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This Ragtag Group of Soldiers in Mismatched Uniforms Is the Most Hated Unit in the US Army

Western Journal

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They’re called the “Geronimo Battalion.” They have mismatched uniforms. They’re based in the swamps of Louisiana. They’re called the “most hated unit in the Army.”

And they’re doing their job perfectly.

The “Geronimo” Battalion is actually the 1st Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, as the U.S. Army notes on its website. The battalion is based at Fort Polk in Louisiana. Its soldiers’ main mission is to serve as the OPFOR — Opposing Force — at the U.S. Army’s Joint Readiness Training Center during military exercises.

What does this mean? Effectively, for training purposes, they’re the enemy. They know every nook and cranny of the swampy terrain they’re defending. Visiting troops who are training against them don’t.

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As one reporter for Forces News— a digital arm of the British Forces Broadcasting Service — put it, “Their mission is to give the visiting soldiers hell.”

Forces News was granted access to the training grounds with the U.K.’s Welsh Cavalry, which took part in Exercise Rattlesnake in June.

The Joint Readiness Training Center has a few names. If you want to get all acronym-y, it’s the JRTC. However, another name for it is “The Box” — and it’s certainly a claustrophobic, hellish environment for those who participate in Exercise Rattlesnake.

“At the heart and soul of that is [to] act in a way that will force your adversary or your opponent to really have to deal with a lot of problems simultaneously,” said U.S. Army Maj. Micah Chapman, the executive officer of the “Geronimo” Battalion.

“The Box” pits opposing soldiers against “Geronimo” and stretches them to their limit. Forces News was with British Army personnel embedded with American troops during the grueling 12-day exercise.

It may be arduous, but it serves its purpose.

“We trained soldiers before World War II, we trained soldiers before the Vietnam conflict, we trained soldiers before deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq and now we’re preparing them for future battlefields,” said Brigadier General David Doyle, the Commanding General JRTC and Fort Polk.

They prepare against “Geronimo” — “a highly trained local force, used to winning in battle [and] familiar with the terrain,” Forces reported.

Meanwhile, half the British troops were dropped into the battlefield on Black Hawk helicopters.

“With many carrying more than 50kg [110 lbs] on their backs, once inside ‘The Box’, it is their first opportunity to see the ground,” Forces reported.

“The exercise begins with the recce platoon walking through the night on a 15km [9.3 mile] mission to conduct long-range reconnaissance and surveillance on the enemy and report back vital intelligence.”

This should give you a good idea of why they’re the “most hated unit in the Army.”



The members of the “Geronimo” Battalion stand out because of their different uniforms — one way to differentiate themselves from the other soldiers. In 2004, ABC News reported they donned Iraqi civilian clothes to mimic insurgents and terrorists.

While they’re small in number, that just plays into the 509th’s underdog mentality.

“Within my battalion, there are about 627 soldiers assigned. For rotation, I also receive about an additional 400 augmentee soldiers,” Chapman said.

“In comparison, typically there are about 5,000 soldiers on average that will come here to train against us and fight us,” he added.

“So in terms of overmatch, certainly we are the underdog, but that also plays into our favor in terms of why we’re so hated. It’s because we like playing as the guy who’s operating against all odds.”

The unit is also allowed unconventional weapons and tactics. This includes “off-the-shelf drones” which drop simulated grenades. One buzz from the drone and you’re suddenly a dead man — at least by the standards of Exercise Rattlesnake.

And it’s not just the drones that the opposing forces have to fight against.

Sergeant 1st Class Michael Angel, who’s with JRTC’s Operations Group, talked to Forces about what you’ll have to face inside “The Box.”

“Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac are now coming back out, being as it’s the springtime, so try to avoid getting messed up on your hands and rubbing your face,” he said.

“Heavy rains and tornadoes. Pigs, we’ve had a lot of pig encounters, so wild boar.

“There are six extremely poisonous snakes in this area and the cottonmouth likes to chase soldiers.”

Even still, Brigadier General Doyle was impressed with the British Army’s performance.

“What I watched them do is show just mastery of the fundamentals,” he said. “We had a long-range reconnaissance mission … they walked through some of the worst terrain we have here in Fort Polk.

“They got into a position of relative advantage, they were able to observe the terrain, they were able to render phenomenal accurate reporting about what the enemy was doing and then they passed the Wild Boar, 230 Infantry into the fight,” he continued. “It was masterfully done.”

