Quick message from the author:
Just like in the movie National Treasure there is a book of secrets and another true purpose for writing this book. In 2004, thirteen years ago I became a teacher because so many students were failing math including my youngest son, John. I had to reteach him during Christmas break both Algebra and Geometry. My other Grandson Nick was also having problems with math and because I tutored him he was able to graduate from high school. So I had a decision to make about sitting on the sidelines or doing something about it. So at the age of 50 I decided to become a public school teacher. I taught eight years at the San Jacinto High School and for the past six years I have been teaching at the Mountain View Alternative High Schools (Mountain View High School, Mountain Heights Academy, and San Jacinto Adult Education). For three days a week I teach for 13 hours a day.
Why? Because I want to impact change and find the solution to help every student I meet to have success in learning mathematics. This is my quest and my life long mission. For the past fourteen years I have changed my method of teaching because it did not reach everyone. Too many students continue to fail and not have success. During the last two years I discovered a hidden secret key to unlock learning of mathematics. Those strategies are in the book on display and hidden in Chapter 18 of Annapolis Creed. If you have children who are struggling or struggled in learning just maybe Chapter 18 will help. As other methods are discovered I will print them as well in this blog.
Extracts from the Introduction of Annapolis Creed...
My growing personal mindset was developing over my lifetime. If only I personally understood the concept of a growth mindset when I was raising my children. I always believed in my son's ability to learn. I know today that if I would die today that they would be OK. The reason for writing this book is to share the importance of growing a mindset. Developing a growth mindset can help anyone to have success in learning and life (Dweck, 2006).
Parents need to believe and realize that it's never too late for their children to experience learning success. This book was written to tell my life story up till this date in time of writing and also to provide specific advice for students who have a difficult time with mathematics. I reveal in the final Chapter little know strategies and methods to improve student academic outcomes based on my experience during the past 14 years as a public school teacher. Students, parents, and educators who follow these guidelines will impact students academic performance outcomes. The strategy and guidance show step by step actions to increase the likelihood of success in school including mathematics.
Do you ever dream? I have an idea about breaking the bonds of mindset slavery shackled to the brains of far too many people (especially children) in America attending public schools. The achievement gap in education exists because of a slavery mindset. However, no significant accomplishment ever happens without setbacks, diversions, decisions, failures, and modifications of strategies. Perseverance and struggle in making the dream a reality has never failed throughout my lifetime. At the end of each chapter in this book is a personal lesson learned quote.
It is the development of my growing personal mindset that allowed me to believe that I could become the 17th Company Commander and to be chosen the Color Company Commander in 1976 although the mathematical odds were against me. Are your dreams focused? Do you know how to use your dreams? Do you have a vision? What is your creed? My destiny in 1972 was to enter the United States Naval Academy. I am Dr. Jordan B. Smith, Jr., and this book is about my creed at Annapolis. I am still Annapolis Creed! I live my life today using the experience while at the United States Naval Academy from 1972-1976.
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Excerpt from Chapter 13 of Annapolis Creed available on Amazon.com
Desert Shield Logistical Reforms
I have mentioned earlier about the showers incident in the ditch with the female Marines, but that was not the entire story. The 1st Gulf War presented challenges because it was the first time that women would be in the combat zone in support positions. Women held posts in every support unit and the air wing. When the original designers of the Table of Equipment (TE) for combat units determined the number of tents, it did not consider having tents only for women in the field. When Marine units withdrew supplies from the War Reserves out of Barstow and Albany for an all potent fighting force, some TE items were insufficient. Suddenly provisions for berthing, showers, and head facilities in the field had to be considered. At Al Jubayl we had porta potty’s before our air strikes began and each one was unisex on a first serve first come basis. But when MAG-26 deployed to Lonesome Dove we had to use field heads.
