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April 22, 2004

Comments

Mike7411

I guess I will have to sit down and read his fit reps now. I don't know how many people know this.... but it was common (and may still be) in the Navy for you to write the first draft of your own fit rep or eval and turn it into your boss who then roughed it out.

It's a good way to teach you how to write evals and a good way to get your info and judge your communication skills. Problem is... if your boss is a smuck or doesn't know the guy he's writing on very well... you can put anything in your fit rep and get away with it...

Also ... evals and fit reps are written in code..
you can make a guy sound like a god to anyone whose not up on how a fit rep is written

Mike7411

bushgirlsgonewild

Exactly, take Bush (please!) while in the 'pussy guard'...

capt joe

Well At least Bus served in the military, BBGW just served at starbucks. Don't you get tired of talking lowfat, foamy, chai latte politics all the time.

When I was in, some of my company commanders made me write up my fitess eval, other preferred to write it themselves. There was one CO that I could have written anything and he would have signed it. He never read it. Maybe that is what happened here.

After reading and following the whole Kerry military carreer writeup, he reminds me of many young officers I met who were ticket punchers. They were going places and not much interested in sticking around. Those were the b**tards that you watched since the knife they carried was out and ready to be plunged in your back. They would do anything to prevent damage to their career no matter how many obstacles (including you) were in the way.

Declan

Pussy guard?

And with whom did you serve? Moron.

capt joe

Declan,

BGGW was in the starbucks regiment, 1st latte company. He has the order of siren with crossed expresso brewers. He has 8 purple hearts from burning his "appendages".

He are talking to a real veteran here. Someone who has been to on that thin brown line everyday. ;)

Paul A'Barge

"pussy guard"?

Here's $20.00. It's yours if you have the cojones to travel to Fort Hood and tell the members of the 'pussy guard' who just came back from a year in Iraq that the new name for their branch of the service is now 'pussy guard'.

You do this in front of me or someone I trust with a camera and the $20.00 is yours.

I suspect that indeed there is a 'pussy' present, but that you don't realize that we all know who it is.

It is you, pussy.

capt joe

Paul, I will add 60 bucks to that bet. Let's make the venue the main mess. That gives him at least a few hundred yards to race to the base gates.

Anyone else?

BGGW, there you go, time to make your move. Are you up for it. Willing to put your "pussy" were your mouth is?

Nope, didn't think so.

Carl

To Paul A'Barge,

I agree that BGGW's comments were not in the best taste but do you compare the valiant and selfless service of the soldiers at Fort Hood now to the type of service performed by Air National Guardsmen there in the late 60s and early 70s?

bushgirlsgonewild

yeah, yeah,...sure, bitch(es).

At the time Bush 'served', National Guard units were almost never called into real action (they were too busy shooting down college students). And the unit Bush 'served' with was not-never-ever-no-way going to Vietnam (Bush was assigned to learn to fly a plane that had already been scheduled for obsolescence and was not going to be used in Vietnam because his daddy and friends knew that).

Bush’s unit had 7 Dallas Cowboys and 2 Senator’s sons – it was a unit for PUSSIES who were hand-picked to avoid any action whatsoever.

Anonymous Blogger

Mike7411,

Here's some "god-like" language for you:
"Lt. Bush has not been observed in this unit during the period of this report."

That's probably the best thing that they could say about Bush ...


capt joe,

I hear ya' joe. Damn those ticket punchers with their fancy-pants purple hearts, silver and bronze stars. And damn them again for when they aren't ready to knife you in the back, they're out there volunteering to go to Vietnam, saving their colleagues lives, killing 20 enemy combatants, chasing down and killing rocket launcher bearing Vietcong. Damn those ticket punchers to hell!

I'm sure, you, like me, much prefer those officers that request not to go to Vietnam, are the recipients of favors from family friends who get them pushed to the head of the line to get into the National Guard, and vanish for months at a time when they're supposed to be on duty.

Those are the kind of REAL officers that we need in this country. Not those courageous men who are just trying to "prevent damage to their career[s]".

Bucky Katt

Mike's quite right about it being common to write your own fitrep and pass it up the chain. That practice is still followed today.

Don't take anything you read in a fitrep strictly at face value. Up until the mid-90's grade inflation was a very common problem. That was one of the reasons that the Navy totally revised the fitrep process.

