Army shooter is first US service member to win gold medal at Tokyo Olympics

a picture of a person posing for the camera

AMP ASAKA, Japan – An Army lieutenant became the first U.S. service member to clinch a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics with a first-place finish in women’s shotgun skeet on Monday.

First Lt. Amber English, a logistics officer and member of the Army Marksmanship Unit, bested Diana Bacosi of Italy, the 2016 women’s skeet gold medalist.

“Amber English wins gold with an Olympic Record of 56 in the women’s skeet final after a nail-biting ending,” said a tweet on the games’ official Twitter account.

English, 31, a native of Colorado Springs, Colo., hit 56 of 60 targets at the event, just three off the world record held by Wei Meng of China, who took bronze Monday.

Biden launches first airstrike in Somalia targeting Al-Shabaab terrorists

  • The US military command for Africa (AFRICOM) conducted the airstrike in coordination with the Somali government
  • The airstrike was conducted n the vicinity of Galkayo, Somalia about 430 miles northeast of Mogadishu today against al-Shabaab
  • The strike is the first conducted by the U.S. military in Somalia since January 19, when AFRICOM announced it had killed three Shabaab jihadists in two strikes

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“Americans have never really understood ideological warfare.”


Wokeness is sabotaging the military academies.

Professor Lynne Chandler Garcia recently published an op-ed in the Washington Post in which she defended indoctrinating her students on the concepts of critical race theory, or CRT.

Normally, this wouldn’t raise any eyebrows. A member of the intelligentsia teaching her students a boutique academic theory? Hardly shocking. What did get people’s attention was Garcia’s place of employment. None other than the U.S. Air Force Academy.

CRT presents a nebulous set of beliefs that encourage people to look at every issue through the prism of race. Its next step is to sort individuals into groups of “oppressors” and “oppressed.” It’s a poisonous ideology that accuses white people of being oppressors and asserts that minorities cannot succeed in America without perpetuating white supremacy.

At its core, CRT is a race-based way of looking at the world. Which is somewhat ironic for a philosophy ostensibly about “anti-racism!” It essentially advocates burning down those basic American structures, norms, and institutions that CRT theorists deem unacceptable. The goal? Undermining and ultimately replacing these norms and institutions.

One of those institutions on which CRT theorists have set their sights is the United States military.

As my Heritage colleagues Mike Gonzalez and Dakota Wood have previously explained, the creeping influence of CRT on the military jeopardizes the health and strength of the armed forces. Introducing CRT’s racial division and resentment will erode camaraderie. CRT will undermine the instrumental unity that is essential for the U.S. military to successfully protect our national interests. But CRT theorists are not content to just push these radical concepts on the force at large. They are working to indoctrinate the next generation of officers, as Garcia makes plain.

To be clear, informing cadets about controversial concepts is not the issue. Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton echoed this sentiment at a recent Heritage event, saying that he would be surprised if a Western philosophy class did not cover Karl Marx and communism, given the impact of Marx’s ideology on world history.

The same is true of CRT. Making cadets aware of the concept is not the problem. Indoctrination and extensive academic focus is the problem. Just as professors at the service academies should not be endorsing communism in the classroom, they shouldn’t be endorsing CRT. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what is happening.

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“BLM” is a marxist/communist based, anti-american, action group using race as a front. Any contractor having ‘concerns’ about people researching “the truth about Black Lives Matter” needs to have their contract cancelled.


Pentagon contractor investigating ‘extremism’ says BLM web search raises concerns about White supremacy

The Pentagon is reportedly working with an extremism analysis company that considers the web search “the truth about Black Lives Matter” and others to be signs of interest in or engagement with White supremacism.

According to Defense One, the contractor Moonshot CVE, which has ties to the Obama Foundation, is working on data that would identify which military bases and branches have the most troops searching for domestic extremist content. While that particular project’s contours are unclear, the company previously released a June report, in conjunction with the left-leaning Anti-Defamation League, on purported “White supremacy trends in the United States.”

In it, the U.K.-based company said it “monitored a list of almost 1,600 indicators of interest in or engagement with White supremacism, focused specifically on anti-Black and anti-Semitic narratives being used by extremist groups.”

As examples, it listed the search phrases “George Floyd deserved to die,” “Jews will not replace us” and “the truth about black lives matter.”

