13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics - We Are The Mighty
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13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics

Politicians hold important positions of power, but their job looks boring as hell. Politicians and political writers like to spice up their stories by using military language like “ambush” while describing a heated discussion at the country club, or “the nuclear option” to explain a change in procedural rules in Congress.


The language definitely spices up the stories, but it sounds ridiculous to people who have actually been ambushed or had to contemplate a true nuclear option. Here are 13 terms that make politicians sound melodramatic.

1. Ambush

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Photo: US Army Sgt. Daniel Johnson

An ambush is a surprise attack launched from a concealed position against an unsuspecting enemy. Some politicians have been ambushed like Julias Caesar or Charles Sumner. But this term gets used to describe things like Republicans proposing a law the Democrats don’t like. That’s not an ambush. It’s just the legislative process.

2. Bite the bullet

Associated with battlefield medicine before anesthetic, to “bite the bullet” is to face down adversity without showing fear or pain. The term is thought to come from battlefield wounded biting bullets to make it through surgery while fully awake. Obviously, politicians on a committee finally doing their jobs shouldn’t be equated with soldiers enduring traumatic medical treatment without anesthesia.

3. Boots on the ground

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Photo: US Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Andrew D. Thorburn

Boots on the ground has a relatively short history that the BBC investigated. Surprise, it’s a military term. It is used by politicians and most senior military to refer to troops specifically deployed in a ground combat role. “Boots on the ground” numbers don’t generally count Marines guarding embassies or Special Forces advising foreign governments.

What’s surprising is that, though the term is used so narrowly when referring to military operations, it’s used so broadly when referring to political volunteers. Any group of college students knocking on doors or putting up pamphlets can be called “boots-on-the-ground,” even if the volunteers are all wearing tennis shoes and flip-flops.

4. D-Day

Not every “D-Day” for the military is the Normandy landings of 1944, but D-Day is still a big deal. It’s the day an operation will kick off, when after months of planning some troops will assault an enemy village or begin a bombing campaign of hostile military bases. In politics, the terms is used to describe election day. This is weird to vets for two reasons. First, D-Day is the first day of an operation, while election day is the final day of an election campaign. But worse, D-Day is when friendly and enemy troops will meet in combat, killing each other. For politicians, it’s when they get a new job or find out they better update their resume.

5. Front lines

The forward most units of a military force, pressed as close to the enemy’s army as the commander will allow, form the frontline. This is typically a physically dangerous place to be, since that means they’re generally within enemy rifle and artillery range. Contrast that with politicians “on the front lines,” who may sit next to their “enemy” and exchange nothing more lethal than passive-aggressive banter.

6. In the crosshairs

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Ryan Walker

Obvious to anyone who has used a rifle scope or watched a sniper movie, someone who is in the crosshairs is in peril of being shot very soon. Political parties who are sparring in the media do not typically find their leaders, “in the enemy’s crosshairs,” as Sarah Palin wrote in a Facebook post according to the Associated Press. Political parties generally fight through press releases and tweets, significantly less dangerous than using rifles.

7. In the trenches

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Ernest Brooks

Politicians love to describe themselves as veterans who have spent years in the trenches. Trenches aren’t used much in modern warfare, mostly because of just how horrible trenches are even for a winning army. Trenches fill with water, bugs, and rats. They’re claustrophobic and are easily targeted by enemy artillery and bombers, so they’re a dangerous defense to stay in. Politicians spend very little time in these. When politicians say they were “in the trenches,” they’re generally referring to fundraisers at local restaurants. Oh, the horror.

8. Line of fire

The Guardian once published an article titled “General in the line of fire,” which sounds bloody and dangerous, but is actually about a bunch of attorney generals experiencing harsh criticism, not incoming rounds. The line of fire is the area where all the bullets are flying as enemies try to kill someone. Political lines of fire are just where reporters are asking a lot of hard questions.

9. Nuclear option

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Photo: Department of Defense

Putin has a nuclear option. The U.S. Senate has some control over a nuclear option. However, when Congress changed the rules for a fillibuster, that wasn’t the nuclear option. That was a change in procedural bylaws. It’s easy to tell the difference. One destroys entire cities in moments. The other makes it harder to block a presidential nominee for office.

10. Scorched-Earth

scorched-earth political campaign is when a politician is willing to break alliances to win. True scorched earth though, comes when an army breaches the enemy border and starts destroying everything in their path. Atlanta suffered real scorched earth when Maj. Gen. William Sherman burnt the city nearly to the ground while destroying railroads on his way to Savannah.

11. Shock and awe

Like “blitzkrieg” and “all-out war” before it, “shock and awe” is now a popular phrase for describing a political struggle where one side has engaged every asset at their disposal. However, when political fights actually reach the level of blitzkriegs or Operation Shock and Awe, that’s called a civil war. When a politician is spending a bunch of money or smearing an opponent, that’s called campaigning. Completely different things.

12. Take no prisoners

Combat soldiers frequently have to decide whether to try and take prisoners or kill anyone who doesn’t immediately surrender. Politicians, however, should never be in a situation where they decide to take no prisoners. They have an office job. They should only be deciding whether to take a phone call, or whether to take a dump.

13. The War Room/The Situation Room

James Carville and George Stephanopoulos ran President Bill Clinton’s “War Room” for the 1992 elections while Wolf Blitzer anchors the news for CNN from The Situation Room, which CNN describes as “The command center for breaking news.” First, while Clinton’s 1992 run was tumultuous, nothing going into the War Room was on par with combat operations. Second, Wolf Blitzer is not the commander of anything. He’s a photogenic TV personality. Carville was in a political strategy room. Blitzer works in a newsroom.

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This huge Navy shipyard allegedly funded an illegal security militia for years

The Navy’s largest shipyard maintained a private, off-the-books, and illegal security force for more than a decade after the 9/11 terror attacks, costing taxpayers $21 million, the Navy inspector general reports.


The Norfolk ship yard in Portsmouth, VA established an unsanctioned security force with a glut of funding in the early 2000s, then purchased millions of dollars of high-tech security equipment and hid it from the Navy authorities for years, the IG said.

“These folks are not law enforcement, but they wanted to be, and all of their actions were done to become a law enforcement organization,” Peter Lintner, deputy director of investigations at Naval Sea Systems Command, told Federal News Radio. “The stunning thing is that this happened over the course of seven commanding officers, and not a single one of them put a stop to it or really even had any visibility on it. Everybody just thought, ‘Well, they’re the good guys. They’re the security department. They’re not going to do anything wrong.’ In actuality, they were doing everything wrong, and they knew it.”

