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The FReeper Foxhole Remembers Operation Just Cause - Panama (Dec-1989) - Apr. 10th, 2003
GlobalSecurity ^

Posted on 04/10/2003 5:35:09 AM PDT by SAMWolf

Dear Lord,

There's a young man far from home,
called to serve his nation in time of war;
sent to defend our freedom
on some distant foreign shore.

We pray You keep him safe,
we pray You keep him strong,
we pray You send him safely home ...
for he's been away so long.

There's a young woman far from home,
serving her nation with pride.
Her step is strong, her step is sure,
there is courage in every stride.
We pray You keep her safe,
we pray You keep her strong,
we pray You send her safely home ...
for she's been away too long.

Bless those who await their safe return.
Bless those who mourn the lost.
Bless those who serve this country well,
no matter what the cost.

Author Unknown


FReepers from the USO Canteen, The Foxhole, and The Poetry Branch
join in prayer for all those serving their country at this time.



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Operation Just Cause - Panama

By the fall of 1989, the Noriega regime was barely clinging to power. Tensions increased when election results were voided and opposition leaders were physically beaten by Noriega's Dignity Battalions (DIGBATs). An unsuccessful PDF coup attempt in October produced bloody reprisals. Deserted by all but a small number of cronies, and distrustful of a shaken and demoralized PDF, Noriega began increasingly to rely on irregular paramilitary units called Dignity Battalions. In December 1989, the regime's paranoia made daily existence unsafe for U.S. forces and other U.S. citizens.

Planning for the Panama contingency began in February 1988, including a series of orders that addressed the defense of the Old Canal Zone, noncombatant evacuation, neutralization of the Panamanian Defense Forces (PDF), and Civil Military Operations (CMO). The operation plan (PLAN) for offensive operations became PLAN BLUE SPOON. In Sep 89, JTFSO revised PLAN BLUE SPOON. It was changed from BLUE SPOON to PLAN 90-2. The October coup attempt caused PLAN 90-2 to be updated as the PDF displayed the capability to quickly reinforce units in Panama City.

Marines of the 2d Light Infantry Battalion conduct operations in Arrijan, Panama, during Operation Just Cause, 20 December 1989.

On 15 December 1989, the National Assembly of Panama declared that a state of war existed with the U.S. and adopted measures to confront foreign aggression. In the days that followed, service members and dependents were harassed, and a Marine lieutenant was killed.

On 17 December 1989 the national command authority (NCA) directed the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) to execute PLAN 90-2. JTFSO received the JCS execute order on 18 Dec with a D-Day and H-Hour of 20 Dec 0100 local. The operation was conducted as a campaign with limited military objectives. JTFSO objectives in PLAN 90-2 were to:

A. Protect U.S. lives and key sites and facilities.
B. Capture and deliver Noriega to competent authority.
C. Neutralize PDF forces.
D. Neutralize PDF command and control.
E. Support establishment of a U.S.-recognized government in Panama.
F. Restructure the PDF.

At Forts Bragg, Benning, and Stewart, D-Day forces were alerted, marshaled, and launched on a fleet of 148 aircraft. Units from the 75th Ranger Regiment and 82d Airborne Division conducted airborne assaults to strike key objectives at Rio Hato, and Torrijos/Tocumen airports.

A United States UH-58 helicopter lies on the ground after being shot down by the PDF near Ft. Amador

On December 20, 1989, the 82d Airborne Division conducted their first combat jump since World War II onto Torrijos International Airport, Panama. The 1st Brigade task force made up of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, parachuted into combat for the first time since World War II. In Panama, the paratroopers were joined on the ground by 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment which was already in Panama. After the night combat jump and seizure of the airport, the 82nd conducted follow-on combat air assault missions in Panama City and the surrounding areas.

