Please join us at 5pm (Eastern U.S.) on Sunday 5 January 2014, for Midrats Episode 209: “Kenya and East Africa with Alexander Martin”: Many continue to focus on the “Pacific Pivot” and/or IndoPac, but the news seems to keep finding its way back to Africa. This Sunday we’re going to leave IndoPac and all that in order to focus the full hour discussing the eastern part of Africa with a returning guest Alex Martin who will give us a first hand report from a personal and professional perspective. Alex graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy and went on… Read the rest of this entry »
Over a 48 hour period, the 15th MEU/PELARG team conducted offensive air operations in Afghanistan resulting in the deaths of 5 confirmed enemy fighters, provided disaster relief in Pakistan to 120 victims who had been without aid since July, and seized a pirated vessel, rescuing a crew of 11 hostages and detaining 9 suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia. A busy couple of days and an impressive battle-rhythm by any standard for this dynamic Navy-Marine Corps team. For her part, the USS Dubuque was 1,500 miles away from her command ship, the USS Peleliu, and attached to Combined Task… Read the rest of this entry »
Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul. ~ Michel de Montaigne Sgt. Jason Pacheco, 23, scout sniper instructor, Division Schools, 1st Marine Division, from Las Vegas, N.M., uses his prosthetic leg as support for an M40 Sniper Rifle as an example for students on a firing range at Camp Pendleton Aug. 30, 2011. Pacheco suffered a severed leg after an improvised explosive device detonated beneath him during a patrol in Afghanistan August 2010. He has re-enlisted and said he hopes to continue training in preparation to return to full duty. (Official U.S. Marine… Read the rest of this entry »
As is standard when working with the Royal Navy – tactically seamless and it moves as smooth as silk. MONMOUTH launched her Lynx helicopter from 60 miles away to assess the situation. Lt Chris Easterbrook Royal Navy, pilot of the Ship’s helicopter “Black Knight” said:“Having heard about the distress of the CARAVOS HORIZON, we urgently launched to assess the threat to the merchant vessel and to provide real-time information to MONMOUTH. We stood off at a distance, relaying the current situation and taking photographs and video footage to aid the Commanding Officer’s decision making process. We had to make sure… Read the rest of this entry »
Much of the conversation about the USMC over the last decade has been about its “Second Land Army” status …. well …. Marines are still second to none at their core skill set. In case someone forgot that – fellow USNIBlogg’r EagleOne and my guest this week on Midrats and his Marines reminded everyone of not just that – but the power of the Navy-Marine Corp team. Over a 48 hour period , the 15th MEU/PELARG team conducted offensive air operations in Afghanistan resulting in the deaths of 5 confirmed enemy fighters, provided disaster relief in Pakistan to 120 victims… Read the rest of this entry »
Let Us Dare to Read, Think, Speak, Write – and BLOG
Admiral Jim Stavridis is an Annapolis graduate with a PhD in international relations from Tufts University. He has held multiple commands at sea and various strategic planning jobs in the Pentagon. He has published four books and over a hundred print articles – but now focuses on blogging and other web-centric means of communicating ideas. His interests are joint, international, interagency, and private-public cooperation in Europe as the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and Commander of U.S. European Command.
Alexander Martin Captain Alexander Martin, USMCR, is an infantry officer who has served as as a platoon commander in infantry, recon and force recon units. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a sailing enthusiast and lives in La Jolla, California, where he was raised.
Admiral John C. Harvey, Jr. assumed command of United States Fleet Forces Command in July 2009. Admiral Harvey is a Baltimore native and a 1973 U.S. Naval Academy graduate. His interests include history and political science. He is a regular blog contributor and established the U.S. Fleet Forces Command Blog.
The Bunny is a former naval officer, the third generation in her family to serve. She runs the marketing programs at a military non-profit and is the author of three non-fiction books about the military. She has a master’s degree in marketing communications. Her middle name is “pro bono,” as she loves to volunteer with veterans and the elderly and, especially, elderly veterans. She serves on several charitable non-profit boards of directors and continues to moonlight as a writer. She was nicknamed “The Bunny” five years ago as a veiled reference to her energy level (remember the Energizer Bunny?).