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
A Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team crew, temporarily deployed from San Francisco, provides an escort for the USS Cole as the Navy destroyer returns to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. US Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert.

The IG conducted the the investigation in 2014 after following a tip to the NAVSEA whistleblower hotline, but the report was only recently made available.

The security force acquired surplus equipment — including Berettas, ammunition, scopes, patrol boats, and vehicles — from the Defense Logistics Agency. Government Accountability Office investigators were able to purchase surplus military equipment for a fake law enforcement agency recently, proving that the process for purchasing military equipment is not very rigorous.

The IG estimates that the Navy spent $10.6 million on labor and payroll for the unsanctioned security force, and $10.4 million on the excess equipment.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tyrell K. Morris

The Norfolk security crews went to extreme lengths to keep their stockpile of equipment a secret. They created fake license plates for their vehicles, and would move their cache of weapons and tech off-base whenever the Navy’s asset manager came around to take inventory.

“They drove all the vehicles out, loaded everything on the flatbed and stashed it in one of the back parking lots on the local naval base,” Lintner said. “When the asset manager got there, it was literally an empty warehouse, but the day before it had been packed full of tools, vehicles, all types of material.”

When investigators confronted those in charge, “they admitted they hid it deliberately,” Lintner said. “That’s what they said every time: ‘If anybody found out what we had, they would have taken it away from us and we wanted to be ready for any contingency.’  Their motto was, ‘It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.'”

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6 tips to live the best life ever from USAF vet Bob Ross

With his soothing voice and famous catchphrases, Robert Norman “Bob” Ross inspired many Americans to pick up a paintbrush and put it to canvas.  


The famed oil painter brought “Happy Little Trees” and “Mystic Mountains” to our television screens for many years with his show “The Joy of Painting”, which aired from 1983 until 1994 on PBS. What many people may not know about Ross is that prior to being an instructional painter, he was a military man.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Bob Ross before and after…

In fact, Mr. Ross served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years, 1961-1981, where he would achieve the rank of Master Sergeant. Ross held main leadership positions, which included serving as a first sergeant.

Ross said in a 1990 interview with the Orlando Sentinel that he had jobs in the Air Force that required him to be “tough and mean;” however, it did not fit his personality and he vowed to change when he left the service.

“I was the guy who makes you scrub the latrine, the guy who makes you make your bed, the guy who screams at you for being late to work,” he said. ”The job requires you to be a mean, tough person. And I was fed up with it. I promised myself that if I ever got away from it, it wasn’t going to be that way anymore.”

While some aspects of military life could be rough and not appealing to him, it did play a part in his success following his post-military career.

Unfortunately, the world lost Bob Ross way too soon in 1995 after a long battle with lymphoma. He was only 52 years old.

Along with his paintings, Bob Ross left us so many incredible life lessons that we can all learn from. Here are 6 of those lessons:  

1. Inspiration can come from anywhere

It was his time while stationed in Alaska that inspired much of his work. Many of his paintings feature mountains covered in snow as well as open landscapes. While he may have not always liked the military lifestyle, he found peace living in the “Last Frontier.”

Along with his time in Alaska, the rapid speed in which he painted was also inspired by his military background. Ross leveraged his work pace in his military career to translate it to his painting technique. Aspects in your everyday life can serve as moments of inspiration.

2. Do not set limitations

Bob Ross was never one to set rules when he was painting. He would typically tell his viewers “paint what you want,” or “do what you feel.” Many art teachers may follow the traditional rules of painting but Bob Ross likes to throw out the rule book.   

3. Staying calm

Bob Ross was one cool individual. He never seemed to get stressed out or frustrated when he was painting. His tone was always so relaxing, and he always seemed to put life into perspective when his was painting. Ross remained calm on a consistent basis, which had a direct link to his performance. This cool demeanor allowed him to complete thousands of paintings throughout his career making him not only a great painter but a successful TV personality and businessman.

4. Follow your passion

Following his military career, Bob Ross could have easily taken the conservative route working a regular job. Instead he took a risk by following his passion for painting, and he devoted his life to it. In the process of following his dreams, he helped others discover a love for the arts. It is an accomplished that only a few of us dare to do because many of us have a fear of failure.

5. Stay positive

Having a great attitude in life is not always easy. Let’s face it life is hectic. However, Bob Ross always seem to have an optimistic viewpoint. Even when he made a mistake, he would say “there are no mistakes, just happy accidents”

6. Believe in yourself

At the 2:29 mark of this clip Bob Ross gives us his best advice saying the following “The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it. Anything that you believe you can do strong enough, you can do. Anything. As long as you believe.” If you ever start to doubt yourself just remember these words.

Bob Ross’ influence and legacy is enduring to this day. Luckily for us, Netflix announced this past June that it is now streaming his other show “Beauty is Everywhere” on its service giving a whole new generation of people the chance to discover his great work, positive vibes and of course his glorious afro.

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7 of the most lethal Navy weapons in history

The Navy has the mission of securing American interests on the ocean, otherwise known as “most of the planet.” Here are 7 weapons that have help them fight battles throughout the  years:


1. Tomahawk Land Attack Missile- one of the most dangerous weapons

At $569,000 apiece, Tomahawks are expensive cruise missiles that pack a huge punch. They fly at 550 mph and have a maximum range between 700 and 1350 nautical miles, depending on which version of the missile is used. They can carry either 166 bomblets, a 1,000-pound conventional warhead, or the W80 nuclear warhead with a 5-150 kt yield. The Block IV Tomahawk missiles can even be reprogrammed in flight to hit different targets.

2. MK 48 Heavyweight Torpedo

The MK 48 heavy torpedo has 650 pounds of high-explosives packed into its warhead. It can swim at 28 knots for more than 5 miles to reach its target, homing in on it with an advanced sonar system. The Mod 7 version has sonar and guidance for better engaging targets in both deep and littoral waters while getting past enemy countermeasures.

3. Trident II Ballistic Missile

Deployed aboard Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, each Trident II can carry 14 independently-targeted nuclear warheads. The warheads can be the W76 with a yield of 100 kt or the W88 which yields a 475-kt explosion. The submarines were built to carry 24 each. The number of nuclear warheads on a Trident II was limited to eight and the number of missiles on each submarine was limited to 20 by nuclear treaties.

4. Standard Missile- There’s really nothing standard about this weapon.

The Standard Missile has a boring name but awesome capabilities. It’s a family of missiles that are primarily for shooting down planes and helicopters but can also attack ships, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles. One even took out a satellite.

Currently, different missiles are needed for different missions. The SM-2 can cripple an enemy ship while the SM-3 focuses on ballistic missiles. The youngest member of the family may change that. The SM-6 has successfully engaged cruise and ballistic missiles and may be tested against surface ships in the future.

