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I seek to occupy no stage. I sought to opine and point out that I agreed with the top two men in the SEAL community about knocking it the hell off. If anyone needs to be kicked on the way down, it would be the politicians (one in particular that invited himself to the DevGru Fight Club by talking about how "he got Bin Laden" and continues to do so when the opportunity presents itself). And I have no doubt that the root of it lies there, and not in the SEAL Community. The guys who step off the ramp out into the dark in places they can't name, as you have pointed out, have already handled and given some firm guidance to how the SEAL Community will be handling this problem. I thought this would be an appropriate place to express that opinion, given that this is not only a political issue, but a military one as well.
Toggle Commented Nov 10, 2014 on The SEAL Community and Fight Club at BlackFive
1 reply
Was I misunderstood Froggy? I thought you would have been the angriest out of all of us here that someone in your community was not being mindful of the quiet professionalism embodied in the job, regardless of what his job was on the OP that night. I also think OPSEC, regardless of where you land on the great big map of MOS'es is pretty important. It angers me to no end when this stuff hits the media. I thought I was clear in my post about how everyone in the chain, civilian or military, that is talking about this OP ought to stop talking about this OP; and that includes the people who think they are members of "Fight Club" by proxy (like the feckless president and the semi-retarded VP to start with). Was getting the No. 1 bad guy in the world a life changing and historic event? Sure, but so were 100 other OPS great and small that may or may not have led DevGru to be on that roof that night that no one talks about, so why not keep this one on the "no talk list" too? I hope this isn't about how, "if I ain't a SEAL, I can't have an opinion." I don't think I need to have completed BUDS to understand that the things done in the shadows should stay there until the appropriate and lawful time to reveal them arrives and that having an expectation that those that live that life wouldn't reveal them either is out of line.
Toggle Commented Nov 9, 2014 on The SEAL Community and Fight Club at BlackFive
1 reply
The first rule of Fight Club is that you don’t talk about Fight Club. Evidently, that is slipping a little for some in the SEAL community. No one here has weighed in on this yet, but others have elsewhere. Whether it was a night firefight and looked exactly like the last 30 minutes of Zero Dark Thirty, or whether it was over in 90 seconds on the third floor because they hit that building first is not really what is at issue. It isn’t if Navy SEALs defiled the corpse (I would have wrapped him in bacon and put him inside a pig purchased from a Jewish deli in NYC before firing what was left of him out of a cannon) or who fired the shot, or what happened on that day amongst the individuals who touched down in that compound behind enemy lines. What is salient here is what happened the whole of that night, and that we don’t talk about Fight Club, especially when it involves operations that have Non-Disclosure Agreements and Q-Level clearances. Having been involved in a few things that have had these attached to them, I can tell you that these things are taken seriously. Being in DevGru, Detachment Delta or any other SMU is the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket to Life’s Badass List. If you are on it, the only ones that will know are also exclusive members of this club. In the audio interview, O'Neill says he believes some details about the bin Laden mission, such as how he was killed, were no longer classified because they had been repeatedly leaked in the aftermath by high-level officials. "Once anyone says anything at that level, it's not classified," he said. "...I was told by people that I can't even say I'm a Navy SEAL, so I don't give a f*** what they think." This is why leadership is important. The Occupant in Chief of the Office of the President got this ball rolling about 15 minutes after the SIPRnet message about the successful completion of the flight back and accordingly, others followed; except the two top people in the SEAL Community, and a bunch of other guys who understood that you don't talk about Fight Club. When the civilians and politicians who don't live by the same code spend their time talking about how "I got Bin Laden" when it blatantly isn't true (in the case of the OinC) it can be maddening and frightening and leads to the unintended consequences inherent in human nature. This is why civilians don't get many invitations to join Fight Club. The guy(s) that fired that shot, regardless of who he or they are, should have this story told to Fox News by their sons about 50 years from now. As someone who operates in the shadows of places where the intelligence world and direct action world intersect, the shooter should be able to reflect back on what he did, and in all the cool things that he can never talk about, except for with the other members on the above mentioned list. Would I like to buy a beer and a cook a steak on my back deck for whoever pressed the Boom Switch and put an end to the number one guy on everyone's Islamist excrement list that certainly deserved it? Hell Yes, beers are on me and how do you like your steak? More than that though, I want that guy or guys to STFU about what went down in that OP. Because the human nature I was talking about leads us to this: They should just all smile knowingly and deflect it all back to the "team" and be glad the dude is rotting in hell. So please, FFS, let's stop talking about Fight Club. Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2014 at BlackFive
Sounds like the Marines are doing the difficult work of proving what anyone who isn't blind already knows regarding the anatomy and physiology of men versus women. The Sanctioning Bodies of the MMA and Boxing have it figured out, why can't the Military? As most of us here are or have been leaders in combat units; I know that when the failure rate for physical activities for women ranges as high as 28 TIMES the failure rate of men, then I think the question answers itself. Those failures for those activities in combat mean dead people. But for progressives and liberals who don't care about women, this is a tailor made issue. They can kvetch and whine that it isn't "faaaiiiiirrrr" that they can't be warriors too, and then when we start mustering them out of the service early with debilitating medical issues caused by over training and over work, they can kvetch about how unfairly they were treated and that we have to work harder to make things more "equal." Just so the Feminists know, those mortar base plates and 155 shells aren't going to be made out of plastic and those machine guns are not going to carry themselves. The progressives should be asking themselves how many of America's sons they want to kill and maim in combat in the name of equality because little Maryann Machine-gunner couldn't get her narrow John Brown Hind-parts up the f'ing hill and start laying down hate with that 240B at nearly the speed of her male cohorts in the same age group. "There is no study that indicates that training can overcome the large physical differences between men and women. Additionally, training women to perform heavy work jobs increases dramatically the skeletal-muscular injury rate among women which is already far greater than men. Attempting to train women with men will require either training men less well or accepting a high attrition rate among the very few women who will meet the nominal qualifications for heavy work jobs." That statement alone should be enough to settle it.
