The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY MILSPOUSE

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity

Military life brings enough stress. How you’re going to put food on the table shouldn’t be one of them.


Today’s military is a much more diverse population and also more likely to be married, unlike those who served a generation or two ago. According to a 2018 White House report, 74% of military families have children, and 42% of those children are between the ages of 0 and 5 years old.
The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity

According to a 2018 study completed by the Military Family Advisory Network, 13% of military families experience food insecurity. That same study reported that as many as 24% of military families skip meals or buy cheaper, less healthy meals to make do.

Currently, many junior military families do not qualify for food assistance even though they are in desperate need of it.

The United States Department of Agriculture did a survey that same year, which found that only 11.1% of American homes were experiencing food insecurity. This could indicate that junior military families may be experiencing higher rates of food insecurity than the average American family.

Lack of Cost of Living Allowances (COLA) in notoriously high-cost areas is another issue affecting the financial wellness of military families. The Department of Defense released its rates for 2020, with a decrease of id=”listicle-2645192734″.9 million dollars. With such high rates of financial insecurity affecting military families, it is unknown why the DOD made the decision to implement a reduction.

Reports have shown different numbers; some say one in four military families are utilizing food banks; others showcase that million in SNAP benefits aren’t really accounted for.

While the image of our uniformed service members in line at a food bank or using SNAP benefits is an uncomfortable one, it is a reality for many military families.

In 2017, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives to address their food assistance needs, but it was never brought to a vote. A second bill named the Military Family Basic Needs Allowance, made it through the House but was never called for a vote in the Senate.

How could the needs of those who would sacrifice their lives for this country be ignored?

The National Military Family Association is a non-profit organization that has championed bills like the Military Family Basic Needs Allowance, which they fought to have included in the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act. Despite it not being included, their website indicates that they will continue advocating for military families and ensuring they receive what they need to serve this country without fear of food insecurity.

The Department of Defense objected to the second bill, with part of their reasoning being that the service member receives a basic allowance for subsistence (BAS). However, it can be argued that BAS is only intended for the service member. It does not account for the military spouse and children that service member most likely has. This leaves families couponing, utilizing food banks, and seeking financial support services through faith-based agencies.

Blue Star Families conducted a survey in 2018, and 70% of military families reported that having two incomes as being something vital for well-being. With well-documented rates of high unemployment for military spouses and a lack of quality childcare, it demonstrates why two-thirds of military families report stress due to their current financial situations. This was the first time the Blue Star Family annual survey had financial insecurity as a top stressor.

There are many pieces of recent legislation that have been signed and are aimed at increasing gainful employment opportunities for military spouses, leading to less financial stress on the military family. While this appears to be a step in the right direction for increasing rates of employment among military spouses, it doesn’t address the many other barriers.

The United States is approaching twenty years at war, its longest in recorded history. Without a current end in sight, operational tempo remains high, and with that comes additional stressors placed on our military. With higher than average rates of suicide and a 65% increase of mental health issues affecting our military – they are paying the high price for this war.

Our servicemen and women willingly carry unavoidable stressors because of their commitment to serve this country. It’s time that we take being able to feed their families off their shoulders.

MIGHTY HISTORY

The Navy’s most successful World War II sub also killed an enemy train

The Gato-class, diesel-powered US Navy submarine USS Barb is known for a lot of things. In 12 war patrols, she sank the third most tonnage in World War II, had eight battle stars, and fired the first submarine-based ballistic missiles on Japan. It earned her crew a Presidential Unit Citation, among numerous other awards and decorations.

But one of its proudest moments was also its most daring. Crewmembers aboard the Barb were also the first American combatants to set foot on Japanese home soil — in order to “sink” an enemy train.

They did all of this without losing a single man.


On Jul. 23, 1945, eight members of Barb‘s crew landed on mainland Japan under intense cloud cover and a dark moon. Their mission was to rig a Japanese train track to explode when a train crossed a switch between two railroad ties. Immediately, their best-laid plans went right out the window, forcing the crew to improvise.

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity

The USS Barb off the coast of Pearl Harbor, 1945.

The mission of the USS Barb was to cut the Japanese fleet’s supply lines by sinking enemy ships out of the island of Karafuto in the Sea of Okhotsk. This was the ship’s 12th war patrol, and the fifth for her skipper, then-Commander Eugene Fluckey. They could see as Japanese shipments moved from trains on the island to the ships. Once the ships were at sea, they were easy pickings for crews like the Barb’s.

But why, Fluckey thought, wait for the ships to get to sea? Why not just take them out before the trains ever reach the port? That’s exactly what Fluckey and his crew set out to do.

They couldn’t just place charges on the tracks, it would be too dangerous for the shore party once the Japanese were alerted. Instead, the U.S. Naval Institute tells us how Engineman 3rd Class Billy Hatfield devised a switch trigger for an explosive that, when set between the rails, would go off as the train passed over it.

That was the goal as the crew manned their boats and made it ashore that night, but they accidentally landed in the backyard of a Japanese civilian. So, they ended up having to struggle through thick bulrushes, cross a freeway, and even fall down drainage ditches on their way to the railway. Once there, a crewman climbed to the top of a water tower — only to discover it was a manned lookout post. Luckily, the guard was asleep and their work continued.

They dug holes for the 55-pound bomb as quickly and as quietly as possible, even having to stop as a freight train rumbled by. But they did it, put the pressure switch into place, and booked it back to the ship as fast as possible. At 1:47 am, a 16-car train hit their planted explosive and was shot into the sky. Five minutes after that, the crew was back aboard the Barb.

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity

The Battle Flag of USS Barb, the train is located bottom middle.

Barb’s battle flag could now boast one enemy train “sunk” in combat, along with six Navy Crosses, 23 Silver Stars, 23 Bronze Stars, and a Medal of Honor earned by members of its crew.


MIGHTY TACTICAL

Why the Marines still love this old fighter

The AV-8B Harrier has been a mainstay of the United States Marine Corps for over three decades. The same could be said about some other fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters (some of which have been around even longer), but the Harrier has a cachet about it that no others can match.

Part of its clout may stem from the fact that many of the Marine Corps’ most legendary squadrons have flown (or still fly) the Harrier. These squadrons include VMA-214, the famous “Black Sheep Squadron” led by Pappy Boyington, and VMA-211, the “Wake Island Avengers” who made a heroic stand at Wake Island and were tragically not reinforced.


