September 05, 2005

Lt. Gen. Russel Honore - Right Man for Katrina Efforts

Today I watched a press conference with the head of Homeland Security and some general heading up rescue efforts in New Orleans. A reporter asked the general a loaded question and, after watching him rip her a new one with some colorful language, I learned that his name is Lt. Gen. Russel Honore. As he bid them farewell, I thought, "Wow! Now, that's the guy for this job."

Apparently, New Orleans Mayor Nagin agrees.

(Lt. Gen. Russel Honore) is a "John Wayne dude" who can "get some stuff done. He came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussing and people started moving."

Gen. Honore.bmp

A picture's worth a thousand words, and this picture says it all. From now on, Lt. Gen. Russel Honore is no longer some general, but is Gen. Honore, Sir! The three-star general doesn't seem to take nonsense from anyone and knows how to get things done. We're going to hear a lot more about him, and he sure looks like the right man for the job.


Here's a sample and a report of the exchanges between General Honore (pronounced Onery) and the press mentioned above. As you read the words and to do them justice, insert the tone of an angry, impatient, and disgusted general and, with that, envision an accompanying glare and scowl. I guarantee that would rattle me. Ready? Here it is.

'John Wayne dude' general blasts Katrina complaints as 'B.S.'

Lieutenant General Russel Honore lived up to his 'John Wayne dude' nickname, blasting complaints that red tape or poor security were snarling relief efforts as 'B.S.'

'That's B.S. It's B.S.,' Honore raged. 'I can tell you that is B.S. We have got 300 helicopters and some of the finest EMS workers in the world down there. There is no red tape ... there are isolated incidents that people take to paint a broad brush.'

'You need to get on the streets of New Orleans, you can't sit back here and say what you hear from someone else. It is secure, we walk around without any issues. Why the hell are you trying to make that the issue, if you can help, get there and help,' he said, saying that people were being scared away by reports of violence.

That's telling it like it is. Do you think that the press will love him or hate him, now?

For more information and thoughts on the general, G.M. has followed up with his entry titled General Russel Honore - Soldier Extraordinaire.

Posted by GM Roper at September 5, 2005 05:00 PM | TrackBack

Seems to be the right man. But the question still remains *Why was he not there 8/30? Who was sleeping at the switch?*

Posted by Rodney A Stanton at September 6, 2005 01:31 PM

I know that you want someone to say the President, but why don't we wait until a study is completed with all of the facts and without a lot of emotional speculation?

For what it's worth, my quick analysis, which needs more information, is that state and local officials seem to have left a lot preparation undone, and Louisiana was slow to turn over authority of the National Guard. If I had to guess as to another major problem, I would say that a huge government bureacracy (FEMA), trying to coordinate efforts between jurisdictions and departments, moves excruciatingly slow. (Maybe you would like to speed up the response by turning the job over to Halliburton.)

For now, concentration should be placed on the rescue efforts. There will be plenty of time to do Monday-morning quarterbacking later.

But, we should be glad that the task seems to be in competent hands now, and someone should get credit for that.

Posted by Woody at September 6, 2005 02:23 PM

Looks like the Governor was the one sawing logs while on duty, Rodney. Bush offered her all the emergency aid she needed two days before landfall, but she fiddled while Rome, well, drowned.

We need a strong leader in charge; this guy was an excellent choice!

Posted by Tim Birdnow at September 6, 2005 05:38 PM

There was a disaster plan, and it looks pretty good. It simply wasn't implemented. I doubt it was ever tested . . .

Posted by Mustang at September 6, 2005 06:35 PM

LTG Honoré is a Louisiana native. He knows Louisiana and Mississippi like the back of his hand. He is a tough, "rip your your head off, sh*t down your throat", fire breather. That's his good side. You do not ever want to get on his bad side.

Posted by MerryMadMonk at September 6, 2005 08:46 PM

Hey Rodney: Perhaps you missed General Honore's press conference with Secretary Rumsfeld the other day.

A few facts to consider before you accuse these hard working people who are doing all they can of being "asleep at the switch"

1. The Army has NO authority to enter ANY municipality unless a specific emergency declaration is made by the President AND those forces are requested by the state government.

2. Honore had begun making preparations to act even before the President made the emergency declaration and well before the state requested assistance.

3. Units must be pre-positioned OUTSIDE the area where storm damage is most heavy. In the case of Katrina this is quite a distance away. Look at the photos of semi trailers tossed around like toys if you do not understand the significance of this.

4. Once the storm hits and after the state requests assistance the units may move in, and this will take time over flooded and damaged roads.

