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Ziegler Awarded Jim and Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship

ROTC Cadet Awarded Jim and Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship

The Lint Center for National Security Studies Awards 2017 Jim and Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship to Paige M. Ziegler

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., a non-profit organization focused on supporting the next generation of America’s National Security professionals through scholarship and mentoring opportunities, today announced the award of the 2017 Jim and Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship.

Paige M. Ziegler, an undergraduate at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadet, was awarded the 2017 Jim and Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship for her commitment to advancing national security. The Jim & Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship provides a $1,500 award to recipients pursuing scholastic study in fields related to international affairs, counterintelligence, global understanding, and national security studies.

On campus, Ms. Ziegler serves as a shining example to her peers and fellow junior level ROTC cadets. She is currently pursuing a degree in Homeland Security with a focus on Terrorism and Military Science. Once completed, Ms. Ziegler plans to commission as an Officer in the United States Army with the Active Duty Aviation branch and to eventually serve with a government agency tasked with strengthening national security and counterterrorism efforts.

Ms. Ziegler’s winning scholarship essay provided a careful analysis of deployment and withdrawal solutions to America’s ongoing efforts in Afghanistan. In her analysis, Ms. Ziegler stood out to the scholarship committee with her acute knowledge of the American presence in Afghanistan. Additionally, her academic prowess, demonstrated persistence, and deep desire to serve our country makes her an invaluable asset to the national security community and a worthy recipient of her scholarship.

“I am so very blessed to receive the Jim and Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship,” explained Ms. Ziegler. “Any student who struggles to make ends meet knows that scholarships are a huge help. This scholarship means so much more than just a monetary supporting hand. Having access to experienced and dedicated mentors that are willing and able to support my future career is truly priceless – I am most appreciative of the Lint Center’s enduring support.”

Ms. Ziegler added, “Not only has Mr. Lint himself made me more confident in pursuing my aspirations by reaching out to me on a personal level, but the entire Lint Center team has welcomed me with open arms. I am excited to be a part of this organization, and hope that one day I can graciously return the favor of mentoring the generations to come.”

“This year was an especially competitive competition,” said Mr. James R. Lint, President and CEO of the Lint Center for National Security Studies. “ROTC Cadet Ziegler was highly qualified for this scholarship due to her excellent application and that she is ranked #1 out of 58 Cadets in her ROTC Battalion. We look forward to her excelling in future activities in her military career.”

About the Jim & Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship:

The Jim & Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship program is offered to help further the education and career development of scholars, especially in the areas of International Affairs, Counterintelligence and National Security. Workers in these fields and their children are encouraged to apply with the goal of improving national security and global understanding. Additional information about the program and other scholarships can be found at  https://www.lintcenter.org/scholarships/.

 About the Lint Center:

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., founded in 2007, is a non-profit IRS 501 (c) (3) organization that provides merit-based scholarships and offers mentoring programs for students pursuing careers in national service with a particular focus on counterintelligence, military intelligence, national security and cross-cultural studies. The Center is veteran and minority operated and managed. It awards scholarships semi-annually in both January and July. For more information, please visit https://www.lintcenter.org/.

 

This press release was prepared by Lint Center Volunteer, Linda Yonemoto.

A Memorial Day Message from The Lint Center

This Memorial Day, the Lint Center honors those American’s who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country. Originally recognized at “Decoration Day,” this commemoration dates back to 1868 where people across the nation recognized the fallen from the Civil War. It’s original date of May 30th was chosen because it was not on the anniversary of any Civil War battle and was later moved to the last Monday of May to provide a three-day weekend for federal employees. Although many of us are fortunate enough to enjoy this long holiday weekend, let us not lose focus on what this day is about. Today is about taking the time to reflect and honor those heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our great nation. We must never forget them or their families.

Yale Doctoral Candidate Recognized with Lint Center Scholarship

Lint Center for National Security Studies Awards Winter 2017 Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. Scholarship

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., a non-profit organization focused on supporting the next generation of America’s National Security professionals through scholarship and mentoring opportunities, today announced the award of the 2017 Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. scholarship.

Torey McMurdo, a Yale doctoral candidate, was awarded the Lint Center’s Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. scholarship for her continued and demonstrated commitment to advancing national security. The Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. scholarship provides $1,000 to recipients pursuing scholastic study in fields related to alliance building, counterintelligence, cultural understanding, and national security studies

“It is a distinct honor to receive the Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. scholarship and the support of the Lint Center,” said Ms. McMurdo. “This scholarship will assist with data collection and interviews for my doctoral dissertation on information warfare, particularly in Europe. Staff Sgt. Eaton spent his youth just a stone’s throw from my current residence in New Haven, CT, so this scholarship resonates especially strongly. I look forward to earning this honor by emulating his standards and character both academically and professionally in the years ahead.”

Ms. McMurdo’s winning essay established a clear understating of cyber-attacks and technological vulnerabilities facing the United States. Her previous experience working with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to advise companies on national security issues resonated with the scholarship committee.

Gold Star mother, Sharon Noble Eaton, said “I had the honor and great pleasure of enjoying luncheon with and presenting my son’s Lint Center for National Security scholarship (in memory of Army SSG Richard S. Eaton) to Torey McMurdo, a native of California, current Ph.D. candidate at Yale University. Her Ph.D. research targets the real-world threats of cybersecurity and cyber conflict.  Torey has and will use her gifts of intellect, integrity, leadership, determination and humanity to make significant contributions in (national security). The world will be a safer place because of people like Torey McMurdo.”

Mrs. Sharon Eaton (right), mother of Army SSG Richard S. Eaton, presenting the Winter 2017 Army Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr. Scholarship to Torey McMurdo (left).

“Torey has all the makings of a good intelligence professional,” said James R. Lint, CEO of the Lint Center. “That is a high bar to achieve and she has a great background that will allow her to grow. The scholarship is named for a great comrade in arms, Rick Eaton, who constantly pushed himself. I believe Torey will follow his lead and remember him whenever faced with a challenge.”

Due to the generosity and continued support of Stratfor, the world’s leading geopolitical intelligence platform (www.stratfor.com), Torey McMurdo will also receive a one-year subscription to Stratfor Worldview which includes industry leading geopolitical analysis, and rigorous forecasting of emerging global developments.

This press release was prepared by Lint Center Volunteer, Elizabeth Monila. 

About Stratfor:

As the world’s leading geopolitical analysis platform, Stratfor brings valuable context to global events, empowering businesses, governments and individuals to more confidently navigate their way through an increasingly complex international environment. By leveraging a deep understanding of history, politics and geography in conjunction with our unique methodology, Stratfor delivers informed perspectives on today’s events and develops a more accurate view of the future. Individual subscriptions and enterprise membership are available at Stratfor.com.

