Revisited Yet Again, USMC Scout Sniper Story…

Posted: February 13, 2012 by ShortTimer in First Amendment, Marine Corps, Media, political correctness

was apparently kicked off by an academic who was a scout platoon leader in 2003-2004.  Or so Mother Jones claims.  Which could be completely meaningless.

I know the previous post on this topic was intended to be the last, but, like Colombo, there’s just one more thing.

When Marine investigators learned last November that a scout sniper platoon in Afghanistan was using a Nazi “SS” flag as its standard, it wasn’t a member of the unit who told them. It was Iraq war veteran Waitman Beorn, a visiting history professor at Loyola University New Orleans, also a Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowship recipient who teaches at the National Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Dr. Beorn’s research on Nazis and genocide is informed by his military background: He is a West Point graduate and former officer who served as a scout platoon leader in Iraq from 2003-2004. Through his work he seeks to teach “ethical decision-making in a military context using the Holocaust as a vehicle.”

Okay, so in 2003-2004 he never saw the SS runes?  He was a freakin’ scout platoon leader and never saw it?  Anywhere?  The ones that have been in common use for decades?

Gawker managed to find a couple more:

It doesn’t mean Schutzstaffel to anyone in the sniper community.  This widow of a dead USMC sniper didn’t get this because of her love for snazzy uniforms and extermination:

Guess what, Mr. Beorn – no one on the pointy end of the spear cares what it used to mean.  It’s something different to them.

But a professor who specializes in the holocaust can sure find a way to burn someone else in order to make a name for himself.  Especially when there’s no way he didn’t know about it since 2003-2004, unless he’s astonishingly incompetent.  Now, he does point out he was a cav scout leader, but there’s enough crossover in duty that there’s no way if he ever worked with Marine scouts he would’ve missed it.

we had a proud tradition and considered ourselves elite, at least in the armor community. We wore Stetsons and spurs. So I understand the importance of symbols to unit cohesion and culture. This, perhaps, made the choice of the SS runes all the more troubling.

Stetsons and spurs?  Those are US cavalry traditions.  Y’know, there’s some people who might want to speak with you about your rabid racism and genocide, Mr. Beorn:

The scout snipers weren’t at Wounded Knee.  Beorn’s unit and the traditions he supports were.  Perhaps he should take a lesson there and be an apt pupil of his own teaching – and go ahead and retroactively demand termination of his own career based on something that really doesn’t matter in a combat zone.

Beorn continues:

I think our public needs to realize that this is not a case of the “liberal media” going after our brave men and women in uniform.

You’re talking to Mother-f***ing-Jones.  You couldn’t go further left if you tried.  You’re making a name for yourself with something that everyone has known about and no one has cared about.

The Gannett-Owned “Marine Corps Times”, previously noted for their ability to insult the Corps here, had this piece on the scout sniper issue:

“On behalf of the Marine Corps and all Marines, I apologize to all offended by this regrettable incident,” Amos said.

The incident has brought scrutiny to a longtime practice in the scout sniper community. Its members have used the “lightning bolt” SS logo for years on patches, posters and tattoos, a nod toward their title. The position is exclusive to the Corps; the Army has scouts and snipers, but separates their duties into two occupations.

The commandant said Friday that he has directed commanders to investigate the prevalence of the SS logo and other unauthorized symbols within the reconnaissance and sniper communities and for Training and Education Command, out of Quantico, Va., to review scout sniper school training to ensure it is clear the logo’s use is banned.

Sgt. Maj. Mike Barrett, the Corps’ top enlisted Marine, will meet personally with every senior staff noncommissioned officer in the sniper community in coming days to “reinforce my message and expectations,” Amos said. Barrett served as a scout sniper during the Gulf War, and later designed sniper training for Marine units in Iraq.

If the SgtMaj was a scout sniper, he saw it, knew about it, and, like everyone else who’s at the pointy end of the spear, and I’m sure held the following opinion:

Their investigation can be rather short.  The SS logo has been around for decades.  Snipers will tell you as much.  I saw it was prevalent in the sniper community almost a decade ago on their snazzy moto gear sold throughout J-Ville.  No one in the Marine Corps cares.  Amos and Barrett have to care because they’re ordered to, and will be forced to play political correctness games in the middle of a war.  As usual.

A full investigation is necessary, said Mikey Weinstein, president of the MRFF, an organization that says it’s devoted to religious freedom in the military.

