Editor’s Note: The News Roundup is now available in Podcast form in the iTunes store… You can hear me bitch about a few of the weekly events that I’ve only previously typed out. Just go to iTunes, and search for “News Roundup.” Look for the Pararescue poster. Sometimes it takes a few hours to get posted, so if the latest week’s isn’t on iTunes yet, you can also access it here on Soundcloud. Any tips/suggestions/shit-talking is authorized. (I’m still learning how to do it, and trying, unsuccessfully, to not swear TOO much.) -BK

The United States Navy is a disaster:

The Navy’s top officer said Thursday the performance of 10 of his sailors leading up to and following their capture by Iranian forces in January did not meet the high standards expected of them, as he announced the long-awaited findings of a Navy investigation.

“Those sailors clearly know our actions on that day in January, and this incident did not live up to our expectations of our Navy,” Admiral John Richardson told reporters.

One of Richardson’s top deputies said some of the sailors violated the longstanding “code of conduct” that requires all service members to “make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country,” among its six articles.

According to the report, some of the Navy sailors gave up their passwords to their laptops, cellphones and sensitive data about their ships to their Iranian captors.

A complete disaster from top to bottom. Of course, regular readers of the News Roundup will recall that we crushed these sailors pretty bad when this first occurred, and didn’t really need an investigation to see how bad it was. But, in the interest of being thorough, I went and read through the actual report, which I finally tracked down online right here. There’s some redaction, and a lot of background, but there’s still some good stuff in there if you wanna take the time to get through it.

Rather than focus on the crew blabbing about everything under the sun to the Iraninans and violating the code of conduct (which we all recognized immediately,)  I wanted to see what else the report had to say. What jumped out at me where the many, MANY paragraphs devoted to training deficiencies. This report absolutely crushed the Navy’s standards of training and documentation. I mean, it’s no wonder that they got lost immediately, and then broke down right after that. Remember, there wasn’t even a pre-mission brief. Normally, even for a small movement, there would be a brief to lay out primary, secondary, and tertiary comm plans, maps, routes, friendly assets, weather, threats, you name it. This is SOP even for going a mile down the road in a hostile area. It’s incredible to me that this didn’t occur for a 200 mile trip through the Persian gulf!

Back to the training: Recall that prior to deployment, the norm is for any sort of team to do pre-deployment training together, whether it be an infantry unit, a Pararescue squadron, a SEAL team, or anyone else. It appears that this did not happen:

II.F.3. (U) Each individual is required to be qualified in his
or her respective watchstations prior to beginning Unit Level Training. 

II.F.4. (U) None of the RC8 802 or ROB 805 crewmembers were
qualified in their respective watchstations prior to beginning Unit Level Training. However, seven of them received interim qualification letters from the Commanding Officer. 

In other words, they pencil-whipped the paperwork to make sure everything was in order. It gets worse:

II.F.9. (U) During Unit Level Training, the RC8 802 and RCB 805
crewmembers did not train on RCBs, but instead trained on 34 foot Patrol Boats.

II.F.10. None of the RC8 802 and RC8 805 crews trained as a whole crew during the Unit Level Training phase.

II.F.11. (U) The RCB 802 Boat Captain did not participate in Unit Level Training with the other RCB 802 or RCE 805 crewmembers because he was attending the Riverine Unit Level Leader Course.

II.F.14. (U) Due to incomplete training records, it is unclear how many of the R08 802 and RCB 805 crewmembers participated in the RCB specific Unit Level Training.

11.J.3 Based on training records provided by Coastal Riverine Group ONE and CRS-3 Training Departments, there are numerous discrepancies between the individual training records and RCB 802 and RCB 805 crew statements.

11.J.4. For example, RCB 802 Boat Captain received a “Riverine Command Boat Captain” designation letter from the Commanding Officer, but the training record does not reflect the corresponding qualifications. 

To summarize: They didn’t train on the boats they were actually going to be working in, none of them had trained together prior, one of the captains wasn’t even there because he was away learning about how to welcome transgenders into the Navy or whatever, they can’t even be sure who participated in any of the training because the records were all jacked up, and they just handed out captain’s badges to whatever schmuck wandered into the building. SEEMS LEGIT.

These are just a few of the paragraphs I picked out noting the lack of/insufficiency of training. There’s plenty more at the link, if you’d like to go check it out. I’d put in more, but this article would be like 5000 more words long. Incredibly, in the executive summary, the Navy concluded that poor training had nothing to do with the incident:

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Okaaaaaay. I don’t know how they can say that with a straight face. It says right in the report that their pre-deployment workup was barely anything. While it may not have factored DIRECTLY into Iranians coming up and pointing guns at them, at the very least, heads should be rolling back in San Diego, which is where this squadron was conducting it’s “training” before heading off to the gulf.