5. MK 50 Advanced lightweight torpedo

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Photo: US Navy Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Brien Aho

While the MK 50 is much lighter than the MK 48 above, it still hits with an impressive 100-pound warhead and can swim at a blistering 40 knots. Designed to chase down and destroy double-hulled nuclear submarines, the MK 50 was created to get past torpedo countermeasures and kill the enemy, even in shallow water. It’s one hell of a weapon.

6. Laser Weapon System

Yes, this weapon is exactly what it sounds like. Already deployed aboard the USS Ponce, the Navy’s Laser Weapon System concentrates light into a fine point, heating a target until it burns or explodes. So far, the laser has only been used in tests but the crew of the USS Ponce is allowed to use the laser to defend the ship from actual threats. The laser can fire at different targets in rapid succession. Since shots cost less than a dollar each, double-tapping is probably fine.

7. Railgun

Like the laser above, the railgun is currently serving on only one Navy ship. The USNS Millinocket carries the prototype weapon, essentially a cannon that uses magnets instead of chemical propellants to fire a round over 110 nautical miles. Because the round is moving so fast, it can bust bunkers and other hard targets without the need for explosives. Also, the railgun is expected to be able to engage missiles, speedboats, and aircraft at a fraction of the cost of other weapons.

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Wounded Warrior Project and USAA team up to combat veteran PTSD

June is officially recognized as PTSD awareness month for the United States. But for the leadership at the Wounded Warrior Project and over at USAA, it’s about more than talking about it. For these organizations, it’s about really digging in to make a difference.

Army Lt. Gen. (ret.) Mike Linnington has been the CEO of Wounded Warrior Project since 2016. When he left active duty after 35 years of service, Linnington said he saw WWP as an extension of his military service. 

“Mental health is a big concern of ours and is a focus area of our strategic plan and consumes about half our efforts,” he explained. USAA has been a big supporter for WWP programming. “Anything we can do together to raise awareness of the invisible wounds of war, primarily post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and depression or other mental health illnesses, and get people the care they need to heal is important.”

Linnington shared an example of how a broken bone would be cause for an immediate emergency room visit but when it comes to mental health, veterans won’t rush to heal it. “They feel like they don’t deserve it because they aren’t physically injured or because of that stigma associated with it,” he said. 

WWP is constantly working toward breaking down the stigma around mental health for veterans. It’s a commitment shared by USAA. 

Navy Vice Adm. (ret.) John Bird is USAA’s Senior Vice President of Military Affairs. Bird served on active duty for 35 years before retiring. “USAA was founded by the military — 25 Army officers, 100 years ago — for the military. For us, it’s more than products and services, it’s an advocacy position,” he explained. “We need to care for veterans, those who are wounded. They deserve it…we are a far cry from experts on PTSD or a number of things we advocate for but that’s why we partner with organizations like General Linnington’s.”

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Vice Adm. Scott R. Van Buskirk, right, relieves Vice Adm. John M. Bird as commander of U.S. 7th Fleet during a change of command ceremony a board the amphibious command ship command USS Blue ridge. Van Buskirk is the 47th commander of U.S. 7th Fleet. U.S. 7th Fleet is responsible for the largest area of the Navy’s numbered fleets and operates in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans.

As America prepares to mark 20 years at war in September 2021, it’s important to recognize the still unseen consequences of the longest-sustained conflict in our country’s history. 

“I do worry about the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the drawdown in Afghanistan,” Linnington said. “It could be a triggering event for many veterans…the need doesn’t stop because the number of our troops deployed is reduced.”

WWP conducted a survey which revealed 93% of its warriors experienced severe mental injury during their military service. It’s important to note PTSD doesn’t always show up immediately, especially as service members are in the thick of their service. It can be years later before it’s recognized for what it is and it’s a reality we can’t wait for.

Bird also touched on force readiness and how without supporting America’s all volunteer force in every way, it could essentially disappear.

Both leaders noted the importance of also recognizing not all veterans have PTSD. This is something in particular that creates a significant barrier to treatment seeking. The Cohen Veterans Network conducted a survey recently and it revealed that a staggering 67% of Americans assume all veterans have PTSD. 

Almost a quarter of those surveyed also believe the veteran’s diagnosis is dangerous. 

The VA has estimated that around 11-20% of veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD, a far lower number than the everyday American assumes. 

Another stigma both leaders find themselves battling is one many veterans tend to hold onto themselves. It’s the thought that someone else has it worse and deserves the help more than they do. But the reality is 1 in 11 Americans will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime and it is the brain’s normal reaction to an abnormal event. 

“It is significant. Some people call it a crisis. It certainly is large and looming within the military community but it goes far beyond that. It is debilitating to the person to the point of being fatal,” Bird noted. “They [veterans] deserve this. This isn’t something that’s a hand out, they earned it and we are duty bound to provide it.”

Another point both leaders agreed on was the value and importance of harnessing and fostering a deep sense of community and connection for veterans. 

“It’s important for organizations like ours and USAA…keeping veterans connected so they realize they aren’t alone,” Linnington stressed. 

Bird echoed that sentiment and shared a story from an internal panel held by USAA on PTSD. He said a veteran took a call he almost ignored. Had he not, the situation may have turned out much differently. “So much of it is just reaching out and connecting,” he explained. 

Though neither retired military leader believes they have all the answers, both recognize the power of support and healing is much stronger when you work together. For WWP and USAA, the fight on serving veterans and helping them work through PTSD is one they are all in on. 
If you or a veteran you care about is struggling, the Veterans Crisis Line has 24/7 support waiting for you. It’s confidential support available to all veterans, even if they aren’t registered with the VA. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1.

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‘House of Cards’ is looking for veterans

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics


If you’re a veteran living in the Washington, DC area, the hit Netflix series House of Cards wants you. Filming on the fourth season starts this July and they’re looking for extras. The show wants to cast men and women who actually served.

There’s always a chance they’ll give someone a line which would get you into the actors union which could lead to a huge action movie career. Or you could at least be visible in a couple of shots, allowing you to show the episodes to your friends and family and talk about what it was like to work with Kevin Spacey.

Check out the details from Project Casting below. They’re very concerned that applicant follow instructions to the letter, but that should be easy for anyone who served and got an honorable discharge, right?

Also, when showbiz folks say “play either right before or right after the July 4th weekend,” they mean “film either right before or right after the July 4th weekend.”

How to apply:

MILITARY VETERAN (age 28–40, male AND female) – Preferably someone who actually toured overseas in Iraq or Afghanistan. This will play either right before or right after the July 4th weekend. Please have a flexible schedule.