For “the truth about black lives matter,” the group said: “This search suggests that the BLM movement has nefarious motives, and is a disinformation narrative perpetuated by White supremacist groups to weaponize anti-BLM sentiment.”

It adds: “While the search phrase appears innocuous, several books include it in their title and allege that the BLM movement is ‘joined with Antifa burning and looting.’ These sources echo White supremacist disinformation narratives alleging that BLM protesters are trying to ‘overthrow the republic’ and ‘harm American citizens in a Marxist coup,’ as a means of delegitimizing it. Multiple videos on YouTube also promote these narratives – in particular the criminalization of BLM – using the identical phrase.”

Moonshot did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment. Neither did the Defense Department.

It’s unclear why the Pentagon chose a U.K.-based company for monitoring purported U.S. extremism. The Center for Security Policy raised concerns about the company in an article last month in which it highlighted how Moonshot CEO Vidhya Ramalingam served as a leader in the Obama Foundation’s Europe program.

She also participated in a panel hosted by the highly controversial Southern Poverty Law Center and has ties to other left-leaning organizations. As the Center for Security Policy notes, she authored a paper that acknowledged financial support from Open Society Foundation, the group founded by liberal billionaire George Soros.

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BLUF:
The report concluded: ‘A major peer-level conflict in the 21st Century will likely play out largely in the naval theaters of operations; unlike the surface Navy’s last major war, which concluded 76 years ago, such a conflict will likely proceed swiftly and not permit significant time for organizational learning once it is underway.’

‘Unless changes are made, the Navy risks losing the next major conflict.’


But I guess that won’t matter as much as the fleet’s diversity index being up to date?


‘Every officer is up to speed on diversity training. Not so much ship handling’: Scathing official report finds US Navy is too woke for war because of risk averse, politically correct, control-freak top brass.

A scathing new report commissioned by members of Congress has claimed that the Navy’s surface warfare forces have systemic training and leadership issues, including a focus on diversity that overshadows basic readiness skills.

The report prepared by Marine Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle and Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, both retired, came in response to recent Naval disasters, including the burning of the USS Bonhomme Richard in San Diego, two collisions involving Navy ships in the Pacific and the surrender of two small craft to Iran.

The authors conducted hour-long interviews with 77 current and retired Navy officers, offering them anonymity to identify issues they wouldn’t feel comfortable raising in the chain of command.

The report found that a staggering 94 percent of the subjects believed the recent Naval disasters were ‘part of a broader problem in Navy culture or leadership.’

‘I guarantee you every unit in the Navy is up to speed on their diversity training. I’m sorry that I can’t say the same of their ship handling training,’ said one recently retired senior enlisted leader.

The report focused on issues within the Navy’s surface warfare forces, as opposed to submarine and aviation, and suggested that issues in the surface fleet could be unique due to better funding and training for submarine and aviation units.

One of the key issues raised by the officers interviewed for the report was a concern that Navy leaders spend more time focusing on diversity training than on developing warfighting capacity and key operational skills.

‘Sometimes I think we care more about whether we have enough diversity officers than if we’ll survive a fight with the Chinese navy,’ lamented one lieutenant currently on active duty.

‘It’s criminal. They think my only value is as a black woman. But you cut our ship open with a missile and we’ll all bleed the same color,’ she added.

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Destroying Our Military from Within

President Joe Biden and the left are doing what no adversary has ever accomplished: destroying America’s military. What has never happened from without is now happening from within. Our armed forces’ ability to deter war and conduct military operations in defense of our nation is being undermined by those responsible for readiness to accomplish these missions.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act. It requires, inter alia, that orders for military operations must pass from the president, through the secretary of Defense and then directly to the commanders of our 11 unified combatant commands. The Joint Chiefs of Staff — the generals and admirals who head each branch of our armed forces — are not in this “chain of command,” but they are responsible for ensuring combatant commanders have adequately trained personnel, weapons and equipment to accomplish their geographic and functional missions. They are also required to provide advice to the president and Defense secretary on strategy, policy, training and readiness.

Today, the readiness of our armed forces is being adversely affected by indoctrinating our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines in politically correct tripe such as critical race theory, systemic racism and “white privilege” in the military. Retention of junior and midgrade officers is dropping like a stone. Reenlistments are down. Recruiters are waiving standards once deemed important. Yet, the Joint Chiefs are going along to get along.

