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6 Facts Highlight Why We Need to Rebuild Our Military

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This is from The Daily Signal.

After reading this article I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach.

I knew there were bad problems with our military but I never realized how bad the problems are.

The Air Force’s B-52 bombers are an average of 53 years old. (Photo: U.S. Air Force/Reuters/Newscom)

The U.S. military seems to be breaking. Senior military leaders have made dire statements before Congress, and story after story is revealing the potentially deadly challenges facing our men and women in uniform.

As Congress considers the annual defense authorization bill, here are six clear, real-world examples of why Congress needs to use the defense bill to start rebuilding the U.S. military.

1. The Marine Corps is pulling parts off of museum planes to keep their F-18s flying. Even with that drastic action, only about 30 percent of their F-18s are ready to fly. Not only that, but instead of getting 25 or 30 hours a month in the cockpit, Marine Corps pilots are getting as little as four hours per month of flying time.

2. Only one-third of Army brigades are ready for combat. The Army has now fallen to the smallest level since before World War II, while the top Army general says that the Army would face “high military risk” if it were to fight a serious war.

3. The Air Force is cannibalizing parts from some F-16’s to keep other F-16’s flying and is pulling parts off museum planes to keep their B-1 bombers flying. And half of Air Force squadrons are not prepared for serious combat.

4. The Navy keeps extending deployments of its ships, but still doesn’t have enough to meet demand. While the Navy needs about 350 ships, today it only has 273.

5. Serious crashes of Marine Corps planes and helicopters arenearly double the 10-year average.

6. The Air Force’s B-52 bombers are an average of 53 years old. Most Americans would not want to drive across the country in a 53-year-old car (see example below), let alone go to combat in a 53-year-old airplane.

1963 Oldsmobile (Photo: David Chapman imageBROKER/Newscom)

1963 Oldsmobile (Photo: David Chapman image Broker/Newscom)

These six facts show the consequences of cutting the national defense budget by 25 percent over the last five years.

At the same time, threats are growing. Russia has invaded Ukraine and threatens more. China is building illegal islands. Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon and North Korea already has one. And we also face the real threat of terrorism and the growing threat of cyberattacks.

The bottom line is that Congress needs to start rebuilding the U.S. military. We can’t let this go much further.

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OBAMA’S MILITARY…. FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGED

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Hat Tip Firebird@SHE’S RIGHT.

Eight years ago, America had THE FINEST military in the world. Our Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps were the best there was.

Today…… not so much.
The U.S. military is shedding so many troops and weapons it is only “marginally able” to defend the nation and falls short of the Obama administration’s national security strategy, according to a report by The Heritage Foundation on Tuesday (2/24/15).  This article also states that our military can no longer fight two wars at once.http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/feb/24/us-military-decimated-under-obama-only-marginally-/?page=all

That’s only the beginning.  As part of Obama’s promise to ‘fundamentally change America’, he has fundamentally changed the American military… and it will never be the same again.

Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) was the official United States policy for military service by gays and lesbians, instituted by the Clinton Administration on February 28, 1994.  This was the camel’s nose under the tent.

President Barack Obama on Friday [7/22/2011] certified the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” the policy preventing gays from openly serving in the military.

“Our military will no longer be deprived of the talents and skills of patriotic Americans just because they happen to be gay or lesbian,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/43859711/ns/us_news-life/t/obama-certifies-end-militarys-gay-ban/

Closets flew open and LGBT service members came out.  Cool.  We now have military officers and enlisted personnel who CAN BE OPENLY GAY throughout the ranks of the military. No problems with HIV/AIDS? Seems there is a wee issue with the spread of HIV in the rank and file ….No problems with morale, right?  Ummmmmmm….

An order came down the chain of command (NOT from the CinC) that anyone with HIV must disclose that to all sex partners.  Makes sense, right?  Seems those who disobeyed the order were being kicked out of the military.  But wait…. the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) does not cover this.  [As an aside, the UCMJ hasn’t kept up with the world – Congress, in conjunction with the military lawyers propose/pass laws for the military and the CinC signs off on them.  This is a bit behind the times – go figure.]

Gavin B. Atchak’s commanding officer at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina ordered him to avoid unprotected sex after Atchak tested positive for HIV in 2011.The officer also directed Atchak, an enlisted man in the Air Force security forces, to inform future sex partners that he carried the virus that can cause AIDS.Atchak disobeyed and engaged in unprotected oral and anal sex with fellow airmen. At a subsequent court-martial, he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. Then the ground shifted.Now Atchak and others, including a former South Carolina-based airman, are caught amid changing times, as military prosecutors and defense lawyers alike sort through the evolving legal guidelines applicable to sexual activity among HIV-positive troops.While some 34 states have adopted criminal laws related to exposure to HIV, Congress has not done the same for the Uniform Code of Military Justice.Read more on this at the link below.  It’s an interesting analysis of current HIV laws in the military and in the civilian world.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/crime/article57147868.html

And lest we forget….

PFC Bradley Manning was sentenced in August 2013 to 35 years in prison for giving hundreds of thousands of secret documents to Wikileaks.  This CONVICTED leaker of security intel, now known as Chelsea Manning, has begun a physical transition from male to female at Fort Leavenworth prison. Authorities say it is ‘medically appropriate and necessary.’ Manning is the first Army member to receive hormone therapy at the military’s expense.

Help me with this.  Manning – a traitor – is getting sex change therapy IN LEAVENWORTH???  Something he could not begin to afford if he had gotten an honorable discharge???  I only have one comment on this.  WHAT THE F**K!!!!  A traitor……. Is getting sex change therapy – IN A MILITARY PRISON????  AT GOVERNMENT (a/k/a taxpayers’) EXPENSE.  This is President Obama’s military…… fundamentally changed.

