Recent Posts

Posted in Uncategorized

Global Eco Adventures graduates three new “Ninja Divers” in Nassau

South Carolinians dive with sharks during advanced SCUBA training in the Bahamas

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Global expedition leader Tom Mullikin of Camden, South Carolina-based Global Eco Adventures (GEA) trained and graduated three new specialist SCUBA divers through GEA’s unique “Ninja Diver Shark Awareness” program off Nassau, earlier this month.

The program – designed to educate SCUBA divers and other marine-exploration enthusiasts about sharks, the nature of sharks, shark habitats, and the diversity and numbers of shark populations worldwide – incorporates intermediate and advanced SCUBA diving and shark diving skills with martial-arts breathing techniques (which is why the title, “ninja diver”) to better enable divers operating in potentially dangerous waters.

“It’s a unique combination which has proven to be extremely effective,” says Mullikin; GEA’s founding president, the ninja-diver course developer and the dive instructor conducting the training in the Bahamas, July 6-9, 2018. “This 15-hour course and subsequent certification involves extensive training in martial arts breathing exercises – also taught at the Mullikin Martial Arts Studio in Camden – which allows students to better control their breathing while operating for an extended period of time in open water, underwater.”

Continue reading “Global Eco Adventures graduates three new “Ninja Divers” in Nassau”

Posted in Military History

July 17 in military history

1898: Spanish forces under the command of Gen. José Toral surrender Cuba to Gen. William R. Shafter, practically ending Col. (and future president) Teddy Roosevelt’s “splendid little war.” In December, the Treaty of Paris puts an official end to the Spanish-American War.

1927: When Nicaraguan rebels attack the Marine garrison at Ocotal, Maj. Ross E. Rowell’s Marine Corps DeHavilland DH-4 biplanes disperse the force with strafing runs – and the first use of dive bombing in support of ground forces. The American occupation of Nicaragua will last another six years, but after Ocotal, rebels will never again make the mistake of mounting a large scale attack on U.S. forces.

1944: Two transport ships are destroyed – along with over 300 sailors and civilians killed and nearly 400 wounded – when ammunition being loaded aboard the ships at Port Chicago, Calif. explodes. One vessel is so badly obliterated that no identifiable pieces can be found. The explosion was reportedly heard 200 miles away, and registered a 3.4 on the Richter scale.

Continue reading “July 17 in military history”

Posted in Military History

July 16 in military history

1861: Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell’s 35,000-man army departs Washington, D.C., marching to meet Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard’s Confederate force assembled along Bull Run some 25 miles away. Just weeks ago, McDowell was a major and now leads the largest field army assembled in North America to that point.

1945: (featured image) The atomic age dawns when man’s first nuclear weapon is tested at Alamogordo Air Base, N.M. (present-day White Sands Missile Range). The shock wave from the 19-kiloton device, nicknamed “Gadget,” could be felt 100 miles away and the mushroom cloud reached over six miles in the air. (note: the above image is taken just 16 milliseconds after detonation. The fireball is already 660 feet high.)

Within hours of the Trinity test, the cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA-35) departs San Francisco on a top-secret mission. The un-escorted cruiser sprints across the Pacific at a record-setting pace, bound for Tinian. On board is the uranium and parts for the “Little Boy” weapon that will level Hiroshima on August 6.

Continue reading “July 16 in military history”

Posted in Uncategorized

Ryan Rawl Memorial Event kicks-off Independence Day in S.C.

By W. Thomas Smith Jr.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) Deputy and S.C. Army National Guard (SCARNG) officer Ryan Rawl will “never be forgotten,” says Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. It’s a pledge that has been realized publicly every year since Ryan’s death in Afghanistan in 2012 through the RYAN RAWL MEMORIAL EVENT, this year a station-to-station running-and-exercise event based on the Crossfit model and various military-law-enforcement physical fitness regimens.

As in previous years, the 2018 Ryan Rawl Memorial Event was held on the S.C. State House grounds, in Columbia, July 4. The 8:00 a.m. (Eastern) event, today, was hosted and facilitated by RCSD with many RCSD deputies, law enforcement officers and first responders from other area-agencies, Columbia business leaders, and fitness enthusiasts participating.

