gridlore: Army Infantry school shield over crossed infantry rifles (Army Infantry)
It's a pretty hot day here in the Valley of Silicon. Not terrible, that's still to come, but exceeding warm. Call it about 85 degrees right now. It's much warmer in Offhand Manor (our name for the apartment) and will turn into an Easy-Bake Oven as the summer progresses.

But as much as I dislike the extreme heat, and it's worse since all my health problems, hot days like this always trigger a memory for me, one that explains my fascination with storm gods.

Back in 1984-85, I was a stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia. Home of the Infantry, Benning was situated on a bluff overlooking the Chattahoochee River valley and the city of Columbus, Ga. It is the largest infantry training base in the world. It is also subject to some extreme weather.

The winters were cold, with rain and snow. Spring and autumn were pretty brief. Then there was summer. Summers in the Deep South have to be experienced to be believed. The heat and humidity are unbearable. Moving into the pine forests was like walking into an oven. The sun beat down like an angry god's hammer in some cosmic forge. Smart people retreated to air-conditioned homes and offices or escaped to Flat Rock Park to spend the day lying in the cool water.

We weren't smart, we were U.S. Army Infantry.

But a couple of times a week, we got a reprieve. An even that cut through the muggy heat and renewed our will to live. We were visited by the storm god.

Picture the scene: a company of infantry moving through one of the vast training areas. You are all dressed in camouflage Battle Dress Uniforms, wearing steel helmets, and carrying up to 60lbs of equipment. Everyone's faces and arms are coated in camouflage paint. The temperature has soared past 90 with no sign of stopping. The humidity is also in the low 90s. The air is thick as molasses, and there isn't a hint of a breeze. You feel as if you stood still, you would use up all the oxygen around you.

Your M-16A1 weighed about eight pounds when you started out. Now it weighs a ton. Your shirt is soaked with sweat, and you can feel your socks squishing in your boots. You're limited in the number of times you can drink from your canteen. Every gulp of air burns your throat.

Then you come to a clearing and looking west, you see that someone has stolen the sky. A wall of black thunderheads, towering like the walls of hell, sliding across Alabama towards your position. Flickers of lightning light portions of the clouds in unearthly shades of green and purple. Beneath the cloud, you can see the shifting curtain of rain. The storm is coming, and coming fast.

Around you, AN/PRC-77 backpack radios come to life with chatter. The order comes down: get into the tree line and stack all metal gear at a designated point. Those who have been through this a few times tie condoms around the muzzles of their weapons. Then we disperse. And still, the storm comes.

The air remains still and lifeless. You take off your BDU blouse and use it as an improvised rain cover. Nobody bothers with the issue ponchos, they are useless and hot.

Suddenly, the wind stirs, quickly rising to a steady wind. The temperature drops like a rock, and where you were near heat exhaustion minutes ago, now you're shivering in your sweat-soaked t-shirt. The air becomes like the finest crystal glass. What was blurred in the distance seconds ago is now in perfect focus.

With almost no warning, the sky goes black and an assault of rain and hail comes down. The sky goes blue-white against the black backdrop of clouds with lightning and the near-constant crash of thunder roars in your ears and shakes your bones. Above you, the clouds boil like a living thing. Lightning flashes from cloud to cloud, and slashes down to strike the proud pines standing on the hills and ridges.

And it keeps coming. The red clay dirt turns to mud and tiny rivulets of water around you swell to small streams. You realize that you are actually sinking into the mud, and shift to a solid root. Then it comes.

For the briefest moment, the entire world turns white. A millisecond later an angry ancient spirit, freed from confinement and hungry for vengeance, bellows a war cry that smashes into your entire body. As you blink away the spots, you hear something over the ringing in your ears and the pounding rain and hail.

Cheering. Every man in your company is yelling at the top of their lungs, and you realize that you are as well. You don't know why. It just feels right, and you go with it.

Soon enough, the front passes. The God of Storms allows the Sun God to return. You're a mess, soaked through and coated in red mud. You retrieve your gear and set to cleaning it. But you know this is Fort Benning in summer.

You know that there are good odds that the Storm God of the South will be back tomorrow.

Yeah, sometimes I miss Georgia.
gridlore: Army Infantry school shield over crossed infantry rifles (Army Infantry)
Today is Camerone Day.

The French Army was besieging Puebla.

The mission of the Legion was to ensure the movement and safety of the convoys, over an 80 mile distance. On the 29th of April 1863, Colonel Jeanningros was informed that an important convoy was on its way to Puebla, with a load of 3 million francs, and material and munitions for the siege. Captain Danjou, his quartermaster, decided to send a company to escort the convoy. The 3rd company of the Foreign Regiment was assigned to this mission, but had no officers available. So Captain Danjou, himself, took the command and 2nd lieutenants Maudet, company guide, and Vilain, the paymaster, joined him voluntarily.

On the 30th of April, at 1 a.m., the 3rd company was on its way, with its 3 officers and 62 men. At 7 a.m., after a 15 mile march, it stopped at Palo Verde in order to get some rest. At this very moment, the enemy showed up and the battle began. Captain Danjou made the company take up a square formation and, even though retreating, he victoriously drove back several cavalry charges, inflicting the first heavy losses on the enemy .

By the inn of Camerone, a large building with a courtyard protected by a wall 3 meters high, Danjou decided to stay, in order to keep the enemy and so delay for as long as possible, any attacks on the convoy.

While the legionnaires were rapidly setting up the defense of the inn, a Mexican officer demanded that Captain Danjou surrender, pointing out the fact that the Mexican Army was greatly superior in number.

Danjou's answer was: "We have munitions. We will not surrender." Then, he swore to fight to the death and made his men swear the same. It was 10 a.m. Until 6 p.m., these 60 men who had had nothing to eat or drink since the day before, in spite of the extreme heat, of the thirst and hunger, resisted against 2,000 Mexicans: 800 cavalry and 1,200 infantry.

At noon, Captain Danjou was shot in the chest and died. At 2 p.m., 2nd lieutenant Vilain was shot in the head. About this time, the Mexican colonel succeeded in setting the inn on fire.

In spite of the heat and the smoke, the legionnaires resisted, but many of them were killed or injured. By 5 p.m., only 12 men could still fight with 2nd lieutenant Maudet. At this time, the Mexican colonel gathered his soldiers and told them what disgrace it would be if they were unable to defeat such a small number of men. The Mexicans were about to give the general assault through holes opened in the walls of the courtyard, but Colonel Milan, who had previously asked 2nd lieutenant Maudet to surrender, once again gave him the opportunity to. Maudet scornfully refused.