Toggle Commented Oct 11, 2014 on Women in the Combat Arms at BlackFive
1 reply
What is it about media people, especially the Sports Media, who have suddenly decided that the social issues of the day matter among those that listen to sports talk radio? I know that when I tune in to Sports Talk Radio, I am there to hear about sports, and things that have to do with sports (which may cross over into the social) but I don't want to hear the host's opinions on the state of poverty, what you think about the latest Supreme Court case involving voting rights, or if you think ISIS is dangerous or not. I have regular talk radio for that. Sports is my diversion from all that. Which brings me to another douchebag of note; Colin Cowherd of ESPN. You can go here for all of his douchetastic-ness if you want. “We know most people that go into the military in this country — they need the military often to pay bills. That is is almost a federal safety net financially, and by the way you’ll take shots. You’ll be sent two or three times to a raging inferno in the Middle East. That stuff scares me. That stuff I’m worried about. There’s loss of life there.” I would like to posit a theory in order to test that Colin may be right, I want to know the answer to one question about which you may have an answer. Did Pat Tillman join because he needed to pay his bills? Did Pat Tillman join because he needed college money? Did Pat Tillman join because he needed a challenge in his life that was missing? I think Pat had a perspective on this before his death. No one forced Pat to sign up. I would say he volunteered knowing what he was doing. It was the life he chose and he entered it knowing exactly what he wanted to do. He left behind money, fame and financial security. And what if people join the US Military to pay their bills, so what? As opposed to what? As usual Colin, you didn't define the comparison. Joined the Army instead of going to Harvard? Signed up with the Marines instead of taking a job as executive VP with Getty Oil? Decided that the Navy was better than being the property manager at the Playboy Mansion? Would you say Pat had no clue what he was giving up? Maybe some of these people decided that getting taxpayer money for doing a job that could potentially benefit them in the future (like Helicopter engine mechanic, Aviation structural mechanic or Special Forces Medic) would provide them the opportunity to be something besides someone who gets taxpayer money for signing up at the welfare office. There are people who decide to make a better life for themselves that way, or change their circumstances, or challenge themselves. I might know one of two of those people. Yes, you can be killed in the US military while doing your job, but you can die in traffic, of cancer, from an accident at home, or for any number of other reasons. I know it is hard to understand the idea that people who join the military would actually want to go do their jobs, even at the risk of their life, but maybe a sports analogy would help you. Emmitt Smith used to liken the job of being an NFL Running Back to being in 25 car crashes in a 4 hour period, but I am trying to imagine a time when Emmitt Smith didn't want the ball. He was still there, saying "put me in coach." Some of us did it for the college money, some of us did it because we love our country, some of us did it to escape poverty, some of us did it seeking a challenge. You judging those of us who have chosen to join the military shows your ignorance of what kind of people those of us are, but it definitely shows me that I am a pretty good judge of character about what kind of man you are. Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2014 at BlackFive
So now, we don't have "boots on the ground" fighting in Iraq. Instead, we have "advisors" being deployed to Iraq in order to be "embedded" with Iraqi units. So, when Steve Kroft from CBS actually finds a hardball in the bucket of questions he is lobbing at Barack the Teleprompter Reader, it is interesting to see how he qualifies and hedges his statement regarding exactly what their mission is. Steve Kroft: You know, you’ve said no American boots on the ground. No combat troops on the ground. We’ve got 1,600 troops there. President Obama: We do. Steve Kroft: Some of them are going to be out, embedded with Iraqi units. President Obama: Well, they’re in harm’s way in the sense that any time they’re in war, it’s dangerous. So I don’t want to downplay the fact that they’re in a war environment and there are hostile forces on the other side. But… Steve Kroft: And they participated in combat operations. President Obama: Well, there’s a difference between them advising and assisting Iraqis who are fighting versus a situation in which we got our Marines and our soldiers out there taking shots and shooting back. As someone who has done this job, let me clear up any misconceptions that the President, or any of his camp followers have regarding what my role as an embedded trainer was; there is just as much or more combat as there is advising. In fact, the entire deployment I was on in 06/07 was spent in the field with an Afghan unit, "advising" (fighting). The Taliban and the Haqqani Network were eager for battle with Afghan units, because they knew that attacking