These field heads were constructed by engineers and made from plywood and empty 55-gallon oil drums. It normally had three holes for a number 2 and no urinals. In a war zone, you will never forget the smell in the mornings of burning of diesel fuel and human feces. Therefore, they have been placed hundreds of yards away downwind from the position. When we deployed to the new location, we for some reason on the first night of movement only had two of the field heads. The female had one hole, and the males had an enlisted and an officer field head.
During the night nature was calling, and so I went to the officer's head. When I entered the pilot, S-4 was sitting on hole number 1. I entered and took hole number 2. The colonel was reading a letter from the wife with a flashlight and having a conversation about upcoming events and issues. While we were talking a third person entered, and we didn’t notice. This person came in pulled their pants down and took up hole number 3. Now, this was at night and no lights because of our position just 18 km short of the border. I looked to my right and noticed that hole #3 was occupied by Lt. Jones (a female). No this was not happening! I was all ready to go, but I remained sitting because you know. I was embarrassed and stunned at the same time. The 2nd Lt. and I started to have a little discussion to ease my discomfort and then just like she entered she rose up, wiped her stuff, pulled the pants up and said, “ Sorry but I had to go!, “Good evening gentleman!” The Lt. Col S-4 and I busted out laughing because we were stuck to our seats being self-conscious about showing our stuff, and the Lt did not hesitate nor did she feel embarrassed.
Welcome to the Gulf War.“
Excerpt from Chapter 13 of Annapolis Creed available on Amazon.com
The following is an excerpt from Chapter 12 of Annapolis Creed
Chapter 12 - Duty in Japan
Upon arrival in Japan, I first visited the 12th Marine Regiment in Okinawa. I went to the 3rd Division personnel office and noticed an opening for Company Commanders. I was senior to the other officers, and a Captain (Select). But when I checked into the division personnel and the adjutant reviewed my qualification record. Because of my experience concerning maintenance and motor transport, I was sent to Camp Fuji instead of the 12th Marine Regiment. I was sent down the wrong pathway once again. I could have been back in California. I asked the adjutant where the hell (X#!) is Fuji? He replied, “you better check into supply for some cold weather gear.” I was really screwed. No more beaches but snow and cold weather.
Before I knew it, I was on a bus to the Okinawa Airfield and was flown somewhere to the mainland to an airbase in Yokota, Japan. I arrived and was met by a young Marine bus driver. It was cold, and snow was on the ground. The airport terminal windows had frost with no visibility to the outside. I retrieved my sea bag and followed my escort to go outside the terminal. I could not see anything but this bus with the words “Fuji Marines” on the side. I boarded the bus and went directly to sleep. The trip to Fuji was on a winding decline of a road. I would peek out and wipe the window to try to observe the scenery. No luck it was dark and cold. The heater on the bus was not working very well that night. I could see no houses and the windows of the bus were covered with ice. I had not envisioned Japanese urban life. I was tired and fell back asleep.
I was awakened by the bus hitting a bump in the road as it turned into the gate. I could see a Marine Sentry and a Japanese Security Guard. It was still dark as heck. There were no street lights. I was escorted to my quarters by a Marine with a flashlight across the courtyard irregular patches of snow. It was Friday night, and all was quiet. The company grade officer living quarters was a Quonset hut that had four adjoining bedrooms with a shared bathroom in between adjoining rooms. I went to sleep that night but had trouble sleeping because of the squeaking noises coming from the other room. I could only hear the squeaks.
Figure 37- Camp Fuji 1980 (Shown Above)
When I woke up the next morning, I stepped outside and turned to the right and gazed at the top of Mount Fuji covered with snow. The enlisted Marines lived in these huts and had to walk outside in the cold weather to take a shower and use the head (latrine, toilet or restroom). This was no ordinary camp, and I was far away from home. So my plan backfired on me, and I was now assigned duties as the S-4 at Camp Fuji because of my experience as a Motor Transport Officer and Maintenance Management Officer. I would stay at Camp Fuji until I was able to get a change in my MOS to 0402 Logistics Officer. I figured that I could get promoted to Major because I could stay in my technical field of logistics. My duties as the S-4 had me to prepare routes of transportation for Marines from Okinawa to fire field artillery on the grounds at the base of Mt. Fuji. I would perform beachhead operations and run convoys from Yokusuka Naval Base and the port of Yokohama. My job at Range Company was to escort Marine convoys through a Major Japanese city (Yokohama, Yokusuka, Numazu).
