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Posted by on in Military

The United States Marine Corps came into being on 10 November 1775 in Philadelphia, at a place called Tun Tavern. Since that time, the Marines have become an elite fighting force deploying to all corners of the globe for the purpose of serving and defending America.

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Many conflicting signals are coming out of the White House with regard to military action in Syria. The latest turn of events involves Secretary of State Kerry going to Switzerland to consider a diplomatic solution which would require president Assad to surrender his entire inventory of chemical weapons to avoid being attacked by the United States. Russian president Putin has offered to help broker the deal. It is very difficult to predict how this situation will play out. 

Poll shows majority of Americans do not support military intervention in Syria.  

Pentagon says it would take 75,000 troops to secure the 1,000 tons of chemical weapons in Syria. 

Sectarian violence in Iraq. 

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Posted by on in Military

The Syrian civil war has been ongoing for more than 2 years now. The death and destruction caused by the war is shocking, and most devastating of course, is the recent poison gas attack. Regardless of the atrocities, I still believe it is in the best interest of the U.S. to refrain from intervening in the conflict. See video below for more details.

Earlier this year, Al-Qaeda acknowledged that Syrian rebels had become part of their network and were fighting to establish a caliphate in Syria. 

Pentagon says it can't afford Syria operation without seeking additional funds. 

For more information/videos on Syria please go to: U.S. One Step Closer To Arming Syrian Rebels and Should The U.S. Arm Syrian Rebels? 

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The First Battle of Bull Run took place on July 21st, 1861. This Sunday will mark the 152nd anniversary of that battle. The engagement took place near the city of Manassas in the state of Virginia. Because the Confederate capital was located in Richmond Virginia, southern parlance identified the battle as First Manassas. In August of 1862, both armies would again meet in the same general area to fight the Second Battle of Bull Run/Second Manassas.

The Civil War began with the shelling of Union held Fort Sumter, by Confederate troops, on April 12th, 1861. After this attack, President Lincoln appealed to Northern states for volunteers to bolster the Union army. Many men reported for duty, and as the army grew, defenses were set up around Washington D.C. As mentioned above, the Confederacy had set up its capital in Richmond VA, which was located approximately 100 miles from Washington.

Because of the shelling of Fort Sumter, many in the North were calling for the Union army to march on the Confederate capital. Suspecting an attack was imminent, Confederate forces began building defensive positions at a railroad junction near Manassas. The town of Manassas is located between Washington D.C. and Richmond.

Hoping to score a decisive victory early on in the campaign, President Lincoln urged his commanding General, Irvin McDowell, to press forward with the attack. Feeling that his men were not yet adequately trained, McDowell was hesitant to carry out the order, but of course he acceded. President Lincoln reportedly reassured McDowell by telling him that Confederate soldiers, commanded by General P.G.T. Beauregard, were also “green”.

Both Generals arrived on the field, prepared for battle, with complete and elaborate plans. Neither was certain however, how their unseasoned men would perform. Problems arose early as Confederate plans were plagued by communication failures and a lack of coordination between units. Union forces had their own problems as McDowell's plan proved too complex for “green” troops to execute. In addition, skillful scouting by Confederates made it difficult for McDowell's men to conceal their movements.

The Union army seemed to have the advantage in the early phases of the battle, but Confederate troops mounted effective counter-attacks, and gained the momentum. Of note were the actions of Confederate General Thomas J. Jackson. He and his brigade of Virginians helped turn back Union advances. It was at this battle that General Jackson earned the unforgettable moniker of "Stonewall" Jackson.

Control was wrested back and forth as intense fighting raged throughout the day. At one point, Union artillery was captured by Confederates, only to be retaken by the Union. Late in the day, Confederate reinforcements arrived by rail from the Shenandoah Valley. Now at a tactical disadvantage, Union forces found themselves overwhelmed, and were forced to retreat. Confederate troops, who were by this point in disarray from the frantic activity of war, were unable to pursue their foe. The defeated Union army arrived back in Washington the following day. General McDowell was removed from command and replaced by General George McClellan.

This battle showed that both sides were capable of assembling large armies, albeit inexperienced, that could engage and fight. The victory provided a huge morale boost to the South, while damaging equally, the morale of the North. Approximately 3,000 Union troops were killed, wounded or captured, while the Confederacy had approximately 2,000 killed, wounded or captured.

Perhaps the most significant result of the fighting at Bull Run was that it caused President Lincoln to dismiss any notion he may have had, that this particular engagement would lead to an expedient, resounding and unequivocal victory for the Union. Indeed many years of bloody and destructive combat awaited our Nation.

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June 30th will mark 4 years since Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was captured while serving in Afghanistan. Sgt Bergdahl is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, based at Fort Richardson, Alaska.

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