U.S. Postal Service to unveil Coast Guard commemorative stamp in Newport, R.I.

August 4, 2015

450x299_q95

BOSTON —The commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle and the U.S. Postal Service will be unveiling a special edition stamp commemorating the Coast Guard’s 225th birthday.

The ceremony will take place Friday appx. 10:30 a.m. August 7 at the Oliver Hazard Perry Pier at Fort Adams State Park, Newport, R.I.

The Eagle will be open to the public for tours at approximately 12 p.m. following the commemorative stamp unveiling ceremony.

In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place in the visitor center across from the pier.  

In Newport, the Eagle will be open for free public tours:

  * Friday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

  * Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  * Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Interested media should contact public affairs Boston at (617) 223-8515 or (617) 717-9609 by 2 p.m. August 6. to attend stamp unveiling or   riding in to Newport onboard the ship.

Follow the Coast Guard Cutter Barque Eagle on her journey: https://www.facebook.com/CoastGuardCutterEagle

View the Coast Guard stamp here: http://uspsstamps.com/stamps/united-states-coast-guard

July 31, 2015

scr_Mason%20family%20photo

Military Family Overcomes Deployment, Education Challenges

By Shannon Collins DoD News, Defense Media Activity

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md., July 31, 2015 – Military families face the challenges of deployments and frequent moves and the impact they have on their children’s morale and education.

Air Force Senior Master Sgt. David Mason, a security forces first sergeant here, his wife, Jennifer, and their four daughters spoke with DoD News about the impact his deployments have had on their family.

Missed Birthdays

David Mason’s last deployment was to Iraq five years ago. He said he was fortunate that during his seven deployments he didn’t miss any births, although he did miss birthdays.

“He was here for my graduation and when I turned 16 and 18,” said Brooke, 18, who was happy her father didn’t miss her special days, but joked that her curfew becomes stricter when he’s home.

The Mason’s youngest daughter, Laura, 11, said her father ordered Daddy Dolls and daddy blankets that had their baby pictures with him on them. Daddy Dolls are personalized soft dolls printed with the image of a loved one.

“I still have the doll, and I still sleep with mine,” she said, her face lighting up.

Melanie, 15, said she missed seeing her dad around the house.

“I missed waking him up in the morning, tackling him and hugging him, telling him good morning,” she said.

Venessa, 13, said she remembers when her father came back from one deployment, they all surprised him.

“He dropped his bags, and everybody started running toward him. I ran up to him and hugged him,” she said. “I was upset he was gone so long because I love my dad so much. I missed him.”

Jennifer Mason said his last few deployments to Iraq were the hardest for her.

“He would usually go out on night missions, and I would be up all night, just waiting for his phone call to let me know that he got back from his mission safely,” she said. “He likes to deploy because he likes to be out there doing the mission, but I’m like, ‘Can you go somewhere that I don’t have to stress?'”

Moves Challenge Children’s Education

Military families experience permanent change of station moves every four or so years for enlisted members and slightly less for officers. Their children face challenges as they adjust to different school requirements from state to state.

While at Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, the Mason children attended school at Fort Bragg for 10 years. When they moved to Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado, they attended a public school off base. Jennifer said the high school was new and employed a different grading system with Us, Ps and Ss instead of the usual A to F system.

“I don’t think it was Common Core,” she said. “It was nothing we had seen. When the girls got their report cards, we couldn’t tell if they were progressing or if it was a bad grade. We moved the girls to a charter school and a normal grading system. It was really nice there, and people from our church went there but they taught the science courses backward. They taught physics, then chemistry, biology and earth science instead of the other way around like I was taught.”

Jennifer added, “When we got to Maryland, it was really difficult. My oldest had to take biology with the freshmen, and she was like, ‘They’re going to think I’m stupid because I’m a junior.’ She was ahead of them on chemistry and physics, though.”

Brooke said the other challenge was the testing. She had taken the exit exams in Colorado and had an issue with those scores transferring when she moved to Maryland.

“Here, they have testing that you have to take and that almost interfered with my graduation,” Brooke said. “I didn’t want to not graduate because the military decided at the last minute to move us. That’s not fair to me or anybody else that has to deal with that because they’ve had problems with that at the school.”

All of the girls said it’s hard to move away from the friends they make.

“You get really close to them and you get to know them and then you have to move again — it’s hard,” Laura said. “The first few days of a new school, you have to walk the hallways by yourself because people who aren’t military are with their friends because they don’t move as much.”

Melanie said she met her friend Rebecca in North Carolina in the third grade and hadn’t seen her in five years.