Christopher Albon is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in armed conflict, public health, human security, and health diplomacy. Christopher could talk about them forever. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Jen. Chris Albon’s blog/
Eagle1 is an attorney and a retired Navy Reserve Captain (Surface Warfare). His military experience includes service in destroyers, the logistics force, inshore security, and naval control of shipping. He held command of a Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit and several other reserve units. A Navy ROTC grad, he saw active duty service off Vietnam and was recalled for Desert Storm and Kosovo. His legal practice includes maritime law. His blog is www.eaglespeak.us.
Fouled Anchor is a retired Senior Chief who served 20 years in the Intelligence Community, including service in the joint environment and with NATO partners. His experience includes operational intelligence billets ashore and afloat, and significant human resources and training assignments. He earned a bachelors and a masters degree while on active duty.
Fred Fry is a Marine Transportation graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy and MBA graduate of Finland’s Helsinki School of Economics. He has worked in the maritime industry both at sea and ashore for his whole career and has experience working both in the US and in Europe. Fred is the author of the weekly series ‘Maritime Monday‘ hosted at gCaptain and also blogs on his own site, Fred Fry International.
YN2(SW) H. Lucien Gauthier III Petty Officer Gauthier entered the Naval Service in 2006 as a part of Division 931 (Hall of Fame). After Yeoman “A” School, he reported aboard the USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD 17) for duty August 2006. December 2006 he was frocked to YN3; May of 2008 he was frocked to YN2. In December of 2008 he qualified as an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS), after SAN ANTONIO’s maiden deployment, he took orders as an Individual Augmentee (IA) in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM in Bagram and Kandahar Airfields. After his IA tour he reported for duty at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) supporting SACEUR Strategic Communications and Allied Command Operations– Public Affairs. His interests and hobbies include: History, foreign affairs, strategy based video games, physics, philosophy, science fiction and electronic dance music.
Galrahn is an alias for Raymond Pritchett. Raymond is a technologist, entrepreneur, and owns a technology consulting company in upstate New York. His experience ranges from the technical roles in secure Enterprise IT architectures, internet media marketing and business strategies, and developing secure information sharing technologies between clients and partners. Raymond has worked for numerous private companies in a variety of industries, with previous clients ranging from Wal-Mart to Government in a variety of industries ranging from health care to massive multi-player online gaming. Raymond has no military experience, is self educated, and is the owner of the blog Information Dissemination.
Jeannette Gaudry Haynie, currently a Major in the Marine Corps Reserves, is an Annapolis graduate (Class of 1998), New Orleans native, and an AH-1W Cobra pilot by trade. She recently completed her MA in Political Science (focusing on gender and international conflict) and is starting her doctoral work this fall. She is married to a Marine Corps infantry officer and they live in Alexandria, VA, with their three children. Her interests are politics, conflict, running, her kids, and the New Orleans Saints.
M. Ittleschmerz is a post command, senior officer currently on active duty whose service at sea and ashore includes a variety of operational commands and major staff experience.
Jeff Withington graduated from the Naval Academy and was commissioned an ensign in May 2010. He completed the first phase of his nuclear power training in February 2011 and has now entered Prototype training. He was an honors history major and minored in Chinese.
Jack James is a midshipman in the class of 2012 at the U.S. Naval Academy. A member of the nationally ranked Naval Academy triathlon team, he spent his summer cruises on the LPD-19 Mesa Verde and with a West Coast SEAL Team. A Quantitative Economics major, he will also minor in Chinese. After graduation, he will receive a commission as a Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal officer.
