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Over the past few months I, along with several other User Admins, have been hit with complaints about people's behavior. Most of these reports come out of people acting disrespectfully towards another normally centered around a political post. Every day, countless posts from both sides of the political line are posted. I was hoping that after the election was over and people settled back into their routines these posts would start to dwindle in number but sadly, that isn't the case. In fact, I think people's reactions only made people want to share more. Other social media sites are covered as well but here I think it's different.

I understand that for many of you, this is your one stop shop for social media actives. And I understand that you have the write to voice your thoughts and concerns but what I don't get and what I will not tolerate is the name calling and personal attacks. I think for some of you, you are so wrapped up on what others have said or done that you yourself are losing touch with reality. Rather than finding a healthy way to express your feelings you are just so hyper-focus that it's causing damage to yourself. Some of the actions I've seen here are simply not healthy.

When RallyPoint first started. it was started to a place where service members and veterans can come to get connected with others and get answers to their questions. Now, with over 1.1 million members we are still that place but have this dirty shadow following us.

So the question I have for you, as one of the original members and as one of the Senior User Admins of this site; why are you here? Are you here to connect with your brothers and sisters-in-arms and to help provide meaningful answers to questions or are you here in some effort to spread your ideals onto others? Why do some of you feel the need to attack others just based on the fact that they voted for someone different? When will you pause and step away to realize that no one person can make American great again, to do that takes all of us. It takes all of us to come together, support the powers to be and hold them accountable as a collective body.
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Agree — but put the K-bars away until you’ve read through to the end…

Whether the United States Marine Corps (USMC) should be part of the United States Army has been a question since the founding of the USMC, 241 years ago. But the true question is not one of Army vs Marines, but rather one of having a single service dedicated to operations on land, and the correlating operational, political, and budgetary influence that would entail. Throughout history, all the way up to the present day, the Army and USMC have shared overlapping, sometimes duplicative missions, doctrine, and acquisitions. Even the separate missions exclusively filled by the USMC today require Army support at some point during, or soon after the operation commences. The Marine Corps should be folded into the Army so that there is one branch dedicated to operations on land. But that branch should be more like the Marine Corps.

The first companies of “naval infantry” were raised in 1775 with the intent of providing the fledgling United States the ability to secure its ships, and take the war to Britain’s shipping and possessions along the American coast and overseas. Concerned with the immediate strategic threat posed by the British Army in North America, the Continental Army could not be put to the task. Therefor a separate branch was conceived (though under the purview of the U.S. Navy). In the succeeding 19th century, the notional missions of the Army and the Marines diverged and solidified. The Army concerned itself almost exclusively with operations on the North American continent, to include the American Civil War. The Marines provided security on Navy ships (which justified their existence at the time), but also began to develop a nascent expeditionary capability to complement increasing instances of gunboat diplomacy. These separate missions developed during an era with a general absence of strategic threats to the nation, an isolationist foreign policy, and a general distrust of a standing military, all of which kept budgets and manpower low for all services. Also throughout the 19th century, (what was) the Marines’ primary mission, security of navy ships, began to erode as the threat of piracy was greatly reduced, more and more ports were opened through other means, and the specter of shipboard mutiny was practically eliminated. America’s first truly overseas conflicts, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, provided a series of watershed moments that redefined the mission of the USMC.

Because of their presence aboard Navy ships and their correlating amphibious doctrine, the Marines were often the first U.S. troops to arrive in a given theater. During the Spanish-American War, Marines seized vital ports and harbors and provided additional land forces for combat operations. Upon America’s entry into World War I, Marines were among the first American troops to arrive in France, and later earned acclaim for their prowess in battle. In World War II, while technically still part of the Navy, Marines played a major role in the war in the Central Pacific as they developed innovative tactics, techniques, and procedures for amphibious warfare, and further proved their mettle against a determined enemy. These events, along with the vision and temerity of its commandants and political advocates, staked a claim for the USMC as a separate fighting force with a distinct mission, autonomous from the Navy. This has inevitably brought it into conflict with the Army, especially in years of budget austerity.