About the Lint Center:

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., founded in 2007, is a non-profit IRS 501 (c) (3) organization awards award merit-based scholarships and mentoring programs for students pursuing careers in national service with a particular focus on counterintelligence, military intelligence, national security and cross-cultural studies. The Center is Veteran and minority operated and managed. It awards scholarships semi-annually in both January and July. For more information, please visit https://www.lintcenter.org/.

Battleground Berlin: The Second Berlin Crisis

By Andrew Ertl
Summer 2016 Jim & Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship Winner
Third prize, 2016 Cold War Essay Contest, John Adams ’71 Center for Military History & Strategic Analysis at the Virginia Military Institute

Many will argue that the Cuban Missile Crisis was the most dangerous event of the Cold War.  However, the 1962 events in Cuba would not have happened if not for those in Berlin in 1961 and thus, were only the second act of a two-part play, the origin of which was Berlin.  This was a performance in which the experienced Soviet Premier tested the young, newly elected American President, a pas de deux in which each expressed the willingness to go to the nuclear brink.  Both found themselves grappling for dominance in an increasingly bipolar world and were pushed in different directions by aids and allies alike.  More famously, the Second Berlin Crisis resulted in the erection and physical representation of the ‘Iron Curtain’: the Berlin Wall.

Following the conclusion of World War II in Europe, the Allies agreed to occupy and divide Germany as well as Berlin into four occupation zones (American, British, French, and Soviet).  The three capitalist zones were in the western two-thirds of occupied Germany and the Soviet one was in the eastern third.  Freedom of movement from the Western zones to and from Berlin and within Berlin itself was guaranteed.  These agreements were codified in the Potsdam Agreement on September 2, 1945.

Lying 110 miles inside the Soviet occupation zone, Berlin offered the Western Allies a potential base from which to undermine communism and advance capitalism. A prison state may have been forming, but in Berlin “there was a prison state with an open door.”[1] Nevertheless, the Soviet government did not consider the provisions of the Potsdam Agreement to be permanent.  Before a group of German communists, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin revealed his plan to undermine the position of the West and within a year or two they would have to withdraw.[2]

Before the hammer and sickle flew over the Reichstag, communist German exile Walter Ulbricht was inserted into Berlin by the Red Army with orders to begin slowly building socialism.  Because of his “unyielding, uncollaborative, Stalinist style of ruling,”[3] even German communists disliked him.  Ulbricht reminded them of another German leader, if not “as murderous or as belligerent as Hitler but certainly as brutal toward his own people.”[4]  In the Eastern zone, Communist red was replacing Nazi brown.

From the founding of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1949 to August 13, 1961, 2.8 million or 1/6 of the population fled,[5] the vast majority through West Berlin’s open door.[6]  Between September 1939 and May 1945, 1/12 of the German population died as a result of the Second World War.[7]  Proportionally then, the East German refugee crisis took away twice as much manpower from the GDR as Nazi Germany lost in World War II.  As one GDR Politburo member put it, the refugee crisis was “a critique with feet.”[8]

Amongst a plethora of ill-advised, socialist-inspired reforms, Ulbricht made heavy industry the backbone of the East German economy.  One repercussion of this decision was that in the ensuing refugee crisis, the GDR suffered more from a lack of manpower than an economy more focused on the production of consumer goods.  Allowed by Berlin’s special status, some 50,000 East Berliners (Grenzgägner) worked in capitalist West Berlin. [9]  The problem for the GDR wasn’t just that the Grenzgägner had better access to higher quality and more diversified consumer goods.  Nor was it that with their higher wages they were emptying out and thereby worsening an already bleak consumer market in the GDR.  Grenzgägner were a physical embodiment of the greater opportunities to be found outside socialism.  East Germans weren’t buying what Ulbricht was selling.

As early as 1952, Ulbricht had been seeking Soviet permission to end freedom of movement between the two Berlins in order to solve the refugee problem.[10]  Each time he was told that the better, more sustainable solution was to improve East German’s quality of life.  But that would have meant curtailing the size and scope of Ulbricht’s plans.  Due to the GDR’s position as the westernmost country of the Soviet bloc, he argued that it needed to be more faithful to the ideals of socialism.[11]

John Lewis Gaddis argues that during the Cold War, the superpowers “attached their own reputations to their respective clients…(and) fell into the habit of letting their German allies determine their German interests, and hence their German policies.”[12]  Despite his troublesome ally, the new Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushchev did have a card to play: West Berlin and Western access rights.  He intentionally raised tensions to change the political environment in order to rectify the West Berlin problem and in doing, he initiated the Second Berlin Crisis.

Before a group of Polish communists on November 10, 1958, Khrushchev declared:

The time has obviously arrived for the signatories of the Potsdam Agreement to give up the remnants of the occupation regime in Berlin and thereby make it possible to create a normal situation in the capital of the German Democratic Republic.[13]

The Western powers would have six months to negotiate a peace treaty with the GDR.  After six months, whether an agreement was reached or not, the USSR would then sign its own peace treaty with the GDR, granting full sovereign over East German territory—to include access rights into and out of Berlin unless superseded by any previous agreement the West might reach with the GDR—to East Germany.  West Berlin was to become a free city.  It truly was an ultimatum: why would the GDR reaffirm Western access rights it detested knowing it would soon be given sovereignty over them?  Khrushchev’s diktat was designed to get the Western powers out of West Berlin and was received rudely in the West.  US President Dwight Eisenhower didn’t even officially reply until March 1959 but by then the four powers had agreed to meet in Geneva to settle differences.  Khrushchev’s ultimatum had thus, passed without result.

To sooth tensions, Eisenhower invited Khrushchev to visit the United States from September 5-27 where he met everyone from politicians to entertainers.  Such was the spirit of the trip that Khrushchev invited Eisenhower and his family to tour the Soviet Union.  It was agreed that the four powers would meet again, this time in Paris the following May.  A surface-to-air missile, downed spy plane, and a captured American pilot changed that.

