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Photography by John Michael

"Preserving the memories so others will remember"™

2016 US Army Band Concert – 1812 Overture

US Army Band 2016 Concert

 

 

 

 

 

AN ANNUAL EVENT

The final event of the summer of The US Army Band – “Pershing’s Own”  accompanied by the Presidential Salute Battery of the 3d Infantry Regiment of the US Army – “The Old Guard”is an annual concert on the Washington Mall at the Sylvan Theater (near the Washington Monument) Among appearances by the Herald Trumpets and the US Army Band Chorus, it features the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky – the “Guns Platoon”  providing live cannon fire with their WW II vintage M5’s  – 3″ anti-tank guns.

Watch the Video

If you couldn’t make it to the National Mall for the nearly 90 minutes of music, here is the video provided by the folks at DVIDS…

 

“GUNS RUN LONG!!!”

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Posted 1 week, 4 days ago at 8:06 am.

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ON POINT BOOK REVIEW – Fort Lesley J McNair

Who Was General Lesley J. McNair

Lieutenant General Lesley J. McNair was commander of ground forces during WW II.  He was killed in France during that war and his remains stayed in France, Where he trained the troops for that war is the only US Army Post in Washington, DC  and is named in his honor.

Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair

Images of America - Fort Lesley J McNair

ON POINT is the Journal of the Army Historical Foundation. The Summer 2016 issue of the journal from the Army Historical Foundation contains a review of the book by John Michael “Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair”  Beginning in 1791 when Major Charles Pierre L’Enfant designed the New Capital City of Washington DC.  It began as “Reservation #05”  – only 28 acres where a single artillery tube with earthworks was placed to defend the Capital City.  Over time, the US Army Post was known by many different names – During the Civil War it was Washington Arsenal and where the first federal penitentiary was built – the location of where the Lincoln Assassination conspirators were incarcerated, tried and hanged.  Later it became Washington Barracks and site of the US Army Engineering Schools.  When Roosevelt Hall was built, it became the home of the US Army War College.  A brief time, it was named Fort Humphreys and finally Fort Lesley J. McNair.   Home to the National Defense University and its colleges – including the National War College.  It is also where the Military District of Washington is headquartered and the US Army Center of Military History occupies a building that was first the Quartermaster stables then the post’s movie theater.  When the US Army abandoned Fort Hunt Virginia, the US Army Band – “Pershing’s Own” and the US Army Music School was located at Washington Barracks (Fort Lesley J. McNair) before relocated to Fort Myer by the order of General George C Marshall. Likewise, for many years after the regiment was re-activated in 1948, Alpha and Echo Companies of the 3d Infantry – “The Old Guard” were stationed here.

READ THE REVIEW – BUY THE BOOK

You can read the review here at the Historic Fort McNair website  An autographed copy of the book is available also here.

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Posted 2 weeks, 1 day ago at 12:50 pm.

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The American Soldier

MG Robert E Lee Bullard

MG Robert E Lee Bullard

 

WW I Commander

Major General Robert E. Lee Bullard recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal in WW I … who commanded the First Division, First Corps and Second Army in that war said this of the American Soldier:

“In every army, there are two kinds of soldiers: those who do things because they are ordered to, and those who are always looking for things to do.  It is the latter kind that leavens any army.  And this kind prevails in the American Army to a greater extent than in any ever known.”

HONORS ANOTHER GENERAL

At the age of six, he asked his parents to change his name to Robert Edward Lee Bullard in honor of the Civil War General Robert E. Lee.  He graduated from West Point in 1885 with a Cullum Number* of 3084. He was an  Infantryman who first served on the western frontier, in the Philippines and Cuba, in Mexico before serving in WW I.

General Bullard went on later to write a book –

Fighting Generals: Illustrated Biographical Sketches of Seven Major Generals in World War I

*NOTE: The Cullum number is a reference and identification number assigned to each graduate of the United States Military Academy. It was created by Brevet Major General George W. Cullum, USMA Class of 1833, who, in 1850, began the monumental work of chronicling the biographies of every graduate.

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Posted 2 months ago at 6:31 am.

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SIX DECADES of THE US ARMY FLAG

AND COUNTING!

Since the inception of the US Army in 1775, there was never a single flag identifying the entire Army,   That changed in 1956 when President Dwight D.

US ARMY FLAG

US ARMY FLAG with Streamers

Eisenhower issued an executive order establishing the US Army flag.  What follows below is a fact sheet published by the Quartermaster Corps.

“Office of The Quartermaster General
Washington D.C.
1 June 1957

 The United States Army Flag was officially adopted by order of President Dwight D. Eisenhower through Executive Order No. 10670, on June 12, 1956.

