Saturday, November 12, 2016

New Visitor Center Planned for Manila American Cemetery

Less than 700 miles of land separates Paris from Berlin, but more than 6,000 miles of vast, open ocean separates the west coast of the United States from the Philippines. The challenges of the Pacific theater of World War II differed dramatically from the European theater—huge expanses of geography, thousands of tropical islands, and logistical hurdles never before experienced by the American military. Today, more than 50,000 Americans that lost their lives in the Pacific are honored within the hallowed grounds of Manila American Cemetery. Their story will be further told with the construction of a new visitor center.

As the only American, World War II cemetery in the Pacific and the largest cemetery maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC), this site represents elements that were unique to the Pacific. Fighting in the Philippines tested the courage and stamina of American and Philippine forces, which contributed to the special, ongoing relationship that exists today. Because of the combined effort, Manila American Cemetery was created out of a special agreement with the government of the Philippines—members of the Philippine Scouts and Philippine Army units that fought and died with U.S. forces in the Philippines were also eligible for burial. More than 17,000 marble headstones mark the burial locations, of which about 470 are Filipino.

And with the inherent geographic challenges, combined naval, land, and air actions resulted in sustained loss of life, and American service members lost their lives in ways and places that meant their remains would never be recovered. More than 36,000 are inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing, denoting those individuals who gave their lives in the fight for the Pacific. Of these names, 3,762 mark the lives of Filipinos who were missing in action, or lost or buried at sea.

Expected to open to the public in 2019, plans for the new building were recently approved by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. The plans, created by Richter Architects, detailed the design and construction for the new, 11,000-square-foot building that will be built into a verdant knoll, south of the memorial area: “The design of the new visitor center seeks to respectfully and quietly complement the completed work of civic art with architecture that integrates humbly, but deftly with this beautiful context, powerful purpose and historic gravitas.” Intentionally designed to accentuate the natural topography of the site, the majority of the building’s mass is well below eye level and behind foliage when viewed from the memorial. However, the inside of the two story visitor center will feature a theater, and large exhibit area. The entry foyer, the exhibit galleries, and the public space on the south side of the building will feature floor to ceiling windows or vistas looking out over the plot area. Thousands of marble headstones will be seen, reinforcing the magnitude of the sacrifice made by American forces. 

ABMC is dedicated to bringing excellent experiences to visitors around the globe through new visitor centers. The Normandy American Cemetery Visitor Center opened in 2007, followed by visitor centers at Cambridge American Cemetery, Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Pointe du Hoc in 2014. Renovated visitor centers at Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Flanders-Field American Cemetery are scheduled to open in 2017.

About the American Battle Monuments Commission: 
The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) is a U.S. government agency charged with commemorating the service, achievements and sacrifice of the U.S. armed forces. Established by Congress in 1923, ABMC administers, operates, and maintains 25 permanent American military cemeteries and 27 federal memorials, monuments and markers located across the globe. These cemeteries and memorials, most of which commemorate the service and sacrifice of Americans who served in World War I and World War II, are among the most beautiful and meticulously maintained shrines in the world. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.

Veterans on Parade

On Veterans Day, Americans recognize and thank those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Initially known as Armistice Day and marking the cessation of major hostilities in World War I, the holiday grew to include all veterans, and was renamed Veterans Day in 1954. Crowds turn out in droves to watch parades of veterans both on Veterans or Armistice Day as well as on other occasions, such as reunions of soldiers. March along with these American veterans through the photos below:

Hit of G.A.R. Parade, Washington, D.C. Sept. 23. Beating a steady a rata tat tat as he did in '65, R.D. Parker, Chicago, took the cheers of the crowd in stride as he again marched up famous Pennsylvania Avenue in today's G.A.R. parade. Photo by Harris & Ewing, [1936] September 23. //

Hit of G.A.R. Parade, Washington, D.C. Sept. 23. Beating a steady a rata tat tat as he did in ’65, R.D. Parker, Chicago, took the cheers of the crowd in stride as he again marched up famous Pennsylvania Avenue in today’s G.A.R. parade.Photo by Harris & Ewing, [1936] September 23. //

