Category: Stand & Deliver
From the Daily Time waster – He deserved a better War!
An inmate who had escaped minutes earlier from a county jail in South Carolina was shot and killed by a woman after he kicked in her back door, the local sheriff said.
The inmate was still in his orange jail jumpsuit and had grabbed a knife sharpening tool from the woman’s kitchen in Pickens as he headed toward her bedroom around 3 a.m. Tuesday, Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark said.
“This was a big guy. If she hadn’t had a weapon there’s no telling what would have happened,” Clark said. “I gave her a big hug. I told her how proud I was of her.”
But then I guess that some Helicopter parents might have a stroke or something! Grumpyhttps://youtu.be/-vJTNGH4Ib0
From the Feral Irishman: “The Magic Carpet Ride”
Returning the troops home after WWII was a daunting task
The Magic Carpet that flew everyone home.
The U.S. military experienced an unimaginable increase during World War II.
In 1939, there were 334,000 servicemen, not counting the Coast Guard.
In 1945, there were over 12 million, including the Coast Guard.
At the end of the war, over 8 million of these men and women were scattered overseas in Europe, the Pacific and Asia. Shipping them out wasn’t a particular problem but getting them home was a massive logistical headache.
The problem didn’t come as a surprise, as Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall had already established committees to address the issue in 1943.
Soldiers returning home on the USS General Harry Taylor in August 1945
When Germany fell in May 1945, the U.S. Navy was still busy fighting in the
Pacific and couldn’t assist.
The job of transporting 3 million men home fell to the Army and the Merchant Marine.
300 Victory and Liberty cargo ships were converted to troop transports for the task.
During the war, 148,000 troops crossed the Atlantic west to east each month;
the rush home ramped this up to 435,000 a month over 14 months.
Hammocks crammed into available spaces aboard the USS Intrepid
In October 1945, with the war in Asia also over, the Navy started chipping in,
converting all available vessels to transport duty.
On smaller ships like destroyers, capable of carrying perhaps 300 men,
soldiers were told to hang their hammocks in whatever nook and cranny they could find.
Carriers were particularly useful, as their large open hangar decks could house 3,000
or more troops in relative comfort, with bunks, sometimes in stacks of five welded
or bolted in place.
Bunks aboard the Army transport SS Pennant
The Navy wasn’t picky, though: cruisers, battleships, hospital ships,
even LSTs (Landing Ship, Tank) were packed full of men yearning for home.
Two British ocean liners under American control, the RMS Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth,
had already served as troop transports before and continued to do so during the operation,
each capable of carrying up to 15,000 people at a time, though their normal,
peacetime capacity was less than 2,200.
Twenty-nine ships were dedicated to transporting war brides:
women married to American soldiers during the war.
Troops performing a lifeboat drill onboard the Queen Mary in December 1944,
before Operation Magic Carpet
The Japanese surrender in August 1945 came none too soon,
but it put an extra burden on Operation Magic Carpet.
The war in Asia had been expected to go well into 1946 and the Navy and
the War Shipping Administration were hard-pressed to bring home all
the soldiers who now had to get home earlier than anticipated.
The transports carrying them also had to collect numerous POWs
from recently liberated Japanese camps, many of whom suffered
from malnutrition and illness
U.S. soldiers recently liberated from Japanese POW camps
The time to get home depended a lot on the circumstances. USS Lake Champlain,
a brand new Essex-class carrier that arrived too late for the war,
could cross the Atlantic and take 3,300 troops home a little under 4 days and 8 hours.
Meanwhile, troops going home from Australia or India would sometimes spend
months on slower vessels.
Hangar of the USS Wasp during the operation
There was enormous pressure on the operation to bring home as many men
as possible by Christmas 1945
Therefore, a sub-operation, Operation Santa Claus, was dedicated to the purpose.
Due to storms at sea and an overabundance of soldiers eligible for return home,
however, Santa Claus could only return a fraction in time and still not quite home
but at least to American soil.
The nation’s transportation network was overloaded:
trains heading west from the East Coast were on average 6 hours behind schedule
and trains heading east from the West Coast were twice that late.
The crowded flight deck of the USS Saratoga.
The USS Saratoga transported home a total of 29,204 servicemen during Operation Magic Carpet,
more than any other ship.
Many freshly discharged men found themselves stuck in separation centers
but faced an outpouring of love and friendliness from the locals.
Many townsfolk took in freshly arrived troops and invited them to Christmas dinner
in their homes.
Still others gave their train tickets to soldiers and still others organized quick parties
at local train stations for men on layover.
A Los Angeles taxi driver took six soldiers all the way to Chicago;
another took another carload of men to Manhattan, the Bronx, Pittsburgh,
Long Island, Buffalo and New Hampshire.
Neither of the drivers accepted a fare beyond the cost of gas.
Overjoyed troops returning home on the battleship USS Texas
All in all, though, the Christmas deadline proved untenable.
