New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space - We Are The Mighty
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New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space

Following World War II, the former Soviet Union and the United States began the ultimate race to space. The Right Stuff series by NATGEO premiering on Disney+ chronicles a period of time filled with excitement, fear and more than anything, hope.

The new series is based on the nonfiction book of the same name written by the late Tom Wolfe. “This book grew out of some ordinary curiosity. What is it, I wondered, that makes a man willing to sit up on top of an enormous Roman candle such as a Redstone, Atlas, Titan or Saturn rocket, and wait for someone to light the fuse?” he wrote in his foreword for the 1983 edition of The Right Stuff.


The Right Stuff brings viewers into the intensity of a monumental time period in United States history. As the NASA space program began, President Eisenhower insisted that the first astronauts be pilots. Although the program stated that they would need decades to get a man on the moon and successfully in space, they were given an ultimatum. Two years.

The series follows the famed Mercury Seven as they began their quest to become the first men in space. When they were introduced to the world publicly, they were immediately idolized and revered by most Americans. What followed after their selection included rigorous training and tests to see who would be the first.

The famed Mercury Seven were Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton – fighter pilots for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The new series boasts actors Jake McDorman, Michael Trotter, Patrick J Adams, James Lafferty, Aaron Staton, Colin O’Donoghue and Micah Stock. Executive producers of the new series include Oscar winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio, founder of Appian Way Productions.

The Right Stuff series follows two men in particular, Major John Glenn, a Marine, and Lieutenant Commander Alan Shepard, highly regarded as the best navy pilot in its history. It also brings the viewer into the around the clock work of the NASA engineers as they fought their way to space, with the timeclock of their deadline continuously ticking ominously in the background.

In an interview with Business Wire, Disney+ weighed in on the excitement of the new series. “As our audiences around the world turn to Disney+ to find inspiration and optimism, we believe the true-life heroism of the Mercury 7 will showcase the tenacity of the human spirit and inspire a new generation to reach for the stars,” said Ricky Strauss, President, Content Marketing, Disney+.
New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space

Patrick J Adams as John Glenn. (National Geographic)

In the first episode of season one, the viewer enters into the height of the Cold War in 1958. It opens in the Mojave Desert as the United States reacts to Sputnik and the mission to beat the Soviet Union in the race to space. The premise of the show brings a new generation into the heart of the life and world changing experience of that time. After the seven become overnight celebrities, the series follows their struggles and triumphs on their journey to space.

With the Mercury Seven astronauts constantly in the public eye, each episode digs deep to showcase the PR machine that existed to present the perfect picture, but they were far from it. What will it take to make it to space? The ending of the trailer highlights dramatic events unfolding in an eerily voiced countdown.

The opening line of the compelling trailer says it all, “American’s love stories and this story ends with a climax in space.” The Right Stuff showcases the raw cost of that ambition coming to fruition, as well as the invigorating hope and excitement it all brought to a country in desperate need of both.

MIGHTY MOVIES

Two Scottish combat veterans define the term Strongman, as one helps the other train for the first-ever Arnold Schwarzenegger Disabled Strongman Competition

“The measure of a man is how you react on a bad day.”

Powerful words that three-time World’s Strongest Man and Sports Hall-of-Famer Bill Kazmaier used to describe one of the newest Strongman competitors – Stevie Richardson – at the World’s Strongman competition in Ohio.

Richardson fulfilled a lifelong dream by serving his country in the Army but his service was cut short when an IED detonated in Afghanistan and took his legs. Soon after Richardson returned home and started his long road to recovery, he met a fellow vet, Royal Marines Commando and competitive Strongman, Kenny Simm, and was introduced to the world of Strongman competition.


IED – Improve Every Day – Official Trailer. BBC Scotland, Gravitas Ventures, TurnerGang Productions

youtu.be

The story of these two combat veterans and their journey to find purpose, camaraderie and pride after coming home from war is the basis for the new documentary IED: Improve Every Day. The film shows how a veteran’s bond is undying and that no injury, physical or psychological, can stand up to the strength forged by the military brotherhood.

