|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!!!!
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!!!
(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.
Another happy customer
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
Your Shirts are the best.
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.
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!
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.
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read his righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never beat retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment seat;
Oh! be swift, my soul, to answer him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.
--Julia Ward Howe.In no war since the close of the great Napoleonic struggles has the fighting been so obstinate and bloody as in the Civil War. Much has been said in song and story of the resolute courage of the Guards at Inkerman, of the charge of the Light Brigade, and of the terrible fighting and loss of the German armies at Mars La Tour and Gravelotte. The praise bestowed, upon the British and Germans for their valor, and for the loss that proved their valor, was well deserved; but there were over one hundred and twenty regiments, Union and Confederate, each of which, in some one battle of the Civil War, suffered a greater loss than any English regiment at Inkerman or at any other battle in the Crimea, a greater loss than was suffered by any German regiment at Gravelotte or at any other battle of the Franco-Prussian war. No European regiment in any recent struggle has suffered such losses as at Gettysburg befell the 1st Minnesota, when 82 per cent. of the officers and men were killed and wounded; or the 141st Pennsylvania, which lost 76 per cent.; or the 26th North Carolina, which lost 72 per cent.; such as at the second battle of Manassas befell the 101st New York, which lost 74 per cent., and the 21st Georgia, which lost 76 per cent. At Cold Harbor the 25th Massachusetts lost 70 per cent., and the 10th Tennessee at Chickamauga 68 per cent.; while at Shiloh the 9th Illinois lost 63 per cent., and the 6th Mississippi 70 per cent.; and at Antietam the 1st Texas lost 82 percent. The loss of the Light Brigade in killed and wounded in its famous charge at Balaklava was but 37 per cent.
These figures show the terrible punishment endured by these regiments, chosen at random from the head of the list which shows the slaughter-roll of the Civil War. Yet the shattered remnants of each regiment preserved their organization, and many of the severest losses were incurred in the hour of triumph, and not of disaster. Thus, the 1st Minnesota, at Gettysburg, suffered its appalling loss while charging a greatly superior force, which it drove before it; and the little huddle of wounded and unwounded men who survived their victorious charge actually kept both the flag they had captured and the ground from which they had driven their foes.
A number of the Continental regiments under Washington, Greene, and Wayne did valiant fighting and endured heavy punishment. Several of the regiments raised on the northern frontier in 1814 showed, under Brown and Scott, that they were able to meet the best troops of Britain on equal terms in the open, and even to overmatch them in fair fight with the bayonet. The regiments which, in the Mexican war, under the lead of Taylor, captured Monterey, and beat back Santa Anna at Buena Vista, or which, with Scott as commander, stormed Molino Del Rey and Chapultepec, proved their ability to bear terrible loss, to wrest victory from overwhelming numbers, and to carry by open assault positions of formidable strength held by a veteran army. But in none of these three wars was the fighting so resolute and bloody as in the Civil War.
Countless deeds of heroism were performed by Northerner and by Southerner, by officer and by private, in every year of the great struggle. The immense majority of these deeds went unrecorded, and were known to few beyond the immediate participants. Of those that were noticed it would be impossible even to make a dry catalogue in ten such volumes as this. All that can be done is to choose out two or three acts of heroism, not as exceptions, but as examples of hundreds of others. The times of war are iron times, and bring out all that is best as well as all that is basest in the human heart. In a full recital of the civil war, as of every other great conflict, there would stand out in naked relief feats of wonderful daring and self-devotion, and, mixed among them, deeds of cowardice, of treachery, of barbarous brutality. Sadder still, such a recital would show strange contrasts in the careers of individual men, men who at one time acted well and nobly, and at another time ill and basely. The ugly truths must not be blinked, and the lessons they teach should be set forth by every historian, and learned by every statesman and soldier; but, for our good fortune, the lessons best worth learning in the nation's past are lessons of heroism.
From immemorial time the armies of every warlike people have set the highest value upon the standards they bore to battle. To guard one's own flag against capture is the pride, to capture the flag of one's enemy the ambition, of every valiant soldier. In consequence, in every war between peoples of good military record, feats of daring performed by color-bearers are honorably common. The Civil War was full of such incidents. Out of very many two or three may be mentioned as noteworthy.
One occurred at Fredericksburg on the day when half the brigades of Meagher and Caldwell lay on the bloody slope leading up to the Confederate entrenchments. Among the assaulting regiments was the 5th New Hampshire, and it lost one hundred and eighty-six out of three hundred men who made the charge. The survivors fell sullenly back behind a fence, within easy range of the Confederate rifle-pits. Just before reaching it the last of the color guard was shot, and the flag fell in the open. A Captain Perry instantly ran out to rescue it, and as he reached it was shot through the heart; another, Captain Murray, made the same attempt and was also killed; and so was a third, Moore. Several private soldiers met a like fate. They were all killed close to the flag, and their dead bodies fell across one another. Taking advantage of this breastwork, Lieutenant Nettleton crawled from behind the fence to the colors, seized them, and bore back the blood-won trophy.
Another took place at Gaines' Mill, where Gregg's 1st South Carolina formed part of the attacking force. The resistance was desperate, and the fury of the assault unsurpassed. At one point it fell to the lot of this regiment to bear the brunt of carrying a certain strong position. Moving forward at a run, the South Carolinians were swept by a fierce and searching fire. Young James Taylor, a lad of sixteen, was carrying the flag, and was killed after being shot down three times, twice rising and struggling onward with the colors. The third time he fell the flag was seized by George Cotchet, and when he, in turn, fell, by Shubrick Hayne. Hayne was also struck down almost immediately, and the fourth lad, for none of them were over twenty years old, grasped the colors, and fell mortally wounded across the body of his friend. The fifth, Gadsden Holmes, was pierced with no less than seven balls. The sixth man, Dominick Spellman, more fortunate, but not less brave, bore the flag throughout the rest of the battle.
Yet another occurred at Antietam. The 7th Maine, then under the command of Major T. W. Hyde, was one of the hundreds of regiments that on many hard-fought fields established a reputation for dash and unyielding endurance. Toward the early part of the day at Antietam it merely took its share in the charging and long-range firing, together with the New York and Vermont regiments which were its immediate neighbors in the line. The fighting was very heavy. In one of the charges, the Maine men passed over what had been a Confederate regiment. The gray-clad soldiers were lying, both ranks, privates and officers, as they fell, for so many had been killed or disabled that it seemed as if the whole regiment was prone in death.
Much of the time the Maine men lay on the battle-field, hugging the ground, under a heavy artillery fire, but beyond the reach of ordinary musketry. One of the privates, named Knox, was a wonderful shot, and had received permission to use his own special rifle, a weapon accurately sighted for very long range. While the regiment thus lay under the storm of shot and shell, he asked leave to go to the front; and for an hour afterward his companions heard his rifle crack every few minutes. Major Hyde finally, from curiosity, crept forward to see what he was doing, and found that he had driven every man away from one section of a Confederate battery, tumbling over gunner after gunner as they came forward to fire. One of his victims was a general officer, whose horse he killed. At the end of an hour or so, a piece of shell took off the breech of his pet rifle, and he returned disconsolate; but after a few minutes he gathered three rifles that were left by wounded men, and went back again to his work.
At five o'clock in the afternoon the regiment was suddenly called upon to undertake a hopeless charge, owing to the blunder of the brigade commander, who was a gallant veteran of the Mexican war, but who was also given to drink. Opposite the Union lines at this point were some haystacks, near a group of farm buildings. They were right in the center of the Confederate position, and sharpshooters stationed among them were picking off the Union gunners. The brigadier, thinking that they were held by but a few skirmishers, rode to where the 7th Maine was lying on the ground, and said: "Major Hyde, take your regiment and drive the enemy from those trees and buildings." Hyde saluted, and said that he had seen a large force of rebels go in among the buildings, probably two brigades in all. The brigadier answered, "Are you afraid to go, sir?" and repeated the order emphatically. "Give the order, so the regiment can hear it, and we are ready, sir," said Hyde. This was done, and "Attention" brought every man to his feet. With the regiment were two young boys who carried the marking guidons, and Hyde ordered these to the rear. They pretended to go, but as soon as the regiment charged came along with it. One of them lost his arm, and the other was killed on the field. The colors were carried by the color corporal, Harry Campbell.
Hyde gave the orders to left face and forward and the Maine men marched out in front of a Vermont regiment which lay beside them; then, facing to the front, they crossed a sunken road, which was so filled with dead and wounded Confederates that Hyde's horse had to step on them to get over.
Once across, they stopped for a moment in the trampled corn to straighten the line, and then charged toward the right of the barns. On they went at the double-quick, fifteen skirmishers ahead under Lieutenant Butler, Major Hyde on the right on his Virginia thoroughbred, and Adjutant Haskell to the left on a big white horse. The latter was shot down at once, as was his horse, and Hyde rode round in front of the regiment just in time to see a long line of men in gray rise from behind the stone wall of the Hagerstown pike, which was to their right, and pour in a volley; but it mostly went too high. He then ordered his men to left oblique.
Just as they were abreast a hill to the right of the barns, Hyde, being some twenty feet ahead, looked over its top and saw several regiments of Confederates, jammed close together and waiting at the ready; so he gave the order left flank, and, still at the double quick, took his column past the barns and buildings toward an orchard on the hither side, hoping that he could get them back before they were cut off, for they were faced by ten times their number. By going through the orchard he expected to be able to take advantage of a hollow, and partially escape the destructive flank fire on his return.
To hope to keep the barns from which they had driven the sharpshooters was vain, for the single Maine regiment found itself opposed to portions of no less than four Confederate brigades, at least a dozen regiments all told. When the men got to the orchard fence, Sergeant Benson wrenched apart the tall pickets to let through Hyde's horse. While he was doing this, a shot struck his haversack, and the men all laughed at the sight of the flying hardtack.
Going into the orchard there was a rise of ground, and the Confederates fired several volleys at the Maine men, and then charged them. Hyde's horse was twice wounded, but was still able to go on.
No sooner were the men in blue beyond the fence than they got into line and met the Confederates, as they came crowding behind, with a slaughtering fire, and then charged, driving them back. The color corporal was still carrying the colors, though one of his arms had been broken; but when half way through the orchard, Hyde heard him call out as he fell, and turned back to save the colors, if possible.
The apple-trees were short and thick, and he could not see much, and the Confederates speedily got between him and his men. Immediately, with the cry of "Rally, boys, to save the Major," back surged the regiment, and a volley at arm's length again destroyed all the foremost of their pursuers; so they rescued both their commander and the flag, which was carried off by Corporal Ring.
