5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station - We Are The Mighty
Articles

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station

With every move comes a host of decisions — schools, recreation, safety, length of commute — but among the most important ones is whether to buy or rent your home at your new duty station. Here are 5 things to consider when making that call:


1. Can you finance the home using your VA home loan benefit?

There are a bunch of advantages to using a VA loan. VA home loans require zero money down, and because they’re underwritten by the U.S. government, sellers are usually comfortable with accepting offers from buyers using them. Also, VA home loans can be assumed by qualified buyers, which is a great option when considering the volatility of the military lifestyle. For more information check out the VA’s site here.

2. Can you build equity during the time you’re in that area?

Nobody buys a home to lose money in the process. Before you buy, consider the real estate market trends. Are home pricing rising or falling . . . and how quickly? Making money on a home after owning it a short time is ambitious, but not impossible in the right market.

3. Can you sell your home quickly when you get orders away from the area?

Just like in the previous bullet, market conditions are important when considering how quickly you could sell your home when the time comes. The easy way to assess this is to consider how many “for sale” signs there are on the street around your desired home. If there are a lot of them you might want to think twice about buying, especially if you’re only planning on being in the area for a couple of years or less.

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station

4. Could you turn your home into a rental property if you got orders away from the area?

If the rental market is active in your area you might consider turning your home into a rental property. In some areas, the amount an owner can charge for monthly rent exceeds the owner’s mortgage payment, which allows the owner the retain all the associated tax benefits while continuing to build equity. But owners should also consider the responsibilities of being a landlord, not the least of which is keeping track of how the tenant is treating the property.

5. Is the duty station where your home is one to which you’re likely to return?

Will your career path bring you back to the area? Would you consider staying there once your time on active duty is over? And would you be willing to rent the home (see the previous bullet) in the meantime? If the answer to these questions is “yes,” then the equity timeline can be stretched out and the risk of buying is reduced.

To start the process, check out Zillow.com’s cool buy/rent calculator here.

Articles

Here’s a sneak peek at the new World War I Memorial going up in DC

In the coming years, Washington, D.C.’s Pershing Park will be transformed as a memorial honoring the men and women who fought in the First World War is built, adding to where the statue of General John J. Pershing currently stands.


The 2015 National Defense Authorization Act established the World War I Centennial Commission, which was given the authority to build the memorial in the park. Over the course of a year, potential designs were submitted and voted on. In January 2016, the design, titled The Weight of Sacrifice, was chosen.

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Pershing Park today (wikimedia photo)

The designers, Joseph Weishaar, an architect-in-training currently located in Chicago, and collaborating artist sculptor Sabin Howard of New York, explained their vision:

The fall sun settles on a soldier’s etched features, enough to alight the small girl patting his horse. Above him 28 trees rise up from the earth, flamed out in brazen red to mark the end of the Great War. He stands on the precipice of the battlefield, surveying the rising tide which has come to call his brothers from their havens of innocence. The figures before him emerge slowly, at first in low relief, and then pull further out of the morass as they cross the center of the wall. They all trudge onward, occasionally looking back at the life that was until they sink back in and down into the trenches.

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station

This is a moment frozen in time, captured in the darkened bronze form which has emerged from the soil to serve as a reminder of our actions. Along the North and South faces we see the emblazoned words of a generation gone by. 137 feet long, these walls gradually slip into the earth drawing their wisdom with them. Around the sculpted faces of the monument the remembrance unfolds. Each cubic foot of the memorial represents an American soldier lost in the war; 116,516 in all. Upon this unified mass spreads a verdant lawn. This is a space for freedom built upon the great weight of sacrifice.

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
World War I Centennial Commission

The allegorical idea that public space and public freedom are hard won through the great sacrifices of countless individuals in the pursuit of liberty provides the original design concept for this project. A memorial and a park built to represent this truth should pay homage to the loss incurred in securing these freedoms. The raised figurative walls visually express a narrative of the sacrificial cost of war, while also supporting a literal manifestation of freedoms enjoyed in this country: the open park space above. The urban design intent is to create a new formal link along Pennsylvania Avenue which ties together the memorial to Tecumseh Sherman on the West and Freedom Plaza on the East. This is achieved by lowering the visual barriers surrounding the existing Pershing Park and reinforcing dominant axes that come from the adjacent context.

