Saturday, October 29, 2016

Naval Aviation Oddity: The Butler-Ames Aerocycle

Naval Aviation Oddity: The Butler-Ames Aerocycle
// Naval History Blog

One afternoon in the summer of 1910, the torpedo boat USS Bagley (TB-24) made her way from the docks at the Naval Academy in Annapolis and made her way down the Severn River to the Chesapeake Bay. Bagley's design harkened back to the spar torpedo boats of the Civil War, and had spent many of her days in reserve or as a training ship for the Naval Academy. But today, her mission was different. Today, she carried on her a sign of things to come: Bagley, in a world first for destroyer-type ships, was carrying an airplane on top of... Read the rest of this entry »

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Sent from my iPad is Now Mobile-Friendly!

---- is Now Mobile-Friendly!
// NARAtions

A few days ago, our website underwent a substantial behind-the-scenes overhaul (learn more on the AOTUS blog). While most of the changes we made are "under the hood," there are a few visible enhancements we'd like to highlight for you. Today's post is the first in a series that will share some of the details of these changes. We look forward to your feedback about these improvements!

Why mobile matters
More than a third of visitors to NARA's websites access our information via a mobile device. For us, that's more than 8 million people a year using our sites on a tablet or smartphone. (You can find more fascinating statistics about mobile use of government websites on the DigitalGov blog.) The number of mobile users to our site increases every year, making mobile access to our holdings and information a significant priority. It is more important than ever that our holdings and content are available anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

Going responsive
The most recent changes we made to focused on the underlying infrastructure of the site and not on the front-end design. (Note: We are planning to kick off work on a full redesign next year.) However, as we worked to migrate the site into the Drupal content management system, we took the opportunity to re-code the page templates using a technique called responsive web design.

In essence, responsive design automatically scales down the display of a website for smaller screen sizes. The layout of pages changes based on your device. You might notice, for example, that only a single column is displayed on a smartphone, whereas three columns of content appear on a larger desktop screen. This technique allows us to make the most of the limited real estate on smaller devices. The navigation, for example, moves from an "always on" display to a "hamburger menu" in the top right. Navigation items are therefore hidden until you need them, making more efficient use of space on smaller screens.

Images of responsive site on various sized screens


America's Founding Documents go mobile
It's hard to overstate the importance of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. On our old site, these founding documents were displayed in a completely different web design which did not render well on mobile devices. As these are some of the most visited pages of our website, we decided to implement responsive design and bring these pages into the fold to match the rest of You can now easily access these critical documents from every page of our website because we also added "America's Founding Documents" to the main navigation.

America's Founding Documents page screenshot

We hope you'll agree that the changes we've made improve the user experience on smaller screens. By implementing responsive design on, we are able to make web-based content accessible to the broadest possible set of audiences and devices. Please check out on your smartphone or tablet and let us know what you think.

In the next post, we'll look at our new calendar of events.


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8 Interesting Facts About DDG1000 – US Navy’s Ship From The Future

8 Interesting Facts About DDG1000 – US Navy's Ship From The Future

USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) FlyoverBy Katie Lange – The US Navy's newest technologically advanced destroyer, the USS Zumwalt, is the talk of the town throughout the Defense Department. It's the first ship to be commissioned in the DDG 1000 class of next-generation multi-mission surface combatants tailored for land attack and shore dominance.  I was lucky enough to get a tour of […]

The post 8 Interesting Facts About DDG1000 – US Navy's Ship From The Future appeared first on gCaptain.


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1965 ... US Spy

1965 ... US Spy Sub!

... nifty cutaway of the US Navy submarine USS Halibut reconfigured as super-secret spy sub

From the great website 'Covert Shores'

all images- Right click- open in New Window or Tab = super colossal size!


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Fullbore Friday

Fullbore Friday
// CDR Salamander

First, let's look at the latest "setting the bar low" cultural move.

Perhaps you thought it was a bit much to move the age to have a beer to 21 from the legal adult age of 18. Perhaps you thought it was insane to allow young adults to stay on their parent's insurance until age 26, an age many people have two kids of their own.

Chew on this from Dana Goldstein at The New Republic;
...some advocates and policymakers are citing research to argue 18 is still too young, and that people up to the age of 25 remain less than fully grown up.
Researchers are using the term "post-adolescence" or "extended adolescence" to describe this period of development in one's twenties and early thirties. Social change is as important as biological change in understanding why some people in this age group are drawn to crime. Individuals who are "disconnected"—neither working nor in school—are more likely to get in trouble with the law. While fewer young women are disconnected today than in previous decades, the opposite is true for young men.
You can read the rest.

This isn't just about criminal justice either;
Adolescence no longer ends when people hit 18, according to updated guidelines being given to child psychologists.

The new directive is designed to extend the age range that child psychologists can work with from 18 years old up to 25.

It is hoped the initiative will stop children being 'rushed' through their childhood and feeling pressured to achieve key milestones quickly, reports the BBC.
In the name of all that is holy, we know this. My brain didn't make the flip until age 23 - but it didn't mean I was in "late adolescence" and should be treated like a child. If we are going to go down this route then fine; no one can vote until 25.

Actually, I might support that ... but let's get back on centerline.

OK, here is a thought; perhaps the problem with our young men (which you will find in the linked article) today is that we do not challenge them enough. We do not demand enough of them.

Anyone who has served in the military knows that young men and women can do incredible things. You can give them the highest responsibilities. Properly led and given clear guidance, there is no limit. Every day, you put your life in the hands of 18 and 19 year old people.

The concept is rather simple. Set an expectation; provide training and guidance. Provide fair and just consequences for their response to it, good or bad. Good things happen.