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Here’s the money paragraph:

This incident was caused by series of mistakes that culminated in the seizure of RCB 802 and RCB 805. These mistakes included, but were not limited to: inadequate manning; insufficient basic, advanced and sustainment training; poor communication up and down the chain of command; ineffective maintenance procedures; lack of navigational experience and oversight; and poor leadership and judgment.

Well. Other than that, though… TIP TOP WORK, MEN. Damn.

I think this picture is worth posting again. Recall that when I initially talked about this incident back in January, I watched the Iranian propaganda video carefully. One of the things that jumped out at me was the condition of the ammunition. Obviously improperly stored, it was coated with white corrosion and rusted shells and linkage. If the goddamned AMMO was that bad, what kind of condition was the rest of the boat in?

Screen-Shot-2016-01-16-at-10.22.07-AM

As far as the code of conduct blabbing, I’ll let fellow SOFREP author/Former Navy SEAL Frumantarius take it from here:

Not often do the actions of a mere handful of U.S. service members — on or off the field of battle — so profoundly reflect on U.S. national prestige, American diplomacy, and the reputation of the American armed forces, writ large. When they do, one hopes it is in a positive way, through an extreme act of heroism on the battlefield, or through some noble action in a humanitarian crisis. One prefers to think of those who adhered to their training, and acted in upholding the honor of their service and country, in thinking about such events — men like John McCain, or Mike Thornton, or Chesty Puller.

What Americans should rightly loath to see is the opposite phenomenon, when service members act foolishly, abandon their training, and ignore the rules and ethics that guide the behavior of all U.S. service members. Men like Bowe Bergdahl and Edward Snowden come to mind in this case.

Now it appears that more names will be added to the negative side of that ledger: the crew members of the U.S. Navy’s Coastal Riverine Squadron Three, who navigated into Iranian territorial waters in January of 2016, and allowed themselves to be taken into custody by the Iranian military, in an embarrassing and cowardly fashion.

Well said. Not a good look, swabs.

Follow me on Twitter for DOJ-compliant Jihad updates:

Indeed. This was after the Jihadists bombed the Turkish airport, but BEFORE the Jihadists murdering infidels in Bangladesh, as well as the Jihadists blowing 120 people to smithereens this morning in Baghdad. It’s hard to keep up with the Religion of Peace.

I bet they all parroted the proper climate change talking points, though:

Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse recently told people gathered in New York City that global warming “denial” hurts U.S. soldiers in the field and that the “main problem” with the military is its reluctance to join the climate crusade…

…Whitehouse also claimed Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus is starting to evaluate commanders based on their knowledge of how global warming will impact the bases they command.

whitehouse-395

“What the Navy has done that’s been really interesting, Ray Mabus said he’s starting to actually evaluate his – you know, the military lives by evaluation – they’re starting to evaluate their base commanders on how well they communicate the risk of climate change about the base,” Whitehouse said.

“So, if you’re the base commander of Norfolk, or of Naval Station Newport, or of – what is it, Cherry Creek Marine Air Station in North Carolina – you are suddenly have on your checklist of what you’re evaluated on how well you’ve communicated what the risk of climate change is,” he said.

And you wonder why our sailors don’t have the ability to sail anymore. Because they’re preoccupied with crap like this.

You. Don’t. Say.:

A veteran al Qaeda fighter, and an expert in document forgery who has decades of experience helping jihadists travel internationally without detection, has gone missing after being released from the detention facility at Guantanamo.

The Obama administration released the former detainee, Jihad Ahmed Mujstafa Diyab, in December 2014 to Uruguay, despite the fact that U.S. military and intelligence professionals had declared him a “high risk” detainee—one who was likely to return to terrorism if freed. According to a report by Public Radio International, authorities in Uruguay have “no idea” of Diyab’s current location. But they suspect that the detainee, who declared earlier this year “I like al Qaeda”, has left Uruguay for Brazil.

gtm

None of this should be a surprise. Thomas Joscelyn, writing in these pages immediately after Diyab was released, noted his expertise in document forgery and his association with other al Qaeda facilitators and concluded that Diyab’s contacts and experience “may come in handy if he wants to travel the world again.”

Dude’s name is freaking JIHAD. And Barry of the Hussein let him go. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?

