Heraldry, Part II: Task Force Dragon

At various times, units of different sizes have held the distinction of being "task forces" here. "Task Force" can mean one of several things -- "Task Force Troy" is the counter-IED unit, for example -- but when assigned to a combat arms unit it denotes which level of command is considered the "ground owning" unit. When I was in Iraq the first time, it was with "Task Force Marne," a division-sized element commaned by the 3rd Infantry Division headquarters.

As you can see from the heraldry below, "Task Force Dragon" was a brigade-sized element (the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division). They have since left Iraq; the current "Task Force Dragon" is a battalion-sized element (1-63 Combined Arms Battalion, also part of 1st ID). That means the battalion owns the land, and the brigade and division commands support the battalion commander's efforts.

The motto, "Bellate Impavide," is "Fight Lustily!" or "Wage War Fearlessly!" Here is a milblogger from that unit, on their long-awaited final day in theater.

Here are two more from that period:

It is good to remember.

Heraldry, I

Heraldy, Part I:

One of the things I admire about the US Army is its devotion to the traditions of heraldry. The US Army's College of Heraldry has made a few "innovations," which is too bad -- I wonder if the 4th Infantry Division knows that the diamond-shaped shield is traditionally reserved for women? -- but on the whole it has preserved an ancient and noble custom.

The base where I am currently has had a lot of units pass through it. I took a longer than usual walk to the DFAC today in order to capture some of the better heraldry. I'll post a short series as I have time.

I like this example because it shows the classical heraldry as well as a more interpretive form. It also has the heraldry of the 1st Armor Division ("Old Ironsides"), to which TF Ram belongs.

North Korea Tests Second Nuclear Device, Fires Short-Range Missiles

Korea made its second test of a nuclear explosive on Monday and declared it was more destructive than the first, an advance that is likely to embolden Kim Jong Il's regime in rebuffing calls by the U.S. and others to halt its weapons program.

The country also launched three short-range missiles, including one from the same site from which it fired a long-range missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean seven weeks ago.

It never quite starts where you expect it to.

Right now, it seems Iran is the focus of the Obama administration's nuclear worries.

East wind, rain.
TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese ruling party panel is to propose that pre-emptive strikes against enemy bases be allowed despite the country's pacifist constitution, Kyodo news agency said on Monday, weeks after a North Korean missile launch.

In 1941, the Roosevelt administration expected, that if war broke out, the Japanese would attack the Philipines first.

People don't always do what you expect them to.

Oh, and happy Memorial Day to all.