Semper Fidelis – Rest Easy…

Four Marines killed and one critical after 24-year-old Muslim gunman opened fire with ‘high-powered rifle’ on two Tennessee military centers.article-3164129-2A980CB600000578-640_964x406

Four Marines were killed this morning, when a heavily-armed gunman opened fire on two military centers in Chattanooga, Tennessee in what is being described as an ‘act of domestic terrorism’.  Officials have not yet officially named the now-deceased shooter, but law enforcement sources identified the suspect to CBS as 24-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, originally from Kuwait. 

This cowardly attack has truly sickened me. My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of the Marines. The time has come to remove the velvet glove from the iron fist!   Yours_Aye.

Lt. Col. Kate Germano USMC

2A7F347000000578-3159648-image-a-2_1436808472296USMC officer who was fired for telling her all female recruit battalion they were inviting sexual assault by ‘getting drunk,’ was just trying to hold them to high standards, and strive for gender equality say her supporters.

Lt. Col. Kate Germano served as the head of the 4th Recruit Training Battalion on Parris Island, South Carolina for just a year before getting fired by rig. Gen. Terry Williams on June 30.

Surely to Gawd there has to be more to it than what has been reported. From this point forward – I’m speechless!   Yours_Aye.

Marine Raiders

Marine RaidersAn elite branch of the United States Marine Corps will officially be known as Marine Raiders. The Marines will rename several special operations units as Marine Raiders at a ceremony Friday, resurrecting a moniker made famous by World War II units that carried out risky amphibious and guerrilla operations.

The exploits of the original Marine Raiders – who pioneered tactics used by present-day special forces – were captured in books and movies including ‘Gung Ho!’ in 1943 and ‘Marine Raiders’ in 1944.29C8B23B00000578-0-image-a-26_1434725531542 During World War II, the Raiders were organized in response to President Franklin Roosevelt’s desire to have a commando-style force that could conduct amphibious raids and operate behind enemy lines. Raider units were credited with beating larger Japanese forces on difficult terrain in the Pacific and they participated in key battles including Guadalcanal and Bougainville (left)The name will give a unique identity to the Marines’ branch of U.S. Special Operations Command.

HUZZA! Very well done chaps – justly deserved…    Yours Aye.

Common Sense v. Direct Order

2918419600000578-3098272-image-a-6_1432677773623Outrage after US Marine is convicted by a court-martial for refusing to remove a Bible quote from her work station. A religious liberty law firm has taken up a US Marine’s appeal case after she was prosecuted for refusing to remove a Bible verse taped to her computer.

Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling was convicted last year at a court-martial when she did not follow orders to take down the small trips of paper with the Old Testament scripture displayed on her desk.29184BE900000578-3098272-image-a-18_1432682398403 

At the time of the incident in May 2013, she was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina when she taped the slightly altered Bible verse in three different places that read: (above) ‘No weapons formed against me shall prosper,’ according to Fox News. 

Sterling, who is now unemployed and searching for a job, was given a reduction in rank from lance corporal to private, as well as a bad conduct discharge.

Having read the details from ‘United States v. Sterling, 201400150 (N.M.C.C.A. 20155)’ it looks a though there have been some misguided (or sadly lacking) man management skills applied by Staff Sgt Alexander over the issue of such orders. As well as multiple breaches of discipline by L/Cpl Sterling in failing to carry out the S/Sgt’s orders. An absolute pot mess that should never have been. Yours Aye.

USMC – Happy 239th Birthday

Happy 239th Birthday United States Marine Corps


10 November 1775. The day when the Second Continental Congress established the Continental Marines with the following decree…

“That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one Colonel, two Lieutenant-Colonels, Two majors and other Officers, as usual in other regiments; that they consist of an equal number of privates as with other battalions, that particular care be taken that no persons be appointed to offices, or enlisted into said battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve for and during the present war with Great Britain and the Colonies; unless dismissed by Congress; that they be distinguished by the names of the First and Second Battalions of Marines.”800px-Sketch_of_Tun_Tavern_in_the_Revolutionary_War

The ‘Tun Tavern’ (Circa 1775) A great place to sign up on the dotted line.    Yours Aye.

