|I am a Cpl. in the Army and just returned from Iraq. I carried my shotgun all year on my back in your shotgun scabbard, and it worked great! I was glad to have it around several times, and it proved to be an easy way to keep the shotgun handy for the squad. Thanks for your great product, and for your support of our troops!!|
Cpl. C.R. [omitted]
36th Infantry Div.
Got the T-shirt....IT ROCKS!!!!
Dear Sir, The Falcon Chest Harness finally arrived to me at Camp Taji, Iraq. Thank You! It is now set up for fitting over my IOTV and Battle Ready!!!
(already the guys are asking who to order one from, so you might be getting a few more requests!!!).
Dear SF company.
Thank-you for sending another t-shirt it looks great the boys in the unit will want one when they see it. I'll be sending them right to you.
Another happy customer
When I was stationed at Camp Pendleton I was in Weapons Company 3/5. The unit made us t-shirts with the 3/5 logo/emblem/crest, "Consumate Professionals". I was honorable discharged in 1999 and the t-shirt has been long-gone. I searched a couple of web site to find a shirt with the logo/emblem/crest but there was no luck. It didn't take me long to search this site before I found what I was looking for. When the shirt arrived it was better than what I expected. I love the t-shirt and wear it with pride and often. Thank you SpecialForces.com
Your Shirts are the best.
Thank you for being so prompt with my order, and the refund as well.
I thought a little constructive thoughts were in order.
The "HRT" boot knife is well constructed. I had to "hone" the edge though, both sides,to get it up to spec.
As for the "GI USMC Combat Knife"......Well, it wasn't really a K-Bar, at least not one that I've ever seen. It read "US", and above that it read "Ontario". No worries though, after I used a ceramic sharpening stone on both the small back edge and the full length edge, I'm quite pleased with them both. Oh, I almost forgot, both were very pretty well balanced.
I'll be purchasing again from you in the near future.
Dear Special Forces
I received my order i have to say that is better than i expected! Thank you and you'll hear fom me soon.
They turned out GREAT!!!!!! Thanks. I will be back for other things.
Thanks Folks. As always you have been most polite and professional. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Jack And Melanie Edgar
OMG! That looks awesome! Is there any logo on the front? Can I buy these off the website? I'm sure a lot of SWCC guys are going to want these!
Amanda Van Every
We love the art work. They are awesome. I'll be ordering mine right after this. Thanks for all the work. I am recommending you guys to all the other battalions and ODA's.
Just to let you know all items have been recieved, fantastic quality as all ways.
Cheers Andrew and best wishes for the New Year.
It Takes Courage to Lead
"Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities... because it is the quality which guarantees all others."
- Winston Churchill
One of the many disastrous trends of our day is the loss of courage on the part of society to speak the truth particularly among the successful and those in leadership. Why is this? Are they afraid of being victimized for speaking the truth? Will it jeopardize their careers? Go with the flow or be left behind? The truth does not support the agendas pushed by special interest groups and our politicians? Could it be that the truth does not want to be heard by many because it will disturb there state of denial or ignore problems and they will go away? There are many reasons but in the end it mostly has to do with courage. Our supposedly free society is looking a lot like a totalitarian regime where people who speak the truth are often punished by the PC Police, special interest groups and we have a media that is a propaganda machine with little interest in the truth.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke
Courage is contagious
This short story taken from the book Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton is a story of how the Team Leader of a Special Forces A Team inserted into Afghanistan linked up with a tribal leader with the Northern alliance that had been battling the Taliban since their control. A handful of Green Berets with the help of the Air Force helped the local resistance defeat the Taliban in a few months in what was thought would take a year and a half. This was the First time in History that Special Forces had been given the lead effort in a war. They did not disappoint. Fighting from horse back with the locals it was like the Flintstones met the Jetsons. The Green Berets used everything they knew and gave everything they had to the effort and one quality that made all their successes possible was courage.
Here is a sample of that courage exhibited during a rocket attack as they were advancing clearing the enemy from the Tiangi Gap November 9, 2001.
The explosion threw him on his back in a ditch. The horse was standing over him, its feet straddling the edges of the deep depression in the ground. He looked up at the horse, silhouetted against the sky. The horse was looking down at him as the rockets crashed. Diller thought Bennet and Coffers were probably dead. They'd ridden ahead a few minutes before the rocket attack and he didn't know where they were.
He lay there listening for the telltale screech of a next launch. It was quiet. The barrage had come from the north and west, from the back side of the Gap, about a mile away. He figured the Taliban hadn't targeted him specifically. They were spraying the ground indiscriminately.
He turned at the sound of approaching hoof beats. Bennett and Coffers were riding up fast. They pulled to a halt and Diller stood up and brushed himself off. They explained that when the barrage started, their horses had taken off and they couldn't stop them running. They had laid out along the necks of the racing animals and held on. The horses ran maybe a half mile, then stopped. Then they'd turned them and raced back to Diller.
Nelson, sitting on his horse at the mouth of the Gap, saw that the Taliban rocket attack had quashed the forward momentum of the Northern Alliance. Nelson felt this was a critical moment. Dostum's men had scattered into the hills. He knew he had to do something. He could see men lying up in the rocks, like stunned lizards.
You have to lead these men, he thought. If they stopped here, the Taliban might have time to regroup and attack again.
He swallowed hard and spurred his horse ahead. Inside the canyon, Taliban vehicles were canted and burning. The drivers had been burned alive and spilled from the doors, dark as wicks. Nelson looked down to the river and saw more men and horses lying in the water. The Taliban had even mined the river.
At the sound of his approach, Nelson saw men stand up on the rock ledges and look at him. They looked startled and watched him pass. And then, slowly, one by one, he heard them scrabbling off the rock. The scrape and trickle of pebbles rolling downhill.
He closed his eyes and thanked God. He was horrified by the sights around him, yet he felt exuberant. It was hard to explain.
He had hoped the Afghans would follow him. If they hadn't, he would've felt that he'd failed as a U.S. Army captain. As a teenager in Kansas, he had always admired a particular painting of a Civil War battle. It depicted a general riding through a battlefield, and following him were his men, hollow- eyed, trusting, hopeful. He felt that whatever happened in his military career, for this moment he was leading these men through a version of hell.
He still had no idea if they'd be attacked again by more rockets. He kept riding.
He looked behind him and saw that about three hundred Afghans were marching with him, some carrying weapons, others walking empty- handed, their rifles having been lost in the explosions.
About halfway through the canyon Nelson found, General Dostum the Afghan Warlord he was supporting. Nelson hugged Dostum, who asked him where he'd been. The burly warlord had worried that Nelson had been killed in the attacks. "I got here as soon as I could," said Nelson.
Nelson understood that Fear in war is contagious but the reverse is true of courage. Leaders must demonstrate courage during critical moments in order to rally their men. If he shows fear his men will likely be fearful if for no other reason the confidence in their leader is gone and if the leader shows courage it is contagious and restores confidence in battle. This is what is meant by courage is a byproduct of leadership.
"No leader can effectively lead his men into battle without understanding how to control fear."
There is nothing more necessary for leadership than courage. It takes more courage to be a leader than it does to be a follower. There are always decisions which demand a tremendous amount of courage and to make those decisions it takes courage rather than fear.
"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
- Winston Churchill
We have leadership today without courage - that only thinks of expediency to push problems down the road with no concern for the future...only whether the people like this or not or what it is going to do to their chances of promotion or re-election and so on. This isn't leadership it is selfish and cowardice.
"A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures - and that is the basis of all human morality"
A man who will not stand up to a group that is trying to pressure him for one reason or another, who threatens him, has no business being a leader. These things happen to leaders and in life there are always a certain amount of self serving special interest groups applying pressure any way they can. It is the leaders' job to use courage and stand up to them and stay mindful of all those he serves, and stay loyal to principle and laws. Opposition is inevitable in leadership and if a leader approaches opposition with objectivity he will learn from the opposition he may find he has made a mistake or he may find the opposition to be wrong but either way he will understand the realities of the situation enabling him to better handle it. Opposition should be looked on as a challenge to a leader and an opportunity to learn when embraced by objectivity.
"Courage conquers fear"
The battle field creates an environment where fear is prevalent and unless courage prevails all is lost. In the junior ranks leadership places great emphasis on the individuals personal courage, tactics and ability to communicate. At a more senior level these characteristics remain essential ingredients but other qualities and challenges come into play. However for all ranks the one constant essential is courage, regardless of a person's position or service without courage all is lost.
High level Leadership has tremendous responsibility for many lives and many things. One that I will point out is the responsibility of commanders at all levels to identify the limits of courage in individuals under their command before the reserves are drained causing collapse under the weight of personal stress which means they can become a danger to themselves and others. Such judgments demand that a leader knows his men's strengths, weaknesses, abilities and human nature to determine what needs to be done. Then a commander must summon the moral courage to take the necessary but potentially unpopular step of removing the soldier from his post in combat in which they may have performed well in the past.
"It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare."
- Mark Twain
Moral courage is higher and rarer in quality then physical courage. It embraces all courage, and physical courage flows from it. We are all faced with decisions requiring moral courage in our daily lives, it occurs with family, in business, in command, not in command, at work, in sports, in relationships in every facet of life.
"There are no easy answers' but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right."
- Ronald Reagan
It takes moral courage to do what's right regardless of the consequences. It takes moral courage to stand up against the crowd, to assist a victim of bullying or to reveal negligence where others would prefer it to remain hidden. Moral courage implies the belief that what you are doing or saying is right, and are willing to follow through your conviction regardless of personal consequences, popularity or favor. Moral courage is easy to expound but not so easy to achieve. Moral courage takes character and humility to execute and a person of high moral courage will seldom fail to demonstrate physical courage.
