What Memorial Day Should Be Is A Re-Focus

American flags stand in front of headstones in Arlington National Cemetery during Flags-In, May 26, 2016, in Arlington, Va. Members of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) place an American flag at each headstone in ANC before Memorial Day. (U.S. Army Photo by Rachel Larue/Arlington National Cemetery/released)
American flags stand in front of headstones in Arlington National Cemetery during Flags-In, May 26, 2016, in Arlington, Va. Members of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) place an American flag at each headstone in ANC before Memorial Day. (U.S. Army Photo by Rachel Larue/Arlington National Cemetery/released)

“Oh, tell me not that they are dead – that generous host, that airy army of invisible heroes.  They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this nation.  Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language?  Are they dead that yet act?  Are they dead that yet move upon society, and inspire the people with nobler motives, and more heroic patriotism?” – Henry Ward Beecher

I wanted to say a few words as the nation gears up for Memorial Day weekend.  I won’t go into the commercialization of what should be a day of remembrance, as I think RE Factor has already made their stance abundantly clear, but on what I believe Memorial Day really means.

As humans, we tend to be drawn to specific days of celebration or remembrance.  Completely appropriate, really – having a specific day set aside helps us focus and call a pause in our busy lives, bringing the sacrifices of our war dead front and center.  But honoring the dead must be far more than a day of ceremonies, and must never be relegated to a simple day off from work and some great deals on disposable consumer products.

This Is Why You Should Honor Memorial Day Without The Sales

What Memorial Day should be is a re-focus.  America is a gigantic experiment.  The Founders came from a wide variety of backgrounds, where they had suffered under the tyranny of monarchs, the ruling class, and the ruling religion.  What they endeavored to establish, though flawed as all human creations are, was a nation that enshrined freedom in its very DNA:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” – Declaration of Independence

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” – Preamble to the Constitution of the United States

As we honor the sacrifices made by our military from the beginning of our nation until now, that desire to honor them should drive us every day to make this experiment work.  What America should look like will always be fiercely debated – the role of government, taxes and spending, our role in the world, the use of our military might.  But it seems as of late, more and more of that debate is taking place through decidedly partisan lenses, where allegiance to party trumps allegiance to country, where questioning the group’s or party’s “approved” ideology is grounds to be derided and shunned, and where reaching out to others from across the lines in order to help out our fellow citizens and build up our country results in becoming a pariah.  “Government by the people, of the people, for the people” cannot survive amongst people who cannot see beyond themselves and their petty party or group allegiances.

A Green Beret rings the memorial bell each time a name is called from the final manifest to honor those passed during the 1st SFC(A) 48th annual Memorial Day ceremony on May 25, 2016 on Fort Bragg NC. Services members and families attended the annual Memorial Day ceremony to honor fallen Soldiers of 1SFC(A) and veterans from the Special Forces Association. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Jeremie Lee /Released)
A Green Beret rings the memorial bell each time a name is called from the final manifest to honor those passed during the 1st SFC(A) 48th annual Memorial Day ceremony on May 25, 2016 on Fort Bragg NC. Services members and families attended the annual Memorial Day ceremony to honor fallen Soldiers of 1SFC(A) and veterans from the Special Forces Association. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Jeremie Lee /Released)

I can’t pretend to speak for the motives of the dead, but if polls of today’s military are any indication, some of the primary motivators for joining the military are a desire to serve and a desire to be part of something bigger than the individual, something that is making a difference.  On Memorial Day, as you honor the dead, remember that America is bigger than you, and be that difference.  Get involved in your neighborhood, your local community, and your state and national government.  Volunteer, give, vote, teach the younger generations what the American experiment is all about.  That is what truly honors those who gave all for the nation.

On Memorial Day, enjoy your time with family and friends.  The dead would no doubt do the same.  But take the time to remember what they died for.  Then go out and live for it.

For more information about the history of Memorial Day, see the Veteran’s Administration website.

For a list of events at national cemeteries on Memorial day, see the National Cemetery Administration website.

