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 This email contains pictures, if you don't see them, view it online SupportOurTroops.Org - Help the troops by forwarding this email to a friend DIVERSE SPECIALTIES PRODUCE A SKILLED MILITARY, 05-04-2022	 Hello Staff Member, Most Americans have an image of the roles our service member’s play in defending our nation, marines storming beaches, soldiers on patrol and sailors at sea. What you may not realize is the wide variety of non-traditional jobs we ask our servicemembers to perform.  This month, we at Support Our Troops<sup>®</sup> would like to share stories of the people doing these specialized jobs by highlighting their bravery, and the emotional toll playing these roles has on our troops.  Unlike their Russian counterparts, all of America’s military serve voluntarily.  As you learn more about these diverse occupational specialties, you will discover that America can count on these highly  trained professionals to  handle virtually any situation that comes along.   Please do what YOU can to support these fine folks as they serve, and risk, in our name.   ~~ Your SOT Team  While grieving their own…  UNSUNG HEROES RENDER FINAL MILITARY HONOR Unsung Heroes Render Final Military Honors FT. HAMILTON, N.Y. - MAY 4, 2022 - My last active-duty station was Ft. Hamilton,  a tiny, mostly ceremonial base in the heart of New York City. This obscure post was the “face” of the Army to millions in the Big Apple, staffed mostly by administrative types. Which is why I found it surprising to spot highly decorated infantry soldiers, even a few sporting Ranger tabs, milling about the chow hall.   What were these elite combat soldiers doing at sleepy Ft. Hamilton?   I soon learned they were part of the base “Ceremonial Platoon”,  whose job it was to bury people, sometimes conducting a dozen funerals a day, rendering final honors to fallen or retired military. I watched them at their work, all spit and polish, displaying total professionalism and compassion to each grieving family as they convey this sad message, “On behalf of the President of the United States, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s honorable and faithful service.” Every funeral was, of course, heartbreaking, emotions gushing from tearful relatives in anguish at the loss of their loved one.   “What a terrible emotional toll this must take,” I thought, “on these young Color Guards as they render final honors to those who served.”   Later I learned a terrible truth about “why they were here” at Ft. Hamilton. Each ceremonial platoon member was a “Compassionate” reassignment, having themselves recently suffered a death in their immediate family.   Can you imagine witnessing grief-stricken families, at multiple funerals a day, while you privately mourn the loss of your father, mother, or immediate family member?   Nevertheless, they did so, day in and day out, without complaint, never revealing their inner anguish. To my mind, these were among the bravest soldiers I ever met.   Pictured here are members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry, known as the “Old Guard”, rendering final honors to a foreign dignitary. The oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army, this ceremonial unit also escorts the President and provides security to our nation’s Capital in times of emergency.  Photo by Senior Airman Bridgitte Taylor.   ~~ SSG Jim (rt’d), of Your SOT Team  Make Their Day JOIN THE TEAM Join the Team There is power in numbers. The more connections to Support Our Troops<sup>®</sup> that are found, the more other businesses support the mission. Each of these connections tells search engines our content is valuable, credible, and useful. The more links and engagements, the higher the SOT visibility and the more resources flow into SOT for the troops.  Website: YouTube: Facebook: Instagram: @supportourtroops_inc LinkedIn: Truth Social: @supportourtroops  It’s an easy way to advance your Team. All Together Now!®  Confronting Maritime “bullies  FOR THE AMERICAN NAVY, SOMETIMES JUST “BEING THERE” SAYS IT ALL. For the American Navy, sometimes just “being there” says it all. SOUTH CHINA SEA - MAY 2, 2022 - Deep in the heart of the South China Sea lies a series of tiny atoll, dubbed the “Spratly Islands”, that are claimed by China, and to a lesser extent, Vietnam and Taiwan who are mostly concerned about fishing rights in the area.  It is China, however, that has decided to militarize these islets by constructing naval bases and airfields and demanding their exclusive use in violation of international law.   Under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention, the Spratly Islands and their vicinity are “International Waters”, open to all nations, including their warships, and they enjoy the right to “innocent” passage through these territorial waters unmolested. Unfortunately, some nations assert bogus maritime claims to these waters, even attempting to impose “restrictions” on navigators such as requiring “permission” to pass through the straits.   While these tactics may be intimidating to local anglers, not so to the United States Navy.   In this photo by MC3 Wade Costin, the crew of the U.S.S. Russell asserts navigational rights and freedoms in the Spratly Islands and elsewhere enforcing international law and the free navigational rights of all nations. China protests these sailings by threatening military action to frighten mariners into giving up their rights.   