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

Newsletter Archive
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
Customer Comments
I am a Cpl. in the Army and just returned from Iraq. I carried my shotgun all year on my back in your shotgun scabbard, and it worked great! I was glad to have it around several times, and it proved to be an easy way to keep the shotgun handy for the squad. Thanks for your great product, and for your support of our troops!!

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

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

Thanks guys
kelly [omitted]

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

[name omitted]

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

Dear SF company.

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

Thanks again.

Another happy customer
Bob Miller

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

Most Sincerely,
Bryan P.

Thank you!!!

Your Shirts are the best.


Dear SFG,

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

I thought a little constructive thoughts were in order.

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

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

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

Ed Whiteside

Dear Special Forces

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


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


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

Jack And Melanie Edgar


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

Thank you,

Amanda Van Every


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



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

Cheers Andrew and best wishes for the New Year.

Dave's Message

The Leader's Greatest Enemy



What does every warrior leader fear most in his men?


What is the coach most afraid of when his team is unbeatable?

"People can only be great when they are humble,
when they lose humility they cease to be great"

Arrogance is the leader's greatest enemy both for himself and his men. The hardest challenge for a leader of warriors is to keep his men humble. The warrior leader is not fooled by false pretenses. It is not whether his men are tense and make mistakes where the average person would respond that the solution is to relax. The warrior leader knows that these things are not a problem; arrogance is the true problem, for if his men are free from arrogance and are humble they are teachable. It is easy to solve problems when people are teachable.

"Objectivity + Teachability = Humility"

How does a leader keep his men humble? This is not an easy question to answer because there is only so much a leader can do and the rest is up to the individual. But I will attempt to outline the steps a leader must use to prevent arrogance from setting in.

TrainingThe most effective weapon in a leader's arsenal to battle arrogance is enforced humility. It is the leader's job to know how and when to administer enforced humility. Some of you are probably wondering what enforced humility is so I will come up with a definition.

"Enforced humility is humility forced upon an individual or group of people by those in authority who are taking measures to remove arrogance. Note the word "force" because most of the time force is necessary to snap people out of arrogance and back to reality. Appeasement doesn't work any better for individuals then it does in foreign policy towards other nations all it does is embolden individuals and countries making matters worse because they will always come back for more, thinking they can get their way again.

In the military a leader forces humility upon his men or individuals to keep or put them back in their place. I like to call this a "reality check" or an "attitude check". Enforced humility gives the soldier a chance to see and confront his arrogance. We have all experienced enforced humility throughout our lives. For most of us it started in the home with our parents teaching us to behave and so forth by punishing us or making us do something we did not want to do, like brush our teeth pick up our room make our bed, etc. For us who served in the military we received a lot of enforced humility from the Drill Sergeants.

A leader must be careful to use truth in combating arrogance in his men
because truth makes us aware of our arrogance and gives us a chance to
humble ourselves.

A leader must learn to recognize arrogance when it begins to set in
because it is easiest to combat at its early stages. Some people go through their whole lives with arrogance always blaming someone or something never facing reality and taking responsibility.

The first step a leader must take is to fully understand what arrogance is, how it operates and what it is capable of.

I. Arrogance is self deception, delusion, unreality and when perpetuated it becomes insanity.

II. Here is a simple breakdown on how arrogance operates:

1. self-justification
2. self-deception
3. self-absorption

The three steps above form a pattern of human behavior operating in
arrogance that has been consistent throughout time. A leader must learn to look for these indicators. They will allow him to recognize arrogance in his men and himself by observing the way he or his men react to different events that occur each day. These indicators can also give you some insight as to the degree of arrogance you are dealing with which usually becomes obvious by the degree of stubbornness not able to let something go or look at something with objectivity and so on. The more difficult to reason with usually the more arrogance you are dealing with. I would like to point out that holding on to truth is not arrogance but one needs to learn that sometimes life is unfair and one must learn to face life's consequences being able to suck it up as we would say and move on and put it behind us.

Self-justification is easily recognized when an individual becomes defensive and tries to explain or prove that they are free of any blame.

Self-deception is the next step in the pattern and this is when an individual deceives themselves into thinking they are right.

Self-absorption is the last step in the pattern and this is when a person becomes selfish and everything centers on them. This is a dangerous phase because if carried to an extreme it produces conditions like bitterness, jealously, hatred, and vindictiveness. If the self-absorption or indulgence is carried too far a person will form psychosis like narcissism, split personalities and other conditions.

There are many forms of arrogance forming a complex through which there is any number of ways one can enter and when one enters into the complex of arrogance it is like quicksand sucking you in deeper and deeper if you do not wakeup. The leader also knows that arrogance is a contagious cancer and must be stopped or cut out before it infects his men. This is the way mob violence, and mutiny grows within the ranks.

All the many forms of arrogance seem to function in a similar way, always blinding people from reality which makes it easy to identify when one knows what to look for and uses the indicators. Some examples of arrogance are iconoclastic arrogance. This is where a person worships someone placing them on a pedestal and they can do no wrong. Some people call this hero worship but anyway the reason I bring this one up is because it puts leaders in precarious position because he knows he is only human and when that hero worshiper sees his faults that person will go from friend to foe attacking and trying to destroy him.

Another form of arrogance that leaders are likely to encounter are guilt where a person cannot let go of an incident they may or may not be responsible for causing them to dwell on it and not perform their duties to their fullest. I think most of us have seen many types of arrogance but perhaps called them by another name maybe not even knowing they were a form of arrogance. For example stubbornness is a form of arrogance.

The biggest challenge for a leader is to counteract arrogance. In the military strict discipline is the best remedy for preventing arrogance and coincidentally the units with the best discipline always outperform the units with lax standards. Unfortunately most of the time the remedy calls for a swift kick in the ass but our society has degenerated to a point where we cater to arrogance instead of remedying it. A great example was in World War II when General Patton slapped a coward with the intent of snapping him out of his arrogance of feeling sorry for himself. Most of us know the incident and instead of the soldier being punished General Patton received a dose of enforced humility and one of our best generals was temporarily put on the sidelines.

"Humility + concentration + confidence = The greatest happiness"

The leader knows that confidence and courage of a soldier is intensified by the increase of knowledge in his skill. But the leader also knows that knowledge often creates arrogance and this he must guard against. An example is when he sends one of his men to a special school and the soldier comes back thinking he knows it all but in most cases he only know s enough to be dangerous to himself and his fellow soldiers. This we see a lot in young people that attend school and come home disrespecting their parents thinking they know more than they do.

"A person unlearns arrogance when he knows he is always among worthy human beings; being alone fosters presumption. Young people are arrogant because they always associate with their own peers, those who are all really nothing but who would like to be very important".
- Friedrich Nietzsche

"Ignorance produces arrogance"

Ignorance also produces arrogance. We see this all the time especially when we turn on the news. People asking questions and people answering questions about things they know nothing about instead of saying I do not know. Then it gets worse as they defend and argue their opinions about things they know nothing about. I feel for our soldiers on the battlefield with all the opinions being expressed on ROE (Rules of Engagement) and the Monday morning quarterbacking of people who have no knowledge or experience to render a qualified opinion.

"Arrogance distorts everything in life and humility puts truth in perspective in life".

There is no profession in life that a man can be truly great in without humility. I have had the privilege on more than a few occasions to have been trained, coached and lead by some truly great people and the one thing they all had in common was humility. They all had far different personalities but they were always curious to learn or find a better way to improve which was what enabled them to rise to greatness.

All good leaders know that humility is the foundation of all other virtues and there is no greater human trait that a leader can give his men than to have humility.

"A true man of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others." - General Robert E. Lee



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

Click here to send Dave a private message. 


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

Special Operations Warrior Foundation

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

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

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

Learn More about the

Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) >>

Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club


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


All profits from these items are donated to

Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club 


Learn More about the
Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club >>

Mail From the Battlefield

My name is LCPL Levins, Kenneth C i am currently with 1st Battalion 2nd Marines H&S company. I am a team leader in the Security Platoon and also the Platoons combat medic. Our platoon is currently training for VBSS and CQT missions and does not have any funding to get our team and platoon medic any specialized gear/packs that we will need for our mission. We only carry minimal medical gear on our person that does not have the capability to sustain a combat wounded individual. If there is any possible way that your company could help our platoon it would be greatly appreciated.

 Semper Fidelis and God Bless

For contact info and mailing info, contactSpecial Forces Gear.

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

U.S. Marine Raiders in World War II | Photos

Click Here for More Photos>>

Soldier in Afghanistan killed during 14th deployment

Kristoffer Bryan Domeij (USASOC)


(CBS News)

Sgt. 1st Class Kristoffer Bryan Domeij was one of three soldiers killed by an IED over the weekend in Afghanistan. The 29-year-old Army Ranger was in the middle of his 14th deployment to the war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Domeij was remembered by friends and comrades as a consummate warrior and true professional. Domeij "had the value of an entire strike force on the battlefield," said Col. Mark W. Odom, commander of Domeij's 75th Ranger Regiment, in a press release.


The dedicated soldier had been a part of the invasion of Iraq, and had seen the dramatic growth, decline and in-betweens of the conflicts there and in Afghanistan in the course of hundreds of combat missions. He was even a member of the team that helped rescue Pvt. Jessica Lynch from insurgents in Iraq in 2003, according to ABC News.