[Huge flag being carried by a large group of men in a G.A.R. parade in Washington, D.C.] Photo by National Photo Company, 1915. //

[Huge flag being carried by a large group of men in a G.A.R. parade in Washington, D.C.] Photo by National Photo Company, 1915. //


May 30 '12, N.Y. [African American Civil War veterans wearing G.A.R. caps and uniforms and young women marching in procession.] Photo by Bain News Service, 1912 May 30. //

May 30 ’12, N.Y. [African American Civil War veterans wearing G.A.R. caps and uniforms and young women marching in procession.] Photo by Bain News Service, 1912 May 30. //

Pershing Veterans. Photo by Bain News Service, [1918]. //

Pershing Veterans. Photo by Bain News Service, [1918]. //

Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Armistice Day parade. Photo by Marjory Collins, 1942 Nov. //

Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Armistice Day parade. Photo by Marjory Collins, 1942 Nov. //


Learn More:


The Corps’ Parris Island Museum Thursday, November 10, 2016 1:31 PM

Exhibits at the Parris Island Museum include uniforms, weapons, maps, and memorabilia that reveal the Corps’ distinguished history from the beginning of the 19th century to the present. (U.S. Marine Corps)Exhibits at the Parris Island Museum include uniforms, weapons, maps, and memorabilia that reveal the Corps' distinguished history from the beginning of the 19th century to the present. (U.S. Marine Corps)

Men who enlist in the Marine Corps east of the Mississippi River and all women joining the Corps must first report to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina, for four hellish months of physical training and conditioning. If they make it through, they emerge as Marines. An important teaching tool there is the Parris Island Museum, where raw recruits—and visiting civilians—can learn about the service’s heritage and the rich history of the island where Marines leave behind civilian life and become warriors.

The museum is located in a circa-1951 building that once housed an enlisted recreation center, was later transformed into the War Memorial Building, and dedicated as the museum in 1975 by then-Marine Commandant General Robert E. Cushman Jr.

Today the 10,000-square-foot building contains artifacts specific to the Marine Corps’ history from the turn of the 19th century to the present and also concentrates on the Parris Island and Port Royal area.

The heart of the museum consists of a two-story octagonal hall displaying uniforms and pictures that tell the island’s story. An introductory film describes present-day Parris Island and the process of training Marines. It cleverly contrasts the beautiful beaches of nearby Hilton Head, South Carolina, with the flea-ridden dunes of Parris Island.

The recruitment-training displays explain how the island became home to new enlistees in 1915 and has since produced more than one million Marines who have served their country all over the world. The exhibits in the main hall include an old field-drill sergeant’s hat, a female Marine’s 1948 uniform, and an M1 Garand rifle, the standard U.S. infantry weapon of World War II.

The Parris Island exhibits provide much more than the story of the Marine recruiting station. The museum traces the European cultural record of the region as far back as the 1500s, through artifacts from the French and Spanish colonies. It also describes the land and naval battles of the American Revolution and Civil War. Especially impressive is an interactive battle map of the 7 April 1863 naval attack on Charleston, during which Union ironclads tried to run a gauntlet of fire from Confederate batteries.

In addition, the museum’s website takes viewers back even further in time, covering the Native American and natural history of the region, with articles treating the Paleo-Indian period (more 10,000 years ago) through the Mississippean period (during the early 1500s). It also contains articles on Charlesfort, the French colony on Parris Island (1562–63); Spain’s colony Santa Elena I (1566–1576); and the 1715 sale of the island from Edward Archer to Alexander Parris, who laid its first plantations raising food, cattle, and indigo (sea-island cotton was grown into the next century using slave labor until the Civil War).

The second floor of the museum is dedicated to a more recent chronicle of the Corps, from 1900 to the present. The exhibits highlight its actions in Mexico, Central America and the Gulf of Mexico, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, international peacekeeping missions, the first Gulf War, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its many displays include a doughboy helmet with a 2nd Infantry Division emblem (the Marines were attached to the Army unit during World War I), a Marine officer’s sword from the USS Arizona (BB-39), and a sight from a grenade launcher retrieved from Baghdad during the first Gulf War.

