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September 04, 2005

Russell Honore - The John Wayne Dude

General Honore is a native of Lakeland, Louisiana. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry and awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Agriculture upon graduation from Southern University and A&M College in 1971. He holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources from Troy State University as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from Southern University and A&M College.

General Honore has served in a variety of command and staff positions. His overseas assignments include tours in Korea and Germany. He served as Commanding General, 2nd Infantry Division in Korea; Vice Director for Operations, J-3, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.; Deputy Commanding General and Assistant Commandant, United States Army Infantry Center and School, Fort Benning, Georgia; and Assistant Division Commander, Maneuver/Support, 1st Calvary Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Most recently, General Honore served as Commander, Standing Joint Force Headquarters – Homeland Security, U.S. Northern Command.

General Honore’s awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters.

I'm going to spend a little time on the people who are doing the right thing. I've already settled on my first favorite, Mayor Ray Nagin, who stuck his neck out and became the exact right kind of squeaky wheel. The details are all at Wikipedia. The first clue I had about Nagin was that he basically said, hey if you don't want to give me authority, then give it to Honore, clearly implying that the general had some bureacratic BS to deal with in getting supplied as well. So let's follow Honore. His is the story I want to hear.

According to CNN, Honore did the sensible thing (as opposed to Blanco who wanted to give shoot to kill orders) with respect to giving the evacuees some measure of dignity:

"By-and-large, these are families that are just waiting to get out of here. They are frustrated; I would be, too. I get frustrated at the cash register counter when the paper runs out."

Hundreds of National Guard and active duty troops are carrying weapons in the city. But the way they carried those guns was a concern to the general.

He ordered all he encountered to point their weapons down, said CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr, who was with the general. Honore repeatedly went up to military vehicles, National Guardsmen standing sentry and even to New Orleans police officers, telling them to please point their weapons down and reminding them that they were not in Iraq.

There's another article about him at the Stars & Stripes. He used to be the CO of the 2ID.

So while people are making punching bags out of Brown and Chertoff, the praise is pretty much universal for Honore. Pump it up.

Posted by mbowen at September 4, 2005 01:12 PM

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true, when is this guy going to run for pres because we sorely need someone who is competent.

BTW, have you heard anything about help for Xavier and Dillard Univs. I am sure they will need our (black folks) help to rebuild. Looking at the satillite pics it seems both have water damage.

Posted by: walter at September 5, 2005 08:00 AM

There's a post about people near Xavier at Vision Circle

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 5, 2005 11:55 AM

Let's make this guy the head of FEMA.

Posted by: domermom at September 6, 2005 07:38 AM

Relief efforts for Xavier, Dillard and HBCUs are being led by the UNCF. Please refer to their website for additional information.

Posted by: Temple3 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 6, 2005 07:59 AM

There are many heroes who will never get the credit they deserve for their relentless efforts to rescue and comfort the thousands of people affected by such an extensive disaster. The two on the top of my list are Mayor Ray "Roy Rogers" Nagin and Lt. Gen. Russell "John Wayne" Honore. God bless them all.

Posted by: Jo at September 6, 2005 11:34 AM

Gen. Honore should be the governor of Louisiana!

Posted by: Charlie Somers at September 6, 2005 11:37 AM

If the Dems can find a polical pro w/o baggage - name that person and team him with the General. We have to get the hell out of that messin Iraq. I am a fellow Tanker at 73. Shades of Patton w/o the ego problem. Dems get with it and get a candidate. If you can't find a mate and then get the GENERAL. Remember Ike ?

Posted by: Donald O. Bouschor at September 7, 2005 11:06 AM

I agree with everything being said about these two wonderful men Mayor Nagin and General Honore. These are the kind of people who should be in charge. Get rid of FEMA and the rest of the fools. I would vote for a team of Nagin and Honore in a hot minute!

Posted by: Marilyn Evans at September 7, 2005 04:28 PM

Wasn't it General MacArthur who said:
"In time of peace you need an officer and a gentleman. In time of war(crisis), you need a rebel and a son of a bitch"? General Honore
is the man to do the job.

Posted by: Gary Mailander at September 7, 2005 04:59 PM

I think the General did a fantastic much needed job I New Orleans.
I would like to thank him being myself from Minnesota.
Off hand He should run for President of the USA.