I’ll give the Gannett reporter credit for this – he phrased that well.  The MRFF says it’s devoted to religious freedom.

“We don’t have all the information, but we know enough to know the Marine Corps needs to open a full investigation,” Weinstein said. “If these guys just get a non-judicial punishment, it’s absolutely absurd.”

Translation: “I don’t know shit, but they better bend over for me cuz I’ve got sand stuck in there deep,” Air Force lawyer turned professional offended guy said.  “They are already convicted!  Information is irrelevant!  Hang them all!”

The SS logo has been worn by scout snipers going back to at least the 1980s, said Earl Catagnus Jr., who served as a scout sniper in Iraq and now teaches military history at Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Pennsylvania and other institutions. Catagnus never got an “SS” tattoo, he said, but he knows Marines of many races who did.

This symbol has taken on a myth of its own with scout snipers,” he said, adding that he does not condone its use. “They’re sporting it like it’s nothing because they have no idea what it means.

They know it’s connected to the SS, but, to the Marine Corps is the honey badger of the military.

The scout snipers stole the symbol, and what it used to mean doesn’t matter anymore to them.

Finally, somebody sensible:

A Marine official, speaking on background due to the sensitivity of the issue, said Marine leadership does not believe the Marines depicted with the SS flag understood the significance of the logo. That seems possible, said Allen Falk, national commander of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America.

“We believe that these young men likely did not understand the significance of this symbol, and we call on the Marine Corps to increase education on American history,” said Falk, who served in Vietnam as a Marine captain. “This issue goes beyond one of racism or anti-Semitism. Our fellow Americans fought and died to stop the Nazis, and it is shameful for any member of the military to display the symbols of Nazi Germany.”

What the snipers didn’t understand is that people like zany lawyer Mikey Weinstein, who’s crusading against “an army of zombie zealots prepared to fight and die in order to usher in the dispensational reign of Jesus Christ on earth” and whose mission in life is to be professionally butthurt, would go after them.  Or that a weenie academic who chats with hard-left Mother Jones would go after them for something that no one cares about.  What somebody back in the world thinks if they survive their deployment isn’t really relevant.

Captain Falk speaks in this quote with the reasoned tones of someone who has been there and done that.  The Marines there didn’t know there would be someone who’s professionally butthurt out to get them, let alone the screaming masses of the left.  The Marines didn’t care.  Falk presents a simple, well-reasoned argument that these are the symbols of a defeated enemy nation that was an enemy for a reason, and it isn’t respectful to our own fellow veterans.  There are scout snipers of many races and religions who don’t care about the SS runes – but Falk’s point that it’s offensive to people the Marines should respect – elder veterans and those on the home front that support the military – is a very sound one.

The people the Marines should, and would, listen to are the ones who say: “Marines, you remember the Nazis were the bad guys for a reason?  Just take it down.”  Catagnus above notes that they sport it like they don’t know what it means.  He’s right.  They know who it’s connected to, but they don’t care.  What it means to people they should respect is the only important issue.

No one cares at all what the media or a whiny, dense academic or a whiny, perpetually butthurt professional lawsuit machine think.  Captain Falk, points out that you should care what the guy represented here thinks, and those folks supporting him who are there for him think:

Falk also hits on something worth noting, that a greater understanding of American history would be helpful.  The forceful rejection of American heroes for the last several decades – spurred by oikophoba America-haters in academia and media – has been one that means few enlistees or officers will know American heroes – especially not before they come in.  Names we should know, like Audie Murphy, Dan Daly, the Sullivans, Roy Geiger, John Basilone, Ernest Janson, James Anderson Jr., Billy Mitchell, Chesty Puller, and Danny Dietz.

As evidenced by the Dietz story, there are plenty still trying to tear down American military history.  Doing so can even lead to the hackneyed cliche of the warrior believing that the enemy is more like the warrior than the people of his homeland.

A response to the snipers like this:

Yeah, I get what the scout snipers were trying to do. But still, it’s the Nazis. The Nazis were the bad guys. I hate Nazis.

Not cool, dudes. Not cool.

So, your weekend passes are revoked and you better get started peeling those potatoes you bunch of numbnuts.

That is all. Carry on.

Makes the point.

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  3. This whole thing is stupid. Why is everyone so sensitive? What about Teufelhunden or Kophjager? I’m a Marine Scout/Sniper and I own one of the sweatshirts. If any of you can make it through all of the shit that we do then you can have an opinion. Until then a simple thank you would suffice.

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