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Mr Wolf
Colorado, USA
Interests: motorcycles, cars, racing, outdoors, hiking, rafting, kayaking, climbing, biking, camping, books, reading, gadgets
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I read thru the statement that President Obama made last night regarding his plan to address ISIS (which he kept calling ISIL) and I'd like to address some of the problems we will face with this. As someone who's actually developed the plans to address problems in Iraq and Syria, and had to brief them to senior leaders, I have a hard time understanding why it has taken so long for him to address this, and why he's picking the 'strategy' that he has. I have agreed, up to now, with the cautious approach- that 'picking sides' in Syria is fraught with huge problems. NONE of the groups fighting in Syria are in any way trustworthy- it would be like trying to pick one Mafia family in NY to help clean up crime problems. No one you work with would benefit you in the end. And ultimately, you may end up with a result you still don't like. Syria plans had an especially troubling problem- we had ZERO guidance from above on exactly what the end state was to be- we ended up having to develop multiple plans based on assumptions that no senior leader had given guidance on. No, the CENTCOM commander wasn't the problem- HE wasn't getting guidance either. Neither Mattis nor Austin either one knew what we really wanted to end up with. So, we built plans based on minimal intervention all the way thru full-on ops. From humanitarian assistance missions thru 'BOG' ops. From containment thru air power only, to SOF-only training assistance. And then we went back and re-did them. Several times. We had no choice- we could only assume, based on our collective experience, on what the end state could be. We used Bosnia, Iraq, AFG, DS-1, and a few others as 'models'. Plus, we considered different types of UN missions that may be used as approaches, in case we had to support only those. What we also had to contend with was the fact that, at the time, Iraq was in NO WAY to be a part of the mission set. We had zero troops there; we had no presence, and even tho our own intel told us that the border area of Iraq and Syria was the real 'hot zone' developing, we could not address any activity there. All of our effort was to 'contain' within the borders of Syria, and try to prevent further refugee problems into Lebannon and Jordan. Especially Jordan. Pay SPECIAL attention to the Jordanian issue should we start hitting Syria hard- there are going to be real problems along that border as people flee areas of Syria and Iraq. AQ and ISIS may use that as a 'distraction' to force our hand there, and really end up with problems we haven't prepared for. Remember, there are hundreds of thousands of refugees along the border, and its a complete powder keg readly to go up in flames at the slightest provocation. Now that Iraq territory has to be worked into the mix, at least we will have areas of 'safe zones' working with the Kurds that allow us some help. Erbil airport is a good backup location, and I'm assuming they will use that as a potential staging area. It's new, it's got a HUGE runway, and it's close-by. Fueling will be the most logical, if we can secure it further. As someone who worked ops in Yemen and SOM and other areas, using these as 'models' for what we intend to do in Iraq is fraught with enormous issues- these are missions that are very very different than what is needed to address ISIS (if you want a very good rundown of this, go to Bill Roggio's column here.) We have 'advisors' deep into these missions, and the end-states are very very different. In fact, end-states in Syria and Iraq are completely different- so addressing ISIS across them is NOT going to be simple. Air power alone isn't going to do it, and you are not going to get Kurds or Iraqi's to chase ISIS into Syria to combat them- and that's exactly what ISIS is going to do. The one issue that remains to be seen is how ISIS-supporting factions take on Baghdad; this is the nightmare scenario that could very well develop as a counter to US-centered actions. The fact that Baghdad becomes a focus is a very real fear; it would force the Iraqi gov't and forces to abandon northern Iraq to concentrate on securing that area alone, leaving the Kurds as the only support we'd have up north. And that ain't enough. Another problem we could not solve internally was this issue of 'sharing intel' with anyone. How the HELL do we share intel with these guys? We can't even legally brief the mayor of NYC (deBlasio) because he doesn't have a clearance; there is NO such thing as 'REL YEMEN' or 'REL IRAQ' or 'REL SYRIA' for classified, useful intel info. So we'd be breaking the law to even attempt it. And we've been working with the Yems for years. The only winner that comes out of this in the short-term is Iran. Shiite factions get defended in Iraq, Iran basically gets a free pass, and we (the west) end up doing the dirty work. How is this beneficial to us? Let me ask all of you this- and leave your estimates in the comments- how big of a force do you think this is going to take to support? PBO said 475 additional will be sent; that's basically a company, and that ain't gonna do it. If we use air power alone, how many do you THINK that will take? I'll look at your estimates and let you know in a few days how close you are. Wolf Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
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This is an event that requires a military response. What we gonna do, protest them to death? Let's say we capture the guy doing this evil act- then what? Off to GITMO for a few years? Chance to eat n' pray a few more? Back in WWII, these guys would be hanging before we left the parking lot. What in the hell is there to debate about their evilness? But no, leftists gotta be left. Gonna give 'em a trial.
