armed forces – 20th CVETSMEM http://20thcvetsmem.org/ Wed, 16 Mar 2022 15:28:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://20thcvetsmem.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/default1.png armed forces – 20th CVETSMEM http://20thcvetsmem.org/ 32 32 Ukraine’s combat losses strike a chord with US Army veterans https://20thcvetsmem.org/ukraines-combat-losses-strike-a-chord-with-us-army-veterans/ Wed, 16 Mar 2022 15:28:18 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/ukraines-combat-losses-strike-a-chord-with-us-army-veterans/ Although hardened by the fighting he had seen in the war between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists, Nikonov also had a softer side. He was a family man, Hudson said, recounting how his friend brought dolls from Ukraine as gifts to Hudson’s daughters and took it upon himself to watch them while Hudson was overseas. “Like […]]]>

Although hardened by the fighting he had seen in the war between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists, Nikonov also had a softer side. He was a family man, Hudson said, recounting how his friend brought dolls from Ukraine as gifts to Hudson’s daughters and took it upon himself to watch them while Hudson was overseas. “Like any Marine you would trust, he said in an interview.

Nikonov was killed last week fighting Russian forces around Mariupol, a city in southeastern Ukraine that has seen devastating violence. In a Facebook post honoring his friend, Hudson called him “a true warrior and hero.”

U.S. forces train with foreign military, trade skills and experience, so their personnel can work better together in operational settings or in times of crisis. But it has another equally basic effect: It sparks relationships in unlikely places, like the shores of the Black Sea, where a U.S. Marine who grew up in Northern California and a lanky officer from Odessa would become friends. durable.

Nikonov, a lieutenant colonel in an elite Ukrainian naval unit similar to US Navy SEALs, was offered numerous opportunities to serve away from the front lines “but passionately declined,” Hudson wrote online. .

“As a leader, Nick led from the front and cared deeply about his teammates,” he added.

With Mariupol under heavy bombardment, Hudson organizes a fundraiser to buy medical supplies for his friend’s unit. Nikonov said while he appreciated the support, it would be difficult for anything to get inside the city. He and his troops were surrounded, Hudson said.

“It’s a huge, huge loss,” Hudson said. “He’s the kind of guy I want to be led by.”

A Ukrainian soldier named Artyom told Reuters he was seriously injured when his military vehicle was hit by Russian shelling. (Reuters)

The war, which began three weeks ago, has claimed thousands of military and civilian casualties, but it has been difficult to get a full and accurate picture of the true human toll on either side, as both work diligently to protect the disclosure of information that could prove advantageous to another.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that 1,300 servicemen were killed, but The Washington Post was unable to verify a number. Independent analysts, however, said the number was potentially higher, noting that the two countries could mask the true cost.

“Military casualties are inherently difficult to track, especially in a conflict like this where the information front is so important,” said Margarita Konaev, associate director of analysis at the Center for Security and Technology. emerging from Georgetown University. “There is an incentive to overestimate and overestimate certain things,” like enemy troops being killed, and to underestimate and underestimate other things, like their own losses, she said.

A Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman confirmed Nikonov’s death but raised further questions about the incident with the armed forces, which did not return a request for comment.

The number of Russian casualties has been similarly murky, with US intelligence estimates putting the number last week at between 2,000 and 4,000 dead, but noting there was “low confidence” in those numbers.

Pentagon estimates of the total number of Russian troops withdrawn from combat show many more wounded, captured or missing, saying on Tuesday that Ukraine and Russia have each lost about 10% of their combat power. The Russians sent over 150,000 troops across the border. Ukraine’s active-duty army is estimated to number around 200,000.

Hudson, who served in elite Marine Corps reconnaissance units before retiring from the service in 2018, met Nikonov more than a decade ago and said he stood out for his unusual talent, with equal parts skill and deep affection for the troops he led.

“I noticed those attributes with Nick in the first 30 seconds,” Hudson said. “There is a deep bond that formed from the start.”

While Hudson and his fellow Marines were deployed in Ukraine, Nikonov showed them how to explore culture, he said, including in his hometown of Odessa, the country’s beating artistic heart. Nikonov helped them secure tickets for a performance of “Swan Lake” at the famous opera and ballet house, now fortified with sandbags.

Their military ties grew more complex after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and Kremlin-backed separatists seized territory in the Donbass region. Nikonov and his unit fought along the eastern front, Hudson said, recalling a story from his friend about an attack the Ukrainians had carried out on an enemy convoy that resulted in a large recovery of ammunition and other supplies. .

Nikonov dug through the flaming wreckage and pulled out a Separatist uniform for Hudson as a memento from the battlefield. It had burn marks, Hudson said, and he wore it in his spare time on a later tour of Afghanistan, cherishing the gift of one newly minted veteran to another.

His death has shaken close friends, Americans and Ukrainians, who took to Nikonov’s Facebook page to offer their condolences. Many include images of him in one of his favorite places: in the air above the southern coast of Ukraine. In an undated video, Nikonov explains that he is parachuting over the Kinburn Peninsula, where the Dnieper and the Black Sea converge. “I love you and I can’t wait to see you,” he said.

Hudson has yet to contact Nikonov’s immediate family, including his wife and two children, but said he intends to help them if needed. Donations to the Marine Reconnaissance Foundation continue to pour in to help Nikonov’s unit obtain medical supplies. The nonprofit helps American military veterans and their families, but Nikonov, after going through the grueling Marine Corps reconnaissance training course alongside his American counterparts, made those accolades irrelevant, Hudson said. .