Hyde then formed the regiment on the colors, sixty-eight men all told, out of two hundred and forty who had begun the charge, and they slowly marched back toward their place in the Union line, while the New Yorkers and Vermonters rose from the ground cheering and waving their hats. Next day, when the Confederates had retired a little from the field, the color corporal, Campbell, was found in the orchard, dead, propped up against a tree, with his half-smoked pipe beside him.
Story by Teddy Roosevelt
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|Voice of the Soldier|
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Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Special Forces Gear is now hosting a special section for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) provides college scholarship grants, along with financial aid and educational counseling, to the children of Special Operations personnel who were killed in an operational mission or training accident.
All profits from these items go to the
Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Learn More about the
Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) >>
Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club
The Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club is a not-for-profit (501c3) fraternal organization. It was formed to provide a fraternal organization for qualified military veterans who have served, or are currently serving, in the Armed Forces of the United States or US Allied Nations. They support Veterans and Active Duty Members in many different ways. A few of the many causes projects they support are: mailing over 900lbs of care packages to Active Duty Service Members Monthly to Visiting Veterans Homes to put a smile on a Veterans Face. Please visit them at www.warriorbrotherhood.com.
All profits from these items are donated to
Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club
Learn More about the Warrior Brotherhood Veterans
Motorcycle Club >>
Caring for America's Quiet Professionals
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>>
|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|
|Texas Triggers - 1000 yd SHOT standing |
with .50 cal
|Word of Truth|
By Rev G.J. Rako|
Government of the people, by the people, and for the people... the land of the free and home of the brave is becoming the land of the enslaved and the home of the spineless. The have-nots are taking from the haves, through redistribution of wealth.
Every problem we have in this country can be directly traced back to the five hundred or so tyrants that make up our three braches of government. We elected them. Therefore, "we the people" only have ourselves to blame. The constitution of the United States has become little more than a list of suggestions that most of our government servants refuse to follow. They trample the constitution under foot every day of their miserable lives.
The proposed (and original) hate crime legislation ("Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act," which is better known to conservatives as the "Pedophile Protection Act is just one in a string of insane legislation. The "poison pill" amendment mirrors House bill, H.R. 1913. This has already passed 249-175 along strict party lines, which makes "sexual orientation," "gender," and "gender identity" into federally-protected classes under the law, and codifies federal protection of up to 547 types of sexually deviant behaviors, including:
- Incest - sex with one's offspring (a crime, of course)
- Necrophilia - sexual relations with a corpse, also a crime
- Pedophilia - sex with an underage child, another crime
- Zoophilia - a crime in numerous states
- Voyeurism - a criminal offense in most states
- Fronteurism - a man rubbing against an unknown woman's buttocks
- Coprophilia - sexual arousal from feces
- Urophilia - sexual arousal from urine (seeks to create a protected class of people.)
Whatever happened to equality under the law? Hate crime legislation makes the motivation of a crime the crime itself. Motivation is thought, so therefore government can now regulate your thoughts. Since when is thinking a crime? Only since hate crime legislation was signed into law. Thoughts lead to words, so then, not only is freedom of speech gone, but now freedom of thinking is also to be regulated.
The totalitarian government we now have will take this legislation and parlay it into imprisonment for anyone that dares to disagree with their progressive agenda.
They will shut down all media that opposes their evil plans. They whine and complain about the alleged atrocities at Abu Ghraib, and GTMO while dreaming of the day they can lock you up as a dissident. Sounds like the old Soviet Union. Happy forth of July!
The progressives have an idea to lift up the poor and downtrodden. How noble this sounds, no more poverty. Yet Jesus Christ, the creator of the universe, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end said, "the poor, you will have with you always."
The progressive system is to take from the rich and working and give to the sick, lame, and lazy. Their great cause is to make us all equal by destroying the middle class and the wealthy. We will all be poor and dependent on government (the great messiah.) Why should you have freedom to work hard, be successful, and get ahead by creating wealth and jobs? Those that are lazy, criminal, or stupid cannot, or will not achieve wealth, so we must take it away from you and give it to them. Redistribution of wealth was a campaign promise of the "one", remember Joe the plumber?
This is treason! As members of the armed forces, we took an oath to protect and defend the constitution of the United States of America, against all enemies foreign and domestic. Do you see any domestic enemies? Are our enemies holding elected office? These same people are systematically dismantling our nation and incredibly, they took that same oath.
If I tried to list every anti constitutional law, bill or pending legislation the stack of paper would reach the moon. Each of you knows that our freedoms are eroding at a mind-boggling pace, and each of you can compile your own list of evils perpetrated by our elected servants of the people. The question is, what people are they serving? And yes, they are both democrats and republicans. Happy 4th of July!
The government cannot save you.
Jeremiah 17:5 Thus says the Lord, " Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
Psalms 146:3 Do not trust in princes (elected or bureaucrats), In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
Psalms 118:8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
Jeremiah 17:7 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord And whose trust is the Lord.
The answer to the end of prosperity in America is not found in mankind. The problems of this once great nation will not be solved by political activism.
Your happiness, security, or prosperity does not depend upon who is in office, but rather in the living God who is on His throne in heaven. The solutions to our problems, whether they are personal, or national are found in the unique person of the universe.
If you have not yet made that most important of all decisions, the decision to believe in the name of the uniquely born Son of God, Jesus Christ, then take a few moments to consider the issue.
There is a God in heaven and He loves you very much, His name is Jesus Christ. In order to benefit from the Word of God you must be a member of God's family.
John 3:16 "For God loved the world so much, that He gave His uniquely born Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Acts 4:12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
Acts 16:31 Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
John 10:30 "I and the Father are one."
John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the (command to believe in the) Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
John 17:11 "I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.
John 17:21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Galatians 2:16 Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.
Romans 4:20-22 Yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. Therefore, it was also credited to him as righteousness.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Once you have made this most important of all decisions you become a new creature in Christ (2 Cor 5:17). As a new spiritual being you can understand the things of the Spirit.
John 4:24 God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth (Holy Spirit and Bible doctrine).
Understanding the cause of our problems will lead us to the solution to our problems.
Isaiah 5:13 Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge; and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude is parched with thirst.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest (nation). Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
If you are interested in becoming part of the solution instead of being part of the problem then you must make the Word of God a priority in your life. True Christian patriots will fulfill the Biblical commands to take the high ground of the spiritual life.
2 Chronicles 7:14 and if My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Eph 4:13 Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature, which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
1 Corinthians 14:20 Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.
Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (thinking), so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Philippians 2:5 Have this thinking in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
Spiritual maturity is attained only by transferring Bible doctrine from the pages of scripture into your soul (thinking).
Ephesians 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.
Titus 1:9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
There is absolutely no place for a Christians to involve themselves in revolution, armed violence, or destruction of property. Government is an institution created by God to protect the human race from itself. Gods plan for the human race is nationalism. Internationalism or globalism is evil. God made this clear at the destruction of the tower of Babel (Gen 11:1-9).
We are to obey those in government no matter how much we may disagree with them.
Romans 13:1-14 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them tax to whom tax is due, custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
Mark 12:17 And Jesus said to them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him.
Our lives can be full of happiness, security, peace, and contentment. These things are guaranteed to those believers who love God.
Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you
Philippians 4:9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord
2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love
Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Living your life in the light of eternity changes your focus from your insignificant problems to the One who has provided solutions to all problems. God has a perfect plan for your life. Learn the Word of God, trust what you learn, believe that what God has promised, He is also able to deliver (Rom 4:21). Happy 4th of July!
Sgt. Glenn French
BALLISTIC SHIELD TACTICS FOR ACTIVE SHOOTER RESPONSE
On any given day, you as a uniformed patrol could be dispatched to an active shooter incident. The incident could be at a mall, school or even a home where shots were fired. I find many officers seeking ways to keep themselves tactically sound when responding to runs but I also find that most shields that are available in many patrol cars don't get used.
Many of you may be saying to yourselves that we don't have shields in our squad cars. If that's the case I urge you to find a way to obtain them. A valid argument to present to department heads is that the ballistic shield is a common tool for swat teams. We are training patrol officers to handle incidents such as active shooters, mass murders, acts of terrorism and injured civilian/officer rescues. If a swat team handled any one of these incidents they surely would deploy with a ballistic shield.
Police departments must provide officers with the same tactical advantage that swat teams are offered. If departments fail to recognize that patrol officers need ballistic shields on the streets, readily available in their squad cars, then those officers will be at a tactical disadvantage when they respond to an active shooter incident. Failing to properly equip our officers to battle adversaries with tactics that was formerly exclusive to swat teams than we fail as leaders. Personal Protection
To maximize the effectiveness when deploying a ballistic shield soft body armor must be worn at all times to further enhance officer safety and survival. Soft body armor and Tactical vests should not be discarded while deploying a shield in a tactical environment. Ballistic helmets are mandatory equipment, preferably with face shields, even though they provide a slight burden to the officer. Consider using leg armor to further enhance officer safety and survival by providing some ballistic value to any possible exposed leg areas from a frontal assault position. Personal Gear
Shield man and his #2 man should have additional gear as preferred to assure greater ease and success of the shield deployment in a combat environment. Both the shield officer and the second officer or # 2 man should maintain lengths of ropes, door wedges, and hand mirrors in a quickly accessible position, to aid in door retention. A small three day assault pack or smaller go-bag can be loaded with extra gear and offer quick access under stressful tactical movements to the shield officer and the #2 officer. Ballistic Value
Deploy the proper shield for the tactical objective that you are faced with. Know your ballistic value and rating of the shield that your team is counting on for protection. Deployment of a handgun rated shield into a tactical environment where the threat is armed with a rifle can be a catastrophic failure. Modern ballistic shields are examined against the U.S. government ballistic protection rating standard, NIJ-Std 0108.01. They typically rate Threat Level Type IIIA protection which can stop most handguns, however some manufacturers' shields cover IIIA, IIIB and IV, which can provide protection from many rifle rounds.Visibility
The shield officer should have the capability of a light system mounted directly to the shield for maximum visibility. The light source should offer the shield man a hands free alternative light source. There are many possibilities for light systems mounted on the various tactical shields that are manufactured. Some come equipped with lights and others don't but mounting your own light source is simple with items purchased at your local hardware store. Personal preference and training will help guide your choice. The shield man should also have a weapon mounted light system as any other tactical operator would. The weapon mounted light system provides a back up light source if the shield system fails, provides different light angles, and aluminates potential targets that the shield mounted system may miss. Shield Tactics
There are many different philosophies on the use of tactical shields in swat operations and even for uniformed officers and a small book could be written to provide guidance. However, a critical factor with shield deployment is training. Training with the shield in various tactical formations, in various tactical environments is paramount. One great tactic the shield operator may want to consider is training using a "wall pivot" with the shield. The wall pivot provides additional cover and concealment when entering an objective. By merely placing the shield edge against a wall or door jamb upon entering an objective, then pivoting or rounding the corner with the shield in place, upon entering the room closes any visible gaps between the shield and the wall/door. The structure then may provide additional cover and concealment, briefly, as you make entry into the stronghold. Multiple shields can be utilized to provide a wider coverage by simply having two shield operators stand, side by side, overlapping the two shields. This tactic is useful with a stack or linear formations as it provides a wider foot print of ballistic coverage.
