The Stars and Stripes has an interesting write up on Saint Christopher’s Chapel, an open-air church built by the US Army during World War II:
The nondenominational Saint Christophers Chapel, built in 1943 by the Army’s 542nd Engineer Battalion, is the only structure remaining from when Rockhampton served as a springboard and training location for Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s World War II island-hopping campaign. The city hosted the 1st Cavalry Division and the 24th, 32nd and 41st infantry divisions on a half-dozen camps between 1942-44.
Somewhat interesting that journalist Marcus Fichtl makes a Read more
RAdm Robert Sharp, director of the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office and commander of Office of Naval Intelligence, recently made a fascinating statement in support of the LGBT community [emphasis added]:
[Sharp] said his commitment comes from the important role diversity and inclusion play in building a strong Navy. It not only the right thing to do, he said, it is a warfighting readiness imperative…
Nowhere is that more important than in the intelligence community, he said.
“It’s our job to go out there and understand adversaries. We need to be looking at threats from every different angle, and if we can’t bring in diversity of experience, diversity of expertise, diversity of thought, we will not be as good as we need to be for our nation.”
That begs two important questions: Read more
As the Trump Department of Defense reconsiders the decision by the Obama Administration to allow “transgender” individuals to serve in the US military, indications of growing opposition even within the Armed Services are undercutting claims that transgenders in the military would be a “non-event.”
US Rep Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018 that would have prohibited the military from accepting those who describe themselves as transgender. Representative Hunter agreed with her:
“This (policy) doesn’t make (troops) more effective or efficient or deadly. What it does is distract everybody,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who served with the Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I couldn’t imagine having to share showers with somebody that was a girl and didn’t have a surgery to become a man but kept the girl stuff and now she’s with a bunch of guys.”
Hunter’s comments were criticized by his political opponents: Read more
Clayton Lassiter was a US Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now he’s a pastor in Florida, and he’s aiming to help veterans with some of the same struggles he had:
Since January, three of Clayton Lassiter’s buddies from his military command have killed themselves.
Having served with the Marine Corps during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Lassiter has dealt with his own struggles. He’s had nightmares, flashbacks and used to have trouble being in unfamiliar environments.
Notably, the article only mentions the VA once — to highlight that it is “overwhelmed.” Lassiter isn’t out to point people toward the VA; he’s trying to start a group of veterans helping veterans, potentially focusing on the area that helped him: Read more
Major MJ Hegar is a heroine. She saved not one but three helicopter crews in Afghanistan, as well as multiple US ground troops, and she did so all while being abandoned in combat by her cowardly peers and held back from her true potential by The Man.
At least, that seems to be how her story is being told.
US Air Force Major Mary Jennings Hegar was a US Air Force HH-60 helicopter rescue pilot in Afghanistan in 2009. (The Air Force rescue helos are know as Pedros — and, yes, they use a sombrero wearing mascot that would probably offend someone if they thought about it long enough.)
On July 29, 2009, her mission as the lead Pedro 15 went infamously sour. Hegar received a medal — and a Purple Heart — on that mission, and she now uses the story of that mission on the speaking circuit while she advertises her upcoming book — the movie rights for which have already been optioned (Angelina Jolie is rumored Read more
Retired US Air Force Chaplain Norris Burkes first came to the attention of this site in 2009, when the syndicated chaplain wrote a column about the burning of Afghan-language Bibles by American troops in Afghanistan (a controversy discussed here). In essence, Burkes approved, and noted:
The possession of such religious material violates something the military calls General Order No. 1.
Though he was dismissive of most input, he did finally concede that he was wrong — General Order Number One says no such thing.
Despite the admission, Burkes declined to change the article, and it can still be found on his website, with the unchanged statement that even Burkes admitted was wrong.
Chaplain Burkes recently popped up again, and for some reason he Read more
December 24th was Christmas Eve, but it also marked the first day of Hanukkah — a day celebrated even by the US troops stationed in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan:
At sundown on Saturday, Navy Lt. Lauren Sucher of Annapolis, Md., and Navy Chief Petty Officer Kent Frosch of Washington, D.C., stepped outside at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah.
The short Stars and Stripes article is a reminder that regardless where the US military sends its troops, it generally supports their ability to practice their religion — even if some people might find it uncomfortable.
In this case, these Jewish US troops are surrounded by an Islamic nation and Read more
The US Navy began teaching its Sailors about women thinking they’re men, and vice versa, even as they’re deployed in Afghanistan — a nation, incidentally, in which transgenders would probably be tossed in jail or executed.
While the training is probably fairly standard with that previously discussed, most interesting in this article was an apparent emphasis by the Navy on convincing troops why the policy change was necessary [emphasis added]:
“It was a great coverage of the policy and the reason for its implementation. The scenarios facilitated a great discussion and helped me to gain a better perspective of this initiative,” said Chief Petty Officer Frosch Kent, Intern Planner at the RS HQ. “Eliminating a barrier from qualified individuals is essential and it is even more validated if this policy will prevent the increase in suicides in our military.”
To summarize, the Navy is telling its Sailors Read more