“We consider him one of us,” he said.

Serhiy Morgunov in Lviv, Ukraine, and Dan Lamothe in Washington contributed to this report.

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Is the Pentagon’s super-pollutant climate plan just ‘military-grade greenwashing’? | US Army https://20thcvetsmem.org/is-the-pentagons-super-pollutant-climate-plan-just-military-grade-greenwashing-us-army/ Thu, 10 Mar 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/is-the-pentagons-super-pollutant-climate-plan-just-military-grade-greenwashing-us-army/ The US military, an institution whose carbon footprint exceeds that of nearly 140 countries, says it wants to go green. On February 8, the US military released its climate strategy. Among other tactics, the military is aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050, electrifying its combat and non-tactical vehicles, powering its bases with “carbon-free” electricity, and […]]]>

The US military, an institution whose carbon footprint exceeds that of nearly 140 countries, says it wants to go green.

On February 8, the US military released its climate strategy.

Among other tactics, the military is aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050, electrifying its combat and non-tactical vehicles, powering its bases with “carbon-free” electricity, and developing clean global supply chains.

Wars, like the one Russia unleashed against Ukraine, are hugely polluting, and while the military’s plan will drastically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, experts say it doesn’t. enough.

“The Department of Defense, the entity that is America’s war machine, is the largest institutional contributor to global warming on planet Earth,” said David Vine, professor of political anthropology at the American University in Washington. DC. “And the army doesn’t recognize it.”

It specifies, at least, that it is necessary to reduce its “impact on the planet”. The Army Climate Strategy (ACS) admits, for example, that the US military’s annual electricity expenditure of nearly $740 million created 4.1 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2020, or 1 million tonnes more than the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the Swiss heat and power sector in 2017. .

Although the ACS reflects the Pentagon’s serious new stance on the climate crisis, which it has identified as a security threat, critics say the plan misses several crucial details.

It lacks accountability mechanisms, for one thing, said Doug Weir, director of research and policy at the Conflict and Environment Observatory. “We have to make sure that control mechanisms are in place. Otherwise, it’s just military-grade greenwash, he said.

The US Army and Military, for example, do not report their fuel consumption to Congress, let alone detail how much fuel was spent, where, or on what war. Most US government accounts of US greenhouse gas emissions omit numbers on the military’s contribution, even via a relatively easy-to-track metric like fuel consumption.

And consuming fuel, it does, in large quantities. A 2019 report found that the Department of Defense is not only the largest consumer of energy in the United States, but also the largest institutional consumer of oil in the world and, therefore, the largest institutional emitter. of greenhouse gases in the world. Between 2001 and 2017, the DoD was responsible for emitting 1.2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases, equivalent to the annual emissions of 257 million cars. This year, it is expected to burn 82.3 million barrels of fuel, more than Finland’s total oil consumption.

The plan aims to reduce that number — but a more effective way for the US military to cope with the scale and pace of its carbon footprint is to simply do less, said Neta Crawford, political scientist and co-director of the project. Costs of War from Brown University. .

She points to the fact that the US military has about 800 installations in 80 countries and another 740 bases on national soil, of which about 315 are military installations. Yet, by its own admission, the Pentagon says the US military is operating a third more bases than it needs – it calls this “excess base capacity”.

“Much greater savings can be achieved by simply closing a base rather than making a base unnecessarily more energy efficient,” Vine said.

Three Kuwaiti refugees make their way to Kuwait from the Iraqi border in March 1991 as oil wells burn. Photograph: David Longstreath/AP

However, even this kind of thinking would probably not be enough to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the armed forces as much as necessary. The military’s impact on climate “is not just about the environmental footprint of the military itself, it’s also about how operations are conducted and how wars are fought,” he said. Stefan Smith, coordinator of the Disasters and Conflicts subprogramme of the United Nations Environment Programme. .

“War is, by nature, destructive.”

Post-war reconstruction, for example, uses a large amount of resources. Clearing rubble and rebuilding from the destruction of infrastructure is a long and carbon-intensive process, according to Hassan Partow, UNEP program manager.

“The amount of trucking and emissions that would be required to remove this debris is equivalent to traveling from Earth to the Moon many times over,” he said, referring to the cleanups needed in Iraq.

War also degrades the land, altering and reducing its capacity to sequester carbon. “The legacy of land degradation in Iraq shows that when you change the land and change the soils, it changes the amount of carbon it can store,” Weir said. To what extent is unclear, as it is rarely, if ever, studied. But soil erosion leads to carbon loss, and desertification and degradation reduce the land’s ability to hold carbon – all of this likely happened in Iraq, particularly in what was once swampland.

“We know so little” about the amount of land destroyed in this case, Weir said. “No one is really following it or documenting it.” He thinks the environmental changes created by these conflicts contribute even more to the climate crisis than the emissions caused by the fighting.

Of course, the fights don’t help. Some of the first targets in conflict zones are oil infrastructure and power plants, Partow said. The US military has frequently targeted oil tankers in Syria and last week Russian missiles attacked a number of oil and gas installations in Ukraine. The resulting fires give rise to high emissions. “In the case of Iraq…people couldn’t see the sun from all the shows,” Partow added. US emissions increased dramatically after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But even non-violent conflict triggers other emissions.