Conducting these “Freedom of the Seas” voyages, the mighty U.S. Navy defends the navigation rights of all nations, and shows that America will not be intimidated.   ~~ SSG Jim (rt’d), of Your SOT Team  Get them what they need “DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE THE LOVE OF GOD GOES, WHEN THE WAVES TURN THE MINUTES TO HOURS?” ~~ Gordon Lightfoot, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.  “Does anyone know where the love of God goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?” SITKA, ALASKA - APRIL 29, 2022 - Is there anything more terrifying than being caught in a violent storm at sea, tossed by angry waves as your vessel is slowly sinking? Fortunately for American mariners, there is always someone to turn to in such a predicament, the United States Coast Guard.   Officially designated “Aviation Survival Technicians or AST’s,” these  “Rescue Swimmers” undergo the most grueling training imaginable, and their graduation rate hovers around 50 percent. The most elite unit in the Coast Guard, AST’s must pass a rigorous 18 weeks of relentless conditioning and psychological training to accomplish daring sea extractions under horrendous weather conditions.   A typical day for recruits starts on land with endurance training, push-ups, rope climbing, kettle bell workouts and long runs to increase stamina followed by water-based drills including 2000-yard laps, swimming with weights and treading water exercises.   Next comes “water confidence” drills ranging from practice saving downed pilots to instructors playing victims thrashing madly against their rescuers. Only the calmest, most focused AST’s are capable of saving frightened, drowning people in the maelstrom of a violent storm.   The Coast Guard AST program was born out of the tragic loss in 1984 of the Marine Electric, a cargo ship carrying thirty-four crew members that sank in freezing waters enroute to Massachusetts.  Although Coast Guard assets arrived quickly and lowered baskets, the frigid sailors were too numb to pull themselves to safety. Thirty-two mariners lost their lives before Navy swimmers arrived on scene.   Congress reacted to this tragedy by establishing the Coast Guard’s swimmer school at Elizabeth City, North Carolina whose graduates save countless lives every year.   In this actual photo of a successful rescue, Petty Officer Second Class Grant Roberts (right), a rescue swimmer with the Coast Guard Air Station, Sitka, Alaska sits on a piece of debris with the survivor of the wrecked fishing vessel “Irony.” For their heroic actions, Roberts, along with shipmates Lieutenants Justin Neal and Jonathan Orthman received the Department of Homeland Security’s Secretary’s Award for Valor. Photo by Sara Taylor.   ~~ SSG Jim (rt’d), of Your SOT Team  Fabricated Disasters…  MUTC SIMULATED URBAN ENVIRONMENT OFFERS INCREDIBLE REALISM MUTC Simulated Urban Environment Offers Incredible Realism MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER (MUTC), Butlerville, Indiana - MAY 3, 2022 - A building has collapsed. Smoke from burning debris adds to the chaotic scene as rescuers race to find survivors.   This was no earthquake or terrorist attack, but a simulated disaster in a replicated urban environment where no one lives. Welcome to Muscatatuck Urban Training Center (MUTC), Indiana, a fabricated city with over 1,000 acres containing 190 brick and mortar buildings, 1.8 miles of subterranean tunnels and more than nine miles of roads.   In this photo by Sergeant 1st Class Brent C. Powell, a soldier from the 409th Engineer Company, based in Aurora, Colorado, stands on a pile of rubble while directing fellow soldiers where to look for “survivors” in a simulated building collapse.   The MUTC is a globally unique training ground where soldiers participate in a variety of highly realistic urban scenarios including disaster response, house by house searches, and even “culturally correct” situations where people, and even the appropriate animals, are “at play.”   Practically any urban situation can be created at the MUTC, including live fire exercises, search and rescue, and urban warfare techniques.   ~~ SSG Jim (rt’d), of Your SOT Team  Get them what they need Just Dropping In…  AIR FORCE COMBAT CONTROLLERS ARE THE FIRST ONES IN

KENTUKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD, 123rd SPECIAL TACTICS SQUADRON, LOUISVILLE, KY. - MAY 2, 2022 - One of the Air Force’s most specialized warriors is the Combat Controller (CCT) Specialist, a one-person attachment to other Special Forces Units, whose job is to establish air traffic control in remote, often hostile environments.
Part of the Air Force’s Special Warfare Program, these CCT’s are FAA certified Air Traffic Controllers who accompany special operators on dangerous missions to establish control of the skies in a battle zone. Each CCT must be a jack of all trades, able to parachute, scuba dive and even snowmobile their way to desolate locations to quickly establishing air traffic control to support highly dangerous special operations missions.

To become a CCT, candidates must first pass the 8-week Basic Airmen Training followed by  another 8 weeks of grueling training at the Special Warfare Preparatory Course.  Once qualified, CCT’s perform solo missions accompanying other “high speed” operators on missions around the world.
In this photo by Staff Sgt. Clayton Wear, a Combat Controller with the Kentucky Air National Guard, 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, jumps from a C130-J Super Hercules aircraft.

~~ SSG Jim (rt’d), of Your SOT Team