Sunday, December 25, 2005

Homecoming Book

I am looking for a book for the Marines of CLR-25 that focuses on the challenges of readjustment and redeployment. Different books may be appropriate for different groups (Officer, SNCO, etc. Odysseus in America by Jonathan Shay, MD with a forward by Senator Max Cleland and Senator John McCain has been suggested.
The reviews of Odysseus in America are good but I worry that it carries to much baggage from Vietnam. Has anyone read it? What did you think? What other books can you recommend on homecoming ?

Best blond joke ever

This is the best blonde joke ever . Read the whole thing.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Looks a Little Like Christmas

It is beginning to look a little like Christmas, even here in Iraq.Flickr Photo

Lots of goodies from PowerSchool and Cub Scouts. As soon as I open a box the goodies all disappear.

Flickr Photo

All the gifts really help moral here.
Last night all the officers got together for a Gift Exchange including gift "stealing". It was a really good time.

Gift Exchange
Gifts ranged from chocolates, to CD's to the essential toilet seat covers. It was a nice party. Not the same with out my kids, but Marines are always fun to be around. So thank you to everyone who sent gifts. Keep us all in your prayers. Our enemy is still out there looking for his opportunity, but we are ever watchful and ready, even on the day of our Savior’s birth.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

JACOT keeps the cargo flowing

CAMP TAQADDUM, Iraq (Dec. 1, 2005) -- A flight line is full of activity, and can be compared to the verve of a bee hive. The goings-on involves cargo being picked up from aircraft and dropped off at its needed destination, people coming and going and air-traffic flying in and out of the base. For much of the air traffic in Iraq, Taqaddum and its worker bees is the hive that keeps the country buzzing.The service members that make up the dynamic hive are the Marines and Airmen of the Joint Air Cargo Operations Team, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), and are relied on to keep up the relentless campaign on the flight line.

Marine Corps News - JACOT keeps cargo moving with bee hive fervor

Nice story about the red patchers of CLR-25 working on the flight line.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Celebrating the Maine Corps Birthday in Iraq.

The 230th birthday of the United States Marine Corps was celebrated today wherever Marines congregated. Last year, General Hagee authorized 2 beers and a ration of rum for each Marine in Iraq. Everybody was 21 that day. This year, here's how one deployed Marine celebrated:

Marine Corps Moms: Happy Birthday Marines!

Read it all. Marines take tradition serious and everybody will get there frikken cake. I got it easy here, compared to 2 hot meals a week for some.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

230th Marine Corps Birthday

Today CLR-25 celebrated the 230th birthday of our beloved corps. The regiment gathered to hear the Commandant's birthday message.
Flickr Photo
In keeping with tradition the oldest Marine had the first piece of cake, and then passed it to the youngest Marine. After the ceremony the regiment enjoyed a special meal.
Flickr Photo
It was the best steak I have ever had in a war zone. This is my first Marine Corps ball deployed. I am very happy to be where I am, surrounded by Marines living up to their name. Flickr Photo

The regiment is making a direct impact on the Global War on Terror and we will continue to do so.

Happy Birthday and Semper Fidelis.

General Lejeune's Marine Corps birthday message

On November 1st, 1921, John A. Lejeune, 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, directed that a reminder of the honorable service of the Corps be published by every command, to all Marines throughout the globe, on the birthday of the Corps. Since that day, Marines have continued to distinguish themselves on many battlefields and foreign shores, in war and peace. On this 230th birthday of the Corps, therefore, in compliance with the will of the 13th Commandant, Article 38, United State Marine Corps Manual, Edition of 1921, is republished as follows:

On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date, many thousand men have borne the name Marine. In memory of them, it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the Birthday of our Corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.The record of our Corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of it's existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the nations foes. From the battle of Trenton to the Argonne. Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long eras of tranquility at home. Generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our Corps Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term Marine has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the Corps. With it we also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our Corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps.