About the author

Joel is an 12 year veteran of the US Coast Guard, where he has served at various units including the International Training Division and Maritime Security Response Team. He has held qualifications including Deployable Team Leader/Instructor, Direct Action Section Team Leader, and Precision Marksman – Observer. He has deployed/instructed on five continents and served in quick reaction force roles for multiple National Special Security Events in the US. He is the owner of Hybrid Defensive Strategies, LLC in Chesapeake, VA, and can be contacted on Facebook and Instagram. Any opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Coast Guard or the US Government.

This Drill Is Designed To Help Work On Your Target Transitions

Turret-Drill-Small

Essential-target
The Essentials Target

This drill is meant to be conducted on our Essentials Target.  The drill is designed to help work on your target transitions and will push you to learn to not overshoot your target which is common when moving back and forth between targets.

To help keep from overshooting your target try to avoid traveling between targets while looking at your sites.  Instead, first look at your target then transition your weapon to the target.  If you find yourself quickly and accurately engaging the target with few misses attempt the drill at the 5 yard line.

For more drills, check out our shooting drills page.

Want to improve your marksmanship? Read our blog, 5 Gun Targets to Increase your Marksmanship

There Is A New Army Training Circular And It’s Awesome As Hell

For anyone who doesn’t anxiously await the release of new Army publications, there is a new Training Circular out – TC 3-22.9 Rifle and Carbine.  I may be a little late to the game, as it was released a week ago, but here are a few of the highlights of this TC, which replaces Field Manual 3-22.9, Rifle Marksmanship, M16-/M4-Series Weapons.
Cover page
First off, the information has been updated.  A lot.  And it seems to be genuinely aimed at helping soldiers learn to fight with their rifles, not run a flat range qualification.  The illustrations are better (someone finally figured out you can illustrate with a computer, not just hand drawings), and the information is presented in a much more readable format (lots of tables and figures for those of us who can’t just read a bulleted paragraph and learn), especially in the sections on leads, environmental conditions, and range estimation.
internals
Second, the Army has finally started to catch up to modern “tactical” shooting.

prone 1
Ever been told that putting your magazine on the ground will cause your gun to jam?  The Army officially says that’s not true.

workspace
Workspace is no longer just referring to the place where the lieutenants get stuffed into cubicles.

high ready
There is actually a ready position that doesn’t require your muzzle be pointed at the ground (although the verbiage still passive aggressively discourages it, at least they discuss the validity).

no bang
The malfunction correction flow chart will undoubtedly give memers something to laugh about for days, although it’s actually a lot more functional than anything the FM had (but the Army still won’t teach you how to “mortar” because you might hurt yourself and break your gun).

walking
The “duck-walk” is no longer cool.

prone 2
You might actually have to fire from a prone position other than the one from qualifications.

trigger finger
Oh, and you don’t have to perfectly place your trigger finger anymore.

Now, is this new TC perfect?  Of course not.  I can state from experience that by the time you manage to capture tactics in a document (especially within a bureaucracy), they are no longer the latest and greatest.  There are a few things that they don’t cover that I would have liked to see, like magazine changes.  But, considering that this is the first MAJOR revision to marksmanship since 2008, it represents a lot of hard work from the subject matter experts in the field to catch Big Army up to more relevant marksmanship tactics.  If you haven’t read it, hit it up here.  Take it to the bathroom with you the next time your significant other gripes that you don’t do anything in there and claim professional development.  Don’t really care how you read it, but at least give it a look.  Enjoy!

About the author

Joel is an 12 year veteran of the US Coast Guard, where he has served at various units including the International Training Division and Maritime Security Response Team. He has held qualifications including Deployable Team Leader/Instructor, Direct Action Section Team Leader, and Precision Marksman – Observer. He has deployed/instructed on five continents and served in quick reaction force roles for multiple National Special Security Events in the US. He is the owner of Hybrid Defensive Strategies, LLC in Chesapeake, VA, and can be contacted on Facebook and Instagram. Any opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Coast Guard or the US Government.

Who Gets Special Military Pay And Why

Paper Mill-10

US military service members can receive different added pay bonuses on top of their base pay for a number of different reasons.  So what are these differing payments and who gets them?

Military One Source

Special Duty Assignment Pay (SDAP)- is pay given to service members who hold special positions such as Special Operations or EOD.     There are six tiers of SDAP paid on a monthly basis.