American units was a bad day. This is what those "embedded trainers" are doing right now in Iraq, so with the Pak border over my right shoulder, here I am "advising" the company commander with my terp on what our next move is, which for him was to get out of his truck and do his damn job instead of hanging out like a spectator. About an hour before this we had found a rocket launcher that was hidden in the trees and had been firing on FOB Bermel. It turned out our next move after this little confab (sarcasm doesn't translate well into Pashto BTW--ed) was to get in a firefight about 5 minutes after this picture was taken with an LP/OP that had been watching us. This is the Weapons Company (yep, that is all of them) in Zerok, where we put a COP in 2006. It was also where we saw our heaviest fighting in our sector. In 2009 on July 4th, this attack took place there. There are quite a few of us who know exactly what the job of "advisor" entails and when the PINO says "Well, there’s a difference between them advising and assisting Iraqis who are fighting versus a situation in which we got our Marines and our soldiers out there taking shots and shooting back." I promise you, there isn't a difference from where they are standing, because if they are doing their job, they are standing next to those Iraqis helping to advise them on how to get the job done. These are the types of words games that we play with our moms and wives and girlfriends in order to convince them that it isn't what it looks like on the news and despite all that, they lay awake at night wondering and contemplating the "ifs" that no one wants to contemplate. These aren't the words of a leader by any measure. So when the PINO tries to hedge and minimize and play words games about what the US Military Units forward deployed are doing in Iraq, he is only doing so in order to somehow make Code Pink and Media Matters happy with his statements of his non-Bush war stance during his "extended counter-terrorism operation" that may last "years." For those of us who have lived it, it is exactly what it is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2014 at BlackFive
If anyone wants to see what leadership actually looks like without the excessive use of the phrase "let me be clear" or "And Osama Bin Laden knows I am serious" or any words like "bamboozled" and "Flim-Flam" you should watch this video. I know that there will be many who will take issue with the last administration on a range of issues, and some just never got over the election in 2000, so they will never be happy. One thing I never took issue with the Bush Administration was the premise that in order to have discussions about any political issues and achieve consensus or compromise; we couldn't have airplanes being flown into skyscrapers and Americans killed by Islamists bent on watching the world burn. Have a gander, and if you want to; you can do a little longing for the days when the grownups were in charge. Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2014 at BlackFive
Well, then let the "they" be "we" Good. Keep the brothers in the loop when you know what you know.
Toggle Commented Aug 13, 2014 on Volunteers for Kurdistan at BlackFive
1 reply
Good points all: Get Allan West to run the show on the ground, General Mattis to run things back at home and trained men from all branches making up "cells" or "action teams" that will know how to put ordnance on target and begin thinning the Jihadi population. My bet is we could crowd-fund this. Who would have thought that you could crowd fund a real life "Expendables" If they start putting it together, count me in.
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2014 on Volunteers for Kurdistan at BlackFive
1 reply
A dose of each this morning. Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said Friday that two F/A-18 jets dropped 500-pound bombs on a piece of artillery and the truck towing it. The Pentagon said the military conducted the strike at 6:45 a.m. ET, against terrorists with the Islamic State (IS), the group formerly known as ISIS. “As the president made clear, the United States military will continue to take direct action against [IS] when they threaten our personnel and facilities,” Kirby said. Also, the PINO wanted us to know the exact reasons we were dropping bombs in bad guys in Iraq, after promising not to go back to Iraq, and then sending troops back to Iraq, but not for combat. The president warned that the civilians face a potential genocide at the hands of IS militants. He stressed that combat troops will not be returning to Iraq, but said America has an obligation to help. The PINO may not know this, because the closest he has been to a uniform is walking past someone in ROTC while in college, but those airstrikes don't land where they are aimed because of magic. A bearded guy with gadgets and unique training and a team of matching badasses is hid out on a piece of key terrain close enough to see what that bomb is going to land on. So the PINO is lying when he says that no US troops will be on the ground nor participating in combat operations. US SOF assets are there, because that is the only way to make sure that 500 pound bombs hit what they are aimed at. Anyone else wondering what Code Pink and ANSWER think of the