TO APPLY please email: mhc.drama@gmail.com WITH

1. Height

2. Weight

3. Age

4. Waist and Jacket/dress sizes

5. Three (3) Selfies. Selfies, not headshots. Must be recent!

6. What military experience you have

Paid-Up SAG members, please email sag.mhc@gmail.com.

Subject Line: VETERAN

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This article originally appeared at Military.com Copyright 2014. Follow Military.com on Twitter.

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HOAX: ISIS forced to ban burqas after women kill jihadis with hidden pistols

Islamic State leaders have been forced to abandon one of their religious beliefs by no longer forcing Muslim women to wear the burqa in public. The reason: Women under ISIS domination are fighting back – and using the face-and-body covering garment to do it.


Using clothing items to cover women’s bodies is common in the Islamic world. Many Muslim women are not forced to wear these garments, they are proud to do so. In some areas, however, the law does force women to wear certain coverings.

These items range from a simple headscarf, called a “hijab,” to the full-body burqa.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Afghan women wait outside a USAID-supported health care clinic.

The burqa became synonymous with the harsh treatment of women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

Now, under penalty of torture and death, ISIS forces women to wear such a garment in cities under its control.

They used to, anyway.

According to the International Business Times, sources inside the ISIS-held city of Mosul in Iraq say a Muslim woman in full veil shot and killed two ISIS fighters at a checkpoint south of the city’s center. She used a pistol hidden under her burqa to do it.

ISIS is now on the alert for similar attacks.

Burqas are used by women in some parts of the Muslim world, but Iraq and Syria are typically not among them. Syria, traditionally a secular state, discourages the use of Islamic head coverings. When the Syrian city of Manbij was liberated from the Islamic State by Kurdish fighters in August, VICE’s Tess Owen reported women burning their burqas. Some lit cigarettes from the burning garments.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Women burning their burqas and men cutting their beards after ISIS is pushed out of Manbij.

“Damn this stupid invention that they made us wear,” IndiaTimes quoted a recently freed woman as she lit her burqa on fire.

Update 9/9/16: As great as this story was to think about, it turned out to be part of a misinformation campaign by Iran.

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This is why World War I-era British spies used semen as invisible ink

The first head of Britain’s secret service — which would one day be called MI6 — carried a swordstick, drove a personal tank, and would sometimes stab his wooden leg with a pen just to see how people reacted.


If that wasn’t enough to make him eccentric, his department also discovered that semen makes an excellent invisible ink.

 

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
It’s probably best not to ask why. Or how.

 

No one actually knows which British agent was the one who came up with the idea, but the book “Six: The Real James Bonds 1909-1939” notes that his fellow spies made so much fun of him that he had to be transferred to another office.

His name was — no joke — Captain Sir Mansfield Cumming and his agents lived by the motto, “Every man his own stylo.”

The truth was, British spies were searching for the perfect invisible ink during World War I and thought natural fluids were the ideal. The major issue with using semen to write letters? The smell eventually becomes very distinctive.

Cumming ruled that agents abroad using this method of secret messaging ensure their ink was fresh for every letter.

 

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Gloves, fellas?

 

The book details an agent in Copenhagen, a Maj. Richard Holme, who apparently kept a ready supply on hand.

“…his letters stank to high heaven and we had to tell him that a fresh operation was necessary for each letter.”

In “Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies: The Story of Invisible Ink,” Kristie Macrakis writes that Cumming began inquiring about the use of bodily fluids as invisible ink as early as 1915 and told Walter Kirke, Deputy Head of Military Intelligence that he thought the best invisible ink was indeed semen.

 

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
A sex joke that was a little too on the nose even for the Bond series, apparently (MGM)

 

Semen does not react to the iodine vapor test, a method that then turned all known invisible inks brown. This was particularly attractive to the spy agency, but unfortunately (for spies — not for those concerned with hotel cleanliness) heat develops semen ink and it appears in ultraviolet light.

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This Hollywood ranch was built just for Hitler

A short hike North of Los Angeles’ famed Sunset Boulevard in Will Rogers State Park will lead you to a seemingly out-of-place, abandoned WWII-era complex fit for a king. But this ranch wasn’t built for a king; it was built for a Führer.


13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Just take the 405 Norrth and exit about 80 years ago.

What is today condemned and covered with graffiti was built by American Nazi sympathizers to be a world-class command center for Adolf Hitler’s “Thousand-Year Reich,” Left Coast Edition. Built with the intention of winning the hearts of the Hollywood Elite, the bunker was also supposed to regale Hitler with the luxury and symbolic power of wealth that only a bunker in LA could provide.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Or Scientology, but the Stephens weren’t as strict as Scientologists, they were just Nazis. (Photo by Domas Mituzas)

We tend to forget the world of the 1920’s and 1930’s wasn’t so cut and dry as we like to imagine. While Fascism wasn’t as popular as other social movements, it hadn’t entirely slid off its rocker into the genocidal megalomania we associate it with today. That is to say a lot of people though Fascism was a good idea, including a number of Americans.

One such American was Jessie M. Murphy, a widower who purchased a 50-acre tract of land North of Los Angeles, the namesake of the Murphy Ranch. The only problem is Jessie Murphy never existed. Jessie Murphy was really a pseudonym created by Winona and Norman Stephens, who fancied themselves “Silvershirts.”

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Silver Nazis.

Silvershirts were members of the Silver Legion of America, an organization of Nazi sympathizers founded by a North Carolinian named William Pelley. The Silvershirts were a white supremacist, anti-Semitic group who wore campaign hats and blue trousers to go with their silver shirts, sort of like glittery drill sergeants with a red “L” over their hearts.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Kinda like that, but with more glitter, I think. (For the record, Laverne De Fazio was definitely not a Nazi)

Pelley even ran for President in 1936, but was trounced with everyone else who thought running against President Franklin Roosevelt was a good idea. Once elected, Pelley hoped to create a “Silver Revolution” and turn the U.S. into a Fascist state.

The Stephens built the Los Angeles compound sometime in the 1930s at the behest of a Nazi agent known only as “Herr Schmidt.” It was designed to be a long-term, self-sufficient base for Nazi activities in the United States. Complete with water storage tanks and a bomb shelter, it cost the Stephens the equivalent of $66 million in today’s U.S. dollars.

The Silvershirts there were rounded up the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Three days later, Hitler declared a state of war between Nazi Germany and the United States. The complex fell into a state of disrepair and is now property of Los Angeles County.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
The front gate (Photo by Jamie Martin @mcflygoes88mph)

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
No Nazis here. (Photo by Jamie Martin @mcflygoes88mph)

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
(Photo by Jamie Martin @mcflygoes88mph)

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
(Photo by Jamie Martin @mcflygoes88mph)

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
The Water Tank (Photo by Jamie Martin @mcflygoes88mph)

If the Axis powers had won World War II, it seems LA might have been the capital of the Western Reich.