“When the United States acts to increase its presence in Asia and the Pacific, it alerts the Chinese to the American presence – and it responds by manufacturing more weapons which, in turn, produce more emissions,” said said Crawford.

What can be done? Rather than viewing the climate emergency merely as a security threat to be trained for, suggests Crawford, the US military should help reduce the emergency itself and the instability it will bring.

“A much better strategy than preparing for a war caused by climate change is to prevent a war caused by climate change,” Crawford said.

Federal and military budget priorities may also need to change, according to Lindsay Koshgarian, program director at the National Priorities Project. The White House is expected to request a military budget of more than $770 billion for the next fiscal year.

An M60-A3 tank is deployed in US-Taiwanese exercises in September 2021.
An M60-A3 tank is deployed in US-Taiwanese exercises in September 2021. Photography: Daniel Ceng Shou-Yi/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock

“As long as we continue to invest this amount in the military, we won’t have the resources to deal with climate change,” Koshgarian said.

Even so, the ACS is considered an important document. “It reflects a long-standing concern of the US military – which has actually been much more progressive and advanced than most of the rest of the US government – about global warming and climate change,” Vine said.

The decision to electrify military vehicles, for example, is significant in the incentive it gives manufacturers to produce more electric vehicles and lower their costs in the rest of the country, Crawford said.

The Department of Defense will also integrate climate risks into its future strategies, including the expected National Defense Strategy, according to Richard Kidd, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment and Energy Resilience. A “comprehensive” climate mitigation and sustainability plan will be released in the fall, he said.

However, the concern remains that these strategies will only address the symptoms, and only marginally. Although the ACS emphasizes the need to act “now” – it says so four times in the document – the goals are set for 20 years.

For Koshgarian, plans like ACS raise a larger question: can military goals, such as land dominance backed by a large military, American or otherwise, be sustainable?

“There is no sustainable fast fashion. And there is no lasting global military hegemony.

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Army veteran coordinates march in Bardstown to fight PTSD | State News https://20thcvetsmem.org/army-veteran-coordinates-march-in-bardstown-to-fight-ptsd-state-news/ Sat, 05 Mar 2022 05:20:00 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/army-veteran-coordinates-march-in-bardstown-to-fight-ptsd-state-news/ A Nelson County Army veteran is hosting a march next weekend to provide resources and community to current and former service members in his home county. Chris Metcalf, who served with the 126th Infantry Regiment, known as “The Blue Spaders,” said he hopes the March 12 event will help raise awareness for veterans and their […]]]>

A Nelson County Army veteran is hosting a march next weekend to provide resources and community to current and former service members in his home county.

Chris Metcalf, who served with the 126th Infantry Regiment, known as “The Blue Spaders,” said he hopes the March 12 event will help raise awareness for veterans and their families who live with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the trauma they witnessed.

“I thought one day, ‘OK, having a march to raise awareness about veteran suicide and honoring the dead would be a great idea, because we can all come together,'” he said. “Whether it’s Vietnam, the Gulf War, the Desert Storm, we can all come together, come together and we can exchange phone numbers, resources.”

Metcalf invites all veterans and their families to join the march.

The group plans to meet at Court Square in Bardstown and walk down Third Street to Bardstown Cemetery, where they will plant flags for fallen members of the armed forces before returning to the square. The march begins at 2 p.m. next Saturday.

Metcalf hopes to use the march to bring attention to PTSD, which is listed by the American Psychiatric Association as “a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.” A person with PTSD may have flashbacks when awake or have severe nightmares.

“I myself am a disabled veteran of Iraq, he said.

“I’ve been out since 2009 and had many stays in PTSD treatment centers.”

Around the same time Metcalf served – from 2005 to 2009 – US Department of Veterans Affairs statistics showed that for the Iraq War, more than 90% of military personnel witnessed death or were under fire, and slightly fewer of that number suffered an ambush, mortar fire or knowing someone killed or seriously injured.

Metcalf said he had friends dealing with the same trauma as him and knew others were dealing with it too.

He said having people to talk to who know what you’re going through is why he started the Veterans Walk and Awareness Facebook page.

“If you need an ear, you can reach out. Someone will talk to you.

He said the hope is to help minimize the number of veteran suicides and prevent someone from becoming just another statistic.

A 2018 study by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs listed Kentucky as having 112 suicides.

State rates were found to be significantly higher than the national rate at 37.6 per 100,000 for Kentucky compared to 32 per 100,000 for the nation. He said he believes there should be more local outreach centers for struggling veterans.

To help meet that need, Metcalf said he would like to open a resource and awareness center over the next 10 years, because it’s not just suicidal thoughts veterans struggle with, but substance abuse as well. and homelessness.

“That’s what veterans need,” he said. “A safe place where they know they can go where they don’t have to drive so far.”

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US Military Doctrine Changes to Protect Capitalism and Threaten the World https://20thcvetsmem.org/us-military-doctrine-changes-to-protect-capitalism-and-threaten-the-world/ Tue, 01 Mar 2022 00:15:05 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/us-military-doctrine-changes-to-protect-capitalism-and-threaten-the-world/ In the run-up to the Russia-Ukraine confrontation and Russian invasion, the United States government announced its new military doctrine. His new approach and how he could maintain control was expressed in a Pentagon-drafted document, the National Defense Strategy, which became official policy. This meant abandoning its “war on terror” approach and resuming its efforts to […]]]>

In the run-up to the Russia-Ukraine confrontation and Russian invasion, the United States government announced its new military doctrine. His new approach and how he could maintain control was expressed in a Pentagon-drafted document, the National Defense Strategy, which became official policy.