USMC Capt. William Mahoney drops in…

USMC Capt. William Mahoney – 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, AV-8B Harrier aircraft pilot; talks about his experience during a controlled landing after his front landing gear malfunctioned on his aircraft aboard the USS Bataan (LHD S) whilst at sea on June 7th 2014.  Multi million $ technology rubs its nose on the most basic of appliances!USMC PILOTThis link shows the amazing landing technique. Stand-by to be amazed… Yours Aye.USMC Harrier

Big boys do cry…

Moment a Marine who spent 20 YEARS overseas returned home to find his friends had turned the ‘fixer-upper’ home he bought into a dream house.article-2661934-1EE7F6E900000578-950_636x382Jack Bernardo spent more than two decades serving his country in the United States Marine Corps and only wanted to come home, but when he finally returned to the fixer-upper he bought in January he discovered something so shocking that he broke down in tears. His friends had taken the house and given it a complete make-over, giving Bernardo the dream home he always wanted. ‘He’s a pretty emotional guy, so he’s… I imagine there will be a lot of tears,’ friend, and fellow former Marine Jeremy Epperson told KTVU. Story article-2661934-1EE755B400000578-745_634x401Moment a Marine who spent 20 YEARS overseas returned home to a true surprise

Very well deserved, enjoy your semi-retirement Jack Bernardo ‘and family.’ Once A Marine Always A Marine. Aye.

The eulogy of a selfless man

Walter George Bruhl JrWalter George Bruhl Jr was a USMC Korean War Veteran. When his grandson posted his obituary on Reddit, he said that his grandfather liked to cut out the middleman. That certainly seemed evident with his final written piece, as Mr. Bruhl wrote his own obituary! Take some time out and read the self scribed eulogy of a considerate man, who hailed from the finest generation; the Highlights of which include: 

“Walter George Bruhl Jr. of Newark and Dewey Beach DE is a dead person, he is no more, he is bereft of life, he is deceased, he has wrung down the curtain and gone to join the choir invisible, he has expired and gone to meet his maker.”

“His spirit was released from his worn out shell of a body and is now exploring the universe.”

“He was surrounded by his loving wife of 59 years, Helene Sellers Bruhl, who will now be able to purchase the mink coat which he had always refused her because he believed only minks should wear mink…”

“Walt was preceded in death by his tonsils and adenoids in 1936, a spinal disc in 1974, a large piece of his thyroid gland in 1988, and his prostate on March 27th, 2000.”

“Walter was a Marine Corps veteran of the Korean War…. He attained the rank of Sergeant. He chose this path because of Hollywood propaganda, to which he succumbed as a child during WW II…”

“There will be no viewing since his wife refuses to honour his request to have him standing in the corner of the room with a glass of Jack Daniels in his hand so that he would appear natural to visitors.”

And finally, the most important part:

“Walt would hope that you will do an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for some poor, unfortunate soul in his name.”          (Click on the pic to enlarge)Grandpas-Self-written-Obituary-685x913It would appear that a great humorous man has Crossed the Bar. He is now in good company; of that I have no doubt. I would hope Jack Daniel’s will be waiting for him on the other side…            Yours Aye.

Cheerfulness in the face of adversity

The ultimate act of heroism: Marine, 24, who jumped on a grenade to shield his comrade from the blast in Afghanistan is set to receive the Medal of Honorarticle-2575042-1C170DE200000578-684_964x350Kyle Carpenter, 24, will reportedly be presented with the nation’s top military award later this year, becoming only the service’s third recipient from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. While no formal announcement has been made, sources have said that plans are being finalized for a ceremony in Washington. Carpenter, from South Carolina, was just 21 when he intentionally threw his body over a grenade to save his friend, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio, (center right) while they stood guard on a rooftop in the Helmand province in 2010. He lost his right eye and most of the teeth, and suffered multiple breaks to his right arm. MORE HERE: The ultimate act of heroism: Marine, 24, who jumped on a grenade to shield his comrade from blast in Afghanistan is set to receive the Medal of Honor

The bravest sight in the world is to see a good man being cheerful in the face of adversity. BZ Kyle Carpenter.            Yours Aye.

