Memorial Day

Originally, this was part of an earlier blog written in August 2007 in reflection on the UH-60 crash in Iraq which claimed fourteen lives, including a crewchief I had worked with. Since then, there have been more names added, and while they were not "line of duty" losses, their memories linger: 3May16 Eric Holmgren: one …

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Who is your favorite figure in American history and why?

Posted 16Aug2017.  In the course of my studies in American Military History, I have found that there have been many more important figures than those commonly discussed. One of which, Edward Ellsberg (1891-1983), is by far my favorite “forgotten” figures. I first came across his exploits in Joseph Gores’ Marine Salvage: The Unforgiving Business of No Cure, No Pay, and …

Kobiyashi Maru – Army Style… or… Scenario-Based Training

Effective training rarely needs high-end technology and impressive graphics to truly be effective. In some cases, the basic ingredients require a checklist, a dry-erase board, an engaged audience, and a demented imagination.   “Bad Soup Scenario” Day VFR flight / ILS approach into Columbus 1648L, WX – overcast w/ 1000’ ceilings, 92̊ F, wind 030@30 …

How well does the series Battlestar Galactica (the recent one) portray military life?

Posted 28Jun2017. I’m starting to note a potentially worrisome trend in answering more questions about BSG than other topics of relevance and interest… however… Realism of Battlestar Galactica (the recent one) regarding: “Power relationships” There are times when BSG gets it right - the hierarchy/chain of military command Adama acknowledged when faced with Admiral Cain’s ruthless, …

From an enlisted point of view, what separates a good officer from a bad officer?

Posted 30 May 2017. “Sir, I would follow you down the barrel of a loaded cannon.” I have given this compliment to many officers, and as one of the grizzled NCOs they implicitly trusted, they understood that not only had I meant it, but I would do it. “Mike, how do I set myself up …

Professional Regrets? None.

"Do you ever regret entering your field of work?" On February 29, 2016, I retired from the U.S. Army after 20 years as a 67T/15T, a military occupational specialty (MOS) officially known as a “Utility Helicopter Repairer.” During that time, I logged a total of 3904.9 flight hours – 1230.2 of which were combat hours. …

Light Reading, Heavy Thinking

Most of my ideas and inspirations occur when I am driving my truck. Apart from negotiating and the occasional profanity at the growing trend of distracted drivers (we have smart bombs and smart phones, but combining the latter with vehicles makes for more destructive power than any GPS-guided munition), I am usually rocking out to …