I was called away to a drunken military wedding in Seattle this weekend, so enjoy this week’s news with limited commentary. I’m writing this at a coffee shop surrounded by Bernie “Call Me Karl” Sanders fans, so pray for my safe return. We’ll hit it hard next week. -BK
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — Army officials have released the name of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier who died last week during a skydiving training exercise in Mason County.
Capt. James M. Ahn died during an air-drop training session last Friday morning. The 29-year-old was a member of the the 1st Special Forces Group stationed at JBLM, according to the US Army.
During Friday’s airborne training session, something happened and Ahn was forced to deploy his reserve chute somewhere over Mason County.
The rest of his team didn’t see where Ahn landed, and his disappearance sparked a massive search and rescue operation that included 110 people from several different agencies.
Ahn’s body was found around 10 p.m.
Captain Ahn was 29 years old. If any readers know of a donation site for the family, please pass it along. R.I.P.
HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. — More than 1,000 family members, friends and teammates from around the country gathered here Sept. 14 to honor and remember two Special Tactics Airmen who were killed in action last month in an insider attack.
As the procession of family members departed the memorial, nearly 2,000 Air Commandos lined the roads and saluted to honor Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, and Staff Sgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 21st Special Tactics Squadron. Both were killed Aug. 26 at a vehicle checkpoint near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan.
“There are no words, lessons [or] themes that could properly memorialize Matt and Forrest,” said Lt. Col. Paul Brister, 23rd STS commander, at the memorial service. “They both lived lives bigger than that. The best way we can memorialize them is to live life with as much zeal, humor and love as they demonstrated in theirs.”
No more than five U.S.-trained Syrian rebels are fighting the Islamic State, astoundingly short of the envisioned 5,000, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East told angry lawmakers on Wednesday. They branded the training program “a total failure.”
After the first 54 fighters were sent in to fight in July, a Syrian affiliate of al-Qaida attacked the group, killing several and taking others hostage while many fled. Asked how many remain, Gen. Lloyd Austin told the Senate Armed Services Committee, “It’s a small number. … We’re talking four or five.”…
…White House press secretary Josh Earnest said it’s easy for critics to “play Monday morning quarterback” on the training program’s slow progress. He said the president believed the training program could be a chance to expand the number of Syrian fighters who could cooperate with the U.S., but “thus far, that’s not been the result.” He said the Pentagon was working to make changes to get a better result.
All of the
intelligentsia court reporters propagandists media members were totally shocked, as they have spent the last couple of years fawning over his brilliant foreign policy. This is not a sarcastic tweet:
— EducatédHillbilly™ (@RobProvince) September 18, 2015
Army.com is, perhaps not surprisingly, full of information about the army.
But look closely, and you’ll see that Army.com actually has no affiliation with the army—ot the US Army, or any army, for that matter.
According to the website’s footer, the site “is provided by FanMail.com, L.L.C. and is not affiliated, owned, or managed by the United States Coast Guard, the United States Army or the military and/or government of any country.” It was registered in 1995…
According to Lon, FanMail has been approached to sell Army.com “probably on a daily basis.”
“The biggest one was back in 2001, when I was working with a colonel in the military that wanted to see how they could acquire it,” said Mark van Dyke, one of FanMail’s three original co-founders, who is now responsible for the company’s business development. “But that was really the last time the Army has reached out to us.”
“We’ve had other companies and individuals express interest,” Brolliar said—they’ve been offered money in the seven figure range, he claims—”but our business model is not selling domains. We’re in it for the long haul.”
If you were offered seven figures and didn’t take it, you’re a dumbass.
Air Force Reserve Master Sgt. Mike Maroney’s life was changed in a brief moment of rescue during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
In 2005, Maroney’s team rescued, then 3-year-old, La’Shay Brown and her family from the flood waters in New Orleans, during a day that Maroney described as a “rough day, and a lot going on.”
After a rough deployment in Afghanistan, of which Maroney says was his worst deployment, the rescue and moment captured of rescuing Brown stuck with him for years to come.
