Category Archives: army

Farewell, Concrete Charlie

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Sad news out of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania.  NFL great Chuck Bednarik has passed away at age 89.  Bednarik was the last of the “60 minute” players, starring at both center of offense, and middle linebacker on defense, for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1949-1962.  He played on the 1950 and 1960 championship teams, and was known as a fearsome tackler.  Nicknamed “Concrete Charlie” for both his tooth-jarring hits and his off-season job selling cement (imagine an NFL player today having to work?), Bednarik most famously crushed the New York Giants’ Frank Gifford with a clean hit, knocking him out of football for a year and a half.

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Here’s a little treat where another tough guy, Sam Huff, and Bednarik, talk about the play, courtesy of NFL Films:

He also made the game-saving tackle of the Packers’ Jimmy Taylor on the final play of the 1960 NFL Championship game.  When Bednarik retired in 1962, he had his number 60 retired, and he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967.

Chuck Bednarik grew up as a son of Slovakian immigrants, who worked in the Bethlehem Steel plant in Bethlehem PA.  He starred at Penn, where he also played both ways, and even punted on occasion.  He was a three-time All-America, and was drafted Number 1 overall by Philadelphia in the 1949 NFL draft.  He was incredibly durable.  Despite being on the field for nearly every play of every game, Bednarik only missed three games in fourteen seasons.  His fingers became almost famous, as well, pointing in all directions because of injury during his college and pro career.

Bednarik fingers

For his part, Bednarik did not think much of the modern game, believing players pampered and out of shape.  He lamented that nobody played both ways any longer, and that “specialists” who substituted on certain downs and situations showed how over-coached and under-skilled the game had become.

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Chuck Bednarik was also a decorated Veteran of World War II.  He enlisted in the US Army Air Forces upon graduating High School in 1943, and flew thirty missions as a waist gunner in a B-24 with the 8th Air Force over Germany, earning three Air Medals and four battle stars.  He was a legend, an icon, the prototypical American tough guy.  His like will not come along again.  Ever.  He will be missed by those who know the value of such men.

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Filed under Air Force, army, Around the web, Defense, guns, history

Movement to Contact

One of the key battlefield tasks is avoiding being surprised by the enemy. The way to do that is to maintain contact with him. If contact is lost, it should be reestablished as soon as practical.

The way to do this is known as Movement to Contact. As the video explains, this is an offensive task. In effect, it’s something like a hasty attack, except you don’t really know where you’ll be conducting the attack.

Mind you, careful analysis of the terrain, and a fair appreciation of the enemy order of battle can often give you a pretty good idea where contact is likely. 

A doctrinal  here- to fix an enemy is to place sufficient fires upon him as to preclude him from either disengaging, or maneuvering.

While the video is geared toward the Combined Arms Battalion, Movement to Contact is a mission that can be conducted by light forces as well. Indeed, even Attack Aviation does it. The tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP) differ somewhat, but the fundamentals are the same.

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Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

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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 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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He’s Dead, Jim. Leonard Nimoy, 83

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Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played the iconic Star Trek character Spock, has died at age 83.  His was a remarkable life and career.  He appeared in countless television and movie roles, including in Combat, The Twilight Zone, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and even Get Smart.  He narrated In Search Of, which was a great program.  He also had a sense of humor about himself, voicing his animated self on The Simpsons a couple of times.  Nimoy was also a Veteran, serving as a Sergeant in the US Army in the late 1950s.

He lived long, and he prospered.  RIP Spock.

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No, the Army doesn’t want the A-10.

We argued that some time ago the Army simply wasn’t interested in taking over the A-10 should the Air Force attempt to divest itself of the plane.

And before you say “well, fine, give ‘em to the Army” or Marines, or what have you, understand, neither service wants the A-10 so badly they they are willing to pick up those associated costs, nor incur the major doctrinal upheaval integration of the A-1o would entail. That doesn’t even get into where the Army or Marines would find the manpower to operate the Warthog. It simply will not happen.

And now, Army Secretary McHugh has made that official.

The U.S. Army has no interest in taking over the Air Force’s fleet of A-10 attack planes, even if it would save the venerable Cold War-era aircraft from the bone yard.

The service’s top civilian, Army Secretary John McHugh, rejected the idea of accepting hand-me-down A-10 Warthogs from the Air Force.

“No chance,” he said during a breakfast meeting with reporters on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. “That’s not even been a topic of casual conversation.”

“With our own aircraft fleet we’re taking some pretty dramatic steps to reconfigure and become more affordable, and the A-10 mission is not something we considered. That’s an Air Force mission as it should be and I’m sure the Air Force feels the same way,” McHugh said.

The Marines? They’ve leveraged the future of not just Marine Aviation, but the entire Marine Corps on the F-35B. They want nothing to do with the A-10.

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So Let’s Let ‘Em Have Nukes!

…what a great idea.

After all, just because they conduct naval maneuvers to practice sinking US warships is no reason to think they are hostile toward the United States.

Just like threatening to wipe Israel off the map is no indicator of any latent dislike of our ally.  More diplomatic success for our anti-American President.

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