Tag: Marine Corps

Upholding the Constitution in Hard Cases


ConstitutionJust as Bill Cosby was rightly freed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on solid constitutional grounds, so now two Marines have been cleared of wrongdoing in a 2011 incident, where Marine snipers recorded themselves urinating on Taliban corpses. The reason for reversal of lower adverse actions? Improper command influence from the top of the Marine Corps. 

The Acting Secretary of the Navy just cleared the record of a Marine officer who had be separated from service under a cloud, even though he was not at the scene. At the same time, the Navy has upgraded the rank of a senior noncommissioned officer, a senior sergeant, who had been forced into retirement at a lower rank.

It is a gross violation of military justice for a senior commander to make statements indicating the desired result of a supposedly fair process.

You remember the 19th Amendment, right?  It was in all the papers at the time. In this episode, Dave welcomes author Tyler Boyd onto the show to talk about his new book, “Tennessee Statesman Harry T. Boyd,” which tells the story of the gentleman who cast the deciding vote which ratified the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, giving women across America the right to vote. As it happens, the book’s author is the great grand-nephew of Harry T. Burn, and had extraordinary access to the documents and first-hand accounts of Burn, his life and impact on the state and the nation. As you will hear, Harry T. Burn’s contributions to the nation didn’t stop with the passage of women’s suffrage. Indeed, throughout his time in public life, which included a campaign for Tennessee governor and multiple terms in the Tennessee Senate, Burn’s commitment to limited government and responsible stewardship of the public trust was actually ahead of his time.

Then Dave sits down with a fellow military veteran (and fellow 18 wheeler driver), Ricochet Member Chuck Ceccacci. Chuck and Dave both drove military show trucks and participated together in the 2014 Rolling Thunder event, where they drove their show trucks through Washington DC, along with over 800,000 veterans on motorcycles, to call attention to military members who were held as Prisoners of War and Missing In Action. It’s understood that when a couple of veterans start telling stories, it’s going to be interesting, but who knew it would be so funny too? This is one episode you won’t want to miss

Thanks for the Marines


245 years ago, on November 10, 1775, The Continental Congress authorized the creation of two battalions of Marines. The Marines were disbanded, along with the navy, after victory in the American Revolution, and re-established on 11 July 1798. So, for a century July 11 was celebrated as the Marine Corps birthday. The earlier date was adopted as the official birthday in 1923, placing the Marines properly in the context of our fight for independence.

The brief Continental Congress journal entry for the day reflected a serious group of legislators, of a sort we sorely need in these days. The day’s business was all about military preparations at the strategic level. The marine battalions were part of that preparation, creating needed force structure long before we formally declared independence. The members of Congress understood that there was not time to train from ground zero, so required “no persons be appointed to office, or insisted into said battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea when required.”

A year later, the Continental Congress had a Marine Committee, which published regulations, including a uniform regulation distinguishing the Continental Marine battalions from the Continental Army with its blue coats:

Lebanon? Wasn’t This About Iraq? A Brief Note to the Perplexed.


I thought it noteworthy that an unnamed Pentagon source claims that “an Army brigade” has been put on alert for Lebanon:

Around 5,200 American troops are based in Iraq to train Iraqi forces and help in the fight against Islamic State group militants. Defense officials who discussed the new troop movements spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a decision not yet announced by the Pentagon. A Pentagon official who was not authorized to be identified said the U.S. also had placed an Army brigade on alert to fly into Lebanon to protect the American Embassy. U.S. embassies also issued a security alert for Americans in Bahrain, Kuwait and Nigeria.

That would be a garbled way of saying that the 82nd Airborne has a “be prepared” order to respond to Iran’s oldest and most effective proxy, the original Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hezbollah actually runs the government and the military, such as it is, in Lebanon. They blew up a hotel/barracks full of Marines during President Reagan’s tenure. Naturally, the American embassy in Lebanon would be of particular concern now.

From Generation to Generation, Semper Fidelis


WWIn 2009, my wife was invited to a function in Washington, DC. Our local library had won a prestigious national award and, as treasurer of one of the library’s most popular community programs, she was asked to attend. When she arrived, she found herself seated at a table with an elderly gentleman in his mid-80’s. Raised on a dairy farm in West Virginia, he had lived quite a life. He had worked odd jobs and drove both trucks and a taxi for a living before he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps. He was working on a project through them in Montana on December 7, 1941.

Like most healthy American males, he went to enlist but he was rejected for military service for being too short. By May 1943, with the war dragging on, he was finally accepted into the Reserves of the United States Marine Corps. A little over a year later, this young man would be in combat with the 1st Battalion, 21st Marines on Guam and, in February of 1945, on the island of Iwo Jima.

It was on Iwo that he truly distinguished himself. With advancement stalled by a series of pill boxes built into the black volcanic sand, he became a one-man assault force. Covered by only four riflemen, he fought with a 70-pound flame thrower on his back and took out the enemy positions with fire and explosives. When his fuel tank was empty, he crawled back behind the lines and rearmed. Again and again he did this, for four long hours under withering Japanese fire.

War Is Heck


Remember the study that concluded that female Marines were slower, less accurate with weapons and more injury-prone than men? The one that concluded that all-male units were faster and more lethal than mixed-gender units on most combat tasks? The one that came as a surprise to exactly no one who’s actually looked at a man’s upper body and a woman’s and thought, “Vive la différence?

Well, not to worry. Turns out that morale in these mixed-gender units is perfectly satisfactory. Just as good as in the all-male groups, reports The New York Times with evident delight:

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My Marine is being sexually harassed by his government. No, not by anyone inside the Corps but by the neo-Puritans on a sexual witch hunt throughout the Department of Defense. Hardly a week goes by that he is not either required to take an online or in-person “awareness” course or asked to fill out a […]

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We talked awhile ago about women training for Marine Corps Infantry. Now that zero women have made it through IOC, the Marine Corps will now have to justify the high standards and prove why they are relevant. From the link: “They are on the lookout for standards they believe are no longer relevant in today’s […]

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There is nothing about my life that is even vaguely interesting. It is not unique, it offers more lessons in what not to do than in how to get ahead, and in retrospect, was (er… is) always one or two bad decisions away from spiraling out of control.  Yet, on more than one occasion, I […]

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