The final charge was given. Soon, only 5 men were left around Maudet; Corporal Maine, legionnaires Catteau, Wensel, Constantin and Leonard. Each had only one bullet left. In a corner of the courtyard, their back against the wall, still facing the enemy, they fixed bayonets. When the signal was given, they opened fire and fought with their bayonets. 2nd lieutenant Maudet and 2 legionnaires fell, mortally wounded. Maine and his 2 remaining companions were about to be slaughtered when a Mexican officer saved them. He shouted: "Surrender!"

"We will only if you promise to allow us to carry and care for our injured men and if you leave us our guns".

"Nothing can be refused to men like you!", answered the officer.

Captain Danjou's men had kept their promise; for 11 hours, they had resisted 2,000 enemy troops. They had killed 300 of them and had injured as many. Their sacrifice had saved the convoy and they had fulfilled their mission.

Emperor Napoleon III decided that the name of Camerone would be written on the flag of the Foreign Regiment and the names of Danjou, Vilain and Maudet would be engraved in golden letters on the walls of the Invalides, in Paris.

Moreover, a monument was built in 1892, at the very place of the fight. The following inscription can be read there:

Ils furent ici moins de soixante
Opposés à toute un armée,
Sa masse les écrasa.
La vie plutôt que le courage
Abandonna ces soldats Français
Le 30 avril 1863.


"Here there were less than sixty opposed to a whole army. Its mass crushed them. Life abandoned these French soldiers before courage. The 30th of April 1863."
gridlore: Army Infantry school shield over crossed infantry rifles (Army Infantry)
Screw Facebook, screw the internet. We got along JUST FINE without them as I recall from the hazy days of my youth! Hell, let's dump telephones, telegraphs, the printing press and the ability to make paper, and go back to the Roman way of communicating, scrawling graffiti on the walls. It worked in Pompeii, after all.

What brings this Luddite rant on, and yes I appreciate that I'm using another form of social media to spread it, is the last 24 hours of my Facebook account. See, I was quite dim and trusted things to work as designed. Silly me, you think I would have learned my lessons before!

But no, I had to assume that a multi-billion dollar company would have decent tech support, and that a publication vetted by the Departments of Defense and the Army would be careful picking vendors when it came to managing their web content. I laugh now, of course. I can still remember how sloppy their were in vetting the taco truck guys at Fort Benning!

So here's what happened: yesterday, while doing my daily reading of the Book of Faces, I found a story on the Army Times page that was interesting. Even though I've been out for 30-odd years - and some of them were very odd years indeed! - I still follow stories about the Army as an interested veteran. In this case, the article was about a proposal before the Sergeant Major of the Army concerning facial hair.

See, the Army bans beards, unless you need to wear one for religious reasons or have a medical profile stating that you can shave. Even then, those beads need to be tightly trimmed and neat in appearance. Mustaches are allowed, but they can't extend beyond the edge of the mouth and again, must be neatly trimmed.

I think they allow mustaches just for the giggles senior NCOs get watching 19 year old PFCs trying to grow a decent 'stache. Gotta find amusement somewhere!

But I digress. The argument against beards was uniformity of appearance, being able to properly wear protective gear like helmets and protective masks (what we call gas masks), and the usual "why change?" crowd. The pro side was countering with the experience of our NATO allies, who do allow facial hair without problems, the fact that the US Army hasn't been gassed since 1918, and the fact that up through WWI beards were just fine in the service.

Interesting stuff, and there was a poll attached. Three questions on the subject. Being a noisy bastard, I took the poll, and because I have many friends who are veterans or military service all over the world, I posted the link to my Facebook. By Patton's Pistols, that was a mistake.

My initial post was cloning itself every three minutes. Copy after copy. With no way to stop it! At one point last night Kirsten was seeing 54 distinct posts of the same thing. Which meant almost everyone on my friend's list was getting spammed by this damn thing, as horrific a breach of etiquette as you can find in the more polite end of the ol' interwebs.

In between marathon deletions of the offending post, I was trying to wave down someone, anyone, to help me with this nightmare. Apester, the company that was handling to poll software at least got back to me, and I submitted a trouble ticket with them. I emailed the webmaster at the Army Times to tell him that there might be a bad code issue with the poll, and never heard back. And Facebook? I laugh because murderous rampages are really tiring.

Ever needed help with something on Facebook? Good luck. Rather than actual help you are faced with page after page of FAQs on common issues. No human, not even a helpful script to be found. Of course, my issue was decidedly uncommon, so not a single option they had applied. There's no email address for support@facebook.com or the like. No toll-free number you can call. Just a sad little web form that still tries to force you back into their self-help pages before admitting you have a problem. No idea if anyone reads those submissions.

I ended up disabling my Facebook account to prevent everyone from getting buried in my opinion about soldierly beards. Which pisses me off now end, as Facebook is my primary way of staying in touch with friends and family. This stupid error also adversely affected my sleep as I was worrying about losing years of photos and information.

The happy ending. Sort of. One of Kirsten's contacts explained the nuclear option of deauthorizing all apps on my page. It worked, and my page is back up. A bit crippled, but it's there.

Now, If y'all will excuse me, I'll be writing a strongly worded letter of complaint in cuneiform on this clay tablet.
gridlore: The Imperial Sunburst from the Traveller role-playing game (Gaming - Sunburst)
Yesterday a man I was lucky to count as a friend and mentor passed away. I only ever met Loren Wiseman in the flesh once, and that was long before we had a professional relationship. But he was one of the architects of the role-playing games that I still love to this day, and as I told my mom on the phone, he was probably one of the guys she wanted to punch in the face when I was a teenager (I was just slightly obsessed with Traveller. Slightly.)

Ah, Traveller. When Craig came home from a local game convention with that iconic little black box and told me that he wanted to run a game for me, I was thrilled. It was the early summer of 1977. I wasn't quite 11 yet, and attention from my big brother that did not involve a pummeling was a good thing. I found out years later I was allowed to game only because his regular group wasn't interested in doing a science-fiction game.

But I rolled up a merchant named Beowulf Schaffer (yes, I was reading a lot of Larry Niven) and Craig had of course figured out a 3-D starmap based on the Known Worlds. I think that game lasted three or four sessions. But there were more to come, and eventually I rolled up the character who would stay with me for years, Captain Sir Arameth Gridlore, Master of the Free Trader Driver Carries No Cash. I played Gridlore in multiple games through the years, and I'm proud to say that the old ethically-challenged merchant has made it into several official Traveller publications.

