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

Newsletter Archive
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
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 News Letter! 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
The Leaders Formula for
Success and Greatness
Energy + Ability = Success
Add Wisdom and you get greatness

"Hard work does for you what nothing else can do 
when you feel it is producing results."

Leaders that combine energy with ability are successful leaders and produce results and when they apply wisdom they achieve greatness. There are many examples of this throughout history, enough to identify a pattern and present a simple formula for the leader to be productive.


To name a few examples off the top of my head Alexander the Great, Hannibal Barca, Julius Caesar, Frederick the Great, Gustavus Adolphus, Napoleon Bonaparte, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jonathan Jackson, T. E. Lawrence, Douglas Mac Arthur, and unfortunately I cannot think of any that measure up to this caliber in modern days in the military. I am sure they exist but have been held back by the strange no win policies of our day known as limited warfare with the emphasis on management instead of leadership today. All these men accomplished great things by combining energy with ability and applying wisdom - something we can all do. What I hope to accomplish in this message is to provide you with a simple formula and an understanding of the obvious that stares us in the face daily but many of us never take advantage of this to achieve great things in our lives. 


The formula is simple but the self discipline and will required to execute it are not as simple as is with anything else in life. 


Here is the formula: Energy + Ability = Success 


"Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile."

- Vince Lombardi


British General Sir Walter Walker's life was a model of this formula to follow rising up through the ranks to some of the most critical of commands impacting his country and the men who served under him positively. General Sir Walter Walker was an outstandingly successful commander during the Malayan Emergency in the 1950s and as Director of Operations in Borneo between 1962 and 1965; Walker was one of the first to identify the importance of helicopters in modern military operations. "In Borneo," he reckoned, "one SAS squadron with helicopters was worth ten infantry battalions to me." Denis Healey, who became Secretary of State for Defense in 1964, considered that the Borneo campaign would be recorded as "one of the most efficient uses of military force in the history of the world". Yet the qualities that made General Walker so effective in the field were hard work, endless drive and energy, great ability, acquired wisdom, clarity of vision, single-mindedness of purpose, fierce insistence on discipline, fearlessness in the face of both the enemy and his superiors which unfortunately made him a highly controversial figure. When a Major, Sir Walter Walker was in India when WWII broke out, and the Japanese had just opened their front against the U.S.A., Great Britain and other allied countries.


The Japanese had mounted an invasion into India through Burma after driving the British out earlier taking control of the Burma Road cutting a main supply route off to China. Walker was sent to that front where after an intense battle with the Japanese they had suffered many casualties and morale was low. Part of the reason for low morale was that the British troops were unaccustomed to fighting in the jungle, whereas the Japanese were used to it and very good at it, and eventually the Brits began to think the Japanese were invincible. 


At one point these downcast British troops were rotated off the front lines for 2 weeks R&R (rest and recovery) with other surrounding units that had suffered the same fate and had the same self defeating diagnosis. Here's where Walker saw his opportunity. He used the two weeks to train his soldiers how to fight the Japanese in the jungle based on what he had experienced. While the other R&R units idly rested, he was merciless in his training - never letting up - while demanding perfection. He took his energy and ability and instilled it into the men.


"Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect." "Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence"

- Vince Lombardi

At first it was hard on the men - Walker seemed inhuman the way he drilled and pushed them but something started to happen. As he worked them hard they started to acquire more energy despite the lack of leisurely time that they were deprived of.


Let's take a step back and look at a bigger picture here, i.e., jungle warfare. To this point the British commanders in Malaya and Burma long since had agreed with the Chinese philosopher General Sun Tzu that jungle is difficult ground and no place to wage war. The British considered jungle country "out of bounds" for training. So their troops had no specialized jungle tactics or proper equipment. Only a few units like 2nd BN of Argylls had any serious jungle training. But, Walker had his work cut out for him and all he had been a couple of weeks.

But, soon the men's ability increased. Through the rehearsals and practice their morale and confidence improved. While the other units rested he prepared his soldiers for their next round with the Japanese. They soon got their chance and the Japanese were no longer king of the jungle. Walker defeated them in battle after battle.  

In jungle warfare the first thing one must learn is to live in the jungle before he can fight in the jungle ...so this wasn't going to be easy...but Walker had observed the tactics of the Japanese. They organized into smaller patrols and traveled light giving them great mobility which is the key to Jungle Warfare allowing them to take and keep the initiative. 


Their tactic was to make contact in front and then hit you from the rear and the flanks. Basically Walker had 2 weeks to teach his unit how to counter the Japanese jungle tactics which started with when contact is made assume you are surrounded and the enemy is always at your rear. This sounds simple but was not a tactic familiar to his troops and junior leaders. They were only trained in conventional frontal attacks and not fighting an enemy using Jungle Warfare tactics that constantly attack from the rear. 


Good leaders must always remain flexible and be ready to adapt to the tactics of the enemy. Let's go back to the formula Energy + Ability = Success. One might ask what if I don't have any energy? What if I don't have any ability? What if I have one without the other? I will attempt to answer all these questions now. 


Walker's Jungle Warfare story I just told provides an extreme example of how both energy and ability are acquired. The answer is the same for "hard work". Hard work gives you energy and hard work gives you ability. This is what happened as Walker worked and drilled his men. As I noted in the beginning if you add wisdom you will have greatness, 


but wisdom...I will save that for another day because it is a topic unto itself. However, I will say this of wisdom. Wisdom is acquired through learning truth, correct principals and applying them to life's experiences. We will start with how to acquire energy. When you're out of shape and decide to get back in shape you do that through working out, the harder you work the better the results. As time goes on you find you are moving faster, more alert and have more energy. Tasks that would wear you down and make you tired become more effortless. The same is true for mental energy. The brain is like a muscle when you work it out it increases your mental capacity and ability to think. For example if you want to read faster you have to practice reading faster day after day and you will soon find yourself reading faster the same as running, to learn to run faster you must practice running faster to develop the muscles and soon you can run faster with less effort. 


Ability is also acquired through hard work. A person isn't born with the ability to win gold medals at the Olympics. They may have talent, but only through hard work and practice can they use that talent to the fullest.

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary."

-Vince Lombardi 


I spent the weekend with one of my former team mates and he said while in 3rd Special Forces Group assigned to a CIF Company in Afghanistan and Iraq they would pull a lot of all nighters out on raids and engaging the enemy and he told me no matter how tired they were most of them would hit the gym and the range when they returned from their Ops. This was done to maintain peak performance when most would think rest was the priority. They pushed themselves because they understood the formula I have given you and they knew this would give them the edge they needed to survive in combat. 


"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious." - Vince Lombardi What happens when one has energy with no ability? 


Energy without ability often produces inordinate ambition and troublemakers. It can also produce self righteousness and crusader arrogance which is all these people you see leading these crazy causes that the news media likes to cover so much. For example Code Pink, the Occupy Wall Street Demonstrators and others. Having no ability to channel their energy they latch on to causes or jump from thing to thing. Also they often stick their nose in other people's business and try to control their lives. This is what we have going on now in our government today, people with no ability seeking power have gone to work for our government. Now they abuse their power to control and hold back people exercising their ability to be successful. People with no ability are often threatened and jealous of successful people and lust for power. "Energy without ability is arrogance, and arrogance is misguided energy." 

What happens when one has ability with no energy? 


Ability without energy is lack of motivation and self discipline or simply put: laziness. Many people have abilities they never put to use due to lack of self discipline and go nowhere in life. I see it so much in the young generations of our day. Many never finish school and many of them think society owes them something and instead of hard work 


to advance themselves they would rather do nothing hoping some politician will give them what they want and they try and justify their envy calling it Social Justice, fairness and stooping so low as to call it being patriotic. The idea of working hard for something is beyond them because they are arrogant. Laziness is arrogance which is self indulgence. 

Arrogant people cannot take pressure and when pressure is put on them - like being asked to work hard - they become monsters. Look at what is happening today in Europe and Greece in particular.  


"There is no substitute for hard work"
- Thomas A. Edison


I will end with this short recap. Energy without ability is arrogance, and arrogance is misguided energy. Ability without energy is arrogance and arrogance is laziness. The energy produced by hard work creates ability. Ability channels energy into productivity, which produces the true drive in life that leads to success. Energy plus ability must be related to wisdom to achieve great things.


"Hard work has made it easy. That is my secret. That is why I win."

- Nadia Comaneci


"I do not know anyone who has gotten to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but it will get you pretty near"

- Margaret Thatcher 





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

  311 iran ship 

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 >>

Caring for America's Quiet 311 iran shipProfessionals 


The Green Beret Foundation provides unconventional resources to facilitate the special needs of our wounded, ill and injured and imparts unique support to the Special Forces community in order to strengthen readiness and uphold Green Beret traditions and values.


Learn more about Green Beret Foundation>> 


Subject: Warrior to Cyber Warrior - Cyber Security Certification!
Importance: High

Service Members - I had the chance to sit down with Waylon Krush, CEO of Lunar-Line, based out of the Washington DC area.  The following program (Warrior to Cyber Warrior (W2CW)) is an outstanding option for veterans, spouses of veterans and wounded warriors.  The great thing about this: It does not touch your GI Bill or VA benefits, it can be done at home and you receive coveted certifications in Cyber Security, which is an exploding career opportunity. Please read below:

Warrior to Cyber Warrior (W2CW) is a training and employment program offered to veterans and wounded warriors (including active duty who will be exiting the military) and spouses of veterans and wounded warriors.  The training and employment placement are in the field of Cyber Security.