Bradley…………………………… or Chelsea Manning

Moving right along…

Women have been in the military for many years.  They are capable and if they can meet the qualifications, there is no reason they should NOT be in the military.  But in my mind – women have absolutely no business in a combat role.  They are NOT capable of matching the strength and endurance of a man.  A 125 pound woman no matter what great shape she is in, is physically INCAPABLE of dragging her 225 pound fellow combatant out of harms’ way.  There is no shame in that – they just do not have the strength.

The CinC decided women could become Army rangers, and 20 were accepted into the ranger course at Ft. Benning, GA.  Two graduated… but they were NOT treated like their male counterparts.  Males going through ranger school are allowed ONE shot at repeating a phase.  For instance, if they are injured in one of the phases, they will be given ONE re-do. The women were allowed multiple repeats during the course because there was an unspoken ‘MANDATE’ that A WOMAN WOULD GRADUATE AND WOULD GET THE COVETED RANGER TAB.  Check this off the to-do list, Mr. President.

http://www.people.com/article/female-ranger-school-graduation-planned-advance

Below is a recent example of a woman in a combat role.  Less than a month ago, 10 American Navy personnel (one was a woman) were taken hostage by the Iranians.  These nine honorable men are protecting that woman – see where she is in the picture below…. she’s in the corner and they are all between her and the enemy.  Honorable?  Protecting the woman?  YUP….A distraction in a crisis?  For sure!

Troop morale….. is it a problem?  It is.  But surprisingly, it’s not about salaries or deployments.  It’s because of the senior leadership, who has apparently lost the confidence and support of those of lower rank.  In his newly released book ‘A Passion for Leadership’, former SecDef Robert Gates opines that President Obama does not listen to the advice of his MILITARY leaders, but listens only to the advisers he has surrounded himself who are completely, totally CLUELESS about the ways of all things military.  Gates says all of Obama’s MILITARY decisions are based on POLITICS.

[Ed. Note:  In my opinion Obama is the biggest cause of poor morale in the military and for those who have LEFT the military because of how his administration has done NOTHING to improve the plight of service men and women by perpetuating the joke that is the VA system!  And it IS a joke!]

http://taskandpurpose.com/real-reason-poor-state-military-morale/

Anyway…

CONCLUSION:  The greatest fighting force in the history of the world… has become a disgusting social experiment.  And the Commander-in-Chief is smiling at THIS ‘fundamental change’ of something that was (past tense) truly representative of what this country stood for.

Report: Pentagon to destroy $1B in ammunition

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This is from USA Today.

One more example of  how big of a cluster truck the Pentagon is.

Why no instead of  destroy the ammo just keep it for the troops?

Or better yet put it  for sale to the public?

 

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon plans to destroy more than $1 billion worth of ammunition although some of those bullets and missiles could still be used by troops, according to the Pentagon and congressional sources.

It’s impossible to know what portion of the arsenal slated for destruction — valued at $1.2 billion by the Pentagon — remains viable because the Defense Department’s inventory systems can’t share data effectively, according to a Government Accountability Office report obtained by USA TODAY.

The result: potential waste of unknown value.

There is a huge opportunity to save millions, if not billions of dollars if the (Pentagon) can make some common-sense improvements to how it manages ammunition,” said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “Despite years of effort, the Army, Navy and Air Force still don’t have an efficient process for doing something as basic as sharing excess bullets. This Government Accountability Office (GAO) report clearly shows that our military’s antiquated systems lead to millions of dollars in wasteful ammunition purchases.”

The Army and Pentagon, in a statement, acknowledged “the need to automate the process” and will make it a priority in future budgets. In all, the Pentagon manages a stockpile of conventional ammunition worth $70 billion.

The effect of inaccurate accounting of ammunition for troops at war was outside the scope of the study. However, there were limited supplies at times of .50-caliber machine gun and 9mm handgun ammunition at the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a senior military officer who spoke on condition of anonymity to talk about the issue.

“We simply cannot afford this type of waste and ineffectiveness,” Carper said. “The (Pentagon) has a responsibility to efficiently manage its ammunition stocks, not only because it is important to be fiscally responsible, but also because our antiquated ammunition inventory systems can shortchange our war fighters and compromise their ability to complete their mission.”

Other key findings from the report:

• The services have inventory systems for ammunition that cannot share data directly despite working for decades to develop a single database. Only the Army uses the standard Pentagon format; “the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps operate with formats that are obsolete.”

• The services hold an annual conference to share information about surplus ammunition and swap bullets and other munitions as needed. Data about ammunition left over after the meeting disappears from the books, resulting in an unknown amount of good bullets headed to the scrap heap.

• The Army, although required by regulation, had not reported annually on its missile stockpile until last month, shortly before the GAO study was to be released.

The report illustrates the obsolete nature of the Pentagon’s inventory systems for ammunition. A request for ammunition from the Marine Corps, for example, is e-mailed to the Army. The e-mail is printed out and manually retyped into the Army system because the services cannot share data directly. Not only is this time consuming, but it can introduce errors — by an incorrect keystroke, for example.

Waste, buying new ammunition while usable stockpiles exist, can occur “because the Army does not report information on all available and usable items,” the report states. The annual conference among the services — although it saves about $70 million per year, according to the Pentagon — is inadequate. The services, in fiscal year 2012, exchanged 44 million items, including 32 million bullets for machine guns and pistols.

