TYR Tactical

Archive for the ‘History’ Category


Sunday, March 11th, 2018

Return of Forces to Germany or REFORGER was an annual exercise in Europe during the Cold War. It featured units arriving in Europe and drawing equipment from Prepositioning Of Materiel Configured in Unit Set (POMCUS) sites and then rolling out to engage a fictitious enemy. European-based units conducted training based on their General Defense Plans. A Combat Photography unit captured III Corps’ portions of the 1987 REFORGER exercise on video. At the time there were two additional Corps (V and VII) already in Germany.

Since I am currently in Germany and participated in REFORGER 88, which was actually the last of the series to feature large maneuver, I thought it would be a cool share.

Part 1

Part 2

Army Unveils Latest Manpack EW System

Friday, March 9th, 2018

Gold Medal Ceremony: Congress to Honor Office of Strategic Services

Monday, March 5th, 2018

WASHINGTON–On Wednesday, March 21, leaders of the U.S. House and Senate will present a Congressional Gold Medal in honor of the members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) for their historic contributions during World War II.

The OSS, America’s first strategic intelligence system implemented during World War II, is widely considered the foundation of modern day intelligence operations. Founded by General William J. Donovan, a medal of honor recipient, the OSS “organized, trained, supplied, and fought” in the war throughout Europe and Asia and played a decisive role in America’s victory over axis forces. In addition to the civilian population, each military branch contributed personnel to OSS, whose missions resulted in some of the bravest acts of the war and forever changed the course of history.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)will take part in the bipartisan, bicameral ceremony.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor the United States can bestow. In accordance with Public Law 114–269, a single gold medal has been struck to collectively honor the members of the OSS.

The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, March 21 at 3:00 p.m. ET in Emancipation Hall and will be live-streamed on speaker.gov/live. For more on the history of the Congressional Gold Medal, watch this behind-the-scenes video. For press guidance, media should contact their respective congressional media gallery.

-Speaker Ryan Press Office

KLMK – The Soviets Did Digital Camouflage First

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Developed in 1968 and first issued to Soviet forces the next year, the Kamuflirovannyy Letniy Maskirovochnyy Kombinezon (KLMK), or in English, Camouflaged Summer Deceptive Coverall was meant to defeat night vision devices.


This lightweight garment is meant to wear over other clothing. It’s oversized design is reversible and incorprates a hood, simple flapped pockets and a drop seat with button flap. The pattern is two-tone (tan and pea green) which offers a rudimentary visual spectrum camouflage.


Interestingly enough, it is still in service and still in production.

Frederick Russell Burnham – An American Scout

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Although I grew up in Scouting, it was not until just a few years ago that I learned the story of Frederick Russell Burnham.

Burnham’s story is an amazing tale, that could only have happened in the 19th century. He served as an Scout for the United States Army during the Indian wars and later emigrated to southern Africa where he served as chief of Scouts for British Forces fighting the Matabele and Boers. Eventually, he was awarded the rank of Major by King Edward VII and invested into the Companions of the Distinguished Service Order, the highest military honor bestowed upon an American in the Second Boer War.

During this period he worked with Lord Baden-Powell, teaching him woodcraft. Lord Baden-Powell put them to immediate use in his campaign and when he later started the Scouting movement, those lessons became integral parts of the program.


What I find most amazing about their friendship is that Lord Baden-Powell adopted the Stetson and Neckerchief worn by Burnham. When Lord Baden-Powell created Scouting, a multi-use uniform item was the neckerchief. As this was not a common item of British military garb, I had always wondered how it and found itself into the Boy Scout uniform which was initially based upon military clothing. Conversely, during the Indian Wars in particular, you’d find a US Army Cavalry Trooper wearing a neckerchief which could be used for a variety of tasks, on the trail and in camp. Once I learned about the Burnham connection, I realized the neckerchief had come full circle, from the United States, to England, and then back to us.

But he did so much more than give us a neckerchief. Burnham participated in the early Scouting movement and was a lifelong friend of Lord Baden-Powell.

Frederick Russell Burnham: Explorer, discoverer, cowboy, and Scout. Native American, he served as chief of scouts in the Boer War, an intimate friend of Lord Baden-Powell. It was on some of his exploits demanding great courage, alertness, skill in surmounting the perils of the out-of-doors, that the founder of Scouting based some of the activities of the Boy Scout program. As an honorary Scout of the Boy Scouts of America, he has served as an inspiration to the youth of the Nation and is the embodiment of the qualities of the ideal Scout.

— 27th Annual Report of the Boy Scouts of America 1936

I’ve read several books on him, but my favorite is “A Splendid Savage: The Restless Life of Frederick Russell Burnham” by Steve Kemper. Be sure to check it out. And please, share the story of the American origin of the Scout neckerchief.

Any Other Dog Faced Soldiers Out There?

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

I served in the US Army’s 3rd Infantry Division from 1988-1990, in Würzburg, Federal Republic Of Germany. The Marne Division, as it is known, has a song, “Dog Faced Soldier” dating from WWII, as well as a mascot named Rocky, created in 1965 by none other than Walt Disney, for just $1.

Rocky’s name hails from WWI, where 3ID held like a rock during the second Battle of the Marne River. This distinguished service also earned the Division its motto, the French “Nous Resterons La” (English – We Shall Remain Here).

I find it rather unfortunate that the song “Dog Faced Soldier” written by two Infantrymen, was altered after the Division moved to Ft Stewart to make it gender neutral.

Here is the version we sang. If you attended PLDC at the 3ID NCO Academy in Kitzengen, you had to learn and sing it as well, regardless of which unit you served with. This often led to altered lyrics which weren’t so flattering for us ‘Dog Faced Soldiers.’

“I wouldn’t give a bean,
to be a fancy-pants Marine
I’d rather be a dog-faced soldier like I am.
I wouldn’t trade my old O.D.’s
for all the Navy’s dungarees
for I’m the marching pride of Uncle Sam.
All the posters you see say the Army builds men,
Well, they’re tearing me down to build me over again.
I’m just a dog-faced soldier
with a rifle on my shoulder
and I eat raw meat for breakfast every day.
So feed me ammunition, and keep me in the 3rd Division
For your dog-faced soldier boy’s O.K.”

Of course, the only constant is change. Take for example this version of the song from 1955’s “To Hell And Back”k a movie which tells the story of the most famous Marne Soldier of all, Audie Murphy. The lyrics are different than the version I learned.

Vickers Guide Offering Custom Prints

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

In the past, prints of the firearms featured in the Vickers Guides were only available as incentives for certain grades of books. Now, for a limited time at least, you can custom order a print of any firearm featured in a Vickers Guide volume.

Each print will be produced with the same professional quality and in the same size (19″ x 13″) and format as prior Limited Edition Prints. These are large museum quality prints on premium paper with long lasting inks. They are beautiful framed and will be a great addition to your man cave, gun room or office!


Johnny Seven OMA

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

The Johnny Seven OMA with its seven weapons made any kid wielding it a One Man Army.

The US Army has tried several times to integrate such capabilities into a single weapon, but modern helmets have at least caught up to the Johnny 7’s campanion item, the Micr-Helmet with integrated comms.