  • One week of training in DC, then 6 months online training at home, a fewhours per week, proctored
  • Will receive certifications and employment placement (local to the
  • service member) in the field of Cyber Security at end of class (must pass exam)
  • Computer background is a plus but not required, must have aptitude and interest
  • Next class will begin January 2013
  • Limited spaces available
  • For further information go to  http://www.w2cw.org/index.html
  • Please forward resumes

We will do all we can to prepare them for a great initial interview to get
into the class.

If you received this communication in error, please immediately notify the sender and delete the copy received. Thank You!


Michael Bihr, Recovery Care Coordinator
DoD Contractor, AFSC
USSOCOM Care Coalition


** When SOF or their families need help, they only need to remember the USSOCOM Care Coalition (877) 672-3039. They will resolve the issue or find who can.**
New! Direct to Garment Printing.
DTG Printing on Performance Apparel

We are excited to announce our newest advance in Direct to Garment printing on Performance Apparel. We are now able to print direct to moisture-wicking Polyester Garments. You can now personalize and print your favorite design to Athletic Apparel, running shorts, under armor and dry release apparel.

The quality of this printing is unmatched able to hold fine details and shading screen printing can't.


Direct to Garment Printing - SpecialForces.com
Direct to Garment Printing - SpecialForces.com

The Last Bomb (1945)
The Last Bomb (1945)

Bow to Nobody: Special Operations for America
Bow to Nobody: Special Operations for America

31st MEU, Philippine Marines Execute a Live-Fire Helicopter Raid
31st MEU, Philippine Marines Execute a Live-Fire Helicopter Raid

"Wall Breaker" Water Cooler Cannon

Terrorist Lose

Word of Truth
Response from Afghanistan 
The Word Of Truth - Alive and Powerful

By Rev G.J. Rako



In September, I wrote about survivor guilt. If you did not read that message, you can get it from the archives on the Special Forces.Com website. I sent this to a young friend of mine in Afghanistan. We will call him Tim. Tim has been flying almost daily combat missions. His response to the survivor guilt message was telling. I have known this officer all of his adult life. He is a solid Christian, faithful to the Word of God, happy, go lucky fun guy. Below is his response.


"Funny that you sent this when you did... I am worn down man, this place, these people, seeing men die etc. is starting to wear on me". 


That was it! Tim is a man who can talk your ear off. He is quite outgoing and loves to debate. I have had conversations with him while in Afghanistan that went on for hours. His short, to the point response chilled my soul.


Here is my reply to him.






I don't want you to think I'm preaching, but, hey that's what I do because, that's who I am. So, you have my apologies up front.

Read the book of Job. That will make you feel better. It will make you feel better by contrast and comparison. You will be grateful that you're not going through the stuff he did. Your focus needs to be on eternity through the Word. We are here on planet earth in a body of corruption for a short time. Then after, we will be in a place of no more pain, no more sorrow, no more tears, no more death, the old things will have passed away, a place of perfect happiness and perfect understanding.


We live in the devil's world, he is the ruler. Everything around us and in us is corrupted, even our own thinking. That is why we are to renew our thinking with the daily intake of Bible doctrine. Even if the current message does not seem to apply to our immediate needs, it will change our thinking and bring peace and contentment no matter how horrible our situation.


Romans 12:2  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

I know this easier said than done. A little, here a little there, line upon line, precept upon precept will transform your thinking.


Isaiah 28:10  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little."


Your faith is being tested. Job's faith was tested. Every believer who grows spiritually has his or her faith tested. I'll bet there have been times since you've been over there that you have doubted everything you believe. You have probably cursed God and even gone as far as saying to yourself, "there is no God". Well welcome to the club. Moreover, your lack of faith and blasphemy never negated the faithfulness of God towards you. Once you believed in Jesus Christ you became the son of God.


Galatians 3:26  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.


Once a son always a son... Even if you deny Him, He can never deny you. This testing is part of your training in His perfect plan. He desires the highest and best for you. He is molding and shaping you for something great. For you to realize His wondrous expectation of you, you have to use your volition. Put this suffering, uncertainty, and pain in his hands. There is nothing happening to you that He did not provide a solution for in eternity past.


2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

1 Peter 5:7  casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.


James 1:3  Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.


I Peter 4:12-13,19  Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.


Heb 13:5  ...For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."


Neither the powers of hell, ignorant bureaucracy, or even you yourself can separate you from God. He holds you in His hand.


Rom 8:38-39  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


John 10:28   and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.


John 10:29  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.


Hang in there man. Change your focus, a little every day. The Word of God is the only answer for any believer no matter the circumstance. I hope this helps. I know it can be difficult hearing it because were suppose to know it and we say, "Yea right, that's a lot of stuff, just a bunch of words man". Nevertheless, it does work. We just have to focus on Him and stay with it. In doing so we will not grow weary or lose heart.


Heb 12:2-3   fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.


We Love You Tim,


Stay the course, 






Tim's story is all too common. It is a natural reaction to circumstances that we tell ourselves might have been different if we only did a little more. Guilt is a horrible sin that eats away at you until you can think of nothing else. It is all consuming, and the cycle needs to be broken. It will only be broken by continual intake of the Word of God.



Contact Reverend Rako >>  

Blue Warrior
Blue WarriorBlue Warrior





Combat in law enforcement can be sudden, intense and life threatening however, does "combat stress" exist in Law Enforcement? The stresses of combat experienced by officers can be substantial. Commanding officers of an officer exposed to a traumatic incident are duty bound to anticipate, recognize and evaluate an officer's ability to perform his job when exposed to combat stress. Command officers must first understand this human dimension and anticipate an officer's reactions to stressful conditions for the welfare of their officers.


Law enforcement must first recognize the possibility that "combat stress" even exists in our profession. Combat stress usually is a term associated with military veterans fighting a war. Here is a classic definition of combat stress as provided from the Department of defense.


~Combat Stress: The expected and predictable emotional, intellectual, physical, and/or behavioral reactions of service members who have been exposed to stressful events in war or military operations other than war. Combat stress reactions vary in quality and severity as a function of operational conditions, such as intensity, duration, rules of engagement, leadership, effective communication, unit morale, unit cohesion, and perceived importance of the mission.


(Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, U.S. Department of Defense 2005.)


Police officers are exposed to dangerous situations on various levels and duration dependent on assignment, and working conditions however, at some point most police officers are exposed to some type of traumatic incident. I think we can all agree that responding to a domestic call is stressful. We have been conditioned to respond to these runs in the highest state of situational awareness our minds will allow. It's not a far reach that big city & suburban officers respond to unpredictable and dangerous domestic calls every day. When we effect arrests and resolve these situations our emotions fluctuate from a stressful peak, which keeps our situational awareness in its clearest form, to a less stressful and more relaxed tempo. This type of exposure to stress moving through your emotional, intellectual, physical, and behavioral reactions, is in my opinion, similar to the military's "combat stress" the difference being, law enforcements exposure to combat stress isn't on a military battlefield it can come from the many and various types of police calls for service we deal with on a daily basis.


I am not a medical professional nor do I profess to be an expert in any form on this subject. However, I have spent enough time on this job, and seen everything under the sun that cops deal with on a regular basis to recognize the parallels that exist in how the military prepares for and treats combat stress. This is where we as police trainers, commanding officers and even partners can learn from our military comrades to possibly prevent an officer from falling victim to combat stress, which can ultimately lead to Depression and/or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.        


As we all know cops are reluctant to admit they have fell victim to stress. Men and women of law enforcement sometimes will hide and suppress their fears, anxiety and stress which can lead to a dangerous mindset while working the streets.


Police trainers and command officers must thoroughly condition their officers to deal with combat stress before incidents occur, during these stressful incidents and after any traumatic event that your men and women respond too. Traumatic incidents don't just apply to domestic calls that I mentioned previously. Law enforcement responds to and deals with traumatic calls every day. A traumatic event may include responding to a child that drowned in a swimming pool, an infant that died in a crib while sleeping, a CPR run on a young father as his family watches you give CPR expecting the Super Man cop to save the man and even though you did all you could he still dies. How many fatal accidents have you been to where teenage girls are mangled beyond recognition? Have you ever been assaulted on a patrol run or traffic stop? How many homicides have you responded to or investigated? Have you ever been shot at or ambushed? How many autopsies have you attended of not just adults but children also? I think you get my point now, how do cops not suffer from combat stress, if you we do this day in and day out? Why does the military have a system in place for preventing, recognizing, and treating combat stress and many law enforcement agencies don't?


We have all gone home after our shifts after dealing with the previously mentioned traumatic incidents, only to act is if nothing even happened on our tour that day. We are expected as fathers, husbands, wife's, and citizens to go to Johnny's soccer practice, to see a movie with a girlfriend, attend a family BBQ and every other daily function without any emotion or reaction to what we have just dealt with on the previous tour of duty. The fact is many police agencies only send officers to see a counselor or therapist only after an "officer involved shooting" or an officer's death. Somehow we are expected to navigate through all the other traumatic incidents as a matter of routine. That philosophy is where we fall short in law enforcement in keeping the welfare of our officers.




There are some obvious signs of stress that may help you recognize in yourself and others so that an early detection is made in hopes of minimizing the effects of stress.