“Specifically, the Army’s report does not include information from prior years about usable ammunition that was unclaimed by another service and stored for potential foreign military sales or slated for potential disposal,” the report says.

Missiles are another source for concern, the report notes. The Army has an inventory of missiles, including Stingers, Javelins and Hellfires, that has totaled more than $14 billion in recent years. Hellfire missiles have been a weapon of choice for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in the CIA-run Predator and Reaper drone missions to kill terrorists in places like Yemen.

The GAO found that the Army and its missile command “do not contribute to required annual report.” The reason, Army officials told investigators, is that it “rarely has items to offer for redistribution.”

Without its cooperation, the Army “risks others services spending additional funds to procure missiles that are already unused and usable in the Army’s stockpile.”

The Army, in a statement, said that it began offering that information to the other services last month.

In its recommendations, the GAO urged Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to require the Army to make known information on all available for use by all services.

 

Is US Mainstream Media Misreporting What is Happening in Crimea? Our Source Says “Yes” 9

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This is from Freedom Outpost.

The Obama Media has lied to help prop up the Lying King.

 

I received an email yesterday from a friend of mine who is in the Navy. He is concerned with some misinformation that is being reported in American media and some of that certainly trickles down. Like most small publications we rely on getting our information from limited sources and sometimes those sources are not accurate.

In light of CNN and BBC being caught red-handed manufacturing false reports in Syria, I must certainly concede that my Naval friend is a more reliable source than some of the media outlets. And if one of the big outlets passes bad information it tends to go viral throughout the blogosphere. So for what it is worth, here is his report:

 

Over the last few days several articles have come out regarding the situation in Crimea. One article talked about Russian troop movements and showed a map with troop and vehicle indicators on it, and here’s what I’d like say about those articles. Who exactly counted the tanks and vehicles as they rolled off of the transport planes? Who chose to hang around during an invasion by a foreign armed force? How accurate and trustworthy are these reports?

I saw a report of a Russian corvette off of the coast, as well as a hover craft operating on the peninsula. For those of you not well versed in the different kinds of warships out there, a corvette is a small ship, barely more than a patrol craft in most cases. A hover craft might be big, but are normally never armed with more than one or two .50 caliber (12.5mm) machine guns. Nothing to really worry about in a naval sense, worry when the rest of the Black Sea Fleet arrives.

A report I have personally been able to do some investigation on, and legitimately call into question it’s accuracy, is a report that 10 Ukrainian warships have turned and sided with Russia, but according to “Jane’s Fighting Ships” the Ukrainians do not even have 10 warships. Patrol craft and minesweepers yes, but those can only be called warships under an exaggerated definition of the word warship.

I can also tell you for a fact, because i saw it with my own two eyes, that at the time of said report a Ukrainian frigate (the next size up in warship from a corvette) one of the few they have was not far from the Greek island of Crete, and it was flying a Ukrainian ensign at the time. The hull number for any interested was U130.

I write this article because I believe that some aspects of these reports we have been getting are misleading, whether intentionally so or not I will not say, however from this sailor’s stand point, Russia needs to be prevented from interferring with the Ukraine, they need to fight it out themselves, and the rest of us need to accept the outcome regardless of what it is. If the US, UN, or NATO take any form of military action, it should be solely against Russian armed forces, and not pro-Moscow Ukrainians.

Fair winds and Following seas Patriots.

-John Paul Jones

 

“John Paul Jones” goes by an alias for obvious reasons. He can’t put his career in jeopardy and he is very much on our side. The current administration would not be very understanding of a Patriot-Sailor.

In my opinion, the misreporting goes back to the whole “useful idiot” theory. Sometimes the alternative media is unknowingly acting as a tool of the “powers that be.” The best thing we can do is continue to search for truth and try to maintain the highest level of accuracy possible. With that said there is no doubt that sometimes we are caught up in being a propaganda machine just like all other media.

The difference is that when we become aware of it we will correct ourselves and try to navigate back toward the truth. There is no doubt in my mind that there have been some intentional leaks of false or over-hyped information. Without seeing it with our own two eyes, we rely on sources that we feel are credible and sometimes the truth is not quite as we see it.

Would it surprise you if the media is sensationalizing Crimea? Though I can’t put full faith in a Russian News source (which may show national bias), here is something to think about from RT.com:

Ukraine’s statement at the UN that ‘16,000 Russian soldiers had been deployed’ across Crimea sparked a MSM feeding frenzy that steadfastly ignored any hard facts that got in their way.

Especially unwelcome is the fact that the so-called ‘invasion force’ has been there for 15 years already.

The media many trust described in hysterical tones how the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was under a full-scale Russian invasion with headlines like: “Ukraine says Russia sent 16,000 troops to Crimea”, “Ukraine crisis deepens as Russia sends more troops into Crimea,” as well as “What can Obama do about Russia’s invasion of Crimea?”

Would the Ukrainian government blatantly lie about the happenings in Crimea? If you don’t think they would you might want to think about who has been instrumental in the regime change that is happening.

The truth likely lies somewhere between Russian and American media reports.

This is the frustration of getting to the truth. This is why I do what I do, even though there are days I’d like to quit. There are times I end up embarrassed from passing along information that ends up later being false. But we will never do it intentionally and we will fight to expose the truth because people awakening to the truth is the only thing that can save America.
Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/03/us-mainstream-media-misreporting-happening-crimea-source-says-yes/#Gc81pfe2jFzVD0SG.99

The United States Navys Anchors Aweigh

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Connecticut man fights Navy for return of WWII sailor’s remains

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This is from Fox News.

