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Integrity and Honor April 2, 2015

Posted by Nick Noll in Uncategorized.
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Honor

High respect; esteem. A privilege.

 

When you join the United States Marine Corps you will either take a bus to Parris Island, South Carolina or San Diego, California to attend Basic Training. As young men from various parts of the country arrive late at night they are greeted by a Drill Instructor yelling at them on the bus to get off the bus. There they get off onto the yellow footprints. They stand as young men some barely 18 hoping not to be singled out for further attention.

One of the most critical things you learn, as a young recruit is the 14 Marine leadership traits. Among those leadership traits one stands above all: “Integrity”. A quick web search will reveal Integrity to mean: “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness and or the state of being whole and undivided.” Leadership within the Marines is extremely important and it is bestowed upon young men who make critical life and battle changing decisions. Recent movies such as Lone Survivor or American Sniper give the American public a glimpse into the split second decisions made by men of integrity and honor whom have been called upon by U.S. policy makers to act in the best interests of U.S. national security.

As the wars continue to wind down the American public continues to see a myriad of integrity violations that lead to a loss of public trust in the leadership of this nation from Cabinet level officials, news anchors, and our highest enlisted Marines who serve in positions of authority but continue to betray the public trust and in some cases the trust of their Marines and honor of those passed.

Integrity in the Marines over the course of a career breeds a level of honor that is often reflective of one’s rank. The highest enlisted rank within the United States Marine Corps is the Sergeant Major (SGTMAJ). Through the course of a 20-30 year career to attain such a high rank the 14 leadership traits are continuously in use and enhanced through experience and professional training. However, just as in the case of the recent Veterans Affairs director Honor has been lost and integrity violated. Having read the biographical profile of SGTMAJ Kenneth C. Lovell III of the 3rd battalion 2nd Marines. A few errors were discovered from colleagues who served alongside the upcoming SGTMAJ. As in the case of Brian Williams there appears to be an attempt to amplify ones accomplishments in the public eye for future albeit notoriety or career ambition.

His original bio stated he: “…attended the Scout Sniper Basic Course in which he was an Honor Graduate.”

SGTMAJ Lovell attended the Scout Sniper Basic Course 3-98 at Stone Bay in Camp Lejeune, NC. The Honor graduate for the class was Corporal Aaron Pine who attained the rank of Sergeant before being Honorably discharged. Once the SGTMAJ was called to task for this claim his official bio was changed where it stated he was a distinguished graduate. No such recognition was made for a distinguished graduate at sniper school in 1998. Additionally, it was discovered through his picture that the SGTMAJ appears to be wearing two stars on his combat action ribbon in lieu of third award. The bio again was changed and now reflects two awards for combat action. The SGTMAJ was recently relieved of his command.

In exploring all levels of public trust one can only think of the statement: “What worries me the most, is our ability to govern ourselves.” maid by former Director of the CIA and DoD, Mr. Leon Panetta. It would not be an assumption to say he knows exactly what he is talking about. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has come under scrutiny recently for betraying the public’s trust as our nation’s most senior diplomat. Cabinet level officials such as Mrs. Clinton hold clearances at the highest level and by nature of their very position are dealing with classified information almost exclusively and of the most compartmented nature.

When you hold a security clearance you sign a secrecy agreement and you are not allowed to take home or hold on your private email server anything related to the work you do. She has compromised her integrity, violated classified handling of material protocols and likely handed over critical information to foreign intelligence services through the use of a commercial and unsecured server per standards set forth by the U.S. government for the handling of classified material. If she could only handle one phone at a time there is surely a team within the State department that would have been capable of integrating any and all features she required to conduct her duties both privately and professionally.

What the public is seeing today and should be gravely concerned over going forward is this sense of entitlement and lack of integrity by both appointed officials and government agencies. Quite simply “The government makes the rules and the government chooses whether to follow them”. Look no further than the examples of Mrs. Clinton and the IRS loosing emails that suggest selective targeting of citizens of opposing political views to that of those serving in IRS leadership positions such as Lois Lerner. This is clearly an arm of the government weaponized against a group of its citizens. It is profoundly more egregious than that of the Benghazi scandal.