The last 29 troop transports, carrying some 200,000 men from the
China-India-Burma theater, arrived to America in April 1946,
bringing Operation Magic Carpet to an end,
though an additional 127,000 soldiers still took until September
to return home and finally lay down the burden of war.
Words fail me on how to express my admiration for this guys guts and courage! Grumpy
My Gentle Readers, Frankly this has been one of my better DVD buys lately. In that it was so refreshing to go back to a time.
When the Land abounded in adults and even during a horrible Civil War. They were some giants walking the land & because of their guidance. Made us the Last Great Hope of Man.
I wrote this article while sitting in a hotel room in Madrid contemplating how I got here. I was visiting the Spanish and Portuguese militaries as part of my experience in the Army’s Schools of Other Nations (SON) Program. I have spent the last nine months studying at the Colombian Superior School of War, and I sometimes pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming.
In 2007, if you told 2LT Player, a “CHEMO” for 3-7 Field Artillery, what the next decade would look like, he would have told you to stop teasing him because he had to finish the USR.
I am confident about what he would have said, because I am him, just ten years later. However, in the next ten years, I served in multiple leadership positions at the platoon and company level. I also served in a joint special operations unit, taught ROTC, and was selected to attend a foreign service’s ILE.
I arrived at my first assignment at Schofield Barracks with doom and gloom ringing in my ears. During my Basic Officer Leader Course, my small group leader told me that as a 74A headed to the 25thInfantry Division, I most likely would not have a chance to lead and it would be a constant struggle to be viewed as a serious professional.
Fortunately, the battalion operations officer changed my outlook during our initial counseling session. He listened intently as I told him my concerns of being “stuck on staff” and my desire to lead a platoon. He said: “There is no such thing as a bad branch, only bad officers.”
He went on to say that if I wanted to lead Soldiers, I needed to demonstrate my leadership potential by performing well. He had a good point. In the Army, we do not always have control over duty assignments, but we have complete control over our performance. I committed myself to earning the right to lead Soldiers and developing the skills and attributes required for success.
As a result, I discovered what I consider the “Eight Essential Characteristics of Officership.”
Leadership is more than knowing where you are, where you want to go, and how you are going to get there. Leading includes inspiring others to take the journey with you.
All officers are leaders, regardless of duty position. You must be ready to make decisions, move the mission forward, and lead by example.
Great leaders never ask a subordinate to make a sacrifice that he or she is not willing to make. If we hold ourselves to the same standard that we hold our Soldiers, they will strive to meet or exceed that standard.
Keep an open mind and seek advice. Every team has experienced members that are an extremely valuable resource.
These team members can provide historical examples of past issues and help guide your decisions. But first, you must be approachable and willing to listen.
SUPPORT YOUR COMMANDER
An officer who understands mission command and commander’s intent is worth 10 officers who don’t. When you are given a legal and lawful order, execute and stay within your limits.
When a commander decides on a course of action, it is not your place to second guess. We advise and make recommendations, commanders make decisions and assume the risks.
LEARN AND IMPROVE
Superior leaders are acutely aware of their strengths and weaknesses. They actively build on their strengths and improve upon their weaknesses.
Complacency is a fatal leadership flaw and we should never find comfort in remaining stagnant. This goes for every aspect of the profession of arms. Make realistic and achievable goals and then work to achieve them.
REQUIRE MINIMUM SUPERVISION
Officers who require constant oversight are detrimental to high op tempo organizations that operate in complex environments.
Valuable members of the team understand their responsibilities and execute with little supervision. Asking for the occasional azimuth check is important, but don’t inundate your boss with questions you should be able to answer yourself.
Counseling is the most important tool that leaders have at their disposal. Clearly communicating expectations and standards provides a baseline for measuring performance and ensures that both the rater and rated officer understand expectations.
This is especially important when managing your rater profile and justifying the contents of evaluation reports for both officers and NCOs.
ENSURE THE SUCCESS OF YOUR SUBORDINATES
Leaders who take a genuine interest in their subordinates will see their teams achieve amazing feats. This goes hand in hand with counseling.
You must get to know your Soldiers and help them personally and professionally. Find out their goals and help develop a plan to achieve them. If you take care of your Soldiers, they will always take care of the mission.
BE A STUDENT OF HISTORY
As a professional, you must immerse yourself in your profession. Military history is full of lessons and examples that you can compare to your situation.
“Top block” officers read history and apply it regularly in their work. Taking the time to learn from the past will increase your ability to answer the tough questions when they arise.
While the above list is by no means comprehensive, Officers who adhere to these principals will be given the opportunity for increased responsibility.
The Army needs and rewards good leaders. If you strive to be a true professional, take care of your Soldiers, and solve problems within the commander’s intent, your branch won’t matter. You will have an amazing Army Story, even as a “CHEMO.”
Major Nathan Player is currently a student at the Superior School of War in Bogota Colombia. He is assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg following graduation. He has 13 years of combined enlisted and officer service, has commanded at the O3 Level, and has served in various Joint Staff and professional education assignments.