SD1 $75
SD2 $150
SD3 $225
SD4 $300
SD5 $375
SD6 $450

SD1- This is given to White House positions as well as air traffic controllers

SD2- This is given to Command Sergeants Major and Sergeants Major assigned to a Two Star General position, some cyber positions, some White House personnel,  RL-1 level air traffic controllers, CID agents and some other specialized units.

SD3- Given to squad leaders and platoon sergeants serving with warrior transition units, CSMs assigned to a three star general, and supervisors within the White House staff.

Eligible Marines could take home a $57,000 Bonus in 2020

SD4- Some special mission units (SMUs), NCOs within the 75th Ranger Regiment, soldiers assigned to the 160th SOAR, some recruiters, drill sergeants, supervisors within the White House staff.

SD5- Some special mission units, CMF-18 (Special Forces) soldiers and EOD.

SD6- Some special mission units and the Sergeant Major of the Army.

Jump Pay, $150/mo- This is given to any service member on jump status.  The service member must be on jump status in order to receive the pay, not just jump qualified.

High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) Pay- $225/month.  This is given in place of jump pay and is given to HALO certified personnel on HALO jump status.

Demo Pay- $150/mo. Given to select engineers, SMUs, Special Forces Engineer Sergeants, Navy SEALs and other duties where personnel are required to handle explosives as part of their job description.

Pentagon Considers Raising Max $40,000 bonus to $250,000 for Infantrymen

Dive Pay- Given to various positions to include dedicated divers, combat divers (Special Forces, PJs etc.) and Navy SEALs

 

Type of Diving Duty

Enlister Rate Officer Rate
Training at dive school 1 $110 $110
Diver second class $150 N/A
Salvage diver $175 N/A
Diver first class $215 N/A
Combat Diver 2 $215 $215
Master Diver $340 N/A
Marine Diving Officer 3 N/A $240

Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus (FLPB)- FLPB is given to service members who receive a payable score on the DLPT or Defense Language Proficiency Test.  The payment amount depends on the language but is up to $500 for a single language and $1000 for two languages.

Toxic Duty Pay, $150/mo- Given to service members working with aircraft missiles containing toxic materials.

Experimental Stress Duty Pay, $150/mo- Given to service members assigned to experimental stress duty.

Hazard Duty Pay- Hazard Duty Pay is paid out to a number of different personnel for a number of different reasons.  The pay ranges from $150-250/mo.  Officer air crew members receive the highest amount.

Assignment Incentive Pay- This is given to personnel who are involuntarily extended on combat tours.  The pay can be up to $3000/mo for some missions.

Hardship Duty Pay- This is given to military personnel living in austere conditions while on deployment.  The pay can be $50, 100 or 150, depending on the location.

Family Separation Allowance, $250- Given to service members assigned to duty locations without their families.

Flight Pay- Flight Pay is given to pilots and air crew and ranges from $125-$840/mo depending on years on flight status and rank.

Career Sea Pay- This is given to military personnel who are assigned to lengthy sea assignments.  The pay is based on rank and years at sea and ranges from $20-750/mo.

Hostile Fire and Imminent Danger Pay, $225/mo- This is given to anyone serving in a designated area such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Philippines  or Pakistan where they are in danger of hostile fire, land mines or other forms of imminent danger.

Submarine Duty Pay- Paid to sailors serving on a submarine.  The pay is based on both rank and time on duty and ranges between $75-875.

While this isn’t the full list it does cover most of the pays available.  Other special pays include Veterinary Pay ($100/mo), Dental Pay and Medical Officer Pay.


How to Improve Your Skills Between Range Days

Let’s face it, learning to become a good shooter is expensive, time-consuming and cumbersome.  Many ranges impose tight restrictions on allowing individuals to draw from the holster, rapid-fire, or shoot and move.  In addition, it may be weeks to months before you can hit the range again.  So how do you improve yourself in between range days?  Here are a few ideas.

Buy a training pistol

There are several training pistols on the market, although we partial to the SIRT Training Pistol by Next Level Training.  The pistol will run you about $240 but you will quickly get that back in savings on ammo.  The Pistol works by emitting a red laser anytime you squeeze the trigger.  The pistol feels very similar to a Glock or M&P in weight and trigger pull and it even comes with a removable weighted magazine. This is a great tool for practicing a wide variety of drills from magazine reloads to target engagement.  Not to mention it’s safe to use in the house.