“When she came from Texas, and she showed up at my door, we both cried, and we were so overwhelmed that we got to see each other after five years,” she said. “We just clicked. We had so much fun together.”

The girls said through it all, they have each other, though they can get on each other’s nerves.

“I have a close relationship with my mom, my dad and all my siblings. We’re all really close and we get along great but sometimes it sucks because if they do anything, I get blamed for it because I’m supposed to be setting the example for them. We all get along,” Brooke said, smiling at her sisters.

Proud of Father’s Military Service

Venessa said though the moves can be a challenge, she’s still proud of her dad being in the military.

“Whenever he comes to my school in uniform, they’re like, ‘Is that your dad?’ I’m like, ‘Yes!'” she said, smiling broadly. “He’s a good dad. He’s my twin. We joke around a lot.”

Brooke plans on going to community college so she can “have a good job,” she said.

Venessa said she hopes to either be a lawyer or work for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

“Education is important because it’s good to learn and be smart so you can be successful and have a good job,” she said. “I have good goals. I take school seriously. I want my parents to be proud of me and at the same time, I want to be proud of myself too.”

Jennifer said she hopes all of her daughters will go to college.

David said he continues to work on his time management, to make time for just him and his wife, as well as having daddy-daughter dates so that he can spend one-on-one time with each daughter.

July 25, 2015

army_mil-36807-2009-05-12-140540

Votel Discusses Special Operations Challenges

By Jim Garamone DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2015 – The “hyper connectivity” of the world today complicates an already complex set of global security issues, the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command said today at a security forum in Colorado.

Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel told Fox News correspondent Catherine Herridge that the problems of Russia, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and state and non-state actors is made more complex because of the speed and ubiquity of communications.

The general spoke at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado this morning.

The Socom commander said Russia’s use of hybrid warfare in Crimea and eastern Ukraine must be countered. Russia’s use of conventional and non-conventional forces and the use of military and non-military governmental capabilities present problems beyond a simple military solution, the general said.

“They are using information operations, they are using their own military capabilities and they are using ethnic Russian populations in some of these countries as surrogates,” he said.

All this, the general said, helps “perpetrate this idea of coercion and pressure on neighbors along their periphery to meet their particular objectives.”

Russia’s objective, Votel said, is to create a situation where NATO cannot thrive. Russian President Vladimir Putin sees the North Atlantic Alliance as a threat, Votel said, and the Russian leader “is attempting to create these frozen conflicts and situations that are difficult to resolve along their border and in doing that stalemate a lot of things.”

Hybrid warfare is unconventional warfare and that’s in U.S. Special Operations Command’s wheelhouse, the general said. The command is working with NATO allies and partners to develop their capabilities, he said.

Focusing on ISIL

But most of Socom’s resources are focused on the Middle East and Central Asia, the general said, noting that focus now is on ISIL.

ISIL is a terrorist group with ambitions to be the new Caliphate, Votel said. The first Caliphate extended from Spain, through North Africa and across to India.

The group is “looking for opportunities where there is ungoverned spaces and vulnerable populations, and they are taking advantage of that,” he said.

When pressure is applied in one spot, ISIL moves to another, the general said.

“I don’t know if they have a plan, as such,” he said, “but what they are trying to do is re-establish that Caliphate by looking for opportunities they can exploit.”

Votel said the fight against ISIL and groups like it will require a long-term commitment. He cited Colombia and its 50-year fight against terrorism.

“I don’t believe there’s any one strategy that we are going to apply that is immediately going to change this,” the general said. “It’s going to take a long-term approach, understanding what is happening, making smart decisions and continuing to apply pressure — whether that is military pressure, diplomatic pressure, economic pressure, informational pressure against violent extremists.”

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @garamoneDoDNews) 

July 17, 2015

AAd7Ihy

Shootings in Tennessee Leave Four Marines Dead

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2015 – Four Marines were killed and another service member was wounded in two separate shootings in Chattanooga, Tennessee, today, military officials confirmed.

The shootings took place at a Network Operations Support Center, operated by the Navy, and at an armed forces recruiting center, officials said.

Names of the deceased will be released after their families are notified, officials said, adding that the Defense Department is working with local and federal authorities.

The Network Operations Support Center is used by Navy and Marine Corps personnel, and is often referred to as a “reserve center,” Navy officials said. It provides training and readiness support for reserve-component personnel to enable them to support the needs of the Navy and Marine Corps.

‘Devastating and Senseless’

“The tragedy in Chattanooga is both devastating and senseless,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a statement. “On behalf of the entire Department of the Navy family, I offer my deepest condolences to the families of those killed and wounded in service to our nation during this incident.”

