Mar 29
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WASHINGTON, March 27, 2009 – The women of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion were honored for their morale-boosting efforts during World War II in a ceremony at the Department of Veterans Affairs here yesterday.
“What a monumental challenge [you’d] taken on. That’s the kind of can-do spirit that is the hallmark of the American soldier,” said John Gingrich, Veterans Affairs’ chief of staff. “You cleared out two years [worth] — 7 million pieces — of backlogged mail in just three months.”

“It was 90,000 pieces of mail,” Dixon quipped from the front row, correcting the number of letters she and the other members of her unit cleared through a temporary post office in Birmingham, England.

Working three shifts, seven days a week, the women of the first all-woman, all African-American battalion, cleared the backlog in just three months before they were moved to France to start the same task all over again. They were given six months to complete the job. Again, they did it in three months.

“The women of the 6888 made tremendous sacrifices and endured many injustices,” Lucretia McClenney, director of the Center for Minority Veterans, said. “However, they not only prevailed, but they succeeded in their mission, and they created a positive impact on racial integration in the military.

The ceremony also included the presentation of a painting honoring women veterans to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Though Gingrich said it captures the “heart and spirit of the woman veteran,” its creator, Nancy E. Rhodes, is, ironically, a civilian.

The artwork, titled “Women in the Military,” holds the distinction of being the nation’s first large-scale painting solely dedicated to all women in the military, past, present and future, to be permanently installed in a federal building.

The painting serves to honor the sacrifices generations of women have made for their country.

“Before I started this important work, and especially because I wasn’t a veteran, I felt it was essential to interview many veterans, both active and retired,” Rhodes said. “After listening to the accounts of veterans spanning World War II up until the Gulf War, I realized that while many women had positive experiences in the military, there were far too many others who were not treated with the dignity and respect they deserved.

“Even sadder, many of these women, especially some of our older veterans, didn’t think that they deserved recognition either,” she added. “It was astonishing to me that these veterans didn’t even know that they could apply for veterans benefits. They didn’t consider themselves to be real veterans like the men, even after enlisting and giving up four years of their lives to serve.”

Congress passed a resolution declaring March Women’s History Month in 1981 as an outgrowth of the celebration of Women’s History Week, which included International Woman’s Day.

Mar 29
3 soldier
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Bombardier Johnny Holt

As they did so, every member of the crowd rose from their seats and applauded.

Guinness Premiership side Sale Sharks had invited the soldiers to the game on learning that 3RHA has strong links to the north west area. The regiment is also known as ‘the Manchester and Liverpool Gunners’.

Sale Chief Executive Officer James Jennings presented the soldiers with their service medals and also gave a framed, signed club shirt to the regiment.

Major Matthew Murphy, Commander of J Battery 3RHA, said: “It has been brilliant. The club has been very good, not just in allowing the soldiers to receive their medals in this way, but to also allow the families to come in, with half-price tickets. It shows the soldiers that the nation supports them.”

3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, which is based in Germany, had batteries deployed in both Helmand Province, Afghanistan, and Basra, Iraq, during 2008.

Gunner Matthew Power

Two of the regiments soldiers received gallantry awards in the operational honours list announced last week – both were Mentioned in Dispatches.

Among the soldiers being presented with medals on the pitch were Gunner Matthew Power, 25, from Great Sankey in Warrington, who received a service medal to recognise his three-month operational tour in Basra, Iraq, last year. The father-of-two, a former pupil of Great Sankey High School, was watched from the stands by his father Steve and stepmother Susan.

Bombardier Johnny Holt, 25, from Breightmet, Bolton, received a service medal to recognise his tour of duty last year in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. A soldier for over nine years, Bdr Holt has previously completed operational tours in Bosnia, Iraq (twice) and Cyprus. He is a father-of-one and former pupil of Thornleigh Salesian College. Watching in the stands when he received his medal yesterday were many members of his family including his wife Amanda, son Jack, dad Jack, mum Anne, brother and sisters and their families, as well as other family members. He said: “If I’d received my medal in Germany, my family would not have been able to make it, but they are here today, which is great. It has been great to do this, for people to show that they support what soldiers do.”