On May 1, 1960, American pilot Francis Gary Powers was shot down while flying a reconnaissance mission over the USSR. On the first day of the Paris conference, Khrushchev warned Eisenhower, “Do not fly over the Soviet Union or the socialist countries.  If you don’t know where our borders are, we will show you.”[14]  He also demanded an apology.  While saying that the shoot down was an unfortunate incident and that he had already suspended all similar flights, Eisenhower would not apologize.  Khrushchev then withdrew from the conference.  He decided it would be better to wait to negotiate with the next American President[15] and Senator John F. Kennedy was leading in the polls.  But for Ulbricht and his fiefdom, “time was running out, along with the refugees.”[16]

On January 20, 1961, the youngest American President took the reins from the then oldest.  In his inaugural address, Kennedy declared the United States was prepared to:

Pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty….let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.[17]

His tough, but measured words were based on a misinterpretation of comments Khrushchev had made at a gathering of old communists on January 10.  Despite the rhetoric, Kennedy hinted at his desire for a meeting with Khrushchev and the Soviet Premier sent him a letter confirming their mutual desire.  Kennedy—thinking it imprudent to meet with Khrushchev before meeting with leaders of allied nations—made the mistake of waiting ten weeks to reply to Khrushchev. Khrushchev, a vain man—expected Kennedy to disregard the intricacies of diplomatic protocol—was insulted and now it was he who was slow to respond to Kennedy.

On April 17, Kennedy’s inexperience was highlighted further by the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.  Although the invasion plans began in the Eisenhower administration, Kennedy did not—at that time—show the backbone to cancel a plan he was uneasy about nor did he make the necessary changes to improve its success.  With disappointment, former Secretary of State and then Kennedy adviser Dean Acheson wrote “The European view was that they were watching a gifted young amateur practice with a boomerang, when they saw, to their horror, that he had knocked himself out.”[18]  Five days earlier, the USSR had received another international relations boon: Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the Earth.  For Khrushchev—whose birthday was coincidentally April 17—the events of April 12 and 17 were like birthday presents.  Feeling the momentum of such events,[19] he was now willing to meet with Kennedy and Vienna would host.

Before the Vienna summit, each side was trying to mark its territory through diplomatic shadow boxing.  Khrushchev met with US Ambassador to the USSR Llewellyn Thompson and tried to impress upon him that “Berlin was really of little importance to either America or the Soviet Union, so why should they get so worked up about changing the city’s status?”[20]  Khrushchev was trying out a similar line used by Stalin at Yalta.  And wasn’t it Lenin who said, ‘Whoever has Berlin has Germany?’

Meanwhile, Kennedy briefly consulted allied leaders in London and Paris on how best to deal with Khrushchev.  He shared with longtime aid Kenneth O’Donnell his views on Berlin:

You can’t blame Khrushchev for being sore about that…We didn’t cause the disunity in Germany.  We aren’t really responsible for the four-power occupation of Berlin, a mistake neither the Russians nor we should have agreed to in the first place.[21]

Kennedy was preparing to bend on US policy where every President before him stood firm.  In Paris, Kennedy asked French President Charles de Gaulle when and why he should use force over Berlin:

If Mr. Khrushchev signs a treaty with the GDR, this in itself is no reason for a military retaliation on our part.  If the GDR starts stamping travel documents, this is not, per se, a cause for military action either.  In what way, therefore, at what moment, shall we bring our pressure to bear?[22]

De Gaulle’s advice was to “make sure that Khrushchev believes you are a man who will fight.”[23]  Kennedy was prepared to be pragmatic while Khrushchev was planning to intimidate the “boy in short pants.”[24]  A British diplomat voiced the concern of many, “We hope the lad will be able to get out of the bear cage without being too badly mauled.”[25]

The first day of the summit was unproductive.  Kennedy attempted to explain how previous wars began over miscalculations at which point Khrushchev erupted and accused him of asking the Soviet Union “to sit like a schoolboy with his hands on his desk,”[26] charging that “the United States seems to regard Soviet defense of its vital interests as miscalculation.”[27]

Trying to find common ground, Kennedy stated “We regard the present balance of power between the Sino-Soviet forces and the forces of the United States and Western Europe as being more or less in balance.”[28]  After stroking the Soviet Premier’s ego, he then suggested the West should stay in its sphere of influence and that the Soviet Union do likewise so as to avoid upsetting the balance of power.[29] Having made recent gains in the Third World, Khrushchev was not interested in cutting the USSR off from part of its growing power base.

After further unproductive exchanges, the Soviet Premier took the initiative:

The USSR does not wish any change; it merely wants to formalize the situation which has resulted from World War II…East Germany is an ally of the socialist countries and this should be recognized as a fait accompli.  East Germany has new demarcation lines and these lines should become borders…The position of the GDR should be normalized and her sovereignty ensured.  To do all this it is necessary to eliminate the occupation rights in West Berlin.  No such rights should exist there.[30]

Not mentioning the word, Kennedy was trying to avoid any miscalculation with his response:

The signing of a peace treaty is not a belligerent act…However a peace treaty denying us our contractual rights is a belligerent act.  The matter of a peace treaty with East Germany is a matter for Mr. Khrushchev’s judgment and is not a belligerent act.  What is a belligerent act is transfer of our rights to East Germany.[31]

Khrushchev gave a hypothetical example:

If you insisted on US rights after the signing of a peace treaty and if the borders of the GDR—land, air, or sea borders—were violated, they would be defended…Force would be met with force…If the US wanted war, that was its problem.[32]

Taken aback by Khrushchev’s intransigence and gritting his teeth, Kennedy replied, “It will be a cold winter.”[33]

One member of Kennedy’s entourage compared the mood on the flight back to the United States as “riding with the losing baseball team after the World Series.  Nobody said very much.”[34]  One American diplomat reasoned that the summit had been:

the golden opportunity for him to be charming, to have Jackie charm Khrushchev, and then have Kennedy come in and say, ‘Now look, I want to say this perfectly straight.  Get your bloody hands off Berlin or we’ll destroy you.’[35]

Kennedy later told New York Times writer James Reston that the Vienna summit had been the “roughest thing in my life” and that Khrushchev “just beat the hell out of me.”[36]  He reasoned, “The son of a bitch has got to see me move.”[37]

In East Germany, post-Vienna momentum was making a peace treaty between the USSR and GDR seem more likely.  On June 15, responding to a reporter’s question about where the boundaries in Berlin of a post-peace treaty GDR would be, Ulbricht answered oddly, “No one has the intention of building a wall.”[38]  That he would mention the word wall when the reporter did not ask about one implied that a wall was at least under consideration.  According to historian Hope Harrison, Ulbricht may have:

deliberately made the comments about the wall knowing that this would stimulate panic in the GDR and accelerate the exodus.  Khrushchev would then feel compelled to finally acquiesce in closing the border and signing a separate peace treaty.[39]

Torschlusspanik—the increasing anxiety of East Germans over the decision to leave now before it was too late—was rising.

