Rocket/Mortar Fire Blast Waves

How we doing hard-chargers, I want to say thank you for tuning in and I hope you’re gearing up for a safe and wonderful independence day.

Today the topic of focus will be the blast wave. You know the concussion wave that occurs when you’re dealing with rocket/mortar fire, some have experienced this and some are fortunate to not deal with such things while in the combat zone.77374810001_4775615440001_4775360033001-vs

So you take contact from enemy fighters, you’re engaging with M-4’s, 203, SAW’s, and as you get ready to call in for fire support, you hear that whistle in the air as a rocket propelled grenade is en-route to your position. 3-4 Marines, yell IDF!!!! (In direct fire) at this point you get down and brace for impact.

So what happens after that moment?????? Well many have different opinions and I’ll give you my own as I’ve dealt with a bit of rocket fire.

There is a bit of penetrating trauma from debris propelled by the explosion.

There is also the kinetic effects of the shock wave compressing soft tissue, particularly in the torso’s vital organs, which can tear that tissue and/or the embedded blood vessels. This effect may include a secondary possibility of brain or organ damage caused by compression induced spikes in fluid pressure in the circulatory system.

Then there is acceleration of the body (i.e. being propelled away from the explosion’s epicenter) causing impact damage to the brain as it bounces around inside of the skull, just like any other source of cranial acceleration trauma.

Depending on their distance, speed and angle, shells tunneling through the air make slightly different noises, so a heavy barrage weaves itself into a bewildering cacophony of sounds; but the rushing always ends the same way, with a thunderous detonation.maxresdefaultHollywood tries and I’ll give them an E for effort but they fail to convey the sharpness and loudness of battlefield explosions. The visual effects normally used to simulate shellfire with plastic bags of gasoline and aluminum silicate are equally misleading.

In reality the eye usually registers a shell burst as an instantaneous orange-yellow flash inside a dark, leaping fountain of mixed smoke and pulverized earth, sometimes studded and fringed with large pieces of slower-moving debris. The bigger, heavier chunks of earth and stones thrown up by the explosion fall near by first; the smaller debris, blown much higher, comes pattering and clinking down for a considerable time afterwards and over a wider area.

The instantaneous pressure wave from the explosion moves outward at supersonic speed this is the expanding ring effect seen fleetingly in, for example, aerial footage showing the explosions of bombs.

It is followed after a slight, but appreciable interval by a blast wind the bulk of hot gases, fragments and ground debris away from the explosion. People in the target area experience the pressure wave as a sharp squeezing sensation in the chest, and its shock is also felt through the ground underfoot.

This shuddering of the earth is powerful enough to make those sheltering in trenches fear that they are about to be buried alive, and those who are lying flat feel themselves being shrugged violently into the air. These sensations are accompanied by stupefying noise and under heavy and persistent fire all the physical senses are overwhelmed.

Completely impotent to affect their chances of survival, Marines/Soldiers find sustained shelling and mortaring the worst ordeal of battle; those experiencing it often become temporarily unhinged, losing all muscular control (including of the bladder and sphincter) and the capacity for any rational thought.

These effects are particularly marked among those exposed to shellfire for the first time.

In the minority of cases when men suffer a virtually direct hit from artillery, the result is complete destruction of the body. The shell literally destroys the body, leaving, perhaps, a booted foot, a section of the human cranium, a bunch of fingers, a bit of clothing.

When a body is blown up, the spinal column surprisingly resilient often survives; after a shell has fallen among a group of men, counting the remaining spines is often the only way to determine the number of dead.

Most injuries, however, occur further out from the site of the explosion. Blast injuries to the human body are categorized as primary, secondary and tertiary. The first is the direct effect of the pressure wave; the second is the effects of fragments and debris carried by the blast wave; the third, would be the result of the body being thrown through the air and striking the ground or other obstacles.Screen Shot 2018-06-30 at 11.19.29

The most obvious sign of primary injury is rupture of the eardrums, which may occur when air pressure rises to anything between 5 and 15 pounds per square inch; men who are killed by blast often appear peacefully asleep apart from the tell-tale bleeding from the ears.

