When the US Navy Bluenose Crossing the Arctic Circle is something that needs to be done it is no joke. Jutting ice, icebergs, terrorizing weather, surfacing submarines from under ice flows and much more. The oceans and seas of the world are already dangerous even under ideal conditions but throw in ice, dangerously low temperatures no assistance or help in a thousand miles from all directions and now you know what it is like to become part of the Order of the Bluenose.
Over the decades there have been certificates for the United States Navy Sailors that have gone polar such as
All Sailors, wherever ye and whoever ye may be, Greetings.
Know all ye by these presents that Jack Tickler did on the 19 July 1971, appear in the northernmost reaches of my realm, bound for the dark and frosty wastes of the land of the midnight sun and did with our royal consent enter this dread region by crossing the arctic circle by virtue whereof i, neptunus rex, ruler of the raging main do hereby declare him to be a loyal and trusty salt-lined and brine-encrusted bluenose and do call upon all Icebergs, Sea Lions. Narwhals, Polar Bears, Whales, Mermaides and other creatures of the Frigid North to show him due deference and respect.
Disobey under pain of Our Royal Displeasure
Neptunus Rex (Ruler Of The Main)
Aurora Borealis (Queen Of His Pallid Polar Regions)”
Designed specifically for the United States Navy Bluenose Sailors comes this Realm Of the Arctic Circle Bluenose design.
Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Bronze Star Medal through executive order on February 4th of 1944. The Bronze Star was created during the Second World War in a response to the Airmen’s Medal that was being awarded to pilots during the war. George C. Marshall argued in a letter to Roosevelt that the awarding of the Airmen’s Medal was creating resentment among the ground troops during the war, and hurting the morale of those troops who were suffering some of the greatest casualties. He urged for the creation of an award that could be given to troops by Company Commanders on the level of the Airmen’s Medal to increase the overall troop morale.
In response to this the medal was designed by Bailey, Banks and Biddle, who also designed the Silver Star, and awarded to the first soldiers in 1944 retroactive through December 7th 1941. Now I have seen my fair share of Bronze Medals handed out throughout my career. I will also say that I have never been lucky enough nor have I ever done anything in my miitary career that I think would be deserving of this illustreous medal. I also have the ultimate respect for anyone who has recieved this medal, which is placed above the Purple Heart in order of precedence. Think about that for a second, you can take a bullet for your country and the medal you would recieve is still below that of the Bronze Star.
We all have stories about someone who received an award that they don’t deserve, or at least we feel that they do not deserve. This rarely happens, especially today with the Bronze Star. This is because as of 2012 you must be in a combat zone to earn a Bronze Star. So the next time you meet someone who has earned this award, please do 2 things. Number one thank them for their service, and number 2 get their contact information and follow the link below to purchase one of our Bronze Star designed gifts to show your absolute appreciation for their service to this great country.
The military saw a pay raise that matched the rise in private sector wages for the first time in six years and many feel that Trump is the one to thank for that. Prior to the election Obama and congress seemed to be in a deadlock about how much of a raise the military would receive in 2017. Congress wanted to give the troops a raise that matched the projected growth in private sector wages, while President Obama had proposed a budget reducing the raise to 1.6% or a half a percent behind private sector wage growth. This has been his strategy as a way to save on the budget for some time and many veterans and veteran groups have been upset with the Commander and Chief trying to save money on the backs of the US men and women in uniform who are readily sent into harm’s way.
The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act submitted by the Obama administration also called for cutting 20k troops from the active duty Army alone. However after the election this was removed from the act and troop levels are to be maintained at their 2016 levels. One might presume that there actually may be a buildup in troops during the Trump administration.
President Trump has touted his support of the United States Armed Forces and its veterans throughout his entire campaign. He has made the terrible state of Veterans Affairs a focal point while gaining the support of veterans across the country. If you follow the link below he can even be seen giving a job interview to a veteran who questioned him during a press conference. He calls the woman up to the podium and gives her an on the spot interview after the woman asked if Trump Towers would be part of the Veteran hiring initiative. Needless to say I think he got that veterans support when she went to the polls on Election Day.