In an Oval Office address on July 25, Kennedy stated the case for West Berlin:

West Berlin…is more than a showcase of liberty, a symbol, an island of freedom in a communist sea.  It is even more than a link with the Free World, a beacon of hope behind the Iron Curtain, an escape hatch for refugees.  West Berlin is all of that.  But above all it has now become—as never before—the great testing place of Western courage and will, a focal point where our solemn commitments stretching back over the years since 1946, and Soviet ambitions now meet in basic confrontation.  The United States is there; the United Kingdom and France are there; the pledge of NATO is there—and the people of Berlin are there.  It is as secure, in that sense, as the rest of us—for we cannot separate its safety from our own… And if there is one path above all others to war, it is the path of weakness and disunity.[40]

His words weren’t only meant to galvanize American public opinion though.  By mentioning ‘West Berlin’ 17 times, Kennedy was sending a message to Khrushchev: Do what you must in East Berlin in order to stabilize East Germany but don’t touch Western access rights or West Berlin.

This logic had support elsewhere.  On a Sunday television show July 30, Senator William Fulbright and Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee offered his opinion:

The truth of the matter is, I think, the Russians have the power to close it in any case.  Next week, if they chose to close their borders, they could, without violating any treaty.  I don’t understand why the East Germans don’t close their border because I think they have a right to close it.[41]

Fulbright misspoke when he said a closure would have been legal.  But he, like Kennedy, was being pragmatic.  Even Khrushchev remarked, “Fulbright is a smart man, he does not want war.”[42]

As Kennedy saw it:

Khrushchev is losing East Germany.  He cannot let that happen.  If East Germany goes, so will Poland and all of Eastern Europe.  He will have to do something to stop the flow of refugees.  Perhaps a wall.  And we won’t be able to prevent it.  I can hold the Alliance together to defend West Berlin, but I cannot act to keep East Berlin open.[43]

We now know that the decision to erect the barrier that became the Berlin Wall was made in July.[44]  However, Ulbricht was told to wait but surreptitiously “prepare everything for a future contingency.”[45]  Ulbricht tasked GDR Party Security Secretary and his protégé, Eric Honecker with acquiring the necessary materials and organizing construction teams.  To avoid suspicion, the building materials were acquired using multiple East German purchasers who in turn ordered from multiple businesses; primarily in West Germany and the UK.  Lenin’s prediction that

‘The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them’ was coming true.

In the early morning hours of Sunday, August 13, East German police (Volkspolizei, Vopos) formed human chains, blocking all of the East-West Berlin crossing points.  Barbed wire and other entanglements were soon in place.  Freedom of movement inside Berlin ended for East Berliners.  US Chief of Mission of West Berlin, Allan Lightner Jr., cabled an understatement of understatements to Washington, “There seems to be something going on in East Berlin.”[46]  Despite diplomatic protests, the Western powers did nothing of any real significance.  A radio station in East Berlin repeated the joke, “Did you hear that [West Berlin Mayor] Brandt called the allies for help?  Yes, I heard, but the allies didn’t.”[47]

While he couldn’t express it in public, in private, President Kennedy was relieved:[48]

It’s not a very nice solution, but a wall is a hell of a lot better than a war.  Why would Khrushchev put up a wall if he really intended to seize West Berlin?  There wouldn’t be any need of a wall if he occupied the whole city.  This is his way out of his predicament.[49]

In public, Kennedy needed to reassure the American people and more importantly, his allies.  He decided to send the hero of the Berlin Blockade—and registered Republican—Lucius Clay to Berlin as his personal representative on August 30.  Although Clay had no formal powers, he reported to no one other than the President.

Though the GDR stopped its refugee crisis, it still had another problem: it was unrecognized by most of the international community.  Volkspolizei began pulling over Western vehicles on the autobahn connecting West Germany to West Berlin demanding to see motorists’ identification.  Complying would lend—at least—a modicum of recognition to the East German state, thereby setting a legal precedent from which to build upon.  The standard operating procedure was, therefore to refuse and request to a Soviet official to intercede.  However, if stopped between West Germany and West Berlin, it often took quite some time before a Soviet official could arrive and thus, these stops were—aside from infringing on Western access rights—a considerable nuisance.  Amongst Clay’s first actions was to send US troops down the autobahn leading to and from West Berlin in random intervals to demonstrate an American presence while simultaneously asserting Western access rights.  If a Western vehicle stopped by Volkspolizei was spotted, the courtesy patrols—as they were known—would escort that vehicle to its intended destination.  Besides helping travelers, the courtesy patrols also served to maintain Western refusal to recognize the GDR.  One State Department cable read, “A problem that had vexed U.S. officials was settled by a simple action, and one can only wonder why it had not been taken before.”[50]

The Berlin Wall wasn’t really a wall on August 13, 1961. On August 17 though, brick and motor began replacing barbed wire section by section.  Walter Ulbricht declared that no one should approach within 100 meters on either side or they risked being shot.  He referred to these 100-meter exclusion zones as Todesstreifen (death strips).  Clay organized American soldiers who would drive along the western Todesstreifen in armored vehicles, again asserting Western rights and resolve.

The Soviets wanted predictable responses.  On August 9—four days before the border closure—a hero from the Battle of Berlin and recently retired Soviet Marshal, Ivan Konev was sent to East Berlin to ensure that nothing unpredictable occurred.  Clay’s modus operandi was to be unpredictable since he reasoned the Soviets would not allow the East Germans to risk an armed confrontation requiring Soviet assistance.  Such a confrontation would have revealed the GDR as a Soviet puppet state, not worthy of international recognition.  While Clay was becoming a local celebrity in West Berlin, in Washington his antics were unpopular, being deemed too provocative.  Following an incident in which he risked another provocation in a West Berlin suburb named Steinstücken, Clay cabled to Kennedy “I am not afraid of escalation.”[51]  Responding to criticism within the Kennedy administration—though not from the President himself—Clay argued “I can be of no real service if it is deemed wise to be extremely cautious in Berlin.”[52]  He offered to resign on October 18.

On October 22, Allan Lightner Jr. and his wife drove up to the Volkspolizei guard post at Checkpoint Charlie (the primary intra-Berlin checkpoint) and were promptly asked for identification.  Lightner refused and demanded to see a Soviet representative.  While waiting, he used his car phone to notify Lucius Clay of the situation.  After 45 minutes and no Soviet representative had appeared, Lightner apologized to the guards and drove off slowly towards East Berlin before being stopped a second time and surrounded by a larger group of Vopos.  By now, two squads of American soldiers were assembled at the American side of Checkpoint Charlie and marched to Lightner’s assistance.  Outgunned, the Vopos watched as Lightner and his escort went into East Berlin.  In order to drive home his point, Lightner went through Checkpoint Charlie two more times before a Soviet representative appeared.  The Soviet official apologized for the East German behavior but also criticized the American response.[53]  The following day, the GDR announced a new regulation whereby every person crossing into and departing East Berlin would have their identification checked except Western military personnel in uniform.