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
World War I Centennial Commission

The raised form in the center of the site honors the veterans of the first world war by combining figurative sculpture and personal narratives of servicemen and women in a single formal expression. The integration of a park around and atop the memorial alludes to the idea that public space and personal freedom are only available through the sacrifice of our soldiers. Above all, the memorial sculptures and park design stress the glorification of humanity and enduring spirit over the glorification of war.

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station

These themes are expressed through three sources: relief sculpture, quotations of soldiers, and a freestanding sculpture. The figurative relief sculpture, entitled “The Wall of Remembrance,” is a solemn tribute to the resilience of human bonds against the inexorable tide of war. The 23 figures of the 81′ relief transform from civilians into battered soldiers, leading one another into the fray. The central piece, “Brothers-in-Arms,” is the focus of the wall, representing the redemption that comes from war: the close and healing ties soldiers form as they face the horrors of battle together. The wounded soldier is lifted by his brother soldiers toward the future and the promise of healing.

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
World War I Centennial Commission

The quotation walls guide visitors around the memorial through the changes in elevation, weaving a poetic narrative of the war as described by generals, politicians, and soldiers. The sculpture on the upper plaza, “Wheels of Humanity,” recreates the engine of war. These are soldiers tested and bonded by the fires of war to each other and to the machinery they command. For all of the courage and heroic stature they convey, each looks to the other for guidance and a signal to action. The bronze medium used throughout stands for the timeless endeavor we face in the universal pursuit and right of freedom.
MIGHTY CULTURE

Russia and Poland are squabbling on Twitter over who invaded Poland in WWII

An 80-year-old conflict was revisited on Sept. 17, 2019, as the Polish Embassy in the UK commemorated the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s invasion, which came two weeks after Germany invaded and started World War II.


The Russian embassy in South Africa didn’t let Poland’s tweet go without a denial.

“The USSR is often accused of invading Poland. Wrong!” the embassy tweeted. “The Nazis attacked Poland on 1 September. It was not until 17 September, with Polish government fleeing forces defeated, that the Red Army entered ‘Polish territories’ – Belarus and Ukraine occupied by Warsaw since 1920.”

The USSR and Germany had signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, a neutrality agreement, just days before Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939.

Germany invaded Poland from the west, the USSR invaded from the east, and the two carved up Polish territory between them, although the Soviet Union did not formally declare war.

Unbeknownst to the Polish, the USSR and Nazi Germany had secretly discussed how they would divide parts of Europe, including Poland, giving the USSR the territory it felt it had lost after the Treaty of Riga ended the Polish-Russian War in 1921.

Russia has attempted to rewrite history, saying World War II didn’t actually start until 1941 and referring to it as the Great Patriotic War. This year, Russia tried to justify the existence of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact by claiming European countries didn’t sufficiently stand up to Hitler or offer Germany more favorable alternatives, according to the Associated Press.

Russia’s response to the Poland tweet takes on more significance in light of its annexation of Crimea in 2014, a move reminiscent of its invasion of Poland in 1939 — in both cases, Moscow denied or obfuscated the invasion but claimed the lands being invading belonged to it anyway.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was not invited to a commemoration of the invasion of Poland this year because of the annexation of Crimea and his increasingly authoritarian rule.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

Intel

Why CIA analysts are often sent into combat zones

In the first season of Amazon’s Jack Ryan, the eponymous character begins as a low-level financial analyst within the CIA. The series is, essentially, one big prequel, connecting to what will ultimately become Tom Clancy’s Ryanverse, a fictional reality that’s the basis for many great films, like The Hunt for Red October and The Sum of All Fears.

At the series’ start, Ryan is just a lowly desk-jockey, reluctant to embrace danger — he begins the series complaining about being sent into a combat zone. Now, it’s not necessarily a plot hole, but a CIA analyst being reluctant to get into the mix is a lot like a young private complaining that they’re being sent to Afghanistan: It happens so often that they should kind of expect their number to be called.