Edwin Hopkins should be able to rest with  family.

Edwin Hopkins gave his last full measure of devotion for

His comrades and Hls nation.

We owe it to Edwin Hopkins to return his remains home.

 

hopkins-split.jpg

Edwin Hopkins, left, sits with his mother and father in an undated photograph prior to Hopkins joining the Navy. (TOM GRAY)

Nearly 72 years after his second cousin was killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Tom Gray is still fighting for the remains of the Navy fireman buried half a world away.

Gray, of Guilford, Conn., and his relatives want to bury 3rd Class Fireman Edwin Hopkins in a family cemetery in his hometown of Keene, N.H. The remains of Hopkins, who was 19 when he was killed in the engine room on the USS Oklahoma in 1941, were designated as unknown by the Navy and remain in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii — also known as the “Punchbowl” — along with the remains of five other veterans.

“We just want him returned to his family, that’s what this is all about,” Gray, 64, told FoxNews.com. “This boy deserves to rest with his mother and father. It’s a burden and we want closure.”

 

The entire process to retrieve Hopkins’ remains has been tedious and agonizingly slow, Gray said. After providing mitochondrial DNA as proof of relation following a request from Navy officials, the remaining issue is the sanctity of the graves, he said.

Gray’s campaign for the remains has included letters to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, local elected officials and U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. He has also obtained documentation indicating that Hopkins’ remains were uncovered and buried in the Halawa Navy Cemetery in 1943. Six years later, it was recommended that Hopkins’ remains be transferred to another gravesite along with his identity, but an anthropologist refused to sign the certificate because she didn’t have all of the remains to make a full identification. Hopkins’ remains were ultimately transferred as unknown, Gray said.

“I’m doing everything I can to put pressure on them,” he said. “I know it’s an expensive process, but you know they have the means to do it.”

Further complicating matters, Gray said he has also been told by Navy officials that they do not want to disturb the sanctity of the graves in the casket in Hawaii.

“That’s still the case,” Navy spokeswoman Sarah Flaherty told the New Haven Register. “The grave has been disturbed a number of times. We don’t want to keep doing that.”

State Sen. Edward Meyer, D-Guilford, is now assisting Gray to connect with local lawmakers to “make a pitch” to Navy officials to exhume the remains, the newspaper reports.

Flaherty said plans for a USS Oklahoma memorial are now being discussed, but that won’t satisfy Gray and his mission to provide a final resting place for his second cousin.

“It’s something that I really want to happen,” he said. “Let’s put it this way: I’m 64 and if I live to be 84, I’m going to work on it that long. The honorable and moral thing to do is to identify this man.”

 

 

Navy SEALs ordered to remove ‘don’t tread on me’ Navy Jack from uniforms

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This is from The Daily Caller.

More crap to destroy morale among the Seals and

the military.

How much more damage can the Obama Regime do too

the military and their morale?

Naval Jack of the United States.svg

The Navy Jack is the ‘don’t tread on me’ flag, one that has earned a revered place in America’s naval history and a beloved place in sailor’s hearts, through its use for over two centuries. This symbol of America’s naval ferocity has spanned our country’s entire existence, flying from the masts of the Continental Navy during the war of independence, to today’s War on Terror. In fact, an amendment to the Navy code called SECNAV Instruction 10520.6 clearly states that as of 31 May 2002 all ships are to fly the flag throughout the duration of the War on Terror.

So why would ranking SEAL commanders ban the historical symbol? Is the proverbial top bass banning the flag? Is President Obama?

Clearly the administration and sycophant “top brass” officers have degraded America’s military prestige; from hand-tying rules of engagement, to uniform regulations that make our military allegedly more compatible with foreign forces, to the banning of an awe-inspiring flag that traces its roots to the first U.S. Navy. We have a civilian-led military, but why should our ranking commanders be complicit in the administration’s war on it? Why don’t they stand up to Obama and his leftist cronies?

During my two deployments to Iraq, “Don’t  Tread on Me” was a phrase seen on nearly every uniform and platoon space — including mine. From patches to flags to large paintings on concrete barriers, our commanders themselves wore the insignia on their sleeves — until now.

Perhaps this is why so many of my former teammates felt compelled to send me the email below. They may not be able to expose the administration’s travesty, but I can. The email, dated October 22, reads:

ALL:

WARCOM and GROUP TWO/ONE have pushed out the uniform policy for NWU III and any patches worn on the sleeve.

All personnel are only authorized to wear the matching “AOR” American Flag patch on the right shoulder.  You are no longer authorized to wear the “Don’t Tread On Me” patch.

Again the only patch authorized for wear is the American flag on the right shoulder. Please pass the word to all

Thanks

Senior Enlisted Advisor

[Name Redacted]

After reading the email, I first wondered, ‘why?’ (Actually, first I headed to the gym to take out my frustration and anger on some unsuspecting weights with the fury and intensity only a former Navy SEAL can exert.) Why would our leaders sell out our heritage? Why would they rob present and future sailors of our battle cry?

When a friend of mine asked his leadership the same question, he was told, “The Jack is too closely associated with radical groups.” We must assume that this thought policeman embedded in the SEAL community is speaking of the Tea Party, whose flag (which also dates from the American Revolution) depicts a snake with the same defiant slogan as The Navy Jack.

This begs yet another question: Who defines “radical group”? The last time I checked, all military personnel are under oath to “support and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” The Tea Party stands for constitutional rights and founding principles of civil liberties and limited government. Radical? Not unless you’re a leftist hell-bent on destroying the foundations of our country. Or as the President has stated as the objective of his presidency, “to fundamentally transform” America.