As the investigation unfolds, he added, the priority will be to take care of the families of those affected.

“I’d like to express my gratitude to the first responders on the scene whose prompt reaction was critical to stopping this individual from inflicting further violence,” Mabus said. “Though we can never fully prevent attacks like this, we will continue to investigate, review and guard against future vulnerabilities and do everything in our power to safeguard the security of our service members and their families.”

July 9, 2015

armyStrongImageLogo_v2

Army Announces Force Structure and Stationing Decisions

The Department of the Army announced today force structure decisions and stationing plans for the reduction of the regular Army from 490,000 to 450,000 soldiers. The reduction of force structure will occur in fiscal years 2016 and 2017; the reduction of 40,000 end strength will be completed by the end of fiscal year 2018, and will be accompanied by the reduction of 17,000 Department of the Army civilian employees. These cuts will impact nearly every Army installation, both in the continental United States and overseas.

As part of these reductions, the number of regular Army brigade combat teams, the basic deployable units of maneuver in the Army, will continue to reduce from a wartime high of 45 to 30 by the end of fiscal year 2017. The Army will convert both the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Georgia and the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska into smaller unitsmaneuver battalion task forcesby the end of fiscal year 2017. While brigade combat teams consist of approximately 4,000 soldiers, these battalion task forces will be comprised of approximately 1,050 soldiers.

Additionally, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division will remain a brigade combat team, but will convert its primary maneuver platform. Currently, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division is a Stryker brigade combat team, however, it will become an infantry brigade combat team without Stryker combat vehicles. Additionally, the Army is analyzing a proposal to use the brigade combat team’s current Stryker equipment to convert an Army National Guard brigade combat team in the Pacific Northwest to a Stryker configuration. The Army selected these brigade combat teams for reorganization based on a variety of factors including strategic requirements and the inherent military value of the installations where they are based. The force structure decisions announced today best posture a smaller Army to meet global commitments.

“Budget constraints are forcing us to reduce the Total Army,” said Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, Army deputy chief of staff, G-3/5/7. “These were very difficult decisions to make as all of our installations and their communities offer tremendous value to our Army and the nation. In the end, we had to make decisions based on a number of strategic factors, to include readiness impacts, mission command and cost.”

If the fiscal-caps of the 2011 Budget Control Act caps, commonly referred to as sequestration, are not addressed, the Army’s end-strength will be further reduced to 420,000 soldiers by the end of fiscal year 2019. This will result in a cumulative loss of 150,000 soldiers from the regular Army a 26 percent cut over a seven year period. The resulting force would be incapable of simultaneously meeting current deployment requirements and responding to the overseas contingency requirements of the combatant commands.

For more information on this release, please contact Lt. Col. Joe Buccino at 703-697-5662, Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, Office of the Secretary of the Army.

☆ Happy Independence Day America!

July 4, 2015

3db5c18a26ba68798f89816102b06cb9

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

 Fourth-of-July-USA-Independence-Day-Quote-Wallpaper

July 1, 2015

SPQRWallp-FORUM(RBM)ss

June 30, 2015

IMG_20140630_1

June 30, 2015

99e34607b22f0c363afa863a7a8bcea5

Happy 240th Birthday US Army!

June 14, 2015

14-1-87_s

The Army’s Birthday: 14 June 1775

When the American Revolution broke out, the rebellious colonies did not possess an army in the modern sense. Rather, the revolutionaries fielded an amateur force of colonial troops, cobbled together from various New England militia companies.  They had no unified chain of command, and although Artemas Ward of Massachusetts exercised authority by informal agreement, officers from other colonies were not obligated to obey his orders.  The American volunteers were led, equipped, armed, paid for, and supported by the colonies from which they were raised.  

In the spring of 1775, this “army” was about to confront British troops near Boston, Massachusetts. The revolutionaries had to re-organize their forces quickly if they were to stand a chance against Britain’s seasoned professionals. Recognizing the need to enlist the support of all of the American seaboard colonies, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress appealed to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia to assume authority for the New England army.  Reportedly, at John Adams’ request, Congress voted to “adopt” the Boston troops on June 14, although there is no written record of this decision.  Also on this day, Congress resolved to form a committee “to bring in a draft of rules and regulations for the government of the Army,” and voted $2,000,000 to support the forces around Boston, and those at New York City.  Moreover, Congress authorized the formation of ten companies of expert riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, which were directed to march to Boston to support the New England militia. 

George Washington received his appointment as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army the next day, and formally took command at Boston on July 3, 1775. 

John R. Maass
Historian
US Army Center of Military History

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.