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!!!!
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
(already the guys are asking who to order one from, so you might be getting a few more requests!!!).
Dear SF company.
for sending another t-shirt it looks great the boys in the unit will
want one when they see it. I'll be sending them right to you.
Another happy customer
I was stationed at Camp Pendleton I was in Weapons Company 3/5. The
unit made us t-shirts with the 3/5 logo/emblem/crest, "Consumate
Professionals". I was honorable discharged in 1999 and the t-shirt has
been long-gone. I searched a couple of web site to find a shirt with the
logo/emblem/crest but there was no luck. It didn't take me long to
search this site before I found what I was looking for. When the shirt
arrived it was better than what I expected. I love the t-shirt and wear
it with pride and often. Thank you SpecialForces.com
Your Shirts are the best.
Thank you for being so prompt with my order, and the refund as well.
I thought a little constructive thoughts were in order.
The "HRT" boot knife is well constructed. I had to "hone" the edge though, both sides,to get it up to spec.
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
I'll be purchasing again from you in the near future.
Dear Special Forces
I received my order i have to say that is better than i expected! Thank you and you'll hear fom me soon.
They turned out GREAT!!!!!! Thanks. I will be back for other things.
Thanks Folks. As always you have been most polite and professional. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Jack And Melanie Edgar
That looks awesome! Is there any logo on the front? Can I buy these off
the website? I'm sure a lot of SWCC guys are going to want these!
Amanda Van Every
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.
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"
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.
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.
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
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
A leader must learn to recognize arrogance when it begins to set in
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:
The three steps above form a pattern of human behavior operating in
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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"
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.
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"
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".
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.
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 Forces Gear is now hosting a special section for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
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
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
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
Semper Fidelis and God Bless 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)
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
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.
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.
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."
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."
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|
|Russian Helicopter Crash in Ocean|
|Helicopter Crash Mid Ocean Aircraft Carrier Landing.|
|Word of Truth|
By Rev G.J. Rako
LTC IN USAR (Ret)
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."
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
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.
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.
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
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
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 WarriorTime to lower the rise in violence against Law Enforcement
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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".
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.
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."
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."
THE SWALLOW AND THE CROW
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
|Special Product Coupon|
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
before completing your purchase!
Offer good through November 24th - 27th 2011.
Offer excludes night vision products, climbing gear,
already discounted items & bulk unit orders.
|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 )
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
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
- We rate it for 40lbs of lift using a 38g CO2 cartridge
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
- 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 )
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.
|View our demo videos!|
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
|Micron II Tanto
Click Here to View Item >>
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.
Weight: 1.40 oz.
Slim Weighted Vest
Click Here to View Item >>
- Double padding and lining throughout body and shoulder.
- Dimensions of 15 inches x 10 inches x 1 inch in depth.
- 10 Lbs. Total, Increment 1.5Lbs. Two Velcro belts included.
- Max weight of vest 38lbs. One size fits all.
- Equal weight distribution front and back for optimal performance.
|Aquaforce Watches Analog Digital Watch with Illuminating Light
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
- Stainless Steel Metal Back
- 50M Water Resistant
- 12 and 24 Hour Display
- Illuminating Light
- Display Day and Date
- Stopwatch Function
- Chime Function
- Alarm Function
Clichs of Socialism
"Big business and big labor require big government."
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
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
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.
It's always interesting to read predictions of what life and society will be like in the future.
63 Year Old Cartoon Depicts America Today
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.
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
|Make Mine Freedom (1948)|
|What Has Really Changed?|
What Has Really Changed?
Michael A. Monsoor and Operation Kentucky Jumper
"I truly thought he was the toughest member of my platoon." - Delta Platoon Commander Lt. Cmdr. Seth Stone
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
himself onto it. The grenade detonated as he came down on top of it. Shrapnel hit the two SEALs
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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."
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."
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
on October 12, 2011
"The SAS War Diary is a unique account of extraordinary men, warriors, who dared all to win all.
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
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 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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
A sample page from The SAS War Diary 1941-1945. Image courtesy of Extraordinary Editions
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
- The actual order for the first ever SAS operation.
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.
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 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 legendary Paddy Mayne and friend, another candid shot from the diary. Photo courtesy of Extraordinary Editions
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 ChinookTime to supersize a 50-year-old legend?
The U.S. Army Is Pondering a "Growth Variant" of the CH-47 Chinook
Time to supersize a 50-year-old legend?
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
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
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.
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."
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
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 FailureAfghanistan
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.
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.
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."
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY>>>>>
The marines call girls such as this ... "marrying material," and, for her birthday ... any weapon of her choosing !
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
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
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.
You don't need to "find" me. My address is 9175 Kornbrust Circle, Lone Tree, CO 80124.
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
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?
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
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's self-photo from LINK
Is Naval Aviation Culture Dead? By John Lehman
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.
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.
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."
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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'
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
'Dancing on the Edge of a Cliff'
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.
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
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.
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.
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!)
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.
Thanks for reading our newsletter - if your friends want to subscribe, point them to https://www.specialforces.com/.
Special Forces Gear