CON THIEN & SSGT’S AS INFANTRY SQUAD LEADERS & THE TOP EQUIPMENT NEEDS OF USMC INFANTRY: Mike & Mac

Con Thien
1967

Con Thien is one of the subjects of the 5th Episode of the PBS documentary “The Vietnam War.”  We’ll talk about 19 year old squad leaders leading 18 year old Marines and the pounding those battalions of the Marines took in 1967-1968.

There is discussion of making SSgt’s infantry squad leaders due to the growing complexity of that job, we’ll talk about it; and the Modern Marine Expo is currently ongoing, we’ll get the Gunner’s opinion on the most pressing equipment needs of infantry Marines these days.

 

FOODTALK: All Marine Radio Head Chef Talks Draft Cards, “1Y” Status and Vietnam

Kim Holmes
ALL MARINE RADIO
OFFICIAL CHEF

Kim Holmes is the ALL MARINE RADIO Head Chef and is also the son of a C-47 pilot who flew in the Normandy Operation on June 6, 1944.  We discuss his thoughts about his responsibility to fight in Vietnam, to registering for the draft and what life was like for a son of a World War II veteran during Vietnam.

THE VIETNAM EXPERIENCE, OUR DEFINITION OF “COMBAT” AND GENDER INTEGRATION IN OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTIES THAT INVOLVE “INTENSE COMBAT”

Will Costantini
Col USMC (ret)

As I was waxing eloquent about how humbling it was to watch what Marines did at Con Thien in the PBS series entitled “The Vietnam War” a friend of mine, a smart one at that, called the program to talk about how we define “combat” and whether our “modern definition” contradicts 400 years of combat history but allows our civilian leaders to gender integrate military occupational specialties that involve “intense combat” and should NOT be integrated.

MIKE ARCHER WAS A USMC RADIO OPERATOR AT KHE SANH, HE’S WATCHING “THE VIETNAM WAR” ON PBS

Mike Archer
Radio Operator
Khe Sanh Veteran
USMC, 1967-1970

Mike Archer’s father and brother were both Marines. His father fought in the Pacific during World War II and his brother is a fellow Vietnam Veteran. Mike was a Marine radio operator at Khe Sanh and was there for the entire battle.  As the author of three books (two on Khe Sanh) he’s also a storyteller.  We wanted to get his thoughts as a Vietnam Veteran and as a storyteller on the Ken Burns documentary — The Vietnam War.

You can find Mike’s books here.

 

IS KEN BURNS BEING TOO KIND TO ROBERT MCNAMARA IN HIS PBS SERIES ON THE VIETNAM WAR?

Robert S. McNamara
Secretary of Defense
1961-1968

I received an email from Ohio that asked if Robert McNamara being treated with kid gloves by Ken Burns?  He was the arrogant architect of the Vietnam War — is he being given a pass.

We’ll talk about it.

 

DISCIPLINE & LEADERSHIP WHILE DEPLOYED AT SEA OR ON LAND & THE LONGEST PUBIC HAIR I’VE EVER SEEN: Mac & Phil Smith

Basic Maintenance
US Navy

Phil Smith, Col USMC (ret) joined the program to talk about the 100 Hour Work Week while deployed that was such a large issue at yesterday’s Senate Armed Service Committee Hearing on Recent Ship Collisions at Sea.  Along the way we get into a discussion about discipline, leaders who enforce discipline and the longest pubic hair I’ve ever seen.

Smitty also talks about his trepidation relative to an “anit-war” agenda in Ken Burns’ PBS Documentary, The Vietnam War.

KEN BURNS’ DOCUMENTARY — THE VIETNAM WAR: Bob Nilsson reviews Part 3

Bob Nilsson
Capt USMC
Founder, 100 Entrepreneurs Project

Bob Nilsson was Captain of Engineers in the Marine Corps and fought in Vietnam 1966-1967.  He reacts to episode #3 of Ken Burns The Vietnam War documentary.

An interesting part of the series is how it has animated the community of Vietnam veterans.  Will this be a fair account of a complex war? Or, will it be another screwing-over of the their community?

SENATE ARMED SERVICE COMMITTEE HEARING ON “RECENT COLLISIONS AT SEA” — Hard questions for SECNAV and CNO

ADM John Richardson
CNO
US Navy

The last thirty minutes of the SASC Hearing on Recent Collisions at Sea that took place on September 19, 2017 was the most sharp period of the 2.5 hour hearing.  Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer and CNO Admiral John Richardson fielded questions from Senators.

 

NEWS HEADLINES & COMMENTARY: Is a 100 Hour Work Week (deployed) unreasonable?

USS Fitzgerald
USS McCain

I watched the Senator John McCain led, Senate Armed Service Committee take testimony from US Navy big timers yesterday.  They made a BIG DEAL out of working 100 hours when ships are at sea, which made me think, what is a normal work day when you’re deployed?  So I thought about it, what was “normal” for my combat deployments:

Up at 0500 to clean up and have breakfast, maybe PT.  At work before 0700.

Work from 0600 til 2100 each day, longer if there was “shit” going on.  That was “normal” day and if you do that seven days a week that’s 105 hours a week.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?