Gunner Martin Warburton

Gunner Martin Warburton, 22, from Littlebrough, Rochdale, received a medal to recognise his six-month tour of duty in Basra, Iraq, last year. Gnr Warburton is a former pupil of Todmorden High School and has served in the Army for two years. The choice of venue was fitting for Gnr Warburton – he is a keen rugby player, although his preferred code is rugby league, as opposed to the rugby union played yesterday. Gnr Warburton said: “As soldiers, we don’t tend to seek out gratitude, but it was really nice for people to applaud us as they did today. It felt really good being out there on the pitch.”

Speaking about the tour in Iraq, he said: “I learned a lot out there and it made me a better soldier. I was involved in training the Iraqi Army. The key thing was seeing that people support the Iraqi Army.”

Mar 29
Dr. James (1 and 2)
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Standing just behind President Obama in the Oval Office, I watched last week as the new President signed his name to three Executive Orders that will put our country in a stronger position to fight Al Qaeda.

I was one of 16 retired Generals and Admirals the White House invited to a signing ceremony of orders that ban torture, close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and end the CIA’s use of secret prisons.

Just before the signing ceremony, sitting in the Roosevelt Room, our group spoke to President Obama and Vice President Biden about the impact his action would have on national security. The President spoke – without notes – for several minutes about why he thought that signing these orders was the right thing to do.

As Rear Admiral John Hutson told the New York Times afterwards, “President Obama gets it.” He had an impressive understanding of the nuance and arguments (on both sides) relating to interrogation policy.

He noted that he would be criticized if the United States faced another terrorist attack. Yet, he said he was convinced that a clear anti-torture policy would make us safer. General Paul Kern – a four-star General who co-led an investigation into abuses at Abu Ghraib – told the President that our group of Generals and Admirals was there to support him precisely because humane interrogation tactics will put us in a stronger position to achieve our national security objectives.

When I first learned of the abuses at Abu Ghraib I never thought it would take a new administration and several executive orders to put a stop to practices that were so obviously wrong and not in the United States’ interest.

In 2004, I started to talk to other military officers about abuses – not just at Abu Ghraib but in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and other parts of Iraq too. The officers I spoke to were universally opposed to the use of Gestapo tactics to get detainees to talk.

History has shown repeatedly that torture does not work. It produces poor information; it weakens the morale of the forces that employ it; and it turns local populations against you.

Though we were united in our opposition, we did not have a forum to express our concerns.

In December of 2004, Human Rights First, a New York City-based human rights group, organized an extraordinary, closed-door meeting of retired Generals and Admirals to discuss the use of torture. The meeting brought together dozens of retired officers including a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, four star generals and other prominent military leaders.

In my 27-year career, I had only met once with another four-star General. Now I was sitting in a room with several of them and all of us were opposed to the use of torture.

In the years that followed we worked with Human Rights First, lobbying the administration and Congress. We expanded our group as we encountered more and more Generals and Admirals who were willing to be outspoken about the need to ban torture.

During the 2008 Presidential primaries we offered to meet with every candidate for an off-the-record discussion of the issue. When we met with Senator Biden, he joked, “as someone who lived through the 60’s I never thought I would see the day when a group of Generals was working closely with a human rights group!”

On the day of the signing of the Executive Orders, Vice President Biden told us that both he and the President had discussed the meetings they had with our group and concluded that they were among the most “memorable” and “important” meetings of the primary campaign.

Just before we left the Roosevelt Room – where the long oval shaped table is shiny but pock-marked from the nervous scratching of generations of White House staffers – President Obama spoke to us about the awesome responsibility he felt as Commander-in-Chief in making decisions that could affect the lives of millions of Americans. General Kern told him that as military officers we understood what it was like to have to make decisions when lives hung in the balance.

We walked a few feet from the windowless Roosevelt Room to the Oval Office where the President sat down behind his desk as the press was ushered into the room. As the press snapped pictures and cameras rolled, the President explained to the press who we were.

“The individuals who are standing behind me represent flag officers who came to both Joe and myself, and all the candidates, and made a passionate plea that we restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great, even in the midst of war, even in dealing with terrorism,” the President said. “They’ve made an extraordinary impression on me. They are outstanding Americans, who have fought and defended this country, and for them to fight on behalf of our constitutional ideals and values, I think, is exceptional, so I wanted to make sure that they were here to witness the signing of this executive order.”

He took out his pen, signed the document before him and said, “there you go.” Like that the President undid some of the worst excesses of the Bush administration.

There will be grumblings in some quarters but I, like so many of my fellow military officers, am confident that the move will help restore the United States stature in the world. And I am certain this day will be remembered as a turning point in the struggle with Al Qaeda.

