What Every Cop Should Know...

Jeff Riorden has enjoyed quite a few interesting career paths, including police officer, paramedic, and a health practitioner in the U.S. Navy before deciding to study at the Duke School of Nursing in Durham, North Carolina. All these careers have one thing in common – concern for public health and safety – which is why Jeff is also a supporter of harm reduction programs that reduce the spread of disease in our communities.

Along with many of his fellow nursing students, Jeff has come out to volunteer with the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition on our outreach trips through drug user and sex worker neighborhoods in Durham where we provide education and testing for HIV and hepatitis C. On these trips, he’s spoken about his experience as a former police officer and how law enforcement could benefit from a better understanding of harm reduction programs. Programs such as syringe exchange are shown to reduce the incidence of needle-sticks to officers by 66%.

DADT Update: The Service Chiefs Report, The Republicans Fret

There’s been a great deal of concern around here about the effort to prepare the US military for the full repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), and I’ve had a few words of my own regarding how long the process might take.

There was a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee last Thursday that had all four Services represented; with one exception these were the same Service Chiefs that were testifying last December when the bill to set the repeal process in motion was still a piece of prospective legislation.

At that time there was concern that the “combat arms” of the Marines and the Army were going to be impacted in a negative way by the transition to “open service”; the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Army’s Chief of Staff were the most outspoken in confirming that such concerns exist within the Pentagon as well.

We now have more information to report—including the increasing desperation of some of our Republican friends—and if you ask me, I think things might be better than we thought.

On Actually Ending DADT, Or, “Could It Really Take Another Year?”

So we got the good news that legislative repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy that kept LBGT folks from openly serving in the military has occurred, as the Senate voted Saturday to first cut off debate on the question (that’s the vote that required 60 Senators to pass) and then to pass the actual repeal legislation (which also garnered more than 60 Senate votes, even though it only needed 51).

Most people would assume that once Bill (remember Bill, from Schoolhouse Rock?) made it out of Congress and over to the President to for a signature that the process of repeal will be ended—but in fact, there’s quite a bit more yet to do, and it’s entirely possible that a year or more could go by before the entire process is complete.

Today we’ll discuss our way through why it’s going to take so long; to illustrate the point we’ll consider an actual military order that is quite similar to the sort of work that will be required from the Department of Defense (DOD) before the entire “DADT to open service” transition is complete.

Naval question

What do the experienced military folks on here think about this article?

The author (months ago) asserts that aircraft carriers have never really had any defenses against ballistic missles anyway, so all this talk about Chinese missiles we're seeing in the MSM is muchado about nothing.

Here’s the sentence: “Ships currently have no defense against a ballistic missile attack.”


Memorial Day thoughts

On July 29, 1967 my uncle ADJ1 Toney Barnett, USN, died along with 133 other sailors in the tragic flight deck fire on USS Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin.

My thoughts on Memorial Day turn to the prayer we sang each Sunday in the chapel at Annapolis:

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Thanks, from the Navy.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. My Dad said if I wanted to I could tell you something here. I just got home last week from a cruise to and from the Persian Gulf and my Dad has shown me the stuff he wrote about our cruise here. I got to read what you wrote back and you guys are really nice.

Our Navy son and his shipmates are home!

On Wednesday, we went onto the naval base in Norfolk, VA to meet and greet our son who has been sailing on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65) in the Persian Gulf for the last 7 months. They were part of a strike group that I suppose was Deadeye Dick and GWB's whet dream of bombing Iran when and if they could find any excuse to do so.

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