The below video is from an interview that CNN’s Brooke Baldwin did with a US Army Lieutenant Colonel who get emotional talking about his family’s safety in South Korea:
I can understand why this officer got emotional talking about his family’s safety, but this is probably not the best image for the US Army to put forward. It seems to me that if he is so fearful for his family’s safety he should of did an unaccompanied tour to Korea.
I am surprised Bergdahl received no jail time:
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, center, arrives to the Fort Bragg courtroom facility for a sentencing hearing on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, on Fort Bragg, N.C.
A military judge’s decision Friday to issue no jail time and a dishonorable discharge for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl unleashed a wide range of emotions.
Several expressed anger that Bergdahl, 31, didn’t get the punishment they thought he should have, while others expressed understanding that he didn’t deserve more jail time.
Leading the charge of angry reaction was President Donald Trump, who went after the decision by the judge, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance.
He sentenced Bergdahl to forfeit $10,000 in pay, a reduction in rank to E-1 private and a dishonorable discharge, barring him from receiving any medical or other benefits entitled to most veterans. [Stars & Stripes]
You can read more at the link, but I have always thought that Bergdahl should have at least received the Charles Robert Jenkins punishment. What Jenkins did caused far less risk for US troops because nobody had to search to find him when he defected to North Korea unlike Bergdahl who initiated a massive search which put soldiers lives at risk. Jenkins also spent far more time in captivity than Bergdahl, 39 years compared to Bergdahl’s 5, and yet Jenkins received a month of jail time and Bergdahl received none.
Finally Jenkins was not released in exchange for a group of terrorists like Bergdahl was. Just these facts alone should warrant jail time for Bergdahl if Jenkins received jail time. I wonder if the judge presiding over the case even considered Jenkins past sentence as a precedent before issuing his ruling?
My personal opinion on this is that I would rather have a smaller group of highly qualified soldiers than a larger group of soldiers with standards dropped. However, the Army is saying they are only allowing in soldiers who have admitted to marijuana use which is on the lower end of criminal activity:
Faced with increasing demand for new soldiers, the Army has reached deeper into the pool of marginally qualified recruits, offered hundreds of millions in bonuses and relaxed the process for granting waivers for marijuana use.
The Army will reach its goal of 80,000 new soldiers without compromising quality, predicted Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow, who leads its recruiting command. The need for new soldiers comes as Congress has reversed trends begun in the Obama administration to downsize the military. An additional headwind for recruiting in all the service branches: a growing economy where civilian jobs, not joining the military, attract young people.
“It’s in an environment where unemployment is 4.5%,” Snow said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us.” [Stars & Stripes]
You can read more at the link, but I wonder if this will mean weight and fitness standards for soldiers coming out of basic and AIT will be lowered as well like there were before?
If only half the accusations this retired Lieutenant Colonel makes in this opinion piece are true there are still some serious issues at West Point:
The recent coverage of 2LT Spenser Rapone — an avowed Communist and sworn enemy of the United States — dramatically highlighted this disturbing trend. Given my recent tenure on the West Point faculty and my direct interactions with Rapone, his “mentors,” and with the Academy’s leadership, I believe I can shed light on how someone like Rapone could possibly graduate.
First and foremost, standards at West Point are nonexistent. They exist on paper, but nowhere else. The senior administration at West Point inexplicably refuses to enforce West Point’s publicly touted high standards on cadets, and, having picked up on this, cadets refuse to enforce standards on each other. The Superintendent refuses to enforce admissions standards or the cadet Honor Code, the Dean refuses to enforce academic standards, and the Commandant refuses to enforce standards of conduct and discipline. The end result is a sort of malaise that pervades the entire institution. Nothing matters anymore. Cadets know this, and it has given rise to a level of cadet arrogance and entitlement the likes of which West Point has never seen in its history. [Medium]
With courses like this an avowed anti-American communist like 2nd Lieutenant Spenser Rapone was able to fit right in at West Point:
Even the curriculum itself has suffered. The plebe American History course has been revamped to focus completely on race and on the narrative that America is founded solely on a history of racial oppression. Cadets derisively call it the “I Hate America Course.” Simultaneously, the plebe International History course now focuses on gender to the exclusion of many other important themes.
On the other hand, an entire semester of military history was recently deleted from the curriculum (at West Point!).
I recommend reading the whole thing at the link, but LTC Heffington’s accusations definitely explain how Rapone was able to graduate. It also explains how cadets are able to make political statements in uniform with no consequences. If things are as bad at West Point as claimed Rapone ought to apply to become an instructor because he would be the perfect teacher to instruct a “I Hate America Course”.
Considering how good the old “pinks and greens” uniform looks it is a shame the US Army ever went away from it in the first place:
At AUSA PEO Soldier is demonstrating a prototype World War Two Pinks and Greens-style service dress uniform.