“It’s a great kickoff to all Independence Day celebrations in the Midlands,” said Sheriff Lott, adding, “Ryan will never be forgotten; not as long as I’m sheriff.”

A former Lexington High School football player and wrestler who later graduated from The Citadel, Rawl began serving RCSD in 2005. In 2006, he also received his U.S. Army commission in the SCARNG.

Continue reading “Ryan Rawl Memorial Event kicks-off Independence Day in S.C.”

Posted in Military History

July 3 in military history

1775: Gen. George Washington, the newly appointed commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, takes formal command of his troops in Cambridge, Mass.

1778: A force of 1,000 Loyalists and Iroquois warriors commanded by Col. John Butler attacks American fortifications and settlements in Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Valley, killing some 360 militiamen and destroying 1,000 houses. Reportedly, women and children are also killed in Butler’s “Wyoming massacre,” and those that escape the slaughter will die of starvation and exposure.

1863: During the third – and final – day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Gen. Robert E. Lee orders three divisions of Lt. Gen. James Longstreet’s Confederate soldiers across open ground to assault the Union position on Cemetery Ridge. Union fire shatters the rebels, inflicting thousands of casualties before the troops can return to the Confederate lines after the failed attack, which becomes known as “Pickett’s Charge.”

Fearing a Union counter-attack, Lee orders Maj. Gen. George Pickett to rally what is left of his division, Pickett replies, “General, I have no division.” After three days of fighting at Gettysburg, Lee abandons his invasion and retreats to Virginia. In terms of total casualties, Gettysburg is the deadliest battle of the Civil War with some 50,000 soldiers from both armies killed, wounded, or captured.

Continue reading “July 3 in military history”

Posted in Uncategorized

S.C. Free Clinic Association recognized by U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The South Carolina Free Clinic Association (SCFCA) and the association’s member clinics were recognized by U.S. Congressman Ralph Norman on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Thurs., June 7, 2018: The five-minute recognition airing live on C-SPAN.

[Please see https://tinyurl.com/ydd9uxc6]

“The South Carolina Free Clinic Association is an independent, nonprofit membership organization that provides training, research, resource development and advocacy to member free clinics,” said Congressman Norman, who represents S.C. from the Palmetto State’s 5th Congressional District. “The South Carolina Free Clinic Association represents and supports our state’s network of 40 free clinics in 25 counties across S.C. The member free clinics provide comprehensive care to economically disadvantaged individuals all across our great state including those individuals who are both uninsured and the underinsured.”

Continue reading “S.C. Free Clinic Association recognized by U.S. Congress”

Posted in Military History

June 15 in military history

1775: John Adams of the Second Congressional Congress nominates George Washington, a fellow congressional delegate and veteran of the French and Indian Wars, to lead the newly formed Continental Army. Washington is unanimously elected.

1864: Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton signs an order setting aside 200 acres of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s estate as a cemetery for fallen Civil War soldiers. Today, Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place to over 400,000 fallen military members.

1877: Former slave Henry O. Flipper is the first black cadet to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. 2nd Lt. Flipper will lead the Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry during the Apache Wars.

1944: Following a three-hour Naval and air bombardment, 8,000 Marines under the command of Maj. Gen. Holland M. “Howlin’ Mad” Smith (a recipient of France’s Croix de Guerre for his actions during the battle of Belleau Wood in World War I), hit the beaches of Saipan. The Japanese war planners are caught by surprise, and by nightfall the 2d and 4th Marine Divisions have a beachhead spanning six miles and reaching inland nearly 1,500 yards. Japanese propaganda leads its people to believe that unspeakable acts await anyone unlucky enough to be captured by the U.S. military, and thousands of Japanese civilians will leap to their deaths from the cliffs of Saipan.

On July 7, some 3,000 Japanese troops charge forward in the largest banzai charge of the war, nearly wiping out two battalions of soldiers from the 27th Infantry Division. The Japanese defenders inflict 14,000 casualties on the Americans, but the island is declared secure on July 9.

Continue reading “June 15 in military history”

Posted in Military History

June 14 in military history

1775: Following the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the Second Continental Congress establishes the Continental Army. Ten rifle companies are formed: six from Pennsylvania, two from Maryland, and two from Virginia. The force is disbanded after the American Revolution, but in 1792, President George Washington forms the Legion of the United States – the nation’s first “professional” fighting force – renamed the United States Army in 1796.

