Archive for the ‘Army’ Category

Army of God

June 2, 2007

Many Troops Return to War; Many Never Go
Jun 1, 9:29 PM (ET)
By PAULINE JELINEK

WASHINGTON (AP) – Even as troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are serving longer and more often – three, four, even five times – roughly half of Americans in uniform have not been sent at all.

Whatever the reason, it didn’t seem fair to Marine Sgt. Matthew Clark, who sits behind a desk in Illinois but has asked to “go to the fight” instead.

Clark is among some 1,000 reassigned for deployment since Marine Commandant Gen. James T. Conway issued a policy message early this year called “Every Marine into the Fight.”

“When they join our Corps, Marines expect to train, deploy and fight,” Conway said in the January message. “That’s who we are. That’s what we do.”

By this spring, roughly 150,000 active duty soldiers, 85,000 sailors, 90,000 airmen and 65,000 Marines had gone more than once to Iraq, Afghanistan or surrounding countries. About half the total force had not deployed to either conflict, Defense Department figures show.

Fifty-three percent of the active duty Air Force and 50 percent of the Navy had not been to the wars, not surprising since the fighting is overwhelmingly on the ground.

Still, 45 percent of the Marines and 37 percent of Army forces had never been deployed.

– The military is an ever-morphing body, with people coming in and going out constantly. The four branches recruited about 180,000 just last year – meaning there are always new people still in training.

– Though the two wars are the biggest Pentagon efforts, there are tens of thousands of forces in other parts of the world, from Korea to the Philippines to Africa

“There are a lot of folks doing God’s work right here stateside that are invaluable to the people overseas,” said Col. Daniel Baggio, an Army spokesman. “The spirit of the Army is really that folks want to do their part … in any way they can. … They go where they’re told to go.”

Anyone who stays in for more than one enlistment can pretty much count on going overseas.

“We like to say there are three kinds of soldiers: those that are deployed, those that have been deployed and those that are going to be deployed,” Baggio said.

Now, there are almost 220,000 troops, airmen and sailors serving in the Iraq and Afghan campaigns – 150,000 in Iraq, 28,000 in Afghanistan and 40,000 in neighboring countries and on ships offshore

Conway’s January order directed leaders to change policies “to ensure all Marines, first termers and career Marines alike, are provided the ability to deploy to a combat zone.”

Since then, officials have been identifying people who haven’t deployed, looking at assignment lengths and making needed changes, said Lt. Col. Kevin Schmiegel of the Marine assignments office.

Dakota Wood, a retired Marine and fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said it’s a good idea.

The Marine Corps is a “war-fighting-oriented organization,” Wood said. “People join the Marines to be operational. That’s the kind of person you’re drawing; they’re looking for excitement, engagement.”

You don’t get those things, Wood said in a football analogy, “if the same 11 guys take the field and you keep sitting on the bench.”

There are inevitably some people who don’t want to go, who are suspected of manufacturing a health problem or maneuvering into a job that will help them stay put, Pentagon officials say privately. In fact, there are those who like their location or work and don’t want any of the moves that can come with military life.

People in the military call them “homesteaders.” One is said to have worked in Washington his entire 17 years in the service and never been deployed anywhere.

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Pat Tillman’s Silver Star

March 28, 2007

I do not know much about this, I think it would be wise for the US military to give out awards sparingly, and to take them away if they are given out incorrectly.

Remember the John Kerry medals controversy a few months ago?
Some were making it seem that Purple Heart’s were given out when they were not really deserved.

Also, it seems strange to give out medals and promotions to higher ranks to people not living anymore.

Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, Sergeant, USMC

March 16, 2007

“It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.” — Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, Sergeant, USMC

There are many different versions of the semi-famous statement above. It does not seem to be an actual quote from a real person; but it may contain some logical fallacies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Logical_fallacies

Who actually claims that reporters have given “us” freedom of the press?
Would not a publisher control a press anyway, not a reporter?

Who actually claims that poets have given “us” freedom of speech?
Most humans are born with the ability to speak, no soldiers required.

Who actually claims that campus organizers have given “us” the freedom to demonstrate?
Most humans are born with the ability or future ability to walk, talk, yell, sit, sing, and stand; no soldiers required.

Like an urban legend, the poem is peddled in many variations. It is usually attributed to a “Father Denis Edward O’Brien, USMC.” There’s never been a clergy in the Marines. The Navy provides the priests. But O’Brien was indeed in the Marines in World War II. He became a priest after his discharge, and died in 2002. When I reached his sister-in-law, Jenny O’Brien, in the Dallas area, she said the family has been discussing the poem “over and over and over again” in the last few months, trying to figure out its authorship because of the attention it’s gotten. Father O’Brien was an avid forwarder of e-mails. “We’re not sure whether he did this or whether someone on an e-mail picked it up and put his name on it,” Jenny O’Brien said. “He didn’t write poems, so far as I know.”

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1116-30.htm

British soldiers accused of beatings in Basra, Iraq

March 14, 2007

Mr Mousa, a hotel receptionist, was among a group of detainees arrested following a counter-insurgency operation.

Julian Bevan QC, prosecuting, said the detainees had been arrested on 14 September 2003 at the Haitham Hotel, where the army had found weapons including rifles, bayonets and suspected bomb-making equipment.

They were subsequently taken to a temporary detention centre where they were held for 36 hours and repeatedly beaten while handcuffed and forced to wear sacks on their heads, Mr Bevan said.

He told the seven-man judging panel: “One civilian, Baha Mousa, died as a result, in part, from the multiple injuries he had received.

“There were no less than 93 injuries on his body at the post-mortem stage, including fractured ribs and a broken nose.”

Other prisoners received serious kidney injuries consistent with being kicked and punched, Mr Bevan added.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5360432.stm

gang members in US military?

December 8, 2006

Scott Barfield, a former Defense Department gang detective at 2nd Cav’s last duty station, Fort Lewis, Wash., told the Sun-Times earlier this year that he had identified more than 300 soldiers at the base as gang members.

However, Vilseck Provost Marshal Maj. Robert Ray said there is not a big gang problem in Vilseck and he has no information on gang members within 2nd Cav.

Jim Kouri, vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, wrote recently that, in addition to the Gangster Disciples, other Chicago gangs such as the Latin Kings and Vice Lords have infiltrated the military along with neo-Nazi groups.

Gang-related activity in the military is highly underreported, and the Army is the only branch of the military that collects gang-related statistics, she wrote.

“It’s often in the military’s best interest to keep these incidents quiet, given low recruitment numbers and recent negative publicity. The relaxation of recruiting standards, recruiter misconduct and the military’s lack of enforcement (gang membership is not prohibited in the Army) have compounded the problem and allowed gang member presence in the military to proliferate,” Simon said.

http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=42002