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Some very good Leadership advice that is really universal – How to Fail as a Major, A Guest Post by Terron Wharton

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October 30, 2013 – Photo by Staff Sgt.Tim Chacon

 
“…the expectations of a Major are very different than those of a captain, and not everyone knows what these expectations are or the impact they have on personal and professional success.”
-MG(R) Tony Cucolo, “In Case You Didn’t Know It, Things Are Very Different Now: Part 1
While attending the Command and General Staff College (CGSC), instructors and mentors constantly drove two points home. First, transitioning to the rank of Major and the expectations of a Field Grade Officer is a difficult and steep learning curve. Second, what made an officer successful at the company grade level does not necessarily translate to success as a Major.
I have been a combined arms battalion S3 for ten months now and during this period I’ve planned, resourced, and executed field training exercises, live fire events, gunneries, an NTC rotation, and spent enough hours on my Blackberry that I never want to see one again.
However, I can definitively say two things about my instructors’ advice: They weren’t kidding about either point … and they vastly downplayed both.
The transition to Major is less of a learning curve and more of a sheer cliff. There is less tolerance for officers who need to “grow into it,” and the expectation is you are value added on day one.
Finally, the room for mistakes grows smaller and smaller. What follows are the hard lessons I’ve learned either through personal shortcomings or watching peers fall by the wayside.
Failure #1: Believe Help is Coming
When things became supremely difficult or complex as a captain or lieutenant, we would often look for a field grade to give refined guidance and direction. The Major knows the answer.
They are the responsible adult in the room. The Major may get cranky and hand out a butt chewing, but they would bring resources to bear on the problem. They were help when we needed it.
As a Major, YOU are now that responsible adult who has the answers and can bring resources to bear. You ARE the help that’s coming.
There is no help coming for YOU. Majors are the Army’s problem solvers and workhorses. If a room of Majors looks around and cannot tell who among them is lead on an issue, then the issue is probably not being addressed.
Majors don’t get to look around and wonder who will solve the problem. They must own the problems as they appear and work with peers to solve them.
Failure #2: Burn Bridges and Fail to Cultivate and Maintain Relationships
Early on in my time as a BN S3 something went wrong during our FTX. A situation changed that was outside of my control and I blamed the brigade.
Over the phone, I got into a heated discussion with the BDE S3 and XO and lost my temper and composure.
When I was done venting, the BDE S3 said something I will never forget: “Do you want to keep complaining or do you want to solve the problem?” Those words stuck with me. I apologized, we moved on, and we fixed the issue.
The argumentative Major, the one who picks fights, protects their own rice bowl, and never gives an inch will quickly find themselves isolated without a seat at the table.
In the end, their unit will suffer for it. Conversely, the Major is willing to give more than they take, willing to put the brigade’s success over what’s easier for their battalion and work well with peers to find solutions and compromises will succeed.
Leaders do not have time for personality conflicts, especially Majors.
The biggest power Majors have is that knowing where to look, who to call, and having a network of friends, peers, classmates, warrants, and NCOs that can be leveraged to solve problems.
Most problems in a brigade are solved by the S3s and XOs sitting around the table, developing a course of action, and moving out to attack the challenge at hand.
That requires well-cultivated and maintained relationships. More than anything, those relationships and connections are the most powerful resource at your disposal.
This is also the point in our careers where many of us will begin to regularly interact with DA Civilians. Do not forget about them.
The GS-14 serving as your Division Chief of Training could well be a retired LTC and former Battalion Commander. They have either been where you are now, or they have seen many in your position come and go, and they often serve as the long-term continuity in higher headquarters and support functions that are critical to your success.
Stop by and talk to your peers regularly. Take time to talk to DA Civilian, get away from email, and drop by offices.
Come to meetings early and stay a little after to talk to each other, even if it’s just letting each other vent for five mins. It will pay dividends when you need to move a mountain and get a short notice task done.
You cannot afford to have personality conflicts or fight with your peers. Ever. Period. Learn to swallow your pride and be the first one to apologize or mend a relationship after a heated exchange.
Failure #3: Confusing Leadership and Management 