Another tactic is to have a pole camera available in the stack or by a trailing officer. The #3 man can easily conduct a quick sweep of a threshold prior to the shield man making entry into a room. However, this tactic will significantly slow the team's or officers movement but it also provides a much safer entry and room clearing operation.
The tactical situation will dictate if the pole camera will be useful in deployment. A second shield operator in the formation is also a possibility. He may become useful if the primary shield operator has penetrated a room and the team formation needs to continue to advance. Practice with additional shields in various positions within the linear formation will improve the team or officers movements throughout the tactical objective. Defensive Tactics
The shield operators must be proficient at defensive movements when confronted with an unarmed hostile adversary. If the shield is grabbed, pushed or hit with an object an immediate response should be a very aggressive push of the subject. In other words, the shield man must quickly force the shield into his adversary with a dominate force, pinning the suspect against the floor or wall with the shield, until control of the suspect can be obtained from other officers within the formation. Lastly, never give a ballistic shield to your adversary. It must be treated with the same priority as weapon security. A ballistic shield in the hands of your adversary can be a fatal mistake.
The ballistic shield can save your life in a combat environment. When you grab your rifle, and go-bag at an active shooter incident or any critical incident for that matter, grab that ballistic shield and protect yourself as you push forward to the fight!
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 of www.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|
Prepped to Fight
How prepared are you to fight hand to hand? Hand to Hand combat is often one of the most overlooked aspects of survival preparedness training. The theme seems to be that people plan to rely on their firearms thereby negating the need for combative skills. However, history has repeatedly proven time and again that the old skills never go out of style and that the need for a true hand to hand combative skill set are a necessity, especially in today's world. Think of a scenario when it wouldn't be in your best interest to fire a shot due to bystanders, enemy patrols, etc. Can you remove a human obstacle in your path quickly and effectively without getting yourself injured in a bug-out or crisis situation?
Immediately your mind takes you to consider martial arts such as Taekwondo, Karate, etc. While these styles were developed for self defense, religion and exercise, it must be noted that they were also developed centuries ago for enemies in armor and have little practical street use today. People are weirs when it comes to "their style" of martial art and they will defend their style just as they would defend their religion or political affiliation. The fact of the matter is a style fits a personality type and whichever one fits your personality best is the one you will naturally gravitate toward, but that doesn't mean that your style is the best or even effective in real 21st Century hand to hand combat.
Something must also be said about martial arts training today. You would be hard pressed to find a true combative style in your local strip mall. Sadly, those that teach the good stuff are often outcasts of the martial arts world because of their disdain for strip mall karate and intolerance for whining and snot nosed kids which make up the brunt of the martial arts worlds economy. Those that do venture off grid to find a good instructor typically only last a couple weeks because they tire of training at the instructor's garage or a local park. No, your goal is not to be a black belt, for ranks mean nothing when it comes to hand to hand fighting just as ranks mean nothing when it comes to survival. You need to be able to remove a human obstacle quickly and move on to the next one without turning things into a sparring match or action movie.
Fighting when you have been trained in a martial arts style or maybe several styles, confines you to a set of rules which you may not even realize you follow when you are forced to fight someone for real. You are trained to pull punches, not strike here or there, stay at arms distance to kick, etc, etc. and what should be a 3-5 second encounter ends up being a 20 minute sparring match. You instinctively want to look cool doing your martial arts because you've been trained to seek the approval of your instructor and your peers, for that's how you progress in rank. So, maybe you get all that and you have opted to train in MMA. I mean you see it work in the UFC and those guys beat the hell out of each other right? Again, while MMA fighters are great athletes, they are just that, athletes. Their fights are again bound to sets of rules. Even in the early days of UFC when Royce Gracie dominated, each fighter could only fight as their styles rules allowed them to fight, the majority of which did not allow for ground fighting which is why Royce beat them all.
So, what is one to do? Martial arts provide a plethora of techniques that can be useful, but they must be applied in a situation where reality is maintained. By that I mean, techniques are performed under duress, where things are just shy of full throttle and where people will in fact get hurt from time to time. Sprains, Strains and the occasional jammed finger or bruised eye are par for the course. Programs that have been battlefield tested such as Israeli Krav Maga, Hisardut and old style tribal combatives such as Apache and Plains Indian fighting styles and Filipino Kali-Silat are worthwhile ventures to study. Krav Maga is going the way of Karate nowadays as a glorified Taebo program, but when done properly is a fiercely aggressive system designed to overcome an attacker at any cost. It covers the use and defense against hot and cold weapons (hot would be a gun and cold would be a stick) and also improvised weapons such as picking up whatever is next to you be it a book, hatchet or trophy. Hisardut is another system, like Krav Maga, designed for survival. Hisardut actually means "to survive".
Apache and Plains Indian fighting styles are often very nontraditional and are not systemized as a martial arts style would be, they're more of a way of life with techniques taught off the cuff. All of them however are oriented toward guerilla warfare tactics. When in a bug-out or SHTF situation, guerilla warfare tactics will be #1 on the list of needed combative skills for groups. Groups will need to understand scouting (recon), ambushes, sabotage, raids, force protection, etc. It can be difficult to find quality Native American Instructors because there are so few out there, just be certain that those you do train with are legitimate and are not trying to sell you a standard martial arts relabeled as a Tribal Arts. Filipino styles such as Kali-Silat, Arnis de Mano and others offer a wide range of weapons and empty hand techniques all of which build upon and branch off of one another. If you want to learn to use primitive weapons, Filipino styles are the way to go as you'll learn everything from knives, machetes and swords to sticks of all sizes, karambits and handkerchiefs.
The main point here is to get some training under your belt and don't think you're going to be able to rely 100% on your firearms or your Taekwondo Black Belt to save you. Gain an understanding of what real self-defense is and is not and throw the hand to hand rule book out the proverbial window for when the SHTF, there are no rules when it comes to staying alive. Training can be done on your own by videos so long as you take the time to practice with a partner or by attending seminars or classes in topics of interest. Whatever your preferred method of instruction, don't neglect hand to hand fighting as a Preparation for the times ahead.
|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.
Ranger TLC -
What's Your Culture?
Men and women who build a thriving business from "nothing" achieve the corporate American dream. Employees march behind them, and with them, up the hill to success. Almost invariably, this achievement reflects an important truth: The founders created and nurtured a great corporate culture. They built long-term stability for their company by building a team that knows how to perform on a day-to-day basis. They created an environment in which people want to be part of a common goal, to row the boat in the same direction. A solid corporate culture will create an environment that people will want to join and stay in. Because they want to stay, they will habitually train with and learn from others so that the company as a whole has excellent output.
Fundamentally, when you work somewhere with a great corporate culture, you have a compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning, leave your family, and apply yourself fully. The September 11, 2001, assaults on American life have thrown a spotlight on how important this idea of culture is: People are analyzing their lives and asking, What does it mean to belong to something? What does it mean to be part of something-to spend my waking hours feeling as though I'm contributing something of value? What am I accomplishing? How do I make my life meaningful?
A great corporate culture meets three criteria:
- People find value in it. The culture reflects their beliefs and values.
- The culture is consistent with the mission of the company.
- The company has a mechanism for passing it on in a person-to-person way.
In general, cultures get established informally. It's "the way we do things around here." Culture emanates from the leadership and takes shape and gets passed on because of the people who embrace it. People do what they think is right according to the culture. If the culture promotes playing it safe with dependent decision-making, then that's what employees who enjoy the environment routinely deliver. If the culture rewards initiative and independent thought, then the people who work in that environment tend to take risks. On the downside, some chief executives who want everything to be perfect put their imprint on the culture, creating an environment in which a single wrong decision is failure that will not be forgotten until that boss moves on.
An organizational culture is often an expression of an ideology-political, religious, humanitarian, artistic, financial, and so on. This ideology may be the entire reason a company or some other organization exists. As an employee who is part of that team, you must decide whether that ideology and the culture it shaped motivates you to be a great contributor. This is the kind of clear choice that every Ranger faces. It is a culture that demands taking initiative when the situation warrants it, for example. Someone who is a superior athlete may excel in the Army's fitness tests for Rangers, yet be forced to acknowledge that he can't be counted on to take initiative in any circumstance.
The Ranger Culture
The Ranger culture is a way of life. Since the early 1950s, thousands of young men have attempted Ranger School and about half have completed this grueling task. Over the years the length and locations of the school have varied, but the underlying goal has not: Develop small-unit leadership skills and tactics among the Army's "highpots" (high potentials). In early 1990 when I attended, Ranger School was seventy-two days long. I made it through without injury or rejection due to peer evaluation and graduated on my twenty-first birthday. At the end of training, each graduate received a Ranger Tab to wear on each uniform. Wearing this tab distinguishes a soldier as a graduate of Ranger School. It communicates that the soldier has endured the toughest training the Army has to offer. However, wearing the tab does not necessarily make a soldier a Ranger. To those who've volunteered to serve in the 75th Ranger Regiment, a (real) Ranger is someone who has earned the right to wear the Ranger Scroll on a uniform. Wearing the Scroll signifies belonging to an active Ranger unit whose primary mission will likely put you at the forefront of any world conflict. Simply to emphasize how special men in a Ranger Battalion hold their culture, "The tab is a school. The scroll is a way of life."
Any company that has a solid culture knows what the Rangers know: "That's how we do things here. That's how we live when we come to work."
In preparing to write this book, I talked with my former PL. When we discussed the issue of passing on a great culture, he said, "Dean, you can't build Ranger teams in the business world that are as focused and as effective as they were for us." I asked him to elaborate, and he went on, "You weren't there for the pay. You were there because at that point in time that's what you felt your calling was. You agreed to live those espoused values; you agreed to do all those hard things-and life was so simple!" He's right about that. It was complex in terms of the challenges but simple in terms of direction. We had a mission and knew everyone around us was there to do the same mission. That's what got us out of bed in the morning.