Toggle Commented Aug 20, 2014 on Religion of Pieces at BLACKFIVE
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Mr Steinberg mentions 'On The Beach'- if you've not read this one, get to it. VERY good Cold War-era book. Plus it has Aussies in it. What's not to like? BTW, the movie wasn't that bad either. Pretty cool period piece.
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UPDATED 2000 hrs MDT: Today PBO's remarks on Ferguson included the following quote - "OBAMA: I spoke to Jay Nixon about this, expressed an interest in making sure that if in fact the National Guard is used, it is used in a limited and appropriate way. He described the support role that they’re gonna be providing to local law enforcement. And I’ll be watching over the next several days, to assess whether, in fact, it’s helping rather than hindering progress in Ferguson." IOW, it's likely that if he doesn't like what is going on, he's gonna federalize them. This is a warning to the governor of Missouri (oh, and Texas, too) not to push too far. Can anyone think of Little Rock 9? - W This was bound to happen- the Missiouri governor has called in the National Guard to help restore order in Ferguson. This could be problematic- you'd expect that doing this would help restore order, but, it may be an escalation that could backfire. One good point is that this unrest has been small-scale for the most part; there haven't been tens of thousands coming in to add to the festering sore this has become. The main concern I have is the training of the Guard- as a former commander in MOARNG, we never participated in riot training. Ever. And I doubt any of these units have either, at least not recently. My hope is that the reason they are late to the party is that they've been off somewhere getting that training. You don't just hand out riot batons and shields and line up down the street. That would make things far worse. In Ohio and Illinois, we received yearly refresher training on riots. My Ohio units were stand-by forces for university and prision riots; Chicago units always get riot training (1968 anyone?). But the units I had in MO didn't have such missions, and anyway they've focused on deployment readiness of late. Another issue is this- with the involvement of ARNG folks, USNORTHCOM is now watching this VERY closely. Not that they've ignored it to this point- but now it's likely at full attention for the time being. You can bet this has made the Morning Brief for the 4-star there now. So are we going to see MBRs, batons, shields, and troopers on the street this week? Armored humvees and REAL tanks? Just how far will this go? OR, will the troops just be used to truck in stuff and remain in the background? If people hated seeing cops in cammo, how about now? Luckily, I don't think anyone is going to be issued bayonets. Will the feds take over the Guard if things go REALLY badly? Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
You wouldn't be able to get Mattis to stay behind. Nuh uh. ''Back at home''. Wouldn't.Happen.