Maj. Robb T. McDonald USMC “Fear not, I’m here”

Major Robb McDonald USMC was awarded a Silver Star Monday for his bravery during the September 2012 attack on Camp Bastion, which apparently targeted Prince Harry. The Marine Corps air base in Afghanistan had been raided by 15 heavily armed Taliban insurgents, jets were exploding and a lake of fuel was aflame when McDonald arrived on the scene, and found his commanding officer dead.article-0-19FECDD600000578-927_634x424With some 50 Marines holed up in an aluminum-sided building that officials later called indefensible, the former force reconnaissance Marine who already has two Bronze Star medals for valor in combat, took the helm and led a counterattack, which ended in 14 of the enemy dead and one wounded. Hero Marine who fought back attack on Afghan base is awarded Silver Star   ‘But despite the horror, a hero emerged that night.’      Yours  Aye

The USMC, LandRover, & the V-22 Osprey

Playing Devil’s advocate here with this post; taken from The STARS AND  STRIPES written by By Ray Locker. USA TODAY Published: October 31, 2013.                           Search continues for elusive vehicle to fit aboard Osprey      (click to enlarge)3rd_Battalion_3rd_Marines_Osprey_flights   For 14 years, the military has struggled for an answer to a seemingly simple proposition: Develop a jeep-like vehicle that will fit onboard the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey and then drive off the plane and into battle. The Marines finally deployed their version of the vehicle in combat two years ago. Special Operations Command, which has a long wish list of capabilities it wants the vehicle to have, is still waiting. But it’s getting closer. Last week SOCOM extended part of General Dynamics Ordnance and Technical Services’ contractor support deal for another year because the command ordered a third vehicle as part of $5.8 million deal to provide 10 of the SOCOM variants of the vehicle. 

That’s because, the SOCOM document says, General Dynamics “is the only company with the expertise and knowledge to fully support the requirement in order to successfully execute the V-22 ITV contract.” Just like the Osprey itself, which was grounded early in the last decade for a series of fatal crashes, the quest for what the Pentagon calls the Internally Transportable Vehicle (ITV) is a long one filled with reports of management failures in the Marine Corps, major cost overruns and allegations of favoritism and corruption. A 2009 Pentagon inspector general report said the Marine Corps System Command mishandled key elements of the contract and allowed development to continue without performing adequate testing.   (This pic, M1161 Light Strike Vehicle. Pic below. M1163 Prime Mover)500_M1161-1The Marines have two different versions of the ITV, the M1161 Light Strike Vehicle and the M1163 Prime Mover, which is built to tow artillery carried on the Osprey. They are the result of a General Dynamics partnership with American Growler, which adapted a 1950s-era M151 jeep to fit on the Osprey. The U.S. government sold versions of that jeep to the Dominican Republic for $30,000, while the Pentagon was paying $100,000 for the Growler vehicle in 2005. Since then, the price has jumped to more than $200,000 a vehicle! images293_M1163_In_UseOne part of the delay is SOCOM’s extensive wish list. It must, among other things, do the following: * Provide a Gentleman with a lighter for his cigars  (I did make this one up)3-1954-Land-Rover-Series-I-86-inch-600x450 A 350-mile range while loaded with a 2,000-pound payload and driving an average of 45 mph. It should travel 450 miles unloaded. (Check: box ticked) Performance and Weights 

* Carry three wounded troops with room inside for medical personnel to work without sticking out from the inside of the vehicle.
images(Check: box ticked. The internal fittings for configuring additional litters/stretchers allows a total of six wounded to be carried, with room for medical personnel) 

* Operate in temperatures ranging from -25 degrees to 125 degrees.  (Check: box ticked)


3_zpsf3e3e840 * Drive off the Special Operations version of the Osprey, the CV-22, in 60 seconds after landing.      (Check: box ticked? ‘RAF Merlin Agusta-Westland AW101 Helicopter’)EH101_02_2_More than 600 British Royal Marine commandos of 42 CDO RM, are completing an annual six-week exercise, Black Alligator, which is at the U.S. Marine Corps’ Air-Ground Combat Center in Twenty-nine Palms, Calif. Royal Navy Merlin Agusta-Westland AW101 HelicopterCOMMANDOS HONE FIGHTING SKILLS IN US DESERTDrive up a “60 percent slope both in the forward and reverse direction at a constant speed, stop, shut off engine, restart engine, and continue on grade with no loss of stability.”   (Check: box ticked)16-L316-13-EXT-850x425Whether the vehicle ultimately works for special operations missions remains to be seen, but the demand for their version of Osprey is growing. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the CV-22 may be going to bases in Central Africa to help in the fight against messianic warlord Joseph Kony. That mission, USA TODAY reported in September, could last deep into 2015. End 