What strikes me in particular is what you *don't* see in Kerry's fitreps- he is *never* broken out in his writeups as the number 1, 2 or 3 officer in his peer group. No bold typeface/underline emphasis praising his qualities as an officer or recommending him for promotion *now*. What his CO is saying (granted in fitrep code) is that Kerry is basically a mid-pack/average player in his peer group.

I had to laugh at the praising of his conversational capabilities. It might have made Kerry feel good reading it, but I can assure you that crap like that in the comments section doesn't get you through a promotion board. No wonder he got out as an LT.

It will be interesting to see other military members interpretation of these docs.

sam

Carl,

About the only Reserve or Guard people called up for Vietnam *were* the Air Force Reserves/Guard. Bush's unit was on the deployment list when he joined.

That was one the issues. The Army Reserve/Guard was hardly called up.

I had a commander that was called to active duty from the Reserves that got shot down his *first* mission over N. Vietnam. He spent 5 and half years in the Hanoi Hilton.

capt joe

Anon blogger or should I say BGGW, what about that 80 bucks, man? Are you going to do it?

capt joe

Mike, hadn't noticed that one. Yeah, I guess his CO is coding Kerry as a bull sh*tter.

Yep, that would be noticed.

sam

As for the contention that Bush's ANG unit was for p*ssies, first of all, the F-102 was known as a pilot killer. That's a major reason why the USAF accelerated its retirement.

Secondly, my stepfather was in a Air Reserve unit in L.A. after WW II that had many Hollywood types in it. He got called to active duty in SAC in 1950 and missed his unit be sent to Korea. Not saying that that is the case with Bush's ANG unit, but units with famous/powerful people and their offspring *did* get deployed at various times.

Greg D

BGGW,

Actually, the NG unit Bush was in had people in Vietnam.

Sorry, no response to the rest of your drivel. You blew it so bad in your first line that you proved you aren't worth listening to.

Anonymous Blogger

capt joe,

No, you should say "Anonymous Blogger." Believe it or not, there is actually more than one person in this world that thinks Bush's history in the military pales in comparison to John Kerry's. Actually, I'm going to have to go with "most of the world" thinks this.

And you guys (and gals) on the Right have a choice: either you can say, "the military careers of the candidates means nothing" or you can face up to the fact that Kerry's is far and away superior to Bush's.

Otherwise, you (collectively) look foolish and end up tarnishing the entire service. Every time the Right minimizes the silver star or purple heart and tries to equate it with some kind of trinket that gets handed out by the handful, you're minimizing the courageousness of every service member who has served in the armed forces and has received the same medals.

And for what? To take down one political candidate. The Right tries to claim it's place as the party of the military and reacts in HORROR when Bush's _service_ as a National Guardsman is questioned as if it was an attack on the service itself. While at the same time, attacking great swaths of servicemen with these generalities about back stabbing officers or claiming that a glowing evaluation is just bullshit.

You're grasping at straws because your candidate has a military career that most would consider an embarrassment (i.e., vanishing, not the particular service) and everyone in the service is paying for it.

Ted Barlow

Tom,

I do believe that you're playing dumb. Imagine a story about Bush's military records that began:

"Records of George W. Bush's National Guard service released Wednesday show a highly praised pilot who was attended Yale despite poor grades at Andover, where he was a cheerleader -- a record of favoritism that set him apart from the typical pilot."

This, I'd imagine, would draw some ire from your side of the aisle. It might go something like this:

"What better example of liberal media bias do we need? What does any of this have to do with his military service? Why is it in the first damn sentence of the story? These are straight Democratic talking points, obviously there to make Bush look bad!"

You see. I doubt that many would be placated, even if the words "Andover", "Yale", "cheerleader", and his grades could be found in the records.

Inspector Callahan

I am so weary of the "rest of the world". As if because most of Europe is stupid, then I should think that way also.

Let me be arrogant - I don't care what Europe thinks. A majority can be wrong; look at the slight majority that voted for Gore in 2000.

The Right tries to claim it's place as the party of the military

I'll bet if you take a poll of the military of who they'd rather have as C.I.C. - let's put it this way - Kerry would lose.

TV (Harry)

bushgirlsgonewild

"Anon blogger or should I say BGGW, what about that 80 bucks, man? Are you going to do it?"

I'm not Anon Blogger, dickweed. And I'm not going to Ft. Hood -- I'm in California. Why don't you come out here instead?

Here's the truth: Bush was 12 days away from losing his student deferment from the draft at a time when Americans were dying in combat at the rate of 350 a week. The unit Bush wanted to join offered him the chance to fulfill his military commitment at a base in Texas. It was seen as an escape route from Vietnam by many men his age, and usually had a long waiting list.