The newly adopted flag was presented by Vice President Richard Nixon to Secretary of the Army Wilber M. Brucker at a ceremony at the Capitol, Washington DC, on June 13, 1956. On the following day, June 14, Flag Day and also the 181st anniversary of the establishment of the Army the United States Army Flag was unfurled at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, in connection with public a public address by Secretary Brucker.

The United States Army came into being by the action of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775, and two years later, on June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress officially adopted the Stars and Stripes as the Flag of the United States.

Although various elements of the Army, from groups and corps down to separate battalions, have their own colors and distinguishing flags, none has previously served the  US Army as a whole. The new United States Army flag is designed to meet the need for a flag which will represent the entire Army on appropriate occasions.

The Army flag is made up in the National colors red, white, and blue, with a yellow fringe.  It is the standard size for colors: 4 feet, 4 inches hoist and 5 feet 6 inches fly.  It bears 145 streamers (Note: as of 1998, there are 172 streamers)of ribbons representing the campaigns in which the Army has participated since its inception.  (As of 2016  there are 189 campaign streamers.)

The flag is made of white silk, upon which is embroidered in blue, a replica of the official seal of the War Office. Beneath the seal is a broad scarlet scroll bearing the inscription in white letters, “United States Army”.  Beneath the scroll blue Arabic numerals, is “1775”, the year in which the Army was created with the appointment of General George Washington as Commander-in-Chief.

The original War Office seal, constituting the central design of the Army Flag was authorized by the Continental Congress on May 8, l779.  The seal is thus described:

“A cannon in front of a drum with two drumsticks; below the cannon three cannon balls. A mortar on a trunion and below the mortar two powder flasks. In the center a Roman breastplate over a jupon (leather jacket).  Above the breastplate rises a plain sword with the pommel and guard supporting a Phrygian cap between an espontoon (pike) and an organizational color on one side and a musket with a fixed bayonet and the National color on the other side.  Above is a rattlesnake holding in its mouth a scroll inscribed, ‘This We’ll Defend’ “.

The cannon balls and powder flasks are of the Revolutionary War type.  The Phrygian cap is the traditional symbol of liberty.

The War Office was at first officially known as “A Board of War and Ordnance.”  The third such Board appointed by Congress was succeeded on February 7, 1781, by a Secretary at War, which position was filled by the appointment of Major General Benjamin Lincoln on October 30 of the same yearHenry Knox was elected Secretary at War by Congress on March 8, 1785. He served through the period of the Articles of Confederation until the office was established as an executive department under the United States Constitution.  He thereby became the first Secretary of War.

The Department of War was created by Congress on August 17, 1789, and so remained until it was retitled Department of Army under the Unification Act of July 26, l947. Since the beginning, however, the seal of the War Office has continued to serve the Department of War and Department of the Army.US Amry flag with campaign streamers

The campaign streamers are attached below the spearhead of the flagstaff. Each steamer is 2 3/4 inches in width and 4 feet in length.  They are designed in the colors of the respective campaign ribbons and are embroidered with the designations of the campaigns and the years in which they took place.  The following colors are employed in design of the streamers representing major campaigns:

Revolutionary War: scarlet with a white stripe
War of 1812: scarlet with two white stripes
Mexican War: green with one white stripe
Civil War: blue and grey, equally divided
Indian Wars: scarlet with two black stripes
War with Spain: yellow with two blue stripes
China Relief Expedition: yellow with blue edges
Philippine Insurrection: blue with two red stripes
Mexican Expedition: Yellow with two green stripes and a blue stripe
World War I: double rainbow
World War II:
     American theater — blue with two groupings of white, black, red, and white stripes; with blue, white, and red in the center.
     European-African-Middle Eastern Theater — green and brown with two stripe groupings, one of green, white, red and the other of white, black, and white stripes; with blue, white, and red stripes in the center.
     Asiatic-Pacific Theater — orange with two white, red, and white stripe groupings; with blue, white, and red stripes in the center.
Korean Service: Light blue bordered on each side with white; with a white center stripe.

 

The Army flag was designed by the Heraldic Branch, Office of Research and Engineering, Office of The Quartermaster General. Research on background material was begun in July 1955, when a requirement for a United States Army flag was indicated by the Secretary of the Army. Several tentative designs were developed and from among these the design as adopted was selected by Secretary of the War Brucker.

The flag presented by Vice President Nixon to Secretary Brucker was hand embroidered by expert women needleworkers at the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot. Other hand embroidered flags were presented to President Eisenhower; the Chief Of Staff, U.S. Army; and for display in the Pentagon building corridor near the entrance to the office of the Secretary of the Army.

