New SMA to take serious look at Army tattoo policy

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. — Soldiers’ strong objections to the Army’s tattoo policy have caught Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey by surprise — and he’s planning to measure the extent of this dissatisfaction, across the service.

“I don’t want this to be the deciding factor for a good soldier to get out,” said Dailey, who took over as the Army’s top enlisted leader on Jan. 30.

If he finds this to be a force-wide issue, Dailey said action may be necessary. The SMA said he will keep an ear out for soldier concerns on tattoos, and any other issues, in the weeks and months to come.

This week Dailey embarked on his first troop visit as SMA, heading to JBLM.

via New SMA to take serious look at Army tattoo policy.

I’m surprised that he’s surprised. It’s a very emotional issue.

I’m not a tattoo guy. I can’t even stand the thought of getting one.

But for many, their ink is a mural telling their story, and often, a memorial to their friends.

Further, there’s a very strong perception in the ranks that the new tattoo policy is seen as a tool to purge the ranks of people, not based on the quality of their performance and service, but upon the most superficial of reasons such as appearance.

Full sleeve tattoos were not common at all back in my day. And back then, the regulation basically said that if tattoos weren’t visible while in the Class A uniform, there was no issue.

But of course, troops often spend a lot of time not in the Class A uniform. Be it in PT uniform, or in short sleeves, many soldiers today have large tattoos that are far more visible than those soliders of my generation wore.

SMA Daley raises the question of what the public perception of the American soldier is. But really, is that a sufficient cause to curtail the careers of proven soldiers, particularly at a time when the Army and other services appear to be rushing to indulge in ever expanding social engineering experimentation?

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Quick Takes

I’m gearing up for a long weekend out of town, so posting will likely be pretty light, on my end at least, for the next few days.

Those who know, know.

The Royal Australian Air Force, in addition to operating the SuperHornet, has also decided that operating the EF-18G is a wise move. And it probably is. And so, they’ve send crews to NAS Whidbey Island to undergo the normal transition course operated by VAQ-129.

WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. (NNS) — Five Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircrew personnel graduated from basic training at Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129, the U.S. Navy’s EA-18G Growler Fleet Replacement Squadron, during a ceremony Feb. 27 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island.
The graduation marked a milestone in the RAAF-U.S. Navy partnership in airborne electronic attack as it was the first time RAAF aircrew completed basic training in the EA-18G.
The five RAAF aircrew will be assigned to U.S. Navy expeditionary units for approximately two years, deploying and operating the EA-18G under the Personnel Exchange Program.
One of the five graduates already deployed and is operating in the U.S. Pacific Fleet area of responsibility.

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Is the Air Force really open to designing a new plane to replace the A-10?

ORLANDO, Fla. — A future close air support-specific platform to replace the A-10 remains a possibility, the head of Air Combat Command said Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Air Force is planning a joint-service summit in March to work out options for the mission, frequently referred to as CAS.

“We’re thinking about it,” Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, told reporters at the Air Force Association Air Warfare symposium here when asked about a future close air support system that could replace the venerable Warthog.

Yeah, I just don’t see it. The key problem with the A-10 as a future CAS platform is its low speed. Higher speed greatly reduces vulnerability to missiles and gunfire. The effective engagement zone of a SAM or gun looks something like a hot air balloon, when graphically displayed. Obviously, the faster aircraft spends less time inside that balloon shaped area. And, of course, longer ranged stand off weapons mean you either penetrate less into the balloon, or don’t enter it at all.

I have a sneaking suspicion any future CAS jet with the speed to justify replacing the A-10 would end up looking an awful lot like an F-16. Or maybe the YA-7F. Which, neither option would ever get produced, particularly not in this budget environment.

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When an investigation turns into a witch-hunt.

Nearly two years ago, a Coast Guard executive officer reported an alleged sexual assault between two E-3s aboard his ship. The victim filed a complaint and the perpetrator confessed within days, but when the investigation was over, so was the officer’s career.

Cmdr. Ben Strickland, a nearly 20-year officer with three years in the Navy before transferring to the Coast Guard, says he’s the victim of overreach by Coast Guard investigators who dredged up years-old private messages that were inappropriate but unrelated to the criminal investigation.

I think CDR Strickland is just screwed. If his boss decided to relieve him, that’s about all there is to say about that. The service is often harsh, and fair where 4H kids display their goats.

