Archive for the 'Army' Category



Special Operations Troops Doubt Women Can Do The Job

BY Herschel Smith
3 months ago

Stars and Stripes:

Surveys find that men in U.S. special operations forces do not believe women can meet the physical and mental demands of their commando jobs, and they fear the Pentagon will lower standards to integrate women into their elite units, according to interviews and documents.

Studies that surveyed personnel found “major misconceptions” within special operations about whether women should be brought into the male-only jobs. They also revealed concerns that department leaders would “capitulate to political pressure, allowing erosion of training standards,” according to one document.

Some of those concerns were not limited to men, researchers found, but were found among women in special operations jobs.

Dan Bland, force management director for U.S. Special Operations Command, said the survey results have “already driven us to do some different things in terms of educating the force.”

Well, there you go.  If the force believes that women can’t do the job, the only recourse is to educate them differently, because surely, surely, surely they must be wrong.  Otherwise the advocates of gender homogeneity would be wrong, and that couldn’t be the case because command says so because the administration and God-hating, elitist, Marxist liberal arts colleges around the nation say so.

Dan Bland responded the way he did because he has lost his soul and joined the dark side.

See category Women in Combat.

At Least There Is Still The United States Marine Corps

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 2 weeks ago

Army Delays Handgun Solicitation

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 1 week ago

Army Times:

The Army on Wednesday formally pushed back release of a final solicitation to produce its new handgun.

Originally projected for a Jan. 2 release, the Army decided to delay the Request for Proposals beyond January “to allow for improvements to the RFP as a result of feedback received from Industry,” according to a notice posted on the government solicitation website FedBizOpps.

No date for future action was proposed, other than to say it would not occur in January. Despite the delay, the notice also reiterated commitment to the pending competition to produce the Modular Handgun System, which will include ammo and a holster as well as a pistol.

“The Army remains committed to the MHS program and ensuring that it is executed using full and open competition,” the notice said.

Uh oh.  What political machinations underlie this delay?  Is Smith & Wesson not the frontrunner as they thought?  To all firearms manufacturers – the military is a fickle mistress.  She will break your heart.

As for polymer frame pistols, I won’t buy any more.  I like the balance and slender (single stack) profile of the 1911 too much (here we all pause in respect to John Moses Browning).  Furthermore, when I think about my plastic pistols I think about machines, utilitarian pieces of equipment that rattle too much and have that crappy, cheap feel but usually perform their intended function.

When I think about 1911s I think about works of art.  Even more than 1911s, revolvers (finely made) are works of art, pieces of craftsmanship, something I would be proud to turn over to my children as a heritage.  I’ve searched in vain, but I cannot find a picture of anyone actually carrying a wheel gun in either the Iraq or Afghanistan theaters.  Kudos to anyone who can find such a treasure.  Please send it our way.

And if you carried a revolver in any theater of war, you are a man among men.  I want to know you.

Army Cancels Carbine Competition

BY Herschel Smith
2 years ago

The Army has cancelled their competition to see which firearm will replace the Colt M4 series of rifles.  The Army has said that it was cancelled because all of the rifles failed the reliability standard of 3,592 mean rounds without malfunctioning.

After correction of the ammunition and other problems associated with the M-16 as it was initially deployed in Vietnam, this series of rifles has been effective and reliable.  To be sure, there are still detractors, the most recent problems concerning overheating of the barrel and failures associated with discharging a high number of rounds in a short time frame.

During the Battle of Wanat several M4’s had failures to feed (or failures to eject).  But the real problem with this battle wasn’t that several rifles experienced failures.  It was that the unit was placed in such a far-flung outpost without force protection or adequate troops to establish security and effect their mission.  No rifle can ameliorate bad strategy, and our war fought by the social planners and COIN experts was bad strategy.

Afghanistan has been called the war of the infantry half kilometer, as it involved longer distances than the urban warfare and CQB in Iraq.  Bob Owens mentions the cancellation of the carbine competition, and then launches into advocacy for a larger caliber, specifically the 6.5 Grendel.  This is old hat for Bob, as he has been advocating for a while now that the Army replace the 5.56 mm round, but continue to use the AR-15 platform.

But it should be remembered that with proper training, the AR-15 platform and 5.56 mm round are effective at long distances.  My son Daniel, a former Marine, routinely scored at the top of his Battalion, and they all had to qualify at 500 yards (using iron sights).  Travis Haley reminds us all how effective this gun and round can be.