The AV-8B Harrier has seen a fair bit of action, notably during Desert Storm, over the Balkans, and in the War on Terror.

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity

The Harrier has the ability to hover – making for some interesting tactical possibilities. Its GAU-12 can bring about 85 percent of the BRRRRT of the A-10.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jamean Berry)

But it’s not all history for the Harrier — performance counts, too. With Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing (V/STOL) capability, the Harrier is much less dependent on usable runways than other jets (plus, hovering just above a landing site looks cool as hell). Upgrades in the 1990s gave the Harrier the APG-65 radar (as used on the F/A-18 Hornet) and the ability to fire the AIM-120 AMRAAM.

The Harrier first entered service with the United States in 1985. It can achieve a speed of 633 miles per hour and has a maximum range of 900 nautical miles.

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity

The Harrier’s V/STOL capability allows it to operate from ships and way from conventional runways.

(U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Michael J. Lieberknecht)

The Harrier looks like it will be around for a while, even as the F-35B Lightning II, the V/STOL version of the Joint Strike Fighter, enters service — and for good reason. It’s arguably America’s second-best close-air support plane, ranking second behind only the legendary A-10.

Learn more about the Harrier in the video below!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YwLfG-qQf4

www.youtube.com

MIGHTY HISTORY

An animated look at Carlos Hathcock, the legendary Marine

Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hathcock was the kind of Marine that would inspire generations of warfighters. He engaged in sniper duels and came out on top every time. He hunted Viet Cong and North Vietnamese officers through the jungles and grasses of Vietnam. And a new animation from The Infographics Show tells his story as a cartoon.


Most Hard Core American Sniper – The White Feather

www.youtube.com

Hathcock was an Arkansas native who grew up hunting in order to help feed his poor family. He aspired to military service, and specifically the Marine Corps, and enlisted soon after he turned 17. He was soon competing in marksmanship competitions with the Marine Corps and won some prestigious competitions including the Wimbledon Cup.

So, when he was deployed to Vietnam, he could’ve stuck to his military police job but opted to volunteer as a sniper instead. His hard-earned ability to sneak up on game combined with his talent for shooting made him a natural in the brush and jungle, and he quickly proved himself one of the most lethal men in theater.

From a base in Vietnam, he achieved the longest sniper shot up to that point in history, and he did it with a .50-cal. machine gun in single-shot mode. He waged an extended sniper duel against the “The Apache,” a female Viet Cong platoon leader who tortured Marines, eventually dropping her from 700 yards when she got lazy and peed in the open.

He hit her with his first shot even though he had been switching rifles when he spotted her. After the first shot dropped her, he scored a second hit, just to be certain.

In another engagement, Hathcock and a spotter saw a green platoon of North Vietnamese Army troops. Hathcock hit the lead officer, and his spotter dropped the officer at the back. There was a third leader who tried to escape across a rice paddy, and so the Americans dropped him too. In order to protect their position from discovery, the sniper team stopped firing.

Instead, Hathcock and his partner called artillery, moved positions, and wiped out the enemy force.

He killed an enemy officer after four days of crawling to the target. (Hathcock believed it was an enemy general, though the NVA never acknowledged losing a general at the time and place that Hathcock scored his kill.)

He hunted down an enemy sniper sent to kill him, shooting his foe through the scope just moments before the Vietnamese sniper would’ve hit him.

So, yeah, there were lots of reasons that he was a legend. Check out the cartoon at top to learn more.

popular

11 of the most ‘moto’ military reenlistment photos

From under the sea to thousands of feet above the earth, here are 11 photos of Marines, soldiers, airmen, and sailors reenlisting in style:


This Marine, Lt. Col. Brian Ehrlich (left) reenlisting Sgt. Aron D. Jarvi (right) under the sea at Maeda Point, Okinawa, Japan:

 

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity
(Photo: Lance Cpl. Robert J. Maurer/USMC)

Also Read: The 9 Most Badass Unit Mottos In The Marine Corps 

These soldiers from the 7th Sustainment Brigade, Airborne Corps, reenlisting at the South Pole. (Seriously, how often does anyone get to go to the South Pole?)

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity

This badass re-enlistment photo of Staff Sgt. Andrew Petrulis, which is fitting because he’s an Air Force EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) craftsman:

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity
Photo: DVIDS

These soldiers prove their efficiency by taking a few minutes to reenlist while in transit aboard an Air Force C-17:

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity
Photo: US Army

The soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division reenlisting in front of the Swords of Qādisīyah in Baghdad, Iraq:

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity
Photo: Staff Sgt. James Selesnick/ US Army

These sailors taking their oath at Ground Zero, ten years after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center:

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity
Photo: Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Eric S. Garst/ US Navy

This 23-year-old Marine, Cpl. Gareth Hawkins, who demanded to reenlist while being medically evacuated after suffering serious injuries caused by an improvised explosive:

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity
Photo: USMC

Here’s an excerpt from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit about Hawkins’ reenlistment:

The Battalion Executive Officer, Maj. Kevin Gonzalez, along with the Career Retention Specialist Staff Sgt. Chandrash Malapaka, and several others crammed into the tiny room for the ceremony.

“We’re going to do the short version of this,” said the Executive Officer.

Raising his right hand, Hawkins took the oath of enlistment by 1st Lt. Warren A. Frank, his platoon commander. With no time for the usual formalities of backslaps and handshakes, Hawkins was immediately carried out via litter and evacuated.

This damage control sailor who loves his job so much that he re-upped in full gear while being deployed to the Red Sea aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS James E. Williams (DDG 95):

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity
Photo: Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Daniel Meshel/ US Navy

These soldiers taking their oath at CenturyLink Field before a Seahawks football game against the Baltimore Ravens:

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity
Photo: US Army

This Belgian Malinois, Sgt. 1st Class Freida, who reenlisted with her human partner:

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity
Photo: DVIDS

And this PAO serving with the U.S. Navy’s “Leap Frogs” who jumped out of a perfectly good airplane to take her reenlistment oath thousands of feet above Earth:

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity
Photo: James Woods/ US Navy

NOW: These Are The US Army’s Top Five Photos Of 2014

AND: 39 Awesome Photos Of Life In The US Marine Corps Infantry

MIGHTY TRENDING

Bride divides internet when she asks Marine in uniform to leave

A bride has divided the internet after explaining how she kicked a guest out of her wedding for turning up in military uniform.

