Thursday, April 29, 2010

Promotions and some gun play

Some recent goings on with my FAST Company ninjas:

Corporal Casaneda was promoted March 1st out at the Isa Range Complex. His platoon celebrated this fortuitous occasion by shooting up the area.


Lance Corporal "Big Rig" McRoy was promoted March 1st. LCpl McRoy enjoys a number of nick names including "Ice Road Trucker", "Big Rig", and my personal favorite "McRoyal With Cheese."

Corporal Sidorchuck was meritoriously promoted on March 2nd.

During which I had to patiently instruct his Platoon Commander on such heavy concepts as drill and ceremonies.

He's a work in progress.

Semper Fi!
America's 1stSgt

Monday, April 26, 2010

Speech writing 101

Some video showing TacoBell of the Sandgram accepting the Milbloggie on my behalf. He is seen here reading an acceptance letter allegedly written by me. Anyone who knows me can testify that my bellowing is far more articulate and doesn't require a microphone.

Thanks to Tankerbabe for sending me the link and to TacoBell for the home run at the conference. Time for me to gallantly ride into the sunset while my fifteen minutes are still running.

America's 1stSgt
Dragons Slain
Maidens Rescued
Villains Thwarted

Saturday, April 24, 2010

"He's not so great..."

I find it kind of funny that immediately after I was recognized at the Milblog awards I have nearly dropped off the map. New readers stopping by here must be wondering what all the fuss is about. Frankly I don't know either and my only excuse is that between giving evil doers the hairy eye ball and recent travel itineraries that had me circumnavigating demonic clouds of volcanic debris I haven't been writing.

At the moment I am in Sedona again training with my ninjas at the Spartan Training Center. Yeah, I do that kind of thing on my free time. Next week I will be attending the Commander's Conference at Regimental HQ in Virginia. Not going to be as exciting as you might think. There is more action going on here at the training center.

But really, stay tuned. I'll post shortly. No really. I mean it. Don't go anywhere.

Semper Fi,
Ameria's 1stSgt

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Black Ops... not what I have been up to.

Being a living barrier against the forces of evil doesn't necessarily mean said forces will actually test the barrier. It does require the barrier to be there, not only to give those with bad intentions second thoughts but to reassure those within the barrier that it will not fold like a cardboard box when the wolf comes.

Back in the old Corps as an embassy guard we were taught to always be firm, courteous and tactful. We were also taught about the continuum of force. On the extreme end of the continuum you have the use of deadly force. On the near end is what we call "presence." Many times merely being present is enough to convince evil doers their master plan may not survive first contact with the World's Finest.

They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or "we'll blow you away." And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, "Igaralli ahow," which means "Excuse me, I didn't mean it, my mistake".
Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991

Although I would love to be able to tell you what has been keeping me busy lately involves an abundance of swashbuckling, pirate chasing, and high seas adventure, it more resembles a junkyard dog wishing someone would jump the fence so he could take a big wet bite out of them.

Lying offshore, ready to act, the presence of ships and Marines sometimes means much more than just having air power or ship's fire, when it comes to deterring a crisis. And the ships and Marines may not have to do anything but lie offshore. It is hard to lie offshore with a C-141 or C-130 full of airborne troops.
Gen. Colin Powell, U. S. Army
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff
During Operation Desert Storm

I have often explained to my Marines there will be two different responses from people when we touch down in any given part of the world.
Good Guys: "Thank God! It's the Marines!"
Bad Guys: "Awww crap! It's the Marines! Let's go hold up a liquor store instead."

Although what we are doing at the moment isn't clandestine by any means I am not at liberty to run my mouth about it either. Suffice it to say there are a whole lot of people who feel more comfortable when FAST Company is standing by to do violence on their behalf, or not. We're like a big security blanket keeping monsters firmly under the bed where they cannot devour children.

So sleep peaceably, the Marines are on deck, the situation is well in hand.

United States Marine Corps: America's Woobie

Thursday, April 8, 2010

We Are The Champions, My Friends!

Just wanted to drop a quick line thanking everyone who supported Castra Praetoria for the 4th Annual 2010 MilBloggie Awards.

In no particular order they are:
Wally at USMC81
Kanani at the Kitchen Dispatch
Tankerbabe at Cow Pastures To Kosovo (who just missed winning her category by a hair)
John at Coffeypot
Amy Sun at Fablab
Tim Baba at Free Range International
Ninja Jim

And finally Taco Bell from Sandgram who endorsed CP despite the notable efforts of his own fan base.Conquering Kokohead with family friends
Guys, you are all the heat!

To everyone who voted for Castra Praetoria,thanks. I guess now I'll have to actually write some stuff worthy of the award.

Due to some operational commitments, I have to keep this short. I just wanted to acknowledge all the gang who went above and beyond to support the big win.