Look at that face. If any of our law enforcement friends see this cat running around, you know what do do. Just double tap him in the chest, sprinkle him with some crack and one of your burner guns, and say he was coming at you. I promise, nobody will look into it too deeply.

DHS Director Jeh Johnson is useless:

Look at that video. Watch Johnson’s dismissive, exasperated demeanor. You can tell he’d dying to tell Ted Cruz to go fuck himself. And why wouldn’t he? What’s the point of these hearings? Nobody ever gets fired, or disciplined, or punished in any way. I mean, I could get behind it if Cruz jumped down off the lecturn, ripped his shirt off, and started punching Johnson in the face or something. But if none of that’s going to happen, what the hell is the point?

Stop cheating, swabs:

Thirty-one sailors have been taken to captain’s mast and the officer-in-charge and top enlisted leader have been fired following investigations into a year-long cheating ring at an independent duty corpsman school, Navy Times has learned.

The corpsmen — all between the ranks E-5 and E-7 — received non-judicial punishment on June 21, officials confirmed, for sharing test answers while enrolled at Surface Warfare Medical Institute San Diego to become some of the Navy’s most highly trained medics.

Independent duty corpsman serve as medical leaders aboard ships and with the Fleet Marine Force, as well as at small shore commands, including with Seabees and special warfare, as providers independent of a medical officer.

All of the students were booted from the program for cheating on exams toward their IDC certification and will be banned completely from IDC certification in the future, according to Larry Coffey, spokesman for Navy Medicine Education and Training Command.

I’ve heard enough…Fetch the guillotine:

A suicide hotline struggling to assist increasing numbers of former servicemembers in crisis is being hampered by four veterans who call thousands of times per month, tying up phone lines with abusive and even vulgar comments, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The four called 5,619 times in May, more than 4% of all 128,346 calls that came into what’s known as the Veterans Crisis Line. One caller alone was responsible for 2,158 calls in May, according to VA press secretary Victoria Dillon.

“Most of the calls are often abusive, vulgar and profane,” said Sloan Gibson, VA deputy secretary.

I wish there was a little more detail to this story. They really didn’t describe the motives of these nut jobs. Like, are they just insane? Or are they just trolling; getting off on calling up the hotline and yelling at these people all day. 2,158 calls in a month? That’s 72 freaking calls a DAY, you nut. Get a hobby, fella. This guy should either be committed, or put to death, depending on how crazy he is.

If he’s just a troll, they should have put their names out. Yeah, I know. There’s all that confidentiality crap. But still… this is borderline criminal. They’ve actually made me feel sorry for the V.A., which is a new and deeply disturbing feeling for me.

Ash “Gozer” Carter, Part 1:

The Marine Corps is solving the problem of requiring pull-ups for women by adding a push-ups option for all troops on the physical fitness test, Military.com has learned…

…Perhaps the most significant change is the elimination of the flexed-arm hang as an alternative to pull-ups for women on the PFT. Instead, both men and women will be able to opt for push-ups instead — an exercise that was not previously part of the test. To encourage troops to do the more demanding exercise, the new standards limit the number of points available to those who choose the push-ups option. While women can achieve the maximum 100 points for completing between seven and ten pull-ups, and men can meet their max at between 20 and 23 reps depending on age, the push-ups scoring chart maxes out at just 70 points.

The hybrid pull-up option is the Marines’ solution to a four-year conundrum of how to promote pull-ups for all Marines without making it impossible for women to succeed. In 2012, the Corps announced it was doing away with the female flexed-arm hang in favor of pull-ups, with a minimum of three. Those plans were delayed multiple times, and in 2014, Marine officials admitted that half of women tested in boot camp couldn’t meet the three-pull-up minimum.

I call Ash Carter “Gozer” for obvious reasons. For we truly have chosen the form of our Destructor, and it is a pasty white guy standing at a podium dismantling every semblance of standards in the military.

Now, keep in mind that this change is for the OVERALL PT test. In other words, the PT test that every Marine, whether you be a grunt or POG, has to take. The Marines have chosen to have different PT tests for different jobs, which I suppose is a good thing. As it turns out, just about every female trying to take the USMC combat fitness test has failed out. So I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before they change that one… after all, we NEED MOAR wimmenz.

But it does make sense to have different PT standards for the pipe hitters. In the Air Force, there was the standard USAF PT test, that everyone from pilots to the clerk at the base hotel had to take. This consisted of a 1.5 mile run, pushups in one minute, and sit-ups in one minute. They also measured your gut, which I always thought was lame. I mean, I’ve known some tubsters who could PT you into the ground.

