Alan Clyne recently retired from the US Marine Corps after a long career. Clyne was in Iraq in 2005 when he was tasked with driving an armored bulldozer to clear a path for engaged fellow Marines:
It was there, at a tiny forward operating base called Camp Gannon in November 2005, that Chief Warrant Officer 4 Clyne and a fellow Marine, Master Sgt. Scott Witmer, hopped aboard an armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozer that neither man had been trained to operate and drove into a high-risk rescue mission in an active combat zone.
A tank accompanied them — from Read more
Tim Prudente of the Capital Gazette wrote a short piece on the traditional hat toss that accompanies the graduation of each of the US service academies:
In the seats, children fidgeted because where else can an 8-year-old boy score $20 and a military hat, maybe as many as he can carry…?
Many midshipmen tucked $20 and 15 cents for the Class of 2015.
This and other traditions have been noted here before, including the veritable plethora of traditions from a single photo during an Air Force Academy graduation in 2010.
After the earlier article noting the tradition of the Silver Dollar Salute, in which a newly commissioned officer gives a silver dollar to the first enlisted troop to salute him, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Read more
As previously noted, Michael Weinstein had suddenly softened his tone on LtGen Robert Caslen when he found out Caslen was slated to lead the US Military Academy at West Point.
During Gen Caslen’s involvement in the Christian Embassy controversy in 2006, Weinstein said those involved in the scandal were equivalent to al Qaida, Iraqi militant Muqtada al Sadr, and deserved to be court-martialed. Two years later, Weinstein essentially accused Gen Caslen of fomenting insurrection at the hands of a Christian army, and said the Army was promoting “fundamentalist Christianity” by promoting Gen Caslen.
Weinstein’s self-serving “about face” has already been discussed. What is interesting this time is Weinstein’s continuation of the faux praise for the General’s “metamorphosis” — while he cites absolutely no reason for or characteristic of LtGen Caslen’s alleged ‘reversal.’
After first reminding people the MRFF once accused General Caslen of “sedition” — a criminal accusation for which he does not apologize — Weinstein then says: Read more
Jason Torpy of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers is currently engaged in his annual campaign on atheism at the US military academies, which coincides with basic training at each service academy. The Christian Post picked up on his discussion, and noted that some version of non-sectarian offering was available during basic training to new cadets.
Chaplain Ron Crews of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty acknowledges that those who choose to have no religious faith also have rights — but questions their desire to mimic religious institutions and have chaplains: Read more
The RecordOnline reports on the many faithful members of the US Military Academy’s football team:
They sprint onto Blaik Field and head directly to the north end zone. About 20 or so Army teammates take a knee and pray individually.
Some prayers last a few seconds. Others are deeper. They ask for both teams to be safe. They express how thankful they are for Read more
Though “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is technically no more, the conversation over the law’s demise continues.
The Air Force Times notes that, for the most part, the US military academies expect “few changes” in the post-“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” environment.
US Naval Academy at Annapolis [Correction:] US Coast Guard Academy did announce one specific change: Read more
Much as they do every year, the US military academies ranked near the top of the nation’s best colleges by The Princeton Review.
While some may consider the military academies somewhat interchangeable, its interesting to see the differences in “culture” at each institution. For example, the “most popular major” at USAFA is said to be aero/astro engineering, at Annapolis its economics/history, and at West Point its business and economics. And, as last year, it seems the Merchant Marine Academy has a reputation to overcome.
Interestingly, USAFA fell off the scale on “most religious students” — and West Point took its place.
Some notable rankings: Read more