CIA analysts often provide the Department of Defense with the actionable intelligence they need to conduct their missions. That being said, the life of a CIA analyst isn’t the fun, high-stakes adventure that films often make it out to be. Since information about specific events is rarely released to the public, we often only hear about their missions well after the fact, or in some broad, vague way.

Each analyst is specifically trained in a given field and is sent to a specific region to learn one specific thing. This is fairly well represented in the show — Ryan is sent to Yemen to learn about terrorist spending habits there. Actual analysts would be given more mundane tasks, yes, but their missions would be along those lines.

Even if it’s a tad unrealistic, upping the ante makes for a great show.

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station

Hacking in the real world is more like using software to crack passwords than improvising lines of written code, just to demystify that one, too.

For the most part, analysts often only report local happenings to their higher ups. Sure, a deep-undercover operative sent to Afghanistan in 2000 may have been doing all that secret-squirrel stuff and agents sent to Berlin in the 70s could have been living it up like James Bond — but analysts might be sent anywhere for any reason, like to get a feel of the trends in the Kazakh media.

The whole spy world gets demystified when you realize that it’s actually kinda boring. Take the often-misunderstood CIA cyber analysts, for example. Moments where you can flex your super-hacker muscles like they do in the movies probably exists, but you’re mostly just gathering intelligence via social media analysis.

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station

Don’t get that twisted, though. They’re still going to be involved with the cool moments you see in spy films — just not very often.

Hamid Karzai with Special Forces and CIA Paramilitary in late 2001.

Then there’re the analysts that get embedded with the troops. On one extreme, they’re working hand-in-hand with the special operations community to collect as much information as possible about any given threat, like on the Abbottabad Compound where Osama Bin Laden hid. Or they could be working with conventional forces to gather whatever the troops learn while deployed.

Everything just comes down to the second word in the CIA’s name — intelligence — and learning what they can from anywhere and everyone.

Articles

Watch Mark Wahlberg, survivor Mike Williams, and other cast give their take on the new ‘Deepwater Horizon’ movie

Just a few years ago, Americans were stunned at the amount of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico by the British Petroleum-leased oil rig Deepwater Horizon. On April 20, 2010, a blowout during the drilling of an exploratory well caused an explosion visible from 40 miles away that killed 11 of its crew.


Over nearly three months, the spill from the Deepwater Horizon dumped 210 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Now a film about the disaster, “Deepwater Horizon,” is set to hit theaters Sept. 30.

Mark Wahlberg plays Mike Williams, an electrician and Deepwater Horizon survivor, in a film that takes an in-depth look at the people who were working on the rig that night. Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien, and Kate Hudson round out the ensemble cast.

We Are The Mighty met up with the cast – and the real Mike Williams – at the film’s premiere in New Orleans and talked with them about the film and the motivations behind it.

Mark Wahlberg – “Mike Williams”

Peter Berg – Director

Kurt Russell – “Jimmy Harrell”

Kate Hudson – “Felicia Williams”

Gina Rodriguez – “Andrea Fleytas”

Mike Williams – Deepwater Horizon survivor

Articles

The 13 funniest military memes for the week of Jul. 29

After another week of keeping the barracks secure from enemy attack, Pokemon, and —most importantly—the staff duty NCO, you deserve some funny military memes. Here are 13 of the best that we could find:


1. Wait, you can get out of PT just because you’re already dead?

(via The Salty Soldier)

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
My drill sergeant lied to me.

2. Look, some objects on the runway are hard to see. It was an honest mistake (via Sh-t my LPO says).

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Do you think it damaged the engine?

SEE ALSO: The top 6 reasons civilians back out of military service

3. In the dog’s defense, typing those six words takes him more time than it takes most humans to type six paragraphs (via Sh-t my LPO says).

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station

4. Just 3 more years of hibernation and he’ll emerge as a salty civilian (via Marine Corps Memes).

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Or a super salty staff NCO.