Competing for Arnold in the World Strongman Championship is certainly a milestone event in the lives of these veterans but it also marks a new chapter for them on the road to recovery. Their journey of self-strengthening will be life-long but valuable lessons can be gleaned from the story told in Improve Every Day; that our strength can quite-often be measured by the comrades we keep around us and no matter how bad our days get, there is always a new, inspiring challenge waiting for us in the future.

Watch this multi-award nominated BBC documentary on Amazon Prime, Youtube, Google play and many other platforms. Search IED: Improve Every Day.

New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space


MIGHTY BRANDED

What Corpsmen and Marines do in combat for one another will make you proud

Since 1775, the Marine Corps has been involved in some of the most epic battles in military history. From the flag raising at Iwo Jima to kicking down doors in Fallujah, it’s pretty much a guarantee that a Navy Corpsman was right next to his brothers during the action.


The bond between U.S. Marines and their Corpsmen is nearly unbreakable.

Richard Linklater sheds a charismatic light on this tight brotherhood in 2017’s “Last Flag Flying,” starring Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne.

New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
U.S. Navy Corpsman dressing the back wound of a Marine who was hit by the enemy in the battle of Iwo Jima. (February 1945.)

What many people don’t know is that the Marine Corps doesn’t have an independent medical section. Since the Corps falls under the Department of the Navy, the majority of the medical treatment Marines get in the field is through the Naval Hospital Corps — except for reservists, who have different options.

Navy Corpsmen have fought with their Marine brothers and sisters in “every clime and place” since their creation. They train with their Marines in nearly every single aspect of warfare. The experiences — and hardships — they go through together builds a tight-knit bond of respect that lasts well beyond their service together.

New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
HM2 Lamonte Hammond and HM3 Simon Trujillo from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines treat a wounded Marine during a firefight in the Helmand province, Afghanistan. (Source: Cpl. Artur Shvartsberg)

On multiple occasions, the “Docs” have run into harm’s way to render care to their wounded brothers — that tradition and heroism carries on to this day.

The Geneva Convention states that Corpsmen are technically non-combatants and are only supposed to discharge their firearms to protect their patient — but that’s no fun.

New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space

In the film Last Flag Flying, Larry “Doc” Shepherd (Steve Carrell), is a former Navy Corpsman and Vietnam veteran who loses his only son during the Iraq war.

Faced with tragedy, Shepard looks to reunite with his former Marine brothers for their most crucial mission yet: To bury Shepherd’s son and ultimately reconnect the brotherhood they shared 30 years ago.

The bond never dies.

Last Flag Flying is set for release Nov. 3, 2017.

Check out the film’s trailer below.

YouTube, Amazon Studios

MIGHTY MOVIES

5 reasons why being a super soldier would actually suck

In comic books and superhero movies, there’s a constant trope about average troops being given superpowers to match their immense bravery and honest heart. From a story perspective, it makes sense. And according to the bumper stickers on most military spouses’ mini-vans, not all heroes wear capes after all.


But in real life, if you manage to survive a super-soldier project, you won’t be doing much superhero work. Take a look at Captain America for instance.

1. Uncle Sam would get his money’s worth

There isn’t an exact number put to how much it would cost to become a super soldier, but Forbes estimates the cost of Captain America at $54.6 Million. There’s no way you’d get away with having that much money spent on you without constantly having to do military stuff.

You probably won’t be doing Special Ops stuff, either. Your name and face would be everywhere and that’s simply too much money to put on the line. Plus, if the Army learned you could clean an entire Connex in one minute, guess what you’ll be doing…

New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
That, or selling war bonds… (Paramount Pictures)

2. Everyone expects the best from you

Good luck trying to take it easy for a single moment.

