Military and Police

16 January: This Day in Military History

1917: British intelligence intercepts a coded telegram from the German government requesting an alliance with Mexico if the U.S. enters World War I. In return for a Mexican attack on the United States, Germany would offer financial aid and assist Mexico in regaining Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The Mexicans decline, and the “Zimmermann Telegram” sparks outrage when published in U.S. papers, leading Congress to declare war on Germany in April.

Zimmerman Telegram

1942: As U.S. and Philippine soldiers conduct a delaying action on Luzon Island, 26th Cavalry Regiment troopers and their Philippine Scouts spot a detachment of Japanese troops approaching the town of Morong. Lt. Edwin P. Ramsey orders what becomes the last cavalry charge in U.S. military history, which surprises and scatters the enemy.

Edwin Ramsey on Bryn Awryn in the Philippines in the year before he successfully led the last US cavalry charge in history.

On Bataan, U.S. Army Sgt. Jose Calugas – a Philippine Scout – notices that one of the gun batteries have been disabled by enemy bombs and shelling, killing or wounding the gun’s operators. Without orders, he charges across a 1,000-yard killzone, where he organizes a crew of men to get the cannon working again and begins returning fire.

After being relieved, he returns to his normal post as mess sergeant. He is nominated for the Medal of Honor, but falls into enemy hands when the island is captured. The Japanese put Calugas on a work detail, and he secretly joins a guerilla unit and fights to liberate the Philippines. After the war, he is finally awarded the Medal of Honor and receives a commission.

Sgt. Jose Calugas, Philippine Scout, salutes the officer who presented him with the Medal of Honor for gallantry on Bataan. Sgt. Calugas is the first Filipino to receive this highest award of the United States.

1945: As the Red Army drives west through Poland and the Wehrmacht is beaten back to its positions prior to their last-ditch Ardennes Offensive (the Battle of the Bulge), Adolf Hitler enters the underground bomb shelter and Nazi command post known as the Führerbunker. The German dictator will spend the rest of his life at the compound.

The Führerbunker

1991: (Featured Image) When the UN deadline for Saddam Hussein to withdraw his military from Kuwait expires at midnight, hundreds of planes take off from U.S. carriers and from bases in Saudi Arabia, decimating Iraq’s air force and air defense network. Operation “Desert Storm” – Saddam’s “Mother of All Battles” – has begun.

Members of Btry. A, 5162nd Air Defense Arty. Regt., 11th Air Defense Arty. Bde., hold an FIM-92A Stinger portable missile launcher as they pose for a photograph during Operation Desert Shield. Codenamed Operation Desert Shield (2 August 1990 – 17 January 1991) for operations leading to the buildup of troops and defense of Saudi Arabia and Operation Desert Storm (17 January 1991 – 28 February 1991)
Army Gen. Norman H. Schwarzkopf consults with then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powel. Schwarzkopf, the commander in chief of U.S. Central Command during Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, died Dec. 27, 2012,
The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Chris Carter

Chris Carter is the Director of the Victory Institute, and deputy regional director of the U.S. Counterterrorism Advisory Team. His work appears at The US Report, International Analyst Network, Human Events, Canada Free Press, Family Security Matters, Deutsche Welle,, Blackfive and other publications. Chris is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, non-commissioned officer in the South Carolina State Guard, and retired firefighter.

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

OpsLens Premium on CRTV.

Everywhere, at home or on the go.