As part of its oral-history program, the museum features touch-screen kiosks that tell the stories of former Marines, their experiences as trainees on the island, and their time in the service. Their memories span many years of American history.

Marine uniforms, weapons, and equipment, as well as those of the United States’ various adversaries, historic photographs, and information for context, comprise each display. One particularly interesting exhibit includes a uniform designed for pregnant Marines. Before the 1970s, a female Marine who became pregnant was immediately discharged. The times, and the Corps, have changed.

The Parris Island Museum also houses a gift shop named after the late Phyllis Alexander, a retired chief warrant officer and former island drill instructor. The shop stocks numerous Marine Corps items, including clothes and memorabilia, many of which are exclusively designed for Parris Island.


Parris Island Museum

  • Bldg. 111, Marine Corps Recruit Depot
  • Parris Island, South Carolina 29905
  • Tel.: (843) 228-2951
  • Open daily 1000–1630
  • Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter
  • Admission free

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterans on Parade | Picture This: Library of Congress Prints & Photos

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World War I tourism makes Belgium worth the trip

With the centenary marking World War I in full swing, the Western Front in Flanders, Belgium, has become a draw for Americans with a travel bug for history.

War tourism is thriving a century later in Ieper and the quaint towns that surround it.

The Belgian town was rebuilt from the ground up since the destruction of World War I, with much of the ancient Flemish style preserved brick by brick.

After the population was evacuated to safer territory, the worst stone in the shoe of the German Imperial Army was reduced to ashes and rubble in three extended, pitched battles over the course of the war, but Germans never held it.

Walkable and beautiful in that cobbled, Old World way, with striking architecture and a venerable cathedral and cloth hall (now the In Flanders Fields museum and research centre), Ieper feels like 1913 has come to life as a town-sized museum.

A well-development map of activities and museums immerses visitors in the Ypres Salient.

Between Belgium, France and England, there are 29,265 known burial sites, 1,656 unknown (not identified) American war graves, and 4,452 missing commemorated. Total combat death toll in WWI for America is set at 53,402.


THE FLANDERS FIELD AMERICAN CEMETERY AND MEMORIAL:Waregem, Belgium — Located on the battlefield where the U.S. 91st Division suffered many casualties near the war’s end securing Spitaals Bosschen woods between Oct. 31 and Nov. 10, 1918 — one day before armistice. It bears the insignia of the four American divisions that fought in Belgium (27th, 30th, 37th and 91st) and is the only American World War I cemetery in Belgium. There are 368 graves, 21 of them belonging to unknown soldiers. On May 30, 1927, Charles Lindbergh flew over this memorial to salute his fellow countrymen, and dropped poppies, nine days after his historic solo flight. There’s also a American memorial in Oudenarde, Belgium, and more in Kemmel and St. Mihiel, France. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. A staff member is on duty in the visitor building during open hours to answer questions and escort relatives to grave and memorial sites, and can help find graves of American soldiers who died in World War I who are buried in other graveyards.


IN FLANDERS FIELDS MUSEUM: The ancient cloth hall of Ieper dates back to 1304. Once the center of an international textile industry, Ieper saw trade from as far away as Novgorod. Transformed into a museum about the Ypres Salient, the museum tells the stories of the front. It features interactive exhibits, including digital records to look up Commonwealth soldiers. Actual gear and kit of American soldiers and other militaries preserved on site.

LIJSSENTHOEK: At Lijssenthoek, a self-guided interactive museum documents the Commonwealth regional military hospital that operated from 1915 past the end of the war at the site of a farm belonging to a widow with seven children. Unlike battlefield cemeteries like Passchendaele where only some of the graves are identified with the bones that lie beneath them, at Lijssenthoek, almost everyone is identified, because before they were corpses, they were patients in varying states of triage.

Check out the unique fence, where each picket represents a day, and is engraved with notches for the number of soldiers that were buried there.