And that’s the point. They may be the “most hated unit in the Army,” as previously stated, but they do their job effectively. They make our soldiers better. It’s a much wiser thing to discover your deficiencies in the steaming swamps of Louisiana than doing so when faced with insurgents firing live bullets. This is what our military should be about.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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Surgeon Fired After Speaking Against School Mask Mandate: ‘Professionals Such as Myself Are Being Silenced’

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A Minnesota doctor is paying the price for standing up to authority.

On Oct. 11, Dr. Jeffrey Horak told the Fergus Falls school board that parents, not school officials, should be in charge of deciding whether their children wear masks to school, according to Fox News.

Nine days later the surgeon was informed by Lake Region Healthcare, a hospital in Fergus Falls, that he could either resign or be fired.

At the meeting, the school board decided to put in place a mask mandate for elementary school students as a two-week experiment, according to KFGO-FM.

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Horak spoke out against the mandate.

“I’m used to wearing masks. I’m not trying to do it while I’m running or playing in the gym or all that other stuff. These masks, you want to stop the virus. The example of it is like trying to stop a mosquito with a chain-link fence, good luck,” he said, according to KFGO-FM.

Horak said parents are the ones who should be making decisions about masks.

“Who does God put in charge of these kids? Their parents. God gave each one of these kids … to their parents, and they speak for them. They may be wrong, they may be dumb, they may be perfect in their decisions. But it’s still their responsibility. It’s not yours. God gave it to them. Honor their wishes, either side of the fence,” he said.

Horak said he was then told his “views were no longer congruent with that of Lake Region Healthcare” and he had to choice to quit or be fired, Fox reported.

“We live in America where freedoms are held close. I am a man who believes individuals have the right to do their research and decide what is best for them and their children when it comes to their health. I don’t believe governments or institutions should dictate that,” Horak said in a post-dismissal statement published by KVRR-TV.

In his statement, Horak said there were many possible reasons for his termination, adding “perhaps my termination is because I was empowering the parents.”

Dr. Greg Smith, the president of the Medical Group Board for the Lake Region Medical Group, said the board made the “decision to discontinue Dr. Jeff Horak’s employment contract after a thorough review process,” according to a statement given to Fox.

“The reasons for Dr. Horak’s separation are a confidential matter,” Smith said. “To be clear, this was a decision that was made by Dr. Horak’s peers who serve on the Medical Group Board, not by Lake Region Healthcare, the community-based hospital where Dr. Horak practiced General Surgery.”

Local residents rallied on behalf of Horak.

“This isn’t a conservative vs. liberal, or vaxed vs. unvaxed, or mask vs. no mask issue,” rally organizer Angie Brown said, according to Fox.

“This is an issue of right vs. wrong, and I am so happy that so many in our community recognized this wrong and were willing to show up, both to support Dr. Horak, but to also, in a peaceful way, voice their disagreement with Lake Region Medical Group,” she continued.

Horak spoke at the rally, noting that in the current climate, freedom is in danger.

“One, you’re becoming aware that your freedoms are being taken away. Two, professionals such as myself are being silenced, and then so are you. If it happens to me, it can happen to all of us,” Horak said. “And third, you’re afraid. We’re all afraid. Today I want to empower you to say, ‘I stand up with Dr. Horak. Truly, I stand with you.'”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

A Minnesota doctor is paying the price for standing up to authority. On Oct. 11, Dr. Jeffrey Horak told the Fergus Falls school board that parents, not school officials, should be in charge of deciding whether their children wear masks to school, according to Fox News. Nine days later the surgeon was informed by Lake Region Healthcare, a hospital in Fergus Falls, that he could either resign or be fired. At the meeting, the school board decided to put in place a mask mandate for elementary school students as a two-week experiment, according to KFGO-FM. Horak spoke out against the mandate. “I’m used to wearing masks. I’m not trying to do it while I’m running or playing in the gym or all that other stuff. These masks, you want to stop the virus. The example of it is like trying to stop a mosquito with a chain-link fence, good luck,” he said, according to KFGO-FM. Dr. Jeffrey Horak, a surgeon in Minnesota, told the Fergus Falls school board on Oct. 11 that parents should make the decision about whether or not their children wear masks. He says he was dismissed from his job nine days later. (Video credit: Calvary Chapel Fergus Falls) pic.twitter.com/MUEh3OSdiZ — Paul Best (@KincaidBest) October 27, 2021 Horak said parents are the ones who should be making decisions about masks. “Who does God put in charge of these kids? Their parents. God gave each one of these kids … to their parents, and they speak for them. They may be wrong, they may be dumb, they may be perfect in their decisions. But it’s still their responsibility. It’s not yours. God gave it to them. Honor their wishes, either side of the fence,” he said. Horak said he was then told his “views were no longer congruent…

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Massive Caravan Doubles to 4,000 Migrants, Including 500 Children, as Group Nears US Border

Western Journal

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A massive migrant caravan traveling through Mexico toward the southern border of the U.S. has now grown to 4,000, including 500 infants and children.

