street. Surely God will take into consideration all those good deeds I have accomplished in my life.


Romans 3:10   as it is written, "There is none righteous, not even one;


Romans5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and   death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.


Isaiah 64:6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment (menstrual rags);


Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,


Romans 6:23   For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Acts 4:12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been givenamongmen by which we must be saved."


Jesus Christ was sent to the cross. While He was there God the Father gathered up every sin ever committed by every man, women, and child who ever lived or ever would live and poured those sins out on Jesus Christ and then judged each and every one of them.


2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to become sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.


After His work of salvation was complete Jesus Christ said, "finished". He was still alive, He had been judged for the sins of the world. Then He dismissed His spirit. His spirit went into the presence of the Father, His soul went to paradise, and His body went into the grave.


John 19:30Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.


Matthew 12:40 for just as Jonahwas three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.


Jesus Christ died twice on the cross. He died spiritually providing our so great salvation paying for the sins of the world so that we might have a relationship with the living God.

After His work was complete, He died physically. Three days later He was resurrected. His resurrection from the dead is our guarantee that we also will be resurrected.


John 21:14 This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead.


Romans 8:34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus isHe who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

1 Corinthians 15:12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?


1 Thessalonians 1:10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom Heraised from the dead, thatis Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.


Ephesians 1:20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,


If you believe in Christ then you also will be raised.


1 Corinthians 15:35 But someone will say, "How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?"


1 Corinthians 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body;


1 Corinthians 15:43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;


1 Corinthians 15:44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.


1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.


2 Corinthians 4:14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.


Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life. He is the only way to a relationship with God.


John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"


Do you believe that? If you do believe that Jesus is the Christ then...


John 20:31 but these have been written so that you may believe that JesusistheChrist, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.



Contact Reverend Rako >>  

Blue Warrior
Blue WarriorBlue Warrior
Command & Control in Tactical Environments

Automatic weapons, armored vests, 148,000 rounds of ammunition, small squad military tactics and a plot to assault and kill Americans. What foreign terrorist organization could have this type of resolve to harm Americans? This terrorist cell is currently in Federal court in downtown Detroit facing charges of plotting to kill Michigan Law enforcement officers and their not a foreign terrorist organization. This group is from Michigan and they call themselves the "Hutaree" which they claim, means Christian warriors.

The plan was to murder a local police officer in an ambush. Then at the officers funeral they were to attack the police procession in a military style assault. This small force was well equipped with explosives, sniper ghillie suites, ballistic helmets and night vision. They planned on devastating the police with an ambush that included improvised explosive devices, small squad battle tactics with a well trained militia.

We can only speculate what would have occurred as the funeral procession proceeded into the Hutaree ambush. This type of assault isn't an active shooter response that a Diamond formation or Mactac style response will resolve. This assault is similar to the Mumbai attack which will require a coordinated tactical response from a dominating force. 

Hutaree was preparing for what they believed would be an apocalyptic battle with forces of the Antichrist, whom they believed would be supported and defended by local law enforcement. The following statements were introduced into a Federal trial this week, "we are willing to go to war" and "welcome to the revolution".

Imagine your swat team responding to such an attack with an enemy equal to an Al-Qaeda force. Does your team have the capabilities to respond to a force with this type of training, equipment and motivation? The most important factor in responding to this type of assault is "command and control" of the responding tactical forces. Mumbai's lack of command and control is a classic example what can happen without a clear mission with objectives to achieve. When this occurs friendly forces will most likely suffer greater losses.

Mission Command
I have used the military model of "mission command" for command and control within my Special Response Team since its inception. What I have found is the team has a greater capability to function in the chaos of combat on its own. They can respond to tactical challenges as they arise on the battlefield without compromising the tactical advantage of time, speed, surprise, and violence of action or shock. 

Successful mission command rests on the following elements: the tactical commander's intent, subordinates initiative, and tactical operation orders. Under mission command, tactical commanders provide team leaders with a mission, their commander's objectives, initiatives, concept of the task, and resources adequate to accomplish the mission. The tactical commander empowers team leaders such as the Entry Team Leaders, Assistant Entry Team Leaders, Sniper Team Leaders and Crisis Negotiator Team Leaders to make decisions within the commander's intent and objectives.

I commonly leave details of execution to the team leaders and require them to use initiative and judgment to accomplish the mission. I expect these team leaders to identify and act on unforeseen circumstances, whether opportunities or threats, while conducting their tactical operations. Seizing, retaining, and exploiting the operational initiative requires team leaders to exercise individual initiative and they have the authority to do so. Training team leaders under mission command develops disciplined initiative and skilled judgment. It also gives tactical commanders the confidence to delegate them the necessary authority during operations. Mission command enables tactical commanders to use the unprecedented agility and flexibility of the modular force to take advantage of the chaos of war. It allows swat teams to rapidly adapt to changes in the situation and exercise initiative within the tactical commander's intent to accomplish the mission.

Operational Concept
In this style of command seizing, retaining, and exploiting the initiative
with speed, shock, surprise, depth, simultaneity, and endurance are key.

Initiative: in its operational sense, is setting or dictating the terms of action throughout an operation. The side with the initiative determines the nature, tempo, and sequence of actions. Initiative is decisive if retained and exploited. In any operation, a tactical force has the initiative when it is controlling the situation rather than reacting to circumstances. The counterpart to operational initiative is individual initiative, the willingness to act in the absence of orders or when existing orders no longer fit the situation.

Speed: the ability of tactical squads to act rapidly. Rapid maneuver dislocates the enemy force and exposes its elements before they are prepared or positioned. Rapid action preempts threats to security. It reduces suffering and loss of life among noncombatants or victims by restoring order. At the strategic level, speed gives tactical forces their expeditionary quality and allows tactical forces to keep the initiative. It contributes to their ability to achieve shock and surprise.
Shock: the application of violence of such magnitude that your adversary is stunned and helpless to reverse the situation. Shock entails the use of a "overwhelming dominating force" at the decisive time and place.

