This past Saturday I had the pleasure of spending the day with the men of the 14th Field Artillery Regiment Association and their 100th anniversary. The event was held at Ft. Sill and hosted by the men and women of the 1st Battalion, 14th Field Artillery Regiment under the command and leadership of LTC Sittenauer and CSM Larson. I was truly humbled to be the guest speaker for this monumental occasion and look into the eyes of those Redlegs of the past and those of the present and future. The 14th FA Regiment has a proud history with battle streamers dating back to World War II. And as I addressed the group Saturday evening, I looked on these Warriors whose Regimental motto is Ex Hoc Signo Victoria, “By this sign, Victory.” I spoke to them about the signs of victory…but as I drove back to Dallas Sunday morning, I had to ask, are we demonstrating the signs of victory as a nation?
Sadly, in the aftermath of the second largest Islamic terror attack in U.S. history, the answer is a resounding no.
Yes, the city of Fallujah had finally been completely rid of ISIS elements, but then again, it should never have fallen into the hands of ISIS. Consider the blood sacrifices of our men and women to liberate Fallujah of Islamic jihadists previously. But in the immediate term, it’s our response here that’s cause for concern — that is, if you seek victory against the global Islamic jihad.
Think about the willingness of these young Soldiers to stand upon freedom’s rampart and safeguard our liberty, yet we lack visionary and strategic leadership that wants to enjoin that fight. In this aftermath, the dominating narrative from the commander in chief of these young Warriors is one of gun control. And that was the response after the San Bernardino attack as well.
It has to amaze those of you in this country that our response to being attacked is an ideologically-driven political issue — not the safety of the American people. And certainly, not how we can better enable our military to engage and defeat this enemy and achieve victory.
I remember when I was the Brigade Operations officer of the 18th Field Artillery Brigade (Airborne) at Ft. Bragg, we received the first operational platoon of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). We were responsible for developing the tactics, techniques and procedures for the weapon systems operational employment. Later, after having retired, I returned to Ft. Bragg to witness my nephew take command of a HIMARS firing battery — a proud day indeed — in that same Brigade. This past Saturday I watched a live fire of the HIMARS weapons system by the 1-14th FA Regiment at Ft. Sill. These Soldiers and this tool is a vital piece of the defeat of Islamic jihadism – not gun control. I have to ask, when was the last time the commander in chief or the SecDef visited Ft. Sill, or any military installation, and watched a capabilities exercise?
Sadly, the current presidential administration believes in imparting draconian gun control measures on law-abiding U.S. citizens…and instituting restrictive rules of engagement on our men and women deployed into combat zones. That is not a sign of victory.
Another confusing sign being conveyed from this administration in the aftermath of the Orlando attack comes from the lips of Attorney General, Loretta Lynch.
Just last week she stated our most effective response to Islamic terrorism and hate is “compassion, unity, and love.” What message does it send to our enemy, what sign is being given, when our response to their terror attack, killing 49 Americans, is that we want to send them a hug?
It reminds me of John Kerry and James Taylor serenading the French people after they experienced a horrific jihadist attack. This is not a sign of victory but rather one of weakness and abject acquiescence, subjugation, before the enemy.
It is a sign that emboldens the enemy to continue their savagery and barbarism. Here is our nation’s top law enforcement officer and her response has been to redact transcripts, the actual words of the jihadist attacker, as if to deny the motive behind this heinous action. And then to remark that it’s just about giving more love to the enemy? What message, what sign does that send to our men and women, who are ready, trained, and prepared to bring victory to our Republic against this most vile enemy?
Lastly, there’s a new sign being issued by this administration in the aftermath of the Orlando Islamic terror attack. It does not show our resolve to the enemy, but it’s part of the greater progressive socialist agenda of social justice and the fundamental transformation of our military.
As reported by Fox News, “The Pentagon is “likely” to repeal its ban on transgender service members next month, defense officials told Fox News Friday, even as one report claimed an announcement could happen as soon as next [this] week.
According to USA Today, top personnel officials could meet as soon as Monday [today] to finalize details of the plan. Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Wolk would sign off on the plan and Defense Secretary Ash Carter would give his final approval shortly before the July 4 weekend.
“I can tell you that we have made progress,” said Cook. “[Carter] has indicated that he expects to make a final decision soon, and that’s exactly where we are.”
Late Friday, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, accused Carter of putting “the political agenda of a departing administration ahead of the military’s readiness crisis.”
Carter announced last year that the ban on transgender troops serving openly would be lifted unless it was proven that such an action would have a negative “impact on military effectiveness and readiness.”
In his statement, Thornberry said Carter had failed to answer a series of questions posed by the committee at the time of Carter’s initial announcement, including the cost of modifying barracks and bathroom facilities.”
We recently shared here the increase of aviation-related incidents in our armed forces. You’d think that would be a critical point to rectify, but it appears not. Apparently expenditures on barracks and bathroom facilities to accommodate transgender troops is a more pressing need. What message, what sign does that send to our military and to our enemy?
Consider the analysis of the American Psychiatric Association, “In the upcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), The American Psychiatric Association will now classify “gender identity disorder” with “gender dysphoria”in order to “avoid stigma.” It is important to note that gender nonconformity is not in itself a mental disorder.
The critical element of gender dysphoria is the presence of clinically significant distress associated with the condition. For a person to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, there must be a marked difference between the individual’s expressed/experienced gender and the gender others would assign him or her, and it must continue for at least six months. Gender dysphoria is manifested in a variety of ways, including strong desires to be treated as the other gender or to be rid of one’s sex characteristics, or a strong conviction that one has feelings and reactions typical of the other gender.”
Is this really where we want our military to focus its energy and resources, especially at this time in the aftermath of the second worst Islamic terror attack?
The motto of the 14th Field Artillery Regiment, “Ex Hoc Signo Victoria” is a defining and interesting standard by which we can ask a simple question: are these actions the signs of victory?
I say no. What say you?