I'm not convinced he's completely right about the assertion that teams as committed as we were can't be built in the business world. Sure, it's true that people go to work with a multitude of reasons that don't drive Ranger behavior. You have to make a house payment, send your kids to school, have a nice car-or just survive. And you may be on the same team as someone who comes to the office burning to take over the company or invent the ultimate gadget. At the same time, when you get to work, you may care so intensely about your company's success that you approach the level of commitment in the same way that Rangers do in a mission of "leading the way" for freedom.
Companies that I've known like DJ/NYPRO, WatchGuard Technologies, and Domino's Pizza have had employees at all levels with this kind of commitment. They are well aware that a culture is critical to team success because it shapes decisions related to mission success. It helps the individual determine what he or she should do. People doing the right things for the right reason-they are consistent with the mission-in the absence of orders or directions from the boss is the primary sign of a great culture.
Remember the bad PL I talked about in Chapter 2? The Ranger culture drove us to follow a guy who made scapegoats of others. We knew we were part of something bigger than a bad squad leader. That's the power of the culture within the Rangers. That culture is composed of a set of beliefs, values, and norms that we are asked to uphold, follow, sustain, and strengthen. Every Ranger feels good about taking whatever action is necessary to do that, and the reward is enduring.
When I knew I was going to be in the San Francisco area for a while working with my coauthor on this book, I called a former Ranger named Tommy, whom I'd never met. We didn't even have a Ranger Buddy in common, but we had both served as Rangers so he was automatically receptive to my call. I told Tommy that I'd like to meet him and was hoping the logistics would allow it. He assessed the challenges and said, "I'll pick you up at the airport; take you back to my house for the first night; lend you my car for the rest of your stay, and then see you on the tail end of the trip."
The reaction most people would have to this scenario might be, "He must be nuts to make an offer like that."
Sharing a culture as Rangers, there are certain things we knew about each other that eliminated the need for a trial period in the relationship. Not only did he have confidence that I would behave like a gentleman in front of his wife and kids, he also had an internal security that I'd return the car intact and with a full tank of gas. We live by the same principles we did when we were in the Ranger battalion.
One of the most powerful things about the Ranger culture is the value of initiative. If we took initiative consistent with achieving a mission objective, we could never screw something up so badly that we were reprimanded for it and never wanted to try something bold again.
Most people in corporate cultures are reprimanded if they take initiative and fail. They'll probably never take a chance again and their productivity is stifled. Think about the payroll dollars that are wasted: Millions of employees have so much more to give, and they don't give it because the culture won't allow them.
In contrast, think of the classic story of Art Fry, the 3M employee who accidentally invented the glue for the Post-it Note. 3M's culture of innovation was partially expressed in the company's "15 percent rule," which allows researchers to spend up to 15 percent of their time on any projects they choose. Fry took advantage of this rule, and the result is currently one of the five top-selling office products in the United States.
In the Rangers, you're penalized if you don't take initiative. If someone did it "wrong," we'd just say, "Good initiative, poor judgment, Ranger." Or the PL might say, "First time you make a mistake, my fault. I didn't train you. Second time, your fault." That's empowerment, and it is a big contributor to the demeanor that sets the Rangers apart as a group and as individuals.
That appearance of honor and excellence that Rangers see as a sign of our culture is the genesis of the controversy over the black beret. The concept was to improve Army morale by giving every soldier the black beret.
Regardless of my personal feelings about the decision, I can understand the logic. The first time I ever saw a real live Ranger, I was at the reception center at Fort Benning, Georgia. It was Thanksgiving Day, 1988. I had just enlisted in the Army and the whole reason I had joined was to try to be a Ranger-to see if I could do what it would take to earn that coveted black beret. When I saw that Ranger-his uniform, his boots, the way he carried himself- I knew I was in the presence of someone with dignity and focus.
The resolution of issuing black berets to every member of the Army and tan berets to the Rangers preserved, at least on some level, the Rangers' sense of being part of a distinct community that lives-and dresses-with distinction. You can't hang a code of conduct on the wall and have everyone instantly abide by it anymore than you can stick a piece of headgear on someone and expect him or her to adopt new beliefs and change behavior. It takes time to understand and absorb the beliefs, and it takes practice to change the behavior. Then there's the hard part: In order for those changes to reflect a culture, they have to last. You have to live that way.
Passing on the Ranger Culture
Private Moore was a Golden Gloves boxer in high school. He held the bench press record for the entire Ranger battalion. In 1991, he won the tough man contest in Columbus, Georgia. His boxing conditioning gave him technique and the three-to-five mile runs every morning as a Ranger gave him cardiovascular conditioning, so he could run circles around the guys who took him on. You did not want to mess with Moore.
One sweltering August day in Georgia, we were doing twenty-four-hour rotations, which meant we were resting during the day and doing night missions. Moore was a new private. I was a gunner assigned to a different private, and another gunner, Specialist Lynch, had Moore. I saw Moore moving through the platoon patrol base looking like a victim of the heat.
"Hey, Moore, you motivated?" I yelled.
"Negative, Specialist," he said.
I called out, "Specialist Lynch, your private just told me he's not motivated."
"What?" Lynch shrieked. "Get over here, Moore!" At any given time, Moore could have pounded me into the ground, and I thought about that as Lynch proceeded to have Moore do an hour and a half of pushups and sit-ups in the hot Georgia sun. The point I was making with Moore, although I didn't expect him to appreciate it at the time, is that you never say you're not motivated. Everybody hates the suffering that's part of being a Ranger, and everybody loves it.
One day, after I'd made sergeant and Moore had just graduated from Ranger School, he came up to me in the hall and said, "Sergeant. Hohl. Do you remember that day when Specialist Lynch smoked my ass all afternoon after you asked me if I was motivated? You know, I hated your guts. Now I know why you did it. I just did it the other day to one of my privates."
Informal lessons-that's primarily how we watched out for one another and passed on the culture. I can honestly say that's not what I had in mind when I did that to Private Moore. I just did what the last guy did to me. That's how we handed it down. People get in on the cellular level by doing it that way.
What's Your Corporate Culture?
A culture affects how you feel, not just how you think. The Rangers tapped into my mind, body, and soul. They engaged my mind and expected me to use it as much as I wanted to as long as it fit the mission and didn't violate the Ranger Creed. They conditioned my body so I could endure, tolerate, and perform, all the while feeling strong and in shape. And they tapped into my soul-who I am. "Ranger" became part of how I lived my life. Being a Ranger was not just a job, but also values that I agreed to uphold and, if necessary, even die for.
After reading that paragraph, you may think, "My company doesn't have a culture." Every organization has a culture. Some groups have a culture that's consistent with the organizational mission; it's intrinsically linked to the group's success and people get that on a conscious level. In other cases, the culture is inconsistent with the mission and in fact may be easy to describe because it has such a detrimental effect on performance. A culture may also affect different people in different ways and in varying degrees; some may feel comfortable in it while others feel uncomfortable, or some employees find purpose and direction while others find obstacles. If, for example, you are part of a culture that promotes compliance with rules and conservative behavior and you're an aggressive sales executive with a penchant for risk-taking, you're in the wrong place. Seek a company that appreciates what you offer, or wage the uphill battle to reshape your corporate culture. Believe it or not, the latter option is not impossible if you're in a leadership role. Later chapters will offer guidance on initiating that kind of change.
How can you define and describe your company culture? Let's start with some external signs.
- Why do (or don't) people get bonuses and promotions at your company? (exceeding standards, creative thinking, selling the most product, shining the boss's shoes)
- What kind of behavior warrants a reprimand? (sloppy record-keeping, speaking out of turn, taking potshots at others during a meeting)
- What are the three main things you tell someone about your company? (good pay and benefits, too many rules, emphasizes safety, puts the customer first, puts the employees last)
- What is the biggest reason people leave the company?
- What is the main reason they stay?
Can you start to see a picture emerge? Try writing a paragraph about the company that uses all the ideas that you just expressed. If you don't know where to start, try filling in the blanks:
My company rewards _______________.
People who _________________ do well here.
People who ________________ are dissatisfied.
Now consider those thoughts in light of your company slogan or mission statement. For example, it might be something like "people helping people" or "we believe in personal accountability." Is the internal truth about the company-the company culture-consistent with that outgoing message? If your company projects a message that quality of the product, customer satisfaction, and community service drive corporate programs, do you see the company's financial and human resources invested heavily in making those goals a reality? (In other words, do they put their money where their mouth is?)
Sometimes organizations use gifts such as mugs and T-shirts as a way of reminding employees or members of their culture. If your company has done that, ask yourself if you enjoy going out in public in that T-shirt. Do you want the world to see what it says and associate that with you?
I saw a guy on the street whose company T-shirt said, "In a world without fences, who needs Gates?" This is a statement of the company's ideology that the Linux operating system and an open-systems approach to computing make Microsoft Windows irrelevant. It reflects a perception that Microsoft founder Bill Gates is the MODD. Bill Gates is not just the name of an individual to them; it's the symbol of something they are driven to overcome.
In theory, a culture associated with that belief would be characterized by the following:
- An appreciation for defying convention
- Empowerment of the individual
- Information sharing
- Decentralized authority
For fun, pull out some of the shirts, notepads, baseball hats, coffee mugs, and pens that you've been given over the years and see if what they say rings true in light of your knowledge of the organization.
Sustaining a Corporate Culture
Ray Pelle was a founding partner of DJ Inc., a plastics manufacturing company that has since merged with NYPRO. The first time I met him I asked, "Ray, to what do you attribute your success?" He and his friend had started a company from nothing and grown it to $85 million in sales-without a sales force. The first thing he said without stuttering or pondering was, "Our people." As I got to know DJ and spend time in the company, I'd hear stories about what the company and the family, particularly Ray Pelle, had done for it. People wouldn't have thought about leaving Ray Pelle for a better paycheck.
One of the long-time employees contracted a lung disease that made it unreasonable for him to return to the shop floor. He had lost so much lung capacity that he struggled just walking around. Ray Pelle's son, Harry, who remained the vice president after DJ's subsequent merger with NYPRO, offered Mike a job in the office. After two weeks, Mike said, "I can't stand it in the office. If I can't work out on the floor, then I can't continue to draw a paycheck."
"You can't quit," Harry told him.
"What do you mean I can't quit?" Mike protested.
"You can't quit. I'm just not going to let you."
Mike couldn't believe it: "Well, I'm not coming to work!"
"Okay," said Harry. "I'll just mail your check to your house." For three weeks, the company mailed Mike's paycheck to his house even though he didn't come to work. The message was: You helped us grow this business. You are important to us and it's part of our culture to show people like you that we appreciate your hard work and commitment.
The company worked with Mike to find another position where he felt he could add value. As of this writing, he is in charge of "continuous improvement" for a program with one of their biggest customers.