The lethal internal damage caused by pressures of 50psi and upwards do not present dramatic outward signs. It is the gas-containing organs which sustain immediate and often fatal damage from the pressure wave; the lungs and occasionally the colon suffer catastrophic injury from the instantaneous compression effect of the blast. Large, blood-filled cavities are formed in the spongy alveoli of the lung, and fatal air embolisms are released into the arterial system; less often, the bowels may rupture, as may the spleen and liver.

Secondary injures will be more obviously dramatic. When a shell bursts the steel case breaks up into fragments of all shapes and sizes, from tiny beads to twisted chunks weighing several pounds. These, together with stones, pieces of weapons and equipment, and even large bone fragments from casualties nearer the blast whirl outwards from the center at different speeds.

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The effects of being struck by shell fragments vary as widely as the size and speed of the shards. Sometimes a man is unaware that he has been pierced by a small splinter until somebody points out the bloodstained hole in his clothing. Larger fragments, cart wheeling unevenly through the air edged with jagged blades and hooks, can dismember and disembowel.

In many cases the evidence confronting an eyewitness is all too vivid. In others the immediate reaction is one of simple puzzlement: blast and steel can play such extreme games with the human form that the observer does not understand what he is looking at. When some random physical reference point suddenly jerks the whole image into a comprehensible pattern, the shock of recognition may be appalling.

God-speed to those who have endured such scenarios while being engaged by enemy fighters. My hat goes off to you and I want to say thank you for your service and the ultimate sacrifice to this country. I hope I was able to give you a better understanding of what takes place within seconds on the receiving end of rocket/mortar fire.

Isaac J. Hall II

#SemerKill

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That’s Mr. Sablinski Chump!!

How we doing folks!!

Got a really neat feel good story for you today. Retired Navy Seal, Britt K. Sablinski, received the Medal of honor, which is Americas highest military honor. Not even 24 hours ago, by our very own Donald Trump.DYCPS6ZFZJDIROIEGVZ3UD4YIMAs Trump placed the medal around the neck of Sablinski in a room full of guest in the White House. Which also included Medal of Honor recipients and also seven operatives who were with Sablinski, in Afghanistan, the early morning of March 4th, 2002.

Trump recapped the events after greeting all the Medal of Honor recipients calling them all “very, very special people.” also that their “names and immortal acts of valor are forever engraved in the memory of our nation.” He then went on to say we must now induct a new name into the most exclusive gathering of heroes.

During the early morning reconnaissance mission and the actions of Sablinski, who was a Senior Chief, on the 10,000 foot snow covered mountain in Afghanistan, called Takur Ghar.

Sablinski, and his operatives were preparing to exit the aircraft on the mountain peak. When the helicopter was hit by machine gun fire and also a rocket propelled grenade from al-Qaida terrorist. One of the members were thrown from the aircraft, before the helicopter and the rest of the team crashed into the mountain below.B6DX4ZTBUZHZDH2BFJAHVIS6T4.jpgSablinski then got word that his fellow operative was thrown from the aircraft but is still probably alive. From there the team had a choice to wait for reinforcements or to immediately return to the enemy stronghold in order to save their fellow operative.

They faced the realization of being outmanned, outgunned and fighting uphill on an icy mountain. Freezing temperatures, extreme winds and a battle at an altitude of the highest in American military history.

I’m sure you can guess what took place as far as their decision…

Sablinski, and his team did not hesitate for a second to go the mountain. Once they did they were met with an onslaught of gun fire. The first thing they had to do was silence those annoying machine guns. Sablinksi, and his team member charged uphill towards bunkers and knocked one out.YUACUMX4Q5B5ZA2OI3RGFVZ4WM.jpgSablinski, helped the wounded move to safety from enemy fire. He also engineered a dangerous retreat down a treacherous mountain slope while moving through deep snow. Once they weren’t able to go any further Sablinski, tended to the wounded and coordinated their escape until they were finally evacuated, which did not happen for 14 hours.

