Category Archives: News

OUR FLAG MATTERS

So we raise her up every morning. And we bring her down slow every night. We don’t let her touch the ground, and we fold her up right. On second thought, I do like to brag, ‘cause I’m mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag.” – Johnny Cash

In just about every small town USA throughout the country, it is not uncommon to see almost every house displaying Old Glory in front of it. Fifty stars and thirteen bars flapping in the breeze. Every time I pull up to my house, the American Flag we have mounted on our front porch definitely has that warm, home grown feeling to it. For some time now, there has been a challenge on social media called the, “Eric Sheppard Challenge” where people stomp on and desecrate the American flag. Although my (and many others like me) initial reaction is to want to go up to these people and curb stomp them, I take a step back and think to myself, how in the hell did we come to this point?

I always had a theory that the Vietnam style viewpoint never truly went away. It’s been hiding beneath the surface just waiting to rear its ugly face again. Since the Vietnam War ended, the sentiments and attitudes people back home had towards the war and the soldiers returning home, seemed to have blossomed once more. Only this time instead of burning draft cards on college campuses and holding anti-war rallies, people from far and wide have decided to participate in this social media challenge.

I bet a majority of these people don’t know that in some countries outside the U.S, they kill their own citizens for far less things and I can’t even begin to imagine what they would do for trampling on their own country’s flag. The good thing about the First Amendment is that it gives you the right to desecrate the Flag of our Constitutional Republic as freedom of expression but keep in mind that you’re freedom of expression is no more valid than that of those who will call you a disrespectful cunt or just flat out fucking stupid.

A lot of today’s youth that are taking part in this challenge, who were born a couple of years after 1990, are either too young to remember or were never even born when 9/11 happened. They weren’t sitting in the classroom and all of a sudden heard the principal come over the intercom and telling the whole school what had just happened. They didn’t come home afterwards, to our families being glued to the TV and seeing news story after news story of the iconic, terrifying images of the planes flying into the World Trade Center, the huge gaping fiery hole in the Pentagon and the ashes and rubble in that open field in Pennsylvania. Right then and there, we knew even as kids that our world would never be the same again. This is where the disconnect is I think between those of us who served in the GWOT and those who chose to go to college and never did and still would never consider serving.

As people who’ve been on the battlefield in far and austere distant lands, we have a deeper sense of appreciation for the very freedoms that a lot of folk back home seemingly take for granted in this day and age. Those very freedoms that have been paid for, since the founding of this Nation, with blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice by greater warfighters than you or I. The warfighters of today have first-hand knowledge of the selfless service, love, honor, respect and duty given to what so many people today consider, “just a piece of cloth.” That ragged old flag that these ignorant people today are so proud to stomp on and burn, fail to realize that that flag does not represent the current state of affairs in this country nor does it represent the established government. That flag, to us in the veteran community especially, represents an idea. A fundamental ideology of freedom since the founding of our Nation in 1776.

Listen, I get it as far as voicing your opinion and opposition against our government goes. I agree in challenging the status quo of our government and the policies set forth by our elected officials. I do not blindly follow the narrative that the government and the main stream media set in place for their sheeple to follow without question. If you were to ask the veteran community, we too as a whole do not fully agree upon the majority of policies put into action by both the politicians and military leadership. We are just as tired and fed up with living under an administration of government who have their own self-interest in mind and not the best interest of the We The People. We are just as tired and fed up with being pushed to the way side and not having our voices heard.

Seeing videos on YouTube and Facebook of ignorant zealots stomping on and burning of the American flag, all for the purposes of gaining their 5 minutes of internet fame initially does fill me with anger and hate, but it mainly fills me with sadness, fear and worry. That this country, the land I fought for and love so much, is seemingly imploding before my very eyes. That this is the country that my children and grandchildren will have to grow up in. Where, instead of being judged by their character and what’s really important, the only things that will matter are race, political affiliation and what name they may call God. They will see with their own eyes that instead of fighting our enemies, we are and probably will still be fighting amongst ourselves with no end resolution in sight.

