US Army LtGen Benjamin Mixon, who was publicly dressed down by the Secretary of Defense when he encouraged members of the military to voice their concerns over the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” has retired. Now he says the Obama administration is in a “rush to repeal” DADT that may actually be damaging to the military.
The US military academies appear to have hammered out their graduation speakers for this year:
- President Obama will reportedly address the US Coast Guard Academy graduation.
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will take the US Naval Academy at Annapolis.
- Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley will speak at USAFA’s graduation.
- CJCS Admiral Mike Mullen will address the US Military Academy at West Point.
The top military leadership speaks at the military academy graduations on a rotating basis. For those keeping count, Obama has already spoken at Annapolis, West Point, and now the Coast Guard academy, so if tradition holds he will address USAFA next year.
A variety of people from both sides of the political spectrum have made implications of similarity between President Barack Obama’s decision to use military force in Libya and decisions by prior President George W. Bush.
There’s even the second-guessing of the name.
Few people might remember the original name for what eventually became Operation Enduring Freedom was actually Operation Infinite Justice. After reported outcry Read more…
The United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1973 authorizing “all necessary means” except an invasion to enforce a no-fly zone and “protect civilians” in Libya. China, Russia, Germany, Brazil and India abstained from the vote. The UN Security Council:
Authorizes Member States…to take all necessary measures…to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya…while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.
Establish[es] a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians;
Authorizes Member States…to take all necessary measures to enforce compliance with the ban on flights…
Fighter pilots and other American military members around the world are undoubtedly preparing for their eventual role in this conflict, which, like virtually every other conflict since Korea, remains politically controversial. (For example, The Washington Times quotes then-candidate and Senator Barack Obama apparently contradicting his current actions as President.)
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has said he hopes policy changes necessary for DADT repeal will be accomplished “within a matter of a very few weeks” so “the real challenge” can begin:
“My hope is that it can be done within a matter of a very few weeks so that we can then move on to what is the real challenge, which is providing training to 2.2 million people,” Gates said…
Commanders will provide all troops with some sort of education Read more…
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates issued his annual holiday message this past week. As is often tradition when mentioning the military and this “holiday season,” he cited George Washington’s Christmas crossing of the Delaware in 1776:
On Christmas Night, December 25, 1776, General George Washington and his band of 2,400 men crossed the icy Delaware River, won victories against British and German troops, and stirred new hope into the struggle for freedom and liberty… Read more…
A day after the Family Research Council called for an investigation, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates reportedly ordered an inquiry into the “leak” of results from the Comprehensive Working Group’s report on the potential impact of repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
According to an official DoD news release, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates reiterated his position that the status of the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is one for Congress to decide. Gates said:
I feel very strongly that this is an action that needs to be taken by the Congress, and that it is an action that requires careful preparation and a lot of training. We have a lot of revision of regulations that has to be done.
As widely expected, President Obama took Secretary of Defense Gates’ recommendation and nominated Marine General James Amos for the position of Commandant of the Marine Corps. Speculation over why the fighter pilot was chosen over other officers, including the General now nominated to head CENTCOM, General James Mattis, have largely died out.
As largely expected, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has given the name of General James Amos to President Obama as his recommendation for the next Commandant of the Marine Corps.
A variety of news sources are reporting that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will submit the name of current Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps General James Amos as the next Commandant of the Marine Corps. Interestingly, Amos’ appointment would break Marine Corps tradition because he is a fighter pilot (much like the appointment of General Norton Schwartz — a cargo pilot — broke the Air Force tradition of fighter and bomber pilots).
General James Amos is also a Christian.
In 2009, Gen Amos was one of several speakers at the Capitol Hill celebration of the National Day of Prayer. In his remarks he was unequivocal about his faith and the power of prayer in his military life: Read more…
Many distinguished (and some undistinguished) speakers come to the US Air Force Academy to speak to the cadet wing. Sometimes these speeches are done during a military training period within the school day; others are delivered in the evening.
A time-honored tradition at the US Air Force Academy is the presentation to those speakers (most, but not all) with a statuette of the USAFA mascot, the falcon. After the speaker concludes their remarks, a cadet leader enters the stage and thanks the speaker for their wise words. As he holds the statuette aloft, he then says that on behalf of the cadet wing, he would like to present the speaker with…
…and the entire wing shouts out: The Bird!
It is an interesting and entertaining example of both stereotypical Read more…
In a fairly well written argument, the government has filed a motion to dismiss the ongoing lawsuit against the Defense Department brought by Army Specialist Jeremy Hall and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. (The response was due, and filed, on the 8th.) Salient points are below (emphasis added), though many were previously already talked about here.
The short version: he failed to use the systems in place to seek redress; the solutions he requests are already in place; and he does not allege harm by any “institutional bias” for which the only support is a list of vague references.
On the request that Secretary of Defense Gates be required to prevent Constitutional violations by his military subordinates:
Secretary Gates already exercises his authority to prevent constitutional violations through the Army’s existing Equal Opportunity Program — which Specialist Hall failed to invoke…
This is an update on the previous post (below) regarding the MRFF lawsuit against the military.
The MRFF lawsuit (now available) is “comprehensive” in that it lists virtually every military ministry the MRFF could think of, and accuses the military of undefined impermissible conduct with them. Michael Weinstein lists 11 different “evidences” of “patterns and practices” of improper promotion of religious beliefs. The 11 examples essentially comprise the most recent highlights of Weinstein’s “war” against evangelical Christianity in the military; some of the examples are vague, and none of them are substantiated. One of them will likely be quickly ruled moot, as the 523rd Fighter Squadron “Crusaders,” terminology with which Weinstein objects, have been deactivated since May and thus no longer exist.
It appears Weinstein intends to use one court case to address Read more…
According to a press release, Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation has sued the military on behalf of an Army soldier. According to the announcement, an officer harassed Army Specialist Jeremy Hall when he attempted to convene a meeting of atheists. (The text of the suit is not yet available.)
The lawsuit apparently names the Defense Secretary Robert Gates as defendant because the incident is evidence of “a pattern of military practices that discriminate against non-Christians in the military,” which he allegedly permitted in his role as Defense Secretary.
Much like his Academy lawsuit, it appears that Weinstein is attempting to aggrandize a discrete event into a larger opportunity. A niche news article on the suit (which has yet to be seen in the mainstream media) indicated that the assertions meandered from the soldier to other unrelated issues, like alleged military support of civilian Christian organizations as well as the recent Pentagon IG report (previous commentary). Weinstein himself has implied that this goes ‘beyond’ the two men, and said that Read more…