The president then called out the seven members of Slabinski’s team present in the audience, along with names of those killed that day, and recognizing many of their families who were also present.

Trump stated, “These were incredible, incredible men and you can be proud that they were in your family.”

Trump relayed Slabinski’s words that the awarding of this Medal of Honor wasn’t an individual award for himelf, but it was recognition of what they did jointly as a team during what Trump called “the Battle of Robert’s Ridge.”moh.jpg

“To Britt and all the men of Robert’s Ridge … through your actions, you demonstrated that there is no love more pure and no courage more great than the love and courage that burns in the hearts of American patriots,” Trump saidUSA-Navy-Seal-Wood-Flag-2“We are free because warriors like you give their sweat, their blood and, if they have to, their lives for our great nation.”

Trump concluded his words about Slabiniski, who served for another 12 years in the Navy and who now spends much of this time volunteering with the Navy SEAL Foundation and working with Gold Star families, those who have lost loved ones during the wars.

True definition of a Hard-Charger, we appreciate you and the ultimate sacrifice that was made that very day during the engagement with enemy fighters. You completely and utterly deserve this honorable award.

I speak for everyone when I say, Mr. Sablinski…

Thank you for your service.

Isaac J. Hall II

#SemperKill

The Value Of A Combat Action Ribbon

How we doing Hard-Chargers!!!

So we Marines, value the highly sought after combat action ribbon. Specifically infantryman Marines.

There are POG’S (Personnel Other Than Grunts) who also value this ribbon, however, infantryman take this to a completely different stratosphere.

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There are people (Marines) of higher brass who are even ridiculed for not having a C.A.R. at times leadership positions are even questioned pertaining to infantry if this ribbon has not been earned.

But why though??????

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There are instances where Marines, even infantryman just aren’t put into combat situations. Doesn’t mean they wouldn’t act if the opportunity presented itself, just means they didn’t get in contact with enemy forces.

The award  issued by the sea services for active participation in ground or surface combat is troubling for some leaders.

The criticism shows an increasingly vocal perspective amongst Marines, specifically those in the combat community.

The perspective is basically saying a Marines worth and authenticity is connected to combat experience, and those lacking experience in this area get no respect amongst grunts.

Some in the military feel that it’s not about the Combat Action Ribbon, however, its about being a U.S. Marine, and representing the Eagle Globe and Anchor.

Would this be the ideals of those who have not seen combat???? and if they did have a C.A.R. would they have a different response and be in agreeance with the majority of infantryman.

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**Ribbon Stack

When Marines, are promoted to a new position in infantry units other Marines, generally express interest in backgrounds as well as reputations that were built over time.

Lacking combat experience again is seen as not deserving of respect in regards to combat experience.

The Combat Action Ribbon didn’t even exist until 1969, the Navy and Marine Corps adopted the ribbon in the midst of the Vietnam War. From there It was retroactively applied to combat engagements dating back to 1961.

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Once that took place it was extended to cover combat engagements dating from the December 7, 1941, the attack of Pearl Harbor which was the mark of the U.S. entering World War II.

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So let me digress for a few sentences here…

When I was a boot in 2009, we had a few Marines, in our platoon who had deployed 2 to 3 times to combat zones. These men were revered and seen as leaders.

When they talk you listen, you do not talk back and you better reply with Sergeant Rathke, or Corporal Taber, Lance Corporal Nuttle as you do not rate to just call them by their last names. Yet…

You’re a boot until you deploy, first off let me explain the term boot.

A boot is a Marine, who is fresh out of boot camp (13 weeks) and S.O.I. (School Of Infantry, 8 Weeks)

From S.O.I. you’re introduced to your unit where you’ll be the next 4 years, 6 years whatever your contract states, which you signed with your recruiter.

So the C.A.R. was important but it was moreso about the deployment itself, see we weren’t worried about a C.A.R. we just didn’t wanna be called “Boots” anymore.