Leadership and management are not the same thing and are easily confused when assuming organizational level leadership for the first time.
Leadership is about people while management is about systems. While these concepts may appear obvious, it took me about three months to learn this and I am still working to improve my management skills.
As a Major, your primary concerns are building and managing systems. Majors are about touch points. Identify critical touch points for your organization, develop systems to manage that information, and use those systems to recognize where the train wrecks and pitfalls are.
The Major’s aperture is so wide that there is no way you can directly affect it all with personal involvement or presence. If you try, you will fail.
Time is now your most precious resource. Systems help manage the information flow so you can focus your limited time on things that are commander priorities, mission-critical, or something only YOU can do based on knowledge, skills, or relationships.
For everything else, develop your staff to handle routine business, empower them to make the routine decisions, and train them to know when things require your personal involvement. If you don’t develop systems to manage the massive amounts of information coming in, you will quickly become overwhelmed and remain in crisis management.
This is not to say that personal leadership is not important as a Major. It simply means the balance has shifted. Your personal leadership is still critical in two areas: training your staff and mentorship.
Do not expect to walk into a staff that can do MDMP perfectly with just an occasional guiding nudge from you. You will have to train your staff.
MDMP is just the beginning. How to write emails, brief the commander, write orders, develop courses of action, work as a team, interact with the higher headquarters staff, Army culture and expectations of officers, and a thousand other things you now take for granted after over a decade of service.
All of this requires your personal presence, time, and effort. If you do not teach them, no one else will.
The Major is also a mentor to younger officers, especially the staff officers they interact with daily. This mentorship requires personal leadership and is just as important to the Army’s success as the next round of MDMP is to your unit’s training event.
I am wearing an oak leaf because of the mentorship two Majors provided at critical junctures in my career. Officers in your organization will look to you as a model for future service: how to act, how to look, and the path they should chart through the Army, just as I looked to those Majors when I was a Lieutenant and a Captain.
Failure #4: Fail to Predict the Future
Majors must forecast out, identify implied tasks, determine conditions that need setting, and execute without guidance, FRAGOs, or WARNOs from BDE or higher.
If you fail to do this, the train wreck is waiting and, remember, no help is coming. Your higher HQ may give some guidance, but never enough, and never on the timeline you want it. If you wait, it will be too late.
Predicting the future allows planning to occur that can mitigate future problems. This is critical because at the battalion and brigade level dynamic re-tasking is never dynamic.
As a BN S3, I can pick up the phone and redirect the work, efforts, and lives of 700 Soldiers, officers, warrant officers, leaders, and their families.
However, a battalion has a certain organizational momentum and inertia that is hard to overcome and shift on a dime. Every dynamic shift exponentially increases the chance of details being missed, mistakes being made, and can push you into crisis management.
Look deep, develop a concept, and address potential gaps through FRAGOs, IPRs, and update briefs as necessary.
As Majors our words, actions, and decisions carry serious weight as BN and BDE S3s/XOs, planners, and action officers.
An errant email, simple misspeak, or a rash outburst will affect entire organizations exponentially more than when we were company commanders or staff captains.
As such, the tolerance for those who fail to grasp this and make the transition is low.  Unfortunately, many Majors step into these pitfalls, sometimes irrevocably, without ever knowing they have made a fatal error.
Fortunately, the Army is a learning organization and just maybe sharing my own shortcomings can help another Major avoid failure as they climb the cliff and make the transition.
Terron Wharton is currently serving as the BN S3 for 4-6 IN, 3/1ABCT at Fort Bliss, TX.  An Armor Officer, he has served in Armor and Stryker Brigade Combat Teams with operational experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
He is also the author of “High Risk Soldier: Trauma and Triumph in the Global War on Terror,” a work dealing with overcoming the effects of PTSD.  His other works include “Becoming Multilingual”, discussing being multifaceted within the Army profession, “The Overlooked Mentors” which speaks to NCOs as mentors for junior officers, and “Viral Conflict: Proposing the Information Warfighting Function” which proposes establishing an Information Warfighting Function.