In war there are four orders of men measured in degrees of courage.
- Men who did not feel fear.
- Men who feel fear but do not show it.
- Men who feel fear and show it, but do their job anyway.
- Men who feel fear show it and succumb to it with cowardice.
What is the difference between a coward and a hero? It is thinking. Courage is the ability to think under pressure and fear is inability to think under pressure or simply panic. The warrior knows that battles are fought and won by courage so the military teaches its recruits courage. The first thing the military applies to the principle of Courage is thinking under pressure and panic is lack of thought under pressure. So we start with basic training where recruits learn physical courage through different types of training challenges designed to test their mettle along with endless drilling and inculcation. This is accomplished through repetition of essential battlefield skills to condition soldiers to be able to react automatically without having to think while they are learning battlefield courage. Battlefield courage is tested on the battlefield. Then we have moral courage from which most courage flows which is acquired as a soldier gains more responsibility and faces more challenges that require thinking under pressure. Schools like U.S. Army Ranger School, the Special Forces Qualification Course, the Jump Master Course and so on all teach and test the soldiers' ability to think under pressure
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
- Winston Churchill
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Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Special Forces Gear is now hosting a special section for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) provides college scholarship grants, along with financial aid and educational counseling, to the children of Special Operations personnel who were killed in an operational mission or training accident.
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Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club
The Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club is a not-for-profit (501c3) fraternal organization. It was formed to provide a fraternal organization for qualified military veterans who have served, or are currently serving, in the Armed Forces of the United States or US Allied Nations. They support Veterans and Active Duty Members in many different ways. A few of the many causes projects they support are: mailing over 900lbs of care packages to Active Duty Service Members Monthly to Visiting Veterans Homes to put a smile on a Veterans Face. Please visit them at www.warriorbrotherhood.com.
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Kenny McMullin - Military Tribute January 6, 2012
SGM Kenneth E. McMullin, in the words of his Army biography, "distinguished himself by superbly meritorious service throughout a 32-year Army career." There will be another memorial service at Fort Bragg, to be attended by many in his Army and Special Forces family, where undoubtedly he will be given a proper military tribute. But even we, who (with some notable exceptions) represent his non-military family and friends, and who understand only imperfectly what kind of soldier he was, stand in awe of his record.
Kenny joined the California National Guard in 1960, entered Army active duty in 1963, and was assigned to Special Forces in 1964. After serving in Panama, he deployed to Vietnam in December 1966. During his three tours there, Kenny became a superb trainer and leader, qualities that became his hallmarks.
During 1967 and 1968, he served as an airborne infantry platoon leader with II Corps Mike Force and as a Recondo School instructor. He trained and led foreign personnel in airborne infantry combat operations, including the combat parachute assault at Bu Prang. He then served as a demolitions instructor in Thailand, training and leading Laotian hill tribesmen.
In 1970, he was chosen from a large pool of talented soldiers for one of the most unique and dangerous missions in American history: the liberation of US POWs from the Son Tay Prison Camp near Hanoi. As his Army biography says, "he rode in the assault helicopter and crash-landed into the prison compound and into the pages of US Army history." Although the POWs had been removed from the camp prior to the raid, the raiders' performance was flawless: they neutralized the guards, secured the camp, and escaped without losing any American lives. Just last week the LA Times called it "the most elegantly executed special operations raid to date in modern American warfare." For this, he was awarded the Silver Star.
In 1971 he was assigned as a recon team leader, instructor and forward air controller, controlling the infiltration and extraction of teams deep in enemy-controlled territory. (You will remember the "RECON" ring Kenny always wore.) This was followed by another tour in Thailand in 1972.
In 1973, he returned to the US, and over the next several years he served as SF Operations and Intelligence instructor, Assistant Chief Operations NCO with the 82nd Airborne, Platoon Sergeant in the 505th Airborne Infantry, and Operations Sergeant on several Special Forces A-Teams. During this time he participated in project Blue Light, the Army's first counter-terrorism unit (which performed that function until Delta Force came on line).
After graduating from the Sergeants' Major Academy in 1982, he became the Operations and Training Sergeant Major at the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), where he participated in the planning and execution of the Invasion of Grenada, and assisted in the support of the Los Angeles Olympics. From 1984 to 1989, he served as a Company Sergeant Major with 3rd of the 7th Special Forces Group at Ft. Davis, Panama, training personnel for counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics support missions throughout Latin America.
Finally, in the early 1990s, he served as the Activation Sergeant Major of the 3rd Special Forces Group during Desert Storm, and finished his career as Battalion Operations Sergeant Major. He retired in 1992.
In addition to the Silver Star, Kenny's awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star for Valor, Purple Heart, Master Parachutist Badge, and SCUBA Badge. He was also a Military Freefall Jumpmaster.
But Kenny served Special Forces and the Army in ways that are not captured by these awards and decorations. Quoting his Army biography one last time, "During all of his years of service SGM McMullin influenced, coached and led thousands of NCOs and officers. His impact on Special Forces and the Army is immeasurable. He is a perfect example of the value-added effect that one man can have on a large institution. His selfless devotion to duty, leadership and professionalism over three decades have helped keep our nation free and reflect great credit upon himself, Special Forces and the United States Army."
MANUEL "Go-Go" GOMEZ
June 20, 1935 - January 27, 2012
Sergeant First Class (Retired) Manuel Gomez, 76, was born in Tulare and lived in Visalia where he attended Visalia High School until he enlisted in the California Army National Guard's H Company, 185th Infantry of the 49th Infantry Division, Visalia, California, February 1951 - August 1952.
August 1952, Manuel entered the active Army and completed training at Fort Ord, CA and later participated in the Korean Conflict from March 1953 -May 1954 at the age of 17-18. In this period he served with the 7th Infantry Division, 45th Infantry Division in vicinity of the "Punch Bowl" and later reassigned to the 5th Regimental Combat Team as an artillery forward observer during some of the fiercest battles of the conflict. For his 14 month service in the Korean Conflict, he received the Bronze Star Medal and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
At the end of the Korean Conflict Manuel was reassigned to Camp Stonemen, CA and then the 71st and 2nd Infantry Divisions at Fort Lewis, Washington. In October 1955 Manuel re-enlisted back into the Army with the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina as a Parachute Instructor and was later promoted to Staff Sergeant. In December 1956 Manuel was assigned to the 11th Airborne Division, Augsburg, Germany where he served as an Operations Sergeant with the HQs, Division Artillery, Munich, Germany. While serving in Germany Manuel met his wife to be Ursula Lukens and they married January 1959. In 1961 Manuel was re-assigned back to B Battery, 319th Field Artillery, 82nd Airborne Division and later the 18th Airborne Corps Field Artillery. In March 1962 Manuel was assigned to the Special Forces Training Group were he completed Heavy Weapons and Medical Training before being assigned to the 8th Special Forces Group, Panama.
From June 1965 - July 1970 Manuel served (3) volunteer tours of duty in the Republic of Vietnam where he was assigned to I Corps, the Special Operations Group, Command and Control North, and C Company 5th Special Forces, Da Nang Vietnam and Con Thien, the furthest North US position. During these tours of duty he participated in the Vietnam Counter Offensive Phase II & III, TET 69 Counter Offensive, Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969, Sanctuary Counter Offensive and Vietnam Counter Offensive Phase VII. During these Combat Operations Manuel was seriously wounded (5) times and subsequently awarded the Silver Star for Gallantry, Bronze Star for Valor and (5) Purple Hearts.
During Manuel's (24) years of military service he received the following Awards and Commendations:
Silver Star for Gallantry, Bronze Star with "V" Device for Valor (2), Bronze Star Medal, Purple Hearts ( 5), Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist & Master Parachutist Badges, Special Forces Tab, HALO & Master HALO Parachutist Badges, Vietnamese Parachutist Badge, Vietnamese HALO Parachutist Badge, Cambodian Parachutist Badge, German Parachutist Badge, Good Conduct Medal (5), National Defense Service Medal (3), Vietnam Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Korean Campaign Medal, United Nations Medal, Korean Service Medal (2-Bronze Stars), Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal (3-Bronze Stars), Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (2 Palms), United States Meritorious Unit Citation, United States Presidential Unit Citation (3), Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Vietnamese Staff Service Medal, Vietnamese Civic Action Medal, Vietnamese Honor Medal (1st Class),
In July 1975 Manuel retired from the United States Army and the 10th Special Forces Group to re-settle back in the Visalia area. Because of his long dedication to duty to our nation, Sergeant First Class (Retired) Manuel Gomez has been recognized on numerous occasions as the Most Decorated Military Service Veteran in Tulare County.
During his retirement Manuel enjoyed being self-employed, fishing, traveling, flying, and spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He would often go fishing in Three Rivers, Courtwright, Shaver, Colorado and numerous trout fishing hot spots. He was an avid flyer. He flew both a Cessna 152 and 182, a Piper Cub, and a Bi-Plane in spare time. He could never be in one spot too long; he was always on the go. He traveled the world and among his journeys he visited North Carolina, Louisiana, Arizona, New Mexico to name a few.
