Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas - We Are The Mighty
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Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

This post is sponsored by The CW’s Walker, premiering on January 21st, Thursday 8/7c!

(Featured image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

Rangers: No, not the baseball team. Nope, not the Lone Ranger. I’m talking about the real-life special law enforcement division known officially as the Texas Ranger Division. Since 1823, the Texas Rangers have taken down criminals and outlaws like Bonnie and Clyde, investigated crimes like the infamous Irene Garza murder, and protected VIPs like President William Howard Taft whose assassination attempt in Mexico was thwarted by a Ranger. Today, the Rangers serve under the Texas Department of Public Safety as the state’s Bureau of Investigation.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
Although Rangers have no official uniform, they are required to wear clothing that is “western in nature” (Texas DPS)

As of January 1, 2020, there were 166 commissioned members of the Texas Ranger Division across six companies. The Rangers perform a wide array of law enforcement duties. While Rangers conduct mainly criminal investigations and arrests, other programs also fall under their direction and supervision. Rangers conduct Public Corruption/Integrity investigations, Joint Intelligence and Border Security operations, and even riverine reconnaissance operations. The Rangers Special Operations Group includes tier one professionals like Crisis Negotiation Units, SWAT and SRT operators and EOD personnel.

As previously mentioned, the Rangers are organized into six companies in Houston, Garland, Lubbock, Weslaco, El Paso and Waco with the Ranger Division headquartered in the state capitol of Austin. Additional Rangers are stationed across the state, with each Ranger having responsibility for a minimum of two to three counties, some with even larger areas. Becoming a Texas Ranger is no easy task. Due to the high standards and illustrious legacy of the division, their acceptance rate is low. Applicants need to have an outstanding record of at least 8 years of law enforcement experience primarily investigating major crimes. As such, even military police experience does not meet this requirement. Additionally, the Rangers only recruit internally from the Texas Department of Public Safety and require applicants to be commissioned officers with the rank of at least Trooper II. If these requirements are met and the background check passed, the hard part begins.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
Rangers of the Special Operations Group conduct a drug interdiction on the Rio Grande (Texas DPS)

Applicants must undergo a written examination that includes competencies like reading comprehension, grammatical skills and knowledge, and mathematics. If they pass the written exam, they go before an Oral Interview Board. Board members have the final say in who becomes a Ranger, and who doesn’t. According to the Rangers’ website, “Little recruiting has ever been necessary and it is not unusual for many officers to apply for only a handful of openings.” Once a law enforcement officer is accepted into the Rangers, they are required to attend at least 40 hours of in-service training every two years. However, most Rangers will conduct training that far exceeds this requirement. Additionally, specialized fields like SWAT, SRT and EOD will train constantly to keep their skills sharp and prepare for new and evolving threats.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, in 2019, the Rangers conducted 993 felony arrests and secured 562 confessions to various crimes. A whopping 537 convictions resulted in 8,531 years in prison assessed, 76 life sentences and three death sentences. All of that in one year from the work of 166 Rangers. You don’t mess with Texas, but if you’re foolish enough to commit a crime in the Lone Star State, watch your back. The Texas Rangers rarely miss their mark.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
Company F Rangers with then-Governor George W. Bush (Texas DPS)

Needless to say, you don’t want to miss the reboot of TV’s most famous Texas Ranger. Check out Walker when it premieres on January 21, Thursday 8/7c on The CW.

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How green troops became professional warriors during Vietnam

For most soldiers in the Vietnam-era, the time between getting drafted or volunteering and their heading to war was short. The Army had each draftee for only two years. After they were shipped to basic, trained, shipped overseas, plus the time needed to ship home and use their two months of accrued leave, each draftee could expect a year of deployed time preceded by 4-6 months of training.


Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
Paratroopers with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team fighting on Hill 823 during the Battle of Dak To. (Photo: U.S. Army)

Volunteers, especially officers, had it a little better. They may train for up to a year before deploying — attending advanced training like Ranger School after basic and job training.

Either way, they were expected to grow from boys to men quickly. For the three men in this video, that growth would be harder than most. The veterans fought at the Battle of Dak To, one of the bloodiest American battles of the war. Hill 875, the single costliest terrain feature of the war, was captured there.