They were followed later by the 2d and 1st Bdes, 7th Inf Div (L), while the in-place forces comprised of the 3d Bde (-), 7th Inf Div (L); 193d Infantry Brigade (L) and 4-6 Inf, 5th Inf Div (M), assaulted objectives in both Panama City and on the Atlantic side of the Canal. By the first day, all D-Day objectives were secured. As initial forces moved to new objectives, follow-on forces from 7th Inf Div (L) moved into the western areas of Panama and into Panama City.

As the lead headquarters for SAC's tanker support, the Eighth Air Force tasked, executed, and directed 144 missions to refuel 229 receivers with over 12 million pounds of fuel. According to General Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Eighth’s "air refuelers did not just make a difference in this operation -- they made it possible." This mission introduced the F-117A Stealth Fighter to combat for the first time.

Manuel Noriega's Panama Defense Force Headquarters sustained considerable damage when the U.S. military attacked with precision gunfire. A huge fire was ignited that gutted the main "Comandancia" building

Air National Guard units participated in the operation because of their regularly scheduled presence in Panama for Operations CORONET COVE and VOLANT OAK. Only Pennsylvania's 193d Special Operations Group (SOG) was part of the integral planning process by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Air Staff for the invasion of Panama. The 105th Military Airlift Group (MAG) and the 172 MAG provided airlift support for the operation. They flew 35 missions, completed 138 sorties, moved 1,911 passengers and 1,404.7 tons of cargo which expended 434.6 flying hours. ANG VOLANT OAK C-130 aircrews flew 22 missions, completed 181 sorties, moved 3,107 passengers and 551.3 tons of cargo, which expended 140.1 flying hours. The ANG CORONET COVE units, the 114th TFG and the 18Oth TFG flew 34 missions, completed 34 sorties, expended 71.7 flying hours and expended 2,715 rounds of ordnance.

Urban terrain provides high potential for fratricide because of the likelihood of close quarters (high weapons density), recognition problems, and unfamiliar secondary effects of weapons. During Operation JUST CAUSE soldiers employed several ineffective and dangerous techniques to breach various fences, walls, and barred doors with grenades, rifle fire, and even anti-tank weapons. Direct fire support, even from just a block away, is very difficult to control. During JUST CAUSE mechanized forces providing fire support were told by brigade a light force had cleared a tall hotel building only to the second floor. In actual fact, it had cleared to the tenth floor and was fighting in a counter-sniper engagement. Seeing this fire and apparently some weapons protruding, the mechanized forces began to suppress. This drew return fire from the friendly light force for some seconds before coming under control. The extensive destruction of civilian housing seen by TV viewers around the world resulted rather from a style of fighting that is based on abundant firepower.

The high casualties and use of resources usually associated with all-out urban warfare did not occur. The United States suffered 23 KIA and 324 WIA, with estimated enemy casualties around 450. There were an estimated 200 to 300 Panamanian civilian fatalities. Some were killed by the PDF, others inadvertently by US troops. More civilians almost certainly would have been killed or wounded had it not been for the discipline of the American forces and their stringent rules of engagement (ROE). However, the United Nations (UN) put the civilian death toll at 500; the Central American Human Rights Defense Commission (CODEHUCA) and the Peace and Justice Service of Panama both claimed between 2,000 to 3000; the Panamanian National Human Rights Commission and an independent inquiry by former Attorney- General Ramsey Clark claimed over 4,000. Thousands were injured. As it turned out, the figure of Panamanian dead was large enough to stimulate debate over the need for the invasion to remove Noriega, but not large enough to generate a sense of outrage in Panama or abroad, or to turn the Panamanian people against the US intervention or the nation-building program that followed it.

The US troops involved in Operation Just Cause achieved their primary objectives quickly, and troop withdrawal began on December 27. Noreiga eventually surrendered to US authorities voluntarily. He is now serving a 40-year sentence in Florida for drug trafficking.

Manuel Noriega

Operation JUST CAUSE was unique in the history of U.S. warfare for many reasons. As the largest single contingency operation since World War II, it focused on a combination of rapid deployment of critical combat power and precise utilization of forward deployed and in-country forces.