A limited number of additional flags have been made at the Philadelphia Depot. These additional flags, however, have the design appliqued rather than embroidered. The appliqued flags, without campaign streamers, were assigned to the various Army headquarters, service schools, and other locations designated by the Secretary of the Army”

Updates

Since this fact sheet was published, additional streamers have been added to identify additional campaigns.  These include

Vietnam: Yellow with green borders and three red stripes centered
Armed Forces Expeditions:
     Panama Light blue with a narrow blue, white and red stripe in the center. On each edge is a narrow green, yellow, red, and black stripe.
     Dominican Republic Light blue with a narrow blue, white and red stripe in the center. On each edge is a narrow green, yellow, red, and black stripe.

 

LEARN MORE US ARMY HISTORY

 

Here are a couple of books for further exploration

United States Army: The Definitive Illustrated History


AND from the Army Historical Foundation

U.S. Army A Complete History

 

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Posted 2 months, 2 weeks ago at 6:33 am.

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GEN Eisenhower’s D-Day Words to the Troops

2016 JUN 6 –

 

It was seventy-two years ago that GEN Dwight D Eisenhower  issued the words below to the troops ready to execute D-Day…

 

A eisenhower letter 6 JUN 1944

MORE PHOTOS MORE MESSAGES …   MORE

This and more photos can be viewed in the exhibit prepared by the US National Archives.

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Posted 2 months, 2 weeks ago at 1:20 pm.

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The Rendezvous in World War I

The WW I  Soldier

We often forget about the sacrifices that were made for conflicts that began and sometimes finished “Over There..”  Yet the individuals who stood up when called or some that stood up without being called but answered to an internal calling, are often forgotten…  here’s one American who headed to join the  French Foreign Legion in 1914.

I Have a Rendezvous with Death

Alan Seeger, 18881916

I have a rendezvous with Death   
At some disputed barricade,   
When Spring comes back with rustling shade   
And apple-blossoms fill the air—   
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.   
   
It may be he shall take my hand   
And lead me into his dark land   
And close my eyes and quench my breath—   
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death   
On some scarred slope of battered hill,   
When Spring comes round again this year   
And the first meadow-flowers appear.   
   
God knows ‘twere better to be deep 
Pillowed in silk and scented down,   
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,   
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,   
Where hushed awakenings are dear...   
But I’ve a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,   
When Spring trips north again this year,   
And I to my pledged word am true,   
I shall not fail that rendezvous.
Alan Seeger

Alan Seeger

Seeger’s  Destiny

He was killed in action during the Battle of the Somme at Belloy-en-Santerre on July 4, 1916, famously cheering on his fellow soldiers in a successful charge after being hit several times by machine gun fire.

A President’s Favorite Poem

Seeger’s poem “I Have a Rendezvous with Death” was a favorite of John F. Kennedy, who often asked his wife to recite it.

 

WHAT’S NEXT …

To learn more about Alan Seeger and others who stood up in 1914,  consider the following book …

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Posted 3 months, 1 week ago at 6:55 am.

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Belonging

belonging

Belonging

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Posted 3 months, 4 weeks ago at 5:18 pm.

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Happy ANZAC DAY 2016 – 25 APR

ANZAC Day

Celebrating the Australian and New Zealand Military

Since WW I the Australian and New Zealand military have stood together to take the fight to the enemy.  ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. And each year since the 1920s there has been a commemoration of the valor and fight that these troops have offered in the battles and wars of the world.

They fought to take the Gallpoli peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies.

 

Some words from the current Special Forces Association National President, Jack Tobin:

April 25, is ANZAC Day, the Australians and New Zealanders have been beside us in every conflict since World War II, many of us worked with them in Vietnam, when allies were scarce, but the ANZACs were there, with “no worries mate” ringing across the radios. After the tragedy of 9/11, when America went on the offensive in Afghanistan, the Australians and New Zealanders were the first to join us, taking the fight to the enemy.
 
At the SFA Conferences and Conventions, we parade the Australian flag, not only to honor our Chapter in Australia, but it also to honor our long tradition of warriors marching together.
 
Having spent time in Australia and New Zealand, and having served with ANZACs in Afghanistan, I can tell y’all that the bonds have never been tighter, that our cousins “down under” are ready, as always, to stand with us, and we should be proud of that relationship, we could find no better friends or better warriors.
 
So, if you have a moment on Monday, remember the ANZACs, in your thoughts and prayers.
 
Lest we forget, Lest we forget.
 
Jack

More About ANZAC Day

Here You can read more about  ANZAC Day  and learn of the continuing support that the Australian and New Zealand armed forces offer in the battles faced today.
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Posted 4 months ago at 10:00 am.

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The Purpose of Life

lotus

“The purpose of life is to unlearn what has been learned,

and to remember what has been forgotten.”

-Sufi Saying

 

 

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Posted 4 months, 1 week ago at 5:28 pm.

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Don’t Quit

John Greenleaf Whittier

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns
And many a failure comes about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit

— John Greenleaf Whittier

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Posted 4 months, 2 weeks ago at 4:04 pm.

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