12/24/18

Generals v Politicians

Big Red Car here on a sunny Christmas Eve awaiting Christmas and the Prince of Peace which brings me to the subject of generals, politicians, and wars.

As a soldier (combat engineer officer), I spent a lot of time around generals. As a class of the species, they represent the top 0.1% of any year group of officers. The road to the top is a meritocracy and a very tough one. [Sure, there are some political generals, but as a general assessment they are the best of the best — if they remember to stay in their lane.]

Generals are at the top of their profession which is to wage war against the enemies of the United States and WIN.

Trump: Mattis out as of Jan. 1; deputy to be acting chief

Resigned Secretary of Defense James N Mattis, former USMC General.

The part about winning is an essential element in the General business.

Continue reading

01/6/18

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder — PTSD

PTSD — Big Red Car here on a somber Saturday in the ATX. Bit cold, but quite bright and headed to 60F.

So, the BRC has been around soldiers his whole life. The Boss, the BRC owner, was a soldier as was his father and mother. He grew up on Army posts and was educated at Virginia Military Institute.

Soldiering is a noble, necessary profession. It comes at some high personal cost to those who are thrown into combat.

Let’s discuss this a bit, shall we?

Continue reading

07/11/17

Veterans Administration Changes — Culture

The toxic culture at the Veterans Administration is finally getting some overdue attention. Bravo!

Big Red Car here on an incredibly beautiful Texas day. Will be hot, sunny, and Texas. On Earth as it is in Texas, y’all!

So, big things going on over at the Veterans Administration. Finally!

In late June, the President signed the Veterans Administration Accountability bill codifying some simple commonsense changes to an organization with a toxic culture which falsified records resulting in veterans not receiving timely care and employees receiving performance related bonuses based on bogus information. Not a good thing. One would that fraud in most instances, financial fraud. The kind of fraud folks go to jail for, but not at the VA.

The Union — can you believe that government employees at the VA are union members? — says it is a wholesale assault on Federal workers to which the Big Red Car says, “Bravo! About time!”

Continue reading

05/30/17

NATO Allies, Ungrateful Freeloaders?

NATO allies are ungrateful freeloaders, Big Red Car? Not all of them, just some.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, having spent a few days with President Donald J Trump in Washington, DC and now having spent a NATO Summit and G7 meeting utters:

“The times when we could fully rely upon others are to some extent over. I experienced that in the last few days. We Europeans must take our own destiny into our own hands.”

Read those words a second time and see if you have any basic disagreement with them. The Big Red Car sayeth, “Duh?”

This bit of wisdom comes on the heels of President Trump repeating what he has said for a long period of time — NATO members are not living up to their contractual obligations to spend 2% of their GDP on defense.

This is as essential element of the NATO (the Atlantic Charter) as Article V which states an attack on one is an attack on all. It is difficult to see why the Europeans think the United States should honor Article V and come to their rescue if they don’t honor their part of the deal.

Continue reading

05/1/16

Military Shrinking, Danger Ahead

The United States of America has always enjoyed a national security and military advantage not afforded to other countries by virtue of being separated from much of the world by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It has provided both safety and a temporal barrier that has given us time and space in which to plan for war.

Other than the War of 1812 and some Mexican border escapades, the US mainland has never really been threatened in a meaningful way. We have never suffered the fate of London or Paris or Berlin.

The Germans in WWII were able to bring the fight to our home waters on the Atlantic with their subs and the Japs shelled the west coast but other than that, these oceans have served us well.

The terrorists of 9-11 broke that safe barrier with their attack.

We live in a different world. That world has a resurgent traditional military threat (Russia, China) and an asymmetrical warfare threat. It has become more, not less, complicated.

Continue reading

01/9/16

Do Not Screw With the US Marine Corps — Marines — Good Advice for Enemies and Friendlies, No?

Big Red Car here. Well, the day has dawned and it is bright, sunny, and cold. Still flirting with 52F as a high. This is winter!

On Earth as it is in Texas. Winter good in the ATX.

So, the Navy Secretary, one Ray Mabus, has sent a scolding memorandum to the United States Marine Corps,the Marines, telling them to get with integrating women into the Marine combat arms including specifically the infantry.

The policy decision was made on 3 December 2015 but already the Sec Navy is in the “scolding” mode. Huh?

Mabus is a former Democratic Governor of Mississippi and has been a loyal Obama acolyte since his 2009 appointment as Navy Secretary. The Marines, of course, fall under the Navy in the Pentagon.

He also served as Bill Clinton’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

02/12/15

Social Media and the Internet Go To War

Big Red Car here. Another beauty in the ATX. Ahhh, thank you, God!