Physical signs of stress:

  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to move muscles
  • Forgetfulness
  • Inability to concentrate

 Emotional signs of stress:

  • Anxiety
  • Frustration
  • Guilt
  • Irritability
  • Moodiness
  • Nervousness
  • Pessimism
  • Tension

Signs of stress in others:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Excitability
  • Negativism
  • Restlessness
  • Speech disorder
  • Trembling
  • Apathy



Command officer should be mindful that stress can affect your entire unit, shift or precinct. That doesn't mean that your unit or officers have a major problem it simply means that you are duty bound to attempt to minimize the stress to ensure a productive and safe working environment.


Signs of stress in your unit:

  • Excessive sick calls
  • Bickering amongst the unit or shift
  • Dissatisfaction
  • Lack of cohesion
  • Failure to follow orders
  • Insubordination
  • Lack of productivity
  • Sensitivity  

"Combat stress causes battle fatigue. Battle fatigue is the broad umbrella label for the physical, mental and emotional signs that result naturally from facing danger or from performing dangerous missions under difficult conditions."

(Army Field Manual 6-22 and FM 6-22.5)


Battle fatigue is a simple condition which is not medical or a psychiatric illness.

(Army Field Manual 6-22 and FM 6-22.5)




We all know that stress in officers can lead to withdrawal from society, drug and alcohol abuse, marital problems and disciplinary issues on the job. However, a factor that isn't often addressed among the command staff is the fact that a stressed cop can have a negative and adverse reaction on a dangerous call for service, which can endanger the officer and/or his or her coworkers.


When an officer knows he or she is being watched by peers and command officers from a high stress incident in which they were involved, these fears and anxieties can play like a looped film reel over and over in the officer's mind, creating fear, anxiety and a complex. When this occurs an officer can feel as if he or she needs to prove themselves to anybody they fear are judging them. That's when real problems for that officer can begin.


Police officers have a tendency to value their peer's opinions and may overcompensate to save their reputation. These officers under this spell of "reputation preservation" may become heavy handed, quick to anger and lose trust in their peers. That becomes a danger to the effected officer, fellow cops and the general public. This stage requires immediate attention from command officers. Supervisors must take quick action once they observe this behavior; as a matter of fact you are duty bound to do so and if you don't, it may be you in a civil trial defending your lack of actions when that stressed officer does something wrong.




Cops are very similar to soldiers in the sense that peer acceptance is vital to the officers reputation as a good street cop. Recognize this factor and use it to your advantage when dealing with combat stress in your officers.      


~ ideology, patriotism, or fighting for the cause were not major factors in combat motivation for World War II soldiers. Cohesion, or the emotional bonds between soldiers, appeared to be the primary factor in combat motivation.


(Samuel A. Stouffer, et al., The American Soldier: Combat and Its Aftermath,

Volume II, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1949, p. 107)


Sometimes the best medicine for a stressed cop is "Peer support" from fellow officers and the officers command staff. This concept is proven through military research, dating back to World War II, as to be very effective in managing a soldier's combat stress and motivating him to stay in combat.


~ when the individual's immediate group, and its supporting formations, met his basic organic needs, offered him affection and esteem from both officers and comrades, supplied him with a sense of power and adequately regulated his relations with authority, the element of self-concern in battle, which would lead to disruption of the effective functioning of his primary group, was minimized.


(Edward A. Shils and Morris Janowitz, "Cohesion and Disintegration in the Wehrmacht in World War II," Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 12, Summer 1948, p. 28)




The military has some effective countermeasures to confront combat stress and to reduce psychological breakdown in combat which can be very useful in law enforcement. These countermeasures that apply to law enforcement are:

  • Admit that fear exists when in combat.
  • Ensure communication lines are open between leaders and subordinates.
  • Do not assume unnecessary risks.
  • Provide good, caring leadership.

(Army Field Manual 6-22 and FM 6-22.5)


Police command officers can reduce stress by leading by inspiration and not intimidation, recognize and initiate stress management programs, provide positive feedback that is real and not hot air.


During my career it has been taboo to speak with an officer that is under stress from a traumatic incident. I have no idea how or where this concept started but the trend in law enforcement has been for some time now to have officers participate in critical stress debriefs with their fellow comrades that were involved in a traumatic incident, under the watchful eye of a licensed practioner. That is a great practice but most often departments only do that for officer involved shootings and the death of an officer. This is where good trainers and great commanders can separate themselves from the rest. Combat stress, in my military and law enforcement experience applies to the many stressful situations that I mentioned previously. The Army requires their field commanders to participate in the soldiers stress management and we in law enforcement need to do the same and stop the mind set of looking the other way and not engaging the officer. We can only stand to improve our profession if we adapt the military command priority of "the troops come first" philosophy instead of a operating as a civilian style of management.


When training rookie swat cops I can at times see the fear in some officers. This is a critical point for that officers swat career. I will pull that officer to the side and look him straight in the eye, and tell him that the fear he is feeling is normal, and we all have it, and what makes a great swat cop is his ability to harness that fear and use its energy to dial in his situational awareness, placing him on top of the tactical bubble. Most often that little speech will reduce the anxiety and stress and the officers confidence will soar.


Here are some tips to help manage combat stress in situations that are "routine" (hate that term), less critical or where department policies normally require a visit to the department's mental health physician:

  1. Concern yourself with your officers welfare
  2. Instill confidence in your officers abilities and work performance
  3. Ensure your officer is getting plenty of sleep and rest
  4. Learn the signs of stress in yourself and your officers
  5. Be mindful of external factors such as marital problems
  6. Train your officers to cope with combat stress
  7. Teach your officers to recognize combat stress
  8. Ensure that your officers face combat stress and not to fear it    




Providing realistic stressful training will help your officer's inner strength to face fear during combat situations with the will to persevere. Be mindful that training can't totally prepare your officers for combat stress so be prepared to take official action when needed as your department policy mandates.


As a police commander try not to look at yourself as a civilian supervisor whom is always looking at performance but as a "leader of men and women". Develop the attitude that "the troops come first".


Great commanders and police trainers recognize that fear is overcome by understanding the situation and acting with foresight and purpose to overcome it. Strong leaders will gain their officers trust and loyalty when it's obvious to the officers that their commander is truly concerned for their welfare. Once the commander gains this trust and loyalty then he or she will be successful in reducing fears and ultimately reducing combat stress.


Stay Safe,

Sgt. Glenn French  


About the author

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.


He is the author of the award-winning book "Police Tactical Life Saver" which has been named the 2012 Public Safety Writers Association Technical Manual of the year. Glenn is also the President ofwww.tacticallifesaver.org.


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.


Survival and Disaster Preparedness
Hide Tanning at Home

One of the most wasted resources during hunting season is the hide of an animal. Most people take their game to a processor and leave with a couple arm fulls of various cuts of meat and sausages. But,what about the rest of the animal you took in? Well, those parts are simply discarded by the butcher or processor. What sort of things could deer parts for example be used for? If you take the antlers of a buck they can be used for knife handles, clothing/ equipment buttons, flint knapping tools and various tool handles to name only a few. The hides of course can be used for wall hangings, rugs and worked further into rawhide, buckskin for clothing or even knife and tool sheaths again to name only a few.


The hide of small game such as rabbits is also widely used as a liner in gloves, boots and headwear. Goat and Bison hides are utilized in furniture coverings and the list goes on and on. So for this month's article, let's look at just one way to tan a hide for the purpose of a rug, wall hanging or similar use. Again, this is only one method and there are many and while this one is pretty easy there may be some that are easier- all however take a time investment. This same method can be utilized on any haired/furry animal hide to produce the same results. 

Step 1: Remove the Meat from the hide. After skinning out the game with a good sharp knife take a large metal serving spoon and scrape off the remaining bits of meat and pieces off the hide as best you can. Cut off any growths or tough bits with the knife and be careful so not to cut through the hide. 


Step 2: Make a Decision. Will you tan now or later? If you plan to tan right away, plan on a time investment of several days of messing with the hide. Most of this time will be done within as little 15 minutes, but it's a daily chore. If you plan to store your hide a freezer works great. Simply roll it up and place it into a heavy trash bag, then inside of another trash bag. If you cannot spare the freezer space, salt the hide thoroughly- one pound of salt for every one pound of skin and place it into a 5 gallon bucket with a tight fitting lid. The hide will last forever this way, but the longer it sits the more hair you will lose. Check the hide every other day for the first two weeks and drain any liquid that has collected in the bottom of the bucket. You also need to think about how you want to tan your hide. Will you use a store bought tanning agent or use a more traditional approach such as soap or brains? Store bought agents are quick, easy and effective, but is that what you want? Another thought to consider is ticks- you might want to hose down your hide with some Raid or other flea and tick killer before storing just in case...  

Step 3: More Salt. So now you're ready to begin. If your hide was in the freezer, let it thaw completely first. If coming from the salt bucket, simply scrape off the old salt and prepare to salt again. Rub salt into every inch of skin and then fold the salted hide upon itself, skin to skin. Wait 24 hours, then complete the process one last time. 


Step 4: The Soak. It's now been 48 hours of sitting in salt, now it's time for a salt bath! Take a plastic tub (size will depend on hide being done) and fill with warm water adding one pound of salt per gallon of water. Soak the hide for 24 hours.  

Step 5: The Scrub. Wash the flesh side with dish detergent. Dawn works excellent due to its ability to cut grease and fats. If you'd like go ahead and wash the hair side with detergent as well, just hose it out really well and then hang it over a rack, fence or something similar to air dry. 

