In the United States, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May.

That’s today.

First observed on 20 May 1950, Armed Forces Day was created on 31 August 1949, to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches following the consolidation of the military services in the U.S. Department of Defense. It was intended to replace the separate Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Days, but the separate days are still observed, especially within the respective services.

Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) is expected in June to start a five-month Caribbean deployment to provide humanitarian and medical assistance to the region, notable to refugees flooding into Colombia from neighboring Venezuela.

Comfort’s departure will mark the seventh deployment to the Caribbean since 2007 and is the second planned deployment to South America in the last six months. Last fallComfort sailed to Colombia, at the request of the government, to provide medical care to Venezuelan refugees.

“U.S. Southern Command is committed to the region in support of our Caribbean and Latin American partners, as well as displaced Venezuelans who continue to flee the brutal oppression of the former Maduro regime and its interlocking, man-made political, economic and humanitarian crises,” Adm. Craig Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) said in a statement Tuesday about June’s deployment.

Comfort is a 250-bed hospital that can accommodate several hundred Navy medical staff onboard, including pediatricians, surgeons, nurse practitioners, surgical technicians and various support personnel, according to the Navy.

Statement from the National Security Advisor Ambassador John Bolton
NATIONAL SECURITY & DEFENSE

Issued on: May 5, 2019

In response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings, the United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force. The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces.

 

 

May, marked officially as Military Appreciation Month, is a special month for both those in and out of the military.

Not only do we pause on Memorial Day to remember the sacrifice and service of those who gave all, but the month also holds several other military anniversaries and events, including Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Armed Forces day.

Congress designated May as National Military Appreciation Month in 1999 to ensure the nation was given the chance to publicly show their appreciation for troops past and present.

What is Military Appreciation Month

Each year the president makes a proclamation, reminding Americans of the important role the U.S. Armed Forces have played in the history and development of our country. May was chosen because it has many individual days marked to note our military’s achievements, including Loyalty Day, established in 1921, Victory in Europe (VE) Day commemorating the end of WWII in Europe in 1945, Children of Fallen Patriots Day and the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden.

Trump says sending ‘armed soldiers’ to US-Mexico border

Washington (AFP) – President Donald Trump said Wednesday the US is sending armed soldiers to the southern border after Mexican soldiers recently “pulled guns” on US troops.

Trump appeared to be referring to an April 13 incident in which Mexican troops reportedly questioned and pointed their weapons at two US troops conducting surveillance on the border.

“Mexico’s Soldiers recently pulled guns on our National Guard Soldiers, probably as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers on the Border. [*gasp* Horrors! Say it isn’t so!] Better not happen again!” he tweeted.

“We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border. Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!”

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said his government would analyze the incident, take into account Trump’s comments, and act “in keeping with law within the framework of our sovereignty.”

Today, April 19 1775, 244 years ago, the Battles of Lexington and Concord (The Shot Heard ‘Round The World)  kicked off the American Revolutionary War (1775-83). Tensions had been building for many years between residents of the 13 American colonies and the British authorities, particularly in Massachusetts. Troops of the British Army began a mission to confiscate arms and powder from units of the Massachusetts Militia, ran into a hornet’s nest and finally set off a powderkeg .

At dawn on April 19, some 700 British troops arrived in Lexington and came upon 77 militiamen gathered on the town green. A British major yelled, “Throw down your arms! Ye villains, ye rebels.” The heavily outnumbered militiamen had just been ordered by their commander to disperse when a shot rang out. To this day, no one knows which side fired first. Several British volleys were subsequently unleashed before order could be restored. When the smoke cleared, eight militiamen lay dead and nine were wounded, while only one Redcoat was injured.

The British then continued into Concord to search for arms, not realizing that the vast majority had already been relocated. They decided to burn what little they found, and the fire got slightly out of control. Hundreds of militiamen occupying the high ground outside of Concord incorrectly thought the whole town would be torched. The militiamen hustled to Concord’s North Bridge, which was being defended by a contingent of British soldiers. The British fired first but fell back when the colonists returned the volley. This was the “shot heard ‘round the world” later immortalized by poet Ralph Waldo Emerson

An acquaintance had a thought in passing;
“One can make the argument that the American Revolution did not start at Lexington and Concord. It began at a place called Meriam’s Corner where the British troops had to make a turn on their retreat to Boston. That is where the local militias of all the surrounding villages, which had not been attacked, arrived to help their neighbors who had been attacked and fought the Brits all the way back to Boston and there besieged them.”

Quickly before the midnight hour bell tolls.

April 18, 1919: 100 years ago today, Fentress Co. native and WWI Hero, Sergeant Alvin C. York, received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Army’s 82nd Division. York destroyed German machine gun nests and captured 4 German officers and 128 soldiers occupying France.


Also Two lanterns were shown in the bell tower of Old North Church in Boston MA.