Surprise: involves the delivery of a powerful blow at a time and place for which your adversary is unprepared. When combined with shock, it reduces friendly casualties and ends opposition swiftly.
Depth: the ability to operate across the entire area of tactical operations. It includes the ability to act in the information
environment of the tactical operation as well as the support elements.  
Simultaneity: a function of time, confronts opponents with multiple actions occurring at once, disrupting their cognitive function as they process through the OODA loop. Multiple actions overload adversaries' control systems and this provide a tactical advantage to the tactical forces. 

Endurance: the ability to survive and persevere over time. Swift tactical response may be desirable; however a swift response is the exception for most call outs. To succeed, tactical forces must prepare to conduct operations for protracted periods.

Command & Control Development
The concept of mission command requires good policy, team structure, strong leadership and training.

Policy: tactical teams must operate under department policy which is the foundation for clear function and operations. These policies must be provided to each individual officer and they must be held accountable when they act outside of these policies. Overlooking a minor offense  may bring you a larger problem in the future if left uncorrected. Act upon any recognized deficiencies your tactical officers demonstrate. Addressing your officer's deficiencies should be done in a positive manner, as your goal is to improve the officer's capabilities. Officers from your team will appreciate this approach since it is fair and keeps everybody safer.     

Team Structure: it is very important to provide a foundation of structure to your team. This includes a clear chain of command. Teams should be designated into multiple squads. Many teams operate as one squad and I have seen this system fail more often than not when responding to terrorist attacks in large scale training exercises. The reason is a single tactical commander won't be able to deliver the same level of planning and execution as a team with a deep command structure. My tactical team for example has multiple layers of command in the structure of our team. It was designed to mirror the Army Platoon system.

Here's how our 23 officer team is structured:
  • Executive Commander: administrative function.
  • Team Commander: responsible for all tactical planning, training & team functions.
  • Entry Team Leaders: (2) team leaders & (2) assistant team leaders, one team leader for each squad, two squads of ten officers. Each Entry Team has an Assistant Team Leader whom may be the Team Leader on any tactical operation. Responsible for tactical execution of their assigned squads.
  • Sniper Team Leader (1) and Assistant Sniper Team Leader (1). Responsible for tactical execution of their 6 officer sniper/observer teams.   
  • Crisis Negotiator Team Leader (1) and Assistant Crisis Negotiator (1). Responsible for negotiations operations of their 8 officer team.
  • Strong Leadership: some individuals appear to be "born leaders" while other individuals can be developed into leaders, but a solid foundation of "character" is essential in any successful leader. Some qualities in an individual's makeup, particularly those concerning his integrity and ethical foundation are absolutely essential in the potential leader, and which cannot be added through schooling or experience. Good judgment, and common sense, is an absolute requirement for successful combat leadership. The ability to perform well in formal training, while not a negative characteristic, is a less important factor for a combat leader. In particular, the leader must have a well-developed and practiced ability in making decisions under pressure.

"Leadership is intangible, and therefore no weapon ever designed can replace it."
-General Omar Bradley

 Training: develop your team leaders and officers by allowing them to do their jobs. When a subordinate is free to do his job, he perceives this as trust and confidence from his commanders and takes more pride in his job, himself, and the team's goals and objectives. Delegation of tactical authority, training development & implementation and the proper use of personnel develops future leaders. This should be the goal of every commander.

"I would caution you always to remember that an essential qualification of a good leader is the ability to recognize, select, and train junior leaders."
-General Omar Bradley

When confronted with a tactical crisis such as the one the Hutaree planned on Michigan's law enforcement officers you must be prepared. We train in many different tactics, we have many different tools that provide numerous options that give us a tactical advantage, we train hard, but all of that won't make a difference if you don't have "command & control" of your team and the tactical crisis you are confronted with. The experience I gained in the Army and the lessons I have learned over the years as a swat commander taught me one thing, the United States Military knows how to fight an enemy. Consider doing what I did and apply the military's mission command to your team and watch them all grow as leaders. 

Stay safe,

Sgt. Glenn French  

Glenn French, a Sergeant with the Sterling Heights (Mich.) Police Department, has 22 years police experience and currently serves as the Team Commander for the Special Response Team, and Sergeant of the Sterling Heights Police Department Training Bureau. He has 14 years SWAT experience and served as a Sniper Team Leader, REACT Team Leader, and Explosive Breacher.  

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, Tactical Lifesaver Course and others. Sgt French served in the U.S. Army. During his military tenure Sgt French gained valuable experience in C.Q.B., infantry tactics and explosive breaching operations. He is the author of "Police Tactical Life Saver" and President of www.tacticallifesaver.org.    

Combat Survival


7 Lessons of Self-Defense

With over 28 years of martial arts experience I have done a wide variety of reading and training in various styles. For the last 15 years I have been teaching the following concepts to soldiers, law enforcement and civilians in an effort to instill in them some sense of the "art" in martial arts which is widely discounted and/or overlooked today in the local strip mall karate club. The following seven lessons I adapted and modernized and they have their foundation stems from Shyun Kwang Longs Cardinal Rules of Mantis Kung Fu. These lessons have been adapted to fit Self-Defense or fighting in general and can give insight to anyone who studies them, and applies them in their training regimen. As you begin to fully understand them you will be able to gain a more profound understanding of what realistic Self-Defense is all about.

Lesson 1: Self-Defense is a process of continuous motion, with each movement giving birth to the next. Fighting involves many variables such as your opponent's size, martial arts background, skill level, and so on. Consequently, it is naive to depend on one technique to work perfectly against every opponent in every situation.

Lesson 2: Close in on the enemy with the long hand, and then destroy him with the short hand. Self-Defense makes use of both long -range and close-range fighting. It teaches a full arsenal of kicks and hand strikes, which by themselves would make a very effective system, but when those techniques are combined with long-range moves, it makes a very powerful and formidable science. The purpose of the longhand is to break through your opponent's defenses so you can move to an advantageous position behind or beside him. From one of those spots you can deliver the shorthand attack to a vulnerable target and then choose a finishing technique based on the reaction of the previous strike(s).

Lesson 3: Attack high to open low; attack low to open high. The principle of attacking high before you attack low manifests itself in the simple and advanced teachings of any Self-Defense system. It works by causing the opponent to shift his concentration to one area while another is being attacked. To successfully apply this principle, you must move with your opponent by changing your body posture and position to match his. You must also be able to instantaneously switch the levels from which you launch your attacks.