The San Diego native is survived by a wife and two daughters.

While Domeij may have rotated to the conflict zones 14 times in the last 10 years, it does not necessarily mean he was actively fighting for a vast majority of the last decade. It does, however, mean that there are probably few other soldiers who have seen more combat for the U.S. military in recent years.

A reader of Mother Jones offered this helpful explanation: "The 75th Ranger Regiment typically deploys on 105-day deployments, i.e. a little longer than three months. What they lack in calendar length is made up in intensity: they typically conduct an operation every single night of their deployments with few exceptions."


Domeij's battalion commander, Lt. Col. David Hodne, told ABC News that Domeij was "one of those men who was known by all as much for his humor, enthusiasm, and loyal friendship, as he was for his unparalleled skill and bravery under fire. This was a Ranger you wanted at your side when the chips were down. He is irreplaceable."


Killed along with Domeij were: 1st Lt. Ashley White, 24, who was assigned to the 230th Brigade Support Battalion, 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, North Carolina National Guard, Goldsboro, N.C., and attached to a joint special operations task force as a Cultural Support Team member; and Pvt. 1st Class Christopher A. Horns, 20, wjp was assigned to Co. C, 2nd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Horns was on his first deployment.

SSgt Sal Giunta awarded the Medal of Honor
SSgt Sal Giunta awarded the Medal of Honor
Russian Helicopter Crash in Ocean
Russian Helicopter Crash in Ocean
Helicopter Crash Mid Ocean Aircraft Carrier Landing.
Helicopter Crash Mid Ocean Aircraft Carrier Landing.

Word of Truth
The Word Of Truth - Alive and Powerful

By Rev G.J. Rako



The most important holiday in November to many Americans is Thanksgiving, and therefore many think of a four-day weekend. Others imagine the beginning of this great country and still others reflect on the sacrifice of our founding fathers. Many who read this newsletter remember the Marine Corps birthday and more importantly Veterans Day. The common thread is the appreciation of so many blessings that we enjoy and the gratitude toward those who sacrificed to provide those blessings. We have freedom because the men of the military spilled their blood on battlefields all over the world. Freedom is not free; freedom is the direct result of the payment of a price, and that price is none other but the blood of the American fighting man. The ultimate sacrifice by so many of our nation's greatest young men in wars since the inception of this country purchased our way of life. By their sacrifice, we enjoy the many freedoms and benefits we have today. Our Lord Jesus Christ said truthfully, "No greater love hath a man, than that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). How much greater is the one who dies for the millions of his countrymen he does not even know?


Unfortunately, some of the people in the United States have the attitude of bitterness, jealousy, and complaining. They are so focused on themselves they cannot see the many blessings they too enjoy. They can only identify perceived problems and angrily blame others. The list of their so-called problems and those whom they blame is too numerous to mention. For these sorry "victims" of the government, big business, social evil, jurisprudence, and their own friends, family and neighbors there is no gratitude. To them, I say, "grow up and take responsibility for your own lives."


Rom 12:3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.   


The problem with most of these people is that they think more highly of themselves than they ought to think. Their problem is arrogance, which is manifested by their self-centeredness. This self-centeredness always blames others and produces a victim mentality. They are always looking for someone else to solve their problems. If they are poor, they want the government to give them money. If they are ignorant, they want the government to send them to school. If they have less than you do, they cry foul, and want the government to take your prosperity away and give it to them.


True thanksgiving is an attitude of gratitude. This attitude appears only when we stop thinking of our selves in terms of arrogance. When we think of others and what they have done for us, we begin to appreciate them and their sacrifices. As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, gratitude comes from an understanding of who and what Jesus Christ is, and what He has done for us. When you understand this everyday is Thanksgiving!


Rom 5:6-11 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died as a substitute for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.


This passage speaks volumes. We were helpless, hopeless, and useless to save ourselves to have a relationship with God. In the fullness of time Christ, who being eternal God, co-equal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit agreed to become true humanity and go to the cross as our substitute. He died instead of us. Because of His unique sacrifice, we can now have eternal life and a relationship with the living God! Faith alone in Christ alone is the only way of salvation. He accomplished this so great salvation while we were yet sinners. This means we could have absolutely nothing to do with the process. We can take no credit. This is grace. Christ did the work we get the benefit. We, through a simple act of faith in Him have been justified (God imputed His Righteousness to us at the moment we believed in Christ), and reconciled to God in Him.


Eph 2:8-9 for by grace you have been saved through faith and that (salvation is) not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, 9 not as a result of works, so no one may boast.  


Grace is seemingly the most difficult concept for people to grasp. We just have to find a way to take the credit. You cannot take the credit in grace. God does the work we go along for the ride. In fact, many pastors are confused about the issue of grace. Satan the ruler of this world is opposed to grace. He as a super genius invented "religion" to deceive mankind into thinking that man could some how through his good deeds gain God's favor. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mankind is fallen and totally separated from God. We were born with a sin nature and Adam's original sin was imputed to that sin nature at the moment of our birth. If that is not enough, we have our own personal sins, anyone of them condemns us to death. We must see ourselves in the mirror of the Word of God; we are totally depraved (Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?) and worthy only to be judged. The judgment of course is death.


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


Once you receive the gift of God, (salvation by faith in Christ) and begin to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, then you will begin to have the attitude of gratitude. This attitude will invade every part of your thinking and you will become thankful for everything. No longer will you focus on yourself and your problems. Instead, you will be focusing on the Lord Jesus Christ and His incomparable grace. Every day will become Thanksgiving.   


Click here to contact Reverend Rako >> 


Blue Warrior
Blue WarriorBlue Warrior

Time to lower the rise in violence against Law Enforcement

2010 provided an alarming 25% increase in law enforcement fatalities in the United States. More alarming is the fact that in the first six months of 2011 the fatalities are still on the rise. According to preliminary data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund 98 officers were killed from 1/1/2011 to 6/30/2011, which breaks down to a 14%, increase for the same period in 2010 when 86 officers were killed.

Over the past 13 years traffic related deaths have been the lead cause of
officer's deaths. Here is what concerns me most, over the first half of 2011 firearms have been the primary cause of death taking the lead over traffic related deaths. There was a 40% increase in 2011 for the first half when 40 officers were shot and killed. Only 30 were shot and killed in 2010's first half.

What is the root cause of this upswing of violence towards law enforcement? I don't have that answer but what I do know it is more than ever we need to be more diligent in the preservation of our own safety.

When looking at the data for the mid year of 2011 only 3 deaths involved an ambush. In my mind the ambush is the most uncontrollable situation an officer can encounter. We can certainly minimize factors through training, preparation and situational awareness but the ambush is provides a significant advantage to our adversary and they are hard to detect and avoid.

The rest of the fatal shooting deaths are attributed to encounters such as surveillance, searches, interviews, disturbance calls, suspicious circumstances, burglary, domestics, and the most dangerous "making arrests". These encounters certainly can't always be controlled but they are much more controllable then the ambush.

How many times have you read the details of an officers death when relating to the controllable encounters I just mentioned and thought to yourself "if only" the officer done this, had that, waited for back up, or the many of other reasons we fail ourselves during tactical encounters.

What I can tell you is that the data suggests the violence is rising against us. Have you prepared yourself for that tactical encounter that will test your warrior spirit? Are you twenty-year veterans in good enough shape to fight an angry twenty year old that has a desire to take your life? Is your situational awareness at its peak every minute your wearing that uniform?

Here's an observation that I have made over the past 21 years. When I was just a rookie cop in 1990 many of the Field Training Officer's and veteran officers were products of the 1960's and 1970's. Many of these men fought in the Viet Nam War and returned home and policed the citizens who despised them for what they did and who they were. Those experiences gave them a certain callousness, which provided them with a degree of apprehension no matter what call, they responded too or whom they spoke with. They could be dealing with a car thieve or speaking with a man complaining about the neighbors trash in his yard. Their apprehension of that particular persons motives were always in the front of their minds. I am not suggesting they treated any one person differently but instead, they were ready to react in an instant if assaulted by any person whether the car thieve or the complaining neighbor. In other words, their situational awareness was working at peak capacity all the time due to their suspicions and apprehension of anybody they dealt with.

Fast forward through the 1990's and 2000's the era of political correctness,
O.J. Simpson, Malice Green and many other incidents that changed the mindset of police recruits thanks to the police academies change in curriculum due to such influences. Add into the mix the fact that many policy agencies changed their policies to reflect the trend of political correctness. Maybe just as bad is the police agencies that changed policies that were successful for decades in response to a small minority of people that loudly vocalized their oppositions to police policies.

These factors in my mind lend to the new policies and training tactics that provided a new mindset among young officers. This mindset always overly concerned with civil and criminal liability against their actions while performing their duties may have become a burden to their ability to react fast enough to survive a fatal encounter.

I have no hard data to support this theory but I have witnessed young
officers over the past decade that are much more apprehensive to do their
jobs than of those two decades ago. That apprehension lends to a decreased situational awareness, which in controllable encounters may be contributing to the rise in fatalities. How so? Simple, when your adversary attacks you because you failed to recognize the warning signs that he is about to attack then you are reacting and not controlling the encounter. When you lose control of the encounter your adversary owns your destiny!

