Thursday, July 23, 2009


Keyword "SURVIVAL" is the opening chapter of U.S. Army Field Manual 21-76, Survival.
Whenever faced with a survival situation, remember the keyword "SURVIVAL." You may some day have to make it work for you.

* S - Size Up the Situation
* U - Use All Your Senses, Undue Haste Makes Waste
* R - Remember Where You Are
* V - Vanquish Fear and Panic
* I - Improvise
* V - Value Living
* A - Act Like the Natives
* L - Live by Your Wits, But for Now, Learn Basic Skills

Click on the above links to learn the meaning of each letter of the word "survival."


If you are in a combat situation, find a place where you can conceal yourself from the enemy. Remember, security takes priority. Use your senses of hearing, smell and sight to get a feel for the battlefield. What is the enemy doing? Advancing? Holding in place? Retreating? You will have to consider what is developing on the battlefield when you make your survival plan.

Size Up Your Surroundings

Determine the pattern of the area. Get a feel for what is going on around you. Every environment, whether forest, jungle or desert, has a rhythm or pattern. This rhythm or pattern includes animal and bird noises and movements and insect sounds. It may also include enemy traffic and civilian movements.

Size Up Your Physical Condition

The pressure of the battle you were in or the trauma of being in a survival situation may have caused you to overlook wounds you received. Check your wounds and give yourself first aid. Take care to prevent further bodily harm. For instance, in any climate, drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. If you are in a cold or wet climate, put on additional clothing to prevent hypothermia.

Size Up Your Equipment

Perhaps in the heat of battle or due to accident, you lost or damaged some of your equipment. Check to see what equipment you have and what condition it is in.

Now that you have sized up your situation, surroundings, physical condition and equipment, you are ready to make your survival plan. In doing so, keep in mind your basic physical needs — water, food and shelter.


You may make a wrong move when you react quickly without thinking or planning. That move may result in your capture or death. Don't move just for the sake of taking action.

Consider all aspects of your situation (size up your situation) before you make a decision and a move. If you act in haste, you may forget or lose some of your equipment. In your haste, you may also become disoriented so that you don't know which way to go.

Plan your moves. Be ready to move out quickly without endangering yourself, especially if the enemy is near you. Use all your senses to evaluate the situation. Note sounds and smells. Be sensitive to temperature changes. Be observant.


Spot your location on your map and relate it to the surrounding terrain. This is a basic principle that you must always follow. If there are other persons with you, make sure they also know their location. Always know who in your group, vehicle or aircraft has a map and compass. If that person is killed, you will have to get the map and compass from him. Pay close attention to where you are and to where you are going. Do not rely on others in the group to keep track of the route. Constantly orient yourself.

Always try to determine, as a minimum, how your location relates to —

* The location of enemy units and controlled areas.
* The location of friendly units and controlled areas.
* The location of local water sources (especially important in the desert).
* Areas that will provide good cover and concealment.

This information will allow you to make intelligent decisions when you are in a survival and/or evasion situation.


The greatest enemies in a combat, survival and/or evasion situation are fear and panic. If uncontrolled, they can destroy your ability to make an intelligent decision.

They may cause you to react to your feelings and imagination rather than to your situation. They can drain your energy and thereby cause other negative emotions. Previous survival and evasion training and self-confidence will enable you to vanquish fear and panic.


In the United States, we have items available for all our needs. Many of these items are cheap to replace when damaged. Our easy come, easy go, easy-to-replace culture makes it unnecessary for us to improvise. This inexperience in improvisation can be an enemy in a survival situation. Learn to improvise. Take a tool designed for a specific purpose and see how many other uses you can make of it.

Learn to use natural objects around you for different needs. An example is using a rock for a hammer. No matter how complete a survival kit you have with you, it will run out or wear out after a while. Your imagination must take over when your kit wears out.


All of us were born kicking and fighting to live but we have become used to the soft life. We have become creatures of comfort. We dislike inconveniences and discomforts.

What happens when we are faced with a survival situation with its stresses, inconveniences and discomforts? This is when the will to live — placing a high value on living — is vital.

The experience and knowledge you have gained through life and your training will have a bearing on your will to live. Stubbornness, a refusal to give in to problems and obstacles that face you, will give you the mental and physical strength to endure.