Lesson 4: Attack right, defend left, Attack left, and defend right. Whether you are attacking or defending, you must keep the vulnerable parts of your body protected. When you strike with your right hand, you should keep your left hand in a position to protect. Also to bolster your defenses you should use snapping techniques to inflict the maximum damage attainable in the fastest time, this way your striking arm will be back in position for a possible sudden counter.

Lesson 5: Attack and defend simultaneously. Any action always contains the potential for its opposite. Attacking and defending is not easily differentiated in Self-Defense situations because they are considered parts of a whole. When you attack you keep defense in mind. This may sound paradoxical, but realize every time you successfully block a strike, you send the attack back to its source. When an opponent feels your impending attack and resists, you should not directly oppose his force; instead, you should reverse direction to flow with his momentum. This saves time and much needed energy, because you flow in harmony with him and use his own power against him. To reverse an opponent's force, you must develop sensitivity to an attacker's movement. Once you learn to relax your hands, arms, and entire being you will be able to feel his strike before it actually takes place. As soon as you detect movement, follow his attack and at the same time protect yourself.

Lesson 6: Don't think, FEEL. As Bruce Lee said to his pupil in Enter the Dragon "Don't think, just feel" This cannot be more true in a Self-Defense situation. Action must be natural and reflexive. Keeping your body natural and responsive enables you to react quickly and spontaneously. You should strive to possess a calm yet alert mind-set and stay physically and emotionally balanced. When you attack, calmly focus first on the most obvious target available and exploit it. This will open another target below the one just struck, relaxed and calmly feel your way to the next target. While incorporating more relaxation techniques in training you will begin to reach a point of fluidness in motion. Then your techniques will seem to hit by themselves.

Lesson 7: In stillness there is action; in action there is stillness. Although paradoxical, this lesson holds the deepest potential for application. Meditation takes place in stillness, which is found in mind and body. Within this stillness the flow of kinetic energy can literally be felt. This kinetic energy moves through the body like water through a series of hoses. The more constricted the hoses are, the slower the flow of kinetic energy. When the body is relaxed, this opens the potential for more kinetic linking which means more energy can be circulated. At the same time, sensations such as rooting can be more easily felt and applied to fighting. Rooting is a method of keeping your body in balance through relaxation. It feels as though every part of your body is hanging while your feet a firmly planted. Your roots however, do not hold you down; the roots keep you centered while you attack. Stillness in action also comes into play. When your opponent punches at you, you calmly await the strikes arrival. When it is in range you flow with the movement waiting for an appropriate time to counter and in that instant you capitalize on the openings presented. In the classic Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu wrote "The source of action is stillness." In the same way that a quiet snow can give way to a rushing river, a calm fighter can give way to a fluster of techniques. The more efficient you are at remaining relaxed, the more potential you will have for greater speed, power and accuracy.

About the author: Jason Hunt is the President of Frontier Christian University and the Chief Instructor for Hunt Survival, Inc. a wilderness & rescue training institute based in Kentucky.

Warrior's Wisdom
 Military Maxim
"When an army is inferior in number, inferior in cavalry, and in artillery, it is essential to avoid a general action. The first deficiency should be supplied by rapidity of movement; the want of artillery by the nature of the maneuvers; and the inferiority in cavalry by the choice of positions In such circumstances the moral of the soldier does much." - Napoleon

A smaller force when out numbered must make up in activity for what it does not have in numbers this same principle holds true in business, sports and other endeavors.

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Aesop's Fables
 The Man and the Lion
A Man and a Lion traveled together through the forest.  They soon began to boast of their respective superiority to each other in strength and prowess.  As they were disputing, they passed a statue carved in stone, which represented "a Lion strangled by a Man." The traveler pointed to it and said: "See there! How strong we are, and how we prevail over even the king of beasts." The Lion replied: "This statue was made by one of you men. If we Lions knew how to erect statues, you would see the Man placed under the paw of the Lion"

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Quotes & Jokes


"The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living."

Albert Einstein, who was born on this day in 1879
"I assert that the cosmic religious experience is the strongest and noblest driving force behind scientific research. ... God Almighty does not throw dice. ... Before God we are all equally wise -- equally foolish. ... My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds."  

Warren Bennis
A new leader has to be able to change an organization that is dreamless, soulless and visionless ... someone's got to make a wake up call.

The quality of leadership, more than any other single factor, determines the success or failure of an organization.

"For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned."

Benjamin Franklin
Lost time is never found again.
Peter F. Drucker
Meetings are a symptom of bad organization. The fewer meetings the better."

Napoleon Hill
"First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination."

Marcus Aurelius
You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength."

Vince Lombardi
"The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual."

Bruce Lee
"To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities."

Charles Peguy
Tyranny is always better organized than freedom.

Theodore Roosevelt
The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.

Fred Fiedler & Martin Chemers
The quality of leadership, more than any other single factor, determines the success or failure of an organization.

Max DePree
The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you.

Thomas A. Edison
Hell, there are no rules here--we're trying to accomplish something.

Marian Anderson
Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.

Andrew Carnegie
No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.

Anthony T. Dadovano
"A good leader is not the person who does things right, but the person who finds the right things to do."

Tom Landry
Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you're in control, they're in control." 

American lawyer Clarence Darrow
"The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business."  


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Clichés of Socialism
"I prefer security to freedom."

MANY VICTIMS wander unwittingly into socialism, gulled by assumptions they have not tested. One popular but misleading assumption is that security and freedom are mutually exclusive alternatives-that to choose one is to fore go the other.

     In the United States during the past century more people achieved greater material security than their ancestors had ever know in any previous society. Large numbers of people in this country accumulated a comfortable nest egg, so that "come hell or high water"-depressions, old age, sickness, or whatever-they could rely on the saved fruits of their own labor to carry them through any storm or temporary setback. By reason of unprecedented freedom of choice, unparalleled opportunities, provident living, and the right to the fruits of their own labor-private property-they were able to meet the many exigencies which arise in the course of a lifetime.