My friends asked me what they should do about this order. I answer them by saying, “You took an oath to defend this country from enemies foreign and domestic. Will you put your career before country? Will you put your career before your sacred oath?” I cannot tell anyone how to respond. I can tell you though that an enemy — foreign or domestic — that tries to take the Navy Jack from my uniform could only do so by ripping the patriotic patch from the uniform of my cold, dead body.

We all have choices to make. The Obama administration and the yes-men top brass have decided to wage war on our Navy’s heritage. Will the SEALs choose to defend that heritage and defy them, with all the impertinence the flag’s slogan implies? Or will they be tread upon?

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/11/01/navy-seals-ordered-to-remove-dont-tread-on-me-navy-jack-from-uniforms/#ixzz2jizzQROS

More Purging? 3 More Big Military Brass Thrown Under Obama’s Bus? Inc. NVY CMNDR, All Arrested For “Bribery Scheme”

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Hat tip Mad Jewess.

Is this a Stalin purge?

I can not help thinking it is.

 

More Purging? 3 More Big Military Brass Thrown Under Obama’s Bus? Inc. NVY CMNDR, All  Arrested For “Bribery Scheme

When a tyrant is in power, a free people must question all and any of his actions.

So far, this is 20 big military men (total) under Obama’s bus of Stalinesque style purges…  Is it really a bribery scheme (below)?   I have never seen this many Commanders, Generals and Navy men ‘relieved.’   EVER.    It is possible that there was a scheme involved in this ‘scheme’.  But, I don’t believe or trust one, single thing that the administration tells us–not one thing. Zero, zilch, nada. So, I leave it upo to you to question.  Just remember one thing:  Obama said the military is HIS military.. NOT ours:  Whose army? 

So, purging will commence if the obedience Obama demands is not met.  That’s my opinion..

The U.S. Navy is being rocked by a bribery scandal that federal investigators say has reached high into the officer corps and exposed a massive overbilling scheme run by an Asian defense contractor that provided prostitutes and other kickbacks.

Click to read it-Bribery scandal rocks Navy

“MY MILITARY”

Barack HUSSEIN Al Obama

 

Worth a read…

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Hat Tip to Old NFO.

 

Presented without comment…

HEROES OF THE VIETNAM GENERATION by Jim Webb

The rapidly disappearing cohort of Americans that endured the Great Depression and then fought World War II is receiving quite a send-off from the leading lights of the so-called 60s generation. Tom Brokaw has published two oral histories of “The Greatest Generation” that feature ordinary people doing their duty and suggest that such conduct was historically unique.

Chris Matthews of “Hardball” is fond of writing columns praising the Navy service of his father while castigating his own baby boomer generation for its alleged softness and lack of struggle. William Bennett gave a startling condescending speech at the Naval Academy a few years ago comparing the heroism of the “D-Day Generation” to the drugs-and-sex nihilism of the “Woodstock Generation.” And Steven Spielberg, in promoting his film “Saving Private Ryan,” was careful to justify his portrayals of soldiers in action based on the supposedly unique nature of World War II.

An irony is at work here. Lest we forget, the World War II generation now being lionized also brought us the Vietnam War, a conflict which today’s most conspicuous voices by and large opposed, and in which few of them served. The “best and brightest” of the Vietnam age group once made headlines by castigating their parents for bringing about the war in which they would not fight, which has become the war they refuse to remember.

Pundits back then invented a term for this animus: the “generation gap.” Long, plaintive articles and even books were written examining its manifestations. Campus leaders, who claimed precocious wisdom through the magical process of reading a few controversial books, urged fellow baby boomers not to trust anyone over 30. Their elders who had survived the Depression and fought the largest war in history were looked down upon as shallow, materialistic and out of touch.

Those of us who grew up, on the other side of the picket line from that era’s counter-culture can’t help but feel a little leery of this sudden gush of appreciation for our elders from the leading lights of the old counter-culture. Then and now, the national conversation has proceeded from the dubious assumption that those who came of age during Vietnam are a unified generation in the same sense as their parents were and thus are capable of being spoken for through these fickle elites.

In truth, the “Vietnam generation” is a misnomer. Those who came of age during that war are permanently divided by different reactions to a whole range of counter-cultural agendas and nothing divides them more deeply than the personal ramifications of the war itself. The sizable portion of the Vietnam age group who declined to support the counter-cultural agenda, and especially the men and women who opted to serve in the military during the Vietnam War, are quite different from their peers who for decades have claimed to speak for them. In fact, they are much like the World War II generation itself. For them, Woodstock was a side show, college protestors were spoiled brats who would have benefited from having to work a few jobs in order to pay their tuition, and Vietnam represented not an intellectual exercise in draft avoidance, or protest marches but a battlefield that was just as brutal as those their fathers faced in World War II and Korea.

Few who served during Vietnam ever complained of a generation gap. The men who fought World War II were their heroes and role models. They honored their father’s service by emulating it, and largely agreed with their father’s wisdom in attempting to stop Communism’s reach in Southeast Asia.

The most accurate poll of their attitudes (Harris, 1980) showed that 91 percent were glad they’d served their country, 74 percent enjoyed their time in the service, and 89 percent agreed with the statement that “our troops were asked to fight in a war which our political leaders in Washington would not let them win.” And most importantly, the castigation they received upon returning home was not from the World War II generation, but from the very elites in their age group who supposedly spoke for them.

