Honoring our Nation’s Military

July 28, 2015

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While there are many holidays during the course of the year honoring our brave men and women in uniform, we sometimes don’t need a special day to say “thank-you” for all they do for our country. To help celebrate the accomplishments of the armed forces, the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) offers a wide variety of publications and resources on our nation’s military.

In GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys), you can find a variety of documents related to the military. For example, the official record of President Obama’s authentication of Military Spouse Appreciation Day for May 8th is available, and you can read the President’s remarks on military members and their families. There is also a proclamation by President Obama entitled Armed Forces Day, 2015, where he thanks our military service members for their dedication to the United States and establishes May 16th as Armed Forces Day. Another document of interest is the Congressional Hearing regarding providing support for Veterans. The hearing, “From Military Service to Small Business Owners: Supporting America’s Veteran Entrepreneurs,” centers around giving veterans more opportunity and training in terms of running a business. By searching “Armed Forces Day” in FDsys, you can look at the various proclamations made by past Presidents, as well as any other related documents.

Using GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) you can access many military-related documents and publications. For example, a paper from the National Defense University titled “China Moves Out: Stepping Stones toward a new Maritime Strategy,” details the evolving tactics employed by the Chinese in their naval defense of their territory. For the techies, you might enjoy the free eBook, “Army Support of Military Cyberspace Operations: Joint Contexts and Global Escalation Implications.” Another piece of interest is called “New Realities: Energy Security in the 2010s and Implications for the U.S. Military.” This document from the U.S. Army War College focuses on the evolution of energy markets throughout the world and how the U.S. armed forces would likely respond. Search the CGP for other military-related documents and publications.

GPO also offers a great collection of military magazines and journals on its U.S. Government Bookstore. From a monthly subscription about the Navy to a single issue on the Air Force, the GPO Bookstore has every publication you need to stay up-to-date on our Nation’s armed forces. Some of the best-sellers include:

MILITARYREVIEWMAY2015108Military Review – An Army-written bimonthly publication focusing on the ever-changing tactics of land warfare.

SPECIALWARFAREAPRIL2015093Special Warfare – Aims to discuss various special-operations forces strategies, doctrine, and more (released by the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg).

Layout 1Citizen Airman – Revolves around the various news and articles published by the Air Force Reserves for commercial media.

708-090-00077-8Joint Force Quarterly: A Professional Military Journal – Designed for national security professionals in and out of the U.S. Government to promote understanding of the integrated employment of land, sea, air, pace, and special operations forces.

Approach_2015_May-June_Page_01Approach: The Navy & Marine Corps Aviation Safety Magazine – Contains stories, editorials, and accurate information currently available on the subject of aviation accident prevention and safety practices.

 

 

 

While you relax poolside or next to the grill this summer, stay connected with GPO, and stay connected with the country.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

You can obtain the resources mentioned in this blog by clicking on the links above or through any of these methods:

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Giovanni Salvatori is a Summer Intern in GPO’s  Library Services & Content Management office.

 


On the Greenland Patrol

September 10, 2010

A few posts back I blogged about a booklet that told the story of the U.S. Coast Guard beach patrol and corsair fleet during World War II. The Coast Guard and the Greenland Patrol, another booklet in the same series, recounts another forgotten episode that pitted the Coast Guard against the perils of the Arctic and marked the only U.S. capture of a German surface vessel during the war.

When the German Army occupied Denmark in 1940, the fate of Greenland, a Danish possession, loomed large in American strategy. Greenland was a major source of cryolite, a mineral used in the extraction of aluminum, its largely frozen land mass lay athwart a major air route used to ferry Lend-Lease aircraft to Great Britain, and was of great value in establishing weather stations. Two Coast Guard cutters equipped as icebreakers, the Northland and the Modoc, conducted a lengthy survey of Greenland’s coastal waters in early 1941, in the course of which the Modoc stumbled into a British air attack on the German battleship Bismarck!

Although the U.S. and Germany were not yet at war, tensions were high as America moved aggressively to defend the hemisphere. During June and July 1941, the Northland and the Modoc, joined by other Coast Guard and Navy vessels, were organized into the Greenland Patrol with the missions of supporting the Army in establishing bases in Greenland, defending Greenland from Germany, and preventing German operations in northeast Greenland.

The first mission involved escorting troop and supply ships, breaking the ice to get them to port, and, especially after the declaration of war against Germany, defending them against attacks by U-boats. The duty included “cold weather, ice, fog, snowstorms, and plenty of hard work…cooped up in that little tub month after month, in bad weather, wet to their skins…” It was tough and unglamorous, but vital in keeping the northern sea and air lanes open.

On several occasions, Coast Guard cutters captured German ground personnel and vessels intent on establishing clandestine radio stations in northeast Greenland. One German trawler scuttled itself after a lengthy pursuit, while another, the Externsteine (left), surrendered after the new Coast Guard icebreaker Eastwind fired three salvoes alongside its icebound hull – the only American capture of a German surface ship in the course of the war.

As you can tell, I’m totally taken with this fascinating story – Arctic gales, secret enemy weather stations, and “snow ice cream” (“Take two bowlfuls of snow, add sugar to taste, then throw in a dash of fruit juice or extract for flavor. The result isn’t bad.”). You can read all about it here or find it in a library here.


War on the Beaches

August 23, 2010

Spending time at the Jersey shore, as I have since I was a kid, always conjures up my parents and the things they talked about back then. For example, they remembered walking on the beach during the early days of World War II and seeing Coast Guardsmen on patrol amidst the debris of torpedoed ships. I think of those men often when I walk the beach, especially at night, when it’s easier to imagine the cold, loneliness, and boredom they endured as part of their contribution to the war effort.

After Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Coast Guard continued its pre-war beach patrols – usually one man armed only with flares – to spot enemy submarines and watch for saboteurs who might be landing from those subs. All of that changed after June 13, 1942, when Seaman 2nd Class John C. Cullen was approached by a stranger on the beach near Amagansett, Long Island. The men and his companions were Nazi agents (an extremely incompetent group, fortunately) freshly landed from the German sub U-584. Their discovery and subsequent capture turned the Coast Guard beach patrol into an armed force that used men, dogs and horses (left) to patrol America’s shoreline for the balance of the war.

The Beach Patrol and Corsair Fleet, one of a number of booklets produced by the Coast Guard to commemorate the 50th anniversary of World War II, tells the little-known story of this aspect of the war. Although saboteurs never amounted to much of a problem, the patrol performed its most important service in its traditional role of lifesaving. A particularly dramatic rescue occurred off the coast of Washington State in 1943, when the Soviet freighter Lamut struck the rocky ground below a sheer cliff near Teahwhit Beach. Guardsmen hurled a makeshift heaving line from the cliff top to the freighter so the crewmen could ascend hand over hand, “Hanging between the black clouds above and the snarling, crashing breakers below…One slip on the wet line would have meant instant death.” Wow!

The Corsair Fleet, complete with a Donald Duck logo (left), was a motley conglomeration of yachts and smaller craft offered to the U.S. Navy by the Cruising Club of America for emergency U-Boat spotting off the East Coast in the immediate aftermath of Pearl Harbor. The Navy refused the offer until an avalanche of bad publicity forced its hand and it gave the Coast Guard permission to organize the Coastal Picket Patrol, more commonly known as the Corsair Fleet. During much of 1942, these ships and their amateur crews patrolled in all kinds of weather and spotted a few U-Boats before being eliminated as an economy measure in 1943. Shades of Ernest Hemingway’s private submarine patrols off Key West!

You can read this fascinating little booklet here or find it in a library here.


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