In a previous age where people developed later, had poorer education and health; what did we expect from them? How did they perform?

Let's look at James Lucas Yeo, born 1782;
...he joined the Royal Navy in March 1793 as a boy volunteer. ... as a midshipman at the age of 10.

In 1797, he was promoted lieutenant, and assigned to the HMS La Loire... He first saw action as a lieutenant aboard a brig in the Adriatic Sea. 
Look at your calendar. He was promoted to lieutenant at age 15 and was already in combat.
He distinguished himself during the siege of Cesenatico in 1800.
At age 18. This was not a one-off performance. Remember, he was leading men more than twice his age in ship's company, most likely.
While off the Spanish coast, he was sent to capture the Spanish vessels in the port of El Muros. Storming the fort, he succeeded in bringing out of the port every vessel, armed and unarmed. For this achievement, he was made commander, and given the HMS Confiance, one of the vessels he had taken.
When did he do this? 1805. Age 22.
Yeo participated in several sea battles during the Napoleonic Wars so successfully that he was made a captain on December 19, 1807, by which time he had already been recognized as an intrepid practitioner of unconventional sea warfare.
Age? 24.
In 1809, he captured Cayenne, in conjunction with the Portuguese, and was in consequence made post-captain.
Age 26.

There is more; read it all.

Young men and women do not need excuses. They don't need years of medication to make up for a lifetime of weak parenting. They don't need low standards they are encouraged to meet.

Our nation and our civilization cannot prosper if we allow people to spend the balance of their most productive years - when they have the best window to think, explore, and test their physical and intellectual boundaries - to be told they are not yet adults and are not capable of agency. No, just the opposite.

I've got news for those who think they can start their life like this, by age 26, if you are only now thinking you are ready to be an adult, you are already running behind. As Mr. Waters says; "Ten years have got behind you. No one told you when to run. You missed the starting gun."

Your peers have a half decade+ head start on you.

Wonder why so many people (Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin, Cobain, Hank Williams) kill themselves between the ages of 27 and 30? It is because they all of a sudden look around and realize that they have gone nowhere in their 20s but in circles. Others have moved on with their lives, and yet they can't seem to drink and drug themselves out of a rut they hit at 22. They all of a sudden realize that they need to be an adult, and they can't do it. They were drifting in the Land of the Lotus Eaters by other people who gained from having them get stuck in a rut for half a decade. When they age out of the profit zone, they are thrown in to a reality of the late-20s to early 30s that they simply cannot adjust to.

No one ever is going to be Fullbore by claiming, "I'm just not mentally mature." Sorry, regardless what your doctor may tell you, the world doesn't care.

By 16 you should be prepared to be 18, an adult. 

By 25, you should be helping those 16 to 18 to be an adult - by your example.

If you find yourself at 25 trying to map it out, you're lost. It isn't the fault of biology. Not your parents. Not society.

It is all on you.

Hat tip BJ.

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Argument Preview: Was it proper to instruct the members that they must convict the appellant in United States v. McClour, No. 16-0455/AF

Argument Preview: Was it proper to instruct the members that they must convict the appellant in United States v. McClour, No. 16-0455/AF
// CAAFlog

CAAF will hear oral argument in the Air Force case of United States v. McClour, No. 16-0455/AF (CAAFlog case page), on Wednesday, November 2, 2016, at 2 p.m., at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado. The case presents a single issue that challenges a standard instruction given to members in Air Force courts-martial:

Whether AFCCA erred when it failed to grant relief where the military judge instructed the members, "if based on your consideration of the evidence, you are firmly convinced that the accused is guilty of any offense charged, you must find him guilty," where such an instruction is in violation of United States V. Martin Linen Supply Co., 430 U.S. 564, 572-73 (1977) and there is inconsistent application between the services of the instructions relating to when members must or should convict an accused.

(emphasis added).

Prior to closing a court-martial for deliberations, "the military judge shall give the members appropriate instructions on findings." R.C.M. 920(a). Paragraph 2-5-12 of the Military Judges' Benchbook contains Closing Substantive Instructions on Findings that instruct members on how to decide whether an accused is guilty. Those instructions include direction that:

[I]f on the whole evidence you are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt of the truth of each and every element, then you should find the accused guilty.

(emphasis added). In the Air Force and sometimes in other services, however, military judges give a different instruction:

If, based on your consideration of the evidence, you are firmly convinced that the accused is guilty of any offense charged, you must find him guilty.

App. Br. at 3 (emphasis added). Senior Airman (E-4) McClour was convicted after the military judge gave the members in his court-martial the must-convict instruction. Numerous other service members were convicted under similar circumstances; As of this writing CAAF has granted review of eight trailer cases raising the same issue: four from the Air Force, three from the Marine Corps, and one from the Navy.

The granted issue questions whether this must-convict instruction violates United States V. Martin Linen Supply Co., 430 U.S. 564, 572-73 (1977). Martin Linen involved a deadlocked jury and a subsequent entry of an acquittal by the district court that was appealed by the Government. The court of appeals determined that the Double Jeopardy Clause barred the appeal and the Supreme Court affirmed, concluding that "there can be no question that the judgments of acquittal entered here by the District Court were 'acquittals' in substance, as well as form." 430 U.S. at 571-572. In so concluding, the Court rejected the Government's argument that "only a verdict of acquittal formally returned by the jury should absolutely bar further proceedings," with the observation that while "a trial judge is prohibited from entering a judgment of conviction or directing the jury to come forward with such a verdict . . . such a limitation on the role of a trial judge, however, has never inhibited his ruling in favor of a criminal defendant." 430 U.S. at 572-573 (citations omitted).

