06/11/21

The US Army Budget Under President Biden

It is not difficult to understand the Biden approach to governance and the military priorities of his administration if one studies the Biden FY 2022 budget submittal — made late on a Friday night before an extended holiday weekend because it is not something they are proud of.

I focus solely on the US Army budget because it is the easiest to decipher and unpack, and it is a clear indication of the Biden military intentions.

Some background

During the Obama – Biden administration, the US Army was decimated. It was neglected and put the US in a dangerous posture.

During the last year of the Obama – Biden admin, the US Army reported only 3 of 58 brigade combat teams as combat ready.

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05/11/21

Military Diversity and Inclusion Is NOT a National Security Issue

Recently the Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin III (a former General and West Point gradate) made comments indicating the current status of diversity and inclusion in the American military at the general officer strata rises to the level of a “national security risk.”

In the military when they want to scare the civilians or they want to suggest that something rises to a level such that America might not win a war, they call it a “readiness risk.”

This picture is for all you West Pointers, you ring knockers. Note Sec Def Austin and his WP ring. It is an Army thing.

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04/4/20

Understanding The Chain of Command — Aircraft Carrier Commander Relieved

The military is an organization designed to operate under the most trying situations — combat with America’s enemies. It is a hard warrior culture.

Men are given command of meaningful warfighting assets — aircraft carriers, fighter wings, divisions, landing forces — within a chain of command that goes both up (superiors) and down (subordinates).

Any commander knows this reality when they receive command — they are given it by their immediate superior.

When I commanded a combat engineer company, the battalion commander handed me the company guidon and empowered me to run the unit within the guidelines of his orders.

I knew the deal. He knew the deal.

If I had a question, I asked the battalion commander. If he wanted me to do something, he gave me an order and I then passed it along to my platoon leaders, the first sergeant, and the men. We then accomplished the assigned mission.

If I had a beef with the battalion commander, I was welcome to state it, but once he made a decision, I saluted and carried out the order. If I did not accomplish the mission or if I refused to undertake the order, I expected to be relieved.

The Army, the military, only works in times of distress if and only if subordinates carry out the orders of their superiors.

A subordinate commander has a responsibility to inform his superior as to the status of  any mission on a continuing basis.

The Army mantra is: Shoot, Move, Communicate.

The Aircraft Carrier

The USS Theodore Roosevelt is one of ten of Nimitz-class nuclear powered aircraft carriers. It is at the core of an attack carrier group and is a powerful extension of American force.

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12/4/19

Welcome Home

I was at Lowes today buying a dehumidifier for a little stone repair I am in the midst of. It seems that water got behind some Carrera marble and some pinwheel stone flooring and I have to suck it out using a huuuuuuge dehumidifier. So, I park at the Veterans Parking Spaces at Lowes.

I love that Lowes has parking spaces reserved for veterans and provides a 10% Veterans Discount. Well played, Lowes.

I do my business and I get my 10% veterans discount. I return to my vehicle with my $300 dehumidifier.

There are several other cars parked in the spaces. One is a Jeep looking SUV with a Bronze Star on its license plate. I witness a conversation.

The Bronze Star recipient and another gentleman, whose age suggested he was a Vietnam War Era veteran, strike up a conversation. I listen to it as I’m stuffing my enormous humidifier in my truck.

They have a nice chat. If you have never been in the Army, you don’t understand that soldiers when they meet compare where they were and what units they served with. It’s a soldier thing.

The Bronze Star guy had been awarded his medal for valor in Iraq.

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06/6/19

The Age of Freedom – Twenty-two

The average age of the American soldiers who jumped into France or landed at Normandy was twenty-two. That includes everyone including the men running the show. Plenty of those who fought were as young as eighteen.

When good confronted evil, when the flame of freedom flickered, the men sent to make it right were young. They had their entire lives in front of them, but first they had to save the world.

By midnight, the Americans would lose 2,500 KIA, 3,200 WIA, 2,000 MIA, and 26 POW. Many of them were paratroopers who had jumped into the darkness over France slightly after midnight.

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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.

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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?

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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!”

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