Andrew’s Note: Today’s article on Veterans Day Etiquette was first published on Prepography for Veterans Day last year and proved very popular so we have reprinted it.
For the first sixteen years of my military career there was little need for a primer on Veterans Day etiquette as there was little public recognition of the day other than a few restaurants that thanked our Nation’s Veterans with a free meal and a Federal holiday. All that changed in September 2001… since that time there’s been a renewed gratefulness from the U.S. population towards its current and former military service members. That gratitude has played out in many ways and one of those ways is by a renewed interest in Veterans Day.
Before we explain Veterans Day etiquette, let’s look at the history of Veterans Day
Unlike Memorial Day which honors our war dead, Veterans Day is a day set aside to honor our living veterans. The timing of Veterans Day grew out of Armistice Day from World War I. Although the peace treaty wasn’t signed until June 28th 1919 the armistice went into effect the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month (1918). This armistice was the end of the over-optimistically named ‘war to end all wars.’ President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation” in 1954 at the urging of Congress to officially expand the observance of Armistice Day into Veterans Day. You can read more about the history of Veterans Day at History of Veterans Day – Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs
Here’s one old soldier’s guide to Veteran’s Day etiquette based primarily on my family’s traditions, as well as my own feelings and experiences. Continue reading
America’s veterans have served their country with the belief that democracy and freedom are ideals to be upheld around the world.
Former Representative John Doolittle
No building can stand without a strong foundation and your body’s foundation is your feet. As a a former light infantryman (the light infantryman often relies on his feet and not on mechanized transportation during operations) I was well schooled in proper preventative foot care for military operations. Many of the same preventative foot care techniques are applicable to hiking, bugging out or even a long day if you work in one of the many occupations that has you on your feet all day.
A few years ago my wife dragged me to the movie Shakespeare In Love. I don’t remember much about the movie but I do remember one thing the filmmakers showed that was very interesting. They showed the Elizabethan version of a toothbrush which is basically a stick with one of the ends roughed up. Recently I came across a description of how to make that primitive toothbrush in FM 21-75, Combat Skills Of The Soldier. In good old state-the-obvious Army style the description goes point out that “twigs can also be used for toothpicks.” Here’s hoping you don’t have to resort to makeshift oral hygiene…
Andrew’s Note: Prepography reader JD in Portland, OR who’s a Marine Corps veteran has been teasing me lately for not including enough anything but Army Manual reprints when we don’t publish original articles or infographics. He said he want’s to see something from ‘The Corps’ so here you go JD…Task MCCS.23.15, Identify Weapons of Opportunity from The Marine Corps Common Skills Handbook, Book 1B, All Marines (what the Army calls Skill Level 1). Continue reading
Andrew’s Note: One of the things I love about being in the Army is that there’s a manual for how to accomplish just about any task you can imagine. The problem in applying Army solutions to Prepper problems is that our Army is so well supplied and funded that it has world class specialty equipment to accomplish any task that even the most well-heeled prepper can’t hope to match. There are other Army manuals though that can fill that gap, these manuals and parts of manuals explain how to improvise many of the tools and equipment we use in the Army. These improvised tools, techniques and procedures can often be of use to the preparedness minded as well. Today we’re presenting an excerpt from the U.S. Army Combat Lifesaver Correspondence Course, IS0871 on making improvised litters.
Andrew’s Note: Today we present another lesson from our periodic Military Pedagogy series. This discussion, from TC 21-3, the Soldier’s Handbook for Individual Operations and Survival in Cold Weather Areas [Approved For Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited] is on Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. As our homes and offices become better insulated and sealed we increase the chances of serious injury or death resulting from carbon monoxide poisoning. This lesson was written for soldiers living and working in tents and vehicles but applies to permanent shelters as well. Learn the symptoms, learn the treatment and for heavens sake, learn the prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Andrw’s Note: Today Prepography is presenting an expansion of yesterday’s article on Tracking the Army Way by helping you develop the skills necessary to avoid being tracked or lose a tracker… also known as Countertracking The Army Way.
The following is taken directly from the U.S. Army Field Manual, FM 21-75, Combat Skills of the Soldier published 3 August 1984 (Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited).
Andrw’s Note: Today Prepography is pleased to present another military interpretation of a lost skill, namely tracking the Army way.
I’m an amateur tracker at best. I learned most of the techniques described here a very long time ago but most of my tracking experience has more to do with hunting quadrupeds than hunting bipeds. There are a number of reasons that developing skills in tracking can come in handy for the preparedness minded individual. Three examples of when tracking skills might come in handy are:
What follows is taken directly from the U.S. Army Field Manual, FM 21-75, Combat Skills of the Soldier published 3 August 1984 (Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited). If you’re fortunate enough to have a copy of TC-31-34-4, Special Forces Tracking and Countertracking it’s a much better reference with color photographs that show examples of many of the situations and techniques described here. Unfortunately that manual isn’t currently releasable to the public so you’ll have to use a little more imagination here.
The U.S. Army’s own Insider Threat and jihadist,
Major Nidal Hasan was sentenced to death yesterday for his self-confessed and cowardly attack on a group of unarmed soldiers preparing for deployment to Afghanistan at Fort Hood, Tx.
Depending on who you ask, the Hasan attack was either an act of ‘workplace violence’ or a terrorist attack. You know, if a radicalized zealot attacks soldiers preparing for deployment to a war zone in order to protect our enemies (that was really his defense) from those soldiers I don’t care what you called it…he got what he deserved.
