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Following the heartbreaking school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas — coming only a few months after the Parkland High School shooting — many are naturally asking what can be done to decrease these tragedies in our country.

I want to ask: What is the role for Veterans within this context?

I don’t believe there is a new or unique role for Veterans within this federal-level debate over guns in the United States. And, in any case, the federal debate is not where any meaningful solutions or insights will be realized or achieved in the near term.

The role for Veterans within the so-called “gun debate” is not at the federal level — it’s at the local level.

When I, as a parent, think about about all we do for our children — teaching them, taking them to their next practice or game, walking them to the bus stop or school, thinking of that very special Christmas present or birthday surprise, the hug, the kiss, and even the times we have to scold or punish them so that they can learn and grow — it becomes crystal clear, not to mention deeply relevant for the “gun debate,” just how much we pour our heart and soul into our kids. For, they are our future. And then to have them taken from us — in an instant — through events like Parkland or Santa Fe…there are no words. None at all.

Veterans seem to generally reflect our country’s divisions on guns — consistent with the current political paradigm — with Republicans, on the one hand, justly overlaying the Constitutional argument and emphasizing the Bill of Rights protections; and Democrats, on the other side, appropriately highlighting safety and security concerns and asking what role guns within these tragic events.

It is within this fraught political context that the National Rifle Association — known for its unflinching support for gun ownership — has turned the Democratic argument on its head. The NRA agrees there is a safety and security problem and argues that the solution is more guns and more people trained to use guns — not fewer.

Democrats have similarly taken the other side’s argument and turned it on its head — acknowledging the universality of the Constitutional protections for gun ownership, yet arguing that such protections must comport with a 21st century context.

In short, the two major sides of the federal debate are dug in and using the other side’s arguments to justify their own objectives — a debate that is also sufficiently esoteric, deeply philosophical, and, therefore, disconnected from the realities on the ground.

At the local level, Veterans have the greatest opportunity for positive impact because we are leaders. And the local level is where interaction with “the people” — both gun owners as well as victims of gun violence — truly unfolds.

Up to now, all sides have framed the gun issue, and any potential solutions, within the context of government. But there is significant untapped space at the local level that Veterans are uniquely positioned to lead: civil society.

I wonder if Veterans could bring our experiences as armorers, and with unit arms rooms, to civil society. Could gun clubs be revived and renewed?

What if Veterans established a network of gun clubs across the United States. Places that are useful, practical, and philosophically consistent with the US Constitution — fixing and maintaining guns for its membership.

Perhaps any new gun regulations that would be applied to individual gun owners is not achievable, but could regulations on gun clubs be embraced?

While individual gun owners — Veterans and non-Veterans — would have to opt-in to these Veteran-run gun clubs, such clubs could ultimately test any future gun regulation and serve as consensus-building mechanisms for any future regulations on guns in the United States.

Surely more ideas. But to achieve any change, Veterans must show leadership on these seemingly intractable issues at the local level.

We, Veterans, must find ways to fundamentally change the nature of, and context surrounding, the great debates of our time — including our debate over guns.

Because then, and only then, can our deeply fractured country begin to move forward — the greatest of contributions to our country that we, Veterans, can ultimately make.


Alex Gallo is the author of VetSpective and a Veteran.
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As a newly minted O-1 I have no problem with the term, but some of my fellow ENS/LTs have been scolded for using it. I never considered the term a pejorative when I was enlisted and I still don't now that I'm on the officer side. I always thought it was sort of a rite of passage that goes along with being a new Officer. Am I missing something? Do you consider the term disrespectful or demeaning?
Posted in these groups: Usmc2lt ENSOfficers_logo OfficersArmy2lt 2LTProfessionalism_logo Professionalism
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Can anyone explain the new process for STEP? More or less about the relation to being promotable and needing to attend NCOES and not being fully eligible due to needing to complete said NCOES and missing cut off due to not having it. Will you be promoted that next cut off regardless of what the points are at VS the amount of points you have? And does that change if your deployed and cannot attend due to being deployed?
Posted in these groups: 28d14634 NCOES72918f9c PromotableStar PromotionsMs945_ahrc HRC
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I'm looking for the following: 321'st Basic Training Squadron, 335th Training Squadron, 19th Maintenance Squadron, and 35th Maintenance Squadron.
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Clarification: The question is about the impact on healthcare cost of routine barrage of threats that give rise to concern on the part of many citizens that their quality of life will be destroyed by discrimination sanctioned by a president who directly and indirectly sanctions discriminatory behaviors that would have been unthinkable under any president since slavery was abolished and women and minorities were granted right to vote. Fear of discriminatory acts is rampant.