KEYWORDS: freeperfoxhole; justcause; michaeldobbs; noriega; panama; psyops; rangers; veterans
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Ranger History - Operation Just Cause (Panama)

On October 3, 1984, the Department of the Army announced the activation of the 3rd Ranger Battalion and on February 3, 1986, the 75th Ranger Regimental Headquarters at Fort Benning. This historic event marked a new era for the Rangers; with over 2000 soldiers, the modern battalions had a number of men unseen since World War II.

The entire Regiment would participate in the invasion of Panama on December 20, 1989. The Rangers were to secure Torrijos-Tocumen International Airport, Rio Hato Military Airfield, and then Noriega's beach house. Rangers who dropped at Torillos later moved into Panama City, where they took the military headquarters of the Panamanian Defense Forces. Conducting simultaneous low level parachute jumps, 1/75, C company 3/75, and Team Gold from RHQ would capture Torrijos-Tocumen International Airport, while 2/75, A and B 3/75, and Team Black of RHQ would take over Rio Hato Airfield. At Rio Hato heavy antiaircraft fire was encountered and one Ranger was hit in the back of the head while still in the airplane. He survived, but five Rangers were killed in the operation. the Rangers secured the perimeter of the field before the Panamanians began to test the defenses. At Rio Hato the Rangers were supported by AC-130 Spectre gunships, whose target acquisition cameras found targets in the dark. Two hours after the drop at Rio Hato, the airfield was secure enough for transport aircraft to begin landing with supplies and additional equipment for the Rangers.

Once the airfields were secure, the Rangers then carried out special operations in support of Joint Task Force (South). They moved against the Panamanian special forces called the Mountain Troops. Rangers moved from house to house in the compound, and the village where the families of the soldiers lived. Many of the Mountain Troops were caught trying to shave off their distinctive beards. On the fifth day of the operation the Rangers were sent to secure Calle Diez, an area some twenty to twenty-five miles from Panama City, held by the "Dignity Battalions."

Rangers took many pictures of Panamanian and foreign property, aircraft, shops, and houses to show that property was still intact and protected by the U.S. Army. This prevented false claims and probably saved the United States many hundreds of thousands of dollars. Rangers also guarded buildings- such as the Vatican embassy where President Noriega took refuge- to see that no damage was done. Sustaining five killed in action and 42 wounded, the Rangers captured 1014 prisoners of war and over 18000 Panamanian arms. They accomplished the mission given to the for operation Just Cause: the removal of Manuel Noriega and members of the Panamanian Defense Force loyal to him. The Rangers returned home on January 7, 1990.

1 posted on 04/10/2003 5:35:09 AM PDT by SAMWolf
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2 posted on 04/10/2003 5:36:08 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: MistyCA; AntiJen; Victoria Delsoul; SassyMom; bentfeather; GatorGirl; radu; souris; SpookBrat; ...
PSYOP In Panama
Operation Just Cause

For many Americans, the first time they heard the word PSYOP was in conjunction with the final stages of Operation Just Cause. They watched on television as a group of PSYOP soldiers played deafening rock music, 24 hours a day, over loudspeakers that ringed the Vatican Embassy compound where General Noriega had taken refuge. The siege continued until General Manuel Noriega couldn't take it anymore and surrendered. It is unfortunate that this is what most Americans remember of PSYOP in Panama because in actuality, the role played by PSYOP in Operation Just Cause far outweighed the music playing outside the Vatican Embassy which was highlighted by the press.

PSYOP contingency planning and preparation for hostilities in Panama began years before Operation Just Cause. PSYOP materials to include prerecorded TV, radio and loudspeaker tapes were developed, radio and loudspeaker scripts were prepared, and possible themes and designs were identified for printed materials. The Commander for the 1st Psychological Operations Battalion, the battalion with area responsibility for Panama, was designated Commander of the PSYOP Task Force in the event hostilities should arise. They didn't have to wait long.