 

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Here are the best military photos of the week

The military has very talented photographers in the ranks, and they constantly attempt to capture what life as a service member is like during training and at war. Here are the best military photos of the week:


AIR FORCE:

F-22A Raptors with the 94th Fighter Squadron drop joint direct attack munitions during the 95th anniversary of when Gen. William Billy Mitchell bombed the Ostfriesland, a captured German warship, at Langley Air Force Base, Va., July 21, 2016. Mitchell and the 1st Provisional Air Brigade demonstrated to the world the superiority of airpower by sinking the reputedly unsinkable Ostfriesland.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. J.D. Strong II

Members of the Alaska Air National Guard’s 210th, 211th and 212th Rescue Squadrons and 176th Security Forces Squadron, along with the 163rd SFS from the California Air National Guard, participated in a mass casualty exercise on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, July 20, 2016. During the exercise, the rescue operators located, assessed, treated and evacuated numerous casualties while engaging and eliminating multiple attacks from opposition forces.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
U.S. Air National Guard photo/Staff Sgt. Edward Eagerton

ARMY:

A CH-47 Chinook helicopter crews conduct mass casualty evacuation during a training mission at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Operations Group, JRTC and Fort Polk, La., July 23, 2016. The aviation units from the New York Army National Guard and Maryland National Guard joined more than 5,000 Soldiers for a training rotation aimed at increasing readiness and support capabilities to the homeland when needed.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
U.S. National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Hanna

A crew chief, assigned to the Arizona National Guard, directs German Bundeswehr soldiers off a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter to an assembly area during Operation Stalwart Strike III, a Polish, Hungarian, German and U.S. exercise conducted by Kosovo Forces at Camp Vrelo, Kosovo, July 27.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
U.S. Army photo by Capt. Casey Martin

NAVY:

PACIFIC OCEAN (July 31, 2016) The nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) conducts helicopter operations at sunset during Rim of the Pacific 2016. Twenty-six nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft, and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 30 to Aug. 4, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Noble

ARABIAN GULF (July 31, 2016) – A pilot performs pre-flight checks on an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Wildcats of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131 on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike). Ike and its Carrier Strike Group are deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class J. Alexander Delgado

MARINE CORPS:

Marines from 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, attached to Australian 1st Armoured Regiment, 1st Brigade, help support their M-88A2 Hercules Armoured Recovery Vehicle during Exercise Hamel in Cultana Training Area, South Australia, Australia, July 3-12, 2016. Exercise Hamel is a trilateral training exercise with Australian, New Zealand, and U.S. forces to enhance cooperation, trust, and friendship.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Mandaline Hatch

An unlucky Marine sits under a tarp to keep dry from the rain at Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii July 15, 2016. Marines with III Marine Expeditionary Force are participating in Rim of the Pacific 2016, a multinational military exercise, from June 29 to Aug. 4 in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Isaac Ibarra

COAST GUARD:

Piper has made it to Grand Haven, Michigan for the Coast Guard Festival!

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
U.S. Coast Guard photo

The last 41-foot UTB to be retired from service welcomes visitors to Grand Haven, Michigan.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
U.S. Coast Guard photo

Articles

Top 10 Air Force movie characters of all time

Shortly after Orville and Wilbur stopped making bicycles and started hanging out around Kitty Hawk, Hollywood took to making movies about those who venture into the wild blue yonder.


Here are the best Air Force characters they’ve created over the years. Remember: half of these guys are real people. That’s what makes being in the military so great – the chance to do something someone might make a movie about one day.

1. Captain Virgil “The Cooler King” Hilts — “The Great Escape”

The Great Escape is one of the best heist-style films of all time. It’s also one of the best military films of all time, based on the true story of a group of Allied POWs put together in a Nazi “escape-proof” camp because of their ability to escape from POW camps.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics

Captain Hilts of the Army Air Corps constantly frustrates guards with escape attempts, landing him in solitary confinement, or the “cooler.” Hilts is easily #1 on this list, not only because he’s depicted on screen by Steve “The King of Cool” McQueen, but also because the real guy this character is based on David M. Jones.

Jones was an Air Corps pilot who started World War II as a Doolittle Raider (the character can also be seen in “Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo”), and flew sorties over North Africa before being captured and held by the Germans for nearly three years. Jones survived the war and went on to a 37-year career in the Air Force.

2 . Lt. Col. James Rhodes aka War Machine — “Iron Man”

James Rupert “Rhodey” Rhodes is not based on a real character, though having the War Machine around IRL would make life a lot easier for much of the Air Force (and the lawless areas of Pakistan too… probably).

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics

Rhodes is the stable, dependable version of Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (In the Marvel Comic, Rhodey is a Marine). Colonel Rhodes is also Stark’s best friend and the DoD liaison to Stark Industries, which means he gets to pal around on private jets and hang with the Avengers while taking down terrorists and robot drones (that aren’t American).

 3. Lt. Colonel Iceal Hambleton — “BAT 21”

BAT 21 is a the dramatized story of the rescue of Lt Col. Hambleton (whose call sign was BAT 21 Bravo), the largest, longest and most complex search and rescue operation of the Vietnam War. He was the navigator on a USAF EB-66 aircraft and an expert in signals intelligence whose aircraft was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Hambleton was the only survivor, but his parachute took him well behind the North Vietnamese lines.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics

With the amount of classified information in Hambleton’s head, capture by the communists would have been extremely detrimental to U.S. security. Hambleton (played by Gene Hackman, who is awesome in every movie) makes radio contact with Birddog and makes his way South to be picked up.

To communicate his intended path, Hambleton, in true Air Force fashion, uses a code comprised of various golf courses he knows. The actual rescue of Hambleton took 11 days, six American troops’ lives, a lot more ARVN lives, and another plane being shot down.

In real life Hambleton was rescued by Navy SEAL Thomas R. Norris (who was awarded the Medal of Honor for the rescue) and a South Vietnamese Navy Petty Officer.

4. Capt. John Yossarian — “Catch-22”

Alan Arkin headlines the legendary cast of Catch-22 as Yossarian, a US Army Air Forces B-25 Bombardier, stationed in the Mediterranean during WWII. He’s committed to flying the dangerous missions as quickly as possible so he can go home, but his squadron commander keeps raising the required number of missions.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics

Yossarian can’t even claim a mental breakdown to go home because famously, Airmen “would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he’d have to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t, he was sane and had to.”