The New PTSD: Post-Trump Stress Disorder
http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/new-ptsd-post-trump-stress-disorder

n.b. In spite of Trump's campaign promise to dismantle Obama's ACA - it would appear that he will retain most major portions of the ACA - including those portions guaranteeing coverage for previously uninsurable patients - and coverage for pre-existing conditions for otherwise insurable patients. The point of retaining these rather costly provisions of the ACA is to collect insurance premiums from patients whose care would otherwise fall to free government subsidized federal block grant supported community hospital / clinic care programs.
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what would be the result of being caught with a septum nose piercing in uniform (Marines) if the septum piercing is flipped up to hide it while in uniform and down when out of uniform and off base?
Posted in these groups: B04bb539 MarinesMarine_uniform_logo Marine Uniform
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I try to give back to the people of this nation as I am able. I used to donate blood regularly; but because I was stationed in Germany in the early 1980's when some beef in military mess halls came from cows with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) [Mad Cow] I can no longer donate blood because we have become infected with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Variant (vCJD); "Mad Cow Disease." I learned recently that people with HIV can now donate blood - per conversation with Red Cross POC, efforts were funded to come up with a way that HIV positive people can donate blood. That saddened me and made me mad. Bovine spongiform can only be tested through autopsy right now. Many of those of us who served in Europe during the latter part of the cold war have not been able to donate blood. I hope that NIH will make in a priority and obtain funding to develop ways to test for bovine spongiform in people through a blood test.
[Note: I updated the question from "veterans" to "Veterans and service members" on June 6, 2015 - 71st anniversary of D Day - Operation Overlord]

[update May 18, 2018] As of 2017, worldwide 230 people, roughly 180 in the UK have been infected with vCJD and 4 people in the USA have been infected.

Mad Cow and VCJD are nervous system diseases which are based on diseased prions [not the car]. Diseased prions binds to proteins and converts them to prions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pxojz6grwcU
Posted in these groups: Ems MedicalCf1cbe80 TroopsD48af888 AirmenC8005900 Sailors
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I leave for Navy basic training in about a month or so and i really don’t like the idea of being open contract. I found an MOS that i really like and am super interested in doing, but i’m afraid to talk to my recruiter about it because i’m not sure how much time i have to be able to get this MOS, because of asvab scores and whatnot. What should i do ?
Posted in these groups: Expertsights-e1324327272686 MOSRecruiting_logo Recruiting
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So the guy has been stuck on special pops PT even though he has RA for the past year. He's unable to exercise normally, and will routinely have limbs swell up 25-30% larger than their normal size. I've put in the request to get him off of the program, since he's obviously going through a medboard, but am told that he's supposed to remain on the program by reg.
I don't really understand why though.
Posted in these groups: Ems MedicalP542 APFTF6f0e119 ABCP
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Can anyone tell me why the process takes so long for RC officer/warrant promotions to run through the FedRec cycle? I'm an ARNG officer and I've had my state promotion orders for CPT since the middle of April. I've been tracking my packet on the ARNG-G1 website and it was awaiting addition to a scroll until a month ago and last week the scroll was ready to start the approval DoD cycle. Thoughts?
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Command Post What is this?
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The US Army Values are Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage.
Former Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl apparently forgot these when, on June 30, 2009, he deserted his unit in Afghanistan, where he wanted to, in his words, “make the world a better place.” Former SGT Bergdahl also forgot that he was wearing the uniform of the United States Army, and that armies fight wars. He signed up. No one forced him into service, and no one forced him to continue service if at any point he decided he had had enough.

In the Army there are legitimate avenues of redress of grievances, and now more than ever before. Your chain of command, the Chaplain, a JAG (Judge Advocate General) officer, or even the highest commander above where you think your problem lies. SGT Bergdahl had whipped himself into an almost psychotic state of isolation, from his unit, from his battle-buddies and even from himself. In the end, the enemy seemed more desirable than the mess he had made in his foxhole.

The sentencing of SGT (now PV-1) Bergdahl is now complete. Instead of a 14 year sentence, sought by the prosecution, a sentence of time served, a reduction in rank, forfeiture of pay and a dishonorable discharge will have to do.

