In June of 1950, the United States answered the call to defend freedom abroad by joining the Republic of Korea in its fight against the communist regime in North Korea and eventually the People’s Republic of China.  After 3 years of violent combat across the Korean peninsula, an armistice was signed by representatives of the United States as head of the United Nations Command, the People’s Republic of China, and North Korea.  For nearly 70 years, the ensuing peace and the abiding relationship between the Korean and American people has been the foundation for the thriving democracy and incredible economic progress of the Republic of Korea.

#OnThisDay in 1999, PFC Barry Winchell, U.S. Army, Murdered

It can be easy to forget the time before the 2011 repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. As we’re now over a decade into allowing lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) servicemembers to serve openly and a year and half out from the lifting of the ban on transgender people, there are countless stories of folx enduring the hard realities of homophobia and transphobia. Before DADT’s repeal, it was not uncommon to find threads of attacks and abuse woven into the fabric of our nation’s fighting forces. Unfortunately, there a more unknown stories than those we’ve come to learn about even now. But those we’ve seen come to light paint a picture of a time when we absolutely HAD to serve and suffer in silence or face humiliation and harm to our bodies, hearts, and minds. Today marks the tragic anniversary of one such story, a light snuffed out: the death of Army PFC Barry Winchell.

Continue reading “#OnThisDay in 1999, PFC Barry Winchell, U.S. Army, Murdered”

On this day, the Air Corps Act of 1926 changed the name of the Air Service to Air Corps, but left unaltered its status as a combatant arm of the U.S. Army. The act also established the Office of Assistant Secretary of War for Air. The Air Corps had at this time 919 officers and 8,725 enlisted men, and its “modern aeronautical equipment” consisted of 60 pursuit planes and 169 observation planes; total serviceable aircraft of all types numbered less than 1,000.

June 2022 Observances

Do you ever wonder how organizations, businesses, and individuals know when a certain observance or awareness month, week, or day is? If so, below is a tailored list of observances for the month of June 2022 specifically for military, Veterans, and LGBTQ+ folx. We may issue graphics for some of the events listed below. Because there are so many events and awareness campaigns, the listing is not all-inclusive; that said, if you do not see something here, it’s not because it’s not important, it’s likely because it was unknown at the time of this post’s publication.

Continue reading “June 2022 Observances”

On June 6, 1944, Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower gives the go-ahead for the largest amphibious military operation in history: Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of northern France, commonly known as D-Day.

By daybreak, 18,000 British and American parachutists were already on the ground. An additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion. At 6:30 a.m., American troops came ashore at Utah and Omaha beaches

The British and Canadians overcame light opposition to capture Gold, Juno and Sword beaches; so did the Americans at Utah. The task was much tougher at Omaha beach, however, where the U.S. First Division battled high seas, mist, mines, burning vehicles—and German coastal batteries, including an elite infantry division, which spewed heavy fire. Many wounded Americans ultimately drowned in the high tide. British divisions, which landed at Gold, Juno, and Sword beaches, and Canadian troops also met with heavy German fire.

But by day’s end, 155,000 Allied troops–Americans, British and Canadians–had successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches and were then able to push inland. Within three months, the northern part of France would be freed and the invasion force would be preparing to enter Germany, where they would meet up with Soviet forces moving in from the east.

Before the Allied assault, Hitler’s armies had been in control of most of mainland Europe and the Allies knew that a successful invasion of the continent was central to winning the war. Hitler knew this too, and was expecting an assault on northwestern Europe in the spring of 1944. He hoped to repel the Allies from the coast with a strong counterattack that would delay future invasion attempts, giving him time to throw the majority of his forces into defeating the Soviet Union in the east. Once that was accomplished, he believed an all-out victory would soon be his.

For their part, the Germans suffered from confusion in the ranks and the absence of celebrated commander Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, who was away on leave. At first, Hitler, believing that the invasion was a feint designed to distract the Germans from a coming attack north of the Seine River, refused to release nearby divisions to join the counterattack and reinforcements had to be called from further afield, causing delays.

He also hesitated in calling for armored divisions to help in the defense. In addition, the Germans were hampered by effective Allied air support, which took out many key bridges and forced the Germans to take long detours, as well as efficient Allied naval support, which helped protect advancing Allied troops.

Though D-Day did not go off exactly as planned, as later claimed by British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery–for example, the Allies were able to land only fractions of the supplies and vehicles they had intended in France–the invasion was a decided success. By the end of June, the Allies had 850,000 men and 150,000 vehicles in Normandy and were poised to continue their march across Europe.

The heroism and bravery displayed by troops from the Allied countries on D-Day has served as inspiration for several films, most famously The Longest Day (1962) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). It was also depicted in the HBO series Band of Brothers (2001).

Source: – D-Day: Allies storm Normandy’s coast

#OnThisDay in 1948, the U.S. Air Force Reserve was Established

Today, the U.S. Air Force Reserve turns 74!

Formally established in 1948, the Air Force Reserve stemmed from the Preparedness Movement and the National Defense Act of 1916 that authorized an Organized Reserve Corps. The Corps served as “a body of experienced technical men to organize and train in peacetime and be available when needed for war.”