LandRover has served the British Military admirably since the 1950’s. It is one of the most adaptable military/civvie vehicles in history. The most significant parts of modern day LR’s are interchangeable through every type of make and model. The Military versions can carry light weight clad armour for personnel, for use as and when required. The whole concept of a military light-weight vehicle for the V-22 Osprey is sitting right in front of the nose of General Dynamics Ordnance and Technical Services, who could adapt and make a LandRover vehicle under licence in the U.S. A current standard Defender 90 (short wheel base) costs £19,000. A military version is just over half of the cost. 

The spin-off for General Dynamics is that they would have a vehicle that would be sought after by every one within the U.S. civvie market, as their capability and wizardry when it comes to concept vehicles and machinery is world-renowned..queen-elizabeth-driving.

Even vehicles on the second-hand market produce a viable product for dealerships. This wonderful woman has owned and driven one throughout her life, as has the ‘character’ below. There must be an ounce of credibility somewhere within the LandRover brand, which is marketable for the Military in the U.S. as well as within civvie street.      In My Humble Opinion of course…            Yours Aye.Picture-of-James-Bond-and-the-Land-Rover-car

Last Nights Battleship, debris & flotsam

imagesThere is a saying quoted within the WO’s & SNCO’s Mess after a Royal Marines Regimental dinner (or a night of alcohol fueled military debauchery); “Last Nights Battleship, This Mornings Lifeboat”. Celebrating the Corps birthday went a de-cantered bottle of Port too far last evening…  416599_largeI awoke this morning among the debris and flotsam left floating from the event, and then slowly remembered that two mates turned up with their wives, with additional bottles of Taylors & DOW’S Vintage Port; as well as a selection of cheese’s and savoury crackers.vintage-port-dows-2001-bomfim

I feel a bit delicate at the moment, which is probably due to a cracker I ate being off!

This mornings early stumble patrol around the fields with the canines was quite interesting; as I set off without them! I unlocked the garden gate and then closed it behind me, with them still on the other side (no doubt leaving them looking puzzled). With a hearty launch forward I stepped off at a brisk pace with a spring in my step, fully expecting them to follow in my wake. After 50 metres I turned around to harry them, only to find them missing. Having retraced my steps I found them still sat on the other side of the gate waiting patiently, with tails sweeping the ground upon sighting me. The patrol once again set off at a brisk pace, just as the onset of dehydration slowly  crept in. 

Upon our return I admonished myself by cleaning the debris/flotsam up, before allowing myself the indulgence of a massive bacon sandwich with a pot of steaming tea. Notably there were several ‘dead Marines‘ among the flotsam; with only three ex-Marines partaking in the previous evenings celebration of past ventures. Perhaps the crackers I ate were perfectly fine after all…            Yours Aye.

Let the man in the trench decide…

Marines up in arms over plans for male soldiers to wear ‘unisex’ hats that will cost taxpayers $8 million    article-2474916-18F453F500000578-867_634x458There are some things in life that do not need to change, and the first impression of a replacement to change should tell you every thing. From way over this side of the pond my first impression is “Stick with what you’ve got, it isn’t broken, and it doesn’t need fixing”!article-2474916-18F453F500000578-858_634x492Can anyone imagine the two Marines in the picture below pulling off the same appearance in a ‘Dan Daly’ type cap? Do you think the gentleman being quoted would put up with it?Reagan-USMCJust for once let the man in the trench decide, and not the Uniform Board being tweaked by internal politics.            Yours Aye