Writing on Reddit’s “Am I The A——” forum, the newlywed said she “felt kind of bad” for asking him to leave, “but it just didn’t feel right for him to be there like that.”

The man in question was the son of one of the groom’s family friends.

He arrived at the wedding in his Marines’ dress blues, complete with all his medals, and it did not go down well with the bride.


“Now, I have nothing against anyone in the military but this was a black tie optional wedding and frankly it felt very out of place and it seemed like he was just trying to show off,” the bride wrote.

“My wedding had over 300 guests and nobody else felt the need to wear something to make them stand out.”

The woman admits that he acted perfectly politely at the ceremony, and “graciously agreed” to have his photo taken with some of the female teenage guests who were excited to see him.

But the bride was not thrilled about how he was drawing attention.

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity

(Flickr photo by Thai Chu)

“Many people were thanking him for his service, and frankly it just felt like the only reason he wore that was to be in the spotlight and make it about him, which I don’t think you are supposed to do at someone else’s wedding,” she said.

“If he wants to wear that to his own wedding then fine, but the whole point of having a dress code at a wedding is so that no one guest will stand out too much.

“I felt that he should have known this, since the whole point of uniforms in the military is so that you don’t stand out from everyone else!”

People in the forum were divided over whose side to take.

Some people pointed out that the marines formal uniform “looks classy and black tie,” but others argued it was “extremely disrespectful.”

The majority agreed that both the bride and the guest behaved badly.

As a former army sergeant pointed out: “Wearing formal military wear at formal civilian events is allowed per regulations (Army is AR 670-1, no clue for marines), but you have to be a special kind of a—— to wear it to a non-military wedding without specific permission of the couple.

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity

Marines assigned to The Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Patrick J. McMahon)

“The reason for this is the same as wearing white to a wedding — this puts you in competition with the bride. He should have dressed in civilian-wear, or at very least, checked with the couple getting married.”

As for the bride’s decision to ask him to leave, the former sergeant said that “kicking him out of the wedding was a bit much.”

“It’s your special day, but you shouldn’t forget that you play dual roles — you are both the host and the one fêted. Don’t forget that former role.

“You probably should have grimaced and just gone with it along with other faux pas such as Uncle Larry puking in the bushes and cousin Jenny making out with the DJ. With 300 guests, one person in uniform isn’t going to kill your day.”

This article originally appeared on INSIDER. Follow @thisisinsider on Twitter.

MIGHTY CULTURE

We have to talk about this week’s ‘SEAL Team’ death

WARNING: This post contains spoilers from Season 2 Episode 19.

This week, SEAL Team tackled one of the most dangerous threats to military veterans: suicide.

U.S. veterans have a higher suicide rate than civilians — and the number is staggeringly higher among female veterans. According to a 2016 study by the Department of Veterans Affairs, on average 20.8 service members commit suicide every day; of those, 16.8 were veterans and 3.8 were active duty, guardsmen, or reservists.

Since 2001, the total number of fatal casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan is 6,995.

There were more than 6000 veteran suicides each year from 2008-2016 alone.

It’s a critical threat, one that must be acknowledged and addressed — which is why it’s important that shows like SEAL Team tell their stories.

According to ‘former frogman’ and SEAL Team writer Mark Semos, the suicide in the episode ‘Medicate and Isolate’ was inspired by the death of a real U.S. Navy SEAL.


[instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwr-5VXnzA3/ expand=1]Mark Semos on Instagram: “For those of you who tuned into last night’s episode of @sealteamcbs: Brett Swann’s character was based on Ryan Larkin, a former SEAL who…”

www.instagram.com

In the episode, Brett Swann (played perfectly by Tony Curran) struggles with many issues that are common among veterans — and he’s lucky enough to have a buddy helping him navigate the labyrinth of the VA system: long waits, over-taxed doctors, and confusing procedures are among the basics of what can be expected.

Swann is certain he has an undiagnosed TBI (traumatic brain injury) but the VA doctor is unable to treat it because there’s no proof that it is service-connected. A 45-minute episode isn’t long enough to get into the details of Swann’s options, so the writers deftly cut to the finish: Swann wasn’t going to get the treatment he desperately needed. Certainly not right away.

I can’t communicate strongly enough how disorienting and discouraging it is to finally seek help only to be turned away, especially for veterans, who were trained by the military to “suck it up.”

Some get lucky and find advocates (I highly recommend the DAV, a non-profit that, among other initiatives, helps veterans with disability claims), some patiently wade through the murky system, but others…

…well, it’s becoming painfully clear that others give up hope.

[instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwp5pE8n0L0/ expand=1]Tyler Grey on Instagram: “It’s hard to promote tonight’s episode as it’s about a subject that is sadly more truth than fiction. Rather than entertain I hope that it…”

www.instagram.com

Just this month, two more veterans died by suicide at VA facilities. So while the Department of Veterans Affairs does provide treatment for millions of veterans, the truth is that it isn’t enough.

For a country that spends more on its defense budget than the next seven countries combined (China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, France, the United Kingdom, and Japan), it reflects the DOD’s priorities when VA hospitals and facilities don’t have the funds to meet the staffing and medical needs of its veterans.

There is hope

I have seen a trend where veterans are coming together to support each other, to maintain the strong community we had during service. As more and more veterans lose friends, the fear of talking about suicide is diminishing.

This is critical because veterans have to know where to turn for help.

There is a crisis hotline: 1-800-273-8255 (or anyone in need can send a text message to 838255)

There are organizations like 22KILL, which raises awareness and combats suicide by empowering veterans, first responders, and their families through traditional and non-traditional therapies.

And there are shows and films depicting these stories, raising awareness, and removing the stigma of unseen injuries and mental health.

There are many who are wary of sending the message that veterans are all traumatized or unstable; if anything, this episode is further proof of the opposite. SEAL Team employs a lot of veterans who are professionals in the entertainment industry.

Who better to tell the story of those among us who need our help?

MIGHTY MILSPOUSE

The Count of Monte Cristo reboot: Featuring SF Soldiers in Afghanistan?