Nine million men served in the military during Vietnam War, three million of whom went to the Vietnam Theater. Contrary to popular mythology, two-thirds of these were volunteers, and 73 percent of those who died were volunteers.

While some attention has been paid recently to the plight of our prisoners of war, most of whom were pilots; there has been little recognition of how brutal the war was for those who fought it on the ground.

Dropped onto the enemy’s terrain 12,000 miles away from home, America’s citizen-soldiers performed with a tenacity and quality that may never be truly understood. Those who believe the war was fought incompletely on a tactical level should consider Hanoi’s recent admission that 1.4 million of its soldiers died on the battlefield, compared to 58,000 total U.S. dead.

Those who believe that it was a “dirty little war” where the bombs did all the work might contemplate that is was the most costly war the U.S. Marine Corps has ever fought: five times as many dead as World War I, three times as many dead as in Korea, and more total killed and wounded than in all of World War II.

Significantly, these sacrifices were being made at a time the United States was deeply divided over our effort in Vietnam. The baby-boom generation had cracked apart along class lines as America’s young men were making difficult, life-or-death choices about serving. The better academic institutions became focal points for vitriolic protest against the war, with few of their graduates going into the military. Harvard College, which had lost 691 alumni in World War II, lost a total of 12 men in Vietnam from the classes of 1962 through 1972 combined. Those classes at Princeton lost six, at MIT two. The media turned ever more hostile. And frequently the reward for a young man’s having gone through the trauma of combat was to be greeted by his peers with studied indifference of outright hostility.

What is a hero? My heroes are the young men who faced the issues of war and possible death, and then weighed those concerns against obligations to their country. Citizen-soldiers who interrupted their personal and professional lives at their most formative stage, in the timeless phrase of the Confederate Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery, “not for fame of reward, not for place or for rank, but in simple obedience to duty, as they understood it.” Who suffered loneliness, disease, and wounds with an often-contagious élan. And who deserve a far better place in history than that now offered them by the so-called spokesmen of our so-called generation.

Mr. Brokaw, Mr. Matthews, Mr. Bennett, Mr. Spielberg, meet my Marines. 1969 was an odd year to be in Vietnam. Second only to 1968 in terms of American casualties, it was the year made famous by Hamburger Hill, as well as the gut-wrenching Life cover story showing pictures of 242 Americans who had been killed in one average week of fighting. Back home, it was the year of Woodstock, and of numerous anti-war rallies that culminated in the Moratorium march on Washington. The My Lai massacre hit the papers and was seized upon the anti-war movement as the emblematic moment of the war.

Lyndon Johnson left Washington in utter humiliation. Richard Nixon entered the scene, destined for an even worse fate. In the An Hoa Basin southwest of Danang, the Fifth Marine Regiment was in its third year of continuous combat operations. Combat is an unpredictable and inexact environment, but we were well led. As a rifle platoon and company commander, I served under a succession of three regimental commanders who had cut their teeth in World War II, and four different battalion commanders, three of whom had seen combat in Korea. The company commanders were typically captains on their second combat tour in Vietnam, or young first lieutenants like myself who were given companies after many months of “bush time” as platoon commanders in the Basin’s tough and unforgiving environs.

The Basin was one of the most heavily contested areas in Vietnam, its torn, cratered earth offering every sort of wartime possibility. In the mountains just to the west, not far from the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the North Vietnamese Army operated an infantry division from an area called Base Area 112. In the valleys of the Basin, main-force Viet Cong battalions whose ranks were 80 percent North Vietnamese Army regulars moved against the Americans every day. Local Viet Cong units sniped and harassed. Ridgelines and paddy dikes were laced with sophisticated booby traps of every size, from a hand grenade to a 250-pound bomb. The villages sat in the rice paddies and tree lines like individual fortresses, crisscrossed with the trenches and spider holes, their homes sporting bunkers capable of surviving direct hits from large-caliber artillery shells. The Viet Cong infrastructure was intricate and permeating. Except for the old and the very young, villagers who did not side with the Communists had either been killed or driven out to the government controlled enclaves near Danang.

In the rifle companies, we spent the endless months patrolling ridgelines and villages and mountains, far away from any notion of tents, barbed wire hot food, or electricity. Luxuries were limited to what would fit inside one’s pack, which after a few “humps” usually boiled down to letter-writing material, towel, soap, toothbrush, poncho liner, and a small transistor radio.

We moved through the boiling heat with 60 pounds of weapons and gear, causing a typical Marine to drop 20 percent of his body weight while in the bush. When we stopped we dug chest-deep fighting holes and slit trenches for toilets. We slept on the ground under makeshift poncho hootches, and when it rained we usually took our hootches down because wet ponchos shined under illumination flares, making great targets. Sleep itself was fitful, never more than an hour or two at a stretch for months at a time as we mixed daytime patrolling with night-time ambushes, listening posts, foxhole duty, and radio watches. Ringworm, hookworm, malaria, and dysentery were common, as was trench foot when the monsoons came. Respite was rotating back to the mud-filled regimental combat base at An Hoa for four or five days, where rocket and mortar attacks were frequent and our troops manned defensive bunkers at night. Which makes it kind of hard to get excited about tales of Woodstock, or camping at the Vineyard during summer break.

We had been told while training that Marine officers in the rifle companies had an 85 percent probability of being killed or wounded, and the experience of “Dying Delta,” as our company was known, bore that out. Of the officers in the bush when I arrived, our company commander was wounded, the weapons platoon commander wounded, the first platoon commander was killed, the second platoon commander was wounded twice, and I, commanding the third platoons fared no better. Two of my original three-squad leaders were killed, and the third shot in the stomach. My platoon sergeant was severely wounded, as was my right guide. By the time I left, my platoon I had gone through six radio operators, five of them casualties.

