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JfM
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As sickening as these too frequent episodes are, the more often resulting punishment hardly reinforces any idea that the military is serious about stamping out such behavior. Guilty flag officers lose a star or have their last LOM rescinded. Poppycock! The result of flag officer conduct inimical to the officer code needs to very harsh; substantive forfeiture of retirement pay, meaningful reduction of rank, immediate retirement in disgrace, and in truly egregious circumstances..a BCD. Similar transgressions by enlisted more often result in true poundings, offending officers should have at least the same consequences.
Wrote my rep Gerry Connolly (VA Dem 11th District) who was spot-lighted this AM in a WP piece opining he'll 'vote his conscience' (meaning for the action) vice what he admits is assuredly an overriding 11th district majority against such action. I reaffirmed to him rather harshly that he votes the sensing of the people in the 11th not his conscience. He votes for & I'll work hard to have him ousted next election. Fairfax,chock-a-block full of military (both active & retired), by my count is four square against such folly. I will pursue similar comms with our 2 august senators tomorrow.
A sad day, one that opens combat arms to women. Not because of the women; there are women-many women-who can ‘cut the mustard’ & be a functioning 11B. Rather it’s about what it does to the unit. The Israelis have/had (?) a combat option for women; the Caracal Battalion, a modified operational light infantry manned by well over 50 percent female soldiers. It seems to work for the Israelis, but remember the Israelis fight from home…they’re not deployed thousands of miles away. The Soviets, during the hardest days of WW2 when the Nazis were pushing them against the wall, used females in front line units. They quickly walked away from that model when they could. As a CIB wearing Army retiree, I know the reality of life in the woods; squatting between a pair of boots five feet from your fighting position for your fellow squad mates to see ain't the most graceful of acts. It’s a largely de-humanizing experience calling forth our most harsh instinct. I don’t want my son living it (although as an enlisted Marine mortar man, he did) and I sure as hell don’t want my daughter doing it!
Probably should allow this thread to fade off into the archives,BUT.. by my experience it was a 2 way street. Joining MACV as a young/green 0-2 as the SF were being unceremoniously withdrawn, me and my little MACV 5-man Mobile Advisory Team were assigned to largely assume the soon to be vacated A camp (A-104 Son Ha/Ha Thanh) and work with the RF/PFs in district. SF, on the way out, was to assist us in the turn over giving us support (until they left) to assist us in standing up. Again, we were constituted as a team days before piling off on the camp LZ. Well, they burned there entire map holding (reams of 1:50 thru 1:500), and used all the POL to burn the weeds in the wire...then got on their provided birds out and left us pretty much dry. I still have a sore ass about that.
Haunting and very hard good read. I was in So. Lebanon 79-80 with the UN as an unarmed mil observer, then again in 86-87 as Chief Observer Group Lebanon (working the UNIFIL AO with 86 officers from 19 nations). Got to Beirut a number of times and Sales has captured well the confusion,duplicity, and tension of the times and place. Car bombs were (and I suspect are still) the most insidious threat in a conflict zone. Where I operated in Vietnam (way western I corps-very remote), booby traps were of little concern...that was a populated lowland thing.Later in the 2 yrs I spent with UNPROFOR in Sarajevo (after retiring from the Army) again, little concern; snipers yes, car bombs not so much. I can, with Sales vivid description, see the scenes perfectly in my head and they continue to frighten.
When with DIA/JSI-5 in the early 80's as the Iran-Iraq war was getting nastier, 2 of us then 0-4s spent 45 'anxious' minutes with 'Barbwire Bob' Kingston talking the bridging used by the Iraqis in the Majnoon island area.(Styrofoam largely it was!) Then LTG Kingston couldn't have been easier to brief; engaged, good questions, let us finish sentences and slides...wwe walked out and thought 'that went very well'. He was a hard guy (noted on class A's), but very good senior officer. CENTCOM was a mixed bag then..I know I didn't want to go to Tampa! Yeah, I heerd tell about the VMI..many good combat arms, close running mates of mine over the years were products thereof...good officers all.
Obviously you had a better/more painful seat in the crowd than I. Again, with only actual contact a couple times so cannot provide personal assessment. He fried my 0-6 DAMO-SS division chief, and for that, we AOs were grateful. I know NS was the bull in the Wedgewood store. Regardless, sorry to see him go (as go we all must) & hope he was at peace with those around him.
No, ARVN advisors (MACV co vans) worn a dark blue beret with ARVN rank attached. As he was assigned to the airborne, his may have been maroon.
No, battalion/brigade ARVN advisers (my MACV tour) had the co vans wearing a dark blue beret with ARVN rank afixed. I was a Dai Uy and still have my beret. I truly didn't look good in that headgear and preferred the issued soft hat.. Schwartzkopf was with the ARVN Airborne, so i don't know as his beret may have been maroon...
Again, with limited actual contact of him during his days as DCSOPS & while not necessary fond of him, my recollection of the general impression of him pervasive in the trenches of ODCSOPS action officers was good. He moved actions along, was decisive & left no doubt who was driving the bus. The Army CoS was GEN Carl Vuono with GEN Kicklighter as DCoS…let’s say I’m not a fan of either…& hard days for the Army & for us in the E Ring. But ole’ Stormin Norman had us hoping. And no, he didn’t like SF or DIA. Some of that may have been because of experience with DIA’s less than stellar outcome in the Grenada operation or some personal dislike for DIA Director LTG Perroots. S the changing national security environment featuring the new threats of terrorism, global volatility, and low-intensity conflict. As DCSOPS, Schwartzkopf grappled the changing national security environment featuring the new threats of terrorism, global volatility, & low-intensity conflict. I don’t think he liked or then well-understood these game changers.
Worked for him on ARSTAFF (DAMO-SS/MidEast Policy-strategy desk officer as 48G) as young 0-5 when he was DCSOPS..well regarded but hard to brief (big on details & background). If you tubed a brief to him, he'd fry your bacon then dismiss you & had called your boss…or bosses boss (waiting for you when you got back) to fry you a tad more. Good officer, wicked smart, fierce temper but never held hot when you encountered him next...fresh start each time. And Kevin’s observation about not being architect of ‘Hail Mary’ and great ‘Left Hook’ rings true; it was a then obscure group of junior field grades from Leavenworth (The Jedi Knights) who cobbled the attack op plan together after Norm stepped on his poncho in his initial concept brief to the OJCS (Powell et al) where he declared he was going to ‘run up the gut’…a full frontal attack. ‘Wrong answer’, says the E Ring. Regardless, he was the face of the first Iraq dust-up and was a good mud soldier.
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Dec 28, 2012