September 08, 2005

General Russel Honore - Soldier Extraordinaire

Lt. Gen. Russel Honore copy.pngPeople are demanding to know more about Lt. General Russel Honore, tagged "John Wayne" by some, but a Guardian Angle by others. In an earlier post which has generated some 2000+ hits on this little blog, his niece had this to say:

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."
General Honore must be equally proud of his family I would suspect.

A bio about the General says:

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.
However, I suspect that this doesn't tell the whole story. The General was commissioned the year after I left the Army (I wish I had served with him, though I did serve with many fine soldiers)so, for the last 34 years he has made soldering his life's work.

The Army's ROTC programs have produced some of our finest American Officers (Did you hear that you colleges that don't want ROTC on your campus) and the General is no exception! He has served tours in Korea and Germany, and is currently in Command of the First United States Army based at Fort Gillem, Georgia.

General Honore gave a briefing and answered questions in a Department Of Defense (DoD) today that is well worth reading in full. The Transcript is here.

The blogosphere is bubbling with news about the "Ragin' Cajun" and stories about him abound. The problem is of course, separating the wheat from the chaff. So far, the stories have been mostly adulatory, and seemingly, that is exactly as it should be. General Honore stepped into a huge mess left by cronyism, ineptitude, stupidity and people caring more about politics than about saving people.

The stories before General Honore took charge ranged from such stupidities as Bush caused the Hurricane because he didn't back Kyoto to the city deliberately was abandoned because the majority of it's peoples were black.

Then, in the center of it all levee's collapse and the fingerpointing gets vicious. "See." Everyone said, "Bush cut money from levee construction." Of course, this ignores 40 years of neglect and more importantly perhaps, the 17th Ave Levee that broke was the NEW part, the part that had been worked on by the Corps of Engineers. Wow, ain't that somthin'. But it didn't stop the bashers, sometimes on both sides of the aisle.

Into this steps General Honore and as New Orleans Mayor said:

He came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussing and people started moving,"

Additionally, General Honore had to deal with ill informed reporters leading to these comments by the good General:

That's B.S. It's B.S...."

"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."

Honore also lashed out at questions from journalists at the Baton Rouge emergency operations center concerning the security situation in New Orleans.

"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,"

Honore noted that people were being scared away by reports of violence.

When one reporter argued that there still reports of bureaucracy and unrest stalling relief efforts in some outlying parishes of New Orleans, Honore fumed:

"I don't care if it is Hancock County, Mississippi -- we are not going to have that kind of issue."

Tough spoken! Brutally honest! A Commanding General entirely worthy of the title Commander and the right man for the job.

General, I salute you!

UPDATE: For those who continue to harp and gripe about FEMA dropping the ball, here is an interesting quote:

We're starting to move the trailers in," said then-FEMA director and current Hillary favorite James Lee Witt, nearly a month after Floyd first hit. "It's been so wet, it's been difficult to get things in there" — an explanation that sounds familiar.

Witt was also a guest on Jesse Jackson's CNN show, "Both Sides Now," in Floyd's aftermath. Jackson complained then that "bridges are overwhelmed, levees are overwhelmed, whole towns underwater. . . . (It's) an awesome scene of tragedy."

That was regarding Hurricane Floyd that devistated the east coast in 1999. Hillary's carping is fully seen here (A Doffing of the GM Chapeaux to Glenn Reynolds)

Posted by GM Roper at September 8, 2005 08:50 PM | TrackBack

He is kicking ass and taking names, later. Isn't he?

I know that I like him, because he doesn't play around with the media. He knows his shit and won't let them spin. He saves a lot of time and verbal energy by not wasting words. His few words carry more weight than many a college thesis.

Posted by LASunsett at September 9, 2005 12:16 AM

A few words that say "let's fix this problem" are a lot better than a speech that says "I feel your pain."

Posted by Woody at September 9, 2005 09:02 AM

Great follow up...we need to hear more about the guys gettin it done instead of all the finger pointing.

Posted by Scott at September 9, 2005 09:37 AM

Someone had asked about a "stupid" comment by the general. Here it is with the link.

"(NBC News) asked a three-star general just what has taken so long.

"'This is a disaster,' says Lt. Gen. Russel Honore. 'This isn't something somebody can control. We ain't stuck on stupid.'"

Well, maybe not the military, but some people ask stupid questions.