Manuel is survived by his sons, Bruce and wife Coriena Gomez Visalia, Gregory Gomez, Dallas, TX, daughter Susan and her husband Richard Anselmi, Elkgrove, CA. Grandchildren Amy, Naomi and her husband Justin, Jason, Stephanie, Gregory Scott, Randi Jean, Brandon and wife Tiffany, Michael, Katrina and Jeremy. Manuel is also survived by Great Grandchildren Victor, Jayda and Noah, Briane and Isaac, Lilya and Mikayla. Manuel is also survived by brothers Andrew, Oakland, Oscar, Fayetteville, NC, Raymond, Visalia, and sisters Trini and Rosie, Visalia, Alice, Ruby and Adrienne, Los Angeles as well as several nieces and nephews.
Manuel is preceded in death by his wife of over 37 years Ursula, whose cremated remains will be re-joined with her husband as they are placed to rest. Manuel is also preceded in death by parents Raymond and Amparo and Brothers Leo and Willie.
One for all Military for those who have been in Conflict or been away from Friends, Family and Loved Ones all over the World. And for Those who have fought and died. As I approach the Gates of Heaven; St. Peter I will tell; One more Soldier reporting Sir; I've served my time in Hell.
Salser & Dillard Funeral & Chapel, 127 East Caldwell Ave, Visalia, CA 93277 (559) 635-1144
Immediate Family - 1500 to 1600 hrs (3:00 pm to 4:00 pm)
Public - 1600 to 1900 hrs (4:00 pm to 7:00 pm)
Rosary (Begins) - 1800 hrs (6:00 pm)
Monday, February 6th - 1030 hrs (10:30 am)
St. Mary's Catholic Church, 608 North Church Street, Visalia, CA
Graveside Service & Full Military Honors 1130 to 1230 hrs (11:30 am to 12:30 pm)
Reception: 1300 hrs (1:00 pm) Please RSVP ASAP
Location: Veteran's Memorial Building, 609 West Center Street, Visalia, CA
|New Aerial Footage Of WW1 Discovered|
|Fifth Generation Warplanes|
|New Aerial Footage Of WW1 Discovered|
|Fifth Generation Warplanes|
|Word of Truth|
Christian Responsibility to Country
By Rev G.J. Rako
LTC IN USAR (Ret)
For Christians in any nation, the issue is always advancing to the high ground of spiritual maturity by consistent and continual spiritual growth (II Peter 3:18). This is accomplished as the believer in Jesus Christ submits to the authority of their pastor's accurate teaching of the Word of God, believing the Word and applying it to their lives. For the unbeliever the issue is always faith alone in Christ alone (Acts 16:31, John 3:14-18, John 3:36). Spiritual growth is the primary responsibility of Christians to their nation. The Muslim by contrast owes allegiance to his false and satanic god, Allah. Whose duty according to the Koran, is to spread Islam and Sharia law by the sword until all infidels are either converted or murdered (oh, by the way you are an infidel). Christians on the other hand are commanded to submit to the authority of and to pray for their nations leaders.
We read in I Tim 2:1-3: "First of all, therefore, I continually command that supplications, prayers, intercessions be made on behalf of all men; namely, on behalf of kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead an undisturbed and tranquil life in all godliness and virtue. For this is noble and acceptable in the opinion of our Savior-God".
God ordained nationalism as one of four divine institutions or laws of establishment. These four are volition, marriage, family and nationalism or government. God instituted these four divine institutions for the protection and preservation of the human race. They apply to the entire human race, believers and unbelievers alike.
Gen 11:1, 7-9: Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. "Come, let us go down, and confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another's speech." So, the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.
There at Babel the people instituted Satan's plan of internationalism. However, this satanically inspired rebellion against God was crushed when God gave them separate languages and scattered them to their unique national geographical boundaries.
And He made from one blood [people] every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed [historical] times and the [national] boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, "For we also are His children" (Acts 17:26-28).
The Christian's responsibility to his nation begins with fulfilling his responsibility to God. For as goes the believer, so goes the nation. "Return to God from whom you have revolted and defected" (Isa 31:6). Grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:18). Spiritual growth or executing the unique spiritual life of the church age can only be accomplished by means of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
"If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). "If we should judge ourselves, we should not be judged" (I Cor 11:31). David said, "If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me" (Ps 66:18).
Recovering the filling of the Holy Spirit is accomplished by confession of known sins to God the father. The filling of the Holy Spirit (FHS) is spirituality. It is fellowship with the living God. The FHS provides the necessary Divine power to learn the Word of God. Without the FHS Christians are no better than unbelievers in the futility of their thinking. They are carnal. Carnal Christians have no ability to learn, apply or utilize the Word. The Holy Spirit teaches our human spirit the Word and recalls for us the truth of Scripture that we have learned (John 14:26).
"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thinking, Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. Instead, be renewed in the spirit of your thinking; and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and the holiness of the truth" (Eph 4:17, 18, 23-34).
"Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature, which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of (false) doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ" (Eph 4:13-15).
Apart from becoming a mature believer, (if this was all you accomplished, you would be a true patriot and receive unimaginable rewards in time and eternity) the Christian citizen should understand the following excerption of Biblical principals related to nationalism from the teachings of R.B. Thieme Jr:
Why does a client nation fall? (A client nation to God is defined in terms of spiritual activity e.g. evangelism, learning and teaching the Word, sending missionaries under establishment freedom.) Very shortly after Hosea was written, the Assyrian army invaded the Northern Kingdom and overran the country. They raped the women and enslaved the survivors. Hosea 4:1-6 not only explains why a client nation falls, but it also gives the solution. Nothing has changed since this was written in B.C. 721. The failures and solutions are the same. "The Word of God is alive and powerful" (Heb 4:12). The Word of God is literally the thinking of Christ (Cor 2:16), and He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8).
Hos 4:1: "Hear the word of the Lord, you citizens of Israel [Northern Kingdom] because the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the client nation, because nothing of doctrine is taught, nothing about grace is being applied; there is no knowledge of God in the land".
In His control of history, Jesus Christ never destroys a nation or permits its destruction until it has gone beyond all reasonable hope. The Hebrew word for "case" refers to lawsuit. This is a case before the supreme court of heaven.
We are all the products of God's policy of grace. We earn and deserve nothing! It is by grace that we stand.
Hos 4:2: "Instead, there is lying [dishonesty], deception, homicide, stealing, rape, blood touches blood [idiom: perpetuated violence]".
When people lie, they have rejected the truth in their function. When a maximum number of people are in a state of dishonesty, the strength of the nation as a whole is lost.
Those who commit murder should be executed under the law of capital punishment. Homicide does not refer to killing the enemy in battle. Military soldiers who are believers should be the best killers of the enemy. As they are filled (I John 1:9) with the Spirit in battle, they are calm; they concentrate on the proper use of their weapons. They fight well and kill well, and they have no regrets. They fulfill the principle of freedom through military victory. This military function is not only legitimate; it is honorable.
Hos 4:3: "Therefore, the land mourns, and all who live in it lose their strength, along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air".
To lose your strength means to lose your courage, patriotism, and vitality. As a result, not just rational people suffer, but so do animals who cannot understand why they suffer.
Hos 4:4: "Yet let no one find fault [as in evil activism]; let no one offer criticism, for your citizens are like those who contend with the communicator of doctrine". In Israel, the levitical priests communicated doctrine through the use of animal sacrifices, the holy days, and the articles of furniture in the Tabernacle and temples.
Hos 4:5: "Therefore, you have stumbled in the daylight, and even the prophet will stumble with you in night darkness; and I will destroy your native country [motherland]".
The prophet was the greater Bible teacher. Even he was giving false doctrine, saying such things as "peace, peace, when there is no peace" (Ez 13:10). Today, the stumbling prophet represents pastors who are distracted from Bible teaching by activism, psychology, and false doctrine. As a result, we are ripe for discipline from God. The administration of the final and last installment of discipline known as the fifth cycle of discipline to the Northern Kingdom would occur within a year, i.e., in B.C. 721.
Hos 4:6: "My people are destroyed by lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected the knowledge of doctrine, I will reject you from being a priest nation".
The Northern Kingdom was destroyed and blotted out forever because, as goes the believer, so goes the client nation.
We as believers should not be involved in activism; we should be growing in grace to become mature believers. A nation without absolute truth is a nation without solutions. The solution to any problem, whether personal or national demands a spiritual solution. How are national problems solved? In the simplest of terms, the believers priority must be Bible doctrine with emphasis on the mystery doctrine of the Church Age; e.g., the uniqueness of the Church Age with its fantastic privileges, and the resultant problem solving devices that can meet any situation in life. When Bible doctrine is the number one priority, then you concentrate on it. As you hear Bible doctrine taught, you listen and concentrate, and under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit you learn and advance under post-salvation epistemological rehabilitation. Once you begin to concentrate on the Word of God as the priority, you begin to organize your life around it. Whatever it takes, you learn Bible doctrine. Perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine is the road to spiritual maturity. When you learn enough Bible doctrine so that your mental attitude has changed, you organize your thinking around Bible doctrine. Now the divine viewpoint takes hold in your life and begins to push out human viewpoint. When that happens, you begin to utilize in detail all the Biblical solutions or Divine operating assets. As a result of this concentration on and application of Bible doctrine, you advance to the point where you execute the unique spiritual life of the Church Age. Welcome to spiritual maturity!
Christian activism and arrogance are not the solution. Christian activism is as destructive to a client nation as is any enemy attack. Christian activism is arrogance, which is the motivation that originated in Satan as the ruler of this world. Rom 12:2, "Stop being conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renovation of your thinking, that you may prove what the will of God is, namely, the good of intrinsic value achievement, the well-pleasing to God, the mature status quo".