We didn’t wanna police call (pick up cigarette butts in front of the barracks) or do working parties (a group of 8-10 new Marines go help with building up or breaking down something or cleaning an area).

We just wanted to get respect from our seniors being that we were grunts just like them but newer to the corps. We did eventually get our C.A.R. June 2009 -The Summer Of Decision-

We were inserted into Garmser, the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, once we got off the CH-53’S and made a 360 in order to provide security. The CH-53 flew around for about 10 mikes.

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From there it threw out a flare letting us know it was about to leave. Then it left and it got extremely quiet, I remember looking up at the clear sky, and seeing white birds fly around so peacefully as if a platoon of Marines hadn’t landed.

Then it happened… In the distance 1st shot, 2nd shot, 3rd shot then the burst of an AK-47, I said to myself “Ohh shit we’re in a combat zone”   ( sorry for cursing 😉  )

After that deployment which I’ll explain in a later post, we came back to the states and we were still considered boots until the new Marines came to our platoon from S.O.I.

However, at the same time we were no longer boots, I even had an incident where I was walking on the catwalk, (balcony) of our barracks and the seniors who were a class ahead of me were drinking.

I was headed back to my room after the gym, and they said “Hall, come drink with us!!” boot no more, it was PFC with a deployment under his belt with a combat action ribbon.

**A Dissipating Award

Over a decade of war in two theaters, Combat Action Ribbons are less common than some believe them to be. Only about 20,855 of the 184,567 Marines currently on active duty actually have a C.A.R.

There is also a problem that we’re dealing with here. When deployed Marines will at times insert themselves into patrols they didn’t belong to, just so they could earn their C.A.R.

This is not only dangerous to the men around you but also makes the patrol ineffective.

A Marine who is not properly trained who joins a patrol just to have the chance to take contact from enemy fighters is absolutely ridiculous.

Those infantry Marines, train day in and day out to be combat effective literally in the rain, humid/dry heat, and snow, while hating their lives in order to be successful.

This to me is the ultimate form of disrespect and those who are not trained in this area need to consider the term staying in your lane.

If you take contact then you take contact if you don’t then you don’t, you still did your time and just think you’re a U.S. Marine… that in itself garners major respect amongst the public.

At the same time you cant talk down or think less of a Gunny, who has been in the corps for 23 years with a huge stack yet he does not have a C.A.R. within that stack. That also is a huge form of disrespect and you’re not representing the eagle globe and anchor very well.

However, at the end of the day these are just views from a grunt. Lets get some feedback guys, I‘d love to have discourse. 😉

 

Isaac J. Hall II

#SemperKill

Military Parade To Honor Veterans Via Trump

How we doing hard-chargers!!

So we’ve gotten word that there are plans for a Veterans Day military parade, and it will be directed by none other than President Donald Trump.

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There wont be any tanks coming down the streets of Washington, D.C., and it’s set to take place November 11th.

This parade will focus on contributions of our veterans throughout the history of the U.S. military.  From the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 till todays present military operations, there will also be an emphasis on the price of freedom.

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The parade will include wheeled vehicles, no tanks, this is to minimize the damage to local infrastructure. The parade will, however, include a heavy air component at the end, to include older aircrafts.

The parade will run from the White House to the U.S. Capitol.

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United_States_Capitol_-_west_front_0_4_1_4It will represent veterans from prior wars by formations wearing uniforms of those specific times. As well as portions that highlight the evolution of women veterans from separate formations in World War II to today’s integrated formations.

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Medal of Honor recipients will stand with Trump in the reviewing area at the Capitol.

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The parade will be integrated with the annual D.C. Veterans Day parade.

Trump got the idea for a parade after attending France’s Bastille Day parade last year.

The idea, however, has been controversial…

Lawmakers have introduced measures to stop a parade, calling it a waste of time and resources.

 
A poll found that the huge majority of respondents oppose the idea for a parade. 
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The majority, 88 percent, said the military has more important needs to address.

A White House budget director told Congress that a parade could cost between $10 million and $30 million in order to honor our veterans on this special upcoming day.