A recently recovered film of the Battle of Dak To shows two hours of fighting in and around Hill 724, another tough terrain feature captured. Bob Walkoviak, one of the veterans in the discussion above, fought on the hill and helped find the lost footage.
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Fear of killer flood prompts pause in Syria offensive

U.S.-backed forces in northern Syria paused military operations near a dam held by the Islamic State group on March 27 to allow engineers to fix any problems after conflicting reports about its stability.


The decision by the Syrian Democratic Forces came a day after conflicting reports over whether civilians had begun evacuating the nearby city of Raqqa — the extremists’ de facto capital — due to concerns about the Tabqa dam on the Euphrates River.

Some activist groups opposed to IS have said residents are seeking higher ground, fearing that the collapse of the dam could cause severe flooding, while others said people were remaining in place. Conflicting reports are common in areas controlled by IS, which bans independent media.

The SDF, a U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led force, has been fighting IS in the area since Friday in an attempt to capture the dam, one of the main sources of electricity in northern Syria.

The SDF said in a statement that the cease-fire expired at 5 p.m. local time, after their engineers inspected the structure and found no faults. Photos credited to an embedded freelance journalist indicated they had just inspected the dam’s spillway, which is on SDF-controlled territory. The main dam structure and the gates lie 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) away and are still held by IS militants.

The SDF said the request for a cease-fire was made by the dam’s administrators, without specifying whether they were part of the Syrian government or IS, which operates a quasi-state in the areas under its control.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said technicians inside IS-held Tabqa did not reach the dam during the cease-fire, to reactivate its main power controls. There was no explanation given.

The engineer Ahmad Farhat, who oversaw the mechanical administration of the dam, said that it is “equipped with the necessary precautions for its own protection,” but there needs to be technical personnel on site to engage them. He spoke with The Associated Press from the rebel-held northwestern Syrian province of Idlib.

Engineer Aboud al Haj Aboud who was the head of the electricity division of the dam said on social media that if indeed the control room is busted and the gates of the dam cannot be opened, it will still take at least a month for the waters being held back by the dam to overflow the top of the structure.

The U.S.-led coalition said it is taking every precaution to ensure the integrity of the dam. “To our knowledge, the dam has not been structurally damaged,” it said on its Twitter account.

SDF fighters on Sunday captured a strategically important air base from IS in Raqqa province, marking their first major victory since the United States airlifted hundreds of forces, as well as American advisers and artillery, behind enemy lines last week.

The SDF announced they had captured the Tabqa air base, 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of Raqqa.

On Monday, IS fighters detonated a car bomb on the southern edge of the air base, but it was not clear if it inflicted casualties among SDF fighters, the activist collective Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently and the Observatory reported.

Fighting is ongoing in areas near the air base, both activist groups said. The SDF said in another statement that its fighters captured two villages north of Tabqa on Monday.

Elsewhere in Syria, authorities resumed the evacuation of the last opposition-held neighborhood in the central city of Homs in an agreement to surrender the district to the government.

Opposition activists have criticized the agreement, saying it aims to displace 12,000 al-Waer residents, including 2,500 fighters. The Observatory has called the evacuees “internally displaced” people.

The government has rejected allegations that the Homs deal and similar agreements in other besieged areas amount to the forced displacement of civilians.

On Monday, 667 militants, along with their families, for a total of 2,009 residents, were taken by bus in the direction of the rebel-held city of Jarablus, near the Turkish border, according to an official in the Homs Governorate administration.

The official requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Syrian state TV had forecast that some 700 people would leave, far fewer than the final tally.

The evacuation was planned to take place on Saturday, but no reason was given for the delay.

Opposition fighters agreed to leave al-Waer after years of siege and bombardment at the hands of pro-government forces. They were guaranteed safe passage to rebel-held parts of northern Syria.

The evacuations are expected to last weeks, after which the government will be able to claim control over the entire city for the first time in years.

Associated Press writers Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, and Philip Issa in Beirut contributed to this report.

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Navy releases video of Russian fighters buzzing US ships

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
Photo: Youtube.com


Russia is saying that their fighters chased off the U.S. Navy’s USS Ross Monday while it was operating aggressively in the Black Sea, but the U.S. is calling B.S. According to Navy officials, the encounter was no big deal and they haven’t changed any of their operational plans.

“From our perspective it’s much ado about nothing,” Navy spokesman Lt. Tim Hawkins told USNI News.

