You may even get some Live Coverage of the 2014 Hot Shots Calendar Shoot!
You may even get some Live Coverage of the 2014 Hot Shots Calendar Shoot!
Save 5% on MultiCam fabrics now through Sunday, June 16 in honor of the US Army’s 238th Birthday. Use code “birthday” at checkout.
Awhile back, I got word that the Secretary of the Army, the Honorable John McHugh was going to give the US Army a very welcome birthday present on June 14th, in the form of an announcement of the selection of a new family of camouflage patterns for our Soldiers. I now believe this is not the case.
The first thing that led me to believe that this was not going to actually happen was that the Army still has not notified the contenders of whether or not they were selected. The Army would have needed to do this by the beginning of June, at the very latest, to give the companies time to receive their technical outbriefs and lodge a protest if they felt that the selection was unfair. That didn’t happen. The Secretary still could have announced, but he may have ended up with egg on his face had a protest action been substantiated.
The second thing, or should I say things, that clued me in to the announcement being stalled once again, were sources. Reliable sources (plural) contacted me over the past week and told me that the Army was going to delay the announcement for new camouflage. Some said until next fiscal year, and others mentioned AUSA time frame (both in October).
Now some of you are going to say that the Army’s delay is due to the Enyart Amendment to the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act but that’s not it. In fact, the delay is in spite of it. If anything, it should have lit a fire under the Army. For those of you that were off planet last week, the Enyart Amendment was introduced as an amendment to HR 1960 by Rep William Enyart (D-IL) who happens to also be a Retired Major General and former State Adjutant General of the Illinois Army National Guard. In a nutshell, it requires all US military services to adopt a common camouflage uniform by 2018. At the time, I opposed the notion that Congress should tell the military how to dress. But if the Army has in fact, delayed the announcement of their selection and subsequent fielding, then I was wrong. It looks like the Army’s leadership is letting its troops down and Congress needs to step in and force them to reprioritize. The top priority should be the Soldier.
The reason I was given for the delay in announcement is laughable. Once again, this comes from sources (plural). I am told that the Army does not want to face negative perception by starting a new acquisition during sequestration. Seriously. That’s what I was told. Apparently, Congressional interest in camouflage isn’t enough. Apparently, negative press from the main stream media for issuing an ineffective camouflage pattern isn’t enough. Apparently, wasting money by continuing to purchase camouflage it will have to replace after the announcement isn’t enough. And apparently, disgruntled troops who have to deploy in the poorly named Universal Camouflage Pattern isn’t enough. Negative perception they’ve got. What the Army needs is some positive perception. And they aren’t going to get that by wasting money and continuing to place their most precious asset; the Soldier, at risk.
I ignored the recent media blitz by the main stream media because I knew that the Army was working to correct the problem and field a real solution. And, with a 14 June announcement, there was light at the end of the tunnel. Now it seems like that light of hope has been extinguished. The Army has acknowledged that UCP is ineffective. Yet, it will continue to purchase, field and use it for the foreseeable future. Last time I checked, inaction was not a course of action.
While the final decision and announcement sits with the Office of the Secretary of the Army, I’m not giving GEN Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army or SMA Raymond F. Chandler III a free pass. The Honorable Mr McHugh is a civilian political appointee. He just isn’t going to have the connection to the troops that they do, or the same moral imperative to do right by them. I know the CSA and SMA are good men and are the Army’s true leaders. They should show some leadership and get this taken care of. Morale is sinking. Showing some interest in the Soldier by fixing the uniform is a great way to show them that they matter. The Army uniform identifies a Soldier on multiple levels. It gives the Soldier his own connection to the Army and it displays who he is to everyone else. And, it can make a serious difference where it really matters. A proper camouflage will him more effective on the battlefield.
I realize that this decision is budget driven but there’s more to running an Army than dollar signs. Even then, this delay is pound foolish. The longer the Army delays, the more it buys what it doesn’t need.
I did try to reach the Secretary of the Army’s Public Affairs Office prior to writing this story and actually held off publishing it in the hopes that they would come through and return my calls. They didn’t. In what seems to be status quo for this Administration, regardless of department, the Secretary of the Army ignores requests for information, no matter who asks. I get it. If Congress can’t get subpoenaed documents and witnesses plead the 5th Amendment, why should I expect them to talk to me?
