The Distinguished Service Cross (Army), Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Coast Guard Cross
The Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest military award that can be given to a member of the US Army (and previously the US Air Force), for extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force. Actions that merit the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) must be of such a high degree that they are above those required for all other US combat decorations but do not meet the criteria for the Medal of Honor.
The DSC was first awarded during WWI.
A cross of bronze, 2 inches (5.1 cm) high and 1 13⁄16 inches (46 mm) wide with an eagle on the center and a scroll below the eagle bearing the inscription “FOR VALOR”. On the reverse side, the center of the cross is circled by a wreath with a space for engraving the name of the recipient.
The Navy Cross is our military’s second-highest decoration awarded for valor in combat. The Navy Cross is awarded primarily to a member of the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard (when operating under the Department of the Navy) for extraordinary heroism.
The Navy Cross is bestowed by the Secretary of the Navy, and may also be awarded to members of the other armed services, and to foreign military personnel while serving with the US naval services.
The Navy Cross was instituted in part due to the entrance of the US into WWI. Many European nations had the custom of decorating heroes from other nations, but the Medal of Honor was the sole US award for valor at the time. Originally, the Navy Cross was lower in precedence than the Medal of Honor and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, because it was awarded for both combat heroism and for “other distinguished service.” Congress revised this on 7 August 1942, making the Navy Cross a combat-only decoration that follows the Medal of Honor in order of precedence.
The Air Force Cross is the second highest military award that can be given to a member of the US Air Force. The Air Force Cross is awarded for extraordinary heroism not justifying the award of the Medal of Honor. It may be awarded to any individual who, while serving in any capacity with the US Air Force, distinguishes him or herself by extraordinary heroism in combat.
Originally entitled the “Distinguished Service Cross (Air Force)”, the Air Force Cross was first proposed in 1947 after the creation of the US Air Force as a separate armed service.
The Coast Guard Cross is a military decoration of the US Coast Guard. Established by Act of Congress on 15 October 2010, it is intended to recognize members of the US Coast Guard for extraordinary heroism in action, while not operating under the Department of the Navy. This medal, though approved, has not yet been awarded. In the past, during times of war, the US Coast Guard has operated as part of the US Navy. This allows the award of the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism while engaged in combat or armed action.
Statute allows the President to award the Coast Guard Cross, to any person who distinguishes themselves by extraordinary heroism not justifying the award of the Medal of Honor, while serving in any capacity with the Coast Guard, when the Coast Guard is not operating under the Department of the Navy, under one of the following conditions:
· While engaged in action against an enemy of the US
· While engaged in military operations involving conflict with a foreign opposing force or international terrorist organization.
Germany’s Military is a Disaster
Germany is Europe’s wealthiest nation and has a totally ineffective military—and we have over 30,000 of our troops over there protecting them. Ever wonder why we’re protecting a wealth nation with that attitude?
Germany had already announced that it will fall significantly short of NATO’s defense spending goals, annoying the US, risks provoking Washington further by failing to reach even its own slimmed-down target.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government had a falling-out with the Trump administration last year when it said that, despite signing a commitment to work toward spending 2% of gross domestic product on defense by 2024, its target would instead be 1.5%.
Now, projected spending levels are expected to fall below even that lower path in a 3-year budget plan due to be announced, portending another confrontation with Washington.
The timing could not be worse, with NATO preparing to celebrate its 70th anniversary in Washington in April.
Drugs and Our Border
Government data for 2018 shows more drugs were seized near open parts of the US-Mexico border than were seized at ports of entry, calling into question a popular Democratic talking point that most drugs come through official border crossings.
The US Border Patrol, which works in the unfenced or minimally protected space between crossings, seized nearly 480,000 pounds of drugs on the US-Mexico border in fiscal year 2018.
Drug seizures that occur at ports of entry are documented under Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Field Operations statistics. Its four field offices on the southern border — El Paso, Texas; Laredo, Texas; Tucson, Ariz.; and San Diego — seized 370,000 pounds of drugs in the 2018 fiscal year.