After Ray Pelle left, the company went through a merger with NYPRO, an international company. The employees feared the unknown, embodied by the new president, Jim Goodman. Regardless of his outstanding leadership-he handled the transition with intelligence and genuine concern for the employees at DJ-a number of people chose to leave. The leader they had followed for so long was not there anymore; things were "different." Someone who represented change, even if his beliefs and values were consistent with the original company culture, had replaced the leader with a known set of beliefs and values. The change-averse employees left the company.
But Jim had a plan for those who stayed. He set the wheels in motion for the employees themselves to express the company culture through a mission statement and guiding principles, which they would write themselves.
People from every level of the company participated. I sat in on many of the meetings devoted to writing those guiding principles, or company creed, and I saw the enthusiasm and pride grow. Floor operators, middle management, junior management, engineers, people from the warehouse-they put their best thinking and sincere interest in the health of the company into those sessions. Their efforts helped reinvigorate the company culture and continued to build the company through high morale and productivity.
A corporate culture like DJ's is, in theory, not hard to create, but it is hard to sustain. Fundamentally, sustaining a culture requires:
- Leaders who consistently live in the culture and who avoid double standards
- A compelling mission
- Employees who embrace the culture and pass it on in informal ways
In 1986, a thirty-five-person trade association based in Washington, D.C. faced a crisis, largely because of a department head with double standards. Carol had come on to manage the largest department and she inherited a thriving culture in which employees had autonomy, executives lived by an open door policy, and everyone aimed high with their work products. At first, Carol seemed to fit right in, but her actions were not consistent with her words. She played favorites, which fueled conflicts between staff members. She demanded that staff immediately address paperwork, while her own office overflowed with paper. Her staff situation became miserable, but employees didn't leave because they liked their work and had already experienced how good life could be at that association. At the lowest point, the president of the association ordered that one staff person communicate with her directly; all requests, comments and questions had to go through this single individual.
Ten years later, Kate, who had acted as the intermediary, took over the department. Kate didn't make a conscious decision to reinvigorate the culture; she just never got in the way of it happening. She acted consistently and without bias or double standards. She respected her staff as experts. Her simple actions gave the culture light and air to survive. While Kate's technical competence was an asset, perhaps her greatest strength was the soft skills-the skills that have nothing to do with rank or formal training and everything to do with sustaining a culture. These are the same kinds of skills a Ranger must possess in a survival situation.
Top to bottom and bottom to top, behavior must be consistent with the culture in order to sustain it.
Make a list of company-wide practices, endorsed by management, that reinforce the company culture.
Now make a list of practices, either endorsed by management or ignored by company leaders, that do the opposite.
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.
Without a Clear Aim in War
there can be No Victory
The need for a clear aim in war, so called military intervention, foreign policy and workings it way down to individual level should be self evident.
The need for a clear aim in any way is self-evident (and arguably was lacking when the USA intervened in strength in Vietnam). This maxim has been taken to imply lavish adherence to the so-called "Principles of War" - surprise, concentration of force, flexibility, security, morale and the rest (the lists have varied and still vary between countries and periods), and in particular to that of "Economy of Force". In fact such an attitude is almost invariably fatal; as mentioned above, "principles" are supposed to be "guides to possible conduct", never hard and fast rules.
- Military Maxim, Napoleon
THE CAT AND THE COCK
A Cat caught a Cock, and pondered how he might find a reasonable excuse for eating him. He accused him of being a nuisance to men by crowing in the nighttime and not permitting them to sleep. The Cock defended himself by saying that he did this for the benefit of men, that they might rise in time for their labors. The Cat replied, "although you abound in specious apologies, I shall not remain supperless" and he made a meal of him.
MAJOR LEAGUE COMBAT
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Valid from 07/13/13 - 07/28/13.
|Quotes & Jokes|
Why Old Marines Can't Get A Job
An old marine walks into a job interview.
Personnel Manager: "What is your greatest weakness ?"
Old Marine: "Honesty"
Personnel Manager: "I don't think honesty is a weakness !"
Old Marine: "I don't give a shit what you think"
"Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man
must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be
a reflection on human nature that such devices should be necessary to
control the abuses of government. What is government itself but the
greatest of all reflections on human nature?"
"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...A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague."
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price. It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government. It is time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We're not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline."
"Born in other countries, yet believing you could be happy in this, our laws acknowledge, as they should do, your right to join us in society, conforming, as I doubt not you will do, to our established rules."
"We have heard of the impious doctrine in the Old World, that the people were made for kings, not kings for the people. Is the same doctrine to be revived in the New, in another shape...?
-James Madison (1788)
"Things may come to those who wait...but only the things left by those who hustle."
"The best way to predict your future is to create it."
"Nothing is more certain than that a general profligacy and corruption of manners make a people ripe for destruction"
"In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations."
-author and Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008)
"This is the real task before us: to reassert our commitment as a nation to a law higher than our own, to renew our spiritual strength. Only by building a wall of such spiritual resolve can we, as a free people, hope to protect our own heritage and make it someday the birthright of all men."
"Liberty is not to be enjoyed, indeed it cannot exist, without the habits of just subordination; it consists, not so much in removing all restraint from the orderly, as in imposing it on the violent."
"The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent."
-economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)
"Conservatives were brought up to hate deficits, and justifiably so. We've long thought there are two things in Washington that are unbalanced -- the budget and the liberals."
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How it Works:
The fuel cell inside the myFC PowerTrekk is a completely passive system. Without fans or pumps, the fuel cell silently converts hydrogen into electricity via its Proton Exchange Membrane. To power the fuel cell with hydrogen, simply add water to one side of the device and a myFC PowerTrekk Puck cartridge to the other side. myFC PowerTrekk Pucks are composed of a non-toxic solution containing 5 grams of sodium silicide.
Water reacts with sodium silicide to produce heat and an inert mineral called sodium silicate. Hydrogen from the water is unused in this process and is released for consumption by the fuel cell. The chemistry of the process is safe and the only bi-product from the fuel cell is a little water vapor. Expended myFC PowerTrekk Pucks can be recycled as metal waste.
Unlike solar-powered chargers, a fuel cell generates energy instantly and is not impacted by weather or solar position-it charges day or night, rain or shine. Unlike AA batteries, myFC PowerTrekk can deliver up to 1 Amp of continuous power to get your device charged quickly. In fact, the myFC PowerTrekk charges USB standard devices at virtually the same rate as plugging your device into an electrical wall outlet at home. myFC PowerTrekk is compact enough for travel, outdoor adventures off the grid, or stashing away at home for emergency situations.
Product #IR-Bushcraft Forest
A first-rate, all-around knife with a profile-ground blade of Swedish cold-rolled special stainless steel and a patterned high-friction grip.
Knife with a profile-ground blade of cold-rolled special stainless steel.
Blade Thickness: 2.5mm
Blade Length: 109mm
Total Length: 132mm
Click Here to View Item and Full Specifications >>
Originally introduced to S.O.Tech's Product line in 2001, the ESP has seen several revisions. Back again for an encore, the ESP is available again.
The expanding SERE pack was designed by a SERE instructor to provide a pouch for survival kit and medical kit that can expand during evasion to use form a pack for carrying foraged items (edible plants, road kill, firewood, etc). With the demand for Sensitive Site Exploitation (SSE) during counter-terrorism operation, this pouch gained an additional mission. The pocket is great for SSE kit items like rubber gloves and marking tags while the pack provides a comfortable way to transport evidence back to base camp. And troops on R&R found the third use as a travel pouch which can slide over a belt to hold a camera, phone and passport but expand to transport souvenirs and food bought in the local market.
Whatever the mission, this lightweight and compact pouch is built tough to get the job done. This pouch can be attached to your belt or pack via MOLLE. Zippered pouch allows for use when folded. Expands into a full backpack in the field when needed.
Weight - 9oz
Material - 80D Rip Stop, Pack Cloth (Multicam available in Theda Fabric)
Warranty - Lifetime
Made in the USA
Note, the ESP was designed with light duty in mind. We envisioned it as a survival / stuff sack.
The RIGProduct #GR-G3RIG
Click Here to View Item and Full Specifications >>
Bladder: 70 oz. hydration engine, quick-release valves for drinking tube and pressurization tube for easy refill and bladder removal, slide top for easy refill, cleaning and drying.
Fabric: 100% Heavy Duty 840 Ballistic Nylon
What makes these 1680 Ballistic Nylon Hydration Packs unique?
Weight: 2.05 lbs or .92 kg
Zippers: Diagonal Pack Zipper and Top Horizontal Zipper for easy access to the hydration system.
Non-Removable Waist Strap
Shoulder Strap: Terraced Overlay for Adjustable Tube Configuration and Power Bulb Configuration. "Quick adjust" pull tabs for easy in-and-out.
Additional Features: Plug & Play Reservoir Tube Connectors, 5 in by 7 in internal mesh pocket, able to hold a 3 Liter engine if desired, magnetic tube holder, adjustable (Velcro) power bulb holder, waffle mesh padding covered with breathable mesh for the should straps and back plate, adjustable chest strap (vertically and horizontally), emergency whistle on the chest strap.
Precision Ultra Lite CT Waterproof Ion-MaskProduct #MU-5814
Click Here to View Item and Full Specifications >>
- Waterproof microfiber upper
- ion-mask™ liquid-proof surface enhancement
- ASTM-approved multiple impact composite safety toe
- M-PACT contoured sockliner with memory foam
- Compression-molded EVA midsole
- Non-metallic hardware
- High traction, slip- and oil-resistant outsole
- Electrical hazard resistant
- Magnum style #5814
AQUAFORCE DIGITAL JUMBO
Click Here to View Item >>
- Stainless Steel Metal Back
- 12 and 24 Hour Display
- Water Resistant
- Illuminating Light
- PU Rubber Strap
- Day and Date
- Digital Watch
|Special Product Coupon|
Get $20.00 off your order of $100 or more during the 4th of July weekend! Use promo code 20for4. Valid from 07/04/2013 through 07/09/2013. Not valid with any other offers.
Use coupon code 20for4
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Excludes night vision and spy gear.
Offer not valid with any other discounts.
Valid from 07/04/13 - 07/09/13.
|What Has Really Changed?|
PICTURE OF FREE ENTERPRISE AT WORK
Only in America does the combination of workers plus modern machines plus opportunity produce enough goods to earn for millions an automobile, a home, often a part of the workers' company.
But mounting taxes, bureaucratic hamstringing, soaring wages without more productivity to earn them could change that picture -
To a very empty lot indeed.