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Some Good Shit here – 7 Characteristics of Highly Successful Non-Commissioned Officers by ANGRY STAFF OFFICER

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As an Army officer, I tend to spend a lot of time talking about, well, talking about officer things. And no, that does not mean discussing polo, the price of cufflinks, sipping brandy, and thinking of ways to make our NCOs lives harder, as some circles might believe.
Although the brandy thing isn’t too far off since it sometimes feels like officers spend an inordinate amount of time discussing craft beers and the like than enlisted do. But I’m getting away from myself here.

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“Well now that you’re all officers,chaps, you’re all now experts on IPAs and have a duty to disseminate the gospel of craft beers far and wide. Polo is at 1600; don’t be late.” (East Carolina University photo credit)

Most of my writing on military leadership has been geared towards the officer realm since that’s what I know. I made the move from enlisted to officer seven years ago now, and while I try to keep the perspective of an E-4, it’s safe to say that my brain has finally made the move over to the officer side of the house.
But that’s not to say that I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the corps of the non-commissioned officer. NCOs will literally either make or break your career and/or unit. For all the training that officers receive, the single most important part of it often is “listen to your NCOs.”
And let me say here, I’ve gotten incredibly lucky: all the NCOs that I’ve been paired with in leadership positions have been some of the best I’ve ever seen. From platoon sergeant to operations sergeant to first sergeant, I’ve had NCOs that exceeded every standard put in front of them.
Any success that I might have as an officer is a direct reflection on the type of mentorship I received from my NCOs. Now, that doesn’t mean I’ve never seen bad NCOs; I’ve seen and dealt with more than my share.
Like officers, when NCOs go bad it’s a terrible thing to see. But by and large, the NCOs in my direct supervision have been outstanding.
So that said, here’s a few characteristics of highly effective NCOs that I’ve observed over the years.

Proactive

Whether you’re on a patrol or back in garrison, an NCO that both understands and anticipates implied tasks is worth their weight in gold. As a platoon leader, executive officer, or commander, time is a precious commodity. We’re usually running this way and that, like chickens with our proverbial heads cut off.
It’s the NCOs that ensure that the basic tasks are completed that can allow a mission to go forward or to keep a unit running. They are the oil in the machine that is the Army.
And when NCOs stop being proactive and become reactive, then the unit basically grinds to a halt. It’s always painfully obvious when that kind of breakdown occurs. A unit can survive a poor officer; it cannot survive poor NCOs.

Know the Duty Position

It goes without saying, I suppose, that officers and NCOs have different responsibilities. But just exactly what some of those are and how they are split between the two can be a bone of contention for many people.
It’s not just that officers plan and NCOs execute; there’s more to it. Take for example the relationship between the platoon leader and the squad leaders.
Yes, the platoon sergeant mentors, guides, and directs the squad leaders, but those E-6’s are not the platoon sergeant’s. Successful squad leaders work closely with the platoon leader to execute her or his plans.
Successful platoon sergeants know this and work closely in the background to ensure that everything is fully resourced, all troops are where they need to be, and in the right uniform. But even more than this, platoon sergeants, first sergeants, and sergeants major are the senior enlisted advisers for their organizations.
If officers are not using them as sounding boards and guideposts, then that officer is bound to fail. When officers and NCOs understand their roles and stay out of each others way, it’s a beautiful thing to see.
That’s when an organization can function with maximum efficiency. Otherwise, it’s just everyone tripping over each others’ feet, and if we wanted to see that we’d just ask the Navy to do some drill and ceremony.

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For the love of God, do not ask the Coast Guard to D&C; they will put you in a bayonet pen, apparently. (Photo credit Military.com)

Mentor Soldiers

NCOs are the backbone of the Army. But they are also the trainers, the confidants, the institutional knowledge, the conscience, and the teachers of the Army.
One of the finest squad leaders I ever had was a quiet individual who just had the sheer presence of leadership that he carried with him everywhere.
He didn’t brag, he didn’t shout; he just was. Multiple deployments, sniper qualified, he could most often be found teaching his Soldiers.
Everything from marksmanship to demolition knots, he would work with them one-on-one until he saw the light of understanding come on in their eyes.
I sat back and watched him one day after he had told me that he was going to get out soon; while I understood that he needed a change, I was still upset to lose such a good NCO.
But as I watched him, I realized that I wouldn’t be losing him at all. He was training up a whole squad to be like him. And sure enough, those leaders have gone on to excel – and became mentors in their own right.