Haley was shooting 5.56 mm ammunition from a Bushmaster (specifications can be found here, here and here – Haley was using a 20″ barrel, which is the major difference between the rifle he was using and the M4).  The comments to the video indicate that the targets may have been  closer than 800 meters (perhaps 600 meters), but this is far enough away to need high powered glass.

Even though the 5.56 yaws in flight (even with boat tail ammunition), it is a highly effective long distance round, while also being ideal for CQB (albeit designated marksmen and snipers may choose to carry different weapons and different calibers).  But Colt lost the contract to supply the M4, and sometimes manufacturers become complacent after so many years of sole sourcing.  In fact, my biggest problem with the competition isn’t that it’s over.  Rather, it’s that the best never participated.

And the winner of the U.S. Army competition to replace the M4 carbine is … the Army’s new and improved M4 carbine.

At least that’s the outcome gun makers attending Shot Show 2012 predict for the completion of the service’s improved carbine competition.

The Army is nearing the end of the first phase of the competition, now referred to as the IC. The service will soon announce which companies can advance to the second phase, when Army testers will start shooting hundreds of thousands of rounds through the prototype weapons.

Phase one has had nothing to do with evaluating test prototypes, but instead has focused on weeding out companies that may not have the production capacity to make thousands of weapons per month. This has become a bitter point of contention that has driven away some companies with credible names in the gun business.

“I’m not going to dump half a million to a million dollars for them never to review my rifle,” said Steve Mayer of Rock River Arms, standing amid his racks of M4-style carbines at Shot Show, the massive small-arms show here that draws gun makers from all over the world.

I have no dog in Bob’s fight over caliber, but my opinion is that the current platform and caliber are fine.  What’s needed is better training (even if not everyone can be Travis Haley), drills on shooting uphill (for those Marines and Soldiers who will deploy to terrain similar to what we saw in N2K), and lack of politics so that our men can get the best and most reliable rifles in their hands.  I have one.  It’s not so much to ask that Soldiers and Marines have them too.

If the Army chooses some other system than direct impingement, then so be it.  But it should be remembered that for everything you gain, you loose something.  I’ve held rifles that cycle ammunition from piston drive, and the front end is heavy.  It would affect CQB, and my son doesn’t even like the weight added from the quad rail on the front end of mine if it is used for CQB (my rifle is DI, not piston).

In the end, nothing can do everything, and the genius of Eugene Stoner is still with us today.

Developments Concerning Women In Combat

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 5 months ago

Women in combat, and in fact, in special operations.

The commander of U.S. special operations said Tuesday he expects to see women in the elite commando forces now that the Pentagon is allowing them to serve in combat.

Adm. William McRaven, head of the US special operations command, said he was “fully supportive” of the decision to lift the ban on women in combat.

I’ll tell you what.  Obama has himself some lackeys doesn’t he?  Adm. McRaven is remarkable.  But no more so than the current Commandant of the Marine Corps.

In his first interview since the Pentagon opened ground combat jobs to women, the commandant of the Marine Corps said some occupations may ultimately remain closed if only a small number qualify.

The Marines will not lower physical standards for certain specialties, Gen. James Amos told USA TODAY. “We can’t afford to lower standards,” he said. “We can’t make adjustments on what’s required on the battlefield.

“That’s not why America has a Marine Corps,” he said.

Sounds like he isn’t so much of a lackey, huh?  But wait.

The Pentagon last week ordered that the services provide the opportunity for women to enter all fields, including infantry, tanks, artillery and other combat arms.

The entire process could take years as the services develop and validate “gender neutral” standards. The secretary of Defense would have to approve any fields that remain closed to women.

“If the numbers are so small with regards to qualification, then there very may well be (job fields) that remain closed,” Amos said. “Those will be few and far between.”

Deploying only one or two female servicemembers in a unit, for example, would make it difficult for the women to succeed. “You want to have assimilation … so our females can mentor one another,” Amos said.

“Difficult for women to succeed.”  We wouldn’t want that.  After all, that’s what the military is there for – to allow women to succeed.

I’ve already discussed my own (and my son’s) view of women in combat.  I can’t add that much to it except to say that it’s the most stupid social project the American progressives have ever conceived.  But let someone else tell you that as well.