“This cemetery reads as a block calendar of the Great War. For every day of the year, somebody is buried in the cemetery,” said history buff and battlefield tour guide Luc Dequidt.

MEMORIAL MUSEUM PASSCHENDAELE – MMP17: In just 100 days in 1917, half a million soldiers died over the most contested patch of ground. On a small pond in Zonnebeke, Belgium, the original grand farmhouse has been refurbished and filled with memorabilia and exhibits where you can wear a Commonwealth soldier’s helmet, try to hoist protective armour, or even smell the harmless versions of the lethal gases first employed on unsuspecting Allied troops at the Western Front. The museum’s impressive underground dugout route extends 600 meters, with meticulous reproduction trenches that give an eerie sensation of being in the war, complete with sandbagged outdoors trenches and cave-like tunnel trenches populated with mannequin soldiers. (Closed from Dec. 16 to Jan. 31 each year).

TALBOT HOUSE: Billed as “an oasis of serenity in a world gone mad,” Talbot House combined a retreat atmosphere with the USO, church, even Vaudeville in an hospitable effort to provide respite to the Commonwealth soldiers desperately in need of R&R and a shower and a shave in Poperinge, Belgium. Remarkably, during the German occupation of World War II, the facility was left mostly undamaged. Separately, the quarters are also a bed-and-breakfast.

THE LAST POST AT MENIN GATE: Every evening at 8 p.m., the "Last Post" has been sounded since 1928 (except during World War II) under the imposing arches of the Menin Gate. Shaped like a Roman triumphal arch, it displays the names of 54,896 Commonwealth soldiers went missing in action around the Ypres Salient in the Great War through Aug. 15, 1917. (Those 34,984 missing after Aug. 16 are carved into the Tyne Cot Cemetery at Passendale. The Last Post ceremony, which attracts thousands every night, rain, snow or hail, is deeply moving. 

ESSEX FARM CEMETERY: The Advanced Dressing Station where Dr. John MacCrae triaged soldiers at the front and wrote the most famous war poem ever can still be visited in its bunker. The ceiling has sunk a bit with weathering, but the small rooms are intact. Visitors can see where soldiers were brought for treatment (on stretchers if they couldn’t walk).

At the Essex Farm Cemetery on site there are 1,200 soldiers buried.

U.N. Calls for Another Year of Counter-Piracy Naval Operations Off Somalia

U.N. Calls for Another Year of Counter-Piracy Naval Operations Off Somalia

EU NAVFOR counter-piracy patrol conducts a friendly approach on a number of Somali fishermen not far from the coast. Photo: EU NAVFORThe United Nations is calling for another year of international naval operations to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia more than three years since the last commercial vessel was hijacked in the region. The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution renewing for another year its authorization for international naval forces […]

The post U.N. Calls for Another Year of Counter-Piracy Naval Operations Off Somalia appeared first on gCaptain.


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Gales of November – A Look at the Storm that Sank the Edmund Fitzgerald 41 Years Ago Today

Gales of November – A Look at the Storm that Sank the Edmund Fitzgerald 41 Years Ago Today

SS Edmund Fitzgerald. Photo: U.S. Army Corps. of EngineersOn November 10, 1975 the Great Lakes bulk cargo vessel SS Edmund Fitzgerald carrying a cargo of taconite pellets (iron-bearing flint-like rock used in steelmaking) sank with the loss of all 29 crewmembers in eastern Lake Superior about 17 miles from the entrance to Whitefish Bay, Michigan during a severe storm. The vessel sank quickly without sending […]

The post Gales of November – A Look at the Storm that Sank the Edmund Fitzgerald 41 Years Ago Today appeared first on gCaptain.


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Thursday, November 10, 2016

USS Zumwalt — Big Guns but Too Expensive to Fire

USS Zumwalt — Big Guns but Too Expensive to Fire
// Old Salt Blog - a virtual port of call for all those who love the sea

zumwalt3The destroyer USS Zumwalt was commissioned about three weeks ago. It is the latest and greatest, most high tech destroyer in the fleet. At a cost of around $4 billion dollars, it is also the most expensive destroyer ever built. The ship has two primary guns, 155 mm Advanced Gun System howitzers, intended to support ground forces in land attacks. These guns fire a Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP), a GPS guided round with a range of 60 nautical miles.  