In April 1948, President Harry Truman saw the Air Force Reserve as a program similar to one established during World War I when Reservist stood ready to serve during wartime. Since it’s formation, the Air Force Reserve has evolved from a reserve force for emergencies to a major command (MAJCOM) of the U.S. Air Force.

Today, the Air Force Reserve performs about 20% of the work of the Air Force conducting traditional flying missions and more specialized ones like Weather Reconnaissance, Modular Aerial Fire Fighting, and Personnel Recovery. Headquartered at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, there are approximately 70,000 Reservists comprised of commissioned officers and enlisted airmen.

To ALL U.S. Air Force Reservists out there, thank you for stepping up in service of the nation and Happy Birthday, U.S. Air Force Reserve!

On This Day in 2015, Operation FREEDOM’S SENTINEL Began

After 13 years of combat operations in response to and following the attacks on September 11, 2001, the U.S. military began a new phase in what was known as Operation FREEDOM’S SENTINEL. This after U.S. combat ops officially concluded on December 31, 2014; those ops were known as Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF).

Operation FREEDOM’S SENTINEL (OFS) was part of the larger Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) and a part of the NATO-led RESOLUTE SUPPORT (RS) mission. OFS had two components: working with allies as part of RS and “counterterrorism operations against the remnants of Al-Qaeda to ensure that Afghanistan is never again used to stage attacks against our homeland,” according to SECDEF Chuck Hagel.

At the start of OFS in 2015, U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan were at about 9,800; by 2019, that number increased to 14,000 troops that supported RS and OFS.

Operation FREEDOM’S SENTINEL was expected to formally end on August 31, 2021; however, the complete withdrawal of U.S. military personnel concluded on August 30, 2021 following the advancement of Taliban forces throughout Afghanistan. The plan was to continue airstrikes on the Taliban after military personnel withdrew but those plans ended with the Islamic Republic fell.

According to the DoD, Operation FREEDOM’S SENTINEL saw 107 total deaths (51 KIA) and 612 WIA.

In March 2015, it was announced that OFS qualified for the award of the GWOT Expeditionary Medal and the GWOT Service Medal.

The SITREP thanks all Veterans and Servicemembers who were a part of OFS and OEF for their service.

Happy 246th Birthday, U.S. Marine Corps

Today marks the 246th birthday of the United States Marine Corps (USMC).

On November 10, 1775, the 2nd Continental Congress passed the Continental Marine Act of 1775, a resolution that called for two battalions of Marines to serve as landing forces with the fleet. The resolution served to establish the Continental Marines and the birth date of the U.S. Marine Corps.

The Birth Letter of the Marine Corps

“That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one Colonel, two lieutenant-colonels, two majors and other officers, as usual in other regiments; that they consist of an equal number of privates as with other battalions, that particular care be taken that no persons be appointed to offices, or enlisted into said battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve for and during the present war with Great Britain and the Colonies; unless dismissed by Congress; that they be distinguished by the names of the First and Second Battalions of Marines.”

The Continental Marine Act of 1775, 2nd Continental Congress, Philadelphia, PA

Since then, the U.S. Marine Corps has served as protectors of the nation’s interests around the world and has participated in every war since 1812. In most cases, Marines were the first servicemembers to fight. As a result, many Marines are proud of their service’s heritage and traditions.

Over the years, the Corps developed many traditions. One of the most prominent traditions is the Marine Corps Ball that involves dancing, presenting the Colors, and cutting a birthday cake with a sword. Commands across the globe plan the ball to celebrate the birth of the Corps, bringing Marines together for a sometimes raucous but respectful celebration.

Additionally, every year, the Commandant of the Marine Corps releases a birthday address Corps-wide along with a video.

The Corps also issues a MARADMIN (639/21) outlining Marine Corps Birthday content. Below is taken from this year’s message from General Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps.

“The character of Marines, our unwavering commitment and relentless pursuit of excellence, remains unchanged from that of past generations, even as the character of warfare is ever-changing. These changes will require us to do what Marines do best – adapt and innovate to win any battle or respond to any crisis. Just as Marines who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan over these past 20 years adapted to the demands of protracted counterinsurgency operations – which would have been all too familiar to the Marines of 1970 – we will adapt to the demands of the present and the future, while learning the hard lessons from our recent past. We can’t know for certain where future battlefields will be, or how our methods of warfighting will be redefined as threats to our Nation evolve, but we can ensure that the Marines who fight those battles will be forged of the same courage, spirit, and warfighting excellence as all Marines before them.”

A Message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps (2021), David H. Berger, General, U.S. Marine Corps, Commandant of the Marine Corps

With all its history and tradition, the United States Marine Corps brings with it nearly two and a half centuries of Honor, Courage & Commitment, the core values that serve as the bedrock of each and every Marine’s character.

This all said, to each and every Marine, past and present, thank you for your service in defense of the Nation.

And, again, Happy 246th Birthday, United States Marine Corps!

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