SGT Schacher and SFC Johnson wear prototypes of male and female versions of the uniform. This is only a prototype, intended to solicit feedback and there is currently no requirement for a new Service uniform. However, if this concept is adopted by the Army, the final uniforms will be different. [Soldier Systems]
You can see additional photos at the link, but imagine how awesome this uniform would look if soldiers were allowed to wear “The Ike Jacket” with it as well:
I think the biggest challenge that would prevent this change is simple uniform change fatigue. The Army has gone through so many uniform changes in the past few years leaders may be hesitant to make another change; even a change that would be for the better.
Much like the ongoing debate about a US military chaplain bashing other religions it seems this US Army infantry officer should find another line of work as well:
A photo of U.S. Army infantry officer and West Point graduate Spenser Rapone was making its rounds online Monday due to the fact that – while in his uniform – Rapone had the words “Communism will win” scrawled inside of his cap. [Gateway Pundit via a reader tip]
I saw this and I thought this has to be fake, but this is an actual real story. Over at Task and Purpose they have confirmed that Rapone is actually a commissioned officer now and going through infantry training:
Rapone’s no mere troll. He’s a real socialist, who believes American society should be radically reconceived to make citizens more equal. He’s written passionately about “white supremacist iconography” and “profoundly racist culture” at West Point, which he shares as an alma mater with most of the Confederate army’s officer ranks. But it is his alma mater nonetheless. While he renounces private property ownership as the United States practices it, he owns a little piece of the Great Chain and the Point,and its history is now a part of him. He didn’t destroy USMA; he joined it, and seeks to change America from within. As much as he can, as a serving Army infantry officer, anyway. “Symbolic victories are important,” he writes. For all the radical flair, you could imagine him agreeing with the guarded patriotism of that old classical British conservative, Edmund Burke: “To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely.” [Task and Purpose]
So I guess it is okay to promote Communism in uniform now. So what would happen if someone decided to start promoting Nazi ideology in uniform?
Army chiefs of South Korea, U.S. and Japan meet on the sidelines of the Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference in Seoul on Sept. 19, 2017, in this photo from the South Korean Army. Pictured are Gen. Koji Yamazaki (L), chief of the ground staff of Japan’s Self Defense Force; South Korean Army Chief of Staff Kim Yong-woo (C); and Mark Milley, U.S. Army chief of staff. (Yonhap)
It looks like another senior officer is having a midlife crisis and hitting on a younger married woman:
Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington, U.S. Army Africa Commanding General, attends a function on July 10, 2017, during a visit to Caserma Ederle, Vicenza, Italy. DAVIDE DALLA MASSARA/U.S. ARMY
Maj. Gen. Joseph Harrington, the commander of U.S. Army Africa, was suspended Friday pending an investigation into flirtatious text messages he is suspected of sending to another man’s wife.
“MG Harrington has been suspended from his duties as the Commander of United States Army Africa’s Southern European Task Force pending the completion of an investigation by the Army’s inspector general,” said a statement from the Army’s chief of public affairs office.
Harrington said in a statement that “I look forward to the completion of the investigation.” [Stars & Stripes]
Here is what was allegedly texted:
The woman who received the messages — who spoke on condition of anonymity because she fears retaliation against her husband — told USA TODAY the texting began as friendly and related to business. She said she had met Harrington at the gym. She became concerned with the texts, she said, after Harrington’s messages became suggestive. The relationship did not be come physical.
Harrington is married, and adultery is a violation of military law.
The messages, many sent late at night, veer from the mundane to the personal. Harrington oversees the Army’s activities in Africa from a post in northern Italy. In some texts, he complained about travel and getting sick on local food.
In others, he doted on the woman’s appearance, referring to her as “HOTTIE,” and “looking good for sure.” In another series he wrote: “You seem to have a great modeling resume! Truly! Though I hadn’t noticed! Where is your hubby tonight? Work?”
When she replied that she’d fought with her husband, and that he was asleep, Harrington responded: “I’m sorry! Make up se…x is fun” [US Army WTF Moments]
You can read more at the link.
You would think soldiers selected for sensitive positions like this would know better:
Vice President Mike Pence
Soldiers assigned to Vice President Mike Pence’s communications detail have been reassigned from White House duty after a security video caught them bringing women back to their hotel rooms during a trip overseas, defense officials told NBC News.
The senior-ranking soldiers were sent home to the U.S. and removed from their positions earlier this month after White House staff learned of their actions, NBC News reported. [Army Times]
You can read more at the link, but according to the article the women were not prostitutes. This makes me wonder if the women were intelligence operatives then collecting on the soldiers in question?
The U.S. Eighth Army’s ATACMS is launched on the east coast on July 29, 2017, as South Korea and the United States conduct a joint missile exercise in response to North Korea’s firing of yet another intercontinental ballistic missile the previous day, in this photo released by South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. The ATACMS, or the Army Tactical Missile System, is a surface-to-surface missile that has a range of 300 km. (Yonhap)