Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Today´s Top News 31 August 2010

President Obama thanks troops at Fort Bliss for their service in Iraq and says the task there is not done yet. Also, Defense Secretary Gates speaks to the American Legion Conference.

Obama at Ft Bliss

On the day before U.S. combat operations officially end in Iraq, Commander in Chief Barack Obama traveled to Fort Bliss, Texas, to meet with troops.

UFC Clinic

DNU Flash - Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters visit Sailors at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan.

Labor Day Safety

DNU Flash - Navy reminds Sailors keep safety in mind for Labor Day weekend.

Gates on Afghanistan

Defense Secretary Robert Gates speaks to an American Legion audience about the full return of resources to Afghanistan.

Child Care Fees

DNU Flash - Department of Defense announces a minor increase to child care fees.

Headlines for August 31, 2010

DNU Flash - Headlines from around the fleet: Commander, Naval Installations Command stresses hurricane preparedness; Sailors participate in Pacific Reach 2010; USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Sailors participate in the Give a Kid a Backpack program.

Gates at American Legion

Defense Secretary Robert Gates honored America's servicemembers who were killed or wounded in the mission to bring democracy to Iraq.

Afghanistan Operations

NATO reports 12 members of its International Security Assistance Force have been killed in Afghanistan in the last four days.

Iraq Withdrawal Response

Even though many troops have returned from Iraq, there are still about 50,000 on the ground, talking about the mission still ahead.

Hurricane Earl Preps

As powerful Hurricane Earl barrels toward the East Coast of the U.S., the Coast Guard is getting ready.

Petraeus on NATO TV

GEN David Petraeus talks about mission success in Afghanistan being vital to preventing trans-national extremism.

Military Dogs for IEDs

Marines turn to bomb-sniffing dogs to find improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan.

CA Guard to the Border

Hundreds of National Guard troops are now positioned along the San Diego sector of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Today´s Top News 30 August 2010

The Arizona National Guard deploys to the border with Mexico, and the Puerto Rico National Guard prepares for Hurricane Earl.

Iraq Drawdown

As U.S. troops leave Iraq, the equipment that has sustained and protected them is being moved out as well.

USS Keasarge Deploys

DNU Flash - USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) deploys to Pakistan to support disaster relief efforts.

Okinawa BSA Hike

DNU Flash - Boy Scouts and Marines in Okinawa, Japan, embark on a 100-mile hike to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America.

National Guard on Border

The first of 532 National Guard troops are set to begin their mission in the southern Arizona desert on Monday under President Obama's plan to beef up U.S.-Mexico border security.

Naval Beach Group 2

DNU Flash - Naval Beach Group 2 at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Va., performs an operational training demo of their beach landing capabilities.

Headlines for August 30, 2010

DNU Flash - Headlines from around the fleet: Navy Week kicks off in Baltimore; The Vaccine Information and Logistics System (VIALS) can now process seasonal flu vaccine requests.

Salmonella Warning

While the eggs tainted with salmonella that recently sickened hundreds of people have been recalled, military health officials say its important to be careful about what we eat.

Voters Call Center

The countdown for the 2010 election has begun, and the Federal Voting Assistance Program Center answers voters questions 24/7.

Hurricane Earl Preps

The Puerto Rico Air National Guard is preparing to evacuate five of its six C-130 aircraft as Hurricane Earl moves closer to the island.

President Obama on Iraq

President Obama says more than 90,000 troops have come home and hundreds of Iraqi bases have been closed or turned over to Iraq since he took office.

Pakistan Flood Relief

The military is deploying 18 additional helicopters to Pakistan as part of the expanding U.S. flood relief effort.

Leave Carryover Extended

Annual leave carryover for servicemembers has been extended from 60 days to 75 days until 2013. After that leave carryover eligibility will be reset to 60 days.

Jobs for Vets

President Barack Obama is urging U.S. communities and businesses across the nation to support veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Today´s Top News 27 August 2010

The Kearsarge Amphibious Group leaves for Pakistan to support flood relief efforts and U.S. military officials say there has been progress training Afghan security forces.

Saluting Service In Iraq

President Obama will mark the end of combat missions in Iraq August 31 when he will travel to Fort Bliss, TX, then later, address the nation from the Oval Office.