America has been creeping closer and closer to allowing women in combat, so Wednesday’s news that the decision has now been made is not a surprise. It appears that female soldiers will be allowed on the battlefield but not in the infantry. Yet it is a distinction without much difference: Infantry units serve side-by-side in combat with artillery, engineers, drivers, medics and others who will likely now include women. The Pentagon would do well to consider realities of life in combat as it pushes to mix men and women on the battlefield.

Many articles have been written regarding the relative strength of women and the possible effects on morale of introducing women into all-male units. Less attention has been paid to another aspect: the absolutely dreadful conditions under which grunts live during war.

Most people seem to believe that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have merely involved driving out of a forward operating base, patrolling the streets, maybe getting in a quick firefight, and then returning to the forward operating base and its separate shower facilities and chow hall. The reality of modern infantry combat, at least the portion I saw, bore little resemblance to this sanitized view.I served in the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a Marine infantry squad leader. We rode into war crammed in the back of amphibious assault vehicles. They are designed to hold roughly 15 Marines snugly; due to maintenance issues, by the end of the invasion we had as many as 25 men stuffed into the back. Marines were forced to sit, in full gear, on each other’s laps and in contorted positions for hours on end. That was the least of our problems.

The invasion was a blitzkrieg. The goal was to move as fast to Baghdad as possible. The column would not stop for a lance corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, or even a company commander to go to the restroom. Sometimes we spent over 48 hours on the move without exiting the vehicles. We were forced to urinate in empty water bottles inches from our comrades.

Many Marines developed dysentery from the complete lack of sanitary conditions. When an uncontrollable urge hit a Marine, he would be forced to stand, as best he could, hold an MRE bag up to his rear, and defecate inches from his seated comrade’s face.

During the invasion, we wore chemical protective suits because of the fear of chemical or biological weapon attack. These are equivalent to a ski jumpsuit and hold in the heat. We also had to wear black rubber boots over our desert boots. On the occasions the column did stop, we would quickly peel off our rubber boots, desert boots and socks to let our feet air out.

Due to the heat and sweat, layers of our skin would peel off our feet. However, we rarely had time to remove our suits or perform even the most basic hygiene. We quickly developed sores on our bodies.

When we did reach Baghdad, we were in shambles. We had not showered in well over a month and our chemical protective suits were covered in a mixture of filth and dried blood. We were told to strip and place our suits in pits to be burned immediately. My unit stood there in a walled-in compound in Baghdad, naked, sores dotted all over our bodies, feet peeling, watching our suits burn. Later, they lined us up naked and washed us off with pressure washers.

And what sensible women wouldn’t want something like that?  So that women can experience the ultimate thrill of being shot at, going a month without a bath, getting their limbs blown off, and defecating near the faces of their colleagues, the evisceration of the U.S. military continues unabated so that the social engineers can have a legacy.

It’s a great country.

Colt Loses M4 Contract

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 6 months ago

Long-time suppliers tend to lose control over QA.  I don’t know if this has affected Colt’s proposals for the new M4s, but I do know that even though my former Marine son, Daniel, was a SAW gunner, of course he had to shoot and qualify on the M16 and M4.  After shooting my Rock River Arms rifle, he was very impressed at its quality.  I believe he had some complaints about the rifles with which he qualified.

So Colt has lost the contract for the next generation M4s, and here is the rest of the story.

Colt recently filed another complaint with the Government Accountability Office in further attempts to block competing vendors from supplying the US Army with new rifles. They do not want to lose their position as the primary M4 supplier to the Army, and they’re pulling out all the stops to prevent being undercut by the competition.

Shortly after signing Remington to the US Army’s $84 million M4 contract, Colt filed a complaint with the GAO, claiming that the contract did not properly calculate the royalties owed to Colt for each rifle. The GAO agreed, and the Army re-opened the bidding for the contract to supply them with much-needed M4A1 carbines.

Colt since filed a second complaint with the GAO, and while the details of their filing are unknown, it matters little as the GAO has denied their second claim.

Vendors will continue on with the current bidding schedule, and hopefully get back on track to supplying the military with the M4A1s they need to replace their aging M4s and M16s still in service starting in 2013. In order to keep things fair, all vendors have had to make their first bids public, acknowledging the fact that Remington’s bid was revealed by the GAO inquiry.

