Q&A on USS America


It’ll be a different kind of (amphibious ready group.) And the Marines are working through what their concept of operations is going to be. They’ll take a different (vehicle) load … It’ll be a different capability. Much stronger in some areas, not as strong in other areas.


Q: What’s the strength of this new arrangement?

A: Certainly, we can do every mission out there — forward presence, power projection, deterrence. We’ve got a ship with 1,700 Marines with this great capability these new aircraft are going to bring. We can get a whole bunch of Marines behind enemy lines in a hurry. We can evacuate people in a hurry. We can sustain operations out there on station.

Q: What’s the weakness?

A: I don’t think there is a weakness. You know, we can’t bring a tank ashore. But if we are in an (amphibious ready group), that’s what these other ships can do.

Q: How are the ship’s sailors affected by the new paradigm?

A: We have more sailors onboard dedicated to the aviation mission. We have more aviation maintenance folks and flight-deck personnel.

Q: When America is on the horizon, will we see any visual differences from the current big-deck amphibious ships assigned to San Diego — the Makin Island, Boxer, Essex and Peleliu?

A: If you are looking at it from the stern, we don’t have the big gate in the stern. It’s just all steel all the way up. That’s the only perceptible difference. We’re a little bit heavier because we filled in that (well deck) gap with machinery.

Q: Ships usually have memorabilia on board that celebrates the vessel’s namesake. What do you have, or plan to have, for the America?

A: We have some things from the previous (aircraft carrier) America onboard. As far as for the country, we’re designing things. We have some great American slogans we’re going to put throughout the ship. Military slogans from past eras: “I have not yet begun to fight.” On the mess (cafeteria) deck, we plan on calling it the Heroes Café. We’ll have a lot of Medal of Honor pictures, with the citations of what they did for our country.

(The ship’s motto is) “Bello Vel Pace Paratus,” which means “Prepared in War and Peace.” It really fits perfectly. We have a lot of capability to serve in wartime, definitely, but in peacetime also with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Q: Since it’s a post-9/11 ship, are you planning any tributes to those killed in the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks?

A: We’re still designing everything. One of the things we are planning is to have a big timeline of American history.

Q: As a ship named for the entire nation, you have a big potential fan base. What kind of feedback are you getting from the public?

A: On our Facebook page, people are very excited to have a ship named America. It’s an honor, it’s also a big responsibility. Where you sail, when you sail, you sail as America. The crew understands that, and they are looking forward to that.

Semper Share:

Army Takes On Its Own Toxic Leaders

Top commanders in the U.S. Army have announced publicly that they have a problem: They have too many “toxic leaders” — the kind of bosses who make their employees miserable. Many corporations share a similar problem, but in the Army’s case, destructive leadership can potentially have life or death consequences. So, some Army researchers are wondering if toxic officers have contributed to soldiers’ mental health problems.

One of those researchers is Dave Matsuda. In 2010, then-Brig. Gen. Pete Bayer, who was supervising the Army’s drawdown in Iraq, asked Matsuda to study why almost 30 soldiers in Iraq had committed or attempted suicides in the past year.

“We got to a point where we were exceptionally frustrated by the suicides that were occurring,” Bayer says. “And quite honestly feeling — at least I was — helpless to some degree that otherwise good young men and women were taking their lives.”

Matsuda might seem like an unconventional choice to study Army suicides. He’s an anthropologist; the Army hired him to advise U.S. commanders on how to understand what was really going on below the surface in Iraq. But Bayer says those skills are what prompted him to ask Matsuda to look below the surface of the suicide problem in the Army.

“What we valued about [Matsuda], as well as a few others who worked for us, was he didn’t wear a uniform. He wasn’t one of us, so to speak,” Bayer says.

Whenever a soldier committed suicide, Bayer says, a team of Army investigators would essentially ask the same questions: What was wrong with the individual soldier? Did he or she have a troubled childhood or mental health problems? Did the soldier just break up with a partner or spouse? Was he or she in debt? The answer was often “yes.” But Bayer says he felt part of the puzzle was missing.


Semper Share:

3/5 Dark Horse Marines Tribute Video

Sound Off!
Uploaded to YouTube by OCSoundwerks on Feb 28, 2011
This is a tribute to the members and families of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, AKA Darkhorse, currently fighting in Afghanistan. The 3/5 are on the frontlines of the war and have taken heavy losses from Taliban fighters. 24 lost in combat as of as of date with more than 150 wounded.

This presentation is the result of a volunteer effort by a group of people who want to show their appreciation and raise awareness of the struggles the members of our armed services continue to face in this ongoing battle that seems to have lost the public’s attention. It is our way of saying thank you and letting you know that we appreciate the sacrifices you and your families make every day. There are people who care.

GET SOME 3/5!!

With our Respect -Semper Fi

To the best of our knowledge all images and audio quotes are all from Darkhorse 3/5 members.

Semper Share:

Brian Stann “The All American” Tribute

Brian Stann receives Silver Star
“The Silver Star Ceremony commenced as 1st Lt. Brian M. Stann, Weapons Company Commander, shook Maj. Gen. Richard Huck, 2nd Marine Division Commanding General. Stann was being recognized and honored in front of the battalion for a job well done when he went above and beyond the call of duty to keep his men alive and eliminate the enemy forces along the way during Operation Matador. Photo by Cpl. Athanasios L. Genos”

Read More from Wikipedia

Semper Share:

Marines Sling Lead Downrange in Australia

Footage of Marines and Sailors with Company G., Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, engage in a live-fire operation following the conclusion of Exercise Hamel 2012. Capitalizing on three weeks in the Australian bush, the Marines put their newfound woodland knowledge to the test as they engage enemy targets through the rough forest terrain. Courtesy 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. [YouTube]

Semper Share: