The Washington Post has a story on the price of freedom, as paid by 1st Lt Nainoa Hoe of Hawaii. It’s moving and well-written. With soldiers like Noe and his platoon, we can only lose if we give up.
Hat tip: INDC Journal
L.A. Indymedia has video of two Marine LAVs (not “tanks” as claimed) that showed up at an International ANSWER protest outside the Westwood Federal Building on Tuesday. Watch the video to see how compassionate lefties treat the troops they claim to support.
So was this an episode of repression? Did AshKKKroft send jackbooted thugs to crush dissent wherever it sprouts? Uh, not exactly. The Marines got lost on their way to a Veterans Day parade and celebration.
I talked to one Marine with one of the “Striker” vehicles. He told me they had driven the vehicles up from Camp Pendleton the night before (Tuesday) on the freeway. Getting off the 405 Freeway going north, they would have passed Wilshire and Veteran where ANSWER had called a rally to protest the attack on Fallujah in Iraq.
I asked him if he was “rolling around Westwood” Tuesday night. He said, “Yeah, and we drove past that anti-war demonstration. We was lost. We’re not from L.A. We didn’t know where this place (WLA VA) was. We were trying to find it.”
“Did you drive around the block twice?” I asked.
“Yeah, we did. We stopped to ask them (the protestors) directions, but they weren’t very nice.”
This time, it’s the Army getting a new combat uniform.
The Army will be fielding a new combat uniform designed by NCOs and tested by Stryker Brigade Soldiers in Iraq since October.
Uniform changes include:
1. Mandarin collar that can be worn up or down
2. Rank insignia centered on the front of the blouse
3. Velcro for wearing unit patch, skill tabs and recognition devices
4. Zippered front closure
5. Elbow pouch for internal elbow pad inserts
6. Knee pouch for internal knee pad inserts
7. Draw string leg cuff
8. Tilted chest pockets with Velcro closure
9. Three-slot pen pocket on bottom of sleeve
10. Velcro sleeve cuff closure
11. Shoulder pockets with Velcro
12. Forward tilted cargo pockets
13. Integrated blouse bellows for increased upper body mobility
14. Integrated Friend or Foe Identification Square on both left and right shoulder pocket flap.
15. Bellowed calf storage pocket on left and right leg
16. Moisture-wicking desert tan t-shirt
17. Patrol Cap with double thick bill and internal pocket
18. Improved hot-weather desert boot or temperate-weather desert boot
19. Two-inch, black nylon web belt
20. Moisture-wicking socks
It looks like this one was created the right way, by listening to the guys at the tip of the spear, although that mandarin collar looks mighty uncomfortable to me. I have yet to hear anything positive about the Air Force’s frankly silly-looking creation. The Coast Guard has updated its utility uniform, if not its camouflage, and of course we can’t forget my second-favorite service, the Marines, who started the whole thing.
At this point, only the Navy is still wearing a circa 1980s combat uniform (well, my USCG still does too, but only Port Security Units and MSSTs wear them regularly), but since the SEALs are basically the only Navy personnel likely to be found crawling in the dirt, and since their uniform regulations and procurement methods are vastly more flexible than the rest of the Navy’s, I don’t foresee any significant pressure from the rest of their fleet to update their combat duds.
UPDATE: It turns out that the mandarin collar is designed to shield the neck from the Interceptor body armor vest collar. Nice idea, come to think of it.