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2014 on Volunteers for Kurdistan at BLACKFIVE
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Yanno, you ought to re-create/re-do some of the famous WH press briefings from movies... What would also be fun is doing a Chevy Chase-style rant on some country from the podium :)
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I don't think it's because we are not willing to pay a cost, or are less willing to be strong. I believe it's an ineptness, and unwillingness, to actually do what is necessary. While you may categorize this in the 'strong' box, it's the inability to define what is really going on here. You touch on it with the genocide angle- but it's a RELIGIOUS genocide. Our too-secular society fails on every level to grasp it, and our gov't reps do anything they possibly can to prevent it from being framed thus. Our enemy defines it as such; many military/civilian people do, but, there is a complete paranoia out there that if we actually DO frame it in those terms it would be really bad. Or over everyone's head or something. Religious genocide vs. social genocide means there is no chance to turn the oppressors. It also means that, in their minds, our counter-argument/position means zero. ''This is in our creed- so it must be so.'' Only an utter, total, physical defeat will win the day. I give you Nazism (in an anti-religious way) and the views of the Japanese that their emperor was 'god-like' as examples. Poor ones, but Stalin and Mao's genocidal tactics were ideals-based, not religious fervor. Want to see another version? Take a look at the film 'Tears of the Sun'. Or 'Rwanda'. Until we frame this in proper context, we will face some form of this violence for the next 200 years or more. Oh, and in case no one has noticed, this IS a 'world war'.
Toggle Commented Aug 8, 2014 on An Age of Genocide at BLACKFIVE
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Worse, the MSM-effers are trying to determine his 'motivation'. WTF? Motivation? You need 'motivation' to attack an enemy general? They are treating this more like a 'crime' than a wartime event- again, failure to see the forest for the trees. CNN sure knows how to raise blood pressure before noon. Here's the linky: http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/06/world/asia/afghanistan-insider-attacks/index.html?hpt=hp_t2 I sure as hell don't need 'motivation' to want to wipe out every one of those Talib mf'ers. I just need opportunity.
Toggle Commented Aug 6, 2014 on And Now They Got a General at BLACKFIVE
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The Islamists perfected this process during the Iraq war; Zarkowi set the standard there. This is where they learned to effectively put civilians in harms way, and to use schools/mosques as military points. Even hospitals. In effect, they are far more effective at IO than we could ever be, because they are willing to 'go there' and use our own 'standards' against us. Kinda like Democrats. It was a daily battle to try to refute or answer to the accusations caused by AQ's actions in Tikrit, Fallujah, Sadr City, Najaf, ad infinitum.
Toggle Commented Aug 4, 2014 on The Laws of War & Killing Civilians at BLACKFIVE
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So, Che' shirts are ok, as long as they are 'stylish'? I think you need to know that CUBA is known for its cigars- CASTRO is known for SMOKING them. Like he smoked people. With Che'. Cuban cigars ain't what they used to be- Nicaraguans, Ecuadorian, Dominicans, Honduran, Filipino, and even a few US wrappers are considered better in many cases. Cuba hasn't been able to keep up with the growth in tobacco types that occur in Central America. Cubanos are known mostly because ya can't get them here (legally).
Toggle Commented Jul 27, 2014 on Castro's Cigar Shop, in America? at BLACKFIVE
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Steve- so how's he putting these Guard guys out there taking heat off ICE? - They won't be armed (at least initially) - They cannot arrest anyone - They cannot detain anyone - They won't be able to stop anyone coming across the Rio So what are they actually going to DO? Feds will likely put out an 'order' saying 'don't bring them to any ICE facility; we're full.' Will TX put them up somewhere? Legally, they cannot stand on the border and prevent someone from crossing it (that's federal purview). If they arm them in ANY way, WH will put those pics on every street corner and turn the tide or up the rhetoric to a level TX won't tolerate. Because racism or something. Posse Comitatus doesn't apply here; these guys will be Title 32, not Title 10. State active duty. The Gov could grant them police powers, but that's not very likely at this point. Again, we're doing something without actually doing anything...
Toggle Commented Jul 22, 2014 on Texas Governor Perry wimps out at BLACKFIVE
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Not just yet. I want to say tons, but, been advised against it just yet. There is a lot still going on, due to the investigation by MG Dahl.
