Monday, November 9, 2009

Kevin's Translation

I, along with one other classmate and one professor, am working on a couple papers about the history and policy of color blindness as a physical standard for the military.  Although the first paper is just about done, as part of it, I asked my amateur German scholar father-in-law, Kevin Melia, to translate an article for me, A Railway Accident a Hundred Years Ago as Reason for Systematic Testing of Colour Vision, Klin Monatsbl Augenheilkd. 1975 Jul;167(1):125-7.  Since this is the only English translation I know of, I've decided to post it online in case anyone else in the world would like it.  Note that as personal favor, it's not super polished, so you'll see Kevin's notes to me regarding his translation.  A Railway Accident a Hundred Years Ago as Reason for Systematic Testing of Colour Vision

Monday, September 7, 2009

Raritan Valley Line Improvements

    That, my friends, is the Raritan Valley Line pulling out of Fanwood station.  Upon getting on the train Sunday morning, I learned that starting in late 2008, and finishing just last week, the Raritan Valley Line had switched to all double-decker carriages. 

    On the same trip, while waiting in Newark Penn Station, I learned that Amtrak offers head of the line service to those of us in uniform.  While this is a laudable offer, I challenge the Amtrak management to do more.  Please lower your fairs for service members so that we might actually use Amtrak.  I travel between NY and DC somewhat frequently, and Amtrak doesn't even come close to offering a competitive price compared to driving.  Further, please fix the annoying policy of not permitting bicycles on trains between NY and DC.  Not only is the website unclear as to what the policy is, but the policy does nothing to promote freedom from our automobiles.  DC and NY are two of the most bike friendly (I realize that compared to somewhere like Holland we suck.) large American cities, but there is now way via public transportation to bring a bicycle between the two.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Final Kerkesner Photos

Here are all the photos I took while at Fort Indiantown Gap.

Listen to Rory Stewart

Listening to NPR this afternoon a recent article in the London Review of Books by Rory Stewartwas brought to my attention.  He says what I've been thinking for a while although in much clearer terms and with more research.  We, the West, should reduce our troop commitment in Afghanistan to 20,000 soldiers specifically to keep Al Qaeda from using the country to attack us while concentrating our long term efforts on development.  I think one thing that keeps us from adopting this course is that even when a bomb blows up an empty building, commanders and policymakers can confidently say that the bomb was dropped and the building was blown-up.  That the status of the building after the bomb remains virtually unchanged from before is irrelevant.  As George Soros has written about development is much riskier.  However, in the long run, it is much cheaper than repeatedly dropping expensive bombs on a country that ran out of worthwhile targets a decade or more ago. 

Mr. Stewart does not go down the economic path to address whether our current course is sustainable in the long term for the US and the UK.  We continue to disinvest in our own countries while spending billions and billions in Afghanistan.  Not only do Americans need to read After the Empire by Emmanuel Todd to learn that the balence of trade is disastrous for us, but that literacy matters far more in Afghanistan than our JDAMs. 

The views expressed here are those of mine only, and are not to be
construed as those of the Department of the Navy or Department of

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The buses finally arrived at FIG yest...

The buses finally arrived at FIG yesterday at 1400.  However only two buses arrived when four were needed.  I'm not quite sure how Bravo Company was determined to go first, but being part of Bravo Company I'm not going to complain because the second two buses didn't show up until we were on the Beltway more than two hours later. 

We road home on this bus from Becton's Elite Getaway.  I don't know who is responsible for the lack of bus SNAFU, but I can tell you the Becton's by Larry B according to the back of the bus, sucks.  Perhaps the government contract didn't specify that the air conditioning must kept a bus load of people cool because although the air conditioning was on, it barely worked.  We sweated as much on the bus ride home as we did all week.  I wouldn't have been surprised if we had had our first heat casualty on the bus it was so hot. 

Friday, July 24, 2009

Clean vs Dirty BDUs

Here you can see the filth I've accumulated over the last two weeks on my BDUs. Bree Baffer changed into a clean uniform yesterday while I haven't got one.

Posted by ShoZu

Hat Head Toss

We've finished most clean up and are currently awaiting for the TOC tent to be taken down prior to policing that area. While waiting several students started playing head hat toss. Jon Wingate commented that one of these classmates might catch his baby one day.

Posted by ShoZu

Tent Take Down

This morning we woke up at 0430 to return to Kerkesner. We proceeded to take down the tents and have our weapons, which had been hastily returned prior to our departure last night, inspected.

Here one sees third platoon's tents already on the ground while ours is about to be taken down.