Posted by: Craig Ritchie at September 8, 2005 07:26 PM

The Mayor called him a "John Wayne dude". Someone will be blamed for all the wrongs and someone will be the hero. America - we need and love our heros. General Honore looks like the guy we will rally around and he will get the job done. In South Louisian we all have nicknames - so too did John Wayne, he was The Duke. So Under the circumstance I would like to nickname the good General Honore "The Duke of Orleans"

Mark A. Kernan

Posted by: Mark A. Kernan at September 8, 2005 07:34 PM

Issue: Long Term Solution to Flooding caused by Katrina

Dear Sir/Madam:

I live in Troy, Michigan. I have been thinking about the N. O. disaster, as you can tell. Here's a radical thought. It was the force of gravity that filled the water from Lake Pontchartrain to the lower lying areas of New Orleans. Now, let's use that same force again - intelligently.

Instead of building levees (the breached levee has already been repaired), what will be the consequences of draining Lake Pontchartrain? Or, we can even lower the water level in the lake by simply dredging it and making it deeper?

Afterall, it appears to be a fairly shallow lake and is only 12 to 14 feet deep for the most part. The lake is 40 miles by 24 miles. Even if we increase the average depth to just 20 feet, I am sure the water level will drop and below the level where it will be a threat to the city that will be rebuilt.

Such digging is not unthinkable. We do that type of digging routinely to build highways. Three modern examples are the subway system being built in Boston, the one completed in New Delhi, and the "Chunnel" connecting Britain to the European continent.

This might cost a few million dollars at most but could provide a permanent solution. Of course, more a detailed study is required but I think the proposal might have merit. It will also provide a permanent solution to this problem.

The above is based info I found on the Lake Pont.


Here's another thought along the same lines. Let's drill a few very large diameter and deep holes that get us below sea level, in the flooded portions of the city of New Orleans. The Army Engineers should be able to do this in a matter of days. Instead of pumping the water UP, we can drain the water DOWN. Instead of taking 80 to 90 days, it might just take a few hours or days. That's all it took - the force of gravity - to flood the city. Let's use it again.

With my best regards to you. My thoughts and prayers are with your constituents.

P. S. By way of background, I have Master's and Doctoral degrees in Engineering from MIT and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. If it worthy of your attention, please pass this along to General Russel Honore. He can get the job done in time at all. I can be reached by telephone at the following numbers.

Home: (248) 689-1541
Cell: (248) 321-5662

Posted by: V. Laxmanan at September 11, 2005 12:04 AM

Seeing Gen. Honore on TV this week furthers my respect for those serving in our Military. I wish we were seeing more of Leaders like him . What a wonderful role model, for us all. Let's get more of these men/women and involved in our government.

Posted by: I. Schneider at September 12, 2005 09:00 AM

Thank you Gen. Russel Honore for all you have done for the people of New Oreleans. Thank you for treating our black people with dignity. We will remember you as a strong dignified hero. You also have earned you a permanant spot in our history and you diserved it. God Bless You Always!

Posted by: Alicia Lacey at September 17, 2005 08:03 PM

Is this BLOG dedicated to stroking the incompetence of the civil government of New Orleans?

I agree wholeheartedly with the love for General Russel Honore, but Ray Nagin? Give me a San Andreas break! This clown left NO for 6 (SIX) days during the most critical days of the disaster to spend time with his family that he evacuated to Dallas, Texas. Did any of you recognize that many of his screams for assistance were via radio (one way/no questions from press.)

From the moment the hurricane hit he went into a fit of hysterics as if he had no responsibilities himself except to let his beard grow and look disheveled. He is not fit to be a leader of a Sunday school class, much less a major city. Why are 300 buses still parked near downtown? Why wasn't the city's own disaster plan activated?

Hey Jo and Marilyn Evans, are you Nagin in disquise?

V. Laxmanan, prepare proper resume and find mailing address.

Posted by: GaryPenton at September 18, 2005 09:21 AM

V. Laxmanan
I've given 28 seconds thought to your condescending imagination. (read his ideas above)

Drain Lake Ponchartrain for a few million at most? First of all it's a stupid, stupid idea. Secondly, the initial planning sessions alone would cost in the tens of millions. Didn't you learn how these projects take on life.

It really doesn't matter, the idea isn't feasible.

Laxman baby, you can't drain the lake. Lake Ponchartrain is connected to the Gulf of Mexico by many channels, the largest of which are the Rigolets. If you dredge Lake Ponchartrain, the void will be immediately filled by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Think Tides man, Tides. They go up and then they go down.