The Marine Peeping Tom
I served as Executive Officer Service Company, Combined Arms Training Center (CATC) because the former XO got fired for literally being a “Peeping Tom Stalker.” I remember being ordered to report to the Commanding Officer (CO) ( a rather large definitely overweight Marine Colonel) and being told that I was now the XO. When I asked why he gave me the keys to the visiting quarters, then he instructed me to look for the holes in the walls and curtains to see for myself. There were holes ....
Bush orders Operation Desert Shield
On August 7th in 1990, President George Herbert Walker Bush orders the organization of Operation Desert Shield in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August 2. The order prepared American troops to become part of an international coalition in the war against Iraq that would be launched as Operation Desert Storm in January 1991. To support Operation Desert Shield, Bush authorized a dramatic increase in U.S. troops and resources in the Persian Gulf.
Extracts from Chapter 13 of Annapolis Creed
MAG-26 had a ½ squadron of CH-53 Stallions left. The Marine Corps needed another Helicopter Group. The plan was to merge air reserve units to MAG-26. Reserve units only have approximately 3% of their war-time table of equipment. The rest of the resources are stored away in Barstow and Albany Marine War Reserve Stockpiles at least in theory.
I loved a challenge, and this was a big one. I was mobilized before my unit and given orders from the Wing S-4. I left my family and flew to North Carolina to assess the situation with MAG-26 at Marine Corps Air Station New River. I was now Major Smith, and I was going to war. My primary job was to assess the availability of support for the arrival of HMLA-773 from Belle Chase Naval Air Station.
Upon arrival, I met Colonel Michael J. Williams, the commanding officer for MAG-26. He had no idea of the problems associated with the transfer of the reserve units. I told him I was here to prepare the transition. I went to the S-4 officer, and again he was in the dark about what was going to happen to them. I went to the supply officer for the group and found a new young second lieutenant. This butter bar had no conceptual understanding of Marine Reserve supply procedures and had never heard of the War Reserve.
This was a big problem. I went back to discuss this with Colonel Williams and recommended that if he wanted to merge and deploy on time that I could do so if given the authority to oversee the operations. I called back to the 4th Marine Air Wing and asked for additional support. They sent me Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) Brown from HMH-772. He flew out in the next 24 hours, and we began the work to determine the balance of equipment to retrieve from the war reserve and to place the necessary requisition from Barstow and Albany. We planned the movement of two HMLA (Huey & Cobra’s), two CH-46 squadrons, and 1.5 CH-53 squadrons to build MAG-26 into an operational group. We ordered the supplies and equipment for the deployment. MAG-26 had an excellent embarkation team which ordered the aircraft for our deployment into Jubayl Saudi Arabia.
In three weeks GySgt Brown and I had ordered and positioned the table of equipment for the attaching reserve squadrons. But now.....
Extract from Chapter 13 - Operation Desert Shield
I had finished my job of getting MAG-26 together and resumed my duties as the supply officer for HMLA-773. The living conditions were austere in scalding climates above 120 degrees, and we lived in tents for the entire time in Saudi Arabia. There were porta poddies along the perimeters in Jubayl, and the local vendors provided their imitation of hamburgers. The meat was not hamburger or anything close to McDonald's or anything else back stateside.