The Russian fighters had overflown the ship before with no incident. The Navy has released video of two of the SU-24 flybys, including the June 1 encounter. The USS Ross is leaving the Black Sea today, as scheduled.

The first video released is of one of the flyovers in late May.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLo7ECxOz9M

This video shows the incident from Monday.

NOW:5 differences between the Navy and Coast Guard

OR: The top 5 military-themed songs that aren’t written by Toby Keith

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A Navy ship lost for nearly 100 years has just been found

The wreckage of the USS Conestoga, a Navy tug that also served as a minesweeper and fleet tender in World War I, has been found off the coast of California 95 years after the ship was lost with all hands. It was found 2,000 miles from where it was presumed lost.


Conestoga was laid down in 1903 in Maryland and launched in Nov. 1904 as a civilian tug. In 1917, the Navy purchased and commissioned the ship for minesweeping duties.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

During the war Conestoga served on the East Coast, transporting supplies and guns, escorting convoys to the Caribbean, and taking part in patrols. She carried a 3-inch deck gun to use against enemy ships.

After the war she continued to serve in the Atlantic until she received orders to American Samoa. Unfortunately, the ship would never make it there.

Conestoga underwent alterations and a refit in 1920 in preparation for the long trip to American Samoa, then headed for Mare Island, arriving Feb. 17, 1921 after a stop in San Diego. At Mare Island Conestoga received final repairs and supplies and headed for Pearl Harbor on Mar. 25, the final scheduled stop en route to American Samoa.

This was the last time the ship was seen afloat. It was scheduled to arrive Apr. 5 at Pearl Harbor and was erroneously reported to have arrived Apr. 6. On Apr. 26, it was clear that something had happened to the ship and the Navy launched a search.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

The fleet at Pearl Harbor and planes stationed at Hawaii took part in the operation. A garbled distress call heard on Apr. 8 made the Navy believe that the ship was near Hawaii and so the search centered there.

After the Navy gave up Conestoga as lost, a mystery hung over the fate of the ship for nearly 95 years. But an Aug. 2009 coastal survey by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spotted a wrecked ship near Southeast Farallon Island. The Farallon Islands form an island chain 30 miles from the San Francisco Coast.

In Sep. 2014, a remotely operated vehicle was used to photograph the site and an Oct. 2015 survey collected more information. Some details of the wreck, including the lack of a 3-inch gun on the deck, made researchers think it wasn’t the Conestoga. When a researcher went through the footage carefully, he spotted the mount for the weapon and a hole where it probably fell through the deck.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
The USS Conestoga‘s 3-inch, 50-caliber deck gun. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

The mount, combined with distinct features of the engines and boilers, finally allowed the Navy to say with certainty that they had found their lost ship, 2,000 miles from the original search area.

Damage to the ship suggests that it encountered a sudden storm soon after it left the California coast to cross the Pacific. Naval researchers believe that the ship was heading to the Farallon Islands to escape the storm when the rudder was damaged and it lost the ability to steer. The bilge pumps also failed, dooming the ship.

The ship’s wreckage and the remains of the 56 sailors lost when it sank are now protected by the Sunken Military Craft Act. Officials have said they have no plans to recover the wreckage or otherwise disturb it.

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This was the Air Force’s C-130 demonstration team

The C-130 Hercules is easily one of the longest-serving series of military aircraft in the world, having first made its appearance in the mid-1950s.


Though the Herc, as it’s popularly known, doesn’t really look anything like the high-performance ultra-nimble fighters and trainers modern aerobatic teams use today, you might be surprised to hear that the U.S. Air Force once upon a time had a C-130 demonstration team of its own!

Built as a replacement for the Air Force’s WWII-era C-47 Skytrains, C-46 Commandos, and the slightly newer C-119 Flying Boxcar, the C-130 was designed to transport troops, jeeps, and machinery in and out of combat zones, landing on unimproved fields and dirt strips should runways be inaccessible.

WATCH: 360-degree skydiver view jumping into the Army-Navy game

The first of the Hercs to enter service with the USAF were known as the C-130A.

By early 1957, a number of C-130As were sent to Campbell Army Air Field in Kentucky where they would be taking platoons of soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division up for a series of coordinated airdrops.