The only problem is that the Navy just announced that they are cancelling the high-tech ammunition because each LRLAP is simply too expensive to fire. Each LRLAP costs around $800,000, and quite possibly more. According to Popular Mechanics: The two Advanced Gun System howitzers are fed by a magazine containing 600 rounds of ammunition, making it capable destroying hundreds of targets at a rate of up to ten per minute. 

If you do the math the numbers get scary. If the guns fire 10 LRLAP rounds per minute from a 600 round magazine, the ammunition alone would cost $480,000,000 per hour, or almost a half billion dollars. One source suggests that the ship could carry up to 1,500 rounds, which would represent roughly 30% of the construction cost of the ship itself, just for ammunition.

The Navy blames this exorbitant cost on the earlier budget cuts. Originally, the Navy planned on building 32 Zumwalt class destroyers, a number that they have now cut to 3.  The smaller ship order also meant fewer LRLAPs on order and presumably dramatically decreased economies of scale. Even so, the cost appear to have escalated extremely rapidly. In 2001, the director of Lockheed's guided projectiles division claimed the LRLAP would cost "less than $50,000 each."

So the new ship has big guns, but no bullets. The Navy is now looking for new ammunition. 

Defense News reports: "We are looking at multiple different rounds for that gun," the Navy official said, adding that "three or four different rounds" have been looked at, including the Army's Excalibur munition from Raytheon, and the Hyper Velocity Projectile (HVP), a project under development by the Office of Naval Research and BAE Systems.

"There are multiple companies that have looked at alternatives to get the cost down and use that delivery system," the Navy official said.

But the likelihood is that there will be no LRLAP replacement before the Zumwalt enters operational service.

The post USS Zumwalt — Big Guns but Too Expensive to Fire appeared first on Old Salt Blog.


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GAO-17-38, DOD Commissaries and Exchanges: Plan and Additional Information Needed on Cost Savings and Metrics for DOD Efforts to Achieve Budget Neutrality, November 09, 2016

GAO-17-38, DOD Commissaries and Exchanges: Plan and Additional Information Needed on Cost Savings and Metrics for DOD Efforts to Achieve Budget Neutrality, November 09, 2016
// GAO Reports