Step 6: The Stretch. While the hide is still damp and pliable, tack it to a piece of plywood, flesh side up or out (facing you), stretching it out as much as possible.  

Step 7: Apply the Oil. Your objective at this stage of the game is to prevent rot. If you elected to use a store bought tanning solution such as Deer Hunter's and Trapper's Hide Tanning Formula, then simply take a paint brush and apply three good coats to the flesh side of the hide, allowing 24 hours of cure time between each coat for best results. However, if you have elected to take a more natural approach such as using brain (of the animal)- blend the brain with a gallon of warm water, hide should be damp to the touch and you will use a sponge or heavy brush to saturate the flesh hide with the mixture. Let dry for an hour, then repeat. Repeat once more in 24 hours. Murphy's Oil Soap is yet another method you can use, once again with the hide damp to touch, paint on the oil soap allowing the hide to soak it in for a couple hours before applying another coat. Repeat in 24 hours then apply warming foot oil which will aid in softening. 

Step 8: Shake, Rattle and Roll. Once dry, your hide will be as stiff as the board you pinned it to and you can break it in by rolling and twisting it. Don't go crazy though or you'll lose more hair than you want. Once you're satisfied, hang it up in the man cave or toss it on the cabin floor.



About the author:
Jason Hunt is the President of Frontier Christian University a school that equips people in Biblical survival and preparedness ministries and he's the Chief Instructor at Hunt Survival, Inc. a survival & preparedness training company. He's also the author of The Tribulation Survival Guide.


Leading Concepts
Key to Success 
Leadership Competencies
  • Communications is the exchange of information and ideas from one person to another. Effective communication occurs when others understand exactly what you are trying to tell them and when you understand precisely what they are trying to tell you.
  • You communicate to direct, influence, coordinate, encourage, supervise, train, teach, coach and counsel. You need to be able to understand and think through a problem and translate that idea into a clear, concise, measured fashion.
  • Your message should be easy to understand, serve the purpose and be appropriate for your audience.


  • You must control, direct, evaluate, coordinate and plan the efforts of team members so that you can ensure the task is accomplished. Supervision ensures the efficient use of material and equipment and the effectiveness of operational procedures. It includes establishing goals and evaluating skills. Supervising lets you know your communications are understood and shows your interest in the team members and the mission.
  • Remember that over-supervision causes resentment and under-supervision causes frustration. By considering your team member's competence, motivation and commitment to perform a task, you can assess the amount of supervision needed.

Teaching and Counseling

  • Teaching and counseling refer to improving performance by overcoming problems, increasing knowledge, or gaining new perspectives and skills. Teaching your team members is the only way you can truly prepare them to succeed and survive on the business battlefield.
  • You must take a direct hand in your team members' professional and personal development. Personal counseling should adopt a problem-solving, rather than an advisory approach. You also need the judgment to refer a situation to your leader or a service agency if it's beyond your ability to handle. You will, of course, follow-up on this action. Performance counseling focuses on team members' behavior as it relates to job performance.

Team Development

  • You must create strong bonds between you and your team members so that they function as a real team. Since work is a team activity, cohesive teams are a business requirement. You must take care of your team members and conserve and build their spirit, endurance, skills and confidence. Good leaders recognize how peers, seniors and team members work together to produce success. Team development is significant in training and orienting team members to new tasks and departments. You can help new team members become committed members of the organization if you work hard at making them members of your team.

Technical and Tactical Proficiency

  • You must know your job. You must be able to train your team members, maintain and employ your resources to help win business battles. You will gain technical proficiency in formal training programs, self-study and on-the-job experience. You have to know your job so you can train your team members and employ your resources efficiently. Tactical competence requires you to know your business' doctrine so that you can understand your leader's intent and help win battles by understanding the mission, MODD (anything that: Makes Our Day Difficult), terrain, team, and time available (METT-T). Technical proficiency and tactical proficiency are difficult to separate.

Use of Available Systems

  • You must be familiar with techniques, methods and tools that will give you and your team members the edge. Use of available systems literally means that you know how to use computers, analytical techniques and other modern technological means to manage information and to help you and your team members better perform the mission. This competency may vary depending on your leadership position. You must use every available system or techniqe that will benefit the planning, execution and assessment of the task at hand.

Decision Making

  • Decision making refers to skills you need to make choices and solve problems. Your goal is to make high-quality decisions your team members accept and execute quickly and effectively. Furthermore, it is important that decisions be made at the lowest organizational level where information is sufficient. Like planning, decision making is an excellent way for you to develop your leadership team. Include team members in the decision making process if time is available and if they share your goals and have information that will help produce high-quality decisions.


  • Planning is intended to support a course of action so that an team or organization can meet an objective. It involves forecasting, setting goals and objectives, developing strategies, establishing priorities, delegating, sequencing and timing, organizing, budgeting and standardizing procedures. Team members like to have order in their lives, so they depend on you to keep them informed to ensure success. Including your junior leaders in the planning process is an excellent way for you to develop your leadership team. Remember, one of your tasks is to prepare your team members and help them grow into new roles and responsibilities.

Professional Ethics

  • Professional ethics includes loyalty to your organization and your Team, duty, selfless service and integrity. The leadership competency relates to your responsibility to behave in a manner consistent with the professional business ethic and to set the example for your team members.
  • As a leader, you must learn to be sensitive to the ethical elements of situations you face, as well as to your directives, plans, and policies. You must learn to use an informed, rational decision-making process to reason through and resolve ethical dilemmas and then teach your team members to do the same.

Assuming a Leadership Position

  • Assuming a leadership position is one of the special leadership situations you will face. Everything discussed in this supplement, about what you must BE, KNOW, and DO, is relevant to assuming a leadership position. 

Choosing the best Leadership Style

  • Do not fall into the trap that some techniques always work, such as observing for a week or two and then making changes, or going into an organization like "a lion" and then becoming "a lamb". Such beliefs will cause you to miss the benefits of the thought process used to select the appropriate leadership style (directing, participating, or delegating). The best strategy in one situation can be exactly the wrong strategy for another. For example, you would use a different leadership style when taking over a well-trained and proficient Team, than when replacing a leader who was inefficient or unable to lead.
  • As a leader, you must always establish and enforce standards and provide purpose, direction, and motivation for your team members. When assuming a leadership position, you must assess the readiness of the Team to perform its mission and then develop a strategy to provide what the team needs to be successful. You should use the leadership style that your experience tells you will be most appropriate after you have assessed the Team's level of competence, motivation and commitment to accomplish the mission or task. In fact, you will probably use all three styles with different team members and/or in different situations. Your style will need to change when new objectives are established, new team members and leaders are assigned, or the competence, motivation or commitment of your team members changes.
  • When you assume a leadership position, talk to your leader, your peers and other key people. Seek clear answers to the following questions:
  • What is the team's mission?
  • How does the mission fit into the mission of the next higher Team?
  • What function am I responsible for, such as training, maintenance and administration?
  • What are the standards the team must meet?
  • What resources are available to help the team accomplish the mission?
  • What is the current state of morale?
  • Who reports directly to me?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of my team members, individually and collectively?
  • Who are the key people outside of the team who support mission success and how can they add value?

Be sure you ask these questions at the right time, of the right person, and in the right manner. Answers to these questions, and others that follow should give you the information you need to correctly assess the situation and select the right leadership strategy. You must also remain flexible enough to adapt your leadership style as you continually assess the competence, motivation and commitment of your team members and the organization.


Sharing your leadership philosophy with your team members will make your transition more efficient. Your team members will appreciate the chance to see how you intend to lead and welcome the chance to ask questions. Your leadership philosophy is your promise of how you intend to lead and interact with your team members.

Developmental Leadership Assessment

  • Developmental leadership assessment is a process used to improve a person's ability to lead. It involves comparing performance to a standard or performance indicator, giving feedback and developing a plan to improve leadership performance. It is an essential element of your leader development responsibilities. Just as you need your leader's coaching, your team members need your help to improve their leadership performance.
  • You have two leadership assessment responsibilities. First, assess your own leadership performance. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and work to improve yourself. Second, assess your team member's leadership performance, give them feedback and help them overcome their weaknesses.

The Leadership Assessment Process

The goal of leadership assessment is to develop a competent and confident leader. Leadership assessment should be a positive, useful experience that does not confuse, intimidate or negatively impact young leaders. It should be conducted as follows:

  • Decide what leadership skill, knowledge or attitude you want to assess.
  • Make a plan to observe the leadership performance.
  • Observe the leadership performance and record your observations.
  • Compare the leadership performance you observed to a standard or performance indicator.
  • Decide if the leadership performance you observed exceeds, meets, or is below the standard or performance indicator.
  • Give the person leadership performance feedback.
  • Help the person develop an action plan to improve leadership performance.

Normally, leadership assessment will not lead to improved performance unless it includes an action plan designed to redirect undesirable performance and reinforce desirable performance. The leader and the team member must:

  • Design the action plan together
  • Agree on the action necessary to improve leadership performance
  • Review the action plan frequently to see if the team member is making progress and to determine if the plan needs to be changed.

Naturally, when assessing your own leadership performance you have to modify the steps. First, examine your performance in a particular situation. Then, compare your performance to a leadership standard or performance indicator. Finally, decide how you can improve your leadership performance. You must want to discuss your self-assessment with your leader, peers, team members and others.