The weather had something else to say about these plans, however, and they were cancelled when high winds rendered the drop zone too dangerous for the exercise.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
First-generation C-130As performing an airdrop. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Instead of wasting a prime opportunity to log flight hours on their brand new Hercs, the four aircraft commanders assigned to each plane — Captains Jim Aiken, Gene Chaney, Bill Hatfield, and David Moore — decided to fire up the planes and go for a flight.

All four pilots came from the 774th Troop Carrier Squadron, aka “The Green Weasels.”

After spending some time practicing flying in close proximity, the four decided to drop down low above Campbell in tight formation, roaring over the base to the glee of soldiers below. After a few passes, the Hercs landed, only to be given another chance at perfecting their formation routine again just a few days later, thanks to poor weather.

Upon returning to the former home of the 774th — Ardmore AFB, OK — the four pilots quickly worked together to develop an idea inspired by their antics at Campbell.

Like the Air Force’s Thunderbirds and the Navy’s Blue Angels, they too could form a demonstration team to show off the incredible capabilities of the C-130 and the airmanship of some of the service’s finest pilots.

Over the course of 1957, Aiken, Chaney, Hatfield and Moore, practiced their show routine when time permitted, flying with precision at extremely small distances of separation between the aircraft.

In 1958, the four got wind of a ceremony requiring a flyover at Ardmore, and with their wing commander’s approval, broke away from a parade of 36 Hercs, flying in a diamond pattern low over the airfield, and culminating in a bomb-burst breakaway.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
Captains James Akin, Gene Chaney, Bill Hatfield, and David Moore, also known as the Thunderweasels, and later, the Four Horsemen. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Their act was met with horror and indignation from many Air Force officers on hand to witness the ceremony, but a considerable number of brass — many with political power within the branch — were impressed enough to allow the four pilots to perform as a team from there on out.

First known as the Thunderweasels, a play on the Thunderbirds demo team and their own Green Weasels unit, these four pilots were moved to Stewart AFB, TN, where they began practicing a 20-minute show routine to be later performed at shows across the country.

The team proved to be a big hit and a huge publicity bonus for Lockheed.

By the end of 1959, the team had adopted a new name, The Four Horsemen, alluding to their four-ship flight, though some say it was a reference to the University of Notre Dame’s 1924 Rose Bowl champion football squad.

The Horsemen went on to fly a dozen official shows that year, and a number of unofficial flyovers and demonstrations in-between.

The team’s existence was slowly but surely threatened throughout 1959.

Lockheed had already developed the C-130B, a more fuel-efficient long range improvement on the A model, and the Air Force needed as many operational Hercs to be made available as they could muster.

What the B model made up for with range and efficiency, it lost with its handling, making it a dangerous proposition for close-formation flights.

In the spring of 1960, three years after they flew their first impromptu show over Fort Campbell, the Four Horsemen were disbanded, never to fly another demonstration.

Aiken, Chaney and Hatfield remained with the Air Force while Moore moved on, entering the civilian world not long after the team was broken up.

It’s highly unlikely that anything like the Four Horsemen will ever exist ever again, and today, the only C-130 demo still flying is the Blue Angel’s Fat Albert, a Marine Corps-crewed blue, white, and gold Herc that flies a solo routine at airshows across North America.

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12 badass photos of artillery lighting up the night

If you’ve clicked into this article, then you already know what you’re looking for here. A bunch of huge metal tubes launching high-explosives into the air that are destined to rain down on firing ranges and enemy targets, right? You probably want a couple of them to use as computer wallpapers or something.


Yeah, artillery is pretty great, so let’s just skip the wordplay and get into it:

1. An M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer fires a 155mm round through the night skies of Fort Riley, Kansas.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Army Sgt. John Portela)

2. U.S. Marines in Japan fire their own 155mm howitzer round from an M777A2.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Jose O. Nava)

3. A North Carolina National Guard artillery team fires their Paladin at night in Fort Bragg.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Army Capt. Veronica Aguila)

4. Artillerymen from the 101st Airborne Division fire their M777 at night in support of Iraqi Security Forces battling ISIS.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Army Spc. Christopher Brecht)

5. More 101st artillerymen send a 155mm round downrange to slaughter ISIS jerkwads under attack by Iraqi security forces.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Army Spc. Jaquan P. Turnbow)