During the spring of 1988 Noriega increased his anti-American propaganda and directed his troops to harass US Forces. The US responded by adding additional security elements which included, military police, another infantry brigade and three PSYOP loudspeaker teams.

As the duration of the hostilities was unknown, the 4th PSYOP Group took advantage of the situation by rotating loudspeaker teams in order to give them real world on site training to virtually all team members. As tensions ignited, the loudspeaker teams found themselves supporting the US security forces against staged protests by members of the Panama Defense Force (PDF) and Dignity Battalions (DIGBAT). In each case the loudspeaker teams proved their worth utilizing pre-recorded tapes and scripts that later would be invaluable during Operation Just Cause.

In May of 1989, Noriega nullified the presidential elections after Guillermo Endara was elected President. This action further contributed to worsening internal conditions as well as international relations. This heightened unrest in the country signaled that a combat scenario might be required after all.

On October 3rd members of the Panama Defense Force (PDF) attempted an unsuccessful military coup. In response to this attempt, Noriega purged the PDF military leadership leaving only those that he felt he could trust. This action proved to be unpopular with many PDF soldiers and would later be useful in the employment of PSYOP.

As discontent within Panama increased along with anti-American propaganda, concerns for the safety of US personnel and property increased. The handwriting was on the wall, the escalation of the threat against United States interest as well as the overall well being of the Panamanian population left little choice but to plan and prepare for a full scale combat operation.

The 1st PSYOP Battalion Commander was designated by General Stiner, Commander, Joint Task Force South, as a member of the 20-man Joint task Force-South staff element identified to pre-deploy to Panama in advance of the assault forces if the combat contingency should become a reality.

On 18 December 1989, two days after the shooting of a US servicemember and the harassment of another and his wife by the PDF, the 20-man advance JTF-South team received the go ahead to deploy to Panama.

The forward PSYOP Task Force in country now consisted of the 1st PSYOP Battalion Commander, a forward liaison cell, the loudspeaker detachment already in country, a pre-positioned 4th PSYOP Group 10,000 watt AM radio broadcast team, Volant Solo PSYOP TV/radio broadcast aircraft from the 193 Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, and the USSOUTHCOM J-3 PSYOP office.

.S. military police occupy the DENI Station near Panama's Presidential Palace

On 20 December 1989, Operation Just Cause was executed. The loudspeaker detachment in country fielded 5 loudspeaker teams, which linked up with their designated supported units. Other loudspeaker teams would deploy with their supported combat units (82nd Airborne Division, 1/75th Rangers, US Marines, Navy Seals, etc).

The Opposing Forces

The Panamanian Defense Force numbered nearly 12,800 troops, national guard, police, and officials- but only about 4,000 could be classified as combat troops. The ground forces of the Panama Defense Force were organized into 2 infantry battalions, 5 light infantry companies, I cavalry troop, and 2 public order companies; their equipment included 28 armored cars. The PDF air force comprised five hundred troops with an assortment of reconnaissance, transport and training planes as well as unarmed helicopters. The PDF navy numbered four hundred sailors equipped with a handful of patrol craft, cutters, and launches. In addition, Noriega's forces included up to eighteen paramilitary Dignity Battalions.

Before H-Hour, American forces in Panama numbered nearly thirteen thousand troops, including the 193d Infantry Brigade, a battalion from the 7th Infantry Division a mechanized battalion from the 5th Infantry Division, two companies of Marines, and an assortment of military police, Air Force, and Navy personnel. On and shortly after H-Hour, the airlift brought in a strike force of seven thousand troops: a composite brigade of the 82d Airborne Division, the 75th Infantry Regiment (Ranger), and the equivalent of five or six battalions of other special operations forces that included Army Special Forces, Navy Sea-Air-Land forces (SEALs), Navy special boat units, Air Force special operations personnel and psychological operations specialist.