And so the issue in McClour is whether the must-convict instruction – either generally or under the unique circumstances of a court-martial – is an improper direction to the members to come forward with findings of guilt.

McClour's brief makes four primary arguments. First, it asserts that a military judge is prohibited from directing a finding of guilty. App. Br. at 7. Next, it notes that Article 51 enumerates certain mandatory instructions, and a must-convict instruction isn't one of them. App. Br. at 7-8. Third, it asserts that the must-convict instruction conflicts with a different instruction to the members that they must determine guilt in part according to "[their] own conscience." Br. at 9-10. And finally, it argues that the must-convict instruction deprived McClour of the possibility of nullification:

By instructing the panel members that they "must" convict if the government meets its burden, the military judge instructed the panel they did not have the power to disregard instructions on matters of law. In particular, they could not nullify. This violated Appellant's legal right to a panel that is authorized to disregard the law. Court-martial members always have the power to disregard instructions on matters of law. . .

App. Br. at 14-15. In addition to these four arguments, McClour's brief suggests that the military environment requires "additional safeguards to ensure that every conviction is supported by proof beyond a reasonable doubt." App. Br. at 17-18.

The Government's response points to civilian cases that approved of use of the same or a substantially identical instruction, including United States v. Mejia, 597 F.3d 1329, 1340 (D.C. Cir. 2010); United States v. Stegmeier, 701 F.3d 574 (8th Cir. 2012); Watts v. United States, 362 A.2d 706, 708-09 (D.C. 1976); and New Jersey v. Ragland, 519 A.2d 1361 (N.J. 1986). The Government also distinguishes Martin Linen as not directly addressing the issue presented in this case. And the Government strongly disputes McClour's nullification argument:

Appellant next erroneously claims that he has the "legal right to a panel that is authorized to disregard the law." (App. Br. at 15.) This Court has already dismissed that idea in Hardy, holding "a court-martial panel does not have the right to nullify the lawful instructions of a military judge." Hardy, 46 M.J. at 74. While it is correct that juries have the "power" to nullify, this power does not arise from an accused's "legal right to a panel that is authorized to disregard the law." Id. at 70. Instead, it results as a collateral consequence from policies such as "the requirement for a general verdict, the prohibition against a directed guilty verdict, the protection against double jeopardy, and the rules that protect the deliberative process of a court-martial panel." Id. at 75. "The courts cannot search the minds of the jurors to find the basis upon which they judge," and therefore must abide by the jury's decision to acquit, no matter what the underlying reason might have been. Id. at 71 (quoting United States v. Moylan, 417 F.2d 1002, 1006 (4th Cir. 1969)).

Gov't Br. at 18-19 (emphasis in original). Finally, addressing McClour's concerns about the military environment, the Government suggests that additional safeguards would rekindle the idea of separate military due process that was finally rejected in United States v. Vazquez, 72 M.J. 13 (C.A.A.F. 2013) (CAAFlog case page).

I don't believe that CAAF would need to reinstate the concept of military due process in order to find the must-convict instruction problematic in the military environment. The court could determine that military members might interpret the must-convict instruction as an order from the military judge to return only a finding of guilty, when the members could also legally return a finding of not guilty. Put differently, instructing the members that they must acquit (and only acquit) in the absence of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a complete and accurate statement of the law. Instructing members that they must convict (and only convict) if there is such proof, however, certainly seems to be an incomplete statement of the law because the members could also acquit despite the existence of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Yet a significant twist in this case is that defense counsel failed to object to the instruction. While CAAF reviews instructional errors de novo, the failure to object means that the burden is on McClour to prove plain error. CAAF's precedent does, however, offer a heightened burden for harmlessness in the case of instructional error: "If instructional error is found, because there are constitutional dimensions at play, the appellant's claims must be tested for prejudice under the standard of harmless beyond a reasonable doubt." United States v. Dearing, 63 M.J. 478, 482 (C.A.A.F. 2006) (quoting United States v. Wolford, 62 M.J. 418, 420 (C.A.A.F. 2006)) (marks omitted).

And so it's very possible that CAAF will conclude that it is error to give the must-convict instruction, but that the court will not actually grant McClour (or the trailers that don't involve objection) any relief.

Case Links:
AFCCA's opinion
Blog post: CAAF to review the closing instructions given in Air Force cases
Appellant's brief
Appellee's (Government) brief
Appellant's reply brief
Blog post: Argument preview


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Friday, October 28, 2016

WATCH: Testing the Pentagon’s New Unmanned Sub Chaser [feedly]

WATCH: Testing the Pentagon's New Unmanned Sub Chaser

The Pentagon's new unmanned submarine chaser is currently undergoing at-sea testing off the coast of California and recently set sail with its first-ever payload: some sort of super high-tech (probably) parasail. The prototype vessel, known as Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) or Sea Hunter for short, is built to track enemy submarines […]

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GAO-16-803, VA Health Care: Processes to Evaluate, Implement, and Monitor Organizational Structure Changes Needed, September 27, 2016

GAO-16-803, VA Health Care: Processes to Evaluate, Implement, and Monitor Organizational Structure Changes Needed, September 27, 2016
// GAO Reports

