Book Review: The Hooligans of Kandahar by Joseph Kassabian

Every war that America has been in has seen its share of post-war soldier memoirs, The Hooligans of Kandahar is one of the better ones to come out of America’s most recent war. Specifically, this semi-fictionalized account chronicles one infantry squad’s (typically 8-12 men) deployment to Kandahar in Afghanistan in 2011-2012. The author, in an effort to secure the anonymity of his comrades has chosen to make the book semi-fictional and use nicknames instead of given names for the characters throughout. This was probably a smart idea as any current or former combat arms soldier can tell you that some serious crazy stuff goes on in any tight unit whether … More after the Jump…

Glossary of Modern Military Terms

Engage the Enemy means “to blow something up.”
Surgical Strike means “to blow up something small.”
Decapitate means “to blow up their leaders.”
Collateral Damage means “to accidentally blow up something of theirs.”
Friendly Fire means “to accidentally blow up something of ours.”
Target of Opportunity means “to blow something up on a whim”
Kinetic Targeting means “to blow up something that’s moving”
Ordnance is “something that that does the blowing up”
An Asset is “something that can be blown up”
Embedded Media means “a report that’s blown out of proportion”


One Smart Private

As a platoon of trainees stood in formation at an Army Base, the Drill Sergeant walked up and said, “All right! All you retards fall out.”
As the rest of the platoon wandered away, one soldier remained at attention.
The Drill Sergeant walked over until he was eye-to-eye with him, and then raised a single eyebrow.
The soldier smiled and said, “Sure was a lot of ’em, huh, Drill Sergeant?”

Book Review: The True German: The Diary of a World War II Military Judge

[FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my copy of this book free from the author. I was not paid for this review and the opinion expressed is purely my own] The True German: The Diary of a World War II Military Judge by Werner Otto Müller-Hill is one of those rare books that come out of war.  A diary written by someone to satisfy themselves with no expectation that it will ever get published.  As such, it provides an almost unique view into the mind of the person writing it.  The vast majority of war memoirs are self-serving and written to make a point.  Diaries tend to be less so, and this one … More after the Jump…

Murder in Iraq

This is kind of an amusing story, unless of course you are the guy that got killed.  When I was deployed to Iraq in 2004 with C Troop 1/4 Cav we had a platoon of National Guard soldiers assigned to my FOB to assist with Force Protection (Guard Duty).  The Guardsmen pulled duty in the towers ringing the perimeter of the FOB.  Along with the Americans, Iraqi National Guardsmen (ING) pulled duty, supposedly it was some sort of trust building thing although I was never certain of the logic behind that decision.  That set up the circumstances whereby the murder could occur.  I was at FOB Wilson, which is about … More after the Jump…

Interesting Article in Stars and Stripes

I am probably going to get beat up for posting this but here goes anyway. There was an interesting story (attached to the post here) in last Tuesday’s edition of European Stars and Stripes.   It concerned the lack of black heroes in the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   Two of the experts they interview for the article are John Sibley Butler, a Vietnam vet and business professor and Tyrone Williams the COO of the non-profit Black Veterans for Social Justice, Inc.. First off, I question the premise of the article in the first place, it makes out that somehow black soldiers are being discriminated against in the … More after the Jump…

Courtesy Patrols Outside Fort Benning

Drudge has a link up to this story about the military instituting Courtesy Patrols (CP) in downtown Columbus, Georgia just outside the gates of Fort Benning. The story itself is very balanced and explains what a CP is what they will be doing quite well I think. I personally am in the military and have both seen and had to act as a CP during my time in the military. They are nothing remarkable. As the story makes clear, the CPs have no legal standing with regards to people who are not in the military. They do have however, and can execute, command authority over members of the military who … More after the Jump…