 

Isaac J. Hall II

#SemperKill

 

U.S. Marines, Army Soldiers prep for Urban Combat

How we doing hard-chargers!!!

May you all enjoy the beginning of this wonderful spring weather, of course depending on where you are in the world. (sorry mid-west) 😉

So word was passed a few days ago that U.S. Marines, and Army Soldiers, are prepping for more urban combat. This will allow our brothers in arms to be more efficient in the art of war in urban cities.

Now I’m sure you’re saying to yourself, “well what about Iraq,” as Marines were going house to house and used a high volume of rounds to dismantle enemy fighters.Fallujah-feature-photo-e1449011913578-840x420Since then we Marines, and Army Soldiers, have peered away from urban combat.

One of the most notable lessons we may not forget anytime soon would be the Battle of Hue City which was intense urban combat for U.S. forces.

In comparing the older wars with todays time, many see urban warfare as slow and an awful amount of destruction.4OQ4I7GHCNHFNPDVWB6XFM64HU

 Army Chief of Staff General, Mark Milley and U.S Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller, have both publicly pushed for more urban focused efforts.

 

Over a decade the U.S. military has fought in Baghdad, a place with a population of 6.5 million people, not even a decade from now statisticians have summed up numbers that show there will be 37 cities that are two to four times that size.

Cities of interest due to tensions growing are North Korea that has a huge city called Seoul, with over 23 million people.

There is also Russia, with encroachments that threaten Lituania, Estonia, Tallinn and a few other places. As well as Africa who is also growing in urban areas, Lagos, Nigeria, Somalia, etc.

** Focus On Task

Milley stated that the Army is not necessarily ready for fighting in megacities. He did, however, mention that fighting in Aleppo, Fallujah, and Mosul is the future of conflict.

Now being that these fights were bloody and very destructive they don’t reach the level of a large city that would equate to a neighborhood in Seoul.

dc-Cover-dtdl1kff79stbk5in5an3klij3-20170713103046.MediBeing a U.S. Marine infantryman, with the training that took place for urban warfare, we learned very quickly that during those times you have to keep moving, often and fast or you can lose your life.

There really is no time to be stationary during engagements as death is imminent and around every corner.DIGITAL CAMERA

Experts agreed that neither service is sufficiently prepared for operational or strategic-level urban combat.

Returning attention to the urban fight is not a new idea, its been a topic of discourse for quite some time now.

Retired Col. Russell Glenn, while on a temporary assignment to the RAND Corporation, he chose urban operations as a research topic. He was told there wasn’t much interest in that area of research.

Later that year, Army Rangers and Delta Force operators were caught in the bloody Battle of Mogadishu. Nineteen U.S. service members were killed and 73 wounded. The fight led to the withdrawal of U.S. and U.N. forces.CkRa5fOUgAAy4W_

 Then, all of a sudden people became interested…
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak revealed his concept of the three-block war and the strategic corporal. This pushed decision making down to the lowest levels of the noncommissioned officer corps.

** New Technology On Battle-Field

U.S. forces have long held a wide margin of technological superiority over their foes, from precision-guided weapons to sensor systems and drone surveillance capabilities.U.S. Marines of BSRF conduct platoon attacks while live fire training during exercise Platinum Eagle 14-2

Marine Brig. Gen. Robert Sofge, stated that enemy forces in Mosul adapted drones to drop 40mm grenades from above.
They also used advanced vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices to deter Iraqi forces early in the fighting.janky-isis-drone-feat
Department of Defense research programs and industry partnerships are working with drone swarm technology, drone delivery to reduce logistics chains, increased electronic jamming of enemy sensors and networks, and pulling data from every corner of the battlefield into a digestible form.

Many don’t seem to understand that simple equipment considerations pay huge dividends in an urban fight. For instance tracked vehicles, while heavier than wheeled, produce less ground pressure, which is important on bridges.u.s._marine_remotely_fires_an_australian_army_m1a1_abrams_tank_at_the_mount_bundey_training_area_near_darwin_australia_may_6_2017Tracked vehicles can also make tighter turns in narrower urban lanes and don’t get stuck as easily as wheeled vehicles.