Later on D-Day, and during the next few days, an additional seven thousand troops-mostly from the 7th Infantry Division (L) and the 16th Military Police Brigade and various civil affairs and psychological operations units-arrived to relieve the assault forces, engage in stability operations, and help establish the new government. The last increment brought to twenty-seven thousand the total of U.S. forces in Panama for JUST CAUSE; nearly twenty-two thousand actually engaged in combat operations as members of the conventional task forces, ATLANTIC, PACIFIC, BAYONET, SEMPER Fl, or of the unconventional warfare task forces, GREEN, BLACK, BLUE, WHITE, and RED.

Effectiveness of Loudspeaker Teams

At H-Hour, 1-508th Airborne had the mission of securing Ft. Amador, an installation shared by the U.S. and PDF. Because of the need for OPSEC, American dependents could not be evacuated in advance of the attack. This complication, and the desire to minimize enemy casualties and physical damage, made PSYOP loudspeaker teams a key asset. The battalion sealed off the PDF portion of Ft. Amador and ensured that all noncombatants were safe. After daylight, the task force set about systematically securing the area. When initial appeals failed to persuade the PDF to surrender, the commander modified the broadcasts. The holdouts were warned that resistance was hopeless in the face of overwhelming firepower and a series of demonstrations took place, escalating from small arms to 105mm howitzer rounds. Subsequent broadcasts convinced the PDF to give up. The entire process allowed Ft. Amador to be secured with few casualties and minimal damage.

The US Marines ran into heavy resistance from PDF and DIGBAT forces at La Chorrera, a small village on the outskirts of Panama City and Howard Air Force Base. That evening as the Marines ceased fire for the night, the loudspeaker team broadcasted surrender appeals as safe passage leaflets were dropped. Resistance ceased early the next morning without an additional shot being fired. Members of the PDF and DIGBAT surrendered peacefully all the time waving the safe conduct passes that were dropped during the night.

In addition to loudspeaker support, PSYOP activities included leaflet drops of safe conduct passes , AM radio and television broadcasts, and wanted posters as well as posters urging members of the PDF and DIGBAT to turn in their weapons for money.

Just as it was important for President Bush to explain to the American people the reason for US intervention in Panama, informing the local population of the US military intent in Panama was crucial in order to obtain their support. Three initiatives that helped keep the general population informed were the publication of a Spanish language newspaper and radio and television broadcasts by Volant Solo aircraft.

The radio and television broadcasts, all in Spanish, notified the Panamanian population not only informed the population of US intent but also provided advice on how to avoid becoming a casualty. This effort was cited as being a major factor in the reduction of civilian casualties. For the television broadcast, Channel 2 was chosen, as it was the national channel operated by the Panamanian military.

By January 8, 1990, The PSYOP Task Force had produced and disseminated over one million leaflets and handbills, 50,000 posters, 550,000 newspapers, and 125,000 units of other miscellaneous printed materials. In addition to the Volant Solo television broadcasts, the PSYOP radio stations operated 24 hours a day in an effort to get the word out to the people of Panama.

PSYOP had once again proved itself to be a force multiplier through the integral role it played during Operation Just Cause. The loudspeaker teams deployed with conventional units proved effective in reducing resistance and controlling the local populace. Integration of major themes below joint task force (JTF) level was slow at first, but picked up momentum as programs like "money for weapons" began impacting directly on tactical units.


Early integration of PSYOP planning helped ensure overall success of the operation.

Use tactical PSYOP loudspeaker teams to encourage the enemy to surrender before assaulting their position and to control flow of refugees by broadcasting the directions to the collection points.

Use broadcasts to get the general population to comply with instructions and advisories to not only keep them informed but also to keep them out of harms way.

Commanders should personally prepare messages used by PSYOP loudspeaker teams to encourage enemy to surrender. Aspects of local culture must be considered.

Plan to use pre-printed leaflets to augment efforts of loudspeaker teams in controlling flow of refugees.

