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.

IRAQ UPDATE, MUQTADA AL-SADR VISITS SAUDI ARABIA & THE MOST POWERFUL MILITARY UNITS IN IRAQ: Jerry Durrant

Jerry Durrant
Col, USMC (ret)

Jerry Durrant, Col USMC (ret) joined us to talk about his time as a LCpl in Vietnam in 1970 as well as his thoughts on Iraq today.

He is currently part of a private company that does military education for the Iraqi military.  He has interesting things to say about where Iraq is and what is next for the war-torn nation.

He raises concerns about Sunni’s being eliminated from the Iraqi military, the upcoming Kurdish referendum and genuine surprise at the visit Muqtada al Sadr made to Saudi Arabia recently.

Durrant is a great representative of the Marine Corps and a thoughtful guest.

KEEP YOUR HONOR CLEAN — GENDER — AVIATION UPDATE : General Robert Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps (Part 2 of 2)

General Robert B. Neller
Commandant
United States Marine Corps

The Commandant of the Marine Corps joined ALL MARINE RADIO to talk leadership and current events.

ABOUT KEEP YOUR HONOR CLEAN:  The Commandant isn’t sure if Marines are “buying it” when it comes to “keeping your honor clean.”  Attempts to influence character are ongoing in the Marine Corps, it’s unfinished work and Marines are trying hard but the jury is still out.  “I don’t know if you can get it until you experience it.  In the aggregate we have really good people, we just have to do a better job explaining this.”

ABOUT GENDERDoes the Marine Corps still want women who don’t want to be grunts (Capt Lauren Serrano’s question)?  The Commandant is conscious that the burden of child birth and being a mother is a heavy burden, “Of course we want her in the Marine Corps.”  “At the end of the day you have to be ready to deploy, it’s a hard life.”  “I think we’re trying to find that space, but we have to find that balance between our warfighting requirement and our retention.”

ABOUT AVIATION:  We need to fly more.  Every month our flight hours go up.  It took us years to get into this situation and it’ll take us years to get out.  Why CMC decided to have Marine Corps aviation units “take a knee” after the the 31st MEU MV-22 incident.

PART 2 of a GREAT interview.

SOCIAL MEDIA & MARINES UNITED — WHAT HE FOCUSES ON — HELO DUNKERS & SWIMMING : General Robert Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps (Part 1 of 2)

General R.B. Neller, USMC Commandant of the Marine Corps
General R.B. Neller
37th Commandant
U.S. Marine Corps

The Commandant of the Marine Corps joined ALL MARINE RADIO to talk leadership and current events.

SOCIAL MEDIA:  Marine leaders need to become familiar with social media so they can understand the world their Marines live in and so they can use it as another tool to lead.  He also discusses how “Marines United” has impacted his job.

THE PRESIDENT OF SOUTH KOREA’S VISIT TO THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE MARINE CORPS:  President Moon of South Korea landed at Andrews AFB and went directly to the NMMC to pay his respects to the Marine Corps who rescued his family during the fight at the Chosin Reservoir.

HELO DUNKER TRAINING:  The Commandant believes that we can and should raise the bar relative to swimming in the Marine Corps in general, and also believes we might be able to do better relative to frequent-flyers and helo dunker training.

PART 1 of a GREAT interview.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD SAFETY STAND-DOWN & HELO DUNKER TRAINING? Boomer Milstead, LtGen USMC (ret)

Bob “Boomer” Milstead
LtGen USMC (ret)

Bob “Boomer” Milstead, LtGen USMC (ret) joins us to discuss helo dunker training, who needs it, how often should it happen and the incredible life saving power of HEED oxygen bottles.

Boomer also discusses with us the importance of Safety Stand-Downs and how safety is a function of doing things right and how leadership makes it all work.

An awesome interview with an interesting and accomplished Marine General Officer.

 

ARE THE BENEFITS OF HELO DUNKER TRAINING WORTH THE EFFORT? Mike, Mike and Will Costantini

The Gunner
Afghanistan
2011
Will Costantini
Col USMC (ret)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will Constantini joined Mike & Mike to discuss:  Is “Helo Dunker” training worth the time it takes out of the training schedule given the need to be MORE PROFICIENT at higher priority tasks that will be executed on a much more frequent basis?

FACT:  it’s an extremely low probability event

FACT:  we don’t create proficiency of any kind in our current training

FACT:  Helo Dunker training takes lots of time

BOTTOM LINE:  Is the juice worth the squeeze given the current state of training REQUIREMENTS vs TIME in the Marine Corps?

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO LEADERSHIP — FROM VIETNAM TO 38 YEARS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR: Ken Wilson

Ken Wilson
Capt USMC
Vietnam Veteran
Turner Construction vet

Ken Wilson was a Marine 1stLt/Captain, Combat Engineer in Vietnam in the 1965-1966 time-frame.  Ken fought the Viet Cong initially and later the NVA as they infiltrated the area around the Marine Base at Da Nang.

Was leadership different in Vietnam?  Were drugs, ears, scalps, civilian casualties and rape part of the environment Ken led in?  Ken Wilson says it’s always about one thing — LEADERSHIP.

Listen to a fantastic interview about Ken’s life of leading in the Marine Corps and then leading at Turner Construction where he worked for 38 years before he retired in 2002.

 

LEADING IN VIETNAM: Karl Marlantes

1stLt Karl Marlantes
USMC
Karl Marlantes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karl Marlantes is a former 1stLt in the Marine Corps, an infantry officer in Vietnam, a recipient of the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart; he joined us to discuss leadership in Vietnam.  Was leadership different in Vietnam?  Were drugs, rape and racism part of his experience in Vietnam?

We also discuss how military organizations dehumanize warfighters, how leaders must “bring them back” from that dehumanized condition on a regular basis so our warfighters do not lose their humanity and commit acts that they will have to live with for the rest of their lives — which is an awful existence… just ask the soldiers who have lived with the scars and baggage of My Lai.

VIETNAM MARINES ON MY LAI: Ken Rodgers, LCpl USMC

Then and Now…

Ken Rodgers, LCpl USMC, is a veteran of Khe Sanh.  He joined us to talk about the environment that surrounded him in Vietnam.  Stories of ear cutting, racism and rape are associated with the War in Vietnam more so than any other war America has participated in… what was the truth for those who served?  Ken talks about his experience in Vietnam as a member of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment.

 

 

WAS LEADING IN VIETNAM DIFFERENT: MajGen Jarvis Lynch, USMC (ret)

Jarvis Lynch
MajGen USMC (ret)

We had extensive conversations about My Lai last week on the program.  Jarvis Lynch, MajGen USMC (ret) — an operations officer in Vietnam in 1969 in Vietnam joined us to discuss what it was like to lead in Vietnam given the social unrest of the time in our natio.

Jarvis has very interesting things to say about drugs, rape and weak leadership during the Vietnam War and in any war.  We discuss drugs, rape and leadership at My Lai.

We also talk about how the Viet Cong related to the North Vietnamese Army in an area of operations and an interesting story about a leprosy colony that full of healthy young men.  Interesting stuff.