Bahrain CPO Select Uniforms

DNU Flash - Chief petty officer selectees at Naval Support Activity Bahrain try on their new khaki uniforms for the first time.

San Diego Chargers Fleet Night

DNU Flash - San Diego Chargers host military appreciation night.

Remembering Katrina

The man who was in charge of Joint Task Force Katrina says that experience was the most difficult time in his 37-year military career.

DEFY Kids Camp

DNU Flash - Kids in Okinawa, Japan, take part in Drug Education for Youth day camp.

Headlines for August 27, 2010

DNU Flash - Headlines from around the fleet: The Navy reminds Sailors not to drink and drive during Labor Day weekend; The Navy releases NAVADMIN 286/10 revising promotion rules for 2nd class petty officers; Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus pledges the Navy's hand in helping clean up the Chesapeake Bay; Chief of Naval Operations Heritage Committee honors the 90th anniversary of women gaining full voting rights; Kearsarge Expeditionary Group departs Norfolk to assist with flood relief in Pakistan.

Dengue Fever

Navy and Army scientists say they are the closest they've ever been to a vaccine that will protect troops from dengue fever.

Travels with Mullen

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen was in Cleveland Friday, the final stop in his three-day trip to the Midwest.

New Orleans Levees

The Army Corps of Engineers says the city of New Orleans is far better off now, when it comes to storm protection, than at any time in its history.

Training Afghans

As Afghan security forces begin to take more of a lead role for their country's security, they must assume positions previously held by U.S. and NATO troops.

Veteran Remains Returned

Family and friends were on hand for the return of 1st Lieutenant Paul Magers whose remains were found in Vietnam 39 years after he went missing in action.

ANP Training

The commander of NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, LTG William Caldwell, says Afghan security forces are on pace to meet their goal of 305,000 troops.

Flournoy on MIAs

Defense officials say the remains of 5400 missing Americans may still be in North Korea, with another 900 in the demilitarized zone.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Today´s Top News 26 August 2010

The Commander in Chief travels to Ft. Bliss, Texas, next week to meet with troops, and the U.S. commander in Iraq says he believes the latest violence is being caused by al-Qaida.

Remembering Katrina

Sunday marks the five-year commemoration of one of the worst natural disasters on U.S. soil, Hurricane Katrina.

Strongman Competition

DNU Flash - Sailors in Yokota, Japan, participate in a strongman contest.

Iwakuni Culture Tour

DNU Flash - Sailors in Iwakuni, Japan, participate in a tour of the Kintai Bridge.

Training Afghan Troops

General David Petraeus says he is impressed with the newest special unit in Afghanistan, as well as the Afghans who are training them.

Chesapeake Bay Conference

DNU Flash - Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus discusses restoration projects for the Chesapeake Bay.

Headlines for August 26, 2010

DNU Flash - Headlines from around the fleet: The Boston Red Sox host a Military Appreciation Day; Naval Education and Training Command releases a Civil Engineer Corps Electronic Toolbox DVD; Department of the Navy releases a NAVADMIN increasing leave carry over for Sailors assigned to imminent danger areas.

DODEA Back to School

Hundreds of military students heading back to school this year will find they'll be held to a higher standard, as will their teachers and administrators.

Travels with Mullen

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen is in Detroit Thursday speaking to community and business leaders about helping returning veterans integrate back into the workforce.

New Marine Vehicle

Marines at Camp Pendleton, CA, field-tested a new Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle Wednesday.

Lanza on Iraqi Attacks

U.S. Forces-Iraq spokesman, Major General Stephen Lanza, speaks to the press regarding the attacks following the recent U.S. force reduction in Iraq.

Pakistan Flood Relief

Plans are underway to bring in additional U.S. helicopters early next month to help with the military's flood relief mission in Pakistan.

Afghan Weapons Demo

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, GEN David Petraeus, was on hand for a security force and weapons demonstration this week.

Odierno on Iraq

General Ray Odierno says he's fairly certain the latest series of attacks across Iraq is the work of al-Qaida.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Family Preparedness

Today´s Top News 25 August 2010

Brigadier General Michael Nagata gives Pentagon reporters an update on the U.S. military's flood relief mission in Pakistan.

Lynn on Cyber Security

Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn is shedding some light on what the Pentagon calls the most significant breach of U.S. military computers ever.


DNU Flash - Sailors at Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo, Japan, meet Ultimate Fighting Champions mixed martial artists.