Don't think it will happen to you? I invite you to read the stories that are hall marked on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial web site. Note who these brave souls were, their cities in which they patrolled, the stories of how they lost their lives and then ask yourself again, can it happen to me?

We could write a book about solutions to address this problem we have
faced in the first half of this year but I have a simple solution for you and
perhaps it may save just one officers life.

Achieve a sense of situational awareness that mirrors those men that taught me police work in the early 1990's in all you do. Prepare for that fatal encounter through training, physical fitness, and the warrior mindset. Look through the prism of apprehension of everybody you deal with. Always assume that the person you are dealing with is about to surprise you. With that in mind, maintain your reactionary gap, don't allow your guard to fall no matter how much you start to trust that person, never stop training, always stay fit enough to hold your ground regardless of your age, maintain a mind set that will allow you to quickly strike your adversary without hesitation, and stay familiar with your equipment. Most importantly, be a constant professional and treat everybody with respect.

To achieve the mood of a warrior is not a simple matter. It is a revolution.
To regard the lion and the water rats and our fellow men as equals is a
magnificent act of a warrior's spirit. It takes power to do that.

- Carlos Castaneda

In time you will hold that same apprehension, that came to be my training
officers character trademarks. This apprehension that peaked their situational awareness can only increase your response to a fatal encounter. That quicker response may allow you to control that encounter and ultimately your adversary's destiny.


Stay safe,

Sgt. Glenn French 



Sgt. French also is the president of the Detroit Special Operations Group tactical training company and founder of the Detroit SWAT Challenge. Glenn is a columnist with www.PoliceOne.com, and his column is the"SWAT Operator".

Glenn has instructed Basic and Advanced SWAT / Tactical officer courses, Basic and Advanced Sniper courses, Cold Weather / Winter Sniper Operations and Active Shooter Response courses and others. Sgt French served in the U.S. Army and is a veteran of the Gulf war "Operation Desert Storm." During his military tenure Sgt French gained valuable experience in C.Q.B., infantry tactics and explosive breaching operations and he served as a Platoon sergeant and a squad leader.

Warrior's Wisdom

He Who Hesitates Is Lost

The favors of fortune fall to the men who woo more often than to those who wait. Napoleon said,"Fortune is like a woman, if you miss her today, think not to find her tomorrow."

The successful man pushes to the front and seeks his chance; those of a temper less ardent wait till duty calls and the call may never come.

"Fortune favors the brave, this is particularly true in battle."


Aesop's Fables

The Swallow and the Crow had a contention about their plumage.

The Crow put an end to the dispute by saying, "Your feathers are all very well in the spring, but mine protect me against the winter. Fair weather friends are not worth much."
Embroidered Items
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Special Product Coupon
Thanksgiving Weekend

Receive 10% off your order when coupon code is used 

Coupon not valid for unit orders or any other discounts already given. Valid through Thanksgiving Weekend.  

Use coupon code gobble

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Offer good through November 24th - 27th 2011.

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Quotes & Jokes
A Quote From 1944


"Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to
know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself
when he is afraid, one who will be proud and
unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

Douglas MacArthur

"If a man does his best, what else is there?"  

- General George S. Patton (1885-1945)


"I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but my chief duty is
to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble" 

- Helen Keller


"Almost any difficulty will move in the face of honesty.
When I am honest I never feel stupid.
And when I am honest I am automatically humble.

- Hugh Prather

"You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid
the consequences of avoiding reality."

- Ayn Rand (1905-1982)


"You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you."

- Leon Trotsky (1879-1940)



Featured Tactical Gear
 PFD ( Personal Floatation Device ) 

Product #SFGPFD



PFD is a personal floatation device serving as an emergency floatation device, designed to negotiate water obstacles and to float equipment.

The Solution to Water Obstacles
The PFD Personal Floatation Device was specially designed to give a soldier with battle gear (minus pack) a floatation device that can conveniently attach anywhere from the waist up that can be reached in order to activate it without the restrictions and discomfort of water wings or similar devices. It can be used as an emergency floatation device, a device to negotiate water obstacles and as a device to provide floatation for equipment, for example on boat operations.

  • Emergency floatation device
  • Floatation to negotiate and cross water obstacles
  • Floatation device for equipment
Lift capability:
  • We rate it for 40lbs of lift using a 38g CO2 cartridge
  • We tested it with 50lbs at 10ft depth a warm day, water temperature 82F,  lift was good and buoyancy was good on the surface. We retested at 40lbs and it ascended very rapidly.
  • Bladder with attached waist strap
  • Adjustable tethered webbed strap
  • Halkey detonator uses 38 gram 3/8" thread
  • Halkey Oral valve (inflator)
  • Over pressure valve
  • Compact deployment case with molle attachment
  • Attachment loop with fastex located rear top of case
  • Molle
  • Harness assembly
  • Auto detonator with water sensor
  • Bladder Color ( Subdued or Blaze Orange )
  • Size: 6"  Tall x 3" deep x 3" wide
  • Tether: 22" long x 1" wide
  • Bladder: (Bowtie shaped) uninflated flat 33.25" wide x 13.25" at its tallest and 7.5" at its narrowest

Click Here to View Item and Full Specifications >> 


TRAP ( Tactical Re-flotation Assault Pack )

Product #SFGTRAP

 Water obstacles are no longer a problem.

The TRAP assault pack was designed to use as a
regular assault pack but with the added capability of  floatation to give you the ability to negotiate water obstacles
in a moment's notice or in an emergency.   


SFGTRAP Product Demonstration Video 
View our demo videos!

We think you will find the pack itself organized, well thought out and more comfortable than most, especially when carrying heavy loads. The bladder, when stowed, is set back so it does not restrict arm movement or cause irritation.The bladder is easily restowed after use. The bungee retention system, at the top, allows you to easily attach things like a shooting mat for example.


  • 3 day assault backpack
  • Emergency floatation device
  • Designed to negotiate and navigate water obstacles
  • Halkey detonator uses " thread 68 gram CO2 cartridge
  • Halkey oral valve (inflator)
  • Over pressure valve to adjust buoyancy
  • Internal deployable bladder with zipped cover
  • Adjustable shoulder straps with quick disconnect
  • Sternum strap
  • Cummerbund waist strap
  • 2 main compartments with zippered access
  • 2 accessory pouches with Molle attachments
  • Molle webbing on exterior of pack
  • Carrying handle
  • Organizer pocket
  • Bungee retention cords
  • External hydration bladder compartment
  • Rain cover
  • Inside pack - distribution weight organizer pouch
  • Drain grommets for all compartments

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E.C.W. Breathable Moisture Repellant Pant

Product #MS209378




Same fabric and quality as our E.C.W. parka, with 15" leg zippers for putting on over boots, hook-n-loop adjustable ankle cuffs, covered, snap-shut pass-thru pockets, covered front zipper and drawstring waist with cord lock.


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Featured Items
Micron II Tanto

Product #SDSSGFF91SERPA CQC Holster w/Matte Finish


Much like the original Micron, the Micron II Tanto offers slim line convenience, key chain readiness, sophisticated Tanto design, and can hide in a pocket and appear at whim. Unlike the original, the Micron II Tanto has the added convenience of a strong lockback mechanism.


Blade: 2.25"

Overall: 5.00"

Closed: 2.75"

Weight: 1.40 oz.

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Slim Weighted Vest
Rigger's Belt

Product #mir10ns



  • Double padding and lining throughout body and shoulder.
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Aquaforce Watches Analog Digital Watch with Illuminating Light AQUAFORCE DIGITAL - DUAL TIME

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Aquaforce Frontier 22-001 is both digital with analog time-keeping. This watch is a full sized rugged design. Designed specifically for military and law enforcement tactical personnel.


  • Strap Made Out of PU Rubber
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Clichs of Socialism

"Big business and big labor require big government."


LIKE ALL SOCIALISTIC CLICH'S, this bromide is born of socialistic beliefs. For, if one believes in socialism (state ownership and control of the means of production), or that  "the complexity and interdependence of the scientific-industrial state calls for national planning. The individualism of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is a casualty of technology, as are old theories of private property. Government must intervene more and more in the nation's industrial life  .  .  ."

Then it is plausible big government. The bigger the industrial operation, the bigger must be the political apparatus which owns, controls, and manages it. Under socialism all business and all labor and all government are but parts of one and the same thing.


     However, if one believes that the group is secondary to the individual and his emergence, that all men are equal before the law as before God, and that men are endowed by their Creator (not by the state) with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, then the above proposition is a non sequitur. The conclusion has nothing more to do with the postulate than does the claim that a big man requires more policing than a small one. If man is created for his emergence, then government is but a police power organized to defend and free productive and creative action from destructive action.


     The size of private and voluntarily organized effort, be it business or labor, is unrelated to the amount of governmental restraint or control needed. A single thief or a lone pirate or an individual killer or a one-man kidnapping project may properly put hundreds, even thousands, of governmental agents on the trail while a peaceful, self-disciplined organization of enormous size needs no inhibitory or defensive action whatsoever on the part of government.