The plan to roll out new rifles dates back to 2008 when the Army started looking into ways to improve or possibly replace the M4. That could have been Colt’s intent all along, in order to be able to come in for less than all of the competing vendors.

The M4 Product Improvement Plan eventually settled on updating the M4A1 and fielding it to all troops. Although the M4A1 is more than a few years old it’s also extremely well-established in the military, and replacing existing rifles with it means no additional training requirements nor any teething issues rolling out a new main infantry small arm. Also, it’s very cost-effective. The cost per rifle Remington originally contracted for was just $673.

[ … ]

The main advantage of the M4A1 is that it fires in full-auto rather than in a three-round burst. On AR-type firearms, the way the three-round burst mode works is with a ratchet that, on ever third shot, engages with the disconnector halting continued fire. This effectively gives the trigger two different pulls, one when the disconnector is in the stop notch and one when it isn’t. Even though a mil-spec trigger isn’t the best in the world, it’s still better than two different mil-spec trigger pulls.

Absurd.  The Marines are dumping the M249 in favor of the ridiculous IAR, about which my son said this.

This is sad. The reason we went with the SAW was because the BAR and its associated concept were inadequate.  At times in combat in Iraq, we had all nine SAW gunners firing during engagements, and I’m glad that we did.  We needed the fire power.  In the thousands of rounds I put down range stateside and Iraq, I never had a single problem … never … had … a … single … problem, with my SAW.  I kept it clean.  This change to the IAR is a testimony to laziness.  What do Marines want to do – take someone out on a date?  What else do they have to do when they’re deployed?  What’s the problem with cleaning weapons?  Mine worked because I maintained it right.  All this has done is make the Marines weaker.  It may be that this IAR could be used for select circumstances like room clearing, but the death of the SAW will bring nothing good.

So we’re dumping our only true stand-off area suppression fire system for the fire team and squad, adding full auto machine guns back to the fire team, and essentially returning to the days of Vietnam where everyone has a machine gun, the fire team is homogenous and the members don’t have different functions, and they waste ammunition.  Great.

And the complaint that Colt filed?  It rested on this charge.

The issue? Colt has a five percent royalty agreement with the Army for its rights to the M-4 rifle model. A royalty is a payment to the owner of the “intellectual property,” White said.

Colt argued in May its royalty wasn’t factored into the other manufacturers’ total prices and questioned the Army’s assessment of Remington’s past performance and production capability, according to a July decision issued by the Government Accountability Office.

While the decision dismissed the challenge of the assessment to Remington’s past performance and production capability, it was agreed the instructions on how the royalty was determined were not clear because the Army didn’t notify Colt or the competing manufacturers the royalty would be subject only to parts of the product.

And so Colt protested again in August, arguing this was inconsistent with the agreement, but in mid-November that was dismissed, and the accountability office determined it would not resolve a dispute involving the specifics of the agreement.
This is something that must be settled between the Army and Colt.

Seriously?  Royalty?  To Colt?  For the M4 design?  Seriously?  How about this.  Ditch royalties to Colt, find the surviving members of the Eugene Stoner family, and give the money to them.  Eugene Stoner was a genius.  Colt is being a bunch of snots.  And if the Army isn’t getting a Rock River Arms rifle, they aren’t getting the best.  Sorry. Story over.

Goodbye To The Army And Marines: Political Correctness Has Taken Over

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 8 months ago

As precursors to my analysis, take note of the following inconsistencies and contradictions.  First, Dr. Steve Metz, Professor at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in response to Sharia is coming, left this comment: “Should we worry about the creeping influence of the Boy Scout laws? More people follow that in the United States than sharia.” Note well.  Steve is comparing Boy Scout law with Sharia law.  This Boy Scout law – compared to this sharia law.

On the other hand, because of political correctness, in the Spring of this year, US Army Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley was condemned by the Joints Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and relieved of teaching duties at Joint Forces Staff College for teaching a course judged to be offensive to Islam.  The course he taught, Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism, was an elective course that Lt. Col. Dooley’s superiors judged as presenting Islam in a negative way. His superiors were persuaded to come to this conclusion after receiving an October 2011 letter in which 57 Muslim organizations claimed to be offended by the course.  The fact that Lt. Col. Dooley is a highly decorated combat veteran with  nearly 20 years of service under his belt apparently held little or no sway with the JCS.  As a matter of fact, JCS Chairman General Martin Dempsey “personally attacked” Lt. Col. Dooley on C-Span on May 10, 2012, during a Pentagon News Conference.