What GAO Found The Department of Defense's (DOD) May 2016 report on commissaries and exchanges does not provide a plan for achieving budget neutrality, which DOD interprets as ending the use of appropriated funding for commissaries and exchanges by October 2018. The report states that DOD will not be able to achieve budget neutrality, but does not provide detailed information on why budget neutrality is not possible. According to the report, DOD cannot achieve budget neutrality without reducing patron benefits; however, the report does not include cost estimates, assumptions, or specific details about trade-offs or limitations that would clarify DOD's conclusion that budget neutrality is not possible. Instead, DOD's report states that DOD expects to achieve an estimated $2 billion in reductions over a 5- year period from fiscal year 2017 through fiscal year 2021. However, the report does not include any assumptions, a methodology, or specific time frames related to cost savings initiatives that would lead to the $2 billion savings. According to DOD officials, the cost savings amount was an arbitrary estimate, and they did not develop details on the steps they would take to achieve $2 billion in savings. Without information to support DOD's conclusion related to achieving budget neutrality and a plan for achieving an alternative reduction in cost savings, the department lacks the assurance that its cost savings target is an accurate and achievable cost savings estimate, and decisionmakers cannot evaluate the effectiveness of DOD's efforts to achieve cost savings without reducing patron benefits. GAO's analysis found that DOD's report fully addresses three of the seven mandated elements and partially addresses the remaining four. Although DOD's report discusses the seven mandated elements, GAO found that including additional information would have made the report more consistent with relevant generally accepted research standards and would have made the report more useful to decision makers. For example, the report did not fully include information about assumptions and anticipated cost savings associated with establishing common business processes at commissaries and the exchanges. According to DOD officials, DOD is in the early stages of developing efforts that could include an estimated cost savings target, and DOD did not have time to include additional information in the report. In addition, GAO found that DOD's report discusses the three mandated benchmarks for customer satisfaction, quality of products, and patron savings but does not define specific metrics for each of the benchmarks. For example, DOD has not defined customer satisfaction relative to maintaining a "high level" of satisfaction or determined what results would qualify as meeting that benchmark. In another example, DOD has not determined whether the commissaries and exchanges are to use the last available savings rate or the average savings rate over the past 5 years as the metric for a sustained patron savings rate. Without specific metrics to assess the mandated requirements related to customer satisfaction, product quality, and patron savings, DOD cannot effectively assess its performance in meeting the benchmarks for success. Why GAO Did This Study Given budget constraints, DOD is reviewing opportunities for efficiencies in its commissaries and exchanges, which provide reduced- price groceries and services for the military community. In fiscal year 2015, $1.3 billion in appropriated funds were used for DOD commissaries and exchanges. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 mandated that DOD report on its plan for budget neutrality, and included a provision for GAO to assess DOD's report. GAO evaluated the extent to which DOD's report (1) includes a plan to achieve budget neutrality and (2) addresses seven mandated elements and three mandated benchmarks to ensure the maintenance of customer satisfaction, quality of products, and savings that commissary and exchange patrons are to realize. GAO compared DOD's report with the mandated elements and benchmarks, generally accepted research standards, and federal internal control standards, and interviewed DOD officials. What GAO Recommends GAO recommends that DOD provide information to Congress to support its conclusion about budget neutrality; develop a plan for achieving alternative reductions to appropriations; and identify specific metrics for customer satisfaction, product quality, and savings. DOD concurred with GAO's recommendations. For more information, contact Brian J. Lepore at (202) 512-4523 or

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World War 1: Helen Johns Kirtland, Frontline Photojournalist November 9, 2016 by Erin Allen


Helen Johns Kirtland must have been a very persuasive person because only a few U.S. women obtained credentials to report in countries actively fighting in World War I. Both she and her husband Lucien Swift Kirtland secured permission to work as war correspondents in Europe in 1917. By policy, husband and wife could not work together; so once in Europe, they went their separate ways and met up only occasionally. As a photojournalist Helen provided photographs for Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly and other American periodicals in Europe. She also photographed and did publicity work for the Red Cross, and the United States Army and Navy provided her opportunities for reportage and photography, as well.

While Kirtland reported on the war elsewhere, the Italian army suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Austrian and German forces between October 24 and November 19, 1917. The Austrians broke through the Italian line at Caporetto on the Piave River, leaving the defending Italians with 10,000 dead, 30,000 wounded, 265,000 captured and 350,000 missing. The Italian military then declared that no women could visit the active front.

During the autumn months of 1918, when the two armies again confronted each other, Kirtland was the only woman correspondent allowed to photograph the encounter. She had persuaded Italian finance minister Francesco Saverio Nitti and Prime Minister Vittorio Emanuele Orlando to grant her special access to the field.

Italian soldiers lighting cigarettes, one holding illustrated newspaper, Piave River, Italy, October 1918. Prints and Photographs Division.

Italian soldiers lighting cigarettes, one holding illustrated newspaper, Piave River, Italy, October 1918. Prints and Photographs Division.

Despite concerted Austrian attacks, the Italian line held at the river this time and decisively defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Vittorio Veneto at the end of October. Kirtland was on the actual front during the last drive at the battle for Monte Grappa and went with the Army as far as the mouth of the Piave River.

By 1918, Kirtland had a year’s experience reporting on the war and obviously felt comfortable chatting with foot soldiers on battlefields. Her uncaptioned photographs indicate that she continued to cover various fronts, including Belgium and Poland. At war’s end, the Kirtlands worked together to provide extensive coverage of the peace negotiations at Versailles.