5. “I just can’t even. Can’t. Even.”

(via The Salty Soldier)

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station

6. Stop your jokes. That’s a vessel of the United States Coast Guard (via Coast Guard Memes).

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Respect its authority!

7. That buffalo is only wearing the branch to get you to stop throwing Pokeballs at it (via Air Force Nation).

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station

8. “I also spent plenty of time studying for my advancement exams.”

(via Military Memes)

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
BTW, why did Pinocchio’s nose grow? That’s a really specific punishment for lying.

9. Be careful. They sometimes hide them under objects on the side of the road (via Military Memes).

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Also in potholes. And dead bodies. And ….

10. As soon as a soldier pulls off this move, they’ve won the smoke session, so stop (via Devil Dog Nation).

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station

11. He just wanted to get rid of his Pidgey rank and become a “full-Charizard colonel” instead (via Air Force Memes Humor)

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
BTW, yes. There will probably one Pokemon meme per list for the foreseeable future. I am trying to keep it to just one, though.

12. Uh, you’re not done until I can see my face in those things (via Sh-t my LPO says).

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
That joke was funny for probably 10 minutes. That boot was stained for the rest of its existence.

13. “It was my turn to go through the intersection!”

(via Military Memes)

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station

MIGHTY CULTURE

This is the first black graduate of the US Naval Academy

The military has traditionally been the most progressive institution in the United States. In 1948, long before the Civil Rights Movement swept America, the U.S. military had already begun to integrate. But that doesn’t mean the changes came quick or easy, especially for Wesley A. Brown, the first African-American to graduate from the Naval Academy in Annapolis.


Brown started classes at the academy in 1945, three years before President Truman ordered the military to stop separating black and white troops. Five men came before Brown as Midshipmen and were chased out of the academy altogether. Brown was the first to make it to graduation day – and he did it with a flourish.

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station

Brown was a Washington, D.C. native who grew up as a voracious reader, and was particularly interested in the history and heritage of African-Americans in the United States. He would work after school as a mailman at the Navy Department before he was nominated to attend the Naval Academy by New York Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Life at Annapolis was hard at first. Many did not accept him, and he was loaded down with undeserved demerits that almost found him drummed out.

“I get asked that question often, ‘Did you ever think about quitting?'” Brown said in a 2005 Baltimore Sun interview. “And I say, ‘Every single day.’ When I came to the academy I learned that there were all kinds of prejudices against Jews, Catholics, even the Irish and I looked around and thought that these prejudices were instilled in them by their families, and they could not be blamed for feeling the way they did.”

But he persevered and actually found that many more of his fellow Mids supported him. One of his most ardent supporters was a fellow track teammate, the son of a Georgia peanut farmer named Jimmy Carter.

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station

Brown (right) at the dedication of the USNA Field House that would bear his name.

Brown graduated from the Naval Academy in 1949 joining the Navy’s civil engineering corps. He created infrastructure in the Navy’s most important postings from the Philippines and Hawaii to Cuba, and even Antarctica. For 20 years, Brown was an important officer in the service, even seeing action in Korea and Vietnam. He retired in 1969 and became a faculty member at Howard University, in his hometown of Washington, D.C.

The Seabee retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

To honor his achievements and his history as a USNA athlete, the academy dedicated its newest athletic facility in 2008 as the Wesley A. Brown Field House. Brown was on hand at the ceremony to mark the construction of the facility that would bear his name, decades after racism and prejudice nearly cost him his illustrious career. Brown died in 2012.

MIGHTY CULTURE

How this operation is guarding the nation’s skies

Following the events of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Department of Defense identified flaws in its security procedures within the airspace surrounding the National Capital Region. In response, Operation Noble Eagle was created to protect the skies of North America.

An important training element of Noble Eagle, Fertile Keynote exercises utilize the Air Force’s civilian auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol.

With the combined support of the Air National Guard’s 113th Wing at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, the CAP’s Congressional Squadron, 1st Air Force and North American Aerospace Defense Command, Fertile Keynote missions simulate responses to unauthorized aircraft intruding into the restricted airspace surrounding the U.S. capital.