6. Army paratroopers fire high-angle during a training exercise at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Army Capt. Joe Bush)

7. American Marines practice moving and firing their towed howitzers during an exercise in Japan.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Juan Bustos)

8. A mortar crew fires during a training mission. Mortars are historically an artillery weapon but are employed by infantrymen in the modern Army and Marine Corps.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: Department of Defense)

9. For the record, the definition of artillery usually centers on “high-caliber guns,” and American mortars typically range from 60 to 120mm. Also, they look awesome.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Pablo N. Piedra)

10. Air defense artillerymen send a Stinger into the sky and it slams into a drone target.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Army Sgt. Brad Mincey)

11. Avengers are vehicle-mounted missile launchers that fire Stingers, short-range air defense weapons that annihilate low-flying targets.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: Mississippi National Guard Maj. Andy Thaggard)

12. A U.S. Army howitzer crew fires at night in Joint Base Lewis-McChord while supporting an artillery observer competition.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Army)

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11 Photos that show why the SR-71 ‘Blackbird’ was all kinds of amazing

When it comes to curb appeal, few airplanes in history can match the look of the SR-71 “Blackbird.” And nothing in the Air Force’s inventory — past or present — can beat its signature performance characteristics. Here are 11 photos that show why the Blackbird remains the standard of aviation cool:


The SR-71 “Blackbird” was a high-speed, high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft developed by Lockheed’s legendary “Skunk Works” team in the 1960s.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

The Blackbird was capable of speeds exceeding Mach 3.0. The fuselage was designed to expand at high speeds, which caused the airplane to leak fuel on the ground because the panels fit very loosely when jet was parked.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

The Blackbird’s service ceiling (max altitude) was 85,000 feet, which forced crews to wear pressure suits and astronaut-type helmets.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
SR-71 pilot Col. ‘Buz’ Carpenter. (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

SR-71s were manned by two aviators: a pilot and a Reconnaissance Systems Officer who monitored surveillance systems from the rear cockpit.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

Only 32 Blackbirds were manufactured, and they were in service from 1964-1998. Despite over 4,000 combat sorties, none of the planes were lost due to enemy fire. However, 12 of them were destroyed in mishaps.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: Lockheed Martin)

Claustrophobic types need not apply. The narrow space between canopy rails didn’t give crews much room to move around. The outer windscreen of the cockpit was made of quartz and was fused ultrasonically to the titanium frame. The temperature of the exterior of the windscreen reached 600 °F during a mission.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
Pilot mans the brakes as the SR-71 is towed out of the hangar. (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

Nothing ‘glass’ about this cockpit. The SR-71 presented the pilot with a dizzying array of steam gauges and switches. And visibility out the front wasn’t the greatest.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

Although not technically a stealth aircraft, the SR-71 was hard for enemy SAM systems to spot because it was designed with a low radar cross section in mind.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

Because of its high approach speed the Blackbird used a drag chute to slow down on the runway after touchdown.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

Aerial refueling capability allowed the SR-71 to perform long-range, high endurance missions.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
SR-71 refueling from a KC-135. (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

The Blackbird still holds the record for fastest air-breathing manned aircraft (a record it broke in 1976). Although the SR-71 is no longer in service, the legend lives on.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Air Force)

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11 things First Sergeants say that make troops lose their minds

Army and Marine first sergeants have to talk a lot, considering their duties as company-level senior enlisted leaders. While they primarily act as advisors to company commanders and deal with administrative issues, they sometimes say things that drive troops crazy.


1. “It would behoove you … “

Often used by first sergeants to tell troops that it would be a good idea to do something — “it would behoove you to wear your eye-pro on the range” — it’s often overused and mispronounced as “bee-who-of-you.”

2. “Hey there, gents”

Short for gentlemen, first sergeants sometimes refer to their troops as gents. Of course, this is totally fine and not a big deal, except when you are called a gent all of the time.

3. “Utilize”

According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, “utilize” means to use. So stop making a word choice so complicated and just freaking say use.

4. “All this and a paycheck too!”

In the Army and Marine Corps, you get to work out, shoot stuff, and blow things up, and you get paid for it. It’s often pretty fun — who doesn’t love explosives?! — but the “all this and a paycheck too!” comment from the first sergeant doesn’t usually come at these moments. It comes at halfway point of a 20-mile hike when you are sucking wind and hoping for death.