Next, take note of the fact that females are now matriculating at infantry officer training at Quantico.  This is certainly in line with Andrew Exum’s counsel concerning his own branch of the service: “I see no compelling reason why women should not be allowed to attend Ranger School. As far as I am concerned, if a woman really wants to run around a sawdust pit at two in the morning screaming “Ranger!” while periodically stopping to low-crawl for 50 meters, we have a constitutional — nay God-given — responsibility to allow her to do so.”

But now consider what Former Spook observes concerning women in combat MOS.

Almost 20 years ago, columnist Fred Reed published results of an Army study, comparing fitness levels among male and female soldiers. The data reaffirms that most women simply lack the upper body strength and endurance required by an Army infantryman, a Marine rifleman, or most special forces MOS’s.

The average female Army recruit is 4.8 inches shorter, 31.7 pounds lighter, has 37.4 fewer pounds of muscle, and 5.7 more pounds of fat than the average male recruit. She has only 55 percent of the upper-body strength and 72 percent of the lower-body strength… An Army study of 124 men and 186 women done in 1988 found that women are more than twice as likely to suffer leg injuries and nearly five times as likely to suffer fractures as men.

The Commission heard an abundance of expert testimony about the physical differences between men and women that can be summarized as follows:

Women’s aerobic capacity is significantly lower, meaning they cannot carry as much as far as fast as men, and they are more susceptible to fatigue.

In terms of physical capability, the upper five percent of women are at the level of the male median. The average 20-to-30 year-old woman has the same aerobic capacity as a 50 year-old man.

Finally, take note of the undercurrents in the suicide prevention department of the DoD.  We can trust our men with the most lethal weapons known to mankind, but the desire now is to give commanding officers authority over personally owned weapons.  As one commenter has noted, the concept of “at risk” is subjective, which is the same reason that such medical assessments cannot ever be allowed to preclude the right to own firearms in the civilian community.

My son routinely hauled 120 pound(+) kit off the line as a fleet Marine, including his time in Fallujah, Iraq, between body armor (including SAPI plates), backpack, weapon, SAW drums plus ammunition, hydration system, and so on and so forth.  Recall this picture from the assault into Helmand in the summer of 2009?

This Marine is carrying his kit plus a mortar plate.  He is probably crossing the line at greater than 150 pounds.

My son trained as a fleet Marine before the age of political correctness.  Strong, male Marines – not reserve Marines, but hard core regular duty infantry Marines – would need to take several shots of whiskey and 1000 mg of Ibuprofen to kill the pain prior to their twenty miles humps with full kit on 100 degree F (+) days at Camp Lejeune.  Negligent discharges brought a season in the so-called “room of pain.”  Laying back on the humps brought time in the room of pain.  Failing to qualify well on the range brought time in the room of pain.

Fun time involved laying down to sleep in the swamp overnight at Camp Lejeune (as ordered) and having to strip naked the next morning so that your buddies could burn the leeches off with cigarettes.  Or, how about that extended time at Fort A.P. Hill when the NCOs gradually removed everything the Marines had, from tent, to sleeping bag, to food, to winter clothing.  Then, it was time to sleep one winter night on that outing, and there was no way to stay alive unless Marines huddled, hugged, laid down together, shivered and threw leaves over themselves for the night.

You get the picture.  But my son left the U.S. Marine Corps because, in his own words, “the Corps is changing.”  He couldn’t train his boot Marines the same way he was trained.  He wasn’t allowed.  He had initially intended to extend so that he could go to Afghanistan with his boot Marines because he felt responsible for them.  But he believed that a lot of good men would perish in Afghanistan, and that he couldn’t make a difference in that.  So he left, along with all of the other Marines who had experience from Iraq.

