By Ray Starmann
Last Saturday, retired Major General ‘Iron Mike’ Healy passed away at the age of 91. Healy, was a living legend in the Special Forces community; a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, he was the inspiration for John Wayne’s character, “Col. Iron Mike Kirby,” in the 1968 film “The Green Berets.”
Major General Healy earned the nickname “Iron Mike” while serving as a young officer leading Army Rangers on combat patrols deep behind enemy lines in Korea in the early 1950s.
The nickname would follow him throughout his career, including during five tours — nearly eight years in all — in Vietnam.
By the end of his career, Maj. Gen. Healy had earned numerous awards and decorations, including a Distinguished Service Medal, two Silver Star Medals, a Legion of Merit with three oak-leaf clusters, a Distinguished Flying Cross, a Bronze Star Medal with valor device, an Air Medal with Valor device, a Navy Commendation Medal with valor device and two Purple Heart Medals. He was also a member of the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame.
According to the JFKSWCS, Maj. Gen. Healy was “known by his men for his loyalty, compassion and love, as much for his tenacity in war.”
Major General Healy served the first of five tours in Vietnam in 1963 as a Special Forces major, serving as operations officer and senior advisor to Vietnamese special forces, building a force of mobile guerilla battalions that fought alongside American troops.
In 1964, he became a liaison officer to South Vietnamese special forces and then served in numerous roles with the 5th Special Forces Group. In August, he assumed command of the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.
In 1969, Major General Healy returned to Vietnam as commander of special troops and assistant chief of staff, G1, for the 24th Corps and later served as commander of the 1st Brigade, 9th Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta.
Three weeks after leading the brigade back home from Vietnam, Major General Healy — then an Army colonel — was recalled to Vietnam for his fourth tour in the country. He assumed command of the 5th Special Forces Group, which he would lead for 20 months before redeploying in 1971.
Upon returning to Fort Bragg, he was promoted to brigadier general and assigned as the assistant division commander of the 82nd Airborne Division.
His fifth and final tour in Vietnam came in 1972, when then-Brigadier General Healy served as commanding general of the 2nd Regional Assistance Command, Military Region Two as U.S. forces prepared to withdraw from the war.
After Vietnam, he was charged with dismantling the Army’s special operations, according to the JFKSWCS. But instead, during a three-year tour as commander of the John F. Kennedy Center for Military Assistance, Major General Healy instead further cemented the role of special operations forces in the modern Army.
Healy was the kind of soldier, the kind of officer, the kind of general that is almost non-existent in the US military of 2018; a feminized, politically correct military over-stocked with feather merchants, perfumed princes, cultural Marxists and Obama hold outs, who believe that the military is no different than your run of the mill corporation.
Nothing shows the dichotomy from yesterday’s US military to today’s PC farce in camouflage more than the scandal taking place in the Tennessee Air National Guard this week.
A firestorm erupted online in the last few days concerning a video showing Master Sgt. Robin Brown, a public affairs NCO with the Tennessee Air National Guard, as she recited her oath of re-enlistment using a dinosaur hand puppet in an April 13 video released on Facebook.
You don’t need reading glasses. Once again, the sergeant recited her oath with her right hand covered with a dinosaur puppet.
It gets worse…
Presiding over the ceremony was a Tennessee Air National Guard COLONEL, who failed to raise his right hand as he read the oath to the senior enlisted soldier.
Once again, you don’t need reading glasses. A COLONEL allowed this national disgrace to take place.
Of course, the Tennessee Air National Guard went into a three alarm PR spin mode immediately. The idiot colonel who allowed this to happen has been demoted and retired. He’ll be receiving full retirement benefits at the age of 60. The female master sergeant has been removed from her job and is awaiting administrative action. The FIRST SERGEANT who filmed the clusterfu*k has been relieved as unit top sergeant and transferred. He will be allowed to remain in the Guard.
Army Major General Terry Haston, the adjutant general for the Tennessee National Guard, stated:
“I am absolutely embarrassed that a senior officer and a senior NCO took such liberties with a time-honored military tradition,” Haston wrote. “The Tennessee National Guard holds the Oath of Enlistment in the highest esteem because that oath signifies every service member’s commitment to defend our state, nation and the freedoms we all enjoy. Not taking this oath solemnly and with the utmost respect is firmly against the traditions and sanctity of our military family and will not be tolerated.”
Chief Master Sgt. Ronald Anderson, the command chief master sergeant of the Air National Guard, also posted on his official Facebook page Tuesday.
“Many of you have sent me FB messages or commented within FB threads, clearly that same video has struck a nerve within our community ― rightfully so,” Anderson said. “This act in no way represents who we are as a force.”
That’s where you have it all wrong Sergeant Anderson. This act represents what the military has devolved into during the Obama years and now under the tutelage of the Mad Dog, who apparently is so busy loading Tomahawks that he doesn’t know the house is burning down around him.
The nation’s military has gone from being stocked with bad ass studs like Iron Mike Healy to Colonels who allow oath of re-enlistment ceremonies that mock the very ceremony itself to occur and senior enlisted personnel who have no respect for the oath they are indeed taking.
Anyone who has served in the US military will tell you that there are moments of outlandishness and comedy that can simply never be replicated in the civilian world. That’s why M*A*S*H was such a huge hit.
That being said, there are certain things in the military that are sacrosanct and which can never be mocked. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have taken the very oath that Master Sergeant Robin Brown, her top sergeant and her commanding officer disrespected. Many of these veterans lie in graves across the world where they gave their lives defending not only their countries, but that very oath that was desecrated.
Our military is in a freefall.
Just as Iron Mike Healy represents the US military of yesteryear, Master Sergeant Robin Brown, her commanding officer and her top sergeant represent the military of 2018.
The facts speak for themselves and God help us all.