     We think of these enviable, personal achievements as security. But this type of security is not an alternative to freedom; rather, it is an outgrowth of freedom. This traditional security stems from freedom as the oak from an acorn. It is not a case of either/or; one without the other is impossible. Freedom sets the stage for all the security available in this uncertain world.

     Security in its traditional sense, however, is not what the political tradesmen are talking about when they ask, "Wouldn't you rather have security than freedom?" They have in mind what Maxwell Anderson called "the guaranteed life,'' or the arrangement described by Karl Marx, "from each according to ability, to each according to need." Under this dispensation, the political apparatus, having nothing at its disposal except the police force, uses this force to take the fruits of the more well-to-do in order to dispense the loot among the less well-to-do. In theory, at least, that's all there is to it-a leveling procedure.

     Admittedly, this procedure appears to attract millions of our fellow citizens. It relieves them, they assume, of the necessity of looking after themselves; Uncle Sam is standing by with bags of forcibly collected largess (money given).   

To the unwary, this looks like a choice between security and freedom. But, in fact, it is the choice between the self-responsibility of a freeman or the slave-like security of the ward of the government. Thus, if a person were to say, "I prefer being a ward of the government to exercising the personal practice of freedom," he would at least be stating the alternatives in correct terms.

     One need not be a profound sociologist to realize that the ward-of-the-government type of "security" does preclude freedom for all three parties involved. Those from whom their property is taken obviously are denied the freedom to use the fruits of their own labor. Secondly, people to whom the property is given-who get something for nothing-are forfeiting the most important reason for living: the freedom to be responsible for self. The third party in this setup-the authoritarian who does the taking and the giving-also loses his freedom.

     Nor need one be a skilled economist to understand how the guaranteed life leads to general insecurity. Whenever government assumes responsibility for the security, welfare, and prosperity of citizens, the costs of government rise beyond the point where it is politically expedient to cover them by direct tax levies. At this point-usually 20-25 per cent of the people's earned income-the government resorts to deficit financing and inflation. Inflation-increasing the volume of the money to cover deficits-means a dilution of the dollar's purchasing power. Beginning as the "creeping"" inflation which we are now experiencing, it continues into "galloping" inflation which we can observe in Chile, Bolivia-history is filled with examples. All guarantees" become worthless, and a general insecurity follows.

     The true and realistic alternatives are insecurity or security.   Insecurity must follow the transfer of responsibility from self to others, particularly when transferred to arbitrary and capricious government. Genuine security is a matter of self-responsibility, based on the right to the fruits of one's own labor and freedom to trade.

What Has Really Changed?
The biggest dividend profits pay is jobs

In one American company there are 36,000 employees making and selling new products which that company has developed within the past 25 years.
     Those new products are the result of the company's own research paid for out of the company's profits. Is there anything wrong with that? Remember: no profits, no research. No research, no 36,000 new jobs.
     Yet this is one of the companies which has been bitterly attacked by government.
     Why? What do we want in this country-more power for Washington, or more jobs for American workmen?


Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert.  Congress said, "Someone may steal from it at night." So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.  Then Congress said, "How does the watchman do his job without instruction?" So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.  Then Congress said, "How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?"
So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One was to do the studies and one was to write the reports.  Then Congress said, "How are these people going to get paid?"  So they created two positions: a time keeper and a payroll officer then hired two people. Then Congress said, "Who will be accountable for all of these people?" So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.
Then Congress said, "We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $918,000 over budget, we must cut back."  So they laid-off the night watchman.
NOW slowly, let it sink in.
Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter...Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Carter administration?
Didn't think so!
Bottom line is, we've spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency....the reason for which not one person who reads this can remember!
It was very simple... and at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate.  The Department of Energy was instituted on 8/04/1977, TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL.
Hey, pretty efficient, huh???
33 years ago 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports. Today 70% of our oil consumption is foreign imports.
Ah, yes -- good old Federal bureaucracy.
Signed....The Night Watchman


Royal Navy Survival Training Recalls Falklands Battle Damage 


Royal Navy personnel demonstrate righting an inflatable life raft at the Sea Survival Training Center on Horsea Island, Portsmouth. Picture: K Woodland, Crown Copyright

The Royal Navy learned many hard lessons from the Falklands war in 1982.  And they don't want today's sailors to forget.

Commodore Adrian Nance and his wife Barbara unveil the Ardent Building's plaque at the new Sea Survival Training Center on Horsea Island. Picture: K Woodland, Crown Copyright MOD
The Royal Navy's new Sea Survival Training Center at Horsea Island in Portsmouth, U.K., was dedicated on Feb. 22, 2012, to the crews aboard those ships that were sunk or damaged in the cold waters of the South Atlantic. Veterans of that conflict - including members of the HMS Ardent Association - were on hand to dedicate one of the primary training facilities at the center named for Ardent, the Type 21 frigate that was sunk with a loss of 22 men.

Another Falklands survivor, retired Commodore Adrian Nance, also took part in the dedication. He was aboard HMS Sheffield when it was damaged and the order given to abandon ship. "I stood with [the Sheffield's commanding officer] Sam Salt as he made the decision to abandon Sheffield. The previous time that order had been given was 36 years before that, and we have not heard it since."

"Survival is about being determined to confront your fears, look them in the eye and come out the other side," said Nance.

HMS Coventry and Antelope, together with RFA Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram, were also damaged and their crews were required to abandon their ships. Most of them managed to be transferred to other Royal Navy ships that came alongside to render assistance, although some were forced to enter the extremely cold water until they could be rescued.

The £2.4m ($3.8 million) project takes the place of a 30-year-old facility, established when the Royal Navy began requiring all personnel to undertake training in ship abandonment and sea survival procedures.

The Royal Navy Avenger-class frigate HMS Antelope shown in San Carlos Water during the Falklands conflict. Her mast is bent from the impact of an Argentine Skyhawk attack aircraft, and she has a hole in her side where a bomb went in but did not immediately explode. The bomb exploded later, during efforts to defuse it, eventually sinking the ship. Photo by DMGerrard via Wikimedia Commons
One of the lead instructors is Russell "Eli" Ellis, 61, the Sea Survival Manager at Horsea Island. He was injured on HMS Coventry when she was hit by two 1,000-pound bombs. He received burns over a third of his body. So he's committed to providing a realistic survival training experience that the sailors will remember. "The training isn't rocket science; ships have been sinking since the Battle of Trafalgar," Ellis said. "It should strictly be ship abandonment that we're talking about here. We are testing equipment like the 25-man life raft and testing the individuals in difficult conditions."