Royal Marines hit the beach

article-0-19424835000005DC-872_306x437The Royal Marines have been forced to cancel their biggest amphibious landing for more than a decade after their French allies pulled out. The Royal Navy had spent £1 million in fuel getting to the Red Sea when the operation was called off – and it cost another £1 million to reach the Gulf of Oman, where a new exercise was hastily arranged for the Royal Marines Commandos, where more that 1,500 had been in training to storm the shoreline of Djibouti – with 500 French ‘Troupes de Marine’ ready to back them up. Royal Navy landed with £ 2 million fuel bill as a combined military exercise in the  Red Sea are torpedoed by the French…  Royal Navy sources said the decision to cancel was taken by the French after a breakdown in relations over ‘administrational issues’. The Royal Marines are said to have responded furiously as Exercise Djibouti Lion had taken a year to set up.0188A picture paints a thousand words… If I’d still been serving, I would have done the same as the Bootneck in the picture when informed the French had backed out; ‘given a thumbs up’ at the good news that we were ‘not being backed up’ by ‘Troupes de Marine’ .           Yours Aye.

The Land Rover Defender…

The end of the road for the Queen’s favourite 4×4, as the Land Rover Defender is set to cease production in 2015. But a replacement is already waiting in the wings The Defender can be traced back to early 1990s, but is still based on the 1948 model. article-2449593-189BE95A00000578-864_634x497 Having this year reached its pensionable age of 65,  one of Britain’s best-loved vehicles, and a favourite with the Queen is to cease production.queen-elizabeth-driving For now! The last of the current Land Rover Defender’s will roll-off the production lines of Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) Solihull factory in the West Midlands in December 2015. But already a bold new successor for the 21st century is on the drawing board ready to replace it. A small ‘family’ of Defenders is even being prepared, including a sporty beach-buggy style.

Time & tactics have changed within the Military, though there will always be a requirement for a type of Land Rover Defender utility vehicle. Having used them in a variety of forms for most of my adult life, I can honestly say I am not saddened to hear the end is nigh for this wonderful aluminium clad beast. Especially when the military start to off load them onto the civvie market. The pick up price will plummet, as will the price of parts, which are already around in abundance. Bootneck’s zeroing weapons; WMIK Land Rover’s      Yours Aye.On The Range.

Fast jet Friday/Chopper thrashing Thursday

For a variety of reasons I’ve had one of those weeks where the clock has barely moved its hands, then when its does it leaps forward through a wormhole in space taking me along with it. Working around irregular international hours is not recommended, occasionally I turn in at sunrise, more often not at all, as it is easier to crash in my reclining ‘eeeeasy’ chair (joined eventually by Nipper who squeezes in at the side comfortably). Yesterday having finished at 05:00 hrs, I patrolled the dogs, and then ablutioned ‘as a gentleman should’ after which I performed the ceremony of… ‘Friday morning breakfast’; scrambled eggs, grilled bacon, toasted bread, and a scalding hot pot of tea.

And there lay the error for the weekend. I had unwittingly prepared the ceremony on Thursday morning, my body clock was shot to bits. I had that great ‘Thank God its Friday’ feeling a full day early. For almost eight hours I was living a blissful lie. As the lie continued, so I lived through it, as I attended to the tedious chores required around the house (there is no Mrs. Ex Bootneck to assist, and as yet Nipper & Hannah can’t quite get to grips with the Dyson, or load the washer, etc, etc). Chores complete it was 10:00 hrs, the official hour for a mid-morning ‘stand-easy’.

Settling down with my cup of tea and biscuits I listened to the news in the background, and perused my Pad for the morning mail. The dogs were dozing on their couch-at the time of morning when the sun pops through the large glazed doors to cover them in a golden blanket of rays. The three amigos slowly blinked their eyes as they started to sink, Nipper yawned, Hannah yawned Joss yawned, which triggered my yawn as I stretched my limbs. Out of the blue a ‘weary’ hit me, the ‘eeeeasy’ chair was whispering my name like a siren from the shore calling a ship on to its rocks; the ship heard the call and responded. Off I went to steal a pair of hours in the near horizontal position; just as I started to sink into the abyss I heard the pitter patter of tiny feet, Nipper had followed and jumped up effortlessly to lay across my chest. My late morning snooze was soon to end, rudely.royal-marines-lynx-zd277_pics181-18163