Okay, if that headline has you scratching your head, know that you’re not alone. When we first heard about this reboot, that’s exactly what we did too … until we unpacked it a little and decided that maybe, there might be something to this.

According to reports, Bear Grylls’ production company, The Natural Studios, is in talks with producers Ben Grass and Christophe Charlier to remake the classic novel.

Yeah, we’re talking about that Bear Grylls – former British soldier turned survivalist and television personality.


And yep, we’re talking about that classic novel written by Alexander Dumas and published in installments from 1844-1846.

If you’re not seeing the connection between SF soldiers, Afghanistan and the Count, don’t worry, you’re not alone. But if you put all the pieces together, it actually makes sense.

You might recall that Dumas’ book is all about revenge, but in case you skipped that week in high school English class, here’s a quick refresher. The book coincides with some important historical moments – the Hundred Days period when Napoleon returned to power after exile being one of them. Thematically, the Count of Monte Cristo is all about hope, justice, vengeance, forgiveness and mercy. It centers on a man who’s been wrongfully imprisoned, manages to escape from jail and amass a fortune, all with the plan of getting revenge on those who did him dirty.

Now we’re not quite sure what Grylls is planning to do to make this work for two SF soldiers, but we can definitely see how the premise lends itself well to a remake. What we do know is that the script focuses on the blossoming friendship and eventual rivalry between two SF soldiers who deployed together in Afghanistan.

One of the many challenges Grylls and his team will have to address is the sheer length of the book and how to best adapt that to the screen. Tom Williams will be writing the script, and while he’s no stranger to other military-themed productions, this is a huge undertaking, and not just because of the size of the novel.

The complexity (and some argue, the genius) of The Count of Monte Cristo is due in part to the slow burn of the novel. It develops and builds, and the pacing is slow, to the novel’s advantage — it helps us understand the main character and his motivations, and makes his revenge that much sweeter. But adapting that to film and too short attention spans might be challenging. One solution could be to cut some of the original version’s tangential plotlines, but Williams might find that leads to serious plot holes.

And in a three-act film, how much friendship can we genuinely develop between these two SF soldiers? That’s a serious point of contention and something that Williams and his team are going to have to explore closely. Speaking of characters, the original version features many characters – in part because Edmond Dantes has so many aliases and so many alternate lives. It will be interesting to see how this is approached in the film since it’s less than likely that SF soldiers have alternate identities. Equally interesting will see how the remake explores Dantes’ allies, the Danglars family, and the Villefort family – or if the team will simply omit these large family structures.

But, we’re sure Williams is up to the challenge, considering his script skills on display in Kilo Two Bravo. After all, that unflinching portrayal of a British unit’s deployment is what some argue to be one of the most authentic representations of deployment in the current film era.

Of course, Grylls isn’t the first to remake Dumas’ classic literary masterpiece. reinterpretations of the book have found their way to the screen for over 100 years. But, it’s been a few decades since we’ve seen a remake. The most recent film reboot is from 2002, directed by Kevin Reynolds, starring Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce.

Either way, we’re looking forward to actor selection for this film and seeing it enter the production phase.

MIGHTY CULTURE

The 13 funniest military memes for the week of April 6

Well. The world still isn’t doing too great right now and the ghost of Nero is somewhere out there presumably fiddling. Another week of social distancing, binge-watching shows you never thought you’d care about and there’s still a shortage of sh*t tickets as we haven’t even gotten to the apex of this pandemic.

The news seems bleak at the moment but there are cases of folks coming out the other side of this sickness. In particular, two WWII veterans – Bill Kelly, 95, and Bill Lapschies, 104. Now, I’m not the type of guy to bring up “feel good” fluff pieces for the sake of feel-good-ness. I bring them up because their interviews are both perfect responses of what you’d expect from the Greatest Generation’s vets.


Kelly responded with a, “I survived the foxholes of Guam, I can get through this coronavirus bullsh*t!” and Lapschies, who celebrated his 104th birthday with a full recovery, says he’s “pretty good. I made it. Good for a few more!” After some internet sleuthing, Lapschies does appear to be the oldest survivor of the coronavirus from what I could find.

Just goes to show you that even in the worst moments, veterans of all eras have an instinctual habit of keeping a stiff upper lip and a sense of humor. Speaking of which, here’s some memes…