5. Airman Second Class Adrian Cronauer — “Good Morning, Vietnam”

Another real Airman, A2C Cronauer is an Armed Forces Radio Service DJ stationed in Vietnam whose DJ style is less than appreciated by his superiors but beloved by the men in the field.

 

When Cronauer is suspended for his style and his determination to read the news, the command is flooded with letters demanding his reinstatement. Few things in life are more satisfying than someone thumbing their nose at a stodgy old command.

Cronauer’s real-life show was called “Dawn Buster” and its opening was immortalized forever by Robin Williams’ GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING VIETNAM.

 6. Hannibal Lee — “The Tuskegee Airmen”

Some points have to be added when the whole world is against you, even your own government. Lee was loosely based on Robert W. Williams, an actual Tuskegee Airman who helped co-author the screenplay.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics

In the film (and IRL), the famous group of African American pilots struggling to join the US war effort as capable fighter pilots finally get their chance when Hannibal Lee (Fishburne) and his wingman get the chance to protect B-17s over Italy and sink a destroyer for good measure.

 7. Robert “Dutch” Holland — “Strategic Air Command”

Jimmy Stewart plays Holland, a St. Louis Cardinals baseball player who is on inactive reserve in the Air Force who gets recalled to active duty for 21 months, which would be unbelievable for anyone else but Jimmy Stewart. Stewart, whose family military tradition dated back to the Civil War, enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a private, was an officer pilot within a year, and so enjoyed bombing Germans in his spare time he would eventually retire from the Air Force Reserve after 27 years. Holland’s life is on constant hold as he is on alert status to deter the Soviets from starting WWIII. He forces a landing of a damaged aircraft in Greenland after his crew bailed out then flies new jets to Japan with a broken arm from that landing, an injury which ends both his military career and his baseball career, and he seems mildly okay with it.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
 

Holland’s life is on constant hold as he is on alert status to deter the Soviets from starting WWIII. He forces a landing of a damaged aircraft in Greenland after his crew bailed out then flies new jets to Japan with a broken arm from that landing, an injury which ends both his military career and his baseball career, and he seems mildly okay with it.

8. Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper — “Dr. Strangelove”

A commie-obsessed Air Force General, he starts World War III after describing a Communist plot to pollute the bodily fluids of Americans. He launches an all-out attack on the USSR and refuses to give the codes that will belay the launch orders.

Air Force Movie Characters

While the Kubrick’s masterpiece obviously isn’t based on a real war, the crazed General is based on Air Force General Curtis LeMay, who once threatened to bomb the Soviet Union back into the Stone Age. 

9. Colonel Jack O’Neil — “Stargate”

Who better to lead a team through an alien-created wormhole navigated by hieroglyphs uncovered in Giza than a career Air Force Special Operations officer? No one, obviously, as Colonel Jack O’Neil (Kurt Russell, with a severe flat top) takes a day off of contemplating suicide to lead one last mission to destroy the Stargate and ends up saving humanity by beaming a nuclear weapon onto an alien ship.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics

It’s not (just) science fiction. It’s what we do every day.

10. American Astronaut George Taylor — “Planet of the Apes (1968)”

George Taylor’s background doesn’t specifically mention his Air Force affiliation, but does mention he was a West Point grad in 1941 and flew missions in World War II and Korea, and his then becoming an astronaut is clearly indicative of a U.S. Army Air Corps to Air Force transition.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics

So the Air Force gets Charlton Heston (also Marky Mark Wahlberg‘s Capt. Leo Davidson from the 2001 remake, clearly identified his tribe as United States Air Force). Taylor earns a spot on this list because of Charlton Heston’s iconic performance.

Edit 5/28 2:07 pm:

Twitterati and US Air Force Pararescue Jumper @PJMatt reminded me about the 1983 epic The Right Stuff and Sam Shepard’s badass take on the legendary USAF test pilot Chuck Yeager.

The author hangs his head in shame as both a film student and Air Force veteran. Few scenes in cinema rival the scene where Yeager is walking away from a smoldering heap, badly burned, holding his parachute because anyone who’s ever met Yeager in real life knows that’s the kind of badass sh*t he did every day of his career.

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics

Articles

This Army private is to blame for military cadence calls

Don’t like yelling in formation? Well, you can blame one soldier from World War II for all those early morning sing-alongs.


Pvt. Willie Duckworth was a young soldier at Fort Slocum, New York in May, 1944, whose unit was dragging their feet during a march. To pep his brothers up, he began calling a chant to hep the men keep in step and to give them more energy.

The chant was an instant hit on base. The next year, the Army worked with recording engineers to make a V-Disc, a special recording distributed during World War II to aid morale. It was known as the “Duckworth Chant,” on base, but it was recorded and distributed as “Sound Off.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1v=Q6bhv4i8qso

Many of the traits of today’s calls are apparent in this first cadence. There is a back and forth between the caller and the formation, the lines are catchy, and Jody even makes an appearance (at 2:15 in the video above).

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Photo: Youtube

The chant’s fame worked out very well for Duckworth. He received royalty checks for the recordings and used them to start a successful pulpwood company he operated until his death in 2004. A section of Georgia highway near Duckworth’s former home has been renamed the Willie Lee Duckworth Highway and a granite marker was erected at the county courthouse.

Now, if only we could find the evil genius who came up with “C-130 rollin’ down the strip.”

NOW: 9 firsts in military aviation history

Articles

Here are the winners of the 2015 US military photographer awards

Every year, the U.S. military’s photographers, videographers, and graphic artists submit their work to a panel of seasoned photographers in the Visual Information Award Program at Fort Meade, Maryland. There are nine separate categories in which photographers compete, including Military Photographer of the Year.