Although Bergdahl had plead guilty to desertion and misconduct before the enemy, the circumstances under which SGT Bergdahl was released, the trade of five Taliban leaders notwithstanding, has its own implications of treason. Some have said that Bergdahl has suffered enough, including his defense team. Some say he is not fit to live, let alone wear the uniform. Several witnesses have testified about their war injuries and losses they claim happened because of Bergdahl’s desertion. There were rumors but no evidence that SGT Bergdahl had given the enemy critical information about the unit, its operations and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). This would allow the enemy to anticipate the unit’s movements and tendencies, potentially deadly information. Some say, while searching for SGT Bergdahl, they were hit and men died. One man, a former Navy SEAL, claimed tearfully that his service dog was killed on one such mission, and others suffered crippling and career ending injuries. All of this was supposedly taken into consideration before the sentence was handed down by the military judge, Col. Jeffery Nance.

In my opinion, all this testimony is over-engineering. It’s all good, but shouldn’t be necessary to complete the project. Bergdahl deserted in a time of war. How do you maintain good order and discipline if you allow folks to just walk away? There is no claim of insanity. There is no plea bargain. There is no excuse. The punishment for desertion can be death.The reason for this goes back to the beginning of human conflict. If you run in the face of the enemy, you have abdicated your responsibility as a member of the group to help keep the group safe.
In our own Revolutionary War and subsequent conflicts, such as the Civil War, it wasn’t so much power and punch that won the day as it was which side would run first. Name a war or conflict, and what wins the day more times than not is the will to win or survive. Fight or flight. This is why the American Army is so effective; we are trained that in war the mission comes first. We are trained to never leave a soldier behind. We are trained to be good teammates. We are trained to care for each other, help each other and protect each other. And in the foxhole, when the bullets are flying, it’s about you and your battle-buddy, fighting for your lives.The bigger picture is that you are defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, part of the oath of enlistment that Bergdahl breached. But if you allow soldiers to run and then suffer inadequate consequences, what are you telling everyone else who swore that same oath? What then does it mean? In our politically correct, social media, “If it feels good, do it” society, oaths and promises seem blasé and passé. In fact, they are our lifeblood. If we let one instance of obvious and blatant desertion slip through the cracks, what then do we do with the next one, or the next? Kneeling for the national anthem and the absence of even one American flag on the opening night of a national political convention are not simply warning signs, they are signs of the apocalypse that feed the idea that Bergdahl did nothing wrong. That he is innocent of desertion because he was oppressed and that somehow his actions were free speech. It’s not about any of that. It’s about loyalty. The number one most important Army value, and value in life. The acronym constructed out of the Army Values is LDRSHIP (Leadership). The Army aspires to train every soldier to be a leader. In the American Army, even E-Private Zero, Snuffy Smith is expected to carry out the mission if all the leaders above him are incapacitated, in the spirit of Audie Murphy. Murphy, the highly decorated farm boy turned hero from WWII who was battlefield promoted from sergeant to second lieutenant and saved many lives with his heroism, over, and over again, all at 5’4” and 112 pounds, carried on with the mission, time and again. We owe it to the memory of all those who gave their lives in defense of this great nation. We owe it to those who were injured and may have died while searching for Bowe Bergdahl, and we owe it to the future of this nation that Bowe Bergdahl’s punishment fit the crime. But the punishment in this case has not fit the crime in any way, shape or form. The echo from this proceeding will carry far and wide, that the perceived suffering of one man, a deserter, held more weight than the entire history of the military of the greatest nation on earth.
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Do not include “don’t do it”, I don’t want to hear it.
Posted in these groups: Infantry_branch_insignia_photo_cards-r4ae815fac115412683e3bff623b4440b_vgjpz_8byvr_512 InfantryGeneral_of_the_army_rank_insignia OfficerUsmc2lt 2ndLt
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2006 to present

"Army Strong" is the recruiting slogan that is used currently by the United States Army. The composer of the song used in the Army Strong television commercials is Mark Isham.[3]

2001 to 2006
A humvee wrapped with the slogan in April 2006
"Army of One" was a relatively short-lived recruiting slogan. It replaced the popular "Be All You Can Be" and was replaced in 2006 by the new slogan "Army Strong".[4]The Army of One slogan was meant to mean as described Sun Tzu's Art of War in Chapter VI Weak Points and Strong, that you are only as strong as your weakest link,if the enlisted soldiers are not trained by the non commissioned officers,because the officer are not with troops and checkout what they need,a Army is very weak. The reason for the replacement is believed to be[by whom?] that the slogan "Army of One" is contrary to the idea of teamwork.[citation needed] It is unknown whether this slogan was taken directly from the poster for the 1976 Clint Eastwood film The Outlaw Josey Wales, which had "An Army of One" under a drawing of the Josey Wales character. The "One" in the slogan was an acronym, standing for Officers, Non-Commissioned, and Enlisted,[citation needed] the three types of Soldiers in the US Army.