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2014 on Texas Governor Perry wimps out at BLACKFIVE
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They've just announced that the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, is going to be ordering 1,000 troops to the border to help 'secure' it. Like hell. According to reports just in after a news conference, ''Texas Adjutant General John Nichols said his troops would simply be "referring and deterring" immigrants and not detaining people -- though Nichols said the National Guard could if asked. "We think they'll come to us and say, `Please take us to a Border Patrol station," Nichols said." THIS is securing the border? The TSA is doing more than this, and they aren't even checking ID's on illegal immigrants anymore. This is a sham. 12 mil a month to post Guardsmen there, and all they'll be doing is tour guides? My suggestion is that they hand them a map to California and send them there. I think that's a fair deal- California sends companies and millionaires to Texas, and they send them immigrants. Gov Perry is running a huge risk, with zero payoff, hoping he'll look 'leader-y'. Granted, he's looking far far more Presidential than the current office, but that's not difficult to do. It may be that should he do anything more than that, he runs the risk of the WH federalizing the guard troops, a-la Little Rock 9, and losing any semblance of control. But what are the chances of THAT? Gov Perry, you are doing zero to address the problem of our borders, or of the illegal immigrants. Time to start over. Wolf Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
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A good friend and camp follower of Blackfive made this little show for us. Those of you who've been subjugated upon a FOB somewhere know exactly what this is about. Any of you with merchandising and manufacturing skills, well, you know where to reach us. Have a great Fourth of July weekend! -W Download All Army PRT Reflective belt policy, version 3 Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Mr Tobin- It's not in what you say. It's what you DO. It's in all of what WE do. Do you set the example for them- do you vote? Do you question campaigns? Do you speak out when these things come up? Do you contact your reps, from local to national? 'Saying' does little but vent. 'Doing' brings attention, brings activity, brings change. Sadly, this is where we are today- because too many people just stayed home. "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing"
Toggle Commented Jul 2, 2014 on What Do I Say? at BLACKFIVE
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Unfortunately, this guy likely won't see a courtroom anytime soon, if ever. IF he lives long enough (depending on where they hold him) the prosecution faces issues from Khattala's lawyers of who authorized incursion into Libya, what authority, how did they get extradition, legality of seizing someone from foreign country not in declared war, evidentiary issues, witness issues, etc etc. He'll rot in a hole somewhere before they ever get him to a public trial. They might get him to cough up some intel, but they won't be able to use it in court (based on an assumption that he'll make some deal). It's good that they caught him and they demonstrate the long arm of the US reach, but what overall good do we get out of it? It could also potentially turn into a PR disaster. I chuckle at the thought he stands up and declares ''We saw the video! We decided death to America, and ran to the nearest embassy!''
Toggle Commented Jun 17, 2014 on Benghazi suspect captured at BLACKFIVE
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Put this in your mind to consider: if the US sends drones or even aircraft to fly CAS, we'll basically be flying cover for the Iranian Guard. Think about that. US flying cover for the mullahs. Conflicts make strange bedfellows
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This is where maneuver becomes the winning strategy. The only way this plays out to the Iraqi's benefit is that there are not nearly enough insurgents to hold all that ground; Mosul, Tikrit, Fallujah, Ramadi, etc. Likely the best way to get this turned around is as insurgents flee captured areas, and head toward Baghdad (where we all know they're heading) the Iraqi forces need to lift and drop into those captured areas behind them. Make them lose their gains, or, expend much much more effort to hold them, distracting forces from moving on Baghdad.