On October 25, Clay sent forward a probe of two American soldiers dressed in civilian clothes and as expected, they were stopped.  American diplomat Howard Trivers was on hand for such a situation and duly summoned a Soviet official.  This time, however, the Soviet official replied that the Americans must comply with GDR regulations.  Clay then ordered ten American tanks to park on the West Berlin side of Checkpoint Charlie while a squad of US soldiers escorted the car through.  The Soviet official looked at Trivers and said, “We have tanks too.”[54]

More than half of the US tanks were equipped with bulldozer blades.  Konev worried that if the Americans decided to knock down the wall, the East Germans might shoot.  He resolved to prevent this and assembled ten Soviet tanks on the East Berlin side of Checkpoint Charlie.  Before they arrived, the order was given for the Soviet tank men to cover their insignias with mud and dress in all black uniforms in order to conceal their identity, though it was hardly in doubt.  East German tanks (or troops of any kind) in East or West Berlin would have violated the Potsdam Agreement. The tanks were now facing one another only 100 meters apart.

A short time later, Kennedy telephoned Clay who reported to his boss:

Clay:        What we’ve done is prove that the Russians are still in charge.

Kennedy: Well, that’s all right.  Don’t lose your nerves.

Clay:        Mr. President, we’re not worried about losing our nerves over here.  What we’re worried about is whether people in Washington are losing theirs.

Kennedy: [Possibly with Clay’s resignation letter in mind—Kennedy had not responded] I’ve got a lot of people here that have, but I haven’t.[55]

After sixteen hours, the Soviet tanks were ordered to pull back.  Shortly thereafter, the Americans matched their Soviet counterparts.  The ‘meeting of the tanks’ was the only time in the Cold War in which American and Soviet armor confronted one another at point-blank range.

We now know that the Soviets were extremely worried by Ulbricht’s escalatory measures and the American responses to those measures.  Khrushchev ordered Konev, who was—although unknown publicly—in charge of all Soviet and East German forces in Berlin, “Not one shot without permission from Moscow.”[56]  The whole purpose of Ulbricht’s escalation was to achieve international recognition for the GDR.  That the Soviets intervened showed that they didn’t fully trust the decision-making apparatus of their East German ally.  Ulbricht’s plans for international recognition would be set back by a decade.

At the heart of the ‘German Question’ was Berlin; a city that during the Cold War became a physical and psychological frontline between two ideologically opposed superpowers.  While the actions taken by the GDR on August 13, 1961 were illegal, it was an illegality that the West could live with; European stability was the common ground upon which Kennedy and Khrushchev stood.  The Berlin Wall ended the East German refugee crisis but, to paraphrase Khrushchev, the game continued.[57]  On September 3, 1971 the four Allied powers signed the Quadripartite Agreement on Berlin.  That agreement paved the way for the bilateral Basic Treaty, signed between West and East Germany on December 21, 1972 which allowed for mutual diplomatic recognition of one another and by extension, the rest of the world.  When asked when the wall might be removed, Khrushchev told West German Ambassador to the USSR Hans Kroll, “The wall will disappear again someday, but only when the reasons for its construction disappear.”[58]  No one knew it at the time, but after the signing of the Basic Treaty, the Berlin Wall only had 17 more years to live.  But that is another story.

 

Works Cited

Békés, Csaba.  Conversation.  3 October 2015.

Brinkley, Douglas. Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years 1953-1971. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1994.

“For West Berlin, lying exposed”: JFKL, Radio and Television Report to the American People on the Berlin Crisis, President Kennedy, The White House. July 25, 1961. http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Reference+Desk/Speeches/JFK/003POF03BerlinCrisis07251961.htm.

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1959-1963. vol. XIV. U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs. 1991.

Gaddis, John Lewis. We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1997.

Harrison, Hope. Driving the Soviets Up the Wall. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2003.

Kempe, Frederick. Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth. New York: Berkley Books. 2011.

Miller, Roger. To Save a City: The Berlin Airlift, 1948-1949. College Station: Texas A&M University Press. 2008.

“News Conference Remarks by Chairman Ulbricht Spelling Out the Consequences of Creating a ‘Free City’ of West Berlin, 15 June 1961.” Documents on Germany, 1944-1985. U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs. 1985.

‪“Notes of a Conference among Marshal Zhukov, General Clay, and General Weeks on Surface and Air Access to Berlin.” 29 June 1945.

“N. S. Khurshchev’s Speech at the Soviet-Polish Friendship Meeting (November 10, 1958).” Embree, ed., The Soviet Union and the German Question.

O’Donnell, Kenneth, Powers, David, and Joe McCarthy. Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye: Memories of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. New York: Little Brown & Co. 1972.

Smyser, W. R. Kennedy and the Berlin Wall. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2010.

Sokolowski, John A., and Catherine M. Burns. Modeling and Simulations for Analyzing Global Events. Hoboken: Wiley. 2009.

Taubman, William. Khrushchev: The Man and His Era. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. 1994.

Those who had worked: Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training. Interview with Kempton B. Jenkins, Foreign Affairs OH. Interview conducted February 23, 1995 (copyright 1998 ADST). Box: 1 Fold: 34 Jenkins, Kempton B. (1951-1980). http://www.library.georgetown.edu/dept/speccoll/cl999.htm.

Wirtschaft und Statistik October 1956, Journal published by Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland. (German government Statistical Office).

 

Footnotes

[1] Csaba Békés.  Conversation.  3 October 2015.

[2] Roger Miller, To Save a City: The Berlin Airlift, 1948-1949 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2008), 13.

[3] Hope Harrison, Driving the Soviets Up the Wall (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 23.

[4] W. R. Smyser, Kennedy and the Berlin Wall (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publisher, Inc., 2010), 40.

[5] Frederick Kempe, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth: Berlin 1961 (New York: Berkley Books, 2011), XIX.

[6] Hope Harrison, Driving the Soviets Up the Wall (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 99.

[7] Wirtschaft und Statistik October 1956, Journal published by Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland. (German government Statistical Office).

[8] Ibid., 73.

[9] Hope Harrison, Driving the Soviets Up the Wall (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 100.

[10] Ibid., 169.