Helen Johns Kirtland seated at table with Italian military officers near the Piave River, Italy, October 1918. Prints and Photographs Division.

Helen Johns Kirtland seated at table with Italian military officers near the Piave River, Italy, October 1918. Prints and Photographs Division.



Helen Johns Kirtland became a member of the Society of Woman Geographers, which was established in 1925 for women who had “done distinctive work whereby they have added to the world’s store of knowledge concerning the countries on which they have specialized, and have published in magazines or in book form a record of their work.” At the time, women were excluded from membership in most professional organizations.

Among the more than 4,000 photographs in the Kirtland Collectionin the Prints & Photographs Division, some 200 images show World War I and its aftermath, adding a valuable perspective to coverage found in other collections.

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.

Source: Ware, Susan. (1988) “Letter to the World: Seven Women Who Shaped the American Century,” by Susan Ware.


Information Warfare: Communist Takeover of U.S. Entertainment Industry [feedly]

Information Warfare: Communist Takeover of U.S. Entertainment Industry
// Judicial Watch

A one-time commander in China's Communist Red Army has launched information warfare with an aggressive plan to invest billions in all six major Hollywood studios, a show business trade publication reports, describing the foreign deal as an unprecedented push into the U.S. entertainment sector. The former People's Liberation Army (PLA) regimental commander, Wang Jianlin, is China's richest man and he's aggressively pursuing a big chunk of one of the world's most influential industries.

A few years ago, Wang doled out $2.6 billion to buy the nation's largest theater chain, AMC Entertainment, and now he's taking it a huge step further with the studio deals that will have a huge impact on production. Chinese money has been shaping the movie industry for years, mainstream news reports have revealed, and one major newspaper reported earlier this year that China is expected to become the world's biggest box office by the end of 2017. "This has changed how Hollywood behaves in big ways—like the flood of money coming in to co-finance blockbusters, or sequels that get the green light simply because they performed well in China," the article states. An industry expert cited in the article says that very few foreign companies have ever successfully cracked the Hollywood code in a big way, but Chinese buyers are getting closer to that goal.

This may cause Americans to wonder what the U.S. government is doing to counter the information warfare. Specifically, a division of the U.S. Treasury, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), is responsible for reviewing transactions that could result in control of a U.S. business by foreigners. Judicial Watch is investigating what this agency is doing to scrutinize the Chinese Communist takeover and is drafting public records requests for the CFIUS and other pertinent agencies. After all, among the CFIUS's duties is to determine the national security impact that the foreign takeover of an American industry could have on the U.S. Congress has expressed concern and has asked its investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), to probe the national security issues associated with the Chinese acquisitions of American entertainment companies.

These disturbing revelations come on the heels of an equally alarming Hollywood story Judicial Watch reported illustrating the Obama administration's hands off policy when it comes to illegal activities in the powerful entertainment industry. It involves a big-screen movie about traitor Edward Snowden, who has been criminally charged by the U.S. government under the Espionage Act. The National Security Agency (NSA) subcontractor leaked top secret information and his illegal disclosures have helped terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and led to the death of innocent people. Last year Snowden began openly engaging with ISIS and Al Qaeda members and supporters via social media. Nevertheless, Academy award-winning Director Oliver Stone considers Snowden, who fled to Moscow to avoid prosecution after betraying his country, a "hero" so he made a movie about the fugitive.

National security experts have determined that Snowden has done incalculable damage to the NSA and American national security. A former member of the Counsel to the President's Intelligence Oversight Board has confirmed that people have already lost their lives thanks to Snowden and "countless more are likely to lose theirs now that our enemies know our most closely guarded sources and methods of communications intelligence collection." Snowden has caused devastation, security experts say, and he may very well be the most injurious traitor in American history. That would make it illegal to profit from his crimes and the Department of Justice (DOJ) should confiscate all money made by the violators. This includes Stone, who in 2006 was fined by the Treasury Department for violating U.S. law during the filming of a controversial documentary praising Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro. Stone is an admirer of the communist dictator's revolution and refers to Castro as "one of the wisest men ever, a survivor" and a solitary fighter comparable to Don Quixote.

