By lex, on February 15th, 2012
The Navy’s EOD school gains some:
The phrase “Initial Success or Total Failure” has long served as the unofficial motto of explosive ordnance disposal technicians in the U.S. military.
Until recently, the slogan hung on a wall at the Naval EOD school at Eglin. It was removed after senior EOD leaders decided the words were insensitive.
“It holds some potential insensitivity and implies that our fallen and wounded EOD warriors have somehow failed,” said Joy Samsel, deputy public affairs officer at Naval Education and Training Command in Pensacola. “We don’t want to do that to families.”
Samsel said the EOD school has never had an official motto and has no plans to adopt one.
Rear Adm. Michael Tillotson, commander of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, took issue with the slogan and said that “to imply that failure is an option is unacceptable.”
Explosive ordnance disposal is an exceptionally stressful and rigorous profession, and those that have chosen that path are truly our nation’s unsung heroes over the last decade. But the truth of their profession is this: If you succeed at your task, a bomb is disabled. If you fail, you pay for it with your life. It’s binary. That doesn’t imply any level of personal failure – some of these devices are truly infernal – but it is a fact that if bomb goes off in an uncontrolled fashion the mission was not successfully accomplished. Ergo, “total failure”.
Warriors do not thrive when coddled, and flag officers used to have more substantive issues to concern themselves with.
Honestly, sometimes I despair of us.
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By lex, on January 12th, 2012
Third Battalion, Second Marines is in the headlines, and not in a good way:
The U.S. Marine Corps is investigating a video that surfaced online today in which several Marines appear to urinate on the corpses of suspected Taliban fighters.
The video, which is less than a minute long, appears to show four men in uniform looking around before urinating on three dead bodies, at least one of the men chuckles as they do so.
“Have a great day, buddy,” one of the men is heard saying, apparently to a dead body.
The Marine Corps responded quickly after reports of the video surfaced, calling for a full investigation.
By lex, on March 17th, 2011
George Will writes that China’s economic growth is being underwritten in part by the US Navy’s beneficent guardianship of the international sea lanes of communication:
Whatever China’s navy becomes, some thoughtful people will be surprised. What they do (at the Naval War College) is scholarship, not intelligence — they devour the flood of Chinese military publications. And the scholars differ about the most fundamental question, which is: Will China, for the next three to five decades, concentrate on economic growth — on prospering from globalization’s unimpeded flow of raw materials, goods and services — and be content to let America bear the burden of policing this?
The answer will be yes — if China makes a purely economic calculation. But nations usually have deeper and stronger motivations. This is particularly true of ascendant nations feeling their oats and spurred by long memories of impotence and humiliations.
It may be difficult to thwart the aspirations of 1.3 billion people.
Perhaps Joss Whedon had it right.
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By lex, on April 2nd, 2011
The Hobbit and I were just having a chat (and this is not rigorously considered) but here are five people from history I’d like to have dinner with, in no particular order.
- Winston Churchill
- Theodore Roosevelt
- Thomas Jefferson
- William Butler Yeats
- William Shakespeare
- Amelia Earhart
- Margaret Thatcher
- Abigail Adams
- Queen Elizabeth I
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
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By lex, on December 28th, 2011
Poway-based General Atomics has made a killing – I say that with admiration – by anticipating DoD’s needs, and providing a solution prior to requirements definition. Which kind of turns the entire JCIDS process upside down, but saves an enormous amount of time, keeping in mind that when the federal bureaucracy is involved, time is indeed money.
DoD: We’re kicking around the idea of…
GA: Try this!
DoD: That actually, you know: Works.
Looks like GA has scored another win:
The US Air Force has ordered the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Predator C Avenger for deployment to Afghanistan. A single aircraft is being procured, marking what may be the type’s first order.
Although termed a test aircraft, the order fulfils an urgent request by secretary of defense Leon Panetta for reconnaissance and strike assets. Several untested aircraft and systems have been purchased or deployed under urgent operational requirements, including the Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout currently operating in Afghanistan.
“This aircraft will be used as a test asset and will provide a significantly increased weapons and sensors payload capacity on an aircraft that will be able to fly to targets much more rapidly than the MQ-9 [Reaper] UAS,” the USAF said in an announcement. “Since it has an internal weapons bay and four hardpoints on each wing it will also allow greater flexibility and will accommodate a large selection of next generation sensor and weapons payloads.”
Or if not a win, at least a foot in the door. Which these days…
A turbine-powered, stealthy UAV with greater payload.
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