These figures were hardly unique; in fact, they were typical. Many other units; for instance, those who fought the hill battles around Khe Sanh, or were with the famed Walking Dead of the Ninth Marine Regiment, or were in the battle of Hue City or at Dai Do, had it far worse.

When I remember those days and the very young men who spent them with me, I am continually amazed, for these were mostly recent civilians barely out of high school, called up from the cities and the farms to do their year in hell and return. Visions haunt me every day, not of the nightmares of war but of the steady consistency with which my Marines faced their responsibilities, and of how uncomplaining most of them were in the face of constant danger. The salty, battle-hardened 20-year-olds teaching green 19-year-olds the intricate lessons of the hostile battlefield. The unerring skill of the young squad leaders as we moved through unfamiliar villages and weed-choked trails in the black of night. The quick certainty when a fellow Marine was wounded and needed help. Their willingness to risk their lives to save other Marines in peril. To this day it stuns me that their own countrymen have so completely missed the story of their service, lost in the bitter confusion of the war itself.

Like every military unit throughout history we had occasional laggards, cowards, and complainers. But in the aggregate, these Marines were the finest people I have ever been around. It has been my privilege to keep up with many of them over the years since we all came home. One finds in them very little bitterness about the war in which they fought. The most common regret, almost to a man, is that they were not able to do more for each other and for the people they came to help.

It would be redundant to say that I would trust my life to these men. Because I already have, in more ways than I can ever recount. I am alive today because of their quiet, unaffected heroism. Such valor epitomizes the conduct of Americans at war from the first days of our existence. That the boomer elites can canonize this sort of conduct in our fathers’ generation while ignoring it in our own is more than simple oversight. It is a conscious, continuing travesty.

Former Secretary of the Navy James Webb was awarded the Navy Cross, Silver Star, and Bronze Star medals for heroism as a Marine in Vietnam.

h/t Frito

 

Two Commentaries worth reading…

1 Comment

Hat Tip To Old NFO.

 

GEN Brady and ADM Lyons speak out on the current state of our military…

Niether gent is politically correct, they just call it as they see it…

First GEN Brady-

Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady, retired from the U.S. Army, is a recipient of the United States military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor. He is the author of “Dead Men Flying: Victory in Viet Nam The Legend of Dust Off: America’s Battlefield Angels.”

As incompetence, deception, duplicity and dishonesty become the hall marks of the Obama administration, it is important that we not lose sight of the greatest danger posed beyond these serial scandals: the feminization, emasculation and dismantling of our military. The two most important elements of national survival are the media and the military; one keeps us free and the other keeps us secure. We know the media are failing ˆ God help us if the military does also. We may be able to fix the government in 2014. Fixing the military is more problematic.
Let‚s begin with Benghazi. It is incomprehensible that any commander, let alone the commander in chief, would go AWOL during a crisis such as Benghazi, but he was. In the midst of the massacre of our ambassador and three heroic Americans, President Obama was nowhere to be found. He did manage to surface, too late for the massacre, to meet a campaign commitment the next day. But, before retiring, we are told he turned the crisis over to his underlings, including the military. What we learned about our military leadership during that crisis should alarm all Americans.
The demise of our military of course begins with the commander in chief, but he can‚t do it alone. He has to have willing sycophants and he has had them in the civilian and military leadership at the Department of Defense. The indifference of the people and military inexperience in Congress are contributing factors. The military disasters are a form of gradualism. Look at the changes under Mr. Obama. We cannot focus on these changes enough.
Our military is suffering unprecedented rates of suicide and PTSD. Obama‚s sequestration will cut benefits to veterans as well as damage readiness. (There has been a 2000 percent increase in backlog for veteran assistance in four years!) We now have a quad-sexual military with all the health, readiness and moral issues that come with exalting sodomy. Sexual assault is at an all-time high. Women will be tasked to lead bayonet charges. As a result of the sex scandals, Congress is now looking to curtail the military‚s ability to discipline, another tribute to the lack of leadership in the military and lack of military understanding in Congress.
Billions of defense dollars are unaccounted for. Christianity is under military attack, and Bibles have been burned to appease Muslims. (References to God and Jesus are forbidden at Arlington, chaplains will be forced to perform homosexual „marriages,‰ and Bibles and religious item are forbidden to the wounded at Walter Reed, etc.)
We have a new doctrine for crisis: „Don‚t deploy forces into harm‚s way without knowing what‚s going on.‰ Therefore, no Normandy or Inchon. In other words, don‚t go until the crisis/massacre is over. Their default position is don‚t go, period. The military leadership, after the terrorist massacre at Fort Hood, outrageously lamented the effect it would have on diversity ˆ and equally outrageously labeled it workplace violence denying the victims and their families the benefits they deserve.
There have been unprecedented security leaks, and China is electronically in bed with us. They even lost the graves of our warriors at Arlington. I could go on, but it should be clear that all of the above is the result of a leader who knows not the difference between a corps and a corpse and is both indifferent to and unknowledgeable of military readiness. And as bad, the military leadership is complicit in these disasters. (As a further tribute to their ineptitude, they have actually considered combat-level medals for warriors not shooting and desk-bound computer operators, medals that were the laughingstock of veterans.)
But given that the president tasked the military to act in the Benghazi crisis, what did they do? Indefensibly, they did nothing, they did not even try! No obstacle, no doctrine, nothing can defend not trying, never mind the risk, to save fellow Americans. Were they under orders to sit on their aˆ and let their fellow Americans die? In my 34 years of military service involving many crises, I never knew of one without an after action report (AAR), in which each and every action was put under a microscope to identify those responsible for the results be they good or bad. Congress, the media, someone should demand the AAR on Benghazi. It must exist. Who ordered the stand down? Who said sit on your aˆ? Why no hearing on this?
Just as the way forward for America is a return to the morality and values of the past, so too must the military return to the readiness standards and common sense of the past. We can survive in a relatively valueless society ˆ but only with a strong and ready military. Sadly the military is mirroring society ˆ the goal of Mr. Obama and progressives ˆ and will soon be impotent. Once the progressives have a helpless military they no longer need to explain why they didn‚t go; they can say we are unable to go. Progress is not the path we are on; true progress is the path to our past. The other scandals may be more glamorous and outrageous (such as lying about Benghazi before the coffins of those massacred by terrorists, enemies‚ lists and assaults on the First Amendment) but what Mr. Obama is doing to our military is more grave.
ADM Lyons-
Washington Times
June 11, 2013
Pg. B3
 