The Drawdown Diet: Marines steamed by loss of hot meal at Afghanistan base
A U.S. Marine MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) ration package is seen in a transport vehicle in March 2010 near Khan Neshin, southern Helmand province, Afghanistan.
By Bill Briggs, NBC News contributor
Marines at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan will lose a key daily meal starting Saturday, causing some to forgo a hot breakfast and others to work six-plus hours without refueling on cooked food, according to Marines at the base and Marine Corps officials.
The midnight ration service - known there as "midrats" - supplies breakfast to Marines on midnight-to-noon shifts and dinner to Marines who are ending noon-to-midnight work periods. It's described as one of the few times the Marines at Leatherneck can be together in one place.
The base, which is located in Afghanistan's southwestern Helmand Province, flanked by Iran and Pakistan, also will remove its 24-hour sandwich bar. It plans to replace the dishes long offered at midnight with pre-packaged MREs, said Marine Corps Lt. Col. Cliff Gilmore, who has been deployed in Afghanistan since February.
The moves, though unpopular with many Marines on the ground and their families back home, are emblematic of the massive drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan and the dismantling of U.S. military facilities. More than 30,000 U.S. service members will leave Afghanistan in coming months as the U.S. prepares to hand responsibility for security to Afghan forces in 2014.
While no Marine at Camp Leatherneck agreed to speak on the record, many are privately angry about the hit on base morale.
"This boils my skin. One of my entire shifts will go 6.5 hours without a meal. If we need to cut back on money I could come up with 100 other places," one Leatherneck-based Marine wrote in an email this week to his wife and shared with NBC News. (The Marine declined to speak on the record.) "Instead, we will target the biggest contributor to morale. I must be losing my mind. What is our senior leadership thinking? I just got back from flying my ass off and in a few days, I will not have a meal to replenish me after being away for over 9 hours."
U.S. Marines enter the chow hall for dinner, left, after taking turns clearing ammo from the chambers of their weapons into a barrel, right, at Camp Leatherneck, in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, in September 2009.
Until Saturday, Leatherneck's dining facility will offer its customary four meals per day. After June 1, the menu drops to three daily meals and, eventually, there will be only two hot meals served, Gilmore revealed in an email to the impacted Marines, adding: "Any time a dining hall meal is eliminated it will be replaced from a plentiful stock of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat - or any one of several creative acronyms our Marines have come up with.)"
"The fact is our force in Afghanistan is shrinking fast and all the creature comforts and services deployed military-members have grown accustomed to over the past decade are going to be reduced," Gilmore wrote in an email to NBC News. "When serving we are challenged to endure different things - to face different challenges - over time. But we're an odd bunch, we Marines - probably no surprise that we'll complain more about losing the sandwich bar on the way out than we did about getting shot at on the way in."
The tactical reason for the cooking scale-down is that the people who are assigned to "support services" - such as food workers - "need to go home before the people who provide the security which enables those services," Gilmore wrote. "This is a natural outcome of the drawdown process unrelated to sequestration or the ongoing budget issues back in the States."
Back home, spouses and friends of the troops in Afghanistan are criticizing the loss of hot meals as a poor logistical choice that will impact the service members' overall nutrition, energy and spirits.
"MREs are an alternative for when you can't get to healthy food. They're supposed to be for desperation," said Babette Maxwell, founder and executive director of Military Spouse Magazine, the wife of a Navy pilot and an advocate for service members and their families. "These guys have six to nine months left on their deployment. These are highly athletic and highly physical people, toting guns, not working any less now than before - and not working out any less either. Now, they're short a meal and they don't have any healthy alternatives."
According to the Marine Corps, a typical MRE may contain chili with beans, cornbread, cheese spread, crackers, a toaster pastry, a "dairyshake," red pepper, a spoon, a flameless heater and a "hot beverage bag."
To fill the hot food gap in Afghanistan, a group of U.S.-based military advocates and military-family members recently launched a Facebook page - called "Breakfast for Bagram" - to spur food donations that will be mailed to troops all around Afghanistan. The page states: "We are here to help collect and send non-perishable breakfast type foods to the deployed troops on the 17 bases in Afghanistan that are not currently serving breakfast 'hot chow' and Midnight chow due to the budget cuts."
Gilmore described cooked-meal reduction as part of a larger effort to "become increasingly austere" as the force shrinks, but he said the base members will not face an unhealthy calorie shortage.
"The Marines here at Leatherneck may have to endure the monotony of a limited menu and sometimes an MRE - but they will not suffer from malnutrition unless they choose not to eat," Gilmore said.
At home, some military family members nonetheless called the change a mistake.
"Psychologically, midrats is probably the most important of all the meals because that's the big social time - where first (shift) crew is coming off and second (shift) crew is coming on," Maxwell said."That's where you get the esprit de corps, the camaraderie. It's not just the food you're taking away, it's their social sustenance."
Pentagon: Religious Proselytizing is Not Permitted
By Todd Starnes
Religious liberty groups have grave concerns after they learned the Pentagon is vetting its guide on religious tolerance with a group that compared Christian evangelism to "rape" and advocated that military personnel who proselytize should be court martialed.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is calling on the Air Force to enforce a regulation that they believe calls for the court martial of any service member caught proselytizing.
President Mikey Weinstein and others from his organization met privately with Pentagon officials on April 23. He said U.S. troops who proselytize are guilty of sedition and treason and should be punished - by the hundreds if necessary - to stave off what he called a "tidal wave of fundamentalists."
"Someone needs to be punished for this," Weinstein told Fox News. "Until the Air Force or Army or Navy or Marine Corps punishes a member of the military for unconstitutional religious proselytizing and oppression, we will never have the ability to stop this horrible, horrendous, dehumanizing behavior."
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told Fox News he was stunned that the Pentagon would be taking counsel and advice from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
"Why would military leadership be meeting with one of the most rabid atheists in America to discuss religious freedom in the military," Perkins said. "That's like consulting with China on how to improve human rights."
AMERICAN DISPATCHES - A MUST-HAVE RESOURCE FOR PATRIOTS. CLICK HERE!
The FRC has launched a petition drive urging Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel to protect the religious freedom of troops "and not to proceed with the purge of religion within the ranks called for by anti-Christian activists."
Pentagon officials met with Weinstein and his group were to discuss a policy called "Air Force Culture, Air Force Standards," published on Aug. 7, 2012.
Section 2.11 requires "government neutrality regarding religion."
"Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for an individual's free exercise of religion or other personal beliefs and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion," the regulation states.
Military leaders were admonished not to use their position to "promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion."
Weinstein said it's time for the Air Force to enforce the regulation - with zeal.
"If a member of the military is proselytizing in a manner that violates the law, well then of course they can be prosecuted," he said. "We would love to see hundreds of prosecutions to stop this outrage of fundamentalist religious persecution."
He compared the act of proselytizing to rape.
"It is a version of being spiritually raped and you are being spiritually raped by fundamentalist Christian religious predators," he told Fox News.
He said there is a time and a place for those in uniform to share their faith - but he took issues with fundamentalism that he says is causing widespread problems in the military.
"When those people are in uniform and they believe there is no time, place or manner in which they can be restricted from proselytizing, they are creating tyranny, oppression, degradation, humiliation and horrible, horrible pain upon members of the military," he said.
Perkins said the military regulations have "Weinstein's fingerprints all over it."
"It threatens to treat service members caught witnessing as enemies of the state," he said, referring to a Washington Post article highlighting Weinstein's meeting with Pentagon officials. "Non-compliance, the Pentagon suggests, even from ordained chaplains could result in court-martialing on a case-by-case basis."
The Pentagon confirmed to Fox News that Christian evangelism is against regulations.
"Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense, LCDR Nate Christensen said in a written statement. He declined to say if any chaplains or service members had been prosecuted for such an offense.
"Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis and it would be inappropriate to speculate on the outcome in specific cases," he said.
Ron Crews, the executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, warns that the Air Force policy would "significantly impact the religious liberties of Air Force personnel."
"Saying that a service member cannot speak of his faith is like telling a service member he cannot talk about his spouse or children," Crews said. "I do not think the Air Force wants to ban personnel from protected religious speech, and I certainly hope that it is willing to listen to the numerous individuals and groups who protect military religious liberty without demonizing service members."
In an interview with the Washington Post, Weinstein called proselytizing a "national security threat."
"And what the Pentagon needs to understand is that it is sedition and treason," he told the newspaper. "It should be punished."
Perkins said it was troubling the Obama Administration would place so much trust in someone like Weinstein.
"Unfortunately, it appears our military is on a forced march away from the very freedoms they are sworn to protect," he said. "This language from Weinstein that Christians who share their faith or offer comfort to others from their faith in Jesus Christ is "sedition and treason" is a treasonous statement in and of itself."
But Weinstein said they count thousands of Protestants among their ranks - and said they are simply going after fundamentalists.
"As soon as we find a fundamentalist Muslim, atheist, Jewish person or anybody else, we will be happy to fight them - but so far they have been few and far between," he said.
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, an executive vice president with the Family Research Council, told Fox News that he's deeply concerned by what he call a pattern of attacks on Christianity within the military.
"Mickey Weinstein has a very visceral hated of Christianity and those who are Christians," he said. "He'd like to see it eliminated from the military entirely."
If the Air Force policy is implemented, Boykin said Christians who speak of their faith "could now be prosecuted as enemies of the state."
"This has the potential to destroy military recruiting across the services as Americans realize that their faith will be suppressed by joining the military," Boykin said.
In the meantime, Weinstein and his group said they will continue to push for the Pentagon to fully implement its ban on proselytizing.
"There is a time, place and manner in which proselytizing is not only allowed, but it's something we support among our Christian clients," Weinstein said. "However, you can't scream fire in a crowded theater and you can't scream Jesus in a crowded theater at certain times, places, and in certain manners."
Pentagon Taps Anti-Christian Extremist for Religious Tolerance Policy
"Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation's armed forces."
Those words were recently written by Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), in a column he wrote for the Huffington Post. Weinstein will be a consultant to the Pentagon to develop new policies on religious tolerance, including a policy for court-martialing military chaplains who share the Christian Gospel during spiritual counseling of American troops.
Weinstein decries what he calls the "virulent religious oppression" perpetrated by conservative Christians, whom he refers to as "monstrosities" and "pitiable unconstitutional carpetbaggers," comparing them to "bigots" in the Deep South during the civil rights era.
He cites Dr. James Dobson-the famous Christian founder of Focus on the Family-as "illustrating the extremist, militant nature of these virulently homophobic organizations' rhetorically-charged propaganda." Regarding those who teach orthodox Christian beliefs from the Bible, Weinstein concludes, "Let's call these ignoble actions what they are: the senseless and cowardly squallings of human monsters."