Here are this year’s winners along with detailed explanations of each photo:

Military Photographer of the Year: Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston, United States Air Force

“Generations of Battle”

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Dan Kelsey, a farmer from Clyde, N.Y. and World War II veteran who served in the Army Air Corps, sits on the rear bumper of his van, crouched over with both hands covering his face due to exhaustion and body ailments brought on by a long day of selling produce at the Central New York Regional Market, Sept. 5, 2015, Syracuse, N.Y. Dan and his son Carl Kelsey raise and harvest their own produce to sell at the market each week. Dan has been selling his crops at the market since 1938, in between his time in the military where he served as an aircraft mechanic on the B-26 Invader. While some years in the farming industry are better than others, 2015 has proven to be a tough one for Dan and his son as the production of their crops has been down due to weather conditions thus resulting in a loss of money. The father and son team normally bring approximately 150 baskets of tomatoes to sale at the market along with other produce which earns them nearly $1,500 on a good day but they have only been able to bring about 40 baskets each time this year knocking their earnings down to about $600, less than half their normal profit. As summer narrows and the weather changes, it could possibly be a long winter for the WWII veteran and his son. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston)

“No More”

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Residents of Baltimore, Md. protest, riot, and loot after the funeral of Freddie Gray, April 27, 2015. Gray, died April 19, 2015 from a severe spinal injury that allegedly occurred while in police custody. Looting and riots broke out in Baltimore after the funeral. The Maryland governor declared a state of emergency and enlisted the aid of 2,000 soldiers from the Maryland National Guard to help disseminate the riot. Some of the people participating in the riot/protest explained that their actions were a part of the Black Lives Matter movement which began sweeping across the nation in 2012 after Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman fatally shot Martin who was a 17-year-old African American. Zimmerman, was the neighborhood watch coordinator. He shot Martin, who was unarmed, during an altercation between the two of them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Kenny Holston)

“The Heroin Highway”

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Allen Sanford, a homeless man with several health issues, a severe drug addiction and an impending divorce says he feels trapped and thinks he will be stuck on the streets and addicted to heroin for the rest of his life. Recently, Syracuse, N.Y. was statistically ranked number one for poverty and several town hall meetings have been held to come up with ideas on how to resolve the increasing heroin problem sweeping across the city. These images depict Sanford’s daily struggle with his addiction and surviving on the streets of Syracuse. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston)

“Tucked In”

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
A U.S. Air Force crew chief assigned to the 77th Fighter Squadron, crawls out of the intake of an F-16 Fighting Falcon as she completes her post flight inspection on the aircraft, Jan. 15, 2015, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. Crews chiefs work around the clock to keep Shaw’s fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcons mission ready at all times.(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston)

“Remembering a Legend”

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics

Combat Operations Category

1st place: “Rushing to Save Lives,” by Staff Sgt. Jeffrey D. Anderson, USMC

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
A U.S. Air Force pararescueman with Joint Task Force 505 helps evacuate earthquake victims from an area near Cherikot, Nepal, after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck the country, May 12. JTF 505 along with other multinational forces and humanitarian relief organizations are currently in Nepal providing aid after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the country, April 25. At Nepal’s request the U.S. government ordered JTF 505 to provide unique capabilities to assist Nepal. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Jeffrey D. Anderson)

2nd place: “Operation Enduring Freedom Combined Joint Task Force- Horn of Africa,” by Staff Sgt. Gregory Brook, USAF

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Soldiers from Alpha Company,1st Armored Battalion, 77th Armored Regiment 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, East Africa Response Force (EARF) bound to cover by section during a live fire training exercise at the Arta training range in Djibouti, May 30, 2015. The EARF is a quick reaction force designed to defend U.S. assets within the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Gregory Brook)

3rd place: “Delivering Hope,” by Staff Sgt. Jeffrey D. Anderson, USMC

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Nepalese army soldiers unload aid and relief supplies, delivered by Joint Task Force 505, from a UH-1Y Venom in the Kavrepalanchowk District, Nepal, May, 11, during Operation Sahayogi Haat. The Nepalese Government requested the U.S. Government’s assistance after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the country, April 25. The U.S. government ordered JTF 505 to provide unique capabilities to assist Nepal. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Jeffrey D. Anderson)

News Category:

1st place: ” Dueling Demonstrations, by “Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston, USAF

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Dueling demonstrations clash as the Klu Klux Klan holds a protest rally on the steps of the S.C. State House building at the same time as a New Black Panther Party rally coupled with other black activist groups, July19, 2015, Columbia, S.C. The KKK held the rally to protest against the removal of the Confederate Flag from the State House grounds which was taken down July 10, 2015. The demonstration groups nearly went head-to-head as both rallies concluded and ended up face-to-face in the streets of downtown Columbia. In this photo young African American men push past medal barricades which are the only thing between them and several KKK members as they shout at the Klan members to leave or die. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston)

2nd place: “Goodbye,” by Senior Airman Jensen Stidham, USAF

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brett Baker, assigned to the 20th Fighter Wing, kisses his wife before leaving for a deployment from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Oct. 6, 2015. Members of the Air Force typically deploy several times throughout their career, often times leaving family members behind. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jensen Stidham)

3rd place: “Chairman In Thought,” by Staff Sgt. Sean K. Harp, USA

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
38th Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter, Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh, 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, and 39th Chief of Staff of the Army Mark A. Milley stand in line prior to the start of the United States Army Change of Responsibility ceremony held at Summerall Field on Fort Myer, Va., Aug. 14, 2015. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno relinquished command of the U.S. Army to Gen. Mark A. Milley during the ceremony hosted by Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Sean K. Harp)

Combat Training Category:

1st place: “Chow time,” by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston, USAF

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
U.S. Air Force Combat Control trainees assigned to Operating Location C, 342nd Training Squadron, laugh with each other while sharing a meal ready to eat during a long day of training Feb. 13, 2015. Working as a team and keeping morale high within the unit is vital to each Airman’s success as they push through training. At the 342nd TRS both CCT and Special Operations Weather Team trainees go through four months of grueling tactical and class room training. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston)

2nd place: “Air Force Basic Military Training,” by Staff Sgt. Christopher Griffin, USAF

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Trainees practice proper security procedures before being sent out to their field training exercise. The week-long event exposes the trainees to conditions similar to what they’d see in a deployed environment and also gives the trainees an opportunity to work together as a team without the guidance of their instructors. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Griffin)

3rd place: “View Behind the Lens,” Senior Airman Damon Kasberg, USAF

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Airman 1st Class Lane Plummer, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, photographs paratroopers from multiple allied nations as they exit a C-130J Super Hercules during International Jump Week, July 9, 2015 at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The five-day event was led by the 435th Contingency Response Group and provided multiple nations the opportunity to work side-by-side, increasing interoperability and strengthening relationships. Paratroopers traveled from throughout Europe and as far away as New Zealand to build stronger partnerships by jumping out of aircraft assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron at Ramstein. (U.S. Air Force photo taken by Senior Airman Damon Kasberg)

Features Category:

(This category is for storytelling pictures, not news-related; usually situations that have strong human interest or a fresh view of a commonplace occurrences.)