This meant abandoning its “war on terror” approach and resuming its efforts to remain the preeminent military power. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were sold as a way to protect the world from threat. The result was insecurity and the massacre of hundreds of thousands of civilians. The United States began to realize that the vestiges of its international prestige were in tatters and, as its economic power was also declining, something had to be done.

The word from Washington was: “Today we are emerging from a period of strategic atrophy, aware that our competitive military advantage has been eroded…Strategic competition between states, not terrorism, is now the primary concern of the national security of the United States.

The purpose of the new military doctrine has been clarified. America must remain “the preeminent military power in the world” and that it was important that “the balance of power should remain in our favour” and that the world be organized in the way “most conducive to our security and our prosperity”. …and preserve market access.

The United States has upped the ante in the years since the creation of this document. He certainly manipulated events in Europe to serve his best interests and Russia, feeling the heat and no doubt fearing further NATO encroachment, reacted in exactly the way the United States wanted. Russia has demonized itself and allowed the United States to parade as supporters of freedom and sovereignty.

The same new military doctrine explains why the United States is focusing its efforts against China, bringing the world to the brink. All of this, as the Defense Strategy tells us, is primarily aimed at “preserving market access”.

The fact that the United States felt the need to change direction and focus more directly on great power rivalry is telling.

It is no secret that its place as a world hegemon, politically, economically and militarily, is seriously threatened.

The fact that he is willing to go public is also telling. Every time the United States has made a significant policy change, it has been done in the light: the world is supposed to know. Each line change is designed to let potential enemies see what might be in store, and to let possibly reluctant allies know the price that breaking the alliance could bring.

What’s also important to remember is that these policy changes are being made with fanfare and near-universal support from the corporate media. This should come as no surprise as the media is, ultimately, an arm of the state and plays a pivotal role in maintaining a sense of unity among the people.

So, if the United States announced a new military doctrine, what about previous versions? In the early 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson implemented a policy that would allow the United States to be able to wage war simultaneously against the Soviet Union and China, while allowing what has been described as a “small” war in a regional context.

At the end of the 1960s and under the presidency of Richard Nixon, all of this had to be redesigned. China and the USSR were no longer allies, and the Vietnam War captured US attention. The policy changed, accordingly, to give the United States the ability to wage war against a major power while allowing it to fight a regional conflict.

The next big step was taken by George Bush senior in 1990. His line was based on the fact that the Soviet Union was disintegrating and, of course, China was firmly in the capitalist camp. Any potential force would, he said, be used against “regional threats”.

President Bill Clinton adapted this further in 1993 to fit a policy that the United States could fight and defeat one adversary at a time. It was about fight, win, dig, fight, win, dig. Indeed, it was about preparing the ground for the United States to be in a state of almost perpetual war.

US foreign policy, based on military might and power projection, changed dramatically with its “war on terror” campaign that unleashed devastation for a quarter of a century. It was a policy that developed almost inevitably from his earlier promotion and support of mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan during the period of Soviet occupation. By arming and supporting Osama bin Laden, a Pandora’s box has been opened, and the desert created is there for all to enjoy.

In 2014, President Barak Obama addressed officers at West Point, stating bluntly that “the United States will use military force, unilaterally, if necessary, when our fundamental interests demand it.”

The US armed forces have dropped an average of 46 bombs a day for the past 20 years. The US War on Terror has permanently or temporarily displaced more than 30 million people and resulted in the deaths of more than 900,000 people, including 360,000 civilians.

Whatever military doctrine the United States implements, it is inevitably portrayed as having certain clear and unchanging components.

The first is that the policy exists to assure allies that they will remain safe, or possibly to compel allies to comply with it.

The second is, officially, to convince adversaries that they should not threaten the United States or its “interests”. The last thing is to make sure everyone understands that if deterrence doesn’t work, then the might of the US military will prevail.

The fact that an imperialist power like the United States expects the world to dance to its tune is not entirely surprising. It goes with the territory to be the world hegemon. The fact that he can be so brazen in letting the world know what he thinks becomes a tactical, even psychological weapon.

What is particularly significant in all of this is the power of the media to sell the idea that every change in direction and every change in military doctrine is not simply in America’s interest but in the best interests of the world.

Marx and Engels wrote about class and how the ideas of a ruling class in any society are inherently its ruling ideas. It becomes virtually impossible to think other than the way we are conditioned to think.

The media, as the vital arm of the state, shows this. American leaders changed tactics as necessity demanded to ensure they remained the supreme world power, and the world’s media sold the changes like an advertiser would sell breakfast food.

American foreign policy has been framed by the projection of force and the crudest threats against real or imagined enemies and potentially reluctant allies. As current President Joe Biden so grotesquely put it and the message rings in our ears: “If I had to bet on which country is going to be the economic leader in the 21st century… I would bet on the United States. But I would put it another way: it’s never a good bet to bet against the United States.

Our managers know where the pitch is and none of them are players.