Know When to Step Back

This one is hard. So many NCOs are outstanding team and squad leaders, and so when they finally pin E-7, stepping back is a tough adjustment.
Same with first sergeant. But in order to allow younger NCOs to grow, you have to be able to step back. Of course, you can jump in if asked or if things are about to go dramatically sideways, but leaders need to learn by doing.
The best NCOs know that as they advance up the chain they have to become less hands on and pass the torch to the NCOs taking their place. Otherwise you get micromanagement, which isn’t pretty from officers and is downright ugly in NCOs.

Guide their Officers

I’m not saying that NCOs are there to babysit officers because otherwise I wouldn’t have had to initiate disciplinary procedures for an E-6 that acted like an E-1 (he was so bad that this is actually an insult to E-1’s) – but there is a certain amount of truth to that statement. Officers need a built in mentor and guide with more experience than they have.
And even more than that, officers need to have someone there who’s not afraid to tell them when they’re on the wrong track. I use my first sergeant and executive officer as sounding boards – and they usually end up red-teaming my ideas, which works out incredibly well.
But without that individual, there’s no check on officers who are the proverbial good idea fairy. And with new officers, it’s even more important, because they don’t know what they don’t know.
It’s up to that NCO to teach them and put them on the right track for their careers. NCOs that fail to work alongside their officers do a grave damage to not only that officer’s development as a leader but also to all future Soldiers they will work with. Therefore it is a grave responsibility which should not be taken lightly.

Protect their Profession

NCOs carry the standard in the Army for discipline. But they also should embody the Army ethos, values, and creed. Yes, they should steward our profession, but they should also protect it; protect the profession from those who would undermine it with toxic leadership or by breaking faith with our Soldiers and the American people.
Successful NCOs understand that they set the standard that they wish to see. They also take ownership of their roles and guard them fiercely.
For example, my first sergeant has taken ownership of the unit manning report and personnel actions, because he understands that the overall strength of the unit is part of our joint responsibility. While I focus on training, he focuses on personnel.
We both run ideas and plans by each other, and he ensures that as commander I have final say; it is an arrangement that works exceedingly well.
He safeguards the profession by working with the platoon leadership to make sure that the right people are in the right positions.
Understanding personnel actions is one of the key indicators I’ve seen in highly successful first sergeants. And a first sergeant that can effectively manage personnel is worth their weight in Rip Its.

Passion

Lastly, NCOs need to have a passion for the Army and for their job. While this holds true for leaders at all levels, it is especially important for NCOs. Enlisted Soldiers will see their officers but most of the time will not be working directly with them 24/7.
The NCO is the one that they see and model their behavior off of – or take notes on how not to be when they reach that level. In this way, the team leader and squad leader positions are the most powerful in the Army for effecting change.
Passionate leaders imbue their own troops with that drive for excellence. Passionate, knowledgeable, driven, and empathetic NCOs can be one of the most dynamic forces for good in a unit.
Especially empathetic. Yes, good NCOs uphold the standards and traditions of the Army and are fair disciplinarians, but they also realize that the Army is made up of Soldiers and that it is their duty to care for those Soldiers.
Without empathy, the NCO cannot truly connect with their Soldiers and make them feel like part of the larger whole.
This was by no means an exhaustive list, but when you come across an NCO that Soldiers want to work for and officers want to work with, they by and large have these characteristics. And they make you want to hang on to them forever.


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Dear Grumpy Advice on Teaching in Today's Classroom Hard Nosed Folks Both Good & Bad This great Nation & Its People

One of the Greatest Moments in American History!