Safe Harbor

DNU Flash - The Safe Harbor program coordinates care for wounded, injured and ill service members and their families.

Aid in Pakistan

The focus of U.S. military humanitarian aid to Pakistan is to save lives, and to provide humanitarian assistance to the people affected by the floods.

Father and Daughter Dance

DNU Flash - Sailors at Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo, Japan, participate in a father daughter dance.

Headlines for August 25, 2010

DNU Flash - Headlines from around the fleet: Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group provides support for Pakistan; Nominations for Black Engineer of the Year Professional and Career awards are being accepted until Sept. 17.

Fitness Challenge

The Department of Defense is issuing a fitness challenge to all civilian personnel.

Afghan Shootings

NATO ISAF officials say they have no motive for Wednesday's shooting deaths of two Spanish servicemembers and their interpreter by a member of the Afghan police.

Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes are devices that look like cigarettes and deliver nicotine but the Air Force Surgeon General is alerting all Airmen about safety concerns.

Afghanistan in July 2011

The commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan says we're not "heading for the exits" in July 2011, but beginning to transition security tasks to Afghan forces.

Security Certification

Approximately 30,000 individuals work as security personnel within the Department of Defense.

Petraeus on Afghanistan

Intelligence reports are showing pockets of low morale among enemy fighters in Afghanistan.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

NASA Morphing Aircraft - No Sound

Today´s Top News 24 August 2010

U.S. troops continue evacuating victims of the floods in Pakistan and delivering relief supplies.

Insurgent Attacks

U.S. military officials say insurgents continue to attack Afghan and Coalition forces, as well as civilians.

Sasebo Avenger Excercise

DNU Flash - Sailors aboard USS Avenger (MCM 1) and USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) conduct a leap frog exercise.

Truman Talent Show

DNU Flash - Sailors aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) participate in a talent show.

Marines in Pakistan

Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen James Conway says Marines with the 15th MEU have evacuated more than 3,000 flood victims from Pakistan.

Sasebo LDO Program

DNU Flash - Sailors learn about applying for Limited Duty Officer program.

Headlines for August 24, 2010

DNU Flash - Headlines from around the fleet: U.S. forces provide anti-submarine training to South Korean forces; Navy Personnel Command announces a new hyperlink on their web page; Sailors on board USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740) earn their warfare pins.

Former Marine Guilty

A former Marine has been found guilty of murdering a pregnant Marine that had accused him of rape. Cesar Laurean was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Drug Bust South of FL

The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a boat off the Honduran coast loaded with 88 packages of cocaine with a street value of about 80 million dollars.

Gen Conway Briefing

Defense officials say Marines deployed to Helmand and Kandahar provinces in Afghanistan should not expect to turn over security responsibilities to the Afghans in 2011.

Kearsarge Deployment

Ships with the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group will deploy to Pakistan earlier than planned as the flooding there worsens.

Threats to Afghan Forces

Military officials say desertions, deaths, and low retention are the greatest threats to the quality of the Afghan national security force.

Iraq Drawdown

U.S. troop levels in Iraq dropped below 50,000 Tuesday as forces there prepared for a transition to Operation New Dawn on September 1.

Today´s Events in History


Monday, August 23, 2010

Submariners Give Rare Glimpse Into 'Silent Service'

ABOARD THE USS RHODE ISLAND, Aug. 23, 2010 - On a recent sun-soaked morning hundreds of miles off Florida's Atlantic coast, this Trident ballistic missile submarine surfaced for an unusual operation.

About a dozen journalists, many representing the military, watched from a contracted 250-foot support vessel as the sleek, black back of the submarine ascended above gentle waters in the open ocean and maneuvered alongside the boat. With just a few feet separating the two vessels and a Coast Guard cutter on watch, the support boat's crew extended a catwalk bridge from its deck over to the Rhode Island.

A pod of dolphins played in the wake below as the journalists hobbled quickly over to the submarine. "Keep moving! Keep moving!" a submariner shouted, as a slowdown easily could lead to a foot or leg getting caught and injured, or causing a "man overboard" situation.

After exchanging quick greetings with the attending crew, the journalists climbed in turn through the hatch and down the steep, narrow ladder into the belly of the sub.