It would be good for fishing though. Red snapper like the deeper water. It'll be a few years until toxins and bacteria is diluted enough to enjoy those critters though.

Your words: "Let's drill a few very large diameter and deep holes that get us below sea level, in the flooded portions of the city of New Orleans."

Are you kidding? Why do you think those areas are flooded? THEY ARE BELOW SEA LEVEL MIT BOY!95% of New Orleans is already below sea level "THAT IS WHY THERE ARE SUCH THINGS AS LEVEES." Drilling your holes with these futuristic drills and drill-bits even further below sea level will immediately result in big holes full of water, even without a rainshower. So there you are with lots of water in the big holes for the little kiddies to drown in? Where does the water go then? Big futuristic evaporators?

If I were you I would complain to the Engineering staff at MIT where they bestow Master's and Doctoral degrees in Engineering without real world problem solving or even group projects. Did you go to the MIT in Cambridge?

Posted by: GaryPenton at September 19, 2005 01:06 PM

I am a retired senior military aviator with more than a little experience with poor planning and leadership.

I also have experience with the quality of officer that you can expect from the various universities. I am very surprised at the incompetence of the young man from MIT. It can be argued that "Hey, it's just a BLOG." True enough, but the young man asked that his BLOG entry be forwarded to Gen Honore when he has been taught specifically to carefully prepare a resume and address it specifically to its intended.

That aside. I have enjoyed fantastic experiences with aviators originating from the Ivy league and the major State Universities.

I would however, recommend that you tell your students from the all black universities to take up a shovel and leave the civil discussion to the seasoned experts.

If they couldn't get into a public university in this age of affirmitive action then they are wasting everyones time and may find incredible success in a non-academic field.

Xavier stands out in my mind as the most devastating experience for the student pilot, simply because the college didn't prepare him/her for the academics required for military aviation.

As you can imagine, the race flag is always between thumb and forefinger and the aviation community is under extreme pressure to balance safety with racial appeasement. After many many efforts by staff to hand-hold and coach, many students ultimately failed. They were unsafe in the air.

Do not force your Xavier and Dillard students where they don't belong, particularly when lives are at risk.

Posted by: GaryPenton at September 19, 2005 01:30 PM

If pilots are like lawyers, then they are professionally certified. FWIW there is no Affirmative Action on professional certifications. You either are certified or not. Same with medical licenses.

As a weak supporter of academic Affirmative Action I recognize that its manipulations dont' often seem fair, but I also get tired of the whining of people whose self-esteem is crippled by the presence of Affirmative Action beneficiaries. In the end, only the people who are persistent and capable are going to make it. There is only one cure for mediocrity and it is achievement. That applies to everyone equally.

So if you know of a flight school that lets just anybody in... whoops. I guess that's everywhere.

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 19, 2005 06:18 PM

I think you made my point and you don't even know it. College comes first, then appointment to a military officer candidate school, then aviation candidate school. Racial stressors exist all along the watchtower.

Posted by: GaryPenton at September 19, 2005 09:10 PM

I don't know of anyone who's self esteem is being crippled, but I do know that military aviation safety is being put at risk. You see, I got regular briefings on these things.

Military Aviators are not certified like lawyers or doctors. If they choose to move into the civilian sector they will have to earn certification at that time (which is an easy affair depending on the engine arrangement and hours flown in military aircraft.) Sorry to make you stupid, it isn't my intention.

You are sadly mistaken if you don't think that a version of affirmative action exists in the military culture.

Squadron leaders are forced to provide significant documentation to describe the many "extra chances" given to black aviators and when they have failed their third FNAB, those board results also have to be recorded and documented.

White officers have only one chance at each step and if, God forbid, they are required to appear before a FNAB, their career is finished anyway.

I made it to the pinnacle of the aviation profession but was helpless as I watched much more qualified aviation candidates drop to the wayside as idiots took those seats.

Posted by: Gpenton at September 20, 2005 02:01 PM

"I would however, recommend that you tell your students from the all black universities to take up a shovel and leave the civil discussion to the seasoned experts.

retired senior military aviator

Naww, I can't for the life of me imagine any good reason for Affirmative Action at all. Nope. Nuh-uh.

Posted by: memer [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 20, 2005 06:59 PM