     It is the amount or prevalence of violence, fraud, misrepresentation, predation, spoliation-not-bigness-that should affect the size of the police apparatus. A society of people who never injure each other would need no government at all, but the more thieves, liars, ruffians, seekers of something-for-nothing; the bigger must be society's police force.


           One of the reasons for believing that "big business and big labor require big government" is the strong tendency to equate corporate and labor union size with "economic power." Economic power however is only purchasing power, a form of power for which most of us quite properly strive. Actually, the more economic power others have, the more can each of us receive for what we have to offer in exchange. Economic power however, is only purchasing power, a form of power for which most of us quite properly strive. Actually, the more economic power others have, the more can each of us receive for what we have to offer in exchange. Economic power is a good, not a bad power.


     Now, there is a type of power related to size, which is to be feared: namely, political power-the power to force or compel compliance. This power shows forth in business and labor organizations as monopoly power-price and wage and production control-armed protection against competition.


     Monopoly or political power is always associated with force. There is no such thing as monopoly without coercive backing. Now and then organized coercion is of the criminal type such Al Capone employed to monopolize the Chicago beer market; but, for the most part, private organizations accomplish similar results only by forming an alliance with the compulsive force of government. All laws restricting competition and willing exchange of either goods or services are examples of political-monopoly power.


     Little as well as big business or labor unions, if they succeed as gaining special privileges by the force of largess of government, will expand the bureaucracy, add to governmental expense, quicken inflation, and lead to political corruption. Organizations in the private sector, whether large or small, require of government only that it be incorruptible. A failure to grasp this distinction will burden us with a private-public combine in big corruption, an unscrupulous and irresponsible "partnership" -the people's ruler.




You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. 
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. 
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. 
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down. 
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. 
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence. 
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

-Abraham Lincoln

63 Year Old Cartoon Depicts America Today 
From godfatherpolitics.com


It's always interesting to read predictions of what life and society will be like in the future.

I remember in the 1950s that experts were predicting what America would be like fifty years later. We'd all be wearing clothes made with synthetic material that would never ear out. Cars would fly. There would be no more war and people would be flying all over the solar system.

In 1949, Eric Arthur Blair published his most famous novel under the pen name of George Orwell. 1984 described a socialistic society where the people were constantly watched and monitored by a godlike leader known as Big Brother. Under the totalitarian rule, individuality and reason were considered to be crimes.

However, one of the most accurate depictions of America today was a cartoon made in 1948 by the Extension Department of Harding College. The cartoon, entitled Make Mine Freedom, shows what happens when an unsuspecting society sells their freedoms for 'ism'. Watch for yourself and see just how close this 63 year old cartoon describes America today as it is being run by the liberals of both parties.

Make Mine Freedom (1948)
Make Mine Freedom (1948)

What Has Really Changed?
What Has Really Changed?


It's still America and it's wonderful


Last month almost half a million young Americans graduated from college. Already this year our nation has produced more steel, oil, aluminum than any other nation will produce all year. Yes, foreign automobiles are taking some of our business but it still seems sure we will make more than six million cars this year.


 Experts say that Americans will contribute more this year than ever (and many times as much as any other nation) to charity, to education, to helping others. Yes, our costs are high but Europe, on the other hand, requires 20% more people to produce half a much product.  


As this is written, the United States has 11 satellites circling outer space, Russia has 2, no other nation has any.   


Certainly we have bungled and stumbled in many ways. Our so-called farm program is a mess, we waste billion on the wrong veterans, we pamper tens of thousands of useless bureaucrats, we are much too easy on criminals and delinquents.

It would be wonderful if we could keep all the good things and get rid of all the bad. But on balance it's pretty great, don't you think? True, Utopia isn't there yet. We're just living in that part of the world that is closest to attaining it. Let's keep it that way-try to improve, sure but keep it.

Michael A. Monsoor and Operation Kentucky Jumper

Written by: Dwight Jon Zimmerman on April 30, 2010  

"I truly thought he was the toughest member of my platoon." - Delta Platoon Commander Lt. Cmdr. Seth Stone

In 2006, the situation in Iraq, and in Anbar province in the west, was dire verging on disaster. No less a person than the respected Marine Corps chief of intelligence in Iraq, Col. Pete Devlin, had filed a secret report that summer stating, in part, that there were no functioning government institutions in Anbar and that the power vacuum was being filled by insurgents from the terrorist group al Qaeda in Iraq. At that time, the most violent city in Anbar province was Ramadi, where, in the words of embedded AP reporter Todd Pitman, the "sheer scale of violence ... was astounding." No one better knew the reality of the situation in Ramadi than Petty Officer Michael Anthony "Mikey" Monsoor, the heavy weapons machine gunner and communicator in Delta Platoon, SEAL Team 3.

Born in Long Beach, Calif., on April 5, 1981, Monsoor was a devout Catholic of Christian-Arab descent who grew up in Garden Grove, Calif., the third of four children of George and Sally Monsoor. His family had a history of military service. Both his father and older brother served as Marines, and his grandfather served in the Navy. Though not an "A" student or gifted athlete, it was his determination, resolution, respect for others, and a desire to protect people that made him stand out. Monsoor enlisted in the Navy on March 21, 2001. Following basic training, he attended Quartermaster "A" School, where he earned his quartermaster rating. After a tour of duty at Naval Air Station, Sigonella, Italy, Monsoor entered Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in Coronado, Calif. He was forced to withdraw when he suffered a broken heel. He returned in 2004 and graduated at the top of his class in March 2005. The next month his rating changed from quartermaster to master-at-arms and he was assigned to SEAL Team 3 Delta Platoon. In April 2006, he and his platoon arrived in Anbar province.

In an undated file photo provided by the U.S. Navy, Master-At-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor, left, participates in a patrol in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Photo courtesy Monsoor family.

Anbar province, which stretches from Baghdad west to the borders of Syria and Jordan, contained at the time about 600,000 people,most of whom lived in or near the provincial capital of Ramadi. The predominantly Sunni province also accounts for 30 percent of Iraq's land mass and includes the major city of Fallujah. Fallujah had been the site for Operation Phantom Fury in November 2004. Though the operation was a coalition success against Iraq's insurgent and terrorist forces, the high number of civilian casualties and the damage and destruction of about half of the city's homes made it, with respect to the civilian cost, a Pyrrhic victory.


In 2006, Ramadi became an important battleground for what was described as "both a litmus test for the counterinsurgency effort in Iraq and a laboratory" in a broader strategy to secure the area and allow local Iraqi authorities to regain control of the region. Col. Sean MacFarland, commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, was made overall commander of the operation to subdue Ramadi. Among his duties, he was to partner with Iraqi army and police units and train and mentor them in the conduct of counterinsurgency operations. With the experience of Fallujah a fresh memory, MacFarland's instructions were broad: "Fix Ramadi, but don't destroy it."


Because his force was relatively small, MacFarland chose an incremental block-by-block approach to eliminate the insurgents and win over the local sheiks and residents. Targeting the places where enemy activity was strongest, he set up outposts designed to protect and secure areas his troops had fought. In April 2006, Monsoor's 19-man platoon was deployed to Ramadi and assigned to Task Unit Bravo, part of the U.S. Army 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment (1/506th). The unit was assigned the Mulaab area, one of the most vicious neighborhoods in Ramadi. They were tasked with a broad range of missions, among them patrols, raids, and providing sniper cover for search and seizure operations.


As the heavy weapons machine gunner carrying a Mk. 48, Monsoor's position was immediately behind the point man when the team patrolled. This enabled him to provide heavy suppression fire to protect his platoon from a frontal enemy attack. Because he was also the team's communicator, on 15 of the missions he carried a double load of ammunition and communication gear that collectively weighed more than 100 pounds. Yet even when temperatures topped 130 degrees Fahrenheit, he never complained.

No mission - even the rare one in which they did not come under fire - was boring. Of all the missions he was on, only 25 percent did not result in an enemy attack. Thirty-five of the missions erupted in firefights so fierce the streets were described as being "paved with fire." One such time occurred during a patrol on May 9. One teammate, caught in the middle of the street during the firefight, went down with a bullet wound to the leg. With another SEAL member providing additional cover fire, Monsoor, firing his Mk. 48, dashed out into the street to rescue his teammate. Continuing to fire his machine gun with one hand while pulling the wounded SEAL with the other, and with insurgent bullets kicking up dust and concrete all around them, Monsoor managed to drag his teammate to safety without either of them being hit. For his courage under fire he was awarded the Silver Star.

The Medal of Honor citation presented by President George W. Bush to George and Sally Monsoor April 8, 2008, during a ceremony in the White House. U.S. Navy photo.
When he wasn't on the streets, Monsoor was above them, stationed in a rooftop sniper post. There, acting in his role as a communications specialist, he spotted enemy positions and called in support fire. As the weeks went on, the coalition forces were slowly changing the tactical situation for the better. Monsoor's contribution to the effort through his examples of leadership, guidance, and decisive actions caused him to be awarded the Bronze Star.


With the situation beginning to tip in favor of the coalition forces, MacFarland decided the time was right for the next step. Code-named Operation Kentucky Jumper, it was a combined coalition battalion clearance and isolation operation in southern Ramadi using integrated American and Iraqi forces. The operation was scheduled to commence on Sept. 29, 2006.