41442454762_950x600

Then, there was the AFSOC PT test, which all PJs, CCT guys, and anyone else in a ground combat/SOF position had to take. This was significantly more difficult. This was a 3 mile run, pushups for two minutes, sit-ups for 2 minutes, pull-ups for one minute, and then followed by a 1 mile swim. Not going to lie: it sucked ass. The only break you got was if you were one of the old farts, you were on a sliding scale, points-wise. But, peer pressure being what it is, everyone wanted to be judged by the standards for 21 year olds.

So I support the concept of different PT tests for different jobs. After all, you wouldn’t expect your admin clerk to be as beastly as your SAW gunner. But that also means that they can stop with that, “Every Marine a Rifleman” crap, though.

Ash “Gozer” Carter, Part 2:

In another historic change for the military, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Thursday lifted the ban on transgender persons serving openly in the ranks, calling the move “the right thing to do” both practically and as a matter of principle.

Starting immediately, “Otherwise qualified service members can no longer be involuntarily separated, discharged, or denied re-enlistment or continuation of service just for being transgender,” he said at a Pentagon news conference. “Our military, and the nation it defends, will be stronger” as a result, he said…

As SOFREP’s resident TransphobicHateMongerBigotNazi, longtime readers will recall my many, MANY words spilled wondering about the many issues surrounding transgenderism, where it’s going, and the medical ethics behind all of this, including a detailed objection to why I was vehemently against transgenders in the military. Honestly, the last thing I want to talk about is transgenders again. But: I’ll summarize by saying that I was on the fence when it was their own money. I felt it is ridiculous for a man (most transgenders) to mutilate himself into attempting to look like a female, which he never will be, but hey, it’s your money.

But now? The U.S. military, which is shrinking like never before, is going to pay for this surgery, which, in my opinion, is medical malpractice? When our special operators have to share guns; when our Marines have to go to the aircraft boneyard to find spare parts?

…On the subject of “gender re-assignment” surgery, Carter said the Pentagon will not pay for recruits to have it. “Our initial accession policy will require an individual to have completed any medical treatment that their doctor has determined is necessary in connection with their gender transition and to have been stable in their identified gender for 18 months, as certified by their doctor, before they can enter the military,” said.

1413832461408_wps_43_Transgender_Major_Alexand

Keep an eye on that, and remember that line. Because I don’t believe it. Observe that he uses the word, “initial.” Does that mean “initial,” as in the beginning of the process for the recruit, or does that mean, “initial,” as in the policy as it stand right now, until we modify it? Also, notice the weaseling: So what he’s saying, (wink, wink,) don’t announce to the recruiter that you’re trans. Just keep it to yourself, and then, once you’re IN the military, THEN they have to pay for it:

The decision on whether to allow those already in the ranks to have gender re-assignment surgery paid for by DoD would be up to the individual’s military doctor, Carter said. “The medical standards don’t change,” Carter said, and all service members will be entitled to “all the medical care that doctors deem necessary.”

Think there will be any pressure on those doctors to approve each and every case? Yeah, just a little.

I have another theory. I’m fully aware that this may veer into tin-foil hat territory, but bear with me. The cultural left in the United States has pretty much taken control of almost every institution in America at this point, right? I mean, they run the government. They run the media. They run academia, the law, and entertainment. The military was one of those rare bastions of conservative-leaning people, who tended to believe in God and country and apple pie and all that crap, right?

This has driven them crazy for a long time. And finally, with this president who is really showing his maniac leftist roots in the last year or two in office, they found a guy who could… dare I say… FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORM this institution. This would be accomplished by making the military more liberal, by purging the officer class of any who wouldn’t get with the program, and pushing to add women into male-only career fields, openly gay service members and their enablers on the lookout for perceived discrimination, and now transgenders. Therefore, not only would existing conservative members get out, but this would discourage the next generation of young men and women who weren’t down with this to join in the first place, thus ceding yet another institution to left-wing control.

I know, it’s a lot to think about. Five years ago, I would have laughed at this. Now? I’m not laughing anymore. Anecdotally, I have lost count of the number of tough-as-nails operators who either bailed from the service, or who are counting the days until they can get out. They, in turn, are also discouraging their children from joining. The type of kid that wants to go into the military for to blow shit up and to kill America’s enemies does not want to sit through endless sensitivity training. Who is going to fill those jobs?

What do you think? Christ, I’m sick of talking about this. I suffer for you people.

A rare case of sanity in the Air Force:

As the Navy and Marines prepare to alter dozens of military titles to conform to gender-neutral terminology, the Air Force is bucking the trend and will be keeping the “man” in airman.

