VMI — Inaugural Parade

Big Red Car here on a sunny Saturday in the ATX still enjoying the Inauguration, the Inaugural Parade, the Inaugural Balls. Talking VMI.

My favorite thing was the VMI (Virginia Military Institute) cadets, 1,500 strong, bringing up the rear of the parade. Saving the best for last in the their red caped overcoats with white crossed dykes, armed & dangerous.

This picture captures the Corps of Cadets waiting to be turned loose to march down the parade route toward the White House.

Imagine yourself amongst them. Waiting in anticipation having gotten up well before dawn and riding a bus to DC. Standing there with your M-14 and bayonet in your heavy overcoat with the blood red cape, talking to your classmates. Waiting to be a part of history you will remember for the rest of your life. Proud to be a VMI cadet and proud to be an American taking part in the peaceful transition of power which is America.

VMI cadets

There is a wonderful, poignant insight as the cadets get ready to march — as they are ready to graduate and take their place in the American military at a time of war. The country has been at war for a long time. Too damn long. These young men and women will be in the fight soon enough. They will trained and ready. Some of them will pay the ultimate price. God forbid, but it is likely. Wherever the fight is the hottest, you will find the VMI grads.

VMI is a hard place to be, but it is a great place to be from. I know, cause The Boss graduated back in the early 1970s when another war was winding down.

Look at this picture and know that since 1839 this little school in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley has sent forth its graduates to ensure American freedom. Where do we get such patriots? Such inspiring, young, fine women and men? They are Americans. They are us. They are what make America great.

When they marched past President Trump, the VMI band and bagpipes were playing Shenandoah. Sort of fitting.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Hats off to VMI! Rah Va Mil!cropped-LTFD-illust_300.png

4 thoughts on “VMI — Inaugural Parade

  1. Hi JLM…you are missed at AVC! I’m far less interested in the comments without your counterweight to the NYC crowd. Anyways, my message is to ask your opinion on Trump’s picks for his cabinet? I appreciate your insight on these things. In particular what do you think of the military presence? First week or so on the job going as you expected? I hope you are well.

    • .
      Biggest of Big Mixes —

      President Trump is an experienced business executive who ran a company which was far beyond the ability of a single man to control. He surrounded himself with competent executives — and, arguably, he trained his children in the same role.

      As President, he has done the same thing — surround himself with competent executives to run the various departments of the government. Some of them, Rex Tillerson, are way outside the box, but then there is no evidence Pres Trump lives in a box.

      I applaud all of his picks and note that some of them are brilliant. I think Pompeo at CIA (graduated first in his class at West Point, served in the Congress) is one of them.

      I think returning the Pentagon to the tradition of seeking leadership who actually served in the military is a good move. The military has become a social petri dish conducting all sorts of social engineering experiments while ignoring the size and lethality of the forces. Mad Dog is all about lethality and winning the first day of the next war.

      I think Pres Trump’s reorganization of the intelligence community and the NSC (National Security Council) are necessary updates.

      Many folks totally misinterpret Pres Trump’s comments about NATO — he is in favor of reviewing its mission, bringing the mission into the current times, and ensuring that all participants are committed to funding their share of the effort. These are all things a business executive would do when he takes over an old school business to ensure effectiveness, vigor, and efficiency.

      Pres Trump is going to grow the size of the Army, Marines, Navy, and ensure the Air Force has the right flight platforms for the future, all while watching the cost of things.

      The Army is at pre-WWII levels, thereby inviting force fatigue in a coordinated effort between China and Russia, not out of the range of possibilities. We will go back to a force structure which anticipates the plains of Europe and the armed islands of the Chinese in the South China Sea.

      The Navy needs more ships to be able to contain China in the Pacific and the US will re-build its blue water fleet having been distracted by littoral conflicts in the Middle East.

      The US will begin to provide lethal force support to the Ukraine, thereby absorbing much of the Russian military testosterone at no cost to American lives. The Ukraine army is very good, but they need the right lethal weapons — anti-tank and man held ground to air missiles.

      [Footnote: Pres Clinton tricked the Ukrainians into giving up their nuclear weapons in return for a promise we would have their back if Russia messed with them. We screwed them. Had they retained their nuclear weapons, it would be a very different confrontation in both Crimea and the Ukraine.]

      Pres Trump is moving much faster than I ever contemplated. By the time former Pres Obama (that sounds so good to me) returns from vacation, his legacy will fit in a pill bottle.

      Stay well, my friend. It is an interesting time to be alive.


  2. Impressive!!! I always appreciate your military insight. It was nice to see President Trump saluting so much yesterday.

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