Provisional Reorganization
of the 4th PSYOP Group (Abn)

Lastly but perhaps most important was the fact that out of the experienced gained from the formation of a PSYOP Task Force for Operation Just Cause, the 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) recognized a need to provisionally reorganize. Regionally oriented battalions would remain the same, but the Group would now be better able to support a wide variety of contingencies.

Under the new tenets of the reorganization established in June of 1991:

The 4th Psychological Operations Group's (Airborne) Commander would deploy to the theater headquarters, along with a small headquarters element , to provide PSYOP advice and assistance to the supported theater Commander-In-Chief (CINC) and act as an expeditor for PSYOP-related actions.

The PSYOP Task Force would continue to be commanded by the theater PSYOP Battalion Commander, with two other battalion commanders working for him.

A tactical commander (the former 9th PSYOP Battalion Commander) would control all loudspeaker teams and other tactical PSYOP assets and ensure support to other tactical elements of the Joint Task Force (JTF). Furthermore the 9th PSYOP Battalion would train for these support elements worldwide.

A media production commander (The commander of the new provisional PSYOP Dissemination battalion) would produce all printed material, recordings, and audiovisual products, as well as be responsible for conducting all radio and television broadcast operations.

The effectiveness of the new provisional reorganization was to be tested only 2 months later with the start of Operation Desert Shield and later Desert Storm. Judging by the success of both PSYOP operations the decision to reorganize proved to be a good one.

Additional Sources:

3 posted on 04/10/2003 5:36:14 AM PDT by SAMWolf ("This is supposed to be the Super Bowl isn't it? Where's the other team? US Marine in Baghdad.)
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To: All
Bureaucratic infighting and mixed signals reinforced Noriega's misperceptions. This fighting, particularly inside the White House and between the State Department, CIA and DOD, was often leaked to the press and received wide attention. The internal feuds were responsible for many of the confusing signals. Reagan was unable to prevent the competing branches of his administration from supporting different strategies toward Noriega, who assumed the split would prevent the administration from using extreme measures against him, especially the use of force. The split in Congress and congressional disagreements with the White House also reinforced Noriega's misperceptions.

U.S. policies and threats in the Noriega crisis lacked credibility, which was one of the major factors in the escalation that led to the U.S. invasion. The United States preferred a Panamanian solution to the Noriega problem - a PDF coup or a popular uprising. American officials, including Bush, encouraged PDF officers and the people to remove Noriega, implying that the United States would help the Panamanians once they initiated such an action. But when the Giroldi coup took place, the United States did very little to help. Similarly, when Noriega brutally suppressed public demonstrations, the United States did very little to support the people.

On several occasions the United States dispatched forces to Panama and conducted military exercises. The main purpose of these actions was to send Noriega a message. However, in the absence of true intention to use force against Noriega, these actions only reenforced Noriega's belief that the United States was bluffing. The growing gap between the tough rhetoric and the meager action exposed the Bush administration to charges of weakness and impotence, which eventually contributed to Bush's decision to use force.

-- Eytan Gilboa,
Political Science Quarterly

4 posted on 04/10/2003 5:36:40 AM PDT by SAMWolf ("This is supposed to be the Super Bowl isn't it? Where's the other team? US Marine in Baghdad.)
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To: All
The State of the Union is Strong!
Support the Commander in Chief

Click Here to Send a Message to the opposition!

5 posted on 04/10/2003 5:37:16 AM PDT by SAMWolf ("This is supposed to be the Super Bowl isn't it? Where's the other team? US Marine in Baghdad.)
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To: All

6 posted on 04/10/2003 5:37:43 AM PDT by SAMWolf ("This is supposed to be the Super Bowl isn't it? Where's the other team? US Marine in Baghdad.)
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To: All
Good Morning Everybody.

