SOFREP readers: I’m somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean heading back to America. Enjoy the light Roundup. —BK
Five groups supporting jailed transgender Army soldier Chelsea Manning delivered a petition with more than 115,000 signatures to the Army secretary’s office on Wednesday, calling for the dismissal of new administrative charges that stem from Manning’s attempt to take her own life last month.
Manning, who is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence on Espionage Act violations for sending more than 700,000 classified documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, was briefly hospitalized on July 5 following a suicide attempt.
Three weeks later, Army officials informed her that she was being investigated for charges related to the incident, including “resisting the force cell move team,” “prohibited property” and “conduct which threatens.”
The maximum penalty for such offenses is indefinite solitary confinement.
The leader of two U.S. boat crews who appeared to apologize to his captors for entering Iranian waters in January is appealing his non-judicial punishment issued last week.
The fate of Lt. David Nartker is now with Adm. Scott Swift, head of U.S. Pacific Fleet. Nartker was disciplined last week by Navy Expeditionary Combat Command head Rear Adm. Frank Morneau, according to two officials familiar with the proceeding.
The investigation found the lieutenant spoke to the Iranian film crew as part of a condition of release, which the investigator ruled a violation of the code of conduct.
“It was a mistake,” the lieutenant said in the propaganda video. “That was our fault. And we apologize for our mistake.”
..Last week, Nartker and three other officers were taken to admiral’s mast. Two were found guilty of disobeying orders and dereliction of duty and issued letters of reprimand, another officer was found not guilty. Two sailors were also found guilty of dereliction of duty and were similarly given letters of reprimand.
MINNEAPOLIS — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura says he plans to take his defamation fight against the estate of slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle to the U. S. Supreme Court.
In June, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out a $1.8 million verdict awarded to Ventura against Kyle, the author of “American Sniper.” An appeals court recently denied Ventura’s request for a rehearing.
Ventura, a former SEAL, took issue with Kyle’s claim in his autobiography that he punched Ventura at a California bar in 2006 for making offensive comments about the SEALs. Kyle’s autobiography was the basis for a 2014 film.
In an interview with the Star Tribune this week, Ventura said he and his attorney plan to take the case to the high court and face a second trial.
A senior naval officer, second in command of HMCS Calgary, got drunk and groped the buttocks of a U.S. Coast Guard sailor, a court martial in Esquimalt heard Wednesday.
“He was groping at her behind on the buttocks for at least a full minute,” said military prosecutor Major Edward Cottrill, making his closing argument.
It was the final day in the court martial of Commander Joshua Yanchus. Yanchus faces three military charges: disobeying an order, drunkenness, and conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline…
…It’s alleged Yanchus disobeyed an order from the captain prohibiting “mixed messing” — that is, officers, petty officers and seamen mingling in one another’s messes, areas of the ship where celebrations can occur and alcohol can be served.
Yanchus is alleged to have gone to the junior ranks mess, was drunk, and came into contact with a female sailor with the U.S. Coast Guard. Sailors from other countries, including the U.S., Australia and Chile, were visiting the ship.
Four Canadian sailors testified about Yanchus’s behaviour with the U.S. sailor. Their descriptions ranged from a dance, a kiss on the cheek, necking to full-on groping.
But, significant in its absence, according to the defence, was any testimony from the U.S. sailor, who was not called to testify.
The Navy is naming ships after World War II legend Marine Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone and
boy lovergay rights icon Lt.j.g. Harvey Milk in separate ceremonies next week.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced on Tuesday that a destroyer will be named after “Manila John,” Basilone, who received the Medal of Honor for his heroism at Guadalcanal and was later posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for destroying an enemy blockhouse and helping to save a U.S. tank at Iwo Jima.
Mabus also confirmed that a Military Sealift Command oiler will be named after Milk, who became the first openly gay public official in California in 1977 when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Milk and then-San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were murdered by a fellow city official the following year.
Basilone is a revered figure in the Marine Corps. During Oct. 24 and Oct. 25, 1942, he held the line against a determined Japanese assault using his machine gun and then repairing another, his Medal of Honor citation says.