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FQIllj8C4cfLXqbGgPcdPLh6WCVUCnk91pDGrLeLWSIFpE31H-NHrRC–E_mNi-I59RaO5YH18Z3YpugfeccC22Wy3WvLEG6Q5UBLV35a&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com&s=164&h=c78275c191ee8b8784df9f849e95a9ba338275c29b25916e41e16b86d6c3e806&size=980x&c=2126619738 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FQIllj8C4cfLXqbGgPcdPLh6WCVUCnk91pDGrLeLWSIFpE31H-NHrRC–E_mNi-I59RaO5YH18Z3YpugfeccC22Wy3WvLEG6Q5UBLV35a%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh3.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D164%26h%3Dc78275c191ee8b8784df9f849e95a9ba338275c29b25916e41e16b86d6c3e806%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2126619738%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Disgruntled Vets)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F2VIu63I2cy_grmaYVLdjCJJr8Un1pqwxoAQNv0utWonDHaZhzfuGVvbSsNCf9LPS5hfdyGc4nnwJpR9wQTurFTVtBBCEdVKd6XLtST3c&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=431&h=dd359a77c27d42ad737512e8ab7a3d4faeeb7a881c22ec0555107433ca2beadb&size=980x&c=3913971255 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F2VIu63I2cy_grmaYVLdjCJJr8Un1pqwxoAQNv0utWonDHaZhzfuGVvbSsNCf9LPS5hfdyGc4nnwJpR9wQTurFTVtBBCEdVKd6XLtST3c%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D431%26h%3Ddd359a77c27d42ad737512e8ab7a3d4faeeb7a881c22ec0555107433ca2beadb%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3913971255%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via US Army WTF Moments Memes)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F9X8PTtFg4KmzXYeCgxQdQWU8Aaubgquk0woNULDTUxqdEKCOCPFM_vVW7dqkdMNtHYtuwIKDvDEVLc9oyDmkjGpJdqddG6GYuXeOI9-eoONE6UoCQ8v3Dxnz6FZUboRNoq3GE6wSNN1TVbdCQg&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=313&h=2b50dc9a6c04866b8158e8b7ef5810c0765f8487d030ee38eddeff6760219e11&size=980x&c=4061223321 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F9X8PTtFg4KmzXYeCgxQdQWU8Aaubgquk0woNULDTUxqdEKCOCPFM_vVW7dqkdMNtHYtuwIKDvDEVLc9oyDmkjGpJdqddG6GYuXeOI9-eoONE6UoCQ8v3Dxnz6FZUboRNoq3GE6wSNN1TVbdCQg%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D313%26h%3D2b50dc9a6c04866b8158e8b7ef5810c0765f8487d030ee38eddeff6760219e11%26size%3D980x%26c%3D4061223321%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Call for Fire)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F27XsANH7eZx2WDZogswJVg_ewi3BATwXczF_WOf8ZWI4lY53Obomtm38fKE5Fkz4UX4lG-j4dNPqtcV5zaoHFKlw1Owhx3P59FOLHTnC&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=695&h=800bf4604a245dbe8b92319c4e428e2655972c5a10d75b68cc4ee5d590677cd0&size=980x&c=4195607866 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F27XsANH7eZx2WDZogswJVg_ewi3BATwXczF_WOf8ZWI4lY53Obomtm38fKE5Fkz4UX4lG-j4dNPqtcV5zaoHFKlw1Owhx3P59FOLHTnC%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D695%26h%3D800bf4604a245dbe8b92319c4e428e2655972c5a10d75b68cc4ee5d590677cd0%26size%3D980x%26c%3D4195607866%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Not CID)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F_2DNZmZWW4k3P9Noq_WZBojyqZx4ZujnVcjLlA6repCAiMzHISn8S1H9-C36nDP4lCqPqkKVX5YHBVWYVrIPGLcFpmviY_Lk3aXvH0ut9kaFpiCQjvI_3T26E4pFVLeG2lsP_wtOckV1lrKneQ&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=661&h=7b996c9012d15a65e9b1801f377f3cbf07b0bb3802ca9e80326c031e18cd981a&size=980x&c=760328673 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F_2DNZmZWW4k3P9Noq_WZBojyqZx4ZujnVcjLlA6repCAiMzHISn8S1H9-C36nDP4lCqPqkKVX5YHBVWYVrIPGLcFpmviY_Lk3aXvH0ut9kaFpiCQjvI_3T26E4pFVLeG2lsP_wtOckV1lrKneQ%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D661%26h%3D7b996c9012d15a65e9b1801f377f3cbf07b0bb3802ca9e80326c031e18cd981a%26size%3D980x%26c%3D760328673%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Army as F*ck)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FB9m8xKqUjECW39CqB0963OUmBsN4zTvxn2vWJUqkO812Otf-rSA7xmSvAA6ch2AgxQ4GIrZOpnAFkFff2GoEa-DHqADzHGaV9FHvuvgi81lDWm4voBiW-lYDNTz6AQFc4dewbFVsdOXGdq5HNQ&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=633&h=5b80f4d0f9db5f909ece7a5a924f66e6da6f98830d121b568120ee5cef37af16&size=980x&c=3730290334 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FB9m8xKqUjECW39CqB0963OUmBsN4zTvxn2vWJUqkO812Otf-rSA7xmSvAA6ch2AgxQ4GIrZOpnAFkFff2GoEa-DHqADzHGaV9FHvuvgi81lDWm4voBiW-lYDNTz6AQFc4dewbFVsdOXGdq5HNQ%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D633%26h%3D5b80f4d0f9db5f909ece7a5a924f66e6da6f98830d121b568120ee5cef37af16%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3730290334%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Infantry Follow Me)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FkHfCndy8lhkwH51R4X5k2vJKFgeNPD9jL8tfZVsZShk8_4hjK7kIV_AKVVtULn1jD13gfIrNP7ExY5VL2CdtF4_NuGL-_DIqiUofEqAW&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=704&h=51d4ae39cdde2b16dacd8728b9b8a8c8cbd659f03547e6ede5e1afdeeebd88cf&size=980x&c=3645598018 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FkHfCndy8lhkwH51R4X5k2vJKFgeNPD9jL8tfZVsZShk8_4hjK7kIV_AKVVtULn1jD13gfIrNP7ExY5VL2CdtF4_NuGL-_DIqiUofEqAW%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D704%26h%3D51d4ae39cdde2b16dacd8728b9b8a8c8cbd659f03547e6ede5e1afdeeebd88cf%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3645598018%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via The Army’s Fckups)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FtxmfXXYS6PCIsgOUbOjBtD-mxjpu8akIwwR0hw-8QFhraSnsnylsz_YdW8oHnDqYbyZx9q6OKMuwQaiIfGHRtbNRu6_5Ms8Zv4iy25Eb&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh6.googleusercontent.com&s=205&h=b5d2466cc118c8ab606d12dca715307ced9d0cb4cb213fd20a7ac46bf71969fa&size=980x&c=269199374 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FtxmfXXYS6PCIsgOUbOjBtD-mxjpu8akIwwR0hw-8QFhraSnsnylsz_YdW8oHnDqYbyZx9q6OKMuwQaiIfGHRtbNRu6_5Ms8Zv4iy25Eb%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh6.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D205%26h%3Db5d2466cc118c8ab606d12dca715307ced9d0cb4cb213fd20a7ac46bf71969fa%26size%3D980x%26c%3D269199374%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Coast Guard Memes)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FxRX-PpTu_BreJfwC2uNx9UmzzO66uYsAPf9phuzFqxbxdjdxb3oznuAiRC8lJ-HqhQCR7suNyGH_9X1re7en-zofcHhW1CwjetJMxZ18iVKiYVOJ26Vt1hY317pJ6CwYx619xPTbrBXD_m5qnQ&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=864&h=d02e9c7feb700fbeac0d3948287b2ec3eddf6ea92f7aed2f472e86c4ccc9ec7b&size=980x&c=3127796663 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FxRX-PpTu_BreJfwC2uNx9UmzzO66uYsAPf9phuzFqxbxdjdxb3oznuAiRC8lJ-HqhQCR7suNyGH_9X1re7en-zofcHhW1CwjetJMxZ18iVKiYVOJ26Vt1hY317pJ6CwYx619xPTbrBXD_m5qnQ%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D864%26h%3Dd02e9c7feb700fbeac0d3948287b2ec3eddf6ea92f7aed2f472e86c4ccc9ec7b%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3127796663%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Lost in the Sauce)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FTsrurzZI0-z77ONqEhmNMRbcNSduAqswIBq6hMZpJDL-cJyNpZEOYdGkBqtGBPUyxv8_K-u9_otw0LvBfL3jPUyBwTCTTMiHk5vL2OzX&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com&s=496&h=bcc1373f7c00e6a28215480754bd9127e9e4b5159a56accbe90153186d7e3cc0&size=980x&c=2989457201 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FTsrurzZI0-z77ONqEhmNMRbcNSduAqswIBq6hMZpJDL-cJyNpZEOYdGkBqtGBPUyxv8_K-u9_otw0LvBfL3jPUyBwTCTTMiHk5vL2OzX%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh3.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D496%26h%3Dbcc1373f7c00e6a28215480754bd9127e9e4b5159a56accbe90153186d7e3cc0%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2989457201%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Valhalla Wear)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FJhKGfl3qHvr1Wxm7NPpnYggO7V5zNLn7nbGH-w-dVFI3AzwEIe3KZrX3BE-ZUpZ9EORmcdpqD4HtMgbOIOr4igcXj10nAnJh7AAh_XXvkUmCzj7reW_4hoy7mZNBGbX0BUXfzUcO3OoMgUmJow&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh6.googleusercontent.com&s=328&h=46f5923b30e5d68fea0468cca378e1beb90f6821a1fb1819e41cce1aaa90054c&size=980x&c=2409445835 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FJhKGfl3qHvr1Wxm7NPpnYggO7V5zNLn7nbGH-w-dVFI3AzwEIe3KZrX3BE-ZUpZ9EORmcdpqD4HtMgbOIOr4igcXj10nAnJh7AAh_XXvkUmCzj7reW_4hoy7mZNBGbX0BUXfzUcO3OoMgUmJow%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh6.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D328%26h%3D46f5923b30e5d68fea0468cca378e1beb90f6821a1fb1819e41cce1aaa90054c%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2409445835%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via ASMDSS)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FVk4RszNGPDeMQD4CuNpgsAAjWJ6pgF-OLAZOmPx2Y8dDAo9nAJzb0AoVaM9tXfCuB6BNjvof7AJdXnFD5r-4PscQvic9fjeolRfblftPQqZKLy3KPJjYDh5Dp1iF_F5tJ6BBfAtyJc-rbGZ98g&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh6.googleusercontent.com&s=80&h=4fef32d67c7f832a1cc945623644afd78b6bc2f9cf473d71876ad13317fcc9e6&size=980x&c=2629253364 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FVk4RszNGPDeMQD4CuNpgsAAjWJ6pgF-OLAZOmPx2Y8dDAo9nAJzb0AoVaM9tXfCuB6BNjvof7AJdXnFD5r-4PscQvic9fjeolRfblftPQqZKLy3KPJjYDh5Dp1iF_F5tJ6BBfAtyJc-rbGZ98g%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh6.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D80%26h%3D4fef32d67c7f832a1cc945623644afd78b6bc2f9cf473d71876ad13317fcc9e6%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2629253364%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Decelerate Your Life)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Fmp1uNQRRAJhQI-I7A5wPtkGn-jcAIo26DV5oAg6I0klqr9QzHFSVWjrVLlgKMY6L_pqi-Vxc6Om2kQ-GJk6K1UoKV4Uue0WiNPWfXqDg&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=311&h=3292ad3fadf9bdc6ad502748da08eddb4adbd05fa8032b2dc95a1869d58e8725&size=980x&c=1299052381 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Fmp1uNQRRAJhQI-I7A5wPtkGn-jcAIo26DV5oAg6I0klqr9QzHFSVWjrVLlgKMY6L_pqi-Vxc6Om2kQ-GJk6K1UoKV4Uue0WiNPWfXqDg%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D311%26h%3D3292ad3fadf9bdc6ad502748da08eddb4adbd05fa8032b2dc95a1869d58e8725%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1299052381%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Pop Smoke)