President Trump has touted drug seizures between border crossings as a reason to build a border wall, while Democrats in particular have focused on those taking place at crossing points, saying more wall won’t greatly affect drugs coming into the country.
Trump noted in January that the majority of drugs smuggled into the US came in through the southern border, and CBP data backs that up.
Congress and Border Control
There were more than 100,000 apprehensions at the border in March, an increase from the 76,000 in February. The numbers for both months were the highest in 10 years. The total for the fiscal year could hit a million, a historic surge completely overwhelming our capabilities.
We built our border facilities to hold single men, back when illegal migrants were largely adult males from Mexico, rather than family units from Central America. This means that they are ill-suited for the needs of women and children. Regardless, the sheer numbers are leading to authorities releasing migrants almost as soon as they are caught.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen warned Congress of the real time dissolution of our immigration system.
It’s not that border control has been tried and failed; it hasn’t been tried. Thanks to court decrees and congressional enactments, we don’t permit ourselves to quickly return minors from Central American countries, or to detain them for any significant period of time. They get released, along with the adults accompanying them.
The Next Army Chief of Staff
Gen. James McConville has been nominated to be the next chief of staff of the Army.
If confirmed by the Senate, McConville would succeed Gen. Mark Milley. President Trump has announced Milley is his choice to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff but no formal nomination has been sent to Congress.
McConville, who has been the Army’s vice chief of staff since June 2017, is a West Point graduate who has commanded at every level. He commanded the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), leading the division to Afghanistan. He also commanded 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, including during a deployment to Iraq, as well as 2nd Squadron, 17thCavalry Regiment, and C Troop, 2nd Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment.
McConville is a senior Army aviator, qualified in the AH-64 Apache, OH-58 Kiowa Warrior, AH-6, AH-1 Cobra and other aircraft.
Offutt AFB Flooded; Russians Rejoice
The US Air Force base Offutt was flooded completely after the water in the Missouri River rose sharply last month. The attached newsfeed comes from the Russian news agency “PRAVDA,”
Some Russians were likely delighted to see the ancient home of their arch rival, the US Strategic Air Command (SAC), being inundated.
A Great Story of Success
This is a true story of an amazing rescue in Vietnam, of leadership, and of what makes our nation great.
Hazing get Commanders Fired
A few airmen walk into a room, positioning themselves between you and the exit. As the “new guy” in the squadron, you likely know exactly what’s about to happen. You have to outsmart or elude them to avoid getting bound up and immobilized by rolls of duct tape.
Welcome to the tradition of “rolling-up,” or “roll-ups,” a practice that is often viewed as a game or initiation ritual in our Air Force.
But there are always those who take it too far.
Last month, Col. Benjamin Bishop, the 354th Fighter Wing commander, relieved Lt. Col. Robb Fiechtner, 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; and Lt. Col. Joshua Cates, 5th Air Support Operations Squadron, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, from their posts after a command-directed investigation revealed that both squadrons were engaging in the hazing practice of “roll-ups,” said Capt. Kay Nissen, spokeswoman for the 354th Fighter Wing.
While there were no complaints or reports made by victims of the hazing, the investigation showed that “roll-ups” — or binding airmen’s hands and feet, and sometimes their entire bodies, with tape — was prevalent in those units, Nissen said in an email.
It “appears to be a known hazing ritual within the Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) community,” she said.
In my opinion, this is beyond stupid. We want our troops to engage in life-or-death combat and preparing them with some hazing or being yelled at in basic training is grounds for someone getting fired? Our military is about war—not about being nice to everyone.
Army Modernization and Growth
Our Army plans to spend more than $57 billion over the next five years on modernization and growth, a signal that the service is doubling down on preparing the force for the future battlefield.
Arlington Cemetery Expansion
Arlington National Cemetery’s southern expansion project, which will add 37 acres of burial space and extend its status as an active burial ground, has enough funding to complete planning and design.
Karen Durham-Aguilera, executive director of Army National Military Cemeteries, told the House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on military construction, veterans affairs and related agencies that the expansion project’s budget is partially funded at $219.1 million of its $350 million requirement.