"Good of intrinsic value achievement" means advance to spiritual maturity, execution of the plan of God, and becoming a winner in the plan of God. The "well-pleasing to God" is the execution of His plan. The only way to execute His plan is to learn and apply Bible doctrine everyday. "The mature status quo" refers to the attainment of spiritual maturity.
Rom 12:3: "For this I say through the grace which has been given to me to everyone who is among you: stop thinking of self in terms of arrogance beyond what you ought to think, but think in terms of sanity for the purpose of being rational without illusion as God has assigned to each one of us a standard of thinking from doctrine".
To think of self in terms of arrogance is to be preoccupied with yourself. Arrogance is the greatest cause of mental illness and insanity. Part of the arrogance complex is having the wrong expectations When you are not treated the way you want to be treated or loved the way you want to be loved, disillusionment results. Your "standard of thinking from Bible doctrine" is replacing human viewpoint with Divine viewpoint, the function of an advancing believer.
There is a tremendous emphasis today among evangelical Christians to practice social and political engineering and activism. There is little or no understanding among believers of the role of the Christian in the client nation to God. This is often predicated in the erroneous theory of the so-called "Christian nation". The "Christian nation" is a myth; the client nation to God is a reality. Both believers and unbelievers exist in a nation with many religions as well as Christianity. There is no such thing as so-called "Christian" laws. The Bible teaches that a nation should follow the laws of divine establishment, designed for believers and unbelievers alike. If so-called "Christian" laws existed, that would outlaw all unbelievers, and that would be tyranny. Christians have become monsters in trying to get their way; e.g., in the abortion crusade, protesting the war on terror, death penalty, gay rights, etc., etc., etc... However, Christians have turned this right to assemble into a vicious, tragic evil. They march and force their children to participate. That is not why God has left us on this earth. Nevertheless, as long as Christians do these things, we will continue down the path of destruction. The Bible clearly emphasizes the fact that the impact of Christianity on a nation is spiritual. Christians do have civil responsibility, such as military service, paying taxes, fulfilling certain civic responsibilities. However, this does not include violence, destruction of property, intrusion on the privacy of others, or any form of civil disobedience. The Bible demands that the believer understand his role in society in terms of God's plan, God's purpose, and God's will for his life. The spiritual impact of the unique spiritual life of the Church Age not only opposes the present modus operandi of Christian activism, but also assigns it to the arrogance of Satan's system, and thereby makes it a function of grieving the Holy Spirit rather than walking by means of the Spirit. As goes the believer, so goes the client nation to God. As our Lord said, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's".
"Render unto Caesar" is the establishment activity of the believer, his function under the divine institutions of freedom, marriage, family, and government. Freedom must include privacy, self-determination, the sacredness of property and life. Freedom can only be maintained under the laws of divine establishment through military victory. Free enterprise and the coexistence of poverty and wealth side-by-side is a normal function of a nation.
Separation of church and state (freedom of religion, not freedom from religion) is very important. Separation of the military and state is very important so that no coup d'etat or military dictatorship will ever exist. The greatest commentary on the details of a military is given in Numbers, which begins with universal military training. There must be laws against criminality. The Bible advocates that for certain criminal offenses the individual be executed under the principle of capital punishment. Civil authority must exist. Freedom without authority is anarchy. Authority without freedom is tyranny. You cannot have one without the other. "Render unto God" is the believer, after personally receiving Jesus Christ as his Savior, executing the unique spiritual life of the church age. It refers to the manufacture of mature believers, the establishment that thereby blesses by association the client nation. Manifest destiny demands blessing by association with mature believers, not activism from carnal Christians who are guilty of moral degeneration.
The Northern Kingdom became pleasure-mad in their prosperity. All they could think of was pleasure and its stimulation. It became a country of drug addicts and drunks. This is described in Isa 28:8-12. "For all the tables are full of filthy vomit; there is not a single clean place. To whom shall He teach knowledge of doctrine? To whom shall He cause to interpret the message? Those just weaned with milk, those just taken from the mother's breast"?
With everyone drunk or hopped up on drugs, Isaiah was saying, "How can we ever teach doctrine?" The only hope against the great Assyrian empire was a small number of mature believers. The recipients of Bible doctrine could not be spiritual babies; spiritual adults were needed.
"Principle of doctrine added to principle of doctrine, line of Scripture added to line of Scripture, a little doctrine in this message, a little doctrine in the next message."
This is one of the most unusual verses in the Hebrew, because it is onomatopoeic. It is a monosyllabic imitation of two things. The drunken speech related to Isa 28:8, and to the babbling of those who have rejected Bible doctrine. In time of stress, those who have rejected doctrine and who have no establishment orientation are cry babies. They whine and mew and complain their way through life. They never see that they themselves are responsible for the national disaster that overtakes the client nation. Though the sound of the Hebrew is slurred and babbling, the content points to the only solution for the nation, which is to establish mature believers. For that to occur, believers must listen to one principle of doctrine added to another principle of doctrine. This verse promotes the expository teaching of the Word of God. The monosyllabic babbling of the drunks is imitated to give the solution. Notice that not one word promotes Christian activism. The only solution is "principle of doctrine added to principle of doctrine." It all accumulates, and it produces the mature believer. The mature believer comes through the perception of doctrine, not through Christian activism. Christian activism is an abomination to the Lord, and it brings about national discipline that eventually destroys the client nation to God. The babbling reminds the prophet of speaking in tongues. It is interesting to note that Isaiah refers to that next in verse 11. "For with alien articulation and by means of a foreign [Gentile] language, He will speak to this people."
Here Isaiah makes a prophecy about all Jewish client nations, how they will all eventually be destroyed (today there is no Jewish client nation; only Gentile nations can be client nations to God during these times of the Gentiles). The Jews would no longer learn the Gospel from Isa 53. They would learn the Gospel through Gentile languages only. When that occurred in A.D. 70, it would be the sign that Jewish nations would no longer function as client nations to God until the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. Since they would not be evangelized by their own native language, they were therefore to be set aside until the last 1000 years of history. Only when Jesus Christ returns will there ever be a Jewish client nation again. That means there are no Jewish client nations throughout the Church Age and Tribulation.
Isa 28:12: " . . . but they would not listen." Sublimation of the Northern Kingdom meant all they wanted to do was to party. They were self-indulgent, preoccupied with themselves. They had no time for the Word God.
Christian service is related to the laws of divine establishment. The laws of divine establishment provide the opportunity for the mature believer to perform divine good in certain spheres of life. Christian service is related to your job. Part of your fulltime Christian service is how you handle your job or profession.
"Slaves [Christian labor] obey your human masters [management] with respect and maximum effort by means of the integrity of your right lobe as unto Christ. Not on the basis of eye service, as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God by means of the soul. Serve with good motivation, as to the Lord, and not for the praise of mankind, because you know that each one, if he does anything good [divine good], for this he himself will be rewarded from the Lord, whether slave or free" (Eph 6:5-8).
The motivation for your Christian service comes from occupation with Christ and the integrity you develop from Bible doctrine in the soul. Doing your job as unto the Lord is making a role-model out of Jesus Christ. Approbation lust is carnal motivation and results in dead works. Every believer, whether slave or free, has equal privilege and opportunity to execute the unique spiritual life of the church age.
"Labor, obey human management on the basis of all things, not with eye service, as people-pleasers, but with the integrity of the right lobe, making a role model out of the Lord. Whatever you do, keep on performing it from the soul, as to the Lord and not to people; since you know that from the Lord you will receive the reward of your inheritance, you serve the Lord Christ. For he who does wrong [on the job] will be paid back for that wrong which he has done, and there is no favoritism" (Col 3:22-25).
Christian service is related to various functions in government service. This service includes the following areas.
- Military service.
- Law enforcement.
- Government service, such as elected representatives (not activism or crusading) and intelligence organizations.
- Other functions related to society in general, such as paying taxes.
Those Christians who are employed in these areas should not only regard such employment as their job, but also as their service to the Lord. They should do their job as unto the Lord. It is true that no matter what you do for a living; you are in full time Christian service. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing you are exactly where the Lord wants you.
The Christians responsibility to the nation begins and ends with advancing to the high ground of spiritual maturity and executing the unique spiritual life of the church age. The Word of God must come first. The only solution is a spiritual solution. The survival of the United States of America is in your hands.
Contact Reverend Rako >>
|Blue WarriorCognitive Thinking & the Tactical Officer
Cognitive thinking may be the single most important trait of a SWAT warrior. When dealing with a deadly adversary in that dark moment of combat your success may hinge on your cognitive thinking abilities. This process is key to reaction and survival.
The cognitive thinking process includes:
* Divided attention and your ability to manage it: Divided attention allows you to handle two or more tasks at one time.
* Working memory and your ability to utilize it under pressure: Working memory is the ability to retain information for short periods of time while processing or using it.
* Processing speed of the information presented to you: Processing speed is the rate at which the brain handles information.
* Long-term memory of past incidents and training: Long-term memory is the ability to both store and recall information for later use.
* Visual processing of the situation: Visual processing is the ability to perceive, analyze, and think in visual images. Visual discrimination is seeing differences in size, color, shape, distance, and the orientation of objects. Visualization is creating mental images.
* Auditory processing of the situation: Auditory processing is the ability to perceive, analyze, and conceptualize what is heard. Auditory discrimination is hearing differences in sounds, including volume, pitch and duration.
* Logic and reasoning of the information and situation: Logic and reasoning skills are the abilities to reason, prioritize, and plan.
