America’s ‘Deadliest Soldier’ Tells Us Why He Doesn’t Like That Title and Explains Why He Even Took a Kill Count

Sgt. 1st Class Dillard Johnson has been called many things:

Silver Star recipient

Four-time Purple Heart recipient

Deadliest American soldier

Deadliest American sniper in the U.S. Army — second in the military overall to the late Chris Kyle

Except for the more than 37 medals he has earned — and even those might be a stretch for his humble personality — Johnson wouldn’t consider himself many of these things.

Not only did he tell TheBlaze that he doesn’t call himself a sniper, but he said he doesn’t attribute all the 2,746 confirmed kills often associated with his name to himself nor does he necessarily consider them the most of any one soldier.

Read more here.


Food Police Go After U.S. Military

Obese Americans in the military are a national security hazard and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama wants to see that change.

Obama, who has led a healthy eating and fitness program for children for two years, lent her voice on Thursday to the military’s efforts to overhaul the food it serves.

In an event at Little Rock Air Force Base, Obama announced a new Pentagon obesity and nutritional awareness campaign that will change nutrition standards across the services for the first time in 20 years.

The changes will bring more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and food choices that are lower in fat to 1.45 million troops a day at all 1,100 American military dining facilities in the coming months.

“This isn’t just a drop in the bucket – this is really a big splash,” Obama said.

“It’s happening because our military leaders know it’s not just a diet issue, it’s not just a health issue. This is truly a national security issue,” she said at the base, which already has a pilot program to improve nutritional quality of food available to service members and their families.

Obama cited a recent army study that says more than one quarter of 17- to 24-year-olds are too overweight to serve in the military. Active members of the military are also becoming more overweight, a Pentagon official said, and that causes a “readiness problem.”

“The military is always taking the lead in terms of setting standards,” said Assistant U.S. Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Jonathan Woodson. “Now we have an opportunity to take leadership … as we face this epidemic of obesity.”

Woodson said the U.S. military spends about $4.65 billion in food services each year. It also spends an estimated $1.1 billion a year on medical care associated with excess weight and obesity.

To promote good choices, the military will redesign menus and supply healthier foods in mess halls and in vending machines and snack bars on military bases.

The first lady, who has been doing the rounds of television talk shows and late-night comedy shows to promote her “Let’s Move” campaign to improve the nation’s eating and exercise habits, said changes by the Pentagon would send an important message to the country.

“Simply put, this is America’s entire military once again stepping forward to lead by example,” she told airmen at the base after touring a dining facility.

Read more here.

Obama to Destroy Our Military in Order to Hurt Republicans

President Barack Obama’s proposal to dramatically reduce the size of the U.S. military has to do with more than high blown strategic considerations. More than budget-cutting. More than the old liberal bias against the military. Slashing the size of the nation’s armed forces — to the tune of half a million soldiers — strikes at a cohort that tends to vote Republican. So why wouldn’t a Democratic president push cuts that hurt Republicans?

There’s always politics in politics, for the uninitiated. Underlying Mr. Obama’s military strip down are fundamental political calculations.

Gallup reported back in 2009 that military veterans, regardless the age cohort, are inclined to vote Republican. Most veterans didn’t start voting for the GOP after their military service.

There are reasons why the nation’s soldiers lean Republican.

The armed forces provide a culture. Today, particularly, absent a draft, military culture is self-selecting; meaning that there are reasons most young men and women choose to enter military service. Yes, for training, jobs, and careers, but many enlistees come from families that emphasize patriotism, duty, and tradition. Military service is still a draw for these young people despite every effort in recent years by the political class to turn the armed forces into a Petri Dish of politically correct experiments.

Military service reinforces, not diminishes, enlistees’ natural conservatism. And one suspects that those men and women who enter the armed forces less conservative or more liberal leave duty more oriented toward conservative values.

Note well that Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats have fiercely resisted reforms and budget cuts impacting entitlements, welfare, and the size of Washington government (outside the military). Yes, there are philosophical and ideological underpinnings that lead Democrats to want big, nonmilitary government. Yes, since the Vietnam War, Democrats have evinced varying degrees of hostility to the nation’s military.

But the tawdry underbelly of Mr. Obama’s move to slash the budgets and size of the armed forces has to do with votes. His voters are big government beneficiaries. Restructuring entitlements, reforming welfare, and making net reductions to the federal workforce do no favors to Democrats trolling for votes every two years from base constituencies.

So, why not go after that part of the government where there’s the highest concentration of GOP voters? Doing so reduces downsides and risks for the Chicago politics-schooled Mr. Obama and his Democrats.

Mr. Obama’s proposed military cuts permits him to stump for reelection arguing that he’s seeking ways to reduce the size of government. Aren’t most Americans in favor of cutting Washington spending and shrinking government? Mr. Obama will attempt to fend off GOP attacks on his proposal by continuing to argue that a strategic realignment of the military was long overdue… that America’s national defense will be enhanced, not harmed, by a leaner military.

Sound too cynical? Well, politics is a cynical business. One would hope that the president and his party wouldn’t permit political calculations to solely guide their actions regarding the nation’s defense. The hope is that there is an element of authenticity to Mr. Obama’s aim to strategically reposition the military — no matter how much in error his aim is. No one wants to believe that a president would sacrifice the nation’s defense on the altar of cheap political calculations.

But who knows? The nation has long left times where Americans, regardless of political stripe, were united in their support for the military and the imperative of maintaining a second-to-none national defense.

U.S. Veteran Faces Legal Action for Flying American Flag

A retired U.S. Army chaplain is being threatened with legal action for flying the American flag in his front yard, the Daily Mail reports.