I am proud to have been there.

James P. Cullen is a retired Brigadier General in the United States Army Reserve Judge Advocate General’s Corps and last served as the Chief Judge (IMA) of the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals. He currently practices law in New York City.

Mar 29
USA military (part two)
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Thomas C. Butler led a black army unit in the Filipino Insurrection after the Spanish-American War, and his bravery earned official recognition in 1900 after he and 17 other men held off a force of nearly 250 enemy soldiers.

James Reese Europe served as a lieutenant in the segregated 369th Infantry Regiment (the “Harlem Hellfighters”) during World War I, and became the first black officer to lead troops into combat during the war. His military band also helped popularize American jazz music in France.
Microsoft Encarta Africana
The award-winning encyclopedia of black history and culture is now part of the Encarta Reference Library. Learn how people of African descent helped shape the world in this comprehensive collection of articles, original documents, videos, audio clips, interactive timelines, virtual tours, and more. Order the Encarta Reference Library now!

World War II

Vernon J. Baker led his 25-man platoon in a daring assault against dug-in German positions during World War II, destroying six machine gun positions and killing 26 soldiers. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his efforts in 1997.

Tuskegee Airmen were black pilots who served in segregated units of the Army Air Corps in World War II. Nearly 1,000 black pilots earned their wings in the program, and about 450 flew combat missions. Their fighter planes escorted allied bombers to Europe, and in 1,578 missions never lost a single bomber.

Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., led the 99th Pursuit Squadron and the 332nd Fighter Group (both part of the Tuskegee Airmen) during World War II, and became the first black general of the United States Air Force.

Dorie Miller served as a messman on the battleship West Virginia at Pearl Harbor. During the Japanese surprise attack in 1941, he carried the ship’s commander to safety and then shot down at least two enemy aircraft. He received the Navy Cross for his valiant efforts.

Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War

Milton Olive III saved the lives of four other army soldiers during a firefight early in the Vietnam War by hurling his body onto a grenade that enemy soldiers had thrown. He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Colin L. Powell (Image credit: Ray Stubblebine/Reuters/Corbis)

Colin Powell, twice wounded in combat during the Vietnam War, served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Persian Gulf War, and was appointed secretary of state by President George W. Bush.

Continue exploring Encarta’s special coverage of Black History Month.

Also on Encarta
Watch videos of Colin Powell discussing African American military history in Encarta Africana, part of the Encarta Reference Library.

Mar 29
USA military (part one)
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The United States military is today viewed by many as a great bastion of upward mobility for blacks and other minorities, but it has not always been receptive to black soldiers. Despite a sometimes hostile reception in official quarters, blacks have served their country with honor and bravery since the country’s earliest days. Here are some notable black military heroes from throughout American history. You can learn more about these and hundreds of other famous black Americans in Encarta Reference Library, which includes Encarta Africana Third Edition.

American Revolution

Paul Cuffe helped supply the American colonies during the American Revolution, smuggling goods past British patrol ships. He went on to build a large whaling and shipping business, and some historians consider him the father of black nationalism in the United States.
Crispus Attucks

Crispus Attucks led the 1770 uprising against British troops that resulted in the Boston Massacre. It is alleged that he cried out, “Don’t be afraid!” as he led the crowd of protesters against armed British soldiers.

Lemuel Haynes served as a minuteman during the American Revolution, fighting at the siege of Boston and at Fort Ticonderoga. After the war he studied Greek and Latin and became a Congregationalist minister.

Civil War and late 19th Century

Martin Robinson Delany recruited black soldiers and served as a field commander in the American Civil War. He earned the rank of major–the highest rank of any black soldier during the war. Delany also attended Harvard Medical School, bought and sold real estate, and wrote several books.

Henry O. Flipper became the first black to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point, in 1877. He was later dishonorably discharged as a result of trumped-up charges, but the discharge was changed to honorable in 1976, and he was granted a full pardon in 1999.
Buffalo Soldiers
Buffalo Soldiers served in Western settlements and forts in the mid- to late 19th century, often fighting against Native Americans. Twenty-three Buffalo Soldiers earned the Medal of Honor for their bravery in combat.