As he had always done before each mission, Monsoor attended mass. Father Paul Halladay, the chaplain stationed in Ramadi at the time, conducted the service, which was on the feast day of St. Michael. As the mission of the archangel is that of protector, his prayer has relevance to those about to do battle:


Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!


Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.


May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;


And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power, of God


Cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits who prowl throughout the world

seeking the ruin of souls.




Monsoor's assignment was to serve as the machine gunner of a combined force team containing four SEALs and eight Iraq army soldiers. The team was tasked with a supporting role as a sniper overwatch element guarding the western flank during ground operations. The morning was clear, with good visibility. They quickly found a rooftop location that gave them a good field of view for spotting and picking off any insurgent counterattacking force that might approach from the west.


Using tactical periscopes to scan for enemy activity, they soon spotted a group of four insurgents armed with AK-47 assault rifles conducting reconnaissance for follow-on attacks of the ground force. The snipers promptly engaged the enemy, killing one and wounding another. Not long afterward, a mutually supporting SEAL/Iraqi army team killed another enemy fighter. After these two actions, area residents supporting the insurgents began blocking off the streets around them with rocks. The purpose was twofold: to warn away civilians and to alert insurgents that sniper teams were operating in the area. In addition, someone in a nearby mosque using a loudspeaker called upon insurgents to join together in an attack on the coalition troops.


The first attack on their position began in the early afternoon. Suddenly a vehicle loaded with insurgents firing automatic weapons charged the building. The SEALs promptly returned fire. One of the attackers shot a rocket-propelled grenade that hit their building. Though the SEALs and Iraqi soldiers knew the insurgents would follow up with additional attacks, the team chose to carry out its mission and refused to evacuate. After reassessing the situation, the officer in charge, a SEAL lieutenant, identified the insurgents' most likely avenue of attack, and positioned Monsoor with his heavy machine gun on the roof outcrop overlooking it. Monsoor's location was near the rooftop's exit and between two SEAL snipers. This hide-site allowed the three SEALs maximum coverage of the area.


Monsoor was using a tactical periscope when an insurgent managed to sneak up and hurl a hand grenade onto the roof. The grenade hit Monsoor on the chest and bounced onto the rooftop. Monsoor was just a couple of steps away from the exit and could have leaped through it to safety. But there were three other SEALs and eight Iraqi soldiers nearby.

Grenade!" he shouted, and threw
The actual Medal of Honor prepared for presentation posthumously to Master-At-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor, who sacrificed himself to save his teammates during combat operations in Iraq, Sept. 29, 2006. The medal is pictured with the Navy Special Warfare (SEAL) Trident. The parents of Master-At-Arms 2nd Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor accepted the nation's highest military honor on behalf of their son during a White House ceremony April 8, 2008. Monsoor was the first Navy SEAL to earn the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq and the second Navy SEAL to receive the award since Sept. 11, 2001. Monsoor was the fourth armed forces service member to receive the Medal of Honor since the beginning of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Mr. Oscar Sosa.
himself onto it. The grenade detonated as he came down on top of it. Shrapnel hit the two SEALs

closest to him, wounding them. But Monsoor's body had absorbed most of the blast. A medevac was called and within minutes, carried the three wounded away. Miraculously, Monsoor was still alive when the medevac returned to the field hospital. But his wounds were mortal. The only help possible was provided by Father Halladay, who arrived in time to give Monsoor last rites. Thirty minutes after he had acted to save the lives of those with him, Petty Officer Michael Monsoor was dead.


The lieutenant who was the officer-in-charge on the rooftop with Monsoor remembered, "He never took his eye off the grenade. His only movement was down toward it. He undoubtedly saved mine and the other SEALs' lives, and we owe him."


Out for respect for the SEAL who had fought with them, members of the 1/506th held a special memorial service in his name. Iraqi army scouts, who Petty Officer Monsoor had helped train, lowered their flag in memorial and then sent it to his parents.


His body was taken to California and he was buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego. As his coffin was being carried from the hearse to the gravesite, the pallbearers walked between two rows of SEALs. When Monsoor's coffin passed, each SEAL, gold trident badge in hand, slapped it down deeply into the wood casket's lid, embedding it. By the time the coffin arrived at the grave site, observers said the lid appeared "as though it had a gold inlay."


Petty Officer Michael Monsoor was gone. But two years later, the nation showed that he would not be forgotten. On April 8, 2008, in a ceremony at the White House presided over by President George W. Bush, Petty Officer Michael Monsoor's Medal of Honor was presented to his parents. He became the third serviceman in the Iraq war, and first from the Navy, to receive the country's highest medal for valor. Also on that day, California Congresswoman Zoe Lofren read into the Congressional Record the account of Monsoor's life and his self-sacrifice, adding, "An ancient historian once wrote, 'The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet not withstanding, go out to meet it.' Madam Speaker, these words could speak no better for the personal commitment of warriors like Petty Officer Monsoor, whose service and sacrifice in the face of evil cannot be forgotten."


On Oct. 29, 2008, Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter announced that DDG-1001, the second ship in the Zumwalt class of destroyers, would be christened Michael Monsoor. And, four days earlier, on Oct. 25, Monsoor, SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy, and Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham, who all were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for their courageous actions in Iraq or Afghanistan, were honored with plaques in a rededication ceremony of the Semper Fi Marine Monument in San Clemente, Calif. It was the first time in the park's three-year history that both Navy and Marine personnel were honored together. Sara Monsoor, Monsoor's sister, attended the ceremony and later said, "I think that it is wonderful that they want to add him to this park with the Marines. ... My hope is that when people come here, these plaques inspire them to find out their stories and really inspire them to live their lives like these men did."

Perhaps most importantly, Ramadi is no longer the dangerous city it was during Monsoor's tour of duty there. Though much work has yet to be done to improve life in Iraq, that already things are much improved is an additional testament that his life, given to save his teammates, was not sacrificed in vain.

SAS War Diary Published

Written by:
on October 12, 2011

"The SAS War Diary is a unique account of extraordinary men, warriors, who dared all to win all.

Unlike any other account, and because it is written by the men who were actually there, The diary takes us along the journey of exploration in battle trodden by the founding fathers of modern special forces.
That journey challenged the well-established rules of war and in doing so laid the

The sheer audacity and courage
The SAS War Diary 1941-1945, replicates the original war diary, down to its massive size and weight, but with added exclusive photos and other materials. Photo courtesy of SAS Regimental Association
of these founding fathers, their personal leadership at point of danger and their willingness to challenge conventional thinking with truly unconventional ideas, carries the passage of time from the Western Desert to the back streets of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan.

The SAS War Diary conveys this audacity and courage brilliantly.

"It is a remarkable piece of history, probably unmatched, as it lays out the very foundation of modern special forces."

- Lt. Gen. Sir Graeme Lamb, former director UK Special Forces

In early 1946, only months after the end of World War II, a former SAS soldier tasked himself with one final mission. The SAS, created in 1941, had been disbanded; there were no plans to resurrect it.

The soldier's self-appointed mission was simple: to find and collate whatever documentation he could before the SAS was forgotten and its story lost forever.

The soldier tracked down and copied the Top Secret order authorizing the first ever SAS operation ... he sought out photographs of the original members of 1 SAS, including men lost on that first operation ... he somehow acquired the after-action reports from the

handful of men who survived. Then, with more photographs, orders, operational reports, and a handful of newspaper articles from Britain and even America, he traced the story of the SAS through North Africa, Sicily, Italy, D-Day and France, then the drive through Europe for Berlin, and the final march past when SAS was stood down.

By mission end, the soldier had not only produced something unique - the first ever history of the SAS, collated by an SAS man himself - but in the event of the SAS being consigned to a footnote in history, and with many of the documents he had copied either destroyed or lost forever, he had saved the story of the SAS during World War II.

But the soldier did something else. He collated his work in a single massive war diary, measuring 17 x 12 x 4 inches and weighing just under 30 pounds, and bound it in leather "acquired" from the Germans.

SAS founder and commander David Stirling napping with a Jeep tire as a pillow during a long range mission in the desert, one of the many unique photos in the diary. Photo courtesy of Extraordinary Editions
Without knowing it, the soldier had created an icon. Then, however, he did something equally astonishing. Without telling anyone about the diary, he locked it away. For half a century, no one except the soldier knew that the diary existed.

Then, shortly, before his death, he visited the SAS Regimental Association, and gave them ... The SAS War Diary. The association locked the diary in a place of safekeeping in its archives, and the secret of its existence continued.

Now, however, the diary is breaking cover. To mark the 70thanniversary of the founding of the Special Air Service, the SAS Regimental Association produced a special limited edition replica for its members. The limited edition of 500 sold out in three weeks. Now, to raise funds for its welfare activities, the association has been cleared to release a unique anniversary limited edition series.

The anniversary edition replicates the
A sample page from The SAS War Diary 1941-1945. Image courtesy of Extraordinary Editions
diary in physical appearance - all 17 x 12 x 4 inches of it, nearly 30 pounds in weight, fully bound in leather - but with one important difference. When the wartime SAS man finally collated his diary in 1946, it ran to nearly 600 pages. The soldier used the first 281 pages to record the story of 1 SAS. For some reason, perhaps aware there was another mission which might follow his, he kept in the remaining pages but left them blank.

