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Free Consulting on Christmas Day for the Uniformed Services

December 24, 2005 | By | No Comments


When Your Business Blogger had the honor of wearing an Army uniform, I was not married.

I always volunteered for duty on Christmas Day. No, not because I wanted the pity of self-inflicted punishment.

(Nobody likes martyrs. That’s why we killed so many of them.)

No, I traded Christmas duty with the married guys — so that I would not have to work New Year’s Eve.

The High Holiday for the unhitched.


In my rear view mirror, all holidays were a waste before Charmaine. Here’s your FLIR, your Forward Looking InfraRed to see through the darkness, the future.

Three Free Consulting Action Recommendations for men in uniform:

1) If you are married on an unaccompanied tour:

Come Home Safe.

We will celebrate your return. And,

2) If you are unmarried, currently serving out of theater:

Get Married.

You’ve made the planet a safer place. It’s now your duty to make world a better place.

3) If you are umarried in a combat theater:

Complete Action Items #1, then #2.

That’s an order.

Working New Year’s Eve will be the result of the best decision you will ever make.

I guarantee it.



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Thank you (foot)notes:

Mudville Gazette has Call for Submissions for memorable Milblog posts for the year.

Reasoned Audacity. Merry Christmas

Pearl Harbor Day

December 7, 2005 | By | 2 Comments


The Pearl Harbor Telegram

We were at war.

We are at war.

Tom McMahon did the thinking. I’ll do the linking.

Be sure to check out his 4-block world.

The truth is always simple.


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Thank you (foot)notes:

Red State Rant has more on 7 December 1941.

Send a Card to Joshua Sparling Today

December 5, 2005 | By | 2 Comments

Cross-posted from Reasoned Audacity.


Wow. This is just a jaw-dropper.

Lisa from Two Babes and a Brain was at Walter Reed this weekend and took a picture with a camera-phone of this card that had been sent to one of our soldiers, recovering from a gunshot wound that he got fighting for our country in Iraq.

Even if it’s a fake, and some adult wrote it to look like a kid did it, still. . .how horrible.

Michelle Malkin provides Joshua’s address:

Joshua Sparling

c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center

6900 Georgia Avenue N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20307-5001

Jack used to work Walter Reed when he was in medical sales and he says our soldiers need our cards and visits. . .


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Veterans Day, The Liberal Prospective

November 11, 2005 | By | 2 Comments


Sailor, Rest Your OarsIt made you proud to be an American. Bloggers had tributes and war stories and kind words to celebrate Veterans Day.

But not all blogs.

Our friends at the liberal AmericaBlog had this lead post this morning:

Friday Morning Open Thread

by Joe in DC – 11/11/2005 07:09:00 AM

It’s Veterans Day…one of those holidays that some people get, but not everyone….

Long weekend or not?

Conservatives measure sacrifice by loss of life and limb. Liberals value sacrific only if there’s a day off.


Thank you (foot)notes:

Thanks to Basil’s Blog for prompting this chain of thought.

Contest Winners. Ever See a Tank Swim?

October 15, 2005 | By | 9 Comments


M551 Sheridan Ft. Knox, c. 1978

Me neither. But we tried. You’d think for being such an odd duck the thing could float. But not quite. More in a bit.


The contest was to guess the vehicle ID with the Penta-Posse a-top.

We have two winners: The Drill SGT and Fred Boness.

The Drill SGT sends this shot and writes:


M551 Sheridan

I think the shot is of an M551. If I need to get more specific, I think it is NOT an M551A1, but rather an M551 plain.

here is the best comparable photo

You likely took the photo at Aberdeen or Knox.

Do I get a bonus if I can tell you which track they are sitting on and where it is?

BTW: the overexposure on that shot is gonna make it tough for most folks

The Drill SGT

The Drill SGT got extra credit for guessing Knox. Contest Picture was from the Patton Museum.

Fred Boness is also a winner sending this shot and making points on style:


One of those awkward in between things, the M551 Sheridan. Too heavy to be a sportscar, too light to be a tank. Fred Boness

Awkward indeed. Designed to launch missiles and fire conventional rounds down the same tube; armored and airdroppable . Traverse land, lake and air!

The first picture at top of the page was of one of my 551′s about to go seaborne. The front floatation panel collapsed, the ship sank, nobody hurt. I don’t know how the driver got out. We then had an instructive vehicle recovery operation.

And I didn’t get fired. The swimming exercises were quietly discontinued.

Sometimes technology doesn’t solve everything. But the designers of the XM551 in the 60′s tried.

The missile was excellent for killing tanks, but was not armed/stable inside 800 meters. Ergo the gun — a monster 152 mm cannon. But the recoil would rock(et) the Sheridan back lifting the first two road wheels off the ground — knocking the bejeebers out of the missile electronics. So the missiles never worked anyway.