If you have some sort of androgynous, genderless vision for the armed forces – if you believe that Navy Corpsmen should be able to treat the field diseases of both men and women and understand what mud and parasites in the various different cracks and crevasses and holes of men and women do, if you believe that men and women are on equal footing pertaining to physical abilities, if you believe that machines like the ridiculous Army future combat systems robotics and the silly machines like the big dog can ever replace mules and the backs of infantry Marines, if you believe that men and women will be able to interact socially as a cohesive fighting unit without the behavior that attends the opposite sexes – I think you’re weird and creepy.  Not that we can’t be friends, but just that you’re weird and creepy, at least to me.  Machines cannot replace strong men, and even the Russians found out in Afghanistan that women had a higher number of lower extremity injuries than men, causing severe under-manning of forces.  Exum believes that we have a constitutional and God-given duty to allow women in Ranger school.  I’m a constitutional aficionado with seminary training, and I don’t think Exum can prove either of those assertions.

As for Steve Metz, he isn’t stupid, he has just let his political and religious bigotry cloud his scholarship, leading to the stupid things he said about Sharia law.  But it’s okay to have Steve Metz saying those things as long as we don’t let contrary positions be taught.  We wouldn’t want to offend anyone, would we?

As for the personal possession of guns by Soldiers and Marines, how about this proposition.  We remove the ridiculous rules of engagement under which they operate and give them a coherent strategy, and see how our fighting men respond.  If not well, then I would be willing to spend some extra dollars to help assess PTSD.  But I’m betting I won’t have to spend a dime of that money.

As for the Army, I kind of expect this sort of thing.  But the Marines were supposed to be different.  They’re not, and political correctness proves it.  It’s a sad thing to watch the diminishing of the U.S. Marine Corps, once the greatest fighting and strike force on earth, to political hackery.  I hold the Commandant of the Marine Corps responsible, at least in part.  I also hold responsible a public who allows this kind of thing without pulling the plug on the absurdity of the use of our armed forces for every social engineering experiment that appeals to the self-professed intellectual elites.  And finally, it’s a shame that I have to mention the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the nations “intellectual elite” in the same breath.  How very sad is all of this?

Kamdesh Veteran Plays Football For Clemson

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 11 months ago

For some time now I have observed High School and College age kids to try to determine the degree to which they appreciate and understand the sacrifice that the men in uniform have made, especially combat veterans.  Frankly, it’s a disturbing practice that has led in no small part to a sort of loss of hope in this generation.  Many are consumed with video games, comfort, and their own well being.

Occasionally though, something like this comes along.  A combat veteran of the Battle of Kamdesh is going to play football for my alma mater, Clemson University.

It’s always been Daniel Rodriguez’s dream to play college football, but that dream had to be deferred when he decided to join the Army after high school.

Six years after the decision, Clemson is finally making Rodriguez’s dream come true.

On Wednesday, the school announced Rodriguez, a 24-year-old, 5-foot-8 receiver, was cleared by the ACC to join the Tigers.

“I am very happy for Daniel,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said in a release. “He is getting the opportunity to follow his dream. We are excited to have him join our program. I have no doubt that he will become a great leader for us. His background and story is an inspiration to us all.”

Rodriguez served as an Army infantryman in both Iraq and Afghanistan from 2006-10. In October 2009, Rodriguez was wounded in the battle of Kamdesh after more than 400 Taliban insurgents stormed a small American base. Rodriguez took shrapnel in his legs and neck, and a bullet fragment in his shoulder. He was awarded a Bronze Star of Valor and Purple Heart for his bravery in the fight.

Rodriguez was honorably discharged in 2010, and when he left the Army he did so intending on following through on a promise he made to his good friend Pfc. Kevin Thompson, who was killed in the battle. That promise was to find a way to play college football.

Rodriguez, who hasn’t played football since high school, first shared his story and his workouts on a YouTube video that ultimately went viral. He has since been featured on the cover of USA Today, and has been profiled on CNN and “Dan Rather Reports.”

Rodriguez understands that he’s not going to come into Clemson and be some sort of world-beater on the field, but he’s grateful for the opportunity and hopes his leadership will become an asset. Watch the above video, it will make you want to root for Rodriguez to do well.

“I’m not this high-scouted athlete expected to change this program,” Rodriguez said. “I’m just a cog on the wheel that’s going to play my role and better the team from an individual standpoint and give insight from what I’ve been through as a person. If I can help mold some of these guys in the locker room to have the same perspective on life I have, that’s a benefit.”

The video is remarkable, and Rodriguez gets the honor of competing for Clemson … and Clemson gets the honor of having him.  It’s a remarkable video that punctuates a remarkable story.