Also, you make way more than everyone else here. And is that a pillow in your rucksack?

5. “If you’re gonna drive, don’t drink. If you’re gonna drink, don’t drive.”

Just one of the many things first sergeant mentions in his lengthy talk before allowing the company to leave for the weekend, “if you’re gonna drive, don’t drink” is solid advice that should be followed. But it’s also part of a boring brief that he repeats word-for-word EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK.

Other phrases troops may hear during the libo brief include, “If you’re gonna tap it, wrap it,” and “take care of each other out there.” In first sergeant’s defense, he’s required to give this brief to cover his own butt, in addition to it being a hopeless attempt at avoiding the inevitable 3am phone call to come on Saturday.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
Photo Credit: Sgt. Jennifer Pirante/US Marine Corps

6. “The first sergeant”

When you pick up staff non-commissioned officer in the Army or Marine Corps, they must take you in a room and tell you that you can start talking in the third-person, because it happens a lot. Hearing about what “the first sergeant” would do, as opposed to what “I” would do is eye-roll worthy.

“The first sergeant would make sure to let his battle buddy know.”

7. “Good to go? / Hooah?”

First sergeants like to use common catchphrases to make sure their troops understand. While a “good to go?” makes sense to gauge whether troops are listening, when it comes after every sentence in the liberty brief, it can get old very quick. For Army first sergeants and others, it’s pretty common to use the motivational “hooah” in a questioning manner. Hooah?

8. “We got a lot of moving parts here.”

Let’s not get wrapped around the axle here, gents. We’ve got battalion formation in the A.M., the general is coming in, so we need to be there at 0400, good to go? We got a lot of moving parts here, so let’s try to all stay on the same page, good to go?

9. “Give me three bodies!”

If you ever need a great example of language that makes you feel like you are just a number in the military, look no further than someone asking “for bodies.” What first sergeant means here is that he needs three motivated U.S. Marines to carry out a working party.

“Just get my goddamn bodies, turd.”

“Roger, first sergeant.”

10. “You trackin’?”

Often used just like “good to go?” or “Hooah?” the phrase “you trackin’?” is first sergeant’s other way of making sure we all understand. We’re all looking in your direction, listening to the words you are saying, tracking along just fine.

11. “Got any saved rounds?”

Last but certainly not least is the phrase “got any saved rounds?” which is a way of asking if anyone has anything to add. This one usually comes at the end of long meetings and should be followed by complete silence, so we can get out of this godforsaken room.

Inevitably, Carl over there is going to say something.

So, got any saved rounds? Any phrases we missed? Let us know in the comments.

SEE ALSO: Legendary Gen. James Mattis has an inspiring message for all Post-9/11 veterans

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27 photos of America’s biggest celebrities when they were in the military

For some of the biggest names in movies, television, and politics, their first big audition was for the United States military.


We collected the best photos we could find of celebrities in uniform that most are used to seeing on a red carpet or elsewhere. Here they are, along with their service branch and dates of service.

 

1. Drew Carey, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 1981-1987

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

2. Elvis Presley, U.S. Army, 1958-1960

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

3. Al Gore, U.S. Army, 1969-1971

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

4. Bea Arthur, U.S. Marine Corps Womens Reserve, 1943-1945

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

5. Bill Cosby, U.S. Navy, 1956-1960

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

6. Bob Ross, U.S. Air Force, 1961-1981

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

7. Chuck Norris, U.S. Air Force, 1958-1962

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

8. Dan Rather, U.S. Marine Corps, 1954 (was medically discharged shortly after his enlistment)

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

9. Ed McMahon, U.S. Marine Corps, 1941-1966

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

10. George Carlin, U.S. Air Force, 1954-1957

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

11. Hugh Hefner, U.S. Army, 1944-1946

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

12. Jackie Robinson, U.S. Army, 1942-1944

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

13. Jimi Hendrix, U.S. Army, 1961-1962

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

14. Jimmy Stewart, U.S. Army Air Force, 1941-1968

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

15. John Coltrane, U.S. Navy, 1945-1946

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

16. Johnny Cash, U.S. Air Force, 1950-1954

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

17. Kris Kristofferson, U.S. Army, 1960-1965

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

18. Kurt Vonnegut, U.S. Army, 1943-1945

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

19. Leonard Nimoy, U.S. Army Reserve, 1953-1955

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

20. Maynard James Keenan, U.S. Army, 1982-1984

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

21. Mel Brooks, U.S. Army, 1944-1946

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

22. Montel Williams, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy, 1974-1980

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

 

