Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed - We Are The Mighty
Articles

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

On Tuesday Morning, Russian aircraft manufacturer UAC unveiled the nation’s newest stealth fighter, the LTA Checkmate, at the MAKS air show at Ramenskoye airfield near Moscow. While information about this new 5th generation platform has steadily made its way to the media in recent months and some images even found their way onto the internet last week, we now have the most complete vision of this budget-friendly entrant into the stealth competition yet.

It’s important to remember that this new jet is not an operational platform, nor is there any strong indication that a flying tech demonstrator even exists. In other words, capabilities, cost, and even the overall design of this new fighter are all liable to change before this jet ever starts afterburning its way through production (if it ever does). Russia’s struggling economy and limited defense budget all but assure that the nation won’t be able to fund continued development, let alone production, of the LTA Checkmate single-handedly, so the future of this fighter program is largely in the hands of the foreign market. Russian officials have claimed that they invited delegations from 65 nations to come to the event and get a closer look at the fighter for this specific purpose.

According to today’s announcement, UAC believes they can start delivering new Checkmate fighters within five and a half years, with the first fighter for testing slated to be complete in 2023. ROSTEC officials predict orders of 300 aircraft, though they did not specify if they meant domestic, foreign, or total.

If Russia wants to make the LTA Checkmate its first successful stealth fighter on the export market (let alone in the sky), they need to make this jet look capable, reliable, and perhaps most importantly of all, affordable. These focal points were all on display on Tuesday, with mentions of the aircraft’s automated supply chain system and streamlined maintenance processes getting top billing alongside the usual fighter-fare.

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

And while it’s important to remember that this fighter is actively being marketed (in other words, exaggeration or extreme optimism may well be in play in terms of announced capabilities), it’s also equally as important to remember that Russia has a long and illustrious history of making grandiose claims about new military technology, only for it to fail to meet expectations…or even ever manifest, after the initial headline-grabbing announcements.

So, with a baseball-sized grain of salt, let’s dive into what UAC says their new fighter can do, and why it matters for the future of Russia’s ongoing staring contest with the West.

We’ve already analyzed where the LTA Checkmate fits into Russia’s defense apparatus and what it will take to get the fighter into service in this article. The following will largely pertain to newly announced information.

Related: Here’s what we already know about Russia’s new stealth fighter

The LTA Checkmate aims to be the cheapest stealth fighter on the market

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

To be clear, being budget friendly does seem to be the focus, or at least one of the focuses, of the Checkmate. According to UAC CEO Yuri Slyusar, this new jet will ring in at under $30 million per airframe, making it the least expensive stealth fighter anywhere on the planet by a wide margin (assuming that price holds). While projected operating costs were not specified, a press release distributed during the event also emphasized cost savings in that department.

Of course, $30 million isn’t something to scoff at, but when compared to America’s two stealth fighters, the F-35 and F-22, it’s an absolute steal. The F-22 was the world’s first operational stealth fighter, but was canceled with just 183 of 750 ordered jets built. That massive cut in volume dramatically increased the per-unit price of the fighter to more than $200 million. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has consistently lowered its per-unit cost over the years and now rings in at under $80 million per aircraft, but both Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon have been accused of fudging those numbers by the nonpartisan government watchdog, Project On Government Oversight (POGO).

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed
Two F-35s (Left) alongside two F-22s (Right) (USAF Photo)

In their analysis of F-35 costs, an F-35A actually costs the taxpayer around $110 million, with the F-35C ringing it at $117 million and the short take off, vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B breaking the bank at nearly $136 million a piece in 2020.

It isn’t as easy to ascertain costs for China’s Chengdu J-20 or Russia’s existing stealth platform, the Su-57, though experts have weighed in on both. The China Power Project established by the Center for Strategic and International Studies estimates that the per-fighter cost of the J-20 could be as high as $120 million, with the Su-57 likely closer to $100 million.

If these numbers are broadly accurate, then the LTA Checkmate would cost less than a third of its least-expensive competition, making it a viable low observable option for nations that can’t drop nine-digit checks on a single piece of equipment.

Related: Is Russia’s Su-57 the worst stealth fighter on the planet?

Russia claims it uses AI to support pilot operations

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

An ongoing concern for fighter pilots in a high-end fight is managing mental load. Traditionally, a fighter pilot has to keep track of multiple gauges and sensor read outs as well as the terrain, friendly nearby aircraft, the target, and any potential threats. Until recently, pilots had to combine all of this information in their heads, but flying supercomputers like the F-35 streamline the process and free up pilots to focus on the task at hand. Not only did UAC claim the Checkmate fighter would leverage onboard supercomputers, but they went a step further and claimed the aircraft would also use artificial intelligence, or AI, to further reduce the mental strain on its pilots.

This idea isn’t unheard of. In fact, it the was basis behind the U.S. Air Force and DARPA’s Alphadog Flight Trials held last year. The event pitted real human fighter pilots against AI in virtual dogfights, but the stated aim has long been to improve the AI while increasing pilot comfort with the idea. Eventually, the plan is to use AI in the cockpit as a co-pilot of sorts, handling monotonous tasks for the pilot, or even responding to inbound missiles faster than humans are capable of.

However, to date, AI hasn’t found a place in any fighter cockpit, and it seems unlikely that Russia will master the craft by 2023, when the first Checkmate is projected to take to the skies.

It is likely that the Checkmate fighter will leverage its onboard computers alongside some degree of sensor fusion to provide an enhanced awareness of the battlefield, like most fighters of its generation.

Related: AI wins flawless victory against human fighter pilot in DARPA dogfight

It won’t be able to match other 5th-generation fighters in a dogfight

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed
Rostec

All those cost savings have to come from somewhere, and even with the assumption that claims about the Checkmate will be exaggerated for marketing purposes, its claimed capabilities still fall short of the other jets of its class.

