All posts by Jim

Naval Historical Foundation

Naval Historical Society [6269609]BOOK REVIEW – We’ll All Die As Marines – One Marine’s Journey from Private to Colonel. By Jim Bathurst, Colonel, USMC (Ret)

Reviewed by Curt Marsh, Col USMCR (Ret)

This is a very engaging autobiography of one Marine’s career worth reading by fellow Marines as well as anyone interested in recent Marine Corps history. The book covers the period from his enlistment in 1958 after dropping out of High School through 1993 when he retired with the rank of Colonel. But this is more than a short history of the Marine Corps. Bathurst intended to share his experiences in learning the value of leadership and the rewards of being a leader of Marines. Although some of his methods of leadership were unique to leading Marines, the importance of quality leadership to the success of an organization applies to any group or business. He points out some of the great leaders he worked with, while also identifying several examples of poor leadership and their adverse impact. He also suggests that the demands of providing good leadership may come with both personal and professional challenges. Bathurst entered the Marines as a troubled high school dropout who learned to thrive under the quality leadership of his NCOs. Throughout the rest of his career, he focused on developing and empowering NCO leadership as the key to organizational success. His career followed a unique path that provides insight into some specialized organizations in the Corps. His early experience as a junior Marine at Marine Barracks, Yokosuka, Japan was a turning point for him in learning discipline and the rewards of applying himself to being the best he could be. His involvement as a drill instructor (DI) and his experiences with recruits at Parris Island and later at Officer Candidate School in Quantico provided a unique perspective for anyone who has gone through either program. During his service in Vietnam, he started as a sergeant. He was quickly moved up to positions of leadership in his infantry unit, often serving as the platoon commander, an officer’s billet. His stories from Vietnam are alone worth reading. He was later promoted to staff sergeant and was nominated for promotion to both gunnery sergeant (GySgt) and 2nd Lieutenant (2nd Lt). His meritorious promotion to GySgt came through just as he reported to the Washington Marine Barracks at 8th & I. He soon learned that his promotion to 2ndLt was also approved, so he ended up taking over the Special Ceremonial Platoon, which included the silent drill team, body bearer section, and color guard section. Seeing the “inside” of 8th & I is revealing to those who haven’t served there, and he includes some interesting stories of guarding Camp David for President Johnson. The 8th & I became his own personal Basic School in learning to be an Officer of Marines through the leadership of the other officers there. During a joint assignment at Fort Bragg, he was grateful for the special mentorship of an Army officer who ensured he started his college education. He served in numerous infantry officer positions, including Battalion and Regimental Command. One unique assignment was as the CO of a Marine Barracks that was having difficulties. He was able to turn it around to be recognized as the outstanding Marine Barracks of the Year. He also commanded the Recruiting Station in Chicago, a very different type of command focused on “selling” the Marine Corps. He dealt with a variety of leadership challenges with each of his assignments. “Sometimes you have to force a Marine to be successful,” he said. The other quote used for the title of the book actually came from his Recruiting Command Sergeant Major, “We’ll all die as Marines,” which alludes to the Marine custom of, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” He mentioned the outstanding leaders he worked with. He noted some weak leaders who mostly go unnamed. Toward the end of his career, he was in charge of Landing Force Training Command, Atlantic (LFTCLant) and led the introduction of riverine assault craft in the Marine Corps. His final position was as CO of the School of Infantry at Camp Lejeune. During this period, he faced both political and personal opposition from some other senior officers for often petty and unprofessional issues. He doesn’t hesitate to identify them by name, which is somewhat exceptional for a book of this nature. This book was interesting for me. This autobiography is slightly odd in that he never mentions his family life other than his parents and sister. Finally, he does reveal the cost of his style of leadership that resulted in two divorces and three marriages. The book does not have footnotes or references, though it does have a nice Appendix and Glossary of Marine Corps terminology and abbreviations. Overall, a worthwhile read.

Donald Trump Rings the Bell

for Round 1 on Immigration Reform, Comes Out Slugging

Donald J. Trump released a statement on Monday for the United States to bar all Muslims from entering the country until the nation’s leaders can “figure out what is going on.”