Posted by ShoZu

Brian Taylor in a Hodgepodge Uniform

After an hour or two we finally got places to sleep throughout the barracks. We were not able to maintain platoon integrety and give everyone a rack. Thus, some people slept on the floor, which was not big deal. Overall proboly worth getting a shower a day early.

Because we left our site so quickly and had been just lounging about and napping, not everybody had all their uniform bits. Also we needed kevlars since we travelled via LMTV. Thus we have Brian Taylor above as an example of our dress in flip-flops, BDU trousers, tshirt and kevlar. Here he stands as platoon leader while we await transport back to Kerkesner to clean up.

Posted by ShoZu

Thursday, July 23, 2009

One Final SNAFU

After raining all afternoon, lightening and thunder commenced about 2000. All of a sudden we had 30 minutes to get our gear together since range control had declared that all personnel needed to be off the mountain.
The above photo shows members of bravo company chilling outside of the barracks awaiting rooms. There are three bays empty, but so far they have not been unlocked and made available to us.

Overall SNAFUs have been few and far between so one can't really complain. Nevertheless, for us right now, we are not having a good time since we'd lie to take advantage of this unexpected opportunity to shower.

Posted by ShoZu

Nic Longstreet Asleep After 36 Hours of Missions

After our short completion ceremony we all pretty much collasped. Although the original weather forcast expected rain all we, we finally had rain once we were done today.

Dr. Burns has told us he's got our dinner tonight, which we hope is pizza. After finishing up clean up tomorrow morning we will finally go home to clean off a week's worth of sweat and grime.

Posted by ShoZu

More Cont.

After the scout platoon conducted another mission and we accepting their casualties the exercise was finished. We returned to our camp where Dr. Burns conducted simulated field memorial service to emphisize why we are here and we do what we do. We also had some inter-platoon competition in the form of pugal sticks, MMA and an MRE eating contest. Unfortunately I did get pictures, but others did. We are all running pretty short on battery life after almost a week with no power. Finally we had a short completion ceremony where we met the commodant, CDR McKay.

Posted by ShoZu

Anna Romagnolli AKA Ramen Noodle

Above we see Anna resting on the bleachers near the site of our second battalion aid station yesterday. She wasn't feeling too well, so she ended up with the job of escorting people to the toilet. It wasn't much, but proper sanitary practices are important to any military operation.

After setting up two BASs yesterday, we got dropped off by squads to set up another. What a surprise when we found put that each squad's driver erred and thus all squads had to conduct their own night land navigation through thick forest.

Shortly after hitting the hay, we were awoken with a short tasked to have the entire company set up a new BAS. On the way their we were hit by an IED forcing us to finish the last leg on foot carrying our casualties up a decent sized hill. Carryin litters an individual patients up hills is tough, but we did it. We had he BAS set up with a perimeter by sunrise upon when OPFOR started probing our security.

Posted by ShoZu

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Platoon Mates on the Bus Returning from Paintball

Bree Baffer, Connie Barko, Matt Gagnon, Seabass Welsh are sitting on the back of the bus. We had to go to a commercial site for paintball about half an hour away. We did a few lanes that enabled us to put into practice some of the platoon movements we've learned. At first we took significant casualties, but eventually figured things out. Over all nearly the entire platoon thought this was one of the best activities of the last ten days

Posted by ShoZu

A Victorious Garrett Parker Celebrates his Unexpected Win in Pugal Stick Combat

After last night's late night mission today we conducted combatives training in the morning. Last night we rescued a hostage from a multistory building that had to be accessed via tunnels. We all had a great time although my squad had to return to rescue a casualty we had left inside. The climbing through wet tunnels was not so great for our knees.

The defeated in the above photo, 2dLt C, had shown some unknown ferocious earlier in the training, so we expected him to destroy Garrett. Yet instead, managed to pull out a 3-2 victory.

Posted by ShoZu

Monday, July 20, 2009

Our Platoon Cheering on Our Best Shooter, Keith Beam

We had three sets of shooters for this morning's M9 familiarzation fire. The best shots from each set were compared. Keith beat out myself and Paul Wetstein. He then went in to shot five rounds in twenty seconds at a M16 zeroing target from about ten yards. I can't remember the exact scoring system, but he scored six points, which wasn't enough to beat the current top score from all platoons of ten.

Posted by ShoZu

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Our Camp

After arriving at our camp first and third platoons decided to move our tents down the slight incline to flatter ground. Second platoon's tents are in the foreground while first and seconds are in the background. Third platoon's tents are obscured by second's in this photo.