Fox News correspondent Griff Jenkins posted updates to Twitter on Wednesday as the migrant caravan continues to grow in size on its way to the border.

“Organizer Luis Garcia says this caravan is approximately 4000 strong with more than 400 children btwn the ages 7-18, 100 babies under 1 yo, 65 pregnant women (3 more than 8 months) and 4 wheelchair bound migrants,” Jenkins tweeted.

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An earlier post showed the size of the traveling group of migrants in a video from Wednesday morning. The group is ignoring warnings from Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard that they won’t be allowed to cross the border, as the Mexico Daily News reported.

The caravan has doubled in size since Monday, when it included 2,000 migrants pushing north, with one migrant warning, “Tell Biden we are coming.”

“The Migrant Caravan has left Huehuetán heading North w one migrant named William from El Salvador saying ‘Tell Biden we are coming…'” Jenkins tweeted.

The crowd impeded much of the vehicle traffic that was passing through the area. Jenkins noted this was the third day since the group had departed from Huehuetán.

Jenkins posted a video update on Sunday after the group had walked approximately 15 miles on its second day to rest by a river.

Jenkins also shared a video of the migrants from above on Sunday that shared the visual impact of the massive group.

The migrant caravan departed on Saturday from Tapachula, Mexico. Some migrants carried signs with President Joe Biden’s name.

Tapachula is located in the southern part of Mexico near the border with Guatemala.

The caravan’s progress comes as Customs and Border Protection recently announced 192,001 encounters at the southern border in September. The number was a 9 percent decrease compared to August, but marked the third consecutive month of at least 170,000 encounters.

The number of unaccompanied children reported in September was 14,358. The number was a 24 percent decrease from August but remains high, with an average of 772 unaccompanied children taken into CBP custody per day.

The September numbers were also affected by more than 15,000 migrants who crossed at Del Rio, Texas.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

A massive migrant caravan traveling through Mexico toward the southern border of the U.S. has now grown to 4,000, including 500 infants and children. Fox News correspondent Griff Jenkins posted updates to Twitter on Wednesday as the migrant caravan continues to grow in size on its way to the border. “Organizer Luis Garcia says this caravan is approximately 4000 strong with more than 400 children btwn the ages 7-18, 100 babies under 1 yo, 65 pregnant women (3 more than 8 months) and 4 wheelchair bound migrants,” Jenkins tweeted. CARAVAN SIZE: Organizer Luis Garcia says this caravan is approximately 4000 strong with more than 400 children btwn the ages 7-18, 100 babies under 1 yo, 65 pregnant women (3 more than 8 months) and 4 wheelchair bound migrants @FoxNews #BorderCrisis pic.twitter.com/6Z0hc1Hfaf — Griff Jenkins (@GriffJenkins) October 27, 2021 An earlier post showed the size of the traveling group of migrants in a video from Wednesday morning. The group is ignoring warnings from Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard that they won’t be allowed to cross the border, as the Mexico Daily News reported. DAY 5: As dawn breaks the Migrant Caravan marches again towards the US undeterred by Mexico’s FM Marcelo Ebrard @m_ebrard telling them they will not succeed @FoxNews #bordercrisis pic.twitter.com/Su8to02WIL — Griff Jenkins (@GriffJenkins) October 27, 2021 The caravan has doubled in size since Monday, when it included 2,000 migrants pushing north, with one migrant warning, “Tell Biden we are coming.” “The Migrant Caravan has left Huehuetán heading North w one migrant named William from El Salvador saying ‘Tell Biden we are coming…'” Jenkins tweeted. DAY 3 The Migrant Caravan has left Huehuetán heading North w one migrant named William from El Salvador saying “Tell Biden we are coming…” @FoxNews #BorderCrisis pic.twitter.com/Oqv1aLJ3I5 — Griff Jenkins (@GriffJenkins) October 25, 2021…

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