Eventually, I had my own set of the rules, and used my weekly allowance to gather more and more Traveller stuff. This is where Loren comes back into the story. GDW, the publishers of Traveller and other fine games, started a magazine to support the game. The Journal of the Travellers Aid Society (JTAS) had short adventures, new aliens and equipment, and mostly articles that expanded the growing Third Imperium setting from a vague "there's an empire out there" to a living, breathing place. Loren was editing the magazine, and I didn't know it then, but his work honed my skills as a world builder.

Loren also was a great game designer in his own right. He did a series of war games set in Republican Rome, and was lead designer on a game called Twilight:2000. The setting of the game was central Europe in the aftermath of the Third World War and a limited nuclear exchange. The characters are soldiers in the US 5th Infantry Division who get a message from divisional command: "Good luck, you're on your own."

Needless to say this game was immensely popular at Fort Benning while I was stationed there. A game where all the officers are dead and we get all the cool stuff? Awesome! I still remember the day we were playing in the rec room at Delta, 3/7th Infantry. We had found an intact M109 self propelled artillery piece, and were having an argument over how fast it could shoot. Then we all remembered that right across from our barracks was the 2/10th Field Artillery. After confusing the staff Duty NCO, we eventually got a quick lecture on the vehicle and a spare Field Manual for it. All so we could blow up imaginary river pirates on the Vistula.

Fast forward several years. It is announced that Steve Jackson Games has gotten a license to produce a version of Traveller. Loren was going to be mostly in charge. The intial projects look great, and I'm checking the "writers wanted" section of the SJG website when I see a call for a GURPS Traveller book on the Imperial Army and Marines. With great trepidation I send in a proposed outline and writing sample. And wait. And wait. Finally, I summon the nerve to call SJG and speak to Loren, who remember is one of my idols, and ask him about it. "Oh, yeah, I'm giving you the contract." He may have said more words, but I had stopping having a functional brain.

Writing Ground Forces was a challenge. I had never tackled such a project before. Luckily, I was smart enough to ask for help from my fellow members of the Traveller Mailing List, and brave enough to pepper Loren with questions. Each one of which he answered fully. Ever written for publication? You send in your first draft and it comes back covered in red ink, possibly reeking of brimstone and charred at the edges. But mine also came with a note "You write like a pro! Fix these few problems, and we're all good!" Exactly what I needed to see.

I can never express how it felt to hold that first author's copy in my hands. It was a Traveller book with my name on it. It was a good book, and I'm proud to say that it's always been highly rated by Traveller fans. And it never would have happened without Loren Wiseman's guidance and patience. He'll be missed.
gridlore: Army Infantry school shield over crossed infantry rifles (Army Infantry)
Spent the morning at our local YMCA, where we've been members for a bit over a year. I did my full time on the treadmill, 45 minutes at a brisk walk, but cut my weight training short due to a sore shoulder.

Exercise and I have a checkered past. I was a weak kid who was scared of sports and getting hurt. My idea of recess was sitting in the shade and reading a Heinlein novel. Even when enrolled in PAL soccer, I still shied away from the ball, hating every second I was on the field. I think I actually made intentional contact with the ball twice in the few years I played.

That was the pattern through my teen years. I hated physical activity, and associated working out with the jocks who made my life a living hell. As an aside, one of those jocks was Ken Caminiti, a senior at Leigh High School when I was a freshman. He would go on to be a professional ballplayer, reaching the Major Leagues with the Houston Astros in 1987 and earning the National League MVP award as a Padre in 1996. Sadly, he was on steroids, HGH, and massive amounts of cocaine. He died in 2004.

So at least I can say I was pummeled by a future MVP. Baseball street cred for the win!

In retrospect, my attitude towards working out was self-destructive considering that my iron goal in life was to enlist in the United States Army. I had no vision of attending college, despite that being the entire push of the education system, I only wanted to have a bad haircut and run around the woods with a machine gun. It seemed a good plan at the time.

And in 1983 I got my wish. My parents faced reality and allowed me to enlist under the Delayed Entry Plan. My mom made damn sure I had a high school diploma before I left (which is a story in of itself) but still I couldn't take working out seriously.

But finally I reported to Fort Benning, Ga, to begin my training as an Infantryman. Another aside, while still in Reception Station, on the very first day, right after getting uniforms and haircuts, I met General John A. Wickham, Jr., Chief of Staff, U.S. Army. The man who was was in command of all 2 million soldiers in the regulars, National Guard, and reserves. He was literally the highest ranking man possible in my service, and I didn't know how to salute yet. He was a nice guy, probably because he knew we were shell-shocked sheep.

It when I get to Alpha Company, 7th Battalion, 1st Infantry Training Brigade, that my years of sloth catch up to me. Infantry OSUT (One Station Unit Training, we do both "basic" and "advanced skill" training in one go in the same place and unit) began with the Shock Treatment. Lots of yelling, being ordered to move from place to place quickly, constant dressing downs and, wait for it, push-ups.

Looking back, I have to laugh. We were getting dropped for 5 or 10 push-ups at a time, and the Drill Sergeants were being quite liberal with the push-ups they'd allow. The days of perfect form and not having back push-ups count would come the next day.

But I knew immediately that I was in trouble. I couldn't see that others were having the same struggles, I thought I was going to fail that first day. Which is kind of the point of Shock Treatment, to break down your ideas of training and put you on edge.

The very next morning, when it was still dark and already over 80 (yay for Georgia in late summer) we started out daily PT (physical training) sessions. Push-ups, regular and eight-count; side-straddle hops; sit-ups; mountain climbers; and more, followed by a two mile run. We did this six days a week with a voluntary PT session on Sundays, which most everyone ended up doing. We would also do PT in the evenings if training ended early. Add in getting dropping either singly or in groups for minor infractions like existing, and we were being transformed.

Thing is, you don't see it happening. The difficulty kept getting ramped up, so every day was still hard. You forget that while you're doing 50 push-ups today, last week you were only doing 25. You forget that the idea of walking 15 miles with a 50lb rucksack, weapon and all your gear was unthinkable just a few short weeks ago. We changed as a team, 2nd Platoon, A-7-1, Infantry, On The Road!

We only really knew that we had changed when we got our civies back. I literally could not get the blue jeans I had reported in past my thighs. My t-shirt was about to rip at the seams. At least my shoes still fit!