The training is not conducted in a pool, but uses an adjacent man-made lake. "We don't have the waves but we do have a good depth, about eight metres, that gives the personnel a real feel of what they may experience," Ellis said.

The training has evolved since 1982 to reflect changes in warship design and safety equipment, as well as general lessons learned from the maritime community where shipping accidents have occurred. The Sea Survival Training Centre provides at least 10,000 training days per year.

"Life is about surviving, in our work and private lives, and this facility supports the Navy's practice of training their people to survive whatever the conditions," said Nance.

The training curriculum includes proper wearing of life jackets and survival suits; abandoning ship procedures; deployment and management of life rafts; effective operation of emergency location aids; and treating the sick and injured, including "cold shock" and exposure in open water.

U.S. Seeks Improved Fragmentation Hand Grenade

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Zachary Gains, with Military Police Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 37, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, prepares to throw an M67 fragmentation hand grenade during training at Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Japan, July 28, 2010. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Lora Thibodeau

The U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Division, Crane, Ind., is seeking information on designs for an improved fragmentation hand grenade that could eventually replace the current M67 hand grenade design.

A recently-released request for information (RFI) identified government interest in a new grenade "desired to be at least 15 percent improvement in total effectiveness over the current M67 fragmentation grenade" but with general form/fit/and function remaining "essentially the same" as the current design.

The announcement identifies a number of key performance parameters (KPPs) for the new grenade, identified at both threshold and objective levels.

In terms of grenade size, for example, the improved fragmentation hand grenade threshold level is a maximum 2.75 inches in diameter, with an objective size of 2.5 inches in diameter, the same diameter as the current M67. Likewise, the weight (mass) of the new grenade targets a threshold of 18 ounces (with fuze) and an objective of 15.6 ounces (with fuze), the same as the M67.

Both threshold and objective fuze designs will use an already approved fuze with three to five second delay.

In terms of fragmentation pattern KPP, the RFI notes that the threshold evaluation "will be conducted over a 360 degree arc around a ground detonated grenade.  Fragments impacting a target at range of 15 feet (4.57 meters) and at elevations up to 4 feet (1.22 meters) from the ground will be considered.  Fragmentation pattern is a measure of hits per area in the target.  The threshold is to at least match the pattern of the M67."

The objective fragmentation pattern KPP calls for a greater than 15 percent improvement over the M67.

Fragmentation kinetic energy is a measure of the average kinetic energy of all fragments.  The government will assess that energy at the ranges described above, with threshold level being an improvement of 15 percent beyond the capabilities of the M67 and an objective level greater than 15 percent.

Other KPPs provided with the RFI address features like fuze pull ring design, main charge energetics, operating environment (same as M67 for both threshold and objective) and system safety.

Industry white paper responses to the RFI can consist of either existing or proposed systems, with developmental efforts potentially considered at the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 or higher.  The white papers are requested no later than 2:00 PM EDT on or before May 14, 2012 to Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division.

SOCOM: The Year in Review
A U.S. Navy SEAL team member with Special Operations Task Force-South provides security overwatch via rooftop for fellow coalition service members and Afghan commandos with the Afghan National Army's 3rd Commando Kandak, during a village clearing operation May 6, 2011, in Khakrez district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Missions such as these are conducted on a regular basis to hinder Taliban influence throughout the province and increase security for the general populace. DoD photo by Sgt. Daniel P. Shook

As the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) prepared for its 25th anniversary in April 2012, it and its four service components were among the few elements of the military not facing major downsizing and funding cuts. Indeed, as combat operations in Southwest Asia continued to draw down, the impact special operators have had there and elsewhere around the world since 9/11 led the Department of Defense (DoD) to expand their size and capabilities, despite the austerity of the FY 2012 defense budget.

A Marine sniper with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operation Command, provides security from the back of an M-ATV during a medical engagement as part of a pre-deployment exercise at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., May 15, 2011. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Kyle McNally
Perhaps the most public issue involving SOCOM in 2011 was the raid by a Navy SEAL team in Pakistan that killed al Qaeda leader and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, who had been the primary target of U.S. forces for a decade.

Under the cover of darkness on May 1, 2011, helicopters carrying SEALs and other SOCOM personnel landed at bin Laden's compound, only 30 miles from the Pakistani capital city, and killed the terrorist leader and several followers. Suffering only the loss of a helicopter (reportedly a top-secret stealth aircraft) wrecked in a landing accident, the team returned to base in Afghanistan with a wealth of intelligence information.

The raid was planned by then-Vice Adm. William H. McRaven, head of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), a component of the broader SOCOM. McRaven literally wrote the book on special operations missions - Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice (1995) - and much of the bin Laden raid seemed to come straight from its pages. Three months later, he was awarded his fourth star and promoted to command of SOCOM.

But while the death of bin Laden topped the public perspective, it was the day-to-day efforts of the Navy Special Warfare Command (NAVSPECWARCOM), U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), and Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) - all under SOCOM leadership - that provided critical value to U.S. foreign relations and military operations.

A U.S. Navy SEAL team member with Special Operations Task Force-South provides security overwatch via rooftop for fellow coalition service members and Afghan commandos with the Afghan National Army's 3rd Commando Kandak, during a village clearing operation May 6, 2011, in Khakrez district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Missions such as these are conducted on a regular basis to hinder Taliban influence throughout the province and increase security for the general populace. DoD photo by Sgt. Daniel P. Shook

As the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) prepared for its 25th anniversary in April 2012, it and its four service components were among the few elements of the military not facing major downsizing and funding cuts. Indeed, as combat operations in Southwest Asia continued to draw down, the impact special operators have had there and elsewhere around the world since 9/11 led the Department of Defense (DoD) to expand their size and capabilities, despite the austerity of the FY 2012 defense budget.
U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command

A Marine sniper with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operation Command, provides security from the back of an M-ATV during a medical engagement as part of a pre-deployment exercise at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., May 15, 2011. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Kyle McNally

Perhaps the most public issue involving SOCOM in 2011 was the raid by a Navy SEAL team in Pakistan that killed al Qaeda leader and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, who had been the primary target of U.S. forces for a decade.