So, The Boss was chatting with one of his trade school buddies. “Trade school” is what you call VMI, West Point, Air Force Academy, Annapolis, Citadel and other military schools. It is an inside joke amongst trade school grads.

They get on the subject of asymmetrical warfare — fancy word for terrorism and the whole Middle East mess. Lump in Al Qaeda, ISIL, Boko Horam and the flavor of the day shitheads.

Social media and the role of the Internet bubbles to the surface. Continue reading

09/21/14

Military Science and Advice

Big Red Car here in the sunny and wonderful ATX. Ahhh, it’s good to be in Texas!

So The Boss was a professional soldier and is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute. He commanded combat engineers both in the United States and overseas. He learned a bit about soldiering. Soldiering was his family’s business — his 96-year old father is retired from the military (infantry) and his late mother served in World War II (yes, his mother wore combat boots). Continue reading

03/6/14

The Russian Bear is a Punk

Big Red Car here.  Nothing to do today so I did a bit of research on the Russian military.  Back in the day of the USSR, The Boss had an assignment to take a look at some forward deployed Russian Army units in Germany.  They had this crazy tour of East Berlin limited to officers who were paratroopers or Rangers and who were taller than 6’3″.  They visited the areas of East Berlin that the Russians had not rehabilitated.

They also met with similar aged Russian officers.  It was a staring contest.  The Boss was not impressed with the Russian company grade officers though they could really drink vodka.

So, how does the Russian Army stack up as a military force? Continue reading

01/11/14

Valley Forge — a Primer in Crisis Management for the Startup CEO

Big Red Car here.  Oh boy, it’s going to be 75F and sunny here in the ATX today.  Oh boy!  [Hey, Big Red Car, STFU because other folks live in places like Chicago and it’s wicked cold there.  Actually it’s going to be quite nice in Chicago today.]

So The Boss is still in Steamboat Springs skiing.  It snowed like mad yesterday and last night.  Probably got more than a foot of fresh powder.  They were out grooming it all night long.

Continue reading

12/24/13

Keeping Faith With The American Soldier

Big Red Car here.  So The Boss is back for Christmas.  Not like him to leave Steamboat when the snow’s still good but the babies — the Investment Banker and the Perfect Daughter — are coming home so he had to be there to greet them.  Still, the snow was damn good.

So The Boss is exercised about the recent budget deal and the provision to reduce the military pensions contained therein.  [The Boss is a Veteran and his Old Man is a retired Sergeant Major, so he comes by his interest honestly.]

Continue reading

09/29/13

Reading and Understanding Military History

Big Red Car here.  Hey, the weather here has been a bit rainy — perfectly normal for September in Texas — and the temperatures are beginning to drop.  Can you say “Fall in the ATX”?  Haha, Big Red Car.  Get it together, BRC.

Continue reading

09/7/13

Some Straight Talk About Chemical Weapons

Big Red Car here.  The Big Red Car is against the use of chemical weapons in any and all forms.  There, I said it.  It is repugnant.

But the entire subject got me thinking about it all and I did a bit of research — don’t tell The Boss because I was supposed to be working on my tan, haha — and I learned some interesting things.  The Big Red Car has always been a damn good sharer, so here goes, Old Sport.

Continue reading

07/25/13

The Character Traits and Skills of the Successful CEO — Discipline

Big Red Car here.  I guess you’re getting tired of hearing about the warm, sunny weather here in the ATX.  It is July, ya’ll, and it is typical for these times.  Today will be another beautiful day in paradise.  On Earth as it is in Texas!

So The Boss is talking to one of his CEOs and the CEO says:  “Hey, I’ve got a situation which calls for a bit of discipline.  Any advice?”

Continue reading

05/27/13

Honoring America’s War Dead

Big Red Car here.  Cloudy, bit drippy and generally not “top down” weather.  Likely reminds veterans of some of their worst days.

Today is Memorial Day — the day upon which America honors its war dead.  It is a sad occasion.  It is very sad to contemplate all of those lost lives in defense of our freedom. Continue reading

05/26/13

Duty — odious duty

Big Red Car here.  Been raining cats and dogs here in the ATX.

The Boss was mumbling about planting some hibiscus and mandevilla vines along his big stone walls by the driveway — where your Big Red Car often bivouacs on a rainy night.  [Hey, I like the idea of sharing my bunk with some cute red flowers.  Get it, Big RED Car and big RED flowers?  Haha, Big Red Car, you crack yourself up.]

But, alas, it has been too rainy for The Boss to do any planting, so he’s been watching the NBA tournament.

Continue reading