Stone's Snowden flick has since been released and, not surprisingly, the feds have taken no action. Keep in mind that Snowden violated his secrecy agreement, which means he and his conspirators can't materially profit from his fugitive status, violation of law, aiding and abetting of a crime and providing material support to terrorism. It's bad enough that people are profiting from Snowden's treason, but adding salt to the wound, the Obama administration is doing nothing about it. Immediately after reporting the story in early August, Judicial Watch launched an investigation, using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain records. True whistleblowers and law-abiding intelligence officers such as Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer, FBI Special Agent Robert G. Wright and Valerie Plame got release authority in accordance with their secrecy agreement and did not seek money or flee to Russia. A federal appellate court has ruled that government employees, such as Snowden, who signed privacy agreements can't profit from disclosing information without first obtaining agency approval.

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The JSC publishes new supplementary materials for the MCM

The JSC publishes new supplementary materials for the MCM
// CAAFlog

In a Federal Register notice available here, the JSC publishes new supplementary materials for the Manual for Courts-Martial.

The notice continues the JSC's recent positive trend of publishing such materials without executive orders (discussed here).

The materials include a new chart of lesser-included offenses (Appendix 12A).

The materials also add – to Appendix 23: Analysis of the Punitive Articles – this discussion of charging Article 134 offenses in the disjunctive:

When charging both clauses 1 and 2, practitioners are encouraged to use the word "and" to separate the theories in one specification, rather than using the word "or" to separate the theories. Practitioners may also allege two separate specifications. At findings, the Trial Counsel or Military Judge must make certain that the record is clear as to whether the trier of fact found that clause 1, clause 2, or both clauses were proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Using the word "and" to separate clauses 1 and 2 in the terminal element allows the trier of fact to except the unproven clause from the specification. This approach forces intellectual rigor in analyzing each clause as distinct and separate. Nothing in this analysis should be read to suggest that a specification connecting the two theories with the disjunctive "or" necessarily fails to give the accused reasonable notice of the charge against him. See United States v. Rauscher, 71 M.J. 225, 226 (C.A.A.F. 2012) (per curiam) (citing Russell v. United States, 369 U.S. 749, 765 (1962))."

This is a step in the right direction but doesn't go far enough. As I've written before, charging in the disjunctive continues to be a bad idea.

Another addition to Appendix 23 is this discussion of the enumerated offense of adultery in violation of Article 134:

When determining whether adulterous acts constitute the offense of adultery under Article 134, commanders should consider the listed factors. The offense of adultery is intended to prohibit extramarital sexual behavior that directly affects the discipline of the armed forces, respect for the chain of command, or maintenance of unit cohesion. The intent of this provision is to limit the crime of adultery to those situations where the negative impact to the unit is real rather than theorized. This provision should not be interpreted to criminalize sexual practices between two adults with full and mutual consent from each other, but rather, to punish the collateral negative effects of extramarital sexual activity when there exists a genuine nexus between that activity and the efficiency and effectiveness of the armed forces. Cf. United States v. Marcum, 60 M.J. 198, 204-08 (C.A.A.F. 2004) (despite constitutionally protected liberty interest in private sexual behavior between consenting adults, military may regulate sexual conduct to the extent it could affect military order and discipline).

While each commander has discretion to dispose of offenses by members of the command, wholly private and consensual sexual conduct between adults is generally not punishable under this paragraph. The right to engage in such conduct, however, is tempered in a military context by the mission of the military, the need for cohesive teams, and the need for obedience to orders. Cases involving fraternization or other unprofessional relationships may be more appropriately charged under Article 92 or Article 134—Fraternization. Cases involving abuse of authority by officers may be more appropriately charged under Article 133.

This discussion emphasizes that the crux of an adultery prosecution is its deleterious effect on the military mission and not morality or the sanctity of marriage, as I discussed here and here. This discussion does affect the special, heightened degree of prejudice to good order and discipline or service discredit that must exist for adulterous conduct to violate Article 134 (discussed here).


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