Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Sign of Hope, II

We don’t submit to terror.
We make the terror 
--House of Cards

The sailors and pilots
The soldiers and the law
The pay offs and the rip offs
And the things nobody saw 
--The Smuggler's Blues, 
Glenn Frey

As a follow-on to the previous piece on Medal of Honor (MOH) recipient Clinton Romesha, Ranger asks, "Why such a paucity of MOH's to living recipients from the wars of the last 13 years?"

In comparison, the United States awarded 20 MOH's to living recipients for the small 1890 engagement the Army called "The Battle of Wounded Knee" (or, "The Massacre of Wounded Knee"), more than have been awarded in the entire War on Terror.

Why have more awards not been issued to non-elite type units? They, too, carried this war on their backs. Since so many Reserve and National Guard units have also fought to the legal standard, why have they gone unrecognized?

The MOH is a symbolic award that serves to ennoble and revitalize the institution. Without such recognition, the fighting and dying seems paltry and trite. Does the National Command Authority understand this military nuance?

The institution needs these medal recipients, yet they are saluting smartly and route-stepping into history. That many of the living recipients of this highest service recognition have chosen to leave the active service is a curious phenomenon, considering the institutional deification that is traditionally accorded these recipients.

But that is a topic for its own study and one would have to dialog with these men to understand their decision. Ranger imagines that their turning away is an indictment and rejection of the stated goals of the wars.

Does anyone else wonder why?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, an only slight tangent to your post brings us back to the Murphy MOH and the Luttrell story (Luttrell was awarded either navy Cross or Silver Star; can't recall which). A few years back we both called BS on the whole thing. Well I stumbled across this recently: http://www.newsweek.com/2016/05/20/mohammad-gulab-marcus-luttrell-navy-seal-lone-survivor-operation-red-wings-458139.html

Note the picture of Luttrell when he was at the Afghan village enjoying Mohammed Gulab's protection after the action that resulted in Murphy's posthumous MOH and the deaths of the other members of the team.

In the story Luttrell had a broken nose and skinned up face from jumping down mountains. In the pic he does not exhibit these injuries. And what's that Luttrell has with him in the pic? Why....it's a radio!

In the story Luttrell was making a stand with the members of his SEAL team; gunning down Taliban left and right and only having one and a half mags remaining when he entered the escape and evade phase of the action. Gulab says that Luttrell had eleven full magazines when he came under the protection of the village.

Gulab says he talked to the infamous goat herders as well as other Afghans involved in the action. As we suspected, long before the encounter with the herders, the Taliban were onto the SEAL team and had been following and waiting for the right time to ambush. The team put itself into a perfectly indefensible pos and was gunned down by eight or nine Taliban (not dozens or hundreds), one of whom had a belt fed machinegun.

So how did Luttrell survive? Why isn't he KIA. Was he even with the others when the ambush took place? Did he jump and go sliding down a mountain when the first shot was fired?

More importantly, why the MOH? Why the valor recognition for Luttrell?


Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 10:55:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

i've read all of the links that u sent.
a few minor points.
-e&e and breaking contact are 2 different concepts.
-it would be suicidal to break up and e&e under the circumstances which this team encountered.
-in 1 pic of the LT. M he's in battle rattle WITH a big red patch on his uniform. so much for camo.
every thing that we both said still stands unrefuted, and approx 35 good Americans are still dead, and one is leading the good life.
I HAVE TO SAY that i still believe that jsoc/socom/centcom have not proven to be successful in either concept or operation. so why sweat 30 some kia in an ill planned opn?
I ASLO believe that the navy needs seals like a bullfrog needs tits.as an example-what were the seals doing out of the operational range of the fleet navies guns? doesn't the navy have world class infantry in the USMC infantry, at all levels?
jim hruska
jim hruska

Monday, May 23, 2016 at 12:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, I don't know why Marines are on mountain tops in land locked countries outside the range of Naval guns either. That's a new mission for Naval infantry.

Establishing a FOB or COP on the low ground is another new thing isn't it (re; your previous post)?

Weren't Special Forces supposed to be highly trained multi-faceted soldiers that assist indigenous people to win their own wars? Now whenever one hears about their warrior activities they seem to be nothing more than supersonic door kickers and assassins. When they killed medals are sure to be handed out b/c it just had to be some kind of incredibly badass action; else superman would have never gotten KIA'ed by some barbarian flunkies, right?

These are matters beyond nuance. What do they teach at the academies these days? Beyond women's and gay's integration issues?


Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 7:58:00 AM GMT-5  

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