guy who said this dropping ordnance on Islamists bent on genocide? Did the PINO forget he had Twitter? It gives me great joy and epic sadness to know that the last president is living rent free in this Dude's head. All you have to do to know that is look at anything he has said in the past regarding any foreign policy decision that may have even tangentally involved the military. When the Syrian problem that most of us saw coming like a train in a tunnel exploded, way back in September of 2013, he assured us that: “The military plan that has been developed by the joint chiefs and that I believe is appropriate is proportional. It is limited. It does not involve boots on the ground. This is not Iraq and this is not Afghanistan.” And when he decided to send those 300 "advisors" to Iraq, he warned us “Recent days have reminded us of the deep scars left by America’s war in Iraq.” And this nugget as well... “Here at home, Iraq sparked vigorous debates and intense emotions in the past, and we’ve seen some of those debates resurface. But what’s clear from the last decade is the need for the United States to ask hard questions before we take action abroad, particularly military action.” But this one is may favorite: “I think we always have to guard against mission creep so let me repeat what I have said in the past. American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again.” Dropping bombs on bad guys towing artillery pieces around the countryside is just that Mr. PINO. Because the last administration is living rent free in his head, every decision and action and statement is couched in a healthy dose of "WWBD?", and when your only plan is "do the opposite of the last guy" then you really have no plan at all. It bears repeating that when you deploy SOF, it isn't to solve a "humanitarian crisis." You are at war.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2014 at BlackFive
As Jimbo said, this is a big deal BTW... Several news organizations, citing anonymous military sources, report that an American two-star major general was killed in the assassination-style attack. If confirmed, it would be the highest ranking military official to be killed in the Afghanistan war. Awesome. The dou'che's (the French pronunciation I believe) are getting within rifle range of the important folks. These guys are important pieces of the battlefield, regardless of what the E-4 mafia says. Major generals serve as commanders of divisions, which consist of 10,000 to 16,000 soldiers. They perform major tactical operations and conduct sustained battles and engagements. There are 10 divisions in the active Army and eight in the Reserves/National Guard. Two-star generals also serve as high-level officers at major commands and the Pentagon. There are 99 major generals on active duty in the U.S. Army. Now don't get me wrong, One of the tenets of leadership I admire most is "lead from as far forward as you can" and "lead from a position where your troops can see you." Division Commanders don't show up in groups, unless it is at a meeting somewhere in the bowels of the Puzzle Palace; and they are hard to replace. Some notable examples of these individuals (some on their way to greater fame) are General Matthew Ridgeway and General George Patton. But this wasn't "killed in action leading his troops in clearing a village" or killed in action while preventing his command post from being over run." This was while in the school house. The equivalent of the USMA and the War College all rolled together. Not an accident, not a mistake, killed by an assassin who once again slipped past the crack team of Afghan Security folks milling about smartly. "Blue on Green" is a misnomer and it in no way accurately captures exactly what is actually going on. When the enemy starts working their way into positions under the guise of being on the side of good where they can later activate and go Terminator on command elements while in garrison; you know you have a problem. You have a problem with security, you have a problem with INFO-OPS, PSYOPS, perception and most of all, you have a problem of leadership. Top Leadership. Yes Mr. PINO empty suit "I'll just be back here leading from behind," I am looking at you. PSD is important, even on the battlefield. Am I an ass for asking where his PSD was? I don't know how important the General was considered to be or whether he would have rated a PSD, but every 2 star I have been around has had various hangers on and camp followers, enough that it drew attention and enough that it made sense to put about 5 trained and dedicated US Army CID agents from the PSD folks at Fort Belvoir around them. But now that they have killed a decision maker, and we look unable to protect even our generals, how do you think this makes us look in the world Mr. PINO? Oh, never mind. I know Mr. PINO. You are in a hurry; headed out to another fundraiser so you can seize and occupy objectives and high ground dominated by straw men followed quickly by another round of golf and then on to another vacation. Cuz' Leadership is Hard Work Ya Know.... UPDATE: The General is identified. Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2014 at BlackFive
Excellent point. I will do a little on the fly editing. Thanks for giving a brother a better comparison.