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Ukraine crisis: Biden-Putin meeting canceled as tensions mount over Russian invasion plans | world news https://20thcvetsmem.org/ukraine-crisis-biden-putin-meeting-canceled-as-tensions-mount-over-russian-invasion-plans-world-news/ Wed, 23 Feb 2022 06:22:30 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/ukraine-crisis-biden-putin-meeting-canceled-as-tensions-mount-over-russian-invasion-plans-world-news/ A proposed meeting between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin is “certainly no longer in the plans,” the White House spokesman said. Jen Psaki added that tensions over the planned invasion of Ukraine should ease before such a meeting takes place. It came at the end of a day when Mr Putin’s decision to send troops […]]]>

A proposed meeting between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin is “certainly no longer in the plans, the White House spokesman said.

Jen Psaki added that tensions over the planned invasion of Ukraine should ease before such a meeting takes place.

It came at the end of a day when Mr Putin’s decision to send troops to disputed parts of Ukraine was condemned around the world.

Main developments in Ukraine:

• US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has canceled a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, which was scheduled for Thursday in Geneva
• UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Russian troops sent to Luhansk and Donetsk “are not peacekeeping forces at all”.
• British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that UK sanctioned five Russian banks and three oligarchsfreezing their assets in the UK and banning travel to Britain
• EU issued sanctions targeting 351 Russian politicians who voted to recognize breakaway regions
• Australia, Canada, Japan and Germany were also among the countries to announce sanctions against Russia

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2:49

“This is the beginning of a Russian invasion”

Also on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden announced the first wave of sanctions against Russiaaffecting Russian banks, oligarchs and the country’s sovereign debt.

He told reporters that Russian troops had been ordered into eastern Ukraine after Mr Putin recognized the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk marked the “beginning of an invasion”.

Read more: Comparison of military forces of Russia and Ukraine

Map

Meanwhile, new satellite images from space technology company Maxar showed several new deployments of Russian troops and equipment in western Russia and more than 100 military vehicles at a small airfield in southern Belarus. , which borders Ukraine.

NATO members, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have moved troops to close allies of Ukraine such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in recent weeks.

Russian military vehicles at the VD Bolshoy Bokov airfield, near Mazyr, Belarus, February 22, 2022 Photo: Maxar Technologies
Picture:
Russian military vehicles at the VD Bolshoy Bokov airfield, near Mazyr, Belarus, February 22, 2022 Photo: Maxar Technologies

Vladimir Putin is expected to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow today as the current generation of troops contemplate full-scale war in Ukraine.

The Russian president will mark Defender of the Fatherland Day, which is meant to honor military service personnel, marking the date in 1918 of the first mass recruitment into the Red Army.

Read more: How strong is NATO’s position in Eastern Europe?

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On the front line in the Donbass

On Tuesday, Russian lawmakers authorized President Putin to use the armed forces abroad – a possible sign that a broader attack on Ukraine is imminent.

But he has yet to release all of the 190,000 troops he has mustered on three sides of Ukraine.

Mr Biden has yet to use the full extent of the sanctioning power available to him – other measures could include an export ban that would block American technology for Russian industries and the military, and others bans that could severely limit Russia’s ability to do business with the world.

Read more: Who are the main players in the Ukrainian crisis?

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Mr Putin has set three conditions for getting out of the crisis. He called for international recognition of Crimea as part of Russia, an end to Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership and a halt to arms shipments to the country.

The West condemned the 2014 annexation of Crimea as a violation of international law and rejected Ukraine’s permanent ban on joining NATO.

Read more: ‘Showing up to a shootout with a pea shooter’: Johnson under fire from limited Russia sanctions

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Replica Vietnam Veterans Memorial, The Healing Wall, Coming to Methuen This Fall https://20thcvetsmem.org/replica-vietnam-veterans-memorial-the-healing-wall-coming-to-methuen-this-fall/ Tue, 15 Feb 2022 05:00:02 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/replica-vietnam-veterans-memorial-the-healing-wall-coming-to-methuen-this-fall/ The Healing Wall, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, as well as a mobile education center, is coming to Methuen this fall. The Healing Wall honors the more than three million Americans who served in the United States Armed Forces during the Vietnam War and bears the names of the 58,281 men […]]]>

The Healing Wall, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, as well as a mobile education center, is coming to Methuen this fall.

The Healing Wall honors the more than three million Americans who served in the United States Armed Forces during the Vietnam War and bears the names of the 58,281 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.

“We are honored to host The Wall That Heals here in Methuen. Not only does The Wall That Heals honor those who served in South East Asia during the war, but it also symbolizes our respect for all veterans of Methuen who served in uniform while providing residents of all walks of life, especially our youth, the opportunity to see this truly inspiring exhibit firsthand, said Methuen Mayor Neil Perry.

The memorial and mobile center will be free and open to the public 24 hours a day from Wednesday, September 28 at 2:00 p.m. to Sunday, October 2 at 2:00 p.m. at PFC Richard E. Potter Field in Pelham. Rue, Methuén.

“A big part of our success in bringing this great exhibit to Methuen will be the participation of volunteers from across the community,” said Paul Jensen, Methuen’s Director of Veterans Services. He asked for a volunteer coordinator and a promotion coordinator. Those with experience in any of these areas or who would like to be part of the organizing committee are asked to contact Jensen at City Hall. Volunteers will also be needed later to erect and dismantle the wall as well as to manage it around the clock.

