In Memoriam 2019

 

Last year I ceased writing an end-of-year memoriam for passing celebrities and sports figures in favor of remembering those much less famous, but far more necessary. Here is my tribute to this year’s heroes…

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  1. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Thank you.

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Well done, EJ.

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Beautiful, EJ. We hear their names, perhaps see their pictures, and then they disappear in the wind. How special to be able to stay with their bravery and our loss for just a few moments. Thanks.

    • #3
  4. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    After the video was uploaded the Pentagon announced another casualty just hours ago:

    Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Goble, 33, died Monday from injuries sustained during combat operations the day prior, Army Special Operations Command said in a statement. Pentagon officials said the incident is under investigation.
    Goble was a senior intelligence sergeant assigned to Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, which is based out of Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. This was his third deployment to Afghanistan, in addition to deployments to Argentina, Guatemala, Colombia and South Korea.

     

    • #4
  5. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    Thank you, that was very appropriate and way more significant than celebrities. I was struck by the youthfulness of the faces. Sigh. God bless.

    • #5
  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    EJHill (View Comment):

    After the video was uploaded the Pentagon announced another casualty just hours ago:

    Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Goble, 33, died Monday from injuries sustained during combat operations the day prior, Army Special Operations Command said in a statement. Pentagon officials said the incident is under investigation.
    Goble was a senior intelligence sergeant assigned to Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, which is based out of Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. This was his third deployment to Afghanistan, in addition to deployments to Argentina, Guatemala, Colombia and South Korea.

     

     

     

    Paying attention to the headgear tells you a fair amount. In the Army, lots of green berets and a couple of tan ones: Special Forces and Rangers.

    The last photo is of a legend, whose full effect on our national security will likely never be told because it is so classified:

    CTICS Shannon M. Kent’s name is engraved on the NSA’s wall of cryptological heroes who died as “They Served in Silence.”

    What can be told now is told in “The Legend of Chief Shannon Kent.”

    Kent’s kind eyes and friendly demeanor aren’t exactly what the average person thinks of when asked to describe a seasoned special operator hunting down ISIS though. And maybe that’s an advantage when assigned to the most secret, oft-rumored unit in the shadowy Joint Special Operations Command. She was used to working alone or in small teams, almost always clandestinely, but sometimes covertly and under cover. And she was damn good at her job.

    Kent’s team wasn’t on a routine patrol that day, as the Department of Defense later claimed. And they weren’t out for a leisurely lunch at a popular kebab restaurant frequented by Americans, as many news outlets reported. Kent was responsible for finding ISIS cells and their leaders, fixing their location in time and space, and then providing that intelligence to her peers at Delta Force and SEAL Team 6 or to pilots who would perform kinetic strikes with GPS-guided missiles.

    […]

    Born in Oswego, New York, but raised in Pine Plains by her parents Stephen and Mary Smith, her youth was spent playing volleyball, running track, and riding horses. In fact, her talent for language started on the polo field: she learned Spanish so that she could converse with the stable hands.

    […]

    She was tasked out to Baghdad toward the end of her first deployment, where she worked with a small, secretive unit of Iraqi intelligence operatives who, according to “Relentless Strike: The Secret History of Joint Special Operations Command” by Sean Naylor, worked directly with U.S. special operators to go where most Americans couldn’t to perform human intelligence gathering missions and close-target reconnaissance. They were called “The Mohawks.” The job was dangerous, and those who were caught faced torture, death, and being dumped in the streets.

    This is where the legend surrounding Kent began. It was 2007, and very few special operations personnel were willing or able to go speak to Iraqis out in the city in a low-visibility capacity. So Kent taught herself human intelligence techniques and, already fluent in the language, would go out and develop targets for the task force. Like most of Kent’s career, much of her work with the Mohawks was and is classified — and it likely won’t see the light of day for at least 13 more years. But the citation for her Joint Service Commendation Medal received on that deployment notes that she “contributed directly to the capture of hundreds of enemy insurgents and severely degraded enemy combat capability.”

    […]

    For Kent, that thing was attending the selection course for a special missions unit in 2013. But there would be no beret, no tab, not even a badge for making it into this outfit. When a Ranger, SEAL, or Green Beret makes it through this selection, they are rarely heard from again back at their old unit. These operators are the stuff of legend, only spoken about in whispers throughout the special operations community. Some say they work alone, under deep cover, and perform only the most dangerous missions — but unless you’ve served there, you’re just guessing.

    […]

    Her time with the special missions unit is a period of Shannon’s career that simply can’t be talked about in detail. What we know comes from her award citations. Senior Chief Petty Officer Kent received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for expertly leading “a joint-service special mission detachment that was responsible for planning and executing sensitive technical operations in combat zones and strategic locations across four theatres of operations. Specifically, Chief Kent prepared personnel for deploying in support of Operations Inherent Resolve and Enduring Freedom-Horn of Africa in defense of our nation, which resulted in the capture or kill of over 500 enemy combatants.”

    The citation goes on to say that she spearheaded a partnership with the FBI, expanded the capabilities of a sensitive joint program, and introduced a new capability to the National Security Agency (NSA) that closed a crucial mission gap. Her Bronze Star citation, however, probably best sums up her achievements: “Her achievements will have a lasting impact in combating enemies of the United States.”

    Read the rest. This, oh by the way, was a late Gen-Xer, one of those people dumped on by the left for lacking the right kind [leftist] of ideological zeal.

    • #6
  7. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    EJHill (View Comment):

    After the video was uploaded the Pentagon announced another casualty just hours ago:

    Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Goble, 33, died Monday from injuries sustained during combat operations the day prior, Army Special Operations Command said in a statement. Pentagon officials said the incident is under investigation.
    Goble was a senior intelligence sergeant assigned to Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, which is based out of Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. This was his third deployment to Afghanistan, in addition to deployments to Argentina, Guatemala, Colombia and South Korea.

     

     

     

    Paying attention to the headgear tells you a fair amount. In the Army, lots of green berets and a couple of tan ones: Special Forces and Rangers.

    The last photo is of a legend, whose full effect on our national security will likely never be told because it is so classified:

    CTICS Shannon M. Kent’s name is engraved on the NSA’s wall of cryptological heroes who died as “They Served in Silence.”

    What can be told now is told in “The Legend of Chief Shannon Kent.”

    Thanks so much for this look at work that is going on every day without our knowledge. So sad to lose her.

    • #7
  8. dajoho Member
    dajoho
    @dajoho

    Thank you for that EJ.  Truly meaningful for me and mine.  

    • #8
  9. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Outstanding, EJ.  Thank you.

    • #9
  10. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Well done EJ.

     

    • #10
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