1 reply
Leadership is hard. Harry Truman wasn’t the best president ever, but at least he knew his job. When it came time to decide in 1945 after the Potsdam Declaration, "Bomb or No bomb," he made the call and did the right thing, which was a very hard thing. When General MacArthur and he began to have significant differences of opinion on policy and operational conduct, he did the hard thing and relieved MacArthur. In both of these cases, he dealt with extraordinary pressures and demands and through it all, still made a decision. Contrast that with what comes from the Occupant in Chief; lots and lots of "I just learned about this the same time you did" followed generally by "It was/wasn't a youtube video" "It was (insert policy maker/leaders' name here) decision" followed closely by not doing anything of significance or involving competence and then pivoting to solving the student loan crisis. My guess is that Barack is going to say he learned about all of this Al-Qaeda movement from the media. At least, that will be his excuse. Might be a good one, since he doesn't attend his daily briefings. Fox News has poses the question of whether or not this administration was "taking a nap" on this current rollback of freedom in the Middle East. I would say that is the understatement of the century. This is what “leading from behind” without any leadership experience at all combined with the view of an unenlightened academic who was put in charge by the unintelligent looks like. This is the picture of incompetence, combined with a dangerous soup of a lack of forethought and foresight and an inability to make any decision regarding anything more complicated than ordering lunch. This is not the failure of Bush, as much as the trolls and the uninformed want to hope and wish that it is; this is the failure of Obama. Failure. Utter and complete failure as a leader. Failure on so many levels that I can’t even mention them all. All this guy had to do was negotiate a SOFA so that we could secure any gains made in Iraq and build a lasting peace. That was it, work with our allies to tie up the loose ends. Instead, he tied his shoelaces together and now, we get to watch as ISIS and Al-Qaeda drive heavy equipment into city after city in Iraq. Cities that good men and women bled and died in. So much has been undone by the actions of this feckless horse’s ass who talks out of both sides of his mouth and means none of it, along with his incompetent handmaidens in his administration working hand in hand with the "Amen Chorus" that is the state run media to try to convince everyone how bad is good, up is down, and enemies are friends. Thanks Barack. Scientists can't measure how awesome this is. Maybe you should head to Baghdad and read them a copy of your Cairo speech. I am sure ISIS will be impressed. Hubris and narcissism are arguably the two largest failings of a leader. This president has them both in such abundance that even his friends and allies can no longer tolerate him, his polices and his decisions. They know, even with their stupid politics that ultimately, leaders take responsibility, they don’t spend their time excuse making and blaming anything bad that happens on Youtube videos, the other party in Congress, or farming it out to another senior leader and saying “it was his decision.” It is too high a bar I guess to expect him to know that leaders don’t blame fix blame, they fix the problem. There are so many parallels of the past here that they are crashing into each other. The march of so many enemies, so many failures and so many excuses. It is starting to look like a bad combination of 1913, 1933, and 1950 all rolled into one giant exploding excrement pile that is going to cover most of the free world. These years of my life are turning out to be the worst of them as a veteran. I never understood the anger of the Vietnam veterans and their generation until I was older and watching what is happening now. It puts many things about that time into perspective. This must be exactly what veterans of the Vietnam War felt like. All of our friends and comrades killed and maimed so that Iraq could have to opportunity to live as they choose, even if we didn’t agree with 100 percent of it, and now we get to live long enough to watch all that they fought and died for evaporate before our eyes. Mosul 2014 looks like Da Nang in 1975 and Baghdad 2014 is starting to look a whole lot like Saigon in 1975. There is this sickness in my stomach watching what passes for leadership in my country do what they are not doing. I keep hoping that I am going to wake up and find it was all a terrible nightmare. Watching this happen makes me angrier and sadder than I have ever been. Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2014 at BlackFive
Where is this magical land that you can live in when you are this facking dumb? So the guys on the ground that night, the ones who discovered his gear neatly arranged and the items they inventoried missing don't know what happened? Seriously? Does anyone think before they talk anymore? Did you wash your hands after you pulled that statement out of wherever you were hiding it? Oxygen thievery of this nature and order of magnitude is usually followed by felony probation, not a job as the head underling for the incompetent. Watch and laugh in the melancholy way that I did, because it is just sad to think that there are human beings that are this stupid who are allowed to breed and vote. Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2014 at BlackFive
Along with Bowe Bergdahl... I am glad to hear that Bowe Bergdahl is back, but I am indescribably pissed off about what the PINO did in our name (talk about "not in our name.") did to get him back. Instead of a well planned and highly secret raid to get Bergdahl back resulting in some more dead tangos that will no longer kill our countrymen, we have instead returned what would effectively be the equivalent of their General Patton and General MacArthur to their ranks so they can continue their jihad on the battlefield in exchange for one guy far down the food chain. This is bad, terribly bad. As in, "arms for hostages" bad. The PINO of 2008 waxed poetic about how he didn't believe in "engagement." The US government has emboldened the enemy to take further, more audacious actions knowing that they will likely reach their goals with the willing help of the coward in chief and his criminally non-confrontational and anti-American administration. Our enemies are watching, especially these enemies, and they are taking note of how to exploit this latest showing of our ass. In my humble opinion, this act, besides all of the others, is "impeach this guy" bad. I know