Posse Comitatus Hypocrisy

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 11 months ago

If this report is correct, the U.S. Army is preparing to do illegal things:

It’s not just the Department of Homeland Security that is gearing up for the prospect of civil unrest in America. The U.S. Army also recently purchased a stock of riot gear including batons, face masks and body shields.

As we reported last week, the DHS has put out an urgent solicitation for hundreds of items of “riot gear,” in preparation for expected unrest at the upcoming Republican National Convention, Democratic National Convention and next year’s presidential inauguration.

In a previous solicitation, the U.S. Army also put out a contract for riot gear to be delivered to the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York.

The contract, which was eventually awarded to A2Z Supply Corp, included requests to supply riot shields, face shields, batons and body protection.

Fears that the U.S. military would be used to quell domestic unrest in violation of Posse Comitatus have raged over recent years.

A recently leaked US Army Military Police training manual for “Civil Disturbance Operations” outlines how military assets are to be used domestically to quell riots, confiscate firearms and even kill Americans on U.S. soil during mass civil unrest.

On page 20 of the manual, rules regarding the use of “deadly force” in confronting “dissidents” are made disturbingly clear with the directive that a, “Warning shot will not be fired.”

The manual includes lists of weapons to be used against “rioters” or “demonstrators,” including “antiriot grenades.” It also advises troops to carry their guns in the “safe port arms” stance, a psychological tactic aimed at “making a show of force before rioters.” Non-lethal weapons and water cannons are also included.

Preparations for using troops to deal with mass civil unrest on U.S. soil have been in the works for years.

Back in 2008, U.S. troops returning from Iraq were earmarked for “homeland patrols” with one of their roles including helping with “civil unrest and crowd control”.

In December 2008, the Washington Post reported on plans to station 20,000 more U.S. troops inside America for purposes of “domestic security” from September 2011 onwards, an expansion of Northcom’s militarization of the country in preparation for potential civil unrest following a total economic collapse or a mass terror attack.

Again, if this report is true, these things are illegal for the U.S. military.  They simply cannot do them.  But that isn’t really my focus here.  Take note of the hypocrisy.

While illegal, preparations are being made for such activities.  The U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Border Patrols refuses to countenance any role for U.S. troops on the border except for filling out paperwork and doing mundane chores.  They aren’t under arming orders because of Posse Comitatus.

Actually, arming orders to secure the border against foreign invaders isn’t a violation of Posse Comitatus, but the activities described in the article above clearly are.  In the case of the U.S. border, it’s too important to garner new voters after they cross the border, supply U.S. farms and corporations with ostensibly cheap labor (the cost of insurance, medical bills, food stamps, welfare and so on are borne on the back of the U.S. taxpayers), enable transcontinental traffic and trade, and provide work for Mexican truckers than it is to secure the border.

Therefore, Posse Comitatus must be invoked in order to prevent true border security.  It has nothing to do with Posse Comitatus.  It has everything to do with the application and the desires of the ruling elite.  Again, note the hypocrisy.  This is American leadership in action.

Michael Yon Gets What’s Coming To Him

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 4 months ago

No, this isn’t another ridiculous pile-on-Michael-Yon post from some unstable Milblogger who is bored with the fact that he has nothing left to cover now that we have withdrawn from Iraq (and plan to withdraw from Afghanistan).  Some people just have to find others to hate in order to be important.

No, Michael Yon has gotten the attention to the MEDEVAC issue that he deserves.  You can follow his coverage here, here and here, here and here (just for starters).  I won’t recapitulate the reports since you can go and read them from Michael.  Here is a decent summary video.

But I will observe that my bullshit-o-meter pegged high when the Army began making claims that the Geneva Conventions required them to mark MEDEVAC helicopters and then also to require them not to be armed for self defense (thus requiring an armed escort and delaying the transit in some instances).

First of all, if the Geneva Conventions actually do require that we send medical evacuation into the field with no self defense, then we should not have ever been a signatory to such a document, and such signature should be forthwith rescinded.  But it doesn’t.  Take careful note.  The U.S. Marine Corps doesn’t do business this way.

There.  Enough said.  Case Closed.  The U.S. Marine Corps isn’t violating the Geneva Conventions.  That the big-Army is wasting intellectual capital and moral authority on this is stupefying.


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