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Posted in Military History

16 October: Today in U.S. military history

L-R: Orlando, Bellavia, and Grilley

Today’s post is in honor of three 716th Military Police Battalion soldiers killed during a firefight in Karbala, Iraq on this date in 2003. Killed were Lt. Col. Kim S. Orlando (43, of Tennessee), SSgt. Joseph P. Bellavia (28, Wakefield, Mass.), and Cpl. Sean R. Grilley (24, San Bernardino, Calif.) Orlando was battalion commander and had served in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Seven U.S. soldiers were wounded in the attack.


1821: The schooner USS Enterprise (the third of 12 so-named Continental and U.S. Naval vessels) intercepts a flotilla of four ships led by the infamous Capt. Charles Gibbs as the pirates attack American and British-flagged ships in Cuban waters. Although outnumbered, Lt. Cmdr. John Kearney and his crew quickly defeat the pirate force, and Gibbs escapes into the jungles of Cuba as three of his ships are burned. Gibbs will eventually be caught and is one of the last people executed for piracy in the United States.

1859: A small party of abolitionists led by John Brown occupies the military arsenal at Harper’s Ferry (modern-day West Virginia), hoping to inspire a slave rebellion. However, Brown’s uprising does not materialize and local militia force the rebels into a firehouse. A company of Marines under the command of Brevet Colonel Robert E. Lee is dispatched to the scene and after an unsuccessful attempt by Lee’s aide-de-camp, Lt. J.E.B. Stuart, to convince Brown to surrender, the Marines assault the barricaded fire station and bring an end to the crisis.

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Posted in Military History

15 October: Today in U.S. military history

Today’s post is in honor of Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Hines, who gave his life for our country on this day in 2006. The 26-year-old native of Olney, Ill. perished during combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq. Hines was serving with the 3rd Battalion, 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve.


1917: When a German submarine launches a torpedo at USS Cassin (DD-43) during an escort patrol, Gunner’s Mate First Class Osmond Kelly Ingram realizes the torpedo will impact the destroyer’s store of depth charges. Instead of remaining in a position of safety, he charges across the deck to the depth charges to jettison the stockpiled explosives that could sink his ship. Ingram is killed while trying to save Cassin, becoming the first U.S. sailor killed during World War I and is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

1918: (featured image) Near Landres-et-St. Georges, France, Lt. Col. William “Wild Bill” Donovan earns the Medal of Honor while leading his soldiers during an assault on strong German positions. Wounded in the leg by a burst of machinegun fire, Donovan refuses evacuation and remains in command until his unit is withdrawn. Donovan is named Coordinator of Information by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941 and he will form the Office of Strategic Services the following year – the predecessor to today’s Central Intelligence Agency.

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Posted in Fitness

Lewis and Clark Ride: It’s beginning to look a lot like badlands

Ok, maybe this isn’t technically classified as badlands, which French traders would have called mauvaises terres pour traverser (French for “bad lands to cross”) in Lewis and Clark’s day, but it was exciting to see scenery I haven’t come across before.

Here I am just northwest of Huff, North Dakota, the Missouri River winding just out of view to the right. Lewis and Clark passed through this region 215 years ago — nearly to the day. Continue reading “Lewis and Clark Ride: It’s beginning to look a lot like badlands”

Posted in Military History

9 October: Today in U.S. military history

USS Guavina (AGSS-362) fueling a Martin P5M-1 Marlin of Patrol Squadron 44 (VP-44) in the open sea off Norfolk, Virginia (USA), in 1955.

1861: 1,000 Confederate soldiers land on Florida’s Santa Rosa Island and assault Union-held Fort Pickens. The attackers withdraw after the federal guns inflict 90 casualties. Fort Pickens sits across the bay from Naval Air Station Pensacola — the birthplace of Naval aviation — and coastal defense guns were installed at the old fort during World War II.

1940: After USS Nautilus (SS-168) conducts a successful test refueling of a seaplane, Secretary of the Navy William F. Knox approves a plan for 24 submarines to each carry 20,000 gallons of aviation gasoline for refueling seaplanes at sea.

1950: As the U.S. military crosses into North Korea, the 1st Cavalry Division spearheads the assault. Pfc. Robert H. Young is wounded once by an enemy barrage, but he refuses medical treatment and remains on the line. Wounded a second time and awaiting treatment, he springs back into action when the enemy threatens to surround the Americans. Firing from an exposed position, he kills five enemy soldiers and is hit a third time, but remains on the field — directing friendly tanks to destroy enemy gun positions. Young is hit by an enemy mortar blast while he is treating his wounded comrades, but despite his multiple grievous wounds, he instructs the medics to help the others first.

Pfc. Young will perish from his wounds on November 9, 1950, and is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Continue reading “9 October: Today in U.S. military history”

Posted in Articles

“America’s Law Enforcement Agency” produces TOP COP

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Richland County Sheriff’s Department (aka “America’s Law Enforcement Agency”) won several awards during last week’s S.C. Law Enforcement Officers Association 2019 Police Olympics, including the coveted “Top Cop” award, beating all participating competitors statewide. The competition was held Sat., Oct. 5, at the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy.

The law enforcement related events included shooting skills competition, a strongman event (categorized into age, gender, and weight classes), and a tactical athlete event. The highest scoring participant based on all three events was awarded the title, “Top Cop.”

RCSD Corporal Warren Cavanagh [pictured shooting] competed in all three events and won “Top Tactical Athlete.” He also won the overall “Top Cop” award. Continue reading ““America’s Law Enforcement Agency” produces TOP COP”