Weinstein then endorses the ultra-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), who publishes a list of "hate groups." Alongside truly deplorable organizations like the KKK, the SPLC's list includes a host of traditional Christian organizations (for their support of traditional marriage) and Tea Party organizations (for supporting limited government). Weinstein says SPLC correctly labels them all as "hate groups."
Floyd Lee Corkins-the first person ever convicted of domestic terrorism in federal court under the laws of Washington, D.C.-told the FBI that he chose his intended shooting spree targets from the SPLC website's map. Corkins was arrested at the offices of the Family Research Council (FRC) after shooting a security guard in August 2012. His court documents state that Corkins intended to kill as many people as possible.
Weinstein also supports Lt. Col. Jack Rich, the Army officer who wrote to subordinate officers that soldiers who hold traditional Christian beliefs agreeing with organizations on SPLC's "hate group" list are incompatible with "Army values" and should be carefully watched and excluded from military service.
According to Weinstein, "We should as a nation effusively applaud Lt. Col. Rich." He adds that the nation should "venture further" than Rich's recommendations, saying, "We MUST vigorously support the continuing efforts to expose pathologically anti-gay, Islamaphobic, and rabidly intolerant agitators for what they are: die-hard enemies of the United States Constitution. Monsters, one and all. To do anything less would be to roll out a red carpet to those who would usher in a blood-drenched, draconian era of persecutions, nationalistic militarism, and superstitious theocracy."
Many media outlets are silent on this disturbing new alliance between fanatical secularists and leaders in the Pentagon appointed by President Barack Obama and Secretary Chuck Hagel, under which the U.S. military would officially consult with someone with such foaming-at-the-mouth passionate hostility toward traditional Christians, including Evangelicals and devout Catholics. The military-America's most heroic and noble institution-includes countless people of faith, and this represents a radical departure from the U.S. military's warm embrace of people of faith in its ranks.
Yet the little coverage this story is getting is positive, such as this Washington Post column that somehow manages not to carry any of these frightening quotes from Weinstein and instead actually endorses the Pentagon's meeting with him. Sally Quinn's Post column also approvingly quotes MRFF Advisory Board member Larry Wilkerson as saying, "Sexual assault and proselytizing, according to Wilkerson, 'are absolutely destructive of the bonds that keep soldiers together.'"
Did you get that? They say having someone share the Christian gospel with you is akin to being raped. Weinstein makes sure there are no doubts, being quoted by the Post as adding, "This is a national security threat. What is happening [aside from sexual assault] is spiritual rape. And what the Pentagon needs is to understand is that it is sedition and treason. It should be punished."
Another MRFF Advisory Board member, Ambassador Joe Wilson (the far-left husband of CIA employee Valerie Plame from the Iraq War's yellow-cake uranium scandal a decade ago), said a military chaplain "is to minister to spiritual needs. You don't proselytize. It's a workplace violation."
In other words, it should be the official policy of the United States to decree what a human being's spiritual needs are, and punish for violations a military officer who is an ordained clergyman who attempts to share his own personal faith with another service member when discussing religious matters. You cannot imagine such a thing ever happening under any previous president.
Weinstein goes on:
If these fundamentalist Christian monsters of human degradation ... and tyranny cannot broker or barter your acceptance of their putrid theology, then they crave for your universal silence in the face of their rapacious reign of theocratic terror. Indeed, they ceaselessly lust, ache, and pine for you to do absolutely nothing to thwart their oppression. Comply, my friends, and you become as monstrously savage as are they. I beg you, do not feed these hideous monsters with your stoic lethargy, callousness and neutrality. Do not lubricate the path of their racism, bigotry, and prejudice. Doing so directly threatens the national security of our beautiful nation.
God help us now when someone with such visceral hatred of conservative Christians-literally tens of millions of Americans-who says sharing this gospel is "spiritual rape" is helping develop policies for how to deal with Christians in the military.
Weinstein says those guilty of this "treason" must be "punished." Under federal law, the penalty for treason is death. And the Obama administration is sitting down to talk with this man to craft new policies for "religious tolerance" in our military.
Breitbart News legal columnist Ken Klukowski is senior fellow for religious liberty at the Family Research Council and on faculty at Liberty University School of Law.
|Hitler's Secret Archive - 60 Minutes|
The Firearms Statistics That Gun Control Advocates Don't Want to See
To accompany TheBlaze's coverage of the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Houston, we figured it could be helpful to share some gun statistics pointed out to us by some of the NRA Convention attendees. Forget the talking points used by both sides in the gun control debate; we're going to be talking about verified statistics.
Gun control advocates be advised, these are not the statistics you are looking for.
According to data from the FBI's uniform crime reports, California had the highest number of gun murders in 2011 with 1,220 - which makes up 68 percent of all murders in the state that year and equates to 3.25 murders per 100,000 people.
The irony of such a grisly distinction is evident when you look at which state was named the state with the strongest gun control laws in 2011 by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. You guessed it - it was California.
"What is very unusual is that California also has a program by which we can remove guns, recover guns from people who have a gun and then subsequently become prohibited or dangerous," Brady Campaign spokeswoman Amanda Wilcox said at the time.
It should be noted, though, that California is also one of the biggest states in the country, with a population of about about 37 million. Therefore, it might make sense that it would have a high number of murders but its murder rate is still high as gun control has had a seemingly inconsequential impact. In comparison, Texas has a population of about 25.6 million and saw 699 total gun murders in 2011 - nearly half that of California - and a firearms murder rate of 2.91 per 100,000.
In 2011, Utah, the state that the Brady Campaign determined had the least gun control, experienced just 26 gun murders and a firearms murder rate of 0.97. Utah has a population 2.8 million.
But if you look at the data another way - murders per 100,000 people - another gun control haven tops the list.
The FBI data also notes that Washington, D.C. had the highest murder rate per 100,000 people. The nation's capital saw 12 gun murders per 100,000 in 2011. DC also finished first in gun-related robberies per 100,000 people - with 242.56.
In 1976, the District of Columbia required all guns be registered, banned new handguns and required guns at home to be stored and dissembled or locked up. Unfortunately, the draconian measures - which lasted more than three decades - didn't had the desired effect.
Journalist and attorney Jeffrey Scott Shapiro explains the not-so-surprising result in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on Jan. 15, 2013:
The gun ban had an unintended effect: It emboldened criminals because they knew that law-abiding District residents were unarmed and powerless to defend themselves. Violent crime increased after the law was enacted, with homicides rising to 369 in 1988, from 188 in 1976 when the ban started. By 1993, annual homicides had reached 454.
Since the gun ban was struck down, murders in the District have steadily gone down, from 186 in 2008 to 88 in 2012, the lowest number since the law was enacted in 1976.
Though it should be noted that the gun murders started decreasing in 1994.
Today, Washington, D.C. still has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. And yet again, the gun murder rate remains dramatically high, the highest in the United States in fact.
So, do the numbers indicate that gun control is the answer to gun violence? You decide.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh discussed TheBlaze's report on his program Tuesday. Listen to the clip below via the Daily Rushbo:
Coast Guard Ordered To Stay In Port And Allow Infiltration
PPSIMMONS NOTE: After much research we have not been able to verify this story. There is one link that seems to give some credence to it - but the story below appears to be doubtful. The story was sent to us by a subscriber. It appeared to have credible sources - now, however, we doubt it.
MIAMI, FL - Drugs, weapons, illegal aliens all are welcome under a new directive. There is an ongoing, emergency situation with the U.S. Coast Guard, which is now an agency under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
"By directive, starting last Monday, 29 April 2013 (barring emergency calls) Coast Guard District 7, which stretches from the Carolinas to Alabama to Florida, has been restricted from activity. There will be no enforcement patrols of large or small craft allowed in U.S. territorial seas, district-wide," according to a WDW confidential source.
This directive will mean that, of several hundred craft available, neither the close-in enforcement operations (out to 20-nautical miles) nor the larger, blue water enforcement craft - cutters and the like - are actively engaged in protecting our shoreline. All such operations have ceased; no fuel is to be used to protect the U.S. shores, at least in District 7. All vessels would be confined to port, and personnel would be standing around, passing time onshore. Emergency rescue and limited air operations still continue.
Our confidential source states, "To put a perspective on this: an average Coast Guard small boat, for example, is a light, maneuverable outboard-equipped craft capable of quickly answering calls for detaining, boarding and inspecting vessels close to shore. They look for drugs, human trafficking, and weapons - including nuclear devices - which, incidentally when found are disarmed or turned over to the U.S. Navy bomb disposal units."
Such a boat might interdict 50 craft per watch, or shift. That's hundreds of boarding's, scores of criminals/terrorists, and tons of contraband or worse - every watch, of every day, over thousands of miles of U.S. coastline - that are not happening.
Will Congress query the other Coast Guard operational districts, perhaps even including our lakes and river ways, to see if the same directive applies?
What's more: Jacksonville, Florida is homeport to three of the U.S. Navy's incredibly powerful nuclear submarines, as well as many surface ships.
Our source notes, "Until this week, (following the devastatingly successful small boat attack on the defenseless U.S.S. Cole), a Coast Guard small craft escort was provided to all such important Navy assets as they made their way in and out of the port of Jacksonville. As of Monday, this escort is no longer provided!"
WORLD OF TERROR HAS ONE COMMON DENOMINATOR
There is one common denominator for all the terrorism in the world which are linked by an invincible bond. That common denominator is "Islam."
Please spare me the caveats about "not all Muslims are terrorists" because it doesn't matter. All terrorists, with rare exception, are Muslims. That's what matters.
I write this article as law enforcement is surrounding a neighborhood in search of a second subject in the Boston bombings. The two suspects have been identified. Interesting to note that all television news channels continually refer to them as young men, immigrants, Chechnyans and every other description, carefully omitting the term "Muslim" or "Islam" so we don't offend the religion of peace.
So we don't offend? Are you kidding me?
I have got news for Muslims. You are not the only people capable of being offended.
I'm offended by the audacity of brutally murdering people at random in a U.S. city, maiming and injuring hundreds. I'm offended that "peaceful" Muslims in other countries celebrated and partied at the news that Islamists have again killed Americans at random.
Click here: Muslims celebrate with sweets, praise to Allah over Boston bombing
It offends me that Jihad Muslim web sites applaud and celebrate the killings and maimings of Americans by Islamists.
Click here: Jihadist Web Forums Celebrate Boston Bombing | Washington Free Beacon Â
I'm offended by the numerous acts of Islamic terror against this country, here and a broad, since Lebanese Muslims bombed the Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983 killing 241 Marines. Add to that, the plane bombing at Lockerbie, Scotland, the first World Trade Center bombing, U.S. military headquarters in Saudi Arabia, U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the USS Cole in Yemen, then 9/11 in 2001. The death toll continues, by the religion of peace who celebrate the killing of Americans.