The Aug. 16 media visit offered a rare glimpse into what is known as "the silent service," the community of Navy submariners who man and control the vessels that carry weapons under the sea. Journalists were invited to embed on the Trident after a military-commissioned survey showed that Americans know less about the Navy than the other services, and even less about submarines and those who serve on them, Lt. Rebecca Rebarich, public affairs officer for Submarine Group 10 at King's Bay Naval Base, Ga., said.

The visit also coincided with increasing media attention on the submarine community following two major changes in Navy policy earlier this year: lifting the ban on women serving on submarines, and ending smoking on subs. The Navy chose 21 women early this summer to begin the 15-month training to serve on subs beginning in the fall of 2011. The smoking ban takes effect Jan. 1.

The Nuclear Triad

The Rhode Island is an Ohio-class submarine, the largest model in the U.S. fleet. At about 560 feet long and 42 feet in diameter, Ohio-class submarines hold 24 Trident ballistic missile tubes and four torpedo tubes. The Navy's fleet of 14 SSBNs is based at King's Bay and at Bangor, Wash.

The Trident subs, known as "boomers," are powered by a single-shaft nuclear reactor. They can carry more than 16 tons, travel more than 20 knots -- more than 23 miles per hour -- and submerge more than 800 feet, according to Navy officials who keep their exact capabilities secret.

Part of the nuclear deterrent triad along with land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and Air Force bombers, the Tridents' sole mission is to deter a nuclear attack through its ultimate strike capabilities. A command from the president, passed through U.S. Strategic Command and ultimately to the ship's captain, allows the crew to fire a long-range ballistic missile in a matter of minutes.

The Trident is a three-stage missile powered by solid rocket motors. It's about 44 feet long and 7 feet in diameter, and weighs about 120,000 pounds, according to information provided by public affairs officials. Each has a range of more than 4,000 miles.

Touring the Boomer

The boomer's design of massive missile tubes occupying the bulk of the midsection and extending vertically through four levels is the focal point of the vessel and a reminder of the singular mission of deterrence. The space between the tanks makes up the hallways. Small rooms, such as the nine-person enlisted berthing cabins -- three sets of bunks with three beds each -- and a couple of bathrooms, known as "heads," are tucked in between.

The galley and crew's mess are nearby on the same level and they present a nearly constant hub of activity. The Navy is known for providing good meals, and if the Rhode Island is an indication, submarines are among the best. The boat's head chef, Petty Officer 1st Class Daniell Pinero, a former chef for the secretary of defense, and his crew provide three hot meals each day as well as late-evening snacks.

Stocking the galley for a three-month tour is no small undertaking. A lengthy shopping list includes, for example, 530 pounds of coffee, 22,140 eggs, 800 pounds of butter, 504 bags of microwave popcorn and 21,000 biodegradable weights to sink trash in the ocean. Because all food must be purchased and stored before the start of the tours, fresh produce is a scarce commodity enjoyed in the early days of each patrol. Still, there are few complaints. Pizza, spaghetti, turkey and dressing, ham and sweet potatoes, rolls, cakes and pies -– all homemade -– were provided during the media visit.

"I gain 10 pounds every time we go out," Cmdr. Robert J. Clark, commanding officer and captain for one of the Rhode Island's two rotating crews, said.

Exercise equipment is placed sporadically around the ship – cardio machines and free weights – wherever there is a little spare room. But as Clark and others noted, any weight gained on board is lost during shore duty.

A Tight-knit Community

Clark is the commanding officer and captain of the Rhode Island's blue crew, which carried the media representatives during their visit. His executive officer, or second in command, is Lt. Cmdr. Paul Pampuro.

Each Trident sub includes two crews of 15 officers and about 140 enlisted men, known as the blue and gold crews, each with its own commanding officer. Each crew rotates onto submarine duty about every 112 days, while the other crew stays at base for training and preparation for the next time at sea.

A snapshot of the crew is one that is young, smart, and committed to the mission and fellow crewmembers. The average age is 23, and many have engineering, math or science degrees.

Ask submariners what they enjoy most about their work and the answer usually is the camaraderie of a tight-knit community, the highly specialized work, and the importance of the mission.

Lt. Colin Myers is a Naval Academy graduate who serves as the sub's main propulsion assistant, assistant security manager, intelligence officer and ship self-assessment coordinator. He said he enjoys the Rhode Island because of the quality of the crew.