We all may wake up on Friday morning to Christmas in July. A day filled with unicorns and rainbows, and the announcement of a new family of effective camouflage patterns for the US Army. But then again, don’t hold your breath.
Appropriately enough, FirstSpear is holding a 6/9-6/12 sale.
From 6/9 – 6/12 get free shipping as well as a free “Just The Tip” T-shirt for all orders over $100.
The 5th model for the 2014 Hot Shots Calendar is Daisy Watts. 50% of proceeds from the sales of these calendars support various UK and US military charities including Help for Heroes and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. In addition, Hot Shots offers other morale items like T-shirts, playing cards, and badges. The models also donate their time by regularly visiting the troops. It’s a great cause and worthy of your support.
Hit the jump to see a photo of Ms Watts.
Soldier Systems Daily is proud to announce that we have been selected by Hot Shots Calendar as an exclusive media partner. As part of this arrangement, SSD will be provided behind the scenes access to Hot Shots Calendar events and in turn, we’ll give you unprecedented coverage.
The focal point of Hot Shots Calendar is an annual pinup calendar. 50% of proceeds from these sales support various UK and US military charities including Help for Heroes and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. In addition, Hot Shots offers other morale items like T-shirts, playing cards, and badges. The models also donate their time by regularly visiting the troops. All in all, this is a great group of people to work with and we are honored to be a part of this.
Below are some recovering wounded British troops at Tedworth House, Personal Recovery Centre which is funded by Help for Heroes. When you purchase a calendar you have a direct impact on the men and women who serve their nation.
Hot Shots’ Mike Newman had this to say about the announcement, “We’ve known the SSD crew for many years now and I think its safe to say there is nobody better at giving the industry their daily fix of product news. We’re proud and honoured to partner with a team with such great reach that share our core principles and beliefs.”
Newman went on to say, “We look forward to welcoming the SSD team to London to shoot the 2014 calendar next month.” Last year, SSD covered the 2013 calendar launch party and we look forward to future coverage.
Hot Shots Calendars are available at www.hotshotscalendar.com.
We received this press release from ATLANTCO, makers of the popular TRU-SPEC brand of clothing and equipment. Hog hunting has become a popular sport here in the US and the action is even more intense when shooting from a helicopter. VERTEX Aviation Group offers the largest halo hog hunting operation in the United States. Recently, they moved to replace their crews’ no ex flight suits with a new line of FR combat-style clothing from TRU-SPEC.
Throughout the farm and ranchlands just outside of Houston, TX, Helicopter Hog Hunting has taken on a new image, and a new layer of protection when it comes to Aerial Gunnery, Ground Recovery and Day-to-Day Operational Apparel. VERTEX Tactical Aviation, a division of VERTEX Aviation Group, proudly announces its recent partnership with new sponsor ATLANCO, the manufacturer of TRU-SPEC® brand apparel and 5ive Star Tactical Gear.
“TRU-SPEC® represents a perfect match for the extreme demands that we place on our apparel that we utilize during both our helicopter hog hunts and ground-based hog recovery operations.” states Mike Morgan, President of VERTEX Aviation Group. “Our flight and ground crews are extremely hard on our gear, which is due to the harsh environments where we perform our services. On any given day, we can be running hogs out of high trees and triple canopy wood-lines into rougher terrain with rose thorn thickets where normal clothing gets torn to shreds. TRU-SPEC’s Tactical Response Uniforms and TRU-EXTREME uniforms answer all of our company’s requirements for clothing that can handle our extreme environments, and continue to stand up to our routine day-to-day demands.”
“Our flight crews normally wear Nomex flight suits,” continues Morgan, “but they get ripped up when going through thorns to drag out a feral hog that has gone deep into the brush. TRU-SPEC’s XFIRE™ Tactical Response Uniform enables our flight crews to continue to have the fire protection of TRU-SPEC’sInterlock™fabric, while maintaining the flexibility of going from the helicopter to a ground environment without losing protection from the brush.”
