Hillard E. Johnmeyer
Heath Elliot Johnmeyer
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About Us

It is fairly common for sites to have an About Us section. Saying who you are and what you do is basic politeness in any conversation. Trust and credibility are major issues on the Web. Explaining who you are and where you come from does matter and we make the following promises to our audience: We'll provide you with accurate, engaging content. Like a friendly neighbor, we'll give you information that you can trust. We won't make you dig through a haystack to find the needle.

We'll make it easy to learn the basics of the topic we cover and we won't confuse you with unnecessary jargon. Our content is succinct, digestible, and entertaining. So many About Us pages are a waste of HTML. Though not everyone wants to know more about you, there are those who do. This page will tell you everything you ever wanted to know (and some things you don't) about us! Pay attention, we'll be giving a quiz!

Starting in 1996 I gleaned the web, newspaper articles, magazines, pictures, etc. which I wanted to keep and along with some original content and some things I'm interested in and I hope you are too posted them. I come from Missouri originally and operated this site from Oklahoma now Texas. I have a construction background, but since a stroke I do this Web Site. The Contact Us and The Small Print are located on the contact page.

After Dad died in 1998, I ended up with a lot of his things from WWII and Korea that I wanted to share with others, kind of like a tribute to him, his crew, and guys like them. The pictures and documents by themselves are probably not very important to the rest of the world, but I think they give real meaning to a period of time in U.S. history when thousands gave of themselves instead of taking for themselves.

Always having an interest in the military and aviation history (my first memories are of Davis-Monthan AFB during the Korean War) when my youngest became a Navy Officer, the website sort of expanded into all things military. America's military heritage can deservedly be called nothing short of glorious.

Submarines have a long history before the Cold War began in the 1940s. The first American example was built during the Revolution, and the first successful sinking of a surface vessel by a submarine dates to the Civil War. However, the development of the nuclear-powered submarine in the 1950s by the United States and its incorporation into the strategic triad of defensive weapons altered global politics significantly, and its presence in the world's waters remains a powerful deterrent to nuclear warfare today.

The United States has a colorful war history and the stories of American wars are both inspiring and tragic. Thousands of lives have been sacrificed in the pursuit of freedom and justice. It's not just good luck that has enabled the American military, over the course of 200 years, to whip the British Empire (twice); defeat a Mexican Army that all of Europe was sure would prevail; survive a fratricidal Civil War despite a shockingly high casualty rate; dispatch the forces of the Spanish Empire in less than a year; help the Allies evict the Germans from France; dominate an international alliance that simultaneously beat the Nazis, the bloody Japanese warlords, and the Italian fascists; battle the North Koreans and their Chinese allies to a draw on the Asian mainland; and stave off the Soviet-supported invasion of South Vietnam for more than a decade.

Far from being the bloodthirsty, imperialist nation of Leftist fantasy and propaganda, we value the sanctity of life more than any military culture in history. This has led to more humane treatment of prisoners and more effective operations than any comparable power. The American military has also benefited from a combination of other virtues: the ability to learn from losses and mistakes; the unique autonomy entrusted to our troops; our free-market economy; and, ironically, the constant improvements forced by anti-war protestors. It all adds up to an enduring culture of victory. The culture of victory has endured through the darkest moments of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, and it helps our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq prevail even now.

Believing that “standing armies in time of peace are inconsistent with the principles of republican governments [and] dangerous to the liberties of a free people,” the U.S. legislature disbanded the Continental Army following the Revolutionary War, except for a few dozen troops guarding munitions at West Point, New York, and Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania. Yet it also called upon four well-manned state militias to provide 700 men in order to deal with potential threats from Native Americans and the British. A reorganized version of this so-called First American Regiment essentially would be all President George Washington had at his command upon taking office in April 1789.

The ratification of the Constitution in 1788 greatly expanded the federal government's authority, in part by giving Congress the power to raise and support armies. The First Congress did not immediately act upon this provision, however, choosing instead to set up the State, War and Treasury departments and the judiciary, among other things. On August 7, 1789, President Washington urged it to establish “some uniform and effective system” for the military “on which the honor, safety and well being of our country so evidently and essentially depend.” He made a second plea for action three days later. But it was not until September 29, the last day of its first session, that Congress passed a bill empowering the president “to call into service, from time to time, such part of the militia of the states, respectively, as he may judge necessary.” Before that, states could refuse to send along their men.