What GAO Found Recent internal and external reviews of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) operations have identified deficiencies in its organizational structure and recommended changes that would require significant restructuring to address, including eliminating and consolidating program offices and reducing VHA central office staff. However, VHA does not have a process that ensures recommended organizational structure changes are evaluated to determine appropriate actions and implemented. This is inconsistent with federal standards for internal control for monitoring, which state that management should remediate identified internal control deficiencies on a timely basis. GAO found instances where VHA actions in response to recent recommendations for organizational structure changes were incomplete, not documented, or not timely. For example, VHA chartered a task force to develop a detailed plan to implement selected recommendations from the independent assessment of VHA's operations required by the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014; according to VHA, the assessment cost $68 million. It found, among other things, that VHA central office programs and staff had increased dramatically in recent years, resulting in a fragmented and "silo-ed" organization without any discernible improvement in business or health outcomes. It recommended restructuring and downsizing VHA's central office. The task force of 18 senior Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and VHA officials conducted work over about 6 months, but did not produce a documented implementation plan or initiate implementation of recommendations. Without a process that documents the assessment, approval, and implementation of organizational structure changes, VHA cannot ensure that it is making appropriate changes, using resources efficiently, holding officials accountable for taking action, and maintaining documentation of decisions made. VHA central office's monitoring of the Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN) realignment—a recent and significant organizational structure change—has been limited, and the office has provided little implementation guidance. In October 2015, VHA began to implement a realignment of its VISN boundaries, which involves decreasing the number of VISNs from 21 to 18 and reassigning some VA medical centers (VAMC) to different VISNs. VHA officials anticipate this process will be completed by the end of fiscal year 2018. VHA officials on the task force implementing the realignment told GAO they thought VISNs could implement the realignment independently without the need for close monitoring. VHA also did not provide guidance to address VISN and VAMC challenges that could have been anticipated, including challenges with services and budgets, double-encumbered positions (two officials in the same position in merging VISNs), and information technology. Further, VHA officials said they do not have plans to evaluate the realignment. VHA's actions are inconsistent with federal internal control standards for monitoring (management should establish monitoring activities, evaluate results, and remediate identified deficiencies) and risk assessment (management should identify, analyze, and respond to changes that could affect the system). Without adequate monitoring, including a plan for evaluating the VISN realignment, VHA cannot be certain that the changes being made are effectively addressing deficiencies; nor can it ensure lessons learned can be applied to future organizational structure changes. Why GAO Did This Study GAO and others have expressed concerns about VHA's management of its health care system. In response, VA initiated a new regional framework to improve internal coordination and customer service, and VHA initiated an effort to realign its VISNs. GAO was asked to review VHA's organizational structure—the operating units, processes, and other components used to achieve agency objectives. This report examines the extent to which (1) VHA has a process for evaluating recommended organizational structure changes to determine actions needed and implementing them as appropriate; and (2) VHA monitored and provided guidance for implementing the VISN realignment. GAO reviewed VHA documents, reviewed internal and external assessments of VHA, and interviewed officials from VHA central office and all VISNs. GAO evaluated VHA's actions against relevant federal standards for internal control. What GAO Recommends GAO recommends that VHA (1) develop a process to ensure that organizational structure recommendations are evaluated for implementation; and (2) evaluate the implementation of the VISN realignment to determine and correct deficiencies, and apply lessons learned to future organizational structure changes, such as possible changes to VISN staffing models. VA concurred with GAO's recommendations. For more information, contact Debra Draper at (202) 512-7114 or

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North Carolina Militia Records 1747 to 1893 Posted Online.

North Carolina Militia Records 1747 to 1893 Posted Online.
// GenealogyBlog

The following excerpt is from the State Archives of North Carolina Blog:


The Troop Returns from the State Archives of North Carolina Military Collection are now available online via the North Carolina Digital Collections. This collection includes lists, returns, records of prisoners, and records of draftees, from 1747 to 1893. The majority of records are from the Revolutionary War North Carolina Continental Line

Read the full blog.

Thanks to Research-Buzz for the heads-up


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3973-Person Karate demonstration breaks Guinness World Record at anniversary festival on Kokusai Street

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Navy's Most Advanced Warship USS Zumwalt Visits Mayport

Navy's Most Advanced Warship USS Zumwalt Visits Mayport
// U.S. Navy News Headline Stories

The Navy's most technologically advanced warship, guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), arrived in Mayport, Florida, for a port visit Oct. 25 after a period of operations in the Atlantic Ocean.

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USCG Cutter Tamaroa, ex-USS Zuni, to be Reefed off NJ Coast

USCG Cutter Tamaroa, ex-USS Zuni, to be Reefed off NJ Coast
// Old Salt Blog - a virtual port of call for all those who love the sea

tamoroaThe historic USCG CutterTamaroa will soon be sunk as an artificial reef in the Atlantic Ocean 25 miles south of Cape May Point, New Jersey.  The old ship has had a remarkable history.  Built in 1943 as USS Zuni, the 205-foot fleet ocean/salvage tug and one of seventy Cherokee-class fleet tugs saw service in World War II in campaigns in the Marianas, the Philippines, and at Iwo Jima.  After the war, she was transferred to the US Coast Guard and renamed Tamaroa.  

USCGC Tamaroa had a 48 year long career in US Coast Guard, serving on safety patrols, in drug interdiction and fisheries protection. She was the first Coast Guard Cutter to arrive at the sinking passenger liner Andrea Doria after the collision with the the Swedish liner Stockholm 1956. Tamaroa may be best known for rescuing the crew of the yacht Satori, as well as the crew of a downed Air National Guard helicopter during the "Perfect Storm" of 1991,
described in Sebastian Junger's book, The Perfect Storm.

USCGC Tamaroa will also be remembered for a landmark tort case, related to the actions of a crew member while the ship was in drydock in 1963. An intoxicated seaman returning to the ship, opened a series of valves on a floating drydock in the Ira Bushey yard on Brooklyn's Gowanus canal.  The open valves caused tanks on one side of the drydock to flood, causing the Tamaroa to slide off the docking blocks and into the drydock wall.  Both the drydock and the ship suffered significant damage. The yard owner sued the Coast Guard which was found to be at fault, establishing that the ship owner was responsible for damages caused by the actions of a crew member in the course of his employment.

