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Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:55 AM

Why The US Appointing An Aussie General To Command Its Pacific Troops Is a Big Deal

http://www.businessinsider.com/usarpac-post-australian-major-general-richard-burr-australian-defence-force-2013-2


Major General Rick Burr

As the Pentagon pours attention and resources into the conflict-ridden Asian-Pacific theater, it's made an unheard of command choice.

The AP reports Australian Maj. General Richard Burr is now Deputy Commanding General for Operations at U.S. Pacific Command (USARPAC) out of Hawaii.

It's the first time a non-American has served in such a high-ranking position at this type of command.

This isn't some out-of-the way little military base this is the command led by Major General George Moore in the days after World War II. Moore fought at Battan and enough dark Pacific campaigns to fill a wall map. And the command today will be pivotal in organizing and supplying military operations in the region.


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/usarpac-post-australian-major-general-richard-burr-australian-defence-force-2013-2#ixzz2JeDcC3xf

21 replies, 1887 views

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Reply Why The US Appointing An Aussie General To Command Its Pacific Troops Is a Big Deal (Original post)
xchrom Feb 2013 OP
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #1
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #2
dixiegrrrrl Feb 2013 #3
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #4
Puzzledtraveller Feb 2013 #14
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #15
nick of time Feb 2013 #5
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #7
nick of time Feb 2013 #8
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #9
nick of time Feb 2013 #10
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #11
nick of time Feb 2013 #12
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #16
nick of time Feb 2013 #17
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #18
nick of time Feb 2013 #19
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #20
nick of time Feb 2013 #21
bluedigger Feb 2013 #6
pinboy3niner Feb 2013 #13

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:11 AM

1. born in australia, but a US marine. how does that happen?

 

Major General Burr is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College and a graduate of the USMC School of Advanced Warfighting.

http://www.usarpac.army.mil/dcgBurr.asp

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:23 AM

2. Not a U.S. Marine--a foreign officer who attended U.S. military courses

That's common among allied forces. During the VN War I attended one U.S. Army training course with 6 South Vietnamese officers and a Nationalist Chinese Major as fellow students.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:13 AM

3. I had no idea...interesting.

At first glance, it strikes as kinda weird to have "foreigner" in charge of "US forces".

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:40 AM

4. The headline is misleading, as he is not in command, but holds a general staff job

As Deputy Commanding General for Operations, he holds one of four Deputy CG positions under the Commanding General of USARPAC (who is a U.S. Army Lieutenant General). The Aussie general actually isn't in command of any U.S. forces.

http://www.usarpac.army.mil/biographies.asp

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:00 PM

14. We had Saudi Arabian officers in a course I attended at Lackland AFB.

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Response to Puzzledtraveller (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:21 PM

15. That's not unusual, but most U.S. service members won't experience it

In my case, one of the VN LTs became my roommate. We each had individual BOQs, but we both wanted to learn more of each other's language and culture--so we moved together into one BOQ, trading off each night with one sleeping in the bed and one in the easy chair.

My friend, Phung, had been wounded by machine gun fire in combat, so he'd been sent here for training to while away the time until he could be sent back into action. I was yet to go to VN, and what I learned from Phung proved to be an asset when I went to VN in a combat assignment.

The funny thing was when my Vietnamese classmates taught me how to properly greet the Chinese Major in Chinese. When I proudly saluted him one day and delivered the line I'd been taught, he got a horrified look on his face...and my Vietnamese comrades were snickering around the corner. The Chinese phrase they'd taught me was obscene...

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:46 AM

5. Looks like he's wearing a Bronze Star ribbon.

 



Does the Australian Military have a medal equal to our Bronze Star?