While every other 5th-generation fighter on the planet has a claimed structural limit that exceeds 9gs, the Checkmate claims only 8. G forces are measured in relation to the natural weight of gravity on earth; 1 G is what you experience all the time while walking around, so 9 Gs is literally 9 times that. Here’s an explanation from F-35 pilot instructor and Sandboxx News contributor Major Hasard Lee:

“Right now, as you’re reading this, you’re probably at 1G, or one time the force of gravity. Your weight is what you see when you stand on a scale. I weigh approximately 200 pounds, 230 with my gear on. For most people, the peak G-force they’ve experienced is probably on a rollercoaster during a loop—which is about 3-4G’s. It’s enough to push your head down and pin your arms by your side. Modern fighters like the F-16 and F-35 pull 9G’s, which translates to over 2,000 pounds on my body.”

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed
Hasard Lee experiencing High Gs in training.

You can read all about Hasard’s experiences pushing his F-16 to 9 Gs and just what an incredible toll it takes on your body in his article about it here.

Being limited to 8 Gs means Russia’s new Checkmate won’t be able to perform maneuvers as aggressively as other stealth fighters, or even non-stealth 4th-generation jets. Of course, that’s not necessarily a huge problem though. The Checkmate can bank on its low observability when squaring off against non-stealth fighters like the F-16, and this jet probably wouldn’t be sent out to pick fights with F-22s.

Related: What’s it like to pull 9Gs in an F-16? A fighter pilot weighs in

The Checkmate fighter has a claimed range of 3,000km (1,800+ miles)

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

The single-engine Checkmate weighs in at significantly less than the twin-engine Su-57, and in conjunction with its stealthy but high-lift delta-wing design, seems to offer good range. It’s unclear whether its claimed 3,000km range is based on a stripped-down ferry-flight, but that seems likely.

If this range holds true into production, it would give the Checkmate superior range to that of America’s F-35s, the furthest-reaching of which is the carrier-capable F-35C with a maximum range of a bit shy of 1,400 miles in the best of conditions. The F-22 Raptor can beat the Checkmate’s proposed range, but just barely, and with the addition of stealth-killing external fuel tanks.

Russia claims the Su-57 has a combat radius of around 930 miles, which is significant (that suggests a total range of 1,860 miles with a combat load), and it seems the LTA Checkmate is similarly aiming for long-distance operations.

Its claimed service ceiling of better than 50,000 feet is on par with its 5th generation competition, many of which claim operational ceilings of “better than 50,000 feet” without further specifics.

Related: This Russian pilot just flew their stealth fighter like a convertible

It will be able to carry hypersonic air-to-air weapons internally

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

According to Tuesday’s announcement, the Checkmate fighter will be capable of carrying three RVV-BD long-range air-to-air missiles internally without compromising its stealth profile. The RVV-BD (also known as the R-37M or by NATO as the AA-13 Arrow) is a hypersonic weapon originally designed to take out tankers, AWACS, and other command and control aircraft from beyond the range of their fighter escorts, or about 124 miles.

Capable of achieving speeds in excess of Mach 6, the missile is believed to leverage an active data link for guidance, supported by the fighter’s onboard computers rather than the pilot, before switching to active radar homing in the final leg of its flight path.

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed
Simulated cockpit view of the Checkmate fighter

Like the Checkmate itself, the RVV-BD was purpose-built with the export market in mind, and was designed to be easily mated to Russia’s export-iterations of both Su and MiG fighters. It seems logical, then, that the LTA Checkmate would be designed to leverage these weapons, as both stealth fighters and hypersonic weapons are currently considered extremely valuable for national militaries.

That added girth means a lot of added weight too. Depending on the source, the RVV-BD weighs in at between 1,100 and more than 1,300 pounds… meaning a single one of these missiles weighs as much as six Aim-9Xs, or nearly four AIM-120s. The most modern iteration of America’s furthest-reaching air-to-air missile, the AIM-120D, has a reported range of at least 87 miles, though its actual maximum range has never been disclosed. Unlike the RVV-BD, however, the AIM-120 tops out at around Mach 4, well below the hypersonic barrier of Mach 5.

However, storing three of these weapons internally is a pretty tall order. At around 13’9″, the RVV-BD isn’t that much longer than a normal air-to-air weapon, but its 15″ diameter is more than twice that of air-to-air weapons like the AIM-120 carried internally by the F-22 and three times that of smaller, short range weapons like the AIM-9X.

Those RVV-BDs will be housed in the aircraft’s primary weapons bay, with another smaller bay further forward on the fuselage that will likely house smaller defensive air-to-air munitions. Per the display, it seems likely that this new Checkmate fighter will also carry a 30mm cannon, similar to the GSh-30-1 autocannon found in the Su-57. Managing targets and other pertinent information will be accomplished via an all-glass cockpit dominated by one large primary display that’s sure to serve a variety of purposes based on the situation alongside the usual variety of cockpit bells and whistles one might expect of a fighter designed in the 21st century.

This article by Alex Hollings was originally published by Sandboxx News. Follow Sandboxx News on Facebook.

MIGHTY TRENDING

Watch: Inside the Arctic Military Base at the center of U.S. – Russia tensions

Melting Artic ice might begin to raise some alarm bells for military leadership as near-peer enemies literally start to come closer. With Besides national security, commercial, environmental and search-and-rescue concerns are also at play. As the sea ice melts, the more human activity becomes possible in the Arctic. This allows countries like Russia and China another point of access to the US, one that didn’t exist when the barrier of the ice and cold prevented exploitation of the area. Watch this incredible video by the Wall Street Journal to learn more.

We should probably come up with a game plan

As the Arctic ice continues to melt, sea passages are forming in international waters, leading to competition for resources (like fish and oil) and strategic military placement. The US military is now having to revise its Arctic strategy in and around Alaska as a result.

The Cold War was a time of increased activity in the Arctic, but that eventually died down. With the waterways opening and the region warming, the Russians are increasing their Arctic activity once again. Only now, they are practicing attack strategies on the US and Canada in ways that were not possible before. Right now, the increased Russian activity seems to be a strategy: to remind the US of their power. This is worrisome to the US. If there were a conflict between Russia and the US, the Arctic provides the closest possible route of attack. Yikes.