Feedback Sources

A complete and accurate leadership assessment includes feedback from these six sources:

  • The person being assessed
  • Leaders
  • Peers
  • Team members
  • Close friends and family members
  • Trained leadership assessors (You can find these in a number of places. For example, some service school instructors have received special leadership assessment training.)

It will not always be possible to get feedback from all of these sources, but each of them can give valuable information about leadership performance. If you can get feedback from all six sources, you will have a complete picture.


Note to the Leader:

Grow your people. They're your only real competitive advantage. Often they are the only true indicators of your leadership abilities and success. It's up to you. Use the tools you learned while at Leading Concepts. Open and review your Course Reference Guide. Review your LC Handbook, CD's, and Supplements. Lead and set the example for others to follow.


Lead the way!



About the author:
Dean Hohl has been leading teams and coaching individuals professionally since 1993. From '88 - '92 Dean served with 3rd Ranger Battalion during which he helped in the removal of Manuel Noriega in 1989 when he parachuted onto a hostile Panamanian airstrip.

He graduated Ranger School with honors earning one of two distinguished "Merrill's Marauders" awards; an award earned only by two each class and chosen by his peer group for demonstrating exceptional teamwork, leadership, and communication under long periods of stress and pressure - often the result of days without food or sleep - throughout the entire 72 day course. Dean completed his Ranger service with honor at the rank of Sergeant.




Warrior's Wisdom

Warriors Wisdom 

Walker was disturbed at words shouted by Sandys against the roar of aircraft engines during one of their flights. 'It is not the policy of Her Majesty's Government to become caught up in a war,' he said. 'Try to stop it from escalating. Do everything you can to stop it.' Later Walker confided that the way this had been put smacked of defensive thinking. The war had already started and the emphasis should be on ending it by winning.


This unfortunately is reflective of our thinking as a country today and as Walker pointed out we as a country should never consider anything else when in a war but how to win it as quickly as possible. Nothing is ever won in the defense it can only prolong the inevitable.

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Aesop's Fables
A Raven saw a Swan and desired to secure for himself the same beautiful plumage. Supposing that the Swan's splendid white color arose from his washing in the water in which he swam, the Raven left the altars in the neighborhood where he picked up his living, and took up residence in the lakes and pools. But cleansing his feathers as often as he would, he could not change their color, while through want of food he perished.
Change of habit cannot alter Nature.
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Quotes & Jokes

"To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." 
- Thomas Jefferson 

"To every man, there comes in his lifetime, that special moment, when he is physically tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to him and fitted to his talent; what tragedy if that moment find him unprepared or unqualified for the work which would be his finest hour."
- Winston Churchill

"Government has become so vast and impersonal that its interests diverge more and more from the interests of ordinary citizens. For a generation and more, the government has sought to meet our needs by multiplying its bureaucracy. Washington has taken too much in taxes from Main Street, and Main Street has received too little in return. It is not necessary to centralize power in order to solve our problems."  

- Sen. George McGovern (1922-2012)


"One of the things that bothers me most is the growing belief in the country that security is more important than freedom. It ain't."   

Lyn Nofziger (1924-2006)

author and Reagan political consultant


"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom."  

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague."  

-Marcus Tullius Cicero
(ancient Roman scholar, lawyer, statesman
and orator 106BC - 43BC) 


 If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet 

-Proverbs 29:9  


"I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery."    

-Jean-Jacques Rousseau   


"One of the penalties of not participating in politics is that you will be governed by your inferiors."  



"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.  Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." 

-Benjamin Franklin

 "Defeat cries aloud for explanations; where as success like charity, covers a multitude of sins"  

-Admiral Mahan



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What Has Really Changed?

What Has Really Changed?
Automation=lower costs and more jobs     Nov. 1965
By reducing the man-hours needed to make a product, automation cuts the cost of the product. That means more people will be needed to make it.
For proof, look at the chart.
And in the case you fear automation is some new and dangerous phenomenon, consider this: An automatic flour mill was developed in 1784 (yet thousands are employed in milling flour today).
  • In 1868 a machine was invented which made 2000 barrel staves an hour. Making oil drums alone is big business now.
  • In 1632 a glass factory mass-produced beads to trade with the indians. (Now probably makes millions of soft drink bottles for the teen-ager trade.)
  • In 1836 one firm was mass-producing shovels and spades at 4000 a day. Yet entire factories are needed today, with thousands of workers, for such tools
  • The first patent on a home washing machine was granted in 1797 yet modern manufacturers haven't yet saturated the market. 
Look at the chart again.

If you take 60 seconds to read this ... those of us over 55 yrs of age ... remember her. There will be a tear.

I'm afraid that there are a lot of young people who have never heard of Martha Raye. But for those of you who remember the funny lady with the large mouth may end up just dropping theirs (mouth) when they read this about her.

Don't let the sun go down without reading this about Martha Raye. The most unforgivable oversight of TV is that her shows were not taped. This is a great story about a great woman. I was unaware of her credentials or where she is buried.

Somehow I just can't see Brittany Spears, Paris Hilton, or Jessica Simpson doing what this woman (and the other USO women, including Ann Margaret & Joey Heatherton) did for our troops in past wars. Most of the old time entertainers were made of a lot sterner stuff than today's crop of activists and whiners. The following is from an Army Aviator who takes a trip down memory lane: "It was just before Thanksgiving '67 and we were ferrying dead and wounded from a large GRF west of Pleiku. We had run out of body bags by noon, so the Hook (CH-47 CHINOOK) was pretty rough in the back. All of a sudden, we heard a 'take-charge' woman's voice in the rear. There was the singer and actress, Martha Raye, with a SF (Special Forces) beret and jungle fatigues, with subdued markings, helping the wounded into the Chinook, and carrying the dead aboard. 'Maggie' had been visiting her SF 'heroes' out 'west'.

We took off, short of fuel, and headed to the USAF hospital pad at Pleiku. As we all started unloading our sad pax's, a 'Smart Ass' USAF Captain said to Martha.... "Ms Ray, with all these dead and wounded to process, there would not be time for your show!"

To all of our surprise, she pulled on her right collar and said ....."Captain, see this eagle? I am a full 'Bird' in the US Army Reserve, and on this is a 'Caduceus' which means I am a Nurse, with a surgical specialty....now, take me to your wounded!" He said, "Yes ma'am.... follow me."

Several times at the Army Field Hospital in Pleiku, she would 'cover' a surgical shift, giving a nurse a well-deserved break. Martha is the only woman buried in the SF (Special Forces) cemetery at Ft Bragg.

Former Soviet-bloc spy chief reveals secret puppet-master behind Islamic radicalism



Lt. Gen Ion Mihai Pacepa is the highest-ranking Soviet bloc intelligence official ever todefect to the West. His new book, "Disinformation," co-authored with professor Ronald Rychlak, will be published by WND Books in early 2013.
Editor's note: Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa is the highest-ranking Soviet-bloc official ever to defect to the West. In December 1989, Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu was executed at the end of a trial whose accusations came almost word-for-word out of Pacepa's book, "Red Horizons," subsequently republished in 27 countries. After President Carter approved his request for political asylum, Pacepa became an American citizen and worked with U.S. intelligence agencies against the former Eastern Bloc. The CIA has praised Pacepa's cooperation for providing "an important and unique contribution to the United States." His new book, "Disinformation," co-authored with professor Ronald Rychlak, will be published by WND Books in 2013.

The view that the latest wave of Muslim outrage worldwide, including the murderous assault on the U.S. embassy in Libya and new threats from Iran, is somehow a "spontaneous" reaction to the low-budget film "Innocence of Muslims," has been revealed to be political navet at best, and ignorant or intentional scapegoating at worst.

After all, even the president of Libya, Yousef El-Magariaf, stated that "no doubt" the attack had been "preplanned," emphasizing that the terrorists had chosen a "specific date for this so-called demonstration."
However, the day of our ambassador's murder, Sept. 11, 2012, also happened to be the very day the Kremlin celebrated a significant anniversary - 125 years since the birth of Feliks Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the KGB, now rechristened FSB.

My past experience at the top of the Soviet bloc intelligence community gives me solid ground to state that the Muslim attacks on U.S. embassies and the assassination of our ambassador to Libya, carried out with Soviet-made rocket-propelled grenades, Kalashnikovs and Molotov cocktails, were just as "spontaneous" as the May Day parades in Moscow - and that they have the same organizers.

In 1972, I had a breakfast with then-KGB chairman Yury Andropov in Moscow. The Kremlin, he told me, had decided to transform Arab anti-Semitism into an anti-American doctrine for the whole Muslim world. The idea was to portray the United States as a war-mongering, Zionist country financed by Jewish money and run by a rapacious "Council of the Elders of Zion" (the KGB's derisive epithet for the U.S. Congress) intent on transforming the rest of the world into a Jewish fiefdom. Andropov made the point that one billion adversaries could cause far greater damage than could a mere 150 million. Even Muhammad, he said, had not limited his religion to Arab countries.

The KGB boss described the Muslim world as a waiting petri dish, in which we could nurture a strain of hate-America, grown from the bacterium of Marxist-Leninist thought. Islamic anti-Semitism ran deep, he said. The Muslims had a taste for nationalism, jingoism and victimology, and their illiterate, oppressed mobs could easily be whipped up to a fever pitch. We had only to keep repeating, over and over, that the United States was a war-mongering, Zionist country anxious to take over the whole world.