SWAT warriors should focus on these cognitive thinking skills to quicken and more effectively respond to an adversary's action(s). Creating training with realism is the primary factor that will help build better cognitive thinking skills so when SWAT cops are subjected to actual combat they will feel that they've already been there and been exposed to that environment.
There are several techniques you can use when training SWAT cops to achieve this, but introducing stress into all of your training is paramount. Stress can be as simple as physical activity such as running in full SWAT gear prior to engaging targets on the gun range, or performing SWAT tactics in full SWAT gear, with your protective gas mask donned, while being timed on the task. These are some simple ideas and obviously the list can go on and on - you're only limited to your imagination in dreaming up different stress techniques. The key to introducing stress into your training is to make it applicable to what the training objective is and make sure you take your SWAT cops to that dark, uncomfortable place, over and over again.
Simunition scenarios are another great technique. Training on SWAT tactics using Simunition provides stress while conducting the training operation. The mere presence of the possibility you may be shot by simunition induces stress. Simunition induces stress on two levels. First is the fear of the sting when you're shot but most importantly, SWAT cops do not want the stigma of being 'the guy that got tagged' by his adversary - it's embarrassing. This is the time a lot of SWAT operators throw their tactics out the window and it's a great time to capitalize on training points, as you will now have a captive audience. Processing speed, auditory perception, and divided attention are the focus of Simunition scenarios.
The best leaders in combat tend to be low motivators who can give instruction under perilous conditions. So try this technique to build leadership skills and induce stress for those who lack in leadership skills. Pick different team leaders for the day during training sessions, including less experienced officers. Then during the training day, throw challenging tasks at them that will incorporate some type of physical stress, with a deadline to complete the challenge and make the challenge some type of SWAT problem to work out like a hostage rescue, barricaded gunman, warrant service, or a physical challenge.
Incorporating a physical challenge into your training can be very simple. For example, take your two entry teams or split your team in half and have them compete against each other by pushing a police car up a hill for time and after they get to the finish line have them complete a SWAT tactic while being tired and winded. This is great for team building but when you add the SWAT tactic after they will be forced to use logic and reasoning under a great deal of stress from the competition and the physical aspect that was performed. On the gun range have the teams matched up in head-to-head competition, running and traversing obstacles while engaging targets. Range safety is paramount but head-to-head competition splits their attention, and they will train their auditory processing and visual processing skills while trying to move without endangering the other teams shooters. As the rookie team leaders command their team they will experience all of the above cognitive thinking processes and improve their cognitive thinking. The focus of this training is logic and reasoning as well as divided attention.
Observation training is another great technique that improves cognitive thinking skills. Give your SWAT cops a simulated scout mission during training such as a room in a building and have them proceed to that objective. Set up the room with items that are natural to that environment but also add things that can be critical pieces of intelligence to a SWAT commander. Give the scouts time to report to the team leader the intelligence they collect.
When they are finished you can evaluate the information - don't be surprised by the difference in perceptions your officers will have. The focus to this training is the memory and the visual processing of the information.
The key component to training for cognitive thinking is repetition and intensity. You should strive to replicate the fear of the battle, the intensity, the uncertainty, the chaos, and the ambiguity of combat and repeat it over and over again until your SWAT warriors' cognitive thinking process is as sharp as the knife in their pocket.
Sgt. French also is the president of the Detroit Special Operations Group tactical training company and founder of the Detroit SWAT Challenge. Glenn is a columnist with www.PoliceOne.com, and his column is the"SWAT Operator".
Glenn has instructed Basic and Advanced SWAT / Tactical officer courses, Basic and Advanced Sniper courses, Cold Weather / Winter Sniper Operations and Active Shooter Response courses and others. Sgt French served in the U.S. Army and is a veteran of the Gulf war "Operation Desert Storm." During his military tenure Sgt French gained valuable experience in C.Q.B., infantry tactics and explosive breaching operations and he served as a Platoon sergeant and a squad leader.
|Special Forces History|
Special Forces History
with Charles Woodson
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Green Berets Project: Clyde Sincere Interview 6
Chuck Woodson is the President and CEO of Sunwood Entertainment Corp, an independent production company, dedicated to creating a platform that brings great stories, targeting the youth, to the marketplace utilizing the internet.
One of Chuck\B9s projects, The Green Berets, currently in production, is being slated for a documentary series, graphic novel series, and dramatic I.P.T.V. series. Chuck has started interviewing Active Duty members, and is looking for more great real life stories from current day U.S. Army Special Forces operations to include in his series.
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Back Up Heating during an Emergency
Now that winter is here, most of us have done all we wanted to do or were able to afford to do preparing for the cold weather. Now, we just sit back and see what happens. Did you however prepare for a worst case scenario? More than likely you're answer is "no". I understand it's hard enough just to get through the winter utility bills and for those on wood heat; it's a large enough task to go cut or purchase your wood for the season. But I found a pretty handy and fairly inexpensive way to really heat a large portion of your home in an emergency. Let's say an ice storm hits, knocks out your power for a week. This means no electric heat or cooking abilities. For those on wood this may mean using more wood than you planned on which may lead to a shortage if you didn't buy enough extra... Whatever the case, you need some heat.
You can pick up a Propane Wall Heater at your local hardware and online for under $200, I've even seen them at Goodwill from time to time (By the way if you don't look at Goodwill for survival stuff you're missing out!). These simple machines do not require electricity unless you get one with a blower and some heat up to 2000 sq. ft. But remember, this is a back up heating plan, so plan on something less than half that size, plus you don't want to buy a 500 gallon propane tank to heat your entire home. For those already on gas/propane heat this is a perfect backup option for you since you already have the tank.
For everyone else, just rig up your full gas grill cylinder and you'll get up to 3 days of heat if on a low setting leading to an average temperature of around 65 degrees F. It costs me $12 to fill a standard 20# propane gas cylinder and I normally have several sitting around for various reasons. If I just made sure they were filled up before winter, I personally would have a couple weeks worth of propane. You can typically purchase extra filled cylinders for around $25-$30. The connections for this system are very easy to obtain at any local hardware and should cost less than $20.
I can't take credit for this system, I was shown it from a fellow firefighter and this has been his primary system for almost ten years. He's a single guy that works long hours so he only uses it when he's at the house which is why it's more practical for him. So, just add this plan to your toolbox and maybe it will be of use sometime down the line. A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. (Prov. 22:3)
About the Author
Jason Hunt is the president of Frontier Christian University and Chief Instructor at the Kentucky River Outdoor & Survival School. You can sign up for their free magazine featuring more articles like this one at www.thewildernessvoice.com
The Military Maxims of NAPOLEON
A general-in-chief should ask himself frequently in the day, What should I do if the enemy's army appeared now in my front, or on my right, or on my left ? If he have any difficulty in answering these questions he is ill posted, and should seek to remedy it.
All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us...they can't get away this time"
- Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC
World War II. The Marines were cut off behind enemy lines and the Army had written the 1st Marine Division off as being lost because they were surrounded by 22 enemy divisions. The Marines made it out inflicting the highest casualty ratio on an enemy in history and destroying 7 entire enemy divisions in the process. An enemy division is 16500+ men while a Marine division is 12500 men.
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| THE TORTOISE AND THE EAGLE|
A tortoise, lazily basking in the sun, complained to the sea-birds of her hard fate, that no one would teach her to fly. An Eagle, hovering near heard her lamentation and demanded what reward she would give him if he would take her aloft and float her in the air. "I will give you," she said "all the riches of the Red Sea." I will teach you to fly then," said the Eagle; and taking her up in his talons he carried her almost to the clouds suddenly he let her go, and she fell on a lofty mountain, dashing her shell to pieces. The Tortoise exclaimed in the moment of death: "I have deserved my present fate; for what had I to do with wings and clouds, who can with difficulty move about on the earth?"
If men had all they wished, they would be often ruined.
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|Quotes & Jokes|
The first rule of unrestricted warfare is that there are no rules, with nothing forbidden.
A country that is losing to unrestricted warfare is not being outfought it is being outsmarted.
Falsehood is cowardice, the truth courage
You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex...
It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the
Above all, we must realize that no
arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.
John F. Kennedy
A nation which has forgotten the quality of courage which in the past has been brought to public life is not as likely to insist upon or regard that quality in its chosen leaders today - and in fact we have forgotten.
You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.
He is a man of courage who does not run away, but remains at his
post and fights against the enemy. Socrates Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities... because it is the quality which guarantees all others.
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
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Clich\E9s of Socialism
"Federal aid is all right...
if it doesn't bring federal control,"
ONE MIGHT THINK that this tired, old clich\E9 would have been laid to rest long ago. But whenever a proposal is made for a new way to hand out federal funds to states or local units of government, some spoil-sport is certain to say: "But, we don't want control along with the money." And advocates of the new legislation will say: "You won't get federal control; we have written the bill in such a way that control of the funds will stay with the local unit."
In the early days of "farm programs," farmers were told that federal subsidies for this and that didn't mean they would have to submit to federal controls. Fortunately, this unsound theory was tested in the United States Supreme Court. In 1942, in the case of Wickard vs. Filburn, the Court opined: "It is hardly lack of due process for the government to regulate that which it subsidizes."
Who would deny that the regulation of that which is subsidized is sound fiscal policy? It would seem to be the height of irresponsibility for any unit of government, or other organization for that matter, to hand out money without control over its expenditure. This principle applies whether the subsidy is from federal to state, federal to local, or state to local units of government. The question here discussed is not whether we can expect control to accompany the grants.