The Navy Times reports that New Jersey and Delaware officials say the 205-foot ship will help expand their joint deepwater reef 25 miles south of Cape May Point by attracting large game fish and aiding the Garden State's $1.7 billion recreational fishing industry.

They plan to sink the Tamaroa around Oct. 30, the 25th anniversary of "The Perfect Storm," although no official announcement has been issued.

The man who commanded the ship during the 1991 "Perfect Storm" said sinking the Tamaroa is a better outcome than being demolished for scrap metal, a common ending for old service ships.

"It's always sad when you sink a ship, but some good will come of it," retired Coast Guard Capt. Larry Brudnicki said. "It's being repurposed. It's being used. If it's cut up, who's going to know that their razor blade came from the Tamaroa?"

Thanks to Phil Leon for contributing to this post.

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World War 1: “Kim,” the Life Saver

World War 1: "Kim," the Life Saver
// Library of Congress Blog

(The following is a guest blog post by Mark Diminution, chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, and Elizabeth Gettins, Library of Congress digital library specialist.)

"Kim," by Rudyard Kipling, with bullet hole on upper left corner. Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

"Kim," by Rudyard Kipling, with bullet hole on upper left corner. Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

There are the occasional stories that one hears about a book saving a life due to an informational or even spiritual message, but how many people can claim a book literally saved their life? Maurice Hamonneau did.

Hamonneau, a French legionnaire and the last survivor of an artillery attack near Verdun in the First World War, lay wounded and unconscious for hours after the battle. When he regained his senses, he found that a copy of the 1913 French pocket edition of "Kim," by Rudyard Kipling, had deflected a bullet and saved his life by a mere 20 pages. Hamonneau's reward was a Croix de Guerre medal, which also engendered a close friendship with the noted author. Hearing that Kipling was mourning the loss of his son John, who had served with the Irish Guards, the young Frenchman was moved to send the medal and the torn copy of "Kim" to Kipling. Kipling was overwhelmed and insisted that he would return the book and medal if Hamonneau were ever to have a son. Hannonneau did and named him Jean in honor of John Kipling. Kipling returned the items with a charming letter to young Jean, advising him to always carry a book of at least 350 pages in the left breast pocket.

Hamonneau's Croix de Guerre medal. Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

Hamonneau's Croix de Guerre medal. Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

The book is now in the collections of the Library's Rare Book and Special Collections Division. The work was a gift from Armida Maria-Theresa and Harris Dunscombe Colt and joins a sizable collection of Kiplingiana, including a large number of early editions, manuscripts, photograph, realia and a great deal of supporting secondary materials that chronicle Kipling's life and works.

Letter exchanged between Kipling and Hammoneau. Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

Letter exchanged between Kipling and Hammoneau. Rare Book and Special Collections Division.





In addition to the book, the Library has the original Kipling/Hammoneau correspondence dating from December 1918 through September 1933. There are eight handwritten and six typescript letters in total.

Mark Dimunation, chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, talks about Kipling's life-saving book in this video.

*All photographs by Emily Grover

World War I Centennial, 2017-2018: With the most comprehensive collection of multi-format World War I holdings in the nation, the Library of Congress is a unique resource for primary source materials, education plans, public programs and on-site visitor experiences about The Great War including exhibits, symposia and book talks.



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Russia Beefs Up Baltic Fleet Amid NATO Tensions

Russia Beefs Up Baltic Fleet Amid NATO Tensions

corvetteBy Andrew Osborn and Simon Johnson MOSCOW/STOCKHOLM, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Russia is sharply upgrading the firepower of its Baltic Fleet by adding warships armed with long-range cruise missiles to counter NATO's build-up in the region, Russian media reported on Wednesday. There was no official confirmation from Moscow, but the reports will raise tensions in […]

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Why did the SECNAV throw FORD under the bus … or did he?

Why did the SECNAV throw FORD under the bus … or did he?
// USNI Blog

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (June 11, 2016) -- Tug boats maneuver Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), into the James River during the ship's Turn Ship evolution. This is a major milestone that brings the country's newest aircraft carrier another step closer to delivery and commissioning later this year. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cathrine Mae O. Campbell)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (June 11, 2016) — Tug boats maneuver Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), into the James River during the ship's Turn Ship evolution. This is a major milestone that brings the country's newest aircraft carrier another step closer to delivery and commissioning later this year. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cathrine Mae O. Campbell)

Consider for a few moments two benchmark facts.

1. Aircraft Carriers are the premier capital ship in our navy and for navies throughout the world. Sorry submarine bubbas, it's true.
2. By the time he leaves office, SECNAV Mabus will have been on the job roughly eight years.

Mid-month, SECNAV put out this rather remarkable comment;

"The Ford is a textbook example of how not to build a ship," Ford told reporters. "(We were) building it while it's still being designed" — which results in costly do-overs of already-finished components — "(and) trying to force too much new and unproven technology on it" — whose teething troubles result in unplanned delays and costs.

"That was already on fire when I got in," said Mabus, who became Navy Secretary the year the Ford's keel was laid. "But we've stopped the cost growth." The carrier's schedule is still slipping, however, with a November delivery to the fleet postponed indefinitely due to problems in the Main Turbine Generators (MTG).

Mabus is correct. He did not conceive this baby, but it has been his responsibility to raise it. I am sure his comments are informed from what he has been briefed on via the review our Sam reported on back in August, or what led up to the review.

How could we have such a screwed up program for the crown jewel of our navy? The premier capital ship in the world's premier navy? For regular readers, this will come as no shock; spawn of the Cult of Transformationalism that abandoned the evolutionary for the revolutionary.