Younger, smarter MilBloggers from the 82d: do tell me if the problems were ever really solved.

The lesson would be from WWII armor: 20,000 simple-light Shermans beat 500 complex-heavy Tigers.

A final note on the contest — lest You, Gentle Reader think that I have lost all my female readers (both of them) — an interesting entry was from Jane Lathem who writes:

I think it is an army tank!

A good simple answer to what was complicated mission creep.


Thank you (foot)notes:

Salute to Mudville Gazette with Open Post, and while there see Eagle Speak — has more big guns at Heavy Cruiser. has sense of humor.

Basil’e Blog has trackbacks.

Outside The Beltway has Traffic Jam.

California Conservative has Tuesday Open Trackbacks.

Hidden Agenda: Women in Combat

October 11, 2005 | By | 12 Comments


On Sunday funeral services were held for another American service member killed in combat in Iraq. Another female in uniform. According to the Air Force, Elizabeth Jacobsen was an airman first class who was killed by an IED (improvised explosive device) while providing convoy security.

The continuing battle to put women in combat has a disturbing legacy, with supporters in the Pentagon itself.

Elaine Donnelly from the Center for Military Readiness argues that Harriet Miers is part of continuing this legacy:

As White House Counsel, Ms. Miers either approved of the Defense Department’s illicit assignments of women to units required to be all-male, without prior notice to Congress as required by law, or she was unaware of the long-term legal consequences of those improper assignments, or she gave sound advice that the president did not heed.

Following is background from Your Business Blogger in an article published just after 9.11. Things have changed since then. A little.

Booby traps at the Pentagon: Charmaine and Jack Yoest introduce you to the Pentagon’s babes in arms. What do they want? An “open dialogue” on breastfeeding.(Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services)

Originally published in The Women’s Quarterly; January 01, 2002;


Pentagon attack

ON SEPTEMBER 10TH, [2001] the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, the group most responsible for promoting women in combat, gathered in Pentagon Conference Room 5C1042. This civilian advisory committee, whose members have the protocol status of three-star generals, monitors the concerns of women in uniform. And what was the topic on the eve of the worst attack in U.S. history?

After briefings from representatives of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard, DACOWITS, as the committee is known, issued a formal request for more information on what they deemed a matter of paramount military significance: breast-feeding.

As the terrorists prepared to hit the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon itself, our military leaders were directed “to engage in open dialogue” on lactation tactics.

The Defense Advisory Committee on Women celebrated its fiftieth anniversary last April. At the birthday party, President Bush’s deputy secretary of defense, Paul Wolfowitz, a man well regarded for his level-headed and conservative approach to military issues, lauded DACOWITS in his address as an outstanding organization” and told the

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Schoomaker: Unlucky General and Able Danger

October 5, 2005 | By | 6 Comments

Napoleon was looking to fill a vacant general officer slot. His adjutant reviewed the candidate pool and reported on their knowledge, skills and abilities. Napoleon was not interested in curriculum vitas. He was interested in something immeasurable. He said:

Give me lucky generals.”

Your Business Blogger wrote recently on character and how character is identified in the hiring process. The decision maker needs to know about future performance based on more than past accomplishments.

Let us examine a case study of the 35th Chief of Staff, United States Army: General Peter J. Schoomaker.

Is this a man we would hire?

Following is a review of some of General Schoomaker’s career highlights.


Desert One, Schoomaker

Schoomaker was a Major in Desert One in Iran under President Carter. He commanded a Squadron in the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment in the botched rescue attempt of embassy hostages in Iran, 1980.

Special Forces has a rather unforgiving policy for failure: one strike and you’re out. This was not enforced for Schoomaker.


Waco, Schoomaker

Next stop, Waco, Texas. Working with General Wesley Clark as his Assistant Division Commander, Schoomaker met with Janet Reno, allowing the FBI use of Fort Hood. The tracked vehicles and military personnel present at the conflagration were Schoomaker’s. Posse Comitatus? Promoted by Bill Clinton.


Women in Combat, Schoomaker

Schoomaker has implemented an unusual interpretation of President Bush’s directive, and Congressional prohibitions, that women will not be placed in combat. Schoomaker circumvents the Commander in Chief and Congress by placing women in combat support positions in Forward Support Companies. Female truck drivers and Military Police are now in harm’s way.

towers_twin_burning _9_11.jpg

9.11, Able Danger, Schoomaker

And now, the latest chapter. Able Danger, and more burning buildings. Able Danger is the code name for a covert military intelligence operation. It succeeded. The 9/11 hijackers were identified before 9/11. Schoomaker was briefed. He knew. He said nothing. Schoomaker adhered to the the strictest interpretation of Executive directives and may not have informed the FBI of Jihadist threats.