"These are a lot of really smart guys," Myers said. "Some are double majors. It's a volunteer force, so they really want to be here." He added that because the submarine force is small, there are many opportunities and officers advance quickly; some obtain command by their mid-30s.

Serving on a submarine -– mostly submerged for three months with only periscopes to see out -- also can be stressful, tedious and boring, submariners say. The days are long, sleep is minimal, and submariners are surprisingly disconnected. E-mail is sporadic, only coming through every couple of days when an antenna is connected to the sail -- a submarine's exterior tower-like structure -- and attachments are not allowed. There are no phone calls; no text messages. Still, some say they don't mind being disconnected.

"You either love it or hate it," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Calvin Hurt, the torpedo room supervisor.

Reality in Mission Control

Around 9 p.m., some off-duty crew members gather in the mess to wind down with a movie. The chef has made pizza and Buffalo wings, and someone pops in the 1990 movie, "The Hunt for Red October."

"This is a comedy!" a long-time submariner proclaimed as the crew laughed at the creative license Hollywood took in producing the action-packed drama of a Trident submarine executive officer, played by Denzel Washington, who leads a mutiny after the captain, played by Gene Hackman, decides to launch a ballistic missile at a perceived Soviet threat.

In the real world of Trident subs, protocol and procedures rule. In the control room, the sub's nerve center, each area is manned in six-hour shifts with full attention on the equipment. The mission is to keep the boomer undetected, while detecting everything else around it.

In the front of the room, three enlisted men watch location and conditions on monitors while two of them do their part to "drive" the sub with long-handled steering wheels. Behind them, two others man multiple screens that track sonar and acoustics, analyzing sounds from as far away as 75,000 yards. Behind them, an officer always is watching through the periscope, and those images are provided on computer screens. Coordinates are constantly being called out above the sound of the equipment, and the standard response "very well" acknowledges receipt of the information.

Many of the screens are marked "Secret," and all of the crew has security clearances. While each has his own job specialty, all are cross-trained and expected to be able to do multiple jobs, Rolinger said. "Everyone is an expert at damage control," he said, noting the crew practices multiple drills -– from firing torpedoes to putting out fires –- several times per week.

During a missile release test, Clark stands in the center of the control room receiving information from every possible data point, some relayed repeatedly to ensure conditions have not changed. "All missiles will be released," he announces along with the exact time so all clocks are synchronized to the exact second.

"This is the captain. This is an exercise," Clark says over the sub's speaker system.

Down the hall, two crew members man the missile control center, divided between "launcher" and "fire" controls. The U.S. ballistic missile fleet fires four test missiles each year, and has had 124 consecutive successful tests in 20 years, Cmdr. Michael Sowa, deputy chief of staff of strategic weapons for Submarine Group 10, said. The tests also serve as a deterrent, and foreign countries are notified before testing begins, he added.

"The system works well, even better than it was designed to work," Sowa said. The British, French, and Russians also test ballistic missiles, and the Chinese are developing the capabilities, he said.

"The SSBN mission is to deter," Sowa added. "So, if we must launch, we've failed our mission."

Earning Their Dolphins

A more likely scenario than the release of a Trident missile is the release of a torpedo. Back toward the front end of the sub and down the stairs next to the smoking room, two crew members man the torpedo controls, watching red and green lights for the status of torpedoes that lie horizontally on hydraulic lifts. They hold several exercises each week to practice firing torpedoes, and avoiding torpedoes from an enemy.

"Everything we do down here, we get one minute to do it in," Hurt said. A submariner for four years, he said he now loves the job that is very trying for the first two years.

Three sailors earned the title of submariner here on Aug. 16 when they were presented the coveted Dolphin pins, which come only after a new crew member proves within 10 months that he has a basic understanding of everything on the boat. Clark presented the pins during a ceremony in the crew's mess.

"The whole thing is a little overwhelming," Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Iverson, 20, of Freeport, Ill., said after receiving his pin. "With this, you know you've earned the respect of your fellow shipmates."

Petty Officer 1st Class Herwin Marcia, who has served on submarines for 13 years, still remembers the stress of being new on a submarine.

"It's a big culture shock," he said. "You have to catch up to where you can support everyone else. You have to be ready when called on. We don't have time to wait."