Alaskan Military Bases are on the Frontlines Once Again

Tin City, Alaska is the closest mainland point in the United States to Russia. With only about 55 miles between them, that is way too close for comfort. The Tin City Air Force Station is the northernmost US military base and a long-range radar site with strategic placement specifically to keep a watch out for Russian bombers. Installed during the Cold War era, it only returned as a frontline post because of the melting Arctic ice.

The radar looks for unidentified aircraft. In recent years, the US military at Tin City Air Force Station has spotted Russian fighter planes and bombers in the area at double the normal rate. It is likely a test by the Russians to see how quickly the US responds. Newsflash Russia: the US military always responds at lightning speeds. The US government expects any aircraft that crosses the US Air Defense Identification Zone to identity itself, though (surprise, surprise) Russian aircraft don’t always comply. This prompts US jets to fly alongside them until they leave. The radar is in effect 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without fail.

A Disappearing Ice Buffer of Safety

The Arctic used to be a kind of buffer of protection for the US from potential threats, but the melting Artic ice is changing that, forcing the US to develop a new, notably more aggressive Arctic strategy with many additional resources. For instance, Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska, is getting more involved in protecting the US Arctic border zone. Their new, cutting-edge F-35 planes are on the job now. Has Russia noticed? You can bet on that. Only time will tell how this unfolds.

Related: Here’s who would win if Russia, China, and America went to war right now.

MIGHTY TRENDING

Russia quarantines thousands of troops who trained for a massive military parade that was canceled over coronavirus

Russia is quarantining thousands of troops who had been rehearsing for a large military parade in Moscow that was called off only a few days ago due to the global coronavirus outbreak.

The country had planned to hold its Victory Day parade, on May 9, and as many as 15,000 Russian service members were expected to participate. Even as the coronavirus spread around the world, Russian troops continued to prepare for the big event, a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.


Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

upload.wikimedia.org

“All the members of the rehearsals are burning with desire to participate in this historic event and are training their hearts out,” a Russian defense ministry spokesman said in early April, according to The Guardian.

Last Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called off the parade, explaining that the “risks associated with the epidemic, whose peak has not passed yet, are extremely high.”

The military personnel that had been rehearsing for the parade “have been ordered to return to home bases in accordance with the decision to postpone the military parade on Red Square,” the Russian Ministry of Defense said Monday, according to Russian state media.

“Upon arrival, all military personnel who took part in rehearsals will be placed in two-week quarantine,” the ministry said, adding that all military vehicles and equipment will be disinfected.

The Victory Day parade rehearsals involved thousands of Russian service members training in close proximity to one another at a training area outside Moscow, Reuters reported, citing television footage of the preparations.

There was reportedly no evidence of social distancing, and no one shown was wearing a mask.

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

media.defense.gov

It is unclear if any of the troops that participated in the parade rehearsal activities have the coronavirus or if the steps being taken are simply precautionary. There have been reports that some of the participants have been infected, but they are unconfirmed.

Russia, the official figures for which have been called into question, has reported 47,121 coronavirus cases and over 300 deaths.

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

Articles

This is one of the largest indoor oceans ever built

Holding over 12-million gallons of water, the “MASK” — which stands for “maneuvering and seakeeping” — is one of the largest man-made indoor oceans in the world. It is located at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Maryland.


The massive water containment measures 240-feet wide and 360-feet long and houses the ability to recreate real oceanic-like characteristics to help design future Naval vessels.

The facility can custom manufacture mini-ships for on-site testing. (Images via Giphy) 

Related: This is how Naval officers conduct a man overboard drill on a ‘killer tomato’

With the ability to create a variety of ocean waves, the researchers can conduct numerous tests on new ship designs at the facility before the larger version is eventually produced.

“We can do a lot of different types of testing here, everything ranging from energy efficient testing to operability,” Dr. Christopher Kent explains.
A depiction of testing video compared to operational. (Images via Giphy)
“As long as we’ve been building ships and boats, we really only started to understand how they work about the last 100 years,” naval engineer Jon Etxegoian states. “And we’re still not there yet.”

The center’s design experts work directly with Naval officials to produce the most advanced ships known to man before the blueprint is sent to the manufacturers.

Also Read: Aerial footage of the Abraham Lincoln super carrier drifting

Check out Department of Defense‘s video below to watch this man-made ocean test the Navy’s newest technologies.

Articles

Chuck Hagel’s Really Nice Resignation Message To The Troops

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed


The White House announced the resignation of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel today — a surprise to many who’d come to respect the Vietnam-era veteran as a man of the troops.  Whatever the politics, Hagel has always conducted himself with the sort of dignity that’s evident in his official message to the military that was just released through DoD channels. Here it is:

To the men and women of the Department of Defense:

I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that this morning, President Obama accepted my letter of resignation. I have agreed to continue to serve as Secretary of Defense until my successor is confirmed by the United States Senate.

You should know I did not make this decision lightly. But after much discussion, the President and I agreed that now was the right time for new leadership here at the Pentagon.

I want you to know that I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished together. We have prepared ourselves, our Allies and the Afghan National Security Forces for a successful transition in Afghanistan. We have taken the fight to ISIL and, with our Iraqi and coalition partners, have blunted the momentum of this barbaric enemy. We have come to the aid of millions of people around the world who have suffered the ravages of natural disaster and of disease. We have worked tirelessly to sustain our all-volunteer force that has given so much during 13 years of war. And we have bolstered enduring alliances and strengthened emerging partnerships, all the while setting in motion important reforms that will prepare this institution for the challenges facing us in the decades to come.

Most importantly, we have helped keep this country and our fellow citizens safe. We have sustained the blessings of liberty our ancestors secured and upheld the oath we took.