The anniversary edition fills these empty pages with specially cleared material and documents from the association's own highly confidential archives, to include the history of 2 SAS and an abridged history of the SBS. The diary is the only place most of these documents exist. Equally important, it is the personal and private history of the Regiment from the inside, by the SAS for the SAS, in their own words.

The diary contains an unparalleled collection of documents, reports, photographs and maps to tell, for the first time ever, the full story of the SAS during World War II. At the time most of these documents were Top Secret. They include:
  • The actual order for the first ever SAS operation.
  • Operational reports for all recorded behind-the-lines missions in: The Western Desert; Sicily and Italy; France for D-Day; Northwest Europe and Germany; Northern Italy post D-Day.
  • More than 25 maps and 300 photographs, many of them taken on operations.
  • David Stirling's personal confidential memorandum on how he founded the SAS.
  • Top Secret and highly personal correspondence between Stirling and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, when the future of the wartime SAS was in danger, to protect the SAS and guarantee that future.
  • The order for the SAS to assassinate German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel just days after D-Day.
  • The order assigning the SAS regimental status.
  • The order standing the wartime SAS down.
The legendary Paddy Mayne and friend, another candid shot from the diary. Photo courtesy of Extraordinary Editions
The wartime SAS was disbanded in 1945, thus the diary is officially The SAS War Diary 1941-1945. But the diary actually goes beyond that. Even as the soldier was apparently completing his mission in 1946, and despite the fact that the Regiment no longer officially existed, a secret SAS team was still at war. Its mission: track down and bring to justice Nazi war criminals responsible for the torture and murder of SAS men captured behind the lines. Thus The SAS War Diary 1941-1945 actually ends in 1948, when the last wartime SAS man finally came home.

The SAS War Diary 1941-1945 is being published by Extraordinary Editions, in partnership with the SAS Regimental Association. The lion's share of all profits is going to the association's welfare fund.

The U.S. Army Is Pondering a "Growth Variant" of the CH-47 Chinook

Time to supersize a 50-year-old legend?

Written by: Robert F. Dorr on October 16, 2011

The U.S. Army Is Pondering a "Growth Variant" of the CH-47 Chinook
Time to supersize a 50-year-old legend?

The first helicopter in the CH-47 Chinook series, known as the time as a YCH-1B, made its maiden flight on Sept. 21, 1961. By the time the U.S. Army and aircraft manufacturer Boeing celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, the tandem, twin-rotor Chinook had left an indelible mark on aviation history and the nation's top soldiers were pondering a future "growth variant" that would extend the life of the Chinook fleet beyond 2020.

The first step toward extending the Chinook's already impressive lifetime was the establishment in September of a modernization program office within the acquisition headquarters for the Army aviation community at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. Also in September, Boeing officially opened its renovated Building 361 in Ridley Park, Pa., where the company assembles Chinooks.

Chinook Progress

Chinooks poured off the assembly line in CH-47A through MH-47G models during the helicopter's first half-century. Boeing is in the process of rebuilding CH-47D Chinooks to bring them up to the current CH-47F standard.

One important difference between the D and F models: the D, which dates to 1982, was built with rivets while the F has a monolithic fuselage. "Rivets and the constant vibration of rotary wing flight don't go well together," said an Army aviator.

The Army has long planned to upgrade 397 Ds to F status and to add additional, new-build CH-47Fs. The "program of record" calls for 510 CH-47Fs. Boeing has delivered 143 CH-47Fs, is completing a multi-year contract for 215, and is expected to receive a second multi-year contract. The Army claims that awarding a multi-year contract trims about 15 percent from the price of an aircraft.

For special operations forces, Boeing built 62 specially-equipped MH-47Gs, all of which were rebuilt from earlier CH-47D, MH-47D and MH-47E airframes in a service-life extension program. (Three MH-47Es have been lost in operational accidents or in combat). The final MH-47G, optimized for long-distance, low-level night operations, was delivered last March 14.

On CH-47F and MH-47G models, the army introduced the Rockwell Collins common avionics architecture system (CAAS) cockpit, also used on other new Army aircraft, and the BAE Systems digital advanced flight control system (DAFCS).

The new office at Redstone, to be headed by Col. Bob Marion, will draw up the Army's requirements for the "growth variant" of the Chinook, or CH-47H, that the service wants after 2020. An early decision that must be made is whether to create a "Chinook on steroids" by significantly widening the fuselage of the CH-47H in order to increase the load the "growth variant" can carry. That step is technically feasible but would mean that the new Chinook version could no longer be transported aboard a C-17 Globemaster III airlifter.

One key to the success of the Chinook has been the T55 gas turbine engine, originally built by Lycoming and now a Honeywell product. Although the basic design is as old as the Chinook, the engine has growth potential today. Army officers say a projected T55-GA-715 coupled with an improved rotor hub and transmission could replace the current 4,870 shaft horsepower T55-GA-714A. Or, the service could seek an entirely new engine. Studies show the Chinook could accommodate a 7,500 shaft horsepower engine, and powerplants in that range are readily available.

Sikorsky Stallion

As a sidelight to the ongoing Chinook saga, Sikorsky is preparing to offer its new-generation CH-53K Super Sea Stallion heavy-lift helicopter to the Army as a higher-tech alternative to the post-2020 "growth variant" CH-47H Chinook.

The Marine Corps wants 200 CH-53K helicopters starting in 2018 to replace its CH-53E versions - the CH-53E being one of the few aircraft in U.S. service that has never had a service-life upgrade. If Sikorsky could find a wider purchasing base for the CH-53K, the Marine program would stand a better chance of survival as budget debates continue in Washington.

What happens to the future of the Chinook, and whether a CH-47H can make its debut after the CH-47F line shuts down in 2019, will depend on a larger picture of Army aviation that one observer calls "a moveable feast." The Army has ambitious long-term plans for a family of Joint Multi-Role (JMR) aircraft to replace every helicopter now in service and for an Armed Aerial Scout (AAS) to replace the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. In the shorter term, the service also wants to maintain multi-year contracts for AH-64D Apache Longbows and UH-60M Black Hawks in addition to CH-47Fs.

Not everyone believes another aircraft can replace the venerable Chinook.

Said Marion: "It works better than any other cargo helicopter in the world."


Drug Smugglers Tunnel Into Arizona Parking Spaces



Drug smugglers are endlessly creative when it comes to inventing ways to move marijuana, cocaine and other contraband from Mexico into the United States.


In the latest innovation uncovered by law enforcement, smugglers in the border town of Nogales, Arizona were bringing drugs into the U.S. for the cost of a quarter.


The parking meters on International Street, which hugs the border fence in Nogales, cost 25 cents. Smugglers in Mexico tunneled under the fence and under the metered parking spaces, and then carefully cut neat rectangles out of the pavement. Their confederates on the U.S. side would park false-bottomed vehicles in the spaces above the holes, feed the meters, and then wait while the underground smugglers stuffed their cars full of drugs from below.


When the exchange was finished, the smugglers would use jacks to put the pavement "plugs" back into place. The car would drive away, and only those observers who were looking closely would notice the seams in the street.


In all, U.S. Border Patrol agents found 16 tunnels leading to the 18 metered parking spaces on International Street. The pavement is now riddled with neat, symmetrical patches.


"It's unbelievable," Nogales mayor Arturo Garino told Tucson, Arizona ABC affiliate KGUN. "Those are the strides these people take to get the drugs across the border."


Past methods of smuggling have included catapults that launch bales of drugs across the border fence. "The [smugglers] have tried everything," said Garino, "and this is one of the most ingenious [methods] of them all.

The city, advised by Homeland Security, has agreed to remove the parking meters. Nogales stands to lose $8,500 annually in parking revenue, plus the cost of citations.


Red Air: America's Medevac Failure


Most of our troops in Afghanistan never see combat.  The closest they get might be the occasional rocket attacks on bases.  A relatively small number will be in so many fights that the war becomes a jumble.  For those who see fighting daily, their mental time markers are often when they or their buddies were hurt or died, or when some other serious event occurred.


The troops in 4-4 Cav have seen a great deal of fighting.  Their courage seems bottomless and for two-and-a-half months I was an eyewitness to their professionalism and courage.


This mission would be dangerous.  The Female Engagement Team was left behind and the only female Soldier to come was a medic because, as she would tell me, "I'm the badass medic."




The marines call girls such as this ... "marrying material," and, for her birthday ... any weapon of her choosing !

This woman is a blogger and has been somewhat outspoken to say the least. Apparently a Jihadist in England noticed and sent her a threat to which she responded.

Ann Barnhardt Ann Barnhardt is described as "a livestock and grain commodity broker and marketing consultant, American patriot, traditional Catholic, and unwitting counter-revolutionary blogger. She can be reached through her business at www.barnhardt.biz."She has taken on Islam and they have noticed.



I'm going to kill you when I find you. Don't think I won't, I know where you and your parents live and I'll need is one phone-call to kill ya'll.


Re: Watch your back.

Hello mufcadnan123!

You don't need to "find" me. My address is 9175 Kornbrust Circle, Lone Tree, CO 80124.

