I trust that Mike will allow me to borrow from his own blog to repeat his original introduction to the blogosphere...
I intend to elaborate, pontificate and illuminate on issues historical, military, political, and occasionally, cultural. I am a retired Marine Corps Major, with a B.A. in History (emphasis on American, Asian, and Russo-European), from the Harvard of the South (a little insecurity in branding here?), Tulane University. I was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1978 via the NROTC program…big thanks to SSgt. (later SgtMaj) Raymond Edwards for his hard grizzled approach in taking a scrawny 17 year-old and turning him into a hard charging Leatherneck. I flew F-4s for ten years, AWS for a year, trained Lieutenants at TBS for 3 years, flew F-18Ds for 5 years, and finished up writing requirements papers for the Navy staff in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
For those in the culture of professional military publications, I have had eight articles published between Proceedings and The Marine Corps Gazette. Topics have included counter-point articles on comparative value of aviation weapons systems…I am 3-0 in defending the F-18 against all comers, CMC backed me up in Proceedings on one of these articles. I published two book reviews, including The Nightingale’s Song and Once Upon a Distant War; an excerpt from The Nightingale’s Song review is printed on the inset of the first edition paperback. I wrote a well received article on dovetailing and modifying the performance evaluation and promotion systems…this one came with a nice little email from DCS Manpower telling me what a great article it was, but no changes like that were going to be made. I was not overly shocked that none of my changes were incorporated in the modest modifications that took place in 1997/1998 as I was retiring from the Corps. I have also released for publication two articles that have not, and probably won’t make it to print, one challenging the efficacy of the current promotion board structure and operating schemes, and the other a leadership extract. Additionally, I have had an article published in Plant Engineering magazine on effecting change within maintenance teams.
Although, I don’t totally rely on editors to correct my many punctuation mistakes, I endeavor to minimize them. I keep my 12th edition Harbrace College Handbook at the ready, so tight criticism of my punctuational (new word) shortcomings will not be welcome.
I landed on my feet after retiring, getting a job as a maintenance manager with a well-known investment casting firm in the Pacific Northwest. I eventually was leading five departments, including two production departments, when I was contacted by a major sports footwear and apparel company, also located in the Pac Norwest, about taking over the facilities maintenance operations for their world HQ. I must admit, I overcame 20 years of Marine Corps indoctrination, and went for the opulent surroundings, and rarely miss the 120 plus temperatures found in the business end of a foundry.
What do I think? I am a daily listener of Hugh Hewitt at hughhewitt.com, who makes me use my brain everyday. I think Larry Elder has the best discussions on race in this country. President Bush is the right man to be President in this difficult war on terrorism. Secretary Rumsfeld is doing a great job of trying to guide the military into a modern, sustainable force capable of fighting myriad of threats with myriad of options. I think that our military is the best it has ever been, culminating a thirty-year drive out of the post-Vietnam doldrums, to a zenith unmatched in history. I credit the hard work of a lot of junior officers in the eighties, some brilliant staff work in the eighties and nineties, and the superb quality of the officers and men serving throughout the services today.
I think ice hockey is the best sport for kids. I think getting old sucks, but if you keep working out, you can delay its effects. I prefer bass fishing to trout fishing. I haven’t caught enough fish to let any legal catches go yet. I drink Tanqueray and tonic, but settle for Gordon’s when in a financial pinch…but I digress.
Welcome Aboard, Major Mike!