Integrity is it becoming a lost art among those who are in positions of authority and entrusted by the public, peers, and colleagues to protect, inform, and lead? Here are but a few examples at the Government, Military, and Corporate levels where public trust is lost for personal gain. It divides a workforce, weakens a military unit, and a public that demands strong leadership to drive us through the grave national security issues that exist today is divided. The United States stands strong today because “United we stand, divided we fall.” Leadership is key!

An Open Letter to Sgt Major Lovell…. March 26, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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17 comments

SgtMajor RelievedSgt Major Lovell, I am the author of the blog post you reference in your email to 3/2. I am indeed a former enlisted US Marine Sgt. and also a former US Naval Officer. Instead of ‘disgruntled Former Marine’ you can call me “Sir” as you would have when I served….I served honorably as an Infantry Marine, Scout/Sniper, and Reconnaissance Marine and was discharged on a disability.  I am certainly not ‘disgruntled’.  In fact, I earned my own Combat Action Ribbon as a sniper long before you claimed to have earned your own.  I am certainly more than a “blogger”  Please read my bio and my DD214.  If that does not convince you, you can read some of my articles in National Review, The Counter Terrorist, SC Magazine and others.  Or you can listen to my interviews on NPR, NewsMax and other outlets.  Additionally, I have worked with numerous charitable organizations to help Marines and others. Upon becoming aware of your recent statements, I have decided to post your very self serving ‘apology’ for the world to read. After publication of my story, I  invited you, the USMC, and anyone else who questioned my story to contact me directly.  You did not, the USMC did not and instead, you published an apology attempting to discredit me as a simple blogger and disgruntled former Marine. Today I received an email from a Marine who had taken me to task for the blog post.  He vigorously defended YOU only to find you had lied.  His opening statement to me was telling of his own character and the contrast with your statement is clear.  It said: “When a good man is wrong, a good man will admit it. I was wrong,…”  Instead of owning up to your actions, you continue to try to blame others.  I can only thank God that I never had the misfortune of serving under you while I was an enlisted Marine. I have heard numerous stories and your ‘apology’ below simply demonstrates the accuracy of those stories.  You failed to mention to “your” Marines that you had been contacted about the inconsistencies in your story and given the opportunity to correct said inconsistencies. You did not and I posted my article.  If you would like to contact me, I am easy to find. Here is the email from Sgt. Major Lovell to the Marines of 3/2. “I want to apologize up front for how impersonal this email is, but with the Battalion spread to the winds across the planet and the very short turn I’m on, I just didn’t have the means or time to address you all in person. Many, if not all, have heard of the attack on my reputation via social media. Specifically, a former disgruntled Marine took shots at me by grossly misinterpreting my biography from Facebook to a blog site. I didn’t make it hard for them by being lazy in my attention to detail to ensure that all ribbon racks and documentation I possessed were all 100% accurate. As such, I allowed myself to have some info out there that is correct, and some that is not. Because of this, 4th Marine Regiment has lost trust and confidence in me to continue to serve as your SgtMaj, and I have been relieved and will leave island today.

We all wear a uniform that affords certain liberties in our great country. Of those is freedom of speech. It is because of that, I hold no hate in my heart for someone exercising their rights; only extreme hurt. Hurt yes, because my career is now over long before I wanted it to be; hurt yes, because I cannot continue to serve with you and see this Battalion continue to stand out as the Corps’ best; hurt yes, because of the pain my family is now in; but mostly hurt because of those who think the worst of me. For 21 years I’ve made a reputation for myself…some if it by learning from my mistakes…and some of it by working my butt off. At this level it was all about setting an example for the over 1000 men that make up this great Battalion, and the thousands who look upon us as the example. I did not set the appropriate example for you. I’m blessed to have to many standing by me who truly know me and know better than to take a blogger at his word. While I was lazy in my attention to detail, I have never taken credit for something I have not done…ever. I have a hard time taking credit for the stuff I have which is why I’ve never been much of the story teller I guess. Lastly, you have and will continue to hear bad rumors about me. I understand now that Marine Times will pick up this story too. I cannot describe to you the stress that has placed on me. I’ve truly been beaten to the ground and continue to be kicked while I’m down… I need all of you to know that I gave you everything I have and I’m very proud to see what this Battalion has become from where it was. I’ll do my best to try and focus on all the good you have provided me by your efforts. PLEASE, do not let this Battalion slide in any way. You’re on the verge of becoming legends. God Bless you all.”