Luckily for you, there are daily DIRECT FLIGHTS from Heathrow to Denver. Here's what you will need to do. After arriving at Denver and passing through customs, you will need to catch the shuttle to the rental car facility. Once in your rental car, take Pena Boulevard to I-225 south. Proceed on I-225 south to I-25 south. Proceed south on I-25 to Lincoln Avenue which is exit 193. Turn right (west) onto Lincoln . Proceed west to the fourth light, and turn left (south) onto Ridgegate Boulevard . Proceed south, through the roundabout to Kornbrust Drive . Turn left onto Kornbrust Drive and then take an immediate right onto Kornbrust Circle. I'm at 9175.

Just do me one favor. PLEASE wear body armor. I have some new ammunition that I want to try out, and frankly, close-quarter body shots without armor would feel almost unsporting from my perspective. That and the fact that I'm probably carrying a good 50 I.Q. points on you makes it morally incumbent upon me to spot you a tactical advantage.

However, being that you are a miserable, trembling coward, I realize that you probably are incapable of actually following up on any of your threats without losing control of your bowels and crapping your pants while simultaneously sobbing yourself into hyperventilation. So, how about this: why don't you contact the main mosque here in Denver and see if some of the local musloids here in town would be willing to carry out your attack for you?

After all, this is what your "perfect man" mohamed did (pig excrement be upon him). You see, mohamed, being a miserable coward and a con artist, would send other men into battle to fight on his behalf. Mohamed would stay at the BACK of the pack and let the stupid, ignorant suckers like you that he had conned into his political cult do the actual fighting and dying. Mohamed would then fornicate with the dead men's wives and children. You should follow mohamed's example! Here is the contact info for the main mosque here in Denver :

Masjid Abu Bakr
Imam Karim Abu Zaid
2071 South Parker Road
Denver, CO 80231
Phone: 303-696-9800
Email: denvermosque@yahoo.com

I'm sure they would be delighted to hear from you. Frankly, I'm terribly disappointed that not a SINGLE musloid here in the United States has made ANY attempt to rape and behead me. But maybe I haven't made myself clear enough, so let me do that right now.

I will NEVER, EVER, EVER submit to islam. I will fight islam with every fiber of my being for as long as I live because islam is pure satanic evil. If you are really serious about islam dominating the United States and the world, you are going to have to come through me. You are going to have to kill me. Good luck with that. And understand that if you or some of your musloid boyfriends do actually manage to kill me, The Final Crusade will officially commence five minutes later, and then, despite your genetic mental retardation, you will be made to understand with crystal clarity what the word "defeat" means. Either way, I win, so come and get it.

 Deo adjuvante non timendum (with the help of God there is nothing to be afraid of).

             Ann Barnhardt

Ann's self-photo from LINK

Is Naval Aviation Culture Dead? By John Lehman
National Archives


World War II-Era North American SNJ Training Aircraft


The swaggering-flyer mystique forged over the past century has been stymied in recent years by political correctness.


We celebrate the 100th anniversary of U.S. naval aviation this year, but the culture that has become legend was born in controversy, with battleship admirals and Marine generals seeing little use for airplanes. Even after naval aviators proved their worth in World War I, naval aviation faced constant conflict within the Navy and Marine Corps, from the War Department, and from skeptics in Congress. Throughout the interwar period, its culture was forged largely unnoted by the public.


It first burst into the American consciousness 69 years ago when a few carrier aviators changed the course of history at the World War II Battle of Midway. For the next three years the world was fascinated by these glamorous young men who, along with the Leathernecks, dominated the newsreels of the war in the Pacific. Most were sophisticated and articulate graduates of the Naval Academy and the Ivy League, and as such they were much favored for Path News interviews and War Bond tours. Their casualty rates from accidents and combat were far higher than other branches of the naval service, and aviators were paid nearly a third more than non-flying shipmates. In typical humor, a pilot told one reporter: "We don't make more money, we just make it faster."


Landing a touchy World War II fighter on terra firma was difficult enough, but to land one on a pitching greasy deck required quite a different level of skill and sangfroid. It took a rare combination of hand-eye coordination, innate mechanical sense, instinctive judgment, accurate risk assessment, and most of all, calmness under extreme pressure. People with such a rare combination of talents will always be few in number. The current generation of 9-G jets landing at over 120 knots hasn't made it any easier.


Little wonder that poker was a favorite recreation and gallows humor the norm. In his book Crossing the Line, Professor Alvin Kernan recounts when his TBF had a bad launch off the USS Suwanee (CVE-27) in 1945. He was trying desperately to get out of the sinking plane as the escort carrier sped by a few feet away. Looking up, he saw the face of his shipmate, Cletus Powell (who had just won money from him playing blackjack), leaning out of a porthole shouting "Kernan, you don't have to pay. Get out, get out for God's sake." No wonder such men had a certain swagger that often irritated their non-flying brothers in arms.

Louis Johnson's Folly


By war's end more than 100 carriers were in commission. But when Louis Johnson replaced the first Secretary of Defense, Jim Forrestal-himself one of the original naval aviators in World War I-he tried to eliminate both the Marine Corps and naval aviation. By 1950 Johnson had ordered the decommissioning of all but six aircraft carriers. Most historians count this as one of the important factors in bringing about the invasion of South Korea, supported by both China and the Soviet Union. After that initial onslaught, no land airbases were available for the Air Force to fight back, and all air support during those disastrous months came from the USS Valley Forge (CV-45), the only carrier left in the western Pacific. She was soon joined by the other two carriers remaining in the Pacific.


Eventually enough land bases were recovered to allow the Air Force to engage in force, and more carriers were recommissioned, manned by World War II vets hastily recalled to active duty. James Michener's The Bridges at Toko-Ri and Admiral James Holloway's Aircraft Carriers at War together capture that moment perfectly. Only later was it learned that many of the enemy pilots were battle-hardened Russian veterans of World War II.


By the time of the armistice, the Cold War was well under way, and for the next 43 years, naval aviation was at the leading edge of the conflict around the globe. As before, aviators suffered very high casualties throughout. Training and operational accidents took a terrible toll. Jet fighters on straight decks operating without the sophisticated electronics or reliable ejection seats that evolved in later decades had to operate come hell or high water as one crisis followed another in the Taiwan Strait, Cuba, and many lesser-known fronts. Between1953 and 1957, hundreds of naval aviators were killed in an average of 1,500 crashes per year, while others died when naval intelligence gatherers like the EC-121 were shot down by North Koreans, Soviets, and Chinese. In those years carrier aviators had only a one-in-four chance of surviving 20 years of service.

Vietnam and the Cold War


The Vietnam War was an unprecedented feat of endurance, courage, and frustration in ten years of constant combat. Naval aviators flew against the most sophisticated Soviet defensive systems and highly trained and effective Vietnamese pilots. But unlike any previous conflict, they had to operate under crippling political restrictions, well known to the enemy. Antiaircraft missiles and guns were placed in villages and other locations known to be immune from attack. The kinds of targets that had real strategic value were protected while hundreds of aviators' lives and thousands of aircraft were lost attacking easily rebuilt bridges and "suspected truck parks," as the U.S. government indulged its academic game theories.


Stephen Coonts' Flight of the Intruder brilliantly expressed the excruciating frustration from this kind of combat. During that period, scores of naval aviators were killed or taken prisoner. More than 100 squadron commanders and executive officers were lost. The heroism and horror of the POW experience for men such as John McCain and Jim Stockdale were beyond anything experienced since the war with Japan.


Naturally, when these men hit liberty ports, and when they returned to their bases between deployments, their partying was as intense as their combat. The legendary stories of Cubi Point, Olongapo City, and the wartime Tailhook conventions in Las Vegas grew with each passing year.


Perhaps the greatest and least known contribution of naval aviation was its role in bringing the Cold War to a close. President Ronald Reagan believed that the United States could win the Cold War without combat. Along with building the B-1 and B-2 bombers and the Peacekeeper missile, and expanding the Army to 18 divisions, President Reagan built the 600-ship Navy and, more important, approved the Navy recommendation to begin at once pursuing a forward strategy of aggressive exercising around the vulnerable coasts of Russia. This demonstrated to the Soviets that we could defeat the combined Warsaw Pact navies and use the seas to strike and destroy their vital strategic assets with carrier-based air power.


Nine months after the President's inauguration, three U.S. and two Royal Navy carriers executed offensive exercises in the Norwegian Sea and Baltic. In this and subsequent massive exercises there and in the northwest Pacific carried out every year, carrier aircraft proved that they could operate effectively in ice and fog, penetrate the best defenses, and strike all of the bases and nodes of the Soviet strategic nuclear fleet. Subsequent testimony from members of the Soviet General Staff attested that this was a major factor in the deliberations and the loss of confidence in the Soviet government that led to its collapse.


During those years naval aviation adapted to many new policies, the removal of the last vestiges of institutional racial discrimination, and the first winging of women as naval aviators and their integration into ships and squadrons.

'Break the Culture'


1991 marked the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the end of the Cold War. But as naval aviation shared in this triumph, the year also marked the start of tragedy. The Tailhook Convention that took place in September that year began a scandal with a negative impact on naval aviation that continues to this day. The over-the-top parties of combat aviators were overlooked during the Vietnam War but had become accidents waiting to happen in the postwar era.