The fact that a traitor with his set of ideals could become a field grade officer in the United States Army is not just disturbing, it’s also an indictment of how certain elements of our armed forces have become so concerned about ‘sensitivities’ and being politically correct that they’ve forgotten that the armed forces primary mission is to protect this country and our way of life. Continue reading
While preparing the Field Manual extract from FM 21-75, Combat Skills of the Soldier (Approved for public release, distribution is unlimited) I recently published and called Observation Skills for Survival I kept reading after I’d finished the extract (and my introduction) and came across Appendix G. The authors of the manual called Appendix G, “Weapons And Fire Control,” but I call it the Infantry Arsenal Of Freedom (at least the first half covering the weapons that’s reprinted below).
The edition I pulled this extract from was published in 1984 and was the current edition when I joined the 82nd Airborne Division as an Infantryman. Some of the weapons would be familiar to soldiers from the modern battlefield… some would also be familiar to a soldier from Vietnam, Korea, World War II or even earlier but several have since been declared obsolete (or at least replaced in our inventories). This introduction is really just an attempt for me to justify publishing information merely for nostalgic purposes on this the 96th Birthday of the 82nd…not quite sure I pulled it off but what the heck… here’s the Arsenal of Freedom, Circa 1984 extracted directly from FM 21-75:
It’s been a long time since I was a young paratrooper in “America’s Guard of Honor,” the 82nd Airborne Division but I still remember the pride, sense of duty and esprit de corps of being in a unit with such a long and distinguished lineage. Earlier this year I made a pilgrimage back to Fort Bragg, NC and paid homage to my Airborne brothers who have made the ultimate sacrifice from the trenches of World War I to our perpetual ‘War on Terror.’ Happy Birthday to the “All Americans,” past, present and future!
American parachutists, devils in baggy pants, are less than 100 meters from my outpost line. I can’t sleep at night; they pop up from nowhere and we never know when or how they will strike next. Seems like the black-hearted devils are everywhere…
A World War II German Officer commenting on the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division in his diary which was subsequently confiscated; Anzio, Italy
Andrew’s Note: One of the things I like about the Army and the military in general is that we have a manual where you can learn just about anything you want to know including a lot of skills that are of value to the preparedness minded prepper. Being able to observe and avoid trouble is a key survival skill for a prepper who operates alone or in much smaller groups than the typical soldier on the battlefield. It’s important to develop your observations skills for survival and today’s extract from the 3 August, 1984 Edition of the United States Army’s Field Manual, FM 21-75 Combat Skills of the Soldier (Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited) may help.
While written for soldiers operating on a battlefield the skills are readily transferable and will help you develop observation skills for survival. Elements in italics below have been added by the editor. This extract is the entire fourth chapter, titled Observation:
During all types of operations, you will be looking for the enemy [or potential adversary]. However, there will be times when you will be posted in an observation post (OP) to watch for enemy activity [as your sole or primary mission].
An OP is a position from which you watch an assigned sector of observation and report all activity seen or heard in your sector. Chapter 6 provides guidance on collecting and reporting information learned by observation.
I spent the day yesterday interviewing the widow of a World War II Army Air Corps pilot who was shot down over Hungary and detained in the infamous Stalag Luft III Prisoner of War Camp. Stalag Luft III was made famous by “the great escape” and infamous by the Gestapo’s subsequent execution of those prisoners recaptured. That story has been told in books and movies including the 1963 classic The Great Escape which had an all-star cast headed by Steve McQueen and James Garner.
I’ll talk more about the project that took me into that living room at a later date but wanted to mention something that we all know is happening…but bears mentioning anyway. We are rapidly losing what Tom Brokaw so correctly called “the greatest generation.” That generation of men and women who took an isolationist, agrarian former colony in the depths of depression and turned it into the worlds lone superpower in a single generation. Continue reading
This manual is dedicated to the soldier — the key to success on the battlefield. Wars are not won by machines and weapons but by the soldiers who use them. Even the best equipped army cannot win without motivated and well-trained soldiers. If the US Army is to win the next war, its soldiers must be motivated by inspired leadership, and they must know how to do their jobs and survive on the battlefield.
Preface to FM 21-75 (Aug 1984), Combat Skills of the Soldier (Approved for Public Release)
Today we present the eighth post in our series taken from the U.S. Army’s FM 21-75, Basic Combat Skills Appendix D, Urban Areas. This manual is Approved for Public Release and provides a great deal of useful information for the prepper forced to move through urban or built up areas following a breakdown in the rule of law which is sometimes called without rule of law or WROL. Today’s tip will help you learn how to enter a building during WROL.
Note: Entering a building for military purposes does differ from entering for the reasons most preppers would need to enter a building and the tools available to our soldiers differ from what most preppers have available…many of the skills still transfer but disregard what doesn’t apply. Additionally, don’t overlook the easy, obvious method of asking any inhabitants for entry…this may be especially effective before the fact that WROL is upon us is widely accepted or when traveling with children.
Today’s tips do involve the entering of buildings which isn’t just trespassing on private property but is also extremely dangerous as anyone remaining inside will likely feel threatened and react accordingly. You should only attempt these actions if you deem entering a building to be the least dangerous alternative given your current circumstances. Conversely, by knowing the likely methods an intruder might use to enter a building you occupy you will be better able to avoid conflict or defend yourself if necessary.
Jury selection begins today for one of the most important trials in recent memory…and no, I’m not talking about a neighborhood watch patrol turned deadly.
While the nation is riveted by wall to wall coverage of the George Zimmerman trial… coverage designed to play into one or more racial story-lines and apparently designed to divide our nation there’s a more important trial, from a national perspective beginning. I’m speaking of the trial of Major Nidal Hasan of course. Continue reading