‘One of by land. Two if by sea’

And off the newly emerging nation went with “The Ride of Paul Revere” as he and others called out the local ‘Minuteman’ militia to confront the British Army on their mission to confiscate militia arms and gun powder. Government “gun control” at its most blatant

Today April 12 in 1861 forces of the Confederate States of America fired on the Federal installation at Charleston South Carolina; Fort Sumter

The bloodiest four years in American history begin when Confederate shore batteries under General P.G.T. Beauregard open fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Bay. During the next 34 hours, 50 Confederate guns and mortars launched more than 4,000 rounds at the poorly supplied fort. On April 13, U.S. Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort. Two days later, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to quell the Southern “insurrection.”

And away we went to the war between the states, often called the war of Northern Aggression, or the first U.S. Civil War.

No matter the viewpoint, the aftereffects of that war still influence politics to this day.

Russia is talking about scrapping its only aircraft carrier, putting the troubled ship out of its misery.

Russia’s military ‘might’ was only ever in its nuclear capability, and even that was severely overestimated.
I think the only reason they were ever classed as a ‘SuperPower’™  was because they had been played into using their ground forces as cannon-fodder to bleed the Wehrmacht and that was a significant part in defeating the Nazis in WW2 and they had a bunch of leftist sycophants in the U.S. government at the time.

The Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia’s sole aircraft carrier which was built during the Soviet-era, was severely damaged last October when the massive Swedish-built PD-50 dry dock at the 82nd Repair Shipyard in Roslyakovo sank with the carrier on board.

The carrier was undergoing an extensive overhaul at the time of the incident.

While the ship was able to pull away from the sinking dry dock, it did not escape unscathed. A heavy crane fell on the vessel, punching a large gash in the hull and deck.

As is, the Kuznetsov is almost always accompanied by tug boats, preparation for practically inevitable problems.

The ship is rarely seen at sea. Between 1991 and 2015, the Kuznetsov, sometimes described as one of the worst carriers in the world, set sail on patrol only six times, and on a 2016 mission in Syria, the carrier saw the loss of two onboard fighter jets in just three weeks.

Honoring a legend: The last surviving Doolittle Tokyo Raider dies at 103

He almost made it to the 77th anniversary of the raid on April 19th.
Just consider that these men volunteered for a mission they knew had the high probability they wouldn’t survive and they just went and did it.
“Before the Doolittle raid, the U.S. knew nothing but defeat; After it, there was hope of victory.”

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The last surviving member of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, who helped strike the Japanese homeland after Pearl Harbor, has passed away.

Retired Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole passed away around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning at the age of 103, the president of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Association confirmed. His daughter Cindy Cole and son Richard Cole were by his side.

He was scheduled to make a public appearance at Dolphin Aviation but had to cancel his visit after he was hospitalized in San Antonio.

The World War II veteran lived on a ranch in Comfort, Texas.

Memorial services are expected to be announced soon at Randolph Air Force Base soon, and he will be interred with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery. There will also be a ceremony held in his honor at the National Air Force Museum.

Cole was Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot in the No. 1 bomber during the 1942 Japanese air raids, the Air Force Times reports. The Doolittle Raid was the United State’s first operation to strike the Japanese homeland after Pearl Harbor.

“His silver goblet” will be “turned over to join his other seventy nine Raider comrades,” the president of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders Association, Thomas Casey said in a statement to 10News.

National Guard Changes Logo Due to Failure of American Education System.


         Paul Revere wept

On March 25th, the National Guard Bureau officially announced new branding for recruiting. The traditional “Minuteman” logo will no longer appear on recruiting materials. It was reported that the image did not “resonate” with 16-18-year-old high school students because of lack of knowledge of the historic symbol. Concerns were also expressed that iconic figure from American history wasn’t “inclusive.” Furthermore, due to “no tolerance” policies concerning the display of images of firearms in schools, the traditional Minuteman logo could not be displayed due to inclusion of an 18th century flintlock rifle. Now the National Guard will be represented by a lackluster shield shaped black logo with white and gold lettering. The new recruiting videos will focus primarily on the National Guard’s domestic mission of natural disaster relief.

Travis Atkins died smothering a suicide bomber’s blast in Iraq. Now he’ll receive the Medal of Honor.

It was always a wonderment among us old soldiers that so many young servicemembers were doing heroic deeds that were almost identical in previous conflicts and not receiving the recognition they seem to deserve. Ineptitude, or political correctness run amok lest we impugn moslems?

Army Sgt. Sand Aijo was in the gun turret of a Humvee in 2007 when he and his fellow soldiers rolled up on two suspicious men in Iraq’s “Triangle of Death.” They were in a place U.S. soldiers didn’t expect to find them, and so glassy-eyed and fidgety that Aijo charged his machine gun, he recalled.