“On February 20, 1962, Glenn piloted the Mercury-Atlas 6 “Friendship 7” spacecraft on the first manned orbital mission of the United States. Launched from Cape Canaveral (Florida)

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A Victory! Dear Grumpy Advice on Teaching in Today's Classroom Hard Nosed Folks Both Good & Bad I am so grateful!! Leadership of the highest kind Stand & Deliver This great Nation & Its People Well I thought it was funny!

Remember this one? Ronald magnus could give lessons to a certain POTS

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My Dad & I almost pissed our pants from this one. Because we were  laughing out loud so hard!
I miss you Dad! Grumpy

Anyways Happy 107th Birthday Sir! I am sure that God is having a good time with you! Grumpy

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Outlaws and Gunslingers

https://youtu.be/mtQZkYGiEOQ

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Some Red Hot Gospel there!

Image result for lebron james and soldier meme

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Only a Veteran will get this! But he would be my 1st choice for a RTO

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What I call a REAL STUD!

Medal of Honor, Vietnam War Robert Howard Medal of Honor: Oral Histories Medal of Honor: Oral Histories

SOG’S FIERCEST WARRIOR: COLONEL ROBERT L. HOWARD

Medal of Honor, Vietnam War Robert Howard
Medal of Honor: Oral Histories
Medal of Honor: Oral Histories

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
By Maj. John L. Plaster, USA (Ret)
RECON COMPANY AT COMMAND AND CONTROL CENTRAL
In 1968, Robert L. Howard was a 30-year-old sergeant first class and the most physically fit man on our compound. Broad-chested, solid as a lumberjack and mentally tough, he cut an imposing presence. I was among the lucky few Army Special Forces soldiers to have served with Bob Howard in our 60-man Recon Company at Command and Control Central, a top secret Green Beret unit that ran covert missions behind enemy lines. As an element of the secretive Studies and Observations Group (SOG), we did our best to recon, raid, attack and disrupt the enemy’s Ho Chi Minh Trail network in Laos and Cambodia.
UP THERE WITH AMERICA’S GREATEST HEROES

