Tag Archives: somalia

Chaplain Chosen for US Army Ranger Hall of Fame

Update: The ceremony was covered here.

Each year a select few are chosen to be elevated to the Ranger Hall of Fame, and this year a local Georgia pastor has made the cut.

That pastor is Jeff Struecker (website) of Calvary Baptist Church in Columbus, Georgia. He is also former Sgt Struecker, Army Ranger during the fight in Somalia immortalized in Black Hawk Down, who eventually became US Army Chaplain (Maj) Struecker. Struecker, then, is probably a rare theologian inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame.

A recent interview Struecker gave Read more

SPLC: And Then They Came for the Atheists

Hemant Mehta of the “Friendly Atheist” blog was recently aghast that Ayaan Hirsi Ali — a Somali born woman who grew up Muslim but is now an atheist and outspoken critic of Islam — was added to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of “anti-Muslim extremists.”

The SPLC, of course, is famous for its list of “hate groups.” They’ve affixed that label to certain conservative Christian organizations that say homosexuality is an evil that can and should be cured — but not churches that merely believe it’s a sin…

But now, a couple critics of Islam have joined the club, which makes me wonder why anyone should take the SPLC seriously at this point.

Mehta is blind to his own irony: He says it’s fine for the SPLC to designate “hate groups” who speak out about homosexuality, but he’s suddenly offended when those who speak out about Read more

Somali Muslim Arrested for Terror Plot in Ohio

Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, a naturalized US citizen from Somalia, was recently arraigned on charges he wanted to kill US Soldiers on American soil. [Update 2018: Mohamud was sentenced to 22 years.]

Mohamud talked about doing something big in the United States. He wanted to go to a military base in Texas and kill three or four American soldiers execution style.

More than a dozen attacks have been planned or executed against the US military in recent years — by men motivated by their Islamic faith — including some by members of the military itself:  Read more

Former Soldier Gets Prison after Terrorism Charge

Former US Army Soldier Craig Baxam was arrested in 2012 as he attempted to enter Somalia from Kenya — allegedly in an attempt to join the terrorist group al-Shabaab.

To little fanfare and even littler press coverage, Baxam was sentenced in January to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to destruction of potentially incriminating records. Baxam pled guilty to

destroying his computer in an attempt to cover his tracks before flying to Africa in a bid to join the Somali militant group al-Shabaab.

Baxam converted to Islam just before leaving the US Army. He was arrested six months later.


US Army Hosts National Prayer Breakfasts in Afghanistan

Despite being in a combat zone on the other side of the world from home, the US military facilitated servicemembers’ participation in the National Prayer Breakfast.  Retired US Army Colonel Danny McKnight was invited to speak at 12 different locations in the country.  McKnight is famous for his role in Somalia in 1993 — in what the rest of the world now knows as Blackhawk Down.

Col Danny McKnight and his Hollywood alter-ego, Tom Sizemore

National Prayer Breakfast is an annual interfaith tradition started in 1953 by members of U.S. Congress to get Read more

US Chaplains Train Burundi Military on Combat Stress

US military chaplains from US Army Africa helped train chaplains of the Burundi Army on combat-related stress.

The first such USARAF-led seminar of its kind conducted in Africa, U.S. Army Africa Command Chaplain Col. Jonathon McGraw said the seminar showed Burundi chaplains and medical personnel how to help their leaders identify signs and symptoms associated with combat stress.

The US Army has struggled through more than 10 years of war to Read more

Dakota Meyer, Morality and the Medal of Honor

On September 15th, former US Marine Sergeant Dakota Meyer was presented the Medal of Honor for his actions in a pitched battle in Afghanistan.

There has been a frequently mentioned, though just as frequently passed over, detail to Meyer’s story (emphasis added):

Former Marine Corps Cpl. Dakota Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor…for disregarding orders in Afghanistan. [1]

President Obama…bestowed the nation’s highest military honor on Dakota Meyer, a young and humble Marine who defied orders… [2]

Defying orders, Meyer drove into a firestorm Read more

“Blackhawk Down” Pilot Relied on God

The story of how Army Sgt Jeff Struecker became US Army Chaplain Struecker is fairly well-known.  Less publicized is the faith of Michael Durant, the helicopter pilot whose UH-60 Blackhawk was shot down over Mogadishu; the shootdown ultimately resulted in the deaths of his crew at the hands of the Somalis.  Also killed were two Delta snipers, MSG Gary Gordon and SFC Randall Shughart, who received the Medal of Honor after volunteering to mount a vastly outnumbered defense for the beleaguered survivors.

Durant was a speaker at a National Prayer Luncheon at the US Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.  He said that prayer was central to his survival:  Read more