The Newburgh relief case in the summer of 1961 is an excellent example of the principle. Officials of the Hudson River city of Newburgh in New York concluded that their welfare costs were getting out of hand. The city's share of these costs was greater than the cost of police protection and almost as much as the cost of fire protection and public works. Some families were receiving welfare payments each month in excess of the take-home pay of some city employees with comparable-sized families.
So, it seemed logical for the city to have a look at the rules and regulations under which welfare payments were being made. The decision was to draw their own rules and regulation-a new code to cover the handing out of welfare funds. This decision ran straight into the principle we are discussing. It seems that, of the total amount of money distributed under Newburgh's welfare program, more than half came from federal and state grants. With the funds came rules and regulations for their use. And, why not? Threats of withholding of federal and state funds have been made, but at the moment, even if it means paying their own bills.
Illustrations abound of grants in aid from larger units of government to smsaller, and of the controls that accompany the grants. Federal aid for education;, hotly debated in the current Congress, brought forth the usual arguments that control need not go with the aid. But we have had long experience with aid for education at the state level, and the evidence is conclusive. There is no reason to think that federal aid would be different. What local school board has not been faced with the rules laid down by the state regarding education and certification of teachers, choice of textbooks, questions of transportation of pupils, tenure of teachers, building programs, curriculums, days of attendance, examination of students, and a host of others? Is there no federal or state regulation of the school lunch program where "surplus" food is involved?
Can you imagine a multibillion-dollar federal highway program with no regulation of engineering specifications, location, signboards, and so forth and so on? Or federal or state housing? Why shouldn't rules and regulations be established regarding nationality, race, and income of the renters? Or government contracts? When a government contracts with private firms for the manufacture of its many requirements, it would seem proper for it to write any specifications it pleases with regard to wages and hours of the workers.
A classic example of how controls accompany grants is our treatment of the American Indians. Who can imagine what the status of the Indian would be today, had he gained the freedom exercised by other Americans-the freedom to be responsible for himself? Instead, he has been a "ward of the government" for decade after decade-controls accompanying handouts.
The solution to what many feel is too much federal or state control of our daily lives is not to be found in trying to write laws that would, in effect, make these units of government irresponsible in their fiscal affairs. Sound fiscal policy requires control by the unit of government that makes the funds available. Whether or not it is a proper function of government to make such funds available is quite another story and cannot be considered here.
The principle involved is not unlike that which governs the finances of a family. So long as the father supplies the son with spending money, it is proper for the father to have something to say about the spending, even though the son may be saying or at least thinking: "Boy, will I be glad when I get to earning my own money and can spend it as I wish!"The solution is so simple and obvious that it hardly needs stating If we don't want state or federal control of certain of our activities, we must not have state or federal financing of them.
|What Has Really Changed?|
WHEN they say it's FREE, look out!
The Wrong Lesson
|Retired Lt. Gen. William Boykin will not speak at West Point's National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 8.|
February 2, 2012 by Ben Crystal
Late last week, retired Lt. Gen. William Boykin, an outspoken Christian, spoke during a prayer breakfast in Ocean City, Md. Boykin discussed his personal spirituality and how it was interwoven throughout his life and career. Under normal circumstances, a retired war horse addressing a group of citizens in a small resort city attracts less attention than the surf report in a retirement community. But the left-wing hate group People for the American Way and the terrorist-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations decided to make Boykin's speech the event of the offseason.
Following the hubbub, Boykin "has decided to withdraw speaking at West Point's National Prayer Breakfast" on Feb. 8, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Military Academy. Boykin's withdrawal followed a round of complaints from PFAW, CAIR and others. A statement by CAIR's executive director Nihad Awad read:
"We welcome Mr. Boykin's withdrawal from this event and hope that the speaker who replaces him will offer cadets a spiritual message that promotes tolerance and mutual understanding."
When did tolerance and understanding earn a place in CAIR's belief system? CAIR's founders are the aforementioned Awad and Omar Ahmad, both former officers of the Islamic Association of Palestine. In his book Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad, former FBI analyst and U.S. Treasury Department intelligence official Mathew Levitt described IAP as "intimately tied to the most senior Hamas leadership." Let's not sugarcoat it, people. CAIR is an Islamic terrorist public relations firm.
Some of you will read this and wonder why I didn't discuss Mitt Romney's triumph in Florida's RINO-match of a primary or something equally as politically immediate. I will respond by warning you not to dismiss tales of this nature. A retired veteran was denied an opportunity to share fellowship with the cadets at West Point because of pressure brought by fringe liberals with a decided left-wing agenda and ties to terrorist groups. This is precisely the sort of camouflaged incrementalism that weakens the Nation from the roots up. What CAIR and its accomplices accomplished in pressuring West Point to send Boykin packing is a step toward policy. West Point isn't some resort town; it's one of the places from which the future leaders of our armed forces - men and women like Boykin - will be culled. What lessons will those future leaders learn when extremist groups can successfully censor the opinions of the leaders who came before them? More importantly, what lessons will they miss?
It is true that Boykin holds some fairly strong opinions about Islamofascists. That ought to surprise no one since his career sometimes pitted him against Islamofascists. Furthermore, Boykin's opinions are less than shocking, considering the fact that Islamofascists hardly try to hide their feelings about him (and the rest of us). But to punish Boykin at the behest of vermin like CAIR and PFAW is the wrong message from the wrong people at the wrong time.
Army: JLTVs, Not Humvees
Army calls for JLTV engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) proposals
Written by: Scott R. Gourley on January 27, 2012
On Jan. 26, 2012, just a few hours before the U.S. Secretary of Defense began to reveal a range of procurement cuts and difficult program decisions, the U.S. Army released a request for proposal (RFP) for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program.
"Reflective of the lessons learned over the past decade of war, JLTV is viewed as filling the tactical wheeled vehicle capability gap created by evolving tactical mobility and protection requirements that are not satisfied by the Up-Armored HMMWV."
A BAE Systems JLTV variant with trailer, during testing in Australia. Photo courtesy of BAE Systems
"Both the Army and the U.S. Marine Corps have identified critical capability gaps in their respective light tactical vehicle fleets," said Program Executive Officer for Combat Support and Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS) Kevin M. Fahey. "JLTV is the most cost-effective program to meet capability gaps for the light tactical vehicles with the most demanding missions."
JLTV is comprised of two variants, based on a common vehicle automotive platform: a two-seat and a four-seat variant, and a companion trailer (JLTV-T). The two-seat variant has one base vehicle platform, the Utility (JLTV-UTL). The four-seat variant has two base vehicle platforms, the General Purpose (JLTV-GP) and the Close Combat Weapons Carrier (JLTV-CCWC). Each base vehicle platform will also be configured as a mission package configuration through the installation of mission packages designed to maximize commonality while meeting the specific needs of the user.
The program completed its 27-month technology development (TD) phase in spring 2011.
"The technology development (TD) phase for this program did exactly what it was intended to do - provide the basis for the cost-informed trades that resulted in a common Army and Marine Corps requirement," said Program Executive Officer Land Systems Marine Corps William E. Taylor. "It serves as a model for how the services looking forward should operate in a cost-constrained budget environment."
A General Tactical Vehicles JLTV variant during testing in the United States. U.S. Army photo by David McNally
As outlined in the RFP, the EMD contracts "will provide for fabrication, assembly, integration, testing and test support, and related requirements in accordance with the contract and the JLTV Purchase Description. Each JLTV Contractor shall deliver 22 prototype vehicles. Additional deliverables include ballistic structures, armor coupons, additional test assets, and contractor furnished kits, trailers and data requirements."
EMD contract awards are currently planned for June of 2012 and projected to run 27 months for contractors (33 months for program office).
"The refined 27-month acquisition strategy is designed to put a premium on driving down costs, reducing risk and getting vehicles into the hands of Warfighters quicker," government program representatives note.
The current acquisition strategy for the follow-on production and deployment (PD) phase calls for the initial production contract to be solicited in Fiscal Year 2015, with the government planning to award one firm fixed price contract consisting of a base three year low rate initial production (LRIP) contract with an option of a five year multi-year contract for full rate production (FRP).
Significantly, the "Defense Budget Priorities and Choices" documentation released in conjunction with the defense secretary's comments points to a "Reasonable Reductions/Responsible Risks" programmatic approach, noting that "In order to sustain the highest priority investments, we made substantial reductions to programs that...are deemed excess to requirements..." One example offered of those programs "deemed excess to requirements" was HMMWVs, with the notation, "terminated upgrades and focused modernization resources on the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle."
Japan F-35 Buy Is No Surprise
The selection of Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter by Japan's Ministry of Defense was a boon to the program and a continuation of a Japanese tradition of buying fighter aircraft from United States companies. Lockheed Martin rendering. As the 1980s German synthpop band Alphaville
Since the 1950s they've sold us Toyotas, and we've sold them fighters
As the 1980s German synthpop band Alphaville proclaimed in their hit single, "Things are easy when you're big in Japan."
American fighter aircraft are just that. On Dec. 20, 2011 Japan's Ministry of Defense announced its selection of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as the next generation fighter to meet the needs of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF). The announcement was a shot in the arm for the beleaguered JSF program, but not a surprise.
"Since World War II, the U.S. has exported technology of all kinds to Japan, and vice-versa. Toyota sold its first car in the U.S. - a Toyopet Crown - in 1958, beginning a tidal wave of sales. Often overlooked has been the large-scale purchase, license-production and employment of American fighters in Japan, which began two years before that first Toyopet left the dealership."