Reserve Marine pilots mobilized because of the war suffer immensely in pay. Most were airline pilots making six figures or had businesses. The Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act did not make up the vast difference in monthly pay. Many officers resigned their commission instead of reporting for duty for Operation Desert Shield. We arrived via C-5 aircraft and Boeing 747 for personnel. I stepped out of the plane in Jubayl with not one bullet to shoot if needed. Someone had not done the math correctly, and the units in the rear were on ammo rations for the first three weeks. (Yep in a war zone with five bullets, LOL!)
Despite the popular belief, it does rain in the desert, and we paid the price for this experience. When Saddam H. started launching those damn Scud missiles, the alarms would sound, and we were so scared of biological weapons that everyone started putting on their NBC gear each time. But one night after digging foxholes it rained all night, and then the alarms went off and guess what? Every Marine who jumped into the foxhole ruined their protective clothing. Nuclear, Biological & Chemical (NBC) personnel changed the rules after that night. Marines were instructed to only put the chemical suit on when ordered to do so by an NBC specialist.
Most of the casualties during Desert Shield happened because of accidental discharges from cleaning weapons. I returned to my tent one day to find a bullet hole three inches above the head position of my sleeping cot while stationed in Jubayl in December 1990. We weren’t supposed to be here anyway. MAG-26 was meant to have been deployed to Al Mishab Air Field, but something was seriously wrong. I was a logistics officer and a darn good one. The air wing did not assign or seek to find logistic officers. Instead, they would assign a pilot to the position. This was all right during peacetime operations. But in war time this was a big mistake. Things were about to change....
I-Day 1972 will remind all those who have experienced being outfitted with their first uniforms of the changes their bodies underwent during their Academy experience.
Life at the Annapolis (Extract from the book "Annapolis Creed")
"It would have been impossible to predict what would happen during the next four years. I will share with you an insider's look and description entirely different from the scenes in the movie “Annapolis.” Honestly, this film was nothing like being a midshipman at Annapolis since it focused only on the Brigade boxing championship. Being a midshipman at Annapolis for the majority of Black men in 1972-1976 presented many different challenges. Annapolis had its own philosophy, climate, and culture. Only after you’ve experienced the grueling rigors of Plebe Summer, and after you have faced the responsibility of leading other midshipmen and after you have thrown your hat into the air at graduation will you really know what the Naval Academy experience is all about. Make no mistake: my four years at Annapolis were very challenging, firmly structured, and designed to drive myself well beyond my perceived limits. I had lived in Saint Louis, Missouri my entire life. I had never been on a road trip out of Missouri, and the trip to Annapolis by car was an experience. So in June 1976 my dad, mom, and my brother drive to Annapolis. I did not know it at the time, but the person who was really scared was my mom, but I did not know exactly why till much later. Maybe she already knew the history of the Naval Academy and the fate of the first six African American men who entered the gates of Annapolis. Five of the six would leave after resigning for undisclosed reasons falsely noted as academically deficient and one would graduate after 105 years" (Smith, 2017).
"I had never been to a military base before, and I got my first look at a United States Marine carrying a .45 caliber revolver as we approached the main gate. There were no salutes just a quick checking of driver’s license and a copy of my orders were viewed by the gate sentry. There were hundreds of people on the campus. The first thing I noticed that the campus was surrounded by water. I made no connection to the water and why swimming would determine how I spent my next six months due to an event scheduled for me the first day of training. When we got out of the car, there were escorts dressed in the white Navy uniforms. My dad loved everyone calling him “Sir.” In 1972 no African American was called "Sir" by someone who was white. These Navy Midshipmen seemed like a replica of the Stepford Wives Club” but in uniform. All the men in uniforms were built the same and wore their uniforms exactly the same way. My dad had traveled nearly 840 miles and 13 hours to deliver a $600 check for my uniforms. The rest of my education was paid for by the United States government and the sweat equity of my mind and body" (Smith, 2017).
Chapter 13- Operation Desert Storm -Lonesome Dove
Extracts from Marines in the Persian gulf 1990-1991 barely mentions the construction of the Lonesome Dove Expeditionary Airfield liken to the absence of reporting the highlights of the Tuskegee Airman in World War II. I gather here some other evidence of its existence but the true story of how the field was built is in my book Annapolis Creed.