You’re going to be constantly working. You’ll be on the move non-stop, saving everyone and doing the right thing. Even if the pressure weighs you down, you’ll have to keep saving everyone.

New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
God forbid you take a nap for 70 years… (Paramount Pictures)

3. No more private life

A common theme in comic books and movies is the protagonist trying to balance their public, superhero life and a personal life. That balance wouldn’t be a thing for super soldiers.

They just don’t get the opportunity to BE civilians. If they do have a personal life, it’ll still just be doing regular military stuff.

New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
You’re still never going to watch all those films you told people you’d eventually get around to seeing. (Walt Disney Studios)

4. No more getting drunk

Captain America doesn’t have a real weakness — except one. His superpowers and accelerated metabolism work too hard for him to get drunk.

No matter how much he drinks, he’ll never get the pleasure of stumbling home after the bars close.

New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
At least you can hold your own with a Norse god. (Walt Disney Studios)

5. You’re never getting promoted… ever…

Once you’ve been given your superhero name, you can’t really change it. It’s your new identity. That’s fine for every other superhero, but it’s terrible for Captain America.

The ‘Captain’ in Captain America isn’t some clever name. It was Captain Steve Rogers’ actual rank in the U.S. Army. In The Ultimates, at least Colonel Nick Fury gets promoted to General.

New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
Over 80 years of service and never promoted to Major. (Sony Pictures)

Bonus: At least chicks dig superheroes in uniform

It could be all the badass things he’s done in WWII, it could also be the CIB he rocks, or it could even be the Pinks and Greens he’s wearing. Either way…

New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
It’s totally the P&G’s. (Paramount Pictures)

WATCH

This video perfectly captures the highs and lows of Navy advancement

If you’ve ever taken a Navy advancement exam, chances are you walked out of the testing center feeling more confused than the day the Navy issued aqualfage.


You’re not alone, sailor. A quick look at the comments posted to a Reddit thread called, “How I felt during today’s E-5 advancement exam” shows bewilderment across the fleet.

From Reddit:

User: Achibon – Yeah, I studied for the last 2.5 months and still felt like a moron during the test. Good luck to you.

User: Furmware – Thank God I’m not the only one who felt like a moron after the test.

User: dcviper – I used to cut mid-70s on the test and I always walked out feeling like an idiot. The test I made E-6 off of I thought I had bombed because I didn’t study. Even our department head, a mustang LCDR, said he thought it was a really difficult test. No one was more surprised than me that May.

After reading the comments above, you could imagine the excitement some sailors get when they find out they passed. Oh the joy! It means more pay, no more being talked down to, and most importantly, no more working parties! Well, maybe not entirely true but there will be fewer.

And then, there are the sailors who’ve taken the test many times. You know who they are, they’re always bitter. This video by Chalee Jr. perfectly captures the attitudes sailors have when passing and failing the advancement exam.

Watch:

 

WATCH

This is how bombs are safely stored on amphibious assault ships

Everyone knows that the primary offensive weapon of an aircraft carrier or a big-deck amphibious assault ship is the aircraft on board. But those planes gotta drop (or fire) something at targets on the ground. Those planes also need stuff to fire at enemy planes (or missiles), as they are also the primary defensive weapon of those ships.


But all that stuff that goes boom needs to be kept somewhere safe. Why? Because if that stuff goes off at the wrong time, the best case can be a very messy situation, like that on the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal (CV 59) off Vietnam.

New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
Aviation Ordnancemen place a weapons cart of GBU-38 500-pound satellite guided bombs on an ordnance elevator on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The bombs are prepared in a ship’s magazine, and then lifted up to the flight deck. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Stephen Early)

It can get worse than the fire on the Forrestal. When the escort carrier USS Liscome Bay (CVE 56) was hit off Makin Island in 1943, ordnance blew up, sinking the ship in 23 minutes and killing 644 of her crew. Three of the Japanese carriers that were sunk at Midway, the Akagi, Kaga, and Soryu, all went down due to bombs for their planes going off after they were hit.