In recent congressional testimony, JCS Chairman Gen. Mark Milley was asked why U.S. military personnel are being required to learn critical race theory. In his response, our most senior military officer claimed he read books by Mao, Marx and other enemies of freedom. So did we — because we wanted to know more about our adversaries.

There are two serious problems with the general’s response. First, our troops are not learning critical race theory voluntarily. They are forced to do so. Second, critical race theory is not being offered as evidence of how our enemy thinks. It is being presented as what’s wrong with our country.

Members of Congress should ask all our senior military officers how teaching critical race theory improves combat ability, preparedness or morale? If it doesn’t, why teach it? How does teaching our troops that the country they swore to serve and protect is evil and unworthy of their loyalty build esprit de corps? How can troops in combat know their fellow warriors have their backs when they have been taught to distrust each other on the basis of race?

In our forthcoming book, “We Didn’t Fight for Socialism,” we asked more than 500 veterans why they volunteered to serve in uniform and go in harm’s way when necessary. Nearly all gave virtually the same response. They joined, served and risked life and limb because they love our country. For them, America means freedom, liberty, opportunity and self-determination; principles encouraged throughout their service. Now, thanks to Biden and the top brass at the Pentagon, our troops are learning just the opposite.

When we served in the Marine Corps, semper fidelis — “always faithful” — was our motto. To this day, semper fidelis is more than a slogan. For us, it is a way of life. We were taught that it meant to always be faithful to God, country, Corps and each other. Fast forward to the present. Our troops are now being asked to be faithful to a leftist belief system that denies God, tears down our country, undermines military preparedness and makes service members distrustful of each other. Biden and his leftist puppet masters are doing what no foreign enemy has been able to do: destroy our military. Sadly, they are being assisted by weak generals and admirals playing politics.

Disturbing Reports From US Troops and ROTC Cadets of “Woke” Military Priorities
Woke priorities are now trickling down to our troops, and reports are surfacing about some humiliating drills and exercises that boost neither morale nor preparedness among our service personnel.

Professor Jacobson published an outstanding analysis of the “ideological capture” of our military, which featured chilling testimony from General Mark Milley (Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff) and Admiral Michael Gilday (Chief of Naval Operations).

The woke priorities are now trickling down to our troops, and reports are now surfacing about some humiliating drills and exercises that boost neither morale nor preparedness among our service personnel.

To begin with, active duty members of the Navy in San Diego were recently forced to take part in a mandatory ‘diversity hike’ during which they flew LGBT flags. Of course, American flags were nowhere to be seen.

“A woman whose husband is active duty Navy sent me this. His command held a “diversity hike” in honor of Pride Month. Attendance was mandatory. They hiked while waving a rainbow American flag,” tweeted Matt Walsh.

As Chris Menahan explains, the event was promoted by the Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303, which celebrated “Pride Month” with a “Pride Hike” at Sunset Cliff last week.

The servicemembers were made to carry a version of the LGBT flag which incorporates the stars and stripes, although no actual American flag was flown.

Earlier this year, about 15 ROTC cadets from Temple University participated in a school-sponsored Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, during which men stumble through a pre-set route while sporting high heels, supposedly as as a way to raise awareness for sexual assault victims.

Several cadets walked while wearing Army Combat Uniforms, as did the school’s professor of military science, Lt. Col. Greg Nardi, who runs Temple’s Red Diamond Brigade.

Military blogs like This Ain’t Hell reported on the cadets weeks later. Around that time, another high-heel walk, this one sponsored by the ROTC brigade at Arizona State University, drew attention when a screen shot of a message allegedly from an ASU cadet complaining about his school’s event landed on Reddit’s Army channel, the Facebook page of U.S Army W.T.F! Moments, and other sites.

It is highly doubtful that either of these activities enhanced our military’s preparedness, or contributed to unit cohesion.

For decades, a hallmark of the military has been building up its personnel (physically and mentally) via physical training and conditioning. However, this effective method of strengthening our troops is now being quashed in favor of high-heels and diversity stunts.

The Air Force announced Monday it will allow walking and modified push ups in its revised fitness test, according to Task and Purpose.

The fitness test, which to this point featured a 1.5-mile run with sit-ups and push-ups, will now allow members to walk instead of run, and do raised-hand push-ups instead of traditional push-ups.