Too Radical? Too belligerent? Politically incorrect? Yes to all–in normal circumstances, but we are not in normal circumstances–not after the massacre in San Bernardino, not after discovering that a most-likely ISIS terrorist, a woman no less, had taken advantage of our lax immigration screening processes to enter the United States under the guise of being a Muslim man’s fiancé, intending to marry him, get a green card, and become a permanent resident blending in with the rest of us, raising a family, living the American dream.

Turns out it was a ruse, a thinly veiled plot to kill Americans–the infidels. Anyone believe they are the only ones here in our country planning the same when the opportunity arises? Is there anyone that blinded by their liberal bias they refuse to see the light?

The liberal left were not long in disparaging Trump. At first, MSNBC hosts and guests were almost speechless for an hour or more. Chris Mathews sputtered, spittled, and otherwise fumbled with a rebuttal of Trump’s belligerent, anti-Muslim immigrant stance, knowing full well that he could easily get himself into hot water if he outright jumped on Trump’s rhetoric, knew that the majority of Americans were mad as hell and tired of the apologist in the White House, knew that the prevailing liberal views of the media may no longer be accepted. Mathews was careful not to further jeopardize his failing ratings instead opting to have others rant and rave against Trump’s position.

Other lesser-known liberals came forward immediately. Nancy Morawetz, professor of clinical law at New York University School of Law specializing in immigration: “This is just so antithetical to the history of the United States… I cannot recall any historical precedent for denying immigration based on religion.”

Nancy is one of those left-wing academicians, a majority at American universities, living in the world of make-believe, refusing to face reality–Muslims have openly declared war on the United States.

Nancy, would you feel the same had you been in that conference room? Would your unabashed liberalism be so professed if those Muslim terrorists had brutally killed your husband, your child? Would you, Nancy? I think not!

Nancy is a modern-day Nero–fiddling away as our country’s citizens are gunned down. Lost in her melody of kumbaya, feeling safe in her citadel, New York University School of Law, everyone else be damned.

“Not all Muslims are terrorists!” you say. Perhaps not, but those who aren’t in the actual ISIS army sympathize with them to a great extent and are not truly our friends and allies in the world–and especially not in the war on terrorism. The unbridgeable chasm of their cultural differences combined with their professed hatred of Christianity, and especially Judaism, place them in that so-called “grey area” of believing that the United States is evil though they may not favor attacking us. So I say to you, “No, surely not, but all terrorists I see are Muslims!”

This is manifested in their refusal to assimilate in Europe and here in the United States. Those who immigrate are in favor of sharia law, veiled faces, and their extreme customs they bring with them and refuse to abandon though they are contrary to American values. We do not subscribe to honor killing and the like.

Most Muslim immigrants want to come to the United States to escape the oppression of their native countries, but not to become Americans; they have no intentions, in most instances, of doing so.

Speaking at a rally on Monday night aboard the USS Yorktown in South Carolina, Trump drew continuous cheers from the exuberant audience as he read his just-issued statement on Muslim immigration. Trump’s position: A total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.

Mr. Trump: “We have no choice… Our country cannot be the victim of tremendous attacks by people who believe only in jihad.”

On her 6 pm PST show, Rachel Maddow, a liberal on MSNBC’s staff, began her show visibly furious with Donald Trump. She could barely contain her anger, and set out to disparage Trump. At one point she suggested that Trump’s statements were designed to get him banned from the Republican Party so he could escape the prospect of possibly being elected. “God help us if that were to happen!” she opined, meaning if Trump were to become our next president. Is it appropriate for a television journalist to invoke God to determine who will, and will not, be our president?.

With one guest, Richard Engle, she reported that American Muslims abroad could not come home if Trump’s proposal was to be effected–fear mongering in its most detestable form, and not at all what Trump said. Engle whined that foreign leaders of Muslim countries would be watching. Richard, what do you not understand about Americans in the mainstream being fed up with worrying about the opinions of those in the Middle East and other Muslim dominated regions? We will not, need not apologize for anything American, nor will we tolerate leaders who insist on doing so–leaders such as our president himself who began his first term with a trip abroad where he denigrated America, apologized for our history, and, on bended knee, lowered our nation’s esteem markedly and seemingly with intent. Yes, Richard, as the song goes, “… the times they are a changin’!”

Donald Trump clearly stated that this would be a temporary measure “until we figure out what’s going on.” This is not the first suggestion that a moratorium on immigration be placed in effect until we sort out who is here, and what danger they may be. Pat Buchanan, in his book, State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America, published in 2006, did the same although his main concern was illegal immigration from Mexico and the porous borders of our Southwest.

