Category Archives: Personnel

Alvin York and Henry Johnson- Two of the Most Notable American Military Heroes of WWI

Greatness, it is often said, comes out of the most trying and rather difficult times. This is probably the reason why some of the most inspiring stories are embedded in times of human suffering such as war and genocide. Crisis in such times is not only restrained to the front line battle between two opposing parties and their conflicting ideologies; it is also the moral crisis which seeps deeper into societies. The ones who are remembered as great are those who held onto their moral responsibility by responding, in words and action, in a way that’s right and just.

Some of the WW I heroes of the United States Armed Forces are remembered for just these reasons; for persevering and staying steadfast and honest in the role they were given. Continue reading to know about two of the most notable ones, Sergeant Alvin Cork and Henry Johnson.

Alvin York

Many would be surprised to know that he opposed the idea of fighting in a war on ground because it conflicted with his religious ideology which was focused on peacefulness and nonviolence. Belonging to Tennessee, York was actually forced to join the ground troops. It was October 8th, 1918 when during the well known Meuse Argonne Offensive, York along with his team had been able to capture seventeen German troops. It is here that they were attacked with heavily loaded machine guns from all sides which reportedly killed nine of his companions. He responded promptly by first escaping the sight and then targeting German shooters one after the other with the help of his rifle. Bringing his 0.45 pistol to good use, he killed six of the German shooters when they tried to attack him with bayonets. He eventually made the remaining ones to surrender and captured them while killing some 20 during the combat. When the war was over, he got back to his original occupation of farming even after receiving a Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross.

Henry Johnson

Belonging to the National Guard of black soldiers famously called the Harlem Hellfighters, Johnson and some of his black companions did unskilled labor during the initial war stages. But when the French army ranks were swiftly getting exhausted, they were sent over to fill in for them. He secured a spot for himself in the books of history on 14th May, 1918 when attacked by twenty German troops in the wee hours of the night. Henry Johnson, along with Needham Roberts, was serving the duty of sentinel when the attack took place. While Roberts was injured to the point of immobility, Johnson stayed steadfast and attacked back consistently with rifle as well as hand grenades. When he could no longer use his weapons due to being jammed, he utilized them for hand to hand combat, not stopping even once. Upon seeing the Germans trying to take away Roberts, he started stabbing them with the only weapon left with him; a bolo knife, attacking until they retreated.

The Top Five U.S Military Special Operation Units

An irrefutable charisma is what the U.S military special operation units have always held. As they often work secretly, the exploits of these specially chosen soldiers are almost of fabled nature. When laymen hear the word: special operations units, they immediately envision a group of super troopers. However, what they don’t know is that SO units are time and again fashioned for specific missions. Some of the missions include counter terrorism, foreign internal defense, strategic investigation and irregular warfare.

There are also some SO units that have expertise in direct action missions such as ambushes and raids. However, each unit is unique and primed for their specific job. There are some U.S military special operation units that stand above the rest. Here are the top five U.S military special operation units.

  1. USMC Force Reconnaissance

At fifth place is USMC Force Reconnaissance. Incepted in 1957, the USMC Force Reconnaissance has been performing direct action missions as well as extensive reconnaissance since its birth. For people not familiar with this term, reconnaissance means military investigation of an area to determine strategic features or unearth an enemy.

  1. U.S Army Delta Force

Founded in November 1977, U.S Army Delta Force generally comprises of quiet and multitalented professionals. This unit is usually involved in information operations, counter terrorism, special reconnaissance, and irregular warfare.

  1. U.S Intelligence Support Activity

Obvious from the name itself, U.S Intelligence Support Activity is involved in the task of gathering intelligence information. Gathering intelligence information is the primary function of this special operations unit. In order to gather information, U.S Intelligence Support Activity soldiers track and monitor radio communication and go undercover.

  1. U.S Army Ranger Regiment (75th)

Headquartered at Ft. Benning, GA, U.S Army 75th Ranger Regiment includes three special operations battalions and a Special Troops Battalion. The Ranger Regiment performs a number of specialized operations such as responding to crisis situations within and outside of the United States.

  1. U.S Navy Seals

The most popular U.S military special operations unit, the U.S Navy Seals is arguably the most prudent U.S SO unit around. In existence since World War 2, the U.S Navy Seals has fought many battles and won most (if not all) of them. The primary responsibility of this unit is safeguarding the U.S coast and beaches.

 

Notable Women of the US Military

The role of women in US armed forces has seen a major uplift in the past few decades in terms of both ground and air combat. Witnessing a woman in any major role in the military used to be a rarity about a century ago. Today, they are actively taking part in such military roles as at hard core combat and command that were only considered the forte of men.

Few of such women merit a mention because of how unabashedly they defy the stereotypical gender roles through their actions and come across as true wonder women;

Major Lauren Edwards

Originally a combat engineer belonging to the Marine Corps, Major Lauren Edwards stood true to the need of the hour when during leading a convoy of combat engineers in war torn Iraq (2003), her unit came under attack. Having never been directly fired at before, it came as a surprise when she led and strategically defended the group of roughly one-fifty engineers and all the vehicles along.

Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester

Since World War II, Sgt. Leigh Anne happens to be the first woman to have earned the Silver Star Medal, and for good reason.  She utilized her close combat antics when her squad got fired at in Iraq during the war. When almost dozen insurgents attacked, she walked right into the line of fire to directly take down three of the Iraqi insurgents from a dangerously close range. The right impulse and quick decision making are two crucial factors in such a situation; she proved to be a master in both as she saved the lives of her convoy members.

Lt. General Patricia Horoho

Having assumed the highest medical rank of the US Army as the forty-third Surgeon General, Patricia Horoho has been able to make reality something that hasn’t happened in the last two hundred years; being a female non-physician to take up the Surgeon General Rank, that too while working in the capacity of a nurse. Her extensive experience in the trauma units won her the revered Society of Trauma Nurses Leadership Award as well.

Cpl. Mary Beth Monson

Corporal Mary Beth won the Woman of the Year Military Leadership Award in 2013 for the way she maintained her calm and composure while acting strategically when her base came under fire. She was deployed in Afghanistan when a few combatants, disguising as American soldiers but actually belonging to the enemy, launched a full blown assault on the base.  During the attack, she acted heroically by helping everyone inside keep calm while after that, she spent a good eighty hours cleaning the place when it wasn’t a part of her unit’s responsibilities. Her strategic yet quick approach of taking things in control in the face of an unforeseen blow made her stand out as one of the most composed female officers.