Bush had scored only 25 percent on a "pilot aptitude" test, the lowest acceptable grade. But his father was then a congressman from Houston, and the commanders of the Texas Guard clearly had an appreciation of politics.

Bush was sworn in as an airman the same day he applied. His commander, Col. Walter B. "Buck" Staudt, was apparently so pleased to have a VIP's son in his unit that he later staged a special ceremony so he could have his picture taken administering the oath, instead of the captain who actually had sworn Bush in. Later, when Bush was commissioned a second lieutenant by another subordinate, Staudt again staged a special ceremony for the cameras, this time with Bush's father the congressman – a supporter of the Vietnam War – standing proudly in the background.
Bush's father went on to run for senator in 1970 against Lloyd Bentsen Jr. – a prominent Texas Democrat whose own son had been placed in the same Texas Guard unit by the same Col. Staudt around the same time as Bush.

On Election Day, before the polls closed, Guard commanders nominated both George W. Bush and Lloyd Bentsen III for promotion to first lieutenant – even as the elder Bentsen was defeating the elder Bush.
Three decades later, as Bush begins a campaign for the presidency that has invited new scrutiny of his life, Staudt and other Guard commanders insist no favoritism was shown to him. But others active in Texas politics in the 1960s say the Texas National Guard was open to string-pulling by the well-connected, and there are charges that the then-speaker of the Texas legislature helped George W. gain admittance.

"Incidentally, Bush flew with the 111th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, which was attached to the 147th Fighter Wing, based in Houston, Texas. While Bush's UNIT NEVER got called to Vietnam, the 147th was. From 1968 through 1970, pilots from the 147th participated in operation "Palace Alert" and served in Southeast Asia during the height of the Vietnam War. The 147th came off runway alert on Jan. 1, 1970 to start a new mission of training all F-102 pilots in the United States for the Air National Guard.
Bush enlisted as an Airman Basic in the 147th Fighter- Interceptor Group at Ellington Air Force Base, Houston, on May 28, 1968 - at a time when the 147th was actively participating in combat in Vietnam. However, one can not train overnight to be a pilot. Bush completed basic flight training and then, from December 1969 through June 27, 1970, he was training full-time at Ellington to be an F-102 pilot." source :http://billhobbs.com/hobbsonline/001394.html

YES, BUT, Only pilots with extensive flying time – at the outset, 1,000 hours were required – were sent overseas under the voluntary program. The Air Force, moreover, was retiring the aging F-102s and had ordered all overseas F-102 units closed down as of June 30, 1970.

AND, as the war went on, 500 hours was deemed sufficient; But Bush had racked up only approximately 300 hours of training flight time in the F-102.

THEN, surprise, he failed his medical evaluation and couldn’t get any more hours! How convenient!


Lou Villadsen

Excuse me, guys. (At least, I assume you're all guys, given the tone of the comments ...) But PUSSY should never be used as a perjorative. A lack of courage is not the same as a lack of very external, very vulnerable portions of genitals. There are lots of female US soldiers in Iraq and environs -- let's not insult them by pretending that gender and valor are linked.

Chris

"very time the Right minimizes the silver star or purple heart and tries to equate it with some kind of trinket that gets handed out by the handful, you're minimizing the courageousness of every service member who has served in the armed forces and has received the same medals."

Actually that's not very true. Standards for awards very over time. When the Medal of Honor was introduced it was handed out like a candy bar in comparison to current standards. That's not to say that he didn't deserve it... it's just pointing out that the "heroic" standards you are assuming he met may not be realistic. And don't hand me any horseshit about every servicemember is a hero... I served during the Cold War and helped stare down the Ruskies. I wasn't a hero...I was just doing my job.

Anonmous Blogger

TV (Harry) AKA Inspector Callahan,

Taking into account your weariness (and ignoring the fact that when I say "rest of the world" I mean that literally) , I'll ask you straight: if given the choice, which military record do you believe most people would choose: Bush or Kerry? - let's put it this way - Kerry would win.

In any case, I was merely pointing out Joe's foolishness for assuming that there would only be one person around that Bush's record wasn't impressive.

"I'll bet if you take a poll of the military of who they'd rather have as C.I.C. - let's put it this way - Kerry would lose."

The fact that more people in the military might vote for Bush doesn't mitigate the fact that the Right-wing slime machine is attacking the military generally as it attempts to discredit Kerry's record.

bushgirlsgonewild

I apologize for the PUSSY comment; from now on I will refer to whining little nut-sack lickers as “ditchbitches”.