The natives and animals of a region have adapted to their environment. To get a feel of the area, watch how the people go about their daily routine. When and what do they eat? When, where and how do they get their food? When and where do they go for water? What time do they usually go to bed and get up?

These actions are particularly important to you when you are trying to avoid capture.

Animal life in the area can also give you clues on how to survive. Animals also require food, water and shelter. By watching them, you can find sources of water and food.

Animals cannot serve as an absolute guide to what you can eat and drink. Many animals eat plants that are toxic to humans.

Keep in mind that the reaction of animals can reveal your presence to the enemy. If in a friendly area, one way you can gain rapport with the natives is to show interest in their tools and how they get food and water. By studying the people, you learn to respect them; you often make valuable friends; and, most importantly, you learn how to adapt to their environment and increase your chances of survival.


Without training in basic skills for surviving and evading on the battlefield, your chances of living through a combat, survival and/or evasion situation are slight.

Learn these basic skills now — not when you are headed for or are in the battle, or en route for an excursion to a remote or harsh environment. How you decide to equip yourself before deployment will impact on whether or not you survive. You need to know about the environment to which you are going and you must practice basic skills geared to that environment. For instance, if you are going to a desert, you need to know how to get water in the desert.

Practice basic survival skills during all training programs and exercises. Survival training reduces fear of the unknown and gives you self-confidence. It teaches you to live by your wits.

Friday, July 17, 2009


The question is, did they refuse the handshakes BEFORE or AFTER Obama gave up the missile shield?

My take on it: the Russians are masters at chess. What you saw there was not spontaneous, and nobody at that level in Russia does anything that outrageous without a plan. That was a deliberate move.

What I'm saying happened is a team of KGB psychologists analyzed Obama's narcissist make up, and coached the Russian negotiating team. They put Obama so far off his game that, when it was time to sit down to do the talking, he was so desperate to be liked he gave up the major tenet of US foreign policy - the missile shield - without asking a thing in return.

Me? If I was President and a team of Russians did a thing like that to me, I'd say, "Fine. Have a nice party. F*ck you very much." Then flip them the digitus impudicus and turn and leave.

You're the President of the United States, the Leader of the Free World, and the single most powerful man in the world, Mr. Obama, and you let a bunch of horse traders play you like a cheap violin. Smooth move.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


This is the story of country bluesman Charlie Patton, by famed underground comix artist R. Crumb. Click on each image for higher resolution.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I HOPE SO . . .

CIA Had Plan to Assassinate Qaeda Leaders - NY Times

"Since 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency developed plans to dispatch small teams overseas to kill senior Qaeda terrorists, according to current and former government officials"

. . . for some incredible reason we're told the plan was never carried out!

The concept seems to have gotten mired down in organizational CYA overkill:

"Officials at the spy agency over the years ran into myriad logistical, legal and diplomatic obstacles. How could the role of the United States be masked? Should allies be informed and might they block the access of the C.I.A. teams to their targets? What if American officers or their foreign surrogates were caught in the midst of an operation? Would such activities violate international law or American restrictions on assassinations overseas?"

HEY! Earth to Langley, VA: SINCE WHEN DID WE START GIVING A RAT's *SS ABOUT BUNCH OF INTERNATIONAL LAWYERS ? ! ? ! ? ! We're at WAR here, RIGHT? US targeted killings of Al Qaeda terrorists is a legal act of self defense, point blank and simple - I mean, if it's OK to launch Hellfire missiles off Predator drones into multi-family dwellings in remote corners of Pakistan, what on Earth is wrong with taking out your targets with surgical precision?

OK - Problem identified; allow me to suggest a solution:

You throw enough money out there to hire a dedicated group of pissed-off ex-Green Berets like myself, and finance our operations. We know how to plan long-term operations, we speak foreign languages, we know how to live incognito overseas, and we have a certain motto when it comes to this sort of thing: "If it bleeds, you can kill it." We'll get the job done.

For planning guidance, check out GENERAL PATTON'S MAXIMS Here are a few to consider:

o A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.

o Take calculated risks.

o Do not fear failure.

o In case of doubt, attack.

o No one is thinking if everyone is thinking alike.

o The only thing to do when a son-of-a-bitch looks cross-eyed at you is to beat the hell out of him right then and there.