Maintaining a marine corps within, but autonomous from the Department of the Navy, is analogous to maintaining a separate airborne corps within, but autonomous from the Department of The Air Force (though one wonders if such a thing would exist, similar to the German Fallschirmjäger, had the U.S. Air Force began as a separate branch from the Army). The entire USMC is roughly the same size as the U.S. Army Reserve alone, and accounts for just 4–6% of the Department of Defense’s budget, versus the double-digit percentages of the other services (~31% for the Army). The Army, for all intents and purposes can, and has, performed the same functions as the USMC. For example, Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious operation in the history of modern warfare, is credited to the U.S. Army, along with numerous other amphibious operations in Africa, Europe, and the Pacific during World War II. Furthermore, doctrinally the Army provides extensive support to the USMC, especially in the areas of logistics, communications, and command & control capabilities. This is in part due to the USMC’s exclusive focus on combat (every Marine is a rifleman) and maintaining an expeditionary mindset, though even combat operations directly under marine command are usually augmented and/or supported by Army combat forces, which are just as effective. Most recently, the USMC temporarily vacated its expeditionary mindset when it became a battle-space owner in both Iraq and Afghanistan, separate from the Army. Taken in sum, this all leads to concerns for true unity of effort in a given operation. For these reasons, the USMC should be officially made part of the U.S. Army.

But only if the U.S. Army can then be made like the Marine Corps. The Army is a ponderous, vast organization, and contains a wide array of Soldiers and equipment, that are not necessarily amenable to a combat-focused, expeditionary mindset. When all things are reckoned, it is the unique culture of the USMC, fostered through generations and inculcated into every recruit, that makes it truly separate and distinct from other services, to include the Army. Furthermore, due to its small size and focused mission set, the USMC as an organization is adept at working with other services and organizations, and at leveraging influence within bureaucracy and politics. While the Army certainly has Soldiers and units that embody a similar combat focused, expeditionary mindset to the USMC, due to its size and wide array missions and specialties, that mindset may not be present to the same degree throughout the whole force. Additionally, many of the Army’s missions, outside of combat, simply are not riveting or flashy, let alone easy to understand and articulate to either politicians or the general population. These same concerns no doubt exist within the USMC, but are shielded from outsiders by its heraldry and carefully crafted narrative.

The best time to fold the USMC into the Army was at the transition between the 19th and 20th centuries, when the USMC was redefining its mission. The only way to do so now, absent a dynamic catalyst for change (e.g. dramatic budget cuts), would be if the Army itself became a like-minded organization, and was guaranteed to preserve the heraldry, structure, and capability of the Marine Corps. The Army would need to inculcate a combat focused, expeditionary mindset into all its Soldiers and systems, while still maintaining its ability to fulfill the various missions that require it to be structured as it is. This would allow it to better manage the rotation of personnel through marine units, though an individual must first volunteer, and then qualify as a Marine. The unique capability and doctrine of the Marines could then be transitioned to the Army. Within the Army structure, Marine units would then be utilized for their distinct capability (i.e. amphibious operations), similar to the 82nd Airborne Division, or the 75th Ranger Regiment.

The United States’ military risks nothing substantial, however, by keeping the two branches separate under the current structure. So long as the military is able to fulfill its core, fundamental missions, and safeguard U.S. interests around the globe, the current structure works — and, if nothing else, the Marines have earned the right to their independence. Notionally, perhaps even practically, folding the Marine Corps into the Army makes sense. But there is no reason at the present time to justify such a move, and all the pain and angst it would cause (even under the best of circumstances). It should be done, it could be done, but realistically it will not be done, and absent an extreme justification it should not be forced.

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Nathan Wike is an officer in the U.S. Army and a member of the Military Writer’s Guild. The opinions expressed are his alone, and do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

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This topic was taken from the list “Fifty-One Strategic Debates Worth Having”, from the U.S. Military Academy’s Modern War Institute (http://mwi.usma.edu/).

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When President Obama won, there was a deluge of complaints, the birther movement, a different brand of "Not my president." Now that President Trump has won office, there's similar sentiment. On either side, there is a lot of aggression being thrown around. Do you feel Service Members have a higher responsibility to be respectful of the American voters, regardless of their choice?

Respect of the POTUS is a given, we're expected, as service members, to render that. My question is more in line with respecting the fellow Americans that voted; it seems antithetical to me to be aggressive and hurtful to fellow Americans, especially those that have dissenting opinions from ours, for exercising one of the fundamental rights we swore to uphold and defend.
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Have a funny interpretation or application of Army Regulations?

(I'm sure that not every regulatory base is covered in the ocean of wild possibilities within our ranks.)
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Here's the background. You're a senior E5. Your troops are in formation and you're handing out work for the day. You hand out an assignment to a fresh E2 with less than a year in and only a few months at your command. They blatantly complain and tell you to choose someone else. You calmly tell them they will do this task and they tell you to shove it and give it to someone else. How do you react?
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Note: My friend Carlos is in the Coast Guard and sent me this question last night. He said he's not on RP due to OPSEC (whatever), so he asked me to ask this on RP on his behalf. He is pretty hell bent on getting this Soldier punished. Anyway, let him know your thoughts on the below.