The Japan Air Self Defense Force's (JASDF) flight demonstration team, Blue Impulse, taxi their F-86F Sabre aircraft out during the annual Japanese-American Friendship Festival at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 1, 1981. U.S. Air Force photo
Though the terms of the Armistice Agreement signed aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay in September 1945 prohibited Japanese aerial activity, including aircraft manufacturing, the swiftly changing geostrategic climate resulted in the establishment ofthe Japan Self Defense Force in 1952. The Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) was formed on July 1, 1954, and under American tutelage a flight training school stood up at Hamamatsu Air Base with 25 Beech T-34 Mentors in December 1954.
Jet training began the following year in Lockheed T-33As. The initial advanced training classes graduated to jet fighter conversion both in Japan and in Nevada, taking the controls of the Japan's first post-War fighter, the North American F-86F Sabre.
The first operational wing of JASDF F-86Fs was established at Hamamatsu in 1956, with 70 Sabres on the flightline. Two additional F-86F wings were formed in 1957 at Chitose and Matsushima Air Bases, with a fourth wing added in 1959. All-weather F-86Ds were adopted by the JASDF in the same period, with 60 having been delivered by the end of 1958.
"Japan was actually the third Asian Sabre operator after Taiwan and South Korea, but acquired the aircraft in larger numbers than any other foreign air force. Japanese and Asian orders for the fighter convinced the USAF to reinstate Sabre production in 1955 with the new F-86F-40 which enjoyed extended wing tips and leading-edge slats. The first batch of this improved Sabre was shipped to Japan via Sacramento in 1956."
A Lockheed Martin F-104J Starfighter of the Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) in flight with a target sleeve during a training exercise in 1983. The Japanese F-104J were manufactured by Lockheed Martin but assembled by Mitsubishi. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Steve McGill
Even before the first F-86s were delivered, plans were made for the resumption of indigenous aircraft production with the acquisition of manufacturing licenses from American aerospace firms. Mitsubishi, maker of the iconic A6M Zero, got the North American license for the Sabre, completing its first F-86 in 1956. By 1960 Mitsubishi would turn out some 300 Sabres, firmly establishing a tradition.
The JASDF operated the F-86 through the early 1970s, its "Blue Impulse" jet aerobatic team keeping the Sabre in business until 1982. In the early 1960s the Japanese Defense Ministry was already considering its next fighter option. At the time, Lockheed was looking for potential customers for its redesigned F-104. Europe was a likely target, but the JASDF's interceptor needs matched well with the 104, which Lockheed realized would sell most readily under license arrangements.
The company built a Starfighter for Japan largely similar to the F-104G, optimized for air defense. The first three F-104Js were assembled in the spring of 1961 and flew in June. They were then disassembled, shipped to Japan and reassembled by Mitsubishi. The first units to get the Starfighter were the 201st and 202ndsquadrons at Chitose and Nyutabaru, commencing operations in 1962. Some 210 F-104s were manufactured by both Mitsubishi and Kawasaki as the single-seat 104J and two-seat F-104DJ. They remained in JASDF service through 1986.
A Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) F-4EJ Phantom II aircraft of the 301st Hikotai takes off during the joint U.S./Japan exercise Cope North 85-4. Below is a Japanese Lockheed T-33 aircraft. DoD photo by Staff Sgt. James R. Ferguson
Its air defense needs unabated, the JASDF continued to look to the U.S. for fighter aircraft in the mid-1960s. With its range, power and radar, the F-4 Phantom was a natural choice. Its selection was announced in 1968 and, as Lockheed had done, McDonnell Douglas built the first two prototype F-4EJs, disassembled them and shipped them for reassembly in Japan.
Following initial deliveries in 1971, Mitsubishi undertook production of the F-4EJ and the reconnaissance RF-4EJ. The 7th Air Wing was the first to equip with the Phantom, standing up at Hyakuri Air Base in August 1972. Ultimately, the JASDF would field 154 Phantoms (140 F-4EJs, 14 RF-4EJs) acquired in small batches through the 1980s. Updates kept the F-4 viable through the 1990s, and two squadrons of F-4EJs remain in service today with a few RF-4EJs still operational.
Involvement with the Sabre, Starfighter and Phantom gave the Japanese aerospace industry enough experience to embark on its own fighter, the Mitsubishi F-1, which debuted in 1971. While the F-1 proved successful, Japan continued to rely on U.S. designs for the backbone of its fleet. Next up was the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle.
A Japan Air Self Defense Force F-15DJ in flight, as viewed from the boom operator position of a U.S. Air Force KC-135 from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron, Kadena Air Base, after being refueled during air refueling training July 30, 2009. U.S. Air Force photo by Angelique Perez
The F-15 was one of 13 candidates to replace the F-104/F-4, and despite initial technology transfer limitations, was selected by Japan's Ministry of Defense in 1975. Dubbed the "Peace Eagle" the F-15J/F-15DJ were essentially export versions of the F-15C/D. McDonnell built the first two F-15Js and 12 F-15DJs, with most of the early aircraft manufactured in large components and shipped to Japan. Mitsubishi would again handle assembly and go on to produce the remainder of the 203 Peace Eagles acquired.
The first F-15J/DJs joined the 23rd Flying Training Squadron at Nyutabaru in late 1982. Subsequently, Eagles began replacing F-104s at Chitose beginning in 1984. Engine and weapons systems upgrades have kept the F-15J/DJs effective, and they equip seven front line squadrons and other units including an aggressor squadron.
Finally, while not an American fighter design per se, the F-16-based F-2 was introduced into JASDF service in 2000. Having grown out of the "big-wing" F-16 Agile Falcon proposal, the F-2 has a higher proportion of Japanese weapons and other systems. Approximately 75 are in service and up to 94 may be acquired.
With its F-35 announcement, Japan becomes the second FMS buyer for the Lightning II following Israel. The acquisition proves the America's fighters are still big in Japan, and it's certainly a big deal for the JSF program.
Hostages Freed in Somalia by U.S. Special Operations Forces
On Tuesday night, as President Barack Obama was making his State of the Union Address, U.S. special operations forces were concluding a joint operation to free two captives held in Somalia.
"The two hostages, American Jessica Buchanan and Dane Poul Thisted, had been kidnapped in October 2011 while working in Somalia with the Danish Demining Group."
According to the few details released by DoD, there were no casualties among the captives or the special operations forces who carried out the operation, while all nine Somali captors were killed.
We will follow up on this story when more concrete information is available from official sources.
In the meantime, Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta issued the following statements, the most interesting aspect of which may be Panetta's special mention of the FBI, illustrating again the intersection between civilian intelligence and investigative agencies and the DoD today, a topic covered in greater depth in the upcoming print edition of Defense.
Statement by President Barack Obama
Successful Hostage Rescue
On Monday, I authorized an operation to rescue Jessica Buchanan, an American citizen who was kidnapped and held against her will for three months in Somalia. Thanks to the extraordinary courage and capabilities of our special operations forces, yesterday Jessica Buchanan was rescued and she is on her way home. As Commander-in-Chief, I could not be prouder of the troops who carried out this mission, and the dedicated professionals who supported their efforts.
Jessica Buchanan was selflessly serving her fellow human beings when she was taken hostage by criminals and pirates who showed no regard for her health and well-being. Last night I spoke with Jessica Buchanan's father and told him that all Americans have Jessica in our thoughts and prayers, and give thanks that she will soon be reunited with her family. The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will spare no effort to secure the safety of our citizens and to bring their captors to justice. This is yet another message to the world that the United States of America will stand strongly against any threats to our people.
Statement by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
on Hostage Rescue Operation in Somalia
Last night U.S. Special Operations Forces conducted, by order of the President of the United States, a successful mission in Somalia to rescue two individuals taken hostage on October 25, 2011. Ms. Jessica Buchanan, an American citizen employed by the Danish Demining Group, and her Danish colleague, Mr. Poul Thisted, were kidnapped at gunpoint by criminal suspects near Galcayo, Somalia.
Ms. Buchanan and Mr. Thisted have been transported to a safe location where we will evaluate their health and make arrangements for them to return home.
This successful hostage rescue, undertaken in a hostile environment, is a testament to the superb skills of courageous service members who risked their lives to save others. I applaud their efforts, and I am pleased that Ms. Buchanan and Mr. Thisted were not harmed during the operation. This mission demonstrates our military's commitment to the safety of our fellow citizens wherever they may be around the world.
I am grateful to report that there was no loss of life or injuries to our personnel.
I express my deepest gratitude to all the military and civilian men and women who supported this operation. This was a team effort and required close coordination, especially between the Department of Defense and our colleagues in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They are heroes and continue to inspire all of us by their bravery and service to our nation.
Interview: Rear Adm. Sean A. Pybus, NAVSPECWARCOM Commander
Rear Adm. Sean A. Pybus assumed command of Naval Special Warfare Command (NAVSPECWARCOM) on June 30, 2011.
He is a career Naval Special Warfare (NSW) SEAL officer with multiple joint special operations duty assignments. He graduated from the University of Rochester in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and received a regular Navy commission through Navy ROTC.
Pybus has served in SEAL, Underwater Demolition, Special Boat, and SEAL Delivery Vehicle tours within NSW, and has held operations positions at Joint Special Operations Command and United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Command tours include units in Panama, Germany, and Bahrain, as well as duty as commodore, Naval Special Warfare Group 1, San Diego, Calif. As a flag officer, he has served as J-3, Center for Special Operations, USSOCOM, 2007-2009. He reported to Naval Special Warfare Command from his previous assignment as commander, Special Operations Command Pacific.
He has participated in special operations in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
Decorations include two Defense Superior Service Medals, two awards of the Legion of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals, and various other awards. He is also a 1998 Distinguished Graduate of the Naval War College with a Master's Degree in Strategic Studies.