[11] Ibid., 76.

[12] John Lewis Gaddis, We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997), 150.

[13] “N. S. Khurshchev’s Speech at the Soviet-Polish Friendship Meeting (November 10, 1958),” in Embree, ed., The Soviet Union and the German Question, 18.

[14] John A. Sokolowski and Catherine M. Burns, Modeling and Simulations for Analyzing Global Events (Hoboken: Wiley, 2009), 182.

[15] W. R. Smyser, Kennedy and the Berlin Wall (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publisher, Inc., 2010), 21.

[16] Hope Harrison, Driving the Soviets Up the Wall (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 172.

[17] W. R. Smyser, Kennedy and the Berlin Wall (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publisher, Inc., 2010), 23.

[18] Douglas Brinkley, Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years 1953-1971 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), 127.

[19] Hope Harrison, Driving the Soviets Up the Wall (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 167.

[20] Frederick Kempe, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth: Berlin 1961 (New York: Berkley Books, 2011), 201.

[21] Kenneth O’Donnell, David Powers, and Joe McCarthy, Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye: Memories of John Fitzgerald Kennedy (New York: Little Brown & Co., 1972), 299-300.

[22] Hope Harrison, Driving the Soviets Up the Wall (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 175.

[23] W. R. Smyser, Kennedy and the Berlin Wall (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publisher, Inc., 2010), 62.

[24] William Taubman, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1994), 485.

[25] Kenneth O’Donnell, David Powers, and Joe McCarthy, Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye: Memories of John Fitzgerald Kennedy (New York: Little Brown & Co., 1972), 294.

[26] W. R. Smyser, Kennedy and the Berlin Wall (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publisher, Inc., 2010), 65.

[27] Ibid., 66.

[28] Ibid., 66.

[29] Ibid., 67.

[30] Hope Harrison, Driving the Soviets Up the Wall (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 176.

[31] Ibid.,177.

[32] Ibid., 177.

[33] Ibid., 177.

[34] Frederick Kempe, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth: Berlin 1961 (New York: Berkley Books, 2011), 258.

[35] Those who had worked: Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, Interview with Kempton B. Jenkins, Foreign Affairs OH. Interview conducted February 23, 1995 (copyright 1998 ADST), Box: 1 Fold: 34 Jenkins, Kempton B. (1951-1980): http://www.library.georgetown.edu/dept/speccoll/cl999.htm.

[36] William Taubman, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1994), 495.

[37] Ibid., 766.

[38] “News Conference Remarks by Chairman Ulbricht Spelling Out the Consequences of Creating a ‘Free City’ of West Berlin, 15 June 1961,” Documents on Germany, 1944-1985, U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, 1985, 737.

[39] Hope Harrison, Driving the Soviets Up the Wall (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 180.

[40] “For West Berlin, lying exposed”: JFKL, Radio and Television Report to the American People on the Berlin Crisis, President Kennedy, The White House, July 25, 1961: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Reference+Desk/Speeches/JFK/003POF03BerlinCrisis07251961.htm.

[41] Frederick Kempe, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth: Berlin 1961 (New York: Berkley Books, 2011), 315-16.

[42] Hope Harrison, Driving the Soviets Up the Wall (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 192.

[43] Frederick Kempe, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth: Berlin 1961 (New York: Berkley Books, 2011), 294.

[44] Hope Harrison, Driving the Soviets Up the Wall (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 186.

[45] W. R. Smyser, Kennedy and the Berlin Wall (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publisher, Inc., 2010), 55.

[46] Frederick Kempe, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth: Berlin 1961 (New York: Berkley Books, 2011), 351.

[47] W. R. Smyser, Kennedy and the Berlin Wall (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publisher, Inc., 2010), 113.

[48] Frederick Kempe, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth: Berlin 1961 (New York: Berkley Books, 2011), 383.

[49] Hope Harrison, Driving the Soviets Up the Wall (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 207.

[50] W. R. Smyser, Kennedy and the Berlin Wall (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publisher, Inc., 2010), 132.

[51] Ibid., 131.

[52] Ibid., 133.

[53] Foreign Relations of the United States, 1959-1963, vol. XIV, U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, 1991, 524.

[54] Ibid., 524.

[55] W. R. Smyser, Kennedy and the Berlin Wall (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publisher, Inc., 2010), 140.

[56] Ibid., 99.

[57] Ibid., 165.

[58] Frederick Kempe, Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth: Berlin 1961 (New York: Berkley Books, 2011), 294.

Lint Center Launches Veteran Employment Transition Program

New program focuses on enhancing and optimizing employment opportunities for transitioning veterans.

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 16, 2015 – The Lint Center for National Security Studies, a non-profit organization focused on supporting the next generation of America’s National Security professionals through scholarship and mentoring opportunities, today announced the creation of a new program for transitioning veterans. The primary purpose of the program is to provide a resume review, writing and enhancement service to assist transitioning veterans leverage as well as effectively highlight their knowledge, skills and abilities as they seek new opportunities in both the private and public sector.

The new program, Veteran Employment Transition Program (VET-PRO), will provide free employment counseling as well as resume writing services to ensure transitioning veterans are able to craft the most impactful narrative in order to put their best foot forward as they seek to embark on a new chapter in their professional careers.

“As a retired member of the U.S. Army, I know first-hand how difficult, challenging and daunting the transition from the armed services can be,” said U.S. Army SSG John Bittner (retired) and current Lint Center for National Security Studies VET-PRO Program Manager. Following his retirement, Mr. Bittner completed a Master’s in Business Administration, which afforded him greater insight into the needs of hiring managers and provided him with the appropriate experience necessary to lead this program, as well as the skills to manage it. He served as a Senior Business Analyst in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon and he is currently a Senior Consultant at a leading DC-based management and consulting firm where he provides strategic portfolio guidance to one of the largest Intelligence Community (IC) budgets in the United States.

“After years of dedicated national service, the notion of charting a new path is both exhilarating and nerve-racking. I am pleased that the Lint Center has created a new resource for transitioning veterans who seek the guidance, tutelage and assistance necessary to make a successful career change. I am deeply honored to be leading this initiative for the Center.”

“Mr. Bittner speaks from first hand, recent experience so he knows the importance of transition assistance, especially as it pertains to securing permanent post-duty employment and the Lint Center is delighted to have him run point on this important new program,” said James R. Lint, Chairman and CEO of the Lint Center for National Security Studies. “Mr. Bittner proactively volunteered to run this effort and we could not be more pleased that he has decided to give back to those who have served and to those, much like his former self, who are seeking a little fine tuning mentorship to support a transition from active duty military service. We hope that the VET-PRO initiative proves to be a valuable addition to the core services and support the Lint Center for National Security Studies strives to deliver to emerging leaders in America’s national security and intelligence community.”