Posted by Woody at September 9, 2005 01:01 PM

I found this site through Google looking for info on General Honore. I really don't agree with the politics of this site, since I consider myself a moderate and an independent voter.

Having said that, I want to say that I found the article on General Honore outstanding. I just listened to the General on TV, he told the reporters that there would be no imbeds (impeded reporters) on the missions involving the recovery of the deceased and that this would be handled with dignity. He said that we do not need pictures of this in the media. I applaud General Honore on his decision and his firmness in informing the press.

Bravo, General Honore.

Posted by Marilyn at September 9, 2005 02:17 PM

Marilyn wrote: " I really don't agree with the politics of this site, since I consider myself a moderate and an independent voter."

I thought we were moderate. It's not our fault that we honor the truth and honesty and that, on the other side, the Democrats embrace Ted Kennedy, the Clinton's, Michael Moore, and Jane Fonda. G.M., are we moderate or not?

Posted by Woody at September 9, 2005 02:35 PM

Woody, we are moderate what I don't know is if we are moderately conservative or conservatively moderate.

I think that our commenter however is saying that we are dyed in the wool conservatives hence, also republicans.

Young lady, first, thank you for the accolades on the article. General Honore really is the REAL THING. On the other hand, I am a conservative, but that doesn't mean I'm not an independent voter like you. I live in deep South Texas (the Rio Grande Valley - El Valle de Rio Bravo if you are from south of the border) and I have lived in south texas for most of the last 40 years. I have voted for far more conservative democrats than I have for conservative republicans, though I admit this is getting harder and harder to do.

One doesn't need to be a conservative to appreciate this site. Jim Hitchcock is one of our regular readers and routinely reads and comments on this site. Usually to disagree with Woody and I but so what?

We write from our hearts, what we believe and what we work for. Both Woody and I disagree with the majority of what the liberal democrats believe and we don't make any bones about it. That is MADE for discussion, something both Woody and I love to foster.

I hope you will come back often and if you disagree with us, say so. I have yet to ban someone for having opposing views, though to be honest I have come close to banning a few who have become excessively snarky and or use vile language.

Again, thanks for your comment, and thanks for droping by. Our respect is out to you.

GM Roper

Posted by GM Roper at September 9, 2005 05:17 PM

to my great surprise Russel Honore is none other than my double second cousin. His father, LLoyd Honore was my father's nephew and his mother, Udell St Amant was my mother's niece.
I left Louisiana in the early sixties and lost of track of Russel. I knew his older brothers, John, Clearance, Marshall and Roderick better than him because they were closer to my age.
When he came on the Kitrina scene It took me a full day to figure what Honore everyone was talking about and just about the time I remembered my father telling me a long time ago that Russel was in the military I heard him cuss and that cemented it for me, He had to be LLoyd honore's son.
Russel comes from a family of nine sons and three daughters. I remember his mother's smiles of approval she graced her children with and Lloyd was tough on his nine boys but always kind, good and fair. The family joked that Lloyd had his own baseball team.
Many times i have heard him yell at his sons "Cut out all that GD cussing."

Needless to say I am extremely proud of what Russel is doing and obviously very proud to be related to him.

I am sure he wouldn't know me but just like I knew his last name he'd know mine but anyhow I am aunt Bonnie and uncle Mauss's (from Baton Rouge) third daughter Marilyn.

Posted by marilyn ricard at September 9, 2005 05:33 PM

Great article, GM. I hope Jesse Jackson realizes soon that he is indeed black and indeed one of the highest ranking people in the recovery effort. :)

If Bush would only realize how refreshing it is to hear an official tell it straight and tell the press where to go!

Posted by Patricia at September 9, 2005 06:44 PM

Patricia, you reminded me of that scene in "No Time for Sergeants" where Will (Andy Griffith) sees a female officer and is amazed to see a woman in the army. While is stands open mouthed, his friend salutes and says, "I don't see a woman. All I see is an officer." Well, in the case of Honore, all I see is a general.

Posted by Woody at September 9, 2005 07:42 PM

I agree, Woody, I was referring to Jackson's complaint about no black people being in charge in the recovery effort...

Posted by Patricia at September 9, 2005 09:26 PM

Last week I watched a newscast of the general ordering a N.O. police officer to point his weapon down, and the officer who was Not under his 'commmand' wisely obeying.

As I did I thought, as so many have pointed out, he was absolutely the right man to bring in to get things moving in the right direction there.