Toggle Commented Jun 11, 2014 on Losing the peace in Iraq at BLACKFIVE
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This will not end easily, soon, or prettily. Mosul will be a flashpoint- due the the Arab re-settling that went on here (to push out Kurdish influence) there is a larger amount of Arab presence here than in other areas of Northern Iraq. Taking this town gives ISIS access to the biggest nugget of all- the gas and oil lines flowing northward out of Kurdish territory. There is a very very good chance this will be the straw that send Iraq into separate pieces- Sunni, Shiite, and Kurd. Report have that troops are being massed to move from the Baghdad areas and southern areas up towards Mosul. That would then leave those areas devoid of support, and ANOTHER type of strikes will occur. It could have a domino effect. Erbil (Irbil) is to the east of Mosul; only about 100 miles or so, and is in the heart of Kurdish territory. It is also the economic hub of the area, having built one of the largest and most substantial airports in the entire region, entirely financed by the Kurds. They have been acting somewhat autonomously from Baghdad's central government, and have pushed forward strong economic advances. Kurdish areas have been the most stable of the entire country. That, I'm afraid, is about to change. If 500k people are truly being displaced out of Mosul, most will head toward Erbil, down into Tikrit, and some all the way into Baghdad. To give you some scale, when Fallujah I occurred in April 2004, we were dealing with about 48k displaced persons. It was complete and utter chaos. Up it by a factor of 10, and you have REAL trouble. ISIS has been building for some time across Syria and northern Iraq. If they manage to hold onto the resources they 'acquired' in Mosul, you will likely see eastern Syria and Iraq folding into one entity; hopefully not a full-on caliphate. And oh- I wouldn't worry TOO much about all those Humvee's and things they got; given their lack of ANY sense of maintenance, they will probably last about a week. The aircraft? I'd be SHOCKED if they could get one started, let alone coax it off the ground...
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Solomon- I said I'm not defending him. At all. I have NO, NONE, ZERO knowledge of his intent nor his emotions at the time. As he is alive, HE can and will answer for them. Hopefully, to the full extent of the UCMJ. Our mission was SOLELY to find, fix, and recover him. Period. No games, no 'negotiations', just locate and recover by any means possible. Were we going to send in a battalion of Rangers across the border into PAK to accomplish it? No. The political fallout from the bin Laden raid precluded that. Had not PAK had nukes, this would have lasted about a month, not years. Had not our supply lines into AFG so GREATLY depended on PAK and other countries, we could have had other options. The U.S. has turned cowardly in how it deals with protecting its own interests. This swap only reinforces that view. I'm going to add this: based on prior info, that swap involved a LOT of money somewhere. HQN got paid, likely via Qatar, then HQN handed BB to the Talib, the GITMO 5 got freed via Qatar. What still is not clear is WHAT QATAR got out of this deal. No one does anything for free, and the 'wasta' in this is too short-lived to be of any use to them. Is there an arms deal pending here? An intel share of some sort? We will see.
Toggle Commented Jun 7, 2014 on About That Bergdahl Thing... at BLACKFIVE
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People have been asking. I have been delaying. And I'm going to delay some more. Because vindictive. As someone who worked the Sgt Bergdahl issue for 4 years, I have a long, sordid history with this issue. And I WAS going to come out on the topic this week- I had mentioned to several people that I wanted to post up about it. But I've been advised not to, by some people who understand the 'why'. Much has been said- and most of it is inaccurate, if only because we've not heard from either the family, or from Bowe himself. I'm not going to defend him; my mission is done. But until I read something from his team of reintegrators (and I know who they are) I'm holding back. This issue is FAR from over; this isn't going to be gone anytime soon. If you want to read things that I find 'credible' at least in part, head here, here, and here. I won't give reasons as to exactly why, yet, but suffice to say these have more to them than much of the other speculation (outside the direct interviews with his platoon members). I won't give up on this. But the time isn't right. Yet. Wolf Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