Other Fertile Keynote exercises take place every week across the country, with aerospace control alert fighter units and CAP squadrons participating.


Each component is vital to the exercise’s goal of rapidly intercepting low- or high-speed aircraft that show signs of distress or those not in compliance with air traffic control instructions.

Once the mission is initiated, fighter pilots, on 24-hour standby, scramble to practice their ability to get airborne quickly in response to a potential threat.

After establishing communication with NORAD and 1st AF, the pilots intercept the CAP aircraft, which simulate the intruder, or track of interest. After initial assessment, the pilots relay information about the TOI’s condition and intent, which ground personnel are not able to determine.

The aircraft is then either assisted, escorted out of the restricted airspace, or, if the intruder is determined to be a threat, the aircraft is eliminated.

Using aircraft from the Air Force Auxiliary as targets has two advantages; it provides participants with a realistic simulation of intercepting slower aircraft, at significantly reduced operational and maintenance cost to the Air Force. If another Air Force F-16 was used as a target for this exercise, it would cost approximately ,000, but operating the CAP aircraft, with volunteer pilots, costs approximately id=”listicle-2639898032″,000.

Exercises like these are conducted throughout the United States, giving pilots, controllers and NORAD personnel an opportunity to practice air defense capabilities against different airframes. In 2018, CAP aircraft flew 251 Air Defense Intercept training missions, including Fertile Keynote, in the National Capital Region, logging 1,635 flight hours on 861 sorties across the country.

This article originally appeared on Airman Magazine. Follow @AirmanMagazine on Twitter.

Articles

Poland just honored this US Army commander with a parade

The Polish president has bestowed a high honor on the US Army commander in Europe as Poland marked its Armed Forces Day with a military parade.


President Andrzej Duda bestowed the Commander’s Cross with a Star of the Order of Merit on Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the commander of the US Army in Europe.

Some 1,500 Polish soldiers then paraded in Warsaw, while fighter planes and other aircraft flew in formation above.

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Polish President Andrzej Duda. Wikimedia Commons photo by Radosław Czarnecki.

Poland’s marching soldiers were joined by a small unit of US troops, some of the thousands who deployed to Poland this year as part of efforts to reassure European countries concerned about possible Russian aggression.

US Ambassador to Poland Paul Jones said on Twitter that the Americans were proud to march alongside their Polish allies.

MIGHTY CULTURE

27 stunning photos of the US military in action this year

This past year has been unusual to say the least. The pandemic upended people’s lives around the world, and the same was true for members of the US military. Still, US troops continued to serve, doing incredible things both at home and abroad.

The following 27 photos by military photographers are awesome and offer a glimpse into some of what the military has been up to in 2020, from firing artillery to battling blazing infernos.

Jan. 14, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Army Staff Sgt. Daniel Pennington, a flight engineer assigned to B Co “Big Windy,” 1-214th General Support Aviation Battalion, takes in his ‘office’ view from the ramp of his CH-47 Chinook while flying over the island of Cyprus.

Jan. 29, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
A Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet soars above the clouds while conducting flight operations near Atsugi, Japan.

Mar. 12, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
A Marine fires a Mossberg 500 12-gauge shotgun during a non-lethal weapons course at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.

May 28, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Nicholas Spartz looks out of an MV-22B Osprey during parachute operations above Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

June 5, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Airmen assigned to the 347th Rescue Group drop flares during a “fini flight” for Col. Bryan Creel, the group’s commander, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.

July 15, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Soldiers simulate defending against opposing forces at Kahuku Training Area, Hawaii.

July 27, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Marine Corps Sgt. Joshua Dick conceals himself during a stalking and infiltration exercise at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.

July 31, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
A soldier provides simulated cover fire during a live-fire exercise at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany.

Aug. 11, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
An Army M1 Abrams tank fires at a target during Defender-Europe at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, Poland.

Sept. 7, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
A soldier deploys pyrotechnic flares to illuminate an area during an M4 night fire range event as part of the 2020 Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

Sept. 12, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
An Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Southwest Asia.