Extracts from...US Marines in the Persian Gulf
In December 1990, MAG-26 relocated in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, and to expeditionary airfield Lonesome Dove to support the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and the 2d Marine Division in the liberation of Kuwait during Operations Desert Shield/Storm. The composite squadron included nine squadrons from MAG-26, MAG-29 and the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing.
Engineer Support Battalions (Reinforced) departed Kibrit westbound to begin construction of a huge support base located about 35 kilometers southwest of the corner of the heel of Kuwait. The battalions' many feats of construction over the next 14 days included 38 kilometers of blastwall berm which contained among other things the Marine Corps' largest-ever ammunition supply point, 151 cells in 768 acres, a five-million-gallon fuel farm, and a naval hospital with 14 operating rooms. The complex also included two 5,700-foot dirt airstrips capable of handling C-130 turboprop transports. The area was so remote from any settlement or feature that it had no name or designation on maps except "gravel plain."' General Krulak's staff dubbed the place "Al Khanjar," Arabic for a type of short sword, to the delight of Arab officers attached to the force. By 12 February Al Khanjar was providing combat service support to the divisions.
A few kilometers west of the base was Landing Zone Lonesome Dove, the new home for the helicopters of Marine Aircraft Group 26 and a forward command post for the wing. Because of the distance from 3d Marine Aircraft Wing headquarters at Jubayl, Major General Moore sent his assistant wing commander, Brigadier General Granville R. "Granny" Amos, to Lonesome Dove to set up a helicopter Tactical Air Command Center.
Below is the design of Lonesome Dove designed and orchestrated by Major Jordan B. Smith, Jr. in 1991.
The Marine Corps Silent Drill Team
Marine Barracks 8th & I is the one post and job that I really wanted but I could not because I was an officer. I wanted to be in the drill team. I often show this and other videos to my students in the common core math classroom for real world connections to mathematics. The class uses an interactive application with Google Docs to observe the movements and record the connections to math that they had learned throughout the school year. They notice the timing and the counts, parallel rifle buts to the deck, parallel lines, and rectangle alignments. They realize at the end of the year that military commands are linear functions.
I was the leader of the drill team at CBC in 1972. At graduation I performed as part of a five member silent drill team culminating with myself spinning a Company Guidon flag with four rifles being tossed above my head. That took more than 30 hours of practice and 17 busted M-1 rifles to make the moves perfect. I had never heard of or seen the Marine Silent Drill Team in 1968 when I started the drill team. Drill and marching was an art form that I loved. If you have ever seen the movie "Major Payne" then this is what I was like after Annapolis.
Each of the above books about African American Stories have some things in common with the forthcoming book "Annapolis Creed"..
Each of these books have similarities and differences. During my next posts I will reveal these remarkable traits and compare them to "Annapolis Creed". Annapolis Creed reveals insights about an event meeting items 1 & 2 above. But there is a fourth common trait among all four of the books that underscores why this book needs to go viral because it explains how to change mindsets about learning especially mathematics. So if you are a parent, teacher, grandparent, or student then you will want to read the simple methods used by Jackie Robinson, Katherine Johnson, the members of the Tuskegee Air Group, and Jordan B. Smith Jr at Annapolis! Each of us found that learning mathematics was essential to unlocking the impossible. The three books above tell a story. Annapolis Creed is not just a untold story. Annapolis Creed will change learning in America to mean "ALL MEANS ALL!"
More to come....
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Dr. Jordan B smith jr.
I attended the U. S. Naval Academy from 1972-1976 earning a B.S. in Mathematics. Served 20 years both active and reserve in the US Marines. Veteran of the Desert Shield/Storm. I earned a MAED and Ed D. specializing in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix in 2015. I graduated from CBC High School in Clayton, MO in 1972.