5. Helicopters were sent in on Tuesday, but you may recall that some of the folks in New Orleans decided to use them for target practice, which inhibited rescue operations.

The response time for on the ground units was similar to other hurricane rescue operations. Sorry if the leftie media isn't reporting that, but you can understand why not.

Too bad the military doesn't have the authority to send Honore down to City Hall and arrest Mayor Nagin for his negligence in not implementing the cities disaster evacuation plan.

Posted by Mike's America at September 6, 2005 11:37 PM

LTG Honore is coming out as a hero on this... I loved the response when a reporter asked at the end of the press conference "Are you saying NO is secure?"...He answered "Have you been to NO? (Yes) Were you accosted or shot at? (No) Why do we have to keep bringing this up? Its not a story."

Keep telling it like it is, General.

He should be the next Governor of LA.

Posted by Scott at September 7, 2005 09:49 AM

To mr mikes america I am a ten year firefighter and I can tell you that Mayor Nagin was not in charge of the hurricane drill conducted in New Orleans last year. The FEMA Director, the Govenor, and the Homeland director had their thumbs up their asses by using only 400 evacuees to similate one million people. Or as we say when the shit hits the fan, top brass brains tend to shut down and their asses seem to tighten up!!!

Posted by lbigga at September 7, 2005 10:35 AM

Scott, that was the exchange for which I was looking. That punctuated the press conference. Thanks for finding and posting it.

Posted by Woody at September 7, 2005 11:54 AM

he's my kind of man...take charge, puts up with 0 BS and tells it like it is. Unlike the mayor...who just plays dumb and blames everyone else.

Posted by Raven at September 7, 2005 04:48 PM

LTG Honore is definitely the man to get things done,
with his no-nosense approach to a difficult search for survivor mission. He also has a very compassionate side caring about survivors mental well-being, maybe because he has a master's degree in Human Resources.

Posted by Don Buchanan at September 7, 2005 05:59 PM

I'm from NO and I'm very proud of LTG Nonore. People are starting to refer to him as "John Wayne. I loved John Wayne, but he was an actor. Nonore (Sir) is not in a dress rehearsal the camera is on and this is the real show.

Posted by Carol Rivarde at September 7, 2005 11:49 PM


Posted by KALAN at September 8, 2005 01:09 AM













Posted by caveman116 at September 8, 2005 01:16 AM

Thank GOD for sending LTG Honore'.

If not for his no non-sense leadership style, those "American Citizens" would have been out there for a week - suffering and dying.

My apologies if The Ragin Cagin's style offends some civilians and reporters. However, good ole "Uncle Russ" has been this way for over two decades in the Army.

Actually, the reporter got off "easy". In Korea (2nd Infantry Division -2001), I briefed him at least five times. I have seen him verbally crush officers trying to sneak lesser BS by him. Trust me; it is not a pretty site. Prior to my briefings, I rehearsed incessantly and went over my material with both a microscope AND a fine-tooth comb to ensure that didn't incite The Ragin Cagin's wrath.

At the same time, Honore’ consistently praised his soldiers and officers. “Uncle Russ” regularly gave “on-the-spot” Impact Medals and Division Coins for ingenuity and hard work.

This flood was/is the most demanding challenge on US soil since the Civil War. America needed and it got the US Army's most demanding General - LTG Russel L. Honore'.

No agency was properly prepared. There's more than enough blame to spread around:

The White House / FEMA / DHS / DOD / LA GOV / Mayor's Office: They ALL got caught with their boots off. Even the citizens of New Orleans were shocked at the storm's power.

FINALLY - Bush, Blanco and Nagin made a sensible decision: to send in the federal troops, under Uncle Russ’ command. Over.

Posted by daytona beach at September 8, 2005 08:44 AM

LTG Honoré,

When LTG Honoré speaks, WE ALL LISTEN. Too many people get caught up in the "Colorful language" he uses. Don't listen to the colorful part, listen to what he has to say. (Colorful or not). So what if he curses. His always makes clear, to the point, smart, decisions. I was in 2ID when he was the Commanding General. He is a true LEADER!!!! I am really proud of you LTG Honoré.

Second to None!

Posted by lauramtz at September 8, 2005 08:51 AM

on fox news last night honore was quoted saying something like "don't let stupid get in the way....."...i've tried to find the specific quote but have not as yet. Thought it was quite appropriate. I would like to know the actual verbiage that the General used.

Posted by ron at September 8, 2005 09:14 AM

Right off the bat , I likeed LTG Russell Honore's no bullsh%t , no-nonsense approach.

The guy is like John Wayne and Patton all rolled into one. There are some great leaders out there, just wish they could be as capable and honest as the LTG.