Related Articles: Navy to Start Training Female Submariners in July

Today´s Top News 23 August 2010

General James Mattis visits flood-ravaged Pakistan for the first time since he took over as Commander, U.S. Central Command, and the first NATO plane delivers relief supplies to Islamabad.

Literacy of Afghans

The literacy of Afghan soldiers and policemen is essential and those skills need to be ingrained in junior and midgrade officers and leaders.

USS Harry S. Truman Rescues Mariners

DNU Flash - The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group rescues eight mariners in the Arabian Sea.

USS Bataan Completes Maintenance Availability

DNU Flash - USS Bataan (LHD 5) Sailors complete a four-month planned maintenance availability in Norfolk, Va.

NATO Plane in Pakistan

A NATO plane carrying relief supplies landed Monday in Aslamabad, Pakistan. The supplies include power generators, water pumps, tents, stretchers and cooking pans.

Armed Forces Basketball Tournament

DNU Flash - The All Navy basketball teams compete in the annual Armed Forces Basketball Tournament.

Headlines for August 23, 2010

DNU Flash - Headlines from around the fleet: USS New Orleans (LPD 18) arrives in Balboa, Panama, as part of Amphibious-Southern Partnership Station 2010; The senior enlisted continuation boards are scheduled to begin September 20.

Don't Ask Don't Tell

Some military spouses will soon have the opportunity to voice their opinion on the possible impact of repealing the ''Don't Ask, Don't Tell'' law.

Navy Affirms Commitment

The commander of U.S. Pacific Command says the U.S. Navy will fulfill its role maintaining security in the Asia-Pacific region.

Truman Rescues Mariners

The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group responds to a flaming vessel in the Northern Arabian Sea, saving eight Iranian mariners.

Iraq Drawdown Deadline

General Raymond Odierno says the U.S. could be in Iraq beyond the December 2011 deadline.

Petraeus On Karzai

The U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, GEN David Petraeus, says Afghan President Karzai is in a difficult position because Afghanistan is a developing country with a violent history.

Odierno on Iraq

General Raymond Odierno says it will take several years to determine if the war in Iraq can be considered a success.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

General Douglas MacArthur's Farewell Speech

Given to the Corps of Cadets at West Point
May 12, 1962

General Westmoreland, General Groves, distinguished guests, and gentlemen of the Corps. As I was leaving the hotel this morning, a doorman asked me, "Where are you bound for, General?" and when I replied, "West Point," he remarked, "Beautiful place, have you ever been there before?"

No human being could fail to be deeply moved by such a tribute as this, coming from a profession I have served so long and a people I have loved so well. It fills me with an emotion I cannot express. But this award is not intended primarily for a personality, but to symbolize a great moral code - the code of conduct and chivalry of those who guard this beloved land of culture and ancient descent. That is the meaning of this medallion. For all eyes and for all time, it is an expression of the ethics of the American soldier. That I should be integrated in this way with so noble an ideal arouses a sense of pride and yet of humility which will be with me always.

Duty, Honor, Country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn. Unhappily, I possess neither that eloquence of diction, that poetry of imagination, nor that brilliance of metaphor to tell you all that they mean.

The unbelievers will say they are but words, but a slogan, but a flamboyant phrase. Every pedant, every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, every troublemaker, and, I am sorry to say, some others of an entirely different character, will try to downgrade them even to the extent of mockery and ridicule.

But these are some of the things they do. They build your basic character. They mold you for your future roles as the custodians of the nation's defense. They make you strong enough to know when you are weak, and brave enough to face yourself when you are afraid.

They teach you to be proud and unbending in honest failure, but humble and gentle in success; not to substitute words for action; not to seek the path of comfort, but to face the stress and spur of difficulty and challenge; to learn to stand up in the storm, but to have compassion on those who fall; to master yourself before you seek to master others; to have a heart that is clean, a goal that is high; to learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; to reach into the future, yet never neglect the past; to be serious, yet never take yourself too seriously; to be modest so that you will remember the simplicity of true greatness; the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.

They give you a temperate will, a quality of imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a freshness of the deep springs of life, a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, an appetite for adventure over love of ease. They create in your heart the sense of wonder, the unfailing hope of what next, and the joy and inspiration of life. They teach you in this way to be an officer and a gentleman.

And what sort of soldiers are those you are to lead? Are they reliable? Are they brave? Are they capable of victory?