I'm still not a gym rat, and even when I was healthy I still had no interest in playing sports. But I worked blue collar jobs most of my life, and those kept me in shape. Now, when I'm at the gym, I can still hear Drill Sergeants Redding, Colom, Readen, Chin, and Senior Drill Sergeant Rodney Swanson telling not to quit, not to cheat my body.

Nice to know those guys are still on my side.
gridlore: Army Infantry school shield over crossed infantry rifles (Army Infantry)
Today is Camerone Day.

The French Army was besieging Puebla.

The mission of the Legion was to ensure the movement and safety of the convoys, over an 80 mile distance. On the 29th of April 1863, Colonel Jeanningros was informed that an important convoy was on its way to Puebla, with a load of 3 million francs, and material and munitions for the siege. Captain Danjou, his quartermaster, decided to send a company to escort the convoy. The 3rd company of the Foreign Regiment was assigned to this mission, but had no officers available. So Captain Danjou, himself, took the command and 2nd lieutenants Maudet, company guide, and Vilain, the paymaster, joined him voluntarily.

On the 30th of April, at 1 a.m., the 3rd company was on its way, with its 3 officers and 62 men. At 7 a.m., after a 15 mile march, it stopped at Palo Verde in order to get some rest. At this very moment, the enemy showed up and the battle began. Captain Danjou made the company take up a square formation and, even though retreating, he victoriously drove back several cavalry charges, inflicting the first heavy losses on the enemy .

By the inn of Camerone, a large building with a courtyard protected by a wall 3 meters high, Danjou decided to stay, in order to keep the enemy and so delay for as long as possible, any attacks on the convoy.

While the legionnaires were rapidly setting up the defense of the inn, a Mexican officer demanded that Captain Danjou surrender, pointing out the fact that the Mexican Army was greatly superior in number.

Danjou's answer was: "We have munitions. We will not surrender." Then, he swore to fight to the death and made his men swear the same. It was 10 a.m. Until 6 p.m., these 60 men who had had nothing to eat or drink since the day before, in spite of the extreme heat, of the thirst and hunger, resisted against 2,000 Mexicans: 800 cavalry and 1,200 infantry.

At noon, Captain Danjou was shot in the chest and died. At 2 p.m., 2nd lieutenant Vilain was shot in the head. About this time, the Mexican colonel succeeded in setting the inn on fire.

In spite of the heat and the smoke, the legionnaires resisted, but many of them were killed or injured. By 5 p.m., only 12 men could still fight with 2nd lieutenant Maudet. At this time, the Mexican colonel gathered his soldiers and told them what disgrace it would be if they were unable to defeat such a small number of men. The Mexicans were about to give the general assault through holes opened in the walls of the courtyard, but Colonel Milan, who had previously asked 2nd lieutenant Maudet to surrender, once again gave him the opportunity to. Maudet scornfully refused.

The final charge was given. Soon, only 5 men were left around Maudet; Corporal Maine, legionnaires Catteau, Wensel, Constantin and Leonard. Each had only one bullet left. In a corner of the courtyard, their back against the wall, still facing the enemy, they fixed bayonets. When the signal was given, they opened fire and fought with their bayonets. 2nd lieutenant Maudet and 2 legionnaires fell, mortally wounded. Maine and his 2 remaining companions were about to be slaughtered when a Mexican officer saved them. He shouted: "Surrender!"

"We will only if you promise to allow us to carry and care for our injured men and if you leave us our guns".

"Nothing can be refused to men like you!", answered the officer.

Captain Danjou's men had kept their promise; for 11 hours, they had resisted 2,000 enemy troops. They had killed 300 of them and had injured as many. Their sacrifice had saved the convoy and they had fulfilled their mission.

Emperor Napoleon III decided that the name of Camerone would be written on the flag of the Foreign Regiment and the names of Danjou, Vilain and Maudet would be engraved in golden letters on the walls of the Invalides, in Paris.

Moreover, a monument was built in 1892, at the very place of the fight. The following inscription can be read there :

Ils furent ici moins de soixante
Opposés à toute un armée,
Sa masse les écrasa.
La vie plutôt que le courage
Abandonna ces soldats Français
Le 30 avril 1863.

"Here there were less than sixty opposed to a whole army. Its mass crushed them. Life abandoned these French soldiers before courage. The 30th of April 1863."
gridlore: Army Infantry school shield over crossed infantry rifles (Army Infantry)
Today is Camerone Day.


The French Army was besieging Puebla.

The mission of the Legion was to ensure the movement and safety of the convoys, over an 80 mile distance. On the 29th of April 1863, Colonel Jeanningros was informed that an important convoy was on its way to Puebla, with a load of 3 million francs, and material and munitions for the siege. Captain Danjou, his quartermaster, decided to send a company to escort the convoy. The 3rd company of the Foreign Regiment was assigned to this mission, but had no officers available. So Captain Danjou, himself, took the command and 2nd lieutenants Maudet, company guide, and Vilain, the paymaster, joined him voluntarily.

On the 30th of April, at 1 a.m., the 3rd company was on its way, with its 3 officers and 62 men. At 7 a.m., after a 15 mile march, it stopped at Palo Verde in order to get some rest. At this very moment, the enemy showed up and the battle began. Captain Danjou made the company take up a square formation and, even though retreating, he victoriously drove back several cavalry charges, inflicting the first heavy losses on the enemy .

By the inn of Camerone, a large building with a courtyard protected by a wall 3 meters high, Danjou decided to stay, in order to keep the enemy and so delay for as long as possible, any attacks on the convoy.

While the legionnaires were rapidly setting up the defense of the inn, a Mexican officer demanded that Captain Danjou surrender, pointing out the fact that the Mexican Army was greatly superior in number.

Danjou's answer was: "We have munitions. We will not surrender." Then, he swore to fight to the death and made his men swear the same. It was 10 a.m. Until 6 p.m., these 60 men who had had nothing to eat or drink since the day before, in spite of the extreme heat, of the thirst and hunger, resisted against 2,000 Mexicans: 800 cavalry and 1,200 infantry.

At noon, Captain Danjou was shot in the chest and died. At 2 p.m., 2nd lieutenant Vilain was shot in the head. About this time, the Mexican colonel succeeded in setting the inn on fire.