Under the cover of darkness on May 1, 2011, helicopters carrying SEALs and other SOCOM personnel landed at bin Laden's compound, only 30 miles from the Pakistani capital city, and killed the terrorist leader and several followers. Suffering only the loss of a helicopter (reportedly a top-secret stealth aircraft) wrecked in a landing accident, the team returned to base in Afghanistan with a wealth of intelligence information.

The raid was planned by then-Vice Adm. William H. McRaven, head of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), a component of the broader SOCOM. McRaven literally wrote the book on special operations missions - Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare: Theory and Practice (1995) - and much of the bin Laden raid seemed to come straight from its pages. Three months later, he was awarded his fourth star and promoted to command of SOCOM.

    But while the death of bin Laden topped the public perspective, it was the day-to-day efforts of the Navy Special Warfare Command (NAVSPECWARCOM), U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), and Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) - all under SOCOM leadership - that provided critical value to U.S. foreign relations and military operations.

"The American people will expect us to be prepared for every contingency, to answer every call to arms, to venture where other forces cannot and to win every fight - no matter how tough or how long," according to McRaven.

"How tough" was demonstrated only three months after the bin Laden raid, when a Taliban rocket-propelled grenade hit an Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook, killing all 38 U.S. and Afghan military aboard - including 17 SEALs and five NSWC support personnel. It was the worst single loss of life in the history of Navy special warfare or SOCOM - and the highest single-day U.S. death toll in 10 years of combat in Afghanistan.

But not every "call to arms" involves combat. At any given moment, about 20 percent of SOCOM's combined force of 60,000 is deployed, not only to the war in Afghanistan, but to 78 other nations as well in 2011. Most of those missions involved working with host nation militaries, training exercises, humanitarian relief, and enhancing U.S. global presence. That included Japanese tsunami relief efforts and response to other natural disasters around the world.

Romanian and Croatian special operations forces conduct fast rope familiarization training with soldiers from the Army's 10th Special Forces Group on a Chinook helicopter from the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment in Romania, Sept. 15, 2011. Jackal Stone is an annual multinational special operations exercise designed to promote cooperation and interoperability between participating forces, build functional capacity, and enhance readiness. 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment photo
After a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and 33-foot tsunami devastated large areas of northern Japan on March 11, 2011, members of the 353rd Special Operations Group at Sendai Airport handled the arrivals and departures of more than 250 aircraft during Operation Tomodachi, which delivered some 2.3 million pounds of humanitarian aid.

Special operators (Special Forces is a specific designation for those most people know as the Army Green Berets) bear little resemblance to their typical Hollywood depictions. On average, they are 29 (enlisted) or 34 (officer) years old; married, with at least two children; have spent eight years in general purpose forces; have a college degree; have received intensive cultural and language training while attending multiple advanced tactical schools; are athletes (not only football, but track and water polo); and enjoy problem-solving games, such as chess.

Neither are they exclusively male, nor are female members relegated to "office" duty. Women in SOCOM Cultural Support Teams (CSTs) and Female Treatment Teams (FTTs) (which include women from coalition special operations units) go into the field in Afghanistan every day, providing medical care and educational support to Afghan women and girls. While not technically a combat operation, they nonetheless often face hostile reactions in a culture where women traditionally have been kept in the shadows.

The first six-month FTT rotation was initiated in June 2011, as multiple teams moved out across Afghanistan.

"Our mission was to have female medical providers go out into the villages and train the local village women, uneducated women, on basic health care, like treating a fever or recognizing different illnesses," an FTT officer in charge said as that first rotation drew to a close. "We teach the women to know if they can treat them in the villages or if they need to take them to the hospital."

SOCOM officials said the CST and FTT efforts were an extension of the "Five Truths" the command states on its website:
  1.     Humans are more important than hardware. People - not equipment - make the critical difference. The right people, highly trained and working as a team, will accomplish the mission with the equipment available. On the other hand, the best equipment in the world cannot compensate for a lack of the right people.  
  2.     Quality is better than quantity. A small number of people, carefully selected, well trained and well led, are preferable to larger numbers of troops, some of whom may not be up to the task.  
  3.     Special operations forces (SOF) cannot be mass-produced. It takes years to train operational units to the level of proficiency needed to accomplish difficult and specialized SOF missions. Intense training - both in SOF schools and units - is required to integrate competent individuals into fully capable units. This process cannot be hastened without degrading ultimate capability.  
  4.     Competent special operations forces cannot be created after emergencies occur. Creation of competent, fully mission-capable units takes time. Employment of fully capable special operations capability on short notice requires highly trained and constantly available SOF units in peacetime.  
  5.     Most special operations require non-SOF assistance. The operational effectiveness of deployed forces cannot be, and never has been, achieved without being enabled by joint service partners. The support of Air Force, Army, Marine, and Navy engineers, technicians, intelligence analysts, and the numerous other professions who contribute to SOF have substantially increased SOF capabilities and effectiveness throughout the world.In 2011, SOCOM and its components launched efforts to update equipment, performance, and capabilities across a wide range of weapons, vehicles, and C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) systems. How those will fare under the new budget - despite its favorable treatment of nearly all things SOF - remains to be seen, but in terms of a pre-budget 2011 year in review, senior officials outlined what they ultimately want to enhance special ops.

Among those were:
  •     A SOCOM request for information for a notional "Kibosh" 40 mm Low Velocity Non-Lethal Delivery System(LVNLDS) for use on a wide range of grenade launchers. With a firing range from 150 to 300 feet, according to the request for information, it would dispense at least 90 percent of a liquid or gas payload into a vehicle, vessel, or room without fully penetrating the space or harming the individuals inside.  
  •     Flatter trajectory rounds to provide increased energy and extreme range accuracy for 7.62 mm, .300 Winchester Magnum, .338-caliber, and .50-caliber sniper systems.  
  •     An integrated sound suppressor "with no reduction in barrel/suppressor life."  
  •     Weapons signature reduction (IR/thermal) "that is adaptable to transitional environments" and reductions in barrel temperature (IR signature), vibration (accuracy and recoil), and weight.  
  •     A "simple, reliable, inexpensive time delay timer" (mechanical or electrical).