That work will continue. It must continue. The world is still too dangerous, the threats too numerous, for us to lose focus. And even as I promised the President my full support going forward, so, too, do I promise that I will work hard to support you right up until my last day in office. I owe you that.

There will be time later to say farewell. For now, please know how much I respect and admire your service and that of your families. As I gather with my own family this Thanksgiving holiday — a luxury I realize not all of you will enjoy — it will be the privilege of having worked with you these last two years for which I will be most grateful.

Thank you for all you do for this country. God bless you. Happy Thanksgiving.

MIGHTY TACTICAL

The Army just figured out a way to recharge your radio with pee

So you’re in the OP, and you’ve identified the supply route that Chinese troops are using to resupply and reinforce their frontline troops. But the enemy managed to cut off your own resupply two days ago when a platoon slipped by undetected and set up to your rear. Now, you need to get the intel back to base and try to squirt home, but your batteries are dead. It’s okay, though, because, in this new future, you can just piss into the battery.


Well, you could do that if you were using a hydrogen fuel cell battery and have a tablet of the new aluminum alloy powder developed by researchers working with the U.S. Army. Don’t pee onto your current batteries. That will not work.

The Army’s powder is a “structurally-stable, aluminum-based nanogalvanic alloy.” Basically, when the powder is exposed to any liquid containing water, it releases hydrogen. In a hydrogen fuel cell, that hydrogen can then be split into its component proton and electron. The proton passes through a membrane to create a positive charge on the other end of a circuit, and that draws the electron through the circuit, powering the radio, vehicle, or whatever else you hook it up to.

At the end, the proton and electron recombine into hydrogen, combine with oxygen, and are disposed of as water in a low-temperature exhaust.

“This is on-demand hydrogen production,” said Dr. Anit Giri, a materials scientist at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. “Utilizing hydrogen, you can generate power on-demand, which is very important for the Soldier.”

It’s all environmentally friendly, cheap, and—more importantly for troops—leaves no exhaust that could be easily detected by the enemy. Depending on the exact makeup of the equipment, troops could even drink their radio or vehicle exhaust if they were using hydrogen fuel cells.

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

New Jersey Best Warrior Competition. That radio is not fueled by pee. Yet.

(New Jersey National Guard Master Sgt. Mark Olsen)

And hydrogen is very energy dense, having 200 times as much specific energy as lithium batteries. But the military has resisted using hydrogen fuel sources for the same reason that auto manufacturers and other industries have been slow to adopt it: transporting hydrogen is costly and challenging.

While hydrogen fuel cell cars can be refueled at any hydrogen filling station as quickly as their gas counterparts, they can go twice as far. But the streets have more electric and gasoline-powered vehicles because it’s way easier to recharge and refuel those vehicles than to find a hydrogen station.

But with the new powder, the Army might be able to generate hydrogen on demand at bases around the world. And the technology is so promising that civilian corporations are lining up to use the powder here in the states.

According to an Army press release, H2 Power, LLC of Chicago has secured a license that grants it “the right to use the patent in automotive and transportation power generation applications related to ‘2/3/4/6 wheeled vehicles, such as motorcycles, all sizes of cars, minivans, vans, SUV, pick-up trucks, panel trucks other light and medium trucks up to 26,000 pounds and any size bus.'”

H2 Power is envisioning a future where existing gas stations can be easily converted into hydrogen fueling stations without the need for new pipelines or trucks to constantly ferry hydrogen to the station.

“The powder is safe to handle, is 100 percent environmentally friendly, and its residue can be recycled an unlimited number of times back into aluminum, for more powder. Recycling apart, only water and powder are necessary to recreate this renewable energy cycle, anywhere in the world,” H2 Power CEO Fabrice Bonvoisin said, according to a TechXplore article.

“For example, this technology enables us to transform existing gas stations into power stations where hydrogen and electricity can be produced on-demand for the benefit of the environment and the users of electric and hydrogen vehicles or equipment. We can’t wait to work with OEMs of all kind to unleash the genuine hydrogen economy that so many of us are waiting for,” he said.

The Army could pull this same trick at bases around the world. With a static supply of the aluminum powder, it could generate its own fuel from water and electricity. This would be good for bases around the world as it would reduce the cost to run fleets of vehicles, but it would be game-changing at remote bases where frontline commanders could create their own fuel, slashing their logistics support requirement.

They would need constant power generation, though, meaning the Army would need to invest more heavily in mobile solar or nuclear solutions to fully realize the advantages of their hydrogen breakthrough.

MIGHTY CULTURE

10 reasons to be thankful for military kids

I’m feeling thankful. Maybe because I know orders are on the horizon and there is “change” in the air. Or maybe I’m thankful in spite of it.

Sensing the winds, I can’t help but feel thankful for my military kids. It’s been a long decade filled with multiple schools and countless moves. They’ve said goodbye, more than hello. Yet, they are always ready for adventure. My kids, probably like your kids, always seem to roll with punches, ignoring the winds or leaning hard into it. As a parent, I draw my strength from their resiliency, their never-quit mentality after so many moves. There are many reasons to be thankful for our military kids this season, but here are just a few.


1. Will look an adult in the eyes.

A subtle characteristic of nearly all military kids over the age of six is their uncanny ability to make eye contact with adults when speaking to them. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. Military kids can not only speak to adults, but they make eye contact when they do. Sure, my theory isn’t 100% proven, but I challenge you to talk to any military tween or teen for more than five minutes and you’ll notice their ability to hold a conversation with you while making eye contact. Whether respect for adults comes from experience, diversity or taught at home, I’m thankful for it.

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

(Photo by Ben White)

2. Are little patriots. 

Whether it’s on a playground, in a classroom, at a sporting event or at a ceremony, when the music of our National Anthem starts, military kids will be the first to freeze, turn to the flag and hand to their chest. Grown adults sometimes forget (or don’t know) to remove their hats, stop SnapChat-ing or put down their hot dog when the anthem plays. You can spot a military kid or a Boy Scout in any crowd when the anthem plays. Military kids have watched their parent put on the uniform with a that little flag on the side arm every day. The American flag is a part of their upbringing and I’m thankful for it.

