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July 01, 2005

Happy Canada Day!

It is Dominion Day in Canada (actually Canada Day now, but I chose what I did for a reason...) Their 4th of July equivalent.

So - go visit a Red Ensign Blogger!

Hosting provided by FotoTime

First - visit the Founder, Ghost of a Flea.

Then go sample the rest:

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Jul 01, 2005
» Winds of Change.NET links with: Happy Canada Day 2005!

February 15, 2005

Let's Have a Commonwealth Moment.

Happy Birthday to the Canadian Flag, born this day in 1965.

At the prodding of CAPT H of the Canadian Army, I offer up a British bit of history...

Ladies and Gentlemen, I say unto you, Colonel Geoffrey Powell.

And, of course, the Red Ensign Standard #15 is up...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Feb 15, 2005

January 18, 2005

Places to go, things to read.

If you'd like to see the conservative (in a quirky, Canadian, fashion) side of the web in Canada - go read this week's installment of the Red Ensign Standard. Thousands of Instapunditites have!

Full disclosure - I'm a Red Ensign Brigade Member - not because I'm Canadian, but because I believe our northern neighbor can salvage itself from the long slide to a full-bore socialist dictatorship of the pc-oligarchs with a little help from the Right... and if you think I'm overstating the case, you should talk with the Canadian members of the Brigade about the assault the Left has made upon the Brigade in Canada. They fear dissent enough that they have actually driven some bloggers to ground in ways we on this side of the border would find stunning in it's relative swiftness and efficacy.

Dean Esmay is being a contrarian to the conventional wisdom. This is one way, kiddos, to get yourself read. Pick a very public fight - whether seriously, as Dean has done, or humorously, as Frank J. did with the Instapundit (you do know the origins of 'puppy-blender,' right?)

The VodkaPundit has a bit on "Twixters" that is worth reading - and the comments possibly more so. Of course with my M-RADD (Military-Related Attention Deficit Disorder) I got sidetracked by the Department of Redundancy Department's noting the use of the term "Panzer Tank" which for some reason causes brain malfunction in me. Nota Bene: If you are ever in a televised Presidential Debate with me and are losing, simply say "Panzer Tank". My head will explode, and you, not I, will be the next President of the United States.

Ergo, I ain't never going to run.

And while I don't accept the premise that the US is already a dhimmi nation... I will entertain arguments that much of the MSM is in some respects, almost defacto dhimmi.

Here's a thought, and I'm not going to link to anything... quick - what was voter turnout for the 2004 election as a percentage of eligible voters? Look that up (I know the number) and keep that in mind. If the Iraq vote exceeds that number, but doesn't approach 98%, whatcha wanna bet there will be some in the MSM who decry the low voter turnout, and others who will contrast it as if comparing oranges to oranges, with the 99-100% reported turnout of the Saddam years? And do so with no sense of self-conciousness, nor will their heads explode. That would be so cool to see on TV... a news reporter finally explode from the mass of contradictions... Hey, I could be wrong, I don't do this for a living.

And last, because this is my blog and you aren't forced to come here... I can make really lame bad jokes that also require you to be up on your obscure military references.

Anybody got change for a penny? I do.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Jan 18, 2005
» A Collection of Thoughts links with: What's Going On

December 09, 2004

Hoist the Red Ensign

I belong to a group of loose-knit Canadian and "friends-of-Canada" bloggers called the Red Ensign Brigade. Via this group of generally-but-not-exclusively center-right bloggers I have learned more about Canada in six months than I had in my prior life (which, of course, is a complaint Canadians have about us "Murican's, eh?). Most of it good - but some of it bad, too. Like the iron grip the PC thought police have up there - a grip that takes advantage in many ways of the seemingly natural tendency of Canadians to be respectful and accomodating.

The Red Ensign Brigade adopted as a symbol a flag that Canada used prior to the Maple Leaf - one that they fought under in WWII, as a symbol of a more muscular Canada. Unfortunately, some of the darker elements of Canadian society use that flag as well. This has led to some leftie Canadian bloggers trying to tar the Brigade by essentially saying that the Red Ensign, because some hosers have latched on to it - is the equivalent in the US of the Stars and Bars of the Confederate Battle Flag.

There are huge differences between the two situations, though you couldn't tell that from the attack a few lefty bloggers have mounted. We members of the Brigade feel that the Ensign should be fought for - and not allowed to be appropriated by default. Some members of the Brigade have paid a real personal price in that defense.

See for yourself the people who fly the Red Ensign- via the Red Ensign Standard #10.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Dec 09, 2004

November 21, 2004

Red Ensign Standard

The Red Ensign flies at Dust My Broom. The Red Ensign is the national color that Canada used before the Maple Leaf color was adopted.

Red Ensign bloggers are a group of Canadians and fellow-travelers (like me) who object not to Canada's good manners, different take on foreign policy, or desire to 'not be' the US - but rather to rampant, arrogant, hypocritical, nanny-statism. Well, speaking for me, anyway. The Flea, who founded the group, explains his vision here.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 21, 2004

November 06, 2004

Why I fly the Red Ensign.

Because Canada was once (and deep in her heart, still is) the 1st Special Service Force. Canadian Class with American Crass, that was the Devil's Brigade! Great movie, too.

And they still live.

Ist Special Service Force monument, Fort Benning, Georgia.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 06, 2004

September 07, 2004

Time for a Red Ensign Moment.