Pair all of this with the fact that President Trump selected one of the most respected Marine Corps generals in history as his Secretary of Defense and it sounds like this administration may be a major shift from the previous administration that saw the reducing of troop levels, buying power eroded, education benefits cut, and a crumbling of the VA system.
Even if President Trump is completely hands off from this day forward the Department of Defense can still look to General Mattis as the Secretary of Defense and feel a sense of security in an organization that can only be described as the largest band of brothers you could ever assemble. The military and its veterans are a family through thick and thin. We may have our fights, we may joke around with each other, we may even knock each other around but that’s ok because we are family. If anyone outside the family were to do it we would end their world. I for one am starting to feel very secure with the direction that that family will be heading in for the next 4 years.
If you’re a veteran of the Gulf War than I am sure that you are familiar with Desert Storm the operation that essentially ended the War in the Persian Gulf in the early 90’s. For those of you that are not familiar this will be a quick history lesson along with a reminder of what the greatest fighting force in the free world can do when they are unleashed and unchained by politics and bureaucracy.
The first thing that you have to realize is that the Iraqi Army was not some small force that any nation could have just pummeled in the blink of an eye. In the 80’s the United States had offered a sizable amount of funding to Iraq during its conflict with Iran. This was due to the theory that the enemy of my enemy is my ally (in loose terms of course). So at the point in time when Saddam Hussein had decided to invade Kuwait and take over their oil fields Iraq had the 4th largest army in the world. A force that could contend with if not dominate most forces in the world at the time. Iraq was also a traditional ally of the former Soviet Union, which could present issues of its own.
Neither of these things mattered in the long run as the US and its allies proved to be too much for the Iraqi Army in a very quick manner. This war made General Norman Schwarzkopf and General Colin Powell the most famous military figures in over 2 decades.
The US gave Saddam until January 15th of 1991 to retreat from occupied Kuwait after President George W. Bush let the world know that the actions of Iraq “would not stand”. Of course we know from history that January 15th came and went and Iraq continued to occupy Kuwait, calling the bluff of the United States and its allies. The problem for Iraq was the United States had no intention of bluffing. I mean seriously if you are holding a royal flush (the US military) would you need to bluff? So the United States began to bomb Iraqi military targets for 5 consecutive weeks.
Iraq attempted to counter these strikes by launching Scud missiles at US targets in Saudi Arabia, and US allies in Israel. The attacks had limited effect, of the over 80 missiles launched only 1 hit a significant military target in Saudi Arabia. However, it did force the US to deal with the problem by hunting down and destroying these launchers which delayed the US ground attack for 1 week. In the end the American military did what it has always done, went into the country and knocked the opposition backwards in a singe week of ground fighting.
If you or someone you know is a veteran of the war, or just someone who loves the history of our great military, simply click on the image below to see some of the great designs and commemorate this event in US Military History.
Popeye is a character that every red blooded American relates to in one way or another and even though I am an Army guy myself I have to admit that he did make the Navy (or Coast Guard depending on your particular depiction of the character) loo pretty cool. I mean this guy has it all. Popeye is Patriotic, strong, intelligent in a way that can’t be measured by books or tests and possesses the iron will that most Americans would love to say is inside each and every one of us.
From the male perspective this goes even further. Popeye is an extremely strong character who has strong morals and will do anything for the woman that he loves. Olive Oyl on the other hand just seems to be that woman who likes to make Popeye’s life difficult even though he can’t help but fall for her even more in every strip or cartoon that you see. But by far the greatest appeal of Popeye to males is the fact that he is a simple, tattooed, sailor who remains polite until you push him over the edge.
Once things get to this point you can expect 2 things. Firstly Popeye is going to spout his favorite phrase, “That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more”, and then you expect him to down a can of spinach and kick the snot out of everything and anything that stands in his way or somehow offends him to the point that he feels it needs to be corrected.
All of this just wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t have his arch nemesis Bluto to antagonize our beloved hero. He can represent a lot of things to a lot of people. That bully that wouldn’t leave people alone, the guy who always seemed to get the girl and didn’t deserve it, or depending on the period of time that you followed the comic it could be looked at in a much larger context.