FORD sprouts from the same intellectual well that LCS and DDG-1000 do. The Transformationalists decided that they could just wish aside centuries of experience on how to modernize a fleet. By their own confidence in their own self-perceived brilliance – compounding risk; technology, budgetary, programmatic, etc – none of those problems would be theirs.

I was hoping the issues with FORD would be a focus on itself, but then things got a bit strange. Mabus quickly pivoted and started to defend what almost all agree is a snake-bitTtransformationalist flop, LCS;

Isn't LCS also a textbook example of a troubled ship program, I asked Mabus, for much the same reasons as Ford?

"No," said Mabus. LCS is more an example of typical teething troubles on a new design, he argued.

"Every time you start a new class of ship…you're going to have issues," he said. "LCS gets a lot of attention, but during the first deployment of an LCS to Singapore…it was ready for sea more than the (US) Pacific Fleet average."

"It's got a lot of attention mainly because it looks different," Mabus said. "It is a different kind of ship."

Ummmm, no. FREEDOM Class does not look all that different, and eight years after the commissioning of HULL-1, "new class of ship" excuses for the cascading failures no longer applies. INDEPENDENCE looked different a decade ago. We're used to it now. Then again, he has a lot of personal capital invested in LCS, so one would expect a bit of a blinkered view.

Why do two programs with similar troubles get such a different reaction from Mabus? It's especially striking because the carrier program matters much more to naval traditionalists, who often disdain the relatively tiny and lightly armed LCS. But throughout Mabus's seven years in office — the longest tenure of a Navy Secretary since World War I — he's measured his success in terms of numbers of ships.

From 2001 to 2008, Mabus said today (as he says in every speech he makes) the US Navy fell from 316 ships to 278 and put only 41 new ships on contract. In the seven years since 2009, Mabus has contracted for 86.

"Quantity has a quality all of its own," Mabus said — and you don't get quantity without a small ship cheap enough to build in bulk. In the face of two skeptical Defense Secretaries and sometimes bitter criticism from Congress, Mabus's commitment to LCS explains a lot about its survival

Perhaps it would be unkind to state that we have been engaged all month in littoral combat off of Yemen, but no one in their right mind wants a LCS anywhere near that coastline.

Perhaps it is best to leave that there so we don't wander in to another LCS post. Let's stick to the FORD issue.

If I may be self-indulgent a bit; when we few, we happy few anti-Transformationalists began tilting against the Transformationalist series of ships that came before FORD; LPD-17, LCS, DDG-1000 – from titanium fire mains to NLOS, one of our primary critiques was a cavalier view towards technology risk. It is great to see that, in his own way, Mabus is on the same page of the hymnal with us now.

Speaking Thursday with the massive carrier in the background, Mabus said, "I think we're a long ways down that road" to fixing the power-generation issue.

He gave a similar assessment of the advanced arresting gear (AAG), which has been installed on the Ford but is still being tested.

The Navy is studying whether to continue with AAG on the next Ford-class carrier, the John F. Kennedy, which is under construction at the shipyard and about 23 percent complete.

"Everything that has been brought up lately, we have been looking at for years, and testing for years," he said.

Kendall ordered a review of the Ford program, which is now under way and should be complete by December. Until all concerns are resolved, Mabus said he can't specify a delivery date.

"As soon as it's ready," he said. "I'm not going to give you a date. But the testing is going well. Getting to the root cause of the generator problem is going well."

He also reiterated an oft-stated observation: that the Ford suffers from a decision made more than a decade ago to pack new technology on the ship instead of phasing in new systems over three ships.

"It's not the shipyard," he said. "It was us doing this to them."

How bad is the AAG issue?

The ship's Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) is more problematic, and "has had significant delays in completing its land-based test program due to the technical challenges encountered in transitioning from design" through final testing, Mabus reported. Other Navy sources report dozens of roll-through tests have been conducted with the AAG at the Navy's test facility in Lakehurst, New Jersey, but to date no true arrested landings have been accomplished.

Mabus noted that the Navy is reviewing whether to continue with AAG installation on the Enterprise (CVN 80), third ship in the class, or return to the standard Mark 7 aircraft recovery system operating on all current carriers. Installation of AAG on the second ship, John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), is continuing for now, Mabus noted, because design and construction work has progressed to the point where a replacement would have a significantly negative impact on costs and schedule.

That bad.

Less of a Transformationalist problem, LPD-17 has been made useful with the extra Sailor sweat and seabags of money prescribed to fix her. LCS and DDG-1000 are what they are, but there was great hope that we would somehow get FORD right. That we would be lucky and good – looks like we were neither.

I think everyone understands technology risk as a factor described above, but what is programmatic risk? Part of programmatic risk is just that; as the DDG-1000 people will tell you, if you are too much of a burden your program will be cancelled. You also can become your own parody. In doing so, you open the door for those who want to do things with that money and effort – specifically the likes of our friend Jerry Hendrix;

The first move of a new presidential administration will not be to "cancel any of these programs but we've shown it is possible to make significant changes in short time," said Jerry Hendrix, one of the report's authors and a senior fellow at the Washington-based think tank.

"We want to stir the debate." he added.

The proposal was first reported by The Washington Post.

Most notably, the report calls for canceling the $40 billion Ford-class aircraft carrier program, halting construction of the littoral combat ship, and purchasing fewer F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

Those funds would be reallocated for the stealthy B-21 bomber, adding 16 additional submarines, and investing in emerging technologies like high-energy lasers, the CNAS report recommends.

Combine the latest news with FORD and the bitter fruits of the Light Attack Mafia's bureaucratic victories in the 1990s and early 2000s, and you give other ideas room go grow. You can get the full report here.