Throughout the first several decades of its existence, the United States suffered relatively few combat casualties. That all changed during the Civil War, when the Union and Confederacy lost at least 618,000 men between them—and possibly many more—to bullets and disease. In fact, it's believed that more Americans were killed or wounded in one day of fighting at Antietam than in the entire War of 1812, itself the seventh-deadliest conflict in U.S. history. Since the Civil War, only World War II has come close in terms of American deaths, with 405,000.

In 1779, George Washington chose blue as the primary uniform color of the Continental Army, a decision that remained in place as late as the Spanish-American War of 1898, when some U.S. troops in Cuba purportedly smeared mud on themselves so as to better avoid enemy snipers. Soon after, the Army adopted a khaki summer uniform and a greenish-brown winter service uniform, keeping the traditional blue only for formal occasions. More changes came during World War I, when, following the example of the French, the U.S. military formed a team of artists and other creative types to design low-visibility apparel. Allied camoufleurs, influenced by Cubism and other modern styles, also painted ships with bold, wild-looking stripes to confuse German submarines and built false bridges, decoy tanks and even paper-mache horse carcasses. Later on, neuroscientists helped to produce increasingly complex camouflage patterns, including one known as “U.S. woodland,” used primarily of late by Navy SEALs. And in 2001, the Marines introduced pixelated, computer-generated camouflage.

During the Revolutionary War, American women could be found on the battlefield as nurses, seamstresses and cooks. A few even saw combat, such as Mary Ludwig Hays, aka Molly Pitcher, who, according to legend, replaced her incapacitated husband at a cannon at the Battle of Monmouth, and Deborah Sampson, who disguised herself as a man. Women played a similar role in the Civil War and other 19th century conflicts. Yet they weren't allowed to officially serve until the establishment of the Army and Navy Nurse Corps in 1901 and 1908, respectively. The first non-nurse women then enlisted in 1917, when, by working stateside in clerical positions and overseas as Signal Corps operators, they freed up male servicemen for fighting at the World War I front. In 1948, a few weeks before abolishing racial discrimination in the armed forces, President Harry Truman signed a bill allowing women to serve permanently, not just in times of war. The first women were then promoted to general in 1970, and in 1976 females were admitted into the service academies. Today, women make up about 16 percent of the Army, and by 2016 they reportedly will no longer be excluded from ground-combat units.

The United States has formally declared war on only five occasions: the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II. Yet it has sent its armed forces abroad over 300 times “for other than normal peacetime purposes,” according to a congressional report issued in 2010. The first of those interventions was the Quasi-War against France in 1798-1800, whereas more recent actions have involved Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terrorism.

Of the 43 U.S. presidents, 31 served in the military in one capacity or another. For some, the experience was short lived and inconsequential. Abraham Lincoln, for example, spent fewer than three months with the Illinois militia, seeing no combat except, as he later deadpanned, against mosquitoes. Others, however, were high-ranking career military men, such as General Ulysses S. Grant, commander of all Union troops at the end of the Civil War, and General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who spearheaded the D-Day invasion of World War II. The only non-officer of the bunch was James Buchanan, a private in the Pennsylvania militia during the War of 1812.

With about 1.4 million active-duty military personnel, 1.1 million National Guard and reserve personnel and 700,000 civilian personnel, the U.S. Department of Defense employs more people than any other organization in the world. By comparison, the world's largest corporation, Wal-Mart, has about 2.2 million workers on its payroll. The Department of Defense is also a huge land manager, controlling approximately 30 million acres worldwide, a swath bigger than Pennsylvania.

In 2013, the United States handed out $619 billion to the military, about as much as the next nine highest-spending countries combined and 37 percent of the worldwide total, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which tabulates such numbers annually. Nonetheless, other countries are closing the gap somewhat. While military spending in the United States has dropped recently—it reached a peak of $720 billion in 2010—it has gone up an estimated 170 percent in China, 108 percent in Russia and 118 percent in Saudi Arabia since 2004.

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