    A man-portable - and optionally airborne - organic precision strike system capable of a "catastrophic kill" against enemy personnel in moving or stationary open, light structures and vehicles at ranges from 6 to 15 kilometers.

    Two indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts, awarded in September 2011, for the design, build, delivery,  and testing of a replacement for the SEALs' two-decade-old 11-meter Special Warfare Rigid Inflatable Boats.

Changes of leadership also marked 2011, at SOCOM and half its service components. That began on June 24 at AFSOC, as Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel replaced retiring Lt. Gen. Donny Wurster. NSWC followed suit on June 30 when Rear Adm. Edward Winters III transferred command to Rear Adm. Sean A. Pybus. On Aug. 8, the first SEAL to lead SOCOM, Adm. Eric T. Olson, turned the joint command over to another SEAL, Adm. William H. McRaven.

A U.S. Navy SEAL team member with Special Operations Task Force-South provides security overwatch via rooftop for fellow coalition service members and Afghan commandos with the Afghan National Army's 3rd Commando Kandak, during a village clearing operation May 6, 2011, in Khakrez district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Missions such as these are conducted on a regular basis to hinder Taliban influence throughout the province and increase security for the general populace. DoD photo by Sgt. Daniel P. Shook

As they prepared for the ongoing drawdown in Southwest Asia and expected deep budget cuts in 2011, SOCOM and component leaders looked back to the history and current status of special operations and formulated plans to further evolve the force in 2012 and beyond:

SOCOM (2,500 command personnel) - Adm. William H. McRaven

"As we look to the future security environment," McRaven said before the House Armed Services Committee Emerging Threats And Capabilities Subcommitee, "we see emerging technologies that empower populations and non-state actors to challenge traditional nation-states. Gaining fundamental understanding of the underlying causes and conditions of conflict in this emergent landscape, beyond the specific threats and ideologies, is central to anticipating and deterring costly conventional military engagements. ...

"SOF's decade-long partnership in Colombia assisted that democracy in the effective security force development necessary to reclaim its sovereign territory from narcoterrorists. Similar outcomes continue today via work with partner-nation security forces throughout Central and South America, Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and across Africa and the Middle East. These under-reported, yet vital, contributions are prioritized and targeted in support of the collective security requirements outlined in national policy," he said.

NAVSPECWARCOM (8,900 personnel) - Rear Adm. Sean A. Pybus

"... We've evolved from maritime warriors armed with KA-BARs, fins, and explosive charges," Pybus said during an interview commemorating the SEALs' 50th anniversary, "to SEALs using sophisticated technology to confirm the identity of enemy combatants or employing unmanned aerial vehicles in the middle of a landlocked country to locate and target terrorist elements. ... I am expecting that while the conventional forces are drawing down in Iraq and Afghanistan, the demand for SOF - and NAVSOF - will continue to increase, the Department of Defense has had to take some significant budget cuts and is bracing for more. This reduced resourcing environment will obviously make further growth challenging. ... There will be tough decisions ahead with regard to what does and does not get funded. ...

"For the past decade, NSW has devoted much of its resources to supporting land warfare capabilities in the CENTCOM AOR at the expense of our surface and undersea platforms. ... Ultimately, I envision a family of craft for NSW, much like the family of special operations vehicles used for SOF ground mobility," he said.

USASOC (28,500 personnel) - Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland

"Regardless of where along the range of capabilities one points," Mulholland states on a USASOC fact sheet, "be it the ability to execute the most lethal, highly complex and sensitive special operations, wage unconventional warfare, conduct special operations rotary wing operations or prosecute civil military and influence operations and tailored sustainment to it all - the world standard is found within our Army's special operations force."

"On any given day, elements of three of the five active duty Special Forces groups, one Ranger battalion, some 34 special operations aircraft, more than 35 Civil Affairs teams, 35 Military Information Support Operations teams and numerous supporting logistics units are deployed around the world."

An AC-130U gunship flies a local training mission Jan. 27, 2011, over Hurlburt Field, Fla. The gunship is the primary weapon of Air Force Special Operations Command, and its primary missions are close-air support, air interdiction, and armed reconnaissance. The gunship is assigned to the 4th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock
AFSOC (15,000 personnel) - Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel

"I cannot imagine any other command in the Air Force that is more forward postured and forward deployed than AFSOC," Fiel stated in the July 2011 Hurlburt Warrior. "We usually provide one hell of a punch to any combatant commander. There's not much a SOF team can't solve. We are a relatively cheap organization with high payoff ... But I think we need to focus on quality, not quantity, because the bigger you get, the harder it is to maintain that quality edge.

"Today, AFSOC is changing. AFSOC will continue to change. We will continue to focus on who we are and what it means to be the specialized air arm of the SOF team. We will stay committed to the high standards that have made us who we are."

MARSOC (2,600 personnel) - Maj. Gen. Paul E. Lefebvre

"We have made great progress in our contributions to SOCOM in the last five years," Lefebvre said in a recent interview. "The commander of SOCOM has assigned MARSOC focus areas that have allowed us to tailor the pre-deployment training for MARSOC operators in order to maximize our capabilities in languages and become more culturally attuned to the areas we believe are key today and for the future. We have established great relationships with a host of individuals and established superb rapport with a number of host- and partner-nation militaries. ...

"Although we are relatively young, we bring 235 years of ethos that has thrived in chaos and friction and is comfortable in the uncertainty of combat. We will never be happy with the status quo - we are fixers and innovators and we must keep pressure on the system. Our goal will never be to merely participate, it will be to lead the effort."