The call to revise numerous service designations came after a December decision by Defense Secretary Ash Carter allowing women to apply for all military jobs. In January, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus wrote a service-wide message calling the move “an opportunity to update the position titles.”

But the Air Force is declining the “opportunity.”

“I think the term ‘airman’ needs to stay how it is. It’s who we are. It’s part of our heritage,” Senior Master Sgt. Andrea Cook told Stars and Stripes. “I’ve been an airman for 21 years.”

Another service member noted a more practical reason not to change any names.

“I can’t even think of a change to airman that would sound cool,” Senior Airman Glenn O. Gonzalez Diaz said.

There you have it. The U.S. Navy and USMC are officially more politically correct than the United States Air Force. Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d type.

It is going to take decades, if EVER, for the United States military to recover from the damage that Ray Mabus and Ash Carter have inflicted upon it.

Marine D.I.s are in trouble:

For one lawmaker, news that up to 15 Marine drill instructors are being investigated for hazing and other allegations raises a lot of questions.

Now she wants answers.

Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., represents Taylor, Michigan, where 20-year-old Raheel Siddiqui lived before shipping off to boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., in March. Dingell has been asking top Marine leaders since April if Siddiqui, who died 11 days into training, was hazed or abused while at Parris Island.

Marine officials said Wednesday that they are investigating about 15 drill instructors and affiliated leadership with Parris Island’s 3rd Recruit Training Battalion. The allegations that Marines in the battalion might have violated service-wide orders on hazing, physical abuse or assault date back to November 2015.

Dingell wants to know if the drill instructors have been charged. If so, she wants a detailed description of each charge and count. And if the drill instructors have not been charged, she wants to understand why not.

Hoooooo boy. You guys really stepped into some shit on this one. Let’s be blunt: this story is receiving nationwide attention in part because Siddiqui is a Muslim. The reports are that he he fell to his death 40 feet over a stairwell, in what the Marines have described as a suicide. This has led to a broader investigation over DI behavior. I really hope he wasn’t singled out or abused too harshly; maybe he was just a disturbed guy. I hope. We’ll keep an eye on it.

Iraqi Air Force (maybe) vs. ISIS:

This seems problematic:

The French army is currently investigating 50 cases of “radicalisation” in its ranks. A new report from the Directorate for Protection of Security and Defence (DPSD) says the threat of Islamic terrorism within the army is growing.

The report stated that the first step to prevent cases of radicalisation in the French army is to increase vigilance in the recruitment process. The 87 staff members of the National Defence Centre Clearances (CNHD) check through the profiles of would-be soldiers.

FrenchParachutist

According to General Jean-Francois Hogard, Director of Protection and Defence Security (DPSD), 92 per cent of candidates are judged not to pose a threat while eight per cent are deemed “unfavourable”. He described the CNHD as “the first brick in combating terrorism”.

The report noted that what is more difficult for the DPSD is identifying radicalisation in serving soldiers. According to General Hogard there are 50 “priority” cases of radicalisation for the DPSD to investigate, and that this number is “constantly evolving”.

How is this not a crime?:

BURLINGTON (NECN) —Vermont has long been known for being very accepting of free-spirited people, but a man spotted several times this week on Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace may be one of the freest spirits of them all.

The man has been strolling onto the marketplace the way he first entered the world: completely naked, save for sneakers on his feet and a bandana on his head.

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“You could hear everyone laughing,” recalled Cece Wick, who saw the man walk by Tuesday afternoon while she was eating lunch al fresco. “He walked down the marketplace with a little bag–he had obviously done some shopping.”

I bet you thought I was going to talk about the naked guy in Times Square screaming about Trump, right? What did I tell you last week? If it’s a person that even SOME of you would like to see naked, they don’t make the cut. Although all men’s bodies are disgusting and monstrous to me, I understand that the Times Square Nude Dude was a male model and some women considered him attractive, so that’s a no-go.

Burlington guy, on the other hand? He looks exactly like what I would picture a naked guy in Vermont to look like: Pasty, soft, bandanna, votes for Bernie Sanders. Hell, that probably WAS Bernie Sanders 50 years ago. I did enjoy this:

Burlington Police Lieutenant Paul Glynn said under state law, there’s not much the city’s officers can do, as long as the man left home naked, and is not disrobing in public, harassing people, or touching himself.

Get the hell out of here, Glynn. You mean that a guy can just walk around a bunch of kids with his dong swinging around and there’s nothing you can do about it? Taze him right in the taint. 

@BKactual.