Despite the focus on urban combat preparation, changes in doctrine and an increased focus from top leaders have caused a vast amount of encouragement.

The encouragement alone is not enough for us as a military to be successful via urban warfare.Operation Iraqi FreedomWe have great training centers, however, these centers still aren’t as vast and complex as the actual destinations where we are placing our troops. Then again it’s very hard to mimic war as war is unpredictable which can make it nearly impossible to replicate for training purposes.

 

Isaac J. Hall II

#SemperKill

Slew Of Violence Takes Place

How we doing hard-chargers!!

February is now amongst us, so may you all enjoy the upcoming day of love in about 12 days. That’s for civilians and also military, but specifically… those who are sending rounds down range. 🙂

So, the Islamic State group and the Taliban are now competing to take credit for the increase in violence in Afghanistan over the past month. Both groups seem to be growing in strength as security forces wither under their relentless attacks. Still, the two insurgent groups embrace different agendas and are at war with each other as well as the Afghan government.

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Recent attacks, that included both suicide bombings and small arms fire, have left nearly 200 people dead and hundreds more wounded. Insurgents have targeted heavily secured areas in the heart of the Afghan capital, including an Afghan military academy, on Monday and a hotel, owned by the government and frequented by foreigners.

The tactics behind this particular strike was an ambulance in order to hide deadly cargo, from there insurgents slipped passed checkpoints in Kabul’s heavily fortified center on Saturday to kill more than 100 people.

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The insurgents have similar views and goals of delegitimizing the governments they are fighting against. However, in Afghanistan the similarity between ISIS and the Taliban ends there. Beyond toppling the Afghan government, the Islamic State affiliate and the Taliban have divergent goals, the Taliban are seen as possible negotiation partners in a search for peace, the ISIS is not.

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taliban.jpg(TalibanI know what you’re thinking… they look the same.

Taliban fighters in northern Afghanistan recently displayed the ISIS flag after the Taliban leadership ordered them to hand over their tax collection revenue to the governing Taliban shura (council).

A major source of revenue for the Taliban is the tax they charge locals for safe passage or to move legal as well as illegal commodities to market. The strongest fighting force within the Taliban that we know of  is the Haqqani network, which has been blamed for the most atrocious attacks in Kabul.

The Haqqani network has historical ties to Pakistan’s powerful ISI spy agency and both the United States and Afghanistan accuse Pakistan of providing sanctuary for Taliban fighters, a claim Islamabad denies.

BC42FDBD-0E01-4421-A1D2-7BF34AAB7631_w1023_r1_s.jpg(Jalaluddin Haqqani, head of the dreaded Haqqani)

Meanwhile, the ISIS affiliate known as IS in Khorasan Province, named for the ancient region that once included Afghanistan, parts of Iran and Central Asia, is a toxic mix of Taliban, ferocious Pakistani Taliban, who have sworn allegiance to ISIS against Pakistan, as well as Uzbeks, mostly from the Islamic movement of Uzbekistan terror group.

 

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With the success of the U.S. and its allies driving Islamic State fighters out of Iraq and Syria, this has pushed many toward Afghanistan.

 Nearly 3,000 Afghan Uzbeks may have joined the ISIS affiliate already believed to have several thousand Uzbeks from central Asia. The role of Afghanistan’s neighbors further muddies the insurgent landscape.

 

Pakistan, widely blamed for the Taliban’s longevity as a fighting force, is aided by both Russia and Iran, who fear an ISIS stronghold in Afghanistan.

It’ll be very interesting to see how the secretary of defense will plan the next few moves in order to deal with these heinous groups.

Isaac J. Hall II 

#SemperKill

Governmental Shut-Down

How we doing hard-chargers!!

Today we’ll discuss a situation we’ve all heard about the last few weeks, and that is the Governmental shut-down.

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The United States government is on the brink of a shutdown as we all know. I’ll try my best to give you a better understanding of this fiasco.