Fred Quigley, 77, of Macedonia, Ohio, a minister who served active duty during the Vietnam War, has been told by the homeowners’ association that his flag violates the property rules.

The association has offered to fly the flag at the entrance of the building development, but Quigley refused the offer.

“If they can dictate to me that I cannot fly an American flag in America, then, to me, the country is lost,” Mr. Quigley told the paper.

Quigley’s lawyer Gerald Patronite said the association has no right to stop his client.

According to the Mail, Joseph Migliorini, the representative for the homeowners’ association and former mayor of Macedonia, which is between Cleveland and Akron, said he plans to take Quigley to court if the flagpole is not removed.

Migliorini said: “We just want the rules and regulations followed. “

Members of the local American Legion post joined Quigley last week in a flag-raising ceremony in protest at the association’s policy.

Read more here.

What the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell report really says

Press coverage of the new Pentagon Don’t Ask Don’t Tell report suggests that large majorities of U.S. servicemen and women wouldn’t mind the repeal of the military’s current policy on gays. Don’t believe it. What the report actually shows is that the military is deeply divided over the policy, both between the service branches and especially between those who have served in combat and those who haven’t. Did you know that 59 percent of Marines who have served in combat say repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would have a negative effect? And that 45 percent of Army respondents who have been in combat say the same thing? That is significant, not marginal, opposition.

Overall, the survey of 115,000 servicemen and women presents a mixed-to-positive reaction to the proposed repeal of the current policy. Seventeen percent of all service members say repeal would have a positive effect, while 21 percent say it would have a negative effect, 33 percent say it would have equally positive and negative effects, and 29 percent say it would have no effect.

Read more here.

The Real A-Team: Into Harm’s Way

Fox News

They don’t look like your typical Army soldiers. These guys are all out of central casting. Jokingly I thought to myself these soldiers are obviously the A-team – having no idea that the term actually refers to their 8 to 12 member operations teams known formally as “Operational Detachments Alpha” or ODAs. This is the world of US Army Special Forces – the Green Berets.

Fox News was given exclusive access to First Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group’s last pre-mission training before these frontline forces deploy to Afghanistan. The Fort Bragg based battalion traveled to a dusty, desert like base camp near the Mexican border that looked a lot like Afghanistan thanks not only to its natural landscape of red sand and mountain air but also because of a fabricated Afghan Bazaar (think shopping center) and mock village that included Afghans acting as local villagers and random goats and chickens roaming the unpaved village streets.

“This is the culmination exercise for our battalion – the teams have been training all year and we do these when we have an upcoming deployment,” explains Major Michael Sullivan. This thirty eight year old war veteran is the operations officer for the entire battalion and is preparing to deploy for the fifth time. Asked about how he prepares to leave his wife and three kids to head into harm’s way, his eyes drift to the right for several seconds before he explains, “I don’t know if I ever really prepare myself… It’s hard…getting the kids ready – it’s hard to say they are ever used to it and I think as they get older they get more dependent on you being around and that assurance that dad is there. It’s difficult.” He explains that as his kids get older they understand the danger. Twelve members of the battalion have been killed in action in Afghanistan since the start of the war.

The battalion commander, Lt. Colonel Christopher Riga, confirms the danger. Without emotion he explains “most of our deployments and most of the operations that we execute are very high risk. Everyday our soldiers are in harm’s way. They are at the tip of the spear and executing operations that are extremely dangerous and complex.” The battalion’s A teams typically travel out to remote locations and often live with the populace – in the villages – conducting possible combat missions and also trying to gather intelligence and information.

Twenty nine year old Captain Aaron Baty is an A-team leader whose dad was in a Special Forces unit for 22 years. Following in his father’s footsteps, Baty was commissioned as an officer in 2003 and was itching to get assigned to a unit that would deploy in the aftermath of September 11th. This husband and father of three is deploying for the third time. When asked about what he is giving up when he deploys, he does not explain that he might miss out his young daughter’s first steps or first words. “You could potentially be giving up everything when you deploy. You always make that plan for when I get back what will I do but in reality you don’t know if you’re coming back… You give up the possibility of seeing your kids graduate high school and walking your daughters down the aisle, waiting for my son to stop being a seven year old boy and start being a man that I can do things with.”

Special Forces soldiers deploy approximately every six months. When they are home they are not just sitting around. Their schedules are packed with training. Lt. Col. Riga explains “They are looking for something…that puts greater responsibility on them. They’re looking for a mission that will seem more important because they are at a greater risk.”

President Obama has approved a “surge” of some 30 thousand additional US forces to Afghanistan and for the first time since 2003, there are now more US forces in Afghanistan than in Iraq. Lt. Col. Riga points out the soldiers “…know it’s a critical time in our nation’s history…They have spent a lot of time in [Afghanistan.] There has been a lot invested – a lot of lives lost…”

Despite the dangers of his job and the time away from home, Capt. Baty like every other soldier interviewed, is eager to serve. “…It’s a better feeling to know that the fight is on someone else’s front door step and you can come home to yours…It’s worth it because… it is our country and I do believe in what our country stands for.”

“It’s what we do and what we love – we have a stake in it for people that have deployed multiple times – to continue on with what they had done previously. We’re Americans. We don’t quit. We want to win – that’s who we are,” adds Major Sullivan. “I don’t think there’s anyone who is tired of it – there are some of us who would love to go and stay until it’s over.”

Sullivan carries around a FDNY (Fire Department New York) baseball hat attached to his backpack. It’s with him at all times – a reminder of the terror attacks of September 11th and part of his motivation for continuing his 16 years of military service. “9/11 is something that hurt us all and I don’t want that to ever happen again to this country.”