Deoxy

AB,

"Exactly, take Bush (please!) while in the 'pussy guard'..."

Um, yeah, that's an attack on Bush and not the Guard.

While I note that some on the right are doing exactly as you said, it's just a rare "shoe on the other foot" moment (which I do not condone) - the left has a long and gallant history of serving up American troops on the alter of ideology (Kerry's senate testimony, anyone? And that's just a start). That the right would do it (for once) is pathetic hypocrisy, I agree...

almost as bad as the left suddenly playing up Kerry's record - Kerry being the guy who specifically said that we shouldn't take military record into account when Clinotn was running, remember?

As to the service being an embarrassment, Bush volunteered for a unit that was serving active duty in Vietnam at the time. That's hardly embarrassing. He was commonly rated in the very top ranks as a pilot. Fighter pilot in general at that time (and this one) is not a low-casualty position, even in peace-time. He got out early - so did Kerry. Whoop-dee-do.

Also, there is a REASON people are doubting Kerry's purple hearts - he got three purple hearts in four months, and he had ONE day of light duty (or was it a *whole day* off?) because of his "wounds". Excuse me if I find that hard to believe.

As to purple hearts being handed out by the handful - officers from that time SAID so. I really don't know.

"minimizing the courageousness of every service member who has served in the armed forces" - go look up Kerry's Congressional testimony. The part about war crimes. Then shut up, because you're so full of it, I'm ashamed to share this country with you.

Buddy Larsen

I don't care what Sen. Kerry did in Vietnam, I care what President Kerry will do to the awareness dawning among the MidEast autocracy that it has to change itself or the west is going to do it for them. The 70s and the 90s were each led by Democrats, the 70s let the bad cat out of the bag (the GOP 80s made it fight itself), the 90s let it pounce on us, and now the only question that matters is, what happens now?

The west has to either kill it or get eaten by it. Oddly, we appear to have two perfect candidates, one for either option, hunter or prey. Maybe we'll choose to be prey, because JFKerry has produced acceptable military records. Fine, if we do so, then we deserve whatever happens.

Anonymous Blogger

Chris,

You're right. Not every service man is a hero. Take you for example. I kid ...

But seriously, taking up this whole "bet" theme going on, I bet you won't tell the families of these men: http://www.drudgereport.com/z4.jpg

... that they weren't heroes. They were just "doing [a] job."

And I suppose you think all this: http://www.drudgereport.com/z5.jpg ... is a big waste of time and taxpayer money, since these were guys who were just "doing [a] job."

bushgirlsgonewild

"The part about war crimes. Then shut up, because you're so full of it, I'm ashamed to share this country with you."

Then LEAVE, we don't need your blind-love, like a child for its parent, we need love for America to be GROWN-UP.

"There are two kinds of patriotism -- monarchical patriotism and republican patriotism. In the one case the government and the king may rightfully furnish you their notions of patriotism; in the other, neither the government nor the entire nation is privileged to dictate to any individual what the form of his patriotism shall be.

We have thrown away the most valuable asset we had:-- the individual’s right to oppose both flag and country when he (just he, by himself) believed them to be in the wrong. We have thrown it away; and with it all that was really respectable about that grotesque and laughable word, Patriotism."

- Mark Twain

more_human_than_human

Chris: I would however say that every servicemember that faces >actual combat< is a hero.

Also, while purple hearts may have been relatively easy to get in the Vietnam era, it does mean that Kerry was in the line of fire, facing the enemy directly. That remains nothing to be scoffed at; the same goes for the two more important medals that Kerry received.

For the right wing to try to denigrate and nitpick over Kerry's service in Vietnam - especially in view of their own candidate's shortcomings in this regard - is simply embarrassing.

GWM

Military service has nothing to do with fitness for the Presidency. Look at their actions while in office.

Do they actually do what they say they are going to, or do they bend to just any political wind?

leah

RE: Anonyblogger and BGGW: Weren't liberals the first ones to run off to California. . . I mean, Canada? Weren't San Franciscans the first guys to spit on returning vets? Don't you guys really wish there were 35,000 war dead instead of a measly 700? Didn't all your nasty and ghoulish propaganda and predictions blow up in your face? Aren't servicemen who blow up their officers (like that guy in the run-up to the war) more popular with you than "war heroes", who won't release ALL of their records, both service and medical? Didn't your president clinton share the same "loathing" of the military that you actually do? That allying yourselves with military is a puny, obvious political calculation? That you hate people who confront confronters, question questioners and protest protesters? Just a few questions for you fevered little clot of conspiracy theorists. . .

ed

Actually all those folks running off to Canada were a bit more liberatarian I think.