There are groups of individuals in the House of representatives (Republicans) who have passed a stopgap measure that would fund the US government for four weeks, known as a continuing resolution, or CR.

President Donald J. Trump will support the measure.

The Republicans now need the backing of some Democrats for the bill to pass the Senate by midnight on Friday, when funding for the US government runs out.

This disagreement could cause the shut-down – a costly political move for either party – comes after the collapse of bipartisan talks on a US spending bill. Which hinged on continued protections under the DACA programme for undocumented immigrants, which Democrats support.

With less than 24 hours left for tactics, the shut-down appears very possible. People seem to forget that the last shutdown was in 2013 and lasted 16 days.

What will be the impact of shut-down?

The direct impact, would be an immediate loss of productivity from about 700,000 government employees deemed “nonessential”. That’s very unsettling in the eyes of governmental employees.

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These workers will be furloughed, meaning they will be put on leave until the government resumes functioning but for how long???

While there is no guarantee government workers will be paid for this leave, historically they have been paid retroactively in the case of a shutdown.

It’s been estimated that even if they are paid, the US government will experience lost productivity from almost a million people.

Who will be affected?

National parks, museums and monuments will shut down, as well as the processing of passports and visas, if the shut-down continues beyond a few days.

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This will impact tourism. National parks in the west and the Smithsonian Institute museums in the east will not be open to the public

Another indirect loss will be to contractors – government employees are not the only ones waiting for a paycheck from Uncle Sam.

Over $43 billion has been awarded in contracts for the fiscal year 2018, according to government figures. None of this money will be paid as long as the shut-down continues.

That will remove a fair amount of money from the pockets of private citizens throughout the country. Some even suggest retail sales will drop, It’s no longer considered the holiday season but holidays sales continue into January.

Government services that will continue?

Those related to national security and domestic safety, including the military, law enforcement and air traffic control.

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Certain entitlements, such as hospitals for veterans administered by the government and food stamps for families in need, would be unaffected.

Federal courts, where the Trump administration is currently battling an order to undo his decision to end the DACA programme, will continue but are subject to disruption.

Timeframe of shut-down?

In the case of the 16-day 2013 shutdown, Republicans and Democrats were at odds over funding then-President Obama’s landmark healthcare law, known as Obamacare. Which was the debt ceiling, for the US which allows the US Treasury to continue borrowing to pay debts.

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There was a 27-day shutdown from December 1995 to January 1996, resulting from a clash between Republicans and Democrats over funding a health insurance programme for the elderly. That came a month after a November shut-down that lasted four days.

Before these examples, shut-downs were seldom.

The US government typically only experienced funding gaps over the weekend, not impacting the economy in any major way.

Will US economy be hurt by shut-down?

The 2013 shut-down cost the US economy $24 billion, according to estimates from S&P. While costly, GDP was over $16 trillion that year.

The firm estimates a shut-down would cost the US economy about $6 billion per week in 2018.

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Any losses this early in the fiscal year could be regained later.

There are those who are hopeful feeling that the shut-down is not likely.

People think the government will come to its senses. As they understand it’s pretty touch and go right now in Washington, however, it doesn’t seem like a shutdown is in the government’s interests.

Only time will tell, however, as far as the military, speaking in terms of active, reserve and veterans. If this does actually happen you will not be affected. I repeat you will not be affected.

Lets hope they can come to an agreement in order to prevent this from happening for the others that possibly will be affected.

Isaac J. Hall II

#SemperKill

 

Veterans Hopeful For MMJ

How we doing hard-chargers!!

I have news about the possibility of medical marijuana being issued to veterans as there is word of its healing properties. 

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Members from democratic side on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee requested the committee’s officials to research medical marijuana for issues like post-traumatic stress disorder. Many believe there is HUGE potential for veterans’ health through this plant.

In a letter signed by every Democratic member of the panel, lawmakers requested that VA Secretary David Shulkin challenge his department’s Office of Research and Development to “fulfill its stated mission” by looking into the value of cannabis medication as an alternative to addictive prescription opioids.