If you want to see how far left we have gone in our media, tune into MSNBC–at almost any hour. This morning on Morning Joe, Nick Halperin grilled Trump, interrupting him repeatedly as Donald attempted to answer Halperin’s questions.

“What about Japanese internment?” Halperin repeatedly insisted of Trump. Wisely, Trump refused to fall into that trap. Japanese internment took place nearly 75 years ago in a time of a World War after Japan ambushed America at Pearl Harbor. Drastic measures were called for then, and drastic measures are called for now when Muslim terrorists can immigrate here, prepare to murder Americans by gathering weapons and thousands of rounds of ammo, and then invade a Christmas luncheon, having just pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and its leader on Facebook, to kill fourteen innocents.

Is Trump way out on a limb? No, according to polls, which show that 56% of Americans believe that Islam is at odds with American values. My guess is that it is much higher excepting some would not honestly respond to a poll that could implicate them as “racist” or worse.

Consternation will rain down in the media, fanned by the liberal left-wing representatives believing themselves to be spokespersons for America. Not the case, it seems. Press popularity is constantly fading. The mainstream do not respect them, nor accept their bias. A revolt against liberalism in journalism is in effect.

The outcry from them that “We are a nation of immigrants!” is erroneous and, even if it were once true, is no longer applicable. If we look across the Atlantic to Europe, we can easily see that unfettered immigration, especially of Muslims, is the wrong course for our country.

Mark Krikorian, Executive Director, Center for Immigration Studies, as presented at the hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, on November 19, 2015: The starting point of any policy debate is that the government of the United States has no responsibility to anyone but the citizens of the United States… the president and members of Congress must necessarily put the interests of the American people before the interests of foreigners.

The peril to the United States is now predominantly from persons arriving from overseas. We, the West, are now fighting in a new type of warfare–a global threat posed by a virulent, radical proponent of Muslim extremism recruiting from the disaffected youth of Europe and even here in the United States.

The list of those willing to put their left-wing ideology ahead of American security are familiar to us. They are the ones using such terms as “diversity,” “multiculturalism,” “racial profiling,” and now “religious discrimination” in their emotional harangues of anyone in opposition to unlimited immigration into the United States.

Voices of reason can sometimes, though rarely, be heard in Congress warning, “Our enemy now is Islamic terrorism, and these people are coming from a country filled with Islamic terrorists,” said Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York. “We don’t want another Boston Marathon bombing situation.”

As for Europe, the grand experiment of multiculturalism has failed. Speaking on MSNBC shortly after the attacks in Paris, Barry McCafferty, retired United States Army general, may have summed the situation up succinctly: “France has a problem; Europe has a problem–unassimilated Muslim youth, a recipe for disaster.” We in the United States need not follow in their footsteps.

Let us observe their problem from afar while standing securely on our Atlantic shores, learn from their botched immigration policies and the myth of multiculturalism, and not import their failures errantly believing we could do a better job than they have. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” should now be our clarion call to end the folly of such erroneous slogans as “We are a nation of immigrants.” or other equally silly approaches to the problem other than the priority of keeping our borders secure, controlling who we allow into our country, and when.

It is time–long past the time–for our elected leaders to see the light, take heed of our crisis of over-immigration, and recognize it as the problem it has become. No country can endure porous boundaries, immigration glitches such as the K-1 visas for fiancés such as was used by the San Bernardino murderer. And, most certainly, no country can afford the risk of tens of thousands of Muslim immigrants knowing that our country will be faced with the problems seen in Europe now.
Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s globetrotting international journalist of exceptional talent, when interviewing an obviously affluent, educated, suave French lady on the streets of Paris very early the Saturday morning after the attacks there, may have nailed it. Speaking softly, but deliberately, showing little emotion, the French woman said, “Immigration of today is the terrorism of tomorrow.”

Major Dennis Copson is a retired United States Marine and is a resident of Oceanside, California. He is a freelance writer and editor.

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Today’s Military Leadership–A Brutal Assessment

A long read, but well worth it for anyone wanting a true assessment of our current military leaders; those we entrust with the awesome responsibility of defending our constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and us. Mr. Starmann is a former US Army Intelligence Officer, an actor, and a prolific writer. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief at the US Defense Watch.