But where there is evil, wherever there is fear and hopelessness, there is goodness to rise up against it. So moral of the story is: For those of you folk who want to burn and stomp that flag, remember that men and women of ALL races carried this flag into battle and fought for the freedoms you take advantage of today. True patriots, rise up and show what our flag is all about – hope, freedom, and unity regardless of race.…

LIONS DO NOT CONCERN THEMSELVES WITH THE OPINIONS OF SHEEP

“Lions do not concern themselves with the opinions of sheep.” – Unknown

While I am now watching American Sniper for the 5th or 6th time or so, there are people like twinkie guzzling fat boy Michael Moore and now apparently Seth Rogan, who are coming out of the woodwork to slander the name of an American hero, like Chris Kyle, with words which show their blind hatred. The qualities they attribute to him only show their own confusion and downright ignorance, and just how truly out of touch with reality these people are.

As most of you know, yesterday afternoon, documentary filmmaker and fatbody Michael Moore tweeted, “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot you in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse.” While fighting the overwhelming urge to throw my laptop across the room, I sat back thought to myself how funny and ironic it is almost, for this man to spew this kind of ignorant vile, when he himself has never had to sacrifice anything a day in his life. Kind of funny coming from the same person who hates Capitalism but became very rich from using it. Hypocrisy much? People like Michael Moore and Seth Rogan weep for our enemies and curse others like Chris Kyle.

It’s like Chris Kyle’s dad said in the movie, “There are three types of people in this world: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. Some people prefer to believe that evil doesn’t exist in the world, and if it ever darkened their doorstep, they wouldn’t know how to protect themselves. Those are the sheep.”

Obviously people like Michael Moore have certainly never read “On Killing” or “On Combat” written by Retired U.S. Army Ranger and West Point Psychology Professor Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. In his book “On Combat, Lt. Col Grossman discusses what he calls “the gift of aggression.” He goes on to describe said gift in human life as “Everyone has been given a gift in life. Some people have a gift for science and some have a flair for art. And warriors have been given the gift of aggression. They would no more misuse this gift than a doctor would misuse his healing arts, but they yearn for the opportunity to use their gift to help others. These people, the ones who have been blessed with the gift of aggression and a love for others, are our sheepdogs. These are our warrior.”

He further explains how people in modern day society are broken down into 3 categories. “They’re are Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial; that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids’ schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid’s school. Our children are dozens of times more likely to be killed, and thousands of times more likely to be seriously injured, by school violence than by school fires, but the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their children is just too hard, so they choose the path of denial. The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours. Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn’t tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, “Baa.”

People like Michael Moore, Seth Rogan, celebrities and critics alike are most definitely the sheep in today’s society. They go about their daily lives without a care in the world, never thinking about the true evil that hides in the shadows. Because of their fame and fortune, they walk with impunity and turn their noses down at anyone who they so choose, without the slightest fear of consequence. It’s easy for them to criticize and point fingers from their million dollar lake front homes. I hate to think of these people actually doing something honorable by serving something greater than themselves.

They spew their hate, because Chris Kyle represents the accounting that comes to all who’s hatred leads to his necessity, those like them. But not to worry Michael & Seth, thankfully there are people like Chris Kyle and Michael Murphy and Marcus Luttrell who bare that burden and make those sacrifices so you don’t have to.…

SEVEN MYTHS ABOUT “WOMEN IN COMBAT”

Written by G.S. Newbold, Lieutenant General, USMC (Ret.)

Myth #1 – “It’s about women in combat

No, it’s not. Women are already in combat, and are serving well and professionally. The issue should be more clearly entitled, “Women in the infantry.” And this is a decidedly different proposition.

Myth #2 – “Combat has changed” (often accompanied by “There are no front lines anymore”).

This convenient misconception requires several counters. First, any serious study of military history will reveal numerous historical examples about how successive generations (over millennia) believed that warfare had changed forever, only to find that technology may change platforms, but not its harsh essence. To hope that conflicts over the last 20 years are models of a new, antiseptic form of warfare is delusional.

The second point is that the enemy gets a vote – time, place, and style. For example, war on the Korean Peninsula would be a brutal, costly, no-holds-barred nightmare of mayhem in close combat with casualties in a week that could surpass the annual total of recent conflict.

The final point on this myth reinforces the Korea example and it bears examination — Fallujah, Iraq in 2004, where warfare was reduced to a horrific, costly, and exhausting scrap in a destroyed city between two foes that fought to the death.