His focus on doing the job, and helping the people rather than playing the blame game is one that should be emulated by many more.

Let's hope it becomes contagious, eh?

As a side note: Great posts, GM.

Though I was just looking for more info on the general, the way they were presented prompted me to look around, was pleased to find a great site.

Posted by MichiganMom at September 10, 2005 06:46 PM

The blame for the slow response to Katrina goes a long way. It starts from the victims who did not evacuate when told so, to the state who did not make sure that victims who had no means to evacuate could have means to evacuate and goes all the way to the FMA for responding slowly to the victims who did not evacuate on time and were not evacuated by their state, to the president and all his kind up there for not making sure that responses to such disasters are quick at all times even if there is no oil, to you and me sitting at home pointing fingers, feeling sorry, and talking about how sad katrina events have been and doing nothing about it... I was wondering if I should also extend the blame to God since he is our father who could have stopped this...i.e. if you believe in you see....this is a disaster that can not be blamed on anyone for anything. And of course there are exceptions...and those exceptions are the people like the general who have taken charge to ensure order, those volunteers who look past everything else and give their lives to work for others, and the people donating what they can and those who cant give but put the survivors in to their prayers..... And of course I am off the mark bacause this string seems to be singing the praise to the general... To this man...I hope all people can be greatful for restoring hope, faith, and strength.

Posted by Lillian Fox at September 10, 2005 10:39 PM

Gen Honore reminds me of my Dad. He was the kind of man who would stand up for anyone and held his beliefs firmly, yet had a terrific sense of humor and deep compassion. I remember once Dad didn't open the door to a visitor and I was surprised, since Dad was a very hospitable man.
I opened the door and a man slid a gift through the door and said, please give this to miss Iva and tell Mr. Bill I'm very sorry." He bolted away before I could ask any questions and when I turned around my mother had tears running down her face from laughing hysterically! Seems my 74 year old father told the gentleman not to curse outside his window because of his wife. After the third time Dad just opened the door and punched the young guy, knocking him out . Honore is exactly what we needed in this country, less B.S. and more action.
I would just like to offer a sincere thank you to the general and all those making things happen!

Posted by LLL at September 11, 2005 02:51 PM

What a fine gentleman! I saw the Sunday Morning spotlight on the General and now, at last, feel that New Orleans is in good hands. Russ for Prez. this land needs a leader, straight shooter and a self starter with a heart.

Posted by Helen Sampson at September 12, 2005 09:42 AM

General Honore now has lots of fans here in Delaware, expecially me! I am hugely impressed by his honesty, strength, and compassion.

Posted by julie at September 12, 2005 11:18 AM

Once again when we need them the very most our United States uniformed services are there for us. God bless the United States Army. God bless the United States Coast Guard. In our darkest hours they serve.

Posted by rob robinson at September 12, 2005 05:34 PM

This General is the man for the job. I am really interested in hearing more about him

Posted by ruthdownes at September 14, 2005 06:09 AM

Thanks for posting the bio on Lt. General Honore'. His presence in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina was truly awesome. It's like when I saw him in television, I wanted to salute him!

Posted by D. Dorsey at September 14, 2005 02:39 PM

Is General Honore' married? I have seen lots of info about his family but nothing about a wife. You know they say,"behind every great man is a great woman".

From LK in Louisiana

Posted by LKelley at September 16, 2005 02:57 PM

General Russel Honore - Soldier Extraordinaire-for president he gets my VOTE!!!!!!!!

Posted by SETILE at September 16, 2005 03:39 PM

Let me first start by saying that Lt. General Russell Honore' is my new hero. Here is a man with the intelligence and the character to lead people. It is evident in everything he has done so far: the way he carries himself, the way he candidly answers questions and his sincerity in doing his job. I am a Lieutenant with a South Florida Law Enforcement agency and I am always seeking out great leaders to emulate. General Honore' has just been added to my list of leaders to study. Having been a member of JROTC and ROTC, the Army is full of leaders like this. Maybe some people in government should enlist into some of our Armed Forces so that they too can develop some of these leadership skills. I second the motion of a previous writer " Honore' for President" Once the recovery effort is over, will someone please publish his autobiography.