23. Morgan Freeman, U.S. Air Force, 1955-1959

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

24. Paul Newman, U.S. Navy, 1943-1946

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

25. Rob Riggle, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 1990-2013

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

26. “Shaggy” (Orville Burrell), U.S. Marine Corps, 1988-1992

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

27. Tom Selleck, U.S. Army National Guard, 1967-1973

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

28. Adam Driver, U.S. Marine Corps, 2001-2003

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

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6 things that 330 Marines can do on their own

Russia recently announced that a nuclear strike was on the table after Norway allowed 330 U.S. Marines into the country.


Not 330 Marine divisions. Not 330 tanks and their crews. But 330 Marines with their personal gear.

You know, enough Marines to firmly hold a small town, but about 380,000 fewer troops than the U.S. used to invade Iraq.

But Russia has freaked out like this is a huge military force staged on their border instead of a couple of hundred troops 600 miles away. Frants Klintsevitsj, the deputy chairman of Russia’s defense and security committee, even went on national TV and said that Norway had been added to Russia’s target list for nuclear weapons.

Listen to the author and other veterans talk about the damage 330 U.S. Marines can do on the Mandatory Fun podcast

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It turns out that most people have been underestimating Marines since 330 of them are apparently such a strategic threat that it necessitates a nuclear deterrent. In light of this new information, here are six things that 330 Marines could do on their own:

1. Conquer Russia, obviously

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
Photo: US Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Nicholas Lienemann

Clearly. Russia has basically admitted it.

2. Kill Xerxes and use his bones to beat the rest of the Persian Army to death

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: Flickr/Guillaume Cattiaux)

The famed 300 Spartans at Thermopylae did a good job holding back the Persian forces, but they’re not a nuclear-equivalent force like the Marines are. And, the Marines enjoy a 10 percent size advantage against the Spartans. Expect the Marines to quickly cut their way through to Xerxes’ private traveling palace, dismantle the god-king, and use his bones as cudgels against the rest of the Persian army.

3. Install Gen. James Mattis as the Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps)

Since Idi Amin died in 2003, the Earth has gone without a Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas. While Amin was seen as a lackluster Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas, this was mainly because he was more interested in being a tyrant of humans than anything else.

But, 330 Marines could easily quash the lions or any other animal who tries to claim dominion over our planet’s living creatures. This would allow them to install their favorite candidate for anything ever, Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis.

Also read: 15 quotes from Gen. Mad Dog’ Mattis, slayer of bodies

4. Stop the invasion of Mars currently being conducted by the legions of Hell

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Video capture: WATM Logan Nye)

Since the traitor Olivia Pierce opened a portal to Hell and allowed legions of demonic forces with jetpacks and arm cannons to invade Mars, America has been cut off from the formerly steady argent energy produced on the red planet. But with only 330 Marines, the world could be cleared in days. It might be done within hours if the Marines can find any more of that power armor and some BFGs.

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

 

5. Conquer all of Westeros and sit on the Iron Throne

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: Flickr/Pat Loika)

Seriously, it’s been six seasons already. It’s time for the Marines to end the ongoing instability of Westeros and install a strong leader. Mattis would be a great king if he’s not interested in beasts and fishes, but there are certainly other Devil Dogs who could sit on the throne. Rob Riggle might do it.

6. Claim the Arctic circle for America, including the parts that are already property of other countries

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
(Photo: YouTube/BBC Newsbeat)

A race for resources has slowly gotten underway in the Arctic, and the 330 Marines in Norway could go ahead and take over the whole area. Since the Arctic circle is only 310 miles north of the Marines training area at Vaernes, Norway, it would actually be easier for them to head to the Arctic than for them to attempt an invasion of Russia.

Articles

This Army Spouse Was Hacked By ISIS And She Didn’t Flinch

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas


It’s not every day that you can say “Today I got a personalized tweet from someone claiming to be with ISIS.” And that’s probably a good thing.

