LtGen Jerry Boykin
Faith Words, 2008.
Topic: Military/Christian Experience
Never Surrender is the memoir of Lt Gen (Ret) William G. “Jerry” Boykin, a name familiar to many even outside of military circles. It documents his military career and much of his personal life, in his “journey to the crossroads of faith and freedom.”
In a career that spanned more than three decades, General Boykin was predominantly a member of Special Operations units, including being one of the initial cadre (and ultimately a commander) of the Army’s elite Delta Force. He was involved in virtually every combat action since the early 1980s, from the aborted rescue attempt of the Americans held hostage in Iran to the hunting of war criminals in the Balkans.
According to the book, Read more
A near firestorm was raised on Monday when Time‘s Amy Sullivan reported (and a variety of sources repeated) that the Obama family had decided that Camp David’s Evergreen Chapel would be its “home church.” The White House staff contradicted the Time article, saying that the Obamas are still looking for a “church home.” The Time contributor is “standing by” her story, saying that the fact that the Obamas are intending to attend the Chapel while at Camp David justifies her report.
More interesting, however, was the intense scrutiny given to the Chaplain currently associated with Camp David. Read more
According to the AP, the US military service academies have seen a dramatic rise in applications. The US Naval Academy has received over 15,000 applications for a mere 1,200 slots (and has already received another 8,000 applications for next year’s class). It is possible this is attributable to a poor economy, as the academies offer “free” education and a guaranteed job after graduation. The economy has also been cited as a reason for higher retention in the US military as a whole, despite the high deployment rates and ongoing combat operations.
As previously noted, Captain George Bryan Houghton, a 2002 USAF Academy graduate, was killed in an F-16 crash in Utah. He was reportedly flying in a four-ship night close air support (CAS) training mission at the time, and he crashed during an attack run. Night attacks in a CAS scenario can potentially be some of the most challenging–and dangerous–that an F-16 pilot flies. According to one news report, his unit was preparing for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.
Houghton’s family has a military tradition. One younger brother was injured in an Afghanistan helicopter incident; another is currently at the Air Force Academy.
Houghton’s father said his son “had such a sense of duty to God and county” – and to his two brothers. “If you fought one, you fought them all.”
Houghton “knew it was a dangerous profession he was in. We all did,” his father said.
Chaplain Tim Vakoc, a US Army Catholic priest, succumbed to the results of his combat wounds earlier this week. Chaplain Vakoc had been wounded by an IED in May of 2004, and is believed to have been the first military Chaplain so wounded in the current conflict. He had been a Chaplain since 1996, and is the first Chaplain to die due to combat in the current conflict.
As noted by Chaplain Mitch Lewis.
According to their press release, the Liberty Counsel has asked the US Navy to reverse a decision in which “religious speech” had to be removed from a “Navy for Moms” website. In addition, according to the Liberty Counsel,
Navy for Moms community guidelines were also recently revised to prohibit the posting of religious discussions except for prayers offered for sailors.
These kinds of restrictions on private speakers using a government-sponsored forum are not required in order to avoid a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Read more
According to news reports, an F-16 from Hill AFB has crashed in Utah. Reports indicate the Air Force is not in contact with the downed pilot, which regrettably often means the worst.
The crash is the latest of several in the military, two of which have been fatal. The military fighter pilot profession remains a dangerous one, even in training.
UPDATE: The Air Force announced the pilot had been killed in the crash.
According to reports, the labor union on strike at Vance AFB has reached an agreement with its parent contractor that will enable them to resume support of pilot training operations.
Part of the reason given for contracting maintenance, rather than having active duty military duty do it, is the cost savings to the military. Given the recent events–which included having to bring in support from other bases for life-saving functions and sending aircrew to other bases to accomplish their training–one wonders if the military saved much money (or if the contractor will cover the bill for not fulfilling its contract over the two week strike).
The contractors will now have to prepare aircraft for flying that have been sitting idle for two weeks. This is unlikely to be a pleasant endeavor for either them or the aircrew, as aircraft are notorious for not liking being idle for so long.