Rifle Drill: The Tabata

Dry fire

Dry Fires are the single best method of increasing your skills in between range days.  Of course, always ensure the pistol is unloaded before conducting any dry fire.  The dry firing will allow you to train a wide variety of skill sets and is as close as you can get to shooting the pistol without actually shooting the pistol.  Most competition shooters will dry fire every day as well as prior to going to a match.

Pistol Drill: The Howard Drill

Use a shot timer

You can either download a shot timer app or purchase a professional one for range use.  The biggest thing is having something that can give you a time delay and a par time.  The time delay allows you to hit the shot timer’s start button and then gives you a 2-4 second delay to prepare for the timer to go off.  The par time is a second beep after the first “go” beep that can be set in increments of a tenth of a second.  For home use set your shot timer to say a two second par time and practice drawing from the holster, acquiring your target and accurately squeezing the trigger before the par time goes off.  This allows you to get used to drawing in a certain amount of time and this is a great way to speed up varying skills.

Rifle Drill:  The Benavidez

Focus on one thing and do it over and over and over and over and….  

When you’re at home try honing in on one skill by conducting a high amount of repetitions.  This will help build your muscle memory without having to focus on whether or not you hit your target.  Typically between range days, I will focus on either magazine reloads or draws.  Both of these can easily be conducted at home and have huge payoffs come range day.  Typically I will set a par time that challenges me and once I can conduct whatever skill I am trying to practice under the par time I will lower it.

Train with your combat/range gear

When you train, train as you fight.  If you don’t “fight” with your gun then train with your gear on as it would be worn at the range or at a match.  You want to get your muscles used to going to the same place every time.

Use This Drill To Get Better At Shooting

Shoot the TV

Watching TV is a great way to get your skills up.  Stand in front of the TV and when something comes up on the screen attempt to draw and engage it before it disappears.

Put up a target

Find a clean wall to put a target on.  Keep your kit by the target and make it easy to put on and take off.  When you walk by the target, put your kit on, do a few reps, then move on with your day.  It makes getting a few reps in a lot easier than getting it all setup and taking all back down every time.

Essential-target
The RE Factor Tactical Essentials Target allows for a variety of drills that can be conducted at home or on the range.

This Drill Will Help Your Ability To Quickly Transition Between Targets

The-Game-of-3's

 

The game of 3’s is meant to be conducted on our Rifle IQ Targets.   The drill is meant to train your ability to quickly transition between targets as well fire rapidly and accurately.

Have you tried the drill?  Let us know how you did in the comments below.

For more drills, check out our shooting drills page.

Want to improve your marksmanship? Read our blog, 5 Gun Targets to Increase your Marksmanship

What Do You Do If Your Range Won’t Let You Do Train The Way You Want

IMG_9194 (2)Despite the proliferation of responsible newly-armed citizens and the advances and emphasis placed on personal defense training in recent years, there are still a number of ranges throughout the country that have extremely restrictive rules on conduct at their ranges.  These rules run the gamut from no movement (turning, advancing, etc.), to no drawing, and of course my favorite, the ever-nebulous “No Rapid Fire.”  Ranges’ rationale for these rules vary, but usually involve some combination of insurance issues, bad experiences with idiots, curmudgeonly owners, and occasionally a fundamental misunderstanding of what realistic defensive firearms training actually involves (because they shot bulls-eye pistol all their life and they know how you should train for defense).

So what should you do if your range falls into this category?  Well, I’ll fight my initial response of: “Find a new range.”  I realize that switching ranges isn’t always possible, because good ones are getting harder to find, and new ones aren’t exactly springing up on a regular basis in most parts of the country, so you’ll have to find a work-around.  You’ll end up having to work the skills you can’t do live, dry.  For example, if you can’t work movement, work everything up to movement.  Work your holster, work your reloads, work your rhythm.  Then work your turning dry at your home.

Shooting skills build – from the fundamentals of marksmanship to shooting and moving in buddy teams or in a house, you have to master the level below before you can move on.  And while practicing the skills live is the goal of every shooter, don’t underestimate the value of dry fire.  If you can master the skills of drawing, sight acquisition, trigger manipulation, and recoil management and practice those live, adding a turn prior to drawing isn’t really the leap it sounds like and doesn’t require the ability to live fire to practice (although it’s a huge plus, and I’d seek it out).