I wish him well, and pray that his efforts will be rewarded with a better way of life for the victims of

1st Army's got a true hard charging leader, much to the credit of the US Army and the United States or America

God's speed LTG Honore!!

Posted by Randy at September 8, 2005 11:25 AM

Just wanted to 2nd all of the kudo's for Uncle Russ. Yes, he IS my uncle and Yes he IS just as honest out of uniform. A real hero to our family too.

Keep it up sir!

Posted by JHonore' at September 8, 2005 12:08 PM

Thanks for writing, Jenni. Your family has good reason to be proud of your uncle. I admired the way he took on the reporters, as the paper-pushing bureaucrats standing beside him were sheepishly backing into the shadows. When he was finished, he snapped a salute and took off to work rather than wasting two more seconds with them. He earned my respect and he obviously has the respect of those who serve under him. No one can complain about this federal response, now!

Posted by Woody at September 8, 2005 01:43 PM

For too long we as Americans have built a country where we must speak in "political correctness" when in the end, it only produces fluff filled with lies and deceit. It is when people; like the good General, speak in truths and in easily understood verbage that people will then snap tall or whine because their feelings are hurt. In the NAVY, we called the whiners as "having sand in their clits while trying to make a pearl".

The truth hurts at times, but in the end, it weeds out the lies. The LTG spoke from the heart and spoke just as he would to his own troops - this is what America needed to hear in the end and no more of the leftie comments are needed combined with whether to call people refugees or evacuees.

When does the madness end America?

Posted by Ben Cook at September 8, 2005 03:38 PM

It sure is nice that the gutless wonders -- (translated: civilian "managers) have a leader to look up to.

At the end of the day what will save any challenging circumstance is Leadership. Too bad the people of Lousiana had to suffer from the incompetence of those overpaid "needle d%ck bug f#ckers" (otherwise known as the head of FEMA, the New Orleans Mayor and Police Chief and the Governor of Louisana).

We need to send them to a place called Ft Benning, GA, home of the Infantry. They will get a lot of help there developing Leadership skills.

Unfortunately, once the flood waters recede and the crisis passes, nincompoopery will rear its ugly inefficient head.

It the meantime it sure is nice to see a GRUNT (for you civilians -- that means an infantry soldier) in charge.

Posted by Charlie at September 9, 2005 05:42 PM

I served with and for General Honore for several years in the Big Red One. I can tell you that he is a great warrior and can get the job done. I am not sure when he got involved in this process but he is a "Just get it done" type Soldier. If he called me today, there is no question i would once again strap on my jump boots and do what he ordered. He is a "Coon Dog" and he is very proud of his state and homeland. Those that question his ability are misguided and have no idea of his capabilities in coordinating and pulling a team together. I am quit sure if he was in charge if FEMA we would not be this deep in Kimchi . Russ is a brilliant planner. I am sure he was called in since the Federal Government knew it was broke and he is then man to fix it.

Posted by Steel6 in Boston USA at September 10, 2005 06:41 PM

Some say that those in the military don't deal with real world situations - meaning that the military's environment isn't real world. I wonder what those doubters are saying now! The military will always consist of the best managers and leaders available!

Posted by Retired SFC at September 11, 2005 06:03 PM

I will always remember seeing these three guys in uniform walk up to Geraldo in N.O.'s worse hours and the look on the newsman's face of complete relief...I think he said something like, "thank god...the calvary has arrived!". All THREE officers had what can only be expressed as "Presence"; I knew in that moment something would be done--and done RIGHT! They briefly said their hellos and went immediately to work. And of those man stood out as being IN CHARGE.......the Ragin Cajun! I applaud him for getting his battle plan in the works BEFORE the call came from the "authorities"--as would ANY get the job done person. Too bad we don't have many, many clones of this man.

Posted by EBarnett at September 12, 2005 08:24 PM

We have witnessed the full gamut of the power of Katrina, the level of human debasement that a very few exhibited immediately following the storm's aftermath, the confusion and whining of the many trained "managers" and politicians, the gerrimandering and wimpering of the helpless media, and NOW - the strength of our national will to help our own citizenry of all social positions and an unvarnished product of our ability to still produce true leaders.

Folks, my beloved NOLA and the battered Gulf Coast has provided an incredible crucible of America at it very worst and its very best!

To the brave men, women, and children, both victims and saviors, and to the deep compassion exhibited by the America we all hope we can strive to portray and live, "Keep up the fire!"


Posted by A Grunt at September 12, 2005 11:34 PM

Lt. General Honore deserves at least a 4th star. Probably won't get it because the ring knockers prefer fellow members of the club. Pity. He'd make one hell of a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but it takes a Clinton to appreciate a real stand up guy with brains and guts.