MIGHTY TRENDING

Tehran warns the US about waging ‘economic war’ against Iran

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has said during a meeting in Tehran with Germany’s foreign minister that Iran thinks the nuclear deal it struck with world powers in 2015 is worth saving despite current tensions.

“We still believe in saving the deal, and Germany and the EU can play a decisive and positive role in this process,” Rohani’s office quoted him as saying during his June 10 meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned after his talks with Maas that countries waging an “economic war” against Iran by conducting and supporting U.S. sanctions cannot expect to “remain safe.”

“One cannot expect an economic war to continue against the Iranian people and that those waging this war and those supporting it remain safe,” Zarif said on June 10.


A Marine general led a fictional Iran against US military – and won

www.youtube.com

Related: A Marine general led a fictional Iran against US military – and won

Zarif said U.S. President Donald Trump “himself has announced that the U.S. has launched an economic war against Iran” after Washington in 2018 unilaterally withdrew from the agreement aimed at preventing Tehran from building nuclear weapons.

“Whoever stars a war with us will not be the one who finishes it,” he said.

“The only way to decrease tensions in the region is to stop the economic war,” Zarif said, adding that Germany and the European Union could have an “important role” to play in defusing the tensions.

For his part, Maas said Germany and other European countries want to find a way to salvage the deal. But he said there were limits.

“We won’t be able to do miracles, but we are trying as best as we can do to prevent its failure,” Maas said.

Also read: After lost court battle, US ends friendship treaty with Iran

“There is war in Syria and in Yemen, fortunately not here,” Maas said. “We want to do everything we can to keep it that way” for Iran.

“Nevertheless, the tensions here in the region are worrying, and we fear that single events can trigger developments that end in violence, and we want to prevent this under all circumstances.”

Ahead of his trip, the German minister expressed hope that the talks would help both sides find “constructive ways” to preserve the Iran nuclear agreement, while Zarif said he wanted to know “what exactly the partners have achieved to rescue” the accord.

The Western European signatories to the nuclear pact — France, Britain, and Germany — have been trying to salvage it after the United States withdrew from the deal in May 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran’s economy.

