Marine Battalion Commander fired for being too tough err, I mean “toxic”

The NYT reported the story of Lt. Col. Kate Germano, a commander of an all women Marine basic training unit.  Besides increasing female Marine physical performance and a three-fold increase in rifle qualification Germano made enemies and was recently relieved.   Statements like “telling them (female Marines) their male counterparts will never respect them if they …

My First 4th of July in Uniform

35 years ago I celebrated my first 4th of July in uniform.  My memory might be a bit hazy but I remember it as follows.  Three days after arriving at West Point and surviving R-Day I found myself on the “Plain” participating in the Cadet Basic Training Regiment 4th of July Review.  R-Day stands for …

Allegations Ranger Instructors Not Grading Women Fairly

Stars and Stripes reported last week on the three remaining women attempting Ranger school again after failing the first phase twice.  (Not unheard of for male students but it is uncommon.)  My biggest take away from the article was a fundamental misunderstanding about patrols, how we train our leaders and Ranger school. The article put …

Virtual Simulations & Infantry Training

Below is the first story I ever had published which was in the Fall 2003 issue of Infantry Magazine. I wanted to include it here and rescue it from its pretty ignominious existence buried in the bowls of internet. The title pretty much describes the subject.  Warning, this was written for a professional journal and …

Happy 240th Birthday US Army

The Army celebrates 14 June, 1775 as its birthday.  On that day, the Continental Congress called for ten companies of expert rifleman to be formed.  The day is also in effect, the birth of America’s first Infantry.   These men came from Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia comprising the 1st Continental Regiment.  Within two months they …

D-Day Remembered 71 Years Later

Today is the 71st anniversary of D-Day, one of the largest amphibious invasions in history.  Besides being a prime number, there’s nothing special about the number 71 so you won’t see the wider coverage we enjoyed last year except for some stuff maybe on the History Channel.  It’s admittedly a tough subject.  In the 71 …

The Day a President Cried

For some reason this Memorial Day Weekend is hitting me exceptionally harder than normal.  I’m having a mental block but like on all Memorial Days I try to make it a point to remember and meditate on the 11 men I knew that lost their lives in the service of this nation.  I’m not the …

Iran reports, “Anti-ISIS” forces shoot down US helicopter supplying ISIS

Iran’s Fars News Agency reported the Anti-ISIS Al-Hashad Al-Shabi militia forces shot down a US helicopter supplying ISIS.  It further reported US Apache helicopters airdropped food and arms to ISIS.  Fars published pictures of the shot down helicopter (see above). There are a couple of problems with the report.  First, the helicopter pictured isn’t a …

Fall of Saigon by Yankee Papa

We are on top of the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon.  A civilian (non-obligor reservist actually…) for almost five years when that went down, I still had a dim and very distant connection to that event.   At Marine Corps recruit training in 1968, my initial Series Officer (in charge of four platoons …