New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
Bombs are prepared on board the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). (Youtube screenshot)

The United States learned from World War II. Today, the bomb magazines are kept deep inside carriers and amphibious assault ships. They carry a lot of bombs, missiles, and rockets. These weapons are prepared in the magazines, and then shipped up on special elevators to the flight deck where they can be loaded onto the planes.

New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
An ordnance elevator has brought Joint Direct Attack Munitions for loading onto aircraft on board the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). (Youtube screenshot)

People often describe carriers (as well as the amphibious assault ships) as an airport on top of a floating city. That’s not quite the truth. The carriers and amphibious assault ships are airports on top of floating forward operating bases – and they are mobile.

You can see some of the operations of the magazine on board the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) in the video below.

Articles

How the P-51 Mustang almost became the A-10

The P-51 Mustang had a long combat career – seeing action in the Soccer War between El Salvador and Honduras over two decades after the end of World War II. In fact, the Mustang was serving with the Dominican Republic well into the 1980s.


But it nearly made a comeback with the United States Air Force – long after it was retired and sold off after the Korean War. Not for the air superiority role it held in World War II, but as a counter-insurgency plane.

New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
PA-48 Enforcer during Air Force trials in the 1980s. (USAF photo)

But in the years after World War II, the Mustang underwent a metamorphosis of sorts. Aviation historian Joe Baugher noted that the P-51 line was sold by North American to a company known as Cavalier Aircraft Corporation. That company turned the one-time air-superiority fighter into a fighter-bomber, giving the plane eight hardpoints, with a usual warload of six five-inch rockets and two 1,000-pound bombs.

But the design could be pushed further, and Cavalier soon sold the Mustang to Piper Aviation. That company decided to try putting a turboprop engine in the Mustang airframe. That and other modifications lead to the PA-48 Enforcer. By the time they were done, the Enforcer had some Mustang lineage, but was ready for modern counter-insurgency work. It had GPU-5 gun pods – in essence, the Mustang would have two guns delivering BRRRRRT!

New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
The PA-48 at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (USAF photo)

The Air Force kicked the tires around the Vietnam War, but didn’t buy any. Not that you could blame ’em – there were plenty of A-1 Skyraiders around.

But in 1981, Congress pushed the Air Force into ordering two prototypes. After some testing in 1983, the Air Force decided to pass. One Enforcer found its way to the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB. The other is at Edwards Air Force Base.

MIGHTY BRANDED

Denver Broncos star DeMarcus Ware surprised four servicemembers with a Thanksgiving meal

Each year, thousands of civilians host military for meals in their homes as thanks for their many sacrifices, including missing their family at holidays.


For “NFL Salute to Service,” USAA teamed up with Denver Broncos star DeMarcus Ware for a surprise home-cooked Thanksgiving meal for military members from Fort Carson (CO) in honor of their service. Watch as this NFL star hosts these unsuspecting military for a surprise home-cooked meal that they’ll never forget.

The experience was hosted by USAA, the Official Military Appreciation Sponsor of the NFL as part of its commitment to authentically honor military through “Salute to Service.”

Articles

Boeing unveils commercial for Eagle 2040C


The F-15C has a very enviable combat record. Aviation historian Joe Baugher notes that during Operation Desert Storm, United States Air Force F-15s scored 36 kills in air-to-air combat.

The Royal Saudi Air Force notched two more kills with the F-15, and Israel has a number of kills with this plane as well.

Related: The real purpose behind China’s mysterious J-20 combat jet

But at the same time, the F-15 has been facing increasingly better competition. Perhaps the most notable is the from the Flanker family of aircraft (Su-27/Su-30/Su-33/Su-34/Su-35/J-11/J-15/J-16), which has been receiving upgrades over the years.