About the Lint Center VET-PRO
The program will consist of dedicated Lint Center mentors trained in simple techniques designed to give the best mentorship to qualified veterans who are seeking this service. The process is designed to help transitioning veterans as well as veterans who have transitioned from the military within the last five years who have attained an undergraduate, graduate, or post graduate degree, strengthen their resumes so as to acquire the most competitive positions at the most competitive salaries that are available to them. The most important aspect of this process is the speed at which it will be accomplished. Our goal is to get veterans outfitted with strong resumes within two weeks so that this service can benefit them immediately in their career search.Veteran Employment Transition Program (VET-PRO)

About the Lint Center
The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., founded in 2007, is a non-profit IRS 501 (c) (3) organization awards award merit-based scholarships and mentoring programs for students pursuing careers in national service with a particular focus on counterintelligence, military intelligence, national security and cross-cultural studies. The Center is Veteran and minority operated and managed. It awards scholarships semi-annually in both January and July. For more information, please visit https://www.lintcenter.org/.

Honoring Our Veterans

WWII_PicIn quiet tributes, at small family gatherings, in meeting halls, and at grand patriotic parades, Americans come together to honor and celebrate the men and women of the armed forces and those who have nobly fought to keep our country free on Veterans Day.

On this annual occasion, we celebrate the enduring bonds and gallant nature of the millions of men and women who have served and continue to serve in the United States Armed Forces.

We honor them all – veterans past and present.

We pause and give thanks to them all.

While all American Veterans are united by their common duty, all Americans remain humbled and grateful to our veterans for their uncommon courage and commitment to national service.

The Lint Center wishes to thank each and every veteran – those serving and those who have served – we proudly salute you!Tomb_on_unknown

My life was late nights and early mornings, physical exhaustion and boredom, my life was hurry up and wait. My days were broiling heat, my nights freezing cold. I lived in pouring rain, freezing snow and stifling humidity. Dust, sand and mud were my bed, my pillow a rucksack, butt pack or helmet. My feet toughened by thousands of miles of roads, paths, trails and fields trod. My back made strong and wide by days upon weeks upon years of carrying my rucksack just one more click. My youth spent learning my craft, sharpening my will and hardening my body for whatever was asked of me. Taught by men who had been taught by men who had hit the beach, held that hill or leapt from that airplane. My teacher’s lessons collected by experiences written in blood, sweat and tears. My classroom was the forest, the jungle, the desert and the mountain. My certificate a colorful ribbon, a shiny badge and those stripes. My traditions are ageless, my heritage stretches back centuries, I descended from giants and am proud to be counted as one of them. My youth was spent in service to my country, my youth was spent with my brothers and sisters I served with, my youth was not misspent.” – Unknown US Army Ranger

Veteran’s Day: Our Debt of Gratitude Has No Bounds

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On this Veteran’s Day, the Lint Center wishes to thank all those that have nobly served this great nation. We honor those great American patriots that have made and continue to make this country strong and free.

Veterans epitomize that which makes this country great. They are a powerful testament to the great cause of freedom everywhere. We are eternally grateful to them all. We are honored by their courage, commitment and valor.

And we are reminded on this day of our responsibility to our veterans as well – past, present and future. As George Washington noted, “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.”

May God bless the heroic men and women who served and those who continue to serve this nation in our armed forces.

USA Cyber Warrior Scholarship for IT Security

Last week, ISC(2) in partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton, revealed the inaugural recipients of the 2013 USA Cyber Warrior Scholarship. The program was developed as a way to provide training opportunities to United States military veterans within the information security field.
5-Branches-of-the-Military-3

The recipients of the 2013 scholarships are Brian Eighmey, Temecula, CA; Bryan Johnson, Midvale, UT; Regina Porter, Chesapeake, VA; Jacobo Schreiber, Owens Cross Roads, AL; Eric Shaver II, Crossville, TN; and Jacobo Soriano, Fayetteville, NC.

The recipients were chosen from a pool of applicants who had service-related IT experience and expressed a passion for cyber security. Each will have the choice of pursuing one of four cyber certifications: Certified Information Systems Security Professional, Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional, Certified Authorization Professional or Systems Security Certified Practitioner. All expenses associated with earning the certification will be covered by the scholarship.

The USA Cyber Warrior scholarship program was created to meet the demands of the rapidly growing cyber security field. In 2013, Frost and Sullivan, in partnership with ISC(2) conducted a Global Information Security Workforce Study. The study concluded that as the use of BYOD (bring your own device), cloud computing and social media in the workplace grows; the most effective defense against rapidly evolving threats is cyber security professionals.

The findings narrowed in on a specific skill set found to be most advantageous including leadership, communication, and a broad understanding of the security field.  These skills correlate well with those of veterans entering the workforce.

639X353-Cyber-Warrior-Scholarship

As stated by Booz Allen Principal Tony Urbanovich, “Veterans have performed tasks in the military that, with additional training, can lead to successful cyber and information security career.”

ISC(2) hopes that their scholarship will not only close a gap in the demand for cyber security professionals but also ease the process for veterans assimilating into the civilian workforce; providing them the training needed to enter a financially and intellectually rewarding field.

Congrats to all the winners!

To learn more about the scholarship, please visit ISC(2).

About the Author: Kathryn Bly is a Lint Center volunteer.


References:

Honoring our Gold Star Mothers

Gold-Star-MothersWith loving thoughts and heartfelt prayers, the Lint Center wishes to honor the brave and deserving Gold Star Mothers.

On this day, we pay tribute to these loving mothers of our country’s fallen military heroes.

We, as a nation, should pause to honor those who have given so much.

We pray for hope to fill each Gold Star Mother’s heart, comfort to fill her days, and peace to fill her soul.

Memorial Day – Honor Our Fallen Patriots

Graves_at_Arlington_on_Memorial_Day

It’s Memorial Day, so that means that summer has officially began. But this holiday has a deeper history than to mark the change of seasons. It began as a day to remember the fallen soldiers of the Civil War, and after World War II it expanded to honor all deceased soldiers. The main event of the day used to be decorating the graves with flowers, hence the original name Decoration Day. Over the years however it has become Memorial Day marked by parades and by the opening of summer venues.

As we remember those we have lost in the service to our nation, we want to thank those who have done service and those who are in service now. We appreciate the work of the individuals who give back to their nation. This day is dedicated to them.