As for the core, service members have the option to do planks instead of traditional sit-ups.

Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, the branch’s deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services told Task and Purpose the Air Force will also set up a sprint-test alternative to walking and running.

But can the Air Force personnel do those push-ups in high-heels while waving the LGBTQ flag…that is the important question!

What is Behind Gen. Mark Milley’s Righteous Race Sermon? Look to the New Domestic War on Terror.
The overarching ideology of Pentagon officials is larger military budgets and ongoing permanent war posture. Their new war target, explicitly, is domestic “white rage.”

For two hundred forty years, American generals have not exactly been defined by adamant public advocacy for left-wing cultural dogma. Yet there appeared to be a great awakening at the Pentagon on Wednesday when Gen. Mark Milley, the highest-ranking military officer in the U.S. as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified at a House hearing. The Chairman vehemently defended the teaching of critical race theory at West Point and, referencing the January 6 Capitol riot, said, “it is important that we train and we understand … and I want to understand white rage. And I’m white.”

In response to conservative criticisms that top military officials should not be weighing in on inflammatory and polarizing cultural debates, liberals were ecstatic to have found such an empathetic, racially aware, and humanitarian general sitting atop the U.S. imperial war machine. Overnight, Gen. Milley became a new hero for U.S. liberalism, a noble military leader which — like former FBI Director Robert Mueller before him — no patriotic, decent American would question let alone mock. Some prominent liberal commentators warned that conservatives are now anti-military and even seek to defund the Pentagon.

It is, of course, possible that the top brass of the U.S. military has suddenly become supremely enlightened on questions of racial strife and racial identity in the U.S., and thus genuinely embraced theories that, until very recently, were the exclusive province of left-wing scholars at elite academic institutions. Given that all U.S. wars in the post-World War II era have been directed at predominantly non-white countries, which — like all wars — required a sustained demonization campaign of those enemy populations, having top Pentagon officials become leading anti-racism warriors would be quite a remarkable transformation indeed. But stranger things have happened, I suppose.

But perhaps there is another explanation other than righteous, earnest transformation as to why the top U.S. General has suddenly expressed such keen interest in studying and exploring “white rage”. Note that Gen. Milley’s justification for the military’s sudden immersion in the study of modern race theories is the January 6 Capitol riot — which, in the lexicon of the U.S. security state and American liberalism, is called The Insurrection. When explaining why it is so vital to study “white rage,” Gen. Milley argued:

What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out. I want to maintain an open mind here, and I do want to analyze it.

The post-WW2 military posture of the U.S. has been endless war. To enable that, there must always be an existential threat, a new and fresh enemy that can scare a large enough portion of the population with sufficient intensity to make them accept, even plead for, greater military spending, surveillance powers, and continuation of permanent war footing. Starring in that war-justifying role of villain have been the Communists, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Russia, and an assortment of other fleeting foreign threats.

According to the Pentagon, the U.S. intelligence community, and President Joe Biden, none of those is the greatest national security threat to the United States any longer. Instead, they all say explicitly and in unison, the gravest menace to American national security is now domestic in nature. Specifically, it is “domestic extremists” in general — and far-right white supremacist groups in particular — that now pose the greatest threat to the safety of the homeland and to the people who reside in it.

In other words, to justify the current domestic War on Terror that has already provoked billions more in military spending and intensified domestic surveillance, the Pentagon must ratify the narrative that those they are fighting in order to defend the homeland are white supremacist domestic terrorists. That will not work if white supremacists are small in number or weak and isolated in their organizing capabilities. To serve the war machine’s agenda, they must pose a grave, pervasive and systemic threat.

Viewed through that lens, it makes perfect sense that Gen. Milley is spouting the theories and viewpoints that underlie this war framework and which depicts white supremacy and “white rage” as a foundational threat to the American homeland.

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Our Woke Military Is a Disaster on Every Level

Our Woke Military Is a Disaster on Every Level

Hi, everybody! Welcome to the latest edition of “Stream of Kurtiousness,” the Townhall VIP special feature where I sit and talk about stuff, things, and do-ins. So here we are. Let’s go. What do we got?