Machael Strickland

Regardless of his war record, his actions in 1971 render him unfit to be CIC........

ruprecht

BBGW, I would suggest a new tactic. Try being positive about Kerry without Bush bashing and particularly without dengrating the thousands of people that served in the Guard. That shouldn't be hard, after all Kerry still has his medals and all.

The constant Bush bashing and Selected not Elected has worn very thin over the last couple of years and it has not dented Bush's popularity ratings at all.

capt joe

BBGW, I see more hypocrisy in the left. I thought you guys were for gay rights. Your comment on "nut sac...." is definitely an anti gay slur. tsk tsk.

I would propose a base on the west coast, San Diego but you as to muchof a coward to show up.

More bush AWOL stories. Hit and Myth again. If you can't argue the facts, argue the person. Keep trying, Bush's polling numbers kept getting higer after each attack. Bring it on, baby!

As for the silly argument "And you guys (and gals) on the Right have a choice: either you can say, "the military careers of the candidates means nothing" or you can face up to the fact that Kerry's is far and away superior to Bush's."

You guys keep trying to play the military card. You conviently forgot it when you had Clinton. But hey, why bother with consistency. Hobgoblin. small minds.

Well, you brought it up when he was running for the governorship of Texas, he won. You brought it up during 2000, he won. An now you bring it up. The trend says he is going to win again. HA- ha

TM

Ted;

Playing dumb? Moi?

Actually, you have a fair point, and if Nick had confined his criticism to her placement of those nuggets in the lead, I would probably never have gotten started.

However, he seemed quite emphatic that that sort of info would not be in Kerry's military records anywhere. That struck me as silly, so here we are.

And of possibly greater general interest, I have no idea what has gotten into the Bush Girls, and I apologize on their behalf; they (he/she/it) hang around this blog a lot, but evidently have failed to notice that we do try to maintain certain standards as to manners and language.

It's not clear what a constructive next step might be, but perhaps something will occur to me.

Ted Barlow

Tom,

Fair enough. Be well.

Paul H.

Given Mark Twain's personal Civil war record of military service, your quoting of him, Bushgirls, proves Leah's point about your real views. As for myself, I'm grateful for others (long forgotten and not so literate) who came forward in his stead and "faced the fire" back then.

Stop pretending you admire anyone's military service record. Have the intellectual courage to admit you want us all to denounce war and stay within our shores, wringing our hands and pleading for understanding.

Kucinich is your candidate! (alternate: Nader?) So -- be a standup man/ woman/ gay/ lesbian/ transgender/ alien (choose one) and proudly admit it!

Tim

Well, since we're going to make another vet prove his patriotism with ancient documentation after re-electing a questionable draft dodger not so long ago ....

I have a question.

Kerry's Military Service: Navy, 1966-1970; Naval Reserves, 1972-1978

Can anyone tell me whether he was, or was not, serving on active Naval Reserve duty from 1970-1972?

If not, what was his status? If he was, where are the records of his attendance/pay/medical exams, etc.

And does his anti-war activities pose a violation of UCMJ if was still a memeber of the Navy, even as a Reservist?

Tim

memeber -> member (arrgh!)

AST

I can't even read these forms except for the largest type. Some of this reads like boilerplate, with phrases like "dynamic leadership," "always immaculate," etc., but without any experience in reading these things, including the maze of acronyms and initials used, I don't know what to make of them. They look pretty impressive.

What they make me wonder is how a young man who was so enthusiastic about the Navy, able to instill great morale in his men, etc. came back and joined the VVAW, and testified before the Senate that war crimes were common and almost casual and were condoned by officers. He said that he had engaged in war crimes himself.

What does that say about the value of his fitness reports? If the military was as depraved and corrupt as he testified, they don't mean a thing. If they prove that he was a superlative officer, what explains his subsequent testimony?


John Moore (Useful Fools)

Tim

Funny you should ask about the 1970-1972 gap in Kerry's biography! Look here for details and supporting links.

Kerry's biography on his website until recently showed that 1970-1972 gap. It strongly implied that he was not in the service at that time.

Now the dates have been quietly removed, probably because his just released service record shows that he was actually in the Active Naval Reserve from 1970-1972. There is one place, however, that they failed to correct. The contents and URL on Kerry's site can be found by clicking the link above.