he has been working against the country that made it so a bi-racial man raised by a single mom could be elected to the highest office in the land.... Twice... Since this guy took the job of PINO, it has been something like this year after year, and now with his actions, he weakened a country and emboldened our enemies to an epic degree, which evidently stays at the top of his "To Do" list. Our enemies are propagandizing and speechfying already on the interwebs in great volume and measure about what a "great victory" this is. The fact that the President broke the law that he signed into law to pull this off is becoming passe' enough to not raise awareness or pulses anywhere in the Legacy Media. I guess laws don't matter anymore huh? “Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans. Our terrorist adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans. That incentive will put our forces in Afghanistan and around the world at even greater risk,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. McKeon (R-Calif.) and the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, James M. Inhofe (Okla.), said in a joint statement. Lawmakers were not notified of the Guantanamo detainees’ transfer until after it occurred. The law requires the defense secretary to notify relevant congressional committees at least 30 days before making any transfers of prisoners, to explain the reason and to provide assurances that those released would not be in a position to reengage in activities that could threaten the United States or its interests. So it was just too burdensome to take time out of fund-raising and watching the media to get your daily briefing in the goings-on in your administration? Not enough time to slip someone an e-mail during one of your many golf outings? Just couldn't bring yourself to let a co-equal branch of government in on WTF you were doing? U.S. Defense Secretary claimed that the reason for circumventing Congress was that Bergdhal’s life was in danger. I am certain that Chuck knows this, but the only way anyone could or would have known that set of facts and circumstances is if you had real-time actionable intelligence on his current whereabouts, the people he was being threatened by and communication with his captors. So I am going to need Chuck Hagel to chime in on some questions as well regarding when he knew something about this and for how long. And we are now going to rely on Qatar to monitor these guys for a year? Does anyone have any belief whatsoever that these guys who were running things are going to hang out long enough to even put an address on a slip of paper? Let alone allow themselves to be "monitored?" My guess is that they will be gone within days from wherever they land at, only to reappear on the battlefield. Or, in what could be some of the worst INFO OPS planning and execution ever, this could be something designed to get the likely criminal VA scandal, the actually criminal IRS scandal, the definitely criminal Fast and Furious scandal, and the should be criminal attempting to try terrorists in NYC scandal out of the media. I am guessing that this is not what they had in mind. This whole story has gone from the terrible, to the fishy, to the redemptive; and Barry and Bowe (sounds like a local radio morning show team) has got some 'splainin to do. Bowe will be telling his tale of woe to the line of debriefers taking a number near his 4th point of contact that is going to likely start with the three letters "CIA" and after making a big alphabet tour loop, and end somewhere near "CID" In someone's in basket there is also likely a dusty file with an unfinished 15-6 investigation that will spin right back up where it left off and get back to the business of getting to the very bottom of Whisky Tango Foxtrot happened. Having a dad like this, however, who also says and does things like this probably doesn't help. And Barry is going to be explaining this for some time to come. If I was Jay Carney, I would have quit my job too rather than stand in front of anyone with press credentials and try to explain this as a "victory" for us. It isn't. It is a defeat at our own hands. Barry will likely spend much of his time hiding out from this. I am going to reserve some of my judgment for now on Bowe Bergdahl, even though I have my own... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2014 at BlackFive
Damn, I miss you guys. I hope everyone is enjoying their day off and their BBQ. I am as well today, but not without a sense of the meloncholy. Little Deebow helped to put flags out out the cemetery with his Cub Scout Troop yesterday and he is only beginning to understand what today means. I know that everyone says most of the same things on Memorial Day, and I am guilty of it myself sometimes. Today especially though, I think about Major Larry Bauguess, Sergeant First Class Bernard Deghand, and Sergeant Earl Werner and how they have helped me to make every day worth it. You were taken from us and your families long before we were ready and I will remember those days and our times together and who we were forever. I think about Larry often, our time was so short together in 2007 and the controversy over what happened that day continues. I don't know where we get men like these, but if I ever find out, I will guard the secret forever. May our comrades, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters and loved ones that we miss like no other in our lives and the memories of all those who have sacrificed for America make our time with our families today sweeter, our burgers and brats that much tastier and our holiday that much more enjoyable for the freedom we have to enjoy it in the greatest country God ever gave man. Greater Love Hath No Man... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2014 at BlackFive