After a long seven day patrol we reached the Lie Up Position close to the Landing Zone, it was still as black as pitch, dawn would start breaking within the hour. The LUP was perfect, it was on a high feature covered in large boulders, thick bush and scattered pine trees. It offered cover from view, as well as winters elements; it would be easy to defend if required. We could also watch and cover the relief patrol as they de-bussed onto the LZ, who in turn would role reverse and watch us en-buss. I loved this part, as it offered a chance few minutes to hurl abusive banter as we passed each other fleetingly. 400px-Slieve_Gullion, LUP on Slieve Gullion’s western slope, looking towards the village of Forkhill, South Armagh  The evolution would have to happen twice to complete the change-over, the Lynx (above pic) could only bring in nine Marines with their heavy bergan’s to effect the switch. 

Eight hours to push on Slieve Gullion before the first flight arrived. After first light broke I stood fifty percent of the patrol down for breakfast. My headset crackled as a metallic voice used my call sign; it was the Op’s room asking for a radio check-as well as asking a question I didn’t want to hear “what is your visibility to my location“? I could see straight across the valleyed landscape, to the little dot ten miles away that was our Security Base in the village of Forkhill (where mail, hot showers, hot food and clean bedding awaited).j-olley-castles-tz-21 I have you clear and visual“? Said I, firmly. Once again the reply was not what I wanted to hear “Buzzard reports his location as being heavily clagged in-with no foreseeable change for the next twenty-four hours; Sun-ray at my location has ordered you to go firm for a further twenty-four“! Such is life in a green beret, another night out under the moon and stars. The message was quickly passed throughout the patrol; each Marine went through their time practiced admin routine, with minimum movement, and no one breaking cover.

My relief stood-to as I settled into a small grassy hollow where I started to doze, my rifle lay across my chest, and with my belly full of boil in the bag breakfast, I was absolutely content with life. In the far distance I thought I could faintly hear chopper blades beating the air, then silence, then another faint beat, followed by silence, then a steady beat that grew louder, and louder; oh bugger… The buzzards were obviously clear and flying!DSC_0119Buzzard flight Op’s had a long history of canceling flight programs due to thick swirling fog, only to reappoint it when it cleared, without informing anyone. I tightened my grip on my rifle ready to call the whole patrol to stand-to-and prepare to move. Nipper growled? What was Nipper doing on this patrol? My rifle wasn’t a rifle? It was Nipper laying across my chest; I had my left hand under his chin with my right hand on the outside of his right hip, which meant my trigger finger was under the small of his belly, which meant there wasn’t a trigger guard, which meant my trigger finger was on ‘his’ trigger; Owahhhh!!! He continued to growl at some thing, and I could definitely hear the beat of of heavy military chopper blades. I looked outside of my office window from the comfort of my recliner, to see two Merlin choppers heading straight for me at tree top level. At two hundred metres they split, port & starboard of my home, the down wash from their rotors (supplied by six powerful Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM 322 turbines) rippled the inch thick pan-tiles on the roof, making them plink and tinkle like the ivories on an old pub piano.DSC_0189 Fortunately for each Merlin and its crew the office windows were closed, as Nipper would have launched himself out and brought at least one of them down… The aerial display went on for at least twenty minutes, contour flying through the valley, one low, one high giving top cover, each time using my place as a marker point for turning.  Grrrrrrrr…!DSC_0195 I was totally confused? Why have the military changed their flying routines, it has always been; Mixture Monday (Fast jets morning, Trainer turbo afternoon) – Trainer turbo Tuesday – Wish list Wednesday (variety of every thing, including C-130K SF Herc’s) – Chopper thrashing Thursday – Fast jet Friday! So why on earth was the military flying its choppers on a Fast jet Friday… The solution was to make a pot of tea (having washed my hands first), then let the dogs out to stretch their legs.

Having once again checked my Pad for mail, I realised my error… It was Thursday! ‘Chopper thrashing Thursday’. Which means we are now reading this on ‘Fast jet Friday’, which also means I have had that great ‘Thank God its Friday’ feeling for two days running, as well as performed the ceremony of Friday morning breakfast, again. Even better news; there was no need for the tedious chores, as I cracked them all yesterday.                            Yours Aye.