The underwear bomber, the shoe bomber, the Times Square Bomber, and much more all have one common denominator: Islam
I'm equally offended that we are constantly on alert throughout all our transportation venues, costing us billions in security systems throughout the world, all because of the constant threat of Islamic terror.
I am offended that the mass murder at Ft.Hood in 2009, where a radical Muslim officer shouted Allah Akbar as he shot 41 people, killing 13, is referred to by our president as "work place violence." I'm offended that he has still not been tried and punished in nearly four years, not to mention he continues to receive his military pay while awaiting trial.
I'm offended by the world of Islam taking offense to a stupid caricature made by a Denmark cartoonist, thereby punishing thousands around the world with violence, killing many innocents. That offends me.
It offends me that a movie maker would be murdered in the streets of Amsterdam for exercising his right to free speech.
It offends me that our administration has given orders to federal law enforcement and military training not to associate terror with Islam.
The website Religion of Peace has noted that in the past 30 days, Islamists worldwide have committed 205 acts of terrorism resulting in 1,008 killed and 2,027 wounded. Since the first of the year there have been 500 attacks which have killed 2,807 individuals and wounded 4,533 worldwide. Since 9/11/2001, Islamists worldwide have carried out 20,270 acts of terror, in England, France, Spain, Somalia, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Germany, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, United States...you get the point.
Yet, the media is so careful that we don't offend Muslims. And our highly defensive president continually tells us we are not at war with Islam.
Sorry, Muslims are offending Americans, big time. Not only the killers, but those who support them. And there are two ways to support them, directly and indirectly.
The Muslim community who - rather than speak out in outrage - does nothing to put a stop to it all. Rather, they protect and defend all Muslims in general, and fire back indignantly by name-calling people like me "bigots" "racists." Then, the media jumps on the bandwagon. Result: The good guys look bad; The bad guys look good.
The common denominator for all terror in the world remains: Islam.
Did an Imam Really Use Arabic Prayer to Covertly Damn Fallen Seal Team 6 Members to Hell During Their Funeral?
Parents of fallen service members spoke at a press conference on Thursday morning, an event during which they accused the U.S. government of complicity in the deaths of their sons. The families highlighted a number of grievances, including the notion that military brass invited a Muslim cleric to their children's funeral in 2011 - an imam who they claim "disparaged in Arabic the memory of these servicemen."
Three families of fallen Navy SEAL Team 6 special forces members and one family of an Army National Guardsman held the event at the National Press Club to make this startling allegation, among many others. Their children perished during the fatal Chinook helicopter crash that occurred in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011. The presser was an effort, as noted in a press release, to corroborate the notion that the U.S. government is "as much responsible for the deaths of their sons as is the Taliban."
As for the claim about the Muslim cleric, the families believe that the faith leader attempted to intentionally sully the memory of their sons by "damning them as infidels to Allah." The group showed video of the prayer to prove their contentions, complete with translation.
Audio from the ceremony, which has been circling for at least a few months, includes a U.S. soldier speaking in English; he begins the ceremony by appealing to the "almighty and awesome God" and goes on to honor the fallen, speaking directly to God and invoking Christian scripture in doing so. After the presiding officer concludes, the imam's purportedly controversial prayer begins; it is this latter portion that has sparked outrage among the families.
|American Soldier Prayer|
On Wednesday, TheBlaze spoke with attorney Larry Klayman who is representing the grieving parents to learn more about the Arabic comments in question. Noting that he has consulted with a certified translator, he paraphrased the meaning of the imam's words as follows: "That the fallen seals should be damned and go to hell as infidels."
If this translation is valid, the notion that it was spoken over U.S. service members bodies at a funeral is potentially problematic, although it should be noted that the prayer may have been intended only for the Afghan soldiers who perished. Let's first explore what the Muslims leader said during his sermon. Here's one translation that has been given of the cleric's comments (this is the version that Klayman showed at the press conference along with video of the prayer):
"Amen I shelter in Allah from the devil who has been cast with stones. In the name of Allah the merciful giver. The companions of the fire are not equal with the companions of heaven. The companions of heaven are the winners. Had we sent this Koran to a mountain, you would have seen the mountain prostrated in fear of Allah. Such examples are what we present to the people; to the people, so that they would think. Blessings are to your God, the God of glory of what they describe. And peace be upon the messengers and thanks be to Allah the lord of both universes."
And here's the audio, with subtitles:
|Imam Prayer With Subtitles|
Another translation that was commissioned by Islam expert Stephen Coughlin is somewhat less pointed:
"I announce the evil by all-aha. By the name of the merciful all-aha. People of hell and people of heaven are not equal (even, not the same), people of heaven are the winners, if we [unintelligible word] the Koran on the mountain, you will see, you will see him in submission and humble of alla-aha's fear. Those (who are in submission) are examples for the people (the public) may these people (the public) remember, praise alla-aha. Alla-aha God of glory, of the people behaviors (he is wondering or questioning the people's behaviors). And peace to the Prophets, thanks to alla-aha, please (asking alla-aha) to forgive him, comfort him and accept him in paradise. [The prayer ends, however this subject was talking to some audience he was telling them I LOVE TO....then the audio ended]."
In his interview, Klayman described the prayer as "the straw that broke the camel's back" in his mix of his clients' claims against the Obama administration. In the attorney's view, the purported slight on behalf of the faith leader was intention.
"My personal reaction was that this was a Muslim cleric who was laughing internally at the Christians and any Jews that might have been there - he pulled a fast one, because no one could understand what he was saying," Klayman said, noting that the video was initially brought to his attention by one of the fallen service member's family members. "That was my personal impression."
Overall, the lawyer said that he found it odd that a Judeo-Christian funeral for American servicemen was mixed with a Muslim funeral for Afghanis, especially considering the questions that some have raised about just how loyal the Afghanis were to the mission in question. But it is entirely possible, of course, that the joint funeral was conducted as an exercise in bridging divides and bridging ideological differences.
"All these families have left is the memory of their sons and his memory now has been trashed and desecrated by the Muslim - and the very fact that this Muslim was even allowed to go to the funeral is another example of Obama's so-called Muslim outreach," he continued. "He's more concerned about placating Muslims than he is our own people."
But not everyone agrees
In contrast to Klayman's strong views on the matter, Coughlin noted that he's not entirely sure that the prayer was an overt attempt to offend American servicemen and their families. His explanation - one that is based on interactions with two Coptic Christians who know Arabic and who helped him translate the prayer - is a multifaceted one.
Coughlin claims that the funeral rite that was delivered over the dead soldiers is "a standard funeral rite among Muslims." Naturally, non-Muslims may be surprised by this claim, but the Islam expert expounded in detail:
"Even a standard prayer is actually a little bit offensive because ... it comes from a book of the Koran or a chapter of the Koran that's basically about defeating the infidels. And [in exploring the issue] I basically showed that there were two verses quoted in the funeral rite.
If you back it up one verse, it gives you the greater context of the fact that the people who are not Muslim are condemned to hell, by those prayers and so I basically showed that. So my point isn't that the imam was deliberately inflammatory - my point was that it's inflammatory even when they're not trying to, because it goes to the issue of the fundamental and irreconcilable difference between Islamic orientation and a non-Muslim orientation."
Prior to his interview with TheBlaze, Coughlin provided an extensive explanation of the prayer, highlighting scripture from the Koran to show where the imam was pulling his commentary from. It seems verses in Surah 59:20 - 59:21 were employed in the cleric's commentary, but the Islam expert argues that one must also consider Surah 59:19 to properly understand how to interpret the subsequent verses shared in the prayer.
Using the Yusuf Ali translation of the holy book (one of the most known and used English translations), Coughlin provided the verses to TheBlaze:
And be ye not like those who forgot Allah; and He made them forget their own souls! Such are the rebellious transgressors! (Koran 59:19)
Not equal are the Companions of the Fire and the Companions of the Garden: it is the Companions of the Garden, that will achieve Felicity. (Koran 59:19)
Had We sent down this Qur'an on a mountain, verily, thou wouldst have seen it humble itself and cleave asunder for fear of Allah. Such are the similitudes which We propound to men, that they may reflect. (Koran 59:20)
While the Muslim cleric's words have, thus far, been described as a collective "prayer," Coughlin notes that they extend beyond mere invocation, mostly because the faith leader's comments also involved reading out of the Koran. In citing scripture from the holy book, the Islam expert noted that the verses had a specific meaning - one that focuses on the victory of Muslims over non-Muslims.
"We don't know what he was thinking"
Rather than taking aim at the Islamic leader, Coughlin claims that the imam's intentions, simply based on audio of his words, cannot be known. More dissection and discussion would certainly be warranted and considering that this may be a standard funeral rite, nothing may be amiss.
"We don't know what he was thinking. He could have known ... and it was a dig to get in," he posited. "But it's also possible that he was going through the [typical] motions that an imam would go through at this point."
One of the individuals that Coughlin consulted with about the video, a native Egyptian, seemed to believe that the cleric's words were likely inappropriate, but not intentionally so. The individual, someone well-versed in Islam and Islamic law, called the imam's comments "standard fare at a funeral rite" and reiterated that a slight may not have been intentional.
Coughlin said that responsibility should fall on the generals who purportedly did not call for a translator beforehand. "That general should have known what that guy was saying [and what it meant]," he added.
How the video came to light
As stated by Klayman, family members first brought the video to the attorney's attention. In an interview with TheBlaze's Liz Klimas, Karen Vaughn, mother of fallen SEAL Aaron Vaughn, explained how her family obtained a copy.
While they initially expected footage from the event to arrive (it is apparently standard procedure for military families to get video of funeral proceedings before the body is sent back home), they purportedly never receive it. But in January, a source that the family declined to name finally sent it to them.
The Vaughn family held onto the footage for a few weeks before watching, understanding that it would be an emotional experience for them. While Karen enjoyed the prayer that was seemingly offered by a U.S. chaplain - the one that came before the imam's - she said that her "jaw literally dropped" when she heard the cleric's portion of the address.
"We knew instantly we needed to translate this," she said, noting that she contacted a friend who has experience with Arabic translations.
The family sat on the video for months, as the grieving parents considered how to proceed. Now, it appears they have come forward not only about the cleric's alleged verbal offense, but also about other issues that were highlighted earlier today at the press conference.
"Our sons were subjected to a final act of betrayal by their government," Karen Vaughn told TheBlaze of the prayer being read.
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