At this time we would also like to introduce our new mentor, Roy M. Elam Jr., and our volunteer writer, Maria Lacey. Army retiree, Roy M. Elam Jr. has a BA in Liberal Arts from Western Illinois University, a Master in Distance Education from the University of Maryland University College and a MS in Human Resource Education from the University of Louisville. He is the Technology Integration Cell Chief at the New Systems Training Branch at the Directorate of Training and Doctrine, MCoE at Ft. Benning, GA and he conducts research on the effectiveness of games as an instruction tool.

Maria Lacey has a BA in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is a freelance writer and is currently working as an administrative assistant at the UNLV Admissions office. Her interests include writing about social justice and gender issues. She currently resides in Las Vegas, NV with her family. For more information, please visit her website www.mlaceywriting.com.

The next scholarship deadline is 31 July. See the www.LintCenter.org for more information about recent winners and future competitions. We are also continuously looking for additional volunteers, interns and mentors.

Veterans Day –Businesses Honor America’s Military Servicemen & Women

vetsday082012 Veterans Day –Businesses Honor America’s Military Servicemen and Women

To honor Veteran’s Day, businesses and organizations around the nation are providing discounts and incentives to say thank you to those that served and to those active members of the US military.

Below is a list compiled by The Military Wallet: http://themilitarywallet.com/veterans-day-free-meals-and-discounts/.

Please feel free to add to this list.

Gold Star Mother’s Day: A Reverent Salute, A Solemn Promise

315px-Gold_Star_Service_Banner__LC_Today, we recognize Gold Star Mother’s Day by pausing in a moment of deep reflection for those mothers who have lost a son or daughter in the service our country.

As a grateful Nation, we honor our fallen, we remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms and liberty, and we pray for the families who bare the burden of such a loss. Let us honor the sacrifice by keeping the promise alive in our hearts today, tomorrow, and each day thereafter that we may live and prosper in accordance with the freedoms we have been afforded. Their memories continue to burn bright, as their legacy of patriotism, honor, and commitment leads us forward.

To all the brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers who share in the sorrow of loss, we resolutely walk with you – we offer our hand, our shoulder, and our prayers.

We know that we cannot fill the emptiness or assuage your bereavement. But perhaps our shared strengths and unnerving promise to honor the fallen will serve to carry on their legacy.

On this solemn day of remembrance, we rededicate ourselves to ensuring that the promise of America, her ideals, and her freedoms continue, as part of a sacred trust and a debt of gratitude owed not only to all service men and women, but to our Gold Star Mothers, and their families, whose debt we can never repay.

Today, the Lint Center offers a reverent salute and reaffirms its solemn promise to all Gold Star Mothers and their families.

We encourage you to take a moment of reflection and remember those who fell serving and those left behind.

Additional reading:

  1. Gold Star Mothers
  2. Gold Star Mothers Day
  3. Background on Gold Star Mothers

– See more at: http://www.lintcenter.info/blog/entry/3465203/gold-star-mothers-day-a-reverent-salute-a-solemn-promise#sthash.4Vjxrwkl.dpuf

Patriot Day: Not Forgotten

9-11-01-logoEleven years ago, cowardly terrorists who aimed to bring this country to its knees attacked our nation.

Out of the ashes, destruction and tears we witnessed true acts of bravery and selflessness – stories of everyday Americans – people who rose and headed the call to service in the face of evil. All Americas become heroes that day. Countless leapt into action to defend their fellow man, aid the wounded and remained steadfast in the long days that followed.

While we will never forget the tragedy that struck at the heart of our nation or the innocent lives of loved ones lost at the Pentagon, the Twin Towers, and in Shanksville we will always remember the unifying impact it had on this country, as it motivated millions of men and women to serve this nation in uniform.

Over 3 million Americans entered military service following the attacks. More than 5 million servicemen and women have served in the military in the last decade and nearly 2 and half million served this nation in Afghanistan and Iraq.

As we honor and commemorate the service and sacrifice of those lost in the wake of September 11th, may we remember their courage, commitment and patriotism. May we never forget the American heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. May our prayers remain with our men and women in uniform. And may God continue to bless our great nation.

We vow to honor those who lost their lives on this day, eleven years ago and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice defending freedom – not just today but forever.

Military Tourism: MiGs, Tanks, and Bugs…Oh My!

800px-Soviet_MiG-29_DF-ST-99-04977According to CNN International, the quality of a unique military experience has long characterized tourism in Southeast Asia and parts of Eastern Europe. A patently unique military experience has usually also been illicit, however. Legal programs to provide camera-clickers in camo to be keep-the-receipt-for-return troopers for a day, though, have emerged in the past decade in all corners of the world.

The fall of the Soviet Union garnered both the great poverty of the Russian Federation and Russian ingenuity. According to World Tourism Rankings, the closest Russia has gotten to becoming a top tourist country was a 10th place ranking in 2007 for international tourist arrivals, it is not for lack of giving it the good ol’ “universitet” try [i]. In spite of its statistically unimpressive metrics, Russian components have developed a thriving military tourism complex.

Among their military tourism exploits, Russia boasts a range of military tourism offerings. From being a soldier for a day (“you will be able to get [sic] the skills to protect yourself during the radiation, chemical, and biological attack [sic]”) to tank rides to being a passenger to a master Russian pilot “performing his aerobatics,” or encountering the future in space travel in, “Space Training for the Future Cosmonaut in a MiG-29,” being a soldier for a day for play, while not inexpensive, can quench the spirit of any curious civilian [ii].

800px-Giant_water_bugs_on_plateSimilarly notable is Thailand’s bustling and relatively newly legal military tourism offerings. Since 1997, the Royal Thai Army has increasingly been working with the National Tourism Authority (of Thailand) to legally harness the greatly profitable military tourism industry with more than 20% of the bases in Thailand now running tourism programs.

For the committed military tourist, several bases teach jungle survival techniques, including a week-long course training tourists on Thai Army know-how, “such as knowing which bugs are safe to eat and how to kill a snake and drink its blood” [iii]. Like the Russian industry, tourists in Thailand may also ride and drive in a tank and fly in a vintage military plane (though neither seem to be as brazenly exhilarating as the Russian offerings).

To learn more about “Military Tourism” around the world please visit:

[i] Most Visited Countries – Top Ranking Countries – World Tourism Rankings

[ii] MiG Fighter jets for tourist flights: MiG planes, russian fighters, military jets. Fly in modern combat aircraft.

[iii] Military tourism: Where to shoot guns and ride tanks in Thailand #2 | CNNGo.com