LT Ryan Erickson is an Active Duty Officer in the United States Coast Guard. He began his military career in 1995 joining the U.S. Army as an 11B Infantryman (240B Gunner) with the 1/75 Ranger Battalion. Upon completion of his tour he was assigned to the Washington State National Guard and in 1999 changed course to join the U.S. Coast Guard. His time in the USCG has included a tour in Kodiak, AK as an Avionics Technician and HC-130H Navigator, and a tour in Elizabeth City, NC as a plank-owner of the C-130J program. In 2004 he was accepted to Officer Candidate School; on graduation, he was stationed at Sector Seattle (now Sector Pacific Northwest), Washington where he was the supervisor of their Vessel Board and Search Team and a Command Duty Officer in the Joint Harbor Operations Center. From 2008 to 2011 LT Erickson was stationed in Portsmouth, VA as a member of LANT Command Center; he’s currently enjoying a tour in Alaska. You can find Ryan blogging daily, mostly on matters of the Coast Guard, on 1790.us and/or his personal site of ryanerickson.com.
Military History Buffs are avid consumers of all types of military history, but especially Navy history. They love the stories behind our country’s rich maritime heritage and spend the majority of their free time buried in historical books and museums. They are military veterans themselves and might even name their next child Decatur.
Nathan Hughes served as an enlisted mortarman with the 1st Marine Division, deploying with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2002 and Regimental Combat Team-1 to Iraq in 2003. He has also embedded briefly with Marines in Afghanistan. Nathan is the Director of Military Analysis at STRATFOR, a global intelligence company. He was a third place winner of the annual Proceedings Robotics essay contest in 2010 and has also contributed to The Marine Corps Gazette and National Defense.
Steeljaw Scribe is a senior defense consultant and retired Navy Captain. A former Hawkeye squadron CO, he has over 3,000 hours and 500-plus traps in the E-2C and several other aircraft. With additional duties and experience spanning from CVN navigator to Special Assistant to the CNO for Joint Matters and operations from the Arctic to the Middle East and South America, he brings a unique perspective to his writing with interests focused on naval and aviation operations and history, nuclear strategy and policy issues and missile defense. SJS, as he is known in the blogging world since 2006, is a graduate of The Citadel, Naval War College and Naval Postgraduate School, holding a Master’s in National Security Studies from the latter. He has published articles in several periodicals and is presently working on two books. Steeljaw Scribe’s Website
UltimaRatioRegis: The Last Argument of Kings is a Reserve Marine Lieutenant Colonel, an Artillery officer with 22 years of service. He has servedin all four Marine Divisions, and is a combat veteran of OIFII. In his civilian occupation, he is an emergency planner in New England, and is a qualified exercise developer who has participated in the planning and conduct of myriad federal and state exercises with scenarios ranging from natural disaster to terrorism to cyber attack. His current USMCR unit supports Title X war games for all services.
Yankee Sailor is CDR Chris van Avery. A recent convert to the Foreign Area Officer community, he was a Surface Warfare Officer for 19 years of active and reserve service. He has served on destroyers, amphibs and an aircraft carrier, and participated in conflicts in Bosnia, Kosovo, the Gulf War and Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. While in the private sector, he worked in the fields of information technology and publishing. In the past he has been a regular contributor to Navy Times and Military.com, and wrote occasionally for Proceedings and Armed Forces Journal. He holds a BS in Management and an MA in National Security Studies (honors) with a concentration in the Middle East. Finally, he writes regularly at InformationDissemination and shares a daily feed of stories with comments via Google Reader.
Admiral Thad W. Allen assumed the duties of the 23rd Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard on May 25th, 2006. As such, he leads the largest component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), comprised of about 42,000 men and women on Active Duty, 7,000 civilians, 8,000 Reservists and 34,000 volunteer Auxiliarists. He is the only four-star Admiral of the Coast Guard, and is appointed for a four year term by the President of the United States upon confirmation of the US Senate. The Coast Guard Commandant is not a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He reports to the President, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of Defense. Prior to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, the Coast Guard Commandant reported to the Secretary of Transportation. The Coast Guard is America’s oldest continuous seagoing service and is a Federal law enforcement agency as well as a branch of the armed forces. The Coast Guard serves the American people by saving lives and property at sea; ensuring the safety of thousands of professional mariners and millions of recreational and commercial vessels; protecting our ports and maritime infrastructure from terrorism, securing our borders, maintaining aids to navigation, responding to natural disasters, defending our Nation, conducting humanitarian operations, protecting our marine environment, and keeping shipping routes open and clear of hazards. The Coast Guard is “Semper Paratus” – Always Ready to respond to All Hazards – All Threats.To keep up with Admiral Allen and his activities as Commandant visit www.uscg.mil/comdt. Be sure to sign up for RSS feed of his journal, iCommandant.