Tomorrow we will do the scout day. We have nit yet been issued weapons because the first two activities tomorrow, pistol range and paintball, forbid rifles.

Tuesday we'll do infantry and Wednesday we'll do medical. The schedule is such that we expect each day to get us more dirty.

Posted by ShoZu

Jon Wingate Standing by Our Guidon

We've just arrived at Op Kerkesner. Above you can see some of our tents with new high speed cots. We've been issued sleeping bags and stand by ready to be assigned tents.

Posted by ShoZu

Joyce Noveras at Breakfast

I had planned to wake up for mass at 0730. However when I woke up I decided to go back to sleep. Fortunately I couldn't get back to sleep and went. The only other person from my company who went was Joyce Noveras. Afterwards we went to Funck's for breakfast to make up for our calorie deficiet over the last and upcoming week. I had a huge meat lovers omelet, two pancakes and scrapple. Yum yum Maybe it will get me through the next week. We have the next couple of hours off until we go to the field for Op Kerkesner.

Posted by ShoZu

Two MS IVs Conducting Triage

About forty of us just played casualties for Op Bushmaster. When the end of the ex was called thirteeen of isinimals remained on site. We are to be used in a second mass cas in a few minutes.

Posted by ShoZu

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Getting Ready for Mass Casualty

Mary Alice Pass, Bree Baffer, Seabass, Megan Stevens just before a mass casualty event on Saturday evening.

Posted by ShoZu

Friday, July 17, 2009

Joe Spinelli Moulages Kaye Dowdy

Some of the MS Is, instead of being moulaged and played casualties, have learned the moulage techniques themselves. This helps the moulae staff in that rarely is anybody waiting to be moulaged. Thus, the scenarios are never waiting on patients.
In general our student leadership has developed an excellent system of assigning students to scenarios. Students usually have about an hour prior to their moulage showtime.

Posted by ShoZu

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lesson Learned by the Platoon Sergeant

Our platoon sergeant Megan Stevens had been a bit full of herself with all the power she has over us. We took her behind the tent and showed her where the true power is.
Note: The above post is sarcasm. All bruising is moulage.

Posted by ShoZu

Hungover Having Drunk Nothing

I just did two patient runs to different BASs. Completely randomly I had the same simulated patient assignment both times. I was a hungover soldier although in real life we have a general order number one that prohibits is from any alcohol consumption during these two weeks. One both runs upon being told to wait a bit by perimeter guards, I promptly sprawled out on the ground to sleep. On both runs, the MS IVs were quick to assume that I needed a stretcher although I then stood up and walked onward. At the first BAS the Brit acting as surgeon quickley realized I was hungover and returned me to duty. The student at the second station spent nearly twenty minutes before some suggesting by her instructor created in her an 'ah hah' moment.

Posted by ShoZu

Helmet Rock

After being evacuated from the BAS, we walked up to the main road in order ne picked up and recycled back to the moulage tent. While waiting for the van, ENS Brian Taylor demonstrated his creativity by inventing a new game, helmet rock, the goal of which is to throw a small rock across the road onto an upsidedown helmet. When you get a rock in, everybody cheers. Play is them continued until either another rock is thrown in or the van arrives. The honor of first helmeted rock belongs to 2dLt Marcia Miranda.

Posted by ShoZu

Battalion Aid Station

After being moulaged we were strewn about a IEDed vehicle. The MS IVs then recovered us and brought us to the BAS.

Posted by ShoZu

ENS Bree Baffer Post Moulage

Posted by ShoZu

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Upon returning from the LRC this morning we ran into a pizza delivery guy making a delivery. Although he started to think I was the intended recipient. I conveyed that all I wanted was the phone number of a place that delivered here. He then gave me a stack of menus, which I gladly distributed among my company mates.
For dinner te whole squad chiles in and we ordered pizzas. Most importantly we ordered some ruffage too to suppliment our lack of frsh fruit and veggies.
How many other medical schools get to eat pizza on concrete after combatives training?

Posted by ShoZu

Dan Choking Jeff

This afternoon we did some more combatives training. Here you see Dan demonstrating a serious choke on Jeff, the company commander. Although Jeff looks to be in a poor state, he was compliant, and Dan was going gently in anticipation of a tap out.

Posted by ShoZu

RIP Dan's Belt: June 2003 - July 2009

We had serious casualty today. Dan Brillhart had had this belt for six years, but when using it to secure two planks together, the buckle snapped due to his weight with a hundrend pound weight on his back. Unfortunatly the type of buckle is no longer available and cannot b replaced.

Posted by ShoZu