Jim Knotts, President and CEO of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, said, “Hosting the Healing Wall provides an opportunity to honor and remember all those who served and sacrificed during the Vietnam War and to educating visitors about the ongoing impact of the Vietnam War on America. ”

The memorial is transported from community to community in a 53-foot trailer. When parked, the trailer opens with exhibits built into its sides, allowing it to serve as a mobile education center telling the story of the Vietnam War, the Wall and the Dividing era of American history.

The three-quarter scale replica of the wall is 375 feet long and stands 7.5 feet tall at its tallest point. Visitors will see the wall rising above them as they walk to the top, a key feature of the wall’s design in DC. Visitors can smear names of individual service members on the wall.

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These are the dumbest US military rules and regulations https://20thcvetsmem.org/these-are-the-dumbest-us-military-rules-and-regulations/ Mon, 14 Feb 2022 21:05:34 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/these-are-the-dumbest-us-military-rules-and-regulations/ Every job has stupid rules, no matter the field. Although the military doesn’t have a monopoly on regulations, they take them to extremes: there are rules for how to walk, talk, dress – right down to how to tie your boots. , to wear a belt and whether or not flip flops are not permitted […]]]>

Every job has stupid rules, no matter the field. Although the military doesn’t have a monopoly on regulations, they take them to extremes: there are rules for how to walk, talk, dress – right down to how to tie your boots. , to wear a belt and whether or not flip flops are not permitted clothing for any occasion other than a trip to the public showers. There are so many rules it’s just when rather than if there will be idiots.

Last week we asked you, our readers, what the dumbest rules and regulations in the military were. On our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter accounts, and in the story comment section, we received hundreds of responses, many of which were outstanding, and not only made me laugh, but reminded me of how truly the military can sometimes be weird.

Here are some of those answers. Just keep in mind that I can’t reach them all and each branch has its own (very) stupid rules.

Let’s start with the most common responses from readers. These will come as no surprise to anyone with experience in the US military; however, they may surprise our civilian readers who will be waiting for an explanation. Unfortunately none can be provided as none exist. They’re just stupid rules, and they exist just because.

They are:

  • Not hands in pockets
  • do not walk on the grass
  • I can’t talk on the phone and walk
  • Wear reflective belts during the day (even indoors)
  • Do not eat or drink while marching in uniform
  • Boot socks can only be a certain color
  • White socks without logos for PT
  • Can’t carry umbrellas

These rules often seem to be invented on the fly, usually by sergeant majors, and without any explanation. In Afghanistan, our company’s first sergeant would fly if a Marine wore a beanie when the sun was up. You will regularly see soldiers wearing reflective belts inside buildings where there is no danger of a motor vehicle running over them. Many veterans, even years after retrieving their DD-214, are still hesitant to step on the grass for fear that a crusty E-9 will leap out from behind a tree and shine on them.

Commanding Sgt. Maj. Kenton Franklin, command sergeant major of the 115th Fires Brigade, introduces Governor Dave Freudenthal of Wyo. a state flag that was flown on Veterans Day and a reflective sash at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Nov. 11. He visited the base with other governors on a Secretary of Defense-sponsored trip to Kuwait and Iraq to see first-hand the conditions under which service members operate.

Grooming standards, in particular: Haircuts

Next, we need to discuss haircuts and styles. Although the rules are different for each branch, there are a lot of “dumbs” to work around. The Marine Corps expects you to show up every Monday morning with a new haircut, although it says nothing about “weekly” visits to the barber anywhere in the order. Unsurprisingly, most branches relaxed grooming standards during the COVID pandemic, with the exception of the Marine Corps, which eventually caught the attention of members of Congress (although nothing came of it). . It’s a miracle we even won WWII without everyone having a high and tight, but we did.

The Army, Navy, and Air Force have pretty vague language regarding hair regulations, but all that does is give leadership the ability to interpret them however they see fit, which means make them stricter than the orders stipulated. This usually leads to troops really having no idea what is right or wrong and spending a lot of time trying to figure it out.

One of the main arguments for strict rules on haircuts is that they instill discipline, or are in some way a measure by which discipline can be measured. Either way, it doesn’t make any sense. Look, if you can’t discipline your troops because they don’t have a new haircut, you’re the problem, not them.

Men aren’t the only ones subject to stupid hair rules; females have just as many if not more stupid rules to follow. Updos and bobs, bangs and braids, there are so many rules that I won’t even try to decipher them all. At least they are updated, except for the Marine Corps of course.

A female soldier wears a ponytail with a helmet and gas mask.
U.S. Army Capt. Irene Mallet, UH-60 pilot and company commander, assigned to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, Wings of Victory, dons her protective mask during a simulated chemical attack against headquarters during Exercise Swift Response, part of DEFENDER_Europe 21, at Bezmer Airfield, Bulgaria, May 10, 2021. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Robert Fellingham)

Beards. We have to talk about beards.

Then there is the issue of shaving and beards. There are a few exceptions for religious or medical reasons, or if you’re a special high-speed hat type, but overall beards are prohibited. Why? Because of the gas mask gasket? There is a simple solution to this: if you are downstream or on a ship, then you shave. Just write the command to limit the length with some other verbiage to ensure a neat appearance and it wouldn’t matter. Whoever writes the order should also add that if you have patchy hair, you’re not allowed, and neither are goats…we need to at least have some respect for ourselves.

