Delta Allegedly Bags Soldiers


So 34 troops flying home from Afghanistan via Delta on Tuesday say they were forced to fork over $2,800 of their own money because the airline said they were carrying too many bags home from combat. Made a nifty little video about it mid-flight, complete with …

Booted Army Gen. Stan McChrystal Has Lessons to Teach

Rolling Stoned and former Army General Stan McChrystal is now leading the McChrystal Group, and has replaced defeating the Taliban with a new assignment: “McChrystal Group’s mission is to bring world-class leadership solutions to public and private organizations to help them solve problems, manage risk and be more effective,” …

An Ex-GI Trains Libyan Rebels How To Fight

Fascinating piece by Steven Sotloff in Benghazi about a beefy and cigar-chomping former U.S. soldier training Libyan rebels how to fight:

The selling of military expertise by foreign privateers, or mercenaries, is known as the world’s second oldest profession. But [Jerry] Erwin insists motives are more altruistic and that he is not

Vietnam’s Lessons…and Afghanistan

Colonel Gregory A. Daddis is the author of No Sure Victory: Measuring U.S. Army Effectiveness and Progress in the Vietnam War, published by Oxford University Press. Daddis teaches history at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. He has served in a variety of Army command and staff posts around the world and in …

Leadership not Lexicon Will Break the Stigma of PTSD.

My colleague Mark Thompson has mounted three posts mentioning Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder today. I’m not shooting for the superfecta, but I do want to comment on a point Mark made

As I noted in one of my earliest posts here on Battleland, I have struggled with mental health problems. My PTSD diagnosis came in 2002 while I was …

Great Moments in U.S. Military History

Sure, we are engaged in 2.5 wars. Sure, troops are dying overseas on a near-daily basis. Sure, budgets are tight and getting tighter. Sure, troops are coming home with PTSD — or PTS. Sure, military families are frazzled and stressed beyond all get-out. So why are the Army and Marines waging war over who gets to wear what kind of camouflage?

Memorial Day in the Rearview Mirror: Soldiers as Heroes, and Victims

Elspeth Ritchie was on the front lines dealing with the military’s mental-health issues as an Army psychiatrist, including several senior positions following 9/11, for nearly a quarter century. She has studied and tended to troops’ minds on assignments around the world, including in Cuba, Iraq, Somalia, South Korea and Vietnam. She

Gay Jokes

I often get asked if gay jokes bother me in the work place. I can honestly say it’s rare for me to go more than a couple of days without hearing some sort of homophobic comment.

It’s no secret that you have to have thick skin to do this job. When it comes down to it, you can’t turn to your enemy and say “Stop shooting – …

The Few, the Proud, the Broken

There’s an easy way to figure out which military service has the toughest basic training — all you have to do is count how many recruits break their legs. Using that standard, there’s no competition: the U.S. Marine Corps crushes its recruits’ lower-leg bones far more often than the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard or Navy.

The data …

Why So Few Medals of Honor?

The White House has announced that President Obama will award Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry the Medal of Honor on July 12th. SFC Petry, a Ranger, lost a hand and received other significant wounds during a firefight in Afghanistan during which he tried to throw a hand grenade back at the enemy. (See my colleague Mark Thompson’s …

One of the 6,000

On Memorial Day, Americans paid tribute to the men and women who have fought our nation’s wars, especially those who didn’t come home. My new colleague Mark Thompson, who has generously invited me to contribute to Battleland, had some powerful observations about the Pentagon news releases that have trickled down in a “

Different Wars, Same Reaction: Grenade-Throwing Heroes

The White House has announced that Army Staff Sergeant Leroy A. Petry is the second living post-9/11 Medal of Honor recipient (seven others have been awarded posthumously). President Obama is slated to bestow the light-blue-beribboned medal — the nation’s highest — at the White House on July 12. Petry earned the honor for what …

The Decision to Serve

Officer X

This Memorial Day weekend, I took time to reflect on my service. It’s an understatement to say times are difficult for America’s troops. Still, I can’t help but consider myself truly lucky to have the honor to serve in the United States military. I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.

I remember standing at the waters …

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