Posted by Nancy Bennett at September 14, 2005 01:01 AM

Honore is the one official that will emerge from this disaster as a well respected, take charge leader. He will be ready for retirement by the next governor's election and was born and raised in this state. I hope Honore's friends will urge him to challenge Blanco for the governship. Louisiana will need a steady hand to rebuild New Orleans. Blanco choked.

Honore for Governor.

Posted by JLong at September 14, 2005 05:09 PM

Everyone keeps talking about "we need to find out who's fault it is." As anyone else noticed that the media has not once referred to Mr. Bush as the Commander and Chief although, that’s exactly who he is! And, if you put him aside Lt Gen Honore who rode into town on a white horse vie trucks, helicopters, and GOT THE JOB DONE! Then, for those of us that are ex military we know that the President has committed one crime that nobody is talking about “derelection of duty!” I’m so grateful to Lt. Gen Honre, for showing America what real leadership in support of the mission is all about!

Posted by mzwaymaker at September 17, 2005 06:07 PM

mzwaymaker writes: "Then, for those of us that are ex military we know that the President has committed one crime that nobody is talking about “derelection of duty!”

I'm ex-military, and a DAMN proud Army brat to boot. Many of my friends are ex-military, and there are not a few that are currently in the military. You couldn't be more wrong!

When the Prez has URGED the civil authorities to call an emergency, he is not absent at all. As CinC he also gets credit for ultimately ordering in General Honore. mzwaymaker, sorry bud, you are all wet.

Posted by GM Roper at September 17, 2005 06:57 PM

Kudos to LTG Honore'. He is the "Spirit of New Orleans" and making things happen that make sense. He is the kind of leader that The Big Easy has needed for a long time and the State of Louisiana would be able to come out of the dark ages with a person like him at the helm. He is indeed a John Wayne dude in the very best way.

His quote today to one of the inept members of the news media was, "Don't get stuck on stupid." We all need to be wearing T-shirts with his picture and those words. Maybe that would open some eyes in our country.

Judie K. Silbermann
Wilson, NC
(Former New Orleans resident)

Posted by JK Silbermann at September 20, 2005 06:51 PM

I don't know LTG Honore, however, in the early 60s I served at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, with a fellow named "Al" Honore, who was from Louisiana. I'm wondering if he is a relative of the General and if so, where is Al now--love to contact him as he was a mentor to me.

Posted by Peter L. Comras at September 23, 2005 10:57 AM

I served with General Russel Honore at Ft. Stewart. 3rd infantry division. He was my brigade commander as a full bird Colonel. Guys listen this man is a born leader and everyone he touches or commands will go with him anywhere. I think that theres only several men who has ever possessed this trait. Besides all the negative hat has happened to New Orleans look at the positive we have a dedicated "SOLDIER" in charge of the rebuilding and evacuating process. All I can say is "Rock of the Marne" Sir. HONORE FOR PRESIDENT

Posted by CLBD Martin at September 23, 2005 01:10 PM

Now they want the people who evacuated not to return. Get real, next time these people will not evacuate so easy. They should start with tge outer portion of the town and get powere restored and road cleared and let the neighborhoods return one by one. No grid lock.

The need to get the military in there to secure the areas being retuned first. It really did not look like much damage.

Posted by M. Wilson at September 25, 2005 07:21 PM

I want to offer, as a fellow American, my congratulations to LTG Honore. While the saps in the upper offices were patting each other down for a job well done, and ignoring the reality of the situation, LTG Honore was in there and taking command. He is a real hero in my estimation.

He tells the truth as he sees it, doesn't coat the truth, and is a take action man. We need more leaders like him, those that will just do what needs to be done and not spend their time politicizing or grandstanding. His true care is for people, and that is what we really need.

I wish Mr. Honore would run for President... I'd sure vote for him.


Posted by athene at September 26, 2005 12:43 PM

I truly think that LTG Russell Honore should be promoted to his 4th star and then become Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff. This is coming from a former military member

Posted by C Brown at October 7, 2005 06:53 AM

all your comments on General Honore are most pleasing to read as I myself consider this man a hero(although he doesn't like to hear that) and a man you could trust with your life. I hope someone writes a book (biography) about him. I will be first in line to buy it. I hope we will hear more about him.

Posted by rosa at November 2, 2005 09:08 PM

I served in desert storm under LTG Honore whatever needs to get done he will get it done. If he call me back to go take on the devil him self I'll do it because I really believe him . drive on sir I'm proud of you
Spc.Bibbs.Aka( Fred Sanford)

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