3. Are includers.

There isn’t’ a military kid around that hasn’t been the new kid at least once. Empathy is learned through experience and exposure – military kids have years of both. My kids will nearly break out in hives if they think someone is being left out at lunch or at birthday party. And I know this character trait is runs in deep with military families. Drawing on experience, military kids include the outsider. It’s their superpower.They will embrace the different because they see themselves in others and I’m thankful for it.

4. Are active participants. 

Need a someone to play goalkeeper? Need a volunteer to be a lunch buddy? Need a kid to stay behind and clean up? Yep, if there is a military kid in a crowd, they’ll raise their hand. Military kids just want to be a part of action, they want to participate, try out and be helpful. Especially after a tough move, military kids are forced to sit on the sidelines until they see an opening, sometimes they have to make their own opening. Military kids are usually all in, all the time and I’m thankful for it.

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

(Photo by Gabriel Baranski)

5. Will show up.

New kid having a birthday party? Military kids will show up. School fundraiser? They’ll be there. Need a fifth to play basketball? Just ask. Stocking food at the food bank? They will be five minutes early. Military kids will show up. Whether it’s their upbringing or military values –If my military kid says he’ll will be there, he’ll be there. You can count on military kids and I’m thankful for it.

6. Know problems are designed to be solved. 

Military kids, especially the older ones, have the deeper understanding and experience to know there is a solution to nearly every problem. They’ve been thrown into a litany of situations and forced to problem solve. They learn to adapt. They have to, it is survival. From putting on brave face walking into a new school to helping their family shoulder another deployment, they know problems are just challenges ready to be tackled. Military kids are old souls and I’m thankful for it.

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

(Photo by Marisa Howenstine)

7. Are good friends.

Once a friend to a military kid, consider yourself a friend for life. A classmate may not have been in a child’s life for long, but trust me, our kids remember nearly every playdate, experience and conversation. To a military kid, a friendship is treasure they pick up along their journey, a collection of friendships that make up the quilted memory called childhood. Our kids will write, FaceTime, SnapChat, IG and message the heck of out long-distance friends. Military kids have friends across states and continents, but it’s never out of sight out of mind. They are professional friend makers and mean it when they say, “let’s stay in touch.” Kids may not see each other in five years but will pick up exactly where they left off. In truth, our kids need friendships probably more than we’d like to admit. But we promise there is no better friend to have than a military kid. They make the best of friends and I’m thankful for it.

8. Are good for schools. 

There are 1.1 million school aged military kids and most attend public schools. Military parents are usually engaged and involved with their child’s education. Whether it’s volunteering, attending ceremonies, homework help or parent-teacher conferences – military kids come with active parents. Teachers and staff can count on their military family population to enroll students who will enrich their school. All military kids have health insurance and a least one parent is always employed which add stability while living a transient lifestyle. Military students bring a fresh perspective and a healthy dose of tolerance into their classroom. Since military students will attend between six and nine schools through their K-12 education, schools can count on our kids to bring their backpack full of resiliency on their first day of school. They make a school a better place for everyone and I’m thankful for it.

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

(Photo by Mike Fox)

9. Are professional road trippers.

Military kids can make a chaotic PCS move into a full-on adventure. They can turn their seven-state DITY move with two dogs into a family vacation. Sure, it’s painful to spend hours in the car with smelly siblings, but I’ll bet you military kids know more about the 50 states, obscure museums, best food on the go and random side show fun than their civilian counterparts. They can sleep in any bed, on the floor, in the car or any restaurant booth almost on demand. They are giddy about a hotel pools, strange souvenir shops, mountain tops, desert sunsets, giant trees and skyscrapers – military kids never tire of being surprised by world around them. They don’t long to return home, but because home is wherever their family is together and for that, I’m thankful.

10. Embrace diversity because they live it.

The upside of moving around the United States and the globe is military kids are exposed to different languages, cultures, cities and people. At ten-years old, my son could read the metro map at the Frankfurt, Germany train station better than I could. At eight years old, my daughter only knew the name for restroom as Water Closet. They would stay up to watch the Iron Bowl (Alabama vs. Auburn) because that’s where they were born. My kids think Texas is best state in the union, but Ohio is the place they want live because it snows. However, they consider Virginia home because that’s the house they liked best. They witnessed firsthand the Syrian refugee crisis on a train trip to Austria and are forever changed by it. They’ve walked halls and gardens of Alcazar in Spain. They’ve attended mass at Notre Dame in Paris and can point out art from Raphael and Michelangelo in the Vatican because of a school project they finished at a DODEA school. They’ve had school field trips to National Archives in D.C. and placed wreaths on U.S. military tombstones in France, they danced through cathedrals older than the United States and did somersaults on ancient ruins in Rome. Their favorite sport is futbol, but not the American kind. They speak a little of Spanish, German and French, but wish they knew Chinese and Arabic. We are raising good beings. Whether it’s living in Japan or England, Kansas or California – this life allows us to expose them to so many different people and cultures – something their civilian peers can’t easily do. They don’t know a world full people who look and think like them and they are better humans for it. It’s a gift for our kids to live this military lifestyle and I am wholeheartedly thankful for it.

This article originally appeared on Military Spouse. Follow @MilSpouseMag on Twitter.

MIGHTY HISTORY

A Delta Force Marine earned the Navy Cross in Benghazi

Minutes after Tate Jolly arrived at the diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, a mortar hit the compound where an ambassador and another American had been killed and dozens more were trapped.

The Marine gunnery sergeant was one of only two U.S. troops with a small task force that rushed to respond to what quickly became clear was a coordinated attack on the U.S. State Department facility.

It was a remarkable mission. The closest military backup was hours away, which later led to fierce debate about how U.S. troops should be postured to protect Americans and diplomatic posts overseas.


“There was no one even remotely close to being able to go and get them in North Africa,” a source familiar with the operation planning said. “The nearest airplanes were hours away and the nearest ground troops a day away or further.”