Their story is known to all of you. It is the story of the American man at arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefields many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then, as I regard him now, as one of the world's noblest figures; not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless.

His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me, or from any other man. He has written his own history and written it in red on his enemy's breast.

But when I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism. He belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom. He belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements.

In twenty campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around a thousand campfires, I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of his people.

From one end of the world to the other, he has drained deep the chalice of courage. As I listened to those songs of the glee club, in memory's eye I could see those staggering columns of the First World War, bending under soggy packs on many a weary march, from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn, slogging ankle deep through mire of shell-pocked roads; to form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain, driving home to their objective, and for many, to the judgment seat of God.

I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always for them: Duty, Honor, Country. Always their blood, and sweat, and tears, as they saw the way and the light.

And twenty years after, on the other side of the globe, against the filth of dirty foxholes, the stench of ghostly trenches, the slime of dripping dugouts, those boiling suns of the relentless heat, those torrential rains of devastating storms, the loneliness and utter desolation of jungle trails, the bitterness of long separation of those they loved and cherished, the deadly pestilence of tropic disease, the horror of stricken areas of war.

Their resolute and determined defense, their swift and sure attack, their indomitable purpose, their complete and decisive victory - always victory, always through the bloody haze of their last reverberating shot, the vision of gaunt, ghastly men, reverently following your password of Duty, Honor, Country.

The code which those words perpetuate embraces the highest moral laws and will stand the test of any ethics or philosophies ever promulgated for the uplift of mankind. Its requirements are for the things that are right, and its restraints are from the things that are wrong. The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training - sacrifice. In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when he created man in his own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of the Divine help which alone can sustain him. However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country, is the noblest development of mankind.

You now face a new world, a world of change. The thrust into outer space of the satellite, spheres and missiles marked the beginning of another epoch in the long story of mankind - the chapter of the space age. In the five or more billions of years the scientists tell us it has taken to form the earth, in the three or more billion years of development of the human race, there has never been a greater, a more abrupt or staggering evolution. We deal now not with things of this world alone, but with the illimitable distances and as yet unfathomed mysteries of the universe. We are reaching out for a new and boundless frontier. We speak in strange terms: of harnessing the cosmic energy; of making winds and tides work for us; of creating unheard synthetic materials to supplement or even replace our old standard basics; of purifying sea water for our drink; of mining ocean floors for new fields of wealth and food; of disease preventatives to expand life into the hundred of years; of controlling the weather for a more equitable distribution of heat and cold, of rain and shine; of space ships to the moon; of the primary target in war, no longer limited to the armed forces of an enemy, but instead to include his civil populations; of ultimate conflict between a united human race and the sinister forces of some other planetary galaxy; of such dreams and fantasies as to make life the most exciting of all time.

And through all this welter of change and development your mission remains fixed, determined, inviolable. It is to win our wars. Everything else in your professional career is but corollary to this vital dedication. All other public purpose, all other public projects, all other public needs, great or small, will find others for their accomplishments; but you are the ones who are trained to fight.

Yours is the profession of arms, the will to win, the sure knowledge that in war there is no substitute for victory, that if you lose, the Nation will be destroyed, that the very obsession of your public service must be Duty, Honor, Country.

Others will debate the controversial issues, national and international, which divide men's minds. But serene, calm, aloof, you stand as the Nation's war guardians, as its lifeguards from the raging tides of international conflict, as its gladiators in the arena of battle. For a century and a half you have defended, guarded and protected its hallowed traditions of liberty and freedom, of right and justice.

Let civilian voices argue the merits or demerits of our processes of government. Whether our strength is being sapped by deficit financing indulged in too long, by federal paternalism grown too mighty, by power groups grown too arrogant, by politics grown too corrupt, by crime grown too rampant, by morals grown too low, by taxes grown too high, by extremists grown too violent; whether our personal liberties are as firm and complete as they should be.

These great national problems are not for your professional participation or military solution. Your guidepost stands out like a tenfold beacon in the night: Duty, Honor, Country.

You are the leaven which binds together the entire fabric of our national system of defense. From your ranks come the great captains who hold the Nation's destiny in their hands the moment the war tocsin sounds.

The long gray line has never failed us. Were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray, would rise from their white crosses, thundering those magic words: Duty, Honor, Country.