“A little later, with ammunition critically low and the supply lines cut off, Sergeant Basilone, at great risk of his life and in the face of continued enemy attack, battled his way through hostile lines with urgently needed shells for his gunners, thereby contributing in large measure to the virtual annihilation of a Japanese regiment,” the citation says.
“Stouthearted and indomitable, Gunnery Sergeant Basilone, by his intrepid initiative, outstanding skill, and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of fanatic opposition, contributed materially to the advance of his company during the early critical period of the assault, and his unwavering devotion to duty throughout the bitter conflict was an inspiration to his comrades and reflects the highest credit upon Gunnery Sergeant Basilone and the United States Naval Service,” the citation says. “He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.”
Disgusting pervert and serial sexual harasser/molesterFormer Rep. Bob Filner, a Democrat who represented the San Diego area from 2003 to 2012, led efforts to name a ship after Milk. In October 2012, Filner asked Mabus and then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to name a submarine, aircraft carrier or other vessel after Milk.
AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER, he said.
— BK (@BKactual) August 11, 2016
Stay tuned for a HUGE podcast announcement. There’s your cliffhanger.
(CNN): US Marines need to put away their cell phones, forget about their fancy coffees and get back to doing what Marines used to do — dig a foxhole, cover up, stay quiet and be wary, the Corps’ top officer says.
Speaking at a conference on the future of expeditionary warfare at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies on Tuesday, Gen. Robert B. Neller, commandant of the Marines Corps, said today’s Marines have gotten a little too comfortable with modern conveniences in a way that could prove disastrous on the battlefield.
Neller said the Marines and Navy had seen exercises in which their personnel’s use of mobile devices could give away positions to adversaries.
“What do you think the largest electromagnetic signature in the entire MEF headquarters emanated from? The billeting area. Why? Because everybody had their phone on. So we’re going to have to take everybody’s phone away from them?” he asked.
“I know that sounds silly, but it’s not silly,” Neller said at the conference. “So, okay, Marines: We’re going to go to the field for 30 days; everybody leave your phone in the car and tell your significant other or your mom, your aunt, your uncle, that you’re not going to get 75 texts each day and answer them.”
“We realized that we didn’t have the right solution because, you know, Seaman Hicks decided she wanted to check her Facebook page, and so she walked out on the weather deck at night with her phone, and what’s that phone got? It’s got GPS. So anybody in the world is going to know there’s some GPS somewhere out floating across the ocean, most probably on a ship,” Neller said.
At the same time, Marines need to go back to basics as to what it means to be in the field, he said. That means leaving fixed bases, being on the move and doing so as covertly as possible.
“When was the last time … when you saw Marines or soldiers operating in Iraq or Afghanistan when they camouflaged their face or they broke up the outline of their helmet with camouflage so they couldn’t be seen? When was the last time you saw that?” he asked. “We’ve been operating out of fixed positions. We have not moved across the ground. We have not maneuvered. We have not lived off the land,” Neller said. “We’ve been eating in chow halls and drinking green bean coffee. That’s pretty nice.”
The man has a point. But daddy needs his MOAC. (You know what that is if you’re a vet.)
The US Air Force’s F-22 Raptor may be the most advanced fighter jet in the world but even with $143 million-worth of stealth and supersonic capabilities, it proved to be no match for one unlikely adversary — a huge swarm of honey bees.
An F-22 aircraft from the 192nd Air Wing was temporarily grounded on June 11 after crew members at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia discovered nearly 20,000 bees hanging from the jet’s exhaust nozzle following flight operations.
“I was shocked like everyone else because it looked like a cloud of thousands of bees,” said Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Baskin, 192nd Maintenance Squadron crew chief, in an Air Force press release.
Rather than try to clear the bees from the jet themselves, crew members realized that honey bees are at risk of extinction and contacted local beekeeper and retired U.S. Navy veteran, Andy Westrich, who proclaimed the hive the largest he had ever seen after being escorted to the aircraft.