I’m waiting for the press to swarm him with questions as to whether he was a deserter, or to provide proof he attended drills, or whether he was AWOL. But I'm not holding my breath.

Kerry was a sworn naval officer when he met with the enemy in Paris, and a sworn naval officer when he urged the US to surrender on the enemy's terms without any guarantee of POW release, and a sworn naval officer when he slandered all Vietnam veterans and his country by falsely accusing us of routinely committing many different war crimes and and atrocities, a sworn naval officer when he told the world that when we returned, we were damaged goods – psychologically damaged by the horrible things he claims we did, and he was a sworn naval officer (inactive reserve by then) when he attended the meeting where senatorial assassinations were discussed (and the fact that they moved the meeting in order to discuss the subject in a more secure location puts lie to the idea that it was brought up and quickly shouted down).

Check here for Kerry's actual testimony with commentary. That location also has a link to CSPAN's full transcript of his testimony, which you can check if you think I am making this stuff up.

For those who would go through the “my candidate’s war record is better than yours,” let me remind you that Benedict Arnold had a far more distinguished military career fighting for the United States than Kerry, in his four months, ever dreamed of.

For those who imagine that Bush’s position got him into the air guard, realize that the TANG at the time was actively recruiting pilots. There was no waiting line, because it required about 2 years of active duty time. The waiting line was for the 6 months NG slots. Bush needed no PI (military for Political Influence) to get in, and his very high score on leadership qualities and his passing score for pilot training was plenty for a unit desperate for pilots. When he joined, he had no way of knowing whether or not he would go to Vietnam. My best friend got into the New Mexico Air Guard (the Tacos) around the same time – and he didn’t have any connections.

It is a fact that military aviation is very dangerous (I got hazardous duty pay for flying on a much safer aircraft – P-3 Orion - than Bush flew), and in actual Vietnam combat, aviators had a much higher casualty rate than any other specialty.

My best friend was killed flying in the New Mexico Air Guard while Bush was in the TANG. Every time I hear people denigrate Bush’s, a little pang of grief goes through me, followed by a wish that I could punch them right through the Internet. Every time you asshats accuse Bush of cowardice by “just” being a pilot in the ANG, you are saying just what sort of clueless idiot you are.


Finally, I am a Vietnam Veteran who joined the Naval Air Reserve the same day that Kerry joined the Navy. I served active duty and reserve duty. I know how the service works and I know how the Reserve works, and I was dismayed at how easily Kerry's pit-bulls blew smoke up the rears of the press on Bush's service.

If there is anyone out there who thinks that Bush's service is less than honorable or less than adequate, this is one Vietnam Veteran that is happy to tell you that you are full of it. When you join the military, you let them roll the dice with your future. Bush and Kerry did that. Bush volunteered for Vietnam (but didn't have enough flight hours, and as he found out, wouldn't be able to get enough because they were retiring the F-102). Kerry volunteered for relatively safe coastal patrol duties, but the dice were rolled two weeks after he was in country, and the Swift Boats were deployed to much more dangerous duty up river.

But I am not going to denigrate his service. People shot at him, and he shot at people, and that means he did what many honorable men did in that war. My problem is with his behavior after he gets out.

And you will find that there are millions of veterans angry at Kerry, because military people (with at least one obvious exception) hae a strong sense of honor and detest people who do what Kerry did in 1971.

Sure, you'll find a few vets for Kerry (be sure and examinetheir DD-214 to make sure they aren't making up their mlitary history like the people who "testified" at the "Winter Soldier" "Investigation").

straws

John,

How about at citation or link for the investigation that revealed the real status of the "veterans" at the Winter Soldier meeting.

John Moore (Useful Fools)

straws

My primary source is the book "Stolen Valor" by Burkett and Whitley. Other sources are cited in the book.

There is a site set up to debunk that investigation among other things. It has additional material and citations.

TM

Kerry's biography on his website until recently showed that 1970-1972 gap. It strongly implied that he was not in the service at that time.

Now the dates have been quietly removed, probably because his just released service record shows that he was actually in the Active Naval Reserve from 1970-1972. There is one place, however, that they failed to correct. The contents and URL on Kerry's site can be found by clicking the link above.

OK, following the links took me to the records showing him as in the Naval Reserve from Jan 1970 to July 1972, after which he was transferred to the Standby Reserve.