Military Working Dogs
Military working dogs are among the world’s most elite four-legged warriors. Serving side by side with US troops since WWII these brave animals have saved thousands of lives and earned their stripes by performing as critical military assets.
But before they ever patrol a base or go on a combat mission they must meet the very high standards of military dogs.
These are 11 steps to turning a puppy into a badass military working dog.
Our National Guard
Our National Guard has changed its logo due to the failure of the American education system.
On March 25th, the National Guard Bureau officially announced new branding for recruiting. The traditional “Minuteman” logo will no longer appear on recruiting materials. It was reported that the image did not “resonate” with 16-18-year-old high school students because of lack of knowledge of the historic symbol. Concerns were also expressed that iconic figure from American history wasn’t “inclusive.” Furthermore, due to “no tolerance” policies concerning the display of images of firearms in schools, the traditional Minuteman logo could not be displayed due to inclusion of an 18th century flintlock rifle. Now the National Guard will be represented by a lackluster shield shaped black logo with white and gold lettering. The new recruiting videos will focus primarily on the National Guard’s domestic mission of natural disaster relief.
NATO Dealing with Russia
NATO foreign ministers approved a series of measures aimed at countering Russia in the Black Sea region, an agreement that comes amid public rifts between the US and several of the other 28 members on security and trade issues.
In a meeting in Washington to mark the 70th anniversary of NATO, the ministers agreed to provide Georgia and Ukraine with increased maritime cooperation, patrols and port visits. Both countries have faced Russian aggression and have aspirations to join the alliance.
The US Constitution
When members of our Armed Forces are sworn in, we all take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the US against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The entire document, including all amendments, takes slightly less than 7600 words. We veterans and, indeed, all patriots, should read this document over and over again. It’s not complicated.
One of the first steps of a dictator is to disarm the citizens; we must stand for our 2nd Amendment and the rights it provides for us.
There are two national organizations that are focused on making our nation aware of, and practicing, the Constitution—and I’m active in both of them. First is Concerned Veterans for America (cv4a.org). Then, there’s Combat Veterans for Congress (CVC.org).
I Don’t Need A Gun – comments from a combat vet
A couple years ago I was working security at a bar in northern Virginia. I overheard a table of college kids arguing about gun rights and gun control, and it was getting far too emotional so I did what any sane combat veteran would do and attempted to exfiltrate.
I must not have withdrawn as surreptitiously as I intended, because I was stopped in my tracks when a 5-foot-nothing brunette seemingly leapt in front of me and blurted out “excuse me, can you help us?”
I’m sure I must have looked irritated as I cycled through the possible quips and excuses I considered available to me but being uncertain that she wasn’t some Senator’s daughter, I caved: “What’s up?”
She basically leads me to this table of 2 other females (probably both named Karen) and a very soft looking male.
Becky: “So, we were just talking about current events and, you know. So, you look like you’re probably in the military, right? Like the Army?”
(When you accuse someone of being in the military you probably don’t need to give an example)
Me: “Similar. yea”
Becky: “Right. Okay. So, do you think civilians should be allowed to own guns?”
Me: “Most of us. Yes.”
Becky: (clearly not happy with my answer) “Okay, so, why do you think you need a gun?”
(At this point it’s almost 2am and I’ve just given up on patience. Hold my beer)
(With intentionally overt condescension): “Oh, honey, I don’t. I don’t need a gun.”
Becky stares at me blankly, so I continue, but with a more serious tone:
“I could follow you home, walk up your driveway, and beat you to death with the daily newspaper.
I could choke you to death with that purse.
I could take a credit card, break it in half, and cut your throat open with it.
With enough time and effort I could beat your boyfriend here with a rolled up pair of socks.
I could probably dream up six dozen other ways I could easily end your life if you gave me an hour or so.
If I wanted to, I could wrap my hand around that beer mug and kill all four of you before you could make it to the exit. The worst part is, in your Utopian little fantasy land, there ain’t a thing any of you could do about it.
I don’t need a gun.
You need a gun.
You need a gun because of men like me.”
Not All Thieves are Stupid
1. LONG-TERM PARKING
Some people left their car in the long-term parking at San Jose while away, and someone broke into the car.