Trump argued that the terms of the agreement were not tough enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and that the accord did not address the country’s ballistic-missile program or its role in conflicts around the Middle East.

The European signatories of the deal share the same concerns as Washington over Iran’s ballistic-missile development and regional activities.

Maas called Iran’s ballistic-missile program problematic during a visit to the United Arab Emirates on June 9.

In response, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Musavi said that European officials “are not in a position to question Iran’s issues beyond the nuclear deal.”

Iran denies it supports insurgent activity and says its nuclear program has been strictly for civilian energy purposes.

Related: Secretary of State visits Baghdad to warn of ‘imminent’ Iranian threat

In May, Tehran announced it was suspending several commitments under the nuclear deal, and threatened to step up uranium enrichment if European countries did not act to protect it from the effects of the U.S. sanctions.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington and its allies in the Persian Gulf have flared up in recent weeks, with the United States beefing up its military presence in the Middle East, citing “imminent threats” from Iran.

Tehran has rejected the U.S. allegation.

In Vienna, the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog said on June 10 that Iran had followed through on a threat to accelerate its production of enriched uranium.

Departing from his usual guarded language, International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Yukiya Amano also said he was “worried about increasing tensions” over Iran’s nuclear program.

“I…hope that ways can be found to reduce current tensions through dialogue,” Amano said as he opened a meeting of the agency’s board of governors.

Featured Image: Vladimir Putin meets with Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif, 2014 (Kremlin Photo).

Humor

6 funny things most infantrymen lie about

Serving in the infantry is, basically, one huge d*ck-measuring contest. Everybody, man or woman, wants to be the best at every aspect of their job.


Every day at work, infantry try to impress everyone in the squad. Day-in, and day-out, for some reason — as veterans, we’re still not sure why we tried so hard to do that.

Anyway, we lie about little things we don’t think anyone will be able to prove. However, once someone manages to call out the bullsh*t, the excuses come rolling in.

Related: If you need a spouse, this is what the Marines would issue

1. The reason why they expended 200 rounds during a firefight when they clearly couldn’t see the enemy.

Grunts can be trigger happy. They enjoy firing their weapons at the bad guys, hoping to score a solid kill shot, even if it means expending 90% of their ammo. Half the time, the ground pounders don’t get a clear line of sight on enemy movement from ground level.

But they still pull the trigger.

2. Why they shot so poorly at the range.

Not every infantryman is a crack shot. When you’re competing for bragging rights throughout the platoon and you don’t win, excuses are made.

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity

3. How many girls they’ve been with prior to joining the military.

All grunts were ladies men before they signed on the dotted line. It’s incredible how joining takes all their mojo away.

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity
This guy is the real Ladies Man, and he’s not joining the infantry anytime soon. (Paramount)

4. How muscularly toned they once were before joining the infantry.

The average grunt is around 19-ish. So, it’s pretty hard to believe that your body’s metabolism has changed so quickly that you lost your muscle density.

5. About all of their outstanding achievements before shipping off to boot camp.

It’s okay, not everyone can be a high school football or wrestling star.

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity
These guys are football stars and they aren’t in the infantry — yet.

Also Read: 5 popular debates Marines are passionate about

6. How many MOS options they had, but they chose the infantry.

Boy-oh-boy can young infantrymen dream.

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity

popular

This one’s right up there with the best ‘my recruiter lied to me’ stories ever

On the subreddit /r/army, reddit user xixoxixa answered a question from nachoknuckles, “Do recruiters really lie as much as they say they do?


The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity
Photo: Team Non-Rec

While most veterans would have responded with a “yes” and maybe a quick example, xixoxixa posted what may be the best “my recruiter lied to me” story we’ve ever heard. The story is below. If you love it, head to the original reddit post and give xixoxixa an upvote so he can get his credit:

Editor’s note: We’ve left the original language. Be aware that some of it is NSFW.

So no shit, there I am, a fresh faced 18-year old, needing to do something with my life. A short stint in the military sounds like just the ticket – gets me out of my crappy hometown, puts money in my pocket and food in my belly, and in 3 or 4 years, I’ll get out, go to school with my GI bill, and have a happy [life]. The local strip mall had a slew of recruiting offices, all right next to each other.

I go in, a recruiter’s wet dream. I scored remarkably high on my ASVAB (which I only took to get out of class for 3 hours), so I could pick pretty much any job I wanted. But did I do that? Shit no, I walked in, thumped my chest and said ‘I’m ready to go today, what’s your best offer?’

The Army guy asks what I’m interested in, and I tell him that I really don’t care, just something relatively safe (this was pre-9/11, but I knew that soldiers had a chance of getting shot at), and something that would give me a marketable skill. Like medical – everyone always needs medical folks.

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity
What xixoxixa thinks he will be doing. Photo: US Army

He asks about my hobbies – mountain biking, snowboarding, rock climbing, typical adrenaline filled activities…He types some stuff in his computer and comes back with ‘How about a combat medic with the 75th Ranger Regiment? You know, Airborne Rangers, like Nic Cage in Con Air?’ ‘Well, what’s that get me long term?’ ‘Well, you’ll be at least a paramedic, so you can get a job just about anywhere. You’ll be part of the Special Operations community, so you’ll avoid most of the big army bullshit, and you’ll be part of the Rangers, so you’ll do high-speed stuff like jump out of airplanes, and fly around in helicopters.’

OK, I think, this isn’t such a bad deal. I agree, but not before carefully asking how this will play out – I don’t want to end up as just a grunt. This is what he says, near as verbatim as I can remember almost 14 years later: ‘Well, the Rangers are part of SOCOM, a type of Special Forces. So every soldier needs to have a bare basic level of ability to fight, just in case the shit hits the fan.

So everyone, and I mean everyone, goes through Infantry basic training to get that bare level of skill. Then, everyone goes to airborne school, to learn how to jump out of planes. Then, you’ll go to whatever job school. You will got to San Antonio to go to medic school. The artillery goes go to artillery school, the parachute riggers go to rigger school, etc. Then everyone shows back up at Fort Benning to join the regiment.’

In my 18-year old mind, this makes sense, and I am impressed with the forethought the Army has put into this. Of course medics might end up in the thick of it, so why wouldn’t they want to know how to fight?