The source spoke under the condition of anonymity to talk freely about the Sept. 11, 2012, incident, which remains a topic of controversy in Washington seven years later.

The scene was chaotic when the team arrived, and they quickly tried to restore order. There were nearly 30 panicked people who needed to be evacuated quickly, but the compound was under fire from multiple sides.

“Unfortunately, it was not a whole lot of offense; it was a whole lot of just holding guys off as long as they could to try and get out,” the person familiar with the mission said.

Jolly, who declined a request for an interview, would ultimately be awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism there. The soldier with him, Master Sgt. David Halbruner, received the Army‘s Distinguished Service Cross. The valor awards are exceeded only by the Medal of Honor.

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

Navy Cross.


Little has been known about the Jolly’s actions in Benghazi. There was no public ceremony when he received his valor award and, until recently, his name has not been publicly tied to the mission in media reports.

His hometown paper in North Carolina, the Wilkes Journal-Patriot, recently reported that the 36-year-old who’d graduated from high school about 90 miles north of Charlotte was the Marine who’d gone above and beyond to save other Americans. Jolly recently retired as a master sergeant.

According to testimony, public documents and the person familiar with his actions, Jolly was calm in the face of deadly chaos. He and Halbruner are credited with saving numerous lives that day.

With a rifle strapped to his back amid an onslaught of mortars and machine-gun fire, Jolly tended to the wounded, at one point throwing a man onto his back and shuffling him down a ladder amid a barrage of enemy fire. He helped some get back into the fight and provided vital care to others with life-threatening injuries.

Here’s how then-Gunnery Sgt. Jolly helped get other Americans to safety during a situation that caused a years-long political firestorm thousands of miles away in Washington, D.C.

A Delta Force Marine

Jolly, an infantry assault Marine, was assigned to a Delta Force detachment in Libya at the time of the Benghazi attack. It’s rare, though not unheard of, for Marines to join the elite Army special-operations teams.

The Marine had deployed to Iraq twice before joining the secretive counterterrorism force, spending about five years carrying out clandestine missions before the Benghazi attack and another five after, according to information about his career obtained by Military.com.

He racked up more than a dozen total deployments with Delta Force.

The Navy Cross Jolly received for his actions in Benghazi was his fourth valor award. He has two Bronze Stars with combat “V” devices — one of which he earned for undisclosed reasons during his time with Delta Force, and a second from a 2004-2005 deployment to Ramadi, Iraq.

Jolly also earned a Navy Commendation Medal with combat distinguishing device and a Purple Heart for injuries sustained during that deployment.

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

Purple Heart.

(Senior Airman Dennis Sloan)

According to his award citations, Jolly repeatedly braved enemy fire in Ramadi to help take out an enemy sniper who had ambushed a government center. He received the Navy Commendation Medal for risking his life to destroy roadside bombs when an explosive ordnance disposal team couldn’t reach his unit.

On the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Jolly was about 600 miles away from Benghazi in Tripoli — roughly the same distance between Chicago and Washington, D.C. Since Jolly and Halbruner were some of the only troops in-country, the operation was coordinated not by U.S. Africa Command, but the CIA.

Team Tripoli, made up of Jolly, Halbruner and five others, arrived in Benghazi at about 1:30 a.m. That was about four hours after the attack began, and two since Ambassador Christopher J. Stevens had last been seen alive.

The team was led by Glen Doherty, a Global Response Staff (GRS) security officer and former Navy SEAL, who was later killed. He was Team Tripoli’s medic.

The plan, according to the person familiar with the mission, was to leave the airport and head to the hospital, where they believed Stevens was being treated. When they found out Stevens had died, the first ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since 1979, the team headed to the consulate to bolster the diplomatic security personnel and GRS, a group of private military contractors who were fending off the attackers.

“It could’ve gone really, really bad,” said the source familiar with the mission. “It could’ve become 30 American hostages in North Africa. There were seven shooters going in to protect people who don’t shoot for a living.”

By the time they arrived, Sean Smith, a State Department foreign service officer, had also died. It was still dark, just after 5 a.m., according to a congressional timeline of the attack. Within minutes, the first mortar hit.

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

Sean Smith.

The attacks continued, with one witness estimating there were as many as 100 insurgents spotted surrounding their location in 20- or 30-man groups. It was a skilled enemy, one of the troops there later told members of Congress.

“It’s not easy … to shoot inside the city and get something on the target within two shots — that’s difficult,” the witness testified. “I would say they were definitely a trained mortar team or had been trained to do something similar to that.

“I was kind of surprised,” the service member added. “… It was unusual.”

They were there a matter of hours, but at times witnesses said the team feared they wouldn’t make it out alive. It began to “rain down on us,” one of them told lawmakers.

”I really believe that this attack was planned,” the witness said. “The accuracy with which the mortars hit us was too good for any regular revolutionaries.”

In total, six 81-millimeter mortars assaulted the annex within a minute and 13 seconds, a congressional report on the attack states. Doherty and Tyrone Woods, another former SEAL with the GRS, didn’t survive.

Dave Ubben, a State Department security agent, and Mark “Oz” Geist, another GRS member, were badly hurt. The men were defending the compound from the rooftop, determined to make it look like they had a lot more firepower than they actually did.

“There was a lot of shooting, a lot of indirect fire and explosions,” the source with knowledge of the response said. “It was just guys being really aggressive and doing a good job at making it seem like their element was bigger than it was, like they were less hurt than they were.”

Ubben — who’d testified before a federal court in 2017 that he took shrapnel to his head, nearly lost his leg, and had a grapefruit-sized piece of his arm taken off — was losing blood fast. Geist also had a serious arm injury that needed immediate attention.

Jolly and Halbruner were determined to save them. Amid the fight, they were tying tourniquets to the men’s bodies.