Using the information on the car’s registration in the glove compartment, they drove the car to the people’s home in Pebble Beach and robbed it.
So, I guess if we are going to leave the car in long-term parking, we should NOT leave the registration/insurance cards in it, nor your remote garage door opener.
Someone had their car broken into while they were at a football game.
Their car was parked on the green that was adjacent to the football stadium and specially allotted to football fans.
Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, some money and a GPS that had been prominently mounted on the dashboard.
When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen. The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house.
They then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to the house. The thieves knew the owners were at the football game, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish and so they knew how much time they had to clean out the house.
It would appear that they had brought a truck to empty the house of its contents.
Something to consider if you have a GPS – don’t put your home address in it. Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS were stolen.
3. CELL PHONES:
This lady has now changed her habit of how she lists her names on her cell phone after her handbag was stolen. Her handbag, which contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet, etc., was stolen.
Twenty minutes later when she called her hubby, from a pay phone telling him what had happened, hubby says, “I received your text asking about our Pin number and I’ve replied a little while ago.” When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn.
The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text “hubby” in the contact list and got hold of the pin number. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.
4. PURSE IN THE GROCERY CART SCAM:
A lady went grocery shopping at a local mall and left her purse sitting in the children’s seat of the cart while she reached for something off a shelf.
Wait till you read the WHOLE story!
Her wallet was stolen, and she reported it to the store personnel.
After returning home, she received a phone call from the Mall Security to say that they had her wallet and that although there was no money in it, it did still hold her personal papers.
She immediately went to pick up her wallet, only to be told by Mall Security that they had not called her. By the time she returned home again, her house had been broken into and burglarized.
The thieves knew that by calling and saying they were Mall Security, they could lure her out of her house long enough for them to burglarize it.
Retired Navy CAPT Joe John has done many things in his life; I’ve asked him to share a few words of wisdom with us:
Joe chairs the group, Combat Veterans For Congress. Here’s the list of nominees for the board plus his comments.
On Veterans Day we began a new program—and I still need your help—I need more stories. On each show we honor a deceased military person—not the super stars, but the average soldier, sailor, marine, airman or coastie. They don’t have to have served in combat—but must have served honorably, on active duty or in the guard or reserves. Send me about 250 words summarizing his or her service—that I’ll read on the show. Sent the info to me at denny@FrontlinesOfFreedom.com.
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Two quotes to consider.
What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight—it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
The Army is the true nobility of our country.
Programming: You’ll want to tune into the show (live or by podcast).
13-19 Apr: Former ICE Agent Laura Cox will discuss ICE. Author Mac Yablonca will share his book on military journalists in Vietnam. COL Josh Higgins will discuss the US Military Academy Preparatory School.
20-26 Apr: Retired Army Chaplain Scott McCrystal will discuss The Warriors Journey. Author Neal Hanson will discuss his book Flight. It’s the story of Air America—our nation’s covert air group during the Vietnam War. And retired Marine Col Phil Exner will discuss ACCTS—a Christian outreach to military forces around the world.
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Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, was a prolific speaker. However, he also had the ability to get to the point and didn’t mince words. Each week we’ll share a quote of his for you to enjoy.
This from a Vietnam vet:
Recently there was a Mensa convention in San Francisco. Mensa, as you probably know, is a national organization for people who have an IQ of 150 or higher.
Several of the Mensa members went out for lunch at a local café. When they sat down one of them discovered that their salt shaker contained pepper and their pepper shaker was full of salt.
How could they swap the contents of the two bottles without spilling any and using only the implements at hand? Clearly, this was a job for Mensa minds.
The group debated the problem and presented ideas and finally came up with a brilliant solution involving a napkin, a straw, and an empty saucer.
They called the blonde waitress over ready to dazzle her with their solution. “Ma’am,” they said, “we couldn’t help but notice that the pepper shaker contains salt and the salt shaker has pepper.”
But before they could finish, the waitress interrupted: “Oh, sorry about that.” She leaned over the table, unscrewed the caps of both bottles and switched them.
There was dead silence at the Mensa table (none of whom were vets.)
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Lt. Col. Denny Gillem (Ret.)