Boeing, though, hasn’t been standing still, even as it lost the Joint Strike Fighter competition. Instead, it has been pursuing F-15 upgrades.

The Eagle 2040C is one for the F-15C air-superiority fighter, which has been asked to continue soldiering on with the termination of F-22 production after 187 airframes.

In the video, one of the planes is seen carrying 16 AIM-120 AMMRAAMs — enough to splash an entire squadron of enemy planes! (“You get an AMRAAM! You get an AMRAAM! EVERYONE gets an AMRAAM!” a la Oprah)

Check out Boeing’s Eagle 2040C video above. Seems like they missed an opportunity for one hell of a Super Bowl commercial.

 

MIGHTY TRENDING

This Marine remembers Morocco’s amazing food more than anything else

Navy veteran and Food Network Allstar, August Dannehl cooks a four course meal for his fellow vets based on stories from their service. A braised pork belly inspired by the MRE’s feared dehydrated pork product, Chicken Tagine inspired by a training mission in Morocco – these elements provide the backdrop for a holiday celebration between veterans.


Donna’s first visit to Morocco was for a training mission with the Marine Corps. It was on this trip that she and her unit befriended the owner and crew of a small local restaurant. They would eat there so often that their business provided new clothing for all of the servers and their families and when it came to leave, they were made this delicious parting meal.

Chicken Tagine w/ Preserved Lemon and Saffron CousCous

Inspired by Donna’s Service in Morocco

Ingredients
Tagine
8 lg. chicken thighs
2 tbs spice mix
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
1 large white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbs grated fresh ginger
2 tsp saffron
2 tb tomato paste
2 cups low-salt chicken stock
1 cup castelvetrano olives

Spice Mix
3 ½ tbs sweet paprika
1 tbs garlic powder
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbs ground coriander
2 tbs ground turmeric
1 tbs ginger powder
½ tbs ground cardamom
2 ½ tsp ground allspice

Couscous
3 cups couscous
3 cups low-salt chicken stock
4 tbs. unsalted butter
2 tsp. saffron threads (crumbled)
Also need
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
½ bunch cilantro, leaves

Prepare
Prepare the CousCous by heating the chicken stock, butter and saffron over medium-heat until boiling. Add couscous and reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10-12 minutes (until couscous is tender). Add salt, pepper and drizzle of olive oil to taste. Set aside.
Combine the spices in a dry sauté pan set over low heat, and toast them gently until they release their fragrance, 2 minutes or so. Transfer to a bowl, and allow to cool. Preheat oven to 350. Season the chicken thighs with the salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of the spice mix, along with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large dutch over over medium heat, and sear the chicken in batches, starting skin-side down, until the thighs are browned. Remove all but two tablespoons of the fat in pan, then return it to the heat, and brown the cauliflower and add the chicken.
Reduce heat below the pan, and add the onion, garlic, ginger and saffron. Cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, lemons and chicken stock and simmer until reduced by 1/3. Cover pot and transfer to over for 30 mins.
Serve with on top of couscous with cilantro garnish.

Music courtesy of Jingle Punks
Dramatic Classical Hip Hop – Trent Williamson

Faded-JP – Shota Ike

MIGHTY TRENDING

This is how Israeli pilots saw the Six-Day War

Fifty years ago, Israel was backed into a corner. Egypt had closed the Strait of Tiran – essentially denying Israel access to the Red Sea. The situation was dire, and Israel knew it had to act.


On June 5, 1967, Israel launched Operation Focus. The objective was to neutralize the Arab air forces, particularly those from Egypt. According to the Israeli Air Force web site, the operation was a smashing success.

You can now see that operation — as well as other parts of the Six-Day War — the way Israeli Defense Force pilots saw it.

During that war, the Israeli Air Force carried out strikes on airfields and other ground targets. They also were in a fair number of dogfights. The best plane the Israelis had at that time was the Dassault Mirage III, a single-seat fighter that had a top speed of 1,312 miles per hour, a range of 1,000 miles, and the ability to carry up to 8,800 pounds of ordnance along with two 30mm cannon.

