Take Guns Out of the Gun Debate

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For anyone who considers the gun control debate, and where the responsibility lies for personal and familial protection, read the attached article.  The author is a long-time friend of mine, and he captures a key emotion of many. I never wanted to be a soldier or policeman, and I definitely never dream of using any type of weapon to protect myself or my loved ones. But the thought of being unable to do so really bothers me. We hear discussions of 'having to do something' to protect our families in the wake of each shooting event, and for me and I think many others the inability to do anything personally is really bothersome. I don't leave my bills to another. I don't want others to raise my kids. And I…
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Fighter Pilot Naming–Embracing Your Environment

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The Mayor has the floor One of the many traditions of a fighter squadron is the ‘naming’ of a new pilot, one who has recently achieved “Mission-Ready” status, or a level of competence where is can go to war with the squadron and contribute beyond cleaning the floors or making coffee and popcorn.  While often a new name just 'sticks' and becomes quasi-official based on some act of courage, humor, or stupidity, the more common norm is via a naming ceremony at a squadron roll call.  Said pilot is paraded before the squadron, and people who have flown with him, socialized with him, and otherwise worked with him share stories meant to embarrass him while giving the squadron an idea of who this new pilot is. More often than not,…
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Embracing Failure–The Best Way to Learn

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“The greatest teacher failure is. We are what we grow beyond.” YODA   In a fighter squadron, most of your time is dedicated to refining and practicing skills that you hope to never really use.  You spend hours studying, flight planning, briefing, flying, and then more hours debriefing how well each flight went per learning objectives and plans.  While flying has progressively become safer over the years, combat flying is inherently dangerous.  You are there to employ lethal firepower against an enemy who is trying to survive your barrage and kill you in return.  Consequently, there is no room for mediocrity and a casual attitude towards the job.  I imagine that the same is true for law enforcement, firefighters, infantrymen, and any other job where the consequences of failure are…
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Protector’s Mentality–Operation Entebbe

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Sometimes, the only thing that matters is the people at risk.  Such was the case when the Israeli Defense Force defied all odds, ignored all the rules, and conducted the most daring and successful hostage rescue attempt ever.     The heart of the true protector won the day.  Regardless of how good the current movie is, there is definitely a lesson here in motives, methods, and a win at all costs mentality. On 27 June, 1976, and Air France flight left Tel Aviv, only to be hijacked by two German and 2 Palestinian terrorists.  After a refueling stop in Athens and then Benghazi, the flight landed in Entebbe, Uganda.  The 248 passengers and crew, 94 of which were Jewish, were moved to an abandoned building while the terrorists demanded…
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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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Your Vector

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  After little time as an Air Force Academy Cadet, I realized that I was competing with some of the smartest minds and capable young leaders in the country, and among them I was average at best. Tough blow for a National Honor Society, lettered high school athlete who had heard many times how good I was. I was just average at best, and to survive I needed to work above average. My first two years of sprinting and struggling yielded what I was coming to expect—average. I was not smart enough to cram for exams and beat my classmates. I was not athletic enough to stand out in sports beyond a participation pat on the back. I was not the natural leader that drew people to me and put…
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