1st place: “Tug Of War,” by Lance Cpl. Ryan P. Kierkegaard, USMC

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
U.S. Marines with 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division participate in a tug of war competition during warrior night at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., July 1, 2015. Warrior night is an annual event held to build camaraderie in the battalion. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ryan P. Kierkegaard)

2nd Place: “Warrior CARE Event,” by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos, USAF

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
A U.S. Air Force wounded warrior engages her core in preparation for exercises during an Air Force hosted North East Regional Warrior CARE event at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Nov. 17, 2015. The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program is a federally mandated program that provides personalized care, services and advocacy for wounded, ill and injured service members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)

3rd Place: “Koalafying,” by Master Sgt. Michel A. Sauret, USA

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics

Illustrative Category:

(This category shows photographs produced to illustrate a pre-conceived theme, concept or idea, and does not include text or graphics.)

1st place: “The Last Patrol,” by Sgt. Matthew Callahan, USMC

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Advanced Recon Commandos rush to cover after being ambushed by separatist forces. The troopers were conducting a security patrol outside their company forward operating base when the droid forces attacked.
This image of 12-inch action figures is part of a larger photo essay telling the stories of the rank-and-file ground troops of the Star Wars universe through the lens of a combat correspondent. Conflict generally has been one of the biggest informants in the way pop culture creates stories. This photo essay, entitled “Galactic Warfighters” tethers the real and fictitious worlds more closely to each other. All elements of this image were captured in-camera. The image was converted to black and white with a contrast adjustment, sharpening and minor burning of the vignetted edges in post. (U.S. Marine Corps illustration by Sgt. Matthew Callahan)

2nd Place: “Smoking Costs,” by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos, USAF

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
The average smoker spends more than 1,500 dollars a year on cigarettes. Most smokers overlook how much they are spending because buying cigarettes come in small, frequent purchases. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)

3rd Place: “Let Them Speak,” by Staff Sergeant Douglas Ellis, USAF

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Three women die each day at the hands of their intimate partner according to the National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. The military provides its members and families a variety of programs to reduce occurrences and aid victims. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Staff Sergeant Douglas Ellis)

Portrait Personality Category:

1st Place: “Arvin,” by Senior Airman Jordan A. Castelan, USAF

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Maj. Sherrill Arvin (ret.) has his portrait taken during an interview recapping his time in service during the 1940s 50s, 60s and 70s as an aviator in the Airman Heritage Museum on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, April 16, 2015. Arvin began his military involvement on JBSA-Lackland at the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center and continues by volunteering at the Airman Heritage Museum. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jordan A. Castelan)

2nd Place: “Cowboy Al,” by Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Muncy, New York Air National Guard

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
At 95 years old, Al still works as the manager of a small ranch in Norco, California. A veteran of the Second World War, Al fought with the Seventh Armored Division, landing on the beaches of Normandy and fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. Additionally, Al has survived a major propane explosion and open heart surgery (New York Air National Guard photo by Staff Sergeant Christopher S. Muncy)

3rd Place: “Cowgirl,” by Staff Sgt. Marcus Fichtl, USA

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Susan Peterson rests on her horse barn’s door in Norco, Calif., June 18, 2015. Peterson spent the morning playing with her horses and mule. The photo was taken during the 2015 Department of Defense Photography workshop held in Riverside, Calif. The workshop brought photographers and videographers from across the DOD together, while industry and military leaders mentored and developed them for a week. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Marcus Fichtl)

Pictorial Category:

(This category contains photographs that exploit the visual qualities of the subject with primary emphasis on composition and aesthetics.)

1st place: “Dusky Night,” by Cpl. Matthew Howe, USMC

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
A U.S. Marine with Bravo Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, stands untop of a Light Armored Vehicle 25 during duck for Steel Knight 16 (SK-16), at National Training Center Fort Irwin, Calif., Dec. 13, 2015. Steel Knight is an annual field training exercise that enables 1st Marine Division to test and refine its command and control capabilities by acting as the command element for a forward-deployed Marine Expeditionary Force. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Matthew Howe)

2nd place: “Gone, but Not Forgotten,” by Master Sgt. John R. Nimmo, Sr., USAF

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Headstones pave the lawns of Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, Calif., June 17, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by by Master Sgt. John R. Nimmo, Sr.)

3rd place: “USNS Mercy Steams Forward,” by Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark El-Rayes, USN

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
The hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) steams ahead during Pacific Partnership 2015. Pacific Partnership is in its tenth iteration and is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark El-Rayes)

Sports Photography Category:

1st place: “Catch!,” by Senior Airman Jordan A. Castelan, USAF

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Two soldiers play catch with a football while a fellow soldier watches the perimeter of the training grounds during the Expert Field Medic Badge course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Sept. 24, 2015. The EFMB is the non-combat equivalent of the Combat Medical Badge and is awarded to medical personnel of the U.S. military who successfully complete a set of qualification tests. (U.S. Air Force photo by by Senior Airman Jordan A. Castelan)

2nd place: “Overcomer,” by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr., USAF

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Staff Sgt. Gideon Connelly leaps over a gutter during training at an adaptive sports camp in Crested Butte, Colorado. In 2011, Connelly was involved in a motorcycle accident where he lost his left leg below the knee. He rehabilitated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC. Connelly was returned to duty and currently serves at the 175th Maintenance Squadron. Connelly takes part in many of the adaptive sports events and his main love is sprinting. He is training to be a part of the Paralympic track and field team for the 2016 Paralympic Games. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.)

3rd place: “Fight Night,” by Cpl. Elize McKelvey, USMC

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
U.S. Marine Cpl. Roman Fernandez, left, and 1st Lt. Paul Hollwedel duke it out in the hangar bay of the USS Essex (LHD 2) at sea in the Pacific Ocean, May 29, 2015. Fernandez is a team leader and Hollwedel is the executive officer with Lima Company, Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The Marines found unique ways to continue to maintain combat readiness during their seven-month deployment through the Pacific and Central Command areas. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Elize McKelvey)

Picture Story Category:

(This category is for photos that reveal a storyline or a single theme.)

1st place: “Air Force Boot Camp,” by Staff Sgt. Christopher Griffin, USAF

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Air Force Basic Military Training is an 8-week life changing program of physical and mental training required in order for an individual to become an airman in the U. S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force picture story by Staff Sgt. Christopher Griffin)

2nd place: “Norco.” by Staff Sgt. Marcus Fichtl, USA

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
Citizens of Norco, Calif., share a lifestyle that stands as an oasis of Americana in the middle of Southern California, here, Jun. 18, 2015. (U.S. Army picture story by Staff Sgt. Marcus Fichtl).

3rd place: “Obstacle Course.” by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos, USAF

13 military phrases that sound ridiculous when used in politics
U.S. Marine Corps recruits endure a 54-hour long training called the Crucible, a test that gauges their physical, mental and emotional strength. As recruits use different parts of their bodies to accomplish tasks and challenges along the way, they also have to work together and move as a unit in order to conquer the Crucible and become Marines. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos, USAF)

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