The standard for ground combat unit composition should be whether social experimentation would have amplified our opportunity for success in that crucible, or diminished it. We gamble with our future security when we set standards for warfare based on the best case, instead of the harshest one.

Myth #3 – “If they pass the physical standards, why not?”

Physical standards are important, but not nearly all of the story. Napoleon – “The moral (spirit) is to the physical as three is to one.”

Unit cohesion is the essence of combat power, and while it may be convenient to dismiss human nature for political expediency, the facts are that sexual dynamics will exist and can affect morale. That may be manageable in other environments, but not in close combat.

Any study of sexual harassment statistics in this age cohort – in the military, academia, or the civilian workplace — are evidence enough that despite best efforts to by sincere leaders to control the issue, human instincts remain strong. Perceptions of favoritism or harassment will be corrosive, and cohesion will be the victim.

Myth #4 – Standards won’t be lowered

This is the cruelest myth of all. The statements of the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are telling.

They essentially declare “guilty until proven innocent” on anyone attempting to maintain the standards which produced the finest fighting force in the world. There are already accommodations (note that unit cohesion won’t be a metric), there will be many more, and we will pay a bloody price for it someday.

Pity the truthful leader who attempts to hold to standards based on realistic combat factors, and tells truth to power. Most won’t, and the others won’t survive.

Myth #5 – “Opening the infantry will provide a better pathway to senior rank for the talented women.”

Not so. What will happen is that we will take very talented females with unlimited potential and change their peer norm when we inject them into the infantry.

Those who might meet the infantry physical standard will find that their peers are expected, as leaders, to far exceed it (and most of their subordinates will, as well).

So instead of advancing to a level appropriate to their potential, they may well be left out.

Myth #6 – “It’s a civil rights issue, much like the integration of the armed forces and allowing gays to serve openly.”

Those who parrot this either hope to scare honest and frank discussion, or confuse national security with utopian ideas.

In the process, they demean initiatives that were to provide equally skilled individuals the opportunity to contribute equally. In each of the other issues, lowered standards were not the consequence.

Myth #7 – “It’s just fair.”

Allow me two points.

First, this is ground warfare we’re discussing, so realism is important.

“Fair” is not part of the direct ground combat lexicon.

Direct ground combat, such as experienced in the frozen tundra of Korea, the rubble of Stalingrad, or the endless 30-day jungle patrols against a grim foe in Viet Nam, is the harshest meritocracy — with the greatest consequences — there is.

And psychology in warfare is germane – the force that is respected (and, yes, feared) has a distinct advantage.

Will women in our infantry enhance a psychological advantage, or hinder it?

Second, if it’s about fairness, why do women get a choice of whether to serve in the infantry (when men do not), and why aren’t they required to register for the draft (as men are)?

It may be that we live in a society in which honest discussion of this issue, relying on facts instead of volume, is not possible. If so, our national security will fall victim to hope instead of reality. And myths be damned.

Gregory S. Newbold served 32 years as a Marine Infantry Officer, commanding units from Platoon Level to the entire 1st Marine Division. His final assignment before retiring was as director of operations for the Pentagon’s Joint Staff.

THE PUNISHMENT DOESN’T FIT THE CRIME

Let us start out by saying: No U.S. serviceman has received more than 24 months imprisonment for desertion or missing movement in the post-September 11, 2001 era.

Although, the maximum U.S. penalty for desertion in wartime remains death, this punishment was last applied to U.S. Army Soldier Eddie Slovik in 1945.

Reports state that since 2000, about 40,000 troops from all branches of the military have deserted, according to the Pentagon. More than half of these served in the U.S. Army. But, what makes Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl so unique is that he deserted within the theater of operations; with the intent to contact the Taliban. At least six U.S. soldiers were killed by Taliban fighters during the weeks-long search for Bergdahl, according to members of the former captive’s unit. Official military reports confirmed:

“An American Soldier with a camera is looking for someone who speaks English”

U.S. Army Sgt. Evan Buetow, who served in Bergdahl’s unit, said in a CNN interview. “There’s a lot more to this story than a soldier walking away.” Bergdahl’s “not a hero,” Buetow added in his CNN interview. “He needs to answer for what he did.”

Bergdahl is set to be charged with Desertion and denied his back-pay, reduced in rank, and receive a less than Honorable discharge. In our opinion, this is just a slap on the wrist in comparison to what he has done. Many reports indicate that not only did Bergdahl desert his post and seek out the Taliban, but he also provided strategic intelligence.