The KGB community threw millions of dollars and thousands of people into that gigantic project. Before I left Romania for good in 1978, my Romanian espionage service alone had sent some 500 undercover agents to various Islamic countries. Most of them were religious servants, engineers, medical doctors, teachers and art instructors. According to a rough estimate received from Moscow, by 1978 the whole Soviet bloc intelligence community had sent around 4,000 such agents of influence to the Islamic world.

How much influence did this effort have? No one can say for sure, but over 20-plus years of cumulative effect through disseminating millions of Arabic translations of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" in Arabic throughout the Islamic world and portraying the United States as a criminal Zionist surrogate should have made some dent. Witness the 1979 takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, the 1998 destruction of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the atrocious September 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. itself, which killed almost 3,000 Americans.
The Falklands, 30 Years Later
Hard lessons from a small war

It is now 30 years since the Argentineans seized the Falklands, one of the last British colonies, and the British seized them back.

The war between the two included the hottest naval action of the Cold War. It was also, perhaps surprisingly, rather instructive about how things might have turned out had the Cold War turned hot. For the United States, there were lessons on three distinct levels.

One level was that of grand alliance strategy. Before the war broke out, Americans tended to assume that they led an alliance of completely like-minded governments against the Soviets; all other governments were neutral, leaning one way or another. One implication was that any war that might arise out of the Cold War would pit Western weapons against Soviet-supplied ones. That certainly seemed to be the case in the Middle East, where most of the Cold War-era wars were fought: Israel, the U.S. client and ally, was pitted against Arab governments allied to the Soviets. It was very much not the case in the Falklands, where both sides were U.S. allies using Western weapons. In fact, the Argentinians were the sole export buyers of the main British naval area defense missile, Sea Dart (the Chinese reportedly backed out of a planned purchase because they were dissatisfied with the system's performance during the Falklands War). A postwar U.S. Navy study concluded that in the future the United States might well find itself facing Western rather than Soviet systems.

A British Navy Sea Harrier FRS1. The Sea Harrier, the Royal Navy's attempt to give a subsonic attack aircraft air-to-air capability, was a great success in the Falklands War. With supremely professional pilots employing superior tactics, their Blue Fox radars and AIM-9L Sidewinder, the "SHARs" shot down more than 20 aircraft and lost none in air-to-air engagements. Its success was probably a factor in the Royal Navy's decision to procure the F-35B. DoD photo
A second level was political. In 1982, many in the Soviet leadership believed that the West had lost so much of its morale that its end was inevitable, and perhaps even near. The Soviets themselves were in trouble, but they thought they could survive. The Argentinians clearly thought much the same thing about the British. Initially many in Britain seem to have assumed that Argentinian seizure of the islands was just another unavoidable step in the slow decline of the British Empire.

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher didn't agree. Like U.S. President Ronald Reagan, she did not think the West was dying, let alone dead. She personally demanded that the Royal Navy form a task force to retake the Falklands. Even after the task force sailed, many on board were so skeptical of British resolve that they doubted they would be allowed to get to the Falklands. In effect, Thatcher saw the Falklands War as the great test: Were the British locked into decline, or did they have a future? The popular British response to the war suggests that many in that country agreed with Thatcher, and saw the war in much the same terms.

The Soviet leadership was shocked. The West was still a serious threat. The Soviets found themselves taking Western initiatives, such as Reagan's "Star Wars," very seriously indeed. Thatcher's was not, of course, the only demonstration of Western resolve; at about the same time, the Russians found it impossible to intimidate NATO governments that had decided to accept the deployment of U.S. Pershing and Tomahawk missiles on their soil. They, in turn, were probably much encouraged by Thatcher's example.

The impact on the Soviets cannot be underestimated. In 1982-83, the Soviets were increasingly aware that they had been caught up in a new revolution in military technology based on micro-computers. In the Falklands, the British fleet deployed far more computing power, for example, than the Soviets had in all their fleets. The Soviet problem was that their economy had been contracting for years. It did not have the stretch it needed to compete on these new terms with the West, particularly while continuing to pour out existing types of weapons. Within a few years, a new Soviet leader would be chosen specifically because he promised to clean up computer production: Mikhail Gorbachev. His attempt to solve the Soviet economic problem destroyed the Soviet Union.

U.S. Marine Corps AV-8A Harriers in Norway during a NATO training exercise, Sept. 1, 1980. The U.S. took lessons learned by the British in the Falklands War and applied them to their own forces. NATO photo
The third level, the one usually emphasized, was tactical. The Falklands War was fascinating because it was a miniature version of the war U.S. naval strategists thought they might have to fight. With their missile-armed strike aircraft and their submarines, the Argentinians were a sort of small-scale version of the threat the Soviets posed against U.S. naval strike forces in the Norwegian Sea. The British task force was a small-scale version of a U.S. striking force trying to go north, to execute the evolving U.S. maritime strategy. The Argentinians had to do much what the Soviets had to do: They had to detect, track, and attack the approaching British task force. Ultimately the British had to land troops in the face of Argentinian air and ground forces.
[q]There were many surprises. For the British, the central surprise was that their key military planning assumption, that they could concentrate completely on the Central Front in NATO, was altogether wrong. Britain could not escape global responsibilities. That was not simply the legacy of empire; a few years after the Falklands, the Royal Navy found itself mounting an armed tanker protection patrol in the Gulf. That patrol was mounted not because some British colony or dependency was in trouble, but because as part of the Western alliance Britain had a vital national interest in maintaining the oil shipping route through the Gulf (somewhat later the U.S. Navy was also deployed there).

On the eve of the Falklands War, the British went through the latest of an apparently endless series of defense reviews intended to keep defense affordable. Defense Minister John Nott considered surface warships useless in a NATO war, on the theory that a war in Europe would be over long before seaborne reinforcements arrived. He also rejected the Royal Navy's argument that its surface force would perform an essential deterrent function during any run-up to war. Nott therefore planned, among other steps, to sell off the new carrier HMS Invincible and to cancel her two sister ships. He also planned to sell the amphibious fleet. To Nott, the only acceptable future lay with nuclear attack submarines. On the eve of war, Invincible was sold to Australia. This would leave the Royal Navy with only the light carrier HMS Hermes.

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U-2 Pilot Maj. Rudy Anderson:
The Only American Killed During the Cuban Missile Crisis

An American U-2 reconnaissance aircraft high over Cuba took photos of Soviet missile sites capable of launching nuclear warheads at the United States, just 90 miles away. That's how the crisis began.

One of many heroes of the 13-day Cuban Missile Crisis - Oct. 16-28, 1962 - was U.S. Air Force U-2 pilot Maj. Rudolf Anderson Jr. In his hometown of Greenville, S.C., neighbors knew him as Rudy. Fellow flyers called him Andy.

Anderson wasn't the only pilot who took photos over Cuba. He wasn't even the first. Had he not become the only American to die in the Cuban Missile Crisis, Anderson might well have urged wider recognition for all of the reconnaissance pilots who challenged Fidel Castro and his Soviet visitors.

Missiles in Cuba

According to Soviet Col. Alexander Orlov, in an account published by the CIA, Moscow wanted to "equalize" the threat posed by U.S. missiles in Europe by installing medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) in Cuba. The Soviets sent 40,000 troops (not just 8,000, as the CIA came to believe when the crisis unfolded), 42 MRBMs and 20 nuclear warheads for the missiles. Orlov wrote that the Soviets implemented maskirovka -camouflage concealment - measures, but the deployment of combat equipment and troops on such a large scale proved impossible to conceal from prying camera lenses in the sky, carried by Anderson and other pilots.

Maj. Rudolf Anderson was the only American casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis, shot down by SA-2 surface to air missiles on Oct. 27, 1962. U.S. Air Force photo
Based on imagery from Corona satellites that made him suspect a Soviet build-up, President John F. Kennedy ordered a U-2 flight over Cuba on Oct. 9, 1962. The flight was delayed by weather. Although the CIA had developed the U-2, the mission was turned over to the Air Force in the belief that if details became public world opinion would look more favorably on a military reconnaissance plane than one operated by a civilian intelligence agency. Anderson and the other U-2 flyers were members of the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Laughlin Air Force Base near Del Rio, Texas. They were piloting ex-CIA U-2s that had been hastily painted in military colors.

Maj. (later Col.) Richard S. "Steve" Heyser completed the first U-2 flight over Cuba, taking off from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Oct. 14, 1962. Heyser landed at McCoy Air Force Base, Fla., from which subsequent U-2 missions were mounted. The following day, Heyser's images reached analysts of the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC), first in Suitland, Md., and later that same day in the second story of a used-car dealership in Washington. The analysts saw what appeared to be components of MRBMs. Bill Crimmins, one of the photo-interpreters (PIs) said in a 2001 interview, "I was a newly-hired, junior PI and on just minutes' notice I was told to be in the White House in a meeting with President Kennedy."

Rudolf Anderson entered the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis when he completed the second U-2 mission on Oct. 15, 1962. He eventually made more flights over the island nation than anyone else.

Anderson was born in 1927. He built model airplanes as a child and studied at Clemson University. He entered the aviation cadet program in 1950, and piloted RF-86A and RF-86F Sabres during the Korean War. In later years it was revealed that some RF-86F missions were flown over Chinese and Soviet installations. He received two awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross for Korea-era flying.