In spite of the heat and the smoke, the legionnaires resisted, but many of them were killed or injured. By 5 p.m., only 12 men could still fight with 2nd lieutenant Maudet. At this time, the Mexican colonel gathered his soldiers and told them what disgrace it would be if they were unable to defeat such a small number of men. The Mexicans were about to give the general assault through holes opened in the walls of the courtyard, but Colonel Milan, who had previously asked 2nd lieutenant Maudet to surrender, once again gave him the opportunity to. Maudet scornfully refused.

The final charge was given. Soon, only 5 men were left around Maudet; Corporal Maine, legionnaires Catteau, Wensel, Constantin and Leonard. Each had only one bullet left. In a corner of the courtyard, their back against the wall, still facing the enemy, they fixed bayonets. When the signal was given, they opened fire and fought with their bayonets. 2nd lieutenant Maudet and 2 legionnaires fell, mortally wounded. Maine and his 2 remaining companions were about to be slaughtered when a Mexican officer saved them. He shouted: "Surrender!"

"We will only if you promise to allow us to carry and care for our injured men and if you leave us our guns".

"Nothing can be refused to men like you!", answered the officer.

Captain Danjou's men had kept their promise; for 11 hours, they had resisted 2,000 enemy troops. They had killed 300 of them and had injured as many. Their sacrifice had saved the convoy and they had fulfilled their mission.

Emperor Napoleon III decided that the name of Camerone would be written on the flag of the Foreign Regiment and the names of Danjou, Vilain and Maudet would be engraved in golden letters on the walls of the Invalides, in Paris.

Moreover, a monument was built in 1892, at the very place of the fight. The following inscription can be read there :

Ils furent ici moins de soixante
Opposés à toute un armée,
Sa masse les écrasa.
La vie plutôt que le courage
Abandonna ces soldats Français
Le 30 avril 1863.






"Here there were less than sixty opposed to a whole army. Its mass crushed them. Life abandoned these French soldiers before courage. The 30th of April 1863."
gridlore: Army Infantry school shield over crossed infantry rifles (Army Infantry)
Something came to me last week when I was at the YMCA. I owe a debt I can never repay to my Drill Sergeants.

Oh, how I loathed them at the time. Drill Sergeants Redding, Colom, and Rearden made my life as Roster Number 203 of 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 7th Battalion, 1st Infantry Training Brigade, pure hell. They pushed. They yelled. They could see microscopic imperfections in my uniform from 50 meters. Even if they never entered the washroom, they'd know if I had crawled under the washtubs and polished the brass drain covers or not. Senior Drill Sergeant Swanson and Drill Sergeant Chin also haunted my nightmares at Fort Benning. SDS Swanson was always standing there when you screwed up, and Drill Sergeant Chin . . . I can still hearing him saying "Men! Don't cheat your bodies! Do diamond push-ups!"

I can also hear him constantly calling me me "Belly."

But the other day, when I decided to up the weight I was lifting again, I realized it was their voices that were pushing me. Their belief that I was better than I believed I was, and their knowledge that what I thought were my limitations were just the beginnings of what I was capable of. Thanks to them, I never accept that good enough is good enough. What they taught me about myself is why I beat cancer, beat all the other problems, and beat my stroke. Because I Am The Infantry. Follow Me!

I often joke about my service, saying I came out as a trained killer and pretty good janitor, but the reality is what came out of all my training and experiences was pride. Pride in myself. The ability to believe in myself. The knowledge that pain is not a wall, but a passageway. Most importantly, knowing that deep down inside you always have one more ounce of effort, one last measure of will, if you can just harness it it.

This has been a rough life. I've both made terrible mistakes and been battered by chance. I own all of it. Because, thanks to the cadre of A-7-1, I am a United States Infantryman.

FOLLOW ME!!!
gridlore: Army Infantry school shield over crossed infantry rifles (Army Infantry)
Today is Camerone Day.


The French Army was besieging Puebla.

The mission of the Legion was to ensure the movement and safety of the convoys, over an 80 mile distance. On the 29th of April 1863, Colonel Jeanningros was informed that an important convoy was on its way to Puebla, with a load of 3 million francs, and material and munitions for the siege. Captain Danjou, his quartermaster, decided to send a company to escort the convoy. The 3rd company of the Foreign Regiment was assigned to this mission, but had no officers available. So Captain Danjou, himself, took the command and 2nd lieutenants Maudet, company guide, and Vilain, the paymaster, joined him voluntarily.

On the 30th of April, at 1 a.m., the 3rd company was on its way, with its 3 officers and 62 men. At 7 a.m., after a 15 mile march, it stopped at Palo Verde in order to get some rest. At this very moment, the enemy showed up and the battle began. Captain Danjou made the company take up a square formation and, even though retreating, he victoriously drove back several cavalry charges, inflicting the first heavy losses on the enemy .

By the inn of Camerone, a large building with a courtyard protected by a wall 3 meters high, Danjou decided to stay, in order to keep the enemy and so delay for as long as possible, any attacks on the convoy.

While the legionnaires were rapidly setting up the defense of the inn, a Mexican officer demanded that Captain Danjou surrender, pointing out the fact that the Mexican Army was greatly superior in number.

Danjou's answer was: "We have munitions. We will not surrender." Then, he swore to fight to the death and made his men swear the same. It was 10 a.m. Until 6 p.m., these 60 men who had had nothing to eat or drink since the day before, in spite of the extreme heat, of the thirst and hunger, resisted against 2,000 Mexicans: 800 cavalry and 1,200 infantry.

At noon, Captain Danjou was shot in the chest and died. At 2 p.m., 2nd lieutenant Vilain was shot in the head. About this time, the Mexican colonel succeeded in setting the inn on fire.

In spite of the heat and the smoke, the legionnaires resisted, but many of them were killed or injured. By 5 p.m., only 12 men could still fight with 2nd lieutenant Maudet. At this time, the Mexican colonel gathered his soldiers and told them what disgrace it would be if they were unable to defeat such a small number of men. The Mexicans were about to give the general assault through holes opened in the walls of the courtyard, but Colonel Milan, who had previously asked 2nd lieutenant Maudet to surrender, once again gave him the opportunity to. Maudet scornfully refused.

The final charge was given. Soon, only 5 men were left around Maudet; Corporal Maine, legionnaires Catteau, Wensel, Constantin and Leonard. Each had only one bullet left. In a corner of the courtyard, their back against the wall, still facing the enemy, they fixed bayonets. When the signal was given, they opened fire and fought with their bayonets. 2nd lieutenant Maudet and 2 legionnaires fell, mortally wounded. Maine and his 2 remaining companions were about to be slaughtered when a Mexican officer saved them. He shouted: "Surrender!"