And there's this beauty, of course:

o No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Don't fish too close to the water!

Stand back when you fish!

Lots of good meat there after you skin this one out:

Check out the stomach contents in this guy:

Looks like someone was fishing too close to the water . . .


1. Stay out of trouble.

2. Aim for greater heights.

3. Stay focused on your job.

4. Exercise to maintain good health.

5. Practice team work.

6. Rely on your trusted partner to watch your back. Take your time trusting others.

7. Save for rainy days.

8. Rest and relax.

9. Always take time to smile.


10. Realize that nothing is impossible!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


On this day in 1862 the Medal of Honor, highest military decoration awarded by the United States government, was first authorized by the U.S. Congress.

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed on a member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes him- or herself "conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his (or her) life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States." Because of the nature of its criteria, the medal is often awarded posthumously.

The Medal is often mistakenly referred to as the Congressional Medal of Honor, due to the requirement of an act of Congress; the official and correct title is Medal of Honor.

The first recipients were six Union soldiers who hijacked the General, a Confederate locomotive. Raid leader James J. Andrews, a civilian who was hanged as a Union spy, did not receive the medal. Many Medals of Honor awarded in the 19th century were associated with saving the flag, not just for patriotic reasons, but because the flag was a primary means of battlefield communication. During the time of the Civil War, no other military award was authorized, and to many this explains why some seemingly less notable actions were recognized by the Medal of Honor during that war. The criteria for the award tightened after World War I. In the post-World War II era, many eligible recipients might instead have been awarded a Silver Star, Navy Cross or similar award.

In 1916, a board of five Army generals convened by law to review every Army Medal of Honor awarded. The commission, led by Nelson Miles, recommended that the Army rescind 911 medals. This included the 864 medals awarded to members of the 27th Maine, 29 who served as Abraham Lincoln's funeral guard, six civilians (including Mary Edwards Walker, the only woman to have been awarded the medal), Buffalo Bill Cody, and 12 others whose awards were judged frivolous.

There has been some political controversy associated with Medal. Although her case was no different to the other five civilian recipients, Mary Edwards Walker's medal was restored posthumously by President Jimmy Carter in 1977. Critics of the restoration called it a political move, designed to curry favor with feminists. Buffalo Bill Cody's award was restored in 1989. This also drew criticism, as although his valor in scouting and Indian-fighting were legendary, he was not an actual member of the military.

The 20 Medals of Honor awarded for the action at Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890 are also controversial. This is significant, as it is the highest number of medals ever awarded for one battle in the history of the U.S. Army. Some Native Americans called for "the immediate rescindment of the twenty Medals of Honor awarded for actions contributing to the Massacre at Wounded Knee.

During the Vietnam War, 18 Medals of Honor were awarded to US Army Special Forces soldiers, eight of them awarded posthumously. This was the largest number of Medals awarded to a single unit during that conflict. Of those, Captain Humbert Roque "Rocky" Versace (July 2, 1937–September 26, 1965) was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic actions while a prisoner of war; he was the first member of the U.S. Army to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions performed in Southeast Asia while in captivity.

The Medal of Honor has not been awarded to any living persons in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, only posthumously. In addition, the percentage of persons receiving the medal in these wars has been significantly lower than in previous wars (one out of a million vs. one out of one-hundred thousand).

The Army Times published an article in March 30, 2009 suggested that because of the intense partisan politics in Washington, D.C. over these wars, the Bush Administration subjected potential Medal of Honor recipients to intense background checks so as to avoid scrutiny from political opponents. It was also suggested that Democrats did not want to submit names for the Medal because they were afraid of being seen as aggrandizing war. An Army Times editorial suggested, "Our heroes deserve to be recognized."


On this day in 1862 the Medal of Honor, highest military decoration awarded by the United States government, was first authorized by the U.S. Congress.

Medal of Honor Recipients, US Army Special Forces, Vietnam:

Captain Roger Hugh C. Donlon, was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic actions 6 July 1964, U.S. Army, Detachment A-726, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne, 1st Special Forces, near Nam Dong, Republic of Vietnam.

2d Lt. Charles Q. Williams, was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic actions 9 to 10 June 1965, U.S. Army, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne, Dong Xoai, Republic of Vietnam.