VERTEX Tactical Aviation is one of the leading Helicopter Hog Hunting companies in the State of Texas. Texas leads the country in the highest number of feral hogs, currently numbering in excess of 3.2 million. This number represents 50% of the total US population of feral hogs. “Feral Hogs cause in excess of $400 million dollars in economic and agricultural damages each year in Texas, and our company’s focus is to assist our farmers and landowners with the removal of this depredating species.” states Morgan. VERTEX provides Helicopter Hog Hunts where private hunters attend an Aerial Hunting Safety Course to learn how to shoot safely and effectively from a moving helicopter. The hunters then go out with VERTEX’s flight and ground crews to hunt the hogs from helicopters. These hunts take place on private farm and ranch lands where property owners have requested VERTEX to remove the depredating hogs.
“These properties are composed of everything from woods to plowed fields to prairies covered in thorn thickets and over rivers, through the mud, and back and forth over and under barbed wire fences.” Says Morgan. “Normal apparel just doesn’t stand up to our line of work. That’s why we partnered with TRU-SPEC. We started to use their gear, and it continued to stand up to our demands. Partnering with them seemed like the perfect choice!”
“TRU-SPEC is excited to partner with VERTEX Tactical Aviation as their official apparel sponsor. Our tactically inspired apparel fits the needs of their day-to-day operations, both in the field and in the office. If this is your life this is your brand! We know Mike and his team will put our products to the test and provide useful feedback to help enhance the TRU-SPEC brand,” stated Darrell Jacks, TRU-SPEC VP ofMarketing.
VERTEX Tactical Aviation is based at Hobby Airport in Houston, TX, and has been performing Helicopter Hog Depredation under permit from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department since 2009. In response to the HB716 “Pork Chopper” bill that was passed in May of 2011, VERTEX began offering their Aerial Hunting Safety Course two weekends per month at a cost of $350 per attendee. Since June of 2011, over 500 people have attended the course.
“Our Aerial Hunting Safety Course is an all-day course with 4 hours of classroom instruction in the morning and hands-on Live-Fire training in the helicopter on an active range during the afternoon” states Morgan.” Each class is normally limited to 12 people to keep the instruction more concentrated, resulting in more interaction and additional time for hands-on training.” Depending on the location, VERTEX Tactical Aviation will travel with one of the aircraft to perform the classes for larger groups at remote locations when scheduling allows.
For those who have attended VERTEX’s safety course, Helicopter Hog Hunts can be scheduled anywhere from Monday through Sunday, and in locations all over the state. “Helicopter Hog Hunts have become our specialty.” says Morgan, with a smile. “We’ve proven to be quite capable at teaching our private hunters to become effective gunners in performing our depredation services. We’ve culled thousands of hogs since we began these services. One property area alone has resulted in over 500 hogs taken out since Jan 15th of this year. Our farmers love us.
I’ve decided to make a change on what is acceptable when posting comments regarding those in the firearms training business. I’ve let things slide for too long.
Character assassination is unacceptable behavior. If this is your MO, your post will be deleted. I don’t care who you are or, who you are talking about. Not everyone gets along. That’s life. If you don’t get along with somebody, do it somewhere else. There’s no quibbling about this either.
However, you may discuss the merits of the content as well as the quality of instruction if you have first hand knowledge. For example, you took and class from a trainer and it was great, feel free to share your experience, as well as why. Likewise, if you felt like you didn’t receive your money’s worth, or you see a technique or advice that you don’t agree with, please share and once again, put it in perspective. A simple, “I hate him” or “He sucks” will get your post deleted.
You can thank a few who checked professionalism at the door while visiting SSD for this policy clarification.
I am starting to wonder whether some of the commenters actually think about what they are posting or if the is some sort of compulsion at work. There have been some real humdingers lately. I’m not just talking about trashing a competing brand, I’m talking flat out dumb statements. Pig looking at a wristwatch stuff.
I have a feeling that there are norms at work here. What I might find appallingly stupid, another might consider ok to ‘say aloud.’ With the age of Twitter and Facebook, many feel that they can just post whatever silly thought crosses their mind, combine that with the relative anonymity that SSD offers and voila; recipe for stupidity.
What do you guys think?