"We will only if you promise to allow us to carry and care for our injured men and if you leave us our guns".

"Nothing can be refused to men like you!", answered the officer.

Captain Danjou's men had kept their promise; for 11 hours, they had resisted 2,000 enemy troops. They had killed 300 of them and had injured as many. Their sacrifice had saved the convoy and they had fulfilled their mission.

Emperor Napoleon III decided that the name of Camerone would be written on the flag of the Foreign Regiment and the names of Danjou, Vilain and Maudet would be engraved in golden letters on the walls of the Invalides, in Paris.

Moreover, a monument was built in 1892, at the very place of the fight. The following inscription can be read there :

Ils furent ici moins de soixante
Opposés à toute un armée,
Sa masse les écrasa.
La vie plutôt que le courage
Abandonna ces soldats Français
Le 30 avril 1863.






"Here there were less than sixty opposed to a whole army. Its mass crushed them. Life abandoned these French soldiers before courage. The 30th of April 1863."
gridlore: Army Infantry school shield over crossed infantry rifles (Army Infantry)

I am the Infantry--Queen of Battle! For two centuries I have kept our Nation safe, Purchasing freedom with my blood. To tyrants, I am the day of reckoning; to the oppressed, the hope for the future. Where the fighting is thick, there am I… I am the Infantry! FOLLOW ME!

I was there from the beginning, meeting the enemy face to face, will to will. My bleeding feet stained the snow at Valley Forge; my frozen hands pulled Washington across the Delaware. At Yorktown, the sunlight glinted from the sword and I, begrimed… Saw a Nation born. Hardship… And glory I have known. At New Orleans, I fought beyond the hostile hour, showed the fury of my long rifle… and came of age. I am the Infantry! FOLLOW ME!

Westward I pushed with wagon trains…moved an empire across the plains… extended freedom's borders and tamed the wild frontier. I am the Infantry! FOLLOW ME!

I was with Scott at Vera Cruz… hunted the guerilla in the mountain passes… and scaled the high plateau. The fighting was done when I ended my march many miles from the old Alamo.

From Bull Run to Appomattox, I fought and bled. Both Blue and Gray were my colors then. Two masters I served and united them strong… proved that this nation could right a wrong… and long endure. I am the Infantry! FOLLOW ME!

I led the charge up San Juan Hill… scaled the walls of old Tientsin… and stalked the Moro in the steaming jungle still… always the vanguard, I am the Infantry!

At Chateau-Thierry, first over the top, then I stood like a rock on the Marne. It was I who cracked the Hindenburg Line… in the Argonne, I broke the Kaiser's spine… and didn't come back 'till it was "over, over there." I am the Infantry! FOLLOW ME!

A generation older at Bataan, I briefly bowed, but then I vowed to return. Assaulted the African shore… learned my lesson the hard way in the desert sands… pressed my buttons into the beach at Anzio… and bounced into Rome with determination and resolve. I am the Infantry!

The English channel, stout beach defenses and the hedgerows could not hold me… I broke out at St. Lo, unbent the Bulge… vaulted the Rhine…and swarmed the Heartland. Hitler's dream and the Third Reich were dead.

In the Pacific, from island to island… hit the beaches and chopped through swamp and jungle… I set the Rising Sun. I am the Infantry!

In Korea, I gathered my strength around Pusan… swept across the frozen Han… outflanked the Reds at Inchon… and marched to the Yalu. FOLLOW ME!

In Vietnam, while others turned aside, I fought the longest fight, from the Central Highlands to the South China Sea I patrolled the jungle, the paddies and the sky in the bitter test that belongs to the Infantry. FOLLOW ME!

Around the world, I stand… ever forward. Over Lebanon's sands, my rifle steady aimed… and calm returned. At Berlin's gates, I scorned the Wall of Shame. I spanned the Caribbean in freedom's cause, answered humanity's call. I trod the streets of Santo Domingo to protect the innocent. In Grenada, I jumped at Salinas, and proclaimed freedom for all. My arms set a Panamanian dictator to flight and once more raised democracy's flag. In the Persian Gulf, I drew the line in the desert, called the tyrant's bluff and restored right and freedom in 100 hours. Duty called, I answered. I am the Infantry! FOLLOW ME!

My bayonet… on the wings of power…  keeps the peace worldwide. And despots, falsely garbed in freedom's mantle, falter… hide. My ally in the paddies and the forest… I teach, I aid, I lead. FOLLOW ME!

Where brave men fight… there fight I. In freedom's cause… I live, I die. From Concord Bridge to Heartbreak Ridge, from the Arctic to the Mekong, to the Caribbean… the Queen of Battle!

Always ready… then, now, and forever.

I am the Infantry! FOLLOW ME!

--

Here's a video that shows Fort Benning during the time I was there. Good training!

gridlore: Army Infantry school shield over crossed infantry rifles (Army Infantry)
To absent friends.
gridlore: Army Infantry school shield over crossed infantry rifles (Army Infantry)
Today is Camerone Day.


The French Army was besieging Puebla.

The mission of the Legion was to ensure the movement and safety of the convoys, over an 80 mile distance. On the 29th of April 1863, Colonel Jeanningros was informed that an important convoy was on its way to Puebla, with a load of 3 million francs, and material and munitions for the siege. Captain Danjou, his quartermaster, decided to send a company to escort the convoy. The 3rd company of the Foreign Regiment was assigned to this mission, but had no officers available. So Captain Danjou, himself, took the command and 2nd lieutenants Maudet, company guide, and Vilain, the paymaster, joined him voluntarily.

On the 30th of April, at 1 a.m., the 3rd company was on its way, with its 3 officers and 62 men. At 7 a.m., after a 15 mile march, it stopped at Palo Verde in order to get some rest. At this very moment, the enemy showed up and the battle began. Captain Danjou made the company take up a square formation and, even though retreating, he victoriously drove back several cavalry charges, inflicting the first heavy losses on the enemy .

By the inn of Camerone, a large building with a courtyard protected by a wall 3 meters high, Danjou decided to stay, in order to keep the enemy and so delay for as long as possible, any attacks on the convoy.

While the legionnaires were rapidly setting up the defense of the inn, a Mexican officer demanded that Captain Danjou surrender, pointing out the fact that the Mexican Army was greatly superior in number.

Danjou's answer was: "We have munitions. We will not surrender." Then, he swore to fight to the death and made his men swear the same. It was 10 a.m. Until 6 p.m., these 60 men who had had nothing to eat or drink since the day before, in spite of the extreme heat, of the thirst and hunger, resisted against 2,000 Mexicans: 800 cavalry and 1,200 infantry.