However, I don't think the veil of secrecy is about to drop - the latest Kerry press release mentions the gap:

As a Decorated Combat Veteran of the Vietnam War, John Kerry Knows the Importance of a Strong Defense - Kerry volunteered for the United States Navy after college and served from 1966 through 1970 rising to the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade. Afterwards, Kerry continued his military service in the United States Naval Reserves from 1972 through 1978.

Maybe some staffer missed the memo and put the unrevised bio on the wire. Or maybe it means nothing.

Here is what the Boston Globe told us a year ago:

On Jan. 3, 1970, Kerry requested that his superior, Rear Admiral Walter F. Schlech, Jr., grant him an early discharge so that he could run for Congress on an antiwar platform.

"I just said to the admiral: `I've got to get out. I've got to go do what I came back here to do, which is, end this thing,'" Kerry recalled, referring to the war. The request was approved, and Kerry was honorably discharged, which he said shaved six months from his commitment.

Well, he wasn't discharged - he was transferred to the Naval Reserve. Puzzling.

Fortunately, Michael Kranish of the Globe has been on this like a cheap fedora, and his e-mail is featured prominently:

Michael Kranish can be reached by email at [email protected]

marc

To Mike7411 the first post in this thread:

After 20 years in the US Navy (ret 2001) I can readily attest to the fact that most if not all fitreps/eval first drafts are written by the service member being evaluated. It is very commonly used as a training method to prepare you for leadership.

I can also affirm that on average 90% of what is in the first draft is taken as fact and appears in the final draft. Bumps, warts, and distortions included.

Medals point of fact: I received 5 Navy Achievement Medals in 20 years. One of which I thought I deserved, 3 that were for political reasons, and the last was written for an act and time period I wasn't assigned to the ship that awarded it. I was TAD to school the entire time frame of the award.

How is that possible? Because Military awards are more about the people giving them than those getting them. A ships Captain's Fitrep will reflect the fact he didn't give out the alloted number of awards each year. And yes their is a quota system, each type of Medal (except Purple Hearts) has a certain number that will be given out each quarter and yearly.

How would your Admiral Boss look upon you if you, as Captain, didn't meet the alloted number?

Care to take a wild guess?

John Moore (Useful Fools)

TM

You give them too much credit. A group of us have been trying for some time to find out his military status during his anti-war activist years. We could not find, in any of the bios published, his 1970-1972 service.

Now when his records are finally released, the biography is changed in at least two places. Do you seriously think that's just a coincidence?

There is a good reason for Kerry to hide his membership in the active Naval Reserve during that time. The oath he took as an officer did not become ineffective while he was still in the service. Just as I did, he would have, at that time, carried a Reserve military ID card.

It's pretty clear he didn't want it known that he was still in the Navy while he was meeting the enemy in Paris, and giving his horribly dishonorable and false testimony before the Senate.

The quote that you include regarding the discharge is significant also. Anyone who has been in the service knows the difference between separation from active duty, and getting a discharge. It's not a casual thing. A discharge means you are now a civlian. Until you get one, you are not a civilian, no matter what your reserve status is.

Kerry received his discharge in Feb, 1978.

Kerry implied he received "an early discharge" in 1970.

So let's add it up:

1) He has misleading statements in his biography suggesting that he was not in the military from 70-72. They give his Naval Reserve service time as 72-78 when is was actually 70-78.

2) He told the Boston Globe that he requested an early discharge from the Navy, which is not true. He requested separation from active duty - a very major difference. Again, this implies (especially to those who have been in the service) that he left the service in 1970, which is not true.

3) He was finally forced to publish his records after many demands (although he has yet to publish all of them, unlike Bush). When he does so, his biography is changed to eliminate references to his dates of service (except in one place deep in his web site).

4) He requests his military records for some reason in 1985. They show him as having been on active status in the Naval Reserve.

5) He again requests his records in 1986 (and remember, he was a Senator at the time), and somehow they now show him as having inactive status in the Naval Reserve (but still in the regular Reserve, not the Standby Reserve).

If any of the people who questioned Bush's service record saw this, with the name Bush instead of Kerry, we would be hearing howling from the rooftops. This is a clear pattern of deception and then an attempt to cover up the deception.

The document you found is one of the two I mentioned. They were not available until the last day or two. You can find the other in the same place.

The press release doesn't mention the gap - it contains exactly the old biographical material which has been removed from the website (just as the one paragraph deep in the site does). If the press release were honest, it would not be worded as follows:

served from 1966 through 1970 rising to the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade. Afterwards, Kerry continued his military service in the United States Naval Reserves from 1972 through 1978

Reading that paragraph, when does it say he was in the Naval Reserves?