Ubben is alive because Jolly helped move him from the rooftop to a building where diplomatic personnel were hunkered down. Gregory Hicks, who became the acting chief of mission after Stevens died, later described how the gunny did it during a congressional hearing.

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

Ambassador Christopher J. Stevens.

“One guy … full of combat gear climbed up [to the roof], strapped David Ubben, who is a large man, to his back and carried him down the ladder, saved him,” Hicks said.

Jolly and Halbruner also went back out to the rooftop to recover the bodies of the fallen.

“They didn’t know whether any more mortars were going to come in. The accuracy was terribly precise,” Hicks said. “… They climbed up on the roof, and they carried Glen’s body and Tyrone’s body down.”

It was for Jolly’s “valorous actions, dedication to duty and willingness to place himself in harm’s way” to save numerous unarmed Americans’ lives that he earned the Navy Cross, according to his citation.

Bracing for the worst

That attack was traumatic for many of the civilians trapped inside one of the buildings, according to the person with knowledge of the operation. They’d lost their ambassador and another colleague, and they had no experience being caught in a life-and-death combat situation.

Once Jolly and Halbruner brought the injured men in from off the rooftop, the diplomatic staff helped treat their wounds, according to the source familiar with the situation. It gave them a mission as the onslaught continued outside.

As the sun came up, the remaining team members worried that terrorists would overtake the facility. First believed to be the work of the Benghazi-based Ansar al-Sharia group, the attack was coordinated by several networks in the region, including al-Qaida affiliates.

Throughout the night, the Americans had the advantage of night vision, the person familiar with the mission said. In the daylight, it could quickly become an even playing field.

Surprisingly though, it got quieter. They gathered inside one of the buildings and formed an evacuation plan to move the diplomatic staff to the airport and eventually out of Benghazi.

“[They had to talk about] things like, ‘What happens if they came under attack on the way out? Do you know where to go if you are separated from the group or are being shot at?'” according to the person familiar with the plans.

They prepared for the worst: that as the convoy left the compound, they’d be ambushed, everyone would panic, and the terrorists would take hostages. But they made it to the airport without issue and, by 7:31 a.m., the first plane with survivors took off for Tripoli.

“Who would’ve thought seven people could go into Benghazi and get more than 25 people out? Especially without traditional military support?” the person familiar with the mission said. “… But you can do a lot if you’re determined and have no other choice.”

The Defense Department and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later faced a host of criticism over their response to the attack. Critics called it too slow — a congressional investigation finding that despite President Barack Obama and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta clearly ordering the military to deploy response forces, none were sent until almost eight hours after the attacks began.

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

President Obama and Secretary Clinton honor the Benghazi attack victims at the Transfer of Remains Ceremony held at Andrews Air Force Base on Sept. 14, 2012.

(State Department photo)

Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey was asked to explain why he hadn’t dispatched F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets from Italy. He told lawmakers it would’ve been “the wrong tool for the job.”

The Marine Corps, the nation’s go-to crisis-response force, has been particularly responsive in the aftermath of the attack. Since there aren’t enough amphibious ships to stage Marines everywhere they’d like to be at sea, they’ve set up land-based crisis-response forces built to respond to emergencies quickly. Those units include up to 2,200 personnel, along with aircraft and logistics capabilities.

Those units are now based in Europe, the Middle East and Central America. Those assigned to Africa and the Middle East have fielded several State Department requests to evacuate embassy personnel or shore up security when intelligence has indicated a high risk for attack.

The Marine Corps and State Department have also bolstered the number of embassy guards placed at diplomatic posts around the world, standing up dozens of new detachments that previously did not have military personnel.

It was a tragedy to see a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans killed in Benghazi but, sadly, it sometimes takes an awful situation to get the attention of those in charge of policy, the person familiar with the response said.

“It was a bad situation, but a lot of priorities changed after this tragedy that would otherwise never have gotten fixed.”

This article originally appeared on Military.com. Follow @militarydotcom on Twitter.

Articles

Watch the U.S. Air Force’s Lego safety video

WorkSafeBC is the name of the Worker’s Compensation Board of the Canadian province of British Columbia, covering 2.3 million Canadian workers. The Board is responsible for processing claims, complaints, and (among other things) prevention of workplace accidents. This is where they really shine.


The accident prevention videos the Board makes and uploads to YouTube received more the 25 million views since 2006. They’re short and to the point, illustrative of the importance of accident prevention, and have many fans. One such fan is the United States Air Force.

A video called Struck by Mobile Equipment really resonated with the USAF, who formally asked WorkSafeBC if they could use the video as part of their official safety training.

In an article from the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC), an official at WorkSafeBC told CBC he received an email from the Air Force saying “We love this piece. It’s really effective for our target audience in our Mishap Prevention Program for people who are 18 to 24 years old.”

Other areas covered by CBC but not picked up by the Air Force include Returning to Work and Caring for People with Dementia.

 

NOW: This Robot Is Built Like Legos And Can Do Most Ground Missions

OR: 33 of America’s Most Terrifying Nuclear Mishaps

MIGHTY HISTORY

Baseball’s best defensive third baseman also served in the Army National Guard

Most baseball fans recognize the name Brooks Robinson. He played for the Baltimore Orioles from 1955 to 1977 and is widely considered to be the best defensive third baseman ever.

Robinson joined the Arkansas Army National Guard in March 1958. He was activated and assigned to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, and later to the Army‘s 78th Field Artillery Regiment at Fort Hood, Texas.


He served as an ordnance parts specialist. While on the rifle range for qualification with the M1 Garand rifle in November 1958, Robinson received a commendation for his performance as a squad leader for his unit. It stated, ”He has performed his duties in an excellent and commendable manner. It is recommended he be considered for more rapid promotion than his contemporaries.”

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

(Courtesy of the Baltimore Orioles)

Officials with the Arkansas National Guard at Camp Joseph T. Robinson in North Little Rock, Arkansas, said he was honorably discharged from Company A, 739 Ordnance Battalion, in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Jan. 2, 1962.