Captain Humbert Roque "Rocky" Versace (July 2, 1937–September 26, 1965) was awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumous) for heroic actions while a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. He was the first member of the U.S. Army to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions performed in Southeast Asia while in captivity.

1st Lt. George K. Sisler, was awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumous) for heroic actions 7 February 1967, U.S. Army, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, MACV/SOG Republic of Vietnam.

Master Sergeant Charles Ernest Hoskins, Jr., was awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumous) for heroic actions 21 March 1967, U.S. Army, Company A, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Phuoc Long Province, Republic of Vietnam.

Sergeant Gordon Douglas Yntema, was awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumous) for heroic actions 16-18 January 1968, U.S. Army, Company D, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) 1st Special Forces, Near Thong Binh, Republic of Vietnam.

Staff Sergeant Drew Dennis Dix, was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic actions 31 January and 1 February 1968, U.S. Army, U.S. Senior Advisor Group, IV Corps, Military Assistance Command, Chau Doc Province, Republic of Vietnam.

Staff Sergeant Fred William Zabitosky, was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic actions 19 February 1968, U.S. Army, MACV/SOG, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam.

Master Sergeant Roy P. Benavidez, was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic actions 2 May 1968, U.S. Army, Detachment B-56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, west of Loc Ninh, Republic of Vietnam.

Spec 5 John J. Kedenburg, was awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumous) for heroic actions 13 June 1968, U.S. Army, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam.

First Lieutenant Robert L. Howard, was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic actions 30 December 1968, U.S. Army, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam.

Sergeant First Class William Maud Bryant, was awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumous) for heroic actions 24 March 1969, U.S. Army, Company A, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Long Khanh Province, Republic of Vietnam.

Sergeant First Class Eugene Ashley, Jr. was awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumous) for heroic actions 5 January 1970, U.S. Army, Company C, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces, near Lang Vei, Republic of Vietnam.

Staff Sergeant F. "Doug" Miller, was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic actions 5 January 1970, U.S. Army, MACV/SOG, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Kontum Province, Republic of Vietnam.

Sergeant Gary B. Beikirch, was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic actions 5 January 1970, U.S. Army, Company B, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Knotum Province, Republic of Vietnam.

Sergeant Bryan L. Buker, was awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumous) for heroic actions 5 April 1970, U.S. Army, Detachment B-55, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Chau Doc Province, Republic of Vietnam.

Staff Sergeant Jon R. Cavaiani, was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroic actions 4 and 5 June 1971, U.S. Army, Vietnam Training Advisory Group, MACV/SOG, Republic of Vietnam.

First Lieutenant Loren D. Hagen, was awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumous) for heroic actions 7 August 1971, U.S. Army, Infantry, U.S. Army Training Advisory Group, Republic of Vietnam.

Medal of Honor Recipients, US Army Special Forces, Somalia:

Master Sergeant Gary I. Gordon, was awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumous) for heroic actions 3 October 1993, SFOD-D, U.S. Army, Mogadishu, Somalia.

Sergeant First Class Randall D. Shughart was awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumous) for heroic actions 3 October 1993, SFOD-D, U.S. Army, Mogadishu, Somalia.

Honor them.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

TED KENNA, 1919-2009: VICTORIA CROSS, World War II

I just saw this:

Last WWII Australian Victoria Cross Awardee Passes On

Edward "Ted" Kenna VC has passed away 2 days after his 90th Birthday in a Geelong nursing home, Thursday July 9, 2009.

Ted Kenna was awarded the Victoria Cross, Australia's highest Military Award, for an action in 1945. His story is quite amazing.

Honor him.



Friday, July 10, 2009


This disturbing story of a minor race riot in Akron, Ohio caught my eye:

It came after a family night of celebrating America and freedom with a fireworks show at Firestone Stadium. Marshall, his family and two friends were gathered outside a friend's home in South Akron.

Out of nowhere, the six were attacked by dozens of teenage boys, who shouted "This is our world" and "This is a black world" as they confronted Marshall and his family.

There were about fifty perpetrators, apparently. They said it started when one teen, without any words or warning, blindsided and assaulted Marshall's friend as he stood outside with the others. It quickly developed into a melee involving Marshall's wife, his 15-year-old daughter (all 90 lbs of her), and two of his friends vs. the mob who were jumping, swinging fists and everything.