Staff Sgt. Travis Atkins, their gruff but revered squad leader, stepped out of the Humvee and walked toward the first stranger. Then an Army medic stepped out of the back seat, moving toward the second.

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As Aijo tried to keep track of both soldiers, Atkins unexpectedly began grappling with the first Iraqi just a few feet away. Atkins slammed the man to the ground and threw himself on top of him.

“The thing that became confusing was that once they hit the ground, the way that Travis began positioning his body, it just seemed strange to me,” Aijo recalled. “That’s when the detonation happened.”

On Wednesday, Atkins, of Bozeman, Mont., posthumously will become the fifth U.S. service member to receive the nation’s highest award for combat valor, the Medal of Honor, for actions during the eight-year Iraq War. A member of the 10th Mountain Division of Fort Drum, N.Y., he is credited with saving the lives of Aijo and two other soldiers by smothering a suicide vest laced with grenades, worn by the man he body-slammed.

Atkins, 31, was nominated for the Medal of Honor by his battalion commander, now-retired Col. John Valledor. But the Army downgraded the award one level to a Distinguished Service Cross, presented to Atkins’s family in 2008.

The awarding of the still-prestigious Service Cross was part of a broader trend that frustrated many rank-and-file service members. With so much combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, they wondered, why had so few Medals of Honor been awarded?

The concerns caught the attention of Chuck Hagel, a defense secretary in the Obama administration who ordered a review of how the award was processed.

In 2016, his successor, Ashton B. Carter, directed the military to scrutinize more than 1,100 top valor cases in which the Medal of Honor was not awarded, including Atkins’s and that of Air Force Tech Sgt. John Chapman, who received the nation’s highest military decoration posthumously last August.

No living service member has received the Medal of Honor for actions in the Iraq War. Seventeen Americans have been awarded Medals of Honor for actions in Afghanistan, including four posthumous awards. It isn’t clear whether other upgrades are planned.

Trickiest U.S. Missile Defense Test Is Finally Ready to Launch.

Missile defense is cheap compared to the damage a nuclear missile could do.

The Missile Defense Agency intends on Monday to fire two interceptors tipped with the latest Raytheon Co. warheads within seconds of each other in a test that hasn’t been publicly announced. The first interceptor would attempt to crash into a dummy target representing an incoming intercontinental ballistic missile. The second would use its sensors to detect another ICBM or other countermeasures.

Monday’s action would be first missile defense test since a successful one in May 2017. The system also scored an interception in June 2014 after two that failed in 2010.

Mark Wright, a spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency, said in an email said he had “nothing to announce at this time.”

The $36 billion system of Boeing Co.-managed radar, command links and 44 ground-based interceptors in California and Alaska is designed to defeat a missile attack. The Pentagon is requesting $9.4 billion in fiscal 2020 for the agency’s programs, including $1.4 billion for the ground-based segment — an increase from the $9.36 billion previously planned.

 

Plan To Retire USS Truman Early Makes No Sense, Which Is Why The Navy Doesn’t Really Want To Do It.

So why would the sea service propose a move that will reduce the number of carriers to ten for decades to come? The reason is that it was under pressure from the Office of the Secretary of Defense to free up money for other activities, especially development of unmanned warships and other advanced weapons deemed necessary to cope with the growing military power of China. Skipping Truman’s mid-life refueling and complex overhaul would save billions of dollars, not to mention the billions of dollars in additional savings over 20+ years that comes from operating one less carrier.

However, here’s what gets lost in the bargain. The number of carriers that can be kept forward-deployed in places like the Persian Gulf on a typical day falls to three, and all the remaining carriers get overworked—so they wear out sooner. It was not so long ago that trying to meet all the demands of U.S. combatant commanders with only ten carriers resulted in half the carriers stuck in maintenance due to over-use. Just because you cut the number of carriers doesn’t mean you cut U.S. overseas commitments.

Pentagon issues new transgender policy limiting service members to birth gender.

With all legal hurdles cleared, the Pentagon has instituted a new transgender policy that largely limits the military service of transgender persons currently in uniform to their birth gender. If they are unwilling to do so, they could be discharged.

The new policy, signed late Tuesday by David Norquist, who is currently serving as the deputy Defense secretary, will be implemented on April 12. A copy of the policy memo was obtained by ABC News.

Transgender service members currently serving in the military will only be allowed to continue to serve if they adhere to the dress and grooming standards of their biological gender. Waivers will be allowed on a case-by-case basis but only from the secretaries in charge of the military services.

F-16 Fighter Jet Sets off Police Radar.

A highway patrolman high in California was a little confused when his onboard radar went off without another car in sight. The mystery was quickly solved, though, when a F-16 Fighting Falcon flew overhead, streaking low and fast over the lonely patch of winter road.