After noticing that a photographer captured Brown’s rescue, and with the help of social media, Maroney’s quest to #FindKatrinaKid took off.
On Wednesday’s episode of The Real, Maroney finally got the moment he’d longed for, to be reunited with now 13-year-old Brown.
Imagine every off-color text message and ill-considered joke you’ve ever sent a friend was scooped up by authorities and used against you as evidence of a serious crime.
That’s what a group of Air Force pilots have accused their commanding officers of doing in an investigation that could wreck the pilots’ careers. And the strangest part: These allegations of drug use were based solely on a series of text messages—texts that often were little more than quotes from the lyrics of rappers and professionally naughty pop starlets…
…In other texts, the pilots laughed about getting high on prescription medication and “popping pills” and “smokin’ bud.” Some messages were by turns lewd and juvenile. (Air Force pilots have a long history of talking like, um, sailors.)
The men say they never meant their messages to be read literally and that they don’t take illegal substances. They have passed drug screening tests. One of the pilots is a Mormon who doesn’t use alcohol and says he rarely drinks caffeinated beverages…
…Ultimately, Hastings, the pilots’ commander, had nearly unilateral authority to punish the men or let them off with a lesser warning. The decision to issue the letters of reprimand was his alone.
A spokesperson for the Air Force said Hastings had moved onto another position and is no longer at Laughlin.
All four of the accused pilots are were well-regarded officers. Three scored so highly in their pilot training that they were invited to come back as trainers, a designation known as First Assignment Instructor Pilot. The position is both an honor and a major career booster for young pilots. Many current generals were FAIPs when they started out in the Air Force.
Yeah, I bet Hastings moved on, since everyone hates his guts now. Here’s what I’m wondering, and what the article never says: Why were they being investigated in the first place? A rat?
An outspoken member of the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday called for Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to resign, the latest twist in what has become an impassioned public feud over the pending decision whether to let women join the Marine Corps infantry and its elite special operations command.
In a letter to Defense Secretary Ash Carter, California Congressman Duncan Hunter, a Marine Corps combat veteran, slammed the secretary over his recent criticism of a Marine Corps research project that concluded combat teams containing women were less effective than those composed entirely of men.
“Recent statements by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus — openly criticizing the Marine Corps and its study on the impact of gender integration — have created a deep sense of concern for the ability of the Navy Secretary to be objective and to continue leading the Marine Corps,” Hunter wrote to Carter…
…“He has openly disrespected the Marine Corps as an institution, and he insulted the competency of Marines by disregarding their professional judgment, their combat experience and their quality of leadership,” Hunter wrote. “Such a significant loss of respect is detrimental to the ability of the Navy Secretary to effectively lead the men and women of the Marine Corps and ensure the service maintains the highest level of combat effectiveness.”
President Obama, in a historic first for the Pentagon, has chosen to nominate Eric Fanning to lead the Army, a move that would make him the first openly gay civilian secretary of one of the military services.
We’ve actually obtained an exclusive photograph of Mr. Fanning testing a new battle rifle:
I’M KIDDING. Calm the fuck down.
Fanning’s nomination is the latest in a series of actions taken by the administration to advance the rights of gays and lesbians throughout the federal government. The Obama administration has overhauled internal policies to provide benefits to same-sex partners, appointed gay men and lesbians to the executive branch and the federal bench and ended the 18-year ban on gays serving openly in the military.
Fanning’s role as Army secretary would give him influence over the generals the Army selects to rebuild the service after a long stretch of counterinsurgency wars in which soldiers dismounted from their tanks and armored vehicles and found themselves leading foot patrols through remote villages…
…“Eric is taking over at a critical time for the Army,” said Rudy deLeon, who was the deputy secretary of defense during the Clinton administration. “The Army is still living off equipment from the Reagan years. . . . Eric knows what works and what doesn’t work in the Pentagon.”
As a totally uncool hetero breeder who enjoys vagina, I confess to being befuddled by the president’s recent obsession with homosexuals, but hey, maybe the guy is good at his job. I’d like to believe that. Remember, this is just a bureaucrat, usually a political hack who hangs out long enough to get the assignment.