Sept. 18, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Brent Hardsaw, 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire inspector, and Airman 1st Class Trace James, a fire protection apprentice assigned to the squadron, extinguish flames during a night aircraft burn training exercise at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas.

Sept. 20, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Marines fire an M777A2 howitzer during training at Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii.

Sept. 22, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
A Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet receives fuel from an Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker while flying in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

Sept. 25, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
USS Germantown, USNS John Ericsson, USS Antietam, USS Ronald Reagan, USS America, USS Shiloh, USS New Orleans and USS Comstock break away from formation during Exercise Valiant Shield in the Philippine Sea.

Sept. 28, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Air Force and civilian firefighters participate in a nighttime live-fire burn exercise at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.

Oct. 1, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
A Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet takes off from the flight deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Atlantic Ocean.

Oct. 13, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Army paratroopers jump from C-17 aircraft during airborne operations over the Malemute Drop Zone at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

Oct. 16, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Austin Carroll refuels an AH-1Z Viper during training at Marine Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California.

Oct. 23, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Marines conduct special patrol insertion/extraction and helicopter rappel training at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan.

Oct. 28, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
A Navy EA-18G Growler takes off from the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan in the Philippine Sea.

Oct. 31, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Le’Aundre Johnson and Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Apprentice Ronald Swinford direct an MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter assigned to the “Golden Eagles” of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 162 (Reinforced) to launch aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7).

Nov. 4, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Soldiers fire an M777 howitzer at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Nov. 11, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
A soldier assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard,” walks the mat at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during a Veterans Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.

Nov. 17, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Marines with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command, fire a 120 mm mortar round during a joint live-fire range in Kuwait.

Dec. 1, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
The Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee launches a Block V Tomahawk missile during an exercise in the Pacific Ocean.

Dec. 6, 2020

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
A service member participates in the 50th Winston P. Wilson and 30th Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting Sniper Championships at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center, Arkansas.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

Articles

The 7 most important military decisions the next president will make in 2017

With ISIS continuing to fight, Russia and China throwing their weight around, and budget shortfalls becoming bigger and bigger problems, the Department of Defense will definitely need strong leadership in the form of a commander-in-chief and his political appointees in the months immediately following the inauguration next year.


Here are 7 important decisions he or she will have to tackle:

1. Will the U.S. pressure China to get off of contested islands, force them off with war, or let China have its way?

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
The Littoral Combat Ship USS Fort Worth conducts a patrol through international waters near the Spratly Islands. (Photo: US Navy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Conor Minto)

America has a vested interest in navigational freedoms in the South China Sea. Many allies transport their oil, other energy supplies, and manufactured goods through the South China Sea and the U.S. Navy uses routes there to get between the Pacific and Indian oceans.

Currently, a few sets of islands in the area are contested, most importantly the Spratly Islands. In addition to controlling important sea routes, the area may hold vast supplies of oil and natural gas. The most optimistic estimates put it second to only Saudi Arabia in terms of total oil reserves

China is deep in a campaign to control the South China Sea by claiming historical precedent and by building new bases and infrastructure on them. An international tribunal ruling on the issue will likely side against China shortly, but China probably won’t accept the decision.

That leaves a big decision for the next president. Does America recognize Chinese claims, back up U.S. allies in the area through diplomatic pressure, or begin a military confrontation that could trigger a major war?

2. How dedicated is the U.S. to the NATO alliance and deterring Russian aggression?

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team soldiers conduct exercises in partnership with NATO forces. (Photo: US Army Pfc. Randy Wren)

For decades, America’s presence in NATO was unquestionable. Candidates might argue about specific NATO policies, but membership was a given. Now, a debate exists about whether NATO might need to be adjusted or a new, anti-terror coalition built in its place.

America pays more than its fair share for the alliance. Every member is supposed to spend 2 percent or more of its GDP on defense, but only America and four other countries did so in 2015. Even among the five who hit their spending goals, America outspends everyone else both in terms of GDP and real expenses. The U.S. is responsible for about 75 percent of NATO spending.