Whatever the facts of what took place there, it set off investigations within the Navy, the Department of Defense, the Senate, and the House that were beyond anything since the investigations and hearings regarding the Pearl Harbor attack. Part of what motivated this grotesquely disproportionate witch hunt was pure partisan politics and the deep frustration of Navy critics (and some envious begrudgers within the Navy) of the glamorous treatment accorded to the Navy and its aviators in Hollywood and the media, epitomized by the movie Top Gun. Patricia Schroeder (D-CO), chair of the House Armed Services Committee investigation, declared that her mission was to "break the culture," of naval aviation. One can make the case that she succeeded.


What has changed in naval aviation since Tailhook? First, we should review the social/cultural, and then professional changes. Many but not all were direct results of Tailhook.

'De-Glamorization' of Alcohol


Perhaps in desperation, the first reaction of Pentagon leadership to the congressional witch hunt was to launch a massive global jihad against alcohol, tellingly described as "de-glamorization." While alcohol was certainly a factor in the Tailhook scandal, it was absolutely not a problem for naval aviation as a whole. There was no evidence that there were any more aviators with an alcohol problem than there were in the civilian population, and probably a good deal fewer.


As a group, naval aviators have always been fastidious about not mixing alcohol and flying. But social drinking was always a part of off-duty traditional activities like hail-and-farewell parties and especially the traditional Friday happy hour. Each Friday on every Navy and Marine air station, most aviators not on duty turned up at the officers' club at 1700 to relax and socialize, tell bad jokes, and play silly games like "dead bug." But there was also an invaluable professional function, because happy hours provided a kind of sanctuary where junior officers could roll the dice with commanders, captains, and admirals, ask questions that could never be asked while on duty, listen avidly to the war stories of those more senior, and absorb the lore and mores of the warrior tribe.


When bounds of decorum were breached, or someone became over-refreshed, as occasionally happened, they were usually taken care of by their peers. Only in the worst cases would a young junior officer find himself in front of the skipper on Monday morning. Names like Mustin Beach, Trader Jon's, Miramar, and Oceana were a fixed part of the culture for anyone commissioned before 1991. A similar camaraderie took place in the chiefs' clubs, the acey-deucy clubs, and the sailors' clubs.


Now all that is gone. Most officers' and non-commissioned officers' clubs were closed and happy hours banned. A few clubs remain, but most have been turned into family centers for all ranks and are, of course, empty. No officers dare to be seen with a drink in their hand. The JOs do their socializing as far away from the base as possible, and all because the inquisitors blamed the abuses of Tailhook '91 on alcohol abuse. It is fair to say that naval aviation was slow to adapt to the changes in society against alcohol abuse and that corrections were overdue, especially against tolerance of driving while under the influence.


But once standards of common sense were ignored in favor of political correctness, there were no limits to the spread of its domination. Not only have alcohol infractions anonymously reported on the hot-line become career-enders, but suspicions of sexual harassment, homophobia, telling of risqu jokes, and speech likely to offend favored groups all find their way into fitness reports. And if actual hot-line investigations are then launched, that is usually the end of a career, regardless of the outcome. There is now zero-tolerance for any missteps in these areas.

Turning Warriors into Bureaucrats


On the professional side, it is not only the zero-tolerance of infractions of political correctness but the smothering effects of the explosive growth of bureaucracy in the Pentagon. When the Department of Defense was created in 1947, the headquarters staff was limited to 50 billets. Today, 750,000 full time equivalents are on the headquarters staff. This has gradually expanded the time and cost of producing weapon systems, from the 4 years from concept to deployment of Polaris, to the projected 24 years of the F-35.


But even more damaging, these congressionally created new bureaucracies are demanding more and more meaningless paperwork from the operating forces. According to the most recent rigorous survey, each Navy squadron must prepare and submit some 780 different written reports annually, most of which are never read by anyone but still require tedious gathering of every kind of statistic for every aspect of squadron operations. As a result, the average aviator spends a very small fraction of his or her time on duty actually flying.


Job satisfaction has steadily declined. In addition to paperwork, the bureaucracy now requires officers to attend mandatory courses in sensitivity to women's issues, sensitivity and integration of openly homosexual personnel, and how to reintegrate into civilian society when leaving active duty. This of course is perceived as a massive waste of time by aviators, and is offensive to them in the inherent assumption that they are no longer officers and gentlemen but coarse brutes who will abuse women and gays, and not know how to dress or hold a fork in civilian society unless taught by GS-12s.


One of the greatest career burdens added to naval aviators since the Cold War has been the Goldwater-Nichols requirement to have served at least four years of duty on a joint staff to be considered for flag, and for junior officers to have at least two years of such joint duty even to screen for command. As a result, the joint staffs in Washington and in all the combatant commands have had to be vastly increased to make room. In addition, nearly 250 new Joint Task Force staffs have been created to accommodate these requirements. Thus, when thinking about staying in or getting out, young Navy and Marine aviators look forward to far less flight time when not deployed, far more paperwork, and many years of boring staff duty.

Zero-Tolerance Is Intolerable


Far more damaging than bureaucratic bloat is the intolerable policy of "zero-tolerance" applied by the Navy and the Marine Corps. One strike, one mistake, one DUI, and you are out. The Navy has produced great leaders throughout its history. In every era the majority of naval officers are competent but not outstanding. But there has always been a critical mass of fine leaders. They tended to search for and recognize the qualities making up the right stuff, as young JOs looked up the chain and emulated the top leaders, while the seniors in turn looked down and identified and mentored youngsters with promise.


By nature, these kinds of war-winning leaders make mistakes when they are young and need guidance-and often protection from the system. Today, alas, there is much evidence that this critical mass of such leaders is being lost. Chester Nimitz put his whole squadron of destroyers on the rocks by making mistakes. But while being put in purgatory for a while, he was protected by those seniors who recognized a potential great leader. In today's Navy, Nimitz would be gone. Any seniors trying to protect him would themselves be accused of a career-ending cover-up.


Because the best aviators are calculated risk-takers, they have always been particularly vulnerable to the system. But now in the age of political correctness and zero-tolerance, they are becoming an endangered species.

Today, a young officer with the right stuff is faced on commissioning with making a ten-year commitment if he or she wants to fly, which weeds out some with the best potential. Then after winging and an operational squadron tour, they know well the frustrations outlined here. They have seen many of their role models bounced out of the Navy for the bad luck of being breathalyzed after two beers, or allowing risqu forecastle follies.

'Dancing on the Edge of a Cliff'


They have not seen senior officers put their own careers on the line to prevent injustice. They see before them at least 14 years of sea duty, interspersed with six years of bureaucratic staff duty in order to be considered for flag rank. And now they see all that family separation and sacrifice as equal to dancing on the edge of a cliff. One mistake or unjust accusation, and they are over. They can no longer count on a sea-daddy coming to their defense.


Today, the right kind of officers with the right stuff still decide to stay for a career, but many more are putting in their letters in numbers that make a critical mass of future stellar leaders impossible. In today's economic environment, retention numbers look okay, but those statistics are misleading.


Much hand-wringing is being done among naval aviators (active-duty, reserve, and retired) about the remarkable fact that there has only been one aviator chosen as Chief of Naval Operations during the past 30 years. For most of the last century there were always enough outstanding leaders among aviators, submariners, and surface warriors to ensure a rough rotation among the communities when choosing a CNO. The causes of this sudden change are not hard to see. Vietnam aviator losses severely thinned the ranks of leaders and mentors; Tailhook led to the forced or voluntary retirement of more than 300 carrier aviators, including many of the finest, like Bob Stumpf, former skipper of the Blue Angels.


There are, of course, the armchair strategists and think-tankers who herald the arrival of unmanned aerial vehicles as eliminating the need for naval aviators and their culture, since future naval flying will be done from unified bases in Nevada, with operators requiring a culture rather closer computer geeks. This is unlikely.


As the aviator culture fades from the Navy, what is being lost? Great naval leaders have and will come from each of the communities, and have absorbed virtues from all of them. But each of the three communities has its unique cultural attributes. Submariners are imbued with the precision of engineering mastery and the chess players' adherence to the disciplines of the long game; surface sailors retain the legacy of John Paul Jones, David G. Farragut and Arleigh "31 Knot" Burke, and have been the principal repository of strategic thinking and planning. Aviators have been the principal source of offensive thinking, best described by Napoleon as "L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!" (Audacity, audacity, always audacity!)


Those attributes of naval aviators-willingness to take intelligent calculated risk, self-confidence, even a certain swagger-that are invaluable in wartime are the very ones that make them particularly vulnerable in today's zero-tolerance Navy. The political correctness thought police, like Inspector Javert in Les Misrables, are out to get them and are relentless.

The history of naval aviation is one of constant change and challenge. While the current era of bureaucracy and political correctness, with its new requirements of integrating women and openly gay individuals, is indeed challenging, it can be dealt with without compromising naval excellence. But what does truly challenge the future of the naval services is the mindless pursuit of zero-tolerance. A Navy led by men and women who have never made a serious mistake will be a Navy that will fail.

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