As long as he wants to kill terrorists and break their shit, I’d rather have a gay Eric Fanning than a straight Ray Mabus, that’s for sure. If he’s good for the men and the mission, he can take it in the ass till he walks with a limp, for all I care. Until he shows himself to be completely incompetent, I wish him luck. But yeah, I’ll still rag on him a little bit.
#HorribleWaysToStartAStory "As a trans biracial marxist womyn I loathed the white cisgender heteronormative ableist patriarchal society…"
— BK (@BKactual) September 16, 2015
The female Army recruit who died during basic training might have suffered from a medical condition, it has been reported.
Megan Park is understood to have collapsed during an exercise – believed to be a timed mile-long march or run – at the Army Training Centre in Pirbright, Surrey, on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old from Blackburn, Lancashire, had only started at the centre on Monday, her grandfather said today.
Initial reports suggested Ms Park had completed a gruelling two-day exercise. But the claims have since been dismissed by her family and the Army, who said it was ‘something quite minor’.
An investigation into her death has been launched but sources told the Telegraph that it appears Ms Park died from natural causes or a medical condition.
Last night, her family paid tribute to the aspiring soldier, saying she had died doing her ‘dream job’. Her family said: ‘It is with deepest regret that Megan’s family must announce that she has sadly passed on, doing the thing she loved.
SAN ANTONIO—The Army major general who led the military’s investigation into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl testified on Friday that he didn’t believe the soldier should be jailed for allegedly deserting his post in Afghanistan.
Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, who was called by Sgt. Bergdahl’s defense, offered his testimony during the second day of a military hearing at an Army base here that will determine whether Sgt. Bergdahl should face a court-martial for desertion and other misconduct.
He said Sgt. Bergdahl was naïve and disenchanted about his time in the Army, and was seeking to draw attention to himself when he walked out on his unit in 2009, spurring a massive rescue mission. But he said that a prison sentence wouldn’t be appropriate for what occurred…
..Maj. Gen Dahl described Sgt. Bergdahl as deeply idealistic, influenced by the author Ayn Rand and samurai culture, and a loner of sorts who was also an exemplary soldier.
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, left, and defense lead counsel Eugene Fidell, center, look on as Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl is questioned during a preliminary hearing to determine if Sgt. Bergdahl will be court-martialed, on Friday, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
But Sgt. Bergdahl craved combat and was frustrated that his platoon was not being more aggressive, and he wanted them to spend more time capturing and killing Talban, Maj. Gen. Dahl said.
He said Sgt. Bergdahl eventually grew so upset that he hatched a bizarre plan to leave his unit in a remote outpost in Afghanistan and run some 19 miles through the night to a base in the hopes that the ensuing rescue mission would draw the attention of a general.
“He would present himself and say, ‘I’m the guy you’re looking for and I’m not saying anything until I talk to the general,” Maj. Gen. Dahl said.
If you believe a single word of this, please jump off the nearest bridge for the good of the species.
“Star Trek: Voyager” actress Jennifer Lien was arrested and has been in custody for two weeks after allegedly exposing herself in front of several children, Roane County police confirm.
Lien has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure in an incident that happened on Aug. 31 in Harriman, Tenn.
A neighbor of Lien’s made a complaint to police after Lien began a tirade due to a crying child, and during her tirade, exposed her breasts and buttocks. The neighbor stated that she had three children in the yard while this was happening.
According to a Roane County Sheriff’s Office report, when police appeared on Sept. 3 with a warrant, Lien was not wearing clothes and resisted arrest.
“The offender stated she wasn’t going any f–king where and we needed to leave her alone,” reads the police report by responding officer Billy Walker.
Lien also threatened to have the officers shot and killed, says the police report. She was transported to the patrol car and taken to the Roane County Jail, and is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 7.
Threatening to murder cops is always going to end badly for you. We’ll get back to work next week. @BKactual.
(Featured image courtesy of nypost.com)