" . . .I was in fear for my wife, my kids and my friends," Marshall said, "I felt I had to stay out there to protect them . . ."

Of course, this is the natural instinct. You have just spoken the magic words, Mr. Marshall. You were in fear for your wife & kids. Repeat after me: "I was in fear for my life." You are allowed to defend yourself.

" . . . They were trying to take my head off my spine, basically . . . " After several minutes of punches and kicks, the attack ended and the group ran off.

Anybody who has been in any kind of close-quarter battle knows that seconds turn into minutes, a lifetime of events can be shoved into a minute, and several minutes of this kind of combat is an eternity.

"This was almost like being a terrorist act," Marshall said. "And we allow this to go on in our neighborhoods?"

This WAS a terrorist attack, Mr. Marshall, and I'm not hung up on the race thing; we simply must NOT tolerate this kind of uncivilized savagery in our neighborhoods. This is not Britain, or France. Not yet, at least. This begs the question: how long did it take for the police to arrive on the scene? To protect your family, I suggest you arm yourself.

Advice: THIS is how you quell a riot:

Remington 870 Express Magnum, with extended 7-round magazine. It's a crowd-pleaser - NOBODY wants to argue with Mister Remington.

In all fairness to Mr. Marshall and his friends, the situation sounds like it went dynamic, fast. Thanks be to God nobody was killed, maimed, raped or otherwise - it could have been a lot worse. The security professional analyzes the situation - After Action Review 'AAR' - to learn from, and plan for, future situations. Here's a suggested battle drill: if & when such a street crime occurs in the future, instead of the wife charging toward the melee, when the horde appears she runs back into the house and returns with the 12-gage shotgun. That first round fired into the ground should be sufficient to get everyone's attention. The muzzle is then leveled midsection of the first rank of would-be rioters.

Note to would-be muggers, thugs, wannabe terrorists and assorted scum & vermin: at Castle STORMBRINGER we keep the 12-gage within easy reach of the door.

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"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
- Amendment II to the United States Constitution

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Thursday, July 9, 2009


Sun Tzu deals with employment and use of spies in Art of War, Chapter XIII:

“Be subtle! be subtle! And use your spies for every kind of warfare.”

“(On) the use of spies . . . there are five classes: Local spies; Inward spies; Converted spies; Doomed spies; Surviving spies . . . . . . Inward spies (are) making use of officials of the enemy.”

The battle for votes that was fought by ACORN in city streets last summer and by lawyers in Minnesota this spring is in its final phase in the halls of the Capitol. The leaders of the Democratic Party fought skillfully, and are now in full control of the remaining branches of government. Battle lines are drawn in the U.S. Senate, where votes are counted on the fingers of one hand.

Despite the massive tax-and-spend bills that were ramroded through Congress without having been read, pundits now say the "cap-and-trade" climate change and healthcare bills are too extreme to pass, and will be shot down in the Senate. The reality is the contest is too close to call. The question is not will the bills pass - I'm afraid they will - but just how far Team Obama is willing to go to achieve their aims. The Chicago political steamroller has come this far – why should they let a few U.S. Senators stand in their way?

The Art and Science of politics was written by Machiavelli. Illicit sex and drugs flow like milk and honey in Washington D.C; just think how easy it could be to ensnare a U.S. Senator in a blackmail scheme, thereby securing their vote on a critical issue.

Any politician must be constantly on guard against his own moral weaknesses, lest agents of the opposition take advantage of them. Succumbing to temptation even once makes a political figure vulnerable to compromise. In many cases, careful surveillance alone is enough to compromise an individual.

The Senator thus entrapped has the option of maintaining his privileged position as long as he votes a certain way on a few critical bills. The alternative is political ruin - resignation in disgrace or defeat at the next general election, to be followed by divorce and financial ruin.

The list of politicians disgraced by recent sex scandals is lengthy. Of course blackmail is illegal; so is stuffing ballot boxes. But don't expect to read anything like this in the press; they are willing accomplices. Consider how John Edward's affair was ignored by all except the National Enquirer (!); yet any Republican Senator's transgression is breaking news.

“To Betray, One Must First Belong” – US Dept of Defense Counter-Intelligence Truism.

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Team STORMBRINGER contributer VA Shepard wrote this post - S.L.

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