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Response to nick of time (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:58 AM

7. Good catch--he was awarded the U.S. Bronze Star

Some of Burr's awards include the Distinguished Service Cross, Member of the Order of Australia, Member of the Royal Victorian Order, the United States Bronze Star Medal, and he is entitled to wear the Infantry Combat badge as Special Air Service Parachute wings.

http://www.army.mil/article/94570/USARPAC_Honors_Deputy_Commanding_General_for_Operations/


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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:02 AM

8. That would mean that he's seen combat.

 

A real soldiers General.
I'm guessing a VN Vet. I met some of those Aussie soldiers while in VN, very good soldiers.

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Response to nick of time (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:08 AM

9. With no 'V' for valor on his ribbon, it has to be a meritorious award, not valorous

The Bronze Star can be awarded for valor in combat (with V-device), or for doing an exceptional job during war or peace. It has two different categories, unlike the Silver Star--which is awarded for valor only.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:10 AM

10. You're right.

 

I'd forgotten about that. Thanks for refreshing my fading memory.
Getting old is a b***h.

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Response to nick of time (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:31 AM

11. I hear you, brother

With our service so long ago and far away, it's easy to forget some of the military details (and that meritorious Bronze Star is kind of a strange bird). But I'll bet you remember what your "postage" was on your letters home...

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:51 AM

12. Funny the shit we remember and forget

 

from that long ago time in our lives.
A big welcome home brother.

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Response to nick of time (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:36 PM

16. Welcome home to you, too, brother

I'm glad you made it.

Back in the '80s when we were flooded with wannabes, we'd ask them if they got their stamps from the First Sgt. or the Supply Sgt.

We had a woman show up at one D.C. event in a general's uniform, saying she worked at Army IG. She got a lot of attention until a friend of mine who'd recently retired as an LTC from the IG's office confronted her and told her never to show up in that uniform again. She immediately di-di-mau'd.

At the Wall one time, I met a woman wearing the Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon. But in her case, it was legitimate. She was transgendered, and had earned the medal while serving as a USMC combat infantryman in VN.

Which branch were you, and when and where in-country?

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:48 PM

17. U.S. Army

 

1967, Pleiku Air Base in the central highlands.

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Response to nick of time (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:27 PM

18. You've heard the line: So YOU'RE the ones who made 'em mad at us :)

I was '69-'70. First with USARV Special Troops at Long Binh, then with 2/501 Infantry, 101st Aiborne Div., out of Phu Bai in I Corps.

My little brother was there with me, as a personnel clerk at 101st HQ. When I got hit, they jeeped him down the road to see me in the 85th Evac. Luckily, we both made it.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:31 PM

19. Glad you both made it out.

 

Here's a beer for all of our brothers and sisters who didn't make it out and will forever be in our hearts and memories.

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Response to nick of time (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:43 PM

20. That would take a helluva lot of beer

I knew more than 60 guys who died in Vietnam. Two of them were my roommates, and one of those was Medal of Honor--posthumous.

Part of the way I honor those I lost is being involved with veterans' projects today. With outreaches to homeless vets, and serving as chair of a committee of a local vets' organization that displays our own half-scale moving Wall. I'm actually pictured on the poster for our most recent event...

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #20)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 01:49 PM

21. My 3 employees were all homeless vets.

 

They now live on my farm, I pay a living wage plus benefits, a 401K plan.
I also contribute to the Wounded Warriors Project and am involved in my local VFW.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 10:56 AM

6. Business Insider should stick to business.

Burr is a staff officer, not a commander. We don't put foreigners in command of our troops, but sometimes place them in operational control, although even that is questionable on Constitutional grounds. Lengthy argument here:

http://www.ibiblio.org/jwsnyder/wisdom/pdd25.html

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:58 AM

13. Looks like the headline writer's error

The article writer had it right (and if you click on his name at the OP link you get his bio, including his post-9/11 nco service and 2 years in the hospital).

My service ended 41 years ago, but I still know the difference between commanding general and general staff. And that USARPAC would never be put under command of a foreign general.

I'm guessing a headline writer with neither military experience nor the sense to run it by the military affairs editor...something that happens all too often.

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