Robert Howard
Robert Howard

Take all of John Wayne’s films—throw in Clint Eastwood’s, too—and these fictions could not measure up to the real Bob Howard. Officially he was awarded eight Purple Hearts, but he actually was wounded 14 times. Six of the wounds, he decided, weren’t severe enough to be worthy of the award. Keep in mind that for each time he was wounded, there probably were ten times that he was nearly wounded, and you get some idea of his combat service. He was right up there with America’s greatest heroes—Davy Crockett, Alvin York, Audie Murphy, the inspiring example we other Green Berets tried to live up to. “What would Bob Howard do?” many of us asked ourselves when surrounded and outnumbered, just a handful of men to fight off hordes of North Vietnamese.
To call him a legend is no exaggeration. Take the time he was in a chow line at an American base and a Vietnamese terrorist on a motorbike tossed a hand grenade at them. While others leaped for cover, Howard snatched an M-16 from a petrified security guard, dropped to one knee and expertly shot the driver, and then chased the passenger a half-mile and killed him, too.
One night his recon team laid beside an enemy highway in Laos as a convoy rolled past. Running alongside an enemy truck in pitch blackness, he spun an armed claymore mine over his head like a lasso, then threw it among enemy soldiers crammed in the back, detonated it, and ran away to fight another day.
Another time, he was riding in a Huey with Larry White and Robert Clough into Laos, when their pilot unknowingly landed beside two heavily camouflaged enemy helicopters. Fire erupted instantly, riddling their Huey and hitting White three times, knocking him to the ground. Firing back, Howard and Clough jumped out and grabbed White, and their Huey somehow limped back to South Vietnam.
CONSIDER THE RESCUE OF JOE WALKER
“Just knowing Bob Howard was ready to come and get you meant a lot to us,” said recon team leader Lloyd O’Daniels. Consider the rescue of Joe Walker. His recon team and an SOG platoon had been overrun near a major Laotian highway and, seriously wounded, Walker was hiding with a Montagnard soldier, unable to move. Howard inserted a good distance away with a dozen men and, because there were so many enemy present, waited for darkness to sneak into the area. Howard felt among bodies for heartbeats, and checked one figure’s lanky legs, then felt for Joe’s signature horn-rimmed glasses. “You sweet Son of a Gun,” Walker whispered, and Howard took him to safety.
What’s all the more remarkable is that not one of these incidents resulted in any award. Howard was just doing what had to be done, he thought.
“HOPELESS” WAS NOT IN HIS VOCABULARY
Unique in American military history, this Opelika, Alabama native was recommended for the Medal of Honor three times in 13 months for separate combat actions, witnessed by fellow Green Berets. The first came in November 1967. While a larger SOG element destroyed an enemy cache, Howard screened forward and confronted a large enemy force. He killed four enemy soldiers and took out an NVA sniper. Then, “pinned down…with a blazing machine gun only six inches above his head,” he shot and killed an entire NVA gun crew at point-blank range, and then destroyed another machine gun position with a grenade. He so demoralized the enemy force that they withdrew. This Medal of Honor recommendation was downgraded to a Silver Star.
The next incident came a year later. Again accompanying a larger SOG force, he performed magnificently, single-handedly knocking out a PT-76 tank. A day later he wiped out an anti-aircraft gun crew, and afterward rescued the crew of a downed Huey. Repeatedly wounded, he was bleeding from his arms, legs, back and face, but he refused to be evacuated. Again submitted for the Medal of Honor, his recommendation was downgraded, this time to the Distinguished Service Cross.
Just six weeks later, Howard volunteered to accompany a platoon going into Laos in search of a missing recon man, Robert Scherdin. Ambushed by a large enemy force, Howard was badly wounded, his M-16 blown to bits—yet he crawled to the aid of a wounded lieutenant, fought off NVA soldiers with a grenade, then a .45 pistol, and managed to drag the officer away. Having been burned and slashed by shrapnel, we thought we’d never see him again. But he went AWOL from the hospital and came back in pajamas to learn he’d been again submitted for the Medal of Honor. This time it went forward to Washington, with assurances that it would be approved.
Howard did not know the word, “hopeless.” Many years later he explained his mindset during the Medal of Honor operation: “I had one choice: to lay and wait, or keep fighting for my men. If I waited, I gambled that things would get better while I did nothing. If I kept fighting, no matter how painful, I could stack the odds that recovery for my men and a safe exodus were achievable.”
Although eventually sent home, he came back yet again, to spend with us the final months before his Medal of Honor ceremony. By then he had served more than 5 years in Vietnam. Why so much time in Vietnam? “I guess it’s because I want to help in any way I can,” Howard explained. “I may as well be here where I can use my training; and besides, I have to do it – it’s the way I feel about my job.”
THE WARRIOR TRADITION
The warrior ethic came naturally to Bob Howard. His father and four uncles had all been paratroopers in World War Two. Of them, two died in combat and the other three succumbed to wounds after the war. To support his mother and maternal grandparents, he and his sister picked cotton. He also learned old-fashioned Southern civility, removing his hat for any lady and answering, “Yes, ma’am.”