Navy SEALs 50: Please explain the Navy's requirement for special operations forces which led to the SEALs being commissioned in 1962.
Rising tensions in the Cold War and Nikita Khrushchev's stated desires to support "wars of liberation and popular uprisings" were reasons enough for the U.S., its defense department and other agencies to explore countermeasures to the Soviet's aggressive expansion of military power and influence. During the Korean conflict the Navy's UDTs expanded their repertoire of skills from missions of maritime reconnaissance, mine and obstacle clearance, and infiltration to land-based operations, working with the CIA and going inland to conduct intelligence gathering, raids, and direct actions against North Korean infrastructure. While these special operations-type missions were first conducted under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, both he and President John F. Kennedy called for, and America's military responded with options for further developing and expanding U.S. counter-guerrilla forces and units to wage unconventional warfare. Under President Kennedy's watch, these concepts and plans were pushed forward, resulting in the development of full-fledged counterinsurgency capabilities.
What roles and missions were being contemplated for SEALs in the middle of an age of battlefield nuclear weapons and ICBMs?
"The nuclear weapons of the Cold War and the delivery systems for them, including various missiles, submarines, and naval aircraft, posed significant maritime threats to U.S. interests. I will leave you to speculate on the types of clandestine missions that our maritime special operations units might have been involved in at that time and how they have evolved to present-day SOF special reconnaissance, strike, counter-proliferation, and combating terrorism capabilities."
What would a 1960s SEAL recognize in a SEAL of today, and what would be new to him?
In some ways, the ways that matter, that man is the same man, meaning it's about the mindset, the character of the SEAL and the SEAL Ethos. Mentally and physically disciplined, then and now, that SEAL is ready to take on the most dangerous missions in defense of his country. He is an innovative, out-of-the-box thinker, a problem-solver determined to accomplish the mission. And, he knows mission success depends on teamwork.
As for what's new, the tools of the trade have certainly changed. The SEALs of the '60s were technically skilled and tactically proficient, as we are today. If a SEAL of the 1960s got jocked up for a mission and you stood him next to a SEAL of today, they'd definitely look different. They'd have different weapons, equipment, and platforms. We have evolved dramatically in our employment of modern technology to increase our capabilities.
How have the roles and missions of SEALs changed over the past 50 years?
"What's that adage, 'The more things change, the more they stay the same?' That certainly applies to the roles and missions envisioned for the first SEAL Teams, in regard to foreign internal defense, counterinsurgency operations. I don't know that SEAL roles and missions in their infancy to present day have changed all that much; rather, they have evolved. They have been further refined and developed out of the defense needs of our country, advances in science and technology, the changing battlefields of conflict and the kinds of enemies we have faced and will face. We have gone from the era of the Cold War and Vietnam, from large conventional forces fighting conventional wars with SOF and SEALs serving in a support role, to SOF being the supported force in campaigns against a very different enemy and very real asymmetric threats. We've evolved from maritime warriors armed with KA-BARs, fins, and explosive charges to SEALs using sophisticated technology to confirm the identity of enemy combatants or employing unmanned aerial vehicles in the middle of a landlocked country to locate and target terrorist elements."
Can you talk a bit about the organization and curriculum of early classes of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S), and how that course has evolved over the past five decades?
When I graduated from BUD/S in 1979, almost all of our instructors were Vietnam veterans. The lessons and instruction they imparted to us many years ago still apply and inform how we operate today. I'm thankful for that. Doing military special operations in, under, or from the sea is our forte, so most of our selection and training is water-oriented. A BUD/S student spends much of his time wet, sandy, and cold. It's safe to say that part of training hasn't changed either. In fact, the basic training regime today is remarkably similar to years past. BUD/S has been proven to produce SEALs with remarkable toughness, unconventional thought, and a never-quit attitude. We're very careful making adjustments to this program. With regard to advanced training that prepares SEAL and combatant-craft elements for the specific work we do around the world today, it's exponentially better resourced than years past. As the maritime component of U.S. Special Operations Command, we draw a high level of training, equipment and range resources from it to maintain a high level of capability and preparedness. We also dedicate time working with our sister special operations forces in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps. The real strength of U.S. special operations is our ability to work as a team, jointly. Most of the successes our nation has within special operations result from a team effort across the services. So individual training has not changed in its basic essence. But our tactical elements today have much better resources and realistic training opportunities available that provide them the best advantages to be successful in their operations.
Please explain the evolution of the SEALs and the Naval Special Warfare community with respect to the effect of Cohen-Nunn in the 1980s.
The historical context for that "evolution" is this - the establishment and build up of the SEAL Teams and other special operations forces in the 1960s that enabled counterinsurgency missions in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and later in Vietnam was followed by a period of reduced operations and military cutbacks. In 1987, the Cohen-Nunn Amendment to the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 ensured the health and endurance of that capability by establishing USSOCOM, a unified command for special operations, providing it authority to program and resource SOF, and establishing an Assistant Secretary of Defense [ASD(SO/LIC)] to provide oversight at the Secretary of Defense level to ensure its success. Accordingly, the creation of a command structure to oversee all SOF is probably one of the most influential changes in the military's recent history.
U.S. Special Operations Command, along with its component commands, including Naval Special Warfare Command, were activated April 16, 1987. Cohen-Nunn thus paved the way for a much different, much improved U.S. special operations force. Having an advocate for SOF at the highest levels of DoD, and USSOCOM's ability to control its own resources, have resulted in improved readiness and capabilities, greater command and control, increased interoperability, and the ability, as we've seen, to prepare for future threats.
When the last of the QDR-mandated force structure changes are implemented, what will the TO&E of NAVSPECWARCOM look like?
In part as a result of the QDR, NSW received over 1,000 billets and $317 million-plus in sustainment across five years [FY11-15] in order to improve the organic enabler support base for previously realized operational force growth. This was a much-needed adjunct to that operator growth. While I am expecting that while the conventional forces are drawing down in Iraq and Afghanistan, the demand for SOF, and NAVSOF will continue to increase, the Department of Defense has had to take some significant budget cuts and is bracing for more. This reduced resourcing environment will obviously make further growth challenging. What I know is, we're operating in an incredibly constrained fiscal environment, and DoD/SOCOM are reassessing our portfolios, articulating our requirements and prioritizing our needs. There will be tough decisions ahead with regard to what does and does not get funded. At the end of the day, NAVSOF is committed to contributing to the national, joint and coalition fight and finding innovative ways to enhance our capabilities, and with the help of USSOCOM and Navy, I am confident we'll get there.
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing NAVSPECWARCOM in the future?
Operationally, our toughest challenge is working and winning in Afghanistan.
"Organizationally, there's some work that needs to be done to clearly define and lay out our way ahead and then consistently communicate it across the force. Despite having a history that spans a half-century, we are a young organization and, in my opinion, we have not fully developed into a true enterprise. I also think there's a lot of room for process improvement by implementing knowledge management strategies and practices."
Admirals Olson and McRaven have talked about the "pressures on the force." The pressure is real and it's manifesting itself in different ways. We're seeing discipline, performance, health, and family issues negatively affecting our force, so we're exploring ways to respond to, prevent, or mitigate these pressures.
As Iraq and Afghanistan wind down and strategies shift, we'll be looking for opportunities to realign available resources to emerging requirements in a cost-effective manner. There are two areas we need to look at; first, human capital management, and second, our maritime mobility capabilities. A high priority for me is to have an NSW-wide vision for how we take care of and develop our people. We also need to make sure we're putting the right people into the right jobs. Regarding our boat programs, they need serious investment in modernization. For the past decade, NSW has devoted much of its resources to supporting land warfare capabilities in the CENTCOM AOR at the expense of our surface and undersea platforms. Some of the boats we have are tired, and only through the hard work of their crews do they still perform their missions. Our SDV team does strong work with the Navy, so we need to make a commitment to and invest in particular undersea platforms. Ultimately, I envision a family of craft for NSW, much like the family of special operations vehicles used for SOF ground mobility.
NAVSPECWARCOM has, through most of its existence, operated in the shadows. Has it been disconcerting to have so much media attention fixed on the command in the wake of the Maersk Alabama rescue and Operation Neptune Spear?
"Yes, disconcerting is a good way to describe it. First, let me say for the record that the missions you cite were models of seamless collaboration between the U.S. intelligence and special operations communities. They also involved other military organizations and federal agencies working together to achieve mission success. Now, I understand the importance of maintaining a well informed public, that's the reason we have military public affairs officers who work with the media and conduct community relations activities. I support those kinds of efforts. There are also operational security policies and practices in place to ensure our missions and the personnel who carry them out are protected. In my opinion, the kind of information and level of details disclosed in the examples you refer to potentially put U.S. servicemen and women and our current and future operations at risk. I think there is a way to do both, ensure a well-informed public and protect our people and our missions. And, I think the American public would want us and expect us to do just that."
What, if anything, would you change about the command, its personnel, and training to better prepare for the future?
Our organizational climate is a positive one because our people are highly motivated and singularly focused on success - they are among the best professionally trained and highly skilled you will find. Our personnel and our families are strong, capable, intensely patriotic, and willing to sacrifice much in the defense of our great nation. If anything, I would improve support to help them stay the course. Resiliency is an important aspect of our overall well-being as a Team, so we're focusing on finding ways to build resiliency in our SEALs, SWCC, our Enablers and their families.
This article first appeared in Navy Seals 50: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of the U.S. Navy SEALs.
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