The 2020s will be, how do the Chinese put it? Interesting.


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Project Brings Rochester State Hospital Patients’ Stories to Light

Project Brings Rochester State Hospital Patients' Stories to Light
// GenealogyBlog


According to an article posted in the October 14, 2016 edition of Post Bulletin, "Elisa Skjordal was a 27-year-old mother of two young girls when she died as a patient at the Rochester (Minnesota) )State Hospital."

The white wooden cross was over her grave simply says 4344, the Post-Bulletin reported. "It was her hospital case number. But her name was not included. Mental illness was viewed as such a shameful stigma at the time that patients were buried anonymously, their secret carried even into death.

"For more than a century, Skjordal's remains have rested, as time and encroaching vegetation all but obliterated the state hospital cemetery at Quarry Hill Park, as well as the memories of Skjordal and the more than 2,000 people who came to be buried there."

That's all changing…

Read the article in the Post Bulletin.


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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Dyneema® fiber does double duty to tow and tie up stricken Modern Express

Dyneema® fiber does double duty to tow and tie up stricken Modern Express

modern-express-moored-with-shoretension-systemTwo maritime leaders both choose high strength, lightweight ropes made with Dyneema® for their respective roles in a dramatic salvage operation. A notorious danger area The Bay of Biscay between France and Spain is notorious among sailors. Gales and storms compound the effects of the big waves that roll in from the Atlantic Ocean. Lose […]

The post Dyneema® fiber does double duty to tow and tie up stricken Modern Express appeared first on gCaptain.


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Pearl Harbor's Oldest Survivor Recalls the Attack

Pearl Harbor's Oldest Survivor Recalls the Attack

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by learning retired Chief Raymond Chavez's story

December 7, 1941, was like any other day for Seaman Raymond Chavez. He was at the helm of the minesweeper USS Condor (AMC 14), conducting routine sweeps off the coast of Pearl Harbor, Hi.

December 7, 1941, was like any other day for Seaman Raymond Chavez. He was at the helm of the minesweeper USS Condor (AMC 14), conducting routine sweeps off the coast of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. 

Around four in the morning, one of his shipmates spotted something in the water. Taking a closer look, they realized it was a periscope of an enemy submarine. Following protocol, the crew notified the Pearl Harbor Command Post, and was told to return to base. After being told not to worry about the incident, exhausted, Chavez headed home to get some sleep - he never imagined the chaos he would wake up to.

Today, the oldest Pearl Harbor survivor, at the age of 104, recalls being half-asleep when his wife frantically alerted him that they were under attack from the Japanese. As he stepped out of his home to see what was going on, black smoke had consumed the harbor.

"You could see the black smoke from one end to the other," said Chavez. "The ships were on fire, and burning their oil."

He threw on clothes and raced back, on foot, but was, luckily, spotted by a shipmate driving to the base, and was given a ride. As soon as he got there, the ship prepared to get underway.
Photo collage of oldest Pearl Harbor Survivor.

For the next 10 days, Chavez stayed on the ship, not knowing if his loved ones had survived the attack. When arrived back on shore, he noticed the water was littered with oil and dead bodies.

"I started crying," said Chavez. "I'm not ashamed to admit it...all the Sailors who were trying to save themselves, and all the dead bodies, and the oil. 

"The ships were on fire, and they were jumping off the ships," recalls Chavez. 

Chavez served throughout World War II, and even rose to the rank of chief petty officer. In 1945, he was medically retired for combat fatigue. To this day, he is truly proud of the service he gave to his county.

"To this day, I told them, I'd do it again if you want me," said Chavez. "It made me very proud that I had joined, and I still am."

For more information, visit the Naval History and Heritage Command website.

Congress knew for at least two years about Pentagon efforts to take back bonuses from veterans - LA Times

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

BOOK The Bonus Army An American Epic By Paul Dickson

In the summer of 1932, at the height of the Depression, some forty-five thousand World War I veterans-whites and blacks together-descended on Washington D.C., from all over the country to demand the bonus promised them eight years earlier for their wartime service. Fearing violence after the Senate defeated the "bonus bill," Herbert Hoover's Army Chief of Staff, Douglas MacArthur, led tanks through the streets on July 28 to evict the bonus marchers.

Army, Marines miss recruiting goals again - US news | NBC News

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Soldiers of Misfortune: Abusive U.S. Military Recruitment and Failure to Protect Child Soldiers | American Civil Liberties Union

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California National Guard

California National Guard
California National Guard at Camp Williams, Utah (2014).jpg
Californian national guardsmen board a UH-60 Blackhawk during training at Camp Williams, Utah in 2014.
ActiveJuly 27, 1903–present
Country United States of America
Allegiance State of California
BranchU.S. National Guard
SizeAuthorized strength: 18,000 Army and 4,900 Air Force
Part ofCalifornia Military Department
Garrison/HQSacramento, California
Mascot(s)Grizzly bear
MG David S. Baldwin (The Adjutant General)
Ceremonial chiefGovernor of California

The California National Guard is a federally funded California military force, part of the National Guard of the United States. It comprises both Army and Air National Guard components and is the largest national guard force in the United States with a total authorized strength of 22,900 soldiers and airmen.[1] As of January 2012, California National Guardsmen have been deployed overseas 38 times since 2001,[2] of which twenty-nine have been killed in Iraq and two have died in Afghanistan.[3]

The Constitution of the United States specifically charges the National Guard with dual federal and state missions. When under the control of its state governor, national guard functions range from limited actions during non-emergency situations to full scale law enforcement of martial law when local law enforcement officials can no longer maintain civil control. The National Guard may be called into federal service in response to a call by the President or Congress.