In 1966, Robinson, by then a civilian, visited troops in all four Corps Tactical Zones of South Vietnam. Traveling with him on the morale-boosting tour were Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals, Joe Torre and Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves, Harmon Killebrew of the Minnesota Twins, and sportscaster Mel Allen.

During the tour, Killebrew was heard telling Robinson that the league champion Orioles played the best ball in the American League that year and that the Orioles deserved to win the pennant.

Robinson helped the Orioles advance to the postseason six times, with Baltimore winning four American League pennants (1966, 1969, 1970 and 1971) and two World Series (1966 and 1970) during his career. In 39 career postseason games, Robinson hit .303 with five homers and 22 runs batted in.

The Orioles retired his No. 5 jersey in 1977. He led all American League third basemen 11 times in fielding percentage and eight times in assists. His 2,870 games at third base rank No. 1 on the all-time list.

Frank Robinson, another baseball great, once said that Brooks was the best defensive player at any position. ”I used to stand in the outfield like a fan and watch him make play after play. I used to think, ‘Wow! I can’t believe this,”’ he said.

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

(Courtesy of the Baltimore Orioles)

Frank Robinson also played for the Orioles. His time with the team overlapped with that of Brooks Robinson from 1966 to 1971.

​More About Brooks Robinson:

  • As a boy, Robinson operated the scoreboard at Lamar Porter Field in Little Rock. The baseball sequence from the 1984 film ”A Soldier’s Story” was filmed there.
  • In 1955, Robinson played baseball in South America; he played in Cuba in 1957.
  • In 2012, a large bronze statue of him was unveiled at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

This article originally appeared on Military.com. Follow @militarydotcom on Twitter.


MIGHTY MILSPOUSE

A letter to the spouses of the mission essential personnel

Dear spouses of the mission essential:

There’s been so much written lately about the heroes on the front lines. The selfless men and women bravely going to their jobs to serve their country and their communities. The ones who are knowingly going to work with patients or customers who could infect them. Yes, we rightfully applaud the truck drivers hauling supplies to replenish depleted stores. We extol the cook at our favorite restaurant who keeps making meals and the employees whose tips have been practically eliminated but still run our orders out to our cars. We watch with sheer amazement and horror as our doctors, nurses and medical staff go into the line of fire lacking basic, necessary protective equipment. We honor you all. We salute you all. We love and respect and are grateful For You All.

But this letter isn’t about that. Nope.


This letter is to you — the spouses of the mission essentials.

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed
Returning home

You are the ones left behind each morning. The ones left to deal with homeschool and meals and kids unable to play with their friends or understand their math homework that they didn’t quite grasp in a packet.

You are the ones left to carry the emotional burdens of children who are frustrated at a Zoom classroom and don’t understand why they can’t have a sleepover or go see grandma or even play at the park. You are the ones who field countless requests for snacks, a thousand utterings of, “I need help,” and even more declarations of, “I can’t do this.”

You put your own work on hold, your own health, your own sanity to muster one more ounce of patience, one more hug, one more deep breath, all while balancing that other nasty, invisible weight: the burden of your own anxiety. Anxious about the world. Anxious about your spouse. Anxious about their health and your health and your parents’ health and your kids’ health and their screen time and your elderly neighbor’s health and the teachers’ health and your job and your neighbor’s job and the economy and your kids’ education, and given your one hour of free time a week, why you suddenly identify with a character on Tiger King.

Here’s the thing: It’s all too much. And it’s going to feel like you’re failing.

Failing by definition means, “a weakness, especially in character; a shortcoming.” But if we’ve seen anything in this time of pandemic, we’ve seen your strength. Your resolve. Your gracious heart. We’ve seen you stay home and help flatten the curve. We’ve seen you take on additional responsibilities so your mission essential spouse could keep being mission essential. We’ve seen you offer encouragement to your friends on FaceTime when you have none to give yourself. We’ve seen you reassure your exhausted partner that everything will be okay, all the while knowing you will lie awake in the dark in the middle of the night, the echoes of your own fears so deafening you can’t fall back asleep.
Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

We see you. You’re going to be okay. Reframe your measure of success to include a bar that allows for just getting by. Find time for gratitude. Make space for prayer or meditation or simply a silence that isn’t broken by fear or anxiety. We are all in this together and your best is good enough. As my seven year old reminded me yesterday, this is his first global pandemic. Ours too, bud. Ours too.

Articles

13 funniest memes for the week of Sept. 30

We scrolled through miles of the Internet to find and present these funny military memes. Please enjoy them.


1. This was a surprise (via Coast Guard Memes).

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

2. Ugh, I still get the ghost weapon panic every once in a while (via The Salty Soldier).

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

3. “Welcome to the advancement exam. There’s a good chance you’ll make sergeant this time.”

(via Sh-t my LPO says)

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed
They should’ve made him walk into an Army promotion board like that.

4. Always be ready to lay waste to your enemies, especially at PTA meetings (via Pop Smoke).

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed
Now you have to have a few kids so that you can properly crew the weapon.

5. The perfect cream to help with Navy service (via Sh-t my LPO says).

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed
Might want to buy it out of pocket, though. Chief will get suspicious if he notices someone ordered it through the Navy.

6. “That’s it? All of it?”

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

7. OMG, Navy. If you lifted more, you would be able to get out (via Pop Smoke).

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed
Never go on land alone, sailors.

8. He has lots of sensitive parts, mostly areas of soft tissue and cartilage (via Military Memes).

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed
Don’t try to get away. It’ll only get worse.

9. We have all sorts of games and prizes (via Pop Smoke).

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

10. Speak softly and carry a few nuclear reactor-powered sticks.

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed
Prepare the be #wrekt.

11. The Air Force needs luggage, not rucks (via Military Memes).

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

12. Funny thing is, she’ll probably still reenlist (via Hey Shipmate).

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

13. “This is a training program, right?”

Checkmate: The details on Russia’s new stealth fighter revealed

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)

Do Not Sell My Personal Information