Reconnaissance image of a medium-range ballistic missile site at San Cristobal de los Banos, Cuba. Collection of Dino Brugioni, John Gresham, and Norman Polmar
In 1957, Anderson was in the first cohort of airmen - with Heyser - selected to fly the top secret U-2, often flying at altitudes higher than 72,000 feet for extended periods. Analysts eventually concluded, correctly, that the Soviets were installing both R-12 (SS-4 "Sandal") and R-14 (SS-5 "Skean") MRBMs. But analysts greatly underestimated Soviet troop strength and did not know that Soviet commanders in Cuba were given local authority to release nuclear warheads under some circumstances. Also unknown to analysts: the Soviets had deployed tactical nuclear weapons to repel any U.S. invasion of Cuba.

On Oct. 21, 1962, Kennedy decided on a naval blockade of the island nation. Officially, it was a "quarantine" - in legal parlance, a less warlike term than blockade.

Using U-2 photography as a kind of public indictment, on Oct. 22, Kennedy addressed the nation and warned the Soviets: "It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the western hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union."

Behind the scenes, the United States negotiated to remove some of its own MRBMs from bases in Turkey if the Soviets would withdraw nuclear arms from Cuba. On Oct. 23, looking for Soviet action in response to what some perceived as an ultimatum, Kennedy sent six Navy RF-8A Crusaders (which had been designated F8U-1P before Oct. 1) over Cuba. Air Force RF-101C Voodoos also made flights over the island and U-2 missions continued.

On Oct. 24, U.S. forces went to DEFCON 2 alert status, the highest in U.S. history and one notch below all-out war. The following day, for the first time, surface-to-air missiles were sighted near a U-2. At the time, Anderson was preparing for what became his sixth U-2 flight of the crisis on Oct. 27.

Fatal Flight

That morning, Anderson made a pass over Cuba and was approaching the shoreline when the Soviets fired two surface-to-air missiles at his U-2. One exploded behind Anderson and sent shrapnel into the cockpit, puncturing his pressure suit. He probably was killed instantly. His U-2 broke apart, plummeted at least 60,000 feet, and crashed on Cuban soil.

One Minute to Midnight, a new book by former Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs, claims that the destruction of Anderson's U-2 was closely linked to the deployment of Soviet nuclear cruise missiles near the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo. Soviet generals feared the U-2 had uncovered the forward launch position of the cruise missiles, just 15 miles from Guantanamo.

Wreckage of Maj. Rudolf Anderson's U-2 at the Museo del Aire, Havana, Cuba. Photo by Vansara via Wikimedia
The day Anderson died was the day a letter from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev - his second outreach to Kennedy - proposed a trade of Soviet missiles in Cuba for U.S. missiles in Turkey. The following day, Khrushchev announced that he'd agreed to withdraw his missiles from Cuba. Many viewed the crisis as one in which a strong young U.S. president had forced the Soviet leader to back down. The true situation was more complex and the final result was a compromise.

U-2 pilot Anderson has been honored in various ways. On Oct. 27 of this year, officials in Greenville were scheduled to rededicate a city park named in honor of Anderson. The park is home to an F-86 aircraft intended as a gesture toward Anderson's Korea service, although the plane on display is the F-86H model, which never reached Korea.

Just days after the crisis ended, Heyser was invited to the White House to receive Kennedy's thanks for taking the Cuba photos. Heyser later told friends - often - that at the meeting Gen. Curtis LeMay, the Air Force chief of staff, pulled Heyser aside and said that because Anderson was dead and he wasn't, Anderson was going to be the hero of the crisis. Air Force accounts gave Heyser and Anderson equal credit for taking the first photos and Anderson posthumously became the first recipient of the Air Force Cross, the nation's second highest award for valor. The citation accompanying the award recognizes Anderson for all the U-2 flights he made, not solely the one in which he lost his life.

Heyser and nine other Air Force U-2 pilots who flew missions identical to Anderson's received the Distinguished Flying Cross but - except in the immediate aftermath of the crisis - little public attention. Rudy Anderson is sometimes called the forgotten hero of the Cuban Missile Crisis, but few Americans today have a strong recollection of Heyser or the others who shared dangerous missions with him.


Some Mission to Tokyo
Crewmembers Are Forever Young

Nowadays, we think of the Americans who fought World War II when we see aging veterans on a tour of the memorial to them in Washington. In their 80s and 90s now, many still travel to reunions, attend veterans' meetings and give talks to schoolchildren.

But others fought as well. They're the ones who are forever young.

Many never married. They didn't have careers, families, or late-in-life get-togethers at the National World War II Memorial.

They're the ones who didn't live to see the surrender ceremony signed aboard the battleship USS Missouri (BB 63) in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945.

A poster designed by F. Clifton Berry for the American Battle Monuments Commission reminds us: "Time will not dim the glory of their deeds."
Mission for McDonald

1st Lt. Robert "Bud" McDonald was a B-29 Superfortress airplane commander in the war against Japan in 1945.Photo courtesy of Nancy Reynolds
In the new book Mission to Tokyo, B-29 Superfortress pilot Robert "Bud" McDonald watches bombers taking off from Guam at dusk on March 9, 1945 for the great firebomb raid on Tokyo. McDonald is a newly arrived pilot and airplane commander, not yet ready for combat and has not yet completed the familiarization flying that had to be logged before he could take off on his first mission.

McDonald, 23, from Michigan, was a look-alike for Hollywood celebrity Bert Parks. He was one of the very young that was married. He'd tied the knot with Gloria DeWolf while in training at Blytheville, Ark. While there, McDonald may have been acquainted with a local bandleader whose four-year-old son was the future actor George Hamilton. To his sister Nancy Reynolds, McDonald himself was "just like a movie star."

The Tokyo mission was the start of a weeklong "fire Blitz" against Japan's wood-and-paper urban industrial centers. McDonald led his B-29 crew on the second fire mission, to Nagoya on the night of March 11. Later, they were assigned an aircraft and named it The Merry Mac's, dubious apostrophe and all, although it's unclear whether the name was ever painted on the plane.

Mission to Kawasaki

On the night of April 15, 1945, 194 B-29s attacked Japanese industrial facilities in the Tokyo suburb of Kawasaki. It was a tough night for bomber crews. It was a clear night in the area and the searchlights, enemy flak and fighters were particularly effective. Twelve B-29s were lost.

With one wing gone, a B-29 falls in flames after a direct hit by enemy flak over Japan. US Air Force photo
Bud McDonald, now called Mac by crewmates, was on just his fourth mission and every one of them was tough.

McDonald and the crew of The Merry Mac's did not return from Kawasaki. McDonald's former navigator Lew Parry, who'd been replaced on this flight by 2nd Lt. Wilfred M. Flesher, later spent years trying to reconstruct what happened. Japanese fighters were behaving aggressively in the area, so a fighter could have shot down The Merry Mac's. Witnesses thought they saw Mac's no. 4 engine windmilling, so the crew could have been lost to one of the mechanical failures that claimed so many. Or, Parry decided, they could have been shot down by anti-aircraft fire. But nobody really knew. No one ever has.

Lost with Bud McDonald - forever young, they remain today - were co-pilot "Kit" Kittrell, Flesher, bombardier Alvin Dillaber, radar operator 2nd Lt. Carl J. Kleinhoffer, flight engineer Red Henrickson, radio operator Wallace Oldford, central fire control gunner Sgt. Andrew M. Evans, left blister gunner Sgt. Glenn E. Weesner, right blister gunner Sgt. Richard X. Walling, and tail gunner Sgt. Norman H. Wells. Also lost was an observer, 1st Lt. Oscar J. Groft.
Surrender Ceremony

Battered from the air by explosive, fire and atomic bombs, Japan ceased fighting on August 15, 1945. B-29 crews won the war without an amphibious invasion of the Japanese home islands.

Staff Sgt. William J. "Reb" Carter, a B-29 blister gunner, flew over the Missouri surrender ceremony. Photo courtesy of Doug Carter
The surrender was inked aboard the Missouri in Tokyo Bay, on Sunday, Sept. 2, 1945. Speaking to Allied and Japanese officers, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, said: "The issues, involving divergent ideals and ideologies, have been determined on the battlefields of the world and hence are not for our discussion or debate."

A 2,400-aircraft flyover was supposed to begin during the signing - the largest aerial formation ever assembled. It was a mixed gaggle of Army and Navy aircraft, including carrier-based aircraft, and it was having difficulty getting into position. The weather in and around Tokyo was poor and the beginning of the flyover was delayed.

The Japanese signed first. Observers looked around for the planned flyover and saw empty sky. The horde of warplanes was out there in the distance beyond eyesight, getting into position. The delay was irritating to those who'd orchestrated the ceremony. After the Japanese finished, MacArthur began signing as the supreme allied commander.  Because this was such a historic event, MacArthur used several pens, each of which was destined to become a treasured artifact.

Columbia correspondent Webley Edwards was providing a real-time radio report of the surrender ceremony. "General MacArthur is using a fifth pen," Edwards spoke into his microphone. "Everyone is going to get a pen out of this surrender document and here comes one of the big B-29s which I suppose is the leader of the flight which was to put on a demonstration of air power here over the bay this morning."

But it wasn't the leader. An irreverent B-29 airplane commander, Capt. George Bertagnoli, who wasn't even scheduled to participate, had arranged to get his B-29 over the Missouri ahead of the crowd. Bertagnoli was a "really good man," left blister gunner Sgt. William J. "Reb" Carter said, "but he had a rebellious streak, too."

