Establishing a Personal Baseline

Armed Service, Excellence, Individual Greatness, Leadership, Military Affairs, Personal Value
I arrived, along with nearly fourteen-hundred of my new classmates, in Colorado Springs during the first week of July 1985 for Basic Cadet Training at the United States Air Force Academy.  My parents dropped me off earlier that morning at Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia, and to say that I was apprehensive was like saying I thought Christie Brinkley was kind of cute.  I was borderline scared.  My dad had been a cadet in the Air Force Academy’s first graduating class, and had shared with me a glimpse of what to expect.  I was not looking forward to it at all.  It was hard to say goodbye to my family, but what filled my mind were the…
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Streamlining Decisions–Uncluttering

Armed Service, Excellence, Leadership, Military Affairs
As I stepped out the door for the flight, my mind was racing over the literally hundreds of details needed to successfully accomplish the mission.  I was Sandy 1 for a local training mission, the standard call sign for the Rescue Mission Commander.  I was leading a flight of four A-10s, and directing the escort, insertion, and egress of two HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters.  Additionally, we had a notional (simulated for this training flight) Airborne Warning and Control E-3 to give us a radar picture of the airspace, a flight of four F-16 Wild Weasels to find and destroy enemy ground to air threats, two flights of F-22 Raptors to provide air to air coverage in the area of operations, some additional F-16s and F-15Es for diversionary and actual strikes…
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Memorial Day–A Boy’s Favorite Christmas Present

Armed Service, Christmas, Freedom, History, Military Affairs, Motherhood, Veterans
My father in law often spoke of his favorite Christmas gift ever--a box of shrapnel pieces from Army Air Force bombs. During World War II, the United States' industrial base kicked into high gear to supply bombs, bullets, aircraft, tanks, jeeps, ships, and GI helmets to the war front.  Aside from supplying basic wartime needs for the over twelve million US servicemen, the American factories supplied all of the above for British, Soviet and other allied forces to help defeat the Axis powers.  And it worked. In a steel mill in Pennsylvania, hot molten steel was formed into everything needed to win the war.  Part of that steel was formed into bomb bodies, weighing anywhere from one…
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The Doolittle Raiders–The Essence of a Heroic Volunteer Force

Armed Service, Flight, Freedom, Military Affairs, Value of Life, Veterans
I take no credit for the following story or its composition.  Just felt compared to share it to remind a few of us how great our legacy is as Americans.  I hope I would have volunteered as did this man and his compatriots.  For them, Patriotism was not a theoretical discussion.  As we sit around whining about our first world problems, take a moment or two to read this excellent firsthand account by the pilot of aircraft #13 on the Doolittle Raid off the Hornet in 1942. My  name is  Edgar McElroy. My friends call me "Mac". I was  born and  raised in Ennis , Texas the youngest of  five children, son of Harry and  Jennie McElroy.  Folks say that…
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Unexpected Heroism from a celebrity Hero–Eddie Rickenbacker

Freedom, Friendship, History, Individual Greatness, Leadership, Military Affairs, Personal Value, Veterans
Eddie Rickenbacker was America's Ace of Aces with 26 kills during World War I.  Despite his initial rejection into flight school because of his 8th grade education, Eddie eventually became the leading ace, Medal of Honor winner, darling of the Allied media, and commander of the 94th "Hat in the Ring" Squadron.  The world knows him for such heroics, but they were just expressions of who he really was--a quiet, every day over-achiever who never took himself too seriously or forgot his roots. Losing his father at 13, Eddie Rickenbacker instantly became the man of the house.  The third of 9 children, but the one who felt the responsibility most for his family, Eddie dropped out of…
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Dream Big–Then Act Bigger

Excellence, Individual Greatness, Leadership, Military Affairs, Personal Value, Uncategorized, Veterans
Lt Gen Marshall S. "Pat" Carter, US Army Dreams and goals are the foundation of all great things.  Without them, and the visionary leaders in government, industry, the military, education, and virtually every endeavor, we would all still be sitting in caves fighting over the next kill.  Often, however, leaders' lives don't turn out how they intended, but still hold great worth.  One such life was that of Army Lieutenant General Marshall S. Carter. Raised the son of the West Point Dean of Natural Philosophy during nearly the first third of the Twentieth Century, Marshall, or Pat as he was called, followed in his father's footsteps and attended West Point with the Class of '31, graduating during a sleepy time of American activity in the world.  General Carter attended MIT…
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