Should parents of US KIA's pay Federal income taxes?

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George Washington

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Mark Twain

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Monday, December 26, 2011


Col Wesley L Fox.jpg

Here is a guy for all Marines to admire.  Not only did he hold every rank from Private to Colonel, except for Sergeant Major, he won the Medal of Honor in Vietnam.  And, just as icing on the cake, he had three of the best looking daughters in Marine Corps history.  Col. Wes Fox is one of the fathers who is laughing his ass off at the thought of me having four daughters.  I am certain he was wishing I would have quit hanging around his second daughter back in the early eighties.

Col. Fox served two tours in Korea, and two tours in Vietnam.  He received four Purple Hearts over his career.  After retiring in 1993, because he'd reached the mandatory retirement age of 62, he was the Deputy Commandant of Cadets at Virginia Tech for eight years, for an astonishing 51 years in Marine Corps uniforms.

Fox's autobiography, Marine Rifleman: Forty Three Years in the Corps, is definitely worth reading.

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as commanding officer of Company A, in action against the enemy in the northern A Shau Valley. Capt. (then 1st Lt.) Fox's company came under intense fire from a large well concealed enemy force. Capt. Fox maneuvered to a position from which he could assess the situation and confer with his platoon leaders. As they departed to execute the plan he had devised, the enemy attacked and Capt. Fox was wounded along with all of the other members of the command group, except the executive officer. Capt. Fox continued to direct the activity of his company. Advancing through heavy enemy fire, he personally neutralized 1 enemy position and calmly ordered an assault against the hostile emplacements. He then moved through the hazardous area coordinating aircraft support with the activities of his men. When his executive officer was mortally wounded, Capt. Fox reorganized the company and directed the fire of his men as they hurled grenades against the enemy and drove the hostile forces into retreat. Wounded again in the final assault, Capt. Fox refused medical attention, established a defensive posture, and supervised the preparation of casualties for medical evacuation. His indomitable courage, inspiring initiative, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger inspired his marines to such aggressive action that they overcame all enemy resistance and destroyed a large bunker complex. Capt. Fox's heroic actions reflect great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps, and uphold the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.


  1. TGP- I love this series you're doing. Wonderful and informative. As someone who never served, I truly appreciate these posts, because these are heroes I most likely never would have heard of. Keep it up. Now, some questions.

    1- Is the Medal of Honor the one on Colonel Fox's neck?(Where the knot of a tie would be)

    2- How do you obtain a star? 3 star General, 4 star General, Those kinds of stars.

  2. Johnny,

    Thanks. I am really enjoying doing these posts.

    Yes, the Medal of Honor is the one on his neck.

    Promotion from Colonel top Brigadier General is done by an officer selection board. Same thing for Major General. To get the third and fourth stars, the service chief (Secretary of the Navy or Chief of Staff of the Army) must recommend your name to Congress. The competition is fierce. I think I read somewhere that the percentage of colonels that get selected for brigadier general is 7.

  3. 7 per year????????????????

    Also, Is the Secretary of the Navy, and Chief of Staff of the Army Commissioned officers who served?

  4. The Secretary of the Navy is a civilian, appointed by the president. The Chief of Staff of the Army is a four star general. I'm actually not sure about that. It would seem to me that the SecNav has an Army counterpart, but I don't know who it is.


    A little help on that?

  5. Johnny,

    That's 7% of colonels make it to brigadier general. I don't know how many that is per year, but its not a lot.

  6. Secretary of the Navy as an appointed civilian. I never served, and that makes ME fucking sick.

  7. I gotcha...........How many different Generals are their. I have heard of Brigadier, you also said their was Major. I'm guessing General, is THE MAN. Is their the 3 designations, or is their more?

  8. Johnny,

    Their are four:

    One star - Brigadier General, Army, Air Force and Marines - Rear Admiral, Lower half, US Navy

    Two star - Major General and Rear Admiral Upper half

    Three star - Lieutenant General and Vice Admiral

    Four star - General or Admiral

    Once upon a time there was a five star rank, but the last one to hold it was Eisenhower and McArthur.

  9. Johnny,

    Most Secretaries of the Navy have had some service. The Secretary under Roosevelt in WWII was a former rough rider sergeant under Teddy Roosevelt in the Spanish American War. FDR was himself a Secretary of the Navy, or maybe an undersecretary.

    But a lot of them have no service, like Rumsfeld. He never wore the uniform, and I would call him a draft dodger.

  10. Thanks buddy, as I said, keep these posts coming. I love 'em

  11. Tenth,
    Good post. Keep 'em coming.

  12. Tenth,

    Sorry to be absent from this discussion. I can only speak to the Marine Corps but virtually all officer selection is by some sort of board or review. The Second Lieutenant (O-1) to First Lieutenant (O-1) was nearly automatic but I think they started taking a quick look to make sure we didn't promote any clearly unsuitable candidates.

    Each rank becomes progressively harder as the structure is pyramidal with fewer majors than captains and fewer lieutenant colonels than majors. The year I was selected to lieutenant colonel the selection rate in zone (people being consider for the first time) was two points better than a coin toss (52%).

    The number of generals is governed by authorization (Congressional) and billet. The Marine Corps might be authorized 70 generals (I'm guessing) by law but if a Marine General is selected as you point out by the Secretary of the Navy or other competent authority to hold a specific job outside that specifically authorized by law that general is in addition to those we normally have.

    I don't think we want to get into Joint Commands (populated by two or more services) but that complicates the picture too.

    Selection to general officer in any service is quite remarkable. These men and women are accomplished, bright, well educated, and patriotic. And as this clip shows, they are generally brighter than the Congress people they report to:

  13. Tenth -

    I should point out my typo before Jeff calls me a liar again - a First Lieutenant is an O-2. Jeff's personality that served in the Navy to avoid the draft must not have popped onto your site lately.

  14. CS,

    I'd like to point out that though the competition is fierce, the best man is not always promoted. The top tier of generals being appointed politically, a few dipshits slip through. Wesley Clark comes to mind.

  15. No government system is perfect. Hell the only perfect guy got crucified.