This does not mean that you are warmongers. On the contrary, the soldier above all other people prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. But always in our ears ring the ominous words of Plato, that wisest of all philosophers: "Only the dead have seen the end of war."

The shadows are lengthening for me. The twilight is here. My days of old have vanished - tone and tints. They have gone glimmering through the dreams of things that were. Their memory is one of wondrous beauty, watered by tears and coaxed and caressed by the smiles of yesterday. I listen then, but with thirsty ear, for the witching melody of faint bugles blowing reveille, of far drums beating the long roll.

In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. But in the evening of my memory I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and re-echoes: Duty, Honor, Country.

Today marks my final roll call with you. But I want you to know that when I cross the river, my last conscious thoughts will be of the Corps, and the Corps, and the Corps.

I bid you farewell.

Note: Bolds are ours

Today´s Top News 20 August 2010

The Defense Department releases its final review on last November's shootings at Fort Hood, and members of the final combat brigade to leave Iraq begin arriving home.

Afghan Extremist Groups

While extremist groups in Afghanistan differ, the Taliban and Haqqani terror networks share the common goal of disrupting the peace.

Boxing Sailor

DNU Flash - A USS Pinckney (DDG 91) Sailor trains for a boxing tournament.

Mine Clearing

DNU Flash - U.S. Marines conduct mine clearing training in Mozambique, Africa.

Ft Hood Review

The Defense Department has released its final review and implementations report on last November's shootings at Fort Hood, Texas.

Seabee Earns Masters

DNU Flash - A Navy Seabee at Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Crete, earns his master's degree.

Headlines for August 20, 2010

DNU Flash - Headlines from around the fleet: The Navy continues to support the Pakistani government in flood relief efforts; USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) rescues eight stranded Iranian mariners.

AAFES Double Charge

Army and Air Force Exchange Service customers may have recently noticed duplicate charges on their credit or debit card transactions.

U.S. Assists Pakistan

As flooding continues in Pakistan, the U.S. Navy is providing helicopters from a detachment in Bahrain to carry supplies into the country.

Iraq Drawdown

U.S. forces in Iraq are on track for drawing down to about 50,000 troops by September 1st.

Army Suicides

The Army has released suicide numbers for June and July. Soldiers and families in need can contact Military OneSource.com

Bomber Recovery

Divers are working to recover a World War II bomber that's been under water in a San Diego reservoir since 1945.

Harry S. Truman CSG Responds to Fire, Rescues Mariners

Story Number: NNS100820-10 Release Date: 8/20/2010 7:34:00 AM

From USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs

USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Units assigned to Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (CSG) rescued eight Iranian mariners in the Arabian Sea Aug. 18.

At approximately 8:45 p.m., while conducting a routine mission over the northern Arabian Sea, an F/A-18 Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 37 spotted a vessel approximately 50 miles from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) that was on fire and in distress.

Two SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 7 were dispatched to render assistance, arriving on station at approximately 9:30 p.m.

A helicopter search and rescues swimmer was deployed into the water and discovered eight people in the raft.

The first helicopter recovered four mariners and transported them back to Truman. A short time later, the remaining four mariners were recovered by the second helicopter. The mariners told the aircrew that all of their personnel on the vessel were accounted for, and the helicopters conducted a sweep of the area prior to returning to Truman.

During the transit back to Truman, the aircrew distributed blankets and coordinated with the ship to have dry clothes and footwear ready for the stranded mariners upon arrival to the carrier.

Truman's Medical Department set up a medical triage in the hangar bay upon receiving word that the SH-60s were inbound with the eight mariners.

The assessment by Truman's medical staff revealed that the eight were in excellent shape with no significant injuries. The medical department provided them with food, water and a fresh change of clothing.

"It was a great team effort by the Truman Strike Group," said Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll, commander, Carrier Strike Group 10. "It is our duty as a professional Navy and as professional Sailors to help those in need of assistance. We have a longstanding tradition of helping mariners in distress – providing medical assistance, engineering assistance and search and rescue. There was no hesitation on the part of our aircrew and rescue swimmer to help out our fellow seafarers."

The eight mariners will remain on the ship until arrangements can be made for their safe return home.

The Harry S. Truman Strike Group is on a regularly scheduled deployment to the 5th Fleet area of responsibility in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

4th Stryker Returns Home

About 150 members of the Army's 4th Stryker Brigade arrived home Thursday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

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