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Fifteen years ago on October 7 a U.S. led coalition began Operation Enduring Freedom in retaliation for the terrorist attacks on the United States a few weeks earlier. US and coalition forces used Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (or TLAM for short), air strikes, precision bombing, and special operations to begin it all, soon followed by more conventional boots on the ground. For the first time since NATO’s inception in 1949, Article V was invoked, which states, “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against…

On September 12, 2001 America woke up to this iconic image. A huge flag was draped over the side of the Pentagon as military and civilian employees went back to work in the still-burning building, both actions serving to notify the world that our national resolve could not be shaken by random acts of terrorism. What most of us do not know is that a smaller version of the flag was posted on the roof on the night of 9/11. According to a news report by Laura Evans of Fox 5 out of Washington, D.C., she was approached by an…

Underway replenishments, universally known as UNREPS, are uniquely Navy and one of the most dangerous evolutions ships go through on deployment and when underway for extended periods of time. Thousands of tons of steel cruise through the pitching ocean about 150 feet apart as they transfer fuel, ammunition, spare parts and food to ships on the pointy end of the spear. They often take several hours to complete. This is a video of two destroyers (ROOSEVELT (DDG 80) and MASON (DDG 87) according to the clip) conducting simultaneous UNREPS with USNS LARAMIE (T-AO 203) in the FIFTH Fleet AOR (Middle…

The other day I had a conversation with Rear Admiral Dave Crocker, an old Executive Officer of mine, and by old I mean from a long time ago before he made Admiral (but for the record he is older than me too, so…), and we began to discuss leadership. It is one of his favorite topics, and by coincidence one of mine too. He has written several thoughtful articles on the subject and one of his preferred pieces has to do with what he calls the power of your presence. In other words, you should never underestimate the influence you…

DARPA, the organization used by the military to develop new technologies (from its website: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security.), recently released photos of an autonomous vessel that it built called the Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessl (or ACUVD). It is specifically designed to track diesel submarines. Click here for the DARPA website that describes how it works. Here is a time lapse of it under construction – it gives a hint as to what is inside. Link up a few of these babies on SKYNET and we’re all set!

Anyone who rides a motorcycle will tell you that Sturgis is happening right now. For those not familiar with Sturgis, it is a small town in South Dakota that attracts thousands of riders each year for its motorcycle festival. This year, Medal of Honor recipient Gary Wetzel (see video below) was injured in a crash on the way to the event. He went into surgery on Tuesday and is recovering at a local hospital. If you would like to send your best wishes to him, you can send him a card at: Gary G Wetzel PO Box 84 Oak Creek,…

From the USCG website: “The U. S. Coast Guard is simultaneously and at all times a military force and federal law enforcement agency dedicated to maritime safety, security, and stewardship missions. We save lives. We protect the environment. We defend the homeland. We enforce Federal laws on the high seas, the nation’s coastal waters and its inland waterways. We are unique in the Nation and the world. The Coast Guard has been in service in one form or another since August 4, 1790.” Now THAT is a mission statement! On August 4, 1790, President Washington authorized the, “…construction of ten…

Jack Davis, legendary cartoonist, diehard Georgia Bulldog, and Navy veteran, died last week at the age of 91. His death sent shock waves throughout the nation. He joined the Navy in World War II, serving in the far east. When he came home he embarked on one of the most successful illustration careers in modern times. He was one of the original “Gang of Idiots” at MAD Magazine, and was famous not only for his unique style, but also for being one of the fastest caricaturists on the planet. The New York Times ran a nice article about Jack, and…

Marine Corps veteran and buddy David sent this to me. This is a list of the ten most popular military TV comedy shows, along with some short clips. I think this is probably an unofficial rating from the folks at wearethemighty.com, but off the top of my head I can’t think of any they missed. Click on the picture to see the list.

I just received a beautiful brochure celebrating the retirement of Lieutenant Commander Dan Saulnier, who retired after thirty-six years of loyal and dedicated service to the Royal Canadian Navy. He was an engineer, and in his retirement program I found this excellent poem that dramatically describes life in the hole. The Men Who Sail Below Now each of us from time to time, has gazed upon the sea. And watched the warships pulling out, to keep this country free. And most of us have read a book, or heard a lusty tale. About the men who sail these ships, through…

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