A good read for the weekend as we watch events in Russia unfold. This is my own take on how the next guy down in the platoon can help the next guy up be better, and maybe make the next guy down better for it as well.... I have much to say about the Bear going over the Mountain (again), but that will come later. Offered without apology.... As a Platoon Sergeant, regardless of MOS, you have the best job in the entire US Military, aside from possibly Jet Pilot or SF warrant officer. If you are in a Combat MOS, you do have the best job in the world. Your boss, the fresh faced kid 24 year old kid from Michigan, doesn't know shit, but he is not to be treated like shit. You are likely the first "employee" that this fresh faced kid with a new buckskin from the Academy has ever had. He is going to form 90 percent of his opinions about the unit, the C/O, the staff, the BC and the post based upon what you tell him, how you guide him, and how you act. You are also likely the first real "boss" that the fresh faced steely eyed killers bequeathed to you by the US Government have ever had as well. Stories will be told about you many years from now, make sure they are good ones. If you ever find yourself wondering why PL's are so dumb, remember how old yours is, and then count backwards from that age using a number between 8 and 12. He was likely in Junior High School when your named was etched on The Wall of Badassery. You are already that far ahead of them. It is not your job to get the PL reassigned elsewhere. If he is failing, it is going to be seen as your fault. If the PL shows up anywhere (a jump, a REFORGER, a formal ball) and looks like a soup sandwich, usher him away from there and help him fix it before others see. If your soldiers show up anywhere looking like soup sandwiches, you didn't work hard enough to make sure they didn't. Help the PL to maintain a healthy distance from the Joes. He will likely share much in common with them (age-wise, taste wise and such) and it will be natural to want to bond with them. Help him do it just enough. Help the Joes understand that even though the PL is only two years older than they are, his job and responsibilities are much greater. Make sure that if the PL is leading from a place of danger and that if the mission does not dictate otherwise, you are within earshot. Instruct your PL on what a 5 point contingency plan is. Make him use it. Make sure the NCOs in your platoon know where you are, at all times. They will need your help more than they will need air on some days. Counsel the PL against common errors, but let him make his own mistakes. When he does make mistakes, allow him to say "you were right Sergeant" first before pointing them out. Guard carefully your ramblings about your feelings on the PL. There are many that will take your random observations and turn them into negative bullet points on an OER. Ensure that in your haste to correct your soldiers misdeeds, you temper justice with the mercy of knowing that at some point not that long ago, you were on the other side of that equation. Make sure that the PL never, under any circumstances, ever has to do any of your work. Properly instruct him on exactly where his "lane" is and yours is in regards to "NCO Business." Help him with the most essential function of any unit leader; delegation. Ensure that your PL knows not to ask questions he may not want to know the answers to. Make sure you are more technically and tactically proficient than the PL and your soldiers believe you to be. The iron law of weekend passes says that nothing good, productive or lawful comes from hanging out in downtown Columbus/Atlanta/Tacoma on the weekend after 2200, but it makes for great stories on the ride from lockup, and barring it being a capital crime, it likely will look better in the light of day. Ensure that every troop under your command has your home phone number, cell phone number, wife's cell phone number and tell them that they are to call it BEFORE they call the PL; ALWAYS... Explain (patiently) to the Joes why it is necessary for the platoon to suffer the inequities of always doing things first because the PL volunteered us for it. Leading the Battalion PT run, leaving first for the training area or being the first unit to do anything pays off. When the time comes to be the first American Soldiers to touch down on the DZ at 2:30 a.m., step out onto an LZ 130 miles behind enemy lines, or lead the Thunder Run into Baghdad, it will just be natural that your platoon is in the lead, because that is how it always is right? Ensure that you are networked with the other PSGs, and the First Sergeant. Great minds often think alike. Be present and available during any command function, especially maintenance. Ensure soldiers have work that complements their strengths and talents. Work for the sake of busy-ness dulls the edge of these honed weapons. Two words: CORRECTIVE TRAINING. Spend time with your platoon outside of duty time. Have at least two functions a year that soldiers can bring their families to. Allow your sergeant to have "sergeants time" because what can get accomplished may at some point move you to tears. Yelling is fun and theraputic, but sometimes speaking softly has a greater impact. No matter what, in any situation, do what makes sense. Remember, your job is two fold; you are molding... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2014 at BlackFive
Seems like my simple view of the world is pretty solid, because I think that you missed the point. The answer truly is pretty simple: don't give blood and treasure to thankless cavemen who want to shoot us in the face while we try to help them and who have no idea what to do with it or a desire to change, and don't try for decades to change them. President Feckless and Reckless is out of his depth in a parking lot puddle, and hanging out there isn't just a money vacuum, it is just plain stupid.
Toggle Commented Nov 21, 2013 on My Son's War? at BlackFive
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Maybe it is bumper sticker buying time. That "Endless War" bumper sticker is starting to make a tiny bit of sense. It appears that our feckless leader's continued leadership from behind has resulted in the crafting of an agreement that was reached today that would obligate us to the first part of our own Hundred Years War in the mountains of Southwest Asia. For that foothold in this volatile mountain region wedged between Pakistan and Iran, the United States would agree to sustain and equip Afghanistan's large security force, which the government in Kabul currently cannot afford. The deal, according to the text, would take effect on Jan. 1, 2015 and “shall remain in force until the end of 2024 and beyond.” Please, everyone stand clear at least 25 meters because I don't want to hurt anyone while I am jumping for joy..... And forgive me if my sarcasm is about to get up off its' beach lounger, set down its' Jack and Coke and get back in the game. I thought President Feckless & Reckless campaigned on "winning" the war in Afghanistan? Anyone else remember that? Am I having a PTSD episode? Did I just imagine it? In case that worthless excuse for a leader doesn't have a dictionary near him, this is not what the definition of "winning" or "victory" looks like. No, go ahead Mr. PINO.... I will wait while you look... Because you won't find it in this document either. So while the EEO thugs we set us up for failure by putting women in mortar platoons, SEAL Platoons, and Ranger Fire Teams, we can ready ourselves for testing them in the mountains