In closing, I want to recognize the superior Kung Fu of my website admin, Hope. I think she gave herself a skin rash obsessing over this matter and may have even handed over one of her children for scientific experiments. It was probably worth it.

Semper Fidelis!
America's 1stSgt

Sunday, April 4, 2010

America's 1stSgt for Class President!

It seems Castra Praetoria is now in the finals for the 2010 MILbloggies. Scientists inform me they are unable to quantify the coolness of this event with current technology. In an effort to aid them, I have begun to do some of my own research.

And it's not helping...

So now I am just drumming up support instead. The innate loyalty of FAST Company Marines is enough to bring a tear to your eye.

"No MILbloggie award means no Christmas. Any questions?"

Speaking of loyalty, there are other categories besides World's Finest United States Marine Corps. I am partial to Free Range International in the Veteran category and A Little Pink In A World Of Camo in the spouse category. Free Range is written by a former Marine and Pink In Camo is the widow of a Marine. See the trend?

To see the current standings, go here. Then cast your vote! It's the American thing to do after all.

In the meantime, with the MILbloggies phase of my master plan in motion, I contemplate my next step in world domination.

Semper Fi!

America's 1stSgt

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hijack is such an ugly word really...

This is an official hijacking of Castra Praetoria by America's 1st Handler. When America's 1stSgt sees this, hopefully I will be able to defend myself better than this guy.

Yeah well...I also have eight thousand miles, a continent and a half and a nice little ocean on him...He'll chew me out for this , but while I hold him off with some Compromising to His Ninjaness Dora the Explorer pictures circa 2007 and still other little gems of three and four year olds hugging his legs in adoration, I'll need some help from his readers.

Seems Mike's blog has been nominated for milblog of the year award in the Marine Corps category to be awarded at the 2010 Milblog Conference in DC this year. While I went to the conference last year, (There was video I try very hard to bury every chance I get. No, not compromising...gheesh-- just an CP interview I was hijacked for between a couple of sessions out in the lobby of the hotel.) Anyway, while I went last year and they have me on record saying nice things about Bhurkus Khan, I'm not going this time around.


Hit the link I highlighted in red.
See it down there?
Register for their site.
They are spam free so no worries.
Add your nomination to CP.
You have until April 3rd at midnight EST to nominate the best Marine blog on the net.
Easy peasy.

Then go back and vote beginning April 4. since I know he will make the top five nomination wise and be in the running. Info for making nominations through April 3rd and also the voting beginning on the 4th and ending on the 7th is at the end of the post.

He gets all squirmy about stuff like this.
For all his swagger, this kind of attention is not his thing.
He'll also hate I used the word squirmy and easy peasy.
Tough brownies.

This is my hijack.
He can get his own.


Now as an aside, this isn't just about the recognition, but who am I kidding?
I'd love to see him smokecheck these other blogs.
Not because I am biased.
Which I am.
No, really it's because in my role here on this blog, I hear so often how happy people are to find CP and how much they enjoy the caliber of writing present and the unique voice he uses to share his beloved Corps.

Bottom line is the process of being in the running will get the blog out there so that new readers know he is here. We can't count on telepathic communication, but don't think I haven't looked into it.

In the meantime:

Follow the link and back him up.
I highlighted the pertinent stuff in red.

Well read the directions first.
I posted them just for you.
I just give and give.

Why are you still looking at this?

This means you, too, lurkers.
Hurry up!

I'm out.
March 29th, 2010
The 2010 Fourth Annual MILbloggies has officially kicked off today, and runs through April 7, 2010 until 11:59 PM EST. The MILbloggies are currently in the nomination phase, which will last until Saturday, April 3 11:59 PM. The top 5 nominees in each eligible category then move into the Voting Phase starting Sunday, April 4.You can keep track of the nomination standings in real time on Milblogging.c om here.

You must register and sign in to to nominate a military blog and you can nominate approximately one blog in each category. Registration is free and we do not send spam, but it’s required in order to vote to bogus nominations.

Tell your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors about the MILbloggies and have them nominate your blog.

If you do not want your blog considered for a Milbloggie award, please send me an email and I can temporarily place your blog in the Uncat egorized category.
Also, if your blog is not properly categorized, you can update the category by claiming your blog or by sending me an email with the change.

The awards will be presented by the 2010 MILblog Conference Sponsors at this year’s Milblog Conference being held April 9 and 10 in Arlington, VA.

For instructions on how to nominate a blog, see the
Official Milbloggies page.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Send me (JP) an email to
I will do my best to respond to your email as quickly as possible, but because of the number of inquiries I receive each year during the MILbloggies and because I have a day jo b, it may take a bit longer to reply.

About the MILbloggies

Launched in 2005, The MILbloggies Awards recognize military bloggers for their contribution to blogging, news and information, and to the military over the past year.