When National Guard troops are called to federal service, the President serves as Commander-In-Chief. The federal mission assigned to the National Guard is: "To provide properly trained and equipped units for prompt mobilization for war, National emergency or as otherwise needed."

160th Infantry of California National Guard, arriving in Los Angeles, August 17, 1924
California National Guard MPs, 1950
Master Sgt. James D. Steele with his two-year-old son before deployment, 1950

The Governor of California may call individuals or units of the California National Guard into state service during emergencies or to assist in special situations which lend themselves to use of the National Guard. The state mission assigned to the National Guard is: "To provide trained and disciplined forces for domestic emergencies or as otherwise provided by state law."



Adjutant GeneralEdit

Major General David S. Baldwin serves as the 46th Adjutant General of California since he was appointed by California governor Jerry Brown on 16 April 2011.[4]

Adjutant Generals of CaliforniaEdit

  • Theron R. Perlee, April 12 - October 5, 1850
  • William H. Richardson, October 5, 1850 - May 2, 1852
  • William Chauncey Kibbe, May 2, 1852 - April 30, 1864
  • Robert Robinson, January 1, 1864 - May 1, 1864
  • George S. Evans, May 1, 1864 - May 1, 1868
  • James M. Allen, May 1, 1868 – Nov. 23, 1870
  • Thomas N. Cazneau, Nov. 23, 1870 – December 21, 1871
  • Lucius H. Foote, December 21, 1871 – December 13, 1875
  • Patrick F. Walsh, December 13, 1875 - January 9, 1880
  • Samuel W. Backus, January 9, 1880 - July 1, 1882
  • John F. Sheehan, July 1, 1892 - January 11, 1893
  • George B. Crosby, January 11, 1883 – November 1, 1887
  • Richard H. Orton, November 1, 1887 – January 9, 1891
  • Charles Carroll Allen, January 9, 1891 – May 24, 1895
  • Andrew W. Bartlett, May 24, 1895 - December 23, 1898
  • Robert L. Peeler, December 23, 1898 - June 1, 1899
  • William H. Seamans, June 1, 1899 - January 3, 1902 (died in office)
  • George Stone, January 13, 1902 - February 15, 1904
  • Joseph B. Lauck, February 15, 1904 - January 7, 1911
  • Edwin A. Forbes, January 7, 1911 - June 18, 1915 (died in office)
  • Charles W. Thomas, Jr., June 19, 1915 - December 15, 1916
  • James J. Borree, December 16, 1916 - November 30, 1923
  • Richard E. Mittelstaedt, December 1, 1923 - January 5, 1931
  • Seth E.P. Howard, January 6, 1931 - June 26, 1935 (died in office)
  • Paul Arndt, June 27 - October 17, 1935
  • Harry H. Moorehead, October 18, 1935 - January 3, 1939
  • Patrick J.H. Farrell, January 4, 1939 - June 10, 1940
  • Richard E. Mittelstaedt, June 10, 1940 - March 3, 1941
  • Joseph O. Donovan, March 3, 1941 - July 10, 1942
  • Junnius Pierce, July 14, 1942 - January 13, 1943
  • Ray W. Hays, January 14, 1943 - November 30, 1944
  • Victor R. Hansen, December 27, 1944 - April 28, 1946
  • Curtis D. O'Sullivan, April 29, 1946 - July 15, 1951
  • Earl M. Jones, July 16, 1951 - December 31, 1960
  • Roderic L. Hill, January 1, 1961 - January 1, 1967
  • Glenn C. Ames, March 22, 1967 - June 5, 1975
  • Frank J. Schober, June 6, 1975 - December 31, 1982
  • Willard A. Shank, January 3, 1983 - February 13, 1987
  • Robert C. Thrasher, February 14, 1987 - October 9, 1992
  • Robert W. Barrow, October 10 - December 31, 1992
  • Tandy K. Bozeman, January 1, 1993 - April 27, 1999
  • Paul D. Monroe, Jr., April 29, 1999 - March 2004
  • Thomas Eres, March 2004 - June 6, 2005
  • John Alexander, June 7 - August 1, 2005
  • William H. Wade II, September 1, 2005 - February 1, 2010
  • Mary J. Kight, February 2, 2010 - April 15, 2011
  • David Baldwin, April 16, 2011 - present

Military academyEdit

The California Army National Guard maintains the California Military Academy at Camp San Luis Obispo for the use and training of members of California and other western state National Guard units, as well as for the use of the California State Military Reserve.

Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 185th Armor (Combined Arms Battalion) maneuver in a "wedge formation" in Bradley Fighting Vehicles at Fort Irwin National Training Center, 2011
Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 185th Armor (Combined Arms Battalion) maneuver in a "wedge formation" in Bradley Fighting Vehicles at Fort Irwin National Training Center, 2011

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Gretel C. Kovach (18 January 2013). "S.D. National Guard Unit Preps For A Final Afghan Deployment"San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 19 January 2013California’s National Guard force, the largest and most frequently deployed nationwide, includes more than 21,000 troops: 16,565 soldiers and 4,572 airmen.
  2. ^ Gretel C. Kovach (18 January 2013). "S.D. National Guard Unit Preps For A Final Afghan Deployment"San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 19 January 2013California troops have served abroad in the “fight against terrorism” more than 38,000 times since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Kuwait and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
  3. ^ Gretel C. Kovach (18 January 2013). "S.D. National Guard Unit Preps For A Final Afghan Deployment"San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 19 January 2013Since 2001, 29 Cal Guard soldiers have been killed in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. Many more were seriously injured.
  4. ^

External linksEdit

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