But the part of the article that is disturbing comes a bit further down. From a relatively open and shut case of sexual assault involving one victim, and one perpetrator, the CGIS manages to expand to this:

Still, the investigators mounted a full-court-press, pulling email and instant message logs for the Munro’s entire 170-person crew.

That’s not a search for justice. That’s a search for scalps. And it provides a perverse incentive for leaders to not aggressively pursue justice for members who are victims of sexual assault. Way to go, guys.

Also from Navy Times, here’s another XO getting hammered.

I know SWOs live by “we eat our young” but c’mon!

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Musashi Press Release – Paul Allen

PHILIPPINES – March 4, 2015 – Philanthropist and entrepreneur, Paul G. Allen, has located the Musashi, one of the two largest and most technologically advanced battleships in naval history. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the conclusion of World War II, and the finding of the battleship is a significant milestone in the annals of naval history.

Mr. Allen and his team of researchers began their search for the Musashi more than eight years ago. Using historical records from four countries, detailed undersea topographical data and advanced technology aboard his yacht, M/Y Octopus, Mr. Allen and his team located the battleship in the Sibuyan Sea on March 1, 2015.

via Musashi Press Release – Paul Allen.

The Musashi and her sister Yamoto were stupendous ships.

Of course, a good argument could be made that Japan would have been far better served devoting those resources to cruiser and destroyer production.

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Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

lincolninaugural

One hundred fifty years ago today, March 4th, 1865.  It is a speech that could NEVER be given today, because of the President’s reference to faith, and to God, and the Bible, and scripture.  However, it remains one of the most moving and eloquent speeches ever given by an American, astounding in its sentiment, given in the middle of a war that had already claimed two-thirds of a million souls, with no end yet in sight.  It is part of American scripture.

Neither party expected for the war, the magnitude, or the duration, which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has his own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” If we shall suppose that American Slavery is one of those offences which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South, this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offence came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a Living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope–fervently do we pray–that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether”

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan–to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.

Thirty-five days later, the American Civil War would end, at Appomattox Court House.  Forty days after his speech, Abraham Lincoln lay dying of a bullet in his skull.  After a century and a half, some of those wounds have still not fully healed.  And some of the descendants of  those whom Lincoln sought to emancipate have re-established racial divisions, to the detriment of our nation and its people.  Yet, we do remain One Nation, under God, despite the efforts of the secular progressives on the far-left to render us otherwise.

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What Sox and Jackass are Plotting for the Rest of the World

You’ve been warned.  A world where bastid cats outnumber humans six to one…..  A whole enslaved class of people whose menial tasks include cleaning litter boxes and opening cans, vacuuming up hair, cleaning cat-barf…..

They MUST be stopped!

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What a Statesman Sounds Like

The contrast with our President is stark indeed.  A clear and rational petition for the safety and existence of his nation and his people.

Small wonder that Obama and the far-left Democrats objected so much to Netanyahu’s appeal for the survival of Israel.  We get the Cairo speech, and “don’t insult Islam”.

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What’s some of the reaction to Netanyahu’s speech from the Arab world?

Tzvi Yechezkieli, the Arab affairs expert of Channel 10, said that many Arab commentators supported the content of Netanyahu’s speech. He cited a commentator on Al-Arabiya TV, who had said that he could have written a large part of the speech.

Yechezkieli said that the Arab countries are convinced that Obama will not safeguard their security interests in the current negotiations with Iran and will not protect them against Iranian aggression.

The above is not isolated opinion, either.  There was this on Bibi’s speech at AIPAC:

Yesterday, Faisal J. Abbas, the powerful Editor-in-Chief of Al Arabiya English, published an editorial under the headline: “President Obama, listen to Netanyahu on Iran.” Abbas’ editorial was a reaction to Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC yesterday.

He wrote: “In just a few words, Mr. Netanyahu managed to accurately summarize a clear and present danger, not just to Israel (which obviously is his concern), but to other U.S. allies in the region.”

The Saudi Daily Al-Jazirah published an article written by Dr. Ahmad Al-Faraj, who supported Netanyahu’s decision to speak to the U.S. Congress against the upcoming deal with Iran. He called Obama “one of the worst American presidents” and said that Netanyahu’s campaign against the deal is justified because it also serves the interests of the Gulf States.

Barack Obama and his fellow travelers seem to be the only ones, aside from Iran, that were critical of the Prime Minister’s address.

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Well, that’s interesting.

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