Westrich used vacuum hoses to wrangle the thousands of bees into several large buckets and safely relocate the colony.
Thank God for retired veterans and their quirky hobbies.
Following the Defense Department’s lifting of the ban on transgender service members in June, the Navy Department is preparing to provide medical and administrative support for transitioning sailors and Marines, train personnel on the particulars of serving in a transgender-inclusive force and, by next summer, accept transgender recruits into boot camp.
For the department’s purposes, a transgender service member is defined as someone who has been diagnosed by a military medical professional who determines that a transition is medically necessary, according to ALNAV 053/16.
Starting this fall, sailors and Marines with a diagnosis who are beginning, in the process of, or have completed transitioning will be able to petition to have their gender markers changed in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System.
And next summer, boot camps will begin accepting transgender prospects at boot camp, officer candidate schools, ROTC and the Naval Academy.
Sailors will develop and execute a transition plan in coordination with their health care providers and commands, according to a chief of naval personnel spokeswoman. Once that is completed, they can change their genders in DEERS.
“When they’re in transition, they’re in the initial gender,” Lt. Jessica Anderson told Navy Times.
Transition plans will be tailored to the individual, but a completed transition will require at least a legal identity change, such as a passport or birth certificate, Anderson said.
Surgery, she added, will not be required.
During transition, sailors will be recognized as their birth gender. For instance, a male sailor transitioning to life as a woman will continue to stay in male berthings, be subject to male fitness standards and observe male grooming rules.
“There could be exceptions but as of right now, that’s not where we’re going,” Anderson said.
That’s great. Don’t have enough guns for our special operators, but there’s plenty of money for this. Fuck Ray Mabus with a herpes-riddled giraffe cock. (Is that big? I hope so.)
Over the course of an eight-hour battle, this Force Reconnaissance Marine shot and killed 18 Taliban fighters.
On Aug. 8, 2008, in Farah province, Afghanistan, Cpl. Franklin Simmons was part of a small Marine force tasked with clearing the city of Shewan of Taliban fighters.
More than 30 Marines from 2nd, Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment and 1st Force Reconnaissance Company were ordered to route the enemy, which outnumbered the Marines eight to one, according to a 2011 report by the San Diego Union-Tribune. Roughly 250 enemy fighters, many of them highly trained, were dug in along a treeline near Shewan.
With Marines stuck in the kill zone, Simmons, a team leader and designated marksman, moved to an exposed position on top of a berm where he had a better view of the enemy. As rounds impacted within a foot of his position, Simmons returned fire at the enemy.
“I thought that would be the spot to make my final stand,” said Simmons, in an interview with the Union-Tribune. “I started shooting as many as I could. By some miracle I didn’t get shot … I guess the big man upstairs had other plans.”
Simmons was deadly accurate, even under intense enemy fire. By the end of the eight-hour-long battle, he had killed 18 enemy fighters, and wounded at least two others.
In recognition of his courage and extraordinary marksmanship, on July 4, 2011, while attached to the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Simmons was awarded the Silver Star Medal during a ceremony aboard the USS Boxer.
One man hit what appeared to be a crack pipe on a downtown No. 3 train and stripped off his clothes. A second man on the subway car was asleep. And a third appeared to be recording the bizarre scene on his cell phone for a viral video.
It was just another day on the rails, captured in photos obtained exclusively by the Daily News.
“I have been to a lot of pretty rough places and have lived in New York City for more than 10 years, but I’ve never seen anything like this,” photographer Ben Lozovsky, 33, told The News Wednesday.
Lozovsky was on the train from 125th St. to 96th St. beginning around 1:40 a.m. Sunday when the glassy-eyed stranger plunked down a few seats away from him. A few minutes later, the shirtless straphanger pulled out his pipe and began smoking.
The onlookers were calm and most of them — including the sleeping straphanger — switched subway cars when the man stood up and took off his pants as the train approached 110th St. Lozovsky stayed and took out his camera.
Back to it next week. @BKactual