 

New NATGEO series takes a deeper look at America’s race to space
An Israeli Mirage III at a museum. Giora Epstein scored the first of his 17 kills, a Su-7, in a Mirage III. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

The Six-Day War saw Israeli Mirage IIIs take on MiG-21 Fishbeds, MiG-19 Farmerss, Hawker Hunters, MiG-17 Frescos, Su-7 Fitters, Il-28 Beagles, and a variety of transports and helicopters.

The Israelis lost 46 aircraft and 24 pilots, but in return had killed almost 400 enemy planes, and had control of the skies within hours of the conflict starting.

You can see what it was like for Israeli pilots in the video below, taken from the Israeli gun camera films. The compilation starts with the airfield strikes that were part of Operation Focus. Not just bomb runs, but also the strafing passes on aircraft that were caught on the ground.

The gun-camera footage then shows the Israeli pilots as they score kills in dogfights. Finally, the video shows the interdiction strikes against Arab ground forces.


Feature image: Screen capture from YouTube

Lists

10 awesome songs we listened to while ‘Bangin’ in Sangin’

Gearing up to head out on a vital mission, clearing operation, or standard foot patrol to take down enemy forces comes with a lot of excitement and no shortage of anxiety.


You can’t exactly watch TV to take your mind off things, so music plays a key factor in lifting spirits and keeping Marines hungry for the fight.

Related: 4 times armies blasted music to intimidate and infuriate their enemies

My brothers in 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines and I faced many major obstacles while serving during our combat deployment in Sangin, Afghanistan.

So check out the music playlist that kept our morale high and our motivation pumping as we were “Bangin’ in Sangin.”

1. DMX – “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem”

Great while setting up a vehicle check point.

(DMXVEVO, Youtube)

2. Outkast – “Bombs over Baghdad”

An awesome song to play while dropping mortars on the bad guy’s position.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaFygeknae8
(GeneralGibbs, Youtube)

3. Katy Perry – “California Gurls”

Best song for Hollywood Marines to listen to when they think about them California girls.

Don’t judge — you know she’s catchy as hell. (KatyPerryVEVO, YouTube)

4. Ludacris – “Roll Out”

When you’re “Oscar Mike” in two minutes and need that extra burst of motivation.

(LudacrisVEVO, YouTube)

5. AC/DC – “Thunderstuck”

Best to listen to after a productive enemy engagement. OO-RAH!

(acdcVEVO, YouTube)

6. E-40 – “Go Hard or Go Home”

Awesome to listen to at the gym or when you want to make a legit deployment dance video.

(Alex Burock, YouTube)

7. Survivor – “Eye of the Tiger”

A good song for all occasions.

(SurvivorVEVO, Youtube)

8. Trick Daddy – “Let’s Go!”

When you’re beggin’ the bad guys to shoot at you.

(HQmvideo, YouTube)

9. Seether – “Out of my way”

Perfect right before gearing up for a patrol or clearing operation.

(Randomgunz, YouTube)

10. Kanye West – “Stronger”

When you survived another day in the suck. (That beard though.)

(KanyeWestVEVO, YouTube) 

Here’s the playlist in one convenient location. You’re welcome.

What music did you listen to while taking down the bad guys? Comment below.
WATCH

The Air Force says the A-10 is just too effective to get rid of

After years of threatening to cut funding to the A-10 program and funnel the money to the newer F-35 Lightning II, the Air Force seems to have finally faced facts — the A-10 is just too effective to remove from the inventory.


Air Force Materiel Command chief Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski recently told Aviation Week that the depot line that maintains and repairs the Air Force’s 283 A-10 Thunderbolt IIs has been reopened to full capacity.

Read more about how the A-10 is sticking around to support the troops here.

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