We got drag queen shows at Air Force bases. Not just any Air Force base. No, it’s Nellis Air Force Base, home of the fighter pilot training school where you’re supposed to forge on the anvil of combat training the world’s greatest fighting force. They had a bunch of dudes dressed like chicks walking around, and this was an official sponsored event, and it’s like, what the hell is going on? A drag show, folks. A drag show.

Want to know what else is a drag? Not having won a war in 20 years. That’s a super drag. And it’s really, really annoying. It’s getting old. It’s getting tiring.

 

Let’s face it; our military is in a really bad way. It’s a disaster on every level.

Did you see Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday, Four Stars, get up before Congress, and they start asking him embarrassing questions like why are you having our guys read Henry Kendi Ibram Rogers whatever the hell his name is?

Here’s the thing, everybody goes, “Well, Kurt, aren’t generals conservative?” Well, they’re conservative as an adjective, not conservative as a noun. Okay? They’re not like you and me. Keep in mind, they’re at the top of the pyramid in a socialist organization where they tell you what to do, where to go, what to say, what to wear, who you’re doctor is going to be; they tell you everything. And if you’re a general, you really like that.

Now, I was Guard as well as Army. I was active duty and Guard, so I kind of had both of those worlds, but when you’re Guard, you tend to, I don’t know, have a freaking life. And you know, we would get attitude from the active duty guys, “You’re not a real soldier.” And I’m like, “Well, I had to meet every standard you did to become a Colonel.” Every single one, including War College, which you didn’t need to be a Colonel, but it still helped. So, I did that, and I was successful. And I was successful at an entirely different career, too.

There was a little healthy competition, but now, it’s a total sh**show.

These guys are socialists; they are not conservatives like you or me. In fact, they distrust it, because as conservatives, we believe in empowerment. We believe in pushing down to the lowest decentralized level the authority of people to run their own lives. That’s everything generals hate!

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Army Finally Defines ‘Extremism’ When It Comes to Screening Out ‘Hate Group’ Members.

The Army has decided to ask all applicants for enlistment a question about an association with “extremist/hate groups” in the screening process. This requirement might seem reasonable. However, according to the latest communication, extremism is defined in terms of individual belief and advocacy.

In a recent congressional hearing, Senator Tom Cotton questioned Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin regarding racially-charged exercises and training content presented during the 60-day stand-down to root out extremism. Austin disavowed the concepts that members of the military reported receiving training on. Representative Jim Banks (R-Ind.) also questioned Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday about placing How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi on a recommended book list for sailors. From Gilday’s answer, it is doubtful he ever read the book that some social justice warrior lackey probably placed on the list.

Yet social justice content is leaking its way into the military through some mechanism. Now, the Army Recruitment Command uses subjective and easy-to-politicize criteria to identify potential “extremists” who wish to enlist. This change comes amid the Pentagon considering ways to intensify social media scrutiny in background investigations.

On June 22, an Ops Flash instructed Army recruiters that the inclusion of a question regarding any association with “extremist/hate” organizations must be answered and uploaded for all applicants for commissioning in the Army before testing, before the physical exam, and before military entrance processing. The required form updated the gang participation question that has been asked since the 1990s:

Army critical race theory
Army form screenshot.

Suspecting that the definition of a gang is more commonly held than that of an “extremist/hate organization” in the current political environment, I reached out to the Army Press Desk for clarification asking three questions after reviewing the Ops Flash and new question:

  1. Is this initiative only part of the Army recruitment process or for all branches?
  2. It appears to apply only to officer candidates. Is this accurate?
  3. Is there a standard definition or list of extremist/hate groups? In the current political environment, this seems very open-ended.

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States he doesn’t really know what it is, but still advocates for it.
This is the intellectual level of the current military command structure.
Yes, you read Marx, Lenin and even Mao.
You do that to – as SunTzu put it – understand the enemy as well as you understand yourself.
You do not teach a theory though that is 180° opposite to what America stands for.


Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Defends Critical Race Theory

General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explained in a House Armed Services Committee hearing Wednesday why he supports bringing Critical Race Theory into the American military while admitting “I’ll obviously have to get much smarter on whatever the theory is.”

“I do think it’s important, actually, for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read,” Milley said. “And the United States Military Academy is a university, and it is important that we train and we understand,” he added as a rationale for teaching Critical Race Theory.