Chow time!
NG's and ER's to the front of the line.
Standing Operating Procedures state:
Click the Pics For Today's Tunes
Over There

Click here to Contribute to FR: Do It Now! ;-) God Save The Queen Stars and Stripes Yankee Doodle Grand Old Flag

7 posted on 04/10/2003 5:38:10 AM PDT by SAMWolf ("This is supposed to be the Super Bowl isn't it? Where's the other team? US Marine in Baghdad.)
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To: SAMWolf
Good morning, SAM.
8 posted on 04/10/2003 5:48:28 AM PDT by CholeraJoe (Standing tough under Stars and Stripes)
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To: CholeraJoe
Good Morniong CholeraJoe.
9 posted on 04/10/2003 5:54:40 AM PDT by SAMWolf ("This is supposed to be the Super Bowl isn't it? Where's the other team? US Marine in Baghdad.)
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To: SAMWolf; *all
Good Morning SAM, everyone.
10 posted on 04/10/2003 6:10:13 AM PDT by Soaring Feather
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To: bentfeather
Good Morning Feather
11 posted on 04/10/2003 6:26:36 AM PDT by SAMWolf ("This is supposed to be the Super Bowl isn't it? Where's the other team? US Marine in Baghdad.)
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: coteblanche
Good Morning, Cote. Thanks for the Black Beret poem.
13 posted on 04/10/2003 7:52:05 AM PDT by SAMWolf ("This is supposed to be the Super Bowl isn't it? Where's the other team? US Marine in Baghdad.)
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To: SAMWolf
Wonder what the Saddamites would've thought of having Metallica "Don't Tread on Me" or "For Whom the Bell Tolls"
blasted at them over loudspeakers...
14 posted on 04/10/2003 8:16:28 AM PDT by Darksheare (Nox aeternus en pax.)
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To: Darksheare
LOL! In their case I prefer we use the Bunker Busters.
15 posted on 04/10/2003 8:39:58 AM PDT by SAMWolf ("This is supposed to be the Super Bowl isn't it? Where's the other team? US Marine in Baghdad.)
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To: SAMWolf
True, true..
But forcing them to hear what my old teacher's called, "The DEVIL'S music!" first would've been an interesting, if sadistic, twist.
16 posted on 04/10/2003 9:21:11 AM PDT by Darksheare (Nox aeternus en pax.)
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To: coteblanche
hat's how I felt about it.
Got slapped down for it too.
If I'd wanted to wear a Ranger Beret, I'd have joined the Rangers.
I wanted to be an artilleryman, plain and simple.

I felt it was an insult to every Ranger ever trained for me to personally wear the black beret.
Shinseki will forever have a nice dark spot in this former soldier's heart for the insult he delt the Rangers.
17 posted on 04/10/2003 12:19:41 PM PDT by Darksheare (Nox aeternus en pax.)
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To: Darksheare
One of the worst decisions made making the beret standard head gear. It should be something you earn. Besides the beret just isn't American.
18 posted on 04/10/2003 1:53:10 PM PDT by SAMWolf (The French are depressed - They're not used to going this long without surrendering to someone)
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To: SAMWolf
Afternoon's graphic

19 posted on 04/10/2003 1:57:24 PM PDT by GailA (Millington Rally for America after action
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To: SAMWolf
I hear you on that.
I was instantly P.O'd when I heard aboout the headgear.
A guy I knew in my old unit had been in the 3rd Ranger BN.
I told him that I felt it was an insult to him if I wore the beret since I never went to Ranger school.
He nodded because he knew what i meant.
Though he was of the opinion that I was Ranger material.
I, however, was not.
Who ever heard of a 5'5" skinny as a rail Ranger?
(Besides that, I liked what I did. Has to be the bright flashes and loud noises. Artillery is addictive.)

Morale in my unit plummeted further than it already had after that decision.
(It was already in the dumper due to mismanagement and idiocy by the brass in my Battery. Heck , we had guys transfer out in herds to get out of there.)
20 posted on 04/10/2003 2:01:58 PM PDT by Darksheare (Nox aeternus en pax.)
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