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Bleah day in history.

It really is a mixed bag.

In 1943, the Battle of Mount Austen, the Galloping Horse, and the Sea Horse came to a successful conclusion on Guadalcanal, causing the Japanese to initiate Operation Ke, to evacuate the remaining troops of the Japanese 17th Army.  Hard fighting continued, and there were several sharp naval engagements, but to all intents and purposes, Guadalcanal was a done deal.

Elsewhere in the Pacific, the joint Australian - United States Papua Campaign also came to a successful conclusion.  Combined with Guadalcanal, and the earlier naval battles at Midway and Coral Sea, the Japanese tide is starting to ebb.

Okay, that's it for the good news.

In 1968, the NorKs captured the USS Pueblo, which remains on the active rolls of the US Navy, and is one of the longest serving vessels in the Navy.  She is the only commissioned Navy vessel held by hostile hands.  The crew of Pueblo, under the leadership of Commander Lloyd Bucher, gave us a good example of passive resistance.  One wonders, in this day of brutal media competition, the internet and blogs, if we bloggers could keep our typing fingers stilled, so as not to give it away to the captors?  And would the tame retired generals in the cable stable be able to keep their yaps shut?  I rather doubt it.

To wrap up the bad news, on this day in 1973, President Nixon announced peace was at hand in Vietnam.  Two years later I watched the Auld Soldier as he watched the Saigon Embassy evacuation on television.  Not a good day.

And I rather suspect some other kid is going to have a similar experience with their mother or father regarding Afghanistan.


From my observation there was a general sense of betrayal among the troops, whether they had served in Vietnam or not. We had won it in the field, but lost it in the halls of Congress. Mansfield, McGovern and kennedy should have been taken out and hung on the lamp posts in front of the capital in payment for the lives they cost, and were yet to be lost. At least those low lifes are having a long conversation with themselves as to why they will rot in hell for eternity.
 Kimmy never knew how close he came to getting his kimchee scorched, but Al Haig had several more years of screwing up the Vietnam war to accomplish, and he didn't want the sideshow. Let's just say that some of the BUFFs on Guam still remembered why they were built, and some of their crews did as well...
We're about to see Vietnam 2 in Afghanistan and Iraq for the exact same reasons for the original.
The Marines transferred command on Guadacanal to the Army's XIV Corps on 8 December, Elements of the 2 Marine Division remained under Army Command, but the 1st Marine Division withdrew to Australia.  All operations were still under Navy control, who did not announce the command change unti 22 January.  Communiques and discussions with the press barely mentioned the Army presence, and when they did dismissed it as "mopping up".  Most considered this a snub and a payback to MacArthur's snub of the 4th Marine Regiment in the Defense of the Philippines. The feud between the Army and the Marines was clearly underway by the time the Japanese finally withdrew from Guadacanal in early February.
Clearly, people weren't paying attention to General Mattis: "In this age, I don’t care how tactically or operationally brilliant you are, if you cannot create harmony—even vicious harmony—on the battlefield based on trust across service lines, across coalition and national lines, and across civilian/military lines, you need to go home, because your leadership is obsolete. We have got to have officers who can create harmony across all those lines."

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Well, today in the future might be remembered, badly also, as the day that SECDEF removed the ban on women in combat units.  But, with the looming cuts, we may be downsized so much that we have no choice to to have everyone a combatant.  (Except DOD civilians, of course.)
John NTA - Women have been in combat for the last 11 years, at least. The only difference is they can now serve in what the Army calls "Combat Arms" if they meet the standards. When I was at Victory, I saw Infantry, Cavalry and MP units go out on patrol every day, and the only difference in the 3 formations was some of the MPs had poney tails sticking out from under their brain buckets. Don't forget Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester for example...

BTW, on the subject those 60 - 100 pound rucks you grunts keep bringing up:

1. I'm sitting on an Army post right now and there are 2 male soldiers sitting next to me that I doublt could carry one of those more than a few miles at most.

2. In practical experience, it seems those famous rucks never get carried further than from the hooch to the HUMV. Of course, there is the Ranger School that keeps being brought up, but not every 11Bravo goes to the Ranger School, do they?

Another BTW: The old fear that male soldiers would take undo risks protecting the "ladies" has been pretty much debunked by the last decade of experience.


Out beyond the FOB there is a different world, of which you may not be aware. Afghanistan is very much like my world of some 40 years ago without the triple canopy and the humidity.  While, there were not many women on the firebases and compounds, life was good nonetheless.  Hot chow, clubs, even air conditioning in places.  Out in Indian Country, it was a different place and was not female friendly.  98% of them could never do what my rifle company soldiers had to do every day of their combat tour.  We could have used females for certain tasks, as they now do in Afgahnistan, but someone would need to fly in and give them a lift back to the firebase.

Ever thrown a track on a M1 tank?  If you're lucky, a M88 shows up to help you fix it.  If not, the crew better be in good shape. I could go on.  Females in the Army is a good thing and they can make an important contribution.  But some parts of warfighting and social engineering just don't mix very well, and the people who are pushing this down the militaries throats will never be held responsible if it all goes South on them some day.