By Ray Starmann


It seems nearly every day that the Pentagon is talking to the American people in double, triple and quadruple speak. The truth is a fugitive, on the run from numerous admirals, generals and cabinet members who distort reality and who are sucking down enough Kool Aid to fill Chesapeake Bay.

According to the Pentagon, the air war against ISIS is successful, combat in Iraq is non-combat, women can make it through Navy SEAL training and 50 Special Forces soldiers can retake Syria.  Who’s running the Pentagon now, Charlie Sheen?  Winning!

Without further ado, the Pentagon Kool Aid dramatis personae:

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter – Ash and Trash Carter has a lot of degrees in physics and a ton of experience loitering around various bureaucratic water coolers. Sadly, the man has no military experience, which makes him the perfect choice to carry the Obama administration’s social experiment torch. Carter has already been behind a few idiotic statements such as the Delta Force “non-combat, combat” and his decision or his willingness to go along with Obama’s decision to send just 50 SF guys into Syria.  Maybe the guy who knows how to tune the Enterprise’s warp speed conductor should be down at NASA instead? Just a thought…  Carter’s a nice guy and that’s another problem. There’s no one at the Pentagon or in the Beltway with the toughness to stand up to the marauding White House Visigoths. When asked last week, about the Marines’ study that showed that women can’t hack it in the infantry and his impending decision in January to authorize women in the combat arms, this was Ash and Trash Carter’s response in a nutshell.  “I have received the study and it is being evaluated currently and the decision process is ongoing and therefore no results have been obtained or decided and therefore I can’t answer that question because it’s in the system and moving forward and I will evaluate the information concurrently as the situation unfolds and the details are presented to me.”  Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot???

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus – In the Oxford English Dictionary under “idiot” it says, see Ray Mabus.  Mabus is another of Obama’s willing destroyers of the macho, male culture in the military. You know the culture that wins wars and protects us all. In a recent Washington Post OP-ED, Mabus wrote that war has mellowed so much since 1992 that women should be allowed to serve in the combat arms. I guess he forgot about Fallujah, Tal Afar, Sadr City, Tora Bora, Ramadi and a thousand other battles that the Marines and the Army won the old-fashioned way, by riflemen taking and holding ground and killing bad guys.  In the same OP-ED, Mabus said that diversity of thought, technology and creative thinking can win wars now. Mabus went on to write about four female Marine officers who figured out how to scale an eight foot wall and because of this, women should be allowed to serve in the infantry. Mabus refuses to look at the Marines’ recent study that concluded women will be ill-suited in combat. I cannot remember a Secretary of the Navy that was as disliked by the Marines as Mabus is.

Former Secretary of the Army John McHugh – “I’m an ordinary guy, burning down the house…” McHugh’s tenure of destruction at the Pentagon ended this week. He spent his last month in office, stalling Congressman Steve Russell and his request for the Ranger School records of the female graduates. When the stalling stopped, the shredding started. McHugh escaped out of a latrine back window just as Russell was kicking in the front door with an impending congressional investigation of the Army’s conduct and special treatment of women at Ranger School.

Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning – “We are family, I got all my soldiers with me.” Who else, but the man who chaired the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund would Obama choose as the next Secretary of the Army. Fanning is another lackey like Mabus, who is in place to ensure that the Army is destroyed by the Great Social Experiment. While most Americans view homosexuality with indifference, the concept of open homosexuality in the military is most certainly detrimental to unit cohesion, morale and fighting spirit. Under Fanning, the Army’s motto has gone from “This We’ll Defend” to “Not that there’s anything wrong with it!” How did Obama’s decision process work on this one?  Paul Lynde; funny, but gone; Charles Nelson Reilly, ditto; Truman Capote, checked out. Let’s see, who’s left, Nathan Lane; no sir, booked on Broadway. Okay, how about Fanny? No sir, that’s Fanning. Call her. No sir, Fanning’s a him. What’s the difference? There’s no such thing as genders anyway. Yes sir, dialing now.