There is also a priority to allow beards. There are several foreign militaries that allow beards like the British Royal Air Force, Canadian Armed Forces, Germans, Norwegians (who can also have ponytails, even if they are men), and many more . So why not the United States? Beards were allowed in the navy until 1985, and sailors even wore them during World War II as they hunted Nazi submarines and destroyed the Japanese fleet. Is our current military disciple and professionalism so fragile that beards would see their loss? I am ready to be that this is not the case.

Some reader submissions were so good that we have to share them:

Days off (holidays) are billed to you, even for weekends or days when you would have time off anyway. It doesn’t happen in the “real world” because it doesn’t make sense.

These are the dumbest rules in the US Army

Forcing military academy students to attend football games is so stupid. Don’t even try to defend it with a superficial “esprit de corps” argument. It’s not even good football unless you’re a big fan of the triple option (which, spoiler, is almost always a race).

There’s nothing like walking past a truck in the middle of nowhere so it doesn’t hit anything but you.

These are the dumbest rules in the US Army

Imagine being this petty and literally having nothing better to do.

These are the dumbest rules in the US Army

Adapt, improvise, overcome.

These are the dumbest rules in the US Army

It happens… a lot.

These are the dumbest rules in the US Army

I had never thought of that but they are right. You’ll be yelled at for chewing gum and walking, but that’s okay if you have a huge lip stuffed full of tobacco.

These are the dumbest rules in the US Army

My personal favorite of reader submissions. Field day is the activity of the Marine Corps to make things excessively clean, which is incredibly stupid, especially since Marines still live in complete shitholes. You would have a PT on Friday morning followed by a room inspection and you had to shower and get dressed, but if the shower had a drop of water in it you would usually fail.

There are “dumb” rules worth defending. Several readers who will remain anonymous said that not being able to fraternize with officers was a stupid rule and I disagree. It boils down to this: why would you want to hang out with officers anyway, even if you are one? I get why officers would want to be enlisted because we’re just more fun, but why would anyone want to be around people who just want to chat about the OODA loop and talk about how fun college was? This is one of the few rules meant to protect enlistees, so take advantage of it and tell the officers they can’t hang out with you because it’s illegal.

Why do bad rules persist? The simple explanation is that it is nearly impossible to change rules and regulations in the military. Hell, it took an executive order from President Joe Biden to make sexual harassment a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and it’s pretty obvious.

The complex explanation behind the persistence of stupid rules is that most leaders are only in place for three years, so they prioritize general issues over seemingly minor issues like uniform rules or body hair regulations. of the face.

A slightly longer explanation is that stupid rules have existed since the dawn of the professional military and will persist until the universe collapses in on itself. You can bet the troops will be complaining about them until they’re on the event horizon of the black hole that will engulf all of existence, and with it, the grass they just got yelled at. for walking.

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Cryan is committed to meeting the health care needs of veterans deprived of treatment https://20thcvetsmem.org/cryan-is-committed-to-meeting-the-health-care-needs-of-veterans-deprived-of-treatment/ Mon, 24 Jan 2022 23:37:00 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/cryan-is-committed-to-meeting-the-health-care-needs-of-veterans-deprived-of-treatment/ Cryan is committed to meeting the health care needs of veterans deprived of treatment Trenton – Sen. Joe Cryan, the new chairman of the Senate Military Affairs and Veterans Affairs Committee, said he would follow up on questions raised at a forum on the health care needs of veterans who are denied a treatment because […]]]>

Cryan is committed to meeting the health care needs of veterans deprived of treatment

Trenton – Sen. Joe Cryan, the new chairman of the Senate Military Affairs and Veterans Affairs Committee, said he would follow up on questions raised at a forum on the health care needs of veterans who are denied a treatment because they left the service with “other than honorable discharges.

After participating in the “Veterans Zoom Roundtable,” sponsored by the New Jersey Reentry Corporation, Senator Cryan said he wanted to fix a system that prevents veterans from accessing care due to behavior resulting from service-related trauma, such as PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and military sexual trauma. He has already started working on a legislative remedy.

“These are heartbreaking accounts of veterans who served, sacrificed and suffered on behalf of our country,” said Senator Cryan, referring to former soldiers and surviving family members who have shared their experiences. “It is a cruel irony that former soldiers are being denied treatment and benefits due to so-called ‘undocumented’ dismissal for conduct caused by their military experience. It is an injustice that must be corrected. »

An Other Than Honorable Discharge (OTH) occurs when the veteran’s service record shows misconduct, but he was not involved in a court martial. OTH status often prevents them from accessing federal and state services and benefits, including health care. Veterans who have been discharged for “bad papers” are at greater risk of involvement with the criminal justice system, homelessness, substance abuse and suicide.

Senator Joe Vitale, chairman of the Senate Health Committee, also participated in the forum and will work with Senator Cryan on the bill.

“These are men and women returning home with wounds of war, including wounds that are not visible,” said Senator Vitale. “The current policy cuts them off from vital services, including addiction treatment, mental health services and other behavioral treatments they need to recover. These are treatments that can save lives.

There are about 8,000 New Jersey veterans with less than honorable leaves that impact their health benefits, the forum said.

Former Governor Jim McGreevey, President of the Reentry Corporation, moderated the discussion.

“It’s a matter of fundamental decency for the men and women who have served in the uniform of the United States Armed Forces,” McGreevey said. “They should receive the care they deserve and have earned to address the traumatic conditions they have endured in the service of others.”

Senator Cryan said he has already begun working on legislation to “fix the system” and will work with Senator Vitale, the Reentry Corporation, veterans groups and others. It will also review progress in other states.