It happened like this: The Twitter account of a military spouse who owns a spouse-focused non-profit was hacked by a group apparently affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The hackers then tweeted messages aimed at specific military spouses, including myself.

“Amy Bushatz! You think you’re safe but the IS is already here, #CyberCaliphate got into your PC and smartphone,” is, I’m told, what the tweet said (I did not actually see it before it was deleted, presumably by Twitter).

Not long thereafter I received a friend request from someone named “Gasper CyberCaliphate Sadz.” When I viewed their profile it was clear that they were not the sort of person I wanted to let into my social life. Within a few seconds the profile had been deleted. And yes, it was really creepy. The same photo and images were used in this account as were used during the CENTCOM hack.

Every spouse quoted in this CNN article was singled out in the tweets.

You might be thinking “that’s what you get for being stupid enough to be quoted by name in a CNN article about ISIS and cyber threats.” However, the decision to have my name used in that story wasn’t a hard one. My name is everywhere — here, on Military.com and in other national publications. I am a public person. That ship has sailed.

I’m told the FBI is investigating the situation, and all the proper military officials have been notified by those of us involved. My husband suggested I not let anyone dressed as a terrorist into our house.

I want to face this whole situation with a resolute jaw and a loud “being afraid means the terrorists win.” I’m not the type of person to live in fear or change my life just because some person on the internet wants to scare me. I’ve never done that before and I have no intention of doing it now.

Personal attacks bring up a variety of feelings. On the one hand, I’m super pissed. How dare they threaten me and my friends? Then there’s the maniacal laughter and the semi-inappropriate jokes about not opening the door for anyone in a bomb vest. I’ve got lots of those.

But then, underneath all of that somewhere deep in my core, I am trying to shake off the tiniest bit of what feels an awful lot like fear.

Because being singled out by someone claiming to be with a fairly terrifying terrorist organization? That’s scary. Knowing that, thanks to my job and public profile, my town of residence, spouse’s name and occupation, base, kid’s names and more wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to locate online? More than unnerving.

But I don’t think it’s the fear itself that matters. I think it’s what I choose to do about the fear that is the key. Do I let it change my habits? Do I ignore it completely and hope nothing bad happens?

Do I use it as a cautionary tale to be more vigilant — much like you would react to a story of a home robbery in your neighborhood?

Or do I completely change my life, delete my social media presence and lock down my family because I am afraid?

Being afraid doesn’t mean the terrorists won — it’s the living in fear that gives them the victory. I’m not giving them the victory.

More from Military.com:

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The test pilot of the USAF’s first jet fighter dressed as a gorilla to mess with other pilots

Edwards Air Force Base in California certainly has its fair share of oddball aircraft and eccentric pilots.


But a dude flying a top-secret airplane in a monkey suit?

In 1942, Bell aircraft was developing its P-59 Airacomet, the first jet engine fighter designed by the United States. And although it never saw action, it was an important step in the development of U.S. air power.

It was also a top-secret project at the time. The British had a jet fighter airframe in development since 1941 as did the Nazis.

It was so secret, in fact, that when the P-59 was taxiing, airmen put a fake wooden propeller on her nose so onlookers wouldn’t notice anything odd about the aircraft.

In the air, however, it was a different story. Pilots flying the usual piston-driven aviation engine would report back to base with sightings of a fast-moving plane without a propeller. They also said the plane was flown by a “gorilla, wearing a derby hat, waving a stogie at them.”

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas

 

The Chief test pilot for Bell Aircraft was Jack Woolams. By the time Bell was testing its P-59 design, Woolams had already served 18 months in the Army Air Corps. He was the man behind the gorilla mask.

Other pilots who were exposed to Woolams’ prank were convinced by Air Force psychologists that they hadn’t really seen the gorilla flying the plane, “because everyone knows you can’t fly without a propeller.”

Rangers: The reason why you don’t mess with Texas
Bell P-59 Airacomet side view. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Woolams was also the first person to fly a fighter aircraft coast-to-coast nonstop and set an altitude record in 1943. Woolams died preparing for an air show in 1946, but he was a man ahead of his time — a harbinger of the nonstop, record-breaking, years of air power development to come for test pilots in the 1950s and 1960s.

Fast-Forward to 13:00 in the video below.

SEE ALSO: This video of a dropping mortar round is the best prank footage you’ll see all week

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqf9_jXHmWw