Chapman Godbey, USN is a foreign area officer on active duty with enlisted, submarine, expeditionary strike group, and staff experience. He has written for a variety of publications, including USNI Proceedings.
Defense Springboard is an academic who began engaging in national security debates as a doctoral student in Biomedical Sciences at Harvard University. After earning his degree in 2005, he lectures somewhere on the West Coast, and his research interests range from biological weaponry to littoral engagement. A frequent contributor to USNI’s Proceedings Magazine, Springboard has published in the Naval War College Review, Navy Medicine, National Defense Magazine, The Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune and elsewhere. Defense Springboard’s Blog
Eric Wertheim is a defense consultant, columnist and author specializing in naval and air force issues. He was named to the helm of the internationally acknowledged, one volume Naval Institute reference Combat Fleets of the World in 2002. As author and editor, his duties include tracking, analyzing and compiling data and photography on every vessel, aircraft and major weapon system, in every naval and paranaval force in the world – from Albania to Zimbabwe. He leads an independent maritime intelligence effort that spans the globe to produce the book commonly known as “Combat Fleets.” Mr. Wertheim has served as a speechwriter for senior Pentagon officials and as a consultant to best-selling authors, publishers and nonprofit organizations, and he has been instrumental in the advancement of numerous high-technology weapons and concepts. From 1994 through 2004 he wrote the bimonthly “Lest We Forget” column on historic U.S. warships for the Naval Institute’s Proceedings magazine. In 2004 he began writing a monthly “Combat Fleets” column for the magazine, and his annual review of world navies runs in the March issue of the magazine. He is the coauthor with Norman Polmar of the books, Chronology of the Cold War at Sea and Dictionary of Military Abbreviations, both published by the Naval Institute Press.
Frogman is a former Marine Corps Captain who spent fours years as a Force Reconnaissance Platoon and Detachment Commander. During that tour of duty he commanded an clandestine surveillance and deep reconnaissance platoon for the 24th and 26th MEU (SOC). The detachment was trained in in-extremis hostage rescue, free fall and close circuit diving insertion, and limited scale raids. Frogman has conducted special operation missions in support of other government agencies in Cuba, Haiti, Arabia, Italy, Somalia, Liberia, and South America. Prior to his tour at Force Recon, Frogman was a Rifle and Weapons Platoon Commander in a Marine Rifle Battalion. Frogman’s military decorations include the Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Humanitarian Service Award, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and Joint Special Operations Award. Currently, Frogman works in private equity focused on distressed companies and works in support of the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation.
Jim Dolbow (on Leave of Absence) is a writer, Coast Guard Reserve Officer, and former defense staffer on Capitol Hill. From February 2000 to January 2007, Jim served as Legislative Director/Military Legislative Assistant for Congressman John Hostettler (IN-08). In this capacity, he handled Congressman Hostettler’s House Armed Services Committee portfolio. Jim received his commission in the United States Coast Guard Reserve on 31 July 2002. His advanced degrees include an MA in National Security & Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College and an M.A. in Statecraft and World Politics from The Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C.
On May 26, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Columbia University President Lee Bollinger signed an agreement aboard USS Iwo Jima “formalizing their intention to reinstate Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) programs at Columbia” after an absence of 40 years. The history between the Navy and Columbia dates back to at least the Jacksonian era. On February 3, 1830, Columbia College President William Alexander Duer wrote to Commodore Isaac Chauncy – then in command of the Brooklyn Navy Yard – offering schooling at Columbia for local young naval officers under certain specified terms. Chauncey forwarded the suggestion to… Read the rest of this entry »