And NATO was designed to defeat Russia expansion. Though members assisted in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they’ve struggled with what the alliance’s responsibilities are when addressing ISIS. For those who think ISIS should be the top priority, there’s a question about why the U.S. is spending so much time and energy on a European alliance.

So the question before the next president is, should America continue to dedicate diplomatic and military resources to a Europe-focused alliance when ISIS continues to inspire attacks in America and Europe while threatening governments in the Middle East?

3. What part of the world is the real priority?

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
(Photo: US Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Muncy)

To use the cliche, “If everything is a priority, nothing is.” The American military does not have the necessary size and resources to contain both Russia and China while fighting ISIS and other terrorist organizations. The next U.S. president will have to decide what is and isn’t most important.

Alliances can help the U.S. overcome some of the shortfalls, but each “priority” requires sacrifices somewhere else. The next president will have to decide if protecting Ukranian sovereignty is worth the damage to negotiations in Syria. They’ll have to decide if the best use of military equipment is to park it in eastern Europe to deter Rusia or to send it to exercises in Asia to deter China.

Obama spent most of his administration trying to pivot to Asia while Middle Eastern and European crises kept forcing America back into those regions. Where the next president decides to focus will decide whether Russia is contained, China is pushed off the manmade islands, and/or if ISIS and its affiliates are smothered.

4. What is America’s role in the ongoing fight against ISIS and is there a need for more ground troops?

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
U.S. Marines fire artillery to break up ISIS fighters attacking Kurdish and Peshmerga forces. (Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Andre Dakis)

On the note of transferring forces, those vehicles that could be redirected from supporting NATO or conducting exercises could be set to Iraq, Syria, and other countries to fight ISIS, but is that America’s job?

Though America’s invasion destabilized the region, Iraq’s rulers asked U.S. troops to leave before putting up a half-hearted and strategically insufficient response to ISIS. So the next president will have to decide whether America owes a moral debt to prop up the Iraqi government and Syrian rebels and whether it is in America’s best interest to do so.

The answer to those two questions will fuel the biggest one, should America deploy additional ground forces (something generals are asking for), risking becoming mired in another long war, to stop the rise of ISIS and other terrorist groups in the region?

5. How long will the Air Force keep the A-10?

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
(Photo: US Air Force Senior Airman Chris Drzazgowski)

The struggle between A-10 supporters and detractors continues to rage. Air Force officials and A-10 detractors say the plane has to be retired due to budget constraints and the limited ability to use the plane in a contested environment. Proponents of the A-10 insist that it’s the cheapest and most effective close-air support platform.

The battle has nearly come to a head a few times. The Air Force was forced by Congress to keep the A-10 flying and finally agreed to a showdown between the A-10 and F-35 for some time in 2016. The critical analysis of the results will almost certainly come while Obama is still in office, but the A-10 decision will likely wait until the next president takes office.

The decision will officially be made by the Air Force, but the president can appoint senior officers sympathetic to one camp or the other. Also, the president’s role as the head of their political party will give them some control when Congress decides which platforms to dedicate money to supporting.

So the new president will have to decide in 2017 what close air support looks like for the next few years. Will it be the low, slow, cheap, and effective A-10 beloved by ground troops? Or the fast-flying, expensive, but technologically advanced and survivable F-35?

6. How much is readiness worth and where does the money come from?

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
US Marines conduct underwater training. (Photo: US Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jered T. Stone)

Sequestration, the mandatory reduction of military and domestic budgets under the Budget Control Act of 2011, puts a cap on U.S. military spending. The service chiefs sound the alarm bell every year that mandatory budget cuts hurt readiness and force the branches into limbo every year.

The next president, along with the next Congress, will have to decide how much military readiness they want to buy and where the money comes from. To increase the percentage of the force that is deployed or ready to deploy at any one time without sacrificing new weapons and technology programs, money would need to be raised by cutting other parts of the federal budget or raising taxes.

So, what size conflict should the military always be ready for? And where does the money for training, equipment, and logistics come from to keep that force ready?