of a place we should have packed up and left awhile ago. And this is not even accounting for the obvious fact that Al-Qaeda/Taliban sympathizers (I choose to call them "operatives") have not just infiltrated the army and police; but have become full fledged members in good standing who continue to wage war against us through green on blue attacks. This is combined with their President spending much energy to talk fat crap about the manner in which we keep him in the lifestyle and position he has become accustomed to. And what does the left think of this? I am not hearing anything from the ANSWER/Occupy/Code Pink crowd about evil wars for oil and NEOCON corporate enrichment. So what say you leftists? What do think of your savior and his traitorous Secretary of State obligating us to an unending war? This bilateral agreement and the length of time we find ourselves obligated to means something to me. I have many good friends still serving, who might find themselves in perpetual harms way until doomsday. After much time to reflect on my own small contribution there, the idea that these people deserve our blood and treasure is undeniably settled in my mind. They do not. I do not arrive at this decision lightly. I speak from experience from walking the ground with Afghan soldiers and being there when the bullets were whizzing by. There are good, shining examples of men that want to do a good job, but they are vastly and hopelessly outnumbered by the masses of uneducated and tribal minded individuals that make up their army. On the whole, they are undeserving of the gifts we have given them. I have done this mission and I used to believe it was possible, but it should be painfully obvious to anyone who is paying attention that this is a people that are not worthy of our help or the sacrifices we make for them. Long from now, In 2024, Little Deebow will be 18 years old. Hopefully, if I have raised him right, with a dusting of Cub/Boy Scouts, church, regular camping trips, SCUBA Lessons, rifle and pistol shooting, driving the boat for Dad to water ski behind, hunting, horseback riding and ATV driving; I would like to think that at that age, should he choose to, I close my eyes sometime and imagine that he will be making his way through Mountain Phase of Ranger School, entering Jump week at Ft. Benning, about to class up at BUD/S in San Diego, struggling mightily at PJ/CCT Indoc, or signing the hand receipt for his M-40A5 before starting Scout/Sniper School. And when any of those possible futures come to pass, I am hoping that he will not be Face-timing me and his mom to tell us that his unit is deploying to the very same universally acknowledged armpit of the world that his dad left the year after he was born to continue work that should have been finished long ago. The thought of it, and what appears to be the inevitability of it frankly both angers and frightens me. Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2013 at BlackFive
Many of us have "carpe diem" 'ed plenty in our lives; between the early morning PT, 2,000 meter swims, being checked by the jumpmaster for the 22nd time while waiting to get on the bird, or stepping off the bird into another combat zone (sometimes, same zone 3rd or 4th time), some of us have "seized" plenty. Not to mention all of the "seizing" we did during TA-50 layouts, PMCS on every vehicle in the motorpool, and counting back all the ammo that some other turd-neck unit didn't shoot at the range (who does that?) So getting something besides a retirement check or disability payment warms my heart some on this day, more than most, so head here and check out what is available for veterans today and tomorrow to enjoy, and please visit a couple of these fine establishments and partake of their wares. Make sure to thank them right back when they thank you for your service. Have a Joyous Veterans Day vets, especially those that are on duty or facing danger somewhere in the world today. I have always appreciated that we serve not only because we can and chose to, but because there are those that cannot and choose not to. I am going to take Mrs. Deebow (a vet herself) and Little Deebow for some good free grub tonight and explain to Little Deebow once again why it is that his mommy and me hear "Thanks for your Service" wherever we go and why we are offered something free on this day. And like every year, I say because what we and millions like us gave and continue to give for what we have here in the country wasn't and isn't free. Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2013 at BlackFive
I can't find this essay. You should send it to me. [email protected] I will give it a fair hearing, and maybe I will change my mind. But given what I have read already, I must say I am already a bit biased.
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I do support the troops. I get pissed when wannabes try to tell war stories. Not all of our war stories ended in college....
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I have made up my mind. I want them doing their job to the best of their ability in their designated MOS. I don't want them telling me of the horrors of war because the PX is out of chocolate pudding and that the Thespians club can't find anyone to play Lady Macbeth. BTW, there was a Thespians club at Bagram. I saw the flyer at the USO and on the wall in the Chow Hall.
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Saw it on my FB. Got sucked in. Thought there might be something to talk about there. Wow... Was I wrong.
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I don't know who you are, but not being able to sleep because you need the "white noise of war" is some seriously pussy shit. And the fact that they have to make up some "disorder" to describe some imagined symptoms of not being able to relate to the people around you whose toughest day is waiting at the Starbucks for a tepid soy latte is the pinnacle of stupidity. People who complain about limited internet and phone service as one of the "horrors of war" need to STFU. Warriors who have been in some real bad shit are the real people I want to help the fight against PTSD; andthey can do it by by asking their friends and fellow warriors who zipped their friends into bags because of an IED blast or holding a child wounded in VBIED attack if there is anything they can do to help them. They will be uniquely positioned to understand how that person feels. Princess Fobbit makes a mockery of it all, like hearing "vulgar comments" is a trigger. I had plenty of love as a child. That is how I came to be able to see the difference between warrior and wannabe.
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