Ed Morrissey, from Captain’s Quarter’s reports:

…the Pentagon has the most to lose if speculation that it deliberately withheld cooperation from the FBI when it could have stopped 9/11 is true, and that it has to answer for the destruction of the materials if the witnesses testify as expected.

Those decisions could involve high-ranking brass, such as Hugh Shelton (ret.) and Pete Schoomaker, and perhaps even Donald Rumsfeld.

Or perhaps they just involve second-tier leadership – which is why the Pentagon decided to reverse itself after seeing the public reaction to the aborted hearing Wednesday.

October 5th should be pretty interesting.

It matters little what Schoomaker’s resume says. It contains much commendable, as his awards and citations prove:

General Schoomaker’s awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two Army Distinguished Service Medals, four Defense Superior Service Medals, three Legions of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, three Meritorious Service Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge and HALO Wings, the Special Forces Tab, and the Ranger Tab.

He could even be a nice guy.

In the end, it is his track record that matters. Would you follow that man out of a burning building?

Schoomaker, Peter J. is not a lucky general.

The Schoomaker career advance would be a case study on continued promotion in spite of these unusual setbacks. His life’s work is an inspiration on success following continued failure and missteps.

General Schoomaker is a vignette on making a hiring decision — evaluating what cannot be seen, and what can be seen all too clearly.

Every manager wants passion. Every manager looks to hire fire in the belly. Not buildings on fire.

Do not ignore red flags. No matter what the rank.

Managers, in the next interview you conduct, ask yourself this question with the candidate before you:

“Is this man lucky?”

# # #

TopDog08 has details of Able Danger.

Discerning Texan has conclusions.

The Strata Sphere has round-up.

Captain Ed has a detailed analysis at Captain’s Quarters at Able Danger Foxtrot.

LawHawk has Able Danger: We deserve better.

TapScott’s Copy Desk has What’s Going On?

QT Monster’s Place has videos.

Hack N Flack wrote on Able Danger — including Human Events On Line.

Baldilocks has a number of postings.

MacsMind says the Matrix applies.

Washington Post has more.

California Conservative has Open Trackbacks.

Stop the ACLU has Open Trackbacks.

Cafe Oregano has open trackbacks.

bRight and Early has open trackbacks.

Jo’s Cafe has open tracks.

Open Post at Mudville Gazette.

Leadership and Honore: A Reverse Fisking of “Stuck on Stupid”

September 21, 2005 | By | 17 Comments

Lieutenant General Russel Honore gave a press conference today that will be long remembered and will become a part of media relations folklore.

Your Business Blogger has been on both sides of the microphone at a few press conferences. Permit me to ‘reverse fisk’ The General’s performance. Astute observers know that LTG Honore did it right. Here’s what happened on the subliminal level in seven easy lessons.


General Russel Honore

Look at The General. 85% of all communication is non-verbal and even a clueless reporter might understand that the three five-pointed silver stars might be some indication of rank and importance. (Less than one percent of entry level Second Lieutenants will become General Officers.)

The sunglasses normally don’t work for normal people making a presentation. Eye contact is necessary to establish trust in a small group. But The General is not normal; nor is the situation. The General doesn’t need this rule due to this caveat: In this setting the shades are intimidating.

Think Terminator in Aviators.

Lesson One: Own the Microphone. Set the stage.

Here’s some of what The General said at the press conference:

…by order of the mayor and the governor,

Every elected mayor and politically appointed dog-catcher outranks any member in the Armed Services. The General is respectful of the chain of command. Reporters don’t like and don’t understand hierarchy. Just ask their editors.

…and open the convention center for people to come in. There are buses there. Is that clear to you?

It is perfectly clear. And that is what is so refreshing. All General Officers are subject to Senate confirmation. All General Officers are politicians, and usually sound like politicians. But not this one.

There is no doubt who is in charge.

Lesson Two: Direct message.

…Buses parked. There are 4,000 troops there. People come, they get on a bus, they get on a truck, they move on. Is that clear? Is that clear to the public?

Here we see the different agendas of the politico, Mayor Nagin, and the professional, General Honore. The General is using the press conference and the reporters as a public service forum to accomplish his mission. Mayor Nagin merely wants to be liked and re-elected.

[A female reporter asks]: Where do they move on…

[Honore]: That’s not your business.

You cannot wait for all the traffic lights to turn green before leaving town. What The General was saying was that the plan’s end may or may not be detailed at this moment — the important part is to start. The first phase is known. The plan will unfold in phases, not all at once.

This is how the military works. When a unit moves, the subordinate will report up the chain of command when he crosses the “Start Point” at a predetermined time. Woe to the leader who misses the when and where of the starting gate. Missions and objectives always change, but there must be movement to start.

Lesson Three: Know your audience.

[Male reporter]: But General, that didn’t work the first time…

[Honore]: Wait a minute. It didn’t work the first time. This ain’t the first time.