He also possessed a deep sense of honor and justice, and lived by his unspoken warrior’s code, with the priorities mission, men, and his own interests coming last. He absolutely fit the bill as a leader you’d follow through hell’s gates – IF you could keep up with him. A hard-charging physical fitness advocate, he even had our Montagnard tribesmen running and doing calisthenics.
After draping the Medal of Honor around Howard’s neck, President Nixon asked him what he wanted to do the rest of that memorable day – lunch with the president, a tour of the White House, almost anything. Howard asked simply to be taken to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to share his thoughts with others who had gone before him. Tragically, the U.S. media, reflecting the anti-war sentiments of that period, said not one word about Howard or his valiant deeds, although by the time he received the Medal of Honor he was America’s most highly decorated serviceman.
5x7 howardHIS FRAME OF REFERENCE WAS SOG—HARD COMBAT
Despite the lack of recognition, Howard went on serving to the best of his ability. He was the training officer at the Army’s Airborne School, then he was a company commander in the 2nd Ranger Battalion at Ft. Lewis, Washington. He continued to excel at everything he did, making Distinguished Honor Graduate in his Officer Advance Course class.
As the officer-in-charge of Special Forces training at Camp Mackall, near Ft. Bragg, N.C., and later, commanding the Mountain Ranger Training Camp at Dahlonega, Georgia, he did his utmost to inspire young students. Howard’s frame of reference was SOG—hard combat, the toughest kind against terrible odds with impossible missions. He knew good men would die or fail in combat without martial skills, tactical knowledge and physical conditioning. He was famous for leading runs and long-distance rucksack marches— stronger than men half his age, usually he outran entire classes of students. A whole generation of Army Special Forces and Rangers earned their qualifications under his shining example, with some graduates among the senior leaders of today’s Special Forces and Ranger units.
His highest assignment was commander of Special Forces Detachment, Korea. He might have gone higher but he dared to publicly suggest that American POWs had been left in enemy hands, and was willing to testify to that before Congress in 1986. After he retired as a full colonel, he went through multiple surgeries to try to correct the many injuries he’d suffered over the years.
But he could not stop helping GIs. He spent another 20 years with the Department of Veterans Affairs, helping disabled vets. He had a reputation for rankling his superiors as an unapologetic advocate of veterans.
THIS HUMBLE KNIGHT BELONGS TO HISTORY
His spirit never waned. In 2004 I sat with Green Berets of the 1st Special Forces Group at Ft. Lewis, Wash., who laughed and cheered when he joked about still being tough enough to take on any two men in the audience—not one raised his hand. After retiring from the VA, Col. Howard often visited with American servicemen to speak about his combat experiences, making five trips to Iraq and Afghanistan. In the fall of 2009, he visited troops in Germany, Bosnia and Kosovo.
Despite increasing pain and sickness, on Veterans Day 2009 he kept his word to attend a memorial ceremony, but finally he had to seek help. He was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and given a few weeks to live.
In those final days old Special Forces and Ranger friends slipped past “No Visitors” signs to see him. When SOG vets Ben Lyons and Martin Bennett and a civilian friend, Chuck Hendricks, visited him, Howard climbed from his bed to model the uniform jacket he would be buried in, festooned with the Medal of Honor and rows upon rows of ribbons. A proud Master Parachutist and military skydiver, he showed them the polished jump boots he’d been working on, and asked Bennett to touch up the spit shine. Though his feet might not be visible in his coffin, he wanted that shine just right.
As they left, Col. Howard thanked Bennett, and then saluted him and held his hand crisply to his eyebrow until Bennett returned it. Bob Howard passed away two days before Christmas.
This great hero, a humble knight who was a paragon for all, belongs to history now. He is survived by his daughters Denicia, Melissa and Rosslyn; an Airborne-Ranger son, Robert Jr., and four grandchildren.

@SOLDIER OF FORTUNE MAGAZINE COPYRIGHT    Use only with permissions and credits

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Tragic: Every Single Bump Stock In Nation Suddenly Lost In Boating Accident

U.S.—In a rash of tragedies all across the United States, every single bump stock in the nation was tragically lost in various boating accidents earlier this week.
Coincidentally, the bump stocks have just been banned by the Trump administration. Since all the bump stocks have been destroyed, it’s now impossible for the ATF to confiscate them or fine people who did not destroy them.
“Well, I guess our job is done,” an ATF representative said. “We were gonna have to make sure people complied with this unilateral executive order, but now I guess we can just harass gun owners for other stuff. Worked out pretty nicely for all of us, I think.”
It’s not clear why gun owners were taking their bump stocks boating. Some have theorized they were using them to fish, or just wanted to make sure they weren’t stolen why they were away. Whatever the case, it’s tragic that the bump stocks are now all at the bottom of lakes, rivers, and oceans from coast to coast.

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Gunny & Glock – Wrong Diner – Extended Version – YouTube


While I am no Fan of Glock, I have to admit that they do put out a funny & Great Commercial. That & seeing the Gunny again is always a good thing. I really miss that Old Boy. I just hope that God has taken good care of him!