At noon, Captain Danjou was shot in the chest and died. At 2 p.m., 2nd lieutenant Vilain was shot in the head. About this time, the Mexican colonel succeeded in setting the inn on fire.

In spite of the heat and the smoke, the legionnaires resisted, but many of them were killed or injured. By 5 p.m., only 12 men could still fight with 2nd lieutenant Maudet. At this time, the Mexican colonel gathered his soldiers and told them what disgrace it would be if they were unable to defeat such a small number of men. The Mexicans were about to give the general assault through holes opened in the walls of the courtyard, but Colonel Milan, who had previously asked 2nd lieutenant Maudet to surrender, once again gave him the opportunity to. Maudet scornfully refused.

The final charge was given. Soon, only 5 men were left around Maudet; Corporal Maine, legionnaires Catteau, Wensel, Constantin and Leonard. Each had only one bullet left. In a corner of the courtyard, their back against the wall, still facing the enemy, they fixed bayonets. When the signal was given, they opened fire and fought with their bayonets. 2nd lieutenant Maudet and 2 legionnaires fell, mortally wounded. Maine and his 2 remaining companions were about to be slaughtered when a Mexican officer saved them. He shouted: "Surrender!"

"We will only if you promise to allow us to carry and care for our injured men and if you leave us our guns".

"Nothing can be refused to men like you!", answered the officer.

Captain Danjou's men had kept their promise; for 11 hours, they had resisted 2,000 enemy troops. They had killed 300 of them and had injured as many. Their sacrifice had saved the convoy and they had fulfilled their mission.

Emperor Napoleon III decided that the name of Camerone would be written on the flag of the Foreign Regiment and the names of Danjou, Vilain and Maudet would be engraved in golden letters on the walls of the Invalides, in Paris.

Moreover, a monument was built in 1892, at the very place of the fight. The following inscription can be read there :

Ils furent ici moins de soixante
Opposés à toute un armée,
Sa masse les écrasa.
La vie plutôt que le courage
Abandonna ces soldats Français
Le 30 avril 1863.






"Here there were less than sixty opposed to a whole army. Its mass crushed them. Life abandoned these French soldiers before courage. The 30th of April 1863."
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Keep Calm)
During slow times at work, I've been catching up on past Hell's Kitchen seasons on Hulu. So I guess it wasn't surprising that I had a dream about it.

Some HK geekery )

Got it?

OK, in the dream I was my age, but I was a retired Special Forces Master Sergeant with an artificial right leg. I had taken up cooking after being injured. One of the other blue team chefs, an arrogant young jerk, had decided I had been an Army cook, and constantly tried to ride me for that. The actual dream was in the dorm after a spectaculary bad dinner service where the arrogant young jerk had screwed the team. We had to choose two to be up for elimination, and I suggest AYJ for his poor performance. AYJ got pissed off, and tried to threaten me. That's when I got in his face and told him that I hadn't been an Army cook, but rather a Green Beret Operations/Weapons specialist. That's pretty much where the dream ended.

What's weird is I'm rather phobic about cooking, and even if I had gone career I would never have qualified for Special Forces. Also odd was I was seeing the action like it was in a show being broadcast, complete with narration, music, and changing camera angles.
gridlore: Army Infantry school shield over crossed infantry rifles (Army Infantry)
"I, Douglas Berry, do solemnly affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice."

Said that at the Oakland MEPS 29 years ago this month. So far as I'm concerned, that oath is still in force.

Happy Veterans Day to all my fellow vets. As we used to say in the Army Infantry, GET SOME!
gridlore: One of the "Madagascar" penguins with a checklist: [x] cute [x] cuddly [x] psychotic (Penguin - Checklist)
Meme: Comment to this post and I will pick five things I would like you to talk about. They might make sense or be totally random. Then post that list, with your commentary, to your journal. Other people can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself.

From  [personal profile] kath8562, I got:  

Wine Wine has actually been part of my life since childhood. My parents enjoyed good wines, and we were all taught at an early age how to properly sample a glass. I'm not really a connoisseur, but have learned enough to understand different varietals, viticulture regions, and the importance of the terroir on the final product. When drinking, I p[refer good reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir. I dislike overly sweet reds. Not a huge fan of white wines; when I do drink them I prefer extremely light, crisp wine like a good Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc. I do need to try to sample more local vintages from the Livermore and Santa Cruz Mountains AVAs

Army Ah, the best of times, the worst of times. I had a lot of fun in the Army, saw some amazing places and things, and grew quite a bit. Unfortuantly, my own demons caught up with me. I am still amused that the one job skill I came out of the service with is being an expert janitor.

Color I never really developed a good sense for color. I'm terrible at matching things, tend to wear black and darker colors simply because I know they match (mostly) and leave all more complicated matches to those with a more refined taste. My favorite colors are black, orange, and red.

Party It's funny, but I rarely really have a good time at a party unless I'm running it! Being in a group of people, many of whom I know only slightly or not at all, really sets off my antisocial tendencies. But, if I'm the one running around to make sure that everyone has a drink, and that the chip dip hasn't run out, I'm able to enjoy the party a little more. A big part of this is my utter inability to remember faces. I may have known you for years, and still not recognize you. I do miss the Traveller parties we used to throw at Baycon.

Monster For me there is only one monster: Reed–Sternberg cells. These are the monsters that lurked in my body for years, turning my own lymphatic system against me. The monster that turned my body from being me into being The Thing that I was locked in battle with. The monster that still plague my nightmares almost 20 years later.
gridlore: Army Infantry school shield over crossed infantry rifles (Army Infantry)
raises beer
gridlore: Army Infantry school shield over crossed infantry rifles (Army Infantry)
Today is Camerone Day.


The French Army was besieging Puebla.

The mission of the Legion was to ensure the movement and safety of the convoys, over an 80 mile distance. On the 29th of April 1863, Colonel Jeanningros was informed that an important convoy was on its way to Puebla, with a load of 3 million francs, and material and munitions for the siege. Captain Danjou, his quartermaster, decided to send a company to escort the convoy. The 3rd company of the Foreign Regiment was assigned to this mission, but had no officers available. So Captain Danjou, himself, took the command and 2nd lieutenants Maudet, company guide, and Vilain, the paymaster, joined him voluntarily.