Bertagnoli, Carter and crew looked down. As they passed overhead, they saw MacArthur sitting at the signing table on the ship's deck. The Edwards broadcast boomed on their plane's interphone. They heard Edwards say, "Here comes one of the big B-29s" and then they heard the sound of their own engines in their earphones, conveyed by the broadcast.

USAAF B-29 bombers fly in formation over USS Missouri (BB 63), during the surrender ceremonies in Tokyo Bay, Sept. 2, 1945. National Archives.
As the Bertagnoli crew flew overhead, Edwards continued. "The weather [is] miserable for a demonstration of air power. The maximum ceiling is not more than fifteen hundred feet, but everything is going to plan..."

MacArthur announced that representatives of the victorious allied nations would begin signing. Six minutes after the Bertagnoli crew came and went, Edwards said observers aboard the battleship were still waiting for the massive flyover. The brief, stiff shipboard ceremony was ending when allied warplanes began parading overhead. Many veterans of the great Tokyo firebomb mission were aboard the B-29s passing overhead. Many, like Bertagnoli and Carter went on to live full, rich lives, and ultimately, to visit Washington's National World War II Memorial, which opened to the public in 2004.

About five miles southeast of the battleship was the spot where a B-29 named The Merry Mac's had disappeared five months earlier. The crew has never been found. The date of the ceremony aboard the Missouri, Sept. 2, 1945, would have been The Merry Mac's' airplane commander Bud McDonald's 24th birthday.

Northrop Grumman Team Unveils GMV 1.1 Candidate
Another GMV 1.1 candidate is unveiled at AUSA 2012

Fanfare and ceremony accompanied the opening of this week's Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., as an industry team led by Northrop Grumman used the AUSA gathering to unveil their candidate solution for the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV) 1.1 program.

The ceremony marked the sixth company or team to acknowledge submitting a vehicle test sample as part of their GMV 1.1 proposal. Other companies that have acknowledged GMV 1.1 candidates include AM General, Navistar, Oshkosh, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS)/Flyer, and General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) [Force Protection].

The Northrop Grumman-led entry, dubbed Medium Assault Vehicle - Light (MAV-L), was developed in conjunction with team members BAE Systems and Pratt & Miller Engineering.

Northrop Grumman's MAV-L, unveiled at AUSA 2012, displayed some obvious racing bloodlines as well as its ability to be configured for various loads and weaponry. Photo by Scott R. Gourley
"Today marks a unique time for the future of ground combat vehicle technology as we unveil the [Medium] Assault Vehicle - Light (MAV-L) for the U.S. Special Forces GMV 1.1 competition," said Tom Vice, president of Northrop Grumman Technical Services. "Our MAV-L solution is the result of first understanding the need; the technical requirements; affordability requirements; production requirements; as well as operation and support requirements. From there we started with a clean sheet approach and designed, produced, and rigorously tested our solution ... I think you will see that this solution meets all the requirements: mission, tactical, affordability, production, demand in terms of schedule, and of course all the operation support requirements."

"In teaming with BAE [Systems] and Pratt & Miller, this team combines the most innovative companies from defense and the commercial racing industries to create this purpose-designed vehicle that meets the warfighters' needs, both in effectiveness and new capabilities. And in partnering with BAE and Pratt & Miller we found the perfect complement to Northrop Grumman's innovation and our ground vehicle sustainment programs that we have been producing for quite some time," he said.

"This process began and ended with the warfighter in mind," he added. "And all three companies have tirelessly dedicated themselves to producing this clean sheet approach that meets the demands of our U.S. Special Forces."

Outlining the need for the new vehicle, Frank Sturek, a land forces modernization campaign manager for Northrop Grumman, noted that the current USSOCOM Ground Mobility Vehicle "does not meet the long range surveillance and airfield seizure mission requirements."

In addition to internal transport by MH/CH-47 helicopter, Sturek added that "USSOCOM wanted a vehicle with high off road mobility and quick dash speed that leveraged technologies from the off road racing and high performance racing communities" as well as the ability to configure the vehicle load to meet their own requirements.

"They told us that they need a vehicle where a couple operators can get in there - with a lot of stuff.' And the vehicle needs to be able to do that for the long range surveillance mission. And they also need the same vehicle to be able to transport a lot of dudes with not a lot of stuff for an airfield seizure mission."

In addition to the GMV 1.1 program, Sturek said that the MAV-L industry team sees the potential product market expanding to include forced entry equipment sets for the U.S. Army's XVIII Airborne Corps, Marine Corps forced entry equipment requirements, Army and Marine Corps reconnaissance elements, and several international special operations markets.

U.S. Navy Missile Defense:
The Transition From Guns to Missiles U.S

Navy missile defense, yesterday, today, and tomorrow, Part 1 

The U.S. Navy has been in the missile defense business for over six decades. Given such a long history, and competing advocacy for various naval missile defense systems, there has been far more heat than light shed on this important subject. Additionally, now that U.S. Navy ballistic missile defense is a component of a robust national ballistic missile defense system, as well as a component of a nascent international ballistic missile defense system, this is a capability that both the defense community and an informed electorate need - and want - to know more about.

But to understand where we are today and where missile defense is likely to evolve in the future, it is important to know where we have been and how the U.S. Navy arrived where it is today after this six decade journey. This series of posts - with an approximately once-a-week battle rhythm - will take us on this journey.

This is a remarkable success story. Over a period of sixty years, the U.S. Navy has evolved the most versatile, and most successful, naval air defense system in the world.  However, it is a journey that has been fraught with difficulty, advancing not in linear fashion, but in fits and starts, always pushing the edge of the technological envelope until it arrived where it is today.

USS Savannah (CL-42) is hit by a German Fritz-X radio-controlled glide bomb during the Salerno operation, Sept. 11, 1943. The bomb hit the top of the ship's number three 6 / 47 gun turret and penetrated deep into her hull before exploding. The photograph shows the explosion venting through the top of the turret and also through Savannah's hull below the waterline. The Navy began development of a ramjet-powered surface to air missile in an attempt to defeat aircraft launching missiles at stand-off range. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photo  
USS Savannah (CL-42) is hit by a German Fritz-X radio-controlled glide bomb during the Salerno operation, Sept. 11, 1943. The bomb hit the top of the ship's number three 6 / 47 gun turret and penetrated deep into her hull before exploding. The photograph shows the explosion venting through the top of the turret and also through Savannah's hull below the waterline. The Navy began development of a ramjet-powered surface to air missile in an attempt to defeat aircraft launching missiles at stand-off range. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photo

This series will begin with missile defense in general, turn the focus specifically on ballistic missile defense, then focus more specifically on Aegis BMD and project where BMD is going in the future with initiatives such as the European Phased Adaptive Approach, the Arabian Gulf BMD Initiative, and most-recently, the Asian BMD Initiative. We will attempt to cover this subject in breadth as well as in depth.

And there a compelling reason for this intense focus on what is, admittedly, just one Navy warfare area. As Undersecretary of the Navy the Honorable Robert Work noted in July 2012 at the Third Annual Symposium on the State of Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, "Integrated air and missile defense (IAMD) is the foundation of any modern fleet." We'll begin this journey by looking at the U.S. Navy's original transition from guns to missiles.

In the Beginning.... 

As the U.S. Navy took stock of the nation's fleet after World War II, as technological development spurred during the war took hold, and as the Cold War began to impel defense priorities, it soon became apparent that the ability of naval guns to defeat a then "high-end" air threat - from aircraft and missiles - was rapidly diminishing. By the 1950s, the U.S. Navy had begun the transition from guns to missiles and embarked on an effort to build up a missile fleet rapidly, even before these missiles had been fully proven. In many ways, the Navy was experimenting with, and also fielding, defensive missiles simultaneously.

A Lark missile on a zero-length launcher at White Sands Missile Range in 1950. The liquid-fueled Lark was the first U.S. surface to air missile to hit a moving aerial target, and was, along with Little Joe, one of the earliest guided missiles developed during and shortly after World War II. United States Air Force photo 
This development and fielding happened rapidly for two reasons. One, of course, was the rapidly emerging Soviet threat. But another fortuitous circumstance that facilitated this was the fact that the U.S. Navy had a substantial surplus of ships built during - and especially toward the end of - World War II. Therefore, in order to place large numbers of defensive missiles in the fleet rapidly, the Navy didn't have to deal with the expense - and time lag - of building completely new ships from the keel up, but rather only needed to outfit many of these ships with defensive missiles. And since a new hull didn't have to be built just to accommodate a new type of missile, only to have all that sunk cost lost if the missile wasn't successful, the Navy could, instead, pursue an evolutionary approach of putting different types of missiles to sea and seeing how they worked, spurring rapid development.

It is important to pause to recognize that fleet air defense comprised more than missiles; it also consisted of aircraft carrier-based fighter aircraft. Over time, these companion capabilities became increasingly well-integrated, and by the 1970s and 1980s the U.S. Navy had perfected the art of effectively integrating these capabilities in a synergistic way. However, the complete story of integrated fleet air defense is another, more complex, story and this reporting and analysis will focus strictly on the missile portion of fleet air defense.
The U.S. Navy's Focus - and Challenge 

A natural question that comes to mind - the answer to which has been lost to many who are not intimately familiar with this history - is this: With a three-dimensional Soviet threat, especially a large submarine fleet, how was the Navy able to place so much emphasis on fleet air - and especially missile - defense when there were many other operational needs?  The answer derives from understanding the U.S. Navy's strategic focus at the time.

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Dave Thomas

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