Tag Archives: defense

Next Marine Commandant: It’s LtGen Rob Neller

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LtGen Robert Neller has been nominated to succeed Joe Dunford as the 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps.  Neller has more than 40 years of USMC service, has commanded at every level, and has plenty of combat experience.  He was also a semi-feared Captain Tactics Instructor some 29 years ago when Yours Truly was a Second Lieutenant at The Basic School.  He commanded the famous Sixth Marine Regiment in the late 1990s, and at his change of command spoke emotionally and eloquently of the traditions of our Corps, including the grim battle of Belleau Wood, where his 6th Marines (along with the 5th Marines) would win their distinctive fourragére with the famous Marine Brigade in 1918.

LtGen Neller leaps over two Generals, ACMC John Paxton, and John Kelly currently Commander SOUTHCOM.

He is also a grunt, heart and soul.  It has always been my opinion that the Marine Commandant ought to be an 0302 Infantry Officer.  The infantry is the backbone of our Corps, with every other MOS existing to support the ground-pounder.  No artillerymen, no tankers, no amtrackers.  Certainly no aviators.  Rob Neller certainly fills that requirement.

Semper Fidelis, and Godspeed, LtGen Neller.  Guide our beloved Corps through what are sure to be hard and challenging times.  Have us come out the other side as United States Marines, Marines that could fight and win Guadalcanal or the Chosin Reservoir, or Hue City, or Ramadi, if the nation required it once again.

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Kerry Drives a Hard Bargain With Iran

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The only time Iran should worry is if Kerry tells them, “If you like your centrifuges, you can keep your centrifuges.”

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June 25th, 1950

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Today marks the 65th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War.  Most of us here know that the war itself has not ended, that the DPRK and the ROK remain in a state of war, temporarily becalmed by an armistice signed in July of 1953.

The war was fought by Veterans of World War II, as well as their little brothers.  There were more than 36,000 US killed in action among the more than 130,000 American casualties in that war, many times the order of magnitude of Iraq and Afghanistan combined.  In just over three years.   There are lessons aplenty from that war regarding preparedness, combat training, leadership, and budget-driven assumptions.

There are several superlative works on the Korean War, fiction and non-fiction.  Here are some I recommend highly:

T. R. Fehrenbach’s This Kind of War

James Brady’s The Coldest War

Two Martin Russ works, The Last Parallel, and Breakout.

S. L. A. Marshall’s The River and the Gauntlet

Pat Frank’s magnificent novel Hold Back the Night

P. K. O’Donnell’s Give me Tomorrow

Clay Blair’s The Forgotten War

There are many, many others, including some incredibly good Army monographs, but those are among my favorites.  I lent out Marshall’s book some years ago (you know who you are!!) and never got it back.  So that may be my next purchase.

Anyway, the first test of the Strategy of Containment began in the early hours, sixty-five years ago this morning.

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I Suppose He’s Technically Correct…

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Kim Jong-un claims to have cured Aids, Ebola, Sars and Mers with single ‘miracle drug’

So say DPRK “officials”, the Daily Mirror reports.

Which, again, is technically correct.  I am thinking that, since the “miracle drug” is a 14.5mm heavy machine gun round delivered to the skull, not a one of those people treated with it will die of any of the diseases ol’ KJU mentions…

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Somewhere, Red Mike Edson is Smiling

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From Marine Corps Times:

An official flagging ceremony to rename Marine special operations battalions in honor of their World War II predecessors is set to take place June 19, MARSOC officials confirmed. The ceremony comes 10 months after the command first announced its plan to change the names of Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command’s component units to reflect their history.

The formal renaming was held up while Headquarters Marine Corps approved a bulletin announcing the upcoming change, said Capt. Barry Morris, a MARSOC spokesman. He said MARSOC’s headquarters in Sneads Ferry, North Carolina, also had to coordinate with its major subordinate elements to determine a date for the ceremony.

The Corps does a lot of goofy sh*t sometimes, but we do cherish our traditions.  Love the skull patch, too.  It will remind people that the job of the Raiders, and the USMC writ large, is to kill.  Destroy the enemy.

Semper Fi, Raiders!

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A Dose of Puppy Love!

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H/t: Fran

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A Scathing Indictment of the Wounded Warrior Project

Over on the porch.  Well worth the read.

I haven’t liked that organization for quite some time, mostly because of the way they portray wounded Veterans as being objects of pity.  Salamander puts it better than I have been able to.

an organization that uses the same visuals, tone and background music for those who fight our wars, that are are also used for starving African children … and at the same time squash local organizations using a huge legal budget.

Touché.

Here is some perspective, without minimizing the sacrifice.  The total US combat wounded in 13 years in Iraq and Afghanistan numbers around 52,000, with the vast majority being minor wounds with RTD (return to duty), such as mine were.  (Of the approximately 1,400 wounded suffered by 1st Marine Division in Anbar from February-September 2004, about 1,200 were RTD.  If those percentages hold for the larger number of 52,000, the total number with wounds serious enough to prevent a return to duty numbers around 7,500.)  We know that the number of traumatic amputations is fewer than 1,600.  This means, with just the last three years of donations, WWP has received enough money for almost $100,000 for each of the 7,500 seriously wounded Vets, or $457,000 for each traumatic amputee.  This is on top of the medical care and equipment provided by the VA for these Veterans.

With a CEO salary of almost half a million a year, the selling of donor lists, and this sort of reprehensible behavior:

According to a number of smaller groups, the Wounded Warrior Project…  has been spending a good deal of time and money suing other veteran-serving nonprofits on the basis that their names or logos constitute infringement on their brand.

I agree with Salamander, not a dime to WWP from me.  I will give to a smaller charity in a heartbeat.  One that does not make helping our wounded Veterans a “common business practice”, and one that does not intentionally harm others trying to give back to those who gave so much.

UPDATE:  XBradTC here. C0ncur all and endorse original message. There are many fine organizations to donate to, and it’s your money. But I would like to mention one that does have a sterling reputation, Fisher House.

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