General Lejeune's Marine Corps birthday message

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Project Valour-IT

Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, provides voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries or amputations at major military medical centers. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone, our wounded heroes are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the 'Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field without having to press a key or move a mouse. The experience of CPT Charles "Chuck" Ziegenfuss, a partner in the project who suffered hand wounds while serving in Iraq, illustrates how important this voice-controlled software can be to a wounded servicemember's recovery.

Project Valour IT - A Soldiers' Angels Program

My family keeps asking what I want for Christmas, friends and coworkers ask if I need anything. This is what I want for Christmas. Donate.

Hat tip to Smash

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Cookies for S-4

Cookies for S-4
Originally uploaded by chalko.

Saturday I got a big box in the mail. To my suprise it was 100 home-made cookies from my friends and coworkers, Bryan and Leslie. The PowerSchool division of Apple is a great place to work. They have been very supportive of me deploying to Iraq. I really look forward to getting back to California and working with such great people again.

The Marines of S-4, CLR-25 say thanks for your support.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Psalm 91

Originally uploaded by chalko.
I moved into my new room 3 weeks ago. My old room was very small, so as a Major I got a better room. On the door to my room was Psalms 91. As soon as I got in my room I looked up the verse
Psalms 91
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of
the Almighty.

Originally uploaded by chalko.

Then I looked around the room and I was very happy to have a new home already anointed with Gods presence.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Al Taqaddum

I arrived at Al Taqaddum four days ago.

TQ is a nice base. The chow hall serves 3 hot meals a day. There are real showers with hot water. Most of the officers have there own room. Every one sleeps in an air-conditioned space. I am now the S-4 Logistics Officer and Camp Commandant for Lakeside. Camp Commandant is responsible for facilities maintenance.
Overall I think it is going to be a fun and productive 7 months.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

GPRS and your everybody's friend

CSSD-29, is currently deployed to Camp Matilda at March Air Reserve Base. There is no phone or internet here at the condemed base housing we are using as an Iraqi Villiage. But the cell phone coverage is excelent. Turn on GPRS and like magic, I am connected in the middle of this mad max like scene.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Working up for deployment

Back at the first of June, I discovered that it would be about 2 - 3 months before I actually get to Iraq. no one liked that idea. We wanted to get to the SandBox. Any delay here would just delayed the date we return home.

Now after a month on deck here in Camp Lejeune, I see how wrong I was. There is essential combat training all the Marines are getting, and 2 months is barely enough time. A normal UDP or MEU does a 6 month work up before deploying. We are a support unit made up of a mix of reserve and active duty, mission organized for the task. In two months we need to learn our strengths and weakness, sharpen our fighting skills, and understand how to perform our support roles in the deployed (read dangerous) environment.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Warrior Geek.

Why a new blog. I have been activated as a Captain in the United States Marine for duty in Iraq, so I thought I would start a new one just to talk about what I am doing during my tour. I am a mix of Computer Geek and Elite Warrior. So the name seemed to fit.
I turned my first computer on in 1979. I have loved it ever since. However I was the smart but too skinny guy. I remember having the school bullies threaten me to do their homework. I quickly learned to play the two bully against each other. In high school I made a deliberate effort to excel at sports. But the real difference came when I decided to join the Marine Corps. I was already the smart guy. So I wanted to do the most physical thing I could. At 17, I convinced my parents to sign the papers to join the Marines. After a year of college, I turned 18, married Maria, my high school sweetheart and left for boot camp. I love being a Marine. I was fortunate enough to be selected for the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Program and became a Data Systems Officer. After 14 years active Duty I decided to get out and pursue a career in computers.
I have really enjoyed being a programmer. I chased a dotcom, consulted for a while, and now I am a Sr Engineer for Apple Computers at the Power School Division in Folsom, CA. I stayed in the reserves as the Commanding Officer of Landing Support Company "B" in Lathrop, CA.
After 20 years I am still happily married. I have four Children, Kevin, Kyle, Kayla and Kelsey, and now I am actived in Camp Lejeune, NC preparing for deployment.