1777: Congress formally declares the “Stars and Stripes” as the official flag of the thirteen United States. The declaration resolves that it consists of “thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

1863: Days after bragging that he could hold the town of Winchester (Va.) against a Confederate force of any size, Maj. Gen. Robert H. Milroy’s garrison is surrounded and defeated by a corps led by Maj. Gen. Richard S. Ewell. The Rebels capture 4,000 Union troops, hundreds of wagons and horses, and 23 artillery pieces at the cost of only some 250 casualties in the Second Battle of Winchester.

1918: During a German artillery barrage of explosive and gas shells, Marine Gunnery Sgt. Fred W. Stockton gives his gas mask to a wounded comrade, exposing himself to the deadly agent. Stockton will die eight days later from gas exposure. 20 years later, his former lieutenant during the Battle of Belleau Wood (Clifton B. Cates, who will become the 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps) and Barak Mattingly (the man Stockham saved), succeed in their efforts to award Stockham the Medal of Honor, and a destroyer is later named in his honor.

Continue reading “June 14 in military history”

Posted in Military History

June 13 in military history

1777: Marquis de Lafayette lands in South Carolina, having crossed the Atlantic on a ship that the 19-year-old French officer purchased with his own money. He soon makes fast friends with Gen. George Washington and the Continental Congress, and is offered a commission as a major general.

1917: Taking off from bases in Belgium, German Gotha bombers target London for the first time. Hundreds of civilians are killed and the air raids would continue, virtually unopposed, for the next month.

1942: While patrolling a beach on New York’s Long Island, Coast Guardsman John C. Cullen catches four German saboteurs posing as stranded fishermen. The Germans escape, but the leader turns himself in to the FBI – kicking off a two-week manhunt for the remaining Abwehr military intelligence operatives (all are American citizens born in Germany). The lid is blown off “Operation Pastorius,” the German plot to sabotage strategic American targets. All of the agents are captured and six are executed.

1943: 76 B-17F Flying Fortress bombers set out to attack the U-boat pens at Kiel, Germany. 60 “Forts” hit the pens, and Luftwaffe aircraft knock 22 more out of the sky in the heaviest fighter attacks on the Eighth Air Force to date. While gunners claim at least 39 German aircraft, 23 bombers are damaged – one so critical that it is no longer operable. Three airmen are killed, 20 wounded, and 213 are missing in action. The costly raid will lead war planners to realize that the heavily armed B-17s can no longer defend themselves against German aircraft. Escort fighters will begin accompanying bombers into Europe.

Continue reading “June 13 in military history”

Posted in Military History

This week in military history: Battle of Saipan and Kedenburg’s Medal of Honor

 

Click above for the abridged audio version, or here to watch this week’s History Matters segment on CRTV’s EXPERIENCE MATTERS

On June 12, 1944 (D-Day + 6), Paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division capture Carentan, France after three days of heavy urban combat, finally linking the Utah and Omaha beachheads. Meanwhile, a third wave of troops and supplies land at the beaches of Normandy. Over 300,000 men, tens of thousands of vehicles, and hundreds of thousands of tons of materiel have hit the beach so far.

That same day in the Pacific, airplanes from Adm. Marc Mitscher’s Task Force 58, consisting of nine aircraft carriers and six light carriers, pound Japanese positions in the Marianas Islands in preparation for the upcoming invasions. The next day, over a dozen battleships join in the attack and being leveling the defenses of Saipan.

This week also marks the first American bombing missions of both world wars. On June 12, 1918, eight pilots of the 96th Aero Squadron conduct the first-ever American bombing mission in Europe, attacking rail yards at Etain, France. 24 years later (to the day), Col. Harry A. Halverson leads a flight of 13 B-24 Liberator bombers from Libya 1,000 miles to the Axis oil fields at Ploesti, Romania. One plane has to turn back due to mechanical issues, and the bombers inflict minimal damage to the target. Crews land at Turkey (where they are interned), Iraq, and Syria.

Continue reading “This week in military history: Battle of Saipan and Kedenburg’s Medal of Honor”