And, then there’s Debbie…

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James has been Secretary of the Air Force for almost two years and during that time, she has been responsible for bringing in the over-priced, under-performing F-35 and running out the old reliable, A-10. She’s also leading the charge on ending the ban on trans-genders in the Air Force. Why do I have a mental picture of Caitlyn Jenner flying a B-17 in an evening gown?  But, hey, we don’t want to offend anyone. Not that there’s anything wrong with it!  Like Ash and Trash Carter, She’s a natural for the job, at least by Obama administration standards. She spent 20 years of her 30-year career as a House Armed Services Committee staffer and a Clinton administration Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. Her last ten years were spent at SAIC (a large Beltway consulting firm). She’s not a warrior by any standard, but she reportedly met one once.”

Rear Admiral John Kirby – “It’s a beautiful day at the Pentagon, a beautiful day for smoke and mirrors…would you be mine, ISIS, could you be mine?” Rear Admiral Kirby, aka Mister Rogers, is now at the State Department or Foggy Bottom, which is perfect for him, since he was running the Pentagon fog machine for a couple years before he took the trolley over to State. During his tenure as Pentagon spokesman, Kirby told the world on a daily basis how well the air campaign against ISIS was going. Now, El Kirbo is tap dancing his way through daily State Department briefings, which includes painting a portrait of Hillary Clinton as Mother Theresa instead of Ma Barker.

General (Ret.) Martin Dempsey – “You’re here, there’s nothing I fear and I know that my retirement benefits will go on…” Dempsey, the former Captain of the US Army Titanic is gone, but never forgotten is the list of damage done to the Army during his tenure, The man Senator John McCain called, “The echo chamber of the Obama administration,” said not a peep as the US Army was used as the Obama administration’s personal, pet social experiment. Dempsey’s legacy also consists of his famous non sequitur, If women can’t meet military standards, the Pentagon will ask does it really have to be that high?”  Dempsey is currently floating away on a wooden pallet as the US Army Titanic plunges into the cold depths of the Potomac.

General Mark Milley – “Silver wings on his chest, but drinking Kool Aid, with the rest…” The new Army Chief of Staff has lots of grunt and SF experience, but he’s already drinking and bathing in Kool Aid. He was down at Benning congratulating female grads Griest and Haver on a job well earned at Ranger School and smiling for the cameras and the press. Stay tuned for more from Willie Milley.  I particularly enjoyed his hogwash commentary about the current state of the Army now. I guess they all have to say stuff like this.“ We have the most skilled, ethical, and combat hardened Army in our nation’s history. I am honored to lead this remarkable team.”  Mussolini was probably telling his own army they were the most skilled, ethical and combat hardened army in Italy’s history as the British ran them out of North Africa.

It’s certainly the most technologically advanced Army. Skilled; yes, in light infantry for another war against the Taliban or Al Qaeda in Iraq, but what happens when we have to go against the Russians or an Iranian armored corps? Whoops. According to Colonel Gian Gentilethe US can’t even field a heavy BCT now. Cavalry squadrons can’t run a range and soldiers with armor MOS’ barely know how to load a main gun round. Ethical; certainly, the troops are pretty ethical, but the Army’s senior leaders aren’t. How can they be? They’re lying to themselves and the nation on a daily basis. Combat hardened; yes, but many have left and who remains as the leadership of the Army now? The rubber men of Arlington, who bend and bow to every insane whim floating through the air, that’s who.

General Joe Dunford is the last hope for the country and the US military. Thank God a Marine is the Chairman of the JCS.  Maybe Dunford can save the military. Maybe Dunford will make the Marines’s final stand against females being shoved into the combat arms. Maybe Dunford will stop it all. Maybe, maybe, maybe…At least having a Marine in charge gives you hope. The Navy, the Air Force and finally, the Army have cut off their testicles and placed them in mason jars at the bottom of a 10,000 foot mine shaft.

The perfumed princes and princesses at the Pentagon have forgotten that the military exists for one sole reason, TO WAGE WAR on sea, on land, and in the air. It is not, nor has it ever been a repository for every crackpot cultural Marxist scheme cooked up in the twisted confines of a Berkeley coffee house.

Saying nothing and playing along may seem like the best decision for your career and your retirement benefits, but unless you are insane, which I know you’re not, you must know that the decisions you are making and the horse dung and hay you’re espousing are hurting the military and your country every day. The policies you help implement are not progressive, but rather suicidal for the nation and its defense.

History will judge you one day ladies and gentlemen and the judgment won’t be a favorable one. You will one day be viewed as the people who betrayed America’s national security for the greater glory of yourselves.

Until that day comes, Kool Aid is available on tap at the Pentagon…