“I want to understand ‘white rage,’ and I’m white, and I want to understand it,” said the most senior military officer in America, linking the term to the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.

Understanding Critical Race Theory, according to Milley, is important to find out “what is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? I want to find that out,” he said. “I want to maintain an open mind here and I do want to analyze it. It’s important that we understand that. Because our soldiers, sailors, airman, marines, and guardians come from the American people, so it is important that the leaders, now and in the future, do understand it.”

In defending the practice of including Critical Race Theory in military training, Milley noted “I’ve read Karl Marx, I’ve read Lenin, that doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?”Milley then criticized those who oppose the integration of Critical Race Theory, saying “I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned, non-commissioned officers of being ‘woke’ or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there.”As Katie reported earlier in June, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) sent multiple letters to West Point in order to learn how Critical Race Theory was being implemented —not just studied or considered — and ring the alarm on CRT’s damaging outcomes.

“On the battlefield, skin color doesn’t matter. All that matters is merit & mission,” Waltz tweeted about his inquiry. “Critical Race Theory’s antithetical to the unity needed for service to our country & that’s why I’m getting to the bottom of why it’s being taught to our future leaders at our military academies.”

On Fox News Thursday night, Tucker Carlson discussed Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin who vowed to root extremism in the military. However, the Pentagon is partnering with Islamic activists to decide who those extremists are. Carlson also cited a US Army battalion commander at Fort Carson who reportedly told troops, “white people are part of the problem.”

The old line about the NCO corps being the backbone of the military is no lie. They’re the ‘middle management’ where the generic orders of the officers get turned into reality.
In making other ‘woke’ and ‘diversity’ criteria more important than expertise in the specialty and the ability to get the job done, the goobermint has forgotten the lessons of the immediate post-Vietnam 1970s military that was a hot mess until some serious minded Generals and service Secretaries took matters in hand and drastically increased standards.


BLUF:
We’re going to find out that identity politics will destroy the military readiness and combat effectiveness of what was once the world’s premier fighting force. The hard way.


This is How the Pentagon Wokesters are Eroding Non-Commissioned Officer Standards

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s “revolution in woke military affairs” continues apace. First, there was the ridiculous 60-day leadership stand-down as the taste of things to come in ferreting out “white nationalists” and other supposed bogeymen in the US military. That process accelerated with Austin’s appointment of fellow West Point graduate Bishop Garrison as “Senior Advisor to The Secretary of Defense on Human Capital and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” Garrison’s portfolio includes implementing immediate actions to combat “patriot extremism,” as well as the development of the mid-term and long-term recommendations for the continued engagement to combat future patriot extremism in the ranks.” Improve military readiness and combat effectiveness? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Oh, by the way, according to Garrison, “patriot extremists” include those who voted for President Trump in 2020. Is that too extreme? Hardly, as FoxNews commentator Pete Hegseth cover the ongoing “patriot purge” here:

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June 6: A walk across a beach in Normandy

Today your job is straightforward. First, you must load 40 to 50 pounds on your back. Then you need to climb down a net of rope that is banging on the steel side of a ship and jump into a steel rectangle bobbing on the surface of the ocean below you. Others are already inside the steel boat shouting and urging you to hurry up.

Once in the boat, you stand with dozens of others as the boat is driven towards distant beaches and cliffs through a hot hailstorm of bullets and explosions. Boats moving nearby are, from time to time, hit with a high explosive shell and disintegrate in a red rain of bullets and body parts. Then there’s the smell of men near you fouling themselves as the fear bites into their necks and they hunch lower into the boat. That smell mingles with the smell of cordite and seaweed.

In front of you, over the steel helmets of other men, you can see the flat surface of the bow’s landing ramp still held in place against the sea. Soon you are within range of the machine guns that line the cliffs above the beach ahead. The metallic death sound of their bullets clangs and whines off the front of the ramp.

Then the coxswain shouts and the klaxon sounds. Then you feel the keel of the LVCP grind against the rocks and sand of Normandy as the large shells from the boats in the armada behind you whuffle and moan overhead. Then the explosions all around and above you increase in intensity and then the bullets from the machine guns in the cliffs ahead and above rattle and hum along the steel plates of the boat and the men crouch lower. Then somehow you all strain forward as, at last, the ramp drops down and you see the beach. Then the men surge forward and you step with them. Then you are out in the chill waters of the channel wading in towards sand already doused with death, past bodies bobbing in the surf staining the waters crimson. Then you are on the beach.

