With unconfirmed reports of Turkish units moving to the Syrian border, Turkey is poised to take the lead on a NATO mission no one has wanted to touch. Turkey taking the reins shows optimism for future potential on NATO’s heart monitor. NATO is not merely a support structure for US operations abroad, but as indicated by Turkey’s actions, an institution by which any member state can take the lead on security issues no matter how feckless the majority.
Turkey has been sitting on the periphery for a long time. The nation many dismissed as a NATO ornament and an EU impossibility has proven itself an economic powerhouse, a political leader, and now a military spearhead. “Everybody should know that Turkey’s wrath is just as strong and devastating as its friendship is valuable,” said President Erdogan. With the speed and rigor of the Turkish response both politically and militarily, perhaps the long-ago sick man of Europe will become its backbone.
If you’re in the DC area next Tuesday, we hope you’ll stop by the Iron Horse Tap for our June meet-up. Come by to swap ideas, meet some interesting people, and catch up over a beer. We’ll be meeting in the downstairs bar, and there’ll be a digital camouflage boonie hat on hand to help identify us.
When: Tuesday, June 26th: 6pm to 10pm
Where: Iron Horse Taproom (downstairs), 507 7th St NW, Washington, DC
Midway between Archives/Navy Memorial and Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro stops
Today’s military is an urgent place. Exclamation marks, capitalization, asterisks, and all sorts of extra accoutrements of PowerPoint panic or Outlook outrage are used to signal that yes, the supplementary quarterly alcohol awareness training is critical to ship’s readiness. As we have turned inward in a time of relative maritime peace, trading many of our helmets for hardhats, terms such as I(Insurv)-minus 400 have replaced the likes of D-Day and H-Hour. However, many approach these administrative and maintenance challenges with greater trepidation and anxiety than any young GI waiting in the landing craft with his rifle.
Today let us remember that exactly 68 years ago roughly 500,000 teenagers stormed through the bloody foam of a pounding surf into the mouth of German guns and likely death. The urgency was real, as men traded their lives for liberty in the most gruesome of ways. On this day, men were blown apart in their own landing craft before the shore. Soldiers and marines drowned under the weight of their own packs in water shallower than a public pool. Waves of dedicated men lost everything they had before even setting foot on the continent they had resolved to save. With a mixture of fear and resolution, an entire generation of boys became old men in a matter of hours.
It is well that Memorial Day, Midway, and D-Day come within such close proximity to one another; In our fast-paced world where agitation and consternation can be transmitted at the speed of an email or a cellphone call, it’s a concentrated reminder of the young man huddled behind an anti-tank caltrop. Surrounded by the dead and halfway there, he has no radio, no phone, and no way to communicate his fears; he concentrates on his shipmates, solutions, and survival. There is no room for complaint, as enough whining is being done by the bullets, bombs, and mortar rounds falling all around. However, he does take a moment to throw up a prayer, SUBJ: Re:URGENT.
Matt Hipple is a surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy. The opinions and views expressed in this post are his alone and are presented in his personal capacity. They do not necessarily represent the views of U.S. Department of Defense or the U.S. Navy.
With so much to read in the naval blogosphere this week, don’t forget about Navy Warfare Development Command’s Junior Leader Innovation Symposium. The event is this Wednesday, and all the other details are here. Importantly, you don’t have to be in Hampton Roads to attend – you can also do so virtually via Defense Connect Online.
Events such as these provide an opportunity to network with like-minded officers and Sailors and build the intellectual and social capital to advance the art and science of naval warfare, particularly at the operational and tactical level. The author of a recent USNI Blog post on tactics, LT Rob McFall, will be there as will manyotherimportantpeople. Don’t miss this opportunity!
If you can’t make it, I will definitely be writing up some thoughts in a post later this week.