Posted by K. Granville at September 16, 2005 05:28 PM

I would just like to say the General is doing an outstanding job and maybe one day I will get to meet him

Posted by R.Haynes at September 16, 2005 06:08 PM

Just wanted to say what a small world. I have had the
honor of serving in the U.S. Army from 1978 to 1984.
Part of the honor was to be able to serve with then
Captain Honore. I was stationed in germany in 1980 and
worked in a G-1 headquarters staff office and who did I
work for but then Captain Honore. I worked with him
for approximately 4 months. We were stationed with the
1st Infantry Division (Forward) BIG RED ONE in the
bavaria town of Goeppingen, Germany. The short time that I served with then Cpt. Honore was a memorable one. Cpt. Honore always treated me with
respect as a soldier and his one liners were always a
treat. I don't think there is a better person to lead the relief efforts from Katrina than LTG Honore. I salute LTG Honore. God Bless.

Posted by Jerry Witowski at September 19, 2005 11:49 AM

Radio Blogger has the audio from a press conference General Honore gave today. It's pretty funny hearing him dress down these knucklehead reporters.

Posted by joey at September 20, 2005 09:32 PM

Joey, thanks! That is great. If only others had the nerve to do the same. Thanks for sharing that. G.M., you may want to feature this or another update on a future post on Honore. I like that guy.

Posted by Woody at September 20, 2005 09:49 PM

This is the man that America needs as a President Kicking Ass Lt General Honore, If he runs, he has my vote. Thank you sir.

Posted by cisco at September 21, 2005 12:29 AM

Gen Honore has my vote, also. He can weed thru the BS quickly. Needed in Washington, DC.

Posted by Linda at September 21, 2005 09:06 AM

What I wouldn't give for a copy of the General's comments yesterday! I whooped and laughed and cheered him until I was hoarse when he told the reporters they were "stuck on stupid"! I'm teaching my parrot that phrase!!

Posted by KC at September 21, 2005 01:15 PM

K.C., Joey in a few comments higher kindly provided this link to LTG Honore's remarks. It is really worth reading and hearing.

Posted by Woody at September 21, 2005 03:12 PM

General Honore is a no nonsense man, doing his job and doing it well. I admire him greatly for his ability to focus on the task at hand. But President? He wouldn't do well in that arena. Keep him as head of FEMA, where his leadership can do the most good.

Posted by John at September 22, 2005 09:32 PM


Keep up the good work--someone has to step forward and say it like it is--and you did

This comes from a retired AF CMSGT who has said the same to other Generals who have stepped forward and got the job done, just as you did


CMSGT Pietrowski (retired)

Posted by Charles Pietrowski at September 23, 2005 01:53 PM

LTG Honore's performance has been splendid, except I do not agree with his barking to the soldiers to put the guns down. Those young men were doing what they were trained to do. They drill them until they can do that stuff in their sleep. If they were not in the "ready" position, and a sniper or armed looter popped up, they would have been chastized for being not ready. It seems to me that it was a case of a superior over using his power and humiliating his subordinates, who were in a lose-lose situation. I did not see the soldiers directly pointing weapons at the bystanders. Only in that case would I approve of his action.

Posted by Paul McIntire at September 24, 2005 07:33 PM

I served in the LA National Guard and we were trained during peace time military support maneuvers to carry your weapons pointed downwards in case of an accidental discharge or misfiring of your weapon. During war time missions, you do the opposite with your weapon at the ready and your finger near the trigger. The general wasn't pulling rank, he was protecting the citizens the Guard was brought in to protect.

Posted by C Moore at September 26, 2005 10:42 PM

"When he said jump, everybody knew to say how HIGH!" He got things in order when no one else could! Hoo-ray for him.

Posted by Rose Geurian at September 30, 2005 08:18 PM

" Run General Run!"
Women are after you. Say your married if your not.

Posted by Cassandra Geurian at September 30, 2005 08:23 PM


Posted by CHARLIE,MONTOYA at October 31, 2005 06:08 PM





Posted by Dorine Woodgett at November 11, 2005 05:43 AM

I being from Louisiana, living in Prairieville [about 50miles northwest of New Orleans] just want to say "thank you General Honore for bring leadership and order to an area that had neither". Thank you

Posted by Gil Blanchard at November 18, 2005 08:59 AM

What a rare and refreshing person. I hope we have not seen the last of this man. We need his honesty and directness. He is not looking over his shoulder to figure out what he should say or do.
With the horrors of Katrina, this one person seemed to be in charge. I hope he is not being forgotten. This is a rare specimen of what America can produce. He needs to be cloned immediately and whole lot sent to Washington D.C.

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