It’s worse on the beach.

The bullets keep probing along the sand digging holes, looking for your body, finding others that drop down like mere sacks of meat with their lines to heaven cut. You run forward because there’s nothing but ocean at your back and more men dying and… somehow… you reach a small sliver of shelter at the base of the cliffs. There are others there, confused and cowering and not at all ready to go back out into the storm of steel that keeps pouring down. And then someone, somewhere nearby, tells you all to press forward, to go on, to somehow get off that beach and onto the high ground behind it, and because you don’t know what else to do, you rise up and you move forward, beginning, one foot after another, to take back the continent of Europe.

If you are lucky, very lucky, on that day and the days after, you will walk all the way to Germany and the war will be over and you will go home to a town somewhere on the great land sea of the Midwest and you won’t talk much about this day or any that came after it, ever.

They’ll ask you, throughout long decades after, “What did you do in the war?” You’ll think of this day and you will never think of a good answer. That’s because you know just how lucky you were.

If you were not lucky on that day you lie under a white cross on a large lawn 77 long gone years later.

Somewhere above you among the living weak princes and fat bureaucrats and rank traitors mumble platitudes and empty praises about actions they never knew and men they cannot hope to emulate.

You hear their prattle, dim and far away outside the brass doors that seal the caverns of your long sleep. You want them to go, to leave you and your brothers in arms to your brown study of eternity.

“Fifty years? Seventy-five? A century? Seems long to the living but it’s only an inch of time. Leave us and go back to your petty lives. We march on and you, you weaklings primping and parading above us, will never know how we died or how we lived.

“If we hear you at all now, your mewling only makes us ask, among ourselves, ‘Died for what?’

“Princes and bureaucrats, parasites and traitors, be silent. Be gone. We are now and forever one with the sea and the sky and the wind. We marched through the steel rain. We march on.”

SUPREME HEADQUARTERS
ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCE

Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

At approximately 01oo hours over Normandy this day back in 1944, the U.S. 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions executed a parachute assault to delay and deter German forces from countering the Allied invasion forces landing from the sea.

The Rule Of LGOPs, (Little Groups Of Paratroopers)

After the demise of the best Airborne plan, a most terrifying effect occurs on the battlefield. This effect is known as the rule of the LGOPs. This is, in its purest form, small groups of young American paratroopers.
They are well trained.
They are armed to the teeth and lack serious adult supervision.
They collectively remember the Commander’s intent as “March to the sound of the guns and kill anyone who is not dressed like you.” – or something like that.
Happily they go about their day’s work.

Pentagon OKs Chinese Drones Previously Banned over Espionage Concerns

After years of citing potential spying by China via sophisticated drones, the Pentagon has approved the U.S. military to acquire two Chinese-made “Government Edition” drones.

A recent Pentagon report seen by the Hill found “no malicious code or intent” in two drone models manufactured by Da Jiang Innovations (DJI), a Chinese company, and one of the world’s foremost drone makers. The May 6 report, released on Tuesday, concludes that DJI’s drones are recommended for use by government entities and forces working with U.S. services.”

“This U.S. government report is the strongest confirmation to date of what we, and independent security validations, have been saying for years — DJI drones are safe and secure for government and enterprise operations,” DJI spokesperson Adam Lisberg told the Hill.

Almost 80 percent of all drones used in the United States and Canada are made by DJI.

The Department of Defense green-lighting controversial drones comes after escalating concerns at the federal level around the security of DJI and Chinese drones more broadly.

DJI was added to the Commerce Department’s “entity list” — i.e., the list of bodies considered a “national security concern” — late last year, effectively blacklisting the company.

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To absent friends
CW5 Robert Selje
MSG Ben Stevenson
MSG Jared Van Aalst
SFC Ryan Savard
SGT Paul Dumont
SGT Jose Regalado


If you are able,
save them a place
inside of you
and save one backward glance
when you are leaving
for the places they can
no longer go.
Be not ashamed to say
you loved them,
though you may
or may not have always.
Take what they have left
and what they have taught you
with their dying
and keep it with your own.
And in that time
when men decide and feel safe
to call the war insane,
take one moment to embrace
those gentle heroes
you left behind.