Restrictions on drawing aren’t the end of the world either, although they hamper training more than movement restrictions.  If your range prohibits drawing, work your presentation.  In your draw stroke, I would argue that the IMG_1257distance between your compressed ready and the shot breaking is the most important element.  That distance is where you pick up your sights, acquire your sight picture, and manipulate the trigger to get an accurate first shot on target.  The movements from ready to grip/pull and grip/pull to center/compressed ready can be easily practiced dry.  Start from the compressed ready and extend, with the goal of a shot breaking right as you reach full extension.  Once you have that smooth, extend and fire multiple shots to work recoil management and multiple target engagement.

If your range doesn’t allow rapid fire, work your fundamentals to get good shots as fast as possible within their time limit.  Also, built a rapport with the owner and range master/RSO.  If they see you there a lot and they see you acting responsibly, they may give you a little more leeway.  It’s amazing the walls a little demonstrated competence can break down.

Work within your restrictions, but seek out other opportunities to practice, whether open range days, matches, or visiting instructors.  Never underestimate the value of dry fire.  Above all, know your restrictions and develop a plan before you head to the range.  Turning money into noise is fun, but it doesn’t necessarily make you a better shooter.  Having a realistic plan will help keep you focused on your goals and make the most of your time in spite of restrictive rules.

About the author

Joel is an 11 year veteran of the US Coast Guard, where he has served at various units including the International Training Division and Maritime Security Response Team. He has held qualifications including Deployable Team Leader/Instructor, Direct Action Section Team Leader, and Precision Marksman – Observer. He has deployed/instructed on five continents and served in quick reaction force roles for multiple National Special Security Events in the US. He is the owner of Hybrid Defensive Strategies, LLC in Chesapeake, VA, and can be contacted on Facebook and Instagram. Any opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Coast Guard or the US Government.

Brief Overview Of The Fight Happening In Daesh

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter prepares to award the first five Operation Inherent Resolve medals to service members deployed to Iraq during a ceremony in Baghdad, Iraq 2016 where Carter was visiting . Carter is also visiting the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to help accelerate the lasting defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and participate in the U.S. Gulf Cooperation Council defense meeting. (Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)(Released)
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter prepares to award the first five Operation Inherent Resolve medals to service members deployed to Iraq during a ceremony in Baghdad, Iraq 2016 where Carter was visiting . Carter is also visiting the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to help accelerate the lasting defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and participate in the U.S. Gulf Cooperation Council defense meeting. (Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)(Released)

The death of SO1 Charles Keating IV on May 3, 2016, in Iraq marks the third U.S. military death in operations against Daesh. Once again, America’s attention is drawn to the conflict (it’s not a war, at least not officially) raging across the globe. So where are we exactly in the fight?

According to the Pentagon and news sources, the fight against Daesh in Syria and Iraq is going well. Estimates place Daesh territorial losses at 40% of what they controlled at their peak, and foreign recruitment at 20% of their peak. Intelligence indicates that Daesh’s administrative and warfighting functions are feeling the strain of losing land and money to coalition airstrikes and ground forces. The strain was most recently highlighted by the announcement that the salaries paid to Daesh fighters would be significantly reduced. Daesh remains a determined enemy, however, as demonstrated by the resistance that Kurdish, Iraqi, and Syrian forces (both government and militia) are facing as they continue to press their attack.

ISIS Drone Operations in Iraq/Syria | A New Era of Warfare

With the good news out of the way, this is going to be a long fight. I saw a column somewhere (and I apologize to who made it originally, because I honestly can’t remember) that compared fighting the Daesh ideology to squeezing a balloon full of water – if you squeeze it tightly in one place, the water just moves and bulges up in another.