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We will not forget our fallen soldiers, abandon veterans, says Sanwo-Olu https://20thcvetsmem.org/we-will-not-forget-our-fallen-soldiers-abandon-veterans-says-sanwo-olu/ Sun, 16 Jan 2022 03:05:41 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/we-will-not-forget-our-fallen-soldiers-abandon-veterans-says-sanwo-olu/ Posted January 16, 2022 Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the state government will continue to remember the members of the Nigerian Armed Forces who died while defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation. The governor said this Saturday during a short ceremony to commemorate Armed Forces Memorial Day. During the ceremony, held […]]]>

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the state government will continue to remember the members of the Nigerian Armed Forces who died while defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation.

The governor said this Saturday during a short ceremony to commemorate Armed Forces Memorial Day.

During the ceremony, held at Remembrance Arcade, Tafawa Balewa Square, Onikan, Sanwo-Olu laid the wreath in honor of fallen servicemen.

According to a statement by his chief press secretary, Gboyega Akosile, titled “Fallen soldiers have made the supreme sacrifice for the unity of the nation – Sanwo-Olu”, the governor said that the sacrifice made by the heroes fallen in battle was supreme and marked the symbol of the unity of the nation. .

The statement added that a few days ago, the governor honored a pledge of N50 million to the Lagos Command of the Nigerian Legion, in addition to employing more than 5,000 military veterans as security guards in the public schools, hospitals and government facilities.

“Today we have come out in honor and remembrance of the deceased members of the Nigerian Armed Forces, who at one time or another had rendered great service to our nation and had paid the supreme price to maintain our Unity and Our Security As an annual tradition, the state government gathers with military formations and veterans to commemorate this day in their honor and say that their sacrifices are not in vain.

“It is about continuing to encourage the men of the Nigerian Armed Forces and showing them that the country will continue to remember them and ensure that their efforts are not in vain. As a government, we support our soldiers to ensure the security of the territorial integrity of this nation, while working with them in the areas of intelligence gathering to ensure that Lagos remains safe for our citizens and visitors.

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Veterans Corner: Former VFW National Commander Passes Away | News https://20thcvetsmem.org/veterans-corner-former-vfw-national-commander-passes-away-news/ Wed, 05 Jan 2022 08:15:00 +0000 https://20thcvetsmem.org/veterans-corner-former-vfw-national-commander-passes-away-news/ TITUSVILLE – With a heavy heart the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) salutes the life and service of former VFW National Commander John F. Gwizdak. Gwizdak died on December 26 at the age of 81. He was elected the organization’s national commander on August 25, 2000, at the 101st VFW National Convention in Milwaukee. Born […]]]>


TITUSVILLE – With a heavy heart the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) salutes the life and service of former VFW National Commander John F. Gwizdak.

Gwizdak died on December 26 at the age of 81.

He was elected the organization’s national commander on August 25, 2000, at the 101st VFW National Convention in Milwaukee.

Born in Revloc, Pa., And raised in Carrolltown, Gwizdak enlisted in the United States Army in 1958. In 1968 he attended Officer Candidate School and was made a second lieutenant. He retired in 1978 with the rank of captain. His military career included three tours of Germany, including a tour of Berlin and Vietnam.

First a heavy mortar platoon leader, he ended up taking command of company E based in Long Binh. The unit operated from Camp Frenzell-Jones. He had the distinction of having served in all leadership positions, from squad leader to infantry company commander. He was inducted into the US Army Officer Candidate Hall of Fame.

Gwizdak’s military awards and decorations include Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, four Bronze Star Medal awards (including one for bravery), Purple Heart, Vietnam Cross of Bravery with palm , Army Medal of Honor (three), Occupation Army Medal (Berlin), Vietnam Campaign and Service Medals, Good Conduct Medal (three), Reserve Armed Forces Medal, Medal National Defense Service Insignia, Combat Infantry Insignia, Parachutist Insignia and Drill Sergeant Insignia.

He joined the VFW in 1977 and established a record of distinguished service at the post, district and department levels. In 1988, he achieved the status of Commander of the All-American Department, VFW Department of Georgia. Recognized as a leader in veterans affairs, John received numerous appointments to national VFW positions and was elected to the VFW National Board of Directors in 1990, representing the departments of Georgia and Alabama.

In addition to other VFW positions, he served many years as a warrant officer / quartermaster of the Georgia VFW department – from December 1992 to October 1998 and again from March 2004 to June 2006. He held the position assistant manager of the department at the time of his death. He left an indelible mark on the VFW and was a friend to all. He will be sorely missed.

• • •

Caregivers of Veterans and their families are invited to participate in a Virtual Town Hall for Veterans from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on January 12.

Those in attendance can meet with John A. Gennaro, Executive Director of Erie VA Medical Center, as well as the management team to learn more about the programs, services and ongoing projects of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

In addition, the management team will be joined by Jennifer Vandemolen, Veterans Benefits Administration, manager of the Pittsburgh regional office.

Veterans will have the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session immediately following the updates.

You can join through the Microsoft team link https://bit.ly/3luaoMn or by phone (audio only) (872) 701-1085 (conference call ID: 940 095 774 #).

Charlie Castelluccio, a resident of Titusville, is the Chaplain of the 28th Foreign War Veterans District of Northwestern Pennsylvania and is a member of Titusville Foreign War Veterans Extension 5958.


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