From the Halls of Montezuma…

It happens that there is a lot of material about the Marines in this week’s post. This is not intended as a slur against or neglect of the other branches of the military. It just happened that way this week.

I hope this was a common experience for all overseas US troops, although realistically speaking, those soldiers on the tip of the spear probably didn’t, at least not Thursday. Hopefully they can take some R&R and enjoy the same holiday atmosphere. Thank you to the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA) support of our warriors on holidays: ” ‘Food is emotional, and this year more than ever, it’s so important that DLA Troop Support got the turkeys, hams and all the trimmings to our troops wherever they are stationed,’ said Army Col. Eric McCoy, the Defense Logistics Agency’s Troop Support subsistence director…”

Regarding arrangements to celebrate and yet remain safe re covid, “a Defense Department spokesperson referred Military Times to Central Command and pointed to the DoD coronavirus guidance policy, adding that decisions at military installations are made by the local commanders and based on several factors.” One hopes they found a way for troops to celebrate anyway.

DLA Troop Support Commander Army Brig. Gen. Gavin Lawrence, in an emailed statement, said ‘…We want to make sure they get that taste of home no matter where they are in the world.’ ” That’s the way it ought to be.

THE ORIGIN OF WEARING RED: Did you know that our tradition of wearing red on Fridays seems to have its roots in World War One? Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a noted Canadian physician before the war, served with Canada’s First Brigade Artillery as a surgeon at a field hospital in Belgium.” Dr. McCrae was immersed in the carnage of World War One as he worked to save wounded soldiers. He was so gripped by the massive sacrifice of lives that he wrote the famous poem “In Flanders Field“.  The connection between that and the poppies mentioned in his poem is explained here, along with a brief description of the ghastly carnage and devastation of the War.

An American woman named Moina Michael read McCrae’s poem, and was so deeply moved by it that she wrote a poem in reply, “We Shall Keep The Faith“.  She began the tradition of wearing a red poppy as a sign that those who wear them will “keep the faith” and take up the quarrel with the foe. Initially, she began making fabric poppies and selling them to support returning veterans. It caught on, and the fascinating story of how the tradition grew is in the link in the prior paragraph.

*****Round Up Stories*****

Again a service member is on the spot in a dangerous moment and responds instantly to save a civilian life: “Marine rescues drowning woman“:  ” ‘I’m no different from any other Marine,” said Dixson. “I’m sure if you put any other Marine in that position, they would have reacted to the best of their abilities just as I did.” – Staff Sgt. Billy C. Dixson, a MCAS Futenma recovery crew leader.” Sergeant, you may be no different than any other Marine but you were there. You did your Marine Corps proud. Thank you and well done!

Given the increased great power aggression from China and Russia, it’s no wonder that the Marine Corps is cutting to the chase and dropping some training that isn’t directly relevant to combat: if we’re going to war on at least two fronts with at least three countries, does anyone really care whether troops smoke or chew snuff? This is just “getting real”.

Part of President’s proposed troop pullout would be from Somalia. “Some experts” are saying this is “the worst possible time“. I wonder what the troops in Somalia think. Per militarytimes, there are about 700 American troops there. We’ve been there three years, supposedly training Somalian troops. There are allegedly 5,000 to 10,000 al Quaida-affiliate al Shabab fighters in Somalia who are strengthening their position. “The African Union’s 19,000-strong AMISOM, has begun its own withdrawal …” and per the DoD Inspector General, U.S. Africa Command says that al Shabab is beginning to shift its attacks to “American interests in the region” … who or what would that be? Are we shielding some business interest there? Exposing seven hundred American soldiers to attacks by more than ten times their number, with no one watching their backs?

We may never know the truth. We’re hearing the same old quicksand story – pulling out now would be “disastrous” but it’s not worth committing overwhelming force. As I read it, the real problem (mentioned in the article) is the “three decades of chaos” created by a warlord culture and an Islamic State group. This is another situation that would require generational warfare to achieve nation-building. We’d be helping some people by staying, but it wouldn’t be long before we’d be losing troops regularly – if they weren’t totally wiped out – and Somalians would be no better off. As in every armed conflict, you need to commit to the level needed to win, win, and get out. If the goal is to re-manufacture a nation’s culture, hell could freeze over before that is accomplished. That’s my inexpert opinion, anyway. No end game and no exit strategy = wasted lives.

The Marine Corps is apparently getting even more ready to hold up their end of a conflict no matter what the rest of the nation does. These two articles indicate the Marine Corps leadership’s determination to to see and prepare for the future that exists, and they are fascinating and encouraging articles. They should make you feel a little better at least:

 “The explosion was not an emergency – it was a late celebration for the Marine Corps’ 245th birthday. A celebration carried in the midst of the potential future of foreign ordnance exploitation.” Techno-war, techno-response: advanced, highly technical Explosives Ordnance Technician training.

Taking seven different units and consolidating them into 1st Network Battalion streamlines security and efficiency of the Western region of the Marine Corps Enterprise Network, while modernizing the Marine Corps’ cyber capabilities, according to Calvin … ‘We have now created a unified defensive cyber operations section.’  Dr. Terence Adams, 1st Network Battalion deputy director”. Interesting word play comes to mind – Cyber Ops, Cyborg, Cyberg … never mind. It’s late and my mind is wandering.

One wonders … are they also creating an offensive cyber command?  :E  :E

The Marines, as well as the Army, are preparing to fight with the forces of allied nations. 

Until the next time, stay safe and carry your legally concealed .44 magnum. You never know when some zombie outbreak may need an infusion of silver bullets.

Thank you to all our troops and Veterans.  Have a safe day all.

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