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BLACKFIVE has been asked to help get the word out on a new film premiering next week by Sebasian Junger- if you recall, his last film Restrepo was a hit- covering the battle in Afghanistan by the 2/503d of the 173 ABN BDE. The film is premiering next week- and B5 readers will have an EXCLUSIVE opportunity to get tickets to it in NYC. More on this soon! But I'm here to tell you about the Denver premier- where Sebastian will appear at the Denver Film Society's opening of the film. DFS, along with VFW Post 1 (as in, THE first VFW post) along with BLACKFIVE are hosting a special event. BLACKFIVE will sponsor a social following the film, and I will get to interview Sebastian along with several members of the 173d who will be there. If you are in Denver or vicinity, COME ON OUT. Here are the links to details, and a bit about the film. I'll post more on this as we get closer- but spread the word. Here is another film on the heroics of the 503d as they faced some of the most intense combat in Afghanistan. From the release material: "KORENGAL follows Junger’s Oscar-nominated film, Restrepo, which he made with the late Tim Hetherington. This feature length documentary follows a platoon of men as they fight in Afghanistan's famed Korengal Valley, often called, "the valley of death." KORENGAL takes a less kinetic, and more visceral look at war, and listens to the thoughts of the men who fight it. The film captures the confusion of war, and the courage and strength of the men, who, like all troops find themselves facing overwhelming danger. The emotions are often conflicting: as one soldier mourns the loss of a friend in combat, another doesn't hesitate to say he would go back to the front in a minute. While the firefights are fierce, there are long periods of waiting for the uncertain. KORENGAL captures the soldier's thoughts on service, war, combat, and brotherhood. KORENGAL is what war feels like. The film was shot by Junger and Hetherington on location in the Korengal Valley. Additional footage was filmed in Vincenza Italy at the unit base of the 2-503, Battle Company, of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. “Tim and I had always envisioned this film project to unfold in two parts. The world has seen the first part of this work, RESTREPO. But when Tim was tragically killed while covering the civil war in Libya three years ago, I was left on my own to finish the project. I re-enlisted the other two members of our RESTREPO team and we went back to work. The result, KORENGAL — which together with RESTREPO completes our vision – is exactly what Tim and I had discussed years earlier,” said filmmaker Sebastian Junger. “As with RESTREPO,” Junger added, “we paid for the entire production ourselves, which gave us complete control of what the film would be. RESTREPO was intended to be a way for civilians to experience what combat feels like. We wanted KORENGAL to be very different. This film strives to impart understanding of the inner psychology of the soldier, rather than being intentionally experiential. How does fear work? What do courage and guilt mean? What is it like to come home from war? Why do so many soldiers miss being at war once they’re home?” The film debuted at the Little Rock Film Festival, and will premiere in NYC on May 30. A national roll out has been planned for late June through early August." Here is the FACEBOOK link: https://www.facebook.com/korengalthemovie And, the Denver Film Society announcement: http://www.denverfilm.org/filmcenter/detail.aspx?id=26569 I hope to see you there! Much more to follow! Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2014 at BLACKFIVE
Ok- what, exactly, is a 'demo landing'? Do the Italians land differently? Or do dustoffs do a different landing procedure? Can't say I've ever been part of/seen a 'demo' landing :)
Toggle Commented Aug 17, 2013 on Photo: Medevac Demo Landing at BLACKFIVE
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Several of my brethren here on B5 have heard me talk about this chick- in my OBC I was classmates of a female 2LT who was an E-6 Drill Sergeant at Ft Jackson. She was squared away in ways many men couldn't even begin to approach. She was the Army rep to the Boston Marathon. Her pt reps worked like a sewing machine- pushups/situps non-stop until time ran out; usually broke more than 80 reps of each. So the physical part was easy for her. She wanted NOTHING to do with being a Ranger or anything like that- but she wanted jump school. Passing the PT portion of Basic Paratrooper was nothing. But she couldn't do the 36-ft tower. Scared the shit out of her. She washed out the second week. JUST like everyone else, you may find that element you can't get past. It may break you, or you will pass the standards. But they may not just be physical ones. Ask ANY Ranger candidate what drove them to the brink; most will reply either the cold in the winter phase, or the lack of food for energy. Certainly the lack of sleep. One thing many forget to mention- LT Murphy was COMBAT PROMOTED to an officer from a sergeant. That didn't happen often. And certainly not to anyone who not only wasn't smart enough, but also strong enough to handle it.
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We have a new king of Mount Badass right there... but of course, how many more pullups could YOU do if you dropped 30 or more pounds off your deadweight yank? ( I keed! I keed! save the emails!) Thats some serious commitment right there...
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