“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: A Gay Officer Witnesses Its End

What a fascinating time to be a gay man in the U.S. military. This time last year, I was sure the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy was here to stay for the next 2 to 3 years. I never thought by now I’d be in a unit where almost everyone has received post-repeal training. While not entirely satisfied with the training …

Pirate Map!

Alas, there’s no X to mark the spot where the treasure is buried. This is the fascinating report — The Economics of Piracy — we cited a couple of weeks ago that noted Somali pirates can make up to $79K annually plying their trade. Finally got a copy of it, here, from the author, Peter Middlebrook of Geopolicity in the UAE.

He …

Painful Chopper Rides: Maintaining Your “Optimal Buttocks Reference Point” Can Kill Your Back — Failure to Do So Can Kill You

A decade of war certainly takes its toll on the brains and minds of those waging it. We’ve seen that in the numbers of troops returning with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder. Pentagon leaders refer to them as the “signature wounds” of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq because of their prevalence due to …

Wild Blue Squander

There is not another nation on Earth that comes close to packing the aerial wallop of the U.S. Air Force. Or the U.S. Navy. Or even the U.S. Marine Corps, for that matter. So why are those three services so hell-bent on spending $382 billion for 2,457 new Joint Strike Fighter F-35 warplanes? It’s not like we’re on the verge of being …

The USNS Cesar Chavez: The Navy’s Name Game, Cont.

UPDATE: It’s official: Navy has just announced ship to be named for Cesar Chavez.

So which of these heroes should we honor by naming a Navy ship after him? One’s a Pearl Harbor Medal of Honor winner. The second gave his life in Iraq so that his fellow Marines would live. And the third brought respect to the migrant …

Veteran U.S. Diplomat: We Are Becoming the USSR

Chas Freeman was President Nixon’s interpreter during Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972. Now, nearly 40 years later, after an impressive diplomatic and defense career, he’s interpreting China for the rest of us.

Last week he said:

The balance of prestige, if not yet the balance of power, between the United States and China

The Good bin Laden-Busting SEALs of Approval

OK — admit it. It’s been awhile since the nation had such a sense of accomplishment. But the Navy SEALs — admired not only for their bravery, but for their willingness to do so invisibly — have touched a lot of folks around the country. What lawmaker could ignore the chance to stand in their warm afterglow?

Certainly not …

“Latest Actual Costs”

I’ve been reading the publicly-released Pentagon Selected Acquisition Reports for decades. They’re the one place you can get a bottom-line price on various U.S. military weapons systems. But they’re generally two-page summaries, not the detailed reports that generate those summaries.

So hats off to Steven Aftergood’s Secrecy …

Whew…Secret SEALs Can Win Secret Medals

Stars and Stripes’ Rumor Doctor(the U.S. military has just about as many rumors as it does secrets, and believe me — the rumors tend to be more interesting) Jeff Schogol was told that the military doesn’t award secret commendations. Does that mean the SEALs who took out Osama bin Laden — in addition to not being able to …

The Outing of the SEALs Has SecDef Ticked Off

Remember when then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld got that question about “hillbilly armor” in 2004 from a soldier in Kuwait complaining about lousy protection for troops in the war in Iraq? And Rumsfeld’s timeless response: “As you know, you go to war with the Army you have.”

It turns out the question, from a member of …

Aye-Aye Captain: Reverse Course!

The Navy always seems to have troubles with sex and gender relations. Doesn’t matter if it’s the hetero- or homosexual, they just seem to flub it more than the other services. So it has happened once again: the sea service has just changed its mind on telling its chaplains they will be allowed to conduct same-sex marriages and civil …

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