Saturday, October 20, 2007

china '07 summer trip website

We finally finished the website SLU's CIIS Fellows Program: China Summer '07. There are slide shows, the written word, as well as links to websites, photos, and background readings. The site provides answers to such probing questions as: What are labor standards like in China? Are they improving? What does CIIS mean? Who's the Ivy chick?

Yes, all the answers to these questions and more are available at:

http://china07.wordpress.com

Be blessed!
RB

P.S. There may still be some typos and stuff to correct before we are really finished with the site. Any suggestions, corrections, or comments are welcome.

Friday, October 12, 2007

red cloud v. ivy


Our LT is in the 2nd Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division (2-2). The 2ID's shoulder patch insignia is an Indian head (Chief Red Cloud) in a star. As mentioned a couple of days ago, the 2-2 will be reflagged in 2008 as the 4th Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division (4-4).

While 4-4 may seem to be twice as good as 2-2, the 4ID's insignia is ivy. Like the Ivy League, this comes from the Roman numeral for four, IV. However, ivy is not nearly as cool as an Indian warrior.

Which would you pick: The Warrior Division or The Ivy Division?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

blog topics

This afternoon I labeled all my posts to this blog. [See Blog Topics in the sidebar on the right.] This was mostly for my own benefit so I can more easily find old posts. This was the ideal mindless task since I spent the morning in bed and I was too under the weather to do much else this afternoon.

Time for a nap.

Be blessed!
RB

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

army numerology

From yesterday's Stars and Stripes:

ARLINGTON, Va. — Following the latest deployment to Iraq is like playing a game of musical chairs.

The 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, based in Fort Hood, Texas, is heading to Iraq next summer, according to the Defense Department.

Before they go, they will be reflagged as the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Defense officials said.

Here is where it starts getting confusing.

The existing 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division is already in Iraq, officials said.

They are returning home this winter and will be reflagged as the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division as part of the Army’s efforts to have 1st Armored Division units based out of Fort Bliss, Texas, officials said.

Those aren’t the only changes planned for fiscal 2008.

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, which is now in Iraq, will be reflagged when it comes home as the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, an Army official said.

Meanwhile, the 5th Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division — a new unit — will become the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, the official said.

Any questions?


To help clarify, there are ten active divisions in the U.S. Army. Ft. Drum's 10th Mountain Division is the tenth and last one activated. [Note: This is where this stops making sense.] You'd think they would just number the divisions in, well, numerical order (like one through ten). No way! That what the marines do so the army can't follow their lead.

First of all there are three first divisions: The 1st Infantry Division (Ft. Riley, KS), the 1st Armored Division (Ft. Bliss TX), and the 1st Cavalry Division (Ft. Hood TX).

Now there is a a 2nd Infantry Division (South Korea), a 3rd Infantry Division (Ft. Steward GA), a 4th Infantry Division (Ft. Hood, TX) but no active 5th through 9th divisions. The remaining three are the 82nd Airborne (Ft. Bragg NC), 101st Airborne (Ft. Campbell KY) and the 25th Infantry (Schofield Barracks HI) Divisions.

Our LT is in the 2nd Brigade 2ID (2-2) stationed at Ft. Carson CO but the 2ID's 1st Brigade and HQ is in Korea while the 3rd, 4th and 5th Brigades are at Ft. Lewis WA. The 2ID is the only division with 5 brigades -- but not for long!

Also at Ft. Carson are two of the four brigades of the 4ID but two others and HQ are currently at Ft. Hood.

With the changes described by Stars and Stripes, the army is actually trying to have all this make better sense. The 4ID will move entirely to Ft. Carson and have all four brigades and HQ there. The 2ID will have three brigades at Ft. Lewis (all but Korea's 1st Brigade).

To do this the 2-2 will become the 4-4 at Ft. Carson and at Ft. Lewis the 5-2 will become the 2-2, while the old 4-4 at Ft. Hood will become the 4th Brigade 1st Cavalry Division. Of course to make this happen the current 4th Brigade 1st Cavalry Division will need to have a completely new designation, the 4th Brigade 1st Armored Division.

I trust this clears things up.

Be blessed!
RB

Monday, October 8, 2007

shakespeare on counseling

I just read of the death yesterday of a faculty emeriti (retired), also an SLU alum and a fourth generation Laurentian. He taught in the education department and was a counselor.

One of his favorite quotes was from Shakespeare’s Hamlet:

"There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so."


While this can be taken to extremes of relativism, is does capture the trap of unhealthy, negative thinking patterns. Our minds have developed habits of twisting reality that lets us think we see truth when it is often only the product of our deceitful hearts.

I've written on this before . . . 'nuff said.

Be blessed!
RB

Sunday, October 7, 2007

military intelligence goes postal

A common line from those who have served in the armed forces is that military intelligence is a contradiction in terms. It is still as true as ever.

This week we received a letter from Ft. Carson, Colorado informing us that the 3-61st CAV is due to return sometime in the first half of January.

They also informed us of the last date to send mail to IQ. Now it usually takes a week, maybe two weeks tops, for letters and packages to reach Baghdad. So guess when the last day is to mail things? Mid December? December 1st?

Nope. November 1st.

Anything post-marked after that date will be sent directly to Colorado and will not be opened until the troopers return.

No mail for two months. No Thanksgiving treats or Christmas presents unless sent on or before the day after Halloween. In fact, the guys will get no mail at all after the middle of November.

This is dumb.

How dumb? Too dumb, and not at all humorous enough, to make her list.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

china '07 fun

We have been putting together a website about last summer's China trip. For a sneak preview of the slide show from our "fun" page click here.

Be blessed!
RB