I agree, we go to MEPS, my contract gets drawn up as 11X. Now, I know from looking at the posters on the wall that 11 series is infantry, but it only lists 11B, 11C, 11H, and 11M, so I figure the 11X is for the guys like me that are just going through infantry basic, and then off to another job.

Fast forward 3½ months, and I’m cruising along through basic, solid in my knowledge that as a medic, I will probably never need half of this shit, so I’m happy to just play the game. The day comes when the Drill Sergeants break us down into our respective MOSs so we can go to any required extra training (like the 11Cs, who have to go learn how to shoot mortars).

’11Bs, in that corner, 11Cs, over there, 11Hs, up here by me, and 11Ms, over there by Drill Sergeant [Whatever-his-name-was]. Now!’

I, PVT xixoxixa, am the lone asshole standing in the bay by himself. ‘Drill Sergeant, where do you want the medics to go?’ I ask. ‘Goddamn it Private! This isn’t rocket surgery – there ain’t no fucking medics here! Get where you belong!’ Ah! I see his mistake – he doesn’t know that I’m an 11X, not one of these other dumbasses destined to be a grunt.

Briefly, I find it odd that this E-7 with many, many years in the Army can be so obtuse, and in need of correction…but maybe he’s not familiar with this program. So I tell him such – ‘Drill Sergeant, I see where your mistake is. I’m supposed to be a medic, I’m just doing Infantry Basic.’

Through his clenched teeth and skyrocketing blood pressure, he tells me ‘Private, bring me your. GOD! DAMNED! PAPERWORK!!’ I happily dig out my contract and go wait at a textbook perfect Parade Rest outside his office. He calls me in, sits me down, and leafs through my shit. As he’s flipping through, he directs me to tell him exactly what my recruiter told me. I do, in exquisite detail, happy to know that the student has become the teacher.

He looks at me like this and then, calmly says ‘Private, I know we talk a lot of shit about recruiters, but you – you got fucked.’ He then proceeded to tell me how the Army really works, and explains to me that the 11X I was so proud of means I will complete basic, go to airborne school, then show up at the 75th to be whatever kind of Infantryman the Rangers need me to be.

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity
What Ranger infantry really does. It’s still honestly pretty cool. Photo: US Army Edward N. Johnson

I spent the rest of basic poring over that contract in extenuating detail trying to find a loophole, but alas, despite my best effort my first MOS in the army was as an airborne infantryman.

Do you have a good recruiter story? Share it in the comments below.

MIGHTY CULTURE

5 ways to make mandatory fun days actually, you know… fun

Ahh, organizational days. On paper, it sounds like a great time. Why not have everyone in the unit come together to relieve stress for an afternoon and enjoy some quality team-cohesion time? Here’s the problem: Troops very rarely ever have a good time at what is mockingly referred to as a “mandatory fun day.”

If you’re in a leadership position and you’re honestly expecting an organizational day to raise the morale of your troops, then you’re going to need to do a few things different. Don’t worry, we’re not about to suggest major changes or anything that could jeopardize the professionalism of your unit, but you should lighten up and actually try to make sure your troops enjoy themselves if an increase in morale is your intended goal. Makes sense, right?

Try these:


The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity

You can have those family fun days. Let the FRG handle that and let the troops be troops.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jason Jimenez)

No families

We’re not suggesting that families aren’t important to the troops — in fact, they’re the most important thing to the many troops who have their family stationed with them. But it’s a much different story for the troops that are stuck in the barracks. They’re not exactly lining up for the face-painting booth like the kiddies.

Plus, when there are children and spouses around, troops tend to be sanitized versions of who they really are. That’s not a bad thing by itself, but it’s also not the way to let off steam and raise morale. You need to give them a chance to be the loud, rowdy, drunk, offensive, and obnoxious war fighters that they truly are.

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity

You may hear them talk about wanting to drink when they’re in the smoke pit, but you’re not really going to know how much they drink unless you’re with them.

(U.S. Marine Corps)

Listen to what the lower enlisted troops want

Within reason, obviously. You don’t have to take the company to the truck-stop strip club because Private Snuffy thought it’d be a great idea. But if they suggest something relatively safe, like going to a baseball game or chilling out at the installation’s bar, that may not be such a bad idea.

Nine times out of ten, if you ask the troops where they’d like to go, they’ll probably say the barracks. Perfect. Throw a party there. This also gives the command team a valuable insight into how the troops actually operate when they’re off-duty.

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity

A squad that trains together, fights together, and parties together stays together.

(U.S. Army photo by 2nd Lt. Kyle Hensley)

Keep the day at the platoon or squad level

This is far more important than most company commanders realize. When you’re trying to build unit cohesion, it’s best to keep any morale-boosting efforts at the level at which troops operate. For nearly all lower enlisted, that means the platoon or squad level.

Platoon sergeants generally know their troops far better than the company commander. Plus, smaller numbers also mean that it’s far cheaper and much more easily managed should things get out of hand. Most importantly, having a smaller group size on fun days means that it’s far less likely that someone will just mope in the corner and be forgotten about.

Commanders should encourage smaller-group team building. It can only mean greater things when it comes to the unit as a whole.

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity

I mean, unless they’re REALLY adverse to showing up to the Organizational Day.

(Photo via US Army WTF Moments)

Attendance is incentivized, not mandatory

When you force something down someone’s throat, they’re going to hate it. By now, you’ve probably heard infantry described with the phrase, “give them a brick of gold and they’ll complain that it’s too heavy.” Well, in this case, “mandatory fun” day are the gold, and no matter how glittery and gleaming it may be, you’re still forcing it on them.

Give troops a reason to want to go to your organizational day instead of threatening them with UCMJ action. Even if it’s something as stupid-simple as giving them the choice between attending the organizational day in civilian clothes and an early release or sweeping the motor pool until 1700, you’ll see a lot more volunteers.

The hidden truth: military families face financial insecurity

Nearly every single lower enlisted troop will enjoy themselves at a barracks party over a mandatory Org Day. Why not just let them do it anyways, but with the supervision of NCOs?

(Screengrab via YouTube)

Free booze

This is as simple as it gets. There’s no real need to go in-depth about why this one would work. Transfer some of the funds that would’ve gone toward a giant bouncy house and tap open a keg for the joes instead. They’ll appreciate that much more.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information