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I’m in the Coast Guard and have been active duty for 6 years. I’m stationed in Hawaii right now. I was up by Schofield Barracks and went on base there, and went to go shop for a few things at the Commissary. I was waiting in line for some fresh meat and there were 2 Army soldiers also in line, in front of me. They were looking at me and saying things to each other. It looked like they were laughing at me. I heard one of them refer to me as a “POG” which is a slang term I am familiar with from social media stuff. I said to them “Excuse me, I heard what you just said, and I feel disrespected.” I was just trying to stick up for myself. One of the soldiers then squared up to me and said “Yeah, I did call you a POG. Because you are a POG. You need to up and leave here – this is an Army Commissary.” A few other people in line heard this and started laughing. I felt so angry that I just left the building.

I know the soldier’s last name from his top, and I would recognize his face. What actions can I take to report him to his chain of command? What other advice do you have?
Posted in these groups: Deca_logo CommissaryUcmj UCMJUnited_states_coast_guard_seal Coast Guard
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If the man at the top may be unstable - then the White House is likely to exhibit some instability - as well as some efforts by the White House staff - who are normal infighters - to undermine and replace the man at the top. The problem, however, is how to accomplish regime change (the replacement of a mentally unstable incumbent with another member of the ruling political party) within the very strict confines of the United States Constitution - and within the constraint of maintaining the full faith and confidence of the citizens. Time to bring Mike Pence up to bat.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-mental-health-new-york-times-incapable-being-president-warning-open-letter-a7578831.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/13/opinion/mental-health-professionals-warn-about-trump.html

http://www.lancedodes.com/new-york-times-letter
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Remember to keep it professional. We can fill in the blanks if needed.
Posted in these groups: Tumblr_static_tumblr_mtb09amgp11s0247uo1_1280 Military Life1024px-smiley.svg HumorTalking_logo Talking
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Going on your first ship can be scary. Going on your first deployment can be just as nerve racking. What are some items that you'd recommend Sailors bring with them not only to their first ship, but on their first deployment? (Please include small boys as well. RallyPoint doesn't have DDGs and CGs are tags).
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I went into DEP on 15 Feb 80, and left Newark for Fort McClellan, AL (by train) on 1 Oct 1980 as a PV1. Getting promoted to PV2 was cool, as was being promoted to Acting Sergeant (Acting Jack) after just two years, and getting promoted to Sergeant at 30 months TIS. 2LT was huge. But, for me getting promoted COL, after being flagged by the DAIG for over 36 months - for BS - was the best!!!
Posted in these groups: Star PromotionsUs-medals AwardsUntitled Memories
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Golf? Dancing? Hanging out with friends? What helps you cope? Join the discussion with other vets on PatientsLikeMe, join today at http://www.patientslikeme.com/join/rallypoint (it’s free)!
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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 you do if some loud-mouth moron tried to publicly "out" you for "Stolen Valor" because they didn't believe you ever served?
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Of course the promise to build a GREAT WALL got this person elected. He has been blowing smoke for years and many were blinded by it. Well, here you go. More wasted money from the tax payers.
Do we really need a commander and chief who has no idea how politics works? A man who makes outrageous promises.
http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/05/politics/border-wall-house-republicans-donald-trump-taxpayers/
Posted in these groups: Imgres President (POTUS)Donald_trump Donald Trump
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This morning I decided to take my family out to breakfast for Veterans Day. Locally, many restaurants offer discounts or even free entrees to veterans in honor of their service. Near my home is an IHOP so I went online to check for any Veterans Day discount on their Facebook page. I didn't find any advertised Veterans Day deals, but what I did find was discouraging.

Hundreds of people were complaining that IHOP was disrespecting veterans because they were not offering a Veterans Day discount. Over and over I read some variation on pledges to never eating at IHOP again, claims of un-American or unpatriotic behavior on IHOP's part, or calls for boycotting them. This is all aside from the fact that most IHOPs  offer a 10% discount to military everyday of the year.

To me it all seemed like a whole lot of unprofessional entitlement whining from people claiming to be veterans. I am ashamed that fellow veterans could act so childish. It makes me feel honored when I am recognized for my service, but I joined an all volunteer Army and I don't feel anyone owes me anything extra. The attitude of entitlement does not look good in uniform and ruins the gratitude the public shows us on a regular basis.

So what are your thoughts? Should veterans feel disrespected because they are not offered free or discounted meals for their service?
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I'm hearing/reading people saying "I'm old school, therefore..." So out of curiosity's sake, where is that ever-moving line?
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This question is for our Vietnam era Veterans here on RallyPoint. Share with us what your feelings were when you first received and opened your draft notice.

What was your stance on the war? Explain your opinion

Did your parents put ideas into your head about the war that you didn't nessisarly believe in?
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