March 15, 2002 Shah-i-Kot Valley, Afghanistan. In the mountains of Paktia Province east of Gardez, members of an anti-tank team from the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI) Battle Group take a much-needed rest on the trail. The oxygen-poor atmosphere of 3,000 metres is very hard on these soldiers, who carry particularly heavy loads of weapons and ammunition. They are engaged in Operation HARPOON, the Canadian Army's first non-defensive combat mission since the Korean War, which is itself a component of Operation ANACONDA, a major US-led assault on Taliban and al-Qaeda positions. The 3 PPCLI Battle Group is deployed in Afghanistan on Operation APOLLO, Canada's military contribution to the international campaign against terrorism. Photo by Cpl Lou Penney, 3 PPCLI BG

A Canadian soldier speaks out:

We are driving good soldiers out of the Army

by Lewis MacKenzie
Maj-Gen MacKenzie

Since my early retirement from the Canadian Armed Forces in 1993, the strength of our military has steadily declined from some 83,000 to less than 55,000 deployable personnel. The Army, which was my home for 36 years, is now 3,000 soldiers short of being able to fill the seats in Maple Leaf Gardens. The Toronto Police Services have 2,000 more police officers than the Canadian Infantry has soldiers from private to general. As a result, we have little to offer our allies when they set about taming rogue states, war criminals, ethnic cleansers, and various goons such as those immolating villages in Western Sudan.

This has led to problems with deployability and force tailoring to meet operational needs. It also creates dependencies which limit employability - admittedly a goal of some politicians in a multilateral world.

In an effort to deal with the shrinking force pool, the previous commander of the Army, Lieutenant-General Mike Jeffery, introduced a new method of preparing contingents for overseas deployments. Rather than building a contingent around an established 600- to 700-strong unit -- like the 3rd Battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (3PPCLI), which served with the United States in Afghanistan in 2002 or the 1st Battalion of the Royal 22nd Regiment (1R22eR, a.k.a. the "Van Doos"), which secured the Sarajevo airport in 1992 -- contingents would be created from company-sized building blocks, each one being approximately 100-soldiers strong. These companies could be plucked from units spread across the country. This method has become known as "plug and play" and came into effect in 2002.

The General goes on to discuss how the current leadership of the Army have reacted and adapted (reluctantly and against their better judgement - but the civilians say "This is how it is." and the soldiers have to salute, else you have a banana republic.

That did not surprise me. Despite the fact politicians praised "plug and play" as a visionary and brilliant concept, it compromised two sacrosanct Army principles. General Jeffery realized this fact, but had been forced to make such a distasteful decision due to a lack of resources."

Why is this important? As you have read here, and on other milblogger pages, this is why:

The first principle to be sacrificed is that of unit cohesion. Most soldiers don't risk their lives for God, Queen or country. They do so for their buddies, particularly the ones a few metres on each side of them. Don't take my word for it; ask someone who landed on the beaches of Sicily or Normandy. And the best way to foster that intense loyalty and commitment is within a unit based on the time-honoured regimental system.

I would add (especially if you are Canadian) ask any of the soldiers in the pictures above or below, who waltzed with the elephant in Afghanistan.

What are the second and third order effects, you might ask? Organizational attitude, flexibility, and adaptability.

The second principle to be trumped by the move was flexibility. Over the years, the Canadian military brass has been conditioned by relatively stable peacekeeping missions in places such as Cyprus, from 1964 to 2002. In such cases, Canada deployed custom-organized units that fit a specific and consistent mission. On the other hand, combat-arms units -- infantry, armoured and artillery -- have been organized since the 19th century to adapt to changing missions in volatile environments. That flexibility is squandered when we cannibalize these units to produce smaller forces with narrow roles.

For example, a Canadian contingent that just returned from Kabul was deployed without its mobile logistics company, relying instead on a static base camp manned by civilian contractors. When NATO officials requested that Canada expand its mission to include mobile operations, we had to turn them down -- proffering the phoney excuse that our soldiers were not adequately trained.

Another third order effect? Your best leave. The mediocre almost never leave - they know a good deal when they see it. It's the good ones that leave. (And that shouldn't be taken to infer that all the soldiers who stay the whole course are mediocre - the warriors reading this know exactly what I mean and what kind of slacker I'm referring to).

Many soldiers at the sharp end have noted the folly of the compromises. The current commanding officer of the 1st Battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, the same unit I had the pleasure of commanding in the late 1970s, has tendered his resignation after only one year in command.

Lieutenant-Colonel Shandy Vida is an outstanding officer. You would be proud and comfortable to have your son or daughter serve under his leadership. He is a soldier's soldier and bristled at the compromises forced upon him, as he patched together a large part of the infantry component recently deployed to Afghanistan. To him, "plug and play" is not the way to send our soldiers to do dangerous work.

One hopes the current Canadian government will take the advice of those who do the killing and dying at their command.

There's more stuff in the whole piece, available here, courtesy of my source of All Things Forces, JMH.

If you are a registered user of the National Post, the bit was first published there.

Bn Headquarters during Operation Anaconda.
Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Sep 07, 2004
» Ghost of a flea links with: Operation HARPOON

August 27, 2004

Bad Armorer! AWOL armorer!

I missed formation!

The Weekly Red Ensign blog round-up, led this week by the able Amazon!

I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!

You should go over and check out the blogs of Candians with a Warrior Spirit - or their fellow-travelers, such as myself, who don't accept that the Canadian government is, well, shall we say, entirely representative of the Canadian people!

I've got to go fill my pack with rocks, and do my punishment drill out on the Parade.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Aug 27, 2004

August 15, 2004

Via the Forces comes this Red Ensign Moment...

CAPT H points out Trudeaupia, where one can find a reliable indicator of Canadian Forces morale.

Still good, despite the best attempts of recent governments.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Aug 15, 2004