If Popeye represents everything that it is to be an American than in the Cold War era it would be easy to see how Bluto could represent everything that is or was the former Soviet Union. In this much larger context (which has never been officially supported by the creators of the Popeye character) you could see how the United States tries to be as tolerant as possible until we are pushed to the edge. Once this happens “That’s all we can stands, we can’t stands no more” and we move into action as a country fighting the evils of communism. Our spinach is ingenuity, and our strength is the United States military. The greatest fighting force ever assembled on this Earth (outside of the Avengers of course). We kicked doors down, and corrected all of the things we saw that were wrong with a given situation, or at least as much as politics would allow us too anyway.
So on this Popeye’s birthday, remember the character with fondness and get yourself a can of spinach handy for the next challenge that faces our nation. You can also get your official Popeye challenge coin at:
Was into Olive Oyl Before it was Cool
So you have just learned that you will be stationed in the illustrious Fort Campbell Kentucky and are on your way to the 101st Airborne decision. The first thing that runs through your head is great, I’m definitely going to have to go to Air Assault school and I’m in for a ton of running on the post that borders Tennessee and Kentucky.
What you don’t know is that you are about to become a member of one of the most decorated and proud units that the United States Army has. The birthday of this proud unit is approaching and I thought it only fitting that we discuss their current operations, and rich history on this day of celebration.
The 101st was not initially concentrated on the Air Assault missions. The Screaming Eagles as they are still known as today would conduct operations and jump into enemy territory, many times behind enemy lines to give the US military a strategic advantage in battle. They were involved in D-Day and the beaches of Normandy and performed exceptionally in the famous Battle of the Bulge. They have continued to participate in every major conflict or war since WWII Receiving numerous unit awards and citations in the process. Here is a current list of those citations:
* [[Presidential Unit Citation (United States)|Presidential Unit Citation]] (Army) for NORMANDY (Division and 1st Brigade only)
* Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for BASTOGNE (Division and 1st Brigade only)
* Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for DAK TO, VIETNAM 1966 (1st Brigade only)
* Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for DONG AP BIA MOUNTAIN (3rd Brigade only)
* Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for AFGHANISTAN 2010–2011 (2nd Brigade only)
* Valorous Unit Award for THUA THIEN PROVINCE (3rd Brigade and DIVARTY only)
* Valorous Unit Award for TUY HOA (1st Brigade only)
* Valorous Unit Award for AN NAJAF (1st Brigade only)
* Valorous Unit Award for AFGHANISTAN 2010 (3rd Brigade only)
* Valorous Unit Award for AFGHANISTAN 2010–2011 (2nd Brigade only)
* Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for VIETNAM 1965–1966 (1st Brigade only)
* Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for VIETNAM 1968 (3rd Brigade only)
* Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for SOUTHWEST ASIA (Except 159th Aviation Brigade)
* Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for IRAQ 2003–2004 (1st Brigade only)
* Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for IRAQ 2005–2006 (4th Brigade only)
* French Croix de guerre with Palm, World War II for NORMANDY (Division and 1st Brigade only)
* Belgian Croix de guerre 1940 with Palm for BASTOGNE (Division and 1st Brigade only);
* Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action at BASTOGNE (Division and 1st Brigade only)
* Belgian [[Fourragère]] 1944 (Division and 1st Brigade Only)
* Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action in FRANCE AND BELGIUM (Division and 1st Brigade only)
* Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1966–1967 (1st Brigade only)
* Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1968 (2d Brigade only)
* Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1968–1969 (Except 159th Aviation Brigade)
* Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for VIETNAM 1971 (Except 159th Aviation Brigade)
* Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class for VIETNAM 1968–1970 (Except 159th Aviation Brigade)
* Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class for VIETNAM 1970 (DIVARTY only)
* Navy/Marine Unit Commendation (Army) for Iraq 2005–2006 (4th Brigade only)
* [[Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation]] for Afghanistan 2008–2009 (5–101 AVN only) Joint Meritorious Unit Award for Haiti Operation Uphold Democracy (101st MP CO only)
Today the 101st Screaming Eagles have been re-organized and have a similar but very different mission. The division has ditched the classic means of entering enemy territory and no longer utilizes planes as its primary aircraft. The Screaming Eagles can insert up to 4,000 troops 150 kilometers into enemy territory utilizing rotary aircraft (helicopters for civilians). They continue to answer the calls of our Army, and our nation and we should all wish them a very happy birthday.