1980 to 2001

Be All (That) You Can Be was the recruiting slogan of the United States Army for over twenty years.[5] This popular slogan was created by Earl Carter while at the advertising firm N. W. Ayer & Son. He was awarded the Outstanding Civilian Service Award for his efforts.[6] In his autobiography Soul of It All, Michael Bolton claims to have sung the jingle in the early 1980s.[7]

1971 to 1980

"Today's Army Wants to Join You" was a recruiting slogan from the 1971 Volunteer Army (Project VOLAR) campaign, which was introduced as the country prepared to transition to an all-volunteer military. When N. W. Ayer & Son, who were engaged by the US Army, believed they felt the army said "Today's Army is changing; we want to meet you half way", the firm came up with that slogan. General William Westmoreland asked "Do we have to ask it that way?" but agreed to the campaign. The slogan was replaced by "Join the People Who've Joined the Army" in 1973, which later evolved into "This is the Army."[8]

Slogan was written in 1971 by Ted Regan Jr., Executive Vice President and Executive Creative Director of N.W. Ayer, the Army's ad agency. Regan also wrote the follow up slogan, "Join the people who've joined the Army."

Circa 1950s–1971
"Look Sharp, Be Sharp, Go Army!"was a recruiting slogan in the 1950s and 1960s. The Big Picture,[disambiguation needed] public announcements on broadcast television, and highway roadway signs advertised the slogan during a time of a national draft of young men 18 to 34 years of age. The advantage of volunteering for Service, vice being drafted, was choosing the career field you wanted to serve and/or first unit or location of assignment.

World War I
"I Want YOU for US Army" featured on a poster of Uncle Sam painted by James Montgomery Flagg.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slogans_of_the_United_States_Army

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-Mc1uQW8RI

TSgt Joe C. SFC William Farrell PO1 William "Chip" Nagel SMSgt Minister Gerald A. "Doc" Thomas Capt Marty Hogan SGT David Reynolds SGT Philip Roncari SPC (Join to see) SGT David A. 'Cowboy' Groth SP5 Michael Rathbun CW5 Jack Cardwell]] COL Mikel Burroughs ] CPL Dave Hoover A1C Ian Williams SFC Shirley Whitfield SPC Jovani Daviu SGT Carl Blas LTC Stephen F. SGT Jim A. SSG William Jones
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Specifically for Active Duty Service Members
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Adultery in the Air Force
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Most (if not all) veterans have some close relationships with civilian friends, although we prefer to stick with one another most of the time.

With that said, I've noticed sort of an unwritten rule, which dictates only veterans may criticize, jokingly or otherwise, other branches of service. When a civilian, never having been in any uniform at all, chimes in and decides to take part in such jabs, the civilian typically faces an unrelenting tide of verbal assaults.

For example, I recently shared the picture I shared in this post on Facebook. Now, to be clear, USAF PJs are some of the best damn special forces operators you will ever meet, most people have the idea in their heads that the Air Force has no such field...


One of my civilian friends chimed in "We all know these guys are just finding a place to set the tee." Yikes! I responded, jokingly, "Oh, funny! Wait, remind me, which branch did you serve in?" That opened the flood gates, because I have a LOT of veteran friends... My buddy was hammered, and I couldn't help him. Although, at one point, I did chime in and say he's a good guy, and I was just busting his balls... The pain was on, and it's still going.

He's taking it like a champ, but the comments are still rolling in. Comments like "What do you call a civilian that intended to join but never did? Answer: A f&$&ing CIVILIAN!"

Just for context: No one is really serious, and most of the veterans commenting know the guy, so it's all in good fun. But I was just curious, have any of you ever had a similar experience, and is this actually an unwritten rule everywhere, or did I just feed my friend to the wolves for no good reason?
Posted in these groups: Military-leadership-skills-civilian-employment Civilians577963_465023533533674_1675317474_n Service
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My wife is joining the Air force and I know we will have a high chance of being stationed far apart. My wife and I have a bunch of furniture and two dogs. My question is, even if we are separated will I still be authorized to live in housing or even rent off post? Or will I be required to move back into the barracks?
Posted in these groups: Header HousingBah-calculator BAH
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So I hate having the miss match crap. ACU FLC and a OCP uniform looks unprofessional and honestly just straight stupid. So I started browsing for a OCP FLC. I'm more then willing to put in the cash to have a professional look, not to mention buying yourself means a better fit. So before even thinking about buying I was trying to find regulations on this. But all my leads have pretty well hit a stall. Anyone have any information or can point me in the right direction?
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From what I've read it is fine, but to all of you out there, especially those in command positions, what are your thoughts?
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