After action reports are evaluated after action. Not during. Not before. The General is wise enough to never criticize the previous commander — not in public, certainly not in a press conference.

You got good public servants working through it.

Praise in public; reprimand in private. The General will soon violate this maxim, gloriously.

You are carrying the message, okay? What we’re going to do is have the buses staged. The initial place is at the convention center. . and that’s where we will use to migrate people from it, into the system.

The General is a professional in his use of the press: to convey the information The General wants reported.

Lesson four: Get Action

[Male reporter]: General Honore, we were told that Berman Stadium on the west bank would be another staging area

[Honore]: Not to my knowledge. Again, the current place, I just told you one time, is the convention center….

Rumor Control. The only feedback The General wants is to know if bad information is disseminated.

Lesson Five: Do not be distracted

Once we complete the plan with the mayor, and is approved by the governor…

Chain of command, again. But it is now obvious who’s running the show.

… Let’s not get stuck on the last storm. You’re asking last storm questions for people who are concerned about the future storm. Don’t get stuck on stupid, reporters. We are moving forward…

This is the biggest challenge of press conferences: the collegial need to answer a question. But that’s not always necessary. A reporter’s question should always be handled in one of three ways:

1) I know the answer and here it is.

2) I don’t know the answer and will find it.

3) I know the answer, but I’m not telling you.

The General is using a (very original) version of #3.

…And don’t confuse the people please…help us get the message straight. And if you don’t understand, maybe you’ll confuse it to the people.

Most of the reporters do have the story straight. But good work by The General is not a story. ‘If it bleeds, it leads.’ Mayor Nagin was a bloody fool that made great copy. The General is clean. No story.

[A male reporter]: General, a little bit more about why that’s happening this time, though, and did not have that last time…

[Honore]: You are stuck on stupid.

Few ever spoke to the press this bluntly and survived. And every politician would like to demonstrate such bravery. A reprimand in public; real Non-judicial Punishment. It worked.

The General pulled it off. He does not have to be accountable to the Fourth Estate as politicians must.

Lesson Six: Be honest.

He continues:

I’m not going to answer that question. We are going to deal with Rita. This is public information that people are depending on the government to put out.

Version #3, again.

This is the way we’ve got to do it. So please. I apologize to you, but let’s talk about the future. Rita is happening.

The General is not begging. The General is not sorry. He is using soft wordings as a pillow for the reporter he knocked on his backside.

Lesson Seven: Be Yourself

And we can have a conversation on the side about the past, in a couple of months.

Stuck on Stupid has now entered our lexicon and Honore for the history books.


Thank you (foot)notes:

Be sure to follow Your Business Blogger(R) and Charmaine on Twitter: @JackYoest and @CharmaineYoest

Jack and Charmaine also blog at Reasoned Audacity and at Management Training of DC, LLC.

Charmaine at Reasoned Audacity for Honore.

The Political Teen has the video.

Visit Mudville Gazette and Open Post and while there see bRight & Early with SOS.

Michelle Malkin has links and a question.

Sister Toljah has more as always.

Outside the Beltway has Traffic Jam and while there see BrainShavings with race hustlers.

The Accidental Misanthrope has an outstanding review of Leadership vs. Management. Sustitute Nagin for Manager; then Honore for Leader.

More at Dean’s World at Honore Hero. Follow his links for a pronunciation guide. Good stuff.

SOS is now the war cry for the GOP against the DNC. See CaliforniaConservative and the Arnold campaign.

Chaos-in-Motion is confused about Honore’s presentation. Chaos is left of center, I think.

The Radical Centrist has more on the role of the press.

Dr. De Doc has Birth of Memelet.

Andi’s World has the counter example at bad PR for Code Pink.

Fake News has real humor.

See the best in graphics at PenguinPoletariat.

Update: Any Letter hosted Carnival of the Capitalists.

Be sure to follow Your Business Blogger(R) and Charmaine on Twitter: @JackYoest and @CharmaineYoest

Jack and Charmaine also blog at Reasoned Audacity and at Management Training of DC, LLC.

Not All Muslims Wear Suicide Vests

September 14, 2005 | By | No Comments


Faisal and Alfia

Nikah Day

Some wear wedding garments.

Pictured is my business partner Faisal Alam and his new bride. He was always interested in making money. The only world domination he’d like would be of a large market segment. Like Microsoft.

He loves business. He loves his wife. My kind of guy.


Thank you (foot)notes:

The Happy Husband with the tag line, “Celebrating Marriage in a Hostile World.”

Trey Jackson has fighting the real enemy.

We Are All Soldiers Now

September 11, 2005 | By | One Comment

In war every soldier’s death is a public event.


The Falling Man

credit: Richard Drew, AP

Because of 9.11, we are all soldiers now.

A Thank you note to Michelle Malkin on 9.11 for Tom Junod’s The Falling Man in Esquire.