Answer: 1972-1978.

When was he actually in the Naval Reserves?

Answer 1970-1978.

In other words the document lies. It is worded in sort of a Clintonesque manner, but it is clearly meant to have you believe what it says: his service in the Naval Reserves was 1972-1978.

Tim

John

OK, here are some documents from Kerry's site that help clear up his status.

He enlisted in the Navy Reserves for a six year term in Feb 1966.

His OCS Agreement states a requirement for a maximum of 3 years active duty with a combined 5 years active/ready reserve and the last year eligible for standby reserve.

He requested release from active duty Nov 1969, and was released Jan 1970 to the inactive Navy Reserve.

He was required to notify the Navy of any travel to a foreign country for more than 30 days and would still be under UCMJ.

The foreign travel notification requirement is interesting in that after his wedding in May 1970 he traveled to Jamaica for his honeymoon and then before his April 1971 Senate testimony to Paris where he met North Vietnamese negotiators, perhaps as part of the VVAW peace meeting with the NLF.

I doubt that these requirements were strictly enforced by the Navy for inactive reservists, and the FBI seemed to be keeping pretty good track of Kerry between 1970 and 1972 based on his VVAW activity - so I would think if they wanted to go after VVAW members (at least those that ACTUALLY were vets) they could have.

TM

Ok, good jobs by Tim and John.

As to John's points (4) and (5), the active reserve.inactive reserve question seems to be answered in the ""requested" release document linked by Tim - the orders (from 1969) say he is transferred to "inactive" status effective Jan 1970.

However, the larger question also seems to be answered - point 6 (on p. 2) quite clearly states what we already knew - "you are advised that your release from active duty does not terminate your status as a member of the Naval Reserve."

John, I haven't been beating my head against a wall on this, and perhaps later I will, but I am strangely confident that M. Kranish will be on this - it does appear that Kerry misled him in what is meant to be the definitve reporting of Kerry's career.

Time will tell.

Stan

Just stumbled on this post -- I served in the Army Reserves during the Vietnam era.

I can safely say that NO ONE joined the guard or reserves after about 1966 who wasn't doing so to try to stay out of Vietnam. Some units did get sent to war (actually Army units were more likely to get called up), but it strains the imagination that anyone would use the "chance" that your unit "might" get called up to compare service in the guard/reserves with voluntering for active duty.

Cecil Turner

"I can safely say that NO ONE joined the guard or reserves after about 1966 who wasn't doing so to try to stay out of Vietnam."

Jeez, Stan, you're talking literally millions of people here. You can't possibly "safely say" anything about all of them. (And many were so conflicted about the war that it's hard to be certain of the motivations of any single one of them.)

Kerry tried and failed to get a deferment. He got an early-out from combat, and an early-out from the Navy. I'm not a Navy fitrep expert (though I've written scores of the USMC version), but these look like middle-of-the-road reports to me. There's an old saying about there being "a fine line between a medal and an a**-chewing"--and Kerry's Silver Star in particular looks like a close call. There's nothing wrong with any of the above, but pretending he's some sort of warrior demigod is not on.

On his actions after the war, however, there is little gray area. Either he slandered his fellow soldiers, or there's nothing laudable about anyone's Vietnam service. Mack Owens's NRO article is probably the best recap available. If we're going to compare the candidates' war service, Kerry's VVAW activities are part of the picture. And IMHO, the damage to the war effort from his part in Winter Soldiers more than balances his creditable service in Vietnam.

Bill

I am a retired Naval Officer and a "mustang" (former enlisted.) I served aboard the USS Gridley while John Kerry was aboard. I too volunteered for Vietnam and served there at the same time as Kerry. Based on the above, here is my take:
Kerry's fitreps are a fine example of what we used to call "damning with faint praise." Those were the kind of fitreps that would never get him past LT (where a large culling out occurs.) The Navy is about ships and for a Surface Line Officer, to recommend someone of his rank for Aide or Embassy duty is a kiss of death.
Unlike Kerry, I spent a full 12 months in Vietnam. Unlike him, I didn't receive any wounds. I was not in a direct combat role, though I did dodge a lot of incoming morter and rocket rounds. I would have rather died than leave earlier -- Its an honor thing that many people who have not been in the military just don't understand. I guess Kerry didn't understand either.

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Wilson/Plame