Bowe Bergdahl to be Charged with Desertion! March 25, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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1 comment so far

Bergdahl1-e1427306712825Wow…Bowe Bergdahl is actually going to be charged with Treason and Misbehaving in front of the enemy. For those who don’t remember his name, Bergdahl was the Soldier who abandoned his post, was ‘captured’ (cough, cough)…by Taliban-aligned Haqqani network in Afghanistan , the traded by the Obama Administration for 5 Taliban Terrorists.

US Marine Sgt Major Lovell Relieved after False Claims Verified March 24, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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9 comments

SgtMajor RelievedIt is both a sad day for the Marine Corps but an important day.  The Marine Times just posted a story stating that “Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Lovell III was removed from his post as the infantry battalion’s sergeant major on Monday due to a loss of confidence, said 1st Lt. Luke Kuper, a spokesman for III Marine Expeditionary Force.”  His claims were first reported on this blog and subsequently investigated by the USMC.  While it is always sad when a distinguished Marine’s career is destroyed, it is an important step for the US Military to take Stolen Valor seriously .  In addition to having falsely claimed a 3rd Combat Action Ribbon and Sniper School Honor Graduate, the USMC also corrected Lovell’s claims of service in Kosovo and with the Israeli Defense Force.

EMV- CHIP & Choice..not Chip & PIN…Start Moving! March 23, 2015

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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platinum11chip_fr_h_1987After deviating from my ‘security’ theme, I am back to talk about InfoSec.  Last week I had the opportunity to attend Visa Accredited EMV Consultant Training at Visa’s Headquarters in Foster City, CA.  As always, Visa put on a top tier program with numerous experts in Payment Card ‘chip’ technology.  Since the topic was EMV most of the experts were from Across the Pond.  Thanks to Mark, Chris and the others for great training!

For those who are new, EMV or “Europay, MasterCard, Visa” is a technology where a microprocessor ‘chip’ is embedded in a payment card (credit card, debit card, etc.).  It is often erroneously referred too as “Chip & PIN” but EMV really only applies to the Chip technology.  If a region or issuer wants to prefer PIN, they are able.  Visa has a “Chip and Choice” model where they allow Chip with signature, no signature, or PIN depending upon the issuer, the risk and type of transaction (ie. Debit for Cash or ATM require a PIN).  There was too much information over 2 days to talk about in this post but there was one point I learned and wanted to pass on..

In October 2015, Visa is offering a ‘liability shift’ for merchants who adopt EMV.  My belief (it was wrong) until I attended the training was that the EMV liability shift only affected those merchants who 1) accepted a ‘chip’ card and on ‘chip’ transactions.  These are known as ‘chip on chip’.  It is critical that Merchants understand that the liability shift occurs for merchants who accept transacitons over a dual interface terminal (Chip and NFC) who accept transactions of ANY form.  As an example, if you accept 99% mag stripe transactions but you have dual interface terminals…the fraudulent transacion due to counterfeit have liability shifted to the issuer!  It does NOT have to be a Chip on Chip transaction.

The Second important point to remember is that Visa is offering a Technology Incentive Program (TIP) that states if a Level 1 Merchant accepts 75% of transactions over a Dual Interface terminal, they do not have to validate compliance with an onsite assessment.  There are some caveats to this so make sure you read the rules!

To get ready for implementation, ensure you download the Visa Merchant Readiness Acceptance Guide here.

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