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The letter stated. “VA is uniquely situated to pursue research on the impact of medical marijuana on veterans suffering from chronic pain and PTSD. Given its access to world-class researchers, the population it serves, and its history of overseeing and producing research resulting in cutting edge medical treatments.”

As of now Cannabis is still illegal under federal law, but 26 states (and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) allow access to the drug for medical needs.

At a White House press conference in May, Shulkin said federal law does not prohibit his department from looking at marijuana research as an option for veterans, but not to prescribe the substance.

 

VA officials have been reluctant to move ahead with assisting in outside research projects. An Arizona study lauded by the American Legion, which has repeatedly petitioned local VA facilities to help find participants.

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Department of Justice officials have made very clear verbally that they do not support loosening rules on marijuana research and have looked into expanded authorities to go after cannabis dealers and companies even in states where the substance is legal.

 

American Legion officials last year passed a resolution calling for expanded research into medicinal use of marijuana, noting that opioid abuse presents a serious health threat to the veterans community and any alternatives should be considered.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America released a new survey indicating that 63 percent of their members support legalization of the drug for medicinal purposes. Only 15 percent opposed the idea.

 

64 percent of Americans favor making marijuana legal, the highest figure researchers have recorded in nearly 50 years of polling on the issue.

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In addition, one of the letter signers — Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif. — introduced a House resolution on Thursday calling for VA to recognize “the urgency and importance of finding alternative successful treatments to opioids” and conduct cannabis research to compare the side effects with current treatment methods.

This may come into fruition after all, we’ll have to keep our eyes open to see. I’ve seen many veterans who unequivocally stand on this and it may be that time for everyone to listen. May the research taking place find new grounds in order to better treat that veterans of this country.

Isaac Hall

#SemperKill

Tattoo Policy Hurting Good Marines

Good day Hard-Chargers!!

Today we’ll focus on the tattoo policy of the Marine Corps. As you’ve heard before time may be the factor causing combat veterans to leave the Corps. There is also another reason that should not be underestimated, and that is the Corps’ tattoo policy.

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There have been Marines who were barred from re-enlistment because tattoos were too close together and were considered to be one piece that was too big under the Marine Corps’ tattoo policy at the time.

Other Marines have similar stories, this is due to the Corps not deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan in large numbers. Once that happened tattoos became a career killer for them, even if they had ­combat experience.

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Marines are now stating that their combat experience is not valued as it once was. As you have leaders saying “We don’t care that you’re a combat veteran.”

Boot Lieutenants are stating that no one cares about Afghanistan, it’s over and we as a branch are moving on as there is a new Marine Corps.”

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This is partly due to the drawdown of the Corps from 202,000 to 182,000 active duty Marines, which was driven by cuts to defense spending.

 

Starting in 2014 Marines were required to submit photos of their tattoos for re-enlistment as the Corps became very stern about the policy.

Commandant General ­Robert Neller, explained the reasoning behind the policy. “We’re not in a rock and roll band. We are ­Marines. We have a brand. People expect a ­certain thing from us.

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Marine veterans often look to get jobs as police officers, but local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are very strict on whether applicants can have visible tattoos.

This is very true as I myself was recently denied entrance to the academy due to my sleeve of tattoos.

 

In the year prior to the Marine Corps’ new tattoo policy being announced, only a fraction of Marines were denied re-enlistment because of their tattoos.

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From June 2015 to June 2016, there were more than 14,000 re-enlistment packages submitted. Out of those, 33 were denied due to non-compliance with previous policies and the current tattoo order.

There are still Marines who believes the tattoo policy has unfairly ended good Marines careers. Men that wanted to have a career in the Corps, and re-enlist were made very difficult because of the tattoo policy.

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There are even Marines, being denied re-enlistment due to tattoos even though they got a waiver for those.

Officials are stating  just as Marines are expected to meet the highest physical standards, the Corps also sets high standards for Marines’ professional military appearance.

Think before you ink Marines!!

 

Isaac J. Hall II

#SemperKill

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