The video, shared by California Highway Patrol-Bishop station and credited to Officer Chris Bol, shows a patrolman’s Ford Explorer parked on the road, wind buffeting the camera microphone. Coming up from behind fast is a F-16 fighter jet, which flies on ahead and then banks to follow the road, rapidly fading from sight.

According to the CHP, the radar in the patrol SUV was “going crazy” even though Bol couldn’t see another car anywhere. But then the jet came into view. It seems likely this wasn’t the jet’s first pass, though—the camera is positioned exactly to catch the fighter’s approach.

Bishop is in California’s high desert country. It lies in a relatively flat basin with mountains to the west and east, as the video amply demonstrates. It’s not surprising that the highway patrol’s onboard radar picked the fighter up relatively far away. The fighter approaches from the north or south and then veers off to the west or east.

As for the F-16, the video isn’t clear enough to show the two letter tail code that would explain which base it was from. The jet could have been from the Arizona National Guard or Hill Air Force Base in Utah. Hill’s two resident fighter wings are in the process of transitioning to the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, but the base is still a hub for F-16 upgrade and repair work.

It’s Official: 2020 Budget Proposal Has Largest Troop Pay Raise in a Decade.

The White House on Monday backed a 3.1 percent pay raise for the military as part of its overall defense spending proposal of $750 billion for fiscal 2020.

The roughly 5 percent increase for defense, up from a total $716 billion defense budget enacted in fiscal 2019, was included in the record $4.75 trillion budget request for all government spending for fiscal 2020 that President Donald Trump sent to Congress. But the proposal also calls for major reductions in domestic spending.

Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle, who guard Congress’ “power of the purse,” said Sunday that Trump’s budget request is only a suggestion that will be picked apart in their deliberations, as have others in the past. But they also said a military pay raise in the range of 3.1 percent is likely to survive.

Federal judge lifts injunction against Trump’s transgender military ban

The military is not a petri dish for experiments in ‘social justice’, inclusiveness,  or ‘diversity’. It’s a mechanism made for breaking things and killing people when necessary. Anything that interferes with that puts service members and the nation at greater risk.

A federal judge lifted the fourth and final injunction against the Trump administration’s policy barring most transgender individuals from serving in the military on Thursday.

U.S. District Judge George Russell III reversed his prior ruling, stating he was required to lift his order “because the court is bound by the Supreme Court’s decision” after the high court lifted two other injunctions imposed in January.

The Pentagon celebrated Russell’s decision, heralding it as the demise of the final roadblock after four injunctions were put in place in 2017 as legal challenges against the ban played out.

GUN CONTROL GENERALS TRY TO PULL RANK

When general and admirals speak, veterans like me tend to listen. That’s why I perked up at a recent letter signed by 13 retired officers for the political gun-control group Giffords Veterans Coalition. That letter advised Congress that passing background checks that ban private gun sales is a moral imperative. They contend this infringement on Constitutional rights is necessary to protect American safety.

Let’s give a little context. There are a few things the military just won’t tolerate. Lack of discipline. Disrespect. Getting out of step. I should know. I spent 25 years instilling those values into my Marines. On this, though, I can’t salute.

These military officers claim the moral high ground in the gun debate. Their service is admirable, but they hardly speak for all of us. I’ve been to war and I won’t forget those who prey on disarmed societies.

Law-abiding Americans must be skeptical when we’re told to abandon our rights. We wouldn’t tolerate military dictations on how to practice our religion. Historically the American public has gotten outraged after the government used war as an excuse to censor the media. We should all remember that our government once used the military to force Japanese-Americans to go into internment camps and that our Supreme Court said that was okay. This should also be true of the uniquely American right to keep and bear arms.

 

 

 

With women in combat roles, a federal court rules the male-only draft unconstitutional

A federal judge in Texas has declared that the all-male military draft is unconstitutional, ruling that “the time has passed” for a debate on whether women belong in the military.

The decision deals the biggest legal blow to the Selective Service System since the Supreme Court upheld the draft in 1981. In Rostker v. Goldberg, the court ruled that the male-only draft was “fully justified” because women were ineligible for combat roles.

But U.S. District Judge Gray Miller ruled late Friday that while historical restrictions on women serving in combat “may have justified past discrimination,” men and women are now equally able to fight. In 2015, the Pentagon lifted all restrictions for women in military service.

The case was brought by the National Coalition For Men, a men’s rights group, and two men who argued the all-male draft was unfair.

Men who fail to register with the Selective Service System at their 18th birthday can be denied public benefits like federal employment and student loans. Women cannot register for Selective Service.

On this day in 1945, a detail of U.S. Marines of 3rd Platoon, E (Easy) Company,  2nd Battalion, 28th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division, fighting on Iwo Jima raised a larger replacement flag on the summit of Mt. Suribachi providing Joe Rosenthal an opportunity to photograph an image that became an icon of American military prowess in World War 2.