An Australian soldier with Task Group Taji adjusts a Taji Military Complex Guarding and Protection Battalion soldier’s firing position during a zeroing range at Camp Taji, Iraq, March 23, 2016. Task Group Taji assisted the Iraqi soldiers with improving their basic marksmanship skills. Camp Taji is one of four Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve building partner capacity locations dedicated to training Iraqi Security Forces. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kalie Jones/Released)
An Australian soldier with Task Group Taji adjusts a Taji Military Complex Guarding and Protection Battalion soldier’s firing position during a zeroing range at Camp Taji, Iraq, March 23, 2016. Task Group Taji assisted the Iraqi soldiers with improving their basic marksmanship skills. Camp Taji is one of four Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve building partner capacity locations dedicated to training Iraqi Security Forces. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kalie Jones/Released)

In the last year, Daesh and associated lackeys have struck in France, Belgium, Turkey, Yemen, Indonesia, Egypt, the United States, Bangladesh, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Push it back to January of last year, and you can add Bosnia, Denmark, and Tunisia to the list. Not all of these were directly Daesh-ordered; some attacks were lone wolfs under inspiration, but it demonstrates what analysts consider one of their strongest points – their ability to reach out via social media and attract disaffected people to their cause. The U.S. military is only now officially beginning to respond to this front with their own offense, although the limited reporting available indicates they are achieving significant success in disrupting communications and financial transactions.

Estonia Prepares for War

Even the loss of territory in Iraq and Syria has simply caused Daesh to bulge up in another location – Libya. Daesh’s strength is estimated at over 6,000 fighters in Libya, and they exercise significant control over the town of Sirte and its surrounding area. Banks seized during the takeover of Sirte provide some funds, as do seizures of oil tankers off the

U.S. Marine Cpl. William Crisostomosfelipe, 22, a field artillery cannon crewman with Battery E, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and a native of Orange, California, receives the Purple Heart during a ceremony at Kara Soar Base, Makhmur, Iraq, April 22, 2016. Crisostomosfelipe, along with three other Marines, was awarded his Purple Heart by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford at the very site he was wounded. “I don’t know anybody else that’s actually received a Purple Heart at the point of injury,” said Dunford. “When you go back home it’ll be hard to explain, hard to tell people exactly the impact you are having, but I hope you recognize that’s the absolute truth, and you are making a difference out here and, we recognize and appreciate what you’re doing.” (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Peter J. Berardi)
U.S. Marine Cpl. William Crisostomosfelipe, 22, a field artillery cannon crewman with Battery E, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and a native of Orange, California, receives the Purple Heart during a ceremony at Kara Soar Base, Makhmur, Iraq, April 22, 2016. Crisostomosfelipe, along with three other Marines, was awarded his Purple Heart by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford at the very site he was wounded. “I don’t know anybody else that’s actually received a Purple Heart at the point of injury,” said Dunford. “When you go back home it’ll be hard to explain, hard to tell people exactly the impact you are having, but I hope you recognize that’s the absolute truth, and you are making a difference out here and, we recognize and appreciate what you’re doing.” (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Peter J. Berardi)

coast, but Daesh has not yet been able to exploit the oil fields surrounding Sirte. Intelligence agencies believe that Daesh is preparing Sirte to be their new headquarters should they lose Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria, their current hubs. Daesh is also believed to be reaching out to Boko Haram in an effort to recruit fighters to its cause from across Africa. U.S. forces are already conducting training in concert with host nation forces in Africa to prepare those forces to be the front line against Daesh expansion.

Amazing Photos of Pre-war Afghanistan

The media coverage of the battle against Daesh ebbs and flows, depending on whether they view Daesh or Beyonce, the Kardashians, and the distraction du jour as more important on a given day, but the war itself is ongoing, hot, and expanding.

Further reading:


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2960463/The-terrifying-rise-ISIS-Map-shows-terror-group-s-tentacles-reach-Algeria-Afghanistan.html
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/c06fb0d6-e1f7-11e5-8d9b-e88a2a889797.html#axzz47sPJLHeW
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27838034
http://www.ft.com/ig/sites/2014/isis-map/

About the author

Joel is an 11 year veteran of the US Coast Guard, where he has served at various units including the International Training Division and Maritime Security Response Team. He has held qualifications including Deployable Team Leader/Instructor, Direct Action Section Team Leader, and Precision Marksman – Observer. He has deployed/instructed on five continents and served in quick reaction force roles for multiple National Special Security Events in the US. He is the owner of Hybrid Defensive Strategies, LLC in Chesapeake, VA, and can be contacted on Facebook and Instagram. Any opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Coast Guard or the US Government.