U.S. Army Specialist William Rentiers served alongside Bergdahl, and was also involved in the effort to find him after his disappearance. This is what he had to say:

“There was never a single doubt. No one ever doubted he (Bergdahl) was a deserter and we called him what he really was a defector​. I can’t prove it, but what happened after he joined the Taliban speaks for itself​​. The enemy changed and men died.  The enemy became more complex and more strategically accurate than they had ever been before.  It just seemed like we couldn’t get ahead of them anymore.” Rentiers continued; “Their attacks got so much more sophisticated and complex. There’s no way to prove that he gave them help. But there’s a whole lot of “huh” going on there like that just doesn’t seem right. So why is it all of a sudden these guys are getting better at it, and they seem like they know what we do.”

According to one of his captors and Afghan intelligence officials, The 24-year-old converted to Islam and took the Muslim name Abdullah. A Taliban deputy district commander in Paktika, who called himself Haji Nadeem, reported that Bergdahl taught him how to dismantle a mobile phone and turn it into a remote control for a roadside bomb.

Nadeem claimed he also received basic ambush training from the U.S. soldier. ‘Most of the skills he taught us we already knew,’ he said. ‘Some of my comrades think he’s pretending to be a Muslim to save himself so they wouldn’t behead him.’ Afghan intelligence officials also believe that Bergdahl is ‘cooperating with the Taliban’ and is acting as adviser to fighters at a base in the tribal area of Pakistan.

We can now conclude that U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl should be charged with several additional Articles under the UCMJ (Uniformed Code of Military Justice) and possibly charged under Title 18 U.S. Code § 2381 for Treason. For now, these are the Articles that we can confirm Bergdahl is guilty of.

Article 104 – Aiding the Enemy

Any person who—
(1) aids, or attempts to aid, the enemy with arms, ammunition, supplies, money, or other things; or
(2) without proper authority, knowingly harbors or protects or gives intelligence to, or communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly.

Article 99 – Misbehavior Before the Enemy

Any member of the armed forces who before or in the presence of the enemy—
(1) runs away;
(2) shamefully abandons, surrenders, or delivers up any command, unit, place, or military property which it is his duty to defend;
(3) through disobedience, neglect, or intentional misconduct endangers the safety of any such command, unit, place, or military property;
(4) casts away his arms or ammunition;
(5) is guilty of cowardly conduct;
(6) quits his place of duty to plunder or pillage;
(7) causes false alarms in any command, unit, or place under control of the armed forces;
(8) willfully fails to do his utmost to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy any enemy troops, combatants, vessels, aircraft, or any other thing, which it is his duty so to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy; or
(9) does not afford all practicable relief and assistance to any troops, combatants, vessels, or aircraft of the armed forces belonging to the United States or their allies when engaged in battle.

Article 92 – Failure to Obey Order or Regulation

Any person subject to this chapter who—
(1) violates or fails to obey any lawful general order or regulation;
(2) having knowledge of any other lawful order issued by a member of the armed forces, which it is his duty to obey, fails to obey the order; or
(3) is derelict in the performance of his duties.

Article 105 – Misconduct as Prisoner

Any person subject to this chapter who, while in the hands of the enemy in time of war—
(1) for the purpose of securing favorable treatment by his captors acts without proper authority in a manner contrary to law, custom, or regulation, to the detriment of others of whatever nationality held by the enemy as civilian or military prisoners; or
(2) while in a position of authority over such persons maltreats them without justifiable cause.

Article 85 – Desertion

(a) Any member of the armed forces who—
(1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently;
(2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or
(3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another one of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States; is guilty of desertion.
(b) Any commissioned officer of the armed forces who, after tender of his resignation and before notice of its acceptance, quits his post or proper duties without leave and with intent to remain away therefrom permanently is guilty of desertion.
(c) Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.

Bergdahl deserted his post, sought out the Taliban, and gave them sensitive information, ultimately resulting in the damage of national security and the death of six honorable soldiers.However, the biggest loss to national security is that the release of Bergdahl was a successful negotiation with terrorism. As the Taliban announced their success, a message was sent throughout the world that you can get anything you want in exchange for an American, even a traitor.…