Early 20th Century and World War I

Mar 1

The army of the United States is made of three components: an active component, Regular army; and two spare components, Army National guards and the Army Stock. Both spare components first of all are made of partially occupied soldiers who are trained once a month, known as Meeting of Battle or Meeting of Training of Unit (UTAs), and two spend – three weeks of annual training every year. Both the Regular army and the Army Stock are organised under the Name 10 of the code of laws of the USA while the National guards are organised under the Name 32. While the Army National guards are organised, trained and equipped as a component of army of the USA when it is not in federal service, it is under a command of the separate state both territorial governors, and the mayor of District of Columbia. However the National guards can федерализироваться the presidential order and against wishes of the governor.

HHC, distinctions of a sleeve of a shoulder of army of the USA the USA. The army led by the civil Minister of land forces who informs the Minister of Defence, and serves as a civil oversight for the Chief of a staff of army of the USA. The chief of a staff of army of the USA – a member of Incorporated committee of chiefs of staffs, a body made of heads of service from each service which advise to the president and the Minister of Defence on military affairs under the direction of the Chairman and the Vice-chairman of Incorporated committee of chiefs of staffs. In 1986, law Goldwater-Nichols has transferred that operational control of services under the mandate, follows a chain of instances from the president to the Minister of Defence to Directly incorporated Fighting Commanders who have the control over all units of armed forces in their geographical area or area of function of responsibility. Thus, the Chief of a staff of each service only has a responsibility to organise, train and equip its own component of service. Services give trained forces to Fighting Commanders for use as they consider expedient. The main article: Transformation of Army of the United States To 2013, the Army passes to six geographical commands which will be aligned with six geographical Incorporated Fighting Commands (COOK): Army of the United States, Central placed in Forte McPherson and, Georgia the Army North of the United States placed in Fort Sam Houston, Texas the Army South of the United States placed in Fort Sam Houston, Texas Army of the United States Europe placed in Stuttgart, Germany Army Tихий the ocean of the United States placed in Forte Shafter, Hawaii (finally to be merged with the Eighth Army). The South European Target group (Army component USAFRICOM) headquarted in Vicenza, Italy, Each command will accept the numbered army as an operational command, except army of USA Tихий ocean which will have a numbered army for forces of army of the USA in South Korea. The army also changes the basic unit from subsection

Mar 1
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At ceremony which has not received actually attention in the American mass-media, the United States and Canada have signed military agreement on February, 14th, allowing to support armed forces from one nation armed forces of other nation during an internal civil emergency situation, even what does not involve the international crisis. The American General of Air forces Gene Renuart, commander USNORTHCOM, the agreement on signs on February, 14th 2008, with the Canadian Air forces the General of lieutenant Marc Dumais, the commander of the Canadian Command (photo USNORTHCOM) the agreement defined as the Civil Plan of the Help, has not been presented the Congress for approval, and thus the Congress did not accept the law or the agreement definitely authorising this military agreement to unite operation of armed forces of the United States and Canada in case of a wide range of internal civil disorders in limits from whole gales, to health epidemics, to civil revolts or terrorist attacks.

In Canada about the agreement laying a way to armed forces of the USA and Canada to cross borders each other to struggle with internal emergency situations, did not declare either the government of the Harpist or the Canadian armed forces, causing the sharp protest.”

It kindly from the tendency when business reaches problems of Canada-USA. Relations and controversial problems as military integration, “Stuart Trew, the researcher with Council of Canadians has told Information service Canwest.” We see that this government refuses to open the information to Canadians which with readiness is accessible on the American and Mexican websites. “The military Civil Plan of the Help can be noticed as the further increasing step taken to creation of North American armed forces, accessible to be developed in internal North American emergency situations. The agreement has been signed in army of the USA on the north a staff, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the American General of Air forces Gene Renuart ordering air defence and American Northern Command, or USNORTHCOM, and the Canadian Air forces the General of lieutenant Marc Dumais, the commander of the Canadian Command.”

This document – the unique, bilateral military plan to level our corresponding national plans of armed forces quickly to answer other national inquiries about military support of the civil authorities, “has told Renuart in the statement published on website USNORTHCOM.” In discussion of the new bilateral Civil Plan of the Help established USNORTHCOM and the Canadian Command, Renuart has underlined, “Unity of effort during bilateral support of civil operations of support, such as flooding, forest fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and effects of terrorist attack to save lives, prevents the person, transferring to soften a property damage, has the highest value, and we should be able be valid, which are flexible and adaptive to support fast decision-making in joint environment.” The general of the lieutenant. Dumais second