7. How many generals and admirals should the U.S. have?

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Generals and admirals are on the chopping block, though service chiefs like Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller, seen here speaking to a group of Marines, are likely too valuable to cut. (Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Shawn Valosin)

As the number of U.S. troops has decreased in the past 30 years, the number of U.S. general officers has rarely dropped and was actually raised by over 100 since Sep. 11, 2001, causing a 65 percent increase in the number of four-star officers to total number of service members. This has led to questions about whether it’s time to ax some generals and admirals.

Former Secretaries of Defense Chuck Hagel and Robert Gates both proposed serious cuts, and the Senate Armed Services Committee has recently floated a 25 percent reduction in the total number of general officers.

Not only would this significantly cut personnel costs since each general and their staff costs over an estimated $1 million per year, but it would reduce the bureaucracy that field commanders have to go through when getting decisions and requests approved.

Articles

The 13 funniest military memes of the week

Memesday! Thirteen of our favorites are below. Feel free to plaster your favorites all over our Facebook page.


1. That’s the sergeant major’s grass and you’re just lucky you won’t have to guard it.

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
But once it comes in a little more, you will be grooming it.

2. Mk-19s are for when you don’t like an entire geographic area.

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
It will occasionally take care of buildings you don’t like, too.

SEE ALSO: 17 photos that show why troops absolutely love the .50 caliber machine gun

3. Armories makes no sense to airmen (via Military Memes).

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station

4. Sailors are the world’s most glorified travel agents (via OutOfRegs.com).

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
The anchors sail away while the Marines go to play.

5. The Devil Doge (via Marine Corps Memes).

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
Prepare to be bit.

6. You train like you fight …

(Via Coast Guard Memes)

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
… in ankle deep water.

7. When you learn your last unit was f-cked up (via Marine Corps Memes).

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station

8. It’s a time-honored tradition (via Military Memes).

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
It’s not comfortable, but it’s time-honored.

9. Give your driver dip and energy drinks.

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
But, choose the energy drinks carefully.

10. How you know your unit needs more range time (via Sh*t My LPO says).

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
They may need a new range safety first though. The old one had a heart attack.

11. Why you get up at zero-dark-thirty for an afternoon mission (via Marine Corps Memes).

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
There will be a few more delays before anyone actually steps off.

 12. When “personalizing” your vehicle, don’t use military patterns (via Sh*t My LPO says).

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
That’s as bad as putting your entire military career in stickers on your back window.

13. The Air Force has so many sprinkles you can shower food in them (via OutOfRegs.com).

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
But, they’re totally a military branch and not a kid’s birthday party. Totally.

NOW: That time the Nazi’s planned to blow up Hoover Dam

OR: 6 of the most badass US military test pilots

Articles

SEALs punished over Trump flag

The consequences have come for Navy SEALs who flew Trump flags from their vehicles earlier this year.


According to a report from the Virginian-Pilot, the unidentified personnel, who were assigned to Naval Special Warfare Group Two, were reprimanded for flying blue Trump flags off their vehicles while they were convoying between training locations.

5 things to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent at your next duty station
A Trump flag flying from the lead vehicle as SEALs convoy between two training locations. (YouTube screenshot)

“It has been determined that those service members have violated the spirit and intent of applicable [Defense Department] regulations concerning the flying of flags and the apparent endorsement of political activities,” Lieutenant Jacqui Maxwell told Newsline.com.

At the time, We Are The Mighty covered the incident, noting that in July, 2016, the DoD had reminded military and civilian personnel, “Per longstanding DoD policy, active duty personnel may not engage in partisan political activities and all military personnel should avoid the inference that their political activities imply or appear to imply DoD sponsorship, approval, or endorsement of a political candidate, campaign, or cause. Members on active duty may not campaign for a partisan candidate, engage in partisan fundraising activities, serve as an officer of a partisan club, or speak before a partisan gathering.”

Video of the event spread rapidly over social media, and was picked up by a number of media outlets in addition to We Are The Mighty, including the Daily Caller. One of the videos is below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbOd-gnWLt8
Do Not Sell My Personal Information