On the 30th of April, at 1 a.m., the 3rd company was on its way, with its 3 officers and 62 men. At 7 a.m., after a 15 mile march, it stopped at Palo Verde in order to get some rest. At this very moment, the enemy showed up and the battle began. Captain Danjou made the company take up a square formation and, even though retreating, he victoriously drove back several cavalry charges, inflicting the first heavy losses on the enemy .

By the inn of Camerone, a large building with a courtyard protected by a wall 3 meters high, Danjou decided to stay, in order to keep the enemy and so delay for as long as possible, any attacks on the convoy.

While the legionnaires were rapidly setting up the defense of the inn, a Mexican officer demanded that Captain Danjou surrender, pointing out the fact that the Mexican Army was greatly superior in number.

Danjou's answer was: "We have munitions. We will not surrender." Then, he swore to fight to the death and made his men swear the same. It was 10 a.m. Until 6 p.m., these 60 men who had had nothing to eat or drink since the day before, in spite of the extreme heat, of the thirst and hunger, resisted against 2,000 Mexicans: 800 cavalry and 1,200 infantry.

At noon, Captain Danjou was shot in the chest and died. At 2 p.m., 2nd lieutenant Vilain was shot in the head. About this time, the Mexican colonel succeeded in setting the inn on fire.

In spite of the heat and the smoke, the legionnaires resisted, but many of them were killed or injured. By 5 p.m., only 12 men could still fight with 2nd lieutenant Maudet. At this time, the Mexican colonel gathered his soldiers and told them what disgrace it would be if they were unable to defeat such a small number of men. The Mexicans were about to give the general assault through holes opened in the walls of the courtyard, but Colonel Milan, who had previously asked 2nd lieutenant Maudet to surrender, once again gave him the opportunity to. Maudet scornfully refused.

The final charge was given. Soon, only 5 men were left around Maudet; Corporal Maine, legionnaires Catteau, Wensel, Constantin and Leonard. Each had only one bullet left. In a corner of the courtyard, their back against the wall, still facing the enemy, they fixed bayonets. When the signal was given, they opened fire and fought with their bayonets. 2nd lieutenant Maudet and 2 legionnaires fell, mortally wounded. Maine and his 2 remaining companions were about to be slaughtered when a Mexican officer saved them. He shouted: "Surrender!"

"We will only if you promise to allow us to carry and care for our injured men and if you leave us our guns".

"Nothing can be refused to men like you!", answered the officer.

Captain Danjou's men had kept their promise; for 11 hours, they had resisted 2,000 enemy troops. They had killed 300 of them and had injured as many. Their sacrifice had saved the convoy and they had fulfilled their mission.

Emperor Napoleon the 3rd decided that the name of Camerone would be written on the flag of the Foreign Regiment and the names of Danjou, Vilain and Maudet would be engraved in golden letters on the walls of the Invalides, in Paris.

Moreover, a monument was built in 1892, at the very place of the fight. The following inscription can be read there :

Ils furent ici moins de soixante
Opposés à toute un armée,
Sa masse les écrasa.
La vie plutôt que le courage
Abandonna ces soldats Français
Le 30 avril 1863.






"Here there were less than sixty opposed to a whole army. Its mass crushed them. Life abandoned these French soldiers before courage. The 30th of April 1863."
gridlore: Army Infantry school shield over crossed infantry rifles (Army Infantry)
I haven't seen it and have no desire to do so. But if this was a five-man sniper team from the 3/2 Marines as has been reported, each and every one of these Marines needs to be charged and, once convicted, thrown out of the service with a Dishonorable Discharge.

This is a hard concept for a lot of civilians to get. "Wait, blowing someone up with a cluster bomb is fine, but peeing on a corpse is wrong?" Yes. American soldiers will strive to kill the enemy with all the tools at our disposal. That is our job. We, from a grunt Marine Rifleman to an Air Force Missileman in a silo, are there to Kill People and Break Things. This is what we do. We are very good at it. But we are also trained in the tradition of mercy to the enemy wounded, fallen, and to those who have become our prisoners.

Respecting your enemy is perhaps the hardest thing a soldier is asked to do. The enemy is trying to kill you. Odds are, the enemy comes from an alien culture which may be offensive to the average American. At worst, the enemy may be seen as a cheater who refuses to stand up and fight. When you actually get your hands on the enemy, alive or dead, the urge to take out your anger or frustration is near-overwhelming.

But we have to resist that urge. Because we are supposed to be better than that. The difference between a mob and an Army is discipline. We treat enemy wounded. We protected captured enemy troops and treat them humanely. And we treat enemy dead as we would one of our own fallen. With respect. To see that respect fail so spectacularly among an elite group like a USMC sniper team is sickening. For all the legends that surround snipers as merciless death-dealers, we're still humans. We are just held to a higher standard since we are expected to operate outside the normal chain of command much of the time.

Some will blame the high operational tempo, the endless and repeated tours. Bullshit. Every single service member serving today, a decade after we entered Afghanistan, knows what they were getting into. Stress is not an excuse. There is no excuse possible for the complete breakdown of discipline to the point where United States Marines would desecrate an enemy's corpse. None. These five Marines need to be loudly and publicly thrown to the wolves pour encourager les autres. If we're really cutting back on the military and making training harder, I suggest tightening the screws on discipline as well.

In my perfect word, once convicted, these five losers would be paraded in dress blues before as many of the 2nd Marines as can be gathered. On a stage, every piece of rank, insignia, awards... anything that makes the uniform a Marine uniform, is ripped off. The discharges are read aloud. Then the entire regiment turns their backs on the malefactors. I'd also deny any government benefits to those dishonorably discharged. That includes unemployment, Medicare, and Social Security.

Yes, I'm furious about this. These morons just handed the enemy a propaganda coup.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Army - Infantry)
The troops are not in Fort Bragg, NC. They are at Fort Bragg. This is a minor nit, but it bugs me. Mainly because it's far more common to refer to yourself being in a unit which is at a particular base. ("I was in the 1/15th at Schofield Barracks." for example.)
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Army - Infantry)
But here I am in all my martial glory. Taken in the company area of Delta Company (Delta Dawgs), 3rd Battalion, 7th United States Infantry (Mechanized), 197th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) (Separate).

The picture was taken sometime in October, 1985. No idea why there's an arms rack in the CQ area. My best guess is that there was a funeral detail the next morning and rather than go through the whole headache of opening the arms room it was decided to pull the required weapons on one rack.

Yes, my eyes are closed. If I knew photoshop, I'd fix that.

Delta Dawg

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