A quarter century after becoming the nation's first congressionally created major military command, SOCOM not only has grown from its original few adopted units to four full-service components, but has accomplished a major turnaround from SOF's darkest moment in the ill-fated 1980 hostage rescue attempt in Iran. As a result, although 2011 ended with a reduced defense spending bill, forcing even deeper cuts by all the services than those already being planned for, SOCOM and its components remained on a growth path.

Without a major turnaround in the U.S. - and global - economy, even more budget cuts are expected. Eventually, the special operations community is likely to come under the knife as well.

However that may play out as the decade progresses, it began with both the highest and lowest moments in SOCOM history. But 2011 also validated the broad expanse of SOF activities, including the Japanese tsunami relief efforts and multiple combat and civil interactions, large and small, on nearly every continent.

McRaven ended 2011 as runner-up to an amalgamated global protester as Time magazine's "Person of the Year" - but claimed the title of Dallas Morning News' "Texan of the Year." While his life largely has been spent in the shadows, quietly doing jobs he could not talk about, the publicity that sought him out in his first few months in command of SOCOM did help his effort toward a unique goal - winning public attention, understanding, and support for his special operators.

"Do we wear different uniforms? Do we have beards? Do we ride horses? Absolutely. That's part of what the special operations guys do. But they do it all within a framework of good order and discipline, because everybody knows that as soon as that breaks down, then your ability to get the mission done breaks down," he told the Dallas newspaper, reflecting the six basic principles to success outlined in his book - simplicity, security, repetition, surprise, speed, and purpose.

"We can't afford to be cavalier. We can't afford to be cowboys. You have to plan meticulously. You have to make sure that everything you do is tactically sound. So if you're cavalier or loose about something ... if you don't do the small things well, you won't do the big things well."

And as he told Time, "All in all, a pretty good year.

"This is what we do," he said. "We do raids. We fly in by helicopters, we assault compounds, we grab the bad guy or whatever is required and we get out. Admittedly, that particular operation [bin Laden] was a lot sportier, a lot further, a lot more political ramifications, a lot riskier for a lot of reasons, but, basically, similar to things that we do every night."

This article was first published in Defense: Winter 2012 Review Edition.

U.S. Army and USSOCOM Strengthen Ties
Odierno speech at AUSA Winter 2012 stresses connections and synergies

Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno speaks at the Association of the U.S. Army's Institute of Land Warfare Winter Symposium and Exposition in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb. 24, 2012. U.S. Army photo by C. Todd Lopez

Speaking at the 2012 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Winter Symposium and Exhibition in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno pointed to strengthening ties between the Army and United States Special Operations Command. As evidence, he pointed to a meeting between himself, USSOCOM Commander Adm. William McRaven, and their respective staffs, which was held in Tampa on Feb. 23.

"I just spent yesterday up at Special Operations Command, where we had the first Army/Special Operations Command talks," he said. "Why did we do this? Adm. McRaven and I have worked for several years together in the Middle East and realize how important it is to sustain a long-term relationship between conventional and special operations forces. They cannot operate without the support of the Army. And there are many missions that they know they must go forward with that will require support from the Army. It's important for us to understand that."

Elaborating on the meeting, he added, "I brought down the whole Army staff to Tampa, where we met with the USSOCOM staff and talked about issues; about how we are going to continue to work together on some key aspects. They realize and we realize that we are linked - we are not inextricably linked. And I believe as we go through the Army Force Generation process there will be forces that are aligned with Special Operations Command as they conduct their worldwide counter-terrorism mission, and as they do some other functions that they are given."

In terms of near term concrete actions, Odierno pointed to an agreement "to do a couple of CTC [Combat Training Center] rotations together; to work out some concepts that we have never looked at before; where we believe it will be important for us to work together, especially in a time of emergency."

"So I think that relationship is strong," he said. "And one of the things we kept talking about is how proud we should be of our Army SOF. They are fundamentally the base of Special Operations Command. The sacrifices they have made have been great. And the relationships that they have developed over these last 10 years cannot be lost. We all recognize that."

The continuing criticality of Army Special Operations Forces was further emphasized when Odierno cited a planned "growth" of Army SOF within a declining overall service force structure, with a targeted growth end state of 35,000 personnel.

USAF takes delivery of the GBU-57A/B Penetrator - now there's nowhere to hide

Military technology has created some fearsome weapons, such as the 5,000 lb GBU-28 Deep Throat bunker buster, 15,000 lb BLU-82 Daisycutter, 15,650 lb Russian ATBIP (Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power), 22,000 lb Grand Slam earthquake bomb, and the 22,600 lb GBU-43 MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast), but if you were hiding under 50 meters of hardened concrete, none of them were going to bother you.

Click Here to Read More>>

From Alaska ....

My daughter and son-in-law were in L.A. last week from their home in Anchorage .He is a foreman in the oil fields at ANWR.He has to fly his own plane to get to the job where he spends months at a time inthe most God forsaken place this side of Siberia .

He confirmed everything that is in this story, and brought dozens of pictures for proof.Our environmentalist friends have forced gas prices up to an impossible rate, forcing us to buy oil from our enemies, for whatever reason that simply isn't true.

There is enough oil in ANWR to supply the US at our present rate of usage for morethan 200 years. The space that ANWR occupies in Alaska is equivalent to a postage stamp in the Mojave Desert .

If you won't mind paying $5.00 a gallon in the very near future try to make sense of the following:

Something you should know: Oil!!

This is the best presentation on ANWR I have seen.

I would like to add a little more information. A new pipeline across
Alaska isn't required since the location for drilling in ANWR is about
160 miles from the North Slope Prudhoe Bay pipeline where it would
be connected. I did not know this.

Second the wildlife love the pipeline since it is heated and provides a
shelter during the worst times during the winter.

Maybe another question should be asked. FIRST do you know what
ANWR is? ANSWER: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Now A comparison

And some perspective


(it's in the "ANWR Coastal Plain")

and they are right these ARE
photographs of ANWR

Do you remember the map?
The map showed that the proposed
drilling area is in the ANWR Coastal
Plain Do those photographs look like a
coastal plain to you?

Devil with 50









Devil with 50

Devil with 50

Devil with 50

*The Prudhoe bay area accounts for 17% of U.S.
Domestic oil production

Devil with 50

TO $5.00 A GALLON?



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