Restoring Military Readiness

A professional fighting force, not diversity, must be the military’s priority

The impact of fighting two wars over the past decade has taken its toll on our military forces. They have been run hard and put away wet. Sequestration has only compounded the problem. Our military services are already reeling from previously approved $800 billion in defense cuts over the next decade and are now faced with $500 billion in additional budget cuts now that sequestration has been implemented.
All this means that we will have the smallest Army since prior to World War II. The Navy, with its anemic shipbuilding program, will most likely be left with the smallest fleet since prior to World War I. The U.S. Air Force will suffer a similar adverse impact. Selected aircraft squadrons from both the Air Force and the Navy have been ordered to stand down and not fly. It will take several months to restore their readiness.
Symbolic of the Navy’s demise are the five aircraft carriers that are currently moored at piers at the Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia for lack of operating and overhaul funds. Clearly, with the escalating civil war in Syria, one carrier battle group should be immediately deployed to the Mediterranean. Such a deployment would dramatically change the strategic equation and counter Russia’s deployment of 11 ships currently there.
The Obama administration’s draconian budget cuts are being made at a time when global instability is increasing. The Middle East continues in a state of turmoil, particularly with the ongoing civil war in Syria. However, the most destabilizing factor in the Middle East would be for Iran to achieve a nuclear-weapon capability. With China and North Korea’s help, they may now have all the necessary elements. In the Pacific, China continues with its massive military buildup. Its cyberwarfare attacks and penetration of our military-industrial complex has, at a minimum, reduced our technology advantage in any future confrontation. This is most serious since our technological advantage was always our force-multiplier.
The one constant that made our military the finest fighting force in the world was the dedication and professionalism of our personnel – our national treasure. The troops took pride in being recognized as the “best and brightest.” It made for high morale and solid unit cohesion. Professionalism was their No. 1 priority. Now with President Obama’s social engineering of our military forces, “diversity” has become the No. 1 priority. It is hard to comprehend how the promotion of the homosexual and feminist agendas contributes to unit integrity or improves combat readiness. Why, then, are these disruptive agendas being forced on our military, particularly when we are being challenged throughout the world? Fulfilling a political agenda is insufficient rationale to deliberately weaken our military forces and national security.
As he was tiptoeing out of the Pentagon, former Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta made his ill-advised and irresponsible endorsement of eliminating military women’s exemption from direct land combat battalions. Thirty years of studies and reports in the United States and the United Kingdom have provided more than sufficient empirical data that men and women are not physical equals nor interchangeable in all roles. There is no other nation in the world with a military force comparable to ours that assigns women in direct combat infantry land wars.
When the U.S. Marines conducted an online survey of active-duty personnel in 2012, it failed to show support for women in direct ground combat units. Regrettably, never asked was how would women assigned to infantry and special operations forces affect mission effectiveness? Research done by the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces, which studied the issue in depth in 1992, determined that a “voluntary” option for women to engage in close combat, but not for men, would not work. In a direct combat environment, women do not have an equal opportunity to survive, or worse, would end up causing fatalities to fellow troops.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated that women’s exemption from direct ground combat missions somehow has contributed to the current rise in the sexual abuse we see in our military forces today. This makes no sense. Women are closer to combat today than ever before, but the rates of sexual assault and abuse are soaring with no end in sight.
The rescinding of the Clinton “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has come at a price. In Volume II of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office report, there is no change in “unwanted sexual contact” for women (32 percent in both 2010 and 2012), but an increase among men reporting “unwanted touching” from 31 percent in 2010 to 57 percent in 2012. It certainly calls into question the Department of Defense’s claims that repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has been a complete success.
What’s most disturbing is the apparent acquiescence to these ill-conceived policies by our top military leadership. In life-and-death situations, you must have the first team in place. Mandates for diversity metrics are no substitute for proven combat effectiveness when engaging the enemy.
Our combat readiness in today’s world must be our first priority. Since our top military leadership is complicit in the administration’s social engineering of our military, Congress must exercise its constitutional responsibility to “provide for the common defense” and make policy for the armed forces. As a first order of business, Congress should reinstate the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
Retired Adm. James A. Lyons was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S.military representative to the United Nations.
The question is, “What can we realistically do about the decline of our nation?”
“I” don’t have a good answer, because I don’t know what we can do to resolve the mess in Washington short of starting over…  And the dems have the illustrious 47% who will back them to keep getting their free cheese…
Comments, recommendations, ideas??? ANYTHING???
h/t JP and others

 

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