Tag: U.S. Military

Final Respects


Members of the 3rd Special Forces Group pay final respects to their fallen teammate killed in action in Niger. SSG Bryan Black was interred at at Arlington National Cemetery 30 October 2017.  Members were seen removing their dress Special Forces Tabs and/or their Ranger Tabs in order press them into the top of the casket in honor of their teammate. The cost is high.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Rich McFadden of Radio America feeling optimistic after a recent poll shows that Republican Karen Handel has a slim lead over Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff in the Georgia runoff election. They also praise the Supreme Court which ruled unanimously in favor of protecting trademarks that some parties may consider offensive or disparaging. And they applaud the U.S. military as they down the third pro-Syrian regime aircraft this month, an action which prompted a harsh Russian response.

Why I Joined the Navy


023d609e1cc415731fd5bdaa02c89e83I was a third semester senior at NC State — a physics major. I had applied for graduate school in physics at State and the University of Virginia, but hadn’t received word on acceptance. Later that October, I was sitting outside a classroom waiting for my next class, when I glanced up at a poster on the bulletin board. It showed a picture of a guy looking through a periscope, with words like “Join the Navy” and “Nuclear Power.” It sounded cool to me. I was taking nuclear physics and quantum mechanics at the time, and I thought “This sounds like a job opportunity.” I pulled off one of the tear-away post cards, filled it out, and mailed it in to the local recruiter in Raleigh.

Things happened fast after that. I got a call from the local recruiting office. They wanted to meet me. I drove there one afternoon, met my recruiter — a Navy pilot — and we got down to business. I took some kind of standardized test and had an interview. I must have scored well. A few days later, I was invited to fly to DC for a series of additional tests, and possibly an interview with … Admiral Hyman Rickover, the father of the nuclear navy.

So, I flew up to Washington, did the tests and interviews, and the rest was history — I got accepted into the US Navy’s Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate program. Now, we get to the meat of this post’s title — why did I join in the first place?

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Sheryl Sandberg… the feminist COO of Facebook and the originator of the ‘Ban Bossy’ campaign (because the word ‘bossy’ was bad for little girls) … is now apparently advising the military on how to install feminism as an operational priority. The Air Force Academy is bringing her in to lecture cadets to support GRRL Power. […]

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Civilians are terrible about relating to military service. Too many romanticize it and way too many dismiss it as blood thirsty war mongering. Since the end of conscription in 1972, service to country has become rare and the division between those that have served and those that have not has never been greater. How do […]

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The Strategika Podcast: Tom Donnelly on Political Correctness in the Military


In the newest installment of the Strategika podcast from the Hoover Institution (subscribe via iTunes here), I talk with the American Enterprise Institute’s Thomas Donnelly about political correctness in the military — or, to be more precise, the lack thereof. 

How is it that the armed forces have largely been able to avoid the PC fad while still successfully integrating an increasingly diverse fighting force? And is there a gap between the military brass and the average soldier on this issue? Those are just a few of the questions we deal with below:

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Jonah Goldberg once wrote that he was invited by a group of geeks who had been plotting on how to hold out in a zombie invasion for years to join their group, that he told them, “I don’t mean to overly mock the role-playing game community, these are my people. But when the zombies come, I’d […]

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Missile Defense: Fourth Time’s the Charm (Updated With Video)


A GMD interceptor launching from its siloUpdate: See comments 18 and 19 for video. After failing in three consecutive flight tests (two in 2010 and one in 2013), the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system finally intercepted a mock nuclear warhead launched on an IRBM from the Marshall Islands in a test flight designated FTG-06b. 

For this exercise, a threat-representative, intermediate-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Reagan Test Site. The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70), with its Aegis Weapon System, detected and tracked the target using its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar, which provided data to the GMD fire control system via the Command, Control, Battle Management and Communication (C2BMC) system. The Sea-Based X-Band radar also tracked the target, and relayed information to the GMD fire control system to assist in the target engagement and collect test data. About six minutes after target launch, the Ground-Based Interceptor was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base. A three-stage booster rocket system propelled the interceptor’s Capability Enhancement II EKV into the target missile’s projected trajectory in space. The kill vehicle maneuvered to the target, performed discrimination, and intercepted the threat warhead with “hit to kill” technology, using only the force of the direct collision between the interceptor and the target to destroy the target warhead. This was the first intercept using the second- generation Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle.

The system was thwarted in previous tests by a series of technical problems, which critics quite credibly argue are the result of a too-hasty deployment by the Bush Administration. Both sides like to lump all four missile defense weapon systems together (GMD, Aegis, THAAD, Patriot) and argue in generalities — somewhat understandably, because many of the details required to form specific arguments are classified. Critics use GMD’s failures to criticize the entire project, while supporters cite the aggregate test record (65 out of 81), which is buoyed by the success of the other elements, to divert attention from GMD’s spotty record (9 out of 17, including 1 out of the last 4). But as President Obama loves to remind us, this is not a political football. Americans all over the political landscape should be glad that we are making progress toward the goal of creating a defensive shield against the most terrible weapons ever devised.

Podcast: Implementing a Coherent Foreign Policy, with (Ret.) Admiral Gary Roughead


How are America’s military leaders constrained by the political process and institutional factors? It’s a question we don’t ask very often, but one that’s key to understanding how American foreign policy actually gets implemented.

In a recent conversation for the Hoover Institution, I talked to retired